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Editoral Ramblings


The Editor

Another year passes with in my case little to show. Quicksilver was off the road during the summer with engine problems which took out about six weeks. The weather in Ireland wasn't great which didn't help. For personal reasons I couldn't go to Riel so I missed out my annual long trip in the Pembleton.

I decided that my shed, in Ireland, needed replacing. I ordered a steel garage 9mx5m which more than doubles the size of the shed being replaced. I did consider a block structure but the cost is significantly greater. It falls under the planning regulations as it's bigger than the 25m2. I planned to get the slab in before the winter but the planning permission process took too long so that will now be a springtime project. People talk about downsizing as one gets older but I need more not less space. I don't envy my children having to sort it all out when I pop my clogs but I won't be around to hear them complaining!

I mentioned somewhile ago that I bought two Vire marine engines - the same type as I have in my boat. I swappped over one during the summer and it works fine and I repainted the engine I took out. I now have three smart looking engines; one in the boat and a spare in Ireland with the third in Leeds. as a show engine (as the Donald would say "SAD!!!!"). I might go to a Christmas Crank-In organised by East Yorkshire Group of the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club at a site near York before the New Year - weather permiting. I'll take the camera in case there's anything of interest.

Pembleton build


Philip Hardcastle

I'll admit to putting things off. The gate still sticks, the car is due an oil change and our doors are still in primer a year after starting them. I hope this goes some way to explain my lack of speed in writing an article for ePAG!

I'll start from the last instalment. After attending the (fantastically organised) NYM event and having to come home on a trailer, I decided that it was time for a change.

  1. I wanted Guzzi power, and
  2. I wanted something which I could tour with comfortably.

The sensible(ish) option would be to follow Tom's example and fit the Guzzi motor whilst adapting the car to make a comfortable cockpit. I even sat Chloe – suffering, and quite tall, wife – in the driver's seat while I made measurements for a roof and screen. The problem was that I just couldn't bring myself to starting cutting up a car I'd spent a great deal of time building (and painting!). The decision was made to sell and, using the funds, build my idea of the 'ultimate' Pembleton.

A good friend of mine deals in cars and stands by the theory that 'The first offer is usually the best'. Something not too dissimilar to my advice to people selling their houses, having worked in that game between school and university. True to form my first offer was indeed a good one. In this instance it came from 'Box Fast Classics' in Knaresborough, near Harrogate. A little haggling ensued and we settled on a price which I was happy with and reflected the fact that I wouldn't have to worry about any come back. The chap I dealt with was excellent and a day after agreeing a price, the money was in my bank and a low loader was waiting to collect her/him/it. I could recommend them as a happy customer. I had expected to be more upset to be honest, but I think knowing that a new build was to come made it much easier…


A few months previous I had seen an article in 'MOG' magazine. It was a Morgan 3 Wheeler utility (van) concept, drawn by Jon Wells – who I believe is head of design at Morgan. Suffice to say I loved the design and somehow the idea was formed to make my own, Pembleton version, of his design with a few of my own ideas thrown in for good luck.

With the money from the sale burning a hole in my pocket (and keen to spend some to stop it going on a new bathroom!), I set about looking for a donor engine and car. Kevin Ashton of this forum had previously offered me a Guzzi, and a quick call confirmed it was still available. Not only this, but he had the remains of a 2CV which would work as a donor. A deal was struck and Kevin had agreed to deliver it to Yorkshire – lucky really he lives hundreds of miles away in the South West!

donor car
donor bike

Next is was a chassis. I had planned to order from Phil, but as luck would have it I was contacted by Ade Colemar in Scotland. As mentioned in his EPAG article, he had built his own frame, using a Phil 'original' as a template. This meant the original was now available to be sold. Perfect timing indeed. Dealing with Ade was just like dealing with all the other Pembleton folk I have met so far; fantastic. Ade even offered to modify my gear lever and accelerator to Phil's spec. The only regret I have was not being able to collect the chassis myself. I had planned a trip up but it just so happened my dad was heading to the borders close to Ade's house to collect a lawn mower. Having the trailer attached and being so close it was a no brainer and he did the honours for me whilst I was away at a wedding in Ireland. One day I will get up.

