Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

 

175-000

My latest garage project is coming to me through a series of connections and it involves a restoration project. My cities living history museum has an on-site workshop that is run by volunteers. The workshop is historic type wood working shop that does lots of repairs and building of historic items for the museum/park. One of the larger projects undertaken by the shop has been a full blown building of a 1920 carousel including all hand carved horses.

Doug, the gentleman that heads up all the volunteers and also appears to coordinate practically everything to do with the projects, gave me an inside look at both the shop and some of the major projects that have been completed. The vintage level that the shop works on is truly inspiring and goes to show that machines can’t always substitute for human talent, effort, and ingenuity.

This brings me to my own little shop and the project it has recently seen. The historical park has many vintage pieces of equipment some of which has been donated. They had acquired a Champion Blower and Forge Co. drill press dated from the early 1900’s. The drill had found itself a home in the wood working shop but was only there for decoration as it was not in a useable state. Through a series of connections I was able to contact Doug and meet with him to discuss the future of the drill press.

What the museum wanted was to be able to get the drill to a functioning state so that it could be used as demonstration in the museum’s workshop. After performing my initial inspection I was fairly certain I could get the drill back to working condition again however I had one main concern. The concern revolved around restoring it so that it would be historically correct. I like building things, I like spending time in my shop, I like planning my projects, and I like researching my projects BUT…I do not want to commit to the amount of time it would take to research the historical accuracies nor do I want to be burdened with the time consuming task of trying to collect potentially unobtainable items. Since this is a volunteer venture I also have to consider the budget. It was agreed that the drill would not have to be historically correct. As long as it was in a functioning state and that the overall image was maintained then I was free to modify, and repair, as I see fit.

The good news is that I wasn’t under a time crunch. The museum, being mostly outdoors, shuts down for the winter therefore I had up to 5 months to get the project complete. As long as the drill was ready for opening day in May I was free to take my time.

Onto the details. The Champion Blower and Forge Co. drill press that I am dealing with is Model 101. I found a date stamp on the drill chuck and it read June 1907. I am not going to give a history lesson in this blog posting. I will refer you to Mr. Google should you have any questions. I will, however, tell you a bit about how it operates.

The drill press is hand cranked and only has one gear ratio. The length of the crank arm can be adjusted and therefore I guess you could say that the mechanical advantage can be altered. The unit is equipped with a flywheel in order to add some inertia to the monotonous cranking of the handle. There is a cam lobe cast into the drive gear which activates a cam lever which, in turn, ratchets a lever onto a downfeed gear. This allows the drill bit to feed down between 1-3 teeth, depending on adjustment, with every turn of the crank arm.  I have included a video in this post which will probably do a better job at explaining how the unit operates.

There is much that I can say about both the drill and the restoration process. All the components had been gone through and either repaired or reconditioned. Some small hardware items like screws, ball bearings, and a spring were replaced. I have not included all the details of the repairs in the posting but instead just chose to highlight a few. If you have questions or want specific information just ask!

On last note before I move onto the good stuff. Much of the hardware that I required for the build was hard to find locally. McMaster Carr is a United States hardware supplier that has a massive selection of parts that are of interest to me. Unfortunately McMaster Carr does not sell, nor ship, to Canadians. Fortunately I have some good friends in the right spots that are willing to help out. Jason who happens to follow my blog was able to help me out. For those of you who are not familiar with Jason I would highly recommend checking out his blog as he does some really cool wood related projects. Not to mention he is an equipment junky which I can respect. You can see all his stuff at his blog The Gahooa Perspective. Anyway, Jason offered to put an order in for me and ship it North my way. Very much appreciated Jason, thanks!

I opted to split this project into 2 separate posts. This post includes the nitty gritty parts of the restoration. Part 2 will include the finishing process which will be available at a later date.

175-010

Here is the condition of the drill press before any work was performed. Previous work had been done as was evident by weld repairs that were painted over.

175-020

I am including this shot only to show the right side for reference purposes. As I scoured the internet in my research it was helpful when I was able to view as much detail as possible. Here is my contribution.

175-030

First order of business was to photograph everything before disassembly. Second order of business to to rip and tear and break everything down to individual components to allow for cleaning and inspection. Most of the components came apart with little effort. There where a few parts that needed some persuading however I think the drill and I developed a good working relationship. It had initially expressed some dislike of what I was trying to do but I had assured it, as gracefully as I could, that I was here to help and not to harm. We were able to reach a compromise and at that point I think we each developed a healthly respect for one another. From then one we had a common goal and became good working partners. I would like to be able to call this press a friend.

