Posts Tagged 'new parts'

Tomahawk Cup race bike

Don’t know what the Tomahawk Cup is? read this! –,3527560,page=1

These are the classes as they were hashed out and as they currently stand –

Stockish Class
– No custom frames
– Pedals or Kickstart
– Stock Cylinder ONLY
– 15 mm carb limit
– Aftermarket pipe allowed
– Variated bikes allowed with no launch lever
– Any factory chassis or engine parts can be swapped to build a stock frankenbike.

Non-Variated Class
– < 75cc Kits air cooled
– No carb limit
– 1 and 2 speeds
– Moped H20 < 50cc kits

Variated Class
– < 75cc kits air cooled
– Bo carb limit
– Moped H20 < 50cc kits

Unlimited Class
– < 99cc kits

While I have a billion projects, a few of which might be fun in some of those classes, I decided to do a Puch E50 build for the non-variated class. I have already done the crazy, complicated, weirdo concept super race bike thing for the Polini Cup all those years ago and was totally burned when no one showed up to race and the series got canceled, so I decided I would build something simple, easy and, most importantly, CHEAP to go racing with. Worst case scenario – this race circuit bombs like the Polini Cup and I have a super rad Maxi to rip around on that didn’t cost a bunch of money and end up too much a headache to put on the street (ala VX4).

Chris Paz hooked me up with a frame. Well, most of a frame. It’s going to need some stuff welded back on, namely some shock mounts, but it’s free and a rad platform to build on!
I may take his work further and cut the seatpost part of the frame off and just build something out of tube steel to sit on, I’m not sure yet.

Other parts I already have laying around are a set of E50 cases, a 17″ disk brake front wheel, a couple different french bike pipes to choose from (Doppler and Doppler clones, I think? Not much of a choice really.), and this thingy-
KTM 50 CDI, same setup I’ve been running on ciaociao for yeeeears. Mr. Naz up in Seattle built this for someone forever ago and I ended up with it.
It’ll be perfect!

My plan for the engine build is going to be a heavily ported Gila on that 77 stuffy crank with the 77 Super Clutch. I’m going to use a pull start, so I’ll ditch the stock starting bits and cut the starting plate off the clutch to lighten it up some. I’ve also got some clutch bell mods in store, as well as lightening the main gear. I’m going to balance all those bits too while I’m at it.
I’ll probably run one of the 24mm carbs I have laying around.

The new Garage will be out soon and I’ll be documenting the build over there, but I’ll link it up over here too when ever I have updates.

This should be a fun build! I can’t wait to get back on the track!

halloweener update – more of the same from before (part 2)

alright, continuing from yesterday.

another thing i decided to take care of was my clutch bell. at a creature rally forever ago i had to weld the nut on the back of my clutch because it had stripped out and left me kinda screwed. that fixed me up good enough and, other than the pulley being a little warped from the heat, it ran great forever.

then at a polini cup race i blew a belt and it had flipped out of the rear pulley onto my yellow malossi contra spring, collapsing most of the spring and leaving only one coil still functioning. this made the yellow spring much weaker than a stock spring. i tried to adjust my variator weights to make up for it, but i could never get it to perform very well, and since i welded the thing together i couldn’t swap the spring.

so yeah, i get myself a second clutch pack and put my malossi red spring in it. this works out, except the clutch is a non-reinforced 2-tier clutch bell version, and my reinforced 3-tier bell won’t fit over the clutch for whatever reason. i was getting it ready for the reno rally at the time and didn’t have time to sort it out, so i just put the 2-tier bell on it.

i decided to do something about that finally. i pulled the 2-tier bell and compared it to the 3-tier reinforced bell. you can kinda see here that the 2-tier bell (left) has a ditch that runs around the outside of it whereas the 3-tier does not. i colored the 3-tier bell with a blue sharpie in that area to verify that it was infact dragging here, and it was.
you can also see the thickness difference between the two bells in this photo.

here are a couple closeups in case the picture above doesn’t show it well enough.


i ended cutting a bunch off the end of the starting clutch bell, coloring it blue, installing the bell to check where it rubs and then pulling the bell back off and doing it again.
took like 5 tries before i got it to clear.

