Saturday, July 19, 2014

Things have been busy around here the last week or so. In anticipation of a tear down on my motorcycle that will include rebuilding the motor and blasting/painting the frame, hopefully updating the electrical system, and installing new exhaust, as well as some other things, I have been building a table/bench where I can work on it all. During the final steps of building said table/bench the other night, I heard a motorcycle coming up my street. I turned my head and saw this guy at the bottom of my driveway. This is Frank. Heather likes to joke that I met Frank online and that's pretty much true. I know him from a vintage Honda forum. Frank is a teacher that just retired this year and, to celebrate, he is riding around the US. We have a lot in common and I told him if he was near, to drop by. He did. He's been on the road for 5 days now and done 3300 miles which is silly. He will probably be on the road for another 4-5 weeks. 

After Frank left, I was inspired to ride my bike. I've been having a ton of problems with it running extremely rich. I'm pretty sure it's because of the altitude/thin air up here. I'm forcing the stock amount of fuel into the motor but it's not able to get enough air and this throws off the ideal air/fuel ratio. This can be remedied by swapping out the main jets and playing around with the mixture screws on each carb. One test you can do is to remove the air filter which can be restrictive and see if it runs any better. So that's what I did. I rode for 50 miles and had all 4 cylinders working when I got back home so it was encouraging. When I pulled the plugs, they were still very black but they were not soaked with fuel so I think I'm on the right track. I have main jets of different sizes on the way and these will allow less fuel to enter each cylinder.

Here's a picture of the final table. I have been accused of building things in excess of what they need to be and this is definitely true in this case. I wanted this table to be able to hold the bike and me at the same time. So I spaced out the stud supports 9" all the way through. It is strong. I still need to build a cleat for the ramp so that there's no danger of it kicking out while rolling the bike up and having it drop which would be a real shame.

There's never a shortage of projects in this house. My Subaru is just shy of 290,000 miles now. I've talked about this car here before. It is amazing. It is not the most attractive car but damn if it isn't reliable. This motor now has about 100,000 on it and it was a Subaru of America crate motor. The trans, diffs, and many other things are ORIGINAL. I've wanted a new vehicle for a while now (particularly since I commute further each day) but I feel obligated to see this odometer hit 300,000. I could have gambled on the timing belt making it that far (it looks to be in great shape) but if it snapped, I would have nothing to trade in so the cost of a new belt kit was worth the peace of mind. The kit arrived yesterday and I wheeled the car into the garage last night to start in on it. I've never done a timing belt on a Subaru before but the 2.5 liter single overhead cam motor really isn't too terrible. The DOHC motor appears to be more involved. Here, the radiator was drained and pulled (I left both fans installed and just pulled it all as one piece), accessory belts have been removed (and look great so they will go back on), and timing belt covers are removed. So this is the area that I'll be focused on. I'm in no hurry to get this done but things were just moving right along last night. I removed that lower left idler pulley, then the one above it, and then the idler gear itself. At this point, the belt falls off. I set the crank and both cams to their appropriate timing marks and then removed the tensioner. While this far in, it would be foolish to not replace the water pump so that gets taken off. This is where things got interesting. I swapped the thermostat (usually you would be wise to install a new one but this t stat was installed not long ago and I felt comfortable reusing it). I put a little RTV on the new pump, put the gasket on and went to button it back up on the motor. It's held on by 6 bolts and one of them stripped out inside the block. I removed it and new that it was the threads inside the aluminum block that gave out. Sometimes you can use a slightly longer bolt and get into fresh threads past the stripped point. It worked but just wasn't enough and that stripped as well. At that point I called it a night because the hardware store wasn't open and I wanted to chew on things for a bit. So today I'll remove the pump, look at the bolt hole and determine if I want to drill/tap it to the next biggest size or simply use a helical kit to repair it.

These are the bogeyed threads. I think thats about it. For now.

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