Tuesday, January 1, 2013

9) The Rebuild Begins

I was very fortunate not to suffer serious damage in the quakes and the Insurance Company agreed to pay for the cosmetic damage to the bike. I couldn't exactly ride it with a fine oil mist spraying onto my boot, and the bike had developed a bad smoking habit,  so I decided to go all out and make it into the bike I always wanted.

Enter Murray Sutherland from Muzza bikes. Already my Ducati-part “drug dealer” Muzza supplied me the 1000SS swingarm and rear wheel, a front wheel to match and a whole of lot of other bits and pieces, which I didn't need, over the years.

The plan was to have Muzza do the valve guides, port and polish the heads and paint the motor. And so began the strip down.

Typically, immediately we found things awry. Pulling the motor out revealed some previous ugly repairs to the engine cases.
Front motor mount repairs, not done to a high standard! 
And further inspection revealed a worn-out gearbox...

Of course Muzza just happened to have a newer set of cases with a close ratio box, and a big bore exhaust system sitting in the corner of the workshop. 

And so it began...

First I prepped the motor before it went off to the media blaster. This is where I made my first mistake.

Learn from my Mistake 

I used a guy who did Walnut Blasting because I didn't want to use harder media (sand, beads, etc) or Soda (not inert enough). While the finish was fine, despite me having sealed my motor to the best of my ability, Walnut ended up everywhere! Had I not been replacing the bearings in my motor, I would not have been very happy! Ducati motors are pretty porous too so you need to use something which is as lightly abrasive as possible.  

In hindsight, I would have tried Vapour Blasting. Another name for this process is vaqua blasting, (US friends use vapor when searching.) It uses beads mixed with water and sometimes solvents. The water also helps keep the part cool as blasting imparts heat. Visually the results are stunning, but obviously try this at your own risk. I'd be interested in any comments as to your experience, especially from people in New Zealand.

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