Author Topic: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild  (Read 5210 times)

Offline Motorad64

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78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« on: August 22, 2019, 01:14:17 PM »
New guy here with my first Guzzi.   Been looking for years and finally got the chance to buy a Le Mans last October.   Not a comprehensive resto posting, but thought I'd share some pics of the process.







Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 05:13:03 PM »
So...it was supposed to be a complete, runner...ready to ride, while my buddy had picked up a true basket case 750GT.   I'd planned to change tires, fluids and give it a thorough cleanup, then decide what it needed.  With a fresh battery it fired right up and idled pretty well.   All the electricals seemed to work, as well.  But there were a few mystery items that made me decide to just do the whole thing and get it over with

It hadn't been titled since '91, but looked like it had seen some track days.  All the brake hardware was drilled and safety wired.  The center stand side pegs were cut short, the oil pan drain bolt welded up and there was the suspect freshly painted/replaced swingarm and rear end whose patina didn't really match the engine/trans.  Actually looked brand new inside and out.  So...some research and calls pointed me to Charlie -- who I'm completely lucky to live 40 minutes from.   He agreed to squeeze in my motor, trans and rear end in among his steady stream of customer projects and has been a huge help along the way.  I ask a lot of dumb questions. 








Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 05:20:59 PM »
The front and rear wheels also didnt have the same age/patina, as well.  Only other odd item was a poorly welded on steering stop.  As if it'd seen a tank slapper and someone welded on what almost looked like an old square nail chunk as a quick fix.  Charlie had a guy grind it off and weld on a proper stop on my way to the powder coater.  Thought I had a before and after pic, but cant find it . 



Got everything disassembled to get the motor/trans off to Antietam and the frame and parts to the powder coater Charlie uses.

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 05:31:45 PM »







Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 05:31:45 PM »

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 05:48:36 PM »
So Charlie already posted some engine pics and findings.  B10 Grind cam already in there, bores ok, lightened flywheel.  The odometer reads 4643, if original which is quite possible.  Apparently the bores were in good shape so they got a rehone and fresh rings while he replaced all other bearings, seals etc and had his machine shop weld a broken fin and do a little flow work on the ports to go with the new valves/springs. 





There was hefty bill at MG Cycle, SteinDinse and HMB, and Greg Bender for all the usual bearings, rubber parts, wiring, suspension parts, etc.   I had an incident where DHL lost a nice new Bilstein through a damaged box.  Michael at HMB was great and sent a replacement, but it came with different spring than the one that made it the first time.  To be safe he sent me one of each option -- so now I'll have to see which rides best with my 165lbs.  I've had great service, actually from all the M-G vendors. 








Went a little nuts and replaced the truly rusty old iron rotors with the HMB floating stainless option.  Like jewelry for old men.  My kids don't understand at all....

Online Rick4003

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 02:16:08 AM »
Looking good!

Glad to hear that you got some good service from HMB. A few of us have seen some dubious cases from them. Maybe Michael have changed his policy on these things.

Would love to hear your opinions on the new jewelry :grin:

-Ulrik
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (850 sport) - 1985
Moto Guzzi Ambassador - 1967
Yamaha FZR 600 - 1996 - SOLD

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 06:54:51 AM »
After seeing a couple bikes underway at Charlies shop, I decided to use his powder coater.  I think the "Jet black" they use was pretty good for getting that satin Guzzi finish while still showing details like the digits on the headstock.   He warned me that they're not always the best at protecting all the threads and sure enough, I had to chase every single hole out with taps. 



 

The frame had the usual nicks, scratches and surface rust everywhere.  Some likely battery damage at the trans plate area, as well.  Everything came out pretty good.






Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 06:59:25 AM »
Forgot to post the frame. 



The wheels were both in pretty good shape, but needed cleaning up.  I didn't want to powder since I still had crisp M-G eagle stamps in the rims.  A buddy recommended Sean at MotoRelic, who'd done some custom builds for him to get it taken care of. 



The media blasting would have wiped that right out.  Sean mounted my new tires, as well. 

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 07:05:25 AM »
Post Paint wheels and fresh tires.  Wheels may even be a little too-good compared to M-G paint standards.





Proof mark made it!  Good lord these wheels are heavy for 'light-alloy'





Little brake porn for you folks...



Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 07:14:09 AM »
Thanks, Rick.  Yeah...can only speak to my own experiences with Michael and he's been all good.  Took care of the lost shock by sending a new replacement without any fuss.  We then had the issue that shock #2 showed up with a clearly different spring.




