Finally getting around to some small details. The gas cap still needed to have the seal finished up. There needs to be something to cover the spring and screw that hang under the cap and a baffle to help keep sloshing gas away from the seal. There also needs to be a small air vent. On the tail light, an LED was placed inside the housing and a neat way to secure the wiring under the fender was worked out.
The 1957 Triumph Freebird build is moving along, with paint done and parts starting to go back together. Jason Small of Small Time Motors did a flawless job on the paint. He was easy to work with and possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge on the subject of vintage paint colors and schemes. I have seen dozens of his paint jobs on finely restored British and Italian bikes, and the work is always impeccable. When I was sixteen, I had a 1963 Ford Econoline van that I customized and took to a local paint shop. Because the body work I had done was pretty sad, the paint job thrown on top of it sucked too. It took me forty-plus years to finally let someone else paint one of my customs again, but there is so much going on around the shop, it makes sense now. Given the quality of Jason’s work, don’t know if I will ever be able to justify painting one again myself.
In an effort to save time, for the first (and perhaps the last) time, I sent polishing out. I have always done my own polishing, but wanted to try letting a “show chrome only” chrome shop do the polishing after the parts were prepped here at the shop. Although some parts looked great like the front wheel and rocker covers, the job on the gearbox was a huge disappointment.
Me: I need the special tool to remove the clutch basket. Can you tell me if I will need any other special tools to do a Triumph preunit engine rebuild?
Motorcycle store dude: No, you really only need that one tool, you really don’t need the cam removal tool as those bushings are usually good.
Listen to advice, but don’t stop listening to your instincts. Turns out I needed a special tool to get the crankshaft pinion gear off to pull the crank and clean the sludge trap, change main bearings, remove the left connecting rod, etc…Once the engine halves were separated, an alarming amount of slop was felt in the cam bushings on the clockcase side. Even more alarming, they were spinning! These are supposed to be a pressed-in friction fit with oiling passages that need to be precisely aligned in the engine case. I ordered the cam bushings and cam gear removal tool hoping for the best.
Getting close to having the metal finishing done on the 1957 Triumph Freebird bike. The majority of parts are at the chrome shop, but some last minute parts still need to be chromed. Because the rim on the rear wheel brake panel was a little banged up and had been plated before (the previous plater probably buffed the steel to the point it is thin and easily bent,) it was replaced with a new one. The replacement was an aftermarket new unit that came painted and appeared to be a decent reproduction at a price of $145.