There was a song in the 1940’s and 50’s popular amongst the American folk and country scene. Texas Tyler, Tex Ritter and Wink Martindale all had a hit with “Deck of Cards”. The story of a soldier arrested in church in Italy during the second world war for seemingly playing cards. The trooper explains that the cards are his Bible, his almanac and his Prayerbook. You’ll find a recording on the internet a lot more easily than you will find a seat for a Honda CT125, so if you feel the urge, go get it (after finishing reading here of course). The song has been lampooned many a time since. I am a touch concerned that Little Project is turning into my own personal deck of cards – occupying my thoughts at all times of the day.
My plan for today was to take the wheels off the bike, remove the forks and mudguards, give the forks a quick service and see what state the wheels are in before sending them off to be re-spoked.
Front wheel came off without any problems and I was rolling along merrily (well, not exactly rolling, I only have one wheel on the bike). The broken exhaust that can’t come off until the rear wheel is removed attacked a few times so it was scolded and tied to the frame. The cotter pin… Wait. A few forgotten words and phrases.
Cotter pins – Like an automotive hair pin. It serves a similar purpose as it keeps things in their place.
Conrod – The bit of an engine that connects the top part to the bottom part.
Gudgeon pins – Connect the piston to the conrod. From the French word goujon, remember that when you’re tucking into your fancy fish fingers.
Woodruff key – A little half-moon slither of metal that helps anchor a rotating object to a shaft.
These words are the words of my youth. I urge you to try to use one of them tomorrow. Don’t let them stay in the garages and sheds of the world. Free them!
Back to the cotter pin. Slipped out as nice as you like. The castle nut came off easily so it is just a case now of sliding the bolt out of the wheel and the wheel is off (I’m not mentioning the brakes and stuff, they are all broken so came off politely).
It won’t move. Not having it. It is staying there until the end of time (it thinks). Back on with the nut and give it a tap, still no movement. I glanced around to ensure that nobody was looking and then gave it an almighty whack. It looked back at me with a “is that the best you’ve got?” look on its metallic and now slightly dimpled face.
I thought I’d attack it from the other side with a spanner. If I could get some rotation going then the rest would be easy.
I’d like to point out that I don’t buy cheap tools. Cheap motorbikes and cheap wine but my tools are quality.
Rummaging through the inherited bits of my tool box I found a sledge hammer. I was getting a touch offended by now and reckoned the joy of seeing the bloody bolt shoot out of the other side of the wheel and embed itself in the plastic cookie knight (don’t ask) was worth the loss of any thread.
No. It moved about 1mm out from the frame and that was it.
I have resorted to a hacksaw. The original hacksaw blade lasted about 30 seconds before acknowledging that the hardened steel of the axle was more than a match for it but a diamond tipped (yes, really) blade managed the job in two hours. Now all I have to do is work out how to get the remains of the axle out of the hub.