Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Got My Mojo Workin' Today

Here we have the complete arsenal for removing a key from the bottom of the crankcase - Maglite, inspection light with magnet on the end, epoxy, double sided tape, pick-up tool, hemostat, TIG filler rod, and a piece of sheet metal. I cut the piece of sheet metal and put a little hook on the end and it was doing fine dragging the key up the side of the case as I was turning the crank until it got almost to the top and then the clearance tightened up. I poked it down to the bottom again and finally managed to get it turned so it was aligned with the slot between the flywheels. Then it was just a matter of getting the hole in the top of the key over the drain plug hole and slipping the hook in the end of the wire up into the hole and hoisting away. Sure glad that's over. Since I rarely have the time to do things once, I hate to have to do things twice, especially something like jerking the motor all apart again. Even more so when it's my own stupidity.

However, picking up where I left off, I've got the cams in and the cover on so I can check the end play. I'll get that done yet today so I can pick up the shims tomorrow. I like the look of the stainless Allen bolts in the cover. I need to buy a long reach wrench for them that fits a 3/8" drive ratchet. I've got a couple of the long reach Allens in the most commonly used metric sizes and they are handy as hell.  

And might as well finish up with a little Muddy Waters - the man who always had his Mojo workin'.

File This One Under

It's my own fault/I know better than that/nice going, dumbass.

If you look at the photo in the last post, you'll notice that the ignition switch with key is hanging over the top of the newly installed engine. You'll also notice the shop rags placed in the case bores to keep the connecting rods from banging around and to prevent anything from falling down into the crankcase - see where this is going?

The key in the ignition switch made a 25 mile trip on both back roads and the interstate with no hint of falling out. It made the move from the barn to the shop and onto the stand, still no problem with it coming out. Still firmly in place when I wrestled the motor into place and bolted up the oil tank, battery box and the engine bolts. However, less than one minute after removing the shop rags from the holes so I could turn the crank to line up the timing marks prior to checking the end play on the cams, the key fell out, bounced once and made it's way to the bottom of the crankcase. Damn!

So far all my efforts to retrieve it have been in vain. Since the engine is a dry sump, there is very little room around the crank flywheels. But there is enough room for the key to make it's way to the bottom. I've got a couple of more things to try yet before I start taking the engine back out of the frame but I'm not real optimistic. I might be able to shake the key out if I turn the engine upside down - probably have to get another guy to help me do the shaking but I damn sure don't want to have to take the engine apart again. 

It's just never easy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Engine's In

I've solved all the mysteries associated with the drain plugs. One of the 5/8" plugs goes in the side of the engine to plug the hole for the timing mark and the other one goes for the drain plug on the oil tank. Except now, there is a third 5/8" plug and that one is for the engine oil drain. I fixed the threads in the case to accept the drain plug from the oil tank so I'll need to pick a new one of those up. It takes an "O" ring so it should seal up nicely without having to tighten it up very much. Just give the "O" ring a decent crush and it should be leakproof. I drilled it for safety wire so it won't be able to work loose even if it's not real tight. 

I also put never seize on all the plugs as well. This prevents the threads wanting to gall and the galvanic action that occurs between aluminum and steel. Any time you stick a steel bolt into an aluminum case or cylinder head, if you don't grease up the threads you're just asking for trouble. Either that or bolt a sacrificial zinc to the side of your bike like you would on your yacht.

Anyway, the engine is in the frame and I can start assembling the rest of the engine. Pretty happy with that. 

Also this is blog post number 1,000 for Shop Teacher Bob. Probably should have tried to post something of real importance to celebrate the event but since that rarely occurs anyway, why would today be any different. I'll just keep plugging away with misspelled words, bad grammar and syntax errors on subjects that I enjoy discussing. Thanks to everyone who stops by and gives a little of your time to listen to whatever it is I have to say.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photo From Here

Don't know what it is but it's sho' nuff cute.

Ran into a little trouble yesterday with the Sportster project. I got the oil pump cleaned up, timed and re-installed only to find out that the threads for the engine drain plug are pretty well stripped. There are three drains on the bottom of the engine. One is for the transmission and it's already been Heli-Coiled. Looks like a 1/2"-13 thread. I doubt if that was the original thread but it is what it is. There is another plug off to the side that's a 1/8" NPT and then there is the engine plug that appears to have been a 9/16" -18 thread. There are a couple of 5/8" plugs in among the parts but I'm not sure if they are for something or if the previous owner was going to go larger on the plug diameter and use one of those. 

