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Old 10-29-2009, 10:01 PM   #31
DesmoDog OP
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The electrical system was one of my big worries when this project got started. I don't get along well with electrickery. I dreaded the idea of having to rewire everything, but wanted to update the fuses and take care of the rat's nest under the seat. Basically I wanted to make the harness bulletproof so I never had to deal with it again. (In three years of riding, the only time the bike has let me down was from an electrical issue - a ground wire came off!)


While I was waiting for engine parts I decided it was time to tackle the wiring harness. With the encouragement of people on the bevelhead list, I started putting something together myself rather than buying a pre-packaged solution. The first step was figuring out what I was up against. I know next to nothing about electrical stuff, but after getting a few custom wiring diagrams from people on the list, it finally started to sink in and I dare say I even looked forward to doing the wiring!

I bought a connector kit from Vintage Connections. It was aimed more towards Japanese bikes, but the connectors worked great. No hardware store, POS color coded connectors here. Real connectors put on with a real crimping tool. Money well spent! I reused some wires from a harness off a Paso, along with some new wire. Once I started putting wires on the bike it become more obvious how they should be grouped when I covered them. I ended up with four main groups, with a few strays heading off here and there.

The bike came with the later 860 style CEV switchgear, which creates some issues. These switches are integral with the clutch lever perch and the throttle housing, with wires that run through the bars. As is so common on these the switchgear was pretty well trashed, and stock replacement parts aren't very common. Plus, if you go with a dual cable throttle like I planned on, you lose the right side switch. Add to that I was going with lower bars that wouldn't be drilled for the wires, and the choice to ditch the stock parts seemed obvious. I went with a switch on the left from a later Ducati (shared by a certain Suzuki, but that sounds wrong) plus a kill switch from a modern superbike on the right. The catch here is, the superbike kill switch has a starter button. This bike is kick start only. Chalk it up as an anti-theft device?





I haven't got decent shots of the new switchgear... these will need to do.




The stock fusebox was hurting and I wasn't keen on fixing or replacing it with something similar that used the old school fuses. You can't see the fusebox so who cares what it looks like, right? Form follows function here. I bought a fusebox off a Honda VFR1000 that used blade-type fuses. It was also a nice size, I only had to make a couple minor mods to get it to fit using the stock mounting holes. I also wanted to put the turn signal flasher and the headlight relay under the seat. I'm not sure I should mention this, but I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out where to put the starter relay too. It just wouldn't fit under there though. It wasn't until I tried to remember where the stock one was that it dawned on me. Are you catching the flaw in my thinking? Remember that useless starter button on the kill switch? You don't need a starter relay when the starter button has nothing to send power too... hey, it had been a long day.


It ended up looking like this. The regulator isn't stock btw. The headlight and horn relays are under the plate, the blue wire is meant to power a high beam indicator light that ended up not being installed. I honestly don't remember where the flasher ended up! Near the coils I think?


The dash I used is from a later model GTS. It included a spot for the ignition switch, which was good because that's where I think the key should go, but bad in that it had no room for indicator (aka idiot) lights. I thought about putting them in the headlight shell, but didn't think I could see them there with the headlight I'm using and I wasn't going to cut up the stock shell. So, no idiot lights. Problem solved. I also had to go with gauge sleeves off a Sport model as this new dash doesn't enclose them like the GT dash did.


Here's a general shot, it shows the coil mount too - that white plate looking thing with the black Dyna coils on it. There is already a lug on the frame that this bolts on to, it's just an "H" shaped piece of aluminum with a tab on it to bolt to the frame.


I haven't got anything that shows the harness in it's final configuration. It's a lot more organized than what you see here!
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:20 PM   #32
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What Suzuki is the left side assembly off of? I think my Laverda uses the same one.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:53 PM   #33
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Oh cheating! You're doing the report but the bike is built already. You're missing the chance to publicly run into dead ends, stalls and mistakes.

Really nice project. I'm looking forward to seeing it complete. To think I had the chance to trade my R1100S for one of these 5 years ago and I took the cash... What an idiot.

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Old 10-30-2009, 03:11 AM   #34
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nice bike! I love those roundcase motors. I have a later squarecase 900SS.
nothin sounds like those early twins!

