Author Topic: 1970 Ambassador  (Read 4231 times)

Offline surffly

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1970 Ambassador
« on: May 07, 2017, 08:18:31 AM »
Just picked up a 1970 Ambassador.  Had been restored at some point.  I am told the rear main seal is leaking fairly badly, so I'll have to dig into that.

BUT had a question about the front forks.  They seem to be fully compressed and not moving.  I have never seen this happen before.  I know I will have to probably take them all apart, but wanted to reach out to see if this was a common problem, or if anyone had any ideas about what is going on.

Thanks

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 08:25:36 AM »


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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 09:41:57 AM »
Are there springs in the fork tubes? That don't look right.
2013 DR 650
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many Guzzi's loved,  (then sold)
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Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 10:16:24 AM »
Unsure.
The forks seem "frozen"

I tried bouncing the forks and "unloading" them but the forks never slide.

My assumption would be if the springs were just not installed that the forks would still move.

Offline MotoChuck250

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2017, 01:40:51 PM »
I would try putting the bike on the center stand & blocking the crankcase up to get the front wheel off the ground. 

Then remove the front wheel.  First try and pull down on the sliders.  If they remain stuck remove the front fender and try turning the sliders on the fork tubes. 

I have rebuilt the front forks on an old Ambassador I used to have but that was more than 30 years ago so I am a little hazy on the details. 

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2017, 06:46:36 PM »
Not common, never seen it happen before. Broken springs? Rust inside the sliders? Anyone's guess, disassembly will "tell the tale".
Charlie
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Offline JoeW

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 10:47:34 PM »
I've seen it happen with too heavy an oil.
Joe Walano

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 11:24:38 PM »
Guess I will add fork seals and the proper tools to the list of things to buy right off the bat.

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 12:54:57 AM »
When you find out why it's stuck like that. Please let us know!!!

If it can extend, it's missing springs. If it's stuck?????

 :popcorn: :popcorn:

Tom
2004 Cali EV Touring
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1970 Ambo
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Offline Lee Davis

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 06:05:43 PM »
Go to Gregory Bender. They have details on rebuilding.  By the way, that appears to be an old cop bike,  nice find!  Lee Davis
Loopframe rebuilder and Erotic Farmer

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 04:34:19 PM »
It hasn't some highway patrol parts from what I am told.
I do not know much about guzzi.  I hope to learn more.
Do not think it is actually a cop bike though.
More of what I call a "bitsa"
Bits of this and bits of that.

I have a bunch of old vintage bikes.
Traded a Norton Commando for this guzzi.
The Norton was not fitting in the type of riding I was doing, and I had other projects to wrap up.

The plan is to service the heck out of th guzzi and press it into daily service this season.
Want to have something the girl and I can take out.
She was not happy on the Norton.

Offline Don G

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 04:56:27 PM »
Perhaps she has bent tubes? Loosen the pinch bolts and axle and work it ?  DonG

Online Tom H

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 05:11:49 PM »
From the dash, running boards and the passenger foot peg extensions, that was a police bike. It looks like it may have the police side stand as well. A civi could have had the parts added, but not likely.

If on the LH passenger peg loop, there is a scar on the top tube of the loop a few inches long, the frame is police. Someone could have ground it down perfectly smooth, so you can't be sure by that.

Nice bike!

Again, let us know what you find out with the forks.
Tom
2004 Cali EV Touring
1972 Eldo
1970 Ambo
1973 R75/5 SWB with Toaster
2007 HD Street Bob
1953 Triumph 6T (one day it will be on the road!)

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 08:14:11 AM »
Funny thing was that the day after I picked up the Guzzi I jumped on a plane to Italy.
While I was there I found out that I was less then 50 miles from the Moto Guzzi factory and museum.
I was booked fairly solid with work, so did not have any free time, but will be sure to change that for the next trip.

Bike doesn't have a factory original restoration, but overall it seems like a quality job.
I am not much of a purist so it is not a huge deal to me.


