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Old 11-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #1
gravityisnotmyfriend OP
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TLR200 Project

I've been looking for a project for the last several months. My wife and I have been trying to find a hobby that interests our son. He's not really interested in the sports he's tried out - but give him something mechanical, and you've got his undivided attention. We were bombing around the yard in our go cart, and I decided we should lube the chain before putting it away. He asked why I was doing it and if he could help. So, I showed him what to do and how to do it. Then, he asked what the shiny thing was on top of the engine - I told him that it was a valve cover. He asked to see what was under it - so I pulled the cover and he was fascinated to watch the valves move up and down while I pulled the engine over and explained to him what was happening.

I went to put the cover back on, and he asked if he could do it. So, I handed him the socket and let him work:


That was the point I realized that Ethan and I needed a project with an engine.

So, I found this '86 Reflex. According to the previous owner, the engine had low compression. He had replaced the piston, rings, and valves, but the cam seemed to be binding. He had moved on to other projects and just wanted it out of his garage. I picked it up cheap. I figure the worst case scenario is that Ethan and I completely tear down the engine and find it too expensive to fix. He learns everything about how an engine works, and I part it out and make money on it. Very little risk, so I brought it home:



Seems happy among fellow Hondas



The bike seems to be almost all there. After inventorying everything on the bike and in the box that came with it, it looks like I'm missing a shifting lever and the cap that threads into the middle of the LH case. Looks like a worthy project, so I wheel her down into my basement shop, and me and the boy pull the engine.

After tearing into the top end, the cause of the failure is obvious.


There is a pinned bearing on one end of the camshaft. The pin wasnt lined up with the hole when the valve cover was tightened down. The hole became elongated, and it looks like some of the material from the edge of the hole got squished to the bottom. This caused there to not be enough clearance for the pin. So when the valve cover was tightened down, the bearing became distorted. It is now fused to the cam.

Looks like I'll need a new head and cam shaft at a minimum.

Good thing I've got both!

Instead of messing with the valves in the original engine, the PO used the head off an ATC200 that had good valves. So, I've got the original head and the ATC camshaft. I just bought new valves and lapped them in last night.

It's trick or treating tonight, but hopefully we can start reassembling the engine this weekend.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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Bike in the basement and dismantled:



Got the head back on

Then, the valve cover - and got her hung back in the bike:



At this point, just waiting on an O-Ring to replace the broken one between the intake manifold and head.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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I got the bike put back together last night, but was concerned about the amount of play in the rear wheel. I checked the rear axle, and the nut was loose. Tightened the nut - and all the play went away! Great! Except, now the rear wheel didn't move.

So I pulled the wheel to see if I could see what the issue was.



Hmmm. Seems another part is missing....
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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Bought a new wheel bearing and got the bike entirely put back together. Managed to weld some pieces of a broken shift lever together. She aint pretty, but it's good enough to see if the bike runs and drives


Valves timed, all the wires hooked up. Valve gaps set to spec. But, kicking it over, I could hear compression leaking through the head gasket. I wasn't sure how many dowels and orings should have gone between the head and valve cover. My parts manual says two dowels and no orings. My shop manual (which covers the TLR 125 and TLR 200) says 3 dowels and one oring. So, I followed the shop manual and the head wouldn't seal.

So, dropped the engine, pulled her apart and put it back together with 2 dowels. Put it back in the bike, and there was no compression leaks at the head gasket. Put the motor back in the bike, spec'd the valves and went to set the ignition timing. That's when I noticed that the front cam chain tensioner was not in its slot. The only way to put it in correctly was to pull the head - which meant the engine had to come out. AGAIN!

So, dropped the engine again, Tore it apart again, put it together again.

By this point, I was getting damn good at putting the engine in the bike and damn frustrated for my efforts!

Regardless, she's out of the basement and she runs!



That ride ended when I realized that a cam chain tensioner bolt had come out and the bike was blowing oil on my leg. I had only finger tightened that bolt on assembly. I couldn't find the bolt I lost, but I thankfully had a spare. Put her back together and took her out a few more times:



She's not running perfectly. There's some valve train noise. I didn't check the valve tolerances after putting it back together for the third time. I suspect that the valve are a little loose. And, she runs best under full choke - even when it's warm. I've got the carb back off and all the jets soaking in solvent. Hopefully she'll run better when I get her back together.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:15 PM   #5
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Carb has been thoroughly cleaned and is back on the bike. Too bad it's gonna be real cold the next few days.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:20 PM   #6
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That's pretty cool. And it looks like you have a heck of a budding mechanic on your hands!

When my TLR is cold I turn the idle screw all the way in (fastest idle) and give it full choke. Then I back off the choke and then as it warms up I turn down the idle till it's ticking along.

Have fun with it. Keep it for a few years and your boy will be big enough to ride it!
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:37 PM   #7
kurien
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G, that is a cool project indeed. Good explanations and pics as well. Though, I did notice that once you started building, it was all I rather than We did Ethan learn anything in the end ? :)
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:41 AM   #8
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One reason I took the carb apart is that the bike wouldn't idle at all. I'd have to stay on the throttle or it would die. Hopefully, it'll run better now - just gotta get some time to test fire her again. Maybe this afternoon if it isn't too bitterly cold.

