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Posted in repair, The Long Rode on February 11th, 2014 by Wade

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any thing and that’s because I haven’t done anything but ride and add gas.  But if you didn’t know today is my birthday and I thought “hey what better thing to do then to drink some wine and pull out the speedometer” on Marlin.   The plan is to mail off the speedometer tomorrow to John Bordas in Texas to get a refurbish and repair of the trip on my speedometer.  I’ll let you know how this goes tomorrow.  There were other profound things I wonted to say as I was puling off the “oh shit” clips but I cant remember now.  I blame most of that on the wine an part of that on the concussions and pucks to the head 🙂 .

Brake down

Posted in Brake Down, The Long Rode on June 24th, 2013 by Wade

With the charging system working again I was ready for the 400 mile ride to Oragon for the fest.  So friday I left for the ride.  I was about 100 miles in when I passed a semi and coming back into the right lane then all of a sudden the engine reved up and the back tire was no longer pushing. It was like it had sliped out of gear. Once I stopped on the side of the highway and got off to take a look I was hoping to find that the final drive chain had snapped without hitting anything or making any noise and shot out the back but it was still there. I was able to shift back down to first but there was still no grab of any gears.  The three prevaling threies for the problem was cluch basket woodruf key, Drive gear splines striped, or the brake drum spocket rivets sheered.  Since the sprocket was not loose I started on the primary.  This is what I put in the forum where I was trying to diganose the problem

“I’m unbelievably angry at my self. I spent the last two hours pulling the primary off. That includes the foot board, solinoid, battery tray, starter, primary chain, clutch, inner primary, and chain, only to discover that the chain rolled off the drum while the tire stayed perfectly still. I’m sure in a hour or so I will be laughing at myself and can then go back and start putting things back together. Then I get to start taking the back wheel apart.

NOTHING IS BROKEN. Its my complete and udder failure as a man, a mechanic, and a diagnostician. All the lug nuts are gone.”

“I got the primary back on and one thing I can tell you is that I am now well versed with primary disassembly and assembly for a 68 big twin.

With the tire off I can also say that while I know I’m loosing my faculties I was not wrong when I couldn’t remember seeing or deeling with dowels on the rear hub. So in my ignorance I just assumed that the lugs did all the work.”


Started with a Rack

Posted in repair, The Long Rode on June 20th, 2013 by Wade

About two weeks ago I bught a lugage rack on ebay. Beacause I wanted to have the rack to pack camping gear on for last weeks Shovlehead west fest. While I was installing the rack (went great)


While was doing this I noticed a bit if white crust on the battery strap tie down.  So I pull open the battery lid and discovered that it was coated with battery spew.  Long story short the votage regulator was putting out 16v when over idel speed.  So a quick call to Accel and they said yep its bad send it back for warranty replacement.  Hoping to get it back, again, in time for the trip I sent it two day air.  turns out that it was going to take 2-3 WEEKS for the replacement   So I broke down and bought a cheep chines solid state regulator.  I then had to get it working witch ment fabing a bracket and wiring system.


Funny thing is that after installing it it didn’t work.  No voltage at the battery and the Gen light never went off.  At my wits end I took it all apart and put every thing back together and miraculously it worked putting out 14.2v at all rpms.


Posted in repair, The Long Rode on April 29th, 2013 by Wade

Story of irony.  I went for a ride to check on the rental price of a power washer in  preparation for the graduation party thats in the works.  When I got there an old timer came out and say what year is that.  I tolled him it was a 68.  he said he had a 69 and boy did he loose a lot of saddle bag lids on the highways.  Fast forward to Saturday and I was again on a ride but this time I was in Ranco doing some house sitting duties when on the ride home low and behold a saddle bag lid fell off.  This got em to thinking that I need to figure out a way keep them from hitting the ground.  This is what I came up with.

   Hopefully the pics are pretty self explanatory   Basically I put swivel D rings (picture hanging hardware) on the bags to act as safety cables.  For the cabling I used 550 Para cord that I got as replacement cord for my goalie pads.  I also put new moldings on the inside of the lids.  I have to say that one of the best tools during this whole process has been a putty knife.  I have scraped more sealant, glue, melted foam… with that knife to mare an edge on it.

50 miles

Posted in Engine, The Long Rode on April 25th, 2013 by Wade

I did the first oil change after starting the engine rebuild.  Let me preface this with a bit of a description of the oil bing used in this process.  Valvoline VR1 60 wt. oil has the color of extra virgin olive oil and the consistency refrigerated Miss Butter worth with corn syrup added.  Like every thing 90 percent of whats going to happen happens in the first 10 percent of the activity.  With that in mind doing an oil change in the first 20-50 miles of brake in is about right.  Anyway I changed the oil and the oil was no longer green.  It was slate gray.  And I don’t know what the point of having an oil filter on this bike when during the oil change I had to stuff a rag into the oil tank, after flushing it with mineral spirits, to whip out the grit that didn’t rince out.

The other thing that needed to be done at 50 miles was to go back over all the jug nuts (he he) and retorque them just to be sure enugh all 18 torqued back down.  So thats a good thing.  Worst part of the retorting was having to take out the circuit braker to get the front right base nut.  I was told that that one is often skipped because it’s hard to reach and it is also the first spot to blow a gasket.  Now I have to re time the engine but I guess thats a small price to pay.