During this time I stripped the bike and sold for parts. I'd definitely recommend other builders doing the same as good money can be recouped from even a tatty bike.

So now I had the basis for a Pembleton built from the far reaches of the country - Running gear from the South Coast and a Chassis from Scotland. I just needed something from the middle, so another plan was hatched…

One downside of my cheap donor was that I was in a bit of a state. I knew this and had planned to clean everything up and then fit new bearings etc. Not really my favourite job and the reason why I got fed up with old cars – cleaning rust and dealing with bolts which hadn't been worked on for decades does not do it for me. After searching eBay I found a complete front end; steering box, arms and hubs, which had been refurbished to use as a kit but when not used. A lot of haggling down the line and I was leaving work early to get to Oxford on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Martyn from 2CV Recycling was great to deal with and I bought some arms whilst there. Sadly there was no time for coffee – a 3½ hour return trip was waiting for me.

So finally that brings us up-to-date. I'm just swapping the hubs onto Phil's modified arms (I think the donor arms and hubs are using an oversize kingpin which I hadn't planned for). The aim is to have a rolling chassis by October Half Term. I'd like a floor/petrol tank/brake and petrol plumbing by Christmas but I'm sure that won't happen. I have a gate to fix.

Next. Fitting arms. Selling parts. Plans for the build.


Log of the Maken


David Nicolson

A tiny car hurtles down the Dover Road. As it roars past policemen, they instinctively reach to their tunic pockets for notebook and pencil, muttering: “…causing a noise in excess of the legally permitted…not fitted with adequate silencing device…clear case of misuse of …"

Long before they have read the car's number, it has gone - a half-ton of humanity and machinery zooming outrageously through town after town, the rackety engine making too much noise for conversation between driver and passenger. They are two of a kind, young men swathed in multiple layers of clothing; the September air is cold, and the open car lacks weather protection.

An oncoming bus is about to pass a limousine, but the wee black mass of noise is aimed through the narrow space by the driver. He takes time off to shout: "That's the best of Pembleton* three-wheelers. So narrow you can plunge through small gaps". “Yes" comes the bellowed reply: "and as they're triangle-shaped, you know that once the front wheels are through safe, even with a closing gap." Which is almost true.

At Folkestone the driver eases his foot up a millimetre and the speedometer creeps back from the maximum, just a fraction. The uproar warns pedestrians well in advance; they leap for safety on to the pavement. Policemen continue to try and get the elusive noisebox's number. However, the owner has thought of their evil intentions and, when he last washed the car, he left a thick layer of mud on the number plate. This makes it hard to read in all but the best light.

All this haste is justified. The relentless speed caused trouble a few miles outside Folkestone. Burning was smelt and the car was stopped. The bonnet was lifted to reveal the engine gleaming, steaming, very hot and dripping oil, but not actually on fire. Further examination of the rest of the car showed that the floorboards were steadily smouldering under the carpet. This was put out with water from a nearby garage, and the radiator filled up. Then the drive went on, flat-out, a 1934 car driven to the limit and taking it well in spite of its age; for this was in 1953.

Later, two more stops were necessary to repair ignition failures. The tools in this car are bright with constant use, but the results are above average. Mile after mile is thrust behind, as are many bigger cars. At last the passenger is dropped at Folkestone. Then on up that long, winding hill along the Dover Road, the car cornering dead-upright like the race-bred machine she is, even if the single back wheel does skid all over the country, even if it takes sheer muscle-power to turn the steering wheel. This is the essence of an enthusiast's car, uncomfortable, a trifle noisy, battered but very brave and so willing. The driver huddles in his monstrous black leather motoring coat, jammed in the tiny driving seat, enjoying every minute of the journey.

