Battery and seat fitting – 27 Jan 2016.

Battery Holder.

As I said last time, their are only a few outstanding jobs. One of these is to make some arrangement to hold my battery. The original equipment Guzzi battery was massive and for some years I have successfully used a small Odyssey battery. It’s now very old and could soon be replaced with something of a different size. This meant I didn’t want to spend too much time and effort on this but, as usual, the opposite happened.

My first thought was to make up a dummy battery from some plywood left over from a job in the house. This would be around the size of the original and painted black. My little battery would be hidden inside. I got this far.

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Then I changed my mind! I broke out the MIG welder and made up a metal cage from 20 x 3mm steel strip. It consists of 2 hoops round the battery connected together. The top hoop has a bracket each side so it can be fastened to the forward-most mounting points for the tool box on each side. The lower hoop also has a bracket to locate it on the lower mount for the right hand tool box. The battery itself stands on the original rubber mat and is held down by a clamp screwed to a bracket on each side of the top hoop. The nuts are welded to the underside of the brackets.

The quality of the welding is “variable” but good enough. Here the frame is being test fitted with the tool boxes off.

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It took a long time to give the battery cage two coats of “Hammerite Smooth” as it had to be done in two stages or there was no way to hold the thing.

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Again there was a test fitting.

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It was then fitted properly along with the tool boxes. This time some rubber strips were cut to protect the battery.

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The Seat.

I have the original seat for Rhino. It’s not perfect and has some damage but I’ve yet to see a good enough replacement seat cover. The one sold by Cycle Garden in America looks good but is expensive and, of course, I’ve only seen photos. Anyway, I’m going to use the original, at least for now. There were two issues. The cover is coming away from the metal seat pan in places and the pan has some surface rust.

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The edges of the cover were re-fixed with impact adhesive after cleaning the surfaces as best I could. I held them in place with “bulldog” type clips while the glue dried.

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I removed the strap which is secured to the seat pan with large self-tapping screws, rubbed off the worst of the rust, then gave two coats of “Hammerite Smooth” to all the metal surfaces I could get at.

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I gave the paint a couple of days to harden before fitting the seat to the bike. The seat fixes to and hinges on the very back of the frame. Two tapered rubber bushes fit in brackets either side of the seat and bolts pass through them to mount the seat using nuts and a mixture of washers. These are the same rubber bushes as used to mount the instruments on the V7Sport and some other models. I made some new stainless steel sleeves to fit.

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Here are the bushes fitted to the seat on one side.

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The seat was remounted and the rear mudguard fitted to the back of it.

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It looks like I’m finally getting close.

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Fuel cap and lines – 2 Jan 2016.

Fuel tank cap.

Early last year I bought a stainless steel filler cap for Rhino at the Stafford Show. The original, although not too bad, would need chroming. The replacements available are all for the narrower filler on later bikes but you can change the innards over. I was offered a cap with or without a lock so thought I might as well get the locked sort.Here are the original and replacement. The photo makes the old one look quite good.

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As it turns out, this makes things difficult as the lock barrel prevents the guts of the old cap being fitted. This is what they look like dismantled.

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I decided that, if I made up a new version of the larger seal with a hole for the lock, this could be added to the new locking cap. You still need the redundant smaller seal though. Here you can just see that the old larger seal has been marked out to show where it needs to be cut.

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I didn’t actually cut the old seal but made a new one from Viton sheet. I’ve used this stuff before and it stands up to modern petrol well. I cut the holes using the hollow punches I bought for making gaskets. Of course it means I still have all the parts to reassemble the original cap.

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Here are the bits ready for the modified locking cap.

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Then put together.

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To fit the cap to the tank I had to remove some paint. The hinge pin of the filler cap slides into the slot at the front of the tank fitting and it hooks over a rod fitted to the hole toward the back of the tank fitting. You can see the rod here.

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Fitted to the tank.

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The catch for the filler removed some paint from the lip.

