Riding down to Mexico and more

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scottieh
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What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 1988 XT600Z 3AJ
1985 XT 600
Previously Owned Bikes: 1989 Yamaha Virago 750
1994 DR650
1980 Suzuki GR650
1997 KLR 250
1986 Honda Spree
Location: ATX, USA

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by scottieh » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:23 pm

It has been an interesting month. We've been at a horse ranch in Oaxaca helping with chores and learning about the area. Next week we will be driving to Belize to visit my parents who both just retired this year.

On a more immediate level i am replacing the steering head bearings on my bike and the lower beating race is being a total pain. The proper tool doesnt work and every bodge tool I've made hasn't worked either so i am down to breaking out the dremel tool and cutting the race out. I've tried everything else. Washer stack, gear puller, homemade race beater outer. Nothing. Hopefully the dremel isn't too much brute force and i can still use the race to hammer in the new one.

Also i somehow managed to puncture my plastic tank while it was parked. I have no idea how that happened actually, so i am considering plastic welding the tank back together. I tried calling Clarke Manufacturing for their advice but they are closed today until monday! Thanksgiving strikes again!

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And finally as i explained in another post my bike is riding very roughly at all speeds. Chain tension was proper before i took the bike apart for the steering head bearings but I'm worried about the big end bearings and what that would mean for further travel. I'm not sure if i want to split the cases in the middle of mexico or belize or guatemala. I dunno. Maybe they, whoever they are, will do a good, fast, and cheap job. The holy trinity.

Taking any and all suggestions on how to repair a plastic gas tank.

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Mezo
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Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by Mezo » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:31 am

scottieh wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:23 pm
Taking any and all suggestions on how to repair a plastic gas tank.
Most guys riding across the outback here cary J-B Weld, good for metal or plastic, repairs to plastic tanks or small cracks in engine casing, its got fine steel powder & sets like concrete, "J-B Weld is completely resistant to water, gasoline, and about every other petroleum product or automotive chemical. For wet-surface or submerged water or gasoline repairs"

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Mezo.

charliext1vj
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What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: XT600s 2x1VJ, 3UW, BSA Trail, CRF1000 + other?
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Location: Bath, UK

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by charliext1vj » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:28 pm

You could consider (with Mezo's glue recommendation) using a large washer and self tapper to pull together the plastic parts. Start with a fine drill hole and screw up self tapping screw with washer until parts are flush. Then take apart again apply adhesive and screw up again. A bodge but has worked for me! I envy your trip. I had what appeared to be big end noise on the same bike when in the end it was the engine top mounts were loose! But you obviously know your issues. good luck Charlie from Bath UK

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Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by jibber » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:34 pm

What plastic are they made from?

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scottieh
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Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:58 am
What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 1988 XT600Z 3AJ
1985 XT 600
Previously Owned Bikes: 1989 Yamaha Virago 750
1994 DR650
1980 Suzuki GR650
1997 KLR 250
1986 Honda Spree
Location: ATX, USA

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by scottieh » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:55 pm

I dont know the plastic material. I called Clarke Manufacturing in Oregon yesterday but they won't be open until moday. If it was made from ABS that would be great. I've plastic welded ABS before with success.

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scottieh
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Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:58 am
What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 1988 XT600Z 3AJ
1985 XT 600
Previously Owned Bikes: 1989 Yamaha Virago 750
1994 DR650
1980 Suzuki GR650
1997 KLR 250
1986 Honda Spree
Location: ATX, USA

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by scottieh » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:50 pm

Finally beat the lower steering column bearing race out of its hidey hole with the help of a welding shop down the street. I tried everything from washer stacks to split 2.5mm galvanized pipe to dremel tool before realizing I wasnt making progress and needed different tools. A cross bar of steel welded to the race provides the perfect hammer spot and the race was out in 5 minutes.

Love the safety precautions of mexico. For a shield the guy used a piece of tinted glass. Solid.

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After i cleaned up some of the new racing lines the dremel added inside the steering column the new bearing races went in easily and everything is turning smoothly. After the races the hardest thing was remembering how all of the cables and wires were routed in the dash.

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scottieh
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What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 1988 XT600Z 3AJ
1985 XT 600
Previously Owned Bikes: 1989 Yamaha Virago 750
1994 DR650
1980 Suzuki GR650
1997 KLR 250
1986 Honda Spree
Location: ATX, USA

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by scottieh » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:12 pm

Made it into Belize with a weeping hole in my clarke gas tank. Not sure where the hole came from as it showed up while i was replacing the steering stem bearings. I took the tank off to get more leverage and as i set it down i noticed it was suddenly leaking with a puncture low on the right side.

