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Author Topic: I now officially HATE my bike!  (Read 1975 times)

jmiller_2308

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I now officially HATE my bike!
« on: May 12, 2012, 04:35:19 PM »
Well actually I love riding my bike but I now HATE working on it!  This is mostly a rant about how an overzealous bullet owner can suffer from shipwright’s disease but I need to do something to vent my frustration.

I thought I was a relatively competent mechanic but this bike has been getting the better of me since November of last year.  This is partly because of what it is and partly because I took on too many “improvements” after reading about ways to make the bike better.  Winter seemed like a great time to do the improvements and have the bike operational come spring.  Unfortunately it isn’t operational yet.

The first improvement was to address the rusty tank by experimenting with electrolysis.  Well the tank no longer has rust but I ended up messing up the paint.  No problem I thought, it just made for a nice opportunity to paint the tins so that they would finally all be the same color green.  This was obviously the point at which shipwright’s disease first took hold and I lost my senses.

I looked at painting it myself but decided I wasn’t confident enough and sent it off to a local painter.  Sigh, it took him 4 months to get my tins back but that is yet another sad story.  While taking the casquette off I managed to mess up the amp meter so I ordered a new one.  I also succumbed to wanting to get free shipping as well as take advantage of all the great sales at the end of last year so I ended up buying a bunch of other upgrades as well (this is when it was clear shipwright’s disease had a firm grip on me and wasn’t going to let me off easy)

I ended up buying parts to upgrade the headlight, changing seats, upgrade the ignition and other electrical parts, add a tooth to the drive gear, and change the gearbox bearings so that I could run oil.  I also added projects to move and replace turn signals and hide the electronics.   Some of this I could start while the tins were away at the painters but some had to wait until I got my parts back.

Of the upgrades, the gearbox has been and continues to be a fiasco.  When I initially pulled the inner gearbox cover the gears came out with it.  It took a lot of trial and error but after taking it apart and putting it back together several times I grew confident I put it back together correctly.  Mind you, I’m like lots of folks in that I have little free time so that effort took a good two months calendar time.  Unfortunately, the painter still had my tins so I bolted everything together, finished the other improvements I could finish without the tins, and waited for the painter to be done.

I finally get the tins back and because I have little time to work on things another month passes as I finish putting things back together.  Dang, I really like the way it turned out!  Time to fill it with fluids but now I find that the inner gear box cover gasket leaks.

Luckily, I ordered an extra gasket when I was working on it during the winter so I was able to do a quick tear down to replace the gasket last night.  I used gasket sealer which said to let it sit for 3 hours before doing anything so I waited until this morning to start putting parts back in.  ARGH!!!!! It turns out I managed to not get the gear changer engaged when I put the inner cover on.

Many four letter words later I’m online looking for parts but can’t find them so I’ll end up calling on Monday.   If there are no backorders maybe I’ll get this thing on the road again sometime yet this month but I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever finish this dang thing.

Jeff

The Garbone

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Re: I now officially HATE my bike!
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 05:58:04 PM »
If it helps any my 4spd box has leaked for since I did the bearing and RH shift upgrade a few years back.  I am considering doing the pan of oil n grease warmed up and poured in as a solution.   Forget were I read about it, either here or Yahoo.  Sounds like a leak solution.

Gary
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67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: I now officially HATE my bike!
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 12:39:27 AM »
One thing to remember is that these are the kind of things we have all done at one time or another myself included. They are also things that you will never do again.

As for the transmission I have never understood why people want to run oil in them. They were designed for 00 grease. If you use a good one like Amsoil it works really well just like it was designed to do.

If you are having trouble shifting, the first thing to remember is that the old 4 speed Albion box is an old design It will NEVER shift like anything other than an old transmission. That is slowly and deliberately.

Many transmission problems are actually clutch adjustment problems. Adjust it as tight as you dare.

Lastly the ratchet mechanism inside the outer case is very sensitive to adjustment. Too much one way and it undershifts, too much the other way and it overshifts. It takes trial and error to get it right.

jmiller_2308

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Re: I now officially HATE my bike!
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 02:22:00 PM »
Hi Kevin, it is always great to have your point of view added to posts.

My 1999 Military shifted acceptably and didn’t leak prior to the tear down so there really wasn’t a huge concern to go to oil over grease at that point.  I was however very interested in going up a tooth on the drive gear and everything I read suggested that if I go that far I might as well put in sealed bearings.

These forums, the manuals, and the NField Gear site have several articles about installing sealed bearings so that the gearbox will hold oil instead of grease and that by doing so it can help the 4-speed shift better.  I also have to admit that tearing apart the gearbox when it has oil in it was a lot more pleasant than tearing apart the gearbox when it had grease in it.

I see that NField Gear has Royal Enfield transmission grease for sale but no Amsoil grease.  Should I decide to go back to grease; would you suggest using one over the other?

In any event, most of my ongoing work is indeed my fault.  It was brought on by succumbing to too many upgrades at once and exasperated by unintended delays mostly from my painter, life, and an occasional back ordered part.  I still love to ride the bike and only hope that I’ll get through this upgrade process before too much more of the summer comes and goes.

Jeff

jmiller_2308

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Re: I now officially HATE my bike!
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 09:51:17 PM »
I got the parts I needed (thanks Tim for rushing them along) and put everything back together.  I'm now leaking out the primary case so I guess I'll have to order up another part and possibly the beginning of June I'll be running full time.

In the meantime, I did get in a few miles with gear oil in the gear box and I have to say that yes, it is much better than when the bike had 13 year old factory grease in it.  I'm not sure if the grease just got stiff from 13 years of sitting or if the oil is really that much better but I suspect the later.

Jeff

bman734

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Re: I now officially HATE my bike!
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 08:14:06 PM »
I replace one bolt and had problems just doing that. So I've decided to keep it stock all the way until things really start falling apart!
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