175-040

Here is some evidence of previous repairs. The support that holds the table assembly has been previously broken into multiple pieces. As much as the brazing repair looks excessive I commend whoever performed to repair for a job fairly well done. If you saw the bore of the broken component you would know just how many pieces it was broken into. It was a jigsaw puzzle to repair.

175-050

This is the cam arm that converts movement from a vertical plane to a horizontal plane which then activates the down feed ratchet gear. It too has been previously broken and repaired with both brazing and welding. There were some cracks that were still evident so I will end up doing further stitching.

175-060

Once I evaluated the condition of all the items I proceeded to get everything to a workable state. I started by running everything through a high pressure hot water parts cleaner to get rid of as much grease, oil, and old paint as possible. Then most components were transferred to my blast cabinet and cleaned up using crushed glass media.

175-070

The drill press table had been previously drilled through. Being cast I was nervous about how I was going to repair this. I had TIG welded cast previously and had good success. My main concern was being able to match the material finish.

175-080

I filled the holes using a 309 filler rod which works great for dissimilar metals. You can see that cracking on the top of the weld is evident. I am hoping that crack is only a flesh wound and has not penetrated deeper.

175-090

I had knocked down the protruding portion of the weld and then set the table up on the mill in order to machine it using my facing mill.

175-100

Here is the end result after machining and some sanding. The table is perfectly flat however the repair is evident, I kinda expected it would be. I am not sure how I am going to deal with this yet, I have some ideas. Time will tell which solution will prevail.

175-110

The drill press had a previous repair done to the wooden handle on the crank arm. I felt as though the press deserved something more then low budget fir. I opted to machine out a couple of oak handles using classic handle styling by giving them a slight taper.

175-120

Roughed out and sanded oak handle.

175-130

You may have noticed that the drill press only had 1 handle originally and that I had machined 2 handles. This is because I opted to retro fit an upper handle onto the top down feed gear. Of the drill press models that I researched I saw numerous models equipped with this upper handle. The purpose of the handle was to aid in rapid vertical feed of the drill chuck when setting up the material for drilling. The 101 model I was dealing will had a hole in the casting of the the upper gear that allowed for a handle to be added. I am unsure if a handle was there as some point or if it did not come on this model. The provisions were there so I opted to add my own handle assembly. I wanted to keep all my “gordsgarage” manufactured components looking as though they were original so I built a simple arbor for the upper handle. This is the start of the arbor before the final machining took place.

175-140

Here is the final machined upper handle arbor. I needed to cut it in such a way that it would clear the down feed ratchet lever.

175-150

One of the more crucial repairs involved the drive gear . This is the gear that is turned directly by the crank handle. The problem was that the gear had worn on the shaft and therefore the teeth would no longer mesh due to misalignment. The gear is cast with no inner bushing. Since the shaft that it rides on inspected to have some wear it was fairly minor. I opted to enlarge the bore of the gear in order to accept a bronze bushing.

175-160

Here is the bronze bushing that I machined down in order to fit the gear and the shaft.

175-170

The bronze bushing then got press fit into the gear. I made the bronze bushing a very tight fit on the shaft knowing that once it was pressed into the gear I would be able to hone the bushing for a precision fit. Happy to say my gear teeth meshing issue was solved and the gear alignments were perfect.

175-180

The next few pictures show some random repairs. On the right is shown the cam wheel that rides on the drive gear and activates the cam arm. There were a couple issues with it. First it had a flat spot on one side most likely caused by it’s inability to turn freely. The second issue was that the securing screw, for the wheel, could not be tightened since it would not allow the wheel to turn. What the manufacturer did was thread the screw in loose and then mushroom the back side of the treads in order to lock it in place. The problem using this method of securing is that it does not allow for disassembly for maintenance or repair. My solution involved machining a new wheel that was equipped with an inner bushing for the wheel to rotate around. This way the allen head securing bolt can be tightened properly and also removed at a later date if needed to. NOTE: I realize the allen bolt I used is not period correct. Fortunately the drive gear blocks it from sight.

175-190

Next challenge was to address a one-time-use crush sleeve. The sleeve on the right was used to keep a couple of securing pins in place. The securing pins connected the drill chuck shaft to the down feed acme shaft. One-time-use is the issue and unfortunately for me I was second in line. I wanted to find a solution that would not only look similar to OEM equipment but also allow for disassembly. I machined a bronze sleeve and installed a 10-24 set screw. I opted to leave the outside of the sleeve untouched therefore keeping its worn looking exterior. Again I realize the set screw does not fit with the time period. It’s my project and I can screw with it if I want to. That’s just my one cents.

