Just after pressing the “Publish” button on Wednesdays missive the postman arrived. He brought with him a letter from the DVLA (That’s the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency – the organisation in the UK that is responsible for vehicle licensing). In a nutshell the letter said
“Dear Robby, we can’t match the registration plates on Little Project with the registration number so you can’t have the V5 logbook so you won’t be able to tax the bike and so you can’t use the bike”.
I was down beyond belief. It isn’t the absolute last straw, once I deem Little Project roadworthy I have the option of taking it to a vehicle testing station and getting it registered as if it was a kit bike but this means a special registration that immediately stands out from the crowd and pretty much doubles the insurance.
I thought “Sod it. I’ll just put it all on eBay and flog it to anyone who wants to carry on”. So I wandered down to the shed with the posh camera and took a bunch of photos. I figured that with this blog documenting what’s been done and with so many shiny bits I may be able to find a buyer for what I had.
I turned on the computer to head to eBay and in my email there’s a comment against the glossary page. It said…
I developed serious withdrawal symptoms when you were off line recently. Please don’t do it again!.
Then, within a blink there was another encouraging comment asking for “..more of the same please.”
So, you gentlemen (or ladies, or whoever you are). Thank you. You have encouraged me to carry on. I have deleted those photographs that were for eBay and once again have oily fingers.
And a plan!
Meanwhile I have been doing some messing around with engines. Now why isn’t that surprising. I’ll just surmise where we are, viz-a-viz arranging some locomotion that doesn’t involve me scooting up and down the garden on Little Project shouting “Brmmm Brmmm” (I did, the neighbours thought I’d gone a bit bonkers. I just wanted to see how comfortable Seat actually was).
- A very nice 1978 CB125 engine that is clean and shiny and has good compression and a nice clutch and a good gearbox.
- A not quite so nice 1978 CB125 engine that has a little broken bit on one of the casings where the tachometer cable goes (although Little Project doesn’t have a rev counter so it is possibly not a problem) and a slightly challenged gearbox.
- A 1977 XL125 engine that has a missing cylinder head (but also has a good gearbox).
- A 1983 Little Project original engine that has a piston welded into the barrel and the remains of a mouse sitting on top of the piston. It also has a considerable amount of rust on it and some of the bolts holding it together are rusted, rounded and sheared.
So judging from the above list and allowing that I’m probably not going to make my completion date of July 22 (2013 of course) it is obvious that I should really use the original Little Project engine, or at least a proper CT125 engine. Otherwise I am just going to be cheating and not doing the job properly.
Challenge number one is to get the piston that is welded into the barrel out. This really needs to happen without having copious bits of piston and/or barrel falling into the engine so a devious plan was required (so devious in fact that I forgot to take photographs and it is now too dark to go to the shed to take them).
The devious plan involved Little Project engine (obviously), a cold chisel, some plastic safety spectacles, a black and decker workmate and the BFH. The engine is clamped upside down in the workmate, gripped securely around the remains of the barrel. There is a bit of old carpet laid beneath and if you should have chosen to venture into the shed at some stage this weekend, you would have found me lying on the carpet beneath the workmate. My not so pristine overalls fastened up to my neck, safety goggles donned and wearing a blue woolly hat to keep the remains of my hair clean (people who know me will tell you that whatever hat I wear, I look like a grumpy gnome).
I am of the opinion that if I hit the piston hard enough and enough times with the cold chisel and the big hammer then the piston will eventually fall apart and I will then be able to remove the barrel and the remains of the welded piston at the same time. This opinion is loosely based on what I think is holding the piston to the engine.
Obviously, it is going to take quite a lot of piston bashing to remove this. However, I have patience.
Just one extra note. There is a CT125 for sale on eBay, it finishes tomorrow. The gentleman selling it says it needs some work (ha, as if) but the engine runs and all of the electrics are there. It finishes in exactly 24 hours from now and I’m currently the highest bidder. keep your fingers crossed for me, I’m on a very limited budget for it!