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 restoration.

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 750AΒ  and GT 380J model.

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

Seat lock

Sandblasted + nickel plated. The old rubber was removed and new rubber paint was sprayed on.

Mounted back onto the frame:

Happy with the result πŸ™‚

Alternator for GT750 and GT380

The explanation below will be valid for both GT380 and GT750. The alternator wiring for GT750 can found on page 94 in the service manual and on page 44 for the GT380. It’s very well written and explained in the manual, but I will do it in my way and perhaps it can give you a better undrestanding of how it all works. Both manuals can be downloaded from the documents category on my blog.

Wiring diagram from the service manual:

I will use images and measurements from DENSO parts, not KOKUSAN. The differences are explained in the service manuals. The figure above from the service manual is a simplified schematics. The alternator has 36 coils (12×3) in the stator and 12 coils in the rotor (6 north poles and 6 south poles). Please see the figure below:

Abbreviation and definitions:

DC: Direct Current

AC: Alternating Current

DC Voltage : A voltage with fixed plus and minus polarity and the current will flow from plus to minus if you have a closed circurit. ( the flow of electrons are the oposite way, from minus to plus ) Ex: The 12 Volt battery on your bike is the DC voltage source and the minus pole is grounded to the frame.

AC Voltage: An alternating voltage where the polarity changes with a given frequency. On your bike the rpm + the numbers of coils in the rotor and stator will define the frequency.

Stator: The stator in the alternator above is a 3-phase generator giving 3-phase sine wave voltages phase shifted at 120 degrees.

Rotor: Ther rotor is a rotating DC controlled magnet giving magnetic flux varation to make induction of voltage at the stator windings (coils).

Regulator: The voltage regulator in the diagram is a ordinary relay with 3 positions. In postion 1 and 2 DC current will flow from the + pole on the battery through the rotor windings and down to ground.

Position 1: No restriction of the current into the rotor windings. If the voltage is too low to activate the relay, it stays in position 1, shorting the resistor. The rotor will get the maximum current and gives the maximum flux from the coils.

Position 2: The voltage has rise and ther relay activate and and the resistor be in series with the rotor windings since the short is gone and the current has to flow through the resistor and the rotor current goes down causing less flux in the coil.

Position 3: High rpm of the engine giving high voltage and the relay goes all the way to the lover postition, shorting the rotor, no current will flow in the rotor windings. There are still some flux in the iron core of the rotor and induction of voltage in the stator will still goes on. If the voltage get lower agian, the relay will go back to stage 2 or 1 and send current into the rotor windings (coils) and keeping a steady voltage to the battery.

3-phase rectifier: The rectifier turns the AC votage into a DC voltage by using 6 diodes to turn the minus part of the sine wave into a posive part. Since all three phases are appers at a different time (due to the phase shifting) the output from the rectifier will be a DC voltage with very little ripple voltages compare to a single face rectifier.

Location of parts:

YouTube links:

How an alternator works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiKH48EMgKE

How a 3-phase rectifier works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XUsu08Farw

How to test a diode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMXDa5hVzXA

Diodes explained :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwj_d3uO5g8

Refurbishing the alternator:

The alternator covered in oil and dirt, and the wiring was in a bad shape. When I was finished it looked like this:

Some of the steps:

Parts removed and the stator housing was cleaned and polished using a rotating brush.

All the terminals were polished too. Don’t forget to mount the isolation cap when assembling the brushes. If not you will short the positive pole down to ground.

The old sleeve was brittle and had to be replaced. I went for a more modern flexible type and wrapped around a textile type of tape able to withstand 150 deg C.

Bend down the locking lip of the terminal and pull out from the rear side. I did a lot of tips and tricks from YouTube how to remove the yellowing of the plastic. Used both ultrasonic cleaner and hydrogen peroxide + UV light. Not perfect, but it became better. Polished the terminals and mounted it all back in place.

Soldering:

You can replace all the wires, but I didn’t. Some of the wires were extended to make a proper wiring harness with correct lenght on all the wires. To make the soldering more easy I wrap a single wire around the wires to keep them both in place during the soldering. Added a double set of heat shrink tubings.

Mounted on the bike:

Measurements:

Stator windings:

BikeL1-L2L1-L3L2-L3
GT7500,7 ohm0,7 ohm0,7 ohm
GT3800,7 ohm0,7 ohm0,7 ohm

Rotor windings:

BikeBetween green and black/white wire on GT380 and between green and ground (frame) on GT750
GT7505,8 ohm
GT3806,8 ohm

On the stator windings all measurements are done between the phases, the yellow wires.

Please notice the connectors. On the GT380 there is 6 pins and only 4 pins on the GT750. The ground (black/ white wire) and neutral indicator (blue wire) is missing. To measure the rotor on GT750 you therfore have to measure from the green wire to any GND points on the frame.

Note! If you measure rotor through the connector you will also measure through the brushes. If you get a very hight value you have bad connections in the brushes due to dirt and oxidation. Apply 12V DC for some seconds into the rotor and it will be all OK.

Numbers from the service manual:

I find those numbers hard to belive, can’t be right. The stator coil (windings) can’t vary from 0,26 ohm down to 0,1 and be valid.

Stator windings: The resistance in the stator windings don’t change over time. It’s not magic, it’s a wire winded around a some iron core and the length and thickness of the wire will define the resistance. If you get a short between some of the wires the resistance will go down and not increase. And you will see a difference between the three phases. You will never have three identical fault in the same stator. The measurements I did gave higher resistance and were identical on both the GT380 and the GT750.

Rotor windings:

The rotor resistance I measured on both GT750 and GT380 is much lower compare to the manual. OK, one reason can be a short between windings in the rotor. But i checked all 12 magnets and verified they all had the correct Norh and South poles with the same strenght. A short giving half the resitance compare to the number in the manual would give weak magnetic field on some of the magnets. Since I have about the same measuremetns on both rotors and the GT750 is running fine and gives the correct voltage to the battery I’m pretty sure it’s all OK. Why the numbers in the manual are so differnt, I really don’t know.

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: