Yes, the pistons are still stuck, and yes, the broken-off stub of the steering damper knob is still in there. My whole chill-and-heat approach didn’t work, at least not on this problem child.
But, at least I got the wiring out of the handlebars. Twenty-four hours soaking in water did indeed turn the mud dauber nests back into mud, and I was able to work the wires out. I haven’t decided how to proceed with rebuilding them, but I have several options available.
There was still quite a bit of crud in the handlebars, though, so I got a length of very thin wire rope I had lying around from the replacement of our garage doors and affixed some coarse steel wool to one end. Then, I fished the wire through the bars, forcing it through the muck, and by pulling the steel wool through repeatedly I got it pretty clean inside. All the wet bits are drying now.
I got a bike lift using a Harbour Freight coupon, and I got it assembled right on the third try. Hey, the instructions could have been a lot clearer! I plan to use it to remove the engine, when I get that far (probably soon).
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to need the help of someone who knows a lot more about engines than I do. Tonight I dropped in on a local guy who was recommended to me; he isn’t willing to take on a project right now, but he gave me a recommendation for another guy. So, if I can make contact with the second fellow, I may be able to get some expert assistance at removing some of the roadblocks in this project.