Archive for October, 2012

It has been a very busy few weeks away from the garage lately but I continue to try and keep making progress with the 65 Revive project. I showed off the completed engine in my last post and therefore it was time to move on to getting the engine mounted in the test stand.  There have actually been a lot of things happening behind the scenes lately and there have been some issues that I have had to work my way through. Typically with all my blog posts I try and maintain order and post things in the order which they occur. Well this time is going to be the exception.  I have lots of exciting things to share that I have incorporated into the engine however for now the news will have to wait. For today the blog post is going to consist of only a video. The engine did reach completion and the installation onto my “power tower” was somewhat successful. I spent time getting everything wired up and configured to the point where there was nothing left to do but induce some compression in hopes that the intake and power strokes will take care of themselves. So here you have it, the video of the inaugural starting of my freshly rebuild engine. The carbs were set to a base point, the ignition statically timed therefore there was nothing left to do but send some amperage to the starter and convert the crank RPM to run RPM. I am pleased to say that once the cylinders were fed some hydrocarbons from the float bowls the engine fired up and ran great, considering the state of adjustments. I am even more pleased to announce that after sitting for a few days with oil in the crankcase everything appears to be dry. So here you have it, the video of the first test run of the CB160 engine. It’s pretty cool to think that his engine was built from 3 engines and that it probably hasn’t seen CO running through its pipes for decades. Only goes to show that mechanicals do not age.  BTW if you don’t have speakers don’t bother watching the video, the thump is the 2nd best part. What’s the first? What else, the smell!


I give up. As I whined about in my last post I have been waiting for a timing chain roller, which I ordered off EBay, to show up. Well it has been 6 weeks and still nothing. I suspect it is located in the cracks of a USPS mail truck in Muscogee. So I figured that if I wanted it to show up I would need to install my used roller therefore the very next day my new one would be sure to show up. Still no luck, it never showed. Oh well…it looks like the engine is going to get the finally assembly done with the old part.

Triple oversize NOS rings gapped

Machined and powder coated a kick starter block off plug for the side cover. It gets bolts on from the inside to help give it a super clean look.

So as I posted a couple weeks back  time I was able to get the lower engine case sealed up. It was time to move onto the top end and get the pistons, cylinders, and head all assembled. Everything went together as planned. The rings were gapped and installed onto the triple oversize pistons. The pistons were mounted onto the connecting rods using NOS wrist pins and clips. With fresh new gaskets installed the barrels slide on smoothly.

Timing chain threaded and pistons loaded ready for the cylinders.

The freshly machined head was reassembled using new outer valve springs. The cam was slid in and the rocker arms were nestled into place. With the head dropped on top of the cylinders the cam timing was set and the valve lash was adjusted to spec. Valve cover then placed on and everything was torqued down into its final resting spot.

Valves and seats ground and head reassembled.

The fun wasn’t over yet. I finally get to start bolting on all the bling. All the polished hardware was installed and bolted into place. The carbs were mounted and the Uni-Filter foam air filters were clamped in place. The engine was finally starting to provide some visual satisfaction. The color choices that I stressed over previously seemed to be working out and the look of and industrial machine was starting to take shape.

Cylinder head set in place, camshaft timing done, and valve clearance adjusted.

Assembly torqued together for good.

As the parts continued to disappear off the work bench only to find a home on the engine I was coming close to having nothing left to install. This was the point where I could stand back and ponder the work with a certain amount of appreciation and satisfaction. It was a moment that was to be basked in for as long as possible. For the next step would involve liquids and with liquids come potential leaks. Anyway…no sense in ruining the moment. For now I will take pleasure in the engine reassemble stage and be happy with the product. Next I will need to focus my efforts on the technicalities of getting the power plant running. If you feel like getting lost in the mechanics and beauty of machinary then join me below in some metal admiration.

Completed top end

Old side cover I had from one of the broken engines. The cover was dented and broken so I beat it back staight from the inside and drilled a hole in it to allow me to set ignition timing. The cover will only be used temporarily.

The rest of the pictures show the final assembly with the carbs, air filters and other hardware installed.

So I have hit a bit of a wall with the 65 Revive engine rebuild. I had ordered a NOS timing chain roller off EBay about 4 weeks ago and I still have yet to receive it. The problem is that with the upper and lower cases assembled the next component to go in is the roller. Every day I walk out to the mailbox in anticipation of receiving my roller yet every day I am faced with disappointment. I suppose I will hold on for awhile yet.

So here is everything required to get the 160cc twin running on the stand.

Drilling out the battery mounts on the mill.

Since I am stalled out with the engine rebuild I decided to turn my attention to other areas of the rebuild that eventually need to reach completion. The idea is to get the engine running on the test stand. I don’t want to put the engine back in the bike to start it up since there are so many other unknown issues. I decided that a few hours out in the garage would prove to be time well spent by fabricating the required external components needed to get the engine running.

