After the restoration: 7200 Mile Service
Saturday, Dec 20, 2003
I’ve obtained a pair of lever-top carbs that are going to go on the bike as part of it’s 7200 mile service. In preparation for the service I’m first modifying the carbs by the addition of the Bing vacuum take off kit. Kit installation requires drilling holes that are best done with a drill press, so off to Joe’s I went.
First the mounting flange was marked and then the through-the-flange-hole was drilled. This is a small (#52, 0.0635 inch) hole. Then a 15/64 (about 6mm) hole is drilled 1/4 deep. Joe drilled the 15/64 in three steps: 5.5mm, 15/64, then 15/64 with a flat bit to get a flat bottomed hole. The vacuum take offs were slobbered with some lock-tite then insterted into the holes with light taps from a hammer. The only problem was that we put the vacuum take off on the wrong side of the flange. More on that, later.
I still need to check that the jets are tight, the needle hight is as recommended, and the float levels are correct. Then they can be mounting on the bike.
Thursday, Jan 8, 2004
I came back from a ride on the 3rd with just under 7200 miles on the bike and removed the bags and tank bag in preparation for the bikes 7200 mile service. Early Sunday morning (the 4th) my R1150RT wouldn’t start due to a bad battery so I rode the R69S again. Magnetos don’t care about temperatures in the low thirties. The bike now has 7219 miles. The rain has stopped for a while and the garage is warm enough to start working. In addition to the scheduled items I’m going to pull the transmission and replace the external seals.
The air cleaner and battery were the first things off the bike. The battery acid level is fine. The battery went on the charger. The cork gasket for the air cleaner is broken. I think I have another. If not, I’ve got cork and can make one.
The tail pipes and rear tire came off next. The picture of the pipe shows the residue of a plastic garbage bag I ran over a week or three ago. I’m hoping I can get rid of the stains without scratching the chrome. I’ll save that for a rainy day.
Before removing the rear end I pull the drain plug. I got close to the 150 ml that should have been there. Alas, I also got lots of metal bits stuck to the magnet in the drain plug. I don’t thing that is normal. I’ll take the rear end and picture of the drain plug into the shop Saturday for other opinions.
Reminder to self: remove brake linkage before attempting to remove rear end. The picture of the bell crank shows the pivot bolt in backwards. The other end of that bolt rubs on the fender. This will be fixed.
As long as I’m on this side of the bike I may as well detatch the drive shaft from the transmission. The boot is detached from the transmission and folded over to get some room. A couple of allen wrenches are used to stop the drive shaft from rotating when I apply torque to the screws. I’d used locktite last time, so it took a grunt and a half to break the screws loose. I’ve new screws to use when putting things back together.
With the rear fender raised I notice that the insulation around some of the wiring has split. It looks like the sheath around the wire bundle, not the insulation around a wire. In any case I’ll do something about this before putting things back together. The rear fender wires are disconnected at the junction. The picture is to remind me what goes where when it comes time to put things together.
The rear fendor comes off next. I note that the rack is attached above the shock tower mounting flange. When the fendor comes off I can see the damage done by the bell crank pivot bolt. I’ll clean and touch up the fender. It’s in a hidden position, so an exact paint match is not necessary. I just want to protetect the metal from rust.
The first picture is the castle nut that was rubbing on the rear fendor. The pivot bolt was supposed to be installed with the nut on the outside. The brake pivot is removed from the swingarm and the swing arm pivots removed. The swing arm comes off.
At breakfast a week or so ago the discussion of where to mount the solo seat came up. I’m looking for a bit more comfort so I moved the seat from the rear-most position (for heavy riders) to the middle position.
The parts I’ve removed so far are stuck in a freezer bag so they don’t get misplaced. Tools are put away while I attend to cleaning things that have come off the bike: the swing arm, the battery tray, the brake rod, etc. When I get to the air cleaner I see that the paint has worn in spots and some rust has formed. I sand it down. I’ll re-paint.
Jeff came over and kibitzed while I cleaned up the rear part of the frame. We pulled the transmission out and set it asside. I attacked the yellow stain on the frame that I think is from hypoid gear oil leaking from the shift lever seal. The rear of the transmission doesn’t show any drip marks, so any oil on the “tray” is probably from the rear main. There is so little oil there I’m not going to worry about it now. Since the transmission input seal looks good I’ll leave it alone.
That’s all for today. If the weather is nice tomorrow I’ll go over to Jeff’s and use his paint booth for the air cleaner. If not I’ll work on the tail pipes or the transmission shift lever seal. The yellow stain still needs some work, too.