Doug
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #35
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When I first considered buying this bike I had every intention of building a Sport-inspired roundcase. Clip ons, bum stop tail, maybe a half fairing. Then the more I thought about it the better a GT sounded to me. On this project, I was going to avoid the slippery slope of modifications. Lower bars, yes, but no clip-ons or rearsets. And a normal seat. I would avoid the temptation to build a "cafe racer" or sport clone! For the most part I was successful, but a couple engine mods did sneak their way in.

One of the first engine related projects I did was rebuild the Dellorto PHF30 carbs. I bought a couple of rebuild kits from Steve at Bevel Heaven, got a gallon of carb cleaner from my Friendly Local Auto Parts Store, soaked the carb bodies and other parts in the cleaner, and then went over them with a stainless steel brush.

Here's a "before" carb and manifold along with a set I just cleaned.


Many places that restore carbs use soda blasting. I've only tried that one time and the results weren't fantastic, but I wasn't using the right equipment so that doesn't mean much. Bevel Heaven offers a carb rebuilding/restoration service if you'd rather have it done by someone with all the right equipment. From what I've seen, Steve does a great job on them.

One of my carbs had a broken choke jet, but I was able to order a new one easily enough. I also ordered some carb-mounted levers to actuate the chokes. (To be precise, on these carbs they're enricher circuits, not choke circuits, but the end result is the same.) Anyway, if you look back at the switchgear section you can see that the original choke lever was attached to the switchgear that I didn't use. Putting the levers directly on the carbs solved the problem of finding where to mount the lever, and also eliminated the choke cables.

Both done, the carb on the right has the choke lever showing.


Just after I had put the finishing touches on these, I saw a set of 32mm carbs (same size as the 750 Sport) on eBay that seemed to be priced pretty low. I put in a low bid, just in case... and I got them!

Look familiar? PHF32's.


Because the bodies of all PHF series carbs are identical except for the diameter of the bore, the choke levers I had already bought worked with them too. One of the carbs was missing the metal top piece. These are supposedly unavailable, but thanks to a fellow Bevelhead list member, I soon had that part in hand too. Thanks, Tim!

I cleaned the 32mm carbs the same way as the 30mm carbs. The slides were shot though, with a weird texture to them. Some of the scratches shown are from me cleaning them. I wasn't careful since I wasn't going to use them anyway.


The bodies seemed good, so I ordered the parts to rebuild them. This time I used desmo-ducati.de. This site isn't the easiest to navigate if you don't speak German, but it's worth the effort. They have some hard to find stuff at decent prices. Their online catalog lists only a fraction of what they carry. The trick is to download the German pricelist, then search it by part number. MG Cycle also carries a bunch of carb parts at what seem like decent prices. I haven't dealt with them yet though, other than searching their website.

The "new" carbs were off an 860 GT, so the settings were wrong. I changed the jetting/needles to match what the 750 Sport came with since I was also going to use Sport pistons.


Jumping ahead here - The bike ran pretty well at the base settings except the plugs fouled at low throttle settings. I dropped the needles one notch and no more issues.

I found the choke lever on the rear carb is hard to reach with the sidecover on. I never came up with a fix for that but in the time I spent thinking about it I got good at flipping the lever on the rear carb, so now I'm thinking it's a non-issue. It's one of those quirks that makes the bike "mine". There's also a technique involved in getting the gas cap open. Yeah, I could fix it I suppose, but why bother? I know how to do it, why does anyone else need to? It doesn't lock so this is the next best thing.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak
What Suzuki is the left side assembly off of? I think my Laverda uses the same one.
Sorry, I never did find out which specific model Suzuki it was used on. I'm sure someone on the bevelhead list would know though so I can probably find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakurama
Oh cheating! You're doing the report but the bike is built already. You're missing the chance to publicly run into dead ends, stalls and mistakes.
Yep. I cheated and built the bike first, then did the posting. Expect my next project thread in about two years, covering the 160 Ducati I started a little before I got this bike on the road! Seriously though, I am pretty honest about the mistakes. The dead ends and stalls are omitted but I'm sure I can expose those in my next project thread(s). Along with the 160 Monza Jr I've got a 250 Monza project going right now. Neither one of them looks anything like a Monza anymore though!
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVARTH
I am also a Duc fanatic, original (number 027 of the first 200 ) 750ss 1974 Greenframe owner and in the midlle of her restoration....

