Big Blue - Other Things
I like to have a complete and period correct tool kit for my rebuilds, and the 10mm box wrench (or whatever you call it in your part of the planet !) is very hard to find. So I decided to make my own.
I have a 25 ton hydraulic press (thank you John in Calgary !) and it seemed a simple thing to just buy the appropriate tubing, make a die and then press them out. It almost was that simple, but not quite. I checked with my Uncle Don in Australia who was a former tool and die maker, and he advised I should use seamless tubing otherwise it would just split. I managed to locate some from a company called Aircraft Spruce Canada in Brantford Ontario. They had several wall thicknesses to select from, and as I didn't really know which would work best I bought a selection to try. The thicker walled material just split, as seen in one of the photos below, but the slightly thinner walled material worked fine, and very quickly I had a successful copy. After they had been zinc plated here in London at Superior Metal Finishing, they looked great and it was on to the next problem.
I have a longer write-up on this topic on my blog which can be found at this link, but basically Suzuki never sold the mechanical seal for the GT750 water pump as a listed GT750 part. I'm told that the seal listed for the RE5 is the same seal, but I've never seen an RE5 water pump in pieces so can't really vouch for it. What I do know is that several places sell replacement seals and I knew they had to be buying them as they certainly were not making them themselves. This seems to be another topic where the answer was out there, but those that knew weren't prepared to let other's in on the secret !
It turns out that the Kawasaki seal under part number 49063-1055 is a straight replacement and identical to the Suzuki part. In the first photo below, the seal on the right side is an original seal, and the other two are replacements from different sources. In the second photo is a very cheap Chinese seal bought for next to nothing from eBay which would work, but frankly why take the risk ? Personally I'll stick with the Kawasaki part and anyone reading this can do as they think best !
I had the gauges rebuilt by my friend Allan in Barbados and as always he did an amazing job. A favourite gripe with some folks is whether or not to zero gauges when they are rebuilt. As there were no gauges on the bike when I got it, I have no idea what the mileage was when it was parked up and abandoned. In these cases, I always have the gauges zeroed out. If I were replacing a gauge on an existing bike because the gauge no longer worked, then I would have the odometer matched up and continue piling on the miles. What you do with our own bike is your call as I believe that "your bike, your rules".
One snag was that the rubber boots for the instrument light bulbs fell apart when removed from the back of the gauge housing. Luckily a fellow in The Netherlands now (at the time of writing at least) sells copies of the originals, and they are excellent. Marcel also has other very useful items available and a visit to his web site (which is found here) is well worth your time if you are trying to repair GT750 gauges.