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Discussion Starter #1
About 2 years ago a Buddy came to me with his X90 that had been sitting for years. After a quick tune up and getting it started he mentioned trading it to me for some other work.. I happily accepted and became the owner of this bad boy..
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1974 Aaremachi Harley Davidson X90.. It was missing all the lighting hardware, the rear fender, tank strap and maybe a few smaller parts like the horn.. But overall, all Original Parts and a good start..

Begin the tare down..
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here are a few more random Tear down Photos..
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This engine picture was after a clean up.. This engine was coated in Oily dirt.. I thought I had pictures but have to search old phones...

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Hardware condition Photo.. This was average hardware condition on this bike..
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
During the tare down I realized I needed lots of parts to make it street legal.. I started searching for a Doner Bike.. I found one with alot of the parts I needed up In Oregon.. I placed the $200 bid on Ebay and next thing I knew it was time for a quick trip to Bend to pick this guy up.. Year 1973
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
After this I didnt have much time on my hands as work picked up and I was busy playing in the snow.. But for the next 2 years I was just collecting any new or used parts that I knew I needed with E bay searches here and there.. Parts Like a Horn, carb rebuild Kit, tires, tubes, hardware, throttle pieces, Rubber ext.. I also opened up the engine, put new rings, honed, painted, cleaned, lightly polished the cases and painted the covers a matte black..

Again while searching for parts and realizing how hard it was to find missing parts I came across another deal I couldn't pass up.. I found another 1973 X90 in pretty good shape and at a really good price. The engine was supposedly rebuilt by a knowledgeable bike mechanic and had a pretty shotty restoration done..
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Bad paint all around but pretty clean.. It wasn't running and was sold As Is by the Sad Owner but Happy Wife.. I replaced the missing OG parts with parts I had from this rebuild so I had and or have to source a few more parts for this current project. But that bike is now running. I replaced the whole wiring harness and adjusted the points. It started right up! But back on track...

I also found a seat cover and had the seat done in this lull...
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I found another cover with the logo for the newest bike as well.. Its off getting a make over and proper cover! I had the first one done by Paul at Sagona's Custom Upholstery in Burbank Ca.. I brought him this one as well. He did a great job on the first!

I found an Original Bolt set for the engine as well!
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Discussion Starter #6
I think around here is when I decied to say screw it.. I'm was never gonna get it 100% Original with the mix match of parts and all the hoops I seemed to be jumping through for paint matches ect.. I decieded to make it better than Origianl.. ;)

Start with Powder Coating the frame! They were originally painted a gloss black but I want it to last a while as I will probably be keeping this bike for some time..

Done by Universal Powder Coating and Sandblasting in Sunland Ca.. Great Pricing here! Thumbs up!

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After getting it done I wish I went in and cleaned up some of the Weld Splatter and sharp edges on the frame.. Noticing how bad the quality control was on these bikes. I had read Aaremachi chose quantity over quality during production.. Its true. Lol But its got charm and no 2 are the same... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hardware! AHHHHHH ALL THE HARDWARE!!!

The hardware issues seemed endless.. I want it as new ass possible and some of the hardware was out of control dirty or rusted.. First I went with the Harbor Freight Vibratory Tumbler filled with crushed walnut shell.. Some batches I threw in some metal polish.. The last few batches have not. I keep forgetting to pick some up. It seems to work ok without it..
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Here lies the problem.. After shaking off all the rust in the tumbler the parts look great. I'd say 95% new... But 2 months later they are flash rusting it happened on the engine clutch linkage and the brake return spring first..

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I forgot to take a picture of the spring that was rusted throughout but trust me it was bad..
I was just shaking off what's left of the zinc coating along with the rust..
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So onto Zinc Plating.. I had bought the stuff months back then I got timid after there being so many mixed reviews and recipies on the DIY Zinc Plating.. I said screw it because I was getting quotes for all my Chrome and Zinc plating that needed to be done for the bike and now maybe 2 bikes..

