KenoshaGoldwing wrote:Speaking of brakes... Looking at my girl and looking at other motorcycles of similar vintage, I have come to realize that my front wheel differs quite substantially. A PO removed the original front wheel and replaced it with one with only one brake rotor. The other brake line has been snipped and plugged with a bolt. Wow.
I replied with this story:
I once had a look at an old car that a friend had just bought. He said the brakes weren't working very well, and asked if I could have look at it for him. I pulled the front wheels off. One brake looked fine. The other had a caliper that had obviously been leaking for some time. The previous owner had "fixed" the leaking brake problem by cutting the brake line, bending it over and crimping it shut with a pair of vice-grips, then duct-taping the vice grips to the suspension arm. Job well done!
This also reminds me of some nightmare work done by previous owners that I've found in "new to me" bikes. In fact, I don't think I've EVER bought a "new to me" bike where the previous owner hadn't done some absolutely reprehensible repair or addition work.
For whatever reason, it seems like the electrical system is the most common target of horrible previous owner abuse. On my GL1100, I ripped out a fair amount of aftermarket lighting wiring that had been done with speaker wire, connected by twisting the wire ends together and wrapping with electrical tape.
My GL1500 had a huge amount of terrible wiring done to it - including remnants of wiring that had been cut and abandoned. I found a nest of mystery wire up near the triple tree. Wondering what it was connected to, I started pulling and trying to untangle it, only to find that it was connected to...nothing! The whole lot just came right out.
A year later I thought I had removed all of the previous owner "work" from my GL1500, but when installing a trailer light isolator, I found that some of the harnesses and connectors started falling apart in my hands as I disconnected them! I found plenty of examples like this:
This is a good example of the quality of wiring work I found. In this case, the previous owner wanted to splice into the green wire. He yanked on the wire until the terminal's locking tab inside the 6P connector broke, and the whole thing came out. He then pried open the crimp on the terminal, stuffed a second wire in it, tried to re-close the crimp, and shoved the whole mess back into the nylon 6P connector. When I disconnected it, the terminal fell out of the connector, and then fell off the wire that had been stuffed in there.
I found another one where the added wiring had just been done by stripping some of the end of the wire and shoving it into the 6P connector next to the terminal, hoping it would stay in place and keep some sort of contact.
In the end, I had to rip out every piece of "modified" electrical work and replace it all.
I know of several people who have found that previous owners "fixed" a failed water pump, which identifies itself by leaking coolant out the "weep" (or "telltale") hole, by screwing a screw into the hole. There, fixed!
So...let's hear your stories. What nightmare work have you found performed by previous owners?