Author Topic: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life  (Read 3997 times)

Online JC85

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Hey, all. I posted in the introductions thread, earlier, and said that I would give more details and pictures of my Guzzi, here. For those of you who missed that post, it's a '74 Eldorado Police Model. My father bought it in '76, and rode it for about 30 years. It then went into storage for 10 years or so, before he finally gave it to me. It has a custom front fender, made by an old friend of his, 16" wheels imported from Italy, and the mufflers have had the baffles modified and downward pointing tips welded on, but other than that, it's mostly stock. Even still has the original paint and decals, although they're not typical.

Back in the day, he had it fully dressed with fairing, hardbags, tour pack, and some extra customizations, as you'll see in the pics, below (first pic.) Then, around 98, he was riding solo to Sturgis and got into the infamous high speed wobble, which he couldn't get out of. He wound up laying it down in the median, but the bike popped up, going into an airborne barrel roll. Miraculously, he came through with barely a scratch, after kicking off, mid air, and the bike came through decently, with all of the fiberglass absorbing the damage. The only damage to he bike, itself, are two dimples on either side of the tank, where the fairing impacted it. After that, he sent it to a buddy in Missouri for an engine and transmission rebuild. Over the next few years, he only rode it a handful of times, before it went into storage.

When I got it, it had a huge, custom, King/Queen double seat on it, a 20 year old National Cycle 3 piece windshield, even older bags, the front break caliper was locked up, and it needed new tires, battery, and fluids (second pic.) However, after replacing the fluids, battery, and tires, she fired up on the first try and purred right along. Rebuilt the front break caliper, and she was on the road! I rode it like that for a couple of seasons, as I got to know the bike, then decided to give her some new life with some fresh dressings. So last weekend, I installed a Cycle Garden solo seat, a Harper's rear rack, a new set of River Road bags (great bags on a budget,) and replaced the windshield top piece and the grips (Third pic.)

So that's my Guzzi adventure, so far. I look forward to posting more updates!

P.S. Given that his bike was pretty unique and memorable back when he had it fully dressed, and we hit a lot of Guzzi rallies, if anyone recognizes it, I'd love to know!









« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 02:15:01 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Offline s1120

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:41:10 AM »
Nice bike and awesome history! 
Paul B

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 09:18:57 AM »
Very sharp looking bike, I like the custom front fender and what a great history as well. Its great you have given the Guzzi a fresh life, enjoy it! :thumb:

Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 11:18:40 AM »
Thanks, guys. It's been really great bringing the old girl back to glory. Especially since I grew up traveling all over the country with it (and in the sidecar of my mom's 80s MG 1000 5-speed,) and had been begging him to never sell it since I was 10 years old, so that I could have it, one day.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 11:09:55 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 11:18:40 AM »

Offline T4halo

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 05:28:43 PM »
Great story and awesome bike.

Congrats!!
7th & 10th SF retired

Offline Texas Turnip

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 05:32:37 PM »
Some of you might have seen my Cal 11 that was decked out the same way only mine has the DB bags and a king Queen seat. It made man fast trips to Golden Valley, MN. Then it started getting cold up there so I met a gal in Los Cruces NM. I'd leave here at midnight and be there in time for lunch.  Parked it with 147K showing. I got rid of 20 or so Guzzis and kept that one.

Tex

Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 04:22:13 PM »
Got the new brake caliper on, today. It seems a bit soft, even after extensive bleeding, but I'm going to try a couple of ideas I got in general discussion to see if they tighten up more. The lever doesn't bottom out, but it's about half as tight as I'm used to it being with the old caliper. As you can see, getting enough clearance to turn the wrench on the bleeder and making sure fluid didn't spray anywhere took a bit of creative engineering, but I got it done. It was sunny and 60, today, so I also managed to get about 3 hours of riding in. First good ride of the season.








'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Offline randy yocum

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2019, 06:23:03 AM »
Great story,nice job on your dads bike,Frank Wedge the director of the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club MGNOC ,(I'm sure your dad belonged to it in the day). Frank would love to put your story in his news letter. If your interested here's the contact info,

Frank D. Wedge
P.O. Box 3
Larned, Kansas 67550-0003
ph. (620) 285-5798 (Call before 9:30 P.M. CENTRAL time!)
MGNOCHQ@GBTA.NET
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Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2019, 01:28:56 PM »
Great story,nice job on your dads bike,Frank Wedge the director of the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club MGNOC ,(I'm sure your dad belonged to it in the day). Frank would love to put your story in his news letter. If your interested here's the contact info,

Frank D. Wedge
P.O. Box 3
Larned, Kansas 67550-0003
ph. (620) 285-5798 (Call before 9:30 P.M. CENTRAL time!)
MGNOCHQ@GBTA.NET

I'll get ahold of him. My dad was a member, and we used to attend the kansas rally, every year. I contacted him back when I first got the bike, and he remembered my dad. Still had the address of his old bike shop in New Strawn. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 11:11:14 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Offline randy yocum

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 09:39:21 PM »
Cool,glad it worked out :thumb:
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Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 06:48:30 PM »
Well, I installed the new Gilardoni Nykosil cylinders, last weekend. The install went fairly smoothly, and I was able to get it all done on the frame. With some help from my dad, of course.
 



