Oh my PRETTY!
Right, where were we? That's right, MOT looming and an MOT due. So, what happend?
Well, after getting the bike into commission for Donna before Christmas, 'The Plan' has said that I would 'slap' the old body work on it, so it could be used, while I set about fettling up and painting another set to give it its smart 'restored' livery.
So that 'bit' of the plan had been ongoing, in fits and spurts, parts being set aside each time I needed to divert attention to look at the engine!
Anyway, a lot of work is covered in Part 5 - Tackling the Plastics, where I show most of the structural renovation to side panels, mudguard etc, mostly by plastic welding rents and cracks and stuff.
So, lets get cracking on the cosmetics, and see stuff PAINTED! this always looks impressive, though the old adage the finish is 90% in the preparation is not far off true, and to look really good, most work is done getting stuff 'right' before you get anywhere close to giving them any colour.
'Spare' side-panels were scraped back, to remove old paint, that on this pair revealed an interesting early red, white & blue livery, I haven't seen in any of the catalogues, but reminiscent of 1982 models, like the CBX550 I once had the displeasure of!
Made 'good' with plastic welding to fix cracks, rebuild attachment lugs, and any major surface dents or imperfections, then finished in hi-build primer and primer to get a good base for colour.
The original colour was 'Candy Red', which is a difficult colour to apply. The deep colour of a candy isn't created in the colour, but in the lacquers. after the base coats of primer, the artefact is actually sprayed a metallic silver, then the colour is given by laying up coloured lacquers over the top to give that translucent shine. Done well, they look great, but they are a pain to repair, and difficult to 'match', and almost impossible for a DIY enthusiast to 'do' because the pigmented lacquers have to be made up from base ingredients and don't really come in rattle cans, you need professional spray equipment. The experts at my local paint suppliers, therefore helped me select a 'close' match in a plain metallic, from the Vauxhall car pallet, that does come in rattle cans, and would still look good.
Colour was applied to the panel and after drying, masked to leave the 'inset' that was originally mat-black. Often ignored, this makes a really big difference to the 'look' of a Super-Dream, and omitted an 'obvious' tell of a rattle can tart up.
Inset was two-toned in matt-black like the original, and side by side with the original, you can see how close a match it is.
And finished, with decals. THESE were a nightmare to line up and fit, going on in three shots, the outlining round the lettering being particularly bum-clenchingly difficult! But! Thats the pains we go to for the 'Factory' look! So, onto the tank.
Donna got this started, stripping three tanks to choose one for 'The-Pup', and two were done pretty much the same way, for each bike. Stripped back, then primered, and 'skimmed' to take out small dents, before primer and paint.
Time to apply the decals. These were custom made, from patterns taken from 'The Black-One' so based on the livery of the later TD-E, but in the colours used on the TD-C, and with a 'Super-Dream' logo styled to suit the later livery.
Carefully peeled off the backing, and with lots of water sprayed on the paint, laid on the tank.
First the chevron stripe, then the tank emblem. Looking GOOD! All that remained was to do the same with the tail cowl, and apply laquer over the top, to finish them off and the bits could be put on the bike.
So, all prettied up, and with a fresh MOT cert and tax disc, I was a happy chappy, and trundled over to Hinkley to book Donna in for her CBT & Rider Training..... she was going to get on with this come heck of high water! And if she didn't crack on and get the Pup finished, she could be using the Corp!
I was really, REALLY happy at this point, especially having passed its MOT first time, validating all my hard work, and making me feel I hadn't 'cheated'.
And it had the desired effect.
Donna got a shuffle on, and got the Pup 'To-Road', and used it for her CBT. The following day, to celebrate, we went to Leicester.....
and the Corporal, spat its cam-chain! Oh dear......
NEXT: Part 11 - ANOTHER Ruddy Engine Rebuild!...