Monday, March 29, 2010

Pulling Dents from my 4 gal. tank

Last Saturday I decided that, while Bondo works ok, pulling dents from tanks is probably better - so I went out and purchased a stud welder from a local auto-body supply.
$200 later, I was the proud owner of a 110V stud welder. This little baby welds studs right onto the tank, and with the help of a slide hammer, pulls the dents right out. Once they're pulled, you simply grind off the suds and smooth out the metal. Sounds simple right?

My first victim, I nice sized dent across the top of the tank.

Simply insert stud into gun, press down and pull the trigger.

One second is all it took.

Slide hammer ready for action, I wonder how much force it will take to pull the dent? I'll go with a TON OF FORCE and see how that works....

One hard yank and the stud pulled the metal right out of the tank leaving a tiny hole. Oops. I guess less force is probably still more than enough.

A few experiments later and I started to get the hang of it. Several studs in a row in the dent. Start from the center and work my way out...

This crease used to be pretty deep.

Maybe I'll leave the studs on and make a Mad Max style chopper....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Installed the Boyer Electronic Ignition

After messing with the points and unsuccessfully trying to time each side , I decided to take the advice of many, MANY other vintage bike owners and ditch the archaic Lucas ignition and go with an updated electronic ignition. This means easier timing, more accurate firing, easier starting, more reliable bike etc....

Step one was to study the wiring diagram. No condensers needed, and the 12 volt parallel-wired coils need to be 2 6 volt coils wired in series.

Condensors will go in the box of stuff I'll keep for who knows what reason.

Next, find the timing position of the cam with this little tool that fits through an aperture through the front of the engine casing. Basically I pushed that pin lightly into the engine, up against the cam inside and turned the motor with the kickstart until the pin finds the timing notch. This locks the engine in the right firing place, so that when installing the ignition, you install it where the ingition actually needs to come on.

The doomed lucas points system.

this comes off with two screws.

Underneath are the governor weights and the auto advance mechanism. This is the old way the engine "corrected" timing issues when the engine goes from idle to full throttle. These also are getting yanked. At this point I realized that I was missing a special tool needed for extraction. Its similar to a flywheel extractor. I decided I could come up with something that would work...

...and I did. I cut a small, thiner length of screw to insert into the spot where the idler pinion was.
Than I screwed a bolt in on top of it. This pushed the smaller loose bolt up against the inner timing cover

Like this.


Next I inserted the new fly wheel and loosely bolted it in place.

The ignition plate goes over the flywheel. Then the magnet on the flywheel gets moved to line up with the timing hole in the ignition plate.

In place, tightened up and wired.

I still need to clean up the wiring here, but I kick started the bike, and my conversion works! VRRROOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

BSA is waiting on parts but the cb360 is running!

The weather was just too nice and none of my bikes were road ready so I burned the midnight oil last night and fixed the overflowing carb on the Honda and threw the trickle charger on. Today she fired up and I cruised west Chester for a few hours. Ahhh.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chain guard resurrected

My chain guard was cracked where it bolts onto the bracket on the swing arm. My neighbor, Ethan offered to weld a washer to it. Well he had a co worker completely reweld a fabricated bottom to where the piece broke off. Thanks guys!!!!!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

4 gal tank stripped

Looks like the bondo was there for a good reason. A couple deep dents that creased the steel. Next step is to de-rust the interior, rebondo, prime and paint. Still having some timing issues. More on that later

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Changed the handlebars to a lower profile set

I always liked the lower profile bars on british bikes. I'm not putting clubmans on this bike since I don't have the appropriate seat, plus I don't want my main bike to be too uncomfortable for long rides. The low profile bars give it a sleeker look and the white Amal copy grips really tie in the white frame.

I havent tightened everything up yet because I still want to clean the left and right control switches and polish up the chock lever. I'll tighten everything down after work tomorrow since it'll be raining anyway.

Later this week they're calling for low 60's and sunny weather. WOO HOO!!!

One new pipe fitted, one old pipe refitted

I replaced the pipe with the one that wasn't defective and pit the other old one back in place and took her for a spin. The bike is running well. All leaks have been fixed except that acorn nut on the rocker cover. One more week till spring and I'm ready!!!

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New headers are crooked

A dissapointing discovery for sure. The cross sections don't line up at all. The right hand side looks straight, but the left points in and up making it impossible to connect the two with the cross pipe. I'm waiting to hear from British Only for advice.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gear shift lever fixed(?)

