Winter Tear down

I donít have time to read all this shit, just show me the pics...

During my trip to Vermont for Vermort 9, the bike died while out on a ride, just before it died the engine started knocking really loud. Since the bike was unridable I decided to start the winter tear down a little early and see what was going on inside the engine.

I pulled the oil bag and gas tank off the bike and brought it into the house to begin pulling it apart.  Iíve never taken an engine completely apart so I figure Iíll be buying a few new tools during this procedure.

These are a couple shots of my work space. The room is crammed with other stuff which I was hoping to have cleaned out by the time I started, but shit happens. At least I got the stereo in this room. Cash and a short time frame didnít allow me to coat the new floor, so Iím trying to keep it as clean as possible.

With the engine still in the frame, I pulled the rocker boxes, head and cylinder barrel.  In the picture to the right you can see that the connecting rod on the left is damaged, it had apparently been slammed into the cylinder block. At this point I pulled out a chunk of the cylinder block from the case, you can see this in the previous picture laying on the blue rag.

I didnít even look at the cylinder block until the next day.  The damage was worse that I though it would be.  The right hand cylinder was missing a huge chunk out of it.  I was hoping to just replace the connecting rods, but at this point it looked like I was going to be replacing the rods, pistons, cylinder blocks and all necessary bearings/bushings, which isnít a bad idea since I donít know what this engine went through before I got it.

The next step was to pull the engine from the frame and finish taking it apart. I hit a couple snags during this process, the first was when trying to remove the clutch hub.  This required a trip to British Cycle Supply for a clutch hub puller, since I figure this wonít be my last trip into a British engine, I decided to get the right tool for the job.

Once the clutch hub was pulled the gears pulled out easily.  In this shot you can see inside the gearbox as well as a shot of the timing gears and oil pump.  Below is a shot of the other side, the primary has been removed, a necessary step to get to the clutch hub, and the cases are ready to be split.

With all the proper bolts removed the cases came apart fairly easy.  Inside the left hand case you can see chunks of the cylinder block.

I hit a road block at this point, in order to pull the crank out to get the damaged connecting rod, I needed to remove the crank gear. I also decided to pull the cam gears and cams in order to strip the engine down completely in order to replace all the bushings.  Again, this required a couple specialty tools, a crank gear puller and a cam puller, this required another trip to British Cycle Supply.

The trip to BCS takes about 45 minutes from work to drive to, it was a great day for the trip as well, even though it had to be done in the car. BCS is out in the middle of nowhere, to the right are a couple pictures of their entrance. Itís at the top of a twisty secluded road on a ďmountainĒ side in Nova Scotia.  The picture below was taken while driving back down that road.

Thereís a lot of nice roads like this in Nova Scotia, Iím looking forward to next summer now that I have all winter to get the bike up and running. I didnít notice until after downloading the picture that I was a little bit in the wrong lane, fortunately there is next to no traffic.

Now that I had the crank gear puller I had no problem getting the gear off.  Itís not all the way on in the picture, the gripper actually gets under the gear (obviously). The cam gear pullers worked equally as well.

At this point I had everything off that needed to come off in order to pull the crank, this is when I ran into my next problem, I couldnít get the crank out.  There is no specialty tool for this, one manual I read says that it should pull out, another said that it has to be beat out. I decided to pickup a rubber mallet to avoid mushrooming the crank shaft and I beat the crap out of the shaft for a good 30 minutes, nothing. Next I decided to take the advice of people from RMH and the triumphchoppers web site, as one of the guys simply put it: ďheat it and beat itĒ. A couple others suggested a lead hammer or deadblow hammer.  Another trip to the auto parts store, but no hammer, so I picked up a $16 torch and decided to give it a try with the rubber mallet again.

