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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up 2008 Spyder GS SM5 Restoration

    Hello All! New to the spyder thing, but have been around motorcycles for about 20 years or so. Thought i'd share my newly purchased poor condition 2008 spyder that I bought for $750 not running. She's originally a silver and black painted spyder, which was spray bombed black. Unless she really is a phantom that has silver paint beneath the flat black painted areas? Can anyone confirm? The spyder currently has about 30,000 miles of which 17,000 miles were put on by the previous owner. The bike was parked about 7 months ago because it started to run really rough and "dumping fuel" from what the previous owner told me. She also mentioned that the parking brake doesn't work, the master cylinder reservoir leaks (i'll get back to this one), and the fuel pump was broken. Well, I purchased it with the intent of restoring her to better than new. Here is what she looks like after I brought her home.

    20180128_145738.jpg

    I started to slowly diagnose what the problem was with the bike. First step was to purchase a new battery since it was completely dead. Installed the battery and tried to start her up, no dice. Did some fuel and spark testing and found that the spark was really weak. Read the resistance on the plug wires and found that it was extremely high and sometimes wasn't continuous. Took out the spark plugs and those looked good. Bought new wires and plugs from that Baja Ron guy and installed those. Started her up and Bam! She's running pretty good. I let her warm up and went for a quick ride. She runs really well, but the brakes suck. Bought it back from the test run and started to dig into the brakes. Remember that I said the master cylinder reservoir was leaking, well there was no brake fluid in the reservoir closest to the tail light. Seems to be a crack somewhere dumping it all out. I purchased a new one and am waiting for it to arrive in Hawaii. In the mean time, took the torn seat to get it locally reupholstered. I also started to disassemble the entire body to prep it for some paint. BTW, I have experience painting cars and bikes. With the body off, I found out where all the leaking brake fluid was going. The entire rear portion of the frame, battery cage, and swing arm coating was all wrinkled and peeling off. Looks like this leak was happening for some time and the previous owner was just topping it off. Oh well, looks like i'll be taking apart the whole bike to recoat the frame and swing arm! With the body off, I decided to pressure wash the entire trike since there seemed to be a massive oil leak from the valve covers? Oil covered the entire engine and the lower pan area. This is where I currently am on the build. I just purchased a service manual to help guide me in this journey.

    20180201_162332.jpg

    Sorry I didn't grab much pictures, but from now on I will take more. I'll periodically post on here to log my trials and tribulations with this trike. Hopefully there will be a lot of success too. If there isn't much interest in this post, i'll prolly just lay off on posting more.

  2. #2
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    subscribed. Interesting project. If you really can sort it out you've bought a diamond in the rough.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    Current stable: 08 Spyder RS "Big Bird" \ 12 Street TripleR "Stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "Big Red" \ 09 KLX250S
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    JLohPhotos
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  3. #3
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    The Phantom was different panels in the matte black, sounds like yours was just painted over. Have fun with your project, Iím betting you made a good investment

    2017 F3T-SM6 Squared Away Mirror Wedgies & Alignment
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  4. #4
    Very Active Member Big Arm's Avatar
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    The original '08's were either silver or yellow, red followed the next year. Please keep us posted on your progress. It sounds like so far your on the right track by purchasing a service manual. You definitely got your work cut out for you, but it will all pay off in the end. You will love the spyder. This is the place to ask any questions you may have. Post more pics as you go along.
    Best of luck from another '08 GS owner.

    ....and we're gonna ride, we're gonna ride.....

    ride like the one-eyed Jack of Diamonds, with
    the devil close behind,.....we're gonna ride....

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Big Arm's Avatar
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    I also noticed the the front wheel rims are not '08

    ....and we're gonna ride, we're gonna ride.....

    ride like the one-eyed Jack of Diamonds, with
    the devil close behind,.....we're gonna ride....

  6. #6
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    I will follow your re-build also.
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 02-03-2018 at 03:18 PM.

    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    5 Spyders, 10 years, 145,375 miles


  7. #7
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Unless you are sure the oil is coming from the valve covers. It may be coming from the air box. It was not uncommon for a lot of oil to migrate to the air box through the less than well designed crank case breather/vent system. This oil would then find the weep hole and drip all over the top of the engine.

    Good luck with your project!
    Only SLOW people have to leave on time...





  8. #8
    MOgang Member Yazz's Avatar
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    You got a great deal there. Congrats!