I drilled through the top portion of the gear shift-lever clamp and through the gear shift rod, then tapped it with 1/4" thread. With plenty of lock-tite I fitted a stainless bolt through the lever and into the rod until it was nice and snug. Now as long as nothing cracks while the bike is running there will be no more slipping shift lever. I'll keep my fingers crossed on this one. Next step would be to replace the whole shifting mechanism which requires getting into the inner timing cover and a fairly expensive replacement shifting mechanism.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New exhaust headers arrived!!!

New headers MADE IN ENGLAND! The old ones were cracked, dented and pretty mangled (a bad weld on the right hand stay indicates it was probably dropped). The old ones were difficult to fit, blew smoke out of every connection point and looked bad all around.

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whats in a name?

Not that anyone was wondering, but the inspiration for the name of this blog came from a Love and Rockets song, simply titled: Motorcycle. For those of you who aren't familiar with Love and Rockets, they feature 3 members of the seminal goth-rock band Bauhaus. This song takes a Gary Glitter approach to a Jesus and Mary Chain noisy rocker.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Bleeding Beeza

After putting a few miles on the BSA, oil was leaking everywhere, causing massive amounts of smoke as oil burned on the hot engine, hence I dubbed her the "Bleeding Beeza". Above is a picture just seconds after putting the center stand down.
The seal on the clutch access plug seems to be bad as a trickle of oil can be seen dripping down the side.
Main oil leak seems to be the acorn nut above the intake manifold. I think i'll put some silicon sealant on it and tighten her down. The oil feed line may also be dripping so I'll tighten that as well.
This ones a no brainer. There isn't a gasket behind the plate. I have a brand new one and I'll be putting it on today.
Now here is a major problem. The gear shift lever can't get a good bight on the spindle. The spindle is totally stripped. I've tried every trick in the book. Shims, wrapping copper and stainless wire around shaft in order to beef it up a bit. Epoxy putty and even JB weld. Nothing worked. The part is about $100 and is a pretty invasive procedure to replace since the spindle is attached to the gear shift mechanism which is deep inside the engine case. I'm going to drill through the lever and post in hopes that a bolt will hold it in place without weakening the lever (or shaft) to the point of breaking while shifting. Updates soon....
Cracked exhaust header causing a lot of smoke. I have a new set scheduled to arrive today. These are pretty banged up so replacement was really the only option.
Lucas, the "Prince of Darkness" strikes again. I just got the headlight hooked up and working. Less than a day later, the brand new bulb took a dive. I ordered two more. Maybe theres some resistor missing that caused it to burn out? Maybe I received a defective bulb? Maybe it's just the curse of Lucas and I need to modernize my headlight....

Not looking too bad. Complete and rideable. I will be repainting the side panels to match my new 4 gallon tank, though color scheme has yet to be determined. I have a cool idea for a paint scheme on the tank which references the original, smaller tanks treatment, but with updated colors and a slightly different approach. More on that coming soon.

Theres three days of rain coming up, so I hope to get this out on the road one more time. The rainy weather will give me a chance to address some of the bigger issues.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Took her out for a spin

Lots of oil leaks at seals and a loose gear shift lever, but otherwise she had some power. I'll get into all the problem areas next post. My brother in law, John, took this pic. He has a great blog called and he also has a 74 BMW with a side car.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bike buttoned up and running again

The headers are so banged up and cracked that I just fitted them on without sealent so they'll come off easy when my new set arrive. So despite the smoke pouring out of the exaust, the engine ran strong. I feel much better knowing my head gaskets set.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Torque nuts and bolts in propper order

After annealing the head gasket, I replaced the cylinder head and loosely screwed down all nuts and bolts in the order specified by the shop manual (see above picture.) It's crucial too crank them down a little at a time or it can seat incorrectly. In a zig zag fashion started with the center bolt and gradually adjusted them to 31-33 lbs each. Failing to do them in order or proper torques can lead to uneven pressure on head gasket. This of course can lead to leakage and/or a blowout.

Once the torques were set, I replaced the push rods. Starting with the two shorter rods which connect the outer tappets to the intake rockers (see picture below). The longer rods were placed on the center two tappets and connected to the exhaust rockers. At this point I was called in for dinner. We had dinner guests coming and I needed to shower up. Tomorrow I'll adjust the valve clearance and put a new gasket on the rocker cover and hopefully fire her up!