78 Moto Guzzi T3
Always a lurker, I've always sucked at pictures, but mebbe I've figured that out now. After building a few bikes, and selling them for half what I put in them, I decided to buy another, hopefully one I'd just ride with some patina, but make it reliable....So I sprung for a 850cc Guzzi T3. Tonti frame, supposed to handle pretty nice, dual disks on front, left one linked to the rear, right disk operates off the front brake lever only. Here's a pix as bought...
Had electric start, which my right knee wanted, and the clutch pull was good enough for the carpel tunnel in my left hand....so on to the part where I make it reliable. The wiring was butchered pretty badly, so it got to come inside to the back room for the hotter part of the summer where I worked on it with my usual alacrity for a few months.
With that complete, started to ride it, and damned if it didn't have an oil leak I'd never noticed before. It was red oil, so I naturally thought it was coming from the tranny where I'd used BMW red oil when I changed all the fluids. Spent some time chasing the clutch pushrod seals, but couldn't stop it, so I decided to pull the tranny...I expect most of you can guess where that lead me....goodby patina, hello checkbook. Well, heck, the frame was really scratched, and the rest of it looked good from 10 ft, but not so much on closer inspection. Besides, this model had the dreaded chrome cylinder lining that's known to flake and ruin engines, so obviously that needed rebuilding too. So here I go, and hopefully I can learn a few things along the way. Right now I'm thinking this one I'll keep.
Knowing nothing about this bike (re: the flaking chrome), I couldn't figure out why my knees were so close to my chest. The first pix shows the footpeg mounts that are obviously homemade. Original owner must have been pretty short. Those will have to be replaced. Undecided about the little fairing. It shifted fairly decently, but I found a few neutrals, and had to shift it pretty slowly, that may just be the nature of the beast. Met some helpful guys in North Phoenix that have a monthly breakfast meeting, but I never felt comfy riding it that far before I started taking it apart. Joined the Loop forum on Yahoo, even though it's not a loop frame like an El Dorado, the engine/tranny is the same and there's a lot of knowledge on that site. They didn't seem to mind me asking noob questions either, which is good. So, started the disassembly and ran into the first little problem....
There's an H pattern exhaust connection between the two headers just under the tranny. I spent a few unproductive days with penetrating oil, heating torch, not so gentle hammer whacks, even prying with a chisel and I could not get the damn thing to budge at all. Finally turned to our old friend ebay, ordered a used one that looked better than mine, and cut the damn thing in two. Still never got it seperated from the headers, so back to ebay for some used exhaust headers, all now waiting in my ever growing pile of parts. Greg Bender (this Old Tractor website) sent me an article called crabbing the frame. The lower frame rails are bolted on and when removed, viola, the frame can come right up off the engine!
Somewhere a little ahead of this picture I found my oil leak. The battery tray has a rubber mat that's more like a shallow box, and I cleverly decided that the K&N air filters the prior owner had installed would be so much better if I filled them with the pink colored K&N oil treatment I had out in the shed. The engine vibration coupled with my hamfisted installation of said filters caused one of them to rub on the battery mat, flowing quite a bit of oil down it onto the tranny and the ground. It wasn't leaking at all! But once you start taking things apart, scope creep takes over. Besides, in addition to the chrome linings, this bike had about 48K miles, and I figured it could probably use the crank sludge trap cleaned out. So I started ordering parts and thinking about the engine rebuild. After worrying about it for awhile, I sent the tranny to Charley Cole, (Zydeco racing), all he does is Guzzi trannies. And I arranged to have Greg Bender rebuild the engine, took all the frame pieces to Az Powder Coat and spent a little while doing other thngs while I waited. I did watch Greg take the engine apart, dunno why I didn't think to take a camera, and it was very comforting to see how full the sludge trap was, and to see Greg use all the proper fixtures that I didn't have to take the engine apart. The inside of the engine looked very clean, plus there was a surprise...it had been bored to 1000cc and had iron linings. The pistons looked so good, they were re-used, new rings, rod bushings, etc, etc. Essentially new engine and tranny now.
This picture shows me trying to do the frame crabbing thing again, but without bothering to look at any of the disassy pix, pretty sure I have it all wrong, but at least with two chain hoists it's pretty easy to make adjustments without needing a helpful friend. That's current as of 12/23/12, so from here on I'll try to post progress more real time, but my working pace is fairly slow (ie glacial), At least it looks like I know how to post pix finally...now if I could figure out how to do that avatar thingie.....roy
Nice to have a garage....
So when we first bought this house, it needed a lot, there was no garage, and I was working on bikes out in the carport on my homemade workbench.