    The Phantoms were made in '09 with matt black plastic skins. It was the forerunner of the RSSs. Nothing fancy under the skins, just a different look.

    The rear brake fluid reservoir - The two caps must to have the 'ridge' pointing to the rear or it will puke fluid. Had my rear frame repainted too.

    A SM5 a good thing. The emergency brake on mine needs to be tightened every so often. It's a pain. I park the Spyder in first gear and remember to pull in the clutch when starting it.

    One more thing... Your GS has an awesome engine!

    Looking forward to your trials, tribulations and successes.

    There are many knowledgable people here who can help if you need it...
    Last edited by Yazz; 02-02-2018 at 08:06 PM.
    Joy
    Very Happy Ryder...
    '09 Phantom and a '15 F3-S

    If you don't slow down, they can't catch you..
    ​If you don't give up, they can't win.
    What a long strange journey its been.





  9. #9
    Very Active Member oldgoat's Avatar
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    You have an upgraded muffler. The original '08 standard one was not like that one. BajaRon could well be on the mark with the oil coming out of the front right of the airbox. .

    Good luck & enjoy yourself.
    2008 GS SM5, Full Moon Silver

  10. #10
    Very Active Member Chupaca's Avatar
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    Default congratulations....🎉🎉🎉

    You got yourself a great deal. You seem to have talent and experience and will love to see the final machine. Good luck with your project it will be fun...
    Gene and Ilana De Laney
    Mt. Helix, California

    ​2012 RS sm5

  11. #11
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
    You have an upgraded muffler. The original '08 standard one was not like that one. BajaRon could well be on the mark with the oil coming out of the front right of the airbox.

    Good luck & enjoy yourself.
    Many of us fitted an oil-catch can in that hose to the air box. A search will give examples thereof.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  12. #12
    SpyderLovers Sponsor sealfloorboards's Avatar
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    The '08 GS was, and is, a great ride. My first Spyder was a yellow '09 RS and I loved it! Enjoy the journey, and...
    Ride in comfort,
    John
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  13. #13
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Default the oil issue

    Quote Originally Posted by BajaRon View Post
    Unless you are sure the oil is coming from the valve covers. It may be coming from the air box. It was not uncommon for a lot of oil to migrate to the air box through the less than well designed crank case breather/vent system. This oil would then find the weep hole and drip all over the top of the engine.

    Good luck with your project!
    .... and this has usually fixed the issue ..... cut the breather line and add any small Fuel filter into the line, you might have to drain the filter once a year but this stop the problem .......... Mike
    Last edited by BLUEKNIGHT911; 02-03-2018 at 07:11 PM.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member DGoebel's Avatar
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    Default Keep feeding the adventure.

    Supersuk, Excellent write up so far, for those of us substantially less mechanically inclined it is great following your adventure, please do keep the updates coming.
    Looking forward to what your new creation will finally be. Curious, if you're pulling the rear swing arm, would you just clean and repaint it, or would you powdercoat it?
    Safe Rides,
    David and Sharon Goebel
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  15. #15
    SpyderLovers Sponsor Motorcycledave's Avatar
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    Default Where are you in Hawaii ????

    I will be on the Big island for 3 weeks, if you are there maybe I can help you as I also
    have the same year Spyder and have done a bunch of modifications to it.
    give me a call
    209-887-3283
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by supersuk View Post
    Hello All! New to the spyder thing, but have been around motorcycles for about 20 years or so. Thought i'd share my newly purchased poor condition 2008 spyder that I bought for $750 not running. She's originally a silver and black painted spyder, which was spray bombed black. Unless she really is a phantom that has silver paint beneath the flat black painted areas? Can anyone confirm? The spyder currently has about 30,000 miles of which 17,000 miles were put on by the previous owner. The bike was parked about 7 months ago because it started to run really rough and "dumping fuel" from what the previous owner told me. She also mentioned that the parking brake doesn't work, the master cylinder reservoir leaks (i'll get back to this one), and the fuel pump was broken. Well, I purchased it with the intent of restoring her to better than new. Here is what she looks like after I brought her home.

