Sunday, October 22, 2017

Vintage Derale Oil Cooler

Work is finally completed for the season. Will be heading South this coming week. Looks like we'll have good weather for the trip for a change. Typically we are racing snow storms heading South.
Have a large list of repairs to do this Winter.
Finally found a vintage aftermarket "Derale" oil cooler which hopefully will fit the sidecar rig.
Cooler was listed for $80.00 + shipping on EBay....no takers and it continually dropped in price until it was offered for $30.00 Total, shipping included. Couldn't pass that deal up.
UPDATE: After some research I found  some facts concerning this particular cooler set up. The design led to some failed engines and were known "in the day" to be a piece of crap. Tom Cutter stated that many people who installed this cooler soon became "pedestrians"....lol...$30.00 "down the drain" I guess. Won't be installing it. 
I'm glad I reached out for others experiences prior to using this.


 Been running the side hack with only the "Brielle" oil pan cooler. It's cooling effectiveness is marginal at best. Plus it has developed leaks around the gaskets. I'll renew both gaskets this winter while I have the bike pulled apart.






Still "on the fence" as to whether I'll install the newly rebuilt 5 speed or the newly rebuilt 4 speed on the sidecar. The 4 speed is a bit more robust, but I do like the 5 speed for the extra gear range. Bob C. at "Bob's Motorwerks" rebuilt both transmissions and found serious issues with the 4 speed. It now has all new bushings, bearings and springs, plus other parts. It had evidence of getting pretty hot at some point due to a poorly adjusted shift fork. Bob was confident of it's rebuilt condition though.
I'll have the rig torn "down to the bones" for a week or more. Hoping to do some long range rides next season so will address any issues / upgrades I can think of. 
Due for a couple of tires on the side car and the Gold Wing....my Wife hates the word "tire"....as it always seems to be a topic with me.....lol

The old Gold Wing has developed an issue....either starter or solenoid. I know the 8+ year old battery is shot so will replace that first. 

The Slash 5 will get a "newer" pair of later model carbs which I obtained. I will need to tear them down for a rebuild likely, although they appear to be ready to go. I'll go through them anyway....one of them has a different float bowl on it with dual independent floats.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

BMW Transmission rebuilds update / Beartooth & Yellowstone Park


Appears that Bob @ "Bobs Motorwerkes" has completed the 1974 five speed rebuild. He found that the transmission was a VERY early manufactured unit. Shimming limits were found due to the case design....available shims either left the gear train sloppy...or too tight. Bob called and had a simple solution....double gasket on the rear cover. This will allow the use of available shims and leave enough end play. He said in all the hundreds of transmissions he has rebuilt, he had never ran into this situation. He did not like the "double gasket" solution but short of changing the rear cover, it was the only option he could come up with. I told him to continue with that scenario. Over all the transmission was in very good condition. He changed all springs, and all the bearings showed no wear / issues, so they will be reused. 
The 4 speed, which I thought would be an easy rebuild was another matter.... all the bushings were worn out, bearings not much better. Also someone had forced a reassembly in the past and "galled" a shaft....also, the rear output seal was installed backwards. So, the cost of this rebuild will be higher than I hoped. All new bushings, bearings and springs, plus machine work on the galled shaft. But the bottom line is that it will be a reliable unit for the sidecar, and I'm looking forward to tearing down the sidecar this Winter for a refit.
On the slate: Oil pan leak needs to be addressed.....push rod tube/ seal replacement  (seal retainers are loose on tubes, causing leaks) .....change out rear swing arm to a "cush" unit I have....change out transmission......maybe even touch up some of the sidecar frame paint......lol


Didn't get many miles on the BMW's this Summer. My old /5 is suffering from Carb. issues so I bought a pair of newer model (1973/ 74) carbs to rehab this Winter. The early Code /3 /4 Bing Carbs had inherent design issues.

Did have a nice day ride through Yellowstone Park via the Beartooth Highway on the old Gold wing. It performed flawlessly as usual. Took advantage of the 320 mile fuel range.

                    A group of mountain goats at the West Summit of the Beartooth Pass.

                 Wonderful weather for most of the day.....but pretty smokey in the lower elevations.

                                                              Pilot / Index Peaks

                                              The "Devils Slide" outside Livingston MT.

                  Heading into some rain....waiting it out a bit and got a little wet anyway.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Time for a Sidecar Re-Fit

I'm seriously considering retiring from the working world this Fall so with that in mind will be planning some serious sidecar trips with my Wife. Our last "long" trip (in the only 800 - 1000 mile range) was to Death Valley in 2016. That trip brought forth possible transmission issues when a serious noise developed when I ran the bike hard, overheating the transmission. I change gear lube quite often and am finding metal "flakes" starting to show up on the magnet. So, the transmissions' service life is coming to an end. Rather than remove / rebuild that transmission I decided to have a couple of spare tranny's I had rebuilt for the swap. Both the transmissions came from "derelict" bikes so I have no clue of their condition. Both bikes (I was told) were in running condition before my acquisition. One with the 4 speed was a crash victim, the 5 speed bike had an engine issue. No way was I going to install either of them without inspection / rebuilding. Only want to install once!