I got home and fired up the torch and heated the case around the crank shaft. I heated it for about a minute or two and gave it some smacks with the rubber mallet, nothing.  I repeated this a few times and after giving it enough heat the crank finally started to move. Once it started to move I didnít have to apply any more heat, I just kept at it with the hammer, and after a couple dozen hits the crank was finally free.  This finally allowed me to pull the damaged piston and connecting rod, the picture to the right shows the obvious damage.

Mr. Horsepower says:  ďThis piston is shit, it needs to be replaced.  What kind of shape is the crank in?Ē

And thatís when it happened...

While waiting for the connecting rods and pistons to get here, I fell into a common trap of many a people when tearing into their bikes.  I was looking at the rocker boxes and the cylinder head when it happened, I grabbed the nearest rocker box and thought, while Iím in here...

That crank isnít in good shape, Mr. Horsepower.  From the picture you can see that the right hand side journal was scored, itís no longer smooth to the touch but it still seems round.  Iíll look into having it ground down to the next size and get some oversized bushings for the connecting rod.  Hopefully that will save me from having to toss the crank and replace it.  Once the connecting rods and pistons get here, Iíll head down to British Cycle Supply to see what they can do and to get a new cylinder block setup for the new pistons.

Disassembling the rocker boxes was easy enough, basically just had to drive the rod through the rocker box.  I had to heat the box up a little to get one of the rods out and I used a rubber mallet so I didnít damage anything. Ideally Iíll try to get the boxes blasted to clean them up a bit.

Next I saw the cylinder head sitting there, with the springs and valves still installed. This just didnít seem right since I had everything else apart.  The problem was that I didnít have any kind of valve spring compressor in order to remove the valves. I was talking to Bep and he ended up posting a question on the Triumph Chopper list about the best type of compressor.  British Cycle Supply sells a compressor for about $50, but I saw a c-clamp style in the Princess Auto catalog for $30.  It was a generic compressor but the price was better, so at lunch I drove over and picked one up, along with a brass hammer, since they were on sale.

The pictures to the left show how the compressor works, it came with three different sized end pieces, I chose the smallest one.  The middle picture shows one of those magnets on the end of a stick in place to prevent the little half circle pieces from falling away.

The clamp worked great, I compressed the spring allowing me to remove the necessary pieces and then I backed it out until the springs were slack and could be easily removed. After removing the springs and valves I used different colored electrical tape to attach the little stays to each of the valves, then I stuck a piece of tape to some cardboard and wrote down which position in the head they were from.

So after this Iíd have to say that the c-clamps get the thumbs up, the question is: now what?  Iím still waiting for the parts I need.  I guess I could start stripping the paint from the frame or look into whatís involved in doing a head job, what the hellís involved in a head job?

Teardown Completed

At this point the teardown is pretty much complete, this point being mid November. Iíve received my replacement connecting rods from Richard off the Triumph Choppers list down in Texas. Once I got the rods I took the crank down to a Napa machine shop that British Cycle Supply uses. They were able to grind the crank down 010, I can get new 010 bearing from BCS, turns out I didnít need the connecting rods for this procedure, so I could have had it done sooner.  My next purchase will be the bearings and a new intake cam bushing, and possibly a drift in order to get the current bushing out.

The crank looks pretty good now, they stamped it so that you can tell what size bearings are needed and they smoothed out the end, which was a bit mushroomed, which you can see in the picture of the crank in a previous picture.  The picture to the far right is of the crank after the work and the connecting rods. 

Iím getting ready to put the guts back into the case.  I took a little time to try and clean up the cases a bit. When I got down to really cleaning them I could see that they were pretty beat up, nothing serious but lots of little nicks and scrapes, no big deal.  Iíll need to pick myself up some assembly lube and gasket cement for the cases.

The picture above shows the right hand case, doesnít look too bad in the picture, or IRL. Unfortunately a closer look, to the left, shows the bolt that I snapped off at the top, and a small fracture by the hole in the bottom left. Iíll be taking this to a machine shop as soon as I get a chance to see if this can be fixed.