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I had been expecting this because the tank filler wasn’t painted originally. Well, it’s never had any paint during the time I’ve owned the bike. That’s since 1978.

Fuel taps.

The V7Sport came with an electrically operated fuel tap on the left and a manual tap on the right. This gives a supply should the tap fail and lets you access the reserve capacity. The original manual tap has the outlet snapped off as has the replacement I had been using.

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I bought a reproduction tap but found that the length of the “reserve pipe” is shorter than that on the electric tap.

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The pipe and filter from an original tap won’t fit. This means I now have to remember that, if I’m running on the manual tap, the reserve capacity is less. I could fit a longer piece of pipe and leave off the filter. As the tank is clean inside and there are filters on the carb inlets, this probably would be fine. However, I’ve kept things as they are. The taps are fitted with a strange nut which has a normal thread at the top and a left hand thread at the bottom. A new seal is fitted to the top of the tap and the special nut allows the tap to be fitted with the lever where you can get at it.

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I fitted the electrically operated tap as well and wired it up. When I turned the ignition there wasn’t the “clonk” I used to hear as it worked. I took it off again and dismantled it.

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All seems OK. I reassembled it and tried blowing through it, current on and off, which confirmed it’s working properly.

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Fuel lines.

Much time was spent making fuel lines. I had to take the tank off and my non-flexible wrist made things difficult. I tried to make the lines out of modern ethanol-proof hose but this is designed for fuel injection and is just too rigid. I had to go back to my stock of old braided hose and, after trial and error, made this.

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The hose lengths to the fuel taps were left over size to be trimmed when the tank is back on. It’s always the fixing to the left carb that needs to be sorted out first because it’s on the inside and difficult to get at.

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The right hand side is no trouble at all.

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The hoses to the tank were shortened and hooked up.

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I’m getting very tempted to fire the bike up! They say patience is a virtue so I shall wait till all is finished as there’s not much more to do. I need to

  • Make up and fit a battery holder of some sort.
  • Clean up and repaint the underside of the seat.
  • Fit the number plate.
  • Check the oils and adjust everything.

But I’m sure I’ll find something else before I invite friends round for the grand start-up. Or maybe not. It’s best not to show off, just in case.

Plug leads & headlamp rim repair – 1 Jan 2016.

Well it’s a new year and here we are again!

I needed to make a repair to the headlamp rim which broke when I fitted it. However, before that I made up the spark plug leads. The plug caps are NGK LB05F-R with 5KΩ resistance and I have used these on all my Guzzis. The wires themselves are copper cored with next to no resistance. This is the recommended set-up and other leads can cause problems so I’m told.

I started with the coil end of each lead. Each wire pushes onto a spike in the coil and is secured with a screw on cap and a rubber “olive”.

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This all works fine but you have to be very careful not to over-tighten the screw cap. They are fragile, seem to get more brittle with age and are not available separately these days.

The plug caps just screw onto the wires which pass through support brackets bolted to the engine’s inlet manifolds.

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Before fitting the plug caps I slid on some off-cuts of breather hose at any point where the plug lead might rub against something.

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Having finished the wiring, I pushed the rubber cap over the ignition switch and its mount.

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Now the headlamp rim. When I fitted the rim the first time I felt some “give” as I tightened the screw and assumed that the threads had stripped. However, when I took it off to do the headlamp wiring I found that two rivets had pulled out.

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I think that they have been eaten away by the acid used by the chrome plater. They might have also had their tops polished off. I tried to replace the rivets but struggled to get them in straight and the hammering hurt my damaged wrist. I gave this up and used the same screws as I did to re-fix the horn grills after chroming. I cut the screws as short as possible because the rim is mounted over the rubber headlamp mounting ring and they will be hard up against this. They take up a bit more room than the original rivets but still fit.

The remaining couple of rivets seem to be holding and I’ve left them alone (for now).

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The threads on the securing screw seem to be OK but I added a nut afterwards.

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