Started the Tear-Down

Started the tear-down this evening. Sprayed PB through the spark plug holes in a (probably vain) attempt to free up the engine. Injured myself for the first time… slammed the bathroom door on my finger. My injuries never come from the thing I’m doing, but from the things I do in between.

The former owner’s son had taken all the screws out of the right-side case cover, but could not remove it due to the footpeg, exhaust, and brake lever being in the way. I removed the aforementioned obstacles and took off the case cover. All seems well inside, after I removed a mess of mud dauber wasp nests from the vicinity of the countershaft sprocket.

Am worried the engine might be stuck due to an infestation of the aforementioned wasp nests. Egad. I’ll know as soon as I can get the head off, but of course that means dropping the engine first.

Turned my attention to other details. Removed the 1978 license plate. Disassembled the petcock; the sediment bowl had a badly buggered-up head, but a six-point socket sufficed to remove it. Cleaned the interior and verified that it appears to work correctly; put it back together. Removed the badges for cleaning, and familiarized myself with the rest of the tank tear-down, but left it assembled so I don’t lose any parts.

Bagged up all the loose bits and labeled the bags, mostly correctly. Removed other side of the exhaust system, and separated the headers from the mufflers. The mufflers are rusted through near the point where they connect to the headers, and both are missing their cores. Just a couple of straight pipes with holes in them.

The fog cleared from the odometer, and I saw that it has 19,615 miles on it. Examined the controls; the throttle is not apparently functioning correctly, though that could be crud in the carb. Couldn’t find the starter button, until I realized the previous owner (or the one before him, or someone servicing it) had gutted the switch housing and put it back on wrong. Will have to replace that too, obviously.

First priority for me is to get the engine free. Nothing is visibly broken in that arena, and as best as I can tell the transmission is okay, so I’m hoping that getting the pistons loose will be good enough. Once that’s done, I’ll try in earnest to get it to actually run; only then will I begin expending the currency involved in making it pretty.

One note: The petcock nipple is out of the petcock. It appears to be a pressed-in part; I’m told I can just hammer it (gently) back in place and all should be well.

So far, so good, said the man who had fallen nineteen stories off a twenty story building…