ok, so got all of THAT sorted. next, my rear hub has been leaking oil ever since the nut stripped out on the back of my rear variator and kinda lathed the seal and hub case down all those years ago. all that oil saturated my rear brake shoe and ruined it, so i changed the shoe and replaced the seals.

apparently i didn’t get a picture of the seal in the hub, but here it was after i pulled i out.

and here’s the hub itself.
i was worried there wasn’t enough sealing area left for the outside of the seal, but there was nothing to do but put in the new seal and hope it was ok. it totally wasn’t ok, it ended up leaking oil everywhere at the la rally, even with the new seal. anyone have a spare vestap rear hub? haaah.

seal looks oily here only cos i good and lubed it up before putting it in.

rear seal looked fine, but i replaced it anyway. M! for malossi gears! really though, i had a couple of transmissions at one point that i was swapping out and kept forgetting which had the gears in them.

i tried sanding my brake shoe to see if it would work alright, but it was no use. it’s too bad, i had a kinetic shoe in there, which is the widest shoe available for vespa mopeds. here you can see the different sizes lined up. left to right – kinetic shoe, ebc shoe and stock ciao shoe.

while i had the wheel off i noticed the bearing in the carrier thingy on the right side (what do you even call that thing) was super notchey and in bad shape. figured i ought to take care of that too while i was at it.

i ground the heads off the stock rivets and pried the two pieces apart. with a little banging, the bearing came right out.

the new bearing (double shielded 6202) pressed in pretty easily.

pop-riveted the two halves back together and it was good as new.

i buttoned everything up and was pretty well ready to go.


i had a couple more things to do – the decomp didn’t return as quickly as i would like and i needed to figure out what i was going to do about lights.

the decomp thing is due to the cable being kinda sticky. i lubed it up as best as i could, but i felt like the little spring on the head wasn’t going to be enough to ensure it closing all the way, so i rigged up a lever return spring.
it works perfect to give the cable an extra push. i’ll replace the cable someday, but this is working great for now, so it’s good enough!

as for the lights, i ran out of time. i entertained the idea of a bicycle friction generator light, but those things are expensive for the nice ones and the cheapies are way too crappy.
in the end i just ran without lights. i stuck a derbi light on it so that it looked like i had a headlight, but there isn’t any wires running to it or anything.

and that was it! i think. that was a lot of typing, i hope i didn’t miss anything.
i took some pre-la rally pictures in the sf moto elevator.




alright! part 3 tomorrow!

quick truck update

new distributor cap, rotor and plug wires and the truck is running so much better! just a bit more work here and there and it should be la ready.

ciao update later!

new shocks for the truck

last weekend i spent a couple hours playing with the truck. as i said last time, it burns a little oil (and leaks a bit too – as in quite a bit), so after verifying the pcv valve was ok (a bad one can cause your engine to suck oil from the under the valve cover and dump it into the intake, giving you smokey exhaust and requiring frequent oil top-offs), i figure it’s probably bad rings on one or more of the pistons.

i ran a compression test on all six cylinders and i got quite a spread of numbers in the results; they range from 145psi to 170psi.
however, after doing some homework it would seem that i might be alright there. my reading tells that all cylinders should be within 15% of one another. i coulda sworn it was 20%, at least that’s what i remember from back in my bmw days, but i’m going with what the internet says. internet’s always right.
anyway, 170 x .15 = 25.5 (26 rounded off). 170 – 26 = 144, so my lowest cylinder just cuts it by the skin of it’s teeth (pistons have teeth, btw).
my next lowest reading was 152psi, then 158psi, 168 and two at 170. while having one cylinder just 1psi away from not making the grade is not ideal, it’ll do for now. once i get back from la i’ll plan on doing the rings.

however, it seems like rings probably aren’t my oil consumption problem, which more or less leaves valve guides. they are pretty easy to do on this engine, and with the right tools can be done in like an hour or two without removing the head from the engine. i’m going to buy the tools and plan on doing that before la, but depending on time and such it might have to wait also. i did pick up a case of 10w-30 at costco, so maybe i’ll just bring it along and top up as needed!

i replaced the plugs while i was at it. there were three different types of plugs in the thing, only two being the proper type. oh well, they are all proper now!

