Shop Time

When I was a kid, it was important – well, required – that after school I changed my clothes and found my dad. My “job” was to follow my dad until supper time. (Yes, we called it “supper” on the farm.) It seems to me that as many times as not, I ended up in the shop helping him on everything from routine maintenance to whatever he might be building, fixing, or working on at the time. And – because he is my dad – he was (and still is!) awesome.

This post is really about rebuilding the wheels on my Lowrider project, but indulge me a little here.

I remember being amazed that my dad not only knew the size of bolt heads by looking at them (“That will need a 9/16 socket…”) but he knew how to pick up exactly the right wrench! My first job: learn the wrench sizes (as well as the difference between a 1/2″ drive and a 3/8″ drive ratchet) and be able to hand them to him when he asked for them. When dad said “Get me a 3/4″ end wrench and the big vice grips.” – he wasn’t planning on waiting a long time for me to look at every wrench!

Remember… lefty loosey… righty tighty…

So today I tore down the rear wheel and the front wheel. Sprocket (51 teeth) is off. Rear disc is off (damn, there was a lot of LocTite there!), Front discs are off. The wheels need new bearings and seals, but to be honest, I did not feel like fighting the grease and muck tonight. I made some progress – and I taught my mano that it is “left loosey, righty tighty”. That seems like a pretty good two-beer night in the garage. The grease will wait until another day.



Some Images from the Wheel Work…

Carb Rebuild

The S&S Super E, before beginning the cleanup and rebuild.

The bike has an S&S Super E carb on it, clearly added some time after the motorcycle was purchased. Its a great carb and along with the air cleaner, I am certain it opens up and helps the bike breathe better. The only problem is that sitting for four or five years lets water and old gas wreak havoc inside the carb. So, I ordered an S&S rebuild kit and waited for a nice day to get after the tear-down and rebuild. While I am at it, I plan to polish up the carb body and get all the accumulated crud off the outside as well. Gas lines were rotted, clamps rusted up, and the typical effects of being more than 30 years old and sitting for a long time in storage.

The rebuild kit is complete – all the small parts. And I mean “small parts.” Good lighting, a clean bench, and patience is required for this job! And a can of Gumout Carb Cleaner, some compressed air, and some 800-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Other than these speciality items, a couple screwdrivers and end wrenches are about all you really need to get the job done. I do find having a couple small picks handy helps as well. Take a look at the accompanying photo to see what I mean by “small” parts – there are some springs and check-balls in the accelerator pump that are about 3/32″ in diameter.

Cleaned up and rebuilt. Ready to install and tune!

I split the rebuild into two sessions in one day – it was a nice day so I snuck in a ride from noon to 4! Things proceeded without issue. The carb should be good to go when I get the engine reassembled. I will need to reset the adjustments and possibly re-jet the card once the engine in in place. I also cleaned up the intake manifold, buffing the aluminum. See the associated photo gallery and captions for more information.