Ed Hotchkiss: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Little History
What the hell did I do in buying this bike!?! I think it must be the roundcase engine and always wanting to own a bevel ;-) Before I hear another word from my not so understanding friends about how beat my new toy is, let me just say that I figured that out. Yes it's in need of some parts and TLC but that is in progress. It will shut you "all up" when this is finished, okay!! NO rides you unbelievers!
My next bike purchase was going to be a rubberband Monster. I was really set on a M750 or M900i for something to commute and do errands on, seemed like a decent next bike to add to the house. Not meant to be, this GT pops up and countless emails and phone calls later (with some drama thrown in) the bike is mine! Hmmm... was this wise? Probably not, but it sure is exciting. I have to say... I will always appreciate this beater bike more than I can put into words. I finally own my very own BEVEL =:-)
I really hate to say this publicly but my friend Tom Rolland has come through in a big way to help make this happen. When it's finished I hope I still get to call him a friend ;-) He has been on me for years to get a bevel. I think back to some of the deals I passed up and I really feel foolish for not doing them but hindsight makes me feel worse (so does Tom because he won't let me forget). What rings in my head is a conversation(s) with Tom "the next $1000.00 GT I find is yours and I will bring it back to life for you." Of course I have to reply to this with yeah yeah whatever... sure I'll buy a $1000 GT!
So here we are... I finally put my money before my mouth. I really have to say thank you to both Tom and the seller Raymond. They both went out of their way to do this and everything went smoothly, thanks to both of you guys! You know it's appreciated. I can't wait to hear what they ask for as payback... ugh.
The Story Begins... I hope it has a happy ending ;-)
Tom is speaking unless I indicate a change in narration.
Well I just got done taking a tooth bush and liguid cleaner to both Ed's and my GT's sprocket carriers... I cleaned both of them up really well, I had already done mine... damned if Ed's still isn't better looking than mine!! Does this mean that I am going to switch carriers? No...but is his going to look better than mine? Hell No!...I'll take some oven cleaner to it...it that doesn't work I'll have it bead blasted...if that doesn't do it...then I'll "accidently" switch carriers! I try to be as honest as possible on these deals...but only within reason...:):) I just like to yank his chain:) Damn I wish I wasn't so honest...
Took a drill to the front Borrani tonight... only took about 5 minutes to ream the 40 holes to the right size. When I got home I laced up the front wheel, piece of cake about a 1/2 hour to do. Now I just have to true it and finish tightening up the spokes to where they should be.... it looks really nice... almost as nice as mine:):) I am such a prick:) I should have the wheels done this weekend, I guess I'll have to order tires this coming week too.
Well some things are finally coming together :) The pistons and jugs will be honed and matched tomorrow. I called Jim Koening and he's finding out when the heads will be done. I have the fork slider covers, they came with the pistons, as well as the tower gaskets and a set of base gaskets. Also... 2 sets of DID O-ring chains, cross over pipe, and 8 muffler clamps coming from Phil Hitchcock.
Well I had a crappy day, walking out this morning to find all the tires on my car slashed pretty much sucked. Only two little bits saved it.
1) I did manage to put the wheels, fenders, pistons, jugs, heads and all what not into the back of Mom's Suburu when I took the Suburu back to Mom's so I have everything there to start the work on my '73 GT.
2) At home tonight I hot soap and watered the jugs, carb cleaned, and oiled the bores. Several times on that just to make sure. I also checked the end gaps on the rings in the bores....well OK I only checked a couple of them (I only say this to make Ed nervous as hell:) ) they are just fine, original specs. I then oiled up the rings and pistons and put them in the bores. They are snug as can be. I really liked the idea that a piston hadn't moved freely through those jugs in over almost 20 years but they do now. I well remember what I had to do to get that front piston out of the front jug. It was great to be able to be able to push it back up by hand now. With any luck in a couple of months these 2 GT's will both be back together and running. I think I get some of my biggest pleasure from just the idea of getting unloved and abused GT's back up and running:) Time for bed.
I took off the left engine case today. The clutch and all the gears look great. I brought the case home and have done the initial sanding with 220 grit two times and have steel wooled it. Only 320, 400, 600, and polishing left to go. It will look as good as new when I am done with it. The bearing in the case is like new also. Still no word on the heads, I'll call on them this week.
