Time to grow my moustache, the garage smells like Guzzi.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Lucky 7, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    As I've watched my 20's come and go (and my 30's seem to be following suit), I've become more aware of the neglected mental life list created by a younger me. Of course, it's been an ever changing, evolving list, but the big ones have been there from the beginning. Time, work, and life have busied me elsewhere, but lately I've been attempting to refocus my attentions to things that have been in my dreams for years and decades. Something like this:

    1. Design and build my own house
    2. Rebuild an old car
    3. Become a boxer
    4. Sleep naked with a girl
    5. Rebuild an old motorcycle
    6. Speak something other than English
    7. Own a Testarossa

    Of course, there's more, but those are some big ones. As it turns out, boyhood Gavin actually wanted to do some cool stuff...with the exception of number 7 which, although shallow and childish, would still be truly awesome for adult Gavin. Seriously, who else grew up in the 80s? A red Testarossa was the stuff of boyhood legend. I may never own one, but I ain't dead yet. :)

    Well, with a few exceptions, I haven't done much to dent that list. We've spent the last 8 years gutting and remodeling our old Victorian house, so that has to count for something on number 1, but the others have been largely ignored. No more! My wife and I are learning Spanish (donde esta mi Testarossa?) and, the whole reason I'm writing this, I'm elbows deep into number 5. Sweet!

    For years I'd looked at old bikes and dreamed of stripping them to the nuts, but for reasons unknown, the Guzzi Eldorado was the one that finally cemented in my brain as THE BIKE. I remember the day I was looking at photos of panheads online and then all of a sudden there it was...the Eldorado. I hadn't ever seen one before, but I just knew. It was the sexiest, ugliest, most fantastic motorcycle I'd ever seen. From that moment, it was just a matter of getting a garage built and my house finished before I knew I could start this project. Once I sold the KTM from my trip last year (link), it was time. In March, I came across a '72 Eldo Police on Craigs in Portland and decided to pull the trigger. It was blowing oil and apparently not running (well? at all?), so the price was hard to pass up, even though I couldn't see it in person. I had a buddy check it out in person and started working on shipping.

    A long week later, it showed up:
    [​IMG]




    Here's what I was working with from the seller. It looked in alright shape and since I was planning on a full restoration, the seal and electrical issues he mentioned didn't bother me much.
    [​IMG]



    Out of the truck and into the garage with the help of John, my TAT riding mate (and a 2x10):
    [​IMG]



    Before I did anything, I needed to know how she rode. I bought the bike without ever even sitting on one, after all. A new battery got some of the lights going, and a good while rewiring the starter got me crank over. Now...why won't it start? Oh yeah! It's an old bike, duh, I bet the fuel is turned off. Fuel on, a few other minor repairs and she fired up in a cloud of smoke. After some rough idling, she smoothed out and begged for a ride. The sloppiest gearbox I've ever encountered gave me fits before I finally found first and figured out how to use the rocker shifter, but I got there eventually. Now it was time for some road! I took a few easy laps around the block to make sure I knew what the hell I was doing, then it was out for a spin. The engine settled into a lopey grumble, the suspension ate up the road, and I was cruising. This bike is fantastic. After 15 or so miles I turned her back toward home and as luck would have it, it stalled out and wouldn't start again a few blocks from my house. A long push uphill had it back in my garage. Maybe bad gas left in the tank? Maybe vapor lock? I'm not certain, but the next morning I charged up the battery and it fired right up again. Something to be figured out on the other side of the rebuild. It blew oil like a bastard and the controls were so corroded that I could barely operate half of it, but I was already in love with it.

    With a test run in the can, it was time to start stripping it! For the record, I've never done anything like this before, so I have a crash course in motorcycles in front of me. A few days a week I'm a bicycle mechanic, but that knowledge is going to run out quick once I get near the combustion elements. Also, I tend toward creativity over expense, so watch out for interesting (read: inadvisable) uses of my existing tools to accomplish my tasks. :)

    To be continued...
    #1
  2. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo's my dog

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    738
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I'd suggest buying a shop manual and a digital camera. Take pictures of everything before you start, from multiple angles, more pictures as you go, and more as you put it back together. You'll have no idea which pictures you're going to refer back to so take more than you than you need.

    And don't even start pulling it apart until you have at least one service manual, and a parts manual is nice to have too.


    I grew up in the 80s too, but nothing beats a Lamborgihni Miura for dream cars IMHO...
    #2
  3. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,768
    Location:
    England. Somewhere on the Canal.
    #3
  4. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    Thanks guys. Greg's webpage has been invaluable. So far, I've tried to read up on whatever part well in advance and take notes of anything major that I wouldn't have thought of. Then I actually work on that part a few weeks later and force myself to figure it out. It's nice to know the service manual or Greg's webpage is there if I get stuck, but it's really fun to do as much as I can by myself.

