50 Anni di bicilindrici – 9 to 11 Nov 2018.

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No, I haven’t been over to Italy for the weekend. I saw these excellent shots taken by Paolo Rossi on FaceBook when he went to the show at The Novegro Exhibition Park, Milan. The title means Moto Guzzi, 50 years of the twin-cylinder.

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Paolo kindly gave me permission to post his photos here and, although I have had to reduce the resolution of some of them due to space considerations, they give some good visual points of reference for our type of bike.

V7 700 Polizia Stradale in olive green.

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V7 700 Polizia Stradale in blue.

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V7Sport “Red Frame”.

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V7 Sport “Production series”.

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V7 750 Special.

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850 California.

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850T3 California.

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850 Le Mans.

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850T3 Polizia, 850T5 Polizia and 850T5 Carabinieri.

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Griso “Tenni”.

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Clutch throw-out bearing -5 Nov 2018.

Over the last few days I have turned my attention to the dripping gearbox oil under The Racing Rhino. The leak started following the run down to Devon and back to the Guzzi Festival in August. It wasn’t a desperate problem so I left it. As it was a frosty morning I put the heaters and the lights on in the garage before I had my breakfast. That usually does the trick and makes the garage cosy enough.

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The bucket is jammed on the front of the bench so I don’t keep catching myself on the protruding metalwork of the wheel clamp.

Here you can see the gear oil hanging under the back of the gearbox. There is an O-ring inside which is supposed to stop this happening.

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To get it out you need to remove the clutch operating arm from the back of the box but, before I can remove the split pin and push the pivot out I need to disconnect the clutch cable.

I begin by slackening off the cable both at the gearbox end and the hand lever. Then the easiest thing to do it to disconnect the cable from the lever.

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Then there’s enough free play to get the cable off the clutch pull arm.

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I can then go back to the clutch arm pivot, take out that split pin and push it out releasing the arm. There’s a spring behind it. In my case it stayed put and I just left it where it was. This is what it all looks like then. The piece sticking out of the gearbox cover is what Guzzi call the “outer clutch body”. This is what has the O-ring around it. It just pulls out.

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However, when I pulled mine there were four small rollers stuck to it with oil.

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I recognised what these were. There is also an “inner clutch body” and between the two, inner and outer, is a thrust bearing arrangement and those little rollers have come from that. I fished around for the rest of the bearing with a magnetic tool.

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Luckily, when I counted them, all the rollers were accounted for.

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Here are the clutch throwout components from the back of the ‘box. The throwout bearing is made up of the bearing itself and two hardened washers. You can also see the O-ring I had come looking for in the first place.

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Work had to stop at this point while a replacement bearing was ordered. After a couple of days the new one arrived. It’s a different design to the original in that a dished washer is now firmly attached to the bearing and there is just one free washer. The photo makes the new one look slightly smaller than the original but it’s not. I checked.

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It’s a bit of a fiddle getting the new parts back in but oiling the new O-ring helps. The most difficult part for me was opening the new split pin under the clutch arm. When everything was back together I decided to top up the gearbox oil. It didn’t take much.

I sat back with a coffee and noticed a tell-tale puddle under Seb’s LeMans. Yep, gear oil. That’ll need the O-ring doing as well. Never mind. I’ve still got eight left from the pack of O-rings I bought for £2 a year or so back. You don’t need to buy special Guzzi parts. The size is 17mm ID × 22mm OD × 2.5mm thick.

Before taking the bike off the lifting bench I wiped ACF50 over all the bare metal areas and waxed the paintwork. The Racing Rhino will spend the winter away from the salty roads under dust sheets to appear next spring. The Fire Bike is much more suited to use during the winter although I don’t know how much I’ll use it.

A sticking rear brake – 1 Nov 2018.

A few days back I described how the back brake on The V7 700 Fire Bike was sticking on. If I used the brake the pedal would stay down, the brake light stayed on and the brake would drag. Today I had the chance to take a look at this. I also took a look at the gearbox leak on the V7Sport but will have to report on that later as I’m waiting for a replacement part.

I was fairly sure that the problem was within the rear brake drum so removed the left hand pannier to get at it. I disconnected the brake linkage from the drum.

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I was surprised to find that I was wrong and it was actually the brake pedal pivot on the frame that was causing the stiction.

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I removed the pinch bolt then tried to remove the lever. I had to spread it a bit but found that it still wouldn’t come off because the footpeg was in the way. It’s pretty tight between the starter motor and footpeg.

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I considered removing the foot rest but this appears to be quite a job. The bracket is held by the bolt which mounts the gearbox to the frame and by a couple of smaller ones to the leg shield. That big bolt will be hard to loosen as the exhaust pipes make access difficult. I am concerned that it is frozen in place. Idealy the engine and gearbox mounting bolts should be turned from time to time to ensure they stay free or, perhaps better, should be replaced with stainless steel copies. Anyway, I decided I would give this prospect a miss. I checked my manuals and parts books and saw that there is no reason why it shouldn’t be possible to knock the pivot back a little through its bracket. You can’t bash it right out because there are plenty of other parts in the way.

I spent a long time squirting dismantling fluid at it and wiggling the pedal up and down. Eventually I thought it was free enough to attempt driving it back through the pedal with a drift. I managed to get it to go back a few millimetres but that was all the clearance I needed to get the brake pedal off the shaft.

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I refitted the lever at a diferent angle and continued to try and work the shaft free but eventually resorted to carefully heating the end of the shaft with the fine burner on my blowlamp.

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I surprised myself and managed to do this without lifting the paint from the frame. Once it was good and hot I doused it with penetrating fluid and produced large amounts of smoke. A wiggle confirmed that it was a bit better and the process repeated with more improvement.

The spindle was brought back through the frame mounting and the job done again. I was happy that it was now freed off but it had to be knocked back once more so that I could get the pedal back on

Once all together I was able to confirm that the problem is fixed, at least for now, and I can ride the thing. At some point this will all have to come apart for that shaft to be properly greased. I don’t want to just rely on WD40 as a lubricant. However, it will have to do for now. I can also foresee hours of entertainment moving that gearbox mounting bolt and possibly the front engine bolt as well. I should have known better and removed and lubricated them before. Ho hum.