Ashtray Aermacchi 350(circa 1971)

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by earlyWiz, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
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    There was a reason for buying this particular motorcycle. I wanted a training platform for preparing to own and operate my 1968 Laverda 750 once it returns from Centralia, Washington as a fully operable vintage cafe racer. Training platform? You might well ask in these modern times.

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    [​IMG]Let me go back in time to when a good friend invited me to take his Matchless single around the block. Following eight or so years road riding and road racing motorcycles manufactured by Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, and BMW, I wasn't ready for a change from left-foot shift/right-foot brake. The Matchless needed just the opposite, and a light tap on the "brake" netted me a spectacular downshift in traffic on Hwy 99E out of Oregon City, Oregon. The explanation I have offered to the question, "So, what happened then?", is that my bung kissed my navel upon discovering that we were still intact.

    I had been poking around on Craig's List looking for a small British Single to use as a daily driver. That would allow me the economy of not driving the pickup back and forth to town for my daily two-shot espresso, and, at the same time, allow me to develop the transition to right-foot shift/left-foot brake. Lo! I found something even more desirable! This 1971 Aermacchi 350SX (Harley-Davidson "Sprint"). When one's favorite motorcycles happen to be European, and most especially Italian, it was time to part with a small sum of home-improvement funds to satisfy the craving. Welcome to Jason Winn's comments as he rebuilds his gem into my jewel.
    #1
  2. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
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    [​IMG]
    Earl,
    As we talked about on the phone. I'm including a couple of progress shots for your album.
    VBR, Jason
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    After the motor work is accomplished, I will start on stripping the frame and get it off to be powder coated. It should look nice and flashy in "Fire Engine" red.
    #2
  3. Kismet

    Kismet vagrant philosopher

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    387
    Location:
    rural WI
    Buy some loctite. :)


    (My first bigger displacement bike was a Harley-Davidson Aermacchi 250, purchased from a honda dealer [one of the few of the day] who knew less than I did about the cycle, its history, and the short-term purchase of Aero by HD. Clip-on bars, a road racing seat of 2x4 covered with naugahyde, and a carburetor which was not happy unless it was vibrating its bolts loose. Seriously, I think the bolts loosen even when it WASN'T running.) But it was all I had for transportation, so even today, with most of the awful memories of being stranded throughout the Chicago area gone, I smile at the images of the bike.)

    Best wishes.
    #3
  4. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

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    Dec 19, 2008
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    [​IMG]
    I'm glad the motor needed my attention. It will need at least, a couple of bearings in the transmission. I might have them in my parts stash.
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    I will be ordering bearings tomorrow. The bearings normally take only a day to come in at the bearing shop.
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    Nice to have things in reserve like..., transmission shafts, bearings, gears, spacers, shift forks, shims and etc.
    #4
  5. Quickv4

    Quickv4 Pro Turd Polisher

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Dickinson, Nort' Dakohtah- Orig. from Wiscowsin
    Welcome to the 'macchi club! Yep, loctite everything and youll be okay!:D

    Dont know if you know about Moto Italia for parts, I have no affiliation with them, just have had good luck finding the oddball stuff! http://motomacchi.com/

    the Yahoo Aermacchi forums are great, some real knowledgeble guys on there!
    #5
  6. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

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    Yup, I flail my browser all over the place. Found MotoItalia, while I was at it. Of course, Jason has been involved with the vintage Aermacchi for longer'n pasture-land has been attractive to real estate speculators. He jus' holds my hand and points me that-a-way. I am told that I may become right friendly with this nice establishment too; http://www.aermacchisprint.com/
    earlyWiz
    #6
  7. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    [​IMG]
    More progress pictures of your little darlin'. Don't be alarmed by the dark areas inside the cases. You probably already know that it is only discoloration caused by old oil and it's byproducts.

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    The final image shows the "Blind Hole" bearing I was attempting to describe. Patience, heat, drop the case on wooden blocks. Repeat. After awhile the old bearing is out, the case is cleaned and made ready for the new bearing. Cool bearing, heat case, drop bearing in. (An old Italian bearing recipe? Cool and serve with sauce and fresh bread. earlyWiz)
    #7
  8. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Hello again, Mr. Wizard,
    I will pull the plugs on the big end pin and clean and inspect it. These bikes seem to collect deposits in the hollow crank pin and disrupt oil flow to the big end bearing.
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    From the feel, it won't be an issue, but you must always look. A shot of the crank shaft with out plugs.

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    You will see a shot of the crankshaft plugs waiting to be "parted off" on the lathe.

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    The crank is very smooth and tight. Well within spec.

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    I want your bike to be just as nice as possible. While I'm on the subject, I went ahead and replaced all of the bearings but one of the mains. At the relatively low price of the parts, and the fact that I was already there, it didn't make sense not to replace them if they were at all questionable.
    VBR, Jason
    #8
  9. AlfromMI

    AlfromMI Long distance nut

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    So does a Macchi of that era start OK? I had a 250 Ducati way back then and it wouldn't start worth a damn.
    #9
  10. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,099
    Location:
    Canton,Michigan
    Goooooood-looking machine!:clap
    #10
  11. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

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    HMMMmm! Truthfully? I, uh, am familiarizing myself with the starting drill by reading lots of books... Oh, and listening to countless narratives about how, "Muh Triumph/BSA/Ariel/Harley/Velocette/horse/cow/mule/girlfriend kicked me..."
    Mayhap when all is completed and back together, I will share the experience of starting. (Helpful Hint: Books say it not start like two-stroke. Jason say same thing. Now all that's left is for my aging joints and fallen arches to submit their report.)

    earlyWiz
    #11
  12. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    Haven't seen one of those in years. My first bike was a 250 straight off the Harley dealers floor. Don't remember the drill, but seem to remember some little tickler button on the carb that you pushed to give a couple of squirts.
    I do know that if you crash through a barbwire fence and pop the only fuse out of the headlight shell they are real hard to kick start.:D
    #12
  13. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Mouth of the Rogue
    Mr. Wizard,
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    I will make new end plugs and press them into place...as the originals must be destroyed to remove them. You will see a shot of the crankshaft plugs waiting to be "parted off" on the lathe.