For prep, I pulled the tank, side covers, exhaust, and front engine cover.



Plugs and valve covers pulled, and about to get into the meat of the project. 



Pulled the rocker arms, pushrods, and girdles, and removed the heads. Found that I had been getting some blowby, due to a head gasket that had gone bad.


 


Pulled the old cylinders and pistons, next. On the advice of my dad, I stuffed a rag down into the case on each side, just in case I dropped a circlip.



After examination, the chrome had definitely started to wear thin on both cylinders. The good news, though, is that there was only a tiny amount of actual flaking in one cylinder.



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New pistons and cylinders installed. I found it extremely easy to work the cylinders over the rings after installing the pistons and wristpins. No issues at all. I know some say they find it easier to do it the other way around, but I can't imagine it being so.


 


Thoroughly cleaned the heads and valves, before reinstalling. Then reinstalled the girdles, pushrods, and rocker arms, torqued the heads, and reset the valves.



After that, it was just throwing the valve covers back on, reassembling the other components that I had taken off for prep, and putting in some fresh oil. While I was at all of this, I went ahead and replaced the intake gaskets, oil line washers, and exhaust washers. Took her out for an hour or so, after reassembly, and she runs great! Thanks to everyone who gave me tips and advice on this job. This forum really is a great resource.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 07:11:44 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Online Chuck in Indiana

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 07:51:15 PM »
Attaboy.. :thumb:  :smiley:
Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

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I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me..

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2019, 08:38:04 PM »
 :thumb: :thumb:

You'll need to retorque the heads and adjust the valves several times over the next 500 miles.
Charlie

Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 08:44:06 PM »
:thumb: :thumb:

You'll need to retorque the heads and adjust the valves several times over the next 500 miles.

I was aware that they would need retorqued, and my dad recommended that I ask how often. Thanks for the info.
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Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2019, 08:56:14 AM »
I was aware that they would need retorqued, and my dad recommended that I ask how often. Thanks for the info.

My normal retorquing schedule:
- assemble engine except for rockers, torque head nuts to spec.
- let sit overnight, retorque, finish assembly.
- start engine and run for 15-20 mins., let cool back to ambient temp., retorque.
- 5 complete heat/cool cycles (up to operating temp., back to ambient), retorque.
- 500 miles, retorque.
- 1000 miles, retorque.

I use the higher figure of the recommended spec. - 32 ft.lbs.
Charlie

Online Dave Swanson

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2019, 04:14:05 PM »
Good job!  And glad you got new pistons and cylinders!  74 Eldo - the zenith of Loops!

Dave Swanson - Northern IL
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Online Don G

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2019, 04:50:56 PM »
And it even still has the Amal carbs on it! :thumb: DonG

Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2019, 07:12:48 PM »
And it even still has the Amal carbs on it! :thumb: DonG

Close, but no cigar. They are the original carbs, but this one had the Dellortos on it. I'm glad for that, as from what I understand, they were far superior to the Amals.
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Online Dave Swanson

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2019, 08:29:48 AM »
Close, but no cigar.

I believe Don was referring to my Eldo which still has the factory Amal carbs.  They work great.  So good that I can't envision the Dellortos being better.  As good, I am sure, but better, no. 

And sorry for the thread hijack. 


Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
1968 V700
1973 V7 Sport
1974 Eldo
1977 Vert
1977 Lemans 1.2
1980 T3 California
1993 1000S - Sparklehorse
2004 V11S - Eraldo-ized
2015 Norge GT8V - Beetle-ized
2016 Griso SE - Beetle-ized
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Offline SED

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2019, 11:07:09 AM »
Cool story and pictures.  I got spongy brakes after doing the hydraulics on mine and it was air in the master cylinder.  Reverse bleeding, pushing fluid up from the caliper and bleeding at the master cylinder helped.  Also squeezing and releasing the brake lever helped - air was bubbling up through the reservoir. 
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Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2019, 10:23:10 PM »
I believe Don was referring to my Eldo which still has the factory Amal carbs.  They work great.  So good that I can't envision the Dellortos being better.  As good, I am sure, but better, no. 

And sorry for the thread hijack. 


Ahhhhhh, gotcha. No worries at all! Love seeing other folks who still have these old beauties running! I have no personal experience with the Amals, but was just passing on an anecdote that I had heard. Glad you've had a good experience with them.

Is that a Cycle Garden seat combined with a Harper's rear rack I see in the first picture? I thought I was the only one. You, sir, have excellent taste.  :laugh:
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 10:26:33 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Online Dave Swanson

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2019, 08:27:02 AM »

Is that a Cycle Garden seat combined with a Harper's rear rack I see in the first picture?

