Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Swingarm Success

As you can see, the swingarm is off the bike.  It was a bit of a hassle because it required a socket to be machined down in order to remove the bolts.  I have to thank a friend who helped me out with that.  Saved me a bundle of money and/or time.  Thanks again.
Machined 27mm socket.
The other hassle was removing the four bolts that hold the drive-shaft to the transmission output.  They are pretty inaccessible, and the rubber boot is really in the way.

No more swingarm.

Parts Packages

My parts have arrived.  They are as thrashed and rusty as I could have hoped for.  I definitely won't feel guilty about hacking them to pieces.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Bargain

Gustavo (that's our car's name) can go no bigger.
Even though I don't really believe in all the madness, we caved to the pressure of Black Friday and bought a TV for the living room.  Technically, we got it Thursday, so we are better than most Black Friday shoppers.

I did extensive research and decided to get what many sources were calling one of the best deals this year, a 60" LED backlit smart TV.  My dad and I trekked to Walmart and waited in line to score this giant Vizio.

We got it home, just barely (see above), and it's working great.  The only problem is we can't find our rabbit ears, so it looks like we're going to miss Sunday Morning tomorrow on CBS.  I still have no intention of paying for cable or satellite.

It is sitting on our old dining table right now.  Hopefully we will come up with a permanent place for it soon.

The best part is, I was able to hook it up to my speakers using a fiber optic cable and the sound is amazing.
The worst part is I now have something in my house worth stealing, so I'm going to be paranoid about locking up.  I'm going to have to remember to start closing the back door when we leave too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Inspiration 3

I like the seat setup on this thing.

This exhaust is very similar to what I'm thinking of.

16 cell EVO2 battery photo
This is the battery I'm thinking of using.  It is pretty spendy, but I think it will fit perfectly in the air box and help create a super clean look.  I can buy it on Amazon too!

Cool BMW.

Moto Guzzi Le Mans
Cool seat and tail thingy.

Custom BMW motorcycle
This is a very clean BMW.  I like the seat and rear fender.  The front fender is also pretty clean.  Apparently, this thing has been lowered a couple inches.

I saw one of these Triumphs on the street and they had removed the hideous fender and taillights.  It looked pretty sweet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Strip Show Redux

Starting to look pretty bare.
It was time to tackle the intimidating electricals, not to mention the hydraulics.

Before I did that, I started with something easy:  the final drive unit.
It wasn't too bad.  I just had to disconnect the rear brake, remove the brake shoes, take off the shock then remove four nuts.  A couple smacks with the trusty dead blow hammer loosened it up and the job was done.

Now it was time for the electricals.  I actually made video of me removing them, but I will spare you that fun.  I like to save absurd videos for the house-related posts.
There were a couple tricky connectors and things, but it wasn't too bad.  The worst part is that I unplugged everything inside the headlight when I didn't need to.  It may never go back together.  Thank god I have a full-color wiring diagram.

The instrument panel came off first.

Then the headlight.
This is before I tore into it.
 And everything with it.
The infamous wiring harness.  I only know what 1/4 of the wires are for.

Hand grips and controls were next.

And the handlebars themselves.

Here is my inspiration for the entire project:  the handlebar mounts.  They are amazing - raw aluminum in the perfect shape.
Aerodynamic perfection.

There was also the master cylinder and the front caliper.

I also have some part purchases to report.  I ordered the exhaust nut wrench along with a bunch of random maintenance parts like gaskets and oil filters.  I also got the rebuild kit for my carbs.  All of it came from

I also made some ebay purchases.  All from one seller, I got header/exhaust pipes, a rear subframe, and a timing chain cover to basically replace the one I broke the bolt in.  These are all identical parts to what I have, but they are cheap and allow me to keep the original parts in-tact in the off chance I want to return to stock someday.

I also picked up a new front fender five minutes ago.

Before all that, I got a new air box.

Here's some fun numbers.  The price to get these parts new and what I payed.  All prices not including shipping.
Air box:  $160 new; $30 ebay
Rear frame:  $592.94 new; $32 ebay
Exhaust:  $478.58 new; $65 ebay
Timing cover:  $356.72 new; $36 ebay
Front fender:  $188.66 new; $10 ebay

I have reached an interesting milestone - I have now spent more on parts and miscellaneous stuff for the motorcycle than I paid for the motorcycle itself.  Does this project make sense any more?  I don't think it ever did.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fluid Flush

It was time to drain the fluids in preparation for the final stages of disassembly. Above is the engine oil draining.

I also pulled off the oil pan.  It was a little stubborn,  but a couple hits with the new dead blow hammer and a pry from a screwdriver freed it up.  I am definitely going to need a new gasket.

The other half of the gasket and the inside of the engine.

Next came the transmission oil.

Then the drive-shaft oil and the the final drive oil, which are separate.  The drive-shaft drain plug is hiding right behind the rod for the rear brake.

This thing is now bone dry and ready to come apart in a big way.  That, however, will have to wait until after a trip to the machine shop for one very important thing.  Find out what that is next time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Filthy Filter

This is what the furnace filter looked like when we moved in.  I'm pretty sure it was time for a replacement.

This is what the new one looks like.  I can barely tell the difference.

It's kind of shocking how negligent some people can be, even with something as important as their home, and in this case, air quality.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Messy Motorcycle

Just a bit of grime.
The underside of my motorcycle is filthy.  It's not just the underside either.  This thing is grimy.
I took my first shot at cleaning it up, and it got messy.