see that thing hanging under my dash near the driver door there? kinda what from this angle appears to be right next to the clutch pedal? that’s my ignition switch. i should probably get that taken care of before the trip too, but it’s not a priority at the moment. also, yes, that is the same seat cover that every other old truck ever has.

an issue i discovered when driving home from reno was that both the front shocks were completely blown. L was following me in her scion and said that at times the the front wheels would dribble down the freeway like a basketball. shocks were like $35 for the pair, so i busted that out real quick.
here’s the passenger side shock next to the new one. the old shocks had less resistance than a toy accordion, and since everyone everywhere has a toy accordion i assume you all know what i mean.

driverside old –

driverside new –

the radius arm bushings need replace super bad too, but i’m not sure if that’ll get done before la or not.

the rear shocks seem fine, but i’ll probably replace them anyway since they are so cheap.
i’ve got a 4.10 dana 60 full floating rear end, great for towing and hauling anything but ass. it’s not a fast truck, but i didn’t want a fast truck. i can’t drive 55! no, really. ok, i do 65 comfortably, maybe 70 if i feel like burning money.

the hood hinges are pretty blown out. the springs are fine, but all the pivot points are sloppy and the hood hangs about a foot lower than it should when up, i have an ever-healing cut on my head from constantly running into the hood latch. i’m going to change those soon.

some pictures-





that’s my truck! i took it for a spin to run some errands once i was done and replacing the front shocks made it a whole new truck.

alan and i are going to go hit up a couple pick-n-pulls this weekend and i’ve got a short shopping list of odds and ends i wanna pick up. namely those hood hinges. and maybe a tail light lens. and a non-mix-matched set of plug wires. and possibly a set of rear shocks if i see some that look newish. and a steelie spare wheel with a good tire. and and and an dn adnadn adna dna dnadn adnadn

moto guzzi trotter engine rebuild

since the trotter’s going to be my main rally squeeze for the landsquid rally later this month, i decided i should maybe tear into the engine a little just to have a look to make sure everything’s good.
i could get the engine to start up ok, but it wouldn’t idle and the crank seemed a little too hard to turn by hand. i figured worse case scenario the crank would be trashed and then i’d have to hack some other engine onto the frame. part of me thought it would be hilarious to graft a crazy big-boy kitted e50 or something into that little frame, but if the engine was ok, i wanted to just leave it alone and ride it stock.

first things, i wanted to check out the top end and make sure the piston and cylinder looked fine.




the piston’s in great shape, though there’s quite a bit of carbon. i figure it’s probably from the old school oil from forever ago that it probably ran last.

look at the tiny intake port, it’s so cute!

the exhaust is pretty tiny too, and also has some carbon to scrape out.




once i had the clyinder off and the piston off the crank, i could tell something wasn’t right in the crankcase. the crank would spin, but not easily at all. the connecting rod bearing is in great shape and there’s no excessive movement anywhere, so there’s some good news at least.
the trotter engine has the same flywheel taper as puch, and uses the same electronics, though this stuff’s a bit older than you see on most maxis. the points still have a lot of life and i was getting great spark from the coil, so i’m just going to replace the sparkplug wire and leave the rest alone for now.


if all else fails i’ll just stuff something else in here.

the right side crankcase half came off pretty easy, and i was able to see why the crank was kinda hard to turn right away; the main bearing has siezed and the crank was spinning in it.

fucker bearing rusted solid.
no big deal though, turns out this engine uses your standard 6203 main bearing, same as puch and a bunch of other guys.

also, can we take a second to just look at how weird this engine is? so weird.

last time i removed the clutch i noticed the bell doesn’t just come off and i didn’t have time then to explore it more. turns out under that top hat seal thingy there is a snap ring that holds it on the crank.

crank out, thing’s a weirdo.

the crank has a nice sized oil groove in the big end of the conrod, and really wide triangle spacer washers between the conrod and the lobes, allowing lots of oil to get up in there.


so i got this far planning to just replace the bearings, make a new gasket for the case halves and put it all back together, but i figured i might as well pull it all the way apart and replace all of the bearings and seals.
actually, i didn’t replace any of the roller bearings in the transmission as they were all in great shape so i just did all of the big bearings. i’m getting ahead of myself here.

