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Old 09-13-2011, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bird Thunderbird Resto! Picture Heavy!!

I came across this bike at a customers home, when I inquired about it he just so happen to have had it listed on craiglist so didnt take much to pry it from his hands!




The bike didn't run and while it seemed in good shape at the time I really overlooked the poor condition of the bike at the time

When I got it him my wife... well she was not as excited as I was! The entire bike was covered in grime, which probably kept it from rusting out! The gas tank had multiple cracks and at the time was not water tight. The front fork was bent in a compound way making repairing it unreasonable.






I stripped the bike and took the frame and handle bars to be blasted and powder coated! I went with flat black so I could deal with it being dirty after I got it into running condition.

I went out and purchased all the needed materials to build a new front fork. The fork was a solid unit and it appeared original as it had a bird plate on the inside of it. I copied the spec's from the damaged unit and replicated it using stronger materials! So far its held up!




The bike returned from powder coating and looked great! The time without the frame allowed me time to finish the fork! I painted the fork using rattle cans because I anticipate having to add a fender bracket and the front number plate at some point. I'll powder coat it then!






I decided to reuse most of the hardware on the bike and just wire brush as much of it as I could. The only items I chose to replace were some washers for the wheels in addition to two new sets of wheel bearings!


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Old 09-13-2011, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I decided to go with grey wheels, sprocket and brake parts. The paint is holding up well to everything except maybe the installation of the new tires A little touch up and things were repaired without issue.



Things are coming together! Almost looks like a bike again! Notice the new tires!! They really make the bike! I ordered them from ebay and other then the really pain in the "rear" installation of the tires everything went together well.





I spent alot of time repairing the original gas tank. I epoxied the holes and a few cracks which made it water tight again! I painted the tank white to go with the theme of the bike however it took all of 30 min for the paint to bubble and crack Either the plastic is permanently emitting gasoline or I made a mistake, or multiple mistakes! I've stripped it down and purchased some new plastic paint. I've installed the tank with its yellow tone so I can ride it. I will paint it soon!

I also pulled the engine out and took it to a nearby car wash to power wash the heck out of it! It was covered so badly with crud that it took multiple washes and a paint scraper! I replaced the carb with an ebay unit and to my surprise it starts on the first pull, every time! I plan to remove the engine and repaint it when time allows! The engine is a tecumseh hs40 engine.




The seat was simply covered with a cut up black t-shirt. The original seat is in rough shape but I do like how it feels on the bike. I will end up re-covering it with foux leather at some point! I sort of rushed the end of the rebuild so I could ride the bike! A few details are to be worked out soon!

The fenders are original but time has been less kind to them. I spent some time with a hammer and dolly to fix one of them that had been bent really bad. The horizon of the two are too flat, makes the bike look really odd. I didnt notice this until after I had spent time painting them

I'm not sure what I'll do yet. I cant justify buying the tools needed to shape them so I may just have to make a new set.




This is how it sits now. I've been adjusting the carb and getting everything running. I've already got about an hour of use out of it on the street and local back roads! Things pretty fast on the road and it has enough tq off road to make it enjoyable in the dirt!


Last edited by Cursed1; 09-13-2011 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That look awesome! looks 100% better than before!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Very nice work. As good as new, but better.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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After looking over the thread its amazing how poorly it came out in the photos, guess thats what I get for using my iphone!

Here's a few more after tonight's "got lost in the woods" ride!



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Old 09-13-2011, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Hey, are you the guy I visited a while back that had that red bike with the 6.5 engine and the mexican serape seat in san antonio? I recognize that bad boy supra....
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmisterbungl View Post
Hey, are you the guy I visited a while back that had that red bike with the 6.5 engine and the mexican serape seat in san antonio? I recognize that bad boy supra....

Yes, I remember you had a pretty sweet mini your self albeit without the sweet Mexican seat cover! I sold that bike 18 months ago and had no intention of buying a new one but apparently somethings aren't meant to be!

Adam
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The front fender needs turned around. Like you have it in the first picture. Looks good I love the bird bikes.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed1 View Post
Yes, I remember you had a pretty sweet mini your self albeit without the sweet Mexican seat cover! I sold that bike 18 months ago and had no intention of buying a new one but apparently somethings aren't meant to be!

Adam
awesome man, good to see you here. did you end up moving? if you did, you must have set your garage up the same way!

great project man, good job on it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmisterbungl View Post
awesome man, good to see you here. did you end up moving? if you did, you must have set your garage up the same way!

great project man, good job on it.
I actually never ended up moving. Same garage!
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