First, the slave cylinder was a pretty straightforward operation. The kit came with no instructions, but I've worked on these before, so it seemed pretty easy. This model came with a wee spacer to accommodate the shorter pushrods of pre-99 Ducatis as well, so it came together like butter. Bleeding took some time, as I didn't want to waste any brake fluid by trying to pour it into the threaded feed. But after some time, I was able to get it properly purged of air.
Of course, actuating the clutch (and the front brake calipers as well) were a set of matching Nissin MV Agusta levers. These were a pain to install, from the "simple" single-bolt clamp design, to the reservoirs fouling on the clip ons. I ended up changing the mount of the clip-ons (remove the triple clamp, slide them off the forks, etc. etc.), but in the end, they fit OK. And personally, I think they look pretty sweet. They're not a radial design, but somehow we all managed prior to radial levers being created. You can see how the front master cylinder looks as well. The great thing is, the front calipers are 6-piston nissins, so the compatibility should be perfect -- nissin all around! The front levers also included a brake light switch for the brakes -- no more using a banjo pressure switch -- I soldered on some appropriate wire and then used quick-disconnects and spliced it into the loom. Hooray!
Further to the wiring front, as my first brake version had an oil pressure warning light on the lever, I needed to find another location for that indicator.
The headlight kit came with blue high-beam lamps built into the top of the headlight housing, which I never used -- the aftermarket dash I got had a hi-beam indicator already, so that seemed a bit redundant. So I removed the original blue light, drilled out the hole to suit the red lamp I got, and then wired it in. Looks good. Note the dash display and neutral light as well.
The last part was the biggie -- the exhaust system. The ebay seller was less than accurate in regard to his description. The rear header was not a pristine Hindle, but an OEM piece with a reducer pipe spliced onto it. I think this was used primarily to incorporate and exhaust sensor built into the OEM pipe. Regardless, it will work fine. The "y-pipe", however, was full of holes to accommodate heat shields riveted onto the pipe. This section (as you can see below) was covered in heat wrap, but the holes were still there, and I don't plan on using any heat wrap... so its off to a tig-welder, as this is .028 tubing, and I can't weld stainless with my oxy kit. The mufflers look OK, but NO springs were included, so I'll need to go to Transcanada motorsport and get a set via motovan. I'll also have to fabricate a set of pipe mounts, ideally out of steel first, and then get them done in alloy (or do them myself if I can find some).
While this was going on, I got the last of the supplies ready for the paint process. When I got to the top-secret paint area, things looked like this...
So prior to putting any paint anywhere, I decided to get organized. This is what I used on the one day (approx 6 hours) I had in the shop. The pic includes hardware and supplies I used to put on a sealer coat, base coat, transparent coat, and first coat of clear.The key purchase I soon found out was the Devilbiss gun (the chrome jobbie in the pic). The right tools sure make a difference, and this is certainly the case. Its by no means expensive by painting standards (about $125 from ebay), but it is miles better than the $30 ones I get from Princess Auto. I found that everything, from the finicky waterborne paint to the clear, laid down much better. The whole process was a lot simpler. First up was the sealer. This needs to be sprayed on in rediculously light coats (essentially all the autoair products do), and dried with a heat gun in-between. This allows a re-coat over dry paint in about 10 mins. You'll notice as well that I made some funky wooden contraptions from scrap lumber at home to mount the parts, to allow me to get at everything with touching the parts.
This is a pic of the second coat of sealer: I wanted to be sure to get the underside of the tank, so I left it on some foam insulation, and then mounted it onto its home-made stand. The tail is on a sort of "rotisserie mount" I devised with conduit tubing and welding rod. I'm able to turn the part and get to the underside, without having to hang the part from the ceiling.
The pic to the left is the tail section with the first dust coat of the base coat, something known as "Metallic White (coarse). I decided on this color because it was a bit more subtle, it was neutral, and should go well with the orange.
This pic to the left is the tank and tail, with 4 coats of base -- I actually used a whole litre, witch is a lot in this case, as the autoair paint usually covers pretty well. There is also 3 coats of transparent mid-coat over the paint. Sort of a water-based clear that is also dried with a heat gun. The idea is, it helps fill in the coarse finish of the waterbornes to allow an easier time applying clear, and speeding up finish work. We'll see about that. From bare parts to this stage is about 4 hours, which includes drying time, gun cleaning, etc. I'm now ready to shoot the first coat of clear. I used the same devilbiss gun, as it had a nice 1.3mm tip, and it was such a joy to use.The last two pics are the panels with 3-4 light coats of clear on them (one spray session). The "white metallic" has taken on an interesting tinge, and of course looks a bit different in real life... I can tell already that wet-sanding is in order prior to the next coat of clear. The process I think will be, a light wet-sand, and another coat of clear. Then another wet-sand, and decals will be applied. Then, of course, another coat of clear. Depending on the finish, likely another coat of clear will be applied. My goal is, a durable, relatively orange-peel-less finish. We'll see. Patience, grasshopper, time to let it cure...