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Old 04-16-2012, 02:32 PM   #42
More_Miles's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: New Brunswick Canada
Oddometer: 312
Originally Posted by QCDStick View Post
Unfortunately, it looks like you can trace the oil pretty clearly to the head gasket area. Just inboard of the pipe, on the front of the motor seems to be the source. Valve cover gaskets seem to be OK, though I'll probably replace them anyway since it looks like I'll be in there.
I'll let a more experienced Airhead wrench/guru chime in here, but it sounds like the head gasket is shot where top end lubricating oil comes through the channels in the cylinder. Head gaskets aren't THAT expensive. But buy the damned exhaust nut wrench and a bunch of penetrating oil. You'll need the wrench to fit those finned nuts and the act of having the penetrating oil will mean the nuts won't be seized/galled to the threads on the head. BTW, there is a right way/wrong way to put them on. Can't remember off the top of my head which is which.

Which brings to mind, I'd suggest asking your grandfather if he has any of the special tools like the exhaust nut wrench or any of the other myriad of "special/modified" tools for working on the bike. They aren't hard to source, but if he already has them, well, no sense in breaking up the set.

Originally Posted by QCDStick View Post
I most certainly will enjoy it! I don't mind any of the quirks per say, but not being familiar with these bikes it is hard to know what is a quirk and what is a potential problem!
One "quirk" I'd suggest you nip quick, especially considering the age and recent usage history, are the front and back wheel bearings. They are automotive style wheel bearings and unlike modern motorcycles, are DESIGNED to be serviced. Disassemble them, clean them, inspect them, reset the bearing pre-load if you're anal, obsess over it if you're super anal, pack them with fresh grease, and put new seals in them. Figure on doing this every couple of tire changes. Spun inner journals welded to the axle isn't fun. DAMHIK.... Spun races and destroyed hubs is even less fun.

The bike will drive you to distraction with things like the electrical system (what were they THINKING? Taking lessons from Lucas?) to the side stand (what were they THINKING? Way out under the cylinder so you can't SEE it?) to the centre stand (what were they THINKING? Do you see a pattern developing here?) But I must say, until I got the airhead, I never had a bike that made me want to throw a leg over and strike out for California from New Brunswick/Maine just because...
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More_Miles screwed with this post 04-16-2012 at 02:39 PM Reason: Aparently proof reading isn't my strong point
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