I decided to take the case to the same machine shop that did the work on the crank, I had three things for them to do, fix the crack in the case by the gearbox, remove a broken stud in the case by the gearbox and insert a new cam bushing.  I left the case with them and 1 week and $100 later I had my case back.

I decided to start assembling the engine on Friday night (Dec. 14/02). I was armed with my locktite, some assembly lube, some bearing grease, a shop manual, Haynes manual, parts book, a Mighty Mighty Bosstones CD, and a curiosity as to whether or not I could get it back together.

The first thing I did was to see how well the intake cam felt in the new bushing, much to my dismay I was shocked to find that the intake cam didnít fit the new bushing, it was just a bit too big. I donít get how this was possible, I bought the right part, so it should fit.  When I dropped the case with the bushing off to the machine shop I was asked it the bushing was sized for the cam, of course, I thought, itís the right part number. So I told them it was. Well, in my ignorance I didnít realize that it would actually have to be reamed in order to fit, live and learn.  So rather than drive back down the following week I decided to look for a machine shop that was a little more handy.  I found one just down the street from where I work, an old guy doing it out of his garage. He was open on Saturday, which was perfect, so I ran over and dropped off the necessary side of the case and the cam. Within two hours I was able to pick it up and take it back home and try to start the rebuild again.

My first step was to run the connecting rods through the parts washer one more time, just to get rid of any dust that may have been on them, and then to insert the bearing shells into the connecting rod and end cap.  I put some assembly lube on the bearing shells and mounted them to the crank. Next I put some lube on one end of the crank shaft and slid it into the right hand case.

The first step, after the cleaning of course, was to put the case on a couple blocks of wood so that end of the crank could go all the way in, then I placed the roller bearing into the case.  Next I put some assembly lube on the end of the crank and placed it into the case, followed by the intake and exhaust cams.

I applied a conservative amount of gasket cement (this stuff) to one half of the case.  It took a little pushing but it finally went together. I started tightening down the bolts and then decided to make sure everything moved freely. I was quite disappointed when the intake cam shaft, the one that received the new bushing, wouldnít budge.  I couldnít turn it at all.  The crank turned and the exhaust cam turned, but not the intake cam.  What the hell, it spun when the cases werenít together.  Again, this was due to an oversite on my part as well as the machine shops for not mentioning that this may happen, but when the new bushing was put in I had only dropped off half the case.  Turns out that the machine shop couldnít line it up without the other half and the bushing wasnít lined up directly with the bushing on the other case, so the cam wasnít running straight and was pushed against one side of the bushing, preventing it from turning.

The following week I dropped off both sides of the case, along with the cam and asked if he could straighten me out, he did it that day and by Monday night, after removing all the gasket cement, I was ready to start the rebuild once again.

Once these parts were in place I put the gasket cement on the case and lowered the other half into place, then I bolted everything together and double checked that the cams and crank were still turning easily without areas of resistance. Everything works pretty good, Iíll have to take the extra gasket shit off the engine once it congeals a little.  The bolts have been tightened but I havenít used any locktite on them.  I plan on replacing the lock washers with new ones, at which point Iíll locktite all the bolts. In the picture the end of the crankshaft looks damaged, I gave it a closer look and itís fine, so it must be a trick of the light in the picture.  Next, timing gears and oil pump.

I consulted the manual to see how the timing gears should go on, since I didnít mark anything when I pulled them off. According to the manual the key that goes between the cam shafts and the timing gears should go in the keyway that is opposite the timing mark on the gear.  The problem is, the gear has 3 keyways on it, an none of them are on the opposite side of the timing mark.  Thereís a keyway right by the timing mark, I have to assume that this is the right one, so I used the cam puller to replace the two timing gears, and then crank gear, which went on with some light tapping.  Once the two timing gears and the crank gear were on I lined up all the timing marks towards the idler pinion and slid the idler gear into place, making sure that all the marks line up, as shown in the picture to the right.

