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Z1A Restoration

Work in Progress

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MrDavo
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Z1A Restoration

#1 PostAuthor: MrDavo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:59 am

I hired a van yesterday, and taking my mate the human engine hoist (he's 6'7"), went on a road trip to buy my first ever Kawasaki in a long biking career, a 1974 Z1A unfinished project.

Having restored a few bikes over the years, I went into it with my eyes wide open, having used knowledgeable friends, Dave Marsden's book and the interweb to fully research the model, parts available and not, and even the vendor (he called me a cyber stalker) :twisted:

500 miles later and all the bits and boxes are in my garage. On the way home I got an email from the DVLA to say the bike was now registered in my name!

The bike is an unfinished project, it was imported from the States and UK registered back in 1994. I don't know when the restoration project was started, but it never got finished, and was sold as is to the guy I bought it from. Some bits are missing (most noticeable being the pipes, I'll be joining the waiting list), some bits are incorrect but most of the parts I have are already restored, and what has been done is to a very high standard. It does have some of the unicorn poo bits, such as an OEM airbox and chain oil tank. The paint is a very nice job, by Spraypoint, the lines are painted not vinyl, and the candy sparkles in sunlight. The seat appears to be new. I have no paperwork for it, but the engine was alledgedly rebuilt by a BSB technician with new valves, rebore to first oversize, and uprated cam chain and tensioners. That said, I'm ex BSB (one time truck driver and parts man, Hodna Superbike) but no ace mechanic, the guy could have made the tea or handed out leaflets, and still called himself 'ex BSB'.

Some pics (this isn't all of it, don't worry, there are many boxes of bits)

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Right here's my very first question, I'm afraid there will be many along the way. Behold the clocks:

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I know these are off a later bike, Z1B or Z900, the speedo should only have the even numbers marked. At least they are a ND marked genuine pair, but whether I can stand the flack from the 'I'll think you'll find....' brigade is another matter. Is there any way I can get the face swapped, by a clock restorer, to the correct Z1B type? I would want a genuine ND marked face but I would be able to 'part ex' the one I have, which is in VGC.

Also, any recommendations for a chromer and a wheelbuilder? The rear wheel has been rebuilt, with a new Hagon (judging by the box it's in) rim and spokes (I'm told the original was past saving) but for the front I have two front wheels, a restored hub with an incorrect rim, and another wheel with a rough hub and spokes, but with a genuine A4 rim that wants rechroming. Before you ask, I know about the date codes but I'm not going to waste my life waiting for a March 74 (as per the swinging arm) pair of rims to show up. I can live with it, plus I'm already in trouble with the anoraks for the speedo. :vcool
1974 Z1A (project)
1969 H**** CL450 ‘Scrambler’
2005 H-D XL1200R Sportster
1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Sport

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Pigford
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#2 PostAuthor: Pigford » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:32 pm

Looks like a real nice little project - keep photo's coming..........

As for the anorak's, :blah
And on the 7th day... Zeds were created!

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chrisNI
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#3 PostAuthor: chrisNI » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:19 pm

I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about "correct" or matching stuff, get building it and worry about all that other stuff later - if you can be arsed... :shock: :D :D :D

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Garry.L
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#4 PostAuthor: Garry.L » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:42 pm

Will Barber (big fluff on here) should be able to supply you with a correct 'A' speedo overlay.

Presume you know about these people for parts, but here's the link anyway... http://www.z-power.co.uk/
Truly excellent service from fellow Zed enthusiasts.

Good luck with the build.
ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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Re: Z1A Restoration

#5 PostAuthor: Bill P » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:55 pm

Thanks for the piccies im looking forward to more , it looks a excellent well on the way project.
Totally agree on just get it built first and worry about the other stuff later comment , personally i
think life's to short for all that correct numbers etc malarkey lets just ride them :)

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thebuelligan
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#6 PostAuthor: thebuelligan » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:19 pm

Looks like a great project .. Looking forward to seeing it progress

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Re: Z1A Restoration

#7 PostAuthor: Philippe » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:10 am