before tearing into the transmission, i decided to make sure the crank was salvageable. since it spun in the seized bearing, the new bearing would slide right on. not having access to a new trotter crank, i decided to go the hillbilly rout and dimple the bearing surface.
i’ve done this before on vespa large frame clutches when they would spin the brass bushing and the customer was too cheap to replace anything, but i’ve not done this on a crank before.
but whatever, it’s a moped. plus i have a set of e50 cases sitting on a shelf just asking for an 80 kit.

i went around the whole crank and made a bunch of dimples with my center punch. a bunch of them.

i totally didn’t take any pictures of the new bearings on the crank, but they pressed on nice and tight.

since the crank is fine, i tore into the transmission.
the sprocket on this thing really needs replaced but i’ll never find a new one. oh well!


i kind of really sucked at getting pictures of this stage. whatever, if you ever end up with a trotter and need help rebuilding it just email me.

engine cases all stripped down. well, except the studs. they were kinda stuck and i didn’t have a good rease really to pull them so i left them.

most of the rest of the engine in a bucket.

so i grab all four of my old seals and the two big bearings from the transmission and hit up the internet to see what i can find.
i am able to find three of the four seals on amazon and get them on their way, but one of the crank seals is a weird size that is apparently impossible to find on u.s. soil. i forget what sizes everything was, and everything’s at the shop 80 miles from here so i’ll leave a comment on this post tomorrow with bearing and seal sizes on the off chance of anyone ever needing to know.

i find my weirdo seal on this awesome website out of great brittan called, not only do they find it, but they have it super cheap, and shipping was like $3 or something! i went ahead and ordered it, not knowing how long it would take to get here.

fast forward a week and my two transmission bearings arrive along with both my crank seals, one from some warehouse here in california, the other from engineersmate! that seal got here before my two transmission seals had even shipped!
with everything needed to put the crankcase half of the engine back together, i decide to go for it. also, i cleaned everything up a bit.

not only were they super cheap and super quick, engineersmate also has a super rad seal on the baggy! a seal! GET IT??? ok, that’s enough.



popped the crank in and bolted it all together. i don’t realize it yet, but i totally put the crank in upside down. even though i checked it before i put it together, i still managed to goof it up. i realize it later and pull it apart and put it back together proper.

my transmission seals still haven’t shipped at this point, so i check engineersmate again and, sure enough, they have them for a lot less than the ones on amazon. i cancelled my amazon order and gave those britts my money and i expect i’ll probably have them sometime this week.

in the meantime i decided to go ahead and rebuild the transmission. the seals go in from the outside, so i figured it’s better to put the thing together rather than just have a bunch of parts in a bucket.



TA-DAAA! again, total fail on getting step-by-step photos. whatever.

the carb needed a good cleaning and a rebuild, so i did that next. you know how to rebuild a sha i’m sure, so here’s it after. pretty!

decomp got tore down, lapped in and put back together. new copper gasket.

the cylinder cleaned up nice! so did the head, but no photos of that i guess.


stock, the piston covered almost a quarter of the port windows in the cylinder at bdc. had i more time, i would have gotten some alum plate and made a ship to get the cylinder up to where it should be, and then deck the cylinder down to get the compression back to normal. i just want to get this thing on the road right now, though, so i just made myself a thick base gasket. it helped a lot, but the piston still doesn’t totally clear the windows. it’s hard to see, but here are some pictures.

if this thing ends up being a reliable runner, i’ll pull the top end off and do some work to it.

oh hey, there’s the head all cleaned up!

reinstalled the electrics and the clutch junk. also loosely installed the sprocket and other bits that go on the outside so that i don’t lose anything. once the transmission seals show up, i’ll pull that stuff back off, slap those seals in and button everything back up for good.

then i’ll throw it back in the bike and do a compression test. if it’s lower than i’d like, i’ll pull the cylinder again and take some more meat off the top (so far i’ve only done a little, mostly to make sure the cylinder and head were square to each other). it’s a stock moped, though, so it’s not like i’m going for super high compression.

