After the restoration: 20,400 Mile Service

Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 [19428 miles]

OK, it’s not 20,400 miles yet. I found grit stuck to the oil drain plug during the 19,200 mile service. I decided to tear down the engine and find out why. The teardown story is here. Now that the bike is back together I’ll document any ongoing issues here.

Battery case

Battery case

Battery case

I mentioned when I put the new battery in the bike that I wanted to replace the wooden shim. This is the replacment. I cut the top off of my old battery (after neutralizing and removing the acid) and removed the guts. The new battery just fits inside the case. I painted the case black (it was an ugly green) before installing in the bike. There is some electical tape around the top of the new battery where it sticks up from the old case. I also drilled some holes in the bottom of the old case to allow any moisture to drain.

Ready to remove

Ready to remove

Ready to remove
Bad brakes

Bad brakes

Bad brakes

Last test ride I noticed the rear brakes were worse than usual. I pulled the rear wheel to find the shoes contaminated.
Perhaps I used a bit too much grease last time I had the wheel off. In any case it explained my lack of stopping power.

Cleaned

Cleaned

Cleaned
No more contamination

No more contamination

No more contamination
Cleaned this, too

Cleaned this, too

Cleaned this, too

I washed the shoes in hot water and simple green, then hit them with some alcohol, and finished up with a wipe down of acetone. I also used alcohol and acetone on the hub. Finally I scratched up the hub with some sand paper to break any glaze.

Ready to install shoes

Ready to install shoes

Ready to install shoes
All back together

All back together

All back together

I took the bike on a test ride after getting it back together. The rear brakes work much better. They’ve never been great, but they are now as good as they have ever been.

Before the test ride I tightened up the right hand side cylinder base nuts because of a leak. After the test ride I checked. The leak is more of a weap and the tightening might have stopped it. The oil that I thought came from the base nuts actually came from the drive shaft boot where it attaches to the transmission. I removed the large boot clamp and made sure there was not contamination where the boot attaches and re-installed the boot clamp. I’ll monitor this further.

Spark plugs look OK

Spark plugs look OK

Spark plugs look OK
Set up for timing

Set up for timing

Set up for timing
Right exhaust tight

Right exhaust tight

Right exhaust tight
Tighten everything

Tighten everything

Tighten everything

It’s been about 100 miles since my last post teardown look at the R69S and about 200 miles since the engine was put back together. I torqued the heads – maybe 2 of the 12 screws moved. I checked the valves… my right exhaust was a bit tight. My right exhaust is almost always a bit tight. Soon I’ll need to add washers to make room for the adjusters. After checking the valves I checked the static timing with my Fluke in buzz-box mode.

Huh…. The points are opening the wrong side of the OT mark. Now I usually have the left cylinder at TDC compression stroke when checking points. No reason, it just winds up that way as part of my typical maintenance procedures. This time the right cylinder happened to be at TDC compression stroke. When I rotated the engine to left TDC the points opened at the S mark. I had at least 15 degrees of differential timing.

I called my favorite /2 guru (Brent Hansen) for some ideas. He thought about it a bit and suggested popping the magneto off the cam and rotating it 180 degrees. The goal was to see if the offset followed the advance. This advance isn’t that old, but I thought it a worthwhile test to narrow the problem if nothing else.

After popping the magneto rotor and moving 180 degrees I torqued the rotor with advance to 14 ft-lbs and checked where the points open. Just before the OT mark on one cylinder (I’ve lost track of which is which by this time). Rotate the crank one revolution and the points open just after the OT mark. Total distance between the two sides is now on the order of 1/4”.

Don’t know why this resolved the issue. Maybe some dirt on the rotor to cam taper? Maybe popping the rotor and putting it back in place would have done the trick. In any case I’m a happy camper, again. I set the static timing so the points open at the S mark. Tomorrow I’ll check with a timing light and give the bike a test ride.

Thursday, Oct 7, 2010 [19538 miles]

Started the bike and clipped on the timing light. I found the dynamic timing to be correct but with the S mark jumping around the window a bit as expected. When I upped the RPM the F mark went a touch too far, so I adjusted the Caro stop screw to limit the advance. A 30 mile test ride didn’t show any obvious issues.

Friday, Dec 24, 2010 [20401 miles]

Oil change time

Oil change time

Oil change time

It’s time for the next service. The bike has been running great since the teardown and subsequent tweaks. This service calls for an oil change and not much else. Since the bike is running so well I see no need to do much more than the items on my checklist this Christmas eve.

Check battery

Check battery

Check battery
Quick connect

Quick connect

Quick connect
Battery charged

Battery charged

Battery charged

I put the battery on the 6 volt charger and forgot about it while doing the other maintenance items. About 30 minutes into the service I took a look and saw that the charger had already switched to storage mode, indicating a full charge on the battery. I disconnected the charger to get it out of the way.

Old tire pressure

Old tire pressure

Old tire pressure
New tire pressure

New tire pressure

New tire pressure

Next thing to check was tire pressure. I’m going to jack up the pressure a bit from what I usually use to see if it will help with the way these particular tires handle deep, sharp rain grooves.
I’ll run 36 PSI front and rear. The max load pressure for these tires is 39 PSI. Recently I’ve been running 32 PSI front, 36 PSI rear.

Headlamp OK

Headlamp OK

Headlamp OK
Tail light OK

Tail light OK

Tail light OK
Parking light

Parking light

Parking light

All lights check out good. I didn’t get a picture of the brake light, thought. It didn’t come on the first time I tested. The switch was full of grunge. Cleaning it and tightening the contacts seems to have resolved the issue.

Ready for oil drain

Ready for oil drain

Ready for oil drain

I removed the drain plug and immediately proceeded to drop it into the catch basin. One of these days I’ll add a screen to the cut up bottle I use to catch old oil on this bike as it seems like I drop the plug more often than not. When I fished the drain out of the old oil the magnet was clean. Did it come out of the bike clean or did the oil bath erase any evidence?

Rear brake linkage

Rear brake linkage

Rear brake linkage
rear brake bell crank

rear brake bell crank

rear brake bell crank
Front brake

Front brake

Front brake
brake lever

brake lever

brake lever

While the oil was draining I wiped down and lubricated the various places on the bike where brake action caused movement. There is no noticeable wear on the front brake cable.

clutch lever

clutch lever

clutch lever
Clutch lever at transmission

Clutch lever at transmission

Clutch lever at transmission

After taking care of the brakes I cleaned and oiled the clutch. The clutch cable also looks to be in good condition.

New oil

New oil

New oil
Adding new oil

Adding new oil

Adding new oil
Engine tight

Engine tight

Engine tight

What kind of oil? Whatever is on my shelf. Today it will be a mixture of my last quart of BMW stuff and some Castrol that I buy by the gallon. Both are 10W-40 API SG (G for Good) rated. Yes, I remembered to put the drain plug back with a new crush washer, first.

Special tool

Special tool

Special tool
Unload front end

Unload front end

Unload front end

This is the second to last step. I jacked up the front end of the bike just enough to check the steering. Seems OK. Now it’s time to put the tools away, dump the empty oil in a container for recycling, and take a test ride.

All is well. The bike does ride a bit harsh with the extra air in the front tire. I can’t tell if it helps with the grooved pavement or not as it doesn’t react to all grooved pavement, only some stretches of road. I’ll keep the pressure as it is until I’ve time for a test ride over some section of road that I know to be extra bad.