Project Leslie Update #3 – Honda EX3 Restoration

Ok so it’s been a looong time since I’ve made an update about my Honda EX3 Restoration Project. My previous updates were Nov. 26, 2010 (the first one) and a year after that Nov. 5, 2011. It spent most of 2012 at the garage of our condo. Since 2011, it’s looked like this:

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It ran ok, and had new tires, new rims, a ton of other new stuff and a fairly good paint job of the plastic bits. It actually looks pretty good in those pictures … except that a lot of the insides were in bad shape. The electrics for example is a spaghetti mess:

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And worst of all the frame was in rotten shape. Not hopeless, but pretty bad. My fault really for not investigating deeper when I bought it. It needed more than just a welding job. What I wanted was a full bare metal scrape and repaint. I didn’t wanna spend any more time on it and didn’t wanna keep spending, so it stayed most of 2012 that way under a motorcycle cover.

So here’s the story.

I don’t remember how, but sometime 2012 I found a sandblasting company via Facebook here. Although they’re in QC and I’m at Paranaque I realized they’re what I need. So finally early February I pushed the bike to a nearby bike shop to have it completely dismantled. I then picked up the metal parts I needed to sandblast the day after and saw how rotten it was:

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Yuck. I realized a good welding job was needed before I had it sandblasted, so I decided to look for one of those small shops with ‘accepts welding jobs’ signs on them at QC, near where the sandblasting place was. I found one and had the guy redo it. Results:

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Cost: P3,000.00 I can actually tell if a welding job is good when I see one, and I promise you above is exemplary work. The welder guy was very good and I was very lucky to find him. He even shared with me his own restoration project, a 1968 Toyopet and we had a long talk about it. I had as much fun meeting him than on seeing my own project slowly come to life.

Directly from the welder I sent it to the sandblaster less than a km. away and I left it there for a week. I had 12 parts in total, the chassis, trailing arms, front fork and handlebar, gas tank, gas tank cap, two engine covers and a coupling or two.

When I came back, the sandblasted parts were stripped to bare metal and looked like this at the back of my car:

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A note about the sandblaster guy: here was another super helpful dude who was also a pleasure to meet. In his line of work he gets to meet other hopeless restoration guys like me and he shared some stories. One lesson he told me he felt they should all learn is that when you take on a restoration project, you should have enough funds to cover all possible expenses and then some. The reason he says that is how surprised / annoyed he gets when he tells a customer how much it’ll cost to get, say, a car door sandblasted, and they would get surprised and start haggling. In his opinion if you do not have the funds for your restoration project don’t even try it.

I completely agree, which is why I stretched this project over 3 years. Frankly the cost isn’t a whole lot to begin with (compared to car prices which I’m more used to) but I still didn’t want to do it in one go. Stretched over a period of time the cost is so much more manageable. Meeting sandblaster guy and welder guy is again one of the perks of restoration. Both were knowledgeable, interesting and we shared a lot of information of value to both of us.

After picking up the parts I went directly to Republic Powder Coating Company at Sucat Paranaque, and they laid it all out. Contact details on their website¬†here, probably the worst website I’ve seen in recent memory.

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Here’s the handlebar and gas tank assembly.

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IMG_20130214_140425Above is their guy listing down the parts and what color I wanted them to turn out.

IMG_20130214_135923I brought along the blue plastic handle cover, and found a match using their swatches to paint the body with.

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The color is ‘PBL-010’. I also had the gas tank and the front handlebars colored matte black:

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And finally I had the crankcase cover painted silver.

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Exact cost for powder coating is P1,880.00. Not steep at all especially considering that powder coating is probably the best possible type of paint job you can buy.

And that concludes this post. Tomorrow Monday the 18th Feb. I’ll be calling them to ask if I can pick them up. Then I will take it immediately to the bike shop for re – assembly.

Right now I’m annoyed at myself for forgetting to bring the main stand and brake pedal assembly also for sandblasting and repainting. I don’t think it’s in such a bad shape but still. I also wanted to get both brake assemblies done but I had already spent on the new rims and disassembling them means about 3k would go to waste.

There will also be a lot of little parts I will need here and there when it comes to re-assembly, like gaskets for the engine parts, electrical bits (I already bought a new harness , new lights front and rear, new ignition and speedometer ready and waiting) and little rubber bushings here and there. I hope I won’t have to go to Triumph Caloocan – the only reliable place to get parts for this bike – to get them. Why they do not use a courier service is beyond me.

I hope to post an update on my newly repainted, bare – metal restoration bike by next week. I love saying that. Remember, here is what we want it to look like:

And here’s what it used to be:

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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