Build thread blah blah blah R75/6 "Ernst"

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by melville, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. melville

    melville Long timer

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    So I asked, and you have spoken. Well, three of you, anyway.


    So for my 40th birthday Mrs. melville got me this:

    [​IMG]

    She did it because she knew I wanted a bike but was too much of a responsible husband and father to actually go get one myself. She also had me sign a contract stipulating that the bike would be restored/refurbished, I'd take the MSF course(s), and no women on the bike other than her. She likes to have control, and I'm mostly OK with that. Note also that there are no carburetors mounted--they came in a box in a zillion pieces.

    Two and a half years later (August of 2009), after two VW motors and a shoulder surgery, I got a carb rebuild kit and put them together and got the bike running so I could evaluate the motor and chassis before I took it all the way apart. Looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    I put about ten miles on it, verified compression, observed leaks (PR tube seals) and then it came apart. Disassembly post to follow.
    #1
  2. east high

    east high Been here awhile

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    Where behind the Redwood curtain are you exactly? I grew up in Humboldt Co.
    #2
  3. jellycow

    jellycow Back on track!

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    That fairing tops every single other one I ever laid eyes on. It looks like it's been dragged through the forest where the ugly-trees grow, hitting every tree on the way and then going back the same route just to make sure it actually did hit every tree. Glad you took it off.

    Nice project, keep us posted.
    #3
  4. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    But apparently very aerodynamic:rofl
    #4
  5. melville

    melville Long timer

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    east high: I'm in the college town.

    jellycow and Padmei: I'm building it up naked (now there's a mental image), but I'm saving the fairing for my old age. My local Airhead guy calls it "That Bullet Train fairing."

    The bike starts to come apart:

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    Not quite as fancy as blaine's stop motion video. Next: what was found in disassembly.
    #5
  6. Renner

    Renner rockin' the toaster

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    The one college in the whole county :lol3

    I'm from the north edge of the town just south :thumb
    Though my grandfolk used to own property in the town with the big airport to the north.

    Good to see some resto action from the heart of the redwood empire here Melville.
    #6
  7. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    east of Dallas
    bonus points for old VW buses in the mix, specially when used as temporary parts storage. Robert will love that. :freaky
    #7
  8. east high

    east high Been here awhile

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    Oct 13, 2009
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    955
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    Portland, Oregon
    Actually there are two colleges in the county; only one university. :p

    I'm from the next biggest town south of the town you're from.

    #8
  9. azcycle

    azcycle Chihuahua Wrangler

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    Apr 22, 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
    :lurk

    Not familiar with the schools up there so I don't know where you're all located. But I spent all my young summers there visiting my grandfolks. My parents were both born/raised in Loleta and went to Fortuna High. Both grandfathers were in the dairy "industry" there, my dad's dad was Prez of the Foremost dairy in Loleta for many years. Love that area... haven't been back in too many years.

    Sorry for the thread derail... carry on...
    #9
  10. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Yeah, but he didn't make his frame levitate.

    That's a Hannigan fairing, you philistines.
    I feel better now.
    :bmwrider

    Lornce
    in an unnamed college town.
    #10
  11. melville

    melville Long timer

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    OK then, what I found as it came apart:

    Kinda crusty, a bit leaky:

    [​IMG]

    If you run barbacks like this:

    [​IMG]

    You'll never remove the tank to take care of this:

    [​IMG]

    A little water in the gear oil, but only in the transmission:

    [​IMG]

    A little extra wiring, but no evidence that a trailer was used(there are other PO wiring issues):

    [​IMG]

    The air filter element is pierced and the breather hose extended outside the element:

    [​IMG]

    Two filament bulbs in the turnsignals. Joints are soldered:

    [​IMG]

    Found the rumble! New bearings needed all around, wheels, swingarm, head:

    [​IMG]

    That's a lot of what I found. Process postings to come, in which I will reveal a wee fetish.
    #11
  12. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    You just bought a crusty 35 year old airhead. We're already ahead of you on that one.

