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The 'Yamaha Enduro'

1975 Yamaha DT125/175MX Hybrid

Friday 23 March 2012

Oils Well that Ends Well!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - missing oil tankYamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - Oil Pump

Right, well remember, back at the beginning I found an obvious 'hole' where the oil reservoir ought to be? But discovered there was an auto-lube pump lurking in the side-cover? Well this needed some contemplation.

Auto-lube is the start of the slippery slope of technology away from the natural virtues of the two-stroke of shear simplicity. The reed-valve adds 'one' sort of extra moving part, and hugely increases the engine's efficiency. The Auto-Lube pump, adds almost as many moving parts as are already in the engine, and is merely a convenience to save mixing oil & petrol....

But what the heck! This is the 21st century. Petrol Stations no longer have attendants to work the pump, or those convenient mixing tank thingies, like a fire extinguisher on a golf trolley, to make your pre-mix, it's hit and miss whether they even have two-stroke oil! AND this bike has a 1 1/4 gallon petrol tank!

I REALLY don't fancy the hassle of trying to discover the best pre-mix ratio for my riding style; nor the ball-ache of setting up ignition & jetting to suit, and THEN having to ride around with a bottle of two-stroke oil stuffed in my jacket, and guestimating the amount I need to put in the tank, when I fill up!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - New BitsAnd... err... rather hard to deny such 'evolution' on point of principle when I have converted the thing to 12v electrics, and used what was space age technology when this thing was designed, for the lighting!

So lets see if we can get the Auto-Lube to work!

Amongst this box of bits, then was some plumbing. Or rather, some rather over-priced clear PVC windscreen-washer hose, a couple of plastic T-Pieces, and some C-Clips!

This let me connect the pump to the carburettor. And once stung, twice shy, I bought a length of Clear PVC 'Fishing Tank' pipe, off e-bay, to plumb the pump to the tank....

Ah!... yes, small problem.... I don't have one, do I? Or at least I didn't!

I initially decided this was NOT a major problem, and searched e-bay.

Then I searched all the usual emporiums. Then the more unusual emporiums. Maybe this WAS going to be a 'problem'. Back to e-bay, and frequent searching. More 'Oil-Tanks' for twin-shock DT12/75's turned up than for mono-shock MX's, mostly in the USA, then when I DID find one, some helpful advice revealed I ought to 'check' it was from the 78/79 model, because the oil tank on later bikes is on the other side of the frame... and a different shape!

This started to get vexing, and I basically gave up, and decided that, I could use an old battery acid bottle, turned upside down, gaffer taped 'or something' in to the gap, and the hose pushed onto the filler nozzle... But then I FOUND ONE on e-bay!

Figuring it worth, 'maybe' 30, and with the auction claiming a 5 P&P charge, I waited until the last thirty seconds, when it was still bidding under 10, and placed a bid of 26.25. "Sorry You Have been Out-Bid"... Auction ended at 30.62! For a grotty old fairly liquid bottle! WHAT! OK.... back to the battery acid bottle!

I pondered this for a long while, and my first thought was that the battery acid bottle had a capacity of 500cc. This is only JUST the size of the smallest bottle of forecourt two-stroke... meaning I would probably still end up with two-stroke oil down my jacket, as unless I was down to the oil in the pipes... probably wouldn't be able to get a whole bottle in it. It also dawned on me that at 35:1, it would hold about enough oil for 17 gallons of petrol or about ten fill-ups. AND I would have to drill a hole in the top to let air in, which could make it a bit awkward to turn upside down to fill up, without it all dripping out of the vent.

So, I sat down with the acid-bottle, my trusty soldering iron, and some old milk-bottles and started to 'craft' something around it a BIT more like a proper oil tank, with a filler at the top and a vent, and an outlet at the bottom. Then I threw it away in disgust!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - Oil Reservoir

And ANOTHER proper one popped up on e-bay! 35.62... that's what the last one went for! So I waited until the last 15 seconds this time, and with the auction price having not gone over 15, and the P&P again 5, entered 30.62....."Sorry You Have been Out-Bid"... Auction ended at 31.62! Fnargagurinbugga!

I went and retrieved my 'creation' from the bin! I did not expect to see another oil bottle for the 78/79 model year DT-MX come up very soon, and my bike was starting to look pretty complete, with Donna remarking "Yes, but you still haven't started the engine!" every time I optimistically mentioned MOT's!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - Old Deturgent Bottle

Re-evaluating my efforts with the battery acid & milk-bottles, I realised I was onto a looser. The top wasn't anywhere near robust, and the spout, pointing straight down, was robbing me of much needed space. And the mis-matched plastics were a pain to work with.

So I did the unthinkable. I BOUGHT something! ASDA had 1l bottles of windscreen wash detergent on offer, for 1.99! I only actually wanted the bottle.... but what the heck! Chavic could do with some windscreen detergent anyway!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - Home Made Oil Reservoir

So every evening for two weeks, I painstakingly sat with the soldering iron, snipping, shaping, moulding to make something to fit in the space on the bike... impressive hugh?

