Posts Tagged 'L'

new toy – 1968 ford f250

i’ve been looking for a truck for a while now, and talking about how i needed one even longer. after selling the ninja earlier this month, i was finally in the position to do something.
my criteria was that it had to be 1975 or older (ca smog exempt), two wheel drive, six cylinder and manual. shortbed would have been nice for parking in sf, but that alone would quadruple the price on most trucks, so i wasn’t holding out for one. besides, i knew i’d be happier with a long bed even if it is going to be a bitch to park sometimes.
i had a lead on a 68 f100 short bed in reno, my friend and fellow los dorados member troy was also looking for a truck, so i took a bus over the pass and we went truck shopping.
that f100 ended up being a bust, i had heard about it from don sumpter (who is the latest member of los dorados) – the truck belonged to his neighbor’s coworker’s mother-in-law or something to that effect. apparently the old lady’s husband died a while back and left a couple trucks behind and she wanted them gone. unfortunately, don had no direct line to her and i never got to see the dumb thing.
don was also selling his truck, a 79 ford f150. it was too new and the 6cyl and 4 speed had been replaced with a 352 v8 automatic lump, so i knew it wasn’t for me – though it is a super awesome truck. troy ended up picking it up cheap and is really happy with it, even if he is a little embarrassed by the political commentary on the tailgate.

i was extremely jealous and it really got me pumped to find a truck of my own, i was emailing people with trucks on craigslist from washington state down to southern california. people were getting mad at me because i couldn’t remember which truck they were selling. was that the 72 dodge or the 74 ford?
i finally found what i was looking for. a clean looking 68 f250 on reno craigslist. 300 4.9l inline six with four on the floor. it was sitting over in sparks, the pictures were pretty bad but i could tell it wasn’t super rough (some of the trucks i was looking at were pretty bad).

it was priced about what i was looking to pay at $800 (it was up for $1000 previously, but i had my filter set at $850 so i missed it), so i decided to go for it.
i texted with the guy and he said the first person to show up with $600 can take it. this was a wednesday and i was at work, i texted L to see if she wanted to go to reno for dinner.
we drove to reno after i got off work and by time we got to the place, it was getting dark. the truck looked awesome, though the battery was dead and the guy couldn’t get the truck started.
after a couple hours of messing with it and a new battery, the dude offered me the truck for $500 (what he paid for it, he says) and swears it runs great, he just had it running three days ago.
the whole time i’m telling the guy it’s a bad connection at the battery, so after i agree to take it for $500, i grab his pliers and take apart the hot wire battery terminal and scrape the corrosion out of it and cut the wire back past the corroded part, put it back together and started it up on the first crank.
i drove it up and down his street with a flat front tire (not having power steering it was a bitch) and was in love with it. we exchanged papers and i told him i’d be back on saturday to pick it up.
that saturday L and i drove back to reno and stayed at troy’s. we went to the pick-n-pull and got a new seat for his f150 and some stock steel ford 8 lug wheels for my truck. i hated the chrome chrysler wheels that were on there and it needed tires no matter what, so i figured i’d spend $40 on proper wheels and put tires on those instead. and that’s what i did.
after putting tires on the truck, i took it to troys and crawled around under it for a good hour or so rigging up the brake and tail lights. this thing’s going to need to be completely rewired someday, but it’s good enough for now.
new wheels and tires on, tail and brake lights now working, it was time to head back to sacramento.

the drive went pretty well, though the front shocks were so blown that at random times the wheels would start dribbling down the freeway. i also noticed that oil pressure was getting pretty low, so i stopped and ended up putting three quarts of oil in it. it smokes a bit and is weeping around the oil pan and lifter cover, so it definitely needs some work, but i couldn’t be more happy with it.
i am planning on driving it down to la for the bullies rally at the end of next month, so i have some work to do before then. i’ll have doug and probably troy along with me, it should be pretty exciting!
i hope we make it!

