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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After owning a race car engine swap project for a few years I got used to working on stuff myself to save money. With my recent 2008 Aprilia SXV 550 addition I decided to put what I learned to work to make my SXV personalized and in good mechanical condition.

Plans:
-Paint/powdercoat chassis and engine parts black - all in house, I have a small powdercoating setup
-Refresh black plastics w/ custom graphics
-Pull engine for valve shim adjustment
-Modify seat foam into a hump seat (12L tank)

Currently the bike is all stock except for
-Titan Tough black anodized 42 tooth rear sprocket
-RhinoMoto front axle sliders
-ESD Manufacturing black anodized rear axle sliders
-Uncorked exhaust
-Supermoto front fender
-Currently have the foam air filter on order from AF1

It has 4k miles and the previous owner didn't have the valves checked and re-shimmed. I figured it would be a good time to customize the chassis while I pulled the engine to do the shimming myself. Planning on videoing my valve shimming process for others to see how its done. I'm not a professional mechanic by any means, but I figure a visual aid video will help others do the same on their engine. Following the manual's instructions is good, but watching something being done always helps me learn faster.

So far I have disassembled everything and the engine is on my workbench waiting to be opened up. I've gotten through some of the chassis painting - frame, subframe, and triples. Here are the project photos so far along with the disassembly and painting time lapse videos.

Disassembly time lapse: Aprilia SXV 550 disassembly time lapse, GoPro HD - YouTube
Painting time lapse: Aprilia SXV 550 DIY chassis painting time lapse, GoPro HD - YouTube

The bike, before shots






GoPro for time lapse video


Disassembly progress




SXV parts littering the garage


Engine on my workbench


Rusted bolts


Vibratory tumbler with rust removal media


Nasty pitted, dirty subframe


Subframe prepped and ready for paint


My mistake of not priming the aluminum before painting main coat, oops. Had to sandblast off the crap that the paint remover wouldn't remove.


Sandblasted, primed, painted, and clear coated subframe


Dirty triple


Masked and primered


Painted and cleared, finish came out extremely smooth and glossy






Nasty chain wax and dirt buildup on the frame


Scrubbed clean


Primed frame


Painted and cleared


Brake caliper before cleaning


After cleaning almost ready for paint


More to come as I continue on the project, should be done in a few weeks. Well...it better be because I'm going on a Deals Gap trip in two weeks!

Looks like my photobucket account just ate it from too many views. I have the photos hosted on my blog account if you want to see them:
http://www.chixwithtrix.com/2011/09/my-diy-aprilia-sxv-550-build/
http://www.chixwithtrix.com/2011/09/diy-aprilia-sxv-550-project-part-2/
http://www.chixwithtrix.com/2011/09/diy-aprilia-sxv-550-project-part-3/
http://www.chixwithtrix.com/2011/09/diy-aprilia-sxv-550-project-part-4/
 

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awesome project keep the pictures coming, and glad to see someone wearing gloves..


:hammer:
 

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Looking good:thumbup: Whole lotta bikes in the garage:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update! The engine is freshly shimmed and back together as of yesterday. I worked on some more cosmetic things today and should start reassembly tomorrow. Having to cut a few things short on the cosmetics such as powdering the swing arm since our trip starts in a week and there are some serious fires in the area around where I live in Texas and would like my bike to be running in case we have to evacuate. It's insured, but if we had warning it would be nice to be able to ride it out of there not in a billion pieces.

Anyway, on to the photos. I made sure to take a lot of photos of the powder coat process for those of you who are interested in home powder coating.

The engine valve clearances were:
Front
Left Intake - .05mm / Right Intake - .10mm
Left Exhaust - .23mm / Right Exhaust - .24mm
Rear
Left Intake - .08mm / Right Intake - .04mm
Left Exhaust - .23mm / Right Exhaust - .23mm


First timing hole on the crank


Nifty little timing tool from AF1. Had I known what it was going to be used for I'd have made my own instead of spending $20!


There was some grime in the valley between the cylinders. Figured I'd clean it while the throttle bodies were off.




Engine on my workbench during the shimming process


Decided to black out the valve covers and clutch cover


Engine before:


Engine after:


rear brake caliper and bracket before:


Ceramic paint on the rear caliper, front caliper, and rear master cylinder


Now on to the powder coating...

Selected powder coat bits before cleaning and sand blasting. Sand blasting is a must to remove contaminants that will make the powder bubble and otherwise look like ass. Ask me how I know...


Cheap $70 powder coating system from Harbor Freight (filter and regulator extra)


Very simple and limited. Have used it with success multiple times. Upside is it is cheap and works, downside is neither the gun nor the current are very powerful. Eastwood sells some better systems that will lay powder better and more efficiently if you want to get something with more quality to start with.


On/Off foot switch for the current to charge the metal bits.


Regulator and filter setup are necessary if you want the system to work. Low psi is needed to get the powder to lay correctly. Water in the system is bad, obviously, since it will affect the powder.


Eastwood powder coat. Don't skimp on the powder media.


Putting powder into the hopper


Cheap oven off craigslist dedicated to powder, added castors and its even better!


Need some sort of air compressor for the system to work

The little clip is what supplies the current to the parts controlled by the on/off foot switch. When the current is on the powder will be attracted to the metal parts.


