It’s not all plain sailing – 30 May 2014.

I left you last time with the completed engine and gearbox on my bench. The two went together easily.

A V-twin Guzzi is built around its engine and gearbox. It’s not like other bikes where you complete a rolling chassis then shoehorn in the engine. This means the engine needs to be put where you want the finished bike to end up. There is a special Guzzi stand for the purpose. My arrangement is almost as good. I use a scissor lift with a home made plywood and steel adapter which fits the sump of the bike. It’s designed in such a way that the V7Sport engine is supported on its sump screws and the later 750S3 engine is supported on the sump fins. The adapter can’t slide about as there are studs sticking out of the base which locate in holes in the jack.

I prepared myself for the job of transferring the lump from the “mucky” bench to my lifting bike bench. At a pinch I can lift the engine and ‘box but not far and not for long. The trick was to slide the engine from the bench onto the jack.


Then slide the whole shebang onto the bike bench. No lifting and no ricked back. Of course, I could have just lifted the engine into place then fitted the gearbox after!


I still needed to refit the distributor. It’s important to do this now as you can’t fit the distributor past the top frame rail later. The distributor contains a set of points for each cylinder. You want the right hand set at the top. These are mounted to the backplate in the dizzy. The left hand set are toward the bottom and are mounted on a moveable plate. I adjusted the points gaps before fitting the lot to the engine. The gap on a V7Sport is 0.37 to 0.43mm, so 0.4mm it is then. Later bikes are set slightly wider. To fit the distributor first turn the flywheel till the “D” mark is in the hole in the bell housing while holding your finger over the plug hole. I do this by engaging a gear then turning the lot with a splined tool on the gearbox output. It’s the middle one of these and is a length of driveshaft sleeve welded to a spanner.


The flywheel needs to turn anticlockwise, as you look at it from the gearbox side. You can fit the alternator and use the centre bolt of that to turn the lump. It’s clockwise looking from the front. Anyway, you get the “D” mark (TDC on the right cylinder) lined up. It needs to be the compression stroke so you should feel air pressure from the spark plug hole. If not, it needs to go around again. Then carry on turning till the next mark lines up in the bell housing hole. It’s not much further on. This is the static timing mark and is when the right hand set of points should begin to open which is when spark is generated. So, turn the centre of the dizzy so that the RH points are about to open and hold it there. The centre shaft with the cam on has a cut out. Keep the position of the cam relative to the points and insert distributor with the cut out at about 9 O’clock. As you do this the centre shaft will turn and the notch should end up at about 11 O’clock.

Fit the clamp that holds the dizzy in place but don’t tighten it up. It goes below the distributor. I then roughly set the static timing. I will leave doing it properly until the bike is nearly complete and there is power to run an indicator light. The engine’s at the static timing point for the RH cylinder so turn the distributor till the points are just beginning to open. Now you can lock the distributor in place. Turn the engine as before until the mark past the “S” appears in the bell housing hole and adjust the LH points. This time adjust the moveable plate. Often there is not enough adjustment to be able to get the LH cylinder timed properly once the RH side has been done. Remove the adjustment plate and file it so there is.

It should wind up like this.


Now there is a bit of a problem. I am missing a couple of silly little bits. There should be two rubber/plastic blocks that the wires exit the distributor through. They go in a hole each side where I’m pointing with a screwdriver in the picture below.


I’ve got enough bits to build more than one distributor but none of these. They don’t seem to be available anywhere seperately. Never mind. I’m itching to start building the frame up around the engine.

I lay out all the parts I need to fit the bottom frame rails and centre stand etc only to find this.


When I unwrap the centre stand brackets they’re both left hand ones! I had bought these many years ago when I stole the originals to build up the S3. The packets show the correct part numbers and state that one is SX and the other DX. I can’t get any further for now.

I decided to have a look at the original V7Sport ignition switch/steering lock that arrived from Italy this morning. I keep an eye on ebay for hard to find parts like this. Turns out it’s not the right part and I think the seller new this. Here is the old switch on the left and the so-called new old stock one on the right.


The new one has three wires, the original has four. It has three key positions, the original has four. The lock part doesn’t retract far enough so will not release the steering or, possibly worse, could lock the steering while the bike is being ridden. The big give away is the pair of keys for the lock. They have a cloverleaf on and there is evidence that the words “Alfa Romeo” have been filed off. I am most dis-chuffed.


So a case has been filed with ebay to return the switch and recover my money. At the moment the seller looks like he will play nicely.

I’ve been on to the chaps at Gutsibits in Huddersfield and they have found me the stand bracket I need. They can’t help with the sealing blocks for the dizzy. I’ll try the UK Guzzi forums and if I have no luck I’ll take the ones off the S3 and copy them somehow.

Be back soon.


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