Hi Dave
looks like a great project to me!
Don't worry about the speedo. The rev counter is correct for a Z1A, it has the "stop lamp light".
The carbs are the same as those on a Z1 so I think you have an early Z1A ( frame number less than 32.800 or so).
About the front wheel rim: don't use the A4 rim (type 305) with the Z1A hub, the spokes are in at a different angle and they'll bent if that combination is used. The rear original 18 inch rims ( type 303) are difficult to find of the correct year . Here again, don't use a type 306 rim ( Z1000A with disc brake rotor) on a 303 ( drum brake) hub.
I see that you have two front brake calipers but the brake line splitter is for a single disk. Mind to use a 5/8 inch front master brake cylinder if you use the double disk.
Keep us updated, it's a nice project.
Good luck with the restoration.
GrtZ
Philippe
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MrDavo
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#8 PostAuthor: MrDavo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:28 am

Thanks for the interest and information, already Phillipe has saved me from an expensive mistake. I guess I now have a complete A4 front wheel, with tyre, surplus to requirements and for sale. I’ll take a photo and put it in the ad forum later. I ordered a new set of spokes for a Z1 front wheel already this morning, so what rim do I need? The back wheel is sorted, brand new rim and spokes on a refurbished hub.

I sorted through the boxes last night looking at what I have (and haven’t) got. I need a centrestand, I saw one in a DK motors listing the other day. It seems very light on fasteners, a mate in the bike trade warned me that it was the sort of thing that could make building a bike out of boxes to be a nightmare. On the other hand when I rebuilt a CB750 I replaced every single one, as they were all generic bolts with alphabet soup on the heads, and just spoiled the bike. I already have it in for all the Allen screws holding the engine covers on, I’m afraid it will be back to the original JIS screws, even if they are made from silver chocolate. There were a couple of bags with new bolts and rubber washers with inserts, I think they are for the bodywork.

I’ve found the engine plates and two of the long bolts through the engine, once I have the rest of the necessary hardware the first step is to put the motor in the frame. Can the frame be lifted over the engine, lying on it’s side? I know CB750 engines can be put in like that.

There were a couple of small boxes that contained nice surprises, one was a complete new points plate with condensers points etc, another box had a new ignition switch, plus matching steering lock and seat lock barrels, and two Kawasaki keys! The lower yoke needs a refurb, getting the original steering lock barrel out, without the key, could be a challenge.
1974 Z1A (project)
1969 H**** CL450 ‘Scrambler’
2005 H-D XL1200R Sportster
1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Sport

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chrisNI
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#9 PostAuthor: chrisNI » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:07 am

You can get stainless replicas of a lot of the JIS engine casing screws from a couple of places, I have a 350 I used those on and they look a lot better than the socket heads. There are also a surprising number of original parts available from Kawasaki, if it’s still available Z Power can supply it, problem is sometimes the part number is superseded so it’s not rivet counter identical but if you’re short of a bolt it’s better than nothing, and certainly preferable to searching the world for a fifty year old bolt in good enough condition to refurbish.

The frame over engine on its side is fine Kawasaki actually used to supply a suitably sized block of wood for under the engine...

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wheelysteve
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#10 PostAuthor: wheelysteve » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:20 am

You can get an unmarked brand new rim from Z Power. These are decent quality and a good match for the originals but obviously don't have the Takasago date codes on them.

Although the add shows a pair, I'm pretty sure they sell them individually

http://www.z-power.co.uk/wheel-rim-set- ... e-stamping
1975 Z1B Candy Red
1975 Dogs Z1B
1976 Z900 A4
1977 Z650B1
1978 Z650B2
1978 KZ1000D Z1R
H***a Blackbird

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MrDavo
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#11 PostAuthor: MrDavo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:27 pm

Good news that I can lift the frame over the engine once I have all the hardware to make it stay there.

I've got a digital copy of the parts book ordered, my plan is to print out the parts diagrams, then go over each part I have with a highlighter. I'll be left with a pretty good idea of what I haven't got, and need to source and order. I have carefully packed the paintset up and stashed it in my attic, plus the new seat, rather than risking disaster on a daily basis in my now even more crowded garage. It strikes me that I won't be needing this stuff until near the end, though I'll miss looking at it - I took a side cover out into the sun yesterday, and marveled at the sparkle from the metalflake in the paint - very 70's! I am on the waiting list at Z-Power for a set of pipes, they'll go in the attic too until needed.

