When Leroy Turner got the 1967 TR6C back to his shop in El Paso, he wasted little time in getting to work. He had set a deadline of early April to get the bike completed and deliver it to our collection. As a result, the 1967 Bonneville he is restoring for the 2015 Las Vegas auction as well as several other machines would have to wait while he focused on our TR6C.
Leroy was most curious about the engine and the quality of its restoration. Certainly from the outside it looked exceptionally nice, but as Leroy takes great pride in his work, any machine that he takes credit for restoring must meet his high standards which I’ve learned are generally much higher than any else’s. The engine and gearbox needed to be completely disassembled, if only to confirm it was restored as it should be. (Note … This is one of the things we really like about both Leroy and Dave Wedlake, our other restorer in Portland, Oregon… every restoration must be correct, complete and finished just as the factory turned it out. There is no room for compromise even in the areas that no one will ever see.)
A few days after Leroy got into the engine, he called me with his preliminary findings. The engine had some issues. The cylinder was standard bore but the pistons were used, and had been glass beaded. This may have been okay for someone who was going to run this bike as a rider, but as a full restoration this needed to be changed. Leroy would have the jug bored and obtain new pistons.
There was a lifter installed backwards and they are all worn. The head has new Black Diamond valves and new guides so Leroy thinks that will be okay.
The lower end looked like it hadn’t been touched in a long time. Leroy found the left hand crank bearing had been replaced with a ball bearing rather than the correct roller bearing that will allow the crank to “float”. This is a recipe for disaster down the road. (Ball bearing are much less expensive than roller bearings, usually half the price so maybe that was why someone put the wrong one in. In any case, the correct roller bearing was sourced for $76.)
Leroy replaced the rod bearing with Vanderbilts. Here is a picture of the rods with new wrist pin bushing, and new Vanderville rod bearings. As can be seen, Leroy applied a bit of polish on the rods.
He pulled the sludge tube and cleaned it, then ordered a new sludge tube because the original had been damaged when it was pulled.
The stator was in bad shape and was probably the original that had come with the bike. It would need to be replaced as the wires are shot.
Although the bike had new clutch plates, the rest of the clutch was in terrible condition. The clutch hub was not rebuildable but Leroy fortunately has several nice rebuilt assemblies on hand so one of these will go in the TR6C. The reason the clutch hub was too poor to use can be seen in the pictures below …
The clutch hub spider was worn beyond acceptable standards. It is about .840 as shown in this picture and should be closer to .850.
This is the rear of the clutch hub. The pointer shows one of the three areas where it is worn. This wear and the wear on the spider may cause the hub to wobble and also causes the chain wheel to have excessive wobble. Eventually, the tangs on the clutch plates will wear as well as the chain wheel slots.
(Also a worn out clutch hub thrust washer can cause the same issues.)
This is a testament to always putting a motorcycle into neutral while stopped. If the bike is left in gear while stopped with the clutch lever pulled in (disengaged), this is the type of wear that will result.
The fuel tank had a great paint job performed by Ed Carlson of Tucson, who has done the paintwork on many of our bikes but it had some issues that needed to be corrected. Both the World Record Holder decal and the pin stripping had been clear coated over. To us, this is unacceptable as it isn’t the way they came from the factory. Also, the badges that came with the tank were aftermarket and a slightly different size than the originals that we were installing. As a result the paint lines didn’t match up well with the correct badges.
Our painter can’t use the lacquer paint that the factory originally applied due to EPA regulations, but the polyurethane base coat clear coat paint he uses today is a reasonable approach as long as the undercoat is correct and the color is sprayed to the correct number of coats. (Note … we discussed the paint issue in an earlier posting regarding the tanks on our 1965 T120s. There we found that four coats of paint was the correct amount to get the look of an original 1965 T120 painted tank.) But putting the pin stripping and decals under the clear coat is not a factory paint job.
Although it would be costly, we decided to have the tank repainted by Ed and have new decals and pin stripping applied above the clear coat and have the paint lines matched with our original badges.
The same approach would be taken with the oil tank and side cover. Although the black paint looked terrific (done by Ed Carlson), their decals were wrong and were under the clear coat anyway. The oil tank and side cover would be repainted with the correct decals in their proper position, applied above the clear coat.
Parts order …
For the $5000 we paid for the bike, we assumed we would be getting the new set of exhausts and silencers that were reportedly ordered for the bike. When Leroy picked up the bike, however, that didn’t turn out to be the case. So Leroy had to source a new set. Fortunately our parts supplier had exactly the same exhausts that Leroy had used on his beautiful ’68 TR6C restoration a few years ago.
Leroy donated a set of excellent original silencers from his parts stash. They were sent out to be rechromed.
Next posting … Leroy Turner starts the restoration of a 1967 TR6C for our collection …. Part 3 of a multi-part blog … The front end, rear end, seat, gauge and ETs ….