Cooking the clutch 1st – 7th March Blog 149

Cooking the clutch 1st – 7th March Blog 149

1 Very large well matured Moto Guzzi
1 Fast flowing soft bottomed river full of big rocks
1 patient wife  (Karen wrote this bit)
10000000000 sandflies
Lots of cash

Marinade said large Guzzi in said large river (bayleaf optional) until it really sinks, swear a lot.

Shout (swearing optional) at said patient wife who becoming less patient by the minute also joins in with shouting. (And this)

Both give blood to said sandflys whilst trying to extricate marinated Guzzi, swear lots more.

Thoroughly flambe clutch until you look down and see black smoke pouring out of timing inspection hole.Swear loads more.

Take Guzzi apart realize clutch is well and truly “done” spend lots of cash and swear a bit more just in case you missed any out the first time.

Thankfully when we explain our dilemma Murray and Alison they take pity on us and say it’s fine to stay and fix it there. Murray knows what’s involved as he has done it himself but we explain to Alison that it’s a big job and it will take a few days.
She is brilliant and looks after us while we work on the bike, we set to and by the end of the day the bike is apart and we can survey the damage. Alison doesn’t even raise an eyebrow when the frame is removed from the engine and the whole lot resembles a very dirty jigsaw puzzle. Just to add insult to injury we realise we have left the rope and strapping still tied to the concrete post in the river, cue more swearing.
As I suspected the clutch is well and truly cooked, it stinks and is black and burnt but the metal parts are all good so all that’s required is new plates.
I ring the ever helpful Pete at Moto Kiwi that night to order some new ones, he says there are two different types of splines one shallow and one deep. He only has the newer modified deep spline plates on the shelf but we are all fairly convinced this is what we need anyway so we go ahead and order them. I put new plates in it when I rebuilt it a couple of years ago but there was no mention then of any variation and it all fitted. We all retire for dinner and I spend the next day cleaning everything up as the parts will not be here until the day after. It gives me chance to do one or two other little jobs as well and I fill a day easily. Karen uses the day to catch up with some urgent clothes repairs, drying out the boots etc and computer work.
At 10 am next day the courier is here and I eagerly upwrap the new parts and offer them up only to find out that ours was the shallow spline version. Drat more phone calls to Pete, it will take some time to get the other clutch in or the other option is we replace the input boss on the gearbox with the modified deep groove one to get around the problem. It means yet more money but it’s the best solution we can come up with, our original boss is a bit worn anyway and the newer modified version is deeper to give it more mating area to reduce wear which is a good thing. Pete manages to get it ready before the courier departs so it will be here tomorrow, pretty impressive service considering it’s coming from Waiheke Island right at the top of the North Island.
He also sends all of the stuff out first and trusts us to pay the money into his account once it arrives what a top man !
We still find plenty to occupy ourselves but it’s a bit frustrating as it could be going back together again today. The reporter for the local newspaper pops in for an interview, they got in touch after we were in the New Zealand Herald on Sunday a while back and said when we were in town they would like to do an article about our trip. We explain the bike is in pieces and why, the reporter takes some pictures of us next to the pile of bits as well as using some images from our website. It’s a good interview, at the end he asks when we think it will be back together ?
“Should be done by tomorrow  I say”   
He can’t believe it, and says “it looks like it will never all go back together”
Next day as good as his word the input boss is here, it’s held on by a pegged nut which in theory requires a special socket but I manage to grind an old punch to fit which works really well. Alison ran me into town yesterday to get a 12mm x 1.5mm pitch bolt and a big washer to make a clutch centreing tool out of the input boss before it’s fitted, this makes putting the clutch and gearbox together so much easier allowing it all to line up first time. Once the gearbox, lower framerails and centrestand are back on it’s time to put the top half of the frame back on. Everyone one helps for this bit as there is a lot to line up and a bit of jiggling involved (the bike not us) but soon after she is back on her wheels with just a few bits to finish off.
We pack up our gear and say a huge thank you to Murray and Alison, we have a game plan for the next few weeks and a fixed bike to do it on thanks to them. We managed to do all the work with the tool kit on the bike (which pleased me) save grinding the punch but it made it so much easier being out of the weather and having somewhere to stay not to mention being fed and looked after with tea and sympathy by Alison. Marlborough Sounds and the West Coast awaits and we are rolling again Wooohoooo!!!

  1. #1 by Jane on April 19, 2011 - 10:17 am

    Looking at these pics I can see why the journalist didn’t think it would go back together! Very amusing blog although not for you, glad it all worked out and you are back on the road. Are you still in NZ or have you moved on? Weather is beautiful here in the UK, sunny and in the 20′s, we now have two long bank holiday weekends in a row and it’s supposed to stay nice – that can’t happen. Stay safe. Love Jane x

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