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Advice wanted on B175 restoration and fork gaiter replacement.
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January 21, 2019 - 10:47 am
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Trying to do a 'light' restoration of a B175 which has been stood for many years. Managed to get the engine running after some excellent advice given in another topic on this forum. The worst aspect of the bike now is surface rust. It was stored in a damp lock-up and virtually every surface is affected. I want to keep the bike as original as possible and certainly don't have the money for a full blown restoration involving new wheels / re-chroming etc. On the other hand, it's gone too far for 'oily rag' status! Anyway, I want to ride it, not look at it and fret about whether it's got the right size nuts and bolts etc!,
What I'm hoping to do is re-paint the tin ware with rattle cans (anyone know the closest 'modern' colour to the blue they used on the B175, preferably one I don't need to use a lacquer on top?) and polish up the small chrome items (filler cap, handlebars, controls etc.) Exhaust and silencer look pretty cruddy so I may have to replace these. Wheels are solid but have gone too far for polishing / steel wool / aluminium foil treatment so I may well just paint these with silver spray, silver Hammerite or possibly have them powder coated. Goodness knows what I can do with the petrol tank as the chrome, particularly on one side, is so rusty!
The frame / headlight shell / forks are all solid but again have surface corrosion and flaking paint so my plan is to either strip them back or sand them down then spray with black Hammerite. Does all the paint need removing or can it be done as I used to do in the dim, distant past, on my cars where existing solid paint was flatted back and rust treated before spraying? I'm particularly thinking about the frame here.
As everything appears okay with the forks mechanically (probably the kiss of death saying that!) I was wondering whether I could change the ripped gaiters in situ or at least without fully stripping them? The chrome seal holders at the bottom of the gaiters are rusty but after reading how difficult these can be to remove, I can live with that. Been looking at a workshop manual but it doesn't really explain how the gaiters an be changed, just how to remove and strip the forks which I don't really want to do. Can anyone enlighten me on how to change the gaiters please? Any other comments / opinions on the above also welcome.

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January 21, 2019 - 11:46 am
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There isn't much to say about replacing the gaiters. It is as it looks. But you have to drop the stanchions out of the yokes to be able to slip them over. While you are at it, having gone that far, check them for corrosion and replace the seals. Draining the fork oil/ sludge will tell you a lot about their condition under the gaiters.

Getting the stansions back isn't such an easy task without the proper tools to draw them through the yokes.

Blue Heeler
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January 21, 2019 - 12:50 pm
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Hi cpimm,

If your forks are not leaking, which would surprise me after that amount of time, then you can cut your gaiters off and glue some new ones on. Titter ye not folk, I have done this successfully every time it`s come to this. This trick is still done today by respectable owners on some of the few top-stanchioned bikes on the market. You can even buy split gaiters for this purpose...or cut and glue your own!

As for the seals, where obviously you`ll have to drop the front-end  if they do need doing, check if the US company still exists that made leak-proof seals.You will need the external and internal measurement, rather than searching under B175 Bantam. I fitted many sets after rubbing down pitted(but safe) stanchions ,then covering the previously exposed stanchions with gaiters, to get through MOTs. 

As for your tank, seen some decent 2nd-hand peanut tanks on the market recently go for sensible money, they appear fairly often....or you could derust, prime and paint your chrome panels silver.Plenty of this style D7-B175 tanks been done like this, or whole tank done in one colour.

For the fiddly chrome bits on your Bantam that you can`t get at with nylon scourer, steel wool etc, for decades I`ve been using a small brass wire brush. A squirt of cheapo penetrating oil helps the chrome cleaning process.

Paint colours: I think someone did a comprehensive piece on that...will leave the link if I stumble across it



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