175-200

Just like the cam wheel the cam lever also needed to be able to turn/pivot on it’s securing fastener. The cam lever pivot was originally made from a 7/16 bolt shown on the right. If this bolt was tightend it would not allow the lever to pivot. In order to keep the bolt “loose” but prevent it from backing off the threads have been flattened. This is visible by looking at the deformed thread 6 threads from the end of the bolt on the right. I am not huge supporter in this securing technique and therefore a solution would be required. The second issue was that the female threads that were cut into the lever arm securing bracket were cut at a slight angle. This caused issues with proper lever alignment. My solution invloved building what is visible on the left. It is a bushing that is secured using a 3/8″ square headed (keep the vintage look) bolt. Not only did this allow me to tighten the bolt, it also allowed a better quality pivot, and it repaired 90% of my lever alignment issues due to the fact I eliminated using the angle threaded original hole. Got all that? Didn’t think so.

175-210

Another challenge involved the down feed 5/8″ six turn single start acme rod. The drill appeared to have sat for awhile in unfavorable envirmental conditions a therefore the threads suffered some corrosion. I opted not to reuse the orignal shaft but instead build a new one. I began by obtaining a new three foot section of 5/8″ acme rod, cutting it down to size, building up a portion of it with the TIG welder and a 309 rod, and then machining it down to match the spec of the original rod.

175-220

In this picture the corrosion of the original threads are evident on the bottom shaft. I am happy to say that the female threads were still is decent condition and that the new, replacement, shaft threads perfectly into its counterpart.

Below is a 32 second video showing the mocked up drill press in action. Normally I toss in some generic music to help pass the video viewing time but in this case I opted not to. The reason being that the pure mechanical sound that this drill press makes is symphonic. I almost think the mechanical sound of the unit working in harmony is the best part. I’m considering making a 3 minute recording and put it up for sale on iTunes. Coming home after a hard days work , sitting in your Lazy Boy with a set of headphones on, and entering an oasis of non cyber stimulation would be well deserved for those in appreciation of such mechanical bliss.

175-230

The last 2 pictures show the mock up stage. Do not look too hard at the assembly since I purposely did not assembly everything 100%. The securing pins below the bearing assembly are just loosely fitted in order to allow for easy disassembly. At this point though the fabrication and repair have all bee completed and I am happy to say that the drill performd very well. I have never had the opportunity to use on of these drills in it’s original state so I can’t comment if my rendition if better, worse, or the same however I would have no hesitation in guaranteeing all the work I performed.

175-240

At this point the drill will be completely dissembled and the “finishing” process will begin. I’ll save all those details and pictures for a later date.

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Title frame

I continue to struggle keeping up with the blog posts. The work in the garage has not slowed down however writing about it has. Work and family life is busy and something had to give. I was, however, able to find some time to put together a post outlining what has been going on lately.

The work on the CB160 Cafe Racer continues to take place. My goal is to have it completed by spring and therefore progress needs to continually take place. I think I will be in good shape to make my deadline however there is always more work involved then one may expect. No time to start slacking.

My plan from the beginning was to perform as much of the fabrication work as possible while the bike was still in one piece. Once I went as far as I could I would then strip the entire thing apart and start the refinishing, and rebuilding, process. Well this time has come; I have come to the point where all the finishing needs to take place therefore the bike has to come apart.

Although the following pictures leave out a lot of detail they will at least provide the highlights of what has been going on in the garage. So I invite you to scroll through the following pictures and bring yourself up to speed.

Brake linkage

I am really going for the minimalistic look on the bike so stripping everything off that isn’t required is a priority. If I could get every cable off the bike I would however I have to stay realistic. I had already machined and tack welded a new rear brake cable support onto the frame (top right corner) however after rethinking things I decided to try for mechanical linkage for rear brake actuation. You can see my mocked up linkage from my rear sets to the rear drum. The pedal feel is much better and the linkage really cleans up the look. I will have to wait till the bike is at reassembly stage in order to figure out exact linkage length since chain adjustment will come into factor.

B4 disassembly

So here you have it. I think I have done as much fabricating as possible with the bike assembled. At this point the entire thing gets stripped down. Everything will then start to get prepped and refinished before reassembly will begin.

Under tank electrical

Something I never blogged about was the under tank electrical. The original horn and coil has been done away with and I added a new Dyna Coil with new mounting. The horn has been replaced with a high pitch one off a Porsche Cayenne and then I added a couple of relays to handle some of the new electrical.

Central electrical

The central electronics have all been moved, and hidden, under the seat. Components include the electronic ignition module, charging system “regulator”, power supply relay, fuse block, starter solenoid, and battery.

Tear down

Time to start tearing things apart. Strapping the bike to a saw horse provided enough stability in order to get the wheels and suspension off.

