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Project Zeal, Tanks & Carbs

What a week. Everything was put on hold, because I got married! But now that I’m home again, and going back to work tomorrow, I thought I would have a quick catch up on the Zeal.

Whilst I was away I left about a litre of white vinegar in the fuel tank to see if it would do anything to the rust. Unfortunately even after a week it had done very little. This is what I poured out. It had started to strip some of the lighter rust, but wasn’t working quick enough.

I was going to try electrolysis, but it just seemed like a lot of faffing about to set up. I was doing some research and came across a product called Evapo-Rust. It’s safe for the environment, safe to touch, reusable and safe on paint… but it monsters rust. A few people have used it for tanks, and it seems to do a good job.

So, I scoured the local Supercheap Autos, and picked up 15L of the stuff.

Before I could pour it into the tank, I had to seal the fuel tap hole in the tank better than the leaking duct tape I had used with the vinegar. To do this I used some scrap aluminium, a drill and the old gasket. I smeared some sealant on both sides of the gasket, and bolted the plate to the tank. So far, touch wood, it’s sealed tight.

With some strategic placement of some wood and a tub, I got the tank as flat as possible and filled with all 15L of the Evapo-rust. The tank has a 15L rated fuel capacity, but it didn’t quite fill the tank.

Whilst I was away I also got some sweet packages from overseas. The first was a set of legit JIS screwdrivers from Japan. These are to Japanese standards, which is very slightly different to the Phillips cross profile. The difference is subtle, but enough that if you try to use a standard Phillips driver in a JIS screw, it’ll strip out like it’s made of cheese (as the screwdriver tries to “cam-out” by jumping out of the slots). JIS drivers will slot in and fit perfectly. The carbs on this bike (and most bikes) use JIS screws and are super common for stripping out when JIS drivers aren’t used.

Revlimiter has an awesome write up on the differences between Phillips and JIS.

Another package I got was the set of LiteTek carb and fuel tap gaskets. This means I can put my fuel tap back together, and start work on the carbs.

I started putting the fuel tap together

I used a small bit of 2000 grit wet/dry paper to smooth out the rough edges on the pitting, so it wouldn’t damage the new gasket. Happyface.

And in goes the new gasket. Scaredface.

Bits

The completed fuel tap. So this has been stripped, ultrasonic cleaned, new seals, and the screws treated in Evapo-Rust (which worked really well for a couple of hours soaking. The screws were heavily rusted, with thick coating of crud). Now it’s ready to go on the tank again when that is done.

And what it looked like before

Next I took the carbs off the bike. Not hard to do, once the airbox is off it’s only 4 hose clamps and 3 cables to disconnect. So much grot by the starter that I need to clean out too.

I tried draining the float bowls, and only liquid came from cylinders 1 and 2. And I say liquid, because you can’t call it fuel. It was yellow, and smelt like paint stripper.

Using my awesome new JIS screwdrivers, I then removed the float bowls. Most of the screws cracked ok, but some needed a little help (and one needed the help of some vice grips). It turns out the flats on the driver are perfect for a spanner.

With all of the bowls off it was easy to see why I was doing this. Cylinders 2 through 4 had gritty sandy stuff in the bowl, and cylinder 1? Well, that’s where all the fuel in the rail drained to when the bike was sitting (leans to the left on its stand).

The carb jets will obviously need cleaning, and the bodies are filthy. They will need stripping and soaking in the ultrasonic for a bit.

I need to work on my plan of attack. The LiteTek site has an awesome write-up on how to rebuild the carbs, so I’ll go over that and get cracking on it.

I also need to work out what to do with the frame. I’m slightly leaning towards stripping the bike and getting the frame blasted and powder coated, but it’s a lot of work, time and money.

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