If I'm going to have to use an unmarked rim, then I may as well use the one that's on the front wheel already. It needs rechroming though, its not bad but would be shown up by the brand new rim at the back. I'm wondering whether to undo each spoke once I've got the tyre off, or just have at the spokes with the tinsnips. Anyone know where I can get a rim chromed around Manchester? I used to go to one in a dark and smelly factory basement on Milk St, Ancoats, where they still had torn air raid precaution posters on the wall. I've also got a brake pedal, torque arm and kickstart to be done, too.
1974 Z1A (project)
1969 H**** CL450 ‘Scrambler’
2005 H-D XL1200R Sportster
1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Sport

Wrigers
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#12 PostAuthor: Wrigers » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:34 pm

Dave, are you in sunny Mcr. If so I can recommend a good wheel builder. PM me if you want his details. Paul.

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Andrew_s
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#13 PostAuthor: Andrew_s » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:06 pm

As a paid up club member you get a 10% discount from Z-Power, but you will need to quote a discount code - I'll PM it to you and not quote in this public section even though they do check membership status.
Bikes:
Phil Churchett's old Z900 A4: PRE 2R - https://www.flickr.com/photos/115740825@N05/albums/72157680116996884
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Previous Zeds: Z750B1 Twin, Z650B1, Z750E

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Re: Z1A Restoration

#14 PostAuthor: steve-g » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:32 am

Agbrigg chromes in Leeds do a good job 07815419885 they do a lot of bike parts.

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MrDavo
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Re: Z1A Restoration

#15 PostAuthor: MrDavo » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:34 pm

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll probably send (or take) my front hub, spokes and rim to Agbrigg then, as they wheelbuild as well as chrome.

As it was sunny on Friday I ignored working from home, and made a start. First job was whip the tyre off, if anyone wants a second hand 19" Avon AM20 let me know, I'll be using new tyres, possibly Conti Twins, but that's a long way off.

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Next tog up to use the anglegrinder. Old ski goggles, CCR hat and headphones. Apparently, this self photography malarkey is a thing these days.

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And liberate the hub from the wheel. The tyre underneath is a Dunlop KR76 racing triangular, kept as a souvenir, as fitted to my first classic racer. The brutal profile alarms me to look at it now, no namby pamby 'I'll just lean it over a little' with those, it was bolt upright on a knife edge or all the way over with sparks coming from the exhaust grounding, no in between. :shock:
Image

Finally I masked the hub to give it some satin black. Who knew you could bend masking tape? Its a roll of genuine Duck brand tape, but it bent better than I expected, saving a lot of time. There were two speedo drives, a pristine one that was seized, and a tatty one full of grease that was just fine.

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Painting the hub was premature, as I then realised that the threads in the bolt holes for the l/h disc were mostly bolloxed. while the hub is separate seems the best time to get this sorted out. The other side the holes are pristine, because the bike has previously been single disc, I've two sets of calipers and discs so I'm going double, because slowing down can be a good thing sometimes. No master cylinder so I can make sure I get the right one for this. Ive two of the chrome wheel trims spare if anyone needs one.

I've had a quote from an auto engineering firm in Inverness to fit six Wurth Timeserts for £150 plus VAT, I intend to get the best job possible as brakes that come loose are not an option. That does seem a lot though, so I'll keep looking around. Is there anything I need to know about the pitch of the threads, or are they just standard Metric?

Last night I printed out the frame pages from the parts list, and ordered all the parts I need to fasten the engine in the frame. However I'm stuck for one of the engine plates, I think its the lower one. The one I have I think is the front, slightly larger with more socially distanced holes, can anyone confirm this from the photo below? If anyone has the plate I need, get in touch, as the only one I've found so far is in Ohio, and its a 3 week wait to get it, longer if ParcelFarce play silly beggars with the VAT + collection fee etc. Z-Power only do sets, and won't break them.

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Finally, this picture is shamelessly half inched from an Ebay ad, but as its the same year, model, specification, colour, and has double discs, is exactly what I'm going for. I may print a copy and stick it on the garage wall for inspiration.

Image
1974 Z1A (project)
1969 H**** CL450 ‘Scrambler’
2005 H-D XL1200R Sportster
1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Sport


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