Nothing ever actually gets done on the internet, so I need to talk less about the forks and spend an hour or so in the shop investigating.
Honestly think something is just rusted or frozen.  From my understanding the bike was restored in the early/mid 2000s and saw little use since.


Did see that the bike has had the alternator conversion.  Unsure what kit was used, or what the changes from a service point of view. 
I am told this is a nice addition on the bike?


Carbs have leaked and will need to be rebuilt.  I have the kits for that.
Not a fan of the hose clamps or the pod filters.  Might hunt down the original air box.
I come from Japanese four cylinder bikes mainly and they HATE pods.
What are the views on pods from the Guzzi community?


Since I have to dig into the forks, I figured it was wise to pick up the proper tools.
Also ordered bushings and seals.


I was told by the PO that the rear main seal is leaking a fair bit.  Have the seal and the driver.
Since the transmission needs to come out I figured I would order a seal kit for that and install it.
Are there any more "while you are there" jobs I should be thinking about?




Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 08:27:36 AM »
Also forgot an "introduction".

I have been messing with old bikes for a while. 
Have worked on everything from mopeds to jets.
Was trained as an A&P, worked on yachts for a few years before going back to school.

Right now I live in the Albany NY area and work as an engineer in the automation industry.

My main passion has been Japanese bikes with a focus on performance.

1983 CB1100F I road for two seasons (now sold)


Honda CB450.  All original paint/chrome.  Was a "barn find" that I just serviced and cleaned.  Bike is now gone, but I do miss it.


CB77 Yetman.  Plan to build a VERY light race bike.


CBX, because some times you need the most complicated bike in the world.


Most of my friends do not understand why I love this bike so much.....


1974 CL450 Scrambler.
Current daily ride.


My never ending CB/CR750 project.


Daily rider last year.


Main project.  Seeley framed CB750 Honda.


Parts running bike.





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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 08:41:35 AM »
Did see that the bike has had the alternator conversion.  Unsure what kit was used, or what the changes from a service point of view. 
I am told this is a nice addition on the bike?

Not a fan of the hose clamps or the pod filters.  Might hunt down the original air box.
I come from Japanese four cylinder bikes mainly and they HATE pods.
What are the views on pods from the Guzzi community?

I was told by the PO that the rear main seal is leaking a fair bit.  Have the seal and the driver.
Since the transmission needs to come out I figured I would order a seal kit for that and install it.
Are there any more "while you are there" jobs I should be thinking about?


That looks like a "Field/Nolan" alternator kit - very nice kit, really changes nothing from a service point of view.

Pod filters are easier to service than the original filter and getting the rubber boot to seal to the original air box can be problematic. I use Permatex Ultra Black RTV to "glue" the boot to the front plate of the filter box and that works very well. MG Cycle sells a new air box for almost less than you can buy a used one and have it painted/powdercoated.
http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=279&products_id=4470
Boot:
http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=279&products_id=230
Filter:
http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=164_166&products_id=228

It may not be the crank seal - there are other places that can leak in the same area. In addition to the seal, I'd replace the rear main bearing flange gasket and breather pipe gasket (and use a light coating of Permatex 300 on the sealing surfaces) and seal the two lower bolts of the bearing flange and the oil return pipe banjo bolt with Hondabond 4.
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'72 Ambassador "mongrel"
'76 Convert
'85 Moto Morini 350 K2

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 09:24:56 AM »
I will have to look into the bearing flange gasket, breather pipe and those bolts.

Do you have any links to a DIY that shows what you are talking about?
Just trying to get a handle on what those jobs are, what tools/parts I need and how to do the job properly.

Thanks for the help.

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 03:08:34 PM »
Greg Bender has some good info. here:
http://www.thisoldtractor.com/projects_roy_smith.html

You'll need a puller to remove the rear main bearing/flange (mine is self-made out of a section of 1/2" thick x 1.5" x 8"? long steel and three bolts), otherwise no "special" tools are needed.
http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80&products_id=334

Parts/materials:
- breather pipe gasket: http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=170&products_id=187
- bearing flange gasket: http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=170&products_id=192
- 12 mm crush washers (2): http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=34&products_id=186
- Permatex Super 300 or Permatex Aviation
- Hondabond 4 or equivalent. 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 03:24:00 PM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie
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Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 08:45:33 AM »
So you remove the bearing to change the gasket?

