Posts Tagged ‘Eldorado’

VMCC Kent Rally…

Posted: June 5, 2017 in Just Me
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Kent Shaun invited me down to darkest Kentland for the annual VMCC Sittingbourne summer camp, So of course I loaded up the Guzzi Eldo Friday after work, and headed East, a couple of hours dodging thunder storms later, and I pulled into Newnham village down one of those little Kent lanes, and was met with a beer, while I pitched my tipi, and settled back for the evening with fish and chips. (well Friday was national fish and chip day)

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Loaded for camping

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Fish and Chips, a British tradition.

Not everything went to plan though, on the run out on Saturday, I had a bad knocking sound coming from the motor, fearing the worst, I pulled over, only to find my recently installed alternator assembly had broken its support bracket. leaving the whole lot to bounce around! so out with the cable ties to do a roadside repair. But the day was saved by another rally goer, who brazed the broken bracket back together for me. He did a good job too, as I made it back home with no further problems, but I will pull the alternator down , and make sure all is tight in that area, before the next rally.

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Mended alternator bracket

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Following on from my failure to make the John Bull Rally in Belgium a couple of weeks back, I have been going through everything on the bike in an effort to reduce the possibility of further breakdowns caused by the bodgery of previous owners. One such area has been the wiring, this to be fair has been an awful mess, I understand that people like to “have a go” but really if you don’t know what you are doing, leave it to people who do.  So I have been cutting out old wires, and running in new wires, this in itself is only a temporary measure, as I am going to replace the wiring this winter with a Gregory Bender replacement harness.

Today I also replaced the ignition switch with a new replacement I picked up at Kempton Jumble, this new one has a much crisper action, and does not hit or miss when you touch the key, this again meant changing and replacing a few more wires, all that leaves for now is to put an inline fuse holder on the main ignition circuit,

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Freewheel Shuttle trailer

I managed to win an online auction for a nice Freewheel Shuttle trailer for my Guzzi, I have thought about this for a while now, it will be nice to not have to load everything onto the bike, although I will need to resist the urge to pack more into the trailer just because I have some room.  So I will need to get a tow hitch made for the Eldo, and again sort out some wiring.

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Guzzi and trailer

 

I may have found the problem, but I won’t know until next weekend…
I hit my little lockup this morning armed with enthusiasm and coffee, and set to, trying to uncover what is going wrong, now in my mind I feel it is fuel related, but I still started by checking and changing all the electrical bits again, so plugs, points, condenser all changed again, next I looked at the carbs, pulled them apart, made sure all was clean, and put them back together again. and as it happens, the carb filters were clean, then I removed the tank, and fuel lines, fuel lines were also clean. then I drained the tank and stripped the fuel taps, now these taps don’t have any filter attached, and there inside the left hand tap was a flake of paint that could be acting like a butterfly valve. Was it just fuel starvation at higher revs, we shall find out next weekend.
I am now ordering new taps with built in filters, although I did flush the tank, and not much crap came out, so maybe I was just unlucky. I hope this is all it was.

Of course life is not that simple in my world, in checking the carbs over, I removed the choke cable assembly, and managed to brake my choke lever body, so now I am looking for one of those items too?

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Moto Guzzi choke lever assembly

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Now broken, anybody got a spare?

Even though my Eldo has been acting like a spoiled brat of late, I thought I would treat it to some new parts, I ordered the Dyna DBR-1 power booster a couple of weeks back, and it arrived over the weekend, so I picked that up today. This should be a good upgrade for a rally bike, because you are leaving all the points related parts in place, even all the original wiring is still there in case you need to swap back.  I also popped into DellOrto for some rebuild kits for the VHB carb’s, and some other goodies as well…

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New parts to be fitted.

So how do I start this little yarn, well like this I guess, I love the John Bull rally, I love Belgium, it may not be everybody’s cup of earl grey, but it suits me just fine, the little back lanes, the smoked eel and mackerel from the market stall,  the fine beer, cheese, bread , chocolate frogs and cream cakes, you can find it all with a cheery smile in Belgium. So as you can imagine, I was looking forward to the rally, and hanging with some mates, and this year being an old bike and British bike rally I had spent weeks preparing my 1973 Guzzi Eldorado for the trip.

