Project Lowbucks 78 YZ250: Paint, Plastic Restore and More

Oct. 17, 2014 By Rick Sieman and Wes Holmes
As with the rest of the bike, there was dirt and crud almost everywhere.

After a few truly miserable parts on our Project Lowbucks YZ 250, we were able to get into something more pleasant. You see, the bike chosen for our project was quite possibly the filthiest bike Ive ever worked on in my life. Hours and hours were spent getting the various parts in paintable condition. Now, as were nearing the completion, were starting to see what the bike will finally look like.

We turned our attention to getting the nasty looking plastic appear much better. In fact, liberal use of Krylon Sun Yellow spray paint amazed us at times. The gas tank, as with most of the rest the bike, was pretty bad and took more than a little time to get prepped. The front fender was pretty much straightforward, but the rear fender was definitely not usable. There was a chunk out of the plastic that prevented its usage.

Previous YZ250 Lowbucks Stories
Part 5: Wheels, Triple Clamp Work

Part 4: Exhaust Pipe, Carburetor Work

Part 3: Strip Down, Cleaning, Paint

Luckily, we were able to pick up a rear fender for $3, and with a little work on it we were able to make it fit. We were lucky in the saddle department in that the seat was in very good shape, all things considered. There was a very small tear in the forward part of the saddle, but you had to look to find it.

The stock gas tank was a bizarre color when we started.

Still, when you think about it, the bike cost us a mere $125 when we picked it up and it was actually running. So far, weve put $3 in parts in the bike and another $12 in paint and parts cleaner. That, my friends, is getting a bike together and running for truly low bucks.

We made liberal use of the Walmart contact cleaner. It costs less than $2 a can and gets stuff off that normally would not come off.

The bottom of the tank got several coats of the Krylon Sun Yellow paint.

We took our time painting the tank, and we ended up with some pretty good results.

As with the rest of the bike, the front fender had a nice accumulation of dirt on it. Plenty of water, cleanser and elbow grease got it ready to paint.

There was a small chip in the front fender, so a trip to the bench grinder and some very careful grinding made the offending tip clean.

Gentle use of sandpaper got some of the scrapes and scratches on the fender cleaned up.

No such luck with salvaging the rear fender with its missing piece (bottom), so we replaced it with a $3 rear fender. Close enough for government work.

The freshly painted triple clamp got a liberal coating of wheel bearing grease before being pressed into place.

After the top bearing was greased before the cap was set in place, it was time to line up the top of the triple clamp.

We made sure that the top clamp lined up properly with the bottom clamp.

The top stem bolt was then seated home.

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