Torn down

So here it is, the bare frame. Not a single nut, bolt, or clip is left on it. Time to start laying down some final welds and clean up some existing ones.

Organized components

All removed components were separated into indivduals bins to help keep things organized. A bin for powder coating, a bin for chroming, an electrical bin, and then a misc. bin.

Prepped 4 chrome

I am not a huge fan of lots of chrome however since one of the distinctive features of the bike include the factory chrome tank covers I felt it was necessary to bring some chrome highlights into the bike. I chose some hardware, brake linkages, axles, and fork seal housings to join the tank covers in their display of bling. I had a local electroplating company strip the old chrome first. I then performed some touch up on all the parts and sanded out any rough casting marks. Once prepped the components were sent back to the electroplaters.

Completed chrome

Here are the freshly chromed bike components. If you look at everything to the right of the tank covers you will see that there is not a lot of chrome on the bike, just enough to help blend the tank covers in with the whole package.

Tank covers chrome

The tank covers turned out fantastic!

Original fuel cap

The fuel cap is stainless steel so I opted to polish it up myself. Here is the before shot.

Polished fuel cap

And here is the after shot and the results of 3 stage polishing.

Fuel cap rebuild

The tank cap is pressed together but I was able to “blow” it apart using compressed air. I then was able to clean all the old varnish and rust from the internal components. I was successful in pressing it all back together.

Fork rebuild

Something that had been weighing heavy on my mind was the front fork rebuild. I was unsure if they would come apart easily and I suspected I may have seal issues. Turned out getting them apart was a bit of a challenge. I needed to machine a tool in order to spin off the fork seal housings. Also trying to slide the rams out from the lower housing was not easy as they did not slide smoothly out the bores. More on this later.

Fixing fork nut

The front fork lowers have 4 threaded spacers welded onto them, they all support the front fender however one is the nut that secures the front brake drum arm. This one was broken off at the welds. Needless to say the front brakes do not operate without the arm securing attached to the fork assembly. I used the original threaded spacer and TIG welded it back on.

Fork hone

So here comes the story of why the forks had trouble coming apart. I knew that when I welded the spacer back onto the lower fork tube that the inner bore of the tube may distort. It turns out I was right and after TIG welding the spacer on the fork ram, and bushing, would not slide down into the housing. As I inspected a bit more closely it would appear that the factory welded spacers also distorted the tubes which is why I suspect the bushings were so hard to remove from the fork lowers. I am guessing that the factory must weld the nuts on after the rams are installed, this seems odd to me however I can not determine how they could have installed the rams into distorted fork lowers. I had to come up with a solution to help everything go together, and slide, smoothly. The fork lowers have a second tube in them to allow for spring support. This made for cleaning of the inside bore difficult. In the end I decided I would machine a pipe down enough to fit into the fork lowers. I then glued sandpaper onto the pipe to turn it into a hone.

Honing the fork

Here you can see me honing the side of the fork lower which has the nuts welded onto them. I was able to take off just enough material on the inside of the fork to allow the ram to slide smoothly. Lucky for me these forks are 1965 technology and they do not possess, or require, the precision of modern engineering.

B4 and after ram

The fork rams received a good polishing to clean up some of the old wear and tear. The rams inspected to be in good order with no major nicks. The upper fork is original and the lower is one that has been cleaned up.

Polished fork bushing

These are the bushings that need to slide smoothly into the fork housings. You can see the scoring on the upper bushing that was caused upon removal. I was able to clean up the scoring and give them a good polish before reassembly.

Seal compare

I have pretty much sourced every single part I needed for the CB160 project. I think I have only failed on 1 part and that is the fork seals. I was able to find a supplier however the logistics involved in actually performing the purchase transaction made it too difficult to obtain the seals. I opted for improvisation. The CB160 had 2 different fork seals. 1 for the early model (which is mine) and 1 for the later model. Turns out the later ones are still available from Honda. The difference between the 2 different years is the outer diameter of the seal. Lucky for me the inside diameters appear to be the same. The later models have a smaller OD which also turns out to work in my favor. So in order to adapt the later model smaller OD into my early model forks I opted to machine a press fit spacer as an adapter sleeve for the different seal. The top seal in this picture is the original. The bottom left is the newer seal with a smaller OD and the right is the completed spacer I machined to use as an adapter.

Fork seal bushing 1

I used a 1.750″ seamless pipe with a .250 wall thickness to machine the adapter from. It was hard to measure down to the thousandth of an inch in order to accommodate a press fit.

Fork seal bushing 3

This is the new style seal with the completed bushing.