I did get down to Mom's tonight for diner. After dinner I went out and took the right engine cases off to bring home and start the sanding and polishing process. They both came off easy enough, a fair amount of gunk inside the back cover as one would expect but it cleaned up pretty easily. The shifter mechanism works like new. I am just dragging this out to keep Ed on pins and needles:) I looked at all the bevel gears and the bearings inside the right case.....and..... they all look like brand new. So I don't forsee any problems with just putting his heads and new pistons back on and not even bother to split the cases and look inside. Now if I just get his heads back I'll be able to put his engine all back together easy.... then it's just the frame, wheels, electrics, carbs and everything else to do:) I wasn't suprised that everything looked really good, the silly bike only has 8,000 miles on it.
I did get a little work done this evening. I got both sides (all 3 pieces) sanded with 320 grit and steel wooled. They are looking really good. Tomorrow morning I will do the 400 and 600 and then take them down to Mom's and buff them up and put them back on the engine and clean up the engine block. Heck if I had the heads back I could have the silly engine all back together tomorrow.... I'll call Jim and bug him on the heads tomorow too:)
A couple of nights ago I took off the engine cases and brought them home and started the sanding and polishing process. Last night I got them done with the 320 grit sand paper. This morning I did the 400, steel wool, 600, and steel wool. I got down to Mom's about 1:30. I then put the cases through the polishing on the buffing wheel, they look great. Then I lifted Ed's engine off the work bench and put it on a dolly so I could wheel it outside. I put the left case and the right front case back on so that I could clean up the main cases. I used 4 cans of carb cleaner to get all the gunk off of everything. The front sprocket area was pretty nasty. Yeah I even used a tooth brush to help clean things up. Also WD-40'ed the front sprocket so that I could take that off. I did manage to get the front sprocket off with the help of my favorite tool.....a big hammer of course!!:) Put on the new front sprocket. Put on the bottom bevel tower carriers, I had already polished them up ages ago, new gaskets. Everything is looking really good. Hopefully I'll get the heads back here pretty soon and I'll be able to put the jugs, and new pistons and heads back on. That all will be easy. I did put the bevel drive tower tubes back in place too, they fit back in nicely. I am not going to get them chrome plated after seeing how hard it made to do the one's on my '73. All in all a successful day.
Well it was my birthday today. Went down to Mom's about 1 pm, wnet and had lunch got back at 2:30. Then I went to work on Ed's GT. I stripped the frame of everything. Wiring, triple trees, instrument pod (it had a fist sized mud wasp nest inside it!), foot pegs, brakes. brake pedal, rear brake stay, the carbs. There was one carb slide that was stuck but I got that free. Both float bowls were a pain to take off, the gunk in them was awful, one float is still stuck but it's soaking in parts cleaner. Next weekend I'll start getting the frame ready to paint. I am actually thinking of using the compressor and spray paint gun to do the job right. Besides it would be practice to shoot my tank and side covers, which would also be practice to shoot Ed's tank, side covers and fenders :) So it was a really good weekend. Sorry but there were no nude buckle ride pictures taken today, I didn't have a chance to even get out for a ride. At 6 pm Mom and I went out and saw the new Mummy picture, real action adventure with great special effects. And then a quick small Italian dinner. So much for my birthday, but it was a really good weekend of getting things accomplished.
I got a little work done on Ed's GT today. Cleaned up the frame and started sanding it down. I got most of the way done sanding, Guido didn't use a whole lot of paint on it originally and 27 year old paint sands of pretty easily. Again the primer is the Duck Egg green like was on my '73. I should be done sanding tomorrow and get the primer on it too. Then next weekend I'll get it painted black. I am actually going to use the spray paint gun and compressor down at Mom's and do it right instead of just using cans of spray paint like I did on the frame of my '73. I hope this doesn't damage my reputation as a Bevel Barbarian:)
Another good day getting things done. I finished sanding the frame. Even hammered out the swingarm spindle and took the swing arm off. I am not too worried about hurting my barbarian reputation, I did a barbarian act later to make up for it:) I then hung the frame from the rafters and used cans of spray paint to prime it and the rear swing arm. It all came out really nice looking and will just need some 320 sanding to be ready for the black next weekend, Oh yeah, the barbarian bit was just really cleaning up the center stand really well, no sanding or primer and just shooting it with a can of black 99 cent spray paint:) Dang thing really came out nice though, still it will drive Ed frickin nuts:) Hey Ed, I have a reputation to maintain you know:) And I did get to use a hammer on it when I took out the swing arm spindle....