Here are some pics of our project...
Those pics look great. I'd love to have an SS (who wouldn't) but I think the '74 is out of my league. I'll be interested to see your progress on it!
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:07 PM   #38
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Works for me. I don't have to sit around and wait to see what you come up with while sitting looking at mine

Been thinking about doing my dash the same way as you did yours. My dash is cracked, I was wondering if a later 860 dash would work.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:00 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug
nice bike! I love those roundcase motors. I have a later squarecase 900SS.
nothin sounds like those early twins!

Doug
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Gotta love a big V twin
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73
Been thinking about doing my dash the same way as you did yours. My dash is cracked, I was wondering if a later 860 dash would work.
I think all of the original 750GT dashes are cracked!

No need to use an 860 dash though, 750 replacements are available:
http://bevelrubber.com.au/cart/index...e4fcb2fb2f4d5e
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:28 PM   #41
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When talking about roundcase engines (and others?) you might hear people mention a lead seal. The factory safety wired two of the lower bolts holding the case together, and put a lead seal on it. If the engine still has that seal, chances are good it's never been pulled apart. I looked and couldn't find the seal on my bike. But after getting it up on the bench and starting to clean off all the grime, there it was, hidden under a mix of oil/dirt/asphalt/whatever. Cool...

I had trouble with a couple things during teardown. (If you're not rebuilding a roundcase this section likely won't mean much?)

Pulling the transmission shaft bearing that's in a blind hole on the right side of the case was a pain. I didn't take pictures of this but if you have a roundcase apart you know what I'm talking about. There is very little clearance to get a puller under it. I'm sure with the correct tool it would be easy, but I didn't have that tool. For some people this bearing has simply fallen out once the case was heated up. I'm guessing this was on an engine that had already been rebuilt. On mine the bearing was held in by punch marks from the factory. After trying to heat it, and buying a blind bearing puller that wouldn't work, I finally brought it in to Rod Rice, an instructor at Washtenaw Community College. He TIG welded a nut onto the bearing then screwed a slide hammer into that and pulled the bearing out. Worked like a charm.

The bushings that hold the bearings for the bevel shafts and ignition shaft are a pain too, if you don't have the correct tool. You need to remove these bushings each time you change the shims for that particular gear in the timing chest. Unless you have worked on this stuff before, you don't have the correct tool. I ended up having one built. It was one of a few different tools I had to build for this project.

After tearing the engine down, the heads and cylinders were masked off and bead blasted. Following the bead blasting, they were cleaned up in a hot tank. I would NOT blast these parts without first masking any interior surfaces and oil passages. Think about it, you're bombarding these things with abrasive particles. Do you really want to pump a bunch of abrasives into your engine and then try to clean them out?





There is also the theory that some of the beads will embed themselves in the metal and resist cleaning, only to free themselves when the metal goes through a heat cycle or two. That's one reason I used a hot tank, which was little more than a monster-sized dishwasher. (Disclaimer: Any ideas generated by that comment are YOUR ideas, and I assume no responsibility for any type of domestic situation caused by the inappropriate use of common household appliances, no matter how well said dish washing appliances may work for the job at hand)

I didn't blast the case halves, there was too much to mask. For them I relied on the hot tank and wheel cleaner. Spray it on, hit the castings with a wire brush (by hand) and rinse. Repeat as needed. Carb cleaner can come in handy here too.

Before:


After:



I checked the crankshaft over and couldn't find anything wrong with it. I thought about saving some money and just reinstalling it, but the odometer indicated the bike has over 60,000 miles on it which led me to believe it would be best to have it looked at by someone with more experience. I sent it off to Syd's Cycles, in Florida.

Six weeks later (I had told them I was in no hurry) I got a call from Syd's son, Malcome. He told me they had checked the crank over and found nothing wrong with it. They magnafluxed everything and then put it back together with the old parts, reversing the thrust washers. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this, and Malcome was surprised to hear the bike has over 60k miles on it. "It looked more like 6 thousand" he told me. When I asked how long these things usually last, he told me he knows of one with about 80,000 miles on it now. I guess the lesson here is that the 750s aren't hard on cranks. I doubt this one has been treated all that well, judging by the rest of the bike.

With a good crank and everything nice and clean, it was time to start shimming. The good news is if the new case gasket you have is the same thickness as the old one, you're probably ok on the shims. IF you paid attention to where they went when you took it apart. First step was to check the shims on the crank, which I did without the transmission installed. I'm not going to get into how much preload it takes - check your manual. Also know that the main bearings are a special angular contact type - make sure you get the right ones. They're expensive. If they're not expensive, you got the wrong ones.