    Diving in:
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0213_zps9b0b04ad.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0213_zps9b0b04ad.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0213_zps9b0b04ad.jpg"/></a>


    This mount will have to go, it put a big dent in the fender after some big fork compression somewhere along the line:
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0211_zps59913a14.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0211_zps59913a14.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0211_zps59913a14.jpg"/></a>


    Lot's and lots of photos are taken. Many notes jotted. The bike gets smaller and the piles grow bigger.
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0216_zpsd7952ac4.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0216_zpsd7952ac4.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0216_zpsd7952ac4.jpg"/></a>


    Yuck. Be gone you foul, ill-wired rat's nest. Whoever did this wiring was unqualified to do so. Not many of the electrical devices worked.
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0225_zpscd2bc7e9.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0225_zpscd2bc7e9.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0225_zpscd2bc7e9.jpg"/></a>


    Syri-Dog wonders why I'm destroying my new motorcycle.
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0226_zps25b9b001.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0226_zps25b9b001.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0226_zps25b9b001.jpg"/></a>


    Fork comes off, swingarm is next.
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0229_zpsefc28933.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0229_zpsefc28933.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0229_zpsefc28933.jpg"/></a>
    #4
  5. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    I do what I can.:D
    #5
  6. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,911
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Good luck wit6h number 4 Though I suspect it's slipping further down the list. The only people impressed by old bikes are old folk and saddos like us :D
    #6
  7. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,793
    Location:
    Nelson New Zealand
    I agree with Desmo dog about taking lots of pics. Everything always seems so logical & straightforward when taking the bike apart, Doesn't take much to put a part the wrong way around, still being a bike mechanic you'd be pretty up with that side of it.
    I like the way you described it as sexy ugly - that's why I love guzzis & airheads.


    BTW I tried #4 once. it was gooooood.
    #7
  8. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,139
    Location:
    Inverary, Ontario, Canada
    LuckyZ - just cos no one else has mentioned it yet, I will. Chrome bores? Check it out before you get in too far.

    Nick
    #8
  9. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Western MD
    #9
  10. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    Good old chrome bores. I haven't had a chance to pull the cylinders yet, but I'm planning on just doing a Gilardoni kit on it. It has 66,000 on the clock, so it seems like a smart move. I've been holding off on ordering the kit just to make sure that my factory jugs weren't bored/relined at some point. No need to waste money after all, but I have a feeling that I'll end up doing new ones.

    As of right now, the engine is sitting on my work bench waiting to be torn down. Parts are back from powdercoat and I should have everything back from chrome soon. Then I'm planning to hang as much as I can back on the frame just to clear up my bench for the engine overhaul. I'll probably get into the engine in the next few weeks.

    I didn't get around to starting a thread sooner, but I'll keep posting my backlog photos and thoughts until I'm caught up. I have a feeling that inmate advice will come in handy around engine/tranny time. :thumb
    #10
  11. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Pagani Zonda for me. :deal

    Like your approach. Make it happen, I'll follow your progress :thumb
    #11
  12. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    At some point during the deconstruction phase of a project, I usually start feeling a bit despondent about what I've done. Generally I feel much better once I've done something in the 'reconstruction' department. With nothing but a pile of rusty parts for what used to be the bike, I decided on the dash for my first bit of forward progress.


    The finish on the dash was in rough shape and the speedo was seized at about 60mph. None of the lights worked and I think the spotlight switch was the only one that did anything.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0246_zps86f29c76.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0246_zps86f29c76.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0246_zps86f29c76.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0237_zps51543d6f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0237_zps51543d6f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0237_zps51543d6f.jpg"/></a>



    I decided to start with the speedo since it was the biggest unknown for me. Upon disassembly, I found that the magnet plates had come loose and were lodged together. It was fairly easy to get them unstuck and back to proper mounting positions, but I was left with a sprung speedo with no needle on it and no idea what position it needed to go back into. There had to be a way to figure this out...

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0239_zpsea40dfd5.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0239_zpsea40dfd5.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0239_zpsea40dfd5.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0240_zps4df3ccf2.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0240_zps4df3ccf2.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0240_zps4df3ccf2.jpg"/></a>


    Finally I decided on a power drill to spin the speedo while I timed how long it took for a mile to click over. Once I knew that number, some easy math told me how many equivalent mph my drill was spinning. With that, I just had to spin it back up with the drill and then place the needle on the spindle at the proper mph. Seems easy enough, but I'll be interested to see how well my theory works when I'm on the road. At test runs I'll need to have someone speed match me so I can get an idea of how right (or wrong) it really is. We'll see...

