Spent some time on it tonight. Forgot to even check if the engine was free yet or not; probably not, considering how things have been going. I probably need to put more pink stuff in there.
First thing I did was put the back wheel back on and let the front end back down. This went really well, actually. I think the rubber dampers are entirely serviceable; I’m not as sure about the condition of the brake shoes, as I don’t really know how thick they are supposed to be. I’ll post a photo later.
With that done, I messed with the broken steering damper some more. I’m getting close to saying the heck with it and buying a whole new steering stem. Or paying someone to get it out. It’s exasperating. I haven’t yet tried the hot-and-cold treatment, as I don’t have an “air duster” can handy. Tonight I used a punch to apply some force to it, then tried heat, then finally another blast of PB, trying the easy-out after each application.
I didn’t like applying heat to that part of the bike with the handlebars still on, as there are wires in there that might be damaged. So, I decided to remove the handlebars completely. I pulled the headlight so I could unhook the wires, and found mud dauber nests filling the free space inside. Got them out, then unplugged the high beam and horn wires and removed the bars.
Well, I tried. The throttle cable was stuck pretty firmly. More mud dauber nests, filling the handlebars. The cable sheath was in real nasty shape, so I just went ahead and cut it off, then worked it out while comfortably seated.
Then I tried to remove the wires. Same problem, but they aren’t as tough as the throttle cable, so I couldn’t just yank them out.
Exasperated, I filled a pan with water and put the bars down in it. I’m hoping the mud dauber nests will turn back into mud and come out easily. But nothing that has resisted me up to this point has given up easily.
I have also decided that I’ll need to replace much of the wiring harness. It’s been patched and scabbed too much. What parts I need to keep, I’ll fit with bullets so I can cut away the bad parts.
I had my wife take some pictures of the condition of the back wheel and brake, which I have attached. The wheel is rusty, and so is the drum, and the brake looks thin to me (though I don’t know exactly how thick they are supposed to be).