I followed a few You tube videos.. Not the one with pickle juice though that was a rad and funny video, I went with a recipe from a different forum.. DIY Zinc Plating for Dummies

Basically; Vinegar, Epson Salt, White Sugar, Distilled Water, Zinc Sheeting and a power supply... Oh and lots of Time.... Lots and lots of time.....

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I sandblasted the items in my trusty Harbor Freight Sand Blasting cabinet then sprayed with brake cleaner.. I have since found some Eastwood rust remover and acid etch.. I might try to dip one or two pieces in that before a run.. We will see if it helps but results are surprisingly good.. They are dull at first but with a quick polish with fine steel wool the parts look great..

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I'm doing 1 piece at a time.. 3, 15 min dips with a steel wheel polish in between each dip..
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Discussion Starter #9
I tried to order new steering column bearings but I guess I ordered the wrong size.. The battery was out on my crappy calipers and thought they were 4mm balls.. They seem to be 5mm.. I had tossed them all in the Vibrator and finally fished them all out.. That was a pain.. Talk about needle in a haystack... But they seem fine now and with a good coat of bearing grease they wi be fine...
I will be putting the originals back in..
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Head Tag is on!
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Discussion Starter #10
Universal powder coat hooked it up again.. I did the foot peg hardware, the chain guard, both kick Stands, and the engine mount hardware..
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I was worried about the rust on the speedometer and been searching for a new one.. After seeing the prices on new or used ones online I decieded to try the dremel polishing wheel.. It knocked the rust right off.. I will keep it oiled so hopefully it doesnt rust again..
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Very nice work and an AWESOME post! I will be watching this thread closely! You are doing a pro style job on these retros! I have rebuilt my share of dinosaurs. My rust remover was a open air sandblaster and a collection of wire wheels. The fact that you found a way to reapply the zinc, i find fascinating. They were a lot of fun to do. Back when i was messing with them, the internet had not been invented yet. Finding any part to fit was just luck.

Keep up the cool work and please keep the pics coming! (y) (y) (y) (y) (y)
 

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1700+ miles on those little wheels....That's a LOT of laps around the neighborhood! o_O
 
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I like your restoration posts. Very well done! To remove rust before you plate, just soak the parts in plain old white vinegar. A gallon is very inexpensive and available at you local grocery store.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks 1/2 Ton! I've always had a thing for small bikes.. Brings me back to high school and some fun minimoto days later on.. I'm excited about this one and now have 2.. lol. Excited to finally be moving on this project again..

Very lucky to have the internet.. Haha. This would about be impossible without it..

Thanks for the tip JLR.. I've just been sandblasting if the tumbler doesnt work... Its quick.. ;) But I'll give the Vinegar a shot!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Packed the head tube bearings! Seems my lower fork bracket didnt quite clear the frame when installed.. I had to grind down a spot on the frame and hide it with paint.. Just a tad and in a spot no one will notice.. ;)
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I'm not liking that little knick dead center... I'm not even sure how I missed that before painting.. This piece was sandblasted. Trippin on that but I will fix it..
 

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Great thread. Thanks for bringing us along.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
If OCD means, One Cool Dude!
Thanks for following along. Its helps me keep moving on the project! Its easy for me to get side tracked... I'm kinda the opposite of OCD.. I just want this one to look new.. lol

Here are the piles of stuff I sent to General Brite Plating.. They are stripping and Zincing the Rims, the front Fender bracket and foot pegs. I Had already sandblasted a extra set I have thinking I was going to Zinc it my self but figured I'd just add it to this order..

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They are stripping and ReChoming the Handle Bars, the brake linkage, the two forks and the muffler guards.. I threw in a few parts from the other bike as well... When in Rome..
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They said 10 days and I'm on day 4... Seems like a lifetime... lol Here are few closer pics of the condition of the items..

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