Up to now the driver has been holding the car at its maximum of sixty whenever possible, but without the weight of the passenger and his luggage speed is better. On a straight stretch of road the speedo creeps up and round till it points to "Smiths, Made in England". With a blissful smile the driver thinks: "Wonderful. Right off the clock!" Then he notices sheep wandering across the unfenced road. For sickening seconds the car hurls onwards, all brakes making no apparent difference to its progress. The driver makes an effort to change direction. The back swings in skater's arcs all over the road, one way, the other, back the first way. The driver thinks it's going to be mutton for dinner. For breakfast, lunch, tea and supper, too, if he hits that big ram. The sheep take a horrified look at the oncoming menace, slithering all ways, and decide that the butcher is kinder. They scatter and, by a series of rapid-fire miracles, the car misses all of them. Down into Dover it goes, the long winding hills taken at wild speed; then on more sedately through the town towards the docks. Bumping over the railway lines the little black monster putters and crackles, twin exhausts still rend-ing the air, till the inner harbour is reached. The driver hardly looks where he is going now. With bright-eyed eagerness he's scanning every yacht …

• With apologies to my father, it may have been a certain ‘other’ marque! Extract from “Log of the Maken" by Ian Nicolson with permission.

Road to the edge of the World


Bill Davies

A couple of years ago an Autumn run was suggested and four stalwarts of Scottish fame together with guard dog Jock decided to head to the edge of the world. Colin had been passing the time on the Net and found a "Bothy" ,an old farm workers cottage on the West Coast. Where abouts we asked…Kinlochourn…oh says I,I know where that is, or did I.

A weekend was agreed and we duly set a meet point at the Green Welly in Tyndrum, a bikers halt that is very popular and the food is good too. The four of us met at around mid-day and fed and watered we set off towards Fort William, via the Black Mount and Glencoe and along the side of Loch Linnhe. After Fort William we turned west to Corpach where we took the B8004 to follow the west bank of the Caledonian canal, turning right to go to the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge. This striking memorial was erected to remember the soldiers who trained in this area during the second war. Once we paid our respects we set of up the A82 as far as Invergarry where we turned left on the A87 and after about three miles we turned left again onto a single track road…for the next 20 miles…and what a road, it had turns and twists, narrow bridges, some surfaces, some not, potholes and loads of character. It followed the banks of Loch Garry then the river before diving back into magnificent countryside then Loch Quoich a bridge over the narrows and still we went on. As this was September the light was starting to fail and still the road twisted in front, "if this is the wrong road we'll be stuffed."

Then a dramatic drop down through more twists and we were at sea level and in front stood a lonely farm on the right and two bothies on the left. There was another farm over the field but that was all. This area is known as Knoydart and for years it was owned by various landlords who owned it for it's privacy…tourists not welcome…but now times have changed and the people need to money.

As we stopped Colin announced that we had arrived, the building resembled that on the net. Just at that a man appeared, our host who announce that the fire was on and there was hot water, but no electricity, candles being the order of the day. Washed and refreshed we adjurned to the farm for our dinner that we had fortunately booked as the nearest pub/restaurant was some 30 miles back the way we came. Dinner complete we went back to the bothy to sample the beer that Tom and I had been given for hosting the Drierad Treffen in 2015, a 5 litre cask. The warning sight of our snug welcomed us back and we stocked the fire (but don't burn the logs, as it's the end of the season) and set about having an evening of chatter and tales of woe, some longer than others. Now after our wander along the bumpy road to the bothy the beer had been given a good shaking, and we got pints of foam all night until the last drops emerged as a liquid. Still it tasted good as there was nothing else.

The morning dawned bright and we set of back on the same road, but the views were just as spectacular, and on rounding a corner we met a pair of fine stags out for a meander, not in the least worried about humans or trikes. We also encountered wild cows who live on the hills only coming in when winter finally sets in. Our progress was good and we turned left onto the A87 and proceeded past the Five Sisters in Glen Sheil before turning left onto the road to Glenelg, stop at the ferry port to Skye (closed for the year) then round to the village pub for coffee and a snack.

Then a historic run round to a Broch, Dun Trodden, a medieval fort of some three stories that must have presented a significant defensive structure for it's inhabitants. That done we retraced our steps to Shiel Bridge to refuel for the return trip home, a stop at Invergarry for a late lunch and we then set off south, back tracking the same road that we had come north on. Ian decided to stop at Jennie's and say hello the rest carried south for a tea at a church/craft café, only to arrive as they shut shop, c'est la vie.

Good byes said and thanks to Colin for finding a great place to stopover.

It has now been modernized with electricity and water, who needs that when there is atmosphere and good stories to be told around a log burner in candle light. We'll need to get searching for somewhere else to stop.

