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Cali III Cafe Project

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MisterB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:19
Along with new stainless nuts an bolts, I also bought new oil lines for the engine. Checking the cam chain tensioner, it looked pretty lose to me, so I bought an aftermarket tensioner, but turns out the cam chain wasn't too loose after all, so didn't need it in the end.
 


Next, cleaning up the calipers.. stainless pins would've nice, but I may upgrade the calipers for more modern 4 pot Brembos, not sure yet,so I just rebuilt these for now.

I tried to rescue the throttle, as its integrated with the switch gear housing.. a weird design, but it is Italian  ;) In the end I couldn't save it, oh, and I'd like 'Syrens' too 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:24
Looking at the exhaust, I played around with a couple of stainless cones I had left over from a previous project. I used the design as I had before, looking back now, its clear they're not right for the Guzzi, and they needed to go..
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:32
I had to consider the electrics now, I hate electrics, couldn't put it off any longer. The battery was going to live under the Rickman seat hump, plenty of space under there, while everything else needed to be hidden away as neatly as possible. I made a cardboard template for a shallow tray to fit between the seat frame rails, and got it made by the local welder in stainless steel plate. I then added mounts and bolted the rectifier to its underside to keep it in the breeze..

At the same time, I had him cut me out a plate to strengthen the seat, and let me raise it up a little, as I soon found the riding position was impossible with the seat resting on the seat rails.. the Tonti frame is low, no wonder all the race bikes I see online have their seats raised up off the frame so high, they look awkward, but I understand why now.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:36
At this point, I have to admit I wasn't at all happy with the bike, it didn't look right, the quality of finish wasn't what I wanted, and truth to tell, I'm not one for a cheap and cheerful project, I hate cutting corners, and I didn't like what was in front of me. I parked it in the corner of the garage, through a sheet over it and over the following two years built two different bikes from the ground up.. first a Norton featherbed with a Harley Ironhead engine, then last year a big inch Harley drag bike...

With those done (for now.. project bikes are never finished..) I dragged the poor neglected Guzzi out into the sunlight and decided to press on and just get it running even though I didn't really like it. Perhaps it was best if I sold it once it was on the road, and forget the old Guzzi?
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Stomp944 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stomp944 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:49
similar lessons in there from my recent project as well.
you can't be too careful or micromanage too much on these things.  I'd had all threads taped and rubber bungs placed in other places on my frame before sandblasting and powdercoating, and still had a few problems.  those fine threads on the swingarm pivot are especially vulnerable.  mine were plugged before paint but even the slight lip of paint on the edge of the hole was enough to catch the bolt threads and prevent rotation before I Dremmeled some off.

for the VIN, I popped out the tap rivets first; but then again, I got a new VIN plate from Khneisser to put on afterwards.

other lesson - take a photo of any stampings (VIN, frame) after blasting but before powdercoating.
Sean
'75 850-T
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:53
Yes, the cheap powder coating would soon come back to bite me in the bum...Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 17:56
Well, we're now up to new year 2016, so although my heart wasn't really in it, I plodded on with the Guzzi..
 
The first job was to do something about the seat unit, how to mount it to the frame and make a seat base to be upholstered.

When I cut off the old frame brackets and tabs I went a bit far and now I wish I'd left the seat mounts in place, as they would've made life much easier. The best option would be to strip the bike down again, get the frame welded as needed, which would then require it to be powder coated again, then finally put it all back together. All that's a lot of hassle and more importantly more expense, so I had to look at alternatives.

But first the lump moulded into the Rickman seat unit had to go, it didn't take long to cut it out, I'll fibreglass over the resulting hole later. To lift the seat a bit without welding brackets on the frame, I cut up an old foam floor tile and sandwiched and inch or so of the foam between the underside of the seat unit and the stainless plate I'd made ages ago to strengthen the seat. This lifted the seat unit just enough. Then I had the seat upholstered and rattle can painted the Rickman seat.. didn't look too bad. 
 
 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:00
I want to use a lithium battery on the Guzzi, hiding inside the seat hump which would need to be mounted to the frame somehow. While the seat unit itself would need supporting too, all without welding any extra brackets to the frame...  Confused

soooo I had an idea ...make two threaded bungs, slightly tapered for a very tight interference fit into the back of the frame rails (which had been cut and shortened when I had hacked up the frame back when I first started this project many years ago..). After spending the night in the freezer and with the frame rails gently warmed, they were knocked into place, and look like they aren't going anywhere..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stomp944 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:02
wow, a lot of work there!  reliving my last 4 months with all the cleaning, painting, polishing and fabrication.
the chronology is a little hard to follow given a start 4 years ago and a 2 year hiatus.  I think the look overall is great, but sorry about that tail section - understated always a better choice.  my project has encountered seat problems fitting to the frame and the stock rear fender as well; I'm getting another one made.  like you, I found that you can be easily sitting 'in' the bike with your knees under your armpits and arms stretching up to the bars if not careful.
Sean
'75 850-T
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:06
At this point, I discovered a problem, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise...

