Welcome to my man cave

Man cave
A proud owner of a new Man Cave

Welcome to my blog where I describe my journey in Suzuki GT restauration.

Hopefully at help for myself an others with the same interest. Scroll down for for new posts.

The main idea with this blog is to use it as a reference guide for Suzuki GT 750A  and GT 380J model.

Don’t hesitate to give me feedback and guidance if you see me doing it wrong.

Kick starter and gear shifter

Two more parts done today with new rubber mounted. The kick starter and the gear shifter.

The kick starter was only cleaned and polished + new rubber mounted.

The gear shifter had some bad parts of chrome coming off. I did a gentle sandblasting of the ugly parts and nickel plated the entire shifter without removing the old chrome. Came out pretty good I think.

I didn’t do anything with the odd looking edge of the gear shifter. This is how it was made from the factory 50 years ago.

Headlamp

Headlamp housing mounted:

Got a bit confused due to the drawing. It shows a headlamp bolt with flat head:

Looking up the part no and looking at images, they all had rounded heads. I took an old original Suzuki bolt. After sandblasting and nickel plating it was good as new.

Fender and front wheel mounted

Mount the fender before the front wheel.

New fender mounted

Two 8mm 1,25mm pitch bolts on each side. The lower bigge hole (10mm 1,25mm pitch ) is for the front drum brake.

The front wheel:

I have not found any parts manual for the J model in pdf format, only from K and later, but this link on the web shows the J front wheel with the drum brake:

https://www.cmsnl.com/suzuki-gt380-1972-j-usa-e03_model16106/partslist/81501.html#.YvLRgXZByUl

Dismounting and restoring the front drum brake + nickel plating

Some pictures to help out the assembly process later on. A lot of rust but all the parts are present πŸ™‚ Not possible to source any new parts for this rare front brake. Starting with rust removal and cleaning. The chromed parts will be sandblasted for removal of the old chrome and rust pitting. Thereafter I will grind and polish back to a shining look before I nickel plate them using my old nickel plating kit.

Cleaning:

Polishing:

Three of the parts looks quite nice after some polishing. Can be used as is. No need for nickel plating.

Sand blasting:

Sanding:

Depending of the parts I’m using different tools. Dremel, rotating disks or the lathe. Starting with 80-100 grit sand paper until I get a nice finish using 1200 grit paper.

Nickel plating:

The nickel plating bath is 10 years old and is still function well. The cost is like “nothing” compare to shipping parts abroad for rechroming. After some yars I only added water to the bath and bought a new nickel anode (10$ on ebay).

Pluss 4-5V to the anode and minus to the parts. The current is about 100mA and plating time for small parts will be 2-3 hours and more time depending of the size of the parts.

I bught it all as a kit with anode, solvents and power supply. Before the plating start the parts are cleaned in a special solvent and after the nikkel bath I use a stop bath at the end of the process.

Can be smart to monitor the current so you know it’s all working and no bad connections.

If it’s all ok, and the current is flowing the part will turn gray after fiew minutes.

After some hours the part will be covered in nickel and is ready for polishing.

All steel parts has been nickel plated, the aluminium hub is only polished.

The entire process takes only few hours and I’m very pleased with the final results.

Assembly:

Parts for the speedometer gear:

Brake shoes:

The shiny springs are the old rusty ones in a better look.

Almost done:

Before and after:

Before and after

Return spring and clamping bolts:

Done:

The wheel mounted:

Mounting the fork

The fork was mounted according to the parts manual (GT380k)

Parts no can be found in the manual, go to the: Documents at my blog.

Resin print of 51553-3300:

I was missing some cushion parts. I only had one of the cushion for the headlamp bracket, the: 51553-3300

The resin 3D printer had some issues this time printing rubber resin, not sure why but still able to use the parts. I also tested the filament printer using flexible filament. Not 100%, but ok to be used.

Assembly of the front fork

Mount the damping rod (unknown part no) into the outer tube. Don’t forget the copper washer.

Oil seal:

Mount the inner tube and slide the oil seal down to the outer tube.

Next step can be difficult. Apply som grease around the seal, but it can be hard to drive the oil seal all the way down to the bottom. I did it “my way”

Since I have a lathe, I made a tool for the purpose.

With a plastic tube on top of the tool and a hammer it was easy to drive the seal all the way down.

Secure the oil seal with the circlip and the spacer.

Fork oil:

Install the fork spring and apply 210ml of oil. Screw on the top bolt and you are done πŸ™‚

Don’ forget the drain screw at the bottom.

Mounting the fork boot:

This part turned out to be very difficult. The lower end of the boot was very stiff and not flexible at all, and looked too narrow to get around the outer tube.

Soften the boot with hot air helped, and by using some plastic stripes as a guid I was able to squeeze it on.

Inner tubes

Finally, after two years of nothing I’m back on track with the restoration process.

Luckily I did some research last time about what part to be fitted in the correct order.

I used images from my previous post about the topic and went a head and did the assembling of the inner tubes.

7 Steps:

Carburetor synchronizing

Sorry for a long time of doing nothing on my blog. Hope to do better in 2022….

I come to mind I did a upload some years ago on YouTube showing an alternative way of synchronizing the carburetors, but I never posted the link on my blog. So, here it is:

The service manual explain how to balance the carburetors, but it can be hard to get it right, and annoying surging will occur at low rpm. Some adjust the butterfly valve looking at the air/light gap holding the carbs up agains a light source, but again, not an easy task.

In the video I pour methylated spirit ( petrol smells too much) into the carburetors and get the time of the drainage. Adjusting the carbs to about the same speed of drainage and the surging is gone at low rpm.
I learned this from Steve in Melbourne, Australia when I visited his sister Donna Ann 5 years ago.