posted on March 11, 2012 at 1918

Alternator and sprocket cases

Today was a wonderfully warm day, so I was actually able to work on the whole bike instead of just little pieces taken inside. Got the oil drained first thing — good, it’s still liquid. I believe this is actually the original oil from 1980, because the guy I bought the bike from didn’t say anything about changing the oil and there weren’t any fresh marks on the drain bolt. Next, I started taking the side covers off to get as much of the old oil out as possible, and to clean the oil filter. Do NOT try to do this without an impact driver…even with plenty of liquid wrench, the screws were well and truly jammed in there, and the JIS heads strip at the slightest provocation. Luckily, a few good whacks from the impact driver loosened them all up.

Well, most of them. There’s always one bolt that just laughs in your face. In this case, it was the oil filter cover. All three of the bolts were already pretty damaged, and whacking with the impact driver wasn’t making any progress, so I resorted to some bolt extractors. Drill the head out, reverse-thread the extractor into the hole, twist slowly, and if you’re lucky the bolt pops out. Two of three did! The third snapped off flush with side case. This is a setback, but I think not one that’s insurmountable….

In any case, the big progress was in the cleaning. Getting that old oil out, cleaning the junk out of the weird little centrifugal oil filter, and removing an absolutely ENORMOUS amount of extremely dense and sticky old grease and dirt from the front sprocket and clutch actuator. I still can’t believe how much of a mess it was under there. I didn’t take any pictures of the “before” lest I ruin my camera, but I’m pretty happy with the “after”:

Nice and clean and shiny. The chain was too old to be safe, but the sprocket looks fine to reuse. That little baby sprocket to the left is on the starter motor — I disengaged the chain that connects it to the alternator rotor (under the blue cloth) because it was making a squealing noise and I figured hey, who needs an electric starter anyway? The kick is so much more visceral.

I’m going to order some stainless steel bolts to replace those old rusty steel ones, and some new gaskets for the crankcase…then on to reassembly and perhaps some starting attempts!

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