It's 8:30 in the evening here, just got back from Mom's. Got about 6 good hours in on Ed's GT today. Diagramed out and measured all the stripes and paint work on his tank, fender and side covers. Then coated them all with stripper, washed and wet sanded them all. Rinsed and dried and got the side covers and fenders sanded by hand with 220 grit. Still alot more hand sanding to do until they are ready to prime but they are getting there. Also took off all the badges, the tank one's came off easy, the side cover badges I had to be really careful on as I didn't want to break a pin, got them off OK too. Used the wire wheel to clean up the center stand bolts. Polished the float bowls. It doesn't sound like alot but it was a fair amout of work. Taking a neglected GT completely apart, well OK I am not splitting the cases, and then cleaning it all back up and putting it all back together is alot of work. But it is sort of coming along. Gee after I get dinner cooked I can start doing the 220 sanding on the next 7 buckles that I have got the backs soldered on, no rest for the wicked here...
Well I went out at noon today and bought paint....geeez has that stuff gotten expensive! But I got almost everything to do it all right. 2 pac PPG paint. I got the primer, reducer, hardner, black, clearcoat, and the black Sapphire (very dark blue metal flake) I figured a pint would do it for my GT as I only have to paint the tank and side covers....it was $44 for a pint of it! The only thing I didn't get was the bronze/gold metal flake for Ed's GT. I figure it's going to take a quart to do his bike right....and it's almost $100 for a stinkin quart!!! Besides I want Ed to have a chance to go take a look at what I have picked (this will make it so he can't whine about it) well at least he won't be able to whine about it as much:) So I'll have about $325 in just paint materials for the 2 bikes. Ed your frame is actually going to get a first rate job done on it. The color code for the gold/bronze is #5583, go by a PPG paint store and have a look see. So that's what I'll be doing this weekend. And yes the other primer I had used I had used the wrong reducer in it. No problem, I'll just sand it off and start over again.
Well another day shot in the ass. I got the tank, fenders, sidecovers, swing arm, and tail light all back down to bare metal (again). If a job is worth doing right it's worth doing twice :) I also got all of Ed's parts, including the frame primed, and my tank and side covers primed too. Here's the kicker, I have been giving Ed a hard time for ages that I'd paint his bike pink....well today I got to paint his bike PINK!!!! I had no idea that the PPG primer was pink until I opened up the can. It's not a bright pink, just a nice shade. I am sooo temped to just sand it and clear coat it, but I don't think that would go over too well with Ed and he'd do all sorts of evil things to my web page(s) so I guess I won't.... damn, and it's such a nice shade of pink and would look so nice. Who knows, once he sees some pics of it in pink maybe he'll come around. He'd have the only PINK GT on the planet I would venture to guess.
I got all the bits sanded today. The tank is going to need a little more work where the one ding was, it's almost to where you can't see it, you won't when I am done. I remembered that the headlight ears needed doing too. I took out the rubber bushings and sanded inside of the ears alot to get rid of the rust. Then I really felt the need to paint something. I had 2 half emty cans of black spray paint so I shot the headlight ears and the taillight, and then clear coated them. They really came out nice. I am very seriously thinking about doing the same with your frame. It won't cost much but mostly because it is really easier to get into all the tight places and get a good smooth coat laid down. The frame is all prepped and ready to go. I hand sanded it all with 400 grit today. With the quality primer on it and all it would come out perfect with just about 3 cans of black and a couple of cans of clear. I will see if I can get a 1.4 mm tip for the spray paint gun this week from Sears, I'd have to order it as they don't carry them at the store here. I am not going to paint your tank and bits until I have it all set up just right.
Tonight I did get down and get the triple trees polished, they look really nice and didn't take long to do... I also greased up the head stock bearings and put on the frame:) It all fit together nicely, even put the rubber bushings into the head light brackets and put them in place. This weekend I'll get the fork oil and get his fork tubes back in. So there you go Ed, it's all down hill from here. I have finally started actually putting your bike back together!!! And all this talk about Laguna is just killing me. I am thinking I could make the 1,000 mile ride to Ed's place in a day and then some sanity takes over... I am still thinking about this.
Tomorrow I will get Ed's forks and new handle bars on along with the headlight ears. I should also have his swing arm and shocks back on too. Still waiting for his heads. I will also get to truing up his wheels, I found a good article on the net and will use that as a guide, it will save me about $150 from having a shop do them.