Malta Classic October 2017


Niall McLoughlin

Hope everyone is enjoying the winter festivities, drinking, eating and sleeping too much (with a little vehicular tinker time thrown in too).

In early October, my wife and I travelled over to Malta for a bit of a holiday to relax. Early October seemed the perfect time as it was after the summer holidays, not too hot, but still lovely and warm (24-26C every day), and a bit quieter in general… Oh, and did I mention our holiday over there just happened to coincide with the Malta Classic? (wink wink)

Before I get shot down – the better half did know this when we booked the holiday. She loves the beach and the sea but I get bored easily, so the cars and the history of this wonderful island in the med seemed to be a brilliant best of both worlds!

For those of you who have never been to Malta, I can't recommend it enough. Although whatever you do, don't drive over there – the busses are cheap and go everywhere. It has the highest collision rate in Europe and virtually every car you see has battle scars, and the condition of the roads make a beaten up farm track in the UK look like the smooth drag strip at Santa-Pod Raceway. I couldn't help but think that the best car for the island would be a 2CV as you never need to go more than 50mph!

Anyway, back onto the subject – the Malta Classic.

The Malta Classic is an event that is hosted every year in early October. The event takes place over 4 days (Thursday-Sunday) and is made up of three main events, a concourse d'elegance, a hill climb, and a "grand prix". I'm not a big fan of "show and shine" events, so gave that a miss. Annoyingly the hill climb was cancelled due to a damaged road (lifted drain). This left us with the "grand prix" that runs on the Saturday and Sunday. It was relatively hard to follow the action precisely as there were quite a few red flags and stints of "other stuff going on". But from what I could gather, on the Saturday cars were sent out at intervals to do timed qualifying runs. Then on the Sunday they went out in groups of around 7 to 10 cars in their various categories to race.

The Grand prix is hosted in the ancient city of MDina, and runs out of the old citadel, down a twisty hill and off into the country, then loops back up a steep incline back to the start. The pit area is within the citadel walls. For fans of the Sky drama series "Game of Thrones", a lot of the scenes are filmed in MDina.

The cars competing varied massively, from an original GT40, right the way through to our humble old friend the 2CV, via classic Maserati race cars and tuned Minis. The track was tight and twisty, and in the true nature of racing and people pushing their cars to the limits (some more than others), there were some automotive casualties.

A couple of notable ones were an MGB GT V8 that lost it on the run up the hill and ploughed into the bank backwards. The driver was okay, but the whole car was bent up like a banana and the shell/chassis was well beyond repair.

A BRG Triumph TR6 spun and hit a stone wall pretty hard too, ripping off the rear wheel and suspension, passenger side door and passenger side rear wing.

A lovely little fiat 500 also came to a sorry end when the driver (who was 2 wheeling around most corners) rolled several times. It did have a cage though, and again the driver made a safe exit.

The 2 highlights for me though, were a pair of 2CVs that were owned by a father and daughter from the UK. One was a red and white Dolly, which although looked standard, had a whopping 2cv engine in it prepared by Pete Sparrow – I think the owner said it was 710cc (but don't quote me on that). It absolutely flew round the track and was slightly quicker than the BMW M3. The other 2cv was a nice blue early ripple-bonnet with suicide doors. This was running on a later chassis with a standard 602 motor and was rather more leisurely around the circuit.

It was a relatively informal event, which was nice as you could get close to the action and chat with the marshals. I am already looking to make the same visit next year! Visit href="" target="_blank"> for more info.

I did hear a great little fact from one of the Ferrari drivers (although I can't say it's 100% true. He said that there are more Ferraris in Malta per head than in Italy!

All the Best, Niall.

Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars
Malta Classic Cars

LED replacement bulbs


Mike Meakin

I have to say, I am much impressed by the significant increase in visibility using LED "bulbs" to replace traditional incandescent "side" or "marker" lamps.

I have fitted LED replacements for the 21/5 watt rear, side/brake bulbs and in particular the W5W "capless" sidelamp bulbs (in the headlight reflector). The intensity of the rear sidelights is much increased, as is the "snap illumination" of the brake lights, but the most startling are the front sidelight/position lights, which are bright, cold/white instead of the incandescent, almost orange yellow glow, by comparison.

