08 May 2013

new shoes, clean head, no-leak jug, and an entirely new set of problems

It's been a good few days of progress with the bike. First and foremost, I got the last wheel back from truing and got the tires mounted. Put them on the bike immediately. Also mounted the rear fender that was recently powdercoated, and now the seat won't fit. In fact, it's off by a good 0.25." Not sure how that's even possible, but I can either modify the existing seat (easy) or make a new one (not as easy). Once the tank comes back I'll decide on a course of action.

Otherwise, I'm liking the look already. By getting the wheels back on, the bike would be self supporting and I could remove the jackstand from below the cylinder, which, up to this point was the only thing other than the center stand holding the bike up.

Once I pulled the cylinder, I inspected the piston and con-rod. Turns out there is horizontal play in both the piston and the con-rod. In the case of the piston, the play was due to me being able to actually move the wrist pin with my finger (no heat applied) and seemingly the only stops on the pin were the snap rings. As for the connecting rod, there was only slight horizontal play. Figures the seals I was waiting on came in the same day, so instead of being able to reassemble everything I had to wait until the next morning to call Moto Macchi and see what he thought of the play. Apparently the play I noticed is normal, the con-rod is good since there's no up/down - forward/back play, and play with the wrist pins is hit or miss between batches but normal. It was good to hear that. If I saw that kind of play on the BMW I'd start disassembling the bottom end immediately.

Put everything back together this afternoon. Between a brand new cylinder base gasket, upper and lower pushrod tube seals, valve cover gasket, and the permatex silicone sealant I used on top of everything, this bike shouldn't puke oil anywhere other than the breather (I hope anyway)... I know I praised the design of the Aermacchi cylinder head in my last blog entry, but I retract that statement now. Having to shim the rocker ends on assembly, while holding the pushrods (which cross), and then drifting the rocker shaft on a horizontal head is not fun; in fact it downright sucks. I had to re-shim the rockers because I used new thrust washers and trying to check alignment with a mounted wheel getting in the way constantly didn't help either... But it's done now, just waiting on getting the tank back, making a new battery tray, and attaching the control cables and the bike should be pretty much done. Shit pic, but it doesn't hide the old oil stains

That reminds me. While I was waiting for the remaining seals to arrive, I mounted the bars, controls, and the dash pod.

This introduced an entirely new set of conundrums.

First, I didn't want to drill into the new Tommaselli condor bars, so I relocated the headlight/horn switch to the top of the dash. Because it was a new switch I had to solder up some new connections so I hope everything works right once the battery is hooked back up, otherwise I'll have to cut and re-solder again.

Next was the controls themselves. They look nice on the bars, but they definitely weren't intended for Aermacchi cables.

Tommaselli barrel on left, stock Verlicchi barrel on right, Aermacchi clutch cable below. The Verlicchi one won't fit into the Tommaselli controls, and although the Aermacchi cable can make it into the new barrel, the cable end is too long to fit into the lever. I think the easiest option will be to trim down the cable end and pray it doesn't come apart. To be continued...

Another smaller issue that arose was with the Tommaselli QA race throttle. I knew when I bought it that it was reduce the "pulling" distance of the cables for faster application of the throttle, but they really weren't joking... It's probably only 1/4 turn of the throttle and the slide is fully opened. I'm not sure how I feel about this just yet, I'll need to test it on the bike first to check the response, but I have a feeling I'll be reverting back to the stock Super Practic B throttle.

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