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 08:58:23 AM »
So you remove the bearing to change the gasket?

Yes, the rear main bearing/flange must be removed to replace the gasket.

The other thing I forgot on my list is to apply JB Weld to the cam plug to make sure it's sealed. Leaks there aren't very common, but do happen.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 08:59:50 AM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie
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Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 09:36:49 AM »
Is it wise to replace that bearing, or just re-install it?

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 11:07:13 AM »
Is it wise to replace that bearing, or just re-install it?

I'd only replace it if it's badly scored, has embedded chrome flakes or some other issue. But, if it has any of those issues, then the crankshaft will too and then you have bigger problems. Normally, it's just remove, clean/prep, install the seal and reinstall.
Charlie
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Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2017, 07:48:44 AM »
Started the rear main seal job last night.
Never worked on a Guzzi, but dare I say it....It feels very much like working on a Norton!
MUCH easier then the Japanese four cylinders!

Bodywork coming off, and digging in.


At some point while shaking and working on the bike the front forks released.
It seems that for some reason there simply are no fork springs?  ZERO idea why that would be.
I guess I will have to order some of those fancy Wirth progressive springs.  They should suit the bike and the intended use well.
Also should match the Icon shocks for performance.


Alternator.
Will have to look up what applications these are OEM for in case I ever need to replace it.


I found that the distributor cap was VERY loose.  The clips were in place, but the cap could still move a few degrees.  I bent the clips to give them a little more holding power.  That seemed to have fixed the issue.  Are there replacements, or better yet an improvement on the market?


Looks like that during the restoration the harness and electrical was changed.  Not a bad thing I guess.


There was a little voice inside my head telling me to just clean the carbs, fire the bike up and hope that the leak was not that big of a deal.
Lucky I did not as there have been a few small issues that need to be addressed before riding the bike.
We already talked about the absent fork springs.  Another thing is that all of the hardware is covered in anti seize, but not actually tight! :boozing:

To have the current mechanic complain about "the last guy that touched this bike" is uber cliche though.

Other things like the fuel lines make me scratch my head too!
Do have one question.  The bike currently has a "cross over" meaning each petcock feeds both carbs.  Is this normal on a Guzzi?


It was getting late last night, and I got lazy so I did not pull the flywheel.


Is this toast?

 
Looks like a mess, but should pay off.


Offline smdl

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 08:37:11 AM »
Nice bike!

I didn't see it mentioned in a quick scan of this thread, so please be aware that these bikes originally used chrome-lined cylinders, and this chrome is known to fail, particularly on bikes that sit for a while.  When that happens, it bubbles and flakes off, sending chrome flakes throughout the engine (no oil filter).  The results are predictable and expensive.  So, before running it, make sure you confirm what cylinders you have and address it if they are chrome.

The fix for this condition is easy, and is not even that costly.  Best way to go, in my opinion, would be new Gilardoni pistons and cylinders.  These are usually readily available, made by on OEM, and come as a kit:

http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2127

Hopefully, having been restored, the bike will already have Gilardonis in place, and you will see the name cast into the bottom of the cylinders.  Iron liners are also common on older restorations, and can work fine.  If you can't tell from looking at the cylinders, pull a spark plug,  insert a pencil magnet, and touch the cylinder wall.  Zero attraction = chrome, some attraction = Nikasil, strong attraction = iron liners.

There are a few who will say that this isn't absolutely necessary,  and it is true that some get lucky with original cylinders.  However,  those with a lot of experience know that chrome will fail eventually, and when it does, costs and effort increase exponentially.  Why take a chance?

Enjoy your new daily rider!