I heard some rattling every time I moved towards the front of the bench, it went away if I stayed back to the back. I got tired of that after a bit and got my looong snake pole and carried him out into the desert away from the house. Haven't had an issue since we built the garage, although I try to be careful when I'm reaching into corners..
OK, so before I can do much more on the frame reattachment, I'm gonna have to organize some stuff. I have all the Guzzi parts piled in one spot, and I already need to find some pieces that aren't obvious. I did bag and tag everything, so it shouldn't be as bad as some of my other projects. Meanwhile I'll look into the front forks a bit....
bottom half of this pic shows the assy sans seals as I understand it needing to go back together. Top parts are the old ones that I'm replacing (other fork). I've never seen a fork lower break off like that; guess I'm just lucky. Another used one is on order from Harper's MG. I plan to sand and polish it, I like the way the bottom one in the picture turned out. These old Guzzi's had an internal damper and a single spring, nothing progressive, and the oil was really just for general lubrication. The old dampers did little or nothing in the way of resistance, so they are being replaced, by the new one in the bottom of the pix. I'm planning to change the springs to the dual set-up used on the later model G5 (1000cc, but otherwise outwardly pretty similar to my T3). Supposedly that will give some progressive spring action, and the rebound damping feels like it will be a huge improvement. I'm wondering about the extension tube that screws onto the end of the damper. These springs are longer by at least a good inch, and it's gonna take some work to figure out how to compress them so I can install the circlip on the left that holds the spring retainer cup on. Or else mebbe I should have an extender tube that's about an inch longer. Heck, I'm not even sure that little circlip can stand up to the spring pressure it's gonna see. I don't think I'll do anything til I get some advice. I'll see if I can find a parts dia for a G5 fork and see if those parts are different part numbers or not. That's pretty much the way I work; do a little bit, then go think about stuff for awhile. Luckily I'm not working on something I need to ride anytime soon.
Merry Christmas. roy
Great bike, great write-up. Too much fun, eh? Always wanted a T-3 or slightly later Gooses. Keep us osted.
This is the part I hate.....
Organizing the parts pile...looking for two specific pieces I need in order to assemble the centerstand to the lower frame rails....so far I can't find them anywhere. Crap.
Never as meticulous in disassembly as I should be, I really tried this time, freezer baggies and permanent markers for every little thing. I even remember these two parts, seems like mebbe I sent them to the powdercoater....but I double-counted all those parts when they came back.....I think. dammit, dammit, dammit.
More when I know more.
I've got some of that stuff. Let me know what it is that you need. I can tell you that I do not have the aluminum spacers that go between the centerstand brackets and the trans mount, but I do have a c-stand, the brackets, pivot bolts and bushings, wave washers, and one of the springs. That's a very nice looking bike there. I'm going through a T3 right now, myself. My wallet feels your pain! I also have a fork leg if you still need one.
Reactionary? Who, me?!? OK, so I found the missing centerstand spring brackets. I'd had them powdercoated, and when they came back, smaller stiff was hidden by larger in the pile of shiny new parts and their protective packaging...., and I didn't look all that well before I got upset at not finding them. (The first two times I looked.)
So now I have the frame uncrabbed.
Sure is nice working with new shiny parts, and you didn't have to clean them yourself. Wish I could afford to do this every year....or three.
And the back view. The spring attachment pieces are the ones I thought I'd lost. So now what? Looks so nice mebbe I should just treat it as a garage decoration. It'll definitely not look this nice and clean by the time I'm finished with getting it ready to really ride. Need to wait on the fork lock key and see what I think about it before I start installing the triple trees. And the forks....I still have one to do: fork leg is on the way already, Thx Johnny Cash for the fork leg offer,. I'd already ordered it when I started taking the bad one off and saw how bad it was cracked. Things may slow down a bit more toward zero for a while now. Plus I need to wait til I can get a friend/helper to help me compress the spring enough to put the circlip in. I just realized, I don't have any friends, (remember the two hoists just to put the frame over the engine?) Mebbe I can get my son-in-law to help me...? Easiest frame/engine marriage I ever saw. I thought for sure the back of the frame was gonna hit the clutch actuating rod on the back of the tranny once I started pivoting it downward. . Missed it by mebbe 1/16 inch. I'm not sure what I should be doing next; gotta go look at some books or websites or mebbe even my sparse notes from when I yanked it all apart.
WOW for as old as it is it looks great!
love the look of the Guzzi's.
Keep it up
As far as the Rattler, my sister lives in Tucson and they have "pet" wild things visit them all the time.
I got my son-in-law to stop by, (bringing back the Christmas chairs, table and ice chest) and had him help me put the one shock spring assy back together. (Still waiting for the replacement fork lower before I do the other one). But funniest thing...