Once the gears were in place and the nuts screwed on I went and cleaned the oil pump and slid it into place, this was by far the easiest part of the rebuild so far, the pump just slides right on, Iíll be taking it off again and adding some assembly lube before screwing it into place.

The the part of the rebuild is to get the gearbox back together. I grabbed the proper box of parts and my manuals to see if I could fit them all back into the proper place.

 It took a little effort to slide the gears back into the case in one unit, but I managed to do it without pulling any hair out, so I consider that to be somewhat of a triumph.

The inner gearbox cover slides on pretty easily, the only thing to watch for is that the mechanism for changing the gears has to be lined up when sliding it into place. With this is place, and another gasket, the outer cover can be slid into place. The kick-start had to be wound backwards one full turn to tighten up the spring so that it comes back after it's kicked. While holding the kicker in place it was just a matter of sliding the assembly on.

Once the gears were in place and everything seemed to spin nicely I threw on the gasket and got ready to put on the cover. The gasket is a multiyear one, so it's got an extra opening that you can see in the next pic.

With everything back in place for the gearbox, except the shifter itself, I pushed the kicker down and it was nice and smooth, and turned the gears, so all seems good at this point.  With the gearbox back together I should let you know that this was basically just a test fit, I plan on going back and tightening everything down to spec and locktiting what should be locktited. I won't have to pull the gears out, but the covers will come off again, this shouldn't take long. Next I plan on flipping the engine over and working on the primary. I'm getting to the point where I need to finish cleaning the frame so I can paint it and have it ready to put the engine back in.

I grabbed my box with the clutch parts and took a look, pretty dirty, but still usable.  Iíll have to run them through the parts washer (except for the clutch plates) and mount them into the drum.

The drum itself is starting to show signs of wear, but I should be able to get another season out of it.

Once the parts are cleaned up Iíll get them back in the hub and into the primary case, which is fairly decent shape. In the meantime I put the sprocket on, tightened down the bolt and bent down the ears on the washer to keep the bolt in place.

Iím gonna change gears for a minute here and step away from the engine and get back to stripping the paint from the frame.

Basically I just took a wire wheel, a drill, a face mask and some time.  The frame cleaned up fairly well, and the nice thing about stripping all the paint off is that you can inspect it for any problem areas. In the center picture to the right you can see the new placement of the fender, which has simply been rotated forward to give the back end more of a bobber look to it. If you go back to the top you can see the old placement and tail light, the middle picture also shows the new sparto tail light Iíll be using.

The last of these three pictures shows where some stretch has been added to the front downtube.  While grinding the paint off I hit an area that seemed to have some extra primer.  As I continued to grind I began to realize that it wasnít primer, but filler. I kept grinding to see how deep it was, it wasnít too bad, and I eventually came to more metal.

I assume that the downtube was cut and a smaller tube put inside and then welded at both ends to add the length, then the filler was added to give it the same thickness as the original downtube.  Iíll remove the rest of the filler and add new stuff before I paint the bike.

In the middle picture above you can see that there isnít much in the way of a mount for the battery box. Basically that little tab sticking out by the rear fender acts like a springboard and the battery shakes like crazy when the bikes running. To remedy this I decided to have a big plate welded to the rear tail section, Iíll use this to mount the battery box and miscellaneous electrical components. Below you can see the size and placement of the plate Iím talking about, on the picture to the left you can see the size difference in what was there and what will be there.

Yes, thatís card board from a cat litter box.  At least those damned cats are good for something. :-)

You can see the size difference in the old plate and the new one, should make the battery much more stable.  It didnít take long for me to get the tail section back, it was done by the neighbor of my sister-in-law and her husband (good friend).  Heís a welder by profession and did a good job at a good price.