Cheers,
Shaun



'74 Eldorado Police
'74 Eldorado Civilian
'75 850-T
'03 V11 Le Mans
'12 Stelvio NTX

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 08:41:05 AM »
Alternator.
Will have to look up what applications these are OEM for in case I ever need to replace it.

I found that the distributor cap was VERY loose.  The clips were in place, but the cap could still move a few degrees.  I bent the clips to give them a little more holding power.  That seemed to have fixed the issue.  Are there replacements, or better yet an improvement on the market?

The bike currently has a "cross over" meaning each petcock feeds both carbs.  Is this normal on a Guzzi?

Is this toast?



IIRC, the alternator was for a fork lift or tractor.

Just do as you've already done when necessary - bend the clips. Don't be tempted by the stainless steel ones sold on eBay - they're shiny, but do a worse job of holding the cap down tightly.

That doesn't look like an original fuel line cross, but Loops did come with one. Some folks eliminate it and use double-inlet banjos instead.

The ring gear looks pretty normal for it's age. Could be better, I've seen much worse.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:42:31 AM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'72 Ambassador "mongrel"
'76 Convert
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Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 08:43:50 AM »
Nice bike!

I didn't see it mentioned in a quick scan of this thread, so please be aware that these bikes originally used chrome-lined cylinders, and this chrome is known to fail, particularly on bikes that sit for a while.  When that happens, it bubbles and flakes off, sending chrome flakes throughout the engine (no oil filter).  The results are predictable and expensive.  So, before running it, make sure you confirm what cylinders you have and address it if they are chrome.

The fix for this condition is easy, and is not even that costly.  Best way to go, in my opinion, would be new Gilardoni pistons and cylinders.  These are usually readily available, made by on OEM, and come as a kit:

http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2127

Hopefully, having been restored, the bike will already have Gilardonis in place, and you will see the name cast into the bottom of the cylinders.  Iron liners are also common on older restorations, and can work fine.  If you can't tell from looking at the cylinders, pull a spark plug,  insert a pencil magnet, and touch the cylinder wall.  Zero attraction = chrome, some attraction = Nikasil, strong attraction = iron liners.

There are a few who will say that this isn't absolutely necessary,  and it is true that some get lucky with original cylinders.  However,  those with a lot of experience know that chrome will fail eventually, and when it does, costs and effort increase exponentially.  Why take a chance?

Enjoy your new daily rider!

Cheers,
Shaun

I have read about the cylinders.
Funny, but there are car guys that RUN away from Nikasil liners!......

In the notes I have I see an invoice for two MG300s from MG Cycles.
Also see this in the jugs.
I think the bike already has the "upgraded" cylinders.


Offline smdl

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 08:56:32 AM »
 :thumb:
'74 Eldorado Police
'74 Eldorado Civilian
'75 850-T
'03 V11 Le Mans
'12 Stelvio NTX

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 09:51:30 AM »
Shaping up to be a nice bike in the end.

Offline surffly

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2017, 02:13:16 PM »
Never really had a bike that I could ride for any read distance.

Online Tom H

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Re: 1970 Ambassador
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2017, 12:31:30 AM »
The alternator is from the Fields kit. Denso. I wanted a replacement/ spare. Very hard to find the Denso on fleabay and internet in general. There were a few aftermarket, not Denso, that work but not the way Fields meant it to work the idiot light seems to not work right but the bike charges. It is from a tractor and or forklift and or?????? I can give you the fleabay P/N if needed.

This setup is WAY better than the stock setup.

Also,  :thumb: what Charlie wrote!

If your front end is missing the springs. Make sure you get the correct length and use the fork tube puller tool or a home made version. Bought a set of springs that were supposed to be the correct ones. They were too long as it turned out. Had to use the tool as well as a jack to get the legs in place. Rode it, it was like riding a rock in the front. So make sure you get the correct springs.

Tom
2004 Cali EV Touring
1972 Eldo
1970 Ambo
1973 R75/5 SWB with Toaster
2007 HD Street Bob
1953 Triumph 6T (one day it will be on the road!)



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