Saturday, January 28, 2012

Maintenance Day.

Warning: the following post is heavily Norton-biased.
Reader discretion is advised.
Today was one of those days where everything falls into place nicely and you get loads done without even making an effort. The weather was beautiful: crisp fresh air with a sunny blue sky and not a lot of traffic out on the streets.
I met Witold at Peppe's workshop, the latter was working on a Norton Model 7, a conservative restoration that's nearing completion, yet still with some hurdles to overcome.
Witold and I then made a quick stop at his place and went to my garage, where we set about doing an oil and filter change on my Commando. First though, we took them both out for a spin, to get the oil warm.
There is an oil filter in the oil tank, a spin-on cartridge filter fitted remotely and two sump plugs, one big with an internal filter and a smaller one at the front of the crankcases, to let all the oil out. Both sump plugs are magnetised and there was a little bit of metallic dust attached to them, but nothing serious. I thoroughly cleaned all the parts and refitted them, then went about unscrewing the old cartridge filter. As anyone who's done this can attest, this can be a bitch of a job: the filters expand with heat and get properly stuck so that removal becomes often very difficult. Luckily Witold improvised a sandpaper strip that he placed on the filter, for the strap wrench to grip onto. Then using an extended lever we got it out. New filter in, fresh oil and I'm good to go for the season. All I'll need is a small quantity of oil to carry in my travel kit, for top ups.
And then just as we were finishing up, Gianluca came by with his Dominator 99, also to do an oil change.

Friday, January 27, 2012

cleanliness is next to godliness

The crankcases are all cleaned up and ready for reassembly, whenever that may be...

This makes a huge difference and after the engine is finally rebuilt - whenever that may be - I will do some more detailing to make sure it all looks as neat as possible (for example on the primary and timing covers). For the time being however, I've put these away, waiting for the workshop to give me a call...

Below: the fire extinguisher is at the ready, in case of spontaneous combustion.

If you squint really hard you can start getting a sense of what this thing is gonna look like. But you have to squint so hard you practically end up looking (god-knows-how-many) months into the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BSA numerology

So, this happened while I was cleaning the crankcases.
Perhaps it's the solvent fumes talking but all these numbers started surfacing through the dirt and I can only assume they hold some sort of coded message for some higher truth...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Halfway there.

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

This is the drive side half of the crankcase. After soaking it in some degreasing solution I scrubbed all the dirt and muck off it with some stronger solvent, quickly figured out I needed a mask with breathing filters and finally got it to this stage. I think it came out quite well, especially if you look at the before photos and see how filthy it was. The good thing is, there are no stains or pitting, and underneath all that dirt, the alloy was shiny and good as new.

Tomorrow I tackle the timing/gearbox side (below, yuk) and by Thursday I should have this thing ready to go.