Iím still in cosmetic mode at the moment.  I can be a bit lazy, so rather than clean the engine covers myself, I decided to have them powder coated black, and while I was at it I had the rocker boxes and head media blasted. The primary cover, well, all the covers for that matter, were a bit dinged up, so rather than a nice glossy black that would highlight all these dings, I went with with what the powder coater called ďtexturedĒ black.  Itís similar to Harleyís wrinkle black but a little smoother. It turned out pretty good, Iím getting anxious to see what it will look like all together now.

I had the sparto tail light done too. Iíll likely have the rear fender done as well, the frame and gastank will likely just get a coat of flat black for this season.

The pictures on the right are of the heads and rocker boxes before and after theyíve been media blasted, much better than what they were looking like before.  They still have to be cleaned to get rid of the left over grit, but I think Iíll leave them the dull gray without polishing them.  Iíve been told itíll help them dissipate heat, plus itíll go with the flat black rat rod look Iím going for.

I had also ordered a set of the stainless steel bolts from Northern Eagle. The old bolts were either rusty, stripped, or missing. The new bolts look great with the black covers.

I got a bit behind in my updating, so the following paragraphs are from my posts in, not a lot of pics at the start.

April 15, 2003, I checked the mailbox yesterday and inside I found one of those keys that let's me know I've got a package in one of the larger mailboxes, I almost wet myself. I open up the larger mailbox and there it is, a package containing my new used cylinder block. I rush home to find my parents are visiting, no time to talk, gotta open box. Buried under a mound of shredded paper is the cylinder block, needs a little cleaning but looks to be in good shape, no rust, there cylinder walls are seem nice and clean, so I'm pleased with my $40 purchase off e-bay, mind you the shipping was another $32.

Now that I've got it, I've got to figure out a couple things that I'm not sure about. The guy that sold it said it had a 060 over bore, but currently I have no way of confirming this. Also, I said the cylinders looked good, but I'm no professional and I'm not sure what to look for. So right now I don't know if I'll need to have them rebored, honed, or left as is, and not being 100% on the size of the bore, I can't order pistons quite yet. So while I'm excited that they're finally here, my excitement is tempered by a feeling of "ok, now what?". I'm thinking that I'll have to give British Cycle Supply a call to see if I can bring down the cylinder and have them check the size. If they can't do it then there is a machine shop that they use that should be able to help me out. One thing I don't like is going into it ignorant, they could easily tell me that I need to bore it to 080 over and that I need to get 080 pistons, which could very well be the case, but I'd hate to think that all I needed was 060 pistons and to have the cylinders honed. Oh well, I guess it's a matter of trust.

Telephone call to BCS: OK, just talked to Gary at BCS, he said that I could take it to a place (he gave me the name of one near them and the name of one near me) and said that they could inspect the cylinders and drop a dial gauge down through to see what the current size is. Depending on the size I would either have to have them bored or left alone. I could then order up some new pistons from BCS, I would go with the cheapest they got since I'll eventually put on a big bore kit, and our riding season isn't too long so they won't wear out real quick. $120 Canadian for a pair of cheapys, including the rings, which is manageable.

Well I guess it just goes to show that you can't be sure of what you buy when you use e-bay. I took the cylinder to a place that BCS recommended and according to the guy there the cylinder is at .020 over (based on a stock measurement of 2.795) and I can get away with leaving it at that bore and just having them honed. Looks like I might be able to get away with this cylinder for a bit longer than I originally thought when I bought and was thinking it was .060, assuming I don't smash the skirt on it. <g> So I'm a happy camper, and they said they can have the cylinders ready for tomorrow ($14 per side versus $45 to have them bored).  Time to order up some cheapy .020 over pistons, I wonder if they can have them here before good Friday. <g>

I got my rocker boxes together last night, but by the time I had the spindles all the way in the oil feed holes weren't facing straight up, which means they wouldn't line up with the holes in the banjo fittings. It's up in the air right now as to whether or not they have to be lined up, since the oil may actually travel around the spindle, but to be on the safe side I'm going to line them up.

