Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Format: Here is What I Broke Today

Today I am posting the 200th post on MopedHQ. I've been at it for a few years now, and given most moped blogs have 2 post total, both of which say they will update more, I think I've done okay at keeping you entertained with a stream of moped related blather. So here is a picture of all the stuff I broke good. The crank from the 50v I sheared a while back, I finally got it open, but I had to chop off part of the crank with a grinding wheel so my 3 jaw puller would fit on the cases. I then was pressing new bearings into the case and then I destroyed the cases because I'm a dummy and didn't have them supported nicely. Good thing I had an extra case half. There is also my piston from the 50cc tccd cylinder, which I seized on Monday and the ring was so stuck, that even after breaking it and spending about 30 minutes stabbing myself with seal hooks, I gave up trying to remove the last of it.

Onto things that are soon to be broken.
Here is a picture of me making gaskets for my Hobbit cases. I just put some grease on the case and pressed it down nice on my gasket paper to have something to cut around. This can work for making base gaskets nicely too, you just have to cut the hole for the skirt first.

The Wizard looks on while Joel works on a snowflake disc brake. It seems to be coming along nicely. We will see if the bicycle brake can handle the weight!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Curse Still Continues

Tonight I seized my new piston in my 50tccd on the Free Spirit. But up until it blew, it was running great! So that has to count for something. I should be able to dig the ring out of the piston without too much fuss and it will live again. I blame no mechanical component, and simply state the cause of the seizure as bad luck. Here is me holding the piston and standing outside Key Arena where I broke down talking to Travis on the phone.

"Hey Phil... where did you go?" "I seized my moped, where is the ride ending tonight?" "The ending of the ride is only for people who complete it, sorry." "No, I have another moped I can ride." "Why don't you just go on home instead."

In news related to mopeds that I am not currently breaking, but will be breaking shortly, I did some work on my hobbit cases for the new race bike. I opened the cases up to match the Athena kit, and I will either hassle the Wizard to cast a spell of extra aluminum on the cases with his magic wand, or I will put on some JBWeld to make some nice extra space for my base gasket. New bearings and seals are in place, and my new crankshaft looks great. A thank you to 1977 Mopeds for providing the crank and bearings, it's a great time to be involved with mopeds with new parts being made and things becoming easily available.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The Big Fat Wife bike had a Big Fat Failure. Despite the gouges in the piston, no culprit could be identified. Both circlips still in place, stock air filter on. Ring pin and ring all present. I do, however see a loose nut in the back ground of the picture. Lot's comforter there. The bushing failed for sure though. This crank is toast. So is the piston. I pawned the cylinder off to Gorilla for his brother, and now I'm trying to decide what cylinder to go with. My limitations are I will only use a 15bing and a boss pipe. Both of which are dictated by my BFW who likes the chrome of the boss, and wants a carb that fits under the side covers and is quiet (stock airbox). So I'm either going the cheap route with a 50tccd like on my free spirit, or the spendy way with a nice new Polini for her. I really would rather get her a Polini, they are great cylinders with wonderful torque, but costs 2x the TCCD. The only disadvantage of the TCCD is it doesn't make power till you really start to wind it out, and the BFW needs extra push to get her started. I guess we will decide shortly, as I'm sure she wants the bike back on the road for blood drive.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Curse Continues

Travis and I went on a ride across I-90 to hit up Mercer Island to try his perfect wave ride. It was great ride, we went for miles without stopping, riding curving roads over and over. No stop signs anywhere, it was super dee duper. Riding on the free-way is fun, especially during rush hour, because we get to blast through a tunnel in the carpool lane and ride at a leisurely 34mph across the floating bridge on little toys from the 70's. On the way back, naturally, the curse reared its ugly head, resulting in a soft seize on the freeway, to which Travis and I hopped off and tossed the bikes across the 3 foot concrete wall, which was easier than anticipated. The bike fired up and rode home fine, so we will assume the curse doesn't hate me so much to permanently break other peoples bikes, but wanted to let me know I'm not over it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Piston rings and other things