I got alot done on Ed's GT today. Actually putting them together is really pretty easy, it's getting the parts together and ready to put together that's hard. All the polishing and cleaning up and gathering of parts is way harder than actually putting them together. Case in point was today. I got down to the bikes at 3 pm. I got the forks put into the triple trees in about 1 minute.....Oooops I forgot to put in the headlight ears in place...Oh well push out the fork legs back out, install the headlight ears. Good thing every thing was fitting together nicely. Take off the fork leg tops so that I could add the 280cc of fork oil. Well the fork leg tops I hadn't touched.....might as well do a 220, 320, 400, steel wool, buffing wheel with Blue Magic to make it look nice. That done I put the front forks together, they really look nice. Mind you I had already sanded and polished the leading front axles before this. So now on to the swing arm. I installed that no big deal....I love hammers, it pounded right back in place:) Coated every surface with a really good grease. Then I installed the polished cover shocks, also fairly easy. As with everything else they had already been polished and gotten ready before hand. I then put back in the back ends to the swing arm, also easy, also polished and done before. Then I put on the center stand, also easy to do. Hint: when taking off your center stand put pennies in the windings of the spring, then put it down and take it off. It makes it alot easier. You don't have to fight the spring this way. End product? Ed's GT has it's front forks in, swing arm and shocks in place, is sitting up on it's center stand just waiting for me to get his heads back to finish putting his engine back together so I can put that in the frame too. Tomorrow I will finish truing up his wheels. Then it's just the chrome plating, carb rebuilds, painiting, ect. ect. ect. until it's done. I have told Ed that I really wanted to get his GT caught up to mine for the restoration process. I am getting there. I did send Ed pics of his bike today, complete with the PINK primer:) I can't give him too much grief, my tank is pink too:)
I did get some work done on the GT's tonight, not much but every bit is progress. I put the spring back on Ed's side stand and the rubber and metal peice and screws that hold the tail light in place. We're going to have to get a new tail light for it, I was hoping to just need a new lens but no such luck, my old one has a crack and Ed's had the lens mounting pegs busted. Tomorrow I will get the rims trued up.
Well, I got the wheels done last night!!! I am a happy chappie. I oiled all the nipples and spokes and then loosened them all back up. Then I tightened them loosely to where they were round and true. ie. if a spot moves away from your pointer/dial indicator you tighten the spokes there. I worked side to side ie. both sides of the rim and the front for roundness. This initial truing is not so hard to do and all the spokes are a little snug at this point. Then it's the tightening series. To do this I just went around to each spoke on one side and tightened it 1/8th of a turn then I did the same to the other side. The important thing to note here is that the rim is pretty true to start with here after the initial work. Some spokes are going to be looser than others but you still only turn them 1/8th a turn like all the others. By turning all the spokes the same amount each time around, the rim is going to be brought into tightness and will still be true when it is finally all tight. The articles that I read and used as my guide really didn't explain this bit. Did I go round and round tightening spokes alot? You bet I did, I had to do each side all the way around 6-10 times, I lost count, good estimate 1 beer for every two revolutions:):) Or was that 2 beers for every one revolution???:):) But in the end both the wheels spin very true and round. So I can now say that I can really true spoked wheels and I saved $150 in the process compared to if I had had a shop do it. And they really are straight and true, I give them a good spin on my home made truing stand and they just go round and round and round without any wobble. They will do the trick nicely.
I did get Ed's front wheel back today and that is back on his bike. Great news is that his heads are almost done too. They required new valve seats and so they were way more involved than originally thought. I don't care, I'll be really happy to get them back. I also took off the tank to my '74 and then dropped the front fork legs and took off the headlight ears so that I can straighten and repaint them. They are only very slighty bent so that will not be hard to do. While I am at it I am going to take off the speedo and get it serviced as well. It has always read about 130 mph once I have it over 60 mph......so I might as well make it work right. Ed's speedo needs a new bezel glass and I might as well get them both done at the same time. It's pretty fun to look at the garage with 3 750 GT's sitting all together in various states of assembly and disassembly.
I also have the wheels back for my '74 with the new tires on it, and new brake pads are on order. I have a long way to go but it is starting to look doable. I have less than 100 days to go but I sure hope I can show up to Vegas with 3 GT's... I am not making any promises. I know my '74 will be fine to go, it's just that the two other GT's are presenting their own unique challenges. I really think that I can do it... but then I am a hopeless optimist. Put me in a room full of horse shit and I'll start digging like crazy as I am sure that there is a pony in there for me somewhere:):) I'll just keep chipping away.