    20180128_145738.jpg

    I started to slowly diagnose what the problem was with the bike. First step was to purchase a new battery since it was completely dead. Installed the battery and tried to start her up, no dice. Did some fuel and spark testing and found that the spark was really weak. Read the resistance on the plug wires and found that it was extremely high and sometimes wasn't continuous. Took out the spark plugs and those looked good. Bought new wires and plugs from that Baja Ron guy and installed those. Started her up and Bam! She's running pretty good. I let her warm up and went for a quick ride. She runs really well, but the brakes suck. Bought it back from the test run and started to dig into the brakes. Remember that I said the master cylinder reservoir was leaking, well there was no brake fluid in the reservoir closest to the tail light. Seems to be a crack somewhere dumping it all out. I purchased a new one and am waiting for it to arrive in Hawaii. In the mean time, took the torn seat to get it locally reupholstered. I also started to disassemble the entire body to prep it for some paint. BTW, I have experience painting cars and bikes. With the body off, I found out where all the leaking brake fluid was going. The entire rear portion of the frame, battery cage, and swing arm coating was all wrinkled and peeling off. Looks like this leak was happening for some time and the previous owner was just topping it off. Oh well, looks like i'll be taking apart the whole bike to recoat the frame and swing arm! With the body off, I decided to pressure wash the entire trike since there seemed to be a massive oil leak from the valve covers? Oil covered the entire engine and the lower pan area. This is where I currently am on the build. I just purchased a service manual to help guide me in this journey.

    20180201_162332.jpg

    Sorry I didn't grab much pictures, but from now on I will take more. I'll periodically post on here to log my trials and tribulations with this trike. Hopefully there will be a lot of success too. If there isn't much interest in this post, i'll prolly just lay off on posting more.

  16. #16
    Very Active Member JerryB's Avatar
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    Hi super,

    Re: 2008 Spyder GS SM5 Restoration

    As a fellow '08 owner ( black & silver also ), keep us posted.

    And as a retired Mech Engr/shade tree mechanic, I love these types of projects.

    Jerry Baumchen
    'I'll never forget what's her name.'

    'Things are more like they are now than they ever have been before.' Dwight Eisenhower

    2008 GS SE-5

  17. #17
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    Wow! Honestly didn't think I was going to get this much attention and support. Well i'll be asking all the spyder gurus here for some help along the journey. I didn't do much to the trike this weekend cause of superbowl, but I should be getting on it this week and next.

    Dave - I live on Oahu so I guess I won't be getting some help from you. But enjoy your stay on the Big Island. Really nice over there, but we've been having a pretty wet winter so far. Hopefully it'll clear up! If you plan on going snorkeling, just be careful of the currents and listen to the life guards if any. We've had a staggering number of tourist related snorkeling deaths on Maui. Just because the water looks calm doesn't mean there isn't a strong current.

    I think i'll have to look into the oil catch can because honestly I have no idea where the oil is coming from. I peeked into the airbox and there was a significant amount of oil in there. Since i'm taking out the motor from the frame, i'll just check the valves and replace the gaskets.

    As for the swingarm, i'll have that powder coated too. I think it was powder coated from the factory too because the coating came off in nice thick sheets of plastic type material. I know the VIN sticker is on the swingarm so I have someone lined up to reproduce the VIN sticker for me. Not sure if you guys heard of Bdesigns. They're located in Canada and repops vin stickers and plates. [HTML]http://www.bdesigns.ca/Rubber_Samples.htm[/HTML] Haven't used them before, but will give it a shot.

    I've attached more pictures of the trike with some views of the rusted areas.

    20180202_172427.jpg20180202_172438.jpg20180202_172416.jpg

  18. #18
    Very Active Member spacetiger's Avatar
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    just curious; what do you think the bike weighs in at with all the bodywork off the bike? Stock weight is 699 lbs(?), so something less than 600 lbs?
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  19. #19
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    Jeebus! I know Hawaii is tropical but I hadn't expected the rust to rot the battery tray quite like that!

    Following this thread on your adventures, but can't help noticing that Type 3 Fastback you got there! Looks in great shape, tell me more!
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    Current stable: 08 Spyder RS "Big Bird" \ 12 Street TripleR "Stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "Big Red" \ 09 KLX250S
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  20. #20
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    I'd say the bodywork, including lights, is about 50-60lbs or so. Most of the weight is in the trunk, seat, and light assemblies. I'm more curious to know how much the motor weighs since I'll be removing that soon.

    The rust you see in the battery tray is from the brake fluid, I think. I think it just traveled across the frame and wicked up into the painted areas. BTW, I don't think the frame is powder coated. I believe its painted because its pretty easy to scratch it off.

    Here's a pic of my 68 fastback that I finished restoring after about 7 years. A lot of metal work and a lot of sourcing out parts.