"Does it hold oil?" Asked Donna.

The element of Doubt. WOMEN! No faith. No faith at ALL.

I decided to try filling it with water. Leaked like a ruddy sieve! Ho hum. Well...... at LEAST it's the right shape! Bit more work with the soldering iron, thicken the seams.. maybe clad it in Glass-Fibre Resin!

"Darling; have you checked e-bay for a PROPPER one?" Women... their confidence in us is AWSOME! innit! "How long you been looking? I found TWO here!" Bludy typical. Like busses! Wait for two years, and two pass me by, then two come-along together! Oh dear, how much am I going to loose these by, this time!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir

Anyhow, of the two, the first auction to end was the 'Grotty' one. It hadn't been cleaned up before being listed, and the auction ended on a Saturday, so I hoped I might get lucky. The piggy bank was raided, and I literally mean the piggy bank! I robbed the 20 note I keep as emergency petrol money to be able to cover what it might bid to, and decided I could 'just' afford to bid to 40, with the P&P at 3.50... so I scratted around. Did the unthinkable; sorted the laundry, and the even more unthinkable, checked the pockets! Which added a whopping 2.30 to the total, so I could bid to 38.80.... and THIS TIME I waited until the last TEN seconds... and won it for 26.oo! PHEW!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

It turned up a few days later, and after a lot of soaking in biological washing powder.... best de-greaser known to woman kind... Hey it get's MY jeans clean! Scrubbed up quite nice! Job done. Except the rubber cap came off in the soak & I inadvertantly lost it down the toilet when I emptied the bucket! Oh FFS!

But that scratch built sieve could be bunged back in the bin! Well, at least the car windscreen is a bit cleaner now! The other one? Yeah, went next day, bidding to 42.68 + P&P! Bargain!

Saturday 7 April 2012

Wire Will it All END!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

OK, well last installement was a bit of a 'filler' covering the saga of the oil-tank, because since Christmas the project has been all very 'bitty', and mostly worrying about wires.

Anyway, getting stuck into the street-equipment.

So I was pretty much committed to the 12v conversion, but still had to make all the equipment work.

This meant I needed a wiring loom. Wires that has connected the few pieces of equipment together when I got the bike, hardly qualified, and wasn't worth trying to salvage.

Neither was the head-lamp switch, when I finally got round to looking at it for seriouse. It was lacking an indicator switch and horn button, and the wires had all been snipped and hard joined to spade connectors.

I was in a quandary for a while, wondering what to do about this, after some initial ideas about 'customising' the switch housing and using individual latching switches drilled into the casing for the indicators and a push switch for the horn. A little bit of measuring up and costing up, though showed I would have had to spend about 3.50 per button at Maplin, to have trouble squeezing them into the housing, or the same to have spare buttons from suppliers off e-bay. A new switch from Yambits was, I thought 15... may as well get that. Except that was the right hand cluster that only has the 'kill' switch in it. Left hand one with the buttons I needed was 15. but with the build bill rising, it was a drop in the ocean, so I bought it!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

I pondered at this point trying to buy a new loom as well, because I was getting my knickers in a twist over finding connector blocks to fit the new Yamaha ignition switch and lamp switch, as well as the front brake lamp switch and the now arrived oil reservoir level sensor.

But I couldn't find one. And peering at the ignition switch, the connector on the lamp switch looked REMARKABLY like its matching female! It was. Different colour, and different colour wires in it, BUT, they fitted together! So that was snipped off the light switch, to connect main loom to ignition switch, the rest I could do with plain bullets! Though I bought some small PC micro-connectors to connect all the instrument LED's.

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

E-Bay turned up some-one offering packs of 'cut' wire in different lengths by the metre, for reasonable money. So I bought 2m of 12 colours. THAT, with 100 male & female bullets & insulators, lots of heat-shrink tubing, and some insulation tape is my wiring loom. Approximately 30's worth in all.

Then the laborious process of following wiring diagrams and trying to string devices together, and putting connectors in the right places.

At the centre of the electrical action, I needed to 'finish' the Dash-Panel, and after some messing around trying to find a convenient location for the Hazard Warning Lamp switch, decided I needed a pillar on it in front of the ignition barrel. So that was crafted from a bit of old extruded aluminium channel section, cut off the end of a blind-rail, when it was cut to fit a window. The end was trimmed and the front folded over to make an end, and then it was set onto the plate with aluminium filing loaded epoxy... I had plenty of aluminium filings to load the epoxy with from all this metal working! Then primed and painted.

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

My butane soldering iron decided to go kerplunk on me; so I resorted to my 'old' one, which had a rather worn tip, after fifteen years of rather heavy use, and I was getting rather vexed wondering why it was getting so difficult to get stuff to 'tin' when a wire wicked, and I saw that under the solder pool... there was nothing but FLAME! The tip had finally gone right through! So, I was down to the old 15w electric soldering iron of old! Now I remember why I bought a butane one!