L’s magnum and some laguna stuff!

a while ago i got L’s magnum up on my lift to pull apart the transmission and check out the shift pucks. the bike has 201 miles on it, but it has been sitting for many years and i didn’t want to just assume they were still in good shape.

well, they totally were.

everything in there was in great shape. totally not suprised, the whole bike is clean and in good shape. it was just one of those better-safe-than-sorry things.

besides, i still had the low mile PAZ pucks that were removed from sparkle butt when the prototype atomic pucks went in. since i had this thing opened up, i figured i’d throw them in.

i threw on a new clutch cover gasket and sealed everything back up and topped it off with atf.

since i’m putting this thing back on the road for L, and this is pretty much her first real 2 wheeled ride out side of bicycles and the hobbit she rode around for a bit, i am making it as little and compact as possible. i decided the rack had to go (though i’m keeping it so that it can be thrown back on for possible camping adventures or whatever) and the rear fended needed bobbed so that the tire was the thing that stuck out the furthest.

first pulled the carb to run it through our ultrasonic cleaner. it’s always a good idea to get that going while you’re doing other stuff to minimize sitting around time. while the carb’s cooking, i can take care of little stuff.

new fuel line, fuel filter. stuck a drill to the crank and turned it over enough to make sure the oil pump is pumping as it should. replaced the starting cable.

pulled the rear fender off and removed the tail light, then kinda eyeballed where i wanted the fender to end, rolled the fender back and chopped off the front of it to retain the stock lip on the rear (and keep that sweet ‘the marvelous moped’ sticker intact).
the carb was done by this point, so i rebuilt and reinstalled it.

i picked up a little led tail light for the rear. i think the stock lighting coil should run it ok? we’ll see. i haven’t mounted it up yet, because i’m still trying to decide if i want to drill holes in that perfect trunk or not. i did run the wires for it, though.


with the carb reinstalled, pump working as it should and a new sparkplug thrown in, i hooked up a fuel iv and fired it up with my drill. the thing started right up and proceeded to smoke out the whole 2nd floor of our building. it was awesome.

i’ve since installed a new petcock after unsuccessfully rebuilding the stock tap (i can’t find a proper rubber piece for it) and replaced the left hand grip. i also pulled the pipe apart and cleaned it out as best as i could, but it’s still pretty smokey.
i need to get some brake knarps, trim up the stock brake cables and then i can go ride the thing around and hopefully burn out the rest of the junk in the pipe.
then it’s a matter of wiring it up proper and getting the plate for it and L can finally start ripping it around sacramento!

in other news, the kickstart guts for the laguna’s gpr engine finally showed up from europe!
so i pulled the clutch cover on that engine and went to work installing the parts.
it required me to remove the clutch itself, which i wanted to do while i was in there anyway. the clutch pads look alright, maybe a tiny bit worn. i think they will be fine for now. also, it’s got yellow springs in the clutch, i have no idea if those are stock or not.

everything where it goes.

i don’t have a replacement clutch cover gasket just yet, so it’s not quite ready to go all back together, plus i need to fix some shady stuff the previous owner did to this engine. for example, see those marks on the clutch’s face plate? they are from the oil level bolt being replace with one that was too long, it was dragging on the clutch. how do you not notice that?

i also remembered that the previous owner had said the cylinder had some porting done to it. i figured now was as good a time as any to pop the top off and have a look. the porting is actually pretty ok. everything looks clean and nothing looks horrible. i’ll run it as is.

i bolted the engine back together loosely until i get new gaskets for everything, and put it aside. i hope to be able to afford to get the parts sometime soon, it would be awesome to have that bike on the road this summer at some point.

but then, i have so many project sitting up here..

L’s maxi pipe coat rack

a few years ago L wanted a coat rack for our place, rather than buy one i figured i would make one. i was still in sacramento at the time working on mopeds for people at the motomatic warehouse and had a couple maxi pipes laying around, so i figured i’d go for it. with some scrounging i found a dented rim and a super shark-toothed rear maxi sprocket and a random header. after some work, this is what i came up with.

i used three headers for the hooks and welded plugs in the ends to cap them off.

for the bottom i cut the dented rim into sections and dressed the ends so they weren’t rough or snaggy, and ground the teeth on the sprocket to be back to more or less normal sprocket tooth shaped (but also not sharp or snaggy) and welded it all together.