Machining down a 1.000″ 6061 aluminum rod to match the handlebar diameter in order to be able to mount the throttle assembly.

Using the coil as a spacing guide in order to drill the mounting holes accurately

I started by collecting everything that would aid in providing life support to the 160cc twin. I have an old, but good, test battery. I also gathered up an ignition switch, some fuel tank components, the coil, rectifier, and throttle assembly. With all the pieces laid out on the bench I performed a 2 minute engineering session and came up with a plan to build myself a power tower.

Fabricating the ignition switch mount.

Here are all the fabricated components for the power tower. Time to put the finishing touches on them and then perform final assembly.

The idea is to weld up a stand that would bolt to my existing stand which will hold all the life support components. So I rummaged around and picked out pieces of scrap metal from my piles and started to cut and weld. I did a bit of machining for both the coil spacers and the throttle perch. Both components were cut from 6061 solid rod.

A quick mock up of all the components ensured that everything would fit.

I will let the pictures tell the story of how the power tower came to be. In the end everything came together as a functioning unit except for the one component I forgot to incorporate. I neglected to make room for the starter solenoid; it still is sitting bolted to the bike. Oh well…I will still add it on at a later date. So here is hoping that my timing chain roller arrives soon and I will be one step closer to pumping through some hydrocarbons.

All the parts got glass bead blasted and then finished off with some Super Durable Wet Black powder coating.

Here are my fuel tank components made from PVC pipe. The pipe is 2″ diameter by 10 inches tall. I didn’t calculate the capacity however the fuel consumption of the engine under “no load” condtions will be minimal.

The coil, rectifier, and igntion switch all mounted. Notice how the gloss black powder coating really shows off my pathetic grind job of the welds.

Throttle mounted to the aluminum perch ready for some twist action.

My assembled fuel tank installed. The power tower’s height was dictated by the height of the carbs. The fuel tank was mounted high enugh to ensure a good gravity feed.

My tester battery clamped into the stand.

So here you have it, the completed tower. All that is left is to wire things up and find some place to mount my forgotten starter solenoid.

I suspect that some of you may be growing tired of viewing posts of my engine rebuild. I admit that it has been consuming much of the garage time, and space. However the end is in sight and the engine reassembly process is under way. Reassembly is always the best part of the job because by now all the dirty work has been done, parts have been sourced and inspected, and the time consuming process of coating and polishing has been completed. This is the point were I get to see the previous efforts pay off.

Here are my rebuild partners, Clymer, OEM, and Parts

Bench cleaned off, tools ready to go, let the games begin!

The disappointing part of it all is that the satisfying rebuild is rather short lived. These motorcycle engines are not complicated nor do they have very many parts that make them tick. This is the part of the job that I wished would take a little more time thereby extending the enjoyment factor.

Shifter forks cleaned, lubed, and sliding free.

New bearing pressed onto the transmission main and counter shafts. The shaft splines have been cleaned and deburred and the shift hubs slide freely.

Anyway…I managed to get the case assembled with the transmission and crank in place. I had previously opted to get rid of the kick starter and solely rely on either the electric start or a push start. I left the entire kick starter shaft out of the case and therefore required a plug to take its place. My concern is that there would be too much oil splash through the empty kick starter hole that would cause an excess of oil to spill into the right side cover. I machined up a spool type looking plug that will act as an oil stop.

Machining an internal case kick starter shaft plug out of 1.000″ 6061 aluminum. The kick starter shaft will not be getting installed and therefore this plug will control oil flow to the right side engine case cover.

Kick starter block off plug installed. The 2 case halves sandwiched together will help keep the plug put.

With the upper and lower case halves sealed I was able to work on the left and right sides. The clutch, oil pump, oil filter, primary drive, starter drive, clutch linkage, shifter linkage, and stator were all assembled. Running through all the gears by hand confirmed that with some transmission RPM the shifting should work smoothly.

Crankshaft now in, one final check over, hopefully everything is in place. Time to seal the case halves together.

I included this shot of all my polished components since I need to start dipping into my stash in order to bolt the cases together.

So the bulk of this post is going to be recited by the pictures. The bottom end of the engine is complete and I will move onto the upper end. Hopefully things will go as smooth for the second half.

Left side of engine with seals installed. Ready for the stator and starter chain install.

Right side of engine with the shifter linkage installed. You can see the kickstarter block off plug installed.

The clutch, oil filter, oil pump, and primary gears all mounted onto the right side of the engine.

The starter was completely disassembled, the steel components powder coated and the aluminum polished.

Starter assembly reassembled.

Starter mounted in place.

Stator and starting sprocket/chain in place. The clutch pushrod was polished as was the drive sprocket. It will be disappointing to see chain oil deposited on all the clean engine parts once the bike is running.