Fork seal bushing 2

And here is what the seal looks like pressed into the bushing. I did not post pictures of the installed assembly into the fork tube however the press fit turned out great! Hopefully no oil leaks around the OD of the seal or bushing.

Seal housing o-rings

One other part I failed at obtaining was the O-rings required to seal the fork seal housing to the lower fork tube. They are a 38 x 2 mm o-ring and are no longer available. With some searching I found that VW uses the same size seal on multiple engine components including fuel pumps. I ordered a couple up from VW in hopes they would work. Turns out the fit was perfect. Problem solved.

Coating fork lower

So with all of my fork issues behind me all that was left was to perform the finishing touches before reassembly. The fork lowers got sandblasted and powder coated matte black.

Fork ready 4 assembling

Here are all the refinished components. Seat housings chromed, rams polished, lowers powder coated, housing honed, and seals installed. All ready for reassembly.

Forks assembled

Completed forks with aftermarket bellows added to them. Another “to do ” item checked off the list.

Blasted tank 1

It is getting to the point where I need to get some main components refinished. I started by glass bead blasting the tank. The clean up turned out fantastic. It was stripped of all the old paint and rust and upon inspection it would appear the tank had no dents or damage. There will be very little body work required.

Blasted tank 2

The underside of the tank cleaned up great too. Totally stripped of all 1965 color.

Polished tank filler

I thought that polishing the filler neck would give a more finished look plus it will tie in nicely with the polished fuel cap.

Tank repair kit

The tank had a lot of rust in it and was going to require some serious attention to get it all cleaned up. Earlier I had ordered a POR-15 fuel tank repair kit knowing I was going to have to attack my problems with chemicals. I used the kit however not exactly as the directions stated. Here was the sequence I used to achieve fantastic results;
1. Rinsed that tank with Marine Clean for 15 minutes
2. Rinsed the tank with CLR for 15 minutes.
3. Added approximately half a cup of glass beads and 2 cups distilled water and shook vigorously for 15 minutes.
4. Rinses and pressure wash the inside of the tank
5. Added another half cup of glass beads and halve a bottle of Prep and Ready and shook again for 15 minutes
6. Rinsed and pressure washed
7. Added straight Prep and Ready and soaked for half an hour while repositioning.
8. Rinsed and pressure washed.
9. Dried the tank for 4 days which included multiple sessions with a heat gun
10. Coated the tank with a sealer.
The whole process took time however the results were great. The tank cleaned up inside to bare metal and there were no leaks before, or after, the sealer.

Prepped frame

Although this picture is not overly exciting it shows the results of hours of work. I ground lots of the old, ugly, factory welds and redid them with TIG. All the crucial visual areas got ground and sanded smooth. The frame is now ready for sandblasting, a bit more touch up, and then paint.

Cleaned up downtube

This is one of the highlights of the bike. The down tube. For me this section of the frame needs to have a very clean look to it. A lot of the factory holes were filled in and then the welds were sanded smooth.

Title rear wheel

The game plan with the 65 Revive Honda CB160 cafe racer build was to perform as much of the fabrication work before tearing the entire bike apart. Lots of people choose to strip the bike down first then perform the modifications. I want to keep the bike together as much as possible therefore I can ensure everything will work in harmony with one another and that way there will be no unwanted surprises during final reassembly.

The finishing stage will be the final chapter in the rebuild however in the case of the wheels I was forced into performing the detail work now. The reason is that fender mounting requires that I have the proper, and properly inflated, front tire on the bike. Since I didn’t want to mount up my new tires on old rims I opted to tackle the rim rebuild at this stage in the game.

The plan was to abandon the factory chrome look of the rims. The hoops and hubs will get powder coated matte black and then will be laced back together using stainless steel spokes and nipples.

I have already collected all my parts including tires, tubes, rim strips, spokes, nipples, bearings, bushings, and brake hardware. Therefore all that was required was some time and labor.

I’ll run you through the details using visuals. The rims turned out fantastic. The powder coating went as well as I could have expected. Some parts had some minor flaws however the result equalled my experience. The hoops trued up and tensioned up and I was able to mount the tires without causing damage to the finish. Now I can continue on with more fabrication.

OEM front wheel

Here it is, the stock front wheel. The plan is to powder coat the hoop and hub matte black and then replace the OEM spokes with stainless steel Buchanan spokes.

Front de-laced

Front rim getting de-laced. The hub and hoop both inspect to be in good shape.

Front drum touch up

Set the drum up on the lathe to clean up the brake friction surface. No cutting required, light sanding did the trick.

