I'm surprised (but pleased for you) that a shop in a massively high rental area like New York would let you take up their shop space with a project of your own ....
Back in the 70's I was in good with the local Yamaha shop, and they would let me pull my bike over to one outside corner of their shop and do one-day jobs (lending me special tools sometimes too), but no way could I leave a bike there .....
They have always had a reputation for "teaching" , "letting them learn", how to work on your own bike. More often then not , someone has a whole bike in the basement for total strip down and rebuild or just a motor rebuild. Space is limited for sure but it surprisingly works. As long as its a respectful " dont interfere with their day to day business" kind of scenario . Indian Larry started out that way. Except he was Harley Larry when he was building stuff in Hugh's basement.
Paul Cox worked there for a spell as well. Others I am sure, but its a real friendly place. I put the tools back where I found them and he even came down and check on my work. We used a home made drilled plate to get the clutch center off. It took both of us to get it done but with his help we got it that far then decided we better get the right tool for the hub.
Fumi gets paid by the project so I try not to ask him for anything unless I have too. Not for help, but simple questions. And I never borrow his tools .
Hugh even brought me tea while I was working. Now that is the Scottish for ya
Teardown complete ... At least as far as I think it needs to go.
Need to source the seal behind the drive sprocket but I think I have the correct other two (front seal and the window plate seal)
The front drive sprocket is a bit worn but in the name of "limited budget" and the fact that it may not get ridden that hard (no long road trips) I may reuse this one I need to check my rear wheel to see how worn that sprocket is
If you intend to ride the bike , not take photos of it then fit new new sprockets and buy at least 3 chains. When you need to adjust the first, swap it for the second one. Same with the third. then swap it with the first one which you have washed properly and lubricated while it was off the bike. Repeat at infinitum. You most likely will never need to replace a sprocket for the rest of our life.
You don't have to stop at 3, when I war running the SR 500 for work I bought full rolls of chain ( 100 meters ) and made up as many as I could. Thus I could swap the chains weekly and do a "chain day" every now & then washing the chains, leaving them for a full day to dry properly then boiling up in Duckhams Chain Grease abd again allowing them to drain excess oil off before storeage ready for use.
If it rained heavily then that chain got swapped the next day. I can not remember what the actual chain life I got out of these chains but I do remember I was getting substantially better milage than my fellow couriers who were buying expensive extra heavy duty motorcycle chain and fairly close to the same as those running O ring chain, from heavy duty industrial chain for about 1/4 the price.
Wow Try that routine on 5 or more running bikes a summer.... Good advice if I decided to ride it more then I normally get to ride... Last few years I am lucky to get 2 or 3 hundred miles on a bike in a summer. Blame the bloody house projects for that. Told the misses that once the kitchen is done then Im done. No more house projects !! :footdown
Ready to put this motor back together and just finished reading the Rupert book. How many people have done the Breather upgrades mentioned in his book. Drilling holes through the Primary side crankcase seems like ..... well .... ..... Im not racing this thing .... is it necessary? What other upgrades have you done or not done and why?
Doing the B50 breather modification is not necessary on your 441. My favorite upgrade is to replace the clutch with a B50 clutch that uses a thrust washer. That is perhaps the most useful thing you can do to the engine assuming you have replaced the bearings, oil seals, freshened the bore and rebuilt the head, and have gone through the gear cluster and replaced the rounded off gears first.
This project is moving slower then I had planned due to cash flow issues. Waiting 90 days or more to get paid sometime puts me so far behind I feel like Im never gonna get caught up.
One mod I may add later (since I dont have the parts) is add the primary chain tensioner..... I think I can do that the next time Im in that side of the motor.... Unless the parts appear sooner then later....
Seems the tensioner only came on Victor Roadster and Shooting Star models..... Not the Enduro
Adding a primary chain tensioner is a great thing to do. Almost all the 66 and 67 (and 1968 I believe) primary covers I come across are trashed on the bottom where the primary chain chewed through the alloy bosses at every case screw mount along the bottom of the cover. Later B44 and B25 covers rarely have the chewed up insides after the introduction of the tensioner. You will have to replace the studs and add a spacer and the tensioner.
I've done the B50 breather mod on my B44 by drilling the holes in the crankcase as mentioned in the RR manual so that the engine can breathe into the chain-case, however I haven't added an external breather pipe to the chain-case cover as per B50.
My feeling about this modification is mixed, on one hand adding the extra breather holes does help relieve crankcase pressure into the chain-case and helps stop oil leaks, on the other hand the engine oil becomes blackened from the clutch plates fairly rapidly. For the sake of drilling a couple of holes into the crankcases its probably worthwhile but I'm not sure its worth going the extra mile and adding the breather hose to the chain-case cover.
As for other mods, modifying the clutch to 5 plates is a good idea as is adding the the thrust washer. Sureflex friction plates are also recommended to help prevent slip.