Friday, Jan 9, 2004
I called Jeff to say the weather didn’t look condusive to painting and he replied that the fan in his paint booth went out last night anyway. I’ll take that as a hint that painting is not the thing to do today. Instead I tried removing the baked on plastic from my exhaust pipes. Most of it came off. The pipes polished up quite nice (if you ignore the scratches from where they fell off the bike because some idiot forgot to torque the fasteners :-)
Saturday, Jan 10, 2004
I showed the drain plug picture to Joe this morning and he agreed the the rear end should be opened up. I popped the cover and removed the ring gear to start. Bad wear toward the inside of the gears. The wear is not in the proper place, so re-shiming correctly should be OK.
Ring gear movement gear felt gritty. I pulled the bearing and it feels rough. Joe has a used bearing that feels perfectly smooth. The price is right (free) so I’ll use it. The bad bearing is a no-name made in Turkey. The replacement is an FAG that is thicker than the no-name. Re-shimming calculations will have to start from scratch.
The pinion and pinion bearing look and feel fine. I cleaned the case carefully, making sure no metal bits were inside. Joe is quite busy today, helping Jim with his transmission. We’ll re-shim my rear-end next week.
Sunday, Jan 11, 2004
I enjoy taking the bike apart as it gives me a chance to detail the parts before putting it back together. The exhaust pipes came off so I could get at the burnt on plastic. I also tried to remove the yellow stain on the frame. It seems the stain is in the paint. Goof off reduced the magnitude of the stain, but white residue on the rag tells me that it is removing some of the paint, too.
I drained the oil from the transmission and then removed the shift lever to get at the old shift lever seal. I’m pretty sure the seal was leaking and that the hypoid gear oil is the primary source of the yellow stain on the frame.
It took a half hour of futzing around to get the old seal out. I had some odd shaped soft metal awls that are now even odder shapes. The new seal went in in about 30 seconds. I installed the shift lever and then cleaned up the case. I’ll put the transmission back in the bike and continue with the service after a run to the auto supply house. I’m out of anti-seize for the pipes and mothers metal polish.
Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004
It was too cold in the garage yesterday, but I did go to the store to pick up some needed supplies. It’s warmer this afternoon so I worked on the bike a bit.
The transmission went back into the bike after applying some BMW #10 to the splines. I cleaned and checked the exposed part of the clutch cable. It looks fine. It’s now got a fine coat of the same grease I use for wheel bearings and swing arm bearings, waterproof boat trailer grease.
The swing arm was reinstalled with the bolt holding the brake linkage bell crank inserted the correct way this time. The left shock mount was attached to the swing arm. My silent blocks are loose in the shock eyes. Also, I notice that the washer is smaller than the shock eye. This means the shock could slide off the silent block. I wonder if that is normal.
Maybe I should have skipped working on the bike today. I went to fill the transmission with oil and realized that I didn’t have enough. I was at the store yesterday and forgot to buy some. Then I dropped the rear fendor while trying to install it and put some nice scratches in the paint. The fender was not in the best of shape in the first place as I didn’t do any body work, just had it painted. Now it is in worse shape. Sigh.
Anyway, the bike is ready to attach the drive shaft to the transmission, install the rear end (when it has been fixed), and continue with the normal part of the service. I’ll do some of that tomorrow, weather permitting.
Thursday, Jan 15, 2004
The wet/fog didn’t break until quite late in the afternoon. As a result I only spent an hour and a half in the garage. That was just enough time to hook up the drive shaft and remount the mufflers.
In my belt and suspenders approach I used new screws with lockwashers and locktite. That should keep them from backing off.
I used lots of anti-sieze when installing the headers and mufflers. The only down side is that once you get some on your fingers it gets all over the bike. After putting the exhaust back together I had to clean it again.
Saturday, Jan 17, 2004
I got to the shop early Saturday, anxious to get my final drive back together. Of course since I was early Joe was late. Jim, his dad, and I BSed in the parking lot until Joe showed up.
Joe showed me where he hid the shims for the pinion. I measured several and took one from the middle pile as a starting point. The case was heated and the pinion gear dropped in. I figured I’d have to do this more than once. The goal is to get gear contact in the middle with the proper backlash.
The ring gear was blued, inserted into the case with a brass shim, and rotated checking for backlash. The first shim was too thin… no backlash at all. The second shim felt pretty good. Some back-and-forth was applied to the gear to see where the teeth meshed. Picture 3 shows that contact is in the middle of the gear. Perfect. Looks like I guessed right picking one of the middle pinion bearing shims.