But then Michael let me know he'd just send one of each.  Good deal.  Now I'll have to decide which to run.  The 14-coil one is a bit stiffer and touch longer in free length.  Of course I thought I'd go with the 17 coil, softer one since I'm no heavyweight.  But...the first time I rolled the unfinished chassis off the stand onto the wheels it sure felt like it squatted more than expected.  But..will try it on the road.  Easy enough to swap springs.



roll 100 dice



Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 07:23:54 AM »
While at Sean's shop I noticed he had a sweet vapor blast cabinet.   Had him clean up my carbs having struggled with old BMW carbs in carb dip, elbow grease, etc.   Some before and after pics...









role a dice


BTW...Sean has another customer having him work on a couple Laverdas.   Sean was in middle of welding up a custom reproduction of a factory race exhaust.  His customer has the original but is going to vintage race the bike.  Something about the original factory race pipe being worth as much as the bike, so he wanted one he wouldnt feel so bad about damaging at the track.  Sean does pretty nice work...that little crossover was driving him crazy.



kazi nazrul islam poem



Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 07:40:55 AM »
Rebuilt the original forks with the usual FAC dampers and Wirth Progressives.  I liked what Canuck did, turning down the tops to look more stock, but...maybe down the road.




Big difference in the fork seals...new from MG vs what was in it. 







Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 08:25:39 AM »
  :thumb: :popcorn:
Charlie
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Offline Dave Swanson

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2019, 09:39:11 AM »
 I prefer paint myself, but that powdercoat looks great!
Dave Swanson Northern IL
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Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2019, 10:17:48 AM »
Dave--I'm with you.  Prefer paint, myself.  In this case I'd seen a couple frames at Charlies and knew the folks had already done many Guzzi's which gave me a little more confidence. 

Here's my latest issue -- a cracked instrument binnacle housing.  Right at the thinnest section where the big wad of cables all go through.  No replacements available that I can find.   Anyone repaired this?  I'm going to try this  superglue someone used in a Brit bike mag.   The plastic has kind of gotten some "memory" of being more sprung apart than tight.  Kinda fights being pressed back together. 






It's in

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2019, 10:29:07 AM »
A ton of finger-numbing cleaning and polishing of all manner of fasteners as well as a SS fastener kit that I've used parts of here and there.   Will have the original frame bolts black chromed later as I get it all back together.  Though was interesting that the originals (I think) were fine threaded vs more coarse threads of the replacements.   






Not that much actual corrosion vs plain old crud, so...axles, brake bolts, etc have all cleaned up pretty well. 
New bearings all around.  All went without a hitch with.  Trying the green poly urea grease... 






Online Rick4003

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2019, 10:35:00 AM »
 :thumb: :popcorn:

Looking good! It will be a great looking bike when completed!
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (850 sport) - 1985
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Yamaha FZR 600 - 1996 - SOLD

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2019, 10:36:57 AM »
Got a little momentum and got engine trans together.   Used new center stand plates, but cleaned up the old engine mount bolts.   May replace later, though they cleaned up well.






bmw 125d 0 60


Of course things were going too well, so I had to ding something...




Some gentle tapping with a punch from the inside restored it to pretty-much-round-again.  Test threaded the speedo fitting and it seemed to work. 

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2019, 10:49:30 AM »
Forks went on though I forgot the little rings to hold the intruments and had to take the top yoke off again.  I taped the heck out of it to avoid scratching the fresh powder coat. 



Swingarm was pretty straightforward though i was concerned the boot was too small.  Email to MG and review of their catalog made me think it mustve had a bigger boot from a Loop frame on it from the PO.




The Bilsteins have a narrower shock-eye than the originals so a quick trip to Grainger for some 14-25MM 3mm thick stainless washers to make sure the silent blocks are supported.



Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2019, 10:59:39 AM »
I sanded and painted the ring for the rear wheel drive plate and went ahead and drilled the cush rubbers--which though new are pretty rock hard.  Cleaned and greased the sleeve and got the wheel all assembled. New bearings, as well. 









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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2019, 01:29:48 PM »
Looking really great!

You are very fortunate to have Charlie working on the drive line!

 :thumb:

Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2019, 08:04:58 PM »
Thanks again, Rick!  And Canuck...I'm truly glad to have Charlie in the area.  Not only for his expertise, but he's a truly nice guy.  The whole M-G community has been great.

