Uddn Uddn

The engine in Kermit is beginning to show the signs of needing a rebuild, so (long story short; savor that while you can) we found a likely candidate on Craigslist. I got up (relatively) early on Saturday and drove the hour and a half to Lucas, TX, where I found Bob to be a very friendly and interesting guy. We could have gabbed for another hour or so, but I wanted to get back home and see if I could get this thing done in time to ride to the BTW chapter meeting on Sunday.

I got started about 1PM. This is Kermit’s old engine before the operation began.

Removal of the old engine was a breeze, especially having done it a few times by now. On the other hand, the new engine had a generator and since Kermit isn’t wired for a generator, I elected to swap them out. I remember now how involved it actually is to do that. It involved so major a disassembling that I should have changed the carburetor while I was at it.

The carb on the new engine is literally brand new. It, like the oil filler neck, had obviously never had any fluid through them. I was mildly concerned because the carburetor is a 30PICT-1, originally intended for 1300cc engines. I was going to suffer greatly if this turned out to be a 1300, but I was confident that the AE- serial number on the case, the doghouse oil cooler and the 200mm flywheel all pointed to it more likely being a 1600.

The new engine had a threaded insert where the old one had an open hole, and the bolt I had was a D-bolt intended for a starter and wasn’t really one for torquing down. It would probably have sufficed, but this is Mama’s trike and I don’t want it to come loose just because I was too lazy to go buy the right bolt. Of course, where we live, that’s a 45 minute round trip, especially if the first place doesn’t have it and Blue Bell is on sale.

The clutch was moved over with a minimum of fuss, but I did not have the handy dandy alignment tool, so I eyeballed it. That turns out to have cost me more time that it would have taken to drive into Fort Worth and get my clutch tool from the old house. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me that it could be that until I had exhausted every other explanation as to why I just couldn’t get it to go that last inch. It was in far enough for the splines to engage, but apparently that wasn’t enough. I pulled the engine back out (not that it was actually attached), carefully loosened the clutch bolts until I could just scoot the disc and used my socket handle as the closest tool to the proper one. Tightened everything back down and stabbed the engine first try.

The Mr Gasket fuel pump was very easy to put back where it came from on the old engine, but the coil used to be mounted on the back where the doghouse oil cooler is now. I didn’t like the stock location, though I can’t really define why. So, I put it on the edge of the fan housing, just above the fuel pump. this is kinda ugly from a wiring standpoint, but it’s the best compromise without redoing all the wire in the area and the goal here is to have it ready to ride on Sunday.

I had no further trauma and was able to crank the engine and start it, first try, around 11PM.

Now, it didn’t run very nicely, which turned out to be because plug wires 2 & 3 were swapped on  the distributor cap, but once that was corrected, I was able to get a decent idle and rev out of it. I don’t fit this trike; it is carefully adjusted to fit Gabby (and I guess anyone near her perfect dimensions, which rules me out for I am a couple feet too tall), so a test ride would have to wait for her in the morning. I called it a night around 1AM. 12 hour job.

Sunday morning, Gabby took it for a ride, and armed with the knowledge that the carburetor was probably too small and the centrifugal advance distributor was probably not going to act like the old engine, she a little reluctantly agreed to try taking it to town for the meeting. I finished putting the rest of it together, bumper, air filter, etc and we got ready for the meeting.

It generally ran ok, but developed a tendancy to die at stoplights. Trooper that she is, she tolerated it for nearly 200 miles of round trip riding. We went to the east side of Ft Worth for the BTW meeting, then to Bridgeport to find that our Mother’s Day dinner destination closed at 3PM. We went to Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes in Decatur and had steaks and that horrible apple pie that is so bad that they only serve it a few times each year. We took a walk around the square, enjoying the sights. We went from there to Tractor Supply, cause ya just have to, and on home. It was a long day.

The performance of the new engine was, generally, good, maybe a little lackluster, but not without expecting it to be. So, when I got home tonight, I swapped out the 34PICT-3 carburetor and vacuum advance distributor from Kermit’s old engine. I had some difficulty getting it to idle really smoothly without setting the idle advance to about 20 BTDC. Full advance wanted to go too far, so I had to back it off a little to about 15 degrees to keep maximum advance below 35 degrees. I didn’t touch the carburetor adjustments. Now, it has a little bit of a lopey idle, but revs way quicker than the old engine. Bigger cam? Dunno. We’ll see what Gabby’s new test drive allows. Hopefully, she can do that during the day tomorrow and if she’s happy with it, she might ride it in to work.

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