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The tanks are made out of a crosslinked polyethelyene formula PE SST 200 XL that doesn't glue or weld very well. Due to the nature of the plastic polymer epoxies and glues dont chemically bond to the plastic and so any and all patches eventually peel off. The only proper solution i discovered was to plastic weld the hole using a plastic filler rod of the same material. The problem was that finding that such a plastic weld filler rod in the middle of central america with my limited spanish skills wasn't going to happen.

So in lieu of the filler rod i sharpened a stick and jammed it into the hole and then layered gas resistant gasket sealant over it. Classy. I held for about a week with only a drop a day and after that it was a few drops a minute and from there it's been all downhill.

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My only real solution was to have a replacement tank sent down to me and luckily my parents were coming to visit in Belize. Thankfully ebay was full of parts so i ordered a used tank that i thought was in fair shape and had it sent to my parents in the states for them to bring down on the airplane.

The problem was that the tank really wasn't in good shape. It was marinating in 3 year old gas when it arrived and the inside metal was rusted. I coached my dad through the process of removing old gas so that it could fly in checked baggage on international flights and i would handle the rust. Despite international laws and customs and the faint whiff of gasoline permeating my parents luggage the damn thing made it all the way to Belize.

I planned on treating the rust with hydrochloric acid to convert the rust back to metal and then rinse it out with baking soda to neutralize the acid. I've done it before on an old klr 250 tank and the results were surprisingly effective.

The problem was that i was staying in a village of 1,000 people while entertaining my parents and finding 30% concentration hydrochloric acid was beginning to feel like a dream. Luckily the homeowner was an old biker and on a town run an hour away he found some for me.

I dumped in the gallon of acid with some tap water and walked away with the tank set upon a bucket. When i came back 7 hours later all the acid was in the bucket and the aluminum petcock had been dissolved. Oops.

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The tank looked somewhat cleaner but the moisture of the beachfront property probably rerusted all of the progress that i might have made before the catastrophic failure of the petcock.

I ran the acid back through a few quick times and flushed out the rusty flakes. Ran water through with a few boxes of baking soda to neutralize the acid and then used isopropyl alcohol to help evaporate the water. Flushed with gasoline a few times and then coated with a mix of oil and gas to help prevent further rusting. I'll be adding a fuel filter as soon as i can find it. Towns of 1,000 people don't have everything you want.

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A little eBay love from dave lambeth direct from winter england to the Belize coast.

To fix the corroded petcock i swapped the one from the old clarke tank which is a perfect fit for the original tank, and used a fair amount of gas resistant gasket sealant to help seal the o-ring down there. So far after a night full of gas no leaks.

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Permatex brand found at an autozone back in Oaxaca, Mexico. There are no autozones in Belize.

I'm holding onto the old Clarke tank for the moment in case the metal tank fails, and considering shipping it back with my parents. I have hopes that one day i can seal it up properly and use it or sell it.

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Noely
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What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 5th - 1988 XT600Z
Thanks to Mezo
TT350 1990
XT600Z 88, another complete one.
Previously Owned Bikes: 1st - 1975 XL 250
2nd - 1982 XT250
3rd - 1984 XT600
4th - 1986 XT600Z
Location: Mount Pleasant, Sth Aust.

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by Noely » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:08 pm

Hi Scottieh, love the ride report :shades: who are you using as a host for your photo's?? :book: The Dakar should be starting around the end of January some time if you are still in Sth America :fireball: I would like to finish my Ride Report but photobuck is being a pain. Ride safe. :nannawave:

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scottieh
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Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:58 am
What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 1988 XT600Z 3AJ
1985 XT 600
Previously Owned Bikes: 1989 Yamaha Virago 750
1994 DR650
1980 Suzuki GR650
1997 KLR 250
1986 Honda Spree
Location: ATX, USA

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by scottieh » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:28 am

I'm using Imgur to host my photos. You can make the photos either public or private and share them just the same

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Noely
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Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 am
What Bike or Bikes Do You Own?: 5th - 1988 XT600Z
Thanks to Mezo
TT350 1990
XT600Z 88, another complete one.
Previously Owned Bikes: 1st - 1975 XL 250
2nd - 1982 XT250
3rd - 1984 XT600
4th - 1986 XT600Z
Location: Mount Pleasant, Sth Aust.

Re: Riding down to Mexico and more

Post by Noely » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Cool! thanks mate. Ride safe... :oilleak:

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