Blog Entry - 04/12/10: Like a proud new father, I followed Donna, aboard the Corporal, about the outskirts of town and out into the country, today! Cold, dark and icy, conditions were horrible, but the corporal worked well, and Donna came back really chuffed, at all but the fact that she still wont go much over 50! De-bugging some electrical gremlins helped, but I think I need to look at the carburettor jetting for that Micron 2 into 1. I set the carbs up to the book, so not surprising their not spot on. But she's in commission and useable, and the 55w halogen headlamp bulb I convinced to fit is rather darn good!
It was also Donna's birthday! However, I jump ahead of myself! I was fiddling with itty bits before, how did this all come together of a sudden? Well, When did we start the Pup-Project? June 2010. The Black-One had been moth-balled as Donna was convinced she could get the Pup 'to-road' in a month..... but in September, it wasn't; and she was starting to tire of Shanks Pony, starting a college course and needing to commute. So, giving her something as a 'rider' was going to be useful.
The Black one and the Corp had both 'come' with dead engines, but tax and test on them. Idea of reviving the Black-One, however was rather scuppered by my inspection and desire not to mugger it around, and the fact I had used our one supposedly 'good' engine to revive the Corporal. Also, the Corporal was still taxed & tested until March, where T&T on the Black-One had run out in August. So, the Corporal it was then!
To remind you where I was; the rebuild had left off the rolling chassis; the frame was painted; new headrace bearings were fitted; overhauled forks were on, overhauled rear suspension was all bolted up. Wheels, cleaned up were fitted, and the repainted engine was 'in'. It was looking a lot like a motorbike, BUT all the nitty gritty fiddly bits needed doing.
So, that was what was done. A better brake assembly was sorted out, cleaned up and overhauled and fitted. Levers and brackets were all cleaned and painted. 'hidden' plastics like the air-boxes and inner mudguards were carefully repaired and cleaned and fitted up, and wiring was strung and sorted. All very time consuming fiddly little detail stuff that doesn't really photograph very well, or show anything that looks like real progress, but where most of a project's time is spent!
Things like this; hot dipping the drive chain in grease. Speedo cable, tacho-cable & the starter chain were done the same way, as were some of the control cables. Then there's the indicators, which are notorious, and all had to be cleaned up inside and decent earth return wires made up for, to ensure reliable operation.
But by the end of November, dressed in its 'old cloths' as far as the tank and side panels and mudguard, it was looking 'complete'.
I was, pretty chuffed with it, to be honest, and a few blasts round the block had me grinning from ear to ear, though I felt a little bit of a fraud, in that my work hadn't been validated by a MOT man, and I was riding about on the certificate awarded when it was a right mess! BUT, it was serviceable, and insured, Donna was able to use it to go to and from college. But it wasn't too happy about it, and refused to go much over 50mph.
Initial investigations into this lack of oomph, centred on the carburetion, and Donna, dear girl she is bought me a set of vacuum gauges for Christmas.... so I could try and make the bike she was riding better! Setting the carbs up 'critically' helped; but not much.
More faffing and a recovery from Leicester, revealed that the horrible choke mechanism was not well aligned, and one of the plugs was coking up, the choke not going 'off' fully, but sorting that with cable ties and elastic bands, still saw the bike fluffy and not pulling its weight too well, and suggesting fuel starvation.
Pondering what course of action to take on this matter, Donna had an idea, so I let her run with it. There's lots of advice on the web about how to treat a rusty petrol tank, most of it about chucking in a handful of pebbles or old washers and shaking, or buying an expensive proprietary solution. Donna, in good housewife fashion suggested vinegar! But first it was washed out thoroughly a few times with washing up liquid and water, getting rid of anything 'loose', then she added the vinegar, shook, left for a few hours, shook again, left over night, shook, left, etc for about a day, and BOY did a whole load more crud come out! Looked a lot cleaner inside though, so we dried it out, filled it with petrol, replaced the inline filter, and put it back on, so she could ride to Leicester again!
This time the nut finger fairy struck! She was running pretty well, though we thought burning a little oil, until an intermittent electrical fault caused cessation of motion! The main earth strap was loose! And on inspection, so were a number of other nuts and bolts! And then Donna's CBT cert expired! So I was left to do the de-bugging!
But March was approaching, and the MOT & Tax was about to expire!
It was also becoming obvious that the engine was rather 'sick', performance getting gradually worse, regardless of my attentions, rather than better, and, I suspect, another 'long lay-up' failure, gummed rings leading to poor performance & pressed into service, accelerated bore wear until expiring!
Starting to leave its own smog-screen behind it, there was no way it would pass its MOT no matter how good the suspension & brakes and 'everything'; so I had to bite the bullet, and take the engine back out for some more major surgery!
NEXT: Part 9 - Engine 'Top End' Rebuild