I just wish I had seen the threads before I put everything together. I would have just gotten a new drain plug, welded up the case and redrilled and tapped the hole. Not like I haven't done that a few times. I've got a couple of ideas for a fix without taking the cases back apart, however. Just have to see how it all works out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Primary Drive

I got the primary drive and clutch put together on the Sportster. The two tools I made to hold things tight while torquing the clutch hub nut and the crank sprocket worked as planned. The previous owner had made a tool for compressing the clutch springs and that too went well. I need to get the oil pump mounted and then I can wrestle the engine into the frame.  Maybe today, maybe not. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

County Fair

The Missus and I took a hot lap around the local county fair earlier in the week. Can't go to the fair without a stroll through the dairy barn  - along with sheep, goats, hogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks and turkeys. No pigeons, though. I'm starting to get hot to go on pigeons for some reason.

The Retired Iron club was gearing up for the tractor parade around the fair grounds so I didn't get a good look at all of the old machinery but from what I saw, lots of interesting stuff this year.

Like this Allis grader. That'd be just the ticket for maintaining the lane.

Good looking Ford tractor. A few of the tractors have been restored to a pretty high level of finish with better than new paint jobs.

Always a couple of equipment dealers present to show off their latest models. I'd like to get a tractor with a bucket loader - make moving snow around a bit easier and they can't be beat for lifting heavy things. This one had a price tag of close to $18K. The salesman said he'd cut me a good deal, of course when don't they say that? For that money I think I'll just stick with my old Allis and try to avoid lifting heavy things. Of course, a truck like the old Chevy up there with a Holmes 440 bolted down on the back would be able to lift some heavy things. 

They were supposed to do a 5K fun run last Sunday morning at the fair grounds I was planning on running, but it was cancelled due to the weather. The Missus was down there on Saturday to check out the pie and cake judging (she scored a second place with both her carrot cake and gooseberry pie) and heard the announcement. Saved me and my running buddy a trip at least.

I cheated on the diet and had a pork tenderloin sandwich for dinner while we were there. Actually it isn't really cheating, it's more like a requirement if you live in Indiana. The weather was nice and cool, unlike what it usually was when I was working the blacksmith shop in the past. Made for a pleasant afternoon for the Missus and I.

 Looks like a couple more nice days still before the weather turns hot. Enjoy them while they're here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plenty Long and Hell For Strong

I got the bike stand stretched. Since I wasn't going to use the tilt function I altered the back end. - made a little frame out of 2x4s, put a stretcher on the bottom to tie it in and then ran a couple more 2x4s along the outer edge to bridge across where the hinge is. I also added a couple of splice plates that have a loop welded to them for tie-downs. Easy enough done and no additional cost to yours truly. If I had been thinking, I'd have trimmed out a little section where the lip of the ramp fits so the ramp would lie a bit flatter when I put it on there. Everything is screwed together, so I can do that after I get the bike off of there.

The bike fits up on the stand like a champ. I could use a couple more soft ties for the back end to keep from scratching the paint. There's a good spot to grab the frame right behind the shocks but not the best for a hook, even if rubber coated. Actually I could just put the tie-downs straight onto the handlebars and use the soft ties in the back. Probably wouldn't hurt to put some padding on the end of the handlebars either - maybe something big and soft like an old pair of boxing gloves. Maybe even do it before I skull myself.

Besides the bike, I still need to get some things tightened up around the shop. I stick welded the loops to the splice plates but I'm afraid to weld anything inside the shop for fear of burning the place to the ground. Not that big of deal to drag things outside on a nice sunny day but it's not always sunny. Or warm. And I damn sure don't need a 600 amp electrode holder for a 3/32" rod. I used to have a little whip lead but can't find the damn thing. I do have another lead with a 200 amp holder but it needs a connector on the end that fastens to the welder. One more thing to add to the list but since I'm going to be doing most of my welding at home now, probably be time well spent getting things in order.

I need to spring for a good cordless drill, as well. The cheap-o from Harbor Freight won't hold a charge for any length of time. I bought it when I was putting the sheeting on the new barn a few years back and it's served me well but it's about time I bought myself a decent DeWalt or something similar. Having dropped one off the scaffolding onto the concrete in the past, I've been hesitant to shell out the dough for a good one but I can't see doing a whole lot of that kind of work in the future. 

Things are good - projects are getting done and the weather has been perfect. Can't ask for much more than that.