The measurement in the shop manual were made to select the shim for ring gear side play. First time the shim was too thick and when I tightened the cover it put pressure on the ring gear removing the backlash and making it quite tight to turn. Second try was much better.
Tuesday/Thursday, Jan 20/22, 2004
I don’t remember where I got my silent blocks, but they were not very good quality. The diameter was too small so they would fall out of the shock eye. The first two pictures compares the two old blocks with one of the new blocks. The new block is ribbed, has a chamfered edge for easier insertion, and uses thicker metal. The last picture shows the new block installed. Even with the chamfered edge it took quite a bit of pressure to slide it into the shock eye.
I cleaned up the final drive and did a little work on the brake shoes. The material is wrong – it’s made for hydraulic brakes – but I’ll live with it a while longer. I noticed that the shoes had never been chamfered so I dressed the ends and filed off the glaze. I’m curious to see if this makes a difference.
The rear end is back on the bike. I picked up some gear oil and topped off the transmission, filled the rear end, and added about 120 cc to the drive shaft. No leaks, so far.
The drain plug was pulled. It’s free of any metal bits.
Once the oil drained the oil pan was removed and cleaned. The oil screen looks fine so I’m not going to bother removing it for cleaning.
I removed the slightly-too-large fuel line and will replace
it with the correct stuff. I also removed the petcock filter.
Cleaner than last time but still a bit of junk found. I then removed the old carbs and put on the new carbs that I drilled for vacuum take-offs. Damn: we put the take-offs on the wrong side of the carb flange. I’m going to have to loosen the carbs to be able to remove the screws and attach the vacuum hose. The O-rings on the new carbs broke upon installation. Not unexpected with 30 year old rubber. I used the O-rings from the carbs that were on the bike. I’ll need to order some new ones.
Some paint came off the bottom of the oil pan as I was cleaning it. Since I had the paint out for the air cleaner housing I added a coat to the bottom of the oil pan, too. The paint only looks like fake chrome when wet. It dries to an aluminum colored finish. At least it did last time I used it.
Saturday, Jan 24, 2004
Spent a little time in the garage this afternoon after taking a short ride on the R1150RT with Chris.
It’s been 36+ hours since I painted the bottom of the oil pan. A new gasket was gooped up with hylomar and the pan installed on the bike. I used 25 in-lbs of torque on the retaining screws. The screws were gooped up with hylomar, too. 2 qts of oil were added and a pan placed under the bike just in case. Tomorrow I’ll know if there are any leaks.
I was thinking about the vacuum take off problem the other
day when it came to me that the take offs don’t need to be as long as
they are. I pulled them out and cut off about 4.5 mm from each one.
The fit is much better now. I won’t have to loosen the carbs to attach the twin-max.
Sunday, Jan 25, 2004
No leaks from the oil pan. I cut new fuel line, this time using line of the proper diameter. Thanks, Jeff. I also made a new gasket for the air cleaner.
My paint technique needs work – the air cleaner housing has a run. I’ll sand it down and re-paint later. For now it will go back on the bike. The filter looked good so I blew it out and put it back on the bike.
I removed the hub nut and washed the grease off of the hub cap. A little mothers metal polish made it look good again. The bearing stack was removed and the wheel bearings checked. They are fine.
The bearings were cleaned and then re-packed with fresh boat trailer grease before the stack was put back into the hub. I hit the rim with some polish and checked for any loose spokes. The re-assembled wheel was put back on the bike and the rear brake adjusted. I think I’ll do the front wheel, next.
Monday, Jan 26, 2004
No pictures, today. I checked and re-packed the bearings on the front wheel, cleaned the shoes on the front wheel, checked the spokes, and lubricated/adjusted all cables. The battery was in my way on the work bench so I put it back in the bike, too. Left to do are valve, spark plug, timing, and carburator adjustments. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Maybe I’ll finish up Wednesday or Thursday.
Wednesday, Jan 28, 2004
Jeff came over this afternoon while I was working on the audio hook-up for my R1150RT. Since the modern bike doesn’t interest him I switched to working on the /2. I checking and adjusting the valves while he took pictures. Tomorrow we’ll do the timing.
I popped off the valve cover and cleaned it up, getting the gasket surface as dry as possible. The engine was placed at TDC and the valves wiggled. Tight, wrong side at TDC. I rotated the engine to TDC again, this time for the correct cylinder.
The plug came out. Looked OK. I checked the head torque. It was fine, too. The exhaust valve checked a little tight. The intake was right on. Not bad as it’s been 2400 miles since the valves were last checked.