The 2 images attached were taken inside, in complete darkness, using flash – I can take other pictures if required, but the effect of adding LEDs to the front sidelights is really impressive. The bulbs I used were 6 X smd and were £2.24 (incl.postage) the pair; there is available a 13 X smd LED bulb, so even more "facets" to be caught by the headlight reflector.

Merry Christmas


led lamps
led lamps

Stiffening the Suspension


Ade Colmar

This article describes an alternative approach to reducing the travel and increasing the stiffness of the suspension on a Pembleton by, somewhat conversely, increasing the travel of the bits that do all the work.

Most cars use a suspension ratio of in between 1:1 and 2:1 (that is the ratio of wheel travel to spring/damper travel). The 2CV donor uses a suspension ratio of around 3.5:1, which puts it in a different league, but then the 2CV is an unusual car! It was specifically designed to have very supple, long travel suspension. The high suspension ratio creates large forces in the components, but the Citroen engineers ingeniously cancelled most of these out by placing the front and rear springs in the same cylinder. This leaves only the difference between the front and rear suspension forces being transmitted to the chassis.

Due to the layout, the Pembleton design has to do away with this bit of engineering subtlety and requires all the suspension spring forces to be taken directly by the chassis. Consider that a sprung corner weight of 150Kg translates to 3.5 times this amount (525Kg force) on the chassis and the demands start to become obvious. Steel is fantastically strong in tension and the 2CV spring cylinders are only 1mm thick and the forces are perfectly aligned. In the Pembleton three wheeler, these forces are taken through a mixture of compression and bending in the chassis outriggers and tension in the outrigger strap and inner longitudinal member. Another salient fact is that the load on the rear wheel of a limper is actually greater than that on the each of the two rear wheels of a 2CV when carrying a driver and passenger. So it is not surprising that there have been challenges leading to reinforcement of the spring hangers over the years.

This is only part of the thinking, the main objective is to get stiffer suspension. If this can be done at the same time as reducing the forces on the chassis, then so much the better. As an alternative to oversize springs or spring assisters another option is the increase the length of the fulcrum arm (the triangular part with the knife edges in). This is around 115mm for the front and 125mm for the rear suspension legs (it is hard to give an exact measurement because the knife edges are over centre and so the fulcrum length varies with the attitude of the suspension arm). There are practical limits on how much the arm can be lengthened due to the risk of grounding and tie-rod angle, however, if the lower edge of the spring/spring hanger are used as a guide for grounding, then the fulcrum arm can be increased to 160-170mm reducing the suspension ratio to 2.5:1 and giving 35% stiffer suspension. Just as important, this also gives 35% more travel for the dampers making it easier for them to do a decent job without cranking up the settings to the limit.

I lengthened the fulcrum arm on my car with cuts through the steel triangle 10mm from the base of the main arm and welded 3x 50mm steel strip over the gap as shown in the pictures. This necessitates access to welding facilities, but it is a lot easier the get a suspension arm welded than a chassis repaired!

suspension arm
suspension arm

Improvements to My Pembleton


Vincent Mouton

su carb manifold
su carb manifold

I've made a stering wheel from one out of a type A 2cv that has been cut from a scrapped one. I've bought it on "le bon coin" for €20, bought 1 m of flat iron (25x4mm) and used my favorite tools (ie the angle grinder and the MIG) to make a classic look one. Some acurate drilling and filling was needed but nothing impossible for the impatient and mildly skilled guy that I am.

I intent to add a lever for the chocke (á la Morgan, when it was the accelerator) and also some sisal binding on the rim to add 'comfort'. I'm also lookiing for a small cap for the center, but for sure, this will be something recycled from a jam or paint pot.

su carb manifold
su carb manifold

I will also keep the 2cv engine in a first time (I love guzzi small block) but modified to take a single SU carb. I've used the original intake, but i've butchered it with the help of some central heating pipe angle, and also my angle grinder and welder! Pictures of the build are sadly lost: the most interresting part was to make a "T" out of two elbows cut and welded together to joint the two half pipes.

The flange for the carb has been cut from somr flat 8mm iron that were lying here, flattened with sand paper on a thick glass to ensure perfect sealing with the carb. The SU is coming from a Mini 850 so I hope that with some needle/oil/spring adjustment it will work!

Next time, I will send details about my alternator installation and maybe my windscreen one!

