Sunday, April 8, 2012

Warm Metal

Sunday, April 8th - Castle Brewer

My wife says that I "putter", others have commented that I find the most circuitous route possible.  Whatever you call it my process makes sense to me...
In that vein, I decided to polish up the mill a bit.
First I had to repair my welding apron by sewing shoelaces to it.  Yeah I know, sewing's manly.  You should see the dinner I'm cooking for Easter.

While the cover's off it's an opportune time to check out the clutch and oil pump.  The clutch plates are within spec at 3.4mm and the springs are a healthy 35mm.  They were glued together pretty good from sitting so I'm glad I checked.

When I was fifteen and working on my first bike, my dad handed me a can of Nevr-Dull telling me that "you can make those aluminum cases shine like chrome!"  I probably lasted 15 minutes before deciding that I like more of an "industrial" look.
Several hours into it, I don't think they'll be confused with chrome but I'm pleased. 

I don't know if it's pervy but I like the feel of warm metal.  There's a plasticity to it that makes it less imposing and more familiar.
On an organic level, I think that machines respond to washing and cleaning and polishing.  Sharp knives are safer than dull ones.  Clean, well oiled tools are too.  A smooth waxed surface is easier to keep clean, it's more difficult for dirt to stick to it.  The same premise applies to a car hood or bearing journal.  An added benefit it that you usually find neglected items along the way.  It'll always pay off down the road whether the bike runs better or just looks better.

That's about all I can say for spending Easter polishing stuff so that's all I will.

Monday, April 9th - Still in the garage

Evening fellers.
Today I continued on in my round about way of polishing.  I opened up the cam chest to see about that infamous cam chain front guide.  Spent a lot of time carving away gaskets that had been glued to both the covers and the head.... >:(

What I needed to fetch the guide was a long pair of roach clips.  Unfortunately I'm in England and I have to make due with the retailers available to me.  So I ran up to Screwfix and in normal fashion bought a "tool kit" that included a set of 8" needle nose for the same price as only individual pair they had.  Brought 'em home and I still couldn't grab the guide.  I thought about welding some rods on to a sacrificial set to use like chopsticks.  Instead I pulled the cam out and prayed I didn't lose the chain or put it back together one link off (done that before).
Pulled the guide and it's brand spankin' new!

Spent the rest of the afternoon polishing, setting valves, testing the rotor, etc.
Now I don't want to start any trends but....  look what's hiding underneath the grey paint on the back of the  motor.

I had a look through the spark plug hole and I can see a grey pebble finish on the piston tops, no carbon.  I can't see the stamping on the top to see whether it's over-bore but I'm thinking that the motor's recently been rebuilt.
Regardless, a little wire brushing and a starter plug and I'm done with this motor. 

What do you think about O-rings vs. valve cover gaskets?

Next up; carbs, tires, fender.

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