Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vixen Has Her Brain Stem

Hopefully this is not a post to disappoint.

During the course of the past month I have spent a little time here and there working on Vixen. There seemed to be distractions or lame excuses for not spending time in the garage. Honestly I was in a motorcycle wrenching funk. It simply did not feel right.

Yesterday (Saturday) I did the same thing. I brought out the wiring harness and removed the old cracked binding tape. It was NOT in very good condition.
The wires were filthy with dirt and dust and the remainder of sticky tape muck. The old tape removed, I bound up the harness with solid hook-up wire so it would not fall apart. The plan for the weekend was to simply get the tape off and clean the wires, nothing more. It was 110F by 10AM so I called it a day and retired inside to wast the time away on the computer.

Sunday came, I drove my daughter to work, made breakfast, washed dishes, and did some rather time consuming work tasks; the latter of which caused me to miss out on a poker run.

At about 11AM work was done. I ran water in the sink and put plenty of dish soap in to make it nice and sudsy.
And I proceeded to scrub away...
The wiring and all connectors were well scrubbed with a stiff plastic brush. When done, there was a large improvement.
It was set outside on a step ladder to dry in the parching Las Vegas sun. At over 110F in the garage, drying did not take much time.

Since I had plenty of soapy water, there was no need to waste it. So, the cracked side panels from VX#1 were scrubbed and rinsed. These will experimented on a bit; I want to find the best way to mend the plastic. The panels on VX#2 are in better condition but has a piece completely broken off. Sorry, no pictures.

However, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. There was a determination to accomplish more today, temperature be damned. With a large bottle of cool water (for me) and a large jug of soapy water (for VX#1's gas tank) I proceeded to clean the tank in preparation of an electrolysis treatment to remove the rust. Here is what came out of the first rinsing...
Serious ugliness... After several rinses the water came out clean. If all goes well, the electrolysis treatment will be attempted next weekend. Then, if all goes well; no more rust.

At this point, there was no stopping. The garage thermometer read 117F. Too bad. There was plenty of water and there were things to do.

A trip to Lowes yielded the purchase of two rolls of Scotch #2242 Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape and a roll of Scotch #35 Red Vinyl electrical tape.
The red was purchased to be used as support in the harness where wire entered and exited the bundle. The black was recommended by a fellow on ADVRider.
Here is a sample of how the red tape was used. Granted, there is not much physical stress on the harness when in place, I had no desire to do this again. So...
And here is a sample with it completely wrapped. The thick rubber tape was chosen because it is thick and primarily made of rubber. Not only does it provide a decent waterproof seal, but provides a good level of protection against vibration and abrasion.

There was more...
The headlight enclosure looked lonely. So I threaded the harness into the enclosure. Yes, it is supposed to look that messy.
And attached the headlight and front turning signals. The signals are not stock VX, I picked them up somewhere over the last year. I think they go well with my black and red theme.

And then, I had a beer. Honestly I had not planned on getting this far until next weekend.


  1. Looking good ken. Are sure all the water is out of the harness and connectors? Don't forget, WD-40 gets rid of sticky tape residue and aids in removing old stickers. Also protects aluminum engine cases from oxidation.

  2. Oh yes, quite dry. It hung on a step ladder in the Vegas sun and 15 MPH wind for about 3 hours. About every 30 minutes I would rotate and shake it.

    I didn't know about WD-40 and the sticky tape residue. That would have likely saved me some scrubbing time.

    Oh, yes. My VX engines and spare parts get a squirt every month or so.