28 March 2016


It's been awhile since there's been any major progress on here and there's a reason behind that. I'm still waiting for the engine case/covers/pan to get bactk from powdercoaing.

When I do stuff, I usually knock out things piece by piece, in a sequence. I hate starting multiple things at once because it's easy to get distracted and lose focus. The engine powdercoat is priority one, once I get that back, I'm going to drop off the frame and suspension bits for powdercoating, and while I wait for them, reassemble the bottom end so it's all done when the other stuff comes back and then I can really start putting stuff back together. Now I find myself with a bunch of crap in pieces and more questions/problems that need to be taken care of.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen some of these, but at least on here I can provide some more info.

First off, splines. The female rear drive splines were on backorder for awhile, but they finally came in. I like that Moto Guzzi splines are bolted and pressed (at least on the wheel hub) on, the male splines to the far right of the pic are BMW splines. If you want to replace final drive splines on a BMW your options are getting a specialist to weld and machine new splines on the old crown gear, replace the entire crown gear (and pinion gear because they must be replaced in a set), or do what I did and buy a replacement spline piece, where you need to get a machinist to cut out the old one from the crown gear with a lathe, then get the new one pressed and then welded into the crown gear and machined down, The BMW splines are on deck after this V7 build.

I also plan on getting the rear drive case powdercoated to match the engine. So, again, I've got parts strewn about while I wait for one thing to get back before I drop off the rest. I may do a write up on a rear drive rebuild. You don't see that many online and the ones you do see usually don't have pictures. This V7 drive might be a bad example though because it doesn't need re-shimming, which is the more tedious part of a rebuild, especially for Moto Guzzis. BMW final drive cases are marked with a +/- tolerance, as are the crown/pinion gear set, which takes the guess work out of shimming, these Guzzi ones seem to go by trial and error. I do have an Ambassador rear drive that I have to fully rebuild that does need a re-shim, so maybe the write up will involve that one.

More parts strewn about. I am probably going to write up something about fork rebuilding as well, but guess what, I'm getting the fork sliders powdercoated, so that's still in queue...

Here's something I don't need to wait on. I have to sand down and polish these original Borranis as someone in this bike's past wasn't easy on them with tire spoons/irons. There were digs and mars all over it, but they're cleaning up nicely. I'm doing this the hard way, but varying grits of sand paper before a final polish. It sucks, but it'll come out nice.

These were the tires that came off those rims. I joked on Instagram about selling them to Hipsters, but it turns out that some people actually do want old tires like this (I guess for display purposes?). That being said, if you want them, make me an offer, but please don't mount them and go riding.

One more thing. When I bought the V7 it didn't come with keys. I could've cheaped out and bought a generic automotive ignition switch, but MG Cycle sells a newer FIAT switch that was supposed to be a drop in replacement that allows you to retain the old metal securing ring. Well, the switch is obviously deeper than the old one, it's also wider and doesn't fit into the MG dash, and finally the machining of the threads is so poor, you can't retain the old metal ring without modification(notice how it tapers/gets wider the closer the threads get to the base of the switch). I haven't touched this since I made these discoveries, but the plan is to file down the indentations on the new switch and try to get it to at least fit the dash, then I'll worry about cleaning up the threads and trying to get the old ring to fit. If neither of those prove successful, the final resort will be to try and switch lock cylinders from the new switch to the old one. The depth of the new switch worries me and I'm thinking I'll likely find that this can't be accomplished either.

So that's that. Hopefully there will be better news later this week and things can start moving again.

05 March 2016

Parts Washer

I'll admit I'm pretty cheap FRUGAL when it comes to certain things. For years I was satisfied with brake cleaner and/or carb cleaner and elbow grease to clean stuff up. Having received the quote for powdercoating the engine case/sump/covers and realizing that 80% of the cost was going to for cleaning and prep, I began to reconsider my old ways.

As of today, I finally have a real parts washer in the shop

Bask in its Harbor Freight glory

I know this comes with a pump that is supposed to only work in water based degreasers, but about half the reviews I read claimed that solvent use not only worked, but has been working for years. That being said...

Frugality ensued again and I made my own solvent bath with 30% mineral spirits, 20% Jet A, and 50% ULSD

Pump worked fantastically, but we'll see how long it lasts.

Since I had a V700 final drive apart for a complete rebuild, why not test it out.

That's just after a few minutes soaking in the solvent, using the pump and hose, and then wiping off. No blasting, polishing, or sanding involved.

I don't know how I lived without this for so long...