the whole thing was cleaned with degreaser and soap and water, but deep down inside the thing there’s still some 30 year old carbon that lingers. i was going to cap the ends of the exhaust pipes if the thing was stinky, but it’s totally not so i didn’t bother.
i’ve always meant to get pictures of it but it’s had stuff hanging on it since the day i brought it home and never had a chance to get any, our move last weekend finally gave me a chance.

dirty fork and a couple small things for the sr

i’ve not posted much lately because i’ve been mostly tweaking my ninja. i don’t know if anyone really cares about me and my 09 er6f, so i haven’t really bothered. if you DO want to hear about it, let me know!

anyway, i picked up this all-in-one handle bar switch thing for the sr. it’s got everything but a start button on it. if the bike were mine, i probably wouldn’t bother with half of the electrical stuff, but it’s gunna be L’s and so i say it needs it all.
i’m was a little bummed that it doesn’t have a start button on it as i didn’t plan on having any other buttons or switches on the bike, other than the ignition switch.
so why not a keyed ignition with a start position? it works like one you would find in a car, you turn the key to start and it’ll crank the bike over. you let go when it fires up and the key springs back to the on position. why don’t motorcycles use this style of ignition anyway? the only thing i can think of is they want you to be able to start the bike with both hands on the bars. there’s no other reason i can think of.
the fit and finish of both of these parts are kinda meh, but they are robust enough to hold up, i think. besides, i’m on a $1000 budget for the whole build.

oh, and my fork bits for the dirty moped showed up!
i’m totally taking this build in a different direction than i started with, and i’m super excited about it.
i also have a yz80 front wheel of the same vintage on the way. one good thing about using old little dirt bike parts is that this whole front end, including front wheel and caliper (assuming i can get one at a decent price), is shaping up to cost me a lot less than a set of hydraulic ebr moped forks, and these are much better quality.

i might be getting fancy with the rear end of the bike. i’m still sourcing parts and trying to make sure my ideas will work out on paper before i commit to spending paper. i’ll fill you in on all that later on though, once i’ve made some decisions.

so yeah. how’s life?

mini magnum!

since i’m waiting on figuring out parts for the sr250, last night i pulled down L’s magnum to start with the minification.

i picked up a set of maxi length magnum ebrs and a set of maxi length shocks and started tearing into it.

the shocks went on real easy, of course. the ones i grabbed are rad because they have 10mm and 8mm inserts for the mounting hardware, they came with the 10mm installed but i swapped them out for the 8.

i’ve never pulled a pair of these magnum hydro forks apart before, they are great! the best quality fork i’ve seen come on a moped. i was going to try and sell them off, but i may hold on to them.

the new forks went on super easy. i pickle forked the inner bearing race off the stock triple tree and installed it on the ebrs. it was a nice and tight fit, no need for a spacer!
i was also stoked to see the stock fork covers/headlight ears fit right onto the new fork! the up and down spacing isn’t perfect, but i can make it work with a little trying.

i also threw on the pair of $16 bikemaster bars i had originally planned to put on the sr. i like them on the magnum though, so they may stay! i’ll cut them down, of course.

now it’s just a little guy! those 300mm shox might be a bit too small. maybe i’ll grab some 320s and try them out.


as you can see, the rear fender is kinda weird to look at now that the wheel’s all up in it’s face. i have a couple ideas as to how to deal with that. i’d rather not trim the original fender, so i may end up removing it all together. we’ll see!

now i’m left with this rad bench-side cup holder. if anyone needs/wants a rubber magnum dash in great shape, let me know! same goes for the forks and fender, as i’m not quite 100% on keeping them just yet.


next is to simplify the wiring, vinegar the tank, clean the carb and oil injector, a little mini tune including a new chain and cables, and to get the darn thing running!