Well, I tried to line up the holes last night by bending the oil lines (they're metal, not flexible tubing) but I ended up breaking one of the arms. I would have heated them up first but all I've got is a torch and it was empty. For those who can't picture this, there's a metal line that comes off the return line from the oil pump, this line then T's and ends in 2 banjo connectors that slide of the rocker box spindles. The oil enters the spindles and oils the innards of the rocker boxes.

After three hours working on the rocker boxes, the gear box covers and the clutch, I'm ready to take a look at what it'll look like once it's done. So here are some shots of a mockup, as well as a before shot of the engine and 2 shots of the rockers after they've been reassembled. I drove out the rocker spindles and put them back in so that the oil feed holes will line up with the banjo connections on the new oil line, but I've been told that there's a grove that goes around the inside of the banjo connections anyway. Oh well.

Engine before teardown

Engine mockup

In the second picture of the mockup you can see that there's still some black paint that is on the left side of the case in the front, I assume at one point the whole case was black. It didn't wash off easily so it'll be left there for this season. The pictures make it look better than it is, but it's still a lot better than it was. Anyway, it's about 2:20am now, time for bed.

I wasn't sure what I'd get done this weekend since I had a work function I was suppose to go to yesterday and a couple family things for Easter. Fortunately Jake (my boy) puked all over the place Wednesday night and hasn't been feeling well since then, so while he's been laying on the couch and sleeping the weekend away, I got to work on the bike. I owe him big for the sacrifice he's making for me. <g>

The lower end is pretty much done, I'll take the covers off until the engine has been wrestled back into the frame, just some minor details like adjusting the clutch to be done. The rocker boxes are back together and a new rocker box oil feed line is on order. The frame has a couple coats of primer and a coat of flat black, to which I'll be adding a couple more coats, likely next weekend. Today I finally stripped the paint off the gas tank and took a look inside, a bit of rust in there but it looks like a very thin layer, so I went to google and I think I'll give the muriatic acid method a try next weekend. I started to strip the rear fender but quickly realized that it was cracked in numerous places and had more holes in it than a slice of swiss cheese, so I think I'll order a new one, there only about $45 CDN new from British Cycle Supply. I also took a quick look at the valves, lots of build-up on the top of the exhaust valves and springs, so I'll have to clean all of this off before I attempt to re-seat them and install them back in the head, I'll try to get at this tonight or some other night this week.

I got my pistons today, so tonight I got myself psyched up to install them, what a disappointment.  I was expecting this to be some magical, mystical event, but much to my dismay the whole process took about 5 minutes. The only part that gave me pause was when I picked up the locktite instead of the assembly lube. So once I got the pistons on I decided to clean one of the valves, figure since I was working on the bike I may as well get something else done.

My new pistons should be here tomorrow, so some night this week I'll try to get them installed and get the cylinder back on. Once this is done, and the frame got a couple more coats, I'll put the engine back in the frame, then I'll put the head and rockers back on.

I'm expecting the next step to be a little trickier, sliding the cylinder block down over those pistons once the rings are in place. I'll pick up a couple hose clamps tomorrow and give it a try tomorrow night.

I got a chance to sneak down to the basement again tonight and it was time to tackle the cylinder block. This went surprisingly well. My first step was to remove the tappet blocks from the old cylinder block, replace the o-rings and install them into the new cylinder block. Next I took my newly acquired hose clamps and tightened them around the rings, they covered all three rings at once. Once both clamps were in place, tight enough to compress the rings, but loose enough to slide when pushed, I lower the cylinder block down over them. The blocks went down nice and smooth, and once they covered all the rings I loosened the clamps and removed them. The cylinders in the picture look copper, weird trick of the light when I took the picture. If you look closely you'll see pieces of rubber hose that I cut and slid over the studs on the case in order to protect the piston skirts.