Some other mods which I can recommend for the B44:- - pay attention to 'Preparation of Aluminium Castings' as mentioned in the RR book. I found that de-burring gasket faces, counter sinking stud holes and extreme cleanliness paid off, I have virtually no oil leaks. - use an oil filter in the return oil line, I found that the Norton type filters were a bit too large for the limited oil flow on the B44. I'm now using an Magnefine inline Filter intended for auto transmission applications, this is a small filter & magnet combined and works well. - for the gearbox output bearing use one with a seal on the outer side. Used in conjunction with the original oil seal, oil leaks from the gearbox sprocket can be eliminated - fit an alloy sump plate with magnetic drain plug and change the mounting studs for socket caps using helicoil's thread repairs as this is often a common area for leaks. The drain plug is useful for emptying the sump when the bike has been left standing for a while (wet sumping) - replace all rocker cover studs with socket caps and helicoil the original threads. This will help ensure the rocker cover can be adequately tightened and stop oil leaks. - make sure you use a copper head gasket which is thick enough (1mm ?) some of the pattern head gaskets are too thin resulting in oil leaks from the cylinder head. Also worth using a tiny smear of high temp silicone on the head gasket to stop leaks around the drain holes and pushrod tunnel. - if you get a rebore done, make sure the engine shop uses a coarse hone (150-180) as this is needed to help bed in the cast iron rings.
Hope this helps.
1968 A65 Firebird 1967 B44 Shooting Star 1972 Norton Commando
Did my first 3 angled valve job on the head the other day. Under Hugh's supervision of course. New valve guides too, to go with the new valves. The gasket set I got from Baxters at the Mid Ohio swap meet was for a square barrel so that stopped me from making progress getting the barrel and piston on. (they did assure me it was the right set when I bought it) Also I accidentally ordered standard rings but needed rings for a .50 japanese piston which I think translates to 20 over. I could drive a truck through the ring gap. So new rings / circlips and base gasket and head gasket arrived at the shop yesterday. I hope to have the top end back together this week if everything is right this time. Once the painter get the frame sorted out then I can start putting this bad boy back together.
So tuesday I spent some time in the shop working on the motor. Finishing up the head so I'd have it ready when I need to bolt down the cylinder. I had new cups and springs to go with the new valves and guides. Turns out that the bottom cups (made in England) dont fit the new springs or even my old springs. And they wouldn't even fit over the new guides either. So I used the new top cups with my old bottom ones and my old springs which seemed to be OK. So basically I just replaced the things I needed to, to go back to stock valve train instead of the lightened one that was in my motor.
Piston went on really easy without even needing to heat it up. I replaced the clip that I removed with a new one . The one I never took out I left alone.
Then the next task was getting the barrel on .
Top two rings were no problem even with just me fingers. But that freaking oil ring was a nightmare. I think I tried it 300 times . Even once I started using a ring compressor it just would not let me win.
I finally gave up and asked Fumi to help me. He used the same tools as me. He did the same technic as me. He had the same trouble as me. BUT after only 5 tries he got the better of the rings and the barrel slipped over.
Then it was a matter of tightening it all down and moving onto the Rocker cover
First time the rocker cover went on really easy. But while tightening it down I realized that one of the studs was striped out and would need to be fixed. So that was it for me for that day.
Next day I went back and forth between wanting to fixed the stud right or lock tight it in and hope for the best. I knew I had to do it right so it was a futile mental exercise .... Making sure I had another gasket and the right helicoil and tools first , I then proceeded with the customary 2 steps backwards motion as this build has proven to be.... Hugh was very generous to let me use his shop basement and his tools. Even doing the valve guide replacement with me and teaching me how to do the three angle valve job, but once I was in the basement it was me and Rupert Ratio all the way... I really tried not to bother Hugh with stupid questions..... I deciphered the book and went about doing as much as I could on my own. Which left me with the 3 steps forward 1 step back process sometimes. But it was a good learning experience and I am grateful that Hugh and Fumi were upstairs if I needed them. But I did enough on my own that I will do the next build in my own barn . Probably my A65 Hornet motor with the help of the "how to build an A65 " DVD
So rocker cover bolts being loosened I noticed that the cover was being pushed off. Remember I said that it went on so easy. This seemed odd to me. More on that in a minute.
Hugh went out of the shop before I could ask how to do the Helicoil so I just got on with it. Drilled out the stripped hole and screwed in the new coiled threads , swiftly rapped on the tang with the tang removal tool and screwed in the stud. Jobs a good'en
Cleaned up the gasket surfaces and smeared a smathering of silicone on both sides being careful not to put too much on. Then the freaking rocker would not go on. First my newly fixed stud was not as straight as it should have been. Although close enough that I could get it in the hole with a little tooing and froing . But then the rocker cover stopped about half an inch from being home. I could not see anything binding . The pushrods were not touch the rockers yet and I was getting frustrated as I did not want the silicone to harden before I had it bolted down.
Hugh was back so I asked him what the deal was and he just said to make sure that the motor was TDC and both push rods were in the down position.... Made perfect sense to me so thats how I proceeded. Did not help though and after much gnashing of the teeth I resorted to taps with the rubber mallet and evenly tightening of the nuts . It still did not go easily but it went.
Then I adjusted the valves. The original ones were shortened a bit for some reason so the adjustment started off very tight. Maybe this was part of the Rocker cover issue. But maybe not??
Valve adjustment was a fairly straight forward job. I started with factory settings , .008 on the inlet and .010 on exhaust but Rupert suggested going a bit tighter . Essentially setting them by feel and sound. I went in between the two. There was a loud tap at factory specs and Rupert said no sound but still detectable movement. His way seemed too tight. Hence going down the middle . When I was done there was a very slight tap noise but I could not get the correct feeler gauges to slide through. Hope that will be good Hugh said as long as there is a gap.
That was about as far as I will take it at Hugh's shop . And until I get the frame back , I will just polish up the cases ect. I also didnt button up the primary side yet hoping that I will have the extra dosh for the primary adjuster kit by the time I am putting this bad boy back together