Hoop blasted half n half

Initially I thought I would have to strip the chrome from the OEM hoops before powder coating. After doing some research I figured there was no reason I couldn’t powder over top of the original chrome. None of the factory chrome was flaking off and it was still all intact. I took the sandblaster to the bare hoop to rough, and clean, the original chrome. The left is sandblasted and the right is factory.

Wheel prepped 4 powder

All the wheel components have been prepped and blasted. Just need to be cleaned and then the power fogged on.

Hoop jig

The 18″ hoop just barely fits in the powder coating oven. It needs to be held at just the right angle in order for it to fit. I constructed a crude jig to hold the rim just right for baking.

Hub fogged

Here the front hub has been fogged with matte black powder just before it gets placed into the oven.

Hoop baked

You can see the tight fit of the rim in the oven. The rim has been baked and is now in cool down stage.

Hubs matte black

Completed front hubs. Looks good.

Buchanan's

I was in the area of Azusa California so I took the opportunity to stop in at Buchanan’s to order and pick up my stainless steel spokes. Great service and great product. Very helpful staff.

Buchanan's spokes

Spoke set for the CB included double butted spokes with stainless nipples. Front and rear rims use the identical spoke lengths.

Front rebuild

Starting to lace and rebuild the front rim.

Front laced

Initial lacing complete, onto the trueing and tensioning.

Front trued

The rim trued up and tensioned up beautifully. Worked out great.

Before and after wheels

New matte black front rebuilt wheel compared to the OEM rear wheel.

Cutting out bushings

With the front rebuilt it was time to complete the rear wheel. The sprocket is mounted into rubber bushings and I had new ones to install. The factory bushings are pressed into a blind hole. I opted to mill the old bushings out.

Pressing in bushings

With the rear hub prepped and powdered I was able to press in new sprocket bushings.

4 new bushings

Rebuilt rear hub with new bushings and new bearings.

New factory brakes

Front and rear both got a new set of brake shoes. I was able to score some NOS shoes for the rear.

New tires

The rubber was harder to find then I initially expected. I settled on some Duro tires which had similar tread patterns to the factory tires. I went with a 2.50-18 front and a 3.00-18 rear.

Rear wheel complete

The completed rear wheel with the new rubber mounted.

New wheels

Final shot of the wheel rebuild. I had to sweep out the shop so the bike got to see daylight for a brief period.

Title front end

So I was able to continue my auspuff progress on the CB160. The preliminary leg work had been accomplished and it was time to start cuttin’ and buttin’ stainless pipe together to make a structure that will hopefully represent a 2 into 1 exhaust system.

The plan was to make the “lines” of the exhaust flow with the bike and give it as much of a clean look as possible. I continued to work with the bike turned upside down as I had previously done when modifying the center stand. I am not sure how much I can say about the whole process other then it takes a lot of “looking” and “figuring” to make sure everything is just right.

I have included bonus pictures in this particular post which shows a major screw up on my part. I was able to dissect my mistake and fix it however the thoughts associated with my lack of planning still continue to haunt me. Anyway…look on and follow along as I eventually ended up with a completed exhaust system for the 65 Revive project.

Tacking down tubes

Laying out and tacking up both header pipes to ensure that they are both identical.

Collecter tacking

Tacking the collector to the 1.500″ outlet pipe which will help me line things up on the bike.

Collecter to headers 1

Starting to piece the header pipes to the collector assembly.

Tacked pipe take 1

Here is the “2” into 1 section all tacked up. I placed the collector in a particular spot in order to allow access to both oil drain plugs.

Ashamed and embarrassed

And here is my screw up. I cannot believe that I did this. For some reason I neglected to presicely place my collector assembly. I have no idea why I just “guessed” at its position. As you can see the exhasut angle under the bike look hideous.

Starting over

So here is attempt number 2. Good thing I only tacked the pipes together. This time I measured and clamped the collector assmebly in its proper position.

Collecter to headers 2

With the header pipes measured out and bolted in symmetrically and with the collector placed properly I began cutting pipe and fitting pipe in order to join the 2 sections together.

Tacked pipe take 2

It’s already looking better. Hopefully round 2 will prove to be successful.

Yeah Baby!

Way better, completely happy with the “angle on the dangle” on this one. The flow looks great. I like how the lines of the underside exhaust matches the angle of the seat frame.

Pipe final welding 1

With the exhaust tacked and tested it was time to perform the final TIG welds.

Pipe final welding 2

I back purged all my welds and they all worked out fine.

Muffler angle mock up

It was time to keep going with the elbow and angle required for mounting of the muffler. Here I used various supports to help hold the muffler in place so that I could stand back and get a good visual.

Completed 2 into 1

With the muffler angle figured out I cut and welded the remaining pipe. With the exception of a support bracket this is the final product.