The rubber hose worked really well, until one of them lifted off and dropped into the case. It fell right to the bottom but standing straight up. I couldn't reach it with my needle nose pliers, so I tried a large flathead screwdriver that I pushed into the tube, turns out it worked great.

Once I got the rubber tube out of the way I rested the block on a piece of wood and inserted the tappets (that's what they're called isn't it?) and finished lowering the block into place. I used lots of assembly lube, and while my heads were greasy when I was done, they still looked clean, certainly not the case during the disassembly.

The next step will be to finish cleaning the heads. They've been media blasted but I haven't washed all the left over grit off yet. I still gotta finish cleaning the valves as well, once these are done I can install the head, but I'll wait until the engine is in the frame before installing the rockers. At some point I have work on keeping a clean work space. I would have liked to put another coat of black on the frame but I've purchased all the cans they had and they haven't got anymore in yet. Things are coming together nicely now, I think the worst of it's done, the rest should be pretty basic.

April 27, 2003: I had a chance to do some work this weekend, ML took the boys out yesterday so I had the place to myself for a couple hours.

I started by adding my first coat of clearcoat to the frame sections. This is basically an amateur paint job on the frame, I'll too lazy and anxious this year to go through the trouble of sanding it down where the paint went on a little too heavy and left a streak or two. It doesn't look too bad, and hopefully it won't be parked anywhere long enough for anyone to give it a good look. The tanks a bit of another story, I finished stripping the paint and then got out the bondo to fill in some small dents.

The tank's not it too bad a shape, definitely not in need of replacing. While the bondo dried I took the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful day and I walked to the local auto parts store for another can of primer. When I got back I sanded the bondo down, filled in one of the spots again, and then grabbed the dremel and headed out to the front steps to finish cleaning the valves. I've tried several different attachments for this job but the one in the picture seemed to work the best for me.

Once the valves and springs were cleaned up (assuming nothing goes wrong this summer, I'll likely replace the valves, guides and springs next winter) I figured I might as well give this valve seat grinding thing a try. I had picked up the compound earlier in the week and the process seems fairly straight forward.

Once this was done I decided to shoot a coat of primer on the gas tank, in the picture you can see where there was a dent, it's not a perfect fix but it's better than it was and like I've said a dozen times, I'm not building a show bike. Today I didn't get much done, had a wife that wanted to get some housework done, and the guy on the left screaming at me <g>.  I did manage to get a coat of paint on the tank today, but nothing done on the frame.

April 29th:  Last night I had a chance to clean the pushrod tubes, the pushrods and the intake manifold. With those parts ready, including new o-rings and gaskets, I decided to put the top end back on the bike. I haven't torqued everything down yet, in fact some of the bolts are barely in (which you can see in pictures). There are a few reasons for this, I should replace most of the washers, I'd like to replace most of the bolts, they're in rough shape (I can likely just clean them up a bit with the dremel), and finally, I'm not sure if the engine will go in the frame with it completely together, although I suspect it will. The side covers aren't on yet, those will go on last so's I don't bang them up while getting the bike back together.

Once the head was on I used a wrench on the end of the clutch to turn the engine over and so far everything looks pretty good. With the valve covers removed I can see the rocker arms going up and down as the engine turns, which is a good thing, but I still have to adjust the valve clearance, shouldn't be a big job, especially with the engine out of the frame. If Ididn't have shit at work to do this afternoon I'd be taking half a day off to give the frame another coat of clear-coat. I'm dying to get the engine back in the frame.

I followed the instructions, used a liberal amount of compound, turned the valve in a semi-circular motion, lifted and turned 180 degrees and repeated until I got bored (which for me isn't terribly long). Once the re-seating was done, I re-installed the valve and springs...and then I repeated the steps.

I see from that last picture that I need to get up under the area by the gas cap. Anyway, a fairly productive weekend, I would have liked to have put another coat of clearcoat on the frame, hopefully some night this week.  Once the frame is done, I'll be ready to install the engine, since there isn't any work left to do there but to bolt the head and rocker boxes back on, the various covers and adjust the clutch and cables.

