In this part of the article, we will identify what we
have, what we need and why, in relation to chassis and suspension
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
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.
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
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!).
Bearings Ugly!! The previous owner
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.
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
Caution! Heating metal that is
painted will release dangerous
fumes from the burning paint.
Insure that you have proper
One of the tie-rods
was bent horribly and straightened horribly by "The
Squid" with the
hit and miss welding certification, no doubt.
The Cycle Salvage guys came through again to replace this mangled
Abused Playdough weld
and tweak, ala
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.
Here for The Next Page
Here for The Previous Page