    After that, I sprayed the speedo can and reinstalled the guts and the glass.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0250_zpsf18ea7fd.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0250_zpsf18ea7fd.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0250_zpsf18ea7fd.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0251_zps0a2a90c1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0251_zps0a2a90c1.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0251_zps0a2a90c1.jpg"/></a>


    Then I polished up the indicator lights on the buffer, they were pretty dull.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0243_zpsc46e298a.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0243_zpsc46e298a.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0243_zpsc46e298a.jpg"/></a>

    much better:
    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0245_zpsa253da1f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0245_zpsa253da1f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0245_zpsa253da1f.jpg"/></a>


    Then I started the polish on the actual dash unit.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0249_zpsbc5af86f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0249_zpsbc5af86f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0249_zpsbc5af86f.jpg"/></a>


    With that done, I could get everything installed, including fresh new switches and newly polished indicator lights:

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0254_zps0bb2870c.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0254_zps0bb2870c.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0254_zps0bb2870c.jpg"/></a>
    #12
  13. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    Unfortunately, most of the light holder tubes on the back of the indicator lights were cracked and unusable. I couldn't find a replacement anywhere and no solution seemed to present itself after hours of combing the internet resources. Finally, I came across this product found at your local craft store or on Amazon:

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0259_zps24fbbb67.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0259_zps24fbbb67.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0259_zps24fbbb67.jpg"/></a>


    Cut to proper length and zipped lengthwise per the OEM tube, it was an unbelievably perfect fit. A quick tap snugged it down over the mounting nut and the side cut allows the lamp socket to be pulled out by hand while still holding tightly.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0261_zpsb3ca0f75.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0261_zpsb3ca0f75.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0261_zpsb3ca0f75.jpg"/></a>


    Then it was just a matter of getting them all installed:

    [​IMG]


    I ordered new lamp sockets from Greg at thisoldtractor.com and picked up new pull switches from AutoZone. While I was emailing with Greg, I mentioned the brass tube solution and was flattered to find that he added the suggestion to the annals of thisoldtractor. Awesome!

    Now the dash is up and running with working lights, a working (and lit) speedo, and all functional switches. Now I was starting to feel a little more productive.

    From here it was on to the wheels and the dark horrors within...
    #13
  14. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,097
    Location:
    Road Island
    Hey.... I like this guy's style..... and he writes good, too!!

    :lurk
    #14
  15. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Birth of a Guzzi, part I - The Beginning
    :clap
    Way to go :rayof
    #15
  16. slower_than_you

    slower_than_you Slacker

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Burlington, NC
    Very cool project - Im looking forward to updates ! :beer:
    #16
  17. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,768
    Location:
    England. Somewhere on the Canal.
    Funny, as I thought he wrote Well Good, innit! :lol3:lol3:lol3
    #17
  18. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,370
    Location:
    Central CT
    Can't...resist.....posting.....
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    MG Cycle has the socket tubes? Dang! I could not find them. I suppose I should have just called. Oh well, I had fun on my solution and probably saved money.
    #19
  20. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Denver
    With the dash up and running, it was on to the next big question mark: the wheels.

    I knew the bearings were nicely gummed as I couldn't get them to budge with my hand. They turned fine on the bike, but I was sure it was going to be unsavory in there. The biggest concern for me was the spokes and nipples being seized in place. I spent a few weeks bathing the SOB in PB Blaster and eventually got the nerve to start the tear down.

    The blaster did it's job, but there were a few that really didn't want to come out. Much careful tapping lands me here:

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0233_zps90afacb8.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0233_zps90afacb8.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0233_zps90afacb8.jpg"/></a>


    The spokes and nipples were crusty and in need of help. For the initial clean, I brought them into the bike shop with me and let them sit in the parts washer for a few hours. It cleaned them up nicely, but the nips especially were still fairly nasty. I decided to give them an overnight stay in some citric acid, the old handloaders trick for cleaning up spent casings.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0235_zps5d48dc9d.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0235_zps5d48dc9d.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0235_zps5d48dc9d.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0236_zps1517c765.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0236_zps1517c765.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0236_zps1517c765.jpg"/></a>


    I actually really liked the bronze/copper look it gave them, but what the hell. I'm probably only going to rebuild the wheels once, so I decided to polish them. Before and after the denim wheel:

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0317_zpsae0079aa.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0317_zpsae0079aa.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0317_zpsae0079aa.jpg"/></a>


    Not bad!

    From here I pulled the bearings and seals. As expected, the grease in there had set up like old elmer's glue. I cleaned up as much as I could by hand and the parts washer took care of the rest.

    <a href="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/gwoodworth/media/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0231_zps89b5db75.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh535/gwoodworth/Guzzi%20rebuild/IMG_0231_zps89b5db75.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0231_zps89b5db75.jpg"/></a>


    (note: these are the headset bearings, but they all looked about the same after they came out. Shiny and ready for another 40 years of service)

    The bearings look fine to me, so they'll be going right back in with new grease and some fresh seals from MC Cycle. That'll do pig, that'll do.
    #20