There's not much to say other than I spent a lot of time scrubbing most of the motorcycle with engine cleaner.
A lot better, but lots of work left to do.
I got a lot of grime off, but there is still a ton left.  The rest will have to wait until I take the engine out of the frame, which will not happen until I buy the infernal fin nut wrench.

Here's my beautiful work area.  Had to remove the lift for access.
Those black rags started off red.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Format Change

You may have noticed the layout of the blog has changed.
This is a direct result of the old format being terribly slow and miserable to work with.

Hopefully this new one will make your experience at Pekema Projects much better.

Toilet Handle Redux

Old Gold, and his flapper friend.
I know everyone is champing at the bit for another blog about the flush handle on our toilet, so I decided it was time to deliver.
This post is actually somewhat interesting; I promise.

We got our first water bill and were shocked to learn we used over 14,000 gallons of water in the last 50 days.  I am pretty sure 90% of that goes to watering the lawns, but I decided I should try to conserve a little more in the house.

As anyone knows who has showered at the house, there are no gains to be made there.  We also have a super efficient washing machine, so the biggest target is the toilet, especially since Chrissy doesn't agree with my philosophy that it is alright to go seven days without flushing if there is just pee in there.

Anyway, we got an adapter that lets you select between two flush volumes.  There's a little flush for "liquid waste" and a full flush for when you've got a full load to dispose of.

The best part is, the handle replaces the tacky gold one in the guest bathroom.  I started with one, and if all goes well, I will retrofit the master bath soon.  So far, everything is working well, and the new handle looks much better.

If you're considering doing this, I recommend you inspect your fill valve before beginning.  If it's fine, don't bother buying a kit that includes a new fill valve.  They try to bundle that with the dual flush unit and say how they work together to save water, but there is usually no need for it.  Save your money and just get the flushing unit.

This is the unit I got:

Reluctant Rotor

Last time, I stopped after loosening the bolt that holds the alternator rotor to the crankshaft.  That's not the end of the story for removing it.
It turns out the rotor is wedged onto a taper on the end of the crankshaft, so you have to forcibly pull it off to remove it.  The way you do that is by removing the bolt, inserting a small rod in the hole, then re-installing the bolt.  When you tighten the bolt, the end of it presses against the rod, which presses against the crank and the rotor is forced off.
That is all good in theory, but it is pretty stressful to actually do that on your own bike.  I had no idea what kind of unholy bonding had taken place since this thing was last taken apart (1977?).  I get pretty nervous when it seems like harm could come to vital components like the crankshaft.  Luckily that particular component is a piece of hardened steel, so it should hold up pretty well.

Anyway, I cut the head off the bolt in the above photos (as the service manual recommends) and slipped it into the hole.  I searched in vain for my tub of grease; it seems to have vanished.  I eventually decided to lube the threads of the bolt with old motor oil.  I threaded the bolt in and started tightening.  And nothing happened.  I started getting nervous.  I put a little more torque on it and still nothing.  I backed out the bolt and it looked fine.
I re-lubed and tried again.  This time I put quite a bit of torque on it and started getting the sinking feeling that something was yielding.  Back the bolt out again.  Looks fine.
I went for it again and after cranking on it pretty hard, the rotor finally popped off.  I pulled out my little rod and discovered there definitely was some yielding going on.  It developed a hell of a dimple where the bolt was pressing on it, not to mention a subtle S curve.  That thing was straight when I put it in there.

So, everything came out fine in the end.  Big sigh of relief

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Miracle Product: Rolling Stool with Tool Shelf

This is not really a miracle, but it is one of the most convenient things I've used in a long time.  I can roll around the garage and have a selection of tools handy wherever I go.  Brilliant!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Strip Show

Now that I have determined the engine, transmission, and clutch all need to be closely inspected, I have started really pulling things apart.
Additionally, since I will be relocating the battery and all the electricals are in rough shape, I have decided to pull all of that off and replace most of it as well.  I just need to be very careful, since we all know electricity is magic and is more or less impossible to understand.
Notice that I strapped the bike to the lift.  Sometimes I'm smarter than I look.
I pulled off the seat and tank again and started going to town.  First up were the carburetors and then the airbox and starter cover/intake.  Next up were the giant ignition coils.

I want to start on the exhaust, but I need a special wrench to avoid destroying the fancy fin-nuts.

Rear wheel removed, fairly easily.  Had to deflate the tire to pull it out.  I also discovered why there is so much space to the left of the wheel in rear swing-arm.  It's so you can remove the wheel.  I think I have an idea of how to cover that up a bit.
Notice the hammer on the floor.  I said it came off fairly easily.

The front wheel came off easily as well.  Note to self:  spacer goes on the left.

Next up was removing the alternator.

Then I ran into a problem.  When trying to unscrew the rotor from the crankshaft the engine kept turning, which is actually a good sign.  That engine rebuild may not be needed after all.
Anyway, I had to figure out a way to keep the engine from turning when loosening the fastener.

I decided to remove the starter and jam a screwdriver in the teeth on the flywheel.
Here's the giant starter, with a ghetto-fabulous setup to remove a bolt that is ridiculously difficult to access.  That is a 1/4 inch wrench that I used to loosen a 13mm nut.

Once I got the infernal starter off, I had a lovely assistant hold the flywheel while I unscrewed the alternator rotor.

And that's where I left things.
This really escalated quickly.