Making a start on the brakes

and more of the fuel cap

First, the fuel cap saga continues. Another hour in the garage to see if the fuel filler cap had released after 24 hours soaking in a mis of stale petrol & Duck Oil but no luck.

Instead I concentrated on drilling out the screws on the brake master cylinder. A quick but necessary job as both screws were well & truly chewed from my attempts to undo them. The clutch master cylinder cap screws are the same but that can wait a while, until I'm ready to make a start on the engine.

Once I managed to remove the cap, I cleaned out all the crud that had accumulated in the bottom of the fluid reservoir. Having then topped up the reservoir with brake fluid, I couldn’t manage to pump through the hydraulic system, I suspect the seal on the master cylinder has gone & needs replacing. However, I’ve tied the brake lever back to the grip to see if the air trapped in the line will rise out & I’ll have another look.

On reflection, I think I’ll need to rebuild the whole brake system & replace all the seals. There are plenty of places I can get kits from. I’ve also decided to purchase a pair of brake piston pliers as I have 10 pistons to remove (front & back). Should make it easier & speed things up a bit.

I think it’s also time to spend some money on seals for both front brake callipers.

Back into the garage & I finally got around to looking inside the tank to see what state the underside of the fuel filler cap was in. I bought a cheap endoscope from eBay which connects to my phone. It works quite well but the wire is a little flimsy. I had to tape the end of the ‘scope to a piece of wooden dowelling I had lying around (that I use to measure the chain slack on my Tiger). First time I used it, I could barely see a thing, then I realised there was a control near the USB end that allows you to turn up the brightness of the LEDs surrounding the lens.

Underside of fuel cap showing corrosion
Not what you expect to see

A picture, in this case, is better than a thousand words. The locking mechanism is covered in what looks like limescale, not that I think that’s what it is, it just looks like it. I tried a bit more duck oil but as the lock has been soaking in a mixture of stale fuel, Duck Oil and WD40 for best part of a week and is still seized, I thought I’d try another trick from that on-line mechanical repository, known as YouTube.

I have an electric sander, so attached a cloth to the base and pressed it to the top of the fuel cap. The theory is that the vibrations will loosen any corrosion and allow you to open it. I tried this for around 5 minutes but the only key I have started to bend, so I stopped.

Next thing to try is to either soak it in diesel or Plusgas.

I also cleaned up the side panels. More hoovering and more cleaning and the panels came up a treat. I had to remove the internal mouldings to give them a good clean and even without a good polish, they’re in a remarkable condition for 28-year-old plastics.

Next up, removing the nosecone and front mudguard.