Best regards

Vincent Mouton

Mudguard Stays


Robin Martin

Some browsers may not support the display of this item and you will need to down load robin8/mudguard stays.pdf and then view the saved page.

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How to Check the BMW/Bosch Rectifier


Sam McIntyre

How to Check the BMW/Bosch Rectifier

Wheel Frequency Calculator


Ade Colmar

Article withdrawn - the Editor

Moto Guzzi engine build


Niall McLoughlin

With winter now firmly upon us, it's the time to do the all-important modifications/updates ready for testing/validation, fine tuning and use in the coming spring and summer.

I'll start off by saying that this is the first engine rebuild/strip down I've done – and I've learnt a lot along the way.

After a tip-off from Mike Meakin, I acquired a 1991 Moto Guzzi 750T engine in the spring of this year from just south of Surrey area. I originally planned on fitting this to my new build. However, in September managed to get my grubby little mitts on a complete 1994 Nevada with only 10k on the clock and an MOT for a price I couldn't refuse – thus two Guzzis for two Pembletons!

Engine before strip
complete bike

This meant that I could do an engine swap on my current SWB Pembleton first, and learn all about it, ready for when I start the new build. I have decided to rebuild the older engine, and install this into the current Pembleton, then put the later engine with less miles and less wear in the new build with very little mechanical work, just a check over and a visual tart up.

I bought the older engine from a Guzzi club member who clearly knew a thing or two about these bikes! He had just rebuilt a bike for his wife (possibly a Jackal) and I counted two other complete Guzzis in his workshop and countless "bits". He was breaking his old 750T as the final drive had seized. The bike had about 45k miles on it and I managed to get pretty much everything I needed apart the carbs. He recommended stripping down and checking the big end and main shells and changing all gaskets and seals. He also warned of the exhaust valves prone to burning out, so recommended to re-grind these and leave the valve clearances a little loose and just put up with the tappety tap (factory settings are 0.2mm exhaust and 0.15mm Inlet).

With the engine sat around all summer and the weather getting poorer towards the end of October I decided it was time to open her up and see what's what. Fortunately the seller gave me a disc with technical drawings, workshop manual and exploded engine diagrams with comprehensive parts list.

As this is the first engine I've pulled apart, everything I removed was labelled and all the nuts&bolts were put in marked storage tubs to ease the rebuild.

The strip down was very straightforward and most parts came free after a good soak in WD40, some whispered cursing and gentle persuading!

cut down drill bit in hole
screw in
rotor popped off

Once you have the front plastic alternator cover removed and the stator is off the rotor, you need to undo the bolt from the crank end. Once it's off you then need to insert about 60mm of 5mm bar or cut down Allen key into the end, then wind the bolt back in. The rotor is held on a taper, so as you wind the bolt in, it works like a screw jack, and the rotor will pop off. I'd suggest doing this bit with the engine lay flat on its back as it'll pop off at a fair old rate. I cut down a long 5mm drill bit that had blunted and used that and it worked fine. (This is the only part that had me scratching my head – it really is all very simple stuff if you're methodical about it)

slotted cap-head

Some of the socket cap-heads rounded and required a slot cutting in them to enable the use of a big screwdriver.

The order of disassembly that I did was as follows:

  1. Empty all oil and leave to drain overnight! Or you'll get oil everywhere – trust me
  2. Rocker covers
  3. Front plastic cover
  4. Alternator, ignition and chain cover (MAKE A NOTE/MARK THE ORIENTATION)
  5. Valve rockers and push rods (make sure at TDC first)
  6. Heads (you can just about get a deep socket on the inner bolts with a gentle tap)
  7. Timing chain and oil pump (BE CAREFUL NOT TO LOSE THE KEY, ITS TINY!)
  8. Oil filter and sump (I had to drill one of the bolts out here as it was stead fast)
  9. Split the block – one of the nuts had seized here so I had to cut and split it. The 10mm socket nuts are tight!
  10. Once the crankcase is split, keep an eye on the spacers/shims at the back of the crankshaft!
  11. Remove the big end bolts and remove the crank, leaving the pistons in the cylinders
  12. Inspect the main shells and the big end shells for wear
  13. Carefully pull out the timing cam (lock pin/bolt on top – more details on this later). You will get some resistance from the vacuum, but it just pulls out.
  14. Inspect for wear and remove the cam followers, label them as you go. The cam is hardened so once it's worn it needs replacing!
  15. Remove the barrels and pistons together.
  16. I removed the pistons carefully and inspected the barrels and rings. All excellent condition bar a little carbon deposit, which came off after soaking in Coca-Cola for 48hrs or so with a soft scouring pad.
worn shells

Everything in my engine was exceedingly good, with the only visible wear on the big end shells and main crank shells, which will be replaced.

