...the bike looks like another bike now, and I haven't even polished off the haze!
Ajax is non-abrasive, and I just used enough water to make a paste of it. Applying toothbrush with elbow grease got all the oxidization off, and cleaned oil from cylinders, and-and-and.
There are a few spots where the rust is more severe, and I'll need to use actual chrome polish on that. The front shock housings are aluminum and discolored; I've got aluminum cleaning powder (also good for stainless steel, but not chrome!) which ought to clean them up.
But even so, it looks about a thousand percent better than it did.
Started it around 2:10 and finished at 3:20, which was just enough time for me to assemble myself for therapy. The Ajax leaves behind a thin cloudy film on the chrome, which has to be polished off with a clean cloth, but that'll take just a few minutes and can wait until after I've eaten dinner.
After therapy, I took a bit of a ride; I went to Advance Auto to get something to attempt to seal the leaking gaskets and a quart of 10w-40 since I'm running low on that. (Also, some clean shop cloths for polishing chrome.) I rode up to Saul Trail, out to Western, and back south to Exchange; then stopped at Super Burrito! for the usual. It's sitting next to me now, cooling down so I can eat it.
I believe I've identified the three leaks:
The cam cover gaskets are leaking, which is why there was oil on the cylinders. I cleaned them off while washing the bike today (of course) but there's already a thin film of oil on them again.
The shifter shaft is leaking. That's an o-ring, and if the "gasket restorer/oil treatment" stuff I bought doesn't fix that, I'll be removing the clutch cover to replace it.
And, of course, the oil sump gasket is leaking. I tried tightening the bolts that hold it on, but it's still leaking, so it's not just loose.
Also: possibility that the oil filter cover is leaking, too.
That's five gaskets, more or less. None is particularly complicated to replace (except the shifter shaft o-ring) and my only real worry about them will be availability. I might have to buy some gasket material and make my own.
...and it's also possible that I can just buy the damn things from someone on Ebay or one of the three or four motorcycle parts stores from which I got parts for the dirt bike. (Which, by the way, are still sitting here waiting to be installed. Well, when I've finished doing the 50,000 other things on my plate....)
I'm hopeful, though, that the "gasket restorer" stuff works as advertised. There's no denying this bike is 30 years old, and it has spent enough time just sitting that the various gaskets and seals could easily have dried out to the point of no longer being completely tight.
Og did an honest job of the work he did on the thing, but since his primary focus was just to get the thing running reliably--and worry about the fine details later on--it's not surprising that he didn't get this far.
But it's clean, and needs only a final polish to sparkle properly. I'm going to eat my burrito, polish it, and then have a shower; I'll check the weather before going to choir practice before deciding whether or not to ride the bike there.
I don't want it getting rained on after I did all that work.
Now that I've polished off the water spots and such, the chrome seems to glow even when the sun's behind clouds:
Definitely worth the effort.
Incidentally: those side covers, the ones that have the model number on them? Og painted those sometime after he got the bike, and put the striping on. (They were from another bike, and they were maroon IIRC.)
It looks f-ing factory but for a few spots where the finish is subpar, and from 10 feet you can't see them.