    :rofl


    :thumb
    #12
  13. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    From that bit with the crankcase vent, the PO was an idiot. beware other idiocies. The forks need rebuild. Not costly.The shocks need replaced---that one can be expensive. Examine the inside of the frame around the battery for battery fume rust. Rust under the master cylinder is common. Rebuild it. paint frame. Examine the weldnuts for the muffler hangers closely for stripping or crossed threads. . Replace if they are flaky---easy to do before you paint. Save the fairing, it is valuable---including all bolts and brackets. The oil leakage looks typical, maybe a bit heavy if it's washed the dirt off. You want a push rod seal drift, you will use it again and again to keep the pushrod seals tight. The only other special tools for regular work is an exhast nut wrench and decent swingarm pivot socket. . You can make the tools to do the fork rebuild---a cut up beer can, some big washers, some hose clamps. if you change your fork oil you won't need them again for many, many years. Save all removed bearing races. You will need those again. The head bearings can be tough. Borrow the right tool, buy one from Ed Korn or do the weld-bead procedure. I've done it with a Dremel. A PITA. It's ugly but if you keep your adjustment correct the bearings will last forever. Get a push greaser for the swing arm---the $6 one for chainsaws work great. Also buy or have made a better socket for torquing the swing arm bolts. it's a standard socket tuned down a skinch. Cheap to have done at a machine shop. You will use it many times to set the swing arm preloads. You can make your own clutch removal tools. The clutch is very close to a VW clutch. Some longer bolts, some peices of tubing and some nuts will ease it apart evenly. You can re-assemble by eye without a pilot if you have a good eye. Make sure you have the one-use-only bolts on hand before reassembly---con-rods and the main u-joint at the rear of the tranny. Make sure the length is correct. minimum cost but takes time to get them. Replace all gaskets and rubber. ESPECIALLY the rubber boot on the end of the cable going into the tranny---that one leaks and gets water in the tranny oil. (I think it's the speedo cable) Cut a slot in the ground cable at the tranny to avoid having to remove the bolt to get the ground strap off. Saves stripping it. Examine the hole to see if it has been pre-stripped for you. Check the runout on the cam nose. You can do anything except replace the cam and crank with the engine in the bike--so check that. Don't bother the timing chain unless you know it's bad. Replace the cam chain cover gasket if it leaks too much--other wise leave alone. Easy to do later. Examine oil pump parts. may as well while the clutch is out. Replace what is worn.

    Oil pan looks unusual. Replace the pickup gaskets and threadlock the pickup part bolts.

    Check the trueness of the wheels after setting the bearing preload and greasing. Fix what needs it.

    White rust is a tough one. Beadblasting removes it but once it's there it returns quickly. Some people paint. I tried impregnating the porous castings with wax one time. Put em in a low oven, just hot enough to melt the wax, and did coat after thin coat of Johnsons paste wax. Stunk up the house. Seemed to hold up in the salt air of coastal California. Did a thin surface coat of wax on the castings when washing bike.
    #13
  14. melville

    melville Long timer

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    You don't know the half of the fetish yet!

    A little introduction to who I am--I spent my 20s working as a bike mechanic in Seattle. With the ensuing poverty that entailed, we had to become self reliant chez melville as regards vehicle and home repair and took on some fairly outrageous projects. We learned that no matter how much you pay someone, they're never going to care as much as we do about the project.

    I try to build my bicycles and VWs to be simple to maintain. We have a few of both, and time spent wrenching, while pleasant, is not as much fun as time spent riding. For the most part, that means I end up with something like this:

    [​IMG]

    This is season 23 on that bike, and I've only replaced wear items (tires, chains, brakes) since 1990. Where I can, I favor Install and Ignore parts.