Remember the frame powder coating which caused me a few problems, and wasn't that well done to boot? Well, despite the bike never seeing the road yet, the powder coating was starting to blister and flake in places, with rust showing through here and there.

There was nothing to be done except to have the frame powder coated again, this time by my preferred place, which in turn meant dismantling the bike. Normally, I'd be bloody annoyed by all this hassle and cost, but not this time. It was the perfect excuse to start all over again, and build the bike I wanted, the way I wanted, and if it took twice as long and cost three times as much, then so be it.. so lets begin again... and do it right this time.   
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stomp944 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:07
ugh!  the twists and turns in this novel!
your access to welders and machinists is enviable, however...
good luck with the disassembly (unless that was 6 months ago and it's all done already)


Edited by Stomp944 - 22 Sep 2016 at 18:10
Sean
'75 850-T
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:42
Almost complete now.... its been a busy few months..Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 18:46
So lets begin the build MK 2..
 
Within a couple of hours the frame was off the engine, that done, and after a well earned tea break, I made a start on one of the improvements I wanted to make. The first step was to make a simple plate to protect the bevel box when its bead blasted to clean its surface. I'll need to go and buy a nice cake as a bribe/payment when I go to the local machine shop where they'll hopefully let me use their blasting cabinet.

First I took the bevel box over to my mate Jeff's workshop, where we just managed to secure its underside to a small rotary table (very useful bit of kit) then we got artistic with the pillar drill... 

I bead blasted the bevel box and caliper mount at a local machine shop, they look much better but they needed to be painted to stop corrosion, so the next task is to buy some suitable paint.. etch primer, primer and silver alloy paint, oh and drain / level plugs were replaced with stainless bolts which had their heads machined too.

 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 19:13
We're up to Feb this year now, and the next task was to weld on a few extra brackets to the frame, to make fitting a new seat unit, splash guard etc a lot easier.

A stainless splash guard was made to fit from 1.5mm plate, a bit OTT, but I wanted it strong in case I had to bolt the coils / battery / electrics to it. Not sure what model the side stand is from, but it was way too short and allowed the bike to lean over to a worrying degree, so I had a couple of inches added to it, before the whole lot went off to be powder coated for the second time.
 
 
With the frame mods completed, I took the frame to Triple S in Bingley, Yorkshire where the main frame was coated gloss black and the swing arm and lowers were one in silver. I went for this option for a couple of reasons, first the swing arm has hard a hard life with a few gouges and marks which the lighter silver finish will help to hide, while I'd also seen a Radical Guzzi from Germany with this combo which I really liked. Sadly for my wallet it cost me more than it should've as the frame had already been powder coated, which is a time consuming an therefore expensive finish to remove. I used a hair dryer to warm up the headstock to help ease the bearing races in... works surprisingly well.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 19:16
Despite the lack of space in the garage, I decided to press on and try to get the frame back onto the engine. But first I assembled the rear bevel box and swing arm, cos it was easy and looked like I'd done something. I also replaced the old drain / level plugs with stainless bolts which had their head machined to make them look a bit better.

Ideally an extra pair of hands would've helpful when fitting the frame, but I was working alone so I managed to bolt the front engine mount first, with the frame up ended, then it was a case of pivoting the frame down and bolting up the lower frame rails. This worked surprisingly well with no damage to the new powder coat. Oh and I was using new stainless engine bolts too. The only problem I hit was that the clutch arm on the back of the gearbox needed its adjuster bolt removing to clear the frame as it pivoted down. This little issue turned into a massive nightmare soon after..

It was all going so well, once the frame was on, I decided to remove a few alloy parts and bead blast / polish them before refitting..

One part I wanted to tidy up was the clutch arm on the back of the gearbox, its not that noticeable, but it all helps. Its held in place by a pivot bolt which in turn is kept secure by a split pin. The split pin was rusty and fell apart when I tried to remove it, ended up having to grind off its remnants, which still left the pivot bolt not wanting to come out. So I used a small drift and hammer to gently tap it out. It was stubborn, but moved eventually, or rather it seemed to move. What had actually happened was that the casting it pivoted in on the gearbox cover had snapped. What I nightmare. I was shocked as I hadn't used much force at all, god knows how it had failed.

At that point, I downed tool,  I was too annoyed to carry on that day.

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