I was finally able to convince ‘Oaken shield’ to part with his bike that he’d had sat in his garage for seven years.
Having started to break it down its obvious that he’d already put some work into the project but as happens to the best of us, time and funds dictate a different path in life …. so my gain ….. Hurrah.
This is my first venture into “Big Twins” and their ‘interesting’ engine/gearbox arrangements (the sporty was so much easier) … and who thought of having the gearbox as part of the rear swing arm?? Anyway the bike is almost stripped and as the frame has seen better days it’s time for a visit to the powder coaters and the engine will go off to my good friend John for him to go over it with a fine tooth comb to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises.
I’m unsure exactly what I am going to do with it yet …. I am assured that the frames for these bikes are well sought after so I’ll probably use the grinder somewhat sparingly and go for a mild custom / refurb job. I have been told by my good lady that this is not to be a keeper ….. but the more I’m working on it the more I like it…….. Ummm.
Ok – Soon established why this bike has never been fully stripped down … evidently a “common problem” is that, through poor maintenance, the swing arm shaft ‘welds itself’ to the inside of the gearbox housing through which it runs . It was obvious after a few delicate slaps with a hammer that it wasn’t gong to budge – so what next? For those of you (that included myself until this week) that are unaware .. the swing arm runs either side of the gearbox that in turn bolts to the engine which is suspended solely by a rubber mount at the front of the frame … So how to progress???
Following a visited to the marvellous and talented Mr Chris ‘Cooperman’ Cooper, He managed to undo what 34 years of mother nature and poor design had done to the shaft servicing the rear swing arm (that runs through the gearbox housing).
After what seems like forever of soaking in all manner of oils, fluids, acids, snake oils and bodily fluids, then heating and freezing (then repeat the above over and over)… then hitting it with a variety of hammers …. we placed the offending item(s) onto Cooperman’s 15 tonne press and I was a little upset (given the effort I’d put in) that it ONLY took six and a half tonnes to get the shaft to part company with the ally casing – with, I must add an alarmingly loud bang! A few extra slaps with a hammer and the bearings we free. Happy bunny!!
Frame back from powder coating …….. Hadn’t really thought this through so for the time being this and the XS project are living in the cellar / bar.