It’s all coming to a head (set)

One of you helpful people mentioned that I should use the little metal caps from old spark plugs to make the 4th Hand Tool even better. The only problem was that I don’t normally save old spark plugs and the one’s that I had didn’t have the sleeves- they were cast without ‘em.

The hardware store once again proved to be a good source for stuff. I found nylon bushings or sleeves or whatever they are in the loose parts bins where I go to find all my metric screws.

Sorry, the camera didn’t rotate the picture and neither did any of the software.

In the picture in the previous post you can see how I used it to space the 4th Hand Tool away from the throttle cam leaving me with more space for my hands and tools. A great idea. Thanks to adastra for mentioning it.

You saw a picture of the awesome ferrules that came on my scoot when I had them all apart for cleaning. The problem then arises that I must put the little press back into the ferrule before the screw and make sure it’s oriented properly for tightening. Here’s how I did it:

Get a small bit of grease on the bottom of the screw:

Then pick up the press:

…and screw it into the ferrule. Presto.

Did I mention that the 4th Hand Tool is brilliant? If I didn’t, it’s Brilliant. It makes cake work out of adjusting cables.

(no pictures of the clutch cable assembly)
On to the front brake cable. While poking through the parts I realized that the bracket came with orientation markings:

That made it easy to get the parts together properly and finish that up.

With all the controls attached and roughly adjusted, I turned back to the details of the headset.
Reattaching the right side switch assembly:

Looking for the speedometer cable cuff. It’s in there somewhere!

I tried the old “air up the tube from the bottom” trick but I couldn’t get enough flow. So I grabbed a length of stainless wire and fashioned a hook then spent a good 15 minutes fishing around in there trying to catch it and pull it up. I finally got it, but not before I got the feeling it would be easier to slim-jim most cars.

Putting the finishing touches on the bike, I couldn’t help but be a little giddy. It’s been months since I put it up on the table. I backed it down and started it. It idles pretty well without having done anything but return the adjustments in the carb to where they were when I took it apart.

I took it for a little spin and discovered that the front brake binds horribly when I use it. It’s like there’s not much there, then suddenly it’s almost skid time.

Upon inspection, the shoes, which were installed last fall seemed to have a glazed-like surface on them. So I sanded them down a bit and reinstalled.

It’s much better but not perfect. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so dramatic using the front brakes if the suspension didn’t bottom out every time? I suppose a new spring and shock are in the (near) future.

In the mean time, I’ll take it out for a spin on the next nice day and get the carburetor dialed in once it’s good and hot.

The Headset that wouldn’t come alive!

So I’ve had a bit more time to spend in the garage. Here’s the latest:

I started with the throttle cable just for the sake of it. This would allow me to finally get the top back on the carb box. I bought the cable that has the welded bead on the carburetor end because I felt it would be easier to make the adjustments in the headset where there’s more room.

(anyone notice what’s wrong with the above picture?)

The ferrule is tiny. I needed a 5mm wrench so I had to bust out my ignition wrench set which I keep for adjusting valves on the motorcycles.

The wife just got home. Time for lunch…

Setting up the Headset

Well, I think it’s been 3 months since I sent the headset off to the painter. I got it back the other day and it looks really good. The problem is that my scooter is almost 40 years old and it has years of patina on it. I’m not sure what to do about that but get the ol’scoot out on the road and get the headset covered in road grime.

Of course, there’s still a little bit of work to do before I can ride so let’s get down to it, shall we?

Like I said, the painter did a great job. On the old headset, the dimple that indicates the gear selected has had the paint chipped out and the new one is white. Anyone know if it should match?

I’m working on a “do things as it needs to be done” basis so there isn’t always a method to my madness. The new headset look like it had been stored outside for a long time and had a bit of corrosion on it. The threads on the underside, where the mirrors or (gasp) windshield might go were pretty rough. Then they got painted.

Step one was to chase them with a tap to get ‘em back in shape. ThisĀ is step one, since step two requires them. More after the photo.

If you’ve taken the time to read through the thread then you know that the throttle tubes were so stuck that I had to cut them out. Well a couple of screws were also so corroded that I couldn’t get them out. I don’t ordinarily have some of the shop tools around that would be useful to extract such things, so they didn’t get taken care of before going to the painter. Now that I have a nice finish, I need to tackle some stuff that isn’t necessarily good for a new paint job. Let’s see if I can get this done without scratching anything.

I fabricated a crude but very effective jig to get the headset under the drill press that I borrowed from one of my friends. You can’t really tell in this picture, but there’s stacks of washers under the wood to get it to the proper alignment under the drill. The nice thing about the soft wood was that I could torque the screws a bit more or less to fine tune it once it was clamped down.

Then, I pulled out a very very small drill bit and went right. down. the. center. of the stuck screw. You are looking at the M3 .5 pitch screw that holds the right switchgear to the headset (with a hole in it.)

The stress level in the garage was high. There was coffee, there was beer, and there was soothing music.

So this one is kind of a no-win. I want to get the screw out without damaging the hole. But I don’t have a mill and the accuracy that comes with it. All I’ve got is this borrowed bench-top drill press which has just enough run out to make the effort of drilling the screw and salvaging the threads in the hole an exercise in futility. Besides, I only have an M3 .7 pitch tap, so I can’t chase it, or re-tap it once the screw is out.

Here’s where reality checks in. How much perfection am I willing to sacrifice to get this scooter back on the road? Well, the going thought is that I’m trying to keep it as close to original but still be rideable. That’s it really, I want to ride this thing.

So I bust out the #30 drill bit, drill out the old screw and overbore the hole in one pull. Then I tapped the hole for an M4 .7 pitch screw.

Checking the threads with a dummy screw. I’ll find a proper machine screw for it later.