After getting the crank set up I moved on to the gearbox.


With the crank and the gearbox shims figured out, it's tempting to bolt the case halves together. BUT WAIT! You have to install the central bevel shaft that drives the ignition. IT WON'T GO IN IF THE CRANK IS ALREADY INSTALLED. You'll have to pull the cases apart again to make it fit. I figured this out before I made the mistake. Which was good, because I had to pull the case apart once already to install some screws that hold one of the bearings in place.

One of the bearings has three screws around the outside holding it in. I neglected to install those the first time around and didn't realize it until I saw them sitting on the bench. "Hey... what are those for? They kinda look like... no. Come on, I put those in. Didn't I? I didn't. Grrrrr...."

After the case was back together it was on to shimming the timing chest. If you look at the pic below you might be able to make out the bushings I was talking about earlier - they stick out of the case slightly, above each of the top three gears. They hold the bearing that the shafts for these gears ride in, and there is a shim or three between the bearing and the base of the gear. This is what sets the meshing of the gears. When the gears were first set up at the factory, a "stepless plane" was ground onto them. You can just barely see it on the interface between the crank and the central shaft.


Basically the factory ground a flat section where the gears meshed, and your job is to shim everything so these areas are flat again, with no step between the gears. Too much clearance and there you get play between the gears - you can hear them click when you move one. Too little clearance and the gears bind. Get the central gears right first because if you make a change to them, you have to change the two cam drive gears also.

A few more steps to button it up and the lower end is pretty much done. Which means... time for another mock up!



Obviously I put a few more parts on there, but you can see the heads are bare in this pic.

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:08 AM   #42
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With the larger carbs it made sense (to me) to go with higher compression pistons. This is how the Sports were set up. I sent the cylinders off to Syd's and had them set up for some 1st over "Sport" spec pistons. GT part on the left, Sport part on the right.


I haven't got my notes handy to report the actual numbers, but the Sport piston/pin assembly is lighter than the GT assembly. Some people think this means you have to have the crank rebalanced. Others don't. As someone who has actually DONE this, I can tell you that no, there are no issues with vibration in my case (no pun intended). I suppose we could start a discussion on the balance of a 90 degree V twin* but I'd rather not. Point is, I did it. It doesn't shake.

*("L twin" is an invention of the marketing department. Call it that if you must, but don't tell me it's not a V unless you think that Guzzi's also have L twins and your Camaro has a small block L8 in it...)

The heads got new valve guides and the seats were freshened up. As I mentioned before, the rockers were flaking so I sent them off to Megacycle to be reworked. The later GTs (like mine) had screw-adjusters for the valves so... NO SHIMS. Woo Hoo! Early GTs and Sports used shims though. Ducati likes shims.

Maybe I should mention that not all Ducatis were desmos at this point in the game - until about 1980 they were still using valvesprings on some models. Roundcase GTs and Sports all used springs. It wasn't until the 1974 750SS that you could by a twin with a desmodromic valvetrain.

I bought one of these tools to use on the valves, Worked great, easier to use then the big C-clamp style you normally see. About $20 at my local auto parts store;


Cams and cam timing. The Ducati Owners Club of Australia has a series of articles on cam timing that proved invaluable.

http://www.docv.org/about/index.html

Go there, click on "articles" and then search "cam timing".

I won't even start to get into the method, but their info is a must read for anyone rebuilding a roundcase. The cam timing was way off on some bikes from the factory. I can't find the spread sheet I put together for mine right now but from memory one cylinder was off by something like 12 degrees when set up according to the timing marks.

To add even more complexity - I bought a set of cams from a squarecase to replace my worn roundcase cams. I did this only because they were available, not for any performance gain. I have no idea if they hurt or help in that respect. The catch when using squarecase cams in a roundcase is, they are indexed differently. The slot for the key is off by some amount, so you HAVE to retime the cams if you plan on doing this. Read the articles!

With a combination of offset keys and offsetting the gears a couple teeth here and there, I was able to dial the cams in a lot better than the factory did. The downside - the original timing marks are now worthless. You have GOT to buy a degree wheel and set the engine up with that instead of just going by the timing marks.

