On the pull

You’d never have thought it.     I need a new tub of Swarfega.   I was under the impression (I don’t know why, I just assumed) that Swarfega lasted forever.   I just imagined that the tub would magically fill up again once empty but that does not appear to have happened.   This meant that after a most satisfying tinkering session I had no official method of cleaning my hands.     I’ve scooped up  some of the sludge from the bottom of the rust removal bath and used that instead.   It has remarkable cleansing properties but I don’t think it will be winning any awards as a moisturiser.   My hands are more Stirling Moss than Kate Moss as I type today.    It may be that my fingernails will also glow in the dark but hey! I’m clean!

This doesn’t happen very often, but in my last post I said exactly what I planned to do this weekend and that is exactly what I have done.   Right down to needing a tool that is only available in leap years when there is a full moon on the spring solstice.  I shall tell you about it…

Because I’m a bit flash with my cash I purchased not one but three 1/2 inch extensions (mostly because they were sold in sets of three, but keep that to yourself) and scurried to the shed to remove the rotor lock nut and thus (I would imagine) have an unlocked rotor and removable oil pump.

Of course the rotor turns in tune with the rest of the engine so there was no way to get any purchase on it, everything turned in time with my tugging.    I worked out that by sticking the handle of the hammer (it is rubber coated) down into the crank it locked up the engine and with a fair bit of moaning and groaning (from me, not the rotor lock nut or the hammer handle) the lock nut came loose, I stumbled backwards and planted the seat of my (not even slightly pristine) overalls in the grass collector of the (red, REL3020, mostly) lawnmower and with a somewhat surprised look the oil pump was captured and secured in a plastic bag (along with the new tool,  I’ve a feeling the 10mm fairy might have her eyes on it).

Ha.   I thought as I flipped over to the next page of the manual.   “Attempting to remove the alternator casing without using a puller will result in irrevocable engine damage” it said.

I didn’t want to point out to the manual that sawing through the conrod may also constitute irrevocable engine damage so I rummaged through the toolbox for my puller.   A puller is like a three legged spider with a threaded piece of metal in the middle.   You wrap the legs of the puller around the item that you need to pull and place the end of the threaded bit against a bit that is not going to be pulled.  Then you tighten up the threaded bit and the thing that you want to get pulled off gets pulled off.

Hells teeth.  My puller has legs too fat to fit in the gap between the alternator.

I decided to hit the crank cases with a hammer.  Just a rubber one, it’s not like it is a big and destructive hammer, I’ve just found that hitting things with a hammer occasionally makes me feel better.

The cranks started to separate.   This probably isn’t the professional way to do these things but I stuck some bits of wood in the gaps between the cranks and applied some heave-ho.  There was a clank (or two, or several) and the crank cases came apart.

The clank was bits of the gearbox falling to the shed floor.

I’ve gathered up all of the bits of gearbox and have (probably) put them back together in the correct fashion.  Whatever, there is one crankcase that now looks like this.

Gear box

The other side still had the crankshaft with the alternator attached to it.

Because I am aware that sometimes things are beyond me.   I put the crank case with the alternator jammed on to it into a plastic bag and wandered down to the local motorbike shop.   “Can you get that off there?  My puller is too fat” I said and a man whisked it away and brought it back in two pieces.   “No charge” said he, “just come back when you need to buy something”.

So CBS Whitton shall be going into the “Heroes and Villains” section of the blog (as heroes, obviously).   They don’t have a website but they are in Kneller Road, Whitton, TW2 7DX and if you need to buy anything scooter or bike related then you should visit them, even if you are in California.

So we’ve two crank cases and a crank.

 Left crank case Crank

Admittedly the crank is looking sad, but I’ve heard rumours of a man called Mike.  He mends Honda crankshafts.  I will be tracking him down and making eyes at him.  Until then I’m going to be cleaning crank cases until they are more buffed than the fireman’s calendar.

Have a good week everyone.   Next weekend in the UK is Remembrance Sunday.   Come and join my entire extended family and me at Horseguards Parade (where the beach volleyball was during the Olympics last year) at 11am (or so).  You can’t miss us, there will be about 20 of us, there won’t be a Honda CT125 in sight but one of us will have glowing fingernails, wrinkly hands and a determined look in his eyes.


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