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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many, many years ago, I inherited an 83 Interstate from my father. I rode and enjoyed the bike for a couple of years. I then moved away and started a new life. The bike went into indoor storage where it has remained for the last 25 years. I'm at a point where I have the time to restore this bike.

I bought a new battery for it, but I got nothing when I tried to start it. I jumped straight to the starter and only got it to click. I pulled the starter and it seems to be OK. The motor appeared to be locked up. With nothing to lose, I sprayed PB blaster into the plug openings, hoping it would loosen up. When that didn't work, I pulled the heads off. The #4 cylinder has some rust in it. I used a 2x4 and 3# hammer and got the stuck piston loose pretty easily. I did a quick clean up with a razor blade to get the loose rust off. The pics show what the cylinder looks like. I think it looks worse than it feels. The rest of the cylinders are clean, smooth, and shiny. My question is: Is the motor salvageable? I read an article on this or another wing forum that recommended wet sanding with oil on the cylinder to polish it back up. Could I do a quick hone with the motor still in the bike without new rings? Are either of these techniques something I should contemplate?

My other question is what should I replace on the motor if it is salvageable? I already plan on new belts, lapping the valves, and rebuilding the carbs.

Any help would be much appreciated. I'd really like to get this bike on the road. Lots of sentimental value. I tried to link the photos below, but just in case I didn't get it right, the pics are in an album called Yeti's Interstate on this site.


 

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we have seen much worse than that brought back to life.

you just need to dissolve the rust off the cylinder and associated parts.

then you just need to fill all the cylinders with light weight oil, perhaps tranny fluid and allow it to deep soak the cylinders/pistons/rings for a few days.

leave the spark plugs out, keep the cylinders full of oil, turn the crank over just a smidge each day and you will be rewarded with an engine that once again will run just fine.

The initial rust in that one cylinder? I would be tempted to use electrolysis on it. Really I would. The tiny bit of water that creeps down past the piston rings is going to be neglible compared to the condensation over the past 25 years.

You are going to flush the crankcase any way, so leave that till last when all of the upper cylinder rust removal is done.

Electrolysis will work very fast compared to soaking, so to me, that is a good first choice for this particular engine.

I would lay the bike over and rest it on something soft so that the effected cylinder bore is vertical. Use a heavy gauge nail or other steel object as the anode. Place a piece of plastic down on the piston head to keep the anode from grounding out.

hookup the battery charger and get that crud out of there fast. Then do the oil soaking and gradual turn over to the engine. I forget which polarity the charger needs to be right now, IIRC positive to the engine block and negative to the nail?
 

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:waving: when i got my 83 inter it had 42,000 on the clock. it looked worse than what i see in the pics. now it has 93,000 trouble free miles be hind it and still going strong.
i used pb blaster , tranny fluid to soak things down and get the rings freed up. turning the engine over after a couple days or so , oh i used a fine grit wet or dry sand paper to get the rust out.
what ever you do , do servale engine flushes and change the filter too each time.
good luck with it too.
 

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Looks good... personally, I would not use abrasives because you really cannot clean the cylinders afterwards well enough.. I'd just scrape them (as you have done), soak with a penetrating oil for days.. then button it back up... The only issue I can see is possible sticking rings in that cylinder, but running it will free them up too... using electrolysis means conductive liquids (water, lye, acids, etc.) and that will just make matters worse (imo)... I've seen worse with pitting that came out fine.. good luck and if you do use abrasives, make sure to clean/flush well so nothing is left.. some grit in the cylinder walls will not be good..
 

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I would use some very fine 600 or 800 wet and dry paper with the spray oil. Hopefully the piston rings are not rusted too bad or stuck in the piston grooves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I've been working on it daily with tranny fluid and a razor blade. It gets a little better with each session. I may have to resort to wet sanding if necessary. I'll definitely try to keep the abrasives away from the piston/rings. Any problems with using carb cleaner for a final flush?

Campbell-I've been watching ebay just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I've been working on this for a few days whenever I get some spare time. It is definitely better than it was, but still has some pitting on the cylinder walls. I've taken it about as far as I want to by hand. Would a hone smooth out the pitting without having ring issues? I'm tempted to gamble on a gasket set and button it back up as is. I assume I may have lower compression and maybe a little smoking. Any other issues with putting it back together as is?
 

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Suit yourself but I'd button it up and ride...
 

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IF it were mine, I would use a ball hone with oil on that one before I put it back together. Not much time with the hone, just enough to knock off and sharp edges on the pits; might make the rings last longer.


Bill
 

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If the pistons are in place, no hone. If you have been soaking the rings with pb blaster, that's good to loosen the rings.
Don't worry about the pitting, put it together and fire it up. It will smoke for a while until all the rings loosen fully, my 83 that set for 13 yrs smoked first 4 times of shop running. Let it warm fully, and then full cool down each time. (adjust the carbs after fully cleaned, especially if gas was left in the carbs during storage, totally disassemble each Carb of all parts then by boiling in distilled water or some have used simple green/pinesol to disolve the hardened gum, then full shooting with Carb cleaner, would be good idea to get Randakk's Carb kits )

Sent from my LS670 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 
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