Well I went in to pick up the wheels to my '74 750GT, the Radelli rims on them. They were done. I asked if they'd had any luck with Ed's Borrani rimed front wheel. That sucker hasn't wanted to bead up in one spot on one side for doodly squat. Well we went in the back and it was beaded up right!! Whoopie. Ed's GT will have it's wheels on it this evening!! Now if I can just get his heads back. I'll be able to get his engine back in the frame!
I just got back from taking in the 2 speedos and Tach for repair to Albuquerque Speedometer repair. Nice small shop and he does nice old style work. I showed him Ed's speedo, he put it on his machine right in front of me and ran it up to 60 and 90 mph and said "that works fine, and yes I think I have the trip odometer lever that it needs". He also has the glass for the tacho to Ed's bike. He also put mine on and said "Yep that needs work". Should have them back in a week and at a pretty reasonable cost. Then we bullshited about bikes and ebay. It's nice to deal with places like that, pity they are getting to be so few of them left these days.
I got Ed's seat back last night from the shop I used here in Albuquerque. It came out as nice as the one I sent up to Rene in Canada to have done. It really helped to have the first seat at the shop so that they knew exactly what it had to look like. It came out great and a very reasonable price of $100. I really am pleased with it....makes me want to have the one on my '74 done now too.
THE HEADS FINALLY ARRIVED!!
Chrome bits from Canada too (thanks Rene).
Well, I went down to Mom's for dinner tonight so I had a little time to dick around with Ed's engine. I got the base gaskets on, his pistons on, and the jugs back on the pistons. Only took about an hour, I wasn't in any rush. It all went back together real easy. Next up the heads:) Tom
Oh shit!!!! I forgot the circlips on the wrist pins!!!!........just kidding there Ed, gotta keep you on your toes and worried:)
It's 7:20 am now and today is the big day for Ed's GT. It's assembly day! I plan on spending the whole day working on Ed's GT. With any luck I will have the heads back on his engine, sand and polish the bevel drive covers, line up the timing dots, put on the chain, chain guard, brake stay, the engine back in the frame, exhaust system, instrument pod and speedo and tach, caliper, foot pegs, kick starter, shifter peg, brake lever, carbs, cables, and various other parts I am forgetting at this point. Yes I am taking the camera and video camera to take pictures. With any luck Ed's GT will pass my GT on the way towards completion today. Will it be done in time for Vegas? Well I really don't know, I still have to get the body work back and the electrics are going to be a bitch, but today will tell me if I have any sort of prayer to get it done. Wish me luck. This is pretty exciting for me I hope everything goes smoothly.
Well I got a little more done on Ed's GT today. I installed the rear brake stay, rear brake pedal, LH foot peg, chain and chain guard, rear right side cover and shifter peg, intake manifolds and gaskets, header pipes, gaskets and crossover pipe. Not alot but enough to make a difference she looks alot more like a GT.
Well I had a pretty productive weekend on Ed's GT. On saturday I got the heads on, that went together very easy. I then got his engine back in the frame!!! That wasn't nearly as easy but I did get it in. All the timing dots lined up easily and I am pretty sure it's all right (I just love to keep Ed nervous about his bike:) ) Yesterday I got the chain and chain guard on, intake manifolds, right rear engine cover and shifter peg, brake pedal and LH foot peg, header pipes and crossover on too. So it's really starting to look like a bike. I got a donation for Rene's Vegas trip fund from Phil Hitchcock this morning too so that's 3 Aussie's who have helped. With some real luck I may actually have Ed's bike done in time to bring it to Vegas.....then I'd have to figure out how to get it there, anyone coming through Albuquerque with a spare spot in a trailer?
Some work done on Ed's GT, it's all good news. I pulled the shifter cover and put that back together right, it's a nicely working 5 speed now:) I had just assembled it slightly off. Then I went and found the other set of bars like I put on my GT. I thought I could go with the original bars from your bike Ed, but they were too narrow. The brake MC wasn't siting where I wanted it and there wasn't going to be enough room to fit the control switch that I got from Greg Davies on the left. The new bars are just enough wider where everything fits just perfect. The new MC came with a black painted lever with a dip in it for leverage, it also has a little screw to adjust the contact to the actual MC. Well I looked through my bits and found a polished aluminium one that fits perfect and even has the adjuster. So I polished it up and put that on too. I also put on the LH control that I got from Greg. Bit by bit and inch by inch things are coming along.