Yes it is.  A nice setup, but I also like the look of the 2 up seat. 

Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
1968 V700
1973 V7 Sport
1974 Eldo
1977 Vert
1977 Lemans 1.2
1980 T3 California
1993 1000S - Sparklehorse
2004 V11S - Eraldo-ized
2015 Norge GT8V - Beetle-ized
2016 Griso SE - Beetle-ized
2021 V7-850 Stone Centenario

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Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2019, 09:37:17 PM »
Yes it is.  A nice setup, but I also like the look of the 2 up seat. 



The two up seat isn't bad looking, but I prefer the solo police look, especially since mine is a police model, so it feels more "true," if you get what I mean. Of course, the Harper's rear rack isnt anything like the original police radio rack. I went with it, because it fits the lines of the frame well, and I like being able to add a passenger without removing anything. Just slap the passenger pad onto the rack, tighten a few nuts, and go.



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« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 09:38:12 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin

Online JC85

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Re: '74 Eldorado Police Model - Giving a family heirloom new life
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2020, 12:11:09 PM »
Well, since I broke my toe and am off of work for a couple of days, I thought that I'd finally get around to updating this. Last winter, I completed several projects on the Eldo, mostly electrical and touring related. The first thing that I knew I wanted was a set of side cases. I had a list of features that I wanted: hard mounts and frame, LOTS of storage capacity, locking, weatherproof, and to fit the look of bike well. I couldn't mount DBs with my towbar, and I couldn't find any Califia fats, so I ended up going with the Trianon bags from Vikingbags.com.



 
They're thick ABS and aluminum construction, leather wrapped, they look great on it, and the quality of construction is outstanding. The price point was excellent, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. The only trouble that I had was figuring out a good way to mount them, which was pretty predictable with a loop frame. I ended up using a set of the old Calafia mounting plates that I found from Mark at Moto Guzzi Classics. Since I'm not using the bag guard and bumper system, I made up a simple connector bracket to tie them together at the back and keep everything tight and stable.










If you're one who thinks that DBs give Eldos a fat butt, check this out, haha.

As you can see from those photos, I also got a set of rear crash bars back on it. I found them through the guys at Cycle Garden. They're used, with some scuffing on the righthand one, but Moe let me have them for a good price. Once I got them on, though, my passenger floorboards wouldn't mount, so I fabricated extended arms for them.




The position is comfortable for the passenger, but I found a problem on the first two-up trip that I took with them: they're positioned so far forward that I can't walk the bike at all with them down. I almost dropped it, once, because of this. My solution is going to be ditching the floorboards in favor of pegs, which will also allow me to cut the extenders back by a few inches. That should give me another 5 inches or so of clearance.

Next was the lighting. The tail light and all of the the turn signals were getting pretty ratty, so I replaced them all.







I went with a stock reproduction CEV from mgcycle for the tail light, and aftermarket for the turn signals. They were fairly cheap, but good metal construction. While I was at it, I converted all of that stuff over to LED. I just used the plug and play bulbs and added an LED flasher for the signals, and man are they BRIGHT!

The next electrical project was the hand switches. The CEV headlight and horn switch had gone out, years ago, and had a three way toggle and button scabbed onto the top of it, and the Aprilia turn signal switch was starting to go out, not always making contact.










I was lucky enough to find both of them new old stock, still in the box with the full wiring harnesses! The CEV came from Guzzi Paul in Michigan, and the Aprilia from Harper's. They both gave me super reasonable prices, so thanks to both of those guys! As a side note, I also replaced the air horns, as the compressor on the old one was producing only death gasps. Yes, I run air horns on it. If I have a complaint on the road, it will be heard. I guarantee it.  :laugh:

While I was doing all of that electrical stuff in the front end, I also pulled the dash and sent it to Buzz at Seattle Speedometer to replace the bezel gasket. It was going bad, letting moisture build up underneath the lense and you could see it shrinking inside the speedo. Buzz doesn't normally work on motorcycle speedos, anymore, but when I told him it was an Eldo police dash, he agreed to take it. He fixed the gasket and cleaned it up nicely for me.





The last project was another touring related one: putting a backrest on for my passenger. I had an old Harley backrest laying around, so being a fabricator by trade, I made up a simple mounting bracket for it.










Nothing fancy; just some flat bar, square tubing, and spray paint, but it's solid and comfortable for the passenger.








So that's everything from last winter's budget, aside from getting my cargo trailer (which the old girl pulls like it isn't even there, btw,) and a few gear related items. I've already decided that number one on the list for this winter is rebuilding the front forks, and then we'll see what else.







« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 05:01:59 PM by JC85 »
'74 Eldo Police Model
'07 CalVin


Harper's Moto Guzzi
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
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Harper's Moto Guzzi
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
Advertise Here