Newb introduction, rebuilding 1990 Tdub
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  1. #1
    Junior Member tim-in-oakton's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Newb introduction, rebuilding 1990 Tdub

    I've wanted a Tdub for years as a zombie-apocalypse rapid (?) transit system. Someone in Richmond, VA was selling a 1990 for $950, so I ran down and impulse-bought it.

    The rebuild so far has been a stripped / rewelded exhaust, new tires & tubes (trusting 23 year old rubber seemed destined for tears), stripped/painted swingarm, touchup-painted chassis, general tuneup, carb rebuild, new fork oil, stripped/painted tank and general clean up / tune up later I'm just waiting on a new reg/rectifier ($20 amazon) to finish assembly. Everything lubed and re-gapped/sized/shimmed.

    The only "neat" mod so far was to replace the crumbly old swingarm chain guard with a slice from an onld HDPE cutting board. Replacement chain guide was ~$50, DIY was free and maybe 30 minutes of messing around (hint - HDPE cutting board becomes pliable at 275 deg F - bake it, remove, bend, cool).

    Total budget for bike, rebuild, mods & accessories is $1500, looks like I have ~$250 left to play with for mods and fixing the issues I haven't yet found.

    Ideas for winter projects include revised lighting (LEDs all around, including headlight), DIY skidplate, carb rejetting, maybe fitting some kind of electronic dash to replace stock console w GPS/navigation. I like the idea of using a welding rod carrier to carry tools/spare gas, also having a USB charger might be handy. The sprockets are a little worn, but until I drive it a bit I don't want to pick a new ratio.

    Anyhow - greetings from Northern Virginia, thanks to all here for the ideas and suggestions posted to date.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    Welcome to the forum Tim!

    How about before and after pics?

  3. #3
    rbm is offline
    Senior Member rbm's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Hello and welcome! Winter projects are always fun, and expensive....

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  5. #4
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    The Southwest
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  6. #5
    Junior Member tim-in-oakton's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Back together now, only setback is that after stripping & repainting the tank I opened up some pinholes on the RHS inside of the tank - leaked gas and lifted the paint. Amazoning some Red Kote or POR, will repaint or upsize the tank when convenient - some JB weld is doing the trick for now. Also had to adjust the float height to avoid the LH vent overflowing when on the kickstand - simple old carbs are a delight to work with!

    I just need to review Virginia law to see what is missing for a safety check, then I'll register & plate it.

  7. #6
    Senior Member CJ7_TW's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Naples, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by tim-in-oakton View Post
    (hint - HDPE cutting board becomes pliable at 275 deg F - bake it, remove, bend, cool).tim
    Good to know. I've been thinkin' about how to make a bashplate out of one. I've read lots about how they (HDPE skidplates) slide alot easier over obstacles and can take the abuse that an aluminum piece can.

  8. #7
    Junior Member tim-in-oakton's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    YOU ARE A GENIUS!! I was planning to fab up an aluminum skid plate and have a buddy tig it for a few beers, but HDPE might be a neat alternative - it is tough as nails and won't work harden like aluminum would.
    Course, it would look like a dirty old cutting board, but the price is right!

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