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Rally Ready

The bike was all ready, infact I had fettled it beyond the call of duty, it had even had run in miles, and had the heads all re torqued just as it says in the manual, it was ready. So with a day off work on Thursday, I loaded up and headed out, the bike running great, the sun shining, all was good in the world. But, twenty mile in I had a loss of power, and a small back fire, but as I was adjacent to an exit on the motorway, I pulled off and turned back for home, but the bike was again running great, and I though that maybe it was just some dirt in the carb and it had flushed through, so I again turned around and headed back towards Kent, 140 miles away. Again the bike was running great, but another twenty or so miles later, as I sat on the infamous M25, it again lost power, and as I was near a services, I pulled off and gave the bike a good look over, but I could find nothing wrong, I had recently fitted a new coil, condenser, plugs, leads, etc, fresh fuel, new fuel lines, I had been through everything, and after a coffee, the started right up and sat ticking over like a good swiss watch. So I again hit the road, another twenty miles, and repeat, this went on for the next four hours all the way to Kent, where I called MrEd out to give me a hand. Ed bought out a compression tester, and both cylinders had an identical reading, we again fitted another condenser, and new plugs, but this made no difference, it was still playing up, only now I was only getting a mile at a time . Eventually we made it to Ed’s house, let the bike cool down, and I again went through everything, but could not find anything wrong, I played with the carbs a little, and rode it around the block, and it seemed better, so we left it for the night, and headed out for a curry.

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Ed’s place

Early next morning and we pulled the bikes out for the run to the ferry, and the Guzzi was running great, paling strong, and all was good with the world, but twenty miles in it all started again, loss of power, little backfire, pull to the side of the road, leave it ticking over, pull away and all is fine, two miles later it does it again, repeat above and it does it again, this time I call it in and wait to be recovered, and Ed heads for the ferry and Belgium, I sit and wait for the truck.

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Recovery Time

I have been busy over the last couple of weekends as I prepare my Guzzi Eldo for an upcoming trip to Belgium, and my annual visit to the John Bull rally.  But it was not all as simple as it could have been, problems, including one of my own making, made what should have been a simple service job, a much bigger problem.

First I could not get the bike running on both cylinders, this was caused by me putting the right hand carb slide in the carb the wrong way round, and compounded by my failure to see the problem. But as it turned out, when turned around, the bike very nearly ran great.  Next up was a sluggish starter problem, this was caused by a cheap aftermarket ignition switch causing high resistance,  too the extent that it had cooked the main ignition feed wire from the battery to the switch.

This meant I had to open up the whole harness, and replace any melted wires I found, and there were a few, but I soon got it done and working again, although I have decided to order a new harness from Greg Bender over in the US.

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Out for a test run

Lastly I had to change the fork oil, and fit a luggage rack, the rack is not perfect and needs some refinement, but it will do for the upcoming rally. This will be my longest ride on the Guzzi since buying it last year, so I am hoping all goes well, we shall see.

More Guzzi Ramblings…

Posted: April 11, 2017 in Just Me
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Rally season is now well upon us, and I have already missed one rally this year, but the next one is one I will not miss, the Belgian John Bull rally, a great rally hosted by the Belgian BSA-OC, for British and classic bikes.

This year I intend, well hope to attend on my 73 Guzzi Eldorado, and I am frantically trying to get it ready for the end of the month. I still have a few bits to sort out over the Easter weekend, and then with a fair wind it should be done. We shall see.

Those of you who own, or have owned a loop frame Guzzi, will know what a pain it is to replace the carb to airbox rubber. And after trying unsuccessfully to get it into place time and again, I finally came up with a plan that worked. Actually it worked quite well too. The successful method was to use two hacksaw blades positioned so that the rubber could be slid into place, and held while the carb was put back on, then the blades are pulled carefully out, job done.

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Eldorado air intake rubber

Posted: December 26, 2016 in Just Me
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As it is Boxing day here in the UK (Boxing Day = As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Despite its name, Boxing Day, which is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain, has nothing to do with pugilistic competition. Nor is it a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents.) and as the sun was out for a change, I decided the1973 Guzzi Eldorado could use a run out, the roads were empty, just me and my Guzzi…

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1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado.