AS OF TODAY she’s on the floor, after four or five months up in the air. I don’t quite buy it but she’s cool, nonchalant, as if nothing traumatic happened. Look at her! Leaning on her kickstand like a doo-wopper on a lamppost. If she had fingers she’d be snapping them.
The well-traveled old iron went up in the air last fall after coming home from Seattle in the back of a truck, in woebegone condition. Now she’s got a fresh motor, rebuilt transmission, all new drive gear, brakes, brake lines, cables, tires…
Piggy’s eager to run but I don’t see any serious road trips in our immediate future.
When we do go, this windshield will come along. It’s beat, cracked around the headlight nacelle, but has a history money can’t buy.
At some point I’ll go get a Yukon sticker to help hold it together.
This is for moments of idle diversion in the motorcycle shop. I’ve got too much going on to think about riding the ALCAN this summer. Maybe next year. Assuming that misfortune holds off.
It was quite the milestone today but the end is not yet. I need to go through the gas tank before Bob and/or Robert, of Johnson Engine Technology, fires up the new motor for me on the dyno. Fuel parts need to come out of the tank for inspection and cleaning. I need a new fuel filter at the very least. That should be done every 25,000 miles. We missed it once, missed it twice, but are 5,000 miles early for the 75,000-mile fuel filter swap.
As regular readers know, piggy’s had a hard life.
These are the parts that need to come out of the tank. I hear the only thing harder than getting them out is putting them back in.
As dyno day approaches, I’ll send the injectors off to be cleaned and flow tested, then reassemble and reinstall the induction module. Hook up a few cables, drop a battery in the bike and that’s it, off to Westerly we go.
This is embarrassing but I’ve got parts left over.
Just some little clips, mostly, but that big black thing is bugging me. It appears to be a glove compartment. This is what happens when you pick away at a project instead of working at it steady. On the plus side, there’s all kinds of redundancy built into these machines nowadays. No engineer left behind. As an optimist I believe the bike will run better without all this needless crap on it.
I’ve been distracted by the old Ford, serves me right. On Saturday, Larry and John and I rolled it down the hill into the backyard and took the cab off.
The chassis will get new brakes, lines and hoses. No total restoration this time. I’ll do the essentials then pull it back up the hill and put the engine and transmission in.
The cab will stay down the hill longer, while I cut out the rusty parts.
Then it’ll be time to weld-in spiffy new metal, so I don’t fall out and run myself over anymore.
I know how to stick one piece of metal to another, if it doesn’t have to look pretty or pass an X-ray test at Cape Canaveral. But when I get done burning miles of wire on the ’49 I’ll be a certified welder. Okay, maybe not certified, let’s aim for bona fide.
Tony DePaul, March 13, 2012, Cranston, Rhode Island