At this stage it's pretty much entirely apart, so go through and remove the gaskets and any seals, the gauze filter in the sump and any other fittings. I left the valves in at this point as I didn't have a valve spring compressor at the time and it makes little difference to blasters if you're planning on removing and grinding them in later.

bare parts for vapour blasting

I sent images off to three or four firms in the end, including those who specialise in classic motorbike restorations. The quotes back varied massively, however the cheapest quote came from Boris Blasting in Wellingborough. He didn't have a website, but was very friendly and the more I researched, the more excellent reviews I found. I turned up to some obscure small but busy industrial estate and found his unit in the back corner. He seemed to really know his stuff and I can't recommend him enough! The castings returned as per below and were turned around in one week for under a £100

Castings back from blasters

After rinsing and drying all the components at least twice thoroughly to remove all the blasting residues etc. All the new parts arrived that I sourced them from various places. The biggest spend by far was with Stein-Dinse in Germany. On the whole they were cheaper than Gutsi-Bits, they had all the parts in stock and I found it easier to search by part number on their site.

New parts as follows-

new bits

Now that it's all back from the blasters it's time to re-finish. I masked as required then VHT black paint on the barrels and heads, rubbed back the edges of the fins and VHT lacquer on everything.

The paint I had recommended curing for 40mins at 160C. With the wife visiting a friend one weekend I had the house (and the cooker) to myself. If she ever found out I even considered this I think my head would be separated from my shoulders and on a spike for the birds! However, although a very mild smell was left in the oven afterwards (soon masked by baking some garlic bread) she was none the wiser, the perfect crime! (Unless she reads this! The Editor)

VHT paint baking in the oven
Painted engine parts before assembly
Polished rocker cover

I removed the and reground the valves. Then put all back together in the same order it was removed with new oil filter, spark plugs, gaskets, seals, big end shells, main crankshaft shells and all stainless fixings!! To prevent galvanic corrosion/seizing, the fixings have a very light smear of aluminium anti seize grease on them. When re-assembling I fell foul of a few things that I should've noticed sooner. I'll list them below to help prevent others doing the same:

Cam fixing bolt

When re-installing the timing cam, there is a hole in one of the bushes at the end at the rearward most part. This MUST be facing vertically upwards (shown by B below), as there is a pin (A) that engages in it to hold it in place from above / external.

TDC position

When doing the valve clearances and ignition, the crank does two revolutions for every one revolution of the timing cam. The easiest way to determine TDC is with the timing chest cover off. This is when the two markers on the cam and the crank are vertically closest together for the right cylinder, and when they're furthest apart for the left cylinder (looking at the engine from the front)

The front plastic cover had pretty heavy scoring on it. I know that aluminium covers can now be sourced for around £90, but for the moment I rubbed down the one I had and gave it a spray in metallic aluminium paint and lacquer. Personally I quite like the way it looks.

finished engine 1
finished engine 1
finished engine 1

This particular engine came with a Saprisa ignition system mounted on the front of the timing cam underneath the alternator cover. I'll try and get this working first as the previous owner said he had no trouble with it at all. Next step is to get it in the car and plumb it in! For the sake of expedience, I plan to fit the carbs from the bike to this engine with a pressure regulator and facet pump, then get brand new carbs for the next build.

I won't bore you all with the next steps as this is already well documented (and I haven't done it yet), however, I felt there was a bit of a void on here for the engine side of things. There is a video on youtube of the strip down.

At the time of submitting, the engine has not been fired up or tested – I will report back for the next ePAG with an update as to how it goes!

A copy of the Moto Guzzi Workshop manual for the small block engines as well as manuals for Dellorto carburettors are available in the technical pages section - the Editor