    20170903_084013.jpg

  21. #21
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersuk View Post
    I'd say the bodywork, including lights, is about 50-60lbs or so. Most of the weight is in the trunk, seat, and light assemblies. I'm more curious to know how much the motor weighs since I'll be removing that soon.

    The rust you see in the battery tray is from the brake fluid, I think. I think it just traveled across the frame and wicked up into the painted areas. BTW, I don't think the frame is powder coated. I believe its painted because its pretty easy to scratch it off.

    Here's a pic of my 68 fastback that I finished restoring after about 7 years. A lot of metal work and a lot of sourcing out parts.

    20170903_084013.jpg
    My first car was a 63 Fastback, which wasnít fast at all! I bought it for $100 and sold it for the same so it wasnít a bad investment.

    2017 F3T-SM6 Squared Away Mirror Wedgies & Alignment
    2014 RTS-SM6 123,600 miles Sold 11/2017
    2014 RTL-SE6 8,600 miles
    2011 RTS-SM5 5,000 miles
    2013 RTS-SM5 burned up with 13,200 miles in 13 weeks
    2010 RTS-SM5 59,148 miles
    2010 RT- 622

  22. #22
    Very Active Member safecracker's Avatar
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    Great job. If previous owner over filled the oil tank it would find its way to the airbox causing oil seepage as well. Above suggestions will cure it. Bruce
    RTS 2011 SM5


  23. #23
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    I'd love to have an earlier type 3, but getting parts for that would be a nightmare.

    After reading about the oil catch can, I'm going to install one. Also, did anyone have problems with their coolant over flow cracking? The previous owner said hers cracked and replaced it with an aluminum one that doesn't fit and just hangs there. I don't like the way it just sits there loose. I was planning to purchase a new oem one, but was also thinking of modding the aluminum one to make it fit better.

  24. #24
    Very Active Member PistonBlown's Avatar
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    I see what you mean from the photo's about how the brake fluid has spread, the damage to that battery tray is quite an eye opener. I'm guessing capillary action between the base and the battery has pulled the fluid up the slope like that. A lot of damage to the paint on the top of the swinging arm as well, your right it must have been leaking for a while. After seeing that I realise why I was taught to wash a bike down after doing anything involving brake fluid:-)

    Is there any sign of it on the belt? Just thinking it could have dropped down from the battery box. I'm guessing not because if it had got there it would have been thrown all over the place and made an even bigger mess.

  25. #25
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    Ok, so not much to report other than more disassembly. First thing I removed yesterday was the Hindle exhaust system. When I had the trike running, I thought it was kind of loud and sounded like it had an exhaust leak. Well, that was confirmed. I guess whoever put on the exhaust system didn't install a new gasket on one side as seen in the photo below. The pipe on the right is missing the gasket. Makes me wonder how quiet the trike is with the gasket in place?

    20180205_153051.jpg

    Next I started to remove the following items in this order:

    1. Rectifier
    2. Left side support bar
    3. Right side support bar
    4. Brake Master Cylinder and Reservoir
    5. Passenger foot pegs
    6. Rider foot pegs
    7. Rear fender and mounts
    8. Airbox

    All of these were pretty easy. I tried to take out the fuel tank, but it looks like you need to remove the engine before that can come out. When removing the fuel line connectors from the fuel pump, I managed to break the little black restraint clip on the fuel line going to the fuel pressure regulator. I found that you can buy just the clip separately, so that was ordered.

    20180205_182402.jpg

    Also picked up the seat and I think it looks ok. I might just redo it. Guess it was a mistake to give the upholsterer a choice on how he wanted to do it. hahahaha

    20180205_181255.jpg

    I'm taking a lot of pictures along the way so I know how to route the wires and where the tie down points are. If you guys want to see a specific area, let me know. After a couple hours of work, here is how she sits. I'm going to try and leave the radiator and oil reservoir attached to the engine and remove it as a whole so I don't have to mess with those clamps that they use from the factory to connect the hoses. Hopefully I can keep everything intact.

    20180205_181204.jpg

    Anyone know how to use the tool that is used to lift the engine out from the frame? I didn't purchase one, but If I know how its used, i'm sure I can cut one out from my CNC machine. 3/16" steel plate looks like it'll be strong enough to lift the engine out. Maybe even 1/8"? It looks like it just hooks onto the engine between the cylinder heads and you lift the engine a little then pull it out from the right side. Anyone can confirm that?
    Last edited by supersuk; 02-06-2018 at 07:11 PM.

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