once the engine’s in and i’m happy, i’m going to ride the crap out of it and see what else it’s going to need before the rally. i have already replaced all the cables (less decomp, but i’ll do it when i put the engine back in) and both chains. wish i could do sprockets, but those are weird and i’m not going to be able to find them. i’m thinking maybe tires, but i don’t know if i have the cash right now. if i do end up doing tires, i’m going to rebuild the wheel bearings while i have the wheels off. i’m thinking about dropping the fork and doing the headset bearings too, just to do them.

i should also think about registering it before the rally maybe. hmm.
it should make a fun rally bike!
i hope it can blast stock ciaos.

oh, and here are those rear pulley pics i took forever ago and never posted! such a weird bike.



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..

prototype atomic ZA50 pucks

atomic mopeds and sf moped mechanic andy has got these new 2 speed pucks he’s wanting to prototype, so i’m letting him throw a set in sparkle butt to see how it goes. they are harder than the standard atomic pucks and supposed to be more durable for big boy kitted ZAs.

andy dropping the oil

these are a set of unfinished prototypes, the completed ones have been flattened on the edges…

…as seen here.

i didn’t really get any pictures of the process, as i was working on a scooter on the other lift for first kick. here’s sparkle butt all buttoned up after, though.


he plans to rip around on it some next week, and then hopefully i’ll be getting it to sacramento where it’ll be my little sac ripper. it’s doug’s rally bike, but i want to keep it fresh and make sure it’s not a pain in the ass for him like the laguna always was.

also, new shop toy awaiting a cart that should hopefully show up any day now
super stoked!

new front for laguna gpr pt.2

today was a super unproductive day. kind of a bummer. i did stop by treats and picked up some tires and the fork legs for the laguna, however.
i didn’t get any pictures of putting things together, it really wasn’t that exciting or picture worthy. i just pulled the triple from the frame and cleaned up the bearings, re-packed them in grease and put it all back together.


i decided to use ebr headlight ears instead of the derbi ones. they are pretty rough and don’t fit tight on the fork at all. who ever put it together last time used some goo to keep them from moving around too much on the fork legs, and that shit was a bitch to clean off. i’m pretty sure the headlight ears will be mostly covered by the dash anyway, so whatever.


figuring out wheel spacers was a bitch. i don’t really have the means of cutting precise spacers at the moment, so i just collected a bunch of various spacers for this size axle and got it as close as i could. as you can see above, it’s pretty darn close.

i’m not super stoked on the brake rotor spacing. it sits really close to the wheel and pretty far from the fork leg. i’m not exactly sure what i’ll be doing about that just yet. i want to do some work to that rotor adapter before this thing is done anyway, so i’ll figure it out later.



the stock axle was way too long. i found a shorter one but even that was too long, i had to use spacers on the outside of the fork legs too. super ghetto. i’ll be ordering up a proper axle and some spacer material to do the whole thing right.

tomorrow i’m moving to sacramento. i got a 3 bed room house with a detached garage with an added on shed thing and a back yard for $100 less a month than i pay for my super crappy stuido here in sf. my commute is going to suck, but it’ll be worth it to have a nice place finally.
my buddy ryan has a welder and a compressor he’s going to let me use, so i should be able to finally move forward on a few of these projects. i’m pretty excited! i hope to get something finished soon!

rally torn down + dirty’s dirty shock

not too exciting i suppose, but that rally from the last post is just about ready to go to paint. gotta stuff the cables and wires into the frame, remove a few more little things and it’s off.



also, the yamaha yz80 rear shock finally showed up. it was $10 shipped, though i’m wishing i had spent a bit more and got a nicer one.

the seller said it was in good shape and ready to bolt on and go, but i’m not so sure. i can’t compress it at all with just my weight. not sure if i should be able to or not, but i fell like i should be able to.

i guess i’ll just clean it up and see how it works? i won’t be too bummed about tossing $10 if it ends up being trash.

that’s pretty much the last piece of the suspension puzzle, now to get to cutting and welding!
erm, once the welder arrives, that is. haaa

you guys, this is going to be awesome.

swing arm showed up, shock should be here any day.
IMG_20130214_175526seriously. i’ve never been this excited about a moped build.

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