May 6, 2003: After laying the engine down on the bench, laying the front frame section down over it, scratching the paint...a bunch, bolting the frame in place, finding out that it's not centred, finding an engine bolt that needs to go in facing the other direction or it hits the kickstand mount, pulling the engine, flipping the bolt, moving a shim, placing the engine back it, scratching the paint some more, bolting the engine in place, happy with the alignment, I bolted the tail section on, stuck the gas tank on and snapped a couple pictures. Next I ran upstairs and told ML to come down and take a look. I couldn't have had a less enthusiastic reaction, although eventually she gave in, but to hell with her, I'm busting. <g> So there she is to the left at this point.

I figure if I add anything else to the bike at this point, I'll never be able to lift it off the bench, so with a little grunting I hauled the thing down and put it on some blocks on the floor

Next I decided to put the tail section back on to see how she was looking, then I figure I might was well put the front end back on. So with a little grease and the bearings in place I coaxed the front end into place.

Before doing all this, I decided to take Wolfpup's suggestion and just turn the pipes out instead of running them all the way back. With a couple $7 turn outs from the local auto parts store, and by hacking off the slash cut part of my pipes I ended up with something like the picture to the left.

Now, with the front section and the tail section on it, I decided to see with it would look like with the rear wheel in place, and then the tank, and rear fender, well, you get the picture

In the upper left picture you can see that I've already painted one of the pipes with a flat black high temperature paint, I'll be doing this to the other pipe and the turn out pieces as well. In the next picture you can get an idea of where the pipes are running. Trying to get them out from under the frame and along the tail section up by the back axel would have been a pain in the ass, comparatively.  The picture above on the far right shows the oil bag in place and the battery sitting on the new plate, but I still need a battery box to stick it in. Below shows a couple pictires with the handle bars on, I havenít been getting very good reviews on the red grips, but I like them, a lot.  Rear fender still needs to be stripped and painted.

Iím coming back to this web site after not updating it for a bit, the rebuld was complete and these were a few of the last remaining pictures to be posted. To the right you can see the shot of the old points, they didnít necessarily have to be replaced, but I figure that since they donít cost a whole lot, Iíd likely save myself some grief later by replacing them now. The second shot is of the point plate with the new points installed.

Once the points were reinstalled and the cables were hooked up, Brett (pictured) and I wheeled it outside to see if I couldnít fire it up for the first time since the rebuild.

I didnít have the oil feed to the rockers attached at this point since I wanted to see if oil would come through, after running the bike for a minute the oil started to feed through, so we shut it down and hooked up the banjo connectors to the rocker box spindles.

Unfortunately I ran into a bit of bad luck during this process, I ended up breaking on of the spindles, another call to BCS for the reaplcement and we were done for the day.

Some finished product shots while waiting for the new rocker box spindle...

Some fine tuning on the seat posts...

And finally, at long last... first ride...

...and first breakdown.

I kicked and kicked it but couldnít get more than a sputter out of it, so we started messing with the position of the points plate but it did no good.  Finally after scratching my head for a while I switched the wires coming from the points, voila, that did the trick, the bike fired right up after that.

It wasnít really a breakdown, there was an issue with the carb, air bubble in the fuel line or something, gas just wasnít getting to the carb. I fiddled with it for a bit, tapped the fuel line to get the air bubble out, switched petcocks (used the one of the opposite side of the tank) and I was on my way again.

Iím still fighting little issues, like oil leaks, but the bike runs, so Iím pretty happy.  It was my first time in the engine and it actually runs now that itís back together. Iím tempted to have a professional tear it down and rebuild it again to let me know what I might have done wrong that could cause the engine to blow up on me in 100 miles, but I think Iíll trust my work and keep my fingers crossed.

Wrench Reports