L’s puch magnum

a few months ago i got an email from someone looking to sell a couple mopeds that used to belong to his grandpa. i told him that i was interested in seeing some pictures.
it totally blew my mind when he sent a couple pictures of two nearly mint 78 puch magnum mkIIs. i figured the guy was going to want a ton of money, but when i asked what he was looking to get he said he was hoping for $400– for the pair of them!
needless to say, the very next day i enlisted the help of my buddy maitland and his truck and we went and picked them up.




i sold the one that was a little bit more rough with more miles (~1400 or so) and held on to the other one with only 200 miles on it. now i’m going to build it for L so that she will have a moped to ride. i’m hoping the sr will be great for her, but a little magnum will be nice to build confidence on. plus she’ll have a moped for rallies.



i almost hate to do anything to such a clean magnum, but whatever. i’m going to put maxi length ebrs and shocks on it, some shorter bars and possibly a disk brake on the front.
the engine will stay stock for now. it MIGHT get a pipe, but probably not right away. a stock za50 should get L’s 95lbs around town ok for now, i think.

SPARKLE BUTT puch maxi

there’s a kinda long story behind this maxi, and it kinda goes all over the place. i had a foxi (ktm style that accepts puch engines) that i was going to build for L. but the gas tank was so rotten that it was a total loss.
i had a little k-star e50 already built for it, and had most of the parts needed to build a complete bike laying around, just no frame.
latebirds of la were throwing a rally and my bff doug wanted to fly out to sf and take me and his west coast bike (a poopy derbi laguna) down to la to play. however, i had no working mopet and no money to get one of mine back on the road.
doug, being the total sweetie that he is, decided to take this newport frame he has hanging in his garage (in upstate new york, btw) and get it powdercoated all crazy rainbow darkness and ship it over to me, free of charge.



with doug’s frame i was able to throw together sparkle butt maxi, using the front end and rear shocks from black betty, the rear wheel for my moby 50cc race bike that hasn’t happened yet, bars from dirty, a borrowed hi-pipe from atomic andy, seat donated by the lovely dr.thomas and a slew of other random bits i had laying about.



we went to la and the rally kicked ass. sparkle butt, however, sucked ass. that pipe, you see, it meant for a high-strung 80cc dirt bike, not a not-even-ported kstar with a 19mm carb. i had no low end at all. once the thing finally got moving, though, the pipe would come on and it would book for being a not-even-ported kstar with a 19mm carb!

(_stole this picture from the late bird’s facebook page. dunno who took it_)

down hill it ripped!

a little while later it was creatures’ turn for a rally. andy took back his pipe and i traded the e50 bottom end for a za50. with the help of paz, i rebuilt the bottom end with a race crank, new bearings and paz shift pucks. flipped the first gear clutch and ported the cases for a gila.
i had a proma circuit pipe laying around that was meant for L’s foxi forever ago, and a 21mm carb left over from some other project. atomic andy made me an intake manifold and i was good to go.




this time the bike performed flawlessly. i threw some buddy pegs on and L and i ripped around sf on a post rally date with fellow dorados troy.

sparkle butt is now doug’s west coast ripper (till further notice) while i get silly on his poopy laguna. more on that in a later post.

81 yamaha sr250

here is the 81 sr250 i pickd up for L on the day i dragged it into the shop. bought it from a guy for $250, the bike has less than 2k miles on it and was last registered in 81.



the idea is to strip it down and make it as small, light and simple as possible. L’s tiny, so she needs a small bike to get going on.

really, i would have liked to find her a 125 to begin with, but the sr is a small bike and will hopefully work well for her.

with a carb clean and some fresh gas, i was ripping up and down the ally on it. 30 year old tires and sticky brakes made for a fun experience, and the front of the bike felt like it wanted to twist to the left when i got on the front brake. it’s a total death trap. i love it.

stuff in store-
-strip all that crazy 80’s mini-cruiser stuff off the bike, including the pizza box
-some little mid-rise bars
-low, thin seat
-general 5 star moped tank
-19″ wheels front and rear
-some long shocks out back
-gunna try and reduce travel and height in the forks when i rebuild them (as you can see, they were already pushed way up into the triple trees to make them lower)
-little moped headlight
-aftermarket muff on that pipe
-vm mechanical slide carb (hate cv carbs)
-and more!

(_shitty paint mock up_)
this is going to be a super fun project.

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