Posted in Cosmetics, Engine, The Long Rode on April 22nd, 2013 by Wade

Lets we last time I wrote I was getting the charging system back in line. Last Tuesday the 16th the new regulator arrived. I hooked every thing back up and and fired up the engine. Once again Marlin fired right up and that made me happy. So I went out for a ride and something just wasn’t right. there was no power and after a few miles there were some strage sounds. Like slapping or cracking coming from the engine. This didn’t make me happy. Today I went riding again looking for some 60 wt. oil to make the first oil change and get rid of the brake in sluff. Of course I couldn’t find any, all that around is 50 wt. So after getting home and letting things cool off for a few hours I went out after dinner and adusted the pushrods, I was hoping it was a valve problem causing the noises I was hearing from the engine. Low and behold the rear intake push rod had collapsed. So that explained a lot. This made me happy. I was pretty sure I had found the problem. After getting things buttoned back down I went out for another ride and this time I was happy. Now I Marlin is just swimming in power and torque. But now I have a new fear. Because Marlin has way more go then he has stop.

From now on out its all cake. I still need to get the right spot light to stop moving round during driving and figure out bag rale screws so there firm and they stop falling out.

Posted in repair, The Long Rode on April 13th, 2013 by Wade

Here are some pictures of the the charging system.  The first is the generator torn apart waiting for brushes.  The second is the regulator.  If you look closely at the contact on the right of the picture you can see that it is bridged.  You should be able to see a thin slice of daylight between the contacts.  That explains why the charging system didn’t work.


Posted in Engine, repair, The Long Rode on April 9th, 2013 by Wade

Sunday at noon was 24 hrs since Billy put the new insert in the front head.  It was time to try it out.  Yet again I got nothing but cranking when pushing the starter button.  Despite my exceptional levels of disappointment I didn’t know what else to do.  But I did go to O’Riles and get a new condenser, I was going to get points too but we couldn’t find anything that was comprable to what came on 68.  It turnes out that the 69 Nova points that are the same as a shovelhead’s points are for a cone head shovel.  Because of that I redressed the old points with a file and put it all back together.  I also decided to recheck the timing.  Somehow the circuit braker lobe was 180 off again.  I fixed that and got ready to push the button.  Low and behold the engine cranked and BOOM “POTATO POTATO POTATO”  It was magical!!!

The next problem I faces was the engine was still racing.  There was nothing left to check but the carb throttle butterfly.  After another call to Hawg, mostly to tell him the good news.  He suggested that I pull the card and reset the butterfly.  This is done by loosening the mounting screws on the back of the butter fly then snapping the throttle a couple of times.  This assures that the butterfly seals completely when closed.  After getting everything back together I pushed the button and adjusted the idel screw until the engine idled.  The weird thing is that when I started the tare down of Marlin I took the carb off, put it on the shelf, then put it back on the engine.  The theory is that the idel was so whacked because the engine was in such bad condition it was lugging to the point that it was a nice idel.  Now with a smooth working engine the carb had to be set correctly.   Thats were the fun ended.

I took Marlin out for a spin to start the brake in and only got about six miles into it when the battery went out.  Fortunately I noticed the lights going dime and the gen light never went out so I knew it was coming and headed home before it died.  Today I took the generator and regulator to  shop to get it tested and sure enough the regulator was dead.  After I got it home I took it home and could see the burnt contacts.  So now again Marlin is sitting waiting for parts.


Posted in Engine, repair, The Long Rode on April 6th, 2013 by Wade

Ok so I may have spoken to soon.  Then next day I tried to start Marlin again and again nothing.  This time Hawg was kind enough to give me an ignition coil to swap out to hopefully get a better spark.  I wired up the new coil and got zilch as far as sparks go.  Both on a spark plug grounded to the head as well as a prob gaped off the head.  I put the old coil back on and tested again with the back plug and was back to week yellow sparks.  Next I pulled the front plug out and this time the new thread insert I just installed pulled out along with the plug.  So instead of riding Marlin I was pulling every thing off to take the front head off.  This time I took it to Billy’s and this morning he was able to put in a 2x oversize plug insert.  I also got a new coil.  Every thing was buttoned back up and screwed down tight be 2pm today.  I still have to weight for the insert to finish curing but I have high hopes.  Because with the new coil I am now getting a spark on the plug that is audible.  That’s good.


Posted in Engine, The Long Rode on April 4th, 2013 by Wade

Finally Marlin started and idled.  It wasn’t stedy but it was an idle.  There is a story that goes along with this milestone.  It started on Tuesday when I was fussing again trying to get it started.  Basically when I was trying to put the front spark plug back in it was not right.  Apon cheking the plug it had striped out.  I tried another plug and this time not only did it strip the plug but it pulled out the coil insert in the spark plug hole.  Yesterday I put in a spark plug hole repair plug.  This ment I had to weight 24 hours for it to finish curing.  Witch brings us to today.  Today consisted of replacing the plug wires with Accell  due it yourself wires.  This time when I tred to start him up I used the car battery as a booster for power.  Well it still didnt fire but it was defently was trying to start.  After talking with Hawg he suggessted droping the gap to .020, the minimum gap for the plugs.  So I did.  I also cleaned and dressed the plugs because they were carbon fouled.  Then it happened.  I wasn’t realy expecting it but when I pussed the button there was some defenit chuging and a couple of cranks later off it went.  Nice and loud.

I know there are lots of miss spellings but for some reason the red squiggles disappeared. so sorry.