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Old 12-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
Grider Pirate OP
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Pulling an airhead transmission- an UN rant

Lots of ugly crap going on right now. My wife's truck is acting up, my 'backup' car was stolen, and last week my '88 RS suddenly decided 2nd gear was fine for everything. I emailed Anton, and he said it's probably 'just' the shift pawl spring.
I had loaned the RS to a friend (for the last six months or so) because he was having issues with his bike. The very day after his bike got back on the road, the RS transmission stuck in 2nd.
However.... after work today I popped over to Dan's house (the guy I loaned the scooter to) and we pulled the transmission to send off to Anton. It took less than an hour. You gotta' love that.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #2
bgoodsoil
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I love the fact that I could swap my pistons in the time it takes some folks to change their oil.

The swapability of parts on these bikes is great too. It's easy to find parts since they went on so many bikes. I'm going to pick up a good used gearbox and heads and stick them in drawer somewhere. If I ever have problems I won't get my parts fixed. I'll just swap them out. Takes less time and it's cheaper.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
Reryder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grider Pirate
However.... after work today I popped over to Dan's house (the guy I loaned the scooter to) and we pulled the transmission to send off to Anton. It took less than an hour. You gotta' love that.
However what I dont love in my love-hate relationship with my Airhead is the fact that you have to send that gearbox off to some expert with the special tools and knowledge to repair what is really a simple mechanism.
Ditto the rear bevel drive.
Ditto the shaft that connects the two.

It's the most frustratingest bike I ever owned.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
HaySeed
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I just fixed my gearbox, being able to say that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

When mine started acting up my line of thinking went like this: If I can pull the gearbox myself that will save me some money. Then I thought, if I pull it I may as well crack it open and save a little more money. So I built a flange puller and bought a hydraulic gear puller, lets pretend I needed one of those anyway. After I cracked it open I realized how simple it really was, it wasn't like a tightly wound clock at all. I replaced the worn parts slapped that baby together and I'm on the road.

What I mean to say here is that you probably could have fixed that ol' gearbox yourself. Heck if I can do it...
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:58 AM   #5
kixtand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reryder
However what I dont love in my love-hate relationship with my Airhead is the fact that you have to send that gearbox off to some expert with the special tools and knowledge to repair what is really a simple mechanism.
Ditto the rear bevel drive.
Ditto the shaft that connects the two.

It's the most frustratingest bike I ever owned.
The above is not true for everyone, many here included. If you are inclined, have the skill set, and want to purchase the requisite tools then you can repair everything you noted above yourself.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kixtand
The above is not true for everyone, many here included. If you are inclined, have the skill set, and want to purchase the requisite tools then you can repair everything you noted above yourself.
Absolutely True!! The last time I had a gearbox problem (many years ago), I had more free time, and just did the work myself. I'm not rich now, but I am 'time poor', so off to Anton it will go.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
crazydrummerdude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kixtand
The above is not true for everyone, many here included. If you are inclined, have the skill set, and want to purchase the requisite tools then you can repair everything you noted above yourself.
Exactly. Like many things, it's a value-of-time juggle.

Anyone can do the job, and do it right, but... how much time do you want to spend learning versus riding.

I feel neutral on the fact that I took my R90 heads and transmission to a shop, because while I have the tools (and probably half the experience/knowledge) to do it myself in my shop; it was done right the first time, and fast. I can live with that.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #8
meijer's trails
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that's the basis of an economy

I think you guys are talking about the basis of an economy. No one has time to learn to do everything themselves. Even subsistence farmers need plowing tools from a blacksmith.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:35 AM   #9
Wirespokes
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Actually, I agree with Reryder on the trans. I don't understand why they have to be as complex as they are. I've worked on other trannys and these are about the most fiddly of them all. I've worked on trannys ever since my first Hondas back in the 60s and there wasn't anything special about them. I've worked on car and truck trannys, and even replaced some synchros on an old School bus I had - now that was a BIG trans! Intimidated me at first, but shouldn't have. Everything was bigger, but just the same stuff. I've worked on the older Volvo over-drive trannys I used to be into, and except for the Chinese puzzle aspect, they were pretty simple. None of this careful, ultra-precise shimming that's needed with these airheads.

Now, the final drives, well, that's par for the course. All gears like that need very careful positioning to ensure they mate properly. But the splines wearing out...yeah, that's funky. I hear Oak came up with some sort of solution for that some years back. Never heard exactly what it was though.
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