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Flood Victim

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Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:02 am

Got this recently from another site member. It was stored in a barn that took 5' of floodwater, so it was completely submerged. Should I name it "Thresher" after the famous sunken submarine, with a nod to it's agrarian Iowa origins, or maybe "FEMA"? In any case, it's a 1973 850 Commando Roadster with 4500 original miles. Plan is to keep it stock, since it's all there. As delivered:

Image

Took the seat (which cleaned up like new), tank and sidecovers off and trailered it to the car wash to blast off the last of the Mississippi mud.

Image

It's locked up tight, so job #1 will be to pull the top end and see what's inside. I'll also disassemble the primary drive and gearbox to see what the extent of water damage there is inside.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby grandpaul » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:19 am

If you don't split the cases, you'll never have peace of mind.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:47 am

When I get the cylinders off, if there's any evidence of water, I will. I have little doubt there won't be.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:47 pm

Pulled the drain plugs (exc. primary, gotta get the pipes off for that). Very little oil in the tank, Gearbox was a mix of water and penetrant. Crankcase was mostly water with a little oil. At least it wasn't rusty water.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby grandpaul » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:56 pm

As soon as you let the water out, the rust starts!
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:04 pm

grandpaul wrote:As soon as you let the water out, the rust starts!



Even if I fill everything with oil?
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby grandpaul » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:33 pm

If you fill everything with oil, make sure it's BONE DRY first!!!
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:53 am

Removed the valve covers last night. Everything up there looks OK, no rust. Then I removed the pipes and mufflers (which are junk anyway). Looking into the exhaust ports revealed a real mess of built-up carbon and corrosion. I assume things will be similar in the combustion chambers. Carbs and head are coming off tomorrow. Also filled the gearbox with oil and poured a half-quart into the head to drain down into the pushrod tunnels.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Fullauto » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:02 pm

How about Titanic?

Good pickup.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby xbacksideslider » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:36 pm

Just brain storming here. You might flush the internals with alcohol to absorb water, drain, dry, then oil. Might have to repeat to ensure that all the water is absorbed. A gallon of WD-40 might be even better since it displaces water; drives through it to the metal.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:21 am

Fullauto wrote:How about Titanic?

Good pickup.


That's good, too! :lol:
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:21 am

Fullauto wrote:How about Titanic?

Good pickup.


That's good, too! :lol:
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:30 am

xbacksideslider wrote:Just brain storming here. You might flush the internals with alcohol to absorb water, drain, dry, then oil. Might have to repeat to ensure that all the water is absorbed. A gallon of WD-40 might be even better since it displaces water; drives through it to the metal.


I think it's as Grandpaul said and needs to come completely apart. No way to tell if there's corrosion on the crank journals and main bearings otherwise, and I don't know if anything would clear it out in situ. The PO added some penetrating oil in an attempt to free things up, but the rings are almost certainly rusted to the bores.

There's bad paint and rust on the lower part of the frame, although not many fasteners and chrome parts are rusty. Wheels are fine but some of the front spoke nipples are rusty. Might as well take it all down, replace what's corroded and put it back together in a leak-stopping manner. Other than pistons, rings and cylinder bores, I'm hoping the low actual mileage means most of the wear parts are reusable as-is.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:41 pm

Spent the day removing, cleaning and testing the lighting. Headlight reflector was toast, but I had a spare. One turnsignal bezel smashed, had a spare for that, too, although I had to tap it to accept a threaded post. Amazingly, all the bulbs worked except the smashed signal and gauge bulbs. Taillight lens came off in pieces, so I ordered a new one off fleabay. Got two signal lenses coming even though I only need one. Only a pair were available and I want to make sure they match.

Only thing weird was, one of the wires to the charge warning light had no connector inside the headlight so I had to cut it. If it had been the + side, I could have disconnected it at the bezel, but it was the -.
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Re: Flood Victim

Postby Danno » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:35 pm

Got the head off this evening. Pretty ugly in there, full of rusty mud.

Image

One good sign; the head came up as the bolts were removed, so the valves are free in the guides, despite what the ports and combustion chambers look like. The rockers and valve springs are clean.

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