Work Day

Joel ComradeSaturday Joel and I set about ripping the cylinder heads from the BMW. A quick trip to Lowe’s to buy a 27mm socket in the morning and we dove in. As you can see from the picture, we have a new, very threatening inspiring, motivational poster now hanging in our work area, thanks to my dad.

[The photos in this post were taken by Autumn.]

It should be noted that a week or so ago we got the lower fork arms off, making a mess while doing so, and with considerable struggle got the upper fork arms off too. The upper fork arms are held in place by an open nut, the nut is capped by an aluminum disc with two small holes at the top. A two-pin wrench is needed to remove it.

Alan came through for me and let me borrow the fin-nut wrench (for removing the exhaust pipes) and a two-pin wrench for these fork caps. The fin-nut wrench worked beautifully and we were able to get the exhaust off without any problems.

The fork caps were a different story. The right cap came off without a problem. The left cap wouldn’t budge. We shoved and pulled and cursed and yelled to no avail—until it suddenly snapped, one of the pins broke off the wrench.

So we came back the next night with a hacksaw and cut two flat edges into the cap. This allowed us to get a pair of pliers around it and get it off. The open nut underneath it was also torqued on pretty hard, so we got a pair of vice grips and removed it that way. We left the steering bearings in the tube, with the nuts in place to hold them there. I don’t really want to get into all that until I’m ready to clean them and potentially replace them (though they’re not stiff at all, so I don’t think I’ll need to replace them).


On Saturday, we made, as I said, a quick trip to Lowe’s and then began to pick at the cylinders. We removed the outer shells, then pulled out the rocker arms and the rods. Once we’d done that it was a couple bolts to pull out and the entire cylinder housing came right off. Lots of rubber seals will need to be replaced. On the right side cylinder the rubber seal between the main engine body and the cylinder housing is cracked, which is probably a large part of the oil leak I’ve been seeing under the engine.

Since our goal for the day was to get the engine out of the frame, the driveshaft disconnected from the rear wheel and the rear fork out of the frame, removing the cylinders was just step one of the day. We toiled on, at the front of the engine, pulling off the alternator, the rotor and exposing the timing chain.

Marlin Finger Rotor

We wound up running to Lowe’s again for a machine bolt the right size to pop off the rotor. I don’t have a picture yet of the twisted bolt after we were done crushing it, but I’ll take one in the next couple days and add it.

Once the rotor came off we removed a couple more bolts and then were able to pop the timing chain cover off.

Everything looks like it’s in pretty good shape, the rotor, the alternator, the pistons, the bearings, etc. Alan has agreed to help me with the inspection/tune-up once I get the engine out. Again, everywhere we opened something up we found rubber seals which needed to be replaced. We left the timing chain be and moved to the rear fork where we needed the 27mm socket.

Fork Bolt HeaderAs you can see, we need a socket drive large enough to fit around the nut, but with thin enough walls to fit inside the recessed area. The 27mm socket we bought seems to fit around the nut but not quite into the recessed area. Marlin and Joel went to try to track a different socket down at a couple stores, with no luck. When they got back we all kind of poked at a few different things. Then I called it a day and we straightened up a little bit, but not before I got some pictures of the general mess that’s overtaken half of our dining room.

This week I’ll be working on cleaning parts, now that almost everything is off the bike there’s really no excuse to start.

Muffler Rusty

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