So, much swearing and even more little solder burns later.... I had stuff 'working'... ish.

 Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

Attaching the new pillion foot-pegs, I discovered that with the Jack-Up kit, the side stand fouled on the Left Hand one!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

Off cut of aluminium wedged between stand and stop, proved just about the right thickness to stop it fouling....

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

So, a piece cut & glued to the stand, solved that one.

AND, it was now DANGEROUSLY close to looking near 'done' apart from Donna, as ever, making dubious comments about me not having an engine that works!

Meanwhile I had spotted an insurance 'offer' on the net, and got a REALLY good quote on cover from e-sure. Basically a 40 discount, which brought the 150ish Third-Party quotes I was getting down to 110, fully comp! Deal was time bound though, and valid for only a month. So, I accepted it, and paid for it, giving an inception date of 30th March, in the hope this would spur me on to get the bike to road for Easter.

But headlamp SQUASHED together with all the new wires inside... bike was wheeled back outside for the first time in months, and the dining table cleared of electrical gubbins, the solder burns quickly covered with a table-cloth!

Carburettor was removed and cleaned. The twist-grip removed & plastic coating on the handle-bars cut back so it snapped back. The new oil tank was fitted and the oil-pump plumbed in. And THEN..

I went and bought a gallon of petrol and some two-stroke oil! It was Good-Friday!

Carefully decanting fuel from the gerry can tested that laquer! Seems to work! Then the oil tank was filled! And the moment of TRUTH...

I turned the petrol on... And it peed EVERYWHERE!

I had THOUGHT I had fixed that when I had fixed the outlet from the tap back into the housing with metal-set! Seems NOT. The tap was leaking from the actual TAP!

I don't use aerosol de-odorant. NOW I remember why. It burns my arm-pits like PETROL! Bludy stuff was running down my arms into my arm pits soaking me all over trying to stem the flow and get a hose onto the tap to drain the tank!

But that removed; I took it apart and discovered that the spring clip that presses the tap into the tap body was rather worn, and there was no sealing ring under the union. I found a copper washer for a sump plug, that was a neat fit around the tap, but too big to fit in the housing, and ground it down to fit over the top of the spring clip as a shim to increase the sealing pressure.

I HAD put a new tap on the list of bits to get, but they are 15 and when I had gone to order one, Yambits had been out of stock, and no-one else on e-bay was listing any! So I had to make do. And my little 'improvised repair' seems to have worked. I Used a rubber o-ring, cut & super-glued to size for the union!

OK... so we have FUEL.

I was going to add some two-stroke, just to be on the safe side before start up. But working the engine over on the kick-starter, while bleeding and priming the auto-lube pump showed oil getting to the carb, so I decided to see how it went. Glad I didn't now! But a while to go before we get THERE.

Back to the ignition. I HAD been having problems with this, before, but had given up on it while I sorted the electrics and equipment. Time to get seriouse. A few kicks, and I had a spark. A few more and I has 'some' suggestion of life. But was not starting. So I set about trying to set the points AGAIN, and getting right down and lying on the concrete, eventually realised that the back-plate was wobbling on its mounts!

So, pulled the rotor and tightened it up. Put it all back together, and set the points again. Lots of messing around, I was getting spark, then no spark, and REALLY knackered jumping up and down on the kick-starter! AGAIN!

Then Step-son turned up and provided helping foot.. and did the kicking while I looked at the spark plug! I WAS getting one... only it was tracking down the core, rather than jumping the electrode gap, about three sparks in five!

I went round to the local motor-factors, and bough ONE new plug. I do like old fashioned motor-factors, that will not insist they 'only' come in sets of four!

Came back, dropped it in; fired up first kick! YAY!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned UpYamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

LOOK! SMOKE!

Yeah. Rather worried some-one would call the fire-brigade! Just a LITTLE smokey, me-thinks, but HEY, it RUNS! Aren't I a happy Chappy!

Yamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned UpYamaha DT175MX 'Barn-Find' - OEM Oil Reservoir - Cleaned Up

Clears some-what after warming up, but still a BIT excessive!

So, now down to final fettling. It's looking PRETTY close to being ready for an MOT, unless I find something drastic, in my tinkerings!

Saturday 21 April 2012

THE END!

The bike was stolen.

The district was scoured, but no sign of it. Police were notified. Insurance notified, and alerts put on the forums. A month or so later, it turned up in a Gumtree advert, pictures showing it stripped back down to a field bike, but by the time the police got there, posing as buyers, it had mysteriously been sold to a chap down the pub, as it had allegedly been acquired. A year of wrangling with the insurance company, who used every trick in the book to forestall pay-out followed, and I eventually got a fraction of what it cost to put together, never to have ridden. And there the story ends! What a bastard!

 
 

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