I know the anticipation has been building since the last blog post to see how I have successfully stripped out any remaining soul out of the motorbike…well see the pictures below!
This stage of the project has been fairly methodical. Although I have a rough idea in my head what i want to achieve, a stripped back tracker/cafe racer type build, I know the bike needs to be stripped bare. Once stripped bare, I will have my blank canvas to allow me to see what needs to go and what needs to stay, hopefully with the finished project not resembling Picasso’s final work…
After a busy week at work I was able to cram in a few hours to try and get the engine out. First a quick tidy of the garage as i hadn’t a clue where half of my tools were! I also took the time to start to organise the parts that were laying around the garage. I have used some plastic containers and freezer bags (thanks Costco) as a means of storing smaller parts and marking their contents with a sharpie….I don’t think i have ever been so organised…
Motorbikes are great to work on, everything seems to be more accessible than the cars I have worked on. I like that to take the air filter off the bike its two bolts. Compared to a car which is two bolts, followed by two bolts you need a special voodoo charm to contort your hand to get into the right position to pull out, a quick loosening of the fan belt followed by the rear seats….you get the point.
I have been using my Haynes manual whenever i get stuck, but generally i haven’t really needed it. The more that is stripped off the bike, the less i want to put back on.. the 750cc triple looks great in the late 70’s frame. More importantly, the bits i do keep are in solid condition.
Onto the most nerve-racking bit of the strip down – removing the exhaust. I have been caught out here before….on both cars and bikes.
Exhaust studs are what can only be described as small pieces of shit.
They are what allow the connection between the exhaust itself , the gasket and the engine block. These have a nasty tendency to snap when trying to remove the exhaust. Due to the unfriendly environment these studs are exposed to throughout their life (cyclical temperatures, corrosion), damage can occur to the stud meaning when it comes removal time and if the little feckers want to snap in two, they will. This can lead to complications and turn a 15 minute job into a much bigger job. You may be lucky and have the stud snap with enough meat left sticking out of the block that you can grab it with a pair of molegrips and unscrewing. If this is unsucessful, you can look at welding a nut onto the exposed stud and backing the stud out. On one occasion I used this method to remove a broken stud from my first bike, a 125cc Honda rebel. Other times I have not been so lucky, when working on my project car (a slammed 1993 VW polo I carried out an engine swap on), the stud sheared flush with the engine block….rank. I, on this occasion, pretended that it never happened and used the 5 remaining studs to hold the exhaust on. If you are unlucky enough to get into this situation, grab the petrol and matches! Kidding on…although it does become a larger job usually involving removing the engine and drilling out the naughty bolt.
Up front preparation is best way to minimise the chances of this happening. if you know the studs are to be removed then use penetration fluid (hehe) in advance. Also heating the stud with a blow torch, being careful to watch the engine block with the flame, may be enough the break the bond with the thread of the block.
However, I was lucky this time!!!! This was down to my amazing preparation and not at all down to the fact the exhaust had probably been removed and replaced prior to the bike being laid up….Part of the successful removal I put down to soaking the studs with Halfords shock and unlock a week prior to disassembly. The other part I give to the fact there was Allen nuts rather than a conventional nut.
To tackle the removal of the allen nuts I introduce to you my handiest purchase so far – my 3/8″ drive allen key socket set.
Screwfix sorted me out with this forge steel set. Being a tool snob I was going to sceptical going for their own brand stuff thinking it would be sub-par build quality, but I am happy to report that these have been great so far, especially having been used in anger a few times already.
My mutterings have left me with no time for getting onto the whole point of this post….the engine removal! Part 2 coming shortly.
To be continued,