Counting The Body Parts Part #1 - Chassis Page 2

Oct. 01, 2005 By Patrick J Chicas
In this part of the article, we will identify what we have, what we need and why, in relation to chassis and suspension components.

The previous owner, aka "The Squid" beat this LT to death, rode the thing in the salt water at Pismo, and then made a feeble attempt at a rebuild. With his futile efforts, we received some neat aftermarket parts, lots of new OEM parts, a gaggle of near useless components and assorted, completely worthless array of bent, broken and corroded parts which will have to be replaced.

Main Frame and Sub-Assemblies

We got two!  The original frame is a worthless boat anchor complete with sloppy welds over a bent frame tube and what must be a gapping crack. The welds are so bad that they look like a rank amateur covered his or her eyes and dabbed at the frame in complete blindness with varying welder settings and an assortment of Taiwaneese coat hanger wire as welding rod. Yuck! This poor bastard 'Zilla is a mess!

Be still - oh great 'Zilla. We will restore you to a new. higher level of health, power beauty. "The Squid" will be banished from touching your controls forever.
Fortunately, the second frame is "as new". It appears to have never been used. The rear grab guard and front bumper from the original frame are junk. We will replace these with components from DG Performance. One of footpegs is bent and sloppily welded with the same finess as the frame tube.. We will replace this with a new component we found at Yamaha-Suzuki of Arizona
Lower Wishbone Arm
bearing spacers
Notice the hard pitting of
the shafts. This opens up
the metal to subsequent
rust as debris and moisture
will have a place to cling
huge bearings in the swing-arm, chushion lever mechanism. Check these bearings and their surfaces for wear. Total neglect or saltwater penetration results in extreme wear to the surfaces that make contact with the bearings, and total failure of the needle bearings as well as the cage structure that holds them in place. Unfortunately, there are no grease fittings on these components. If moisture seaps in and contaminates the lubricating grease, which can not be easily replenished, the needle bearings begin to fail, which scour the A-arm and swingarm shafts. If the bike lived on the dunes near the ocean (ours did) and did not receive meticulous care (ours did not) you can pretty much count on failure in the A-arm bearing and spacer components. All bearings were junk, some so bad, that the bearing cage had fractured or disentegrated.
Destroyed Needle
Ugly!! The previous owner
believed that
lubrication was
an option.
The previous owner powder coated the  A-arm's in a hideous color of yellow. What's worse, he left the rusted pins and bearings in place during the coating process. Disasembly required a copious amount of heat and the use of a custom made drift to remove the bearings while the arms were clamped in a vise. The heat and vise destroyed the yellow powder paint (what a bummer... Not!).

Steering Assembly

The steering shaft is bent as if the bike landed hard, upside down at the hands of what must be a true squid rider. The same squid broke out the playdough welding kit and went at this piece with blind, wild abandon as well. Jeez... Perhaps it's time to get out and burn the sacrificial offering of broken, Banshee parts to coax what spirit is left in our 'Zilla before it's too late.

Caution! Heating metal that is powder
painted will release dangerous
fumes from the burning paint.
Insure that you have proper
Fortunately, our friends at Neandrathal's Cycle Salvage had a nice, near new replacement at a cheaper than "cheap" price. Inspect the plastic bushing at the top and bottom of the steering shaft. Often these components crack and deteriorate. Although ours were in good shape, we opted to replace them with new components as they are inexpensive.

One of the tie-rods was bent horribly and straightened horribly by  "The Squid" with the

Bent and
Playdough weld
and tweak, ala
"Squid rider"!
hit and miss welding certification, no doubt. The Cycle Salvage guys came through again to replace this mangled part.

All  the tie-rod ends look good. There are no cracks or tearing of the rubber boots. There appears to be no appreciable play in the ball joint mechanism itself. However, because it is hard to check tolerances without proper leverage, we will inspect these pieces further when re-mounted to the chassis. Click Here for The Next Page Click Here for The Previous Page Newsletter
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