Speaking of degree wheels, I bought one from Vee Two and discovered that the markings on it were wrong. The degree markings are fine but they have the timing events listed in the wrong order! It's like they intended it to be used on the other side of the engine or something. That caused me some head scratching until I convinced myself I was right and they were wrong.

Here's a piston stop I made to be used with the degree wheel - you need it to find top dead center before you start timing the cams and ignition. I broke the ceramic out of a plug, found an aluminum rod to fit inside that, drilled a hole in the rod (to let air escape as you turn the engine over) and then used epoxy to glue it all together.


Another tool I made for the build - a wrench to torque the heads. I was going to buy one but as I sat there wondering what to do until I could get the tool, it occurred to me that it was my dad's birthday. I was sitting in a shop surrounded by tools I had inherited from him, and here I was putting off progress due to a simple little wrench? Bullshit. Out came the collection of old sockets and wrenches that didn't match anything. Grind here, cut there, weld that to this... and I was off and running. Yeah, I cut up some of the stuff he gave me but it's nothing he wouldn't have done himself. And it's not like I ever used any of it in it's original configuration anyway!


Random thought - Learn to weld! Then buy an oxy/acetylene set up. I have a Meeco Midget torch I like lots. Go here for info; http://www.tinmantech.com/

Ignition - I installed a Dyna ignition and coils. At the time I started this the two popular ignitions were Dyna and Rita. The Rita system is no longer in production. I'm sure there are others out there, but the Dyna was pretty affordable and seems to be working well. It all fits under the stock cover too, with no black boxes to deal with. The only thing that bothered me was the wires were housed in a grey cover. I slipped them into a black cover to blend in better before I installed everything.

Installation wasn't too difficult, especially since the engine was already apart and on the bench. I did have to re-index the gears to get it timed correctly (sound familiar?) but that wasn't a big surprise. The other main task was making a mount for the coils. I've seen various methods used - I went with a pretty simple bracket that bolts to the frame on an existing tab. The coils need to be mounted under this bracket to clear the tank.


The ignition switch has been moved from under the tank up on to the dash. One of the benefits of using an 860GTS(?) dash! If you go this route on you'll need the smaller diameter switch - the stock switch from the later bikes (under tank switch) is too big to fit between the gauges. I think the earlier switch that goes by the sidecovers would work.

Plug wires came from Guzzino.com. I think the stock wires were black, but I used some with a green plaid pattern as used on earlier bikes. The plug caps are NGKs with the logos blacked out.


With the heads on, the cams timed, and the valves adjusted it's time to put the engine back in the frame. A banner day!
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:26 PM   #43
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Whoops, forgot to mention that one of the heads bad threads in the sparkplug hole. I fixed it with a Timesert. Can I just say I like Timeserts MUCH better than Helicoils for this repair?


Anyway, once the engine was back in the frame I just started bolting more stuff on. The pictures will start to really get out of order now as I was working on a bunch of things at once.





The roundcase sidecover installed - along with the seat, tank, sidecover, badges, and it seems to have sprouted a carb along the way too.


Another angle, this one shows the dual Vauxall(sp/) horns installed. When I bought these I thought I should test them before I installed them. I wired everything up and set them on the floor next to a battery. Touched the wires. Nothing. Leaned over to get a better view of the connections, touched the wires to the terminals again. Holy crap they're loud. All the concrete and having my ear two feet away may have had something to do with it but holy crap they're loud.


The other side, half the sidecover.


Whole cover


As you can see from the pics with the carbs, I ditched the stock filters. The stock crankcase breather is routed into one of those so I had to come up with something else. I bought a K&N filter and mounted it in the same position as the old air filter.


I was a little nervous that any oil that got pushed up that far would run out near the rear tire, but it hasn't been an issue. The bike doesn't wheelie all that easily so I haven't had a problem with oil being blown out the breather...

New parts were still showing up. A clutch cable here, a couple of single cylinder project bikes there...


Further along with the wiring, test fitting the "temporary" exhaust - used parts until I can afford a stainless steel system. (Three years later I still haven't bought the stainless system)




Suzuki headlight (to be replaced by the stock one "someday") and ugly green fuel line. Not much left to do!


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Old 10-31-2009, 02:11 PM   #44
Olas
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Great read! Thank you for all the pictures of the internals, very interesting. I'd love to hear this thing run at some point...
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:07 PM   #45
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Absolutely outstanding. Great job.
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