    [​IMG]
    I want your bike to be just as nice as possible. While I'm on the subject, I went ahead and replaced all of the bearings but one of the mains. At the relatively low price of the parts, and the fact that I was already there, it didn't make sense not to replace them if they were at all questionable.

    [​IMG]
    The real fun begins when the motor goes back together. The crank shaft must be pulled into the main bearings, and thus into the crank case halves. Before any of this can take place, all of the transmission, shift drum and shift shaft end play must be properly shimmed.
    Very Best Regards, Jason
    #13
  14. tlux

    tlux Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Richmond
    I receintly recieved a 1965 Aermacchi 250 in boxes. Its great to see your progress, so I know what to expect when I crack the engine open.
    #14
  15. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Ancient trailbike padwan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,781
    Location:
    western oregon
    As the owner of a rancid old Ducati Scrambler, I remember the Dell'Orto starting drill well enough. :puke1 This is for the non concentric float Dell'Orto's

    Turn the pet cocks on,, (Don't leave the petcocks on overnight, seems like the floats leak worse than most Japanese carbs.) There's the little "tickler" next to the fuel line in on the float top, it's a little spring loaded plunger that depresses the float to flood the carburator.

    Don't over do this, just a few seconds while it dribbles gas onto your hand.
    I never understood this, why they decided that the owner should have a gas stinky hand. :huh


    Crack the throttle an 1/8th open and give the kickstarter a healthy prod. I don't know about other folks but my bevelhead always caught on either the first or second kick. For a 250 it always seemed to me that the Ducati required a healthy leg effort. A freind's Honda XL250 was like kicking over a 125 in comparison.
    #15
  16. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Mouth of the Rogue
    [​IMG]
    I am replacing fourth gear on the transmission counter shaft. I told you all the trans would need is a fluff and buff. It is taking a little more than I anticipated. If replacing the gear doesn't bring the counter shaft integrity up to my standards, I will replace the shaft as well.

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    The following pictures show the crankshaft ready to be pulled into the left crankcase half.

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    All of the bearings are installed and I am in the process of fitting the transmission. And finally, a shot of the transmission being fitted to the right side, crank case half.
    Next we mate the crank case halves with the center case gasket in place and check the end play of the "main shaft", and the "counter shaft".

    [​IMG]
    The next shows the cases being pulled together.

    [​IMG]


    The crankcase is buttoned up and looking good. Then we check to insure that the transmission shifts well. A few of the other things that have been accomplished are; New clutch seal, a new camshaft seal and a new cam support bearing are installed in the right side crankcase cover.

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    BTW, the new transmission shifts smoothly . It also looks like a new set of clutch plates was installed just prior to the bike being parked! Some guys have all the luck!!
    #16
  17. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Mouth of the Rogue
    Hello again, Mr. Wizard,
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    The seals and "o" rings are included in the gasket set so they are already here.

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    I fully intend for you to be as proud of the finished product as I will be. This is rather fun you know! Being able to help bring another classic bike back to meaningful life.

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    Have I mentioned that these bikes are a personal passion? You know I have.

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    A lot of time at the bead blast cabinet and the parts washer and everything has cleaned up nicely.

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    As promised, your motor is buttoned up.

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    It went together well and should be a good one.
    VBR, Jason
    #17
  18. earlyWiz

    earlyWiz Wizard of Od'

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Mouth of the Rogue
    [​IMG]
    Hi there once again.
    I'm sending along some pictures to to print out and stare at as you lay awake making motor sounds and twitching your throttle hand. Try not to drool on the pictures as it causes the colors to run. As you can see from the pics,
    [​IMG]
    ...the frame is now RED! The only hang-up is the chain guard. Some of the lube had worked it's way into a seam over the years. It didn't get cleaned out before it was coated and put in the oven. I didn't see it after I scrubbed it, and it couldn't be seen after being cleaned and blasted by the powder coater's staff. The heat of the oven just boiled it out. I requested that they sand blast it again and run it through a heat cycle to see if it had all come out. We will go from there. It should take about a week to cycle through the re-coat process. I should have the bike put back together by then and on two wheels.

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    ...here are some more progress shots of the bike.

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    There are new tires on the wheels, and a new chain to go along with the new fork seals.

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    Everything that gets bolted to the frame means another hole to clean and treads to chase, but it is finally starting to look like a motorcycle again. I could get to like the red frame! It was a good call on your part.

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    The list of "TO DOs" for the project is getting smaller! One day soon we will hear it pop to life. The tin work is only on the bike for your benefit at this time. Just to show you what the color combination will look like. It really is pretty striking.
    #18
  19. Quickv4

    Quickv4 Pro Turd Polisher

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Dickinson, Nort' Dakohtah- Orig. from Wiscowsin
    OOH, im diggn; the red frame my man, I havnt seen too many stock sprints with the frame painted red, good to see the projetc if coming through!
    #19
  20. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,125
    Location:
    Road Island
    Wow! :thumb

    And fascinating from the perspective of a bmw guy... so very different...

    :D
    #20