As you can see, we're powder coating outside in the elements. Wind can be an issue so doing it inside a garage or dedicated space is better. Home powder coating is not for everyone; its very messy. I recommend wearing a respirator when doing it, especially with the Harbor Freight rig that shoots powder all over the place. Good thing is that when you are done the powder can be blown/swept away easily.


Follow heat/time directions on the powder coat media bottle as times can vary.


Shot about 20 gigs worth of HD video from my 5D Mk II for the engine shimming guide video. Its going to take me a while to edit it and get some audio of me explaining what I'm doing. First part will be of the rear cylinder more zoomed in on each step and the other cylinder I zoomed out to show the overall process as I went through the steps.
 

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got the same set up, the red that comes with it worked great for some of the my honda powder coating.. and have you messed around with the nozzles that came with it? i found they really help when trying to get into the pits and edges of the parts..


and beware of letting your friends use the set up.. i let my friend and he made the mistake of trying to rotate the part and his foot was still on the pedal and he threw my gun breaking it :(


and dont leave the air hooked up.. the stock water separator blew into two pieces, i guess the cheap glue didnt hold...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, I totally forgot it had extra nozzles! Had the setup for a few years and we used to rent a big warehouse back in the race car days. After we moved a lot of stuff got misplaced/lost so they're long gone. We also didn't have good luck with the powder that came with it. Could have been the Matco compressor we were using at the time, its reg was all effed up. I hate working with cheap tools, but as much as I actually powder coat stuff the HF kit does ok. Guess I have to watch out for explosions though hah!
 

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No, I totally forgot it had extra nozzles! Had the setup for a few years and we used to rent a big warehouse back in the race car days. After we moved a lot of stuff got misplaced/lost so they're long gone. We also didn't have good luck with the powder that came with it. Could have been the Matco compressor we were using at the time, its reg was all effed up. I hate working with cheap tools, but as much as I actually powder coat stuff the HF kit does ok. Guess I have to watch out for explosions though hah!
lol no doubt had a kid cleaning the shop and he went to use the shop vac and i almost had a heart attack thinking something horrible was about to happen in 2 seconds..


but awesome project keep the pics coming, hopefully it gives other the confidence to do their own work and make one off motos themselves.
 

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Very niice! I have subscribed to the thread. I often try and do stuff myself but it never goes as smooth as this, glad to see you arent facing any challenges.

As far as the powdercoating, you think I should get that HF deal? I've been reading up on the whole thing and I was leaning towards the hotcoat stuff. Its only a couple dollars more and it would be from the same maker as the powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very niice! I have subscribed to the thread. I often try and do stuff myself but it never goes as smooth as this, glad to see you arent facing any challenges.

As far as the powdercoating, you think I should get that HF deal? I've been reading up on the whole thing and I was leaning towards the hotcoat stuff. Its only a couple dollars more and it would be from the same maker as the powder.
Oh there have been setbacks for sure, every project has them. I've cussed this bike up and down I don't know how many times! The paint on the frame refused to harden, subframe paint effing up and had to be chemically paint removed (which got in my eyes around safety glasses, freaking OW!) then sandblasted to start over, various stripped bolt holes from previous owner, losing the o-ring on the chain tensioner - then finding it a day later, scratching the clutch cover with the torque wrench and had to repaint it, re-routing the clutch cable 4 times, re-routing and repositioning the throttle cables 5 times, having to re-route the wiring harness in a few places, etc, etc.

The HF unit works, not bad, not excellent - but it is an easy and cheap way to try your hand at home powder coating. If Eastwood has a better unit for not much more, go with it! Definitely go with the Eastwood or other major brand powder. I've had much better luck with it than the HF powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rode the bike in front of the house this evening. Everything seems great, very peppy. Idle is a touch low off choke, but I messed with the cables so I'm not surprised. Hope to get it road ready tomorrow for a shakedown ride, then I'll continue on the plastic refinishing and seat modification.

Two days ago it was bare frame, here it has the wiring harness


Engine in


Powder coated bits




Coming along, status as of this morning


Together with the basics for a test run


As of tonight after I rode it
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Like I said in one of my previous posts, I ran out of time to get the swingarm powder coated. I have to outsource that (my oven won't fit the swingarm) AND the fires are freaky bad around here with the severe drought.

We are leaving September 18th for a week long trip and I wanted the bike together in case I had any issues to troubleshoot too....and with the riding trip plus recent equipment expense for my vinyl cutting/shirt business I don't get to spend the extra $$ for someone to powder it at the moment, hah. It will get powder, just don't know when :) Or I might get it anodized since I have to outsource anyway, haven't decided yet. Paint is not durable enough for the swinarm or the forks. As far as the forks I plan on either swapping out for a black stock set from a 2009 bike or find a used Marzocchi set if I happen upon some in the future.

My future mods/wish list:
-Powder coat or anodize the swingarm black
-Stock 2009 black anodized fork set
-Pull the stock triples, sand blast, and anodize them black when I have more time. Paint looks fantastic, but it won't last.
-Anodize stock wheels black when I swap tires next
-ASV black stubby clutch/brake levers
-Aftermarket black ano'd handlebar, not sure on brand yet
-Powder coat the various bits black that are holding the bark busters on
-Black seat cover
-Maybe custom printed graphics kit if I don't like my own cut vinyl graphics I'm planning on making
 
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