 
Near "As New" input splines:
 
 

I had this clean 1972 R75/5 Transmission stored away and have decided to install it behind the R100S sidecar engine. Bob Clement, owner of Bob's Motorwerks, is in the process of rebuilding it and also a spare 1974 Five Speed I had sitting. The 74 five speed transmission has the kick start. That is the same model transmission I'm using in the sidecar now. The 4 speed is a more "robust" design and Bob recommends it for the sidecar.

                                           Bob Clement with his Gold Wing sidecar



I'm currently running a 32/10 final drive with the 5 speed, but that might be a bit high geared for the 4 speed. I also have a 37/11 final drive which is one range lower geared so can swap if wanted.

I've noticed that my rear wheel appears to have a bit of a left "lean" so think the swing arm is probably "tweaked" a bit. Tire wear is normal, handling is not affected so I haven't bothered to do anything about it. Since I'm changing out the transmission, I'll swap out the swing arm with a heavier, later model LWB one I have.

Lastly, I may pick up a pair of matched replacement pistons / cylinders (currently on EBay) to have on hand if needed. The cylinder heads were redone, with new valves / seats / guides a few years ago so should be good for a while yet. I do have a loose pushrod tube on a left cylinder, although it is not leaking, the pushrod tube seal collar is loose and doesn't properly compress the seal to the engine block. I put a couple of hose clamps on the tube collar a couple years ago as a stop gap fix.

So this Winter I will separate the sidecar and go over (at least) the following....Transmission change, inspect clutch (only a couple years old / maybe 10,000 miles on it), change out swing arm, check and /or replace swing arm bearings, possibly swap out Final Drive, reseal oil pan & cooler which have been leaking, replace pushrod tube seals, new tires, and  go over all ignition system components.

As the bike sits now, I would not take off on a multi thousand mile trip as I know the Transmission is tired. Although it still works fine and shifts well, I know its' days are numbered.

Bob works quickly so should have transmissions back in a week or two. His fees are reasonable:
$350.00 Labor + parts for the 5 speed and  $450.00 Labor + parts for the 4 speed. So, barring any major parts needs, I should have both redone for under $1200.00, which I think is reasonable.

                                          Old bike line up in Bob's Shop a few years ago:

 
A couple years after the previous photo
 
 
Bob used to have a yearly "Solstice Party" at his shop.
 
You never knew what might come roaring in on the gravel road:
 

 
Bob performed some restoration work a few years ago on this WW2 Era BMW R75
He said it was the best sidecar rig he has ever ridden.
 
 
Mountain view from Bob's place:
 
 
Bob's Motorwerks - Roberts Montana
 
 
 





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big Horn River / Yellowstone River / Musselshell River Loops

Took a ride this weekend and last weekend. Last weeks ride took me over to the Crow Indian Reservation, near where I grew up. Pretty warm day and I made a pretty "mad dash" for a couple hundred miles. Stopped at an old fishing access site we used to frequent when I was a kid.


River was running pretty high. I stopped for a few minutes....found a nice little pocket knife laying on the rivers edge. This is the "Two Leggins" Fishing Access.

 
Today I decided to take a bit further of a ride. Filled the auxiliary fuel tanks to the brim and wanted to recheck maximum mileage with all the tanks full. Decided to go North to Roundup Montana, then East to Forsyth Montana. From there I followed the Yellowstone River to Sarpy Creek Road, which leads back to my hometown, Hardin Montana. Also there is a little Bar / Grill, the Spring Creek Bar, along the route. They have great burgers and fries so that was my motive for the route.
 
(CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE)

                                                            The Route taken today
 
Old abandoned Rail Road Bridge Abutments, in the Musselshell River.

 
Yellowstone River at Forsyth Montana

 
I've had issues getting the two auxiliary tanks to draw fuel evenly. I installed vent caps on the vent lines. The problem with the vents installed is that they will draw air into the tanks, but do not allow air to escape. This prevents the tanks levels from equalizing. I've found that by occasionally reaching down and cracking the filler caps loose that the tanks will equalize. The caps are o-ring sealed and take about 6 - 7 turns to remove so chances of one falling off is nil. I will likely just remove the one-way vent caps on the vent lines, which are routed under the seat to the rear.
The bike quit at 135 miles thru the auxiliary tanks, so with 5 gallons more in the main tank, I should have a minimum of 350 mile range. I was running along at a leisurely pace of 60 - 65 MPH. Typically get about 42 - 45 MPG at that speed.
I would bet that there is still fuel retained in the auxiliary tanks as they each took 1.8 gallons when I installed them. I think the only way to get every drop out, would be to plumb them separately with two petcocks, one for each auxiliary tank. That would be a plethora of fuel lines so don't think I'll do that....

 
Yellowstone full....lots of trees / debris floating down the river.

 
 
 Yesterday, 2 gals attempted Kayaking the river, both capsized and had to be rescued near Billings. Anyone on the river at this stage either has a death wish, or is just plain stupid....

 
 

 
Tree with dirt / grass still attached moving down the river.
 
 
 
 

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.