It appears I've angered the moped gods by selling my Astro Diamler. Since that day, I have yet to complete a full moped Monday ride, many of which ended up with me pushing or being trucked home. I sheared the crank in my Moby. The seat welds cracked off my Swinger2. The Free Spirit refused to climb hills or run under 15mph and got pushed home. Last night I took the BFW Maxi and was treated to that wonderful sound that Knarpsworth has been having in his Magnum. Then it died right outside the bar last night so I had to wait for Joel to come back and truck me home. Someone who knows how to make mopeds work all the time needs to come teach me. On the bright side, the bar we were at had Monopoly pinball, and the tilt sensor was off, so we lifted the front end of the machine up so the ball moved in slow motion and proceeded to play it that way building a monster score, and even taking balls that managed to sneak down the out lanes and gently guiding them back into the play field, somewhat like Labyrinth. At any rate, the only working moped I have right now to ride is my race bike, which, ironically, has been serving me very faithfully and reliably.

Here are some pictures of what I did today. My free spirit, in the SUNSHINE (hooray!) in Seattle with the top end off. Here is my piston, with a mysteriously missing pin and missing the ends of the ring. Cylinder looks great, piston has lots of blowby on it. New piston ordered today, and at least a bit of luck, in stock and perhaps the cheapest replacement piston ever @ 25$?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gilardoni Cylinder Skirts

Saturday was a long day in the shop. My Za50 is getting a Gilardoni to replace the Metra80, and I realized that the skirts are different sizes. The Gila and Metra have the same bore, but the Gila's aluminum skirt is a full mm wider than the Metra. I put a wrinkle black finish on my Gila to make it look more like the Metra80, as Travis would describe, the best looking cylinder out there. I disassembled the Za50 transmission and bored the case open. Even though there is a very nice mill in our shop, using a 2 in flap wheel in the drill is hard to beat. I realized my starter cable was beginning to fray at the end where it slips into the lever, so I decided to replace it. A quick trip to the local bike store gave me a nice new housing and barrel ended cable, which I hand filed to the correct size to fit into the two piece starting mechanism. Since Jihee was working on blasting her wheels, I thought I would work my Gila a little, and modified the ports to imitate the Metra80 large ports. Surprisingly, the Gila doesn't have nearly enough meat to open up the ports to Metra size, so I did the best I could leaving enough material to make a good seal. Jihee is also not tall enough to use the blast cabinet, so we had to use some phone books to help.
Finally, a little strike from the Mallet makes sure the motor knows who is boss.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Updates of sorts

I thought I would post to let everyone know I'm back from vacation, and I"ll be doing plenty of moped stuff soon as I have only one working moped at the moment, and it's my wife's, so I can't ride it. (The heavy duty suspension doesn't do well with someone less than 250lbs on it).

It has been brought to my attention that not everyone understands how to properly split gas when driving in a vehicle with friends. I thought I would lay out the system I use, and then take some feedback as to how well it works.

The day before the trip, I fill my car up to the top with gas and drive it right home. The next day, we leave with a completely full tank of gas. When we drive down to Oregon for the races, then head back, the tank needs filled when we hit Washington state, at which point, I will ask my fellow carpooler to fill the tank completely full. When we get back to Seattle, I fill the tank completely full to put it back where it was. So perhaps the person riding along gets a short end of the stick because the split of gas isn't exact, as they are paying for about 3/4 of a tank, while I only pay for about 1/2- 5/8 of a tank. It does make it easier for the occupant, who can pay with a debit card and their obligation is finished at that point. The price difference between myself and the passenger is slightly off, since I'm paying for slightly less gas than the rider. But interestingly enough, on the last trip, I put in 5 gallons of gas in Oregon, because we were making a trip back from the track to Portland, and then back to the track. So with the 5/8 of a tank that I put in upon return to Seattle, plus the 5 gallons in Oregon, I would say I paid for more than half of the gas on the last trip, which is more than fair. All this goes to say, Jihee, please ride with me next time cause your a good companion even if you don't think I'm paying enough for my gas.