Engine in

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  • Build: Natasha
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J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC One person shouldn't lift an engine, but only one can really manhandle it into position.

I've actually written a list of things on a post-it note to talk about in this entry. There has been a very very full eleven hours of work since the last entry. Time to catch up.

I scrubbed/degreased/repainted the engine mounts to match the frame. I'm not going to polish the bolts/nuts as they will stand out too much against all the flat black. So once everything is back in place I'll go over them with some flat black paint and a paintbrush. (I did actually polish the top rear engine mount bolt as it is the only one that is visible.)

Some of the more difficult areas of the engine/alternator/clutch covers to get to with the 8"polishing wheel got some close attention with the Dremel. These little abrasive wheels are awesome at getting those deeper scratches out, albeit at a high cost. I think I went through about six to finish the remaining parts, and at $2.something each they are a little pricey. 

When the engine was masked off for painting I didn't really get super accurate with taping off the flat faces where the covers and gaskets meet, so again with the Dremel I went back over and cleaned up those faces prior to putting new gaskets on and replacing the covers. I did give everything a good blast with 125psi of air to get rid of the accumulated dust etc. Once Natasha is finished I will fill the engine up with oil, and run it for a while, I will then drain and flush the oil out again, and replace the oil filter and fill with fresh oil. This should make sure we get everything bad out of the engine; it has been open for a long time on my workbench and a lot of grinding/sanding/polishing work has occurred around about it.

I rebuilt the alternator/generator, which was just the reverse of taking it apart. I found one extra screw in my little disassembly pile, but after going over everything again, I must assume it fell out from another pile and wasn't actually part of the alternator/generator assembly.

The Doctor: Don't worry. I've put everything back the way I found it. Except this. There's always a bit left over, isn't there? 

And when you've cleaned and polished everything back to a semi-new state, some of the existing items then look really old and dirty. I am talking specifically about the glass-fiber woven wire cover for the timing system cables. I may look online and see if I can find something to replace it with. I tried cleaning it but it stayed a permanent shade of ugly brown. :(

I replaced the old mounting bolts for the covers with some nice stainless steel socket cap bolts. These really look good against the newly polished covers. (I am waiting the final few to arrive; specifically for the timing cover and the left hand side clutch cover.)

And those wonderful people from Dime City Cycles delivered at the right moment the final few items I need for Natasha. Most importantly were the new headlamp mounts which are really beautifully made. I also got some fancy red pod air filters, a stainless steel brake line and bits (although I forgot the banjo bolts. Duh!), and a nice set of foot pegs. 

If you remember I totally mashed the crankcase oil seal, so that needed to be replaced. Rubber from the old one was incredibly well fused to the inside of the seal location, so I had to clean that out with the Dremel and an abrasive wheel. The oil seal was a tight fit, but I used a socket that was exactly the right diameter and tapped gently with a hammer until it was properly seated. A little bit nerve wracking. I didn't want to wait a week to get a new one if I screwed this one up.

I thought about getting some help to lift the engine in, but it's really a one person maneuver isn't it? There is no space for two people to lift, and then getting it into the frame is a matter of balance and precision. I used cardboard to protect the frame as I knew it would be more than a little tricky getting it in the right position first go. That and I hurt my back a bit about a week previously, so I really was aiming for a very quick transfer from workbench to frame.

In one swift move I had the engine in the frame. Woot! Next came getting the first lower long bolt through the engine and bolted into position. After that it was just a matter of shifting the engine slightly to get the rest in. By the time I came to the front engine mounts it was pretty much perfect. And once the engine was in I started to go a bit crazy with mounting things back on the bike, hence why there is a gap in photos; I was just too focused on moving forward with Natasha.

I have to say I love the red air pod filters. That splash of red in among all the black and silver is perfect. I'm definitely getting rid of the pink carburetor vent/overflow hoses, but may go with red instead of black. I also have red spark-plug cables, but we'll see if that's too much. As I've said previously, less is more.

In order to put the new headlamp mounts on, I had to remove the top triple clamp, but then I couldn't get it back on because the weight of the bike changed the position of the forks. So after purchasing a simple scissors jack, I lifted up the front wheel by jacking up from underneath the engine while securing the back of the bike with tie-down straps, then removed the front wheel, which I needed to anyway since I still had to polish the wheel spacer that I had forgotten to do previously, and then put everything back together again. 

I need some spacer washers to mount the headlamp between the new mounts, so those will be purchased from Lowes. And the original bolts need some polishing too. Depending on how it all looks I think the headlamp might move down the forks a bit. We will see.

Current hours on build: 113.0 

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