1977 GT500 – Clocks, Bushes and Labels

Before starting in on the carburettors, I still had a few other small bits to tidy up beginning with the clocks. For 1977, these were brown faced, and in Canada were also metric for the first time. They also were very hard to find as there were so few of these sold so it took me quite a while to track a set down ! At first glance, the set I managed to pick up looked quite good, but upon closer inspection there were a few problems.

The turn signal indicator lamp on this style of housing is slightly recessed and so water pools there – over time the sealant around the amber lens breaks down and then water fills up the lamp housing, corroding the bulb unit into a solid mass of rust ! As well and as was the case with the other areas of the wiring harness, the sleeving had perished and cracked and needed to be replaced.

The clocks when fully disassembled can be seen here with the major parts numbered:

  1. housing
  2. trip reset cover
  3. trip reset knob
  4. wire harness
  5. speedometer and trip reset and above it the tachometer
  6. under plates that hold the gauges in the housing
  7. chrome underside covers
  8. amber turn signal lens and beside it the Suzuki ‘S’ emblem
  9. turn signal lamp holder rubber sleeve
  10. turn signal lamp holder

Item #9 typically perishes and rots away completely and is what provides a weather and I suppose light seal for the turn signal indicator lamp. I replaced this with a short length of harness sleeving, and then re-glued the amber lens back into the housing. I also had to replace the turn signal lamp and lamp socket as it had corroded into a solid lump, and then re-sleeved the harness and replaced the connector blocks.

Another item I was missing was a VIN label for the front headstock. Reproductions of these are readily available for the GT750 and other models, but not for the GT500. A fellow member of the Sundial board had previously run into the same problem and had arranged with a fellow in Michigan. Jerry (his email address is jrure@aol.com) offers a very handy service as he will duplicate exactly what you need, at what I think was a very reasonable price.  The labels are the same sort of aluminium foil material as the  originals, and you have the option of having the VIN number and build date printed on the label, or left blank so you can stamp it on yourself.

I had been searching for some time for the bushes that hold the rear of the seat, rear fender and rear turn signal stalks but as these are the first things to be tossed when someone converts these bikes into either a club racer or cafe project, they are quite rare. As well of course Suzuki hasn’t offered them for sale in quite some time. I did make a set myself, but was not happy with how they looked so I bit the bullet and had Roy at Cactus Machine here in Calgary turn a few sets for me out of stainless steel. They look fantastic and now I have enough for for the 1968 Cobra I’ll be doing up at some point, plus a spare set !

At some point I’ll have to ask Santa for a small lathe, as the need for this sort of small, fairly simple item pops up on a regular basis and I could easily have made them myself. Maybe next year !

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