The PO had just rebuilt the calipers with new aluminum pistons/seals...which is nice.  So I cleaned up the hardware and installed new EBC pads.   Measured for brake lines on order.   






Progress to date.  Not a huge fan of the look of the cylinder guards, but the bike came with a couple broken fins on the right that we had welded up. 



Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2019, 08:59:46 PM »
De linking the brakes.  Partly cause it's all I've really ridden.   Saving all the HW to convert back--if so desired.   In doing so  I went with the M-G 15mm front MC with the round resevoir, for the right look.  Had to buy a new lever anyway.  Orginal has mild rash to go with the right cyl head fin damage and valve cover. 




upload


The M-G front MC was nice that it bolts right up, but the HMB Rear 12mm MC is too nice to hide with the side panel.  Gorgeous machined block of aluminum.  Anodized deep black, wheras the M-G source front is painted and already chipping a bit.  Will take a pic of it in-situ once my brake and shifter levers come back from the chromer.

Online Rick4003

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2019, 12:52:40 AM »
It looks really good all of it! And you moving along at a blinding pace!

I really like the look of those conti tires, let us know how they perform! :thumb:
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Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2019, 09:54:59 AM »
Thanks again, Rick.   I grew up on dirt and sportbikes--had an '89 FZR600 myself!  Great bike.   I've been chipping away at assembling things as they've come back over the last 3 mos.  Just got around to loading the pics. 

It's waiting on shift/brake levers and for me to get motivated for the wiring loom.  Greg Benders new harness is super clean.  The amount of wiring on this thing surprised me.  The controls at the bars went back together more easily than expected.   Hoping I took enough pics to replace everything properly.   It seems pretty unmolested.  The Avons on it were datecoded for 197


name of al2o3 compound
7 and brand new...though now rock hard.  Intersting smell when they came off the rims, too...

Offline bodine99

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2019, 11:57:42 AM »
WOW what a great job!!! It will be better than new. Nice airhead also.
Don't know where you live but Sept. 13-15 in a Guzzi get together at Two Wheels Of Suches Georgia. Those roads just the fun factor for the Le Mans.  :bow:
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Offline Pescatore

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2019, 12:00:25 PM »
Got a little momentum and got engine trans together.   Used new center stand plates, but cleaned up the old engine mount bolts.   May replace later, though they cleaned up well.





Wow, I wish I had the guts to take my bike down to the frame.  I can't believe how clean the engine and the carbs came out.
What's involved in making the engine look so good?  Did you find the same paint color?
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Offline Motorad64

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2019, 06:42:41 PM »
Charlie handled the engine/trans...not sure what media he used.  Was thinking glass beads, but maybe he'll chime in.  Was glad he didn't find any major problems.  But...if the mileage was accurate, it shouldn't have been too bad.  Was truly crossing my fingers as the guy we bought the bikes from buys a lot of NOS, wrecked bikes,  old dealer stock, etc.  Was worried he'd could have assembled something.  But numbers are good and Charlie's motor forensics match the sellers story. 

Vapor blast for the carbs.   Stripping it's not that hard.  Just take a LOT of pics.   It's got more wiring going on than I expected. But...it's manageable.  So far its been pretty straightforward.  Worst things have been the cracked instrument housing, steering stop and....





...a turnsignal that crumbled like a fortune cookie when I tried to remove it.  Luckily, CEV replacements availabe. Albeit without the US side reflectors.   

When I picked it up in October I figured I'd be riding it by Spring.  Once I decided to have the engine/trans redone for safety...it created a cascade.  If I had the engine out...I might as well do the frame--whose paint was pretty rough.  And...with the raggedy wiriing under the rear fender, maybe a new wiring harness.

The paint is all pretty good.  Looks like a decent repaint--to eye-talian standards.   I did have the tank Red-koted by a BMW buddy since the virgin steel still looked good inside. 

Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2019, 08:17:29 PM »
Charlie handled the engine/trans...not sure what media he used.  Was thinking glass beads, but maybe he'll chime in. 

Yes, HVLP (high-volume, low pressure) glass beading. Only 15 psi pressure. Meticulous masking and plugging, cleaned twice afterwards.
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
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Offline Pescatore

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Re: 78 850 Le Mans Rebuild
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2019, 11:19:52 AM »
Thank you both for the response.
I have my V65 engine out and contemplating repainting it.
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