I started looking to assemble the second one, and I swear there was no spring retaining cup (between the spring and the circlip in the above pix). I know I was very careful taking them apart to bag and tag all the pieces....since I'm going with the two spring G5 assembly, there's about an inch of spring compression tension that wasn't there originally....so someone put it back together without that cup, and used only the bigger black piece to hold against the circlip? I dunno, but between that and the lower fork leg, I'm gonna be waiting awhile before I get to the other fork assy. It's on order now, Harpers had one used, which is what I prefer when I can get a good quality part rather than buying new.
Meanwhile, I got in a fork lock that I ordered brom Bevel Heaven based on something I saw on line somewhere. I had drilled out the original one, not the recommended procedure, but hell, how often do I go about doing things properly anyhow? As you can see below, the plunger that fits into the triple tree shaft is significantly shorter on the ducati part than the original...
Not at all sure ehat I'm gonna do about that....I can put the lock in to cover the hole, and know it's never gonna work, I can take both to a locksmith and see if the plunger pieces can be swapped....I could do nothing and just put the lock cover back on the frame and not worrry about it...I suspect I'll think about that a bit. Good news is that now I know how it goes in, (and that to take it back out with the key, all you do is turn CCW and pull), I could put the triple tree back on and worry about the final lock decision later. So, now I'll probably go into wait for parts mode for a while.
When I was younger, only a year or so ago, I thought guzzis were weird ugly bikes. But recently I have been able to appreciate the the design and dare I say sexy look. What the hell, :hmmmmm:I must have got hit in the head or somthin. Anyway looking forward to seeing yours completed looks like you are doing a stand up job.
Some small progress..
Installed triple trees, left fork while I wait on parts for the right, shocks (adapted from a Jackal ebay purchase; may not be the absolute best, but much better than what I had originally) swingarm.....
I need to clean up the wheel hubs, and I'm very reluctant to remove all the spokes and have to relace & retrue the wheels. Mebbe I'll learn that some time in the future, but for now I'm thinking I'm gonna try a cheapie version bead blaster on the ouside of the wheel hubs. Spokes are SS, so shouldn't hurt them, and the wheel rims themselves are fairly scratched from tire irons, so can hardly hurt them. I have the disks off and waiting on bearings anyway, so I certainly won't be ready for much more assembly til I get the wheels ready. More when I do more. roy
A little bit of progress....
I thought before I tried the cheapo bead blaster I bought a few years ago and never used, I'd try some of the Mag etcher stuff I have in my under sink that doesn't work cabinet. If I remember right, it has some pretty agressive acid in it with all the right warnings about use it outside, wear all kinds of protective gear, all that shit you normally don't bother to read....so I sprayed it on the wheel hubs, watched it bubble for awhile, hosed it off and repeated. Came out pretty darn good, not as bright and shiny as a bead blast, but looks like it removed all the oxide, so I'm gonna call it good and move on....Waiting for new wheel bearings, but just for grins, I mounted the disk I drilled, and I think it's gonna look just fine. Didn't want to mess with all that bead blasting anyhow, since I don't have a fancy cabinet to do it in, and my poor little air compressor has hardly ever even been up to 125psi...
So I also mounted the fenders after I got in the fork spring compression cup I was waiting on and polished the new (used) fork lower. Here's a coupla pix of current state...
In case it's not obvious, I'm not doing this because I have genius mechanical ability to share, I may have gotten carried away with my new ability to figure out pix posting, but I also thought this would be a good way for me to have enough detail showing that when I run into the questions that always come up when you're doing something new, I could ask and mebbe get someone who's actually good at this sort of thing to give me a helpful answer. When I looked a bit at some of the other assembly threads, I'm kinda intimidated. I don't weld, didn't even build this engine, I'm just doing a straight assembly job, so you'd think I could figure everything out by myself with no help needed. I even took pictures as I took it apart! But Nooooo! Right now I'm looking at the rubber strap that holds down the back of the gas tank and trying to figure out what it's supposed to attach to at the bottom. Mebbe it'll become obvious as I keep attaching more bits, but for now I don't see it, and if anyone else already knows, pls share it with me. I'm having enough trouble thinking thru which electrical components are gonna need frame dremel tool work to get a good gnd connection thru the powder coat. Meanwhile, I've gotta wait for new wheel bearings, so I may be taking a bit of a hiatus. I did order the Marc Parnes wheel balancing rig, so I'm kinda excited to see how well I can make that work.
Can you show us a picture of what this "etcher stuff" looks like or what it's called?
I've got 3 projects on the go, and could probably make use of something like that.
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