I adjusted the exhaust. After 2 or 3 tries it felt right. Some oil was added to the rocker arm assembly before putting the valve cover back on the bike. The center nut for the valve cover was put on hand tight. I’ve not lost one yet, nor have I pulled a stud out of a head.
The right side was pretty close to a repeat of the left.
The only difference was that the right exhaust was still fine; neither intake nor exhaust valves needed adjustment. The valve cover was put back on the bike and both plugs torqued to 10 ft-lbs with a fresh coat of anti-seize.
Thursday, Jan 29, 2004
Jeff came over. We went out to lunch then came back to finish the 7200 mile service. I started by installing the tiny tach to the battery cover with velcro. The first picture also shows my twin max hooked up to the carbs.
I routed the wire from the tiny tach under the tank, through the airway and wrapped it around the left spark plug wire for the recommended 4 turns. The airway cover was replaced with the ground for the tiny tach under the retaining nut. The excess wire was bundled up and cable tied then stuffed under the tank.
The rotor was removed and checked, then regreased and put back on the end of the cam to check the point gap. The gap was a bit tight, so was adjusted to be within spec. This took the typical 4 or 5 tries. After the gap was set the static timing was checked. It was close, very close.
The rotor was re-installed and the bike started. It only took a few kicks. A little time was spent adjusting the idle of the new carbs. The timing light showed the timing to be off. Damn, I forgot about rotor wiggle when I did the static timing. OK, remove the rotor again, adjust the timing, put the rotor on and tighten it before checking static timing. Repeat until close.
Better this time, but still not perfect. I gave the bike some RPM to check the advance. It advances. It stops with the F mark in the middle of the window. I needed to use my externally powered timing light to see the F, as the cheap light doesn’t fire at higher RPMs. The good light shows some S jump. Not enough to worry about.
Damn, forgot to check the brushes. I removed the vibration damper for a closer look – it’s fine – and then pulled the brushes out to check them. They’re about 1 mm shorter than brand new brushes. The old ones went back in the bike.
The vibration damper was re-installed and the generator bolt tightened to the recommended 14 ft-lbs. The front cover then went back on the bike. The only thing left to do is tweak the carbs.
I used the twin max to set the idle and off idle carb balance. This is a rough setting as I really need to give the bike a test ride to bring it up to full operating temperature before doing any serious carb adjustment. The idle mixture is still set to its 2-turns-from-seated starting position recommended in the bing book.
The twin max was removed and the timing hole plug was put in place. The bike is ready to ride. I’m busy tomorrow, but plan to ride it to Joe’s Saturday. I’ll probably finish final carb tweaking when I return Saturday afternoon. The tiny tach is working fine. It’s telling me that the bike was running for about 16 minutes total since it was installed. When setting the carbs it told me my idle was about 750 RPM. Neat.
I had a hell of a time getting the bike to run right after the service, and assumed it was due to the new carbs. So I put the old carbs back on the bike and it still ran bad. Again with the new carbs. I measured the fuel flow. It was fine. Other things I tried:
The condensor lead was frayed at the solder joint, so I unsoldered the lead and resoldered it after dressing the ends. There was no difference in the way the machine ran. I later swapped condensors. Again, no difference.
I’d been running one of the potted coils since my original coil was suspect. The original was swapped for a rewound coil a while back. I figured now was the time to try the rewound coil. The spark is stronger with the rewind coil, but the bike still has no power after about 50% throttle.
The stronger sparc from the rewound coil did a better job of triggering my timeing light, letting me see that the advance was going beyond the F mark. Time for the Brian Caro stop screw. The screw comes from an old set of points. The advance now stops at the F. There’s still no power after about 50% throttle.
Well… the problem is not fuel. It’s not spark. All that’s left is air. I replaced the air cleaner. That made a big difference in operation. Using the new air cleaner I re-adjusted the carbs and found I’d gone from no power at 50% to a stumble up to about 40%, then plenty of power. Raising the needles one stop cured the low power stumble. The bike is running fine, but I may try 40 idle jets just to see if it makes a difference.
Conjecture: the old air filter has a top and a bottom. Did I put it in upside down without thinking? Maybe. That would explain the symptoms as the “top” is a solid sheet of metal with a small hole for the air cleaner housing bolt. It would do a great job of blocking air flow if put in up-side-down.
One other issue remains: I was not happy with the initial results using the vacuum take-offs. I adjusted idle and off-idle using the “short one side, then the other” method. I’ve been riding it this way for a while. Soon I’ll adjust the carbs again, this time using the vacuum take-offs to comare.