Pipe install 2

Here is a shot of the completed and installed exhaust. I think the lines and shape worked out great. Don’t mind the orange elastic bands as they are only there to keep the exhaust flanges from sliding down the pipe while I was welding and installing.

Pipe install 1

And here is the final look. I still have yet to weld, or clamp, the mufller (I haven’t decided yet). I also need to install a bracket however this too has to wait for variuos reasons. My intent from the start was not to grind and brush the welds. I wanted to go for a raw and racey look so I think I am going to leave the welds exposed. I’ll let it sit for awhile and see how I feel.

Title headlightLife has gotten busy for me lately, the garage projects, and blog, have both been suffering. However the lack of bike building and metal work has been exchanged for other things that are necessary to maintain a healthy and balanced life. Christmas time is busy and unfortunately many of life’s needs cannot be fixed by welding or machining. Anyway…hopefully January will provide me with cleared schedule that will allow for a bit more metal in my life.

With the CB160 engine rebuilt it was time to turn my attention onto the remainder of the bike. There is much to accomplish with the entire bike requiring rebuilding and it was time to take a serious look and what is the procedurally correct approach to take. A job well planned is a job half done so I figured I would cut my work down 50% by giving the tasks at hand some serious thought.

 

Stripped seat and fender

 

Whenever people are faced with a “restoration” project the initial reaction is to start ripping and tearing into it. I had the same urge but then decided to slow it down a bit. I wanted to get the frame stripped down and start to detab it, clean it and modify it. The issue came in that modifications are dependent on many factors. New exhaust requires proper clearances, seats and foot pegs require proper positioning, and modified handlebars require proper placement. All of these things will be very difficult to place once the bike is stripped down to nothing.

So I decided to start the project backwards. Before I strip everything apart for cleaning and rebuilding I decided to make my modifications first while the bike is still intact. Riding position is crucial and, as I learned, there where sacrifices to be made. I’m converting the bike to a cafe racer therefore many of the existing components are going to get removed from the bike and the riding position will be getting modified. I suspect there are many complexities involved in engineering the correct position to ride in for both performance and comfort. Certain angles work and certain do not. When moving the foot pegs I am concerned that the leverage involved in shifting and braking stay within realistic, and comfortable, positions. Handlebar placement is important to ensure that not too much of the body weight is uncomfortably supported by the arms.

Flipped bars

So what it came down to was a lot of time spent staring at the bike and reverse engineering the frame geometry tying to teach myself what the people who built the bike were professionally taught. I had a certain image in my head of very specific things that I wanted to incorporate however experimentation would show that what I wanted and what was practical were two different things. I like the look of short, stubby, cowl style cafe racer seats. Well base on my own observations it would appear that these seats only work for bikes with long fuel tanks. In the case of the CB160 the tank is “average” and certainly not long. Installing a short seat on a bike with a short tank compresses the riding position to the point of major discomfort. My policy has always been “function over fashion” or “function first” so as much as I wanted a stubby seat the fact is that the bike would be too uncomfortable to ride.

Mocked seat

So it came down to addressing three main factors. The handlebar position, the seating position, and the foot peg position. I knew that I would be running clubman, or clip on, style bars so I unbolted the original bars, flipped them 180 degrees, and turned them 180 degrees to simulate the new bars best as possible. The new foot pegs will be placed very close to where the rear pegs already are so this was a no brainer, I just used the rear pegs. Next was the seat, I really struggled with this one. I debated building my own cowl style seat. It would be a major learning experience for me, which I welcome, since I have very little experience with sheet metal shaping. I have much respect for those individuals how can shrink, stretch, shape, and “feel” sheet metal however my lack of experience has me second guessing myself. Perhaps building a cowl style seat may be a bit too ambitious for my first project. So I opted to purchase a fibreglass seat. After much internet research I decided to do business with Glass From The Past as many of their products are geared towards the CB160.

Tester set up

I spent way too much time on the GFTP website reviewing all the seat dimensions trying to determine what would work. Well after doing lots of measuring it came down to having to build a mock up seat and actually trying it out too see if the angle and dimensions would suit my riding position. So I build a seat, based on a GFTP seat, out of scrap plywood and 2x4s. With the handlebars flipped, the rear foot pegs installed and the tester wooden seat installed I was able to actually sit on the bike and get a feel for the riding position. This is where I discovered that a stubby seat will not work. The riding position was way too cramped. The bike would be rideable but it would not be fun, nor would it feel as though the rider was tuned with the rest of the mechanics. So I built a mock up seat based on dimensions that were not my first choice but where more suited to the existing bike geometry. Well it turns out that a longer seat was the way to go, the angles were great. I had my brother, who rides a GSXR1000, try out the seating position and he described it very close as the feel of his Suzuki. The longer seat with the dropped clubman bars and the rear mounted foot pegs seemed to suit a great, and comfortable, riding position; the angles are sporty and feel fantastic.