    I do also, however, worship at the altar of the Bright Shiny Object and try to have such things in my life when possible. For bicycles, I could do it with my track bike:

    [​IMG]

    So my goals here mit the Airhead are to have something I can hop on and ride that's easy to maintain and a bit shiny. I'm going to build it stockish and with some changed details. I'd like it to age gracefully for another 35 years.

    And now for a sample of my fetish. The lower triple, as it came from the bike:

    [​IMG]

    After a run on the buffer:

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    Looks like dookie. Time to bring out the files and sandpaper:

    [​IMG]

    And another pass on the buff:

    [​IMG]

    And now ready for prime time:

    [​IMG]

    Seems there are a lot of AL parts on the bike. I was (still am) busy making them nice. More to follow.
    #14
  15. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Cast aluminum surfaces on the trans and engine respond fairly well to generous coats of aerosol clear coat. Don't worry, you won't get a shiny surface as most of it will be absorbed, but enough coats and you can seal up the casting's pores. Makes it easier to keep the cast surfaces clean and oxidation free. :thumb

    That's a shiny triple clamp. Bodes well for what's to come.

    :lurk
    #15
  16. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    What color are ya gonna paint it? Ernge? (that's a southern joke, btw)
    #16
  17. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    Well, you've done it now.... :gerg

    You start this stuff and the maintenance never ends!

    [​IMG]



    Matter of fact, that lower triple clamp was the first part that I polished on my project bike but I'll warn you right now, those parts scratch very easily and the first time you take your bike out to the coast on a foggy day or to the Airheads overnight camp out, you may come back wanting to commit suicide. If I was informed correctly, the semi-shiny parts on our Airheads were clear anodized after manufacture and thats why they tend to remain fairly clean for decades without maintenance and thats also why they don't polish up so easily. :nod

    Salt air LOVES polished aluminum and you'll arrive home needing to clean and hand polish every shiny aluminum part on the bike. No kidding... I'm not going to say not to do it but just be aware that you're creating a bike that'll need regular maintenance to stay looking nice and multiple coats of Carnuba Wax are your friend.

    Believe me.... This is exactly how some very pretty bikes end up becoming garage queens! :rofl

    [​IMG]



    :lurk :clap :freaky :oscar
    #17
  18. melville

    melville Long timer

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    Hi Ken! You've seen some of this before--kindly no spoilers please til I get ADV caught up.

    Can I ride to the coast if I can see the ocean from my house? Or am I already there?

    If any of these bits were ano, it's long gone. Most bicycle parts have a clear ano and I've had to work them a lot harder on the buffer when I've polished them than any of these Airhead parts.
    #18
  19. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    No. If you can see the ocean from your house, you cannot ride to the coast. In fact, if you live that close to the ocean, you're not even allowed to look in tghat direction!

    Are you already there? Uh.. No! You're in a computer right now and I'll bet that you dream about vacationing in NYC. Right? :lol3



    Seriously... Maybe you can tell me something...

    Please take a look at your rear brake lever. Is there evidence of that being anodized? The last time I tried to polish one of those, polishing it went so hard that I simply gave up and replace it with another stock one. Whats up with that?

    Also, the anodizing on our high-end bike looks a lot more like a coating than the anodizing that I was used to looking at when I had a modeling shop attached to anodizing plant.

    Could it be that the bike parts are coated to protect the anodizing? The colors are known to fade...

    I'm curious...!

    PS: I'm going to pass your way in a couple of seeks while riding to the BMW National Rally in Oregon. Maybe I could stop by for a look-see going up or back.
    #19
  20. melville

    melville Long timer

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    I can see the ocean from this computer. No desire to go to NYC, but I do like to get to SF once in a while. PM a few days ahead and we'll see about a meet.

    The brake pedal took a buncha filing on the parting line and then a buncha 80 and 120 grit to get the file marks out but it sure didn't seem ano.

    More fetish pics:

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    The Westy fills slowly:

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    And I've recently started on the hand controls:

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    Levers and throttle cover to be shiny, perches to be black.
    #20