With the Steel Stampede in Crooked River only three weeks away, it is time to get serious. My good friend Randy Hess offered to help get the old twin put back together and ready to race, and we ended up having one of those really great days in the shop where a lot of progress is made and also had a lot of fun. Randy has been a big part of my motorcyle world since we were teenagers, in addition to helping build my old Norton Commando that we flat tracked, he also helped on other bikes and was even there to drive me home when I broke my knee at Woodland (almost forty years ago). A darn good friend!
So Saturday morning we started out with several piles of parts;
We also started out with a list;
We decided Randy would work on the frame and suspension and I would tackle getting the motor together. Randy said his goal was to have the bike on it's wheels by day end, my goal was to have the motor together. And off we go!
Before starting on the frame and suspension, Randy decided to get the de-rusting project started on the MT250 fuel tank;
Randy prepping the frame for re-paint, it had been painted before but then some welding and other modifications had taken their toll;
Starting to paint;
Installing rear swing arm and shocks (with Danny helping);
We had more than a few road blocks to our progress, one was just finding all the bits and pieces amid the multiple proejcts from the last year or so and the other was that the bike is such a conglomeration of parts, often what shoud fit doesn't. In this shot. Randy, Luke and Corey are welding a bar into the lower steering bearing race to get it out of the frame, so all new bearings can be installed;
Each part or fastener had to be cleaned and buffed and those not plated had to be painted, so it's a slow process. Here is Randy working at the LC Garage precision buffing deivce;
After a full day of hard work, here is the chassis, ready for the motor;
Great job Randy!
While Randy was doing his thing, I'd gotten busy on the motor. First up was to cut the old cam chain;
Since the motor had been sitting open for months while a lot of work went on around it, I opted to rinse the motor out with high detergent ATF and drain the block before proceeding;
The previously installed pistons & rings were still looking good, and this time around I had help installing the cylinder. Not even sure how I got it together the last time without breaking any rings!
Slipping the new chain into place with some fine wire;
Then with Randy's help, slipped the cylinder block on, much easier this time!
Before the head could be installed, first it had to be clearanced for the larger camshaft. This process took awhile, install cam, check clearance, grind, clean, reinstall, check again. Argh.
Here is the cam box before modification, the black circles are some of the contact points;
After a lot of grinding, it all finally came together;
None of this could have been done without the help of the Graves family in Flagstaff (aka Lameco) and their vintage race bike mechanic Owen. Owen was gracious enough to spend time with me on the phone and talk me thorough the modifications and installation of this hot rod motor. Big thanks to to both Johns (Sr and Jr) and Owen!
Head installed on the motor;
Joining the cam chain together;
Riveted in place;
Motor completed and ready to install;
Sunday morning, first some fun stuff, checking the vintage British fenders for fit;
Installing the motor;
A great weekend, lots of progress, can't wait to get this thing done and hear it come to life. Lots of little bits and pieces need to be put together before then, ignition, fuel system, etc. But every day there will be progress.