Clubman bars

So with the geometry figured out it was time to start ordering up some parts. Foot pegs, bars, and a seat were on the list. My plan was to start performing the frame modifications before stripping everything down. Again, my parts research led me to a few suppliers. The first one being Motobits which is a company that manufactures rear sets specifically designed for racing application CB160s. The quality looks good and the option of having full adjustability is more than enough reason to make a purchase. Ordered! The handlebars where a challenge. Originally I had my heart set on a set of clip on bars but as I looked at more images and performed more research I decided that a set of clubman bars form Lossa Engineering was the way to go. Lossa Engineering has built multiple CB160s with the clubman bars so I knew they would work for my application. The final purchase was made from Glass From The Past where I ordered their VINBTB seat. I am not completely comfortable with the way the seat cowl angles up as I really like the lines created by a straight base however life is comprised of comprises.

Motobits

So at this point in time I have received the rear sets from Motobits and the clubman bars from Lossa Engineering. The design and quality of both products are great, no complaints and nothing but positive comments. The seat will take awhile before I see it since I opted to splurge for the optional leather upholstery. Anyway…t he geometry all seem to be coming together which puts me one step closer to turning bolts counter clockwise and applying 120psi to a bag of sand.

Leg geometry

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.

So with the powder coat colors chosen for the CB160 engine is was time to start the coating process on the good engine components. The plan was to shoot the cylinders, head, and valve cover with matte black. The upper and lower engine case will go HD bead blast silver and the side covers will be colored with anodized aluminum.

I am still very new to the whole powder coating process and have learned quickly that one similarity between anodizing and powder coating is the extensive prepping process required to ensure good results. In the case of the engine components I want to ensure that everything is out gassed and then surface prepped properly.

Engine has been out gassed and glass bead blasted. Onto the masking process.

Everything is masked and plugged and ready for the preheat

The first step involved an extensive amount of good old fashioned cleaning using a solvent tank and pressure washer. Once I had as much grease, oil, and dirt off the components as possible I proceeded with the out gassing. I fired the powder coating oven up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit and baked all the engine components for 2 hours. It was certainly evident from the smoke and the oil that leeched out that the out gassing process was accomplishing its intended task. I made sure that I bolted the cylinder to the cylinder head before out gassing in order to prevent the cylinder sleeves, and head inserts, from coming apart.

Head and cylinders mounted onto an adapter plate I made so that I would be able to spray the fins vertically.

Set in the oven for a preheat session up to 160 degrees.

Once everything was out gassed I headed over to the glass bead blast cabinet. With all the important casting sections either taped off or plugged I proceeded with blasting everything clean. As with anodizing it is important to ensure that none of the blasted components have oil on, or in, them as the blasting tends to drive the oil and grease further into the pores resulting in a failed finishing process. This is why the out gassing is performed before the blasting.

Matte black powder fogged on. Careful inspection with a flashlight indicates everything got coated.

Completed and baked coating, fairly happy with the results.

With the blasting completed it was time to give everything a major bath and scrub it all down with hot soapy water. Once clean the time consuming process of taping off, and plugging, of crucial sections of casting could begin. Components with gasket surfaces got taped using high temp tape and all the bolt holes, and studs, were covered using silicone plugs.

Engine case after it has been out gassed and glass bead blasted.

Hot water and dishsoap was used for the clean up.

I wanted to lay the powder onto the finned engine components with the fins in a vertical position. If I sprayed the powder onto to them horizontally I feared that I would get too much powder build up in between the fins. I welded up an adapter that would allow me to suspend the head and the cylinders vertically and would also give me a way to rotate the assembly as I sprayed.

Masked and ready for preheating and coating.

The powder went on great, good coverage, no issues.

So with all the prep work done there was nothing left to do except lay on the powder and hope my rookie endeavor will experience a successful outcome. Over the course of the next few evenings I was able to get through all the engine components and complete the coatings. There were lots of lessons for me to learn and some flaws in the coating that defines my ability however overall I am very pleased. The finishes all flowed out nicely and the overall effect is great. The coverage is good and the color was what I expected.

Baked and completed HD Bead Blast Silver case.

So with all the engine components now coated I will be able to send the cylinders and the head out for machining. While waiting for their return I should be able to start reassembling the bottom end.

Sorry, no pictures of the side cover process however here is my good set of Aluminum Anodized powder coated covers.