Ethan had his hand in quite a bit of the rebuild. Though, being 4 years old, he has the attention span of a 4 year old. So, he'd pop into my shop and ask what I was doing. So, I'd explain things. Once he was satisfied with the explanation (or bored) he'd go back and play for awhile.

The funniest part was when he came into my shop when I was hanging the engine and said, "Dad, are you doing man stuff? I'm ready to do man stuff."

But yeah, with any luck, Ethan will be riding this bike when he's a bit bigger. Should be a good one to learn on.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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Very cool. Get Ethan a Oset! That will get him on the way to riding the TRL.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicktop View Post
Very cool. Get Ethan a Oset! That will get him on the way to riding the TRL.


+1!!
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:14 PM   #11
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You mean the Oset Strider? Or a motorized version? We're still working on getting out of training wheels - but I've heard that the strider bikes work great.

I'm thinking the next step for him will be the same 5 HP mini bike that I learned to ride on. Drug it out of my dad's shed a few years ago and freshened it up. Should be ready for another generation to learn on. The TLR could be the next step - once he's mastered the one speed auto clutch.


Getting a bit ahead of myself, though. Still gotta get this sucker running right. Probably won't have another chance to test run it till this weekend, though.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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When I was Ethan's age I got a little wind up, clock work Army Jeep for Christmas. I had to know what made that thing work. By mid afternoon I had it all apart. Got in big trouble. My parents didn't understand. Neither one of them new which way to turn a screw. Still don't know where I got it from. Later to his credit, my dad got me a go cart even though he knew nothing about it. The throttle was hooked up backwards and it didn't have any brakes and no clutch, but I still drove it around the neighborhood streets and the school yard. We lived on a dirt road and in 1956 there wasn't much traffic. A couple of years later the rear axle bearing went out on his Nash Rambler. We didn't have the money to take it in to be fixed so I took it apart. Had to carry the axle up to the gas station on my bike to get the bearing and collar changed. Still remember that guy whacking that collar with a chisel and big hammer and driving the new one on with a long pipe. Before you know it I had the motor in my old "53 Chevy Convertible hanging from the tree over the drive way. I'm on the left. Went on to be a Missile Electronics Guidance and Control Technician in the USAF in the Vietnam War and my own auto repair shop after that. Never made much money but I loved it. As you can tell I managed to mix business and pleasure. That's a Bultaco 350 Sherpa T in the window.



Be careful, It's a trap. When I got my TLR200 it was very clean and complete. Almost show room clean. Still has the original tires, chain and sprockets. I can't bring myself to strip it down to ride in the local vintage trials. Think I'll just sell it and get something else I don't feel bad about riding. http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....&postcount=391

Those little battery powered Oset trials bikes are really neat... http://osetbikes.com/us/oset-bikes-e...set-20-0-lite/... https://www.google.com/search?q=oset...d=0CCkQsAQ...I see them for sale from time to time on the trials flee market thread. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=799438... I rode my hobby bike ( http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....ostcount=12772 ) a couple of hours south of here week end before last to watch a Vintage Trials and watched a couple of kids running around on those things. They could do anything the dads were doing within their size limits. You need to pay attention with those things running around though. They're quick and you can't hear them coming. I'm sure there are guys riding trials in your area. They're kind of hard to find sometimes. Somewhere I saw a listing of all the trials clubs in the US. Don't remember where. Here's some of them... http://www.trialsclubs.us/

2bold2getold screwed with this post 11-12-2014 at 11:10 AM
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #13
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When I was Ethan's age, my dad bought me this:


Though, up until a few years ago, it looked like this:




My brother and I just plain wore it out. I was out at my dad's place with a friend who likes vintage bikes. He asked me if I was interested in selling that minibike. I said - no, that's my first bike. I'm going to restore it someday. Yeah? He says. When? So, I took it home that weekend and fixed it up over the winter. Hopefully Ethan can learn on it.

And, my dad has been riding motorcycles since his teens - so I know where both my son's and my own interests come from. My dad comes into the video at around 1:11



Thanks for sharing those pictures and the links. I checked the trials site and it looks like the closest club is about 3 hrs away. I guess I'll just have to play by myself locally. And yeah, that Reflex of yours is in great condition. Mine has already lead a tough life and I really think I'd have far more fun with it playing on obstacles than I would if I fixed it up and made it a garage queen.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
2bold2getold
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I remember those little mini bikes. My mom hated "murder cycles", so I had to wait till I was on my own. Ethan has a great start and a fine heritage. Love the old movie. Things have changed a lot since then..... and not changed much at all.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #15
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My mom was surprisingly tolerant of our motorcycles. Though it does help that we never really got hurt on them. I did manage to break 6 bones before graduating highschool - but never on a motorized vehicle.


Quote:
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Things have changed a lot since then..... and not changed much at all.
Ha! Well put.
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