Gregory Bender

Engine (and transmission) removal

Moto Guzzi V700, V7 Special, Ambassador, 850 GT, 850 GT California, Eldorado, and 850 California Police models



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There are several good ways to remove the engine and transmission from the bike. Personally, I've had very good luck with the following technique:

  1. Place the bike on the center stand. Wrap a strap or rope around the center stand and tie it to the front wheel in such a way that the bike cannot roll off the center stand. I also usually fit a 4 inch × 4 inch chunk of wood under each center stand leg. The extra height facilitates the removal of the rear wheel and makes everything a bit easier to work on.
  2. Remove rear wheel, rear drive, rear brake linkage, and swing arm.
  3. Remove tank, seat, side covers, generator, battery, and starter.
  4. Remove mufflers. The head pipes can stay in place but you'll want to loosen them up just a bit so you can pivot them out of your way to gain access to the rear transmission bolt and shift linkage.
  5. Remove air box and both carbs. You can either remove the carbs from the intakes OR remove the intakes from the head. Either way will work. I leave the cables connected and let them dangle out of the way.
  6. Unhook the clutch cable and remove the battery tray.
  7. Remove the wire going to the neutral switch and - possibly - a grounding wire connected to one of the transmission cover bolts.
  8. Loosen - but do not remove - the front engine mounting bolt.
  9. Support the rear of the engine with a jack just enough so that you can loosen and remove the rear transmission mounting bolt.
  10. Remove the foot pegs and shift linkage.
  11. Remove the nuts that secure the transmission to the engine (bell housing).
  12. Wrap a couple of rags around the front down tubes OR fit water pipe insulating foam around the down tubes OR fit plastic shower curtain rod covers over the down tubes OR...just find someway to protect the frame :>
  13. Jack up the jack under the rear of the engine as high as it will go.
  14. The engine and transmission will pivot upward in the frame. Do not allow the cylinder head fins to come into contact with the front down tubes (we are trying to leave the paint on the frame).
  15. Slide the transmission off the engine and withdraw it from the bike.

The complete clutch assembly is now fully exposed and work can be performed on everything inside the bell housing. If I want to go the extra step and remove the engine, I follow this same technique. Then, I do the following:

  1. Remove the wires for the oil pressure sending unit, generator, and ignition coil.
  2. Remove the generator; the generator bracket can be left in place.
  3. Block up the engine so that you can remove the front engine bolt; remove the front engine bolt.
  4. With a helper on one side (my wife) and me on the other, we both lift the engine (by the cylinder heads) so that the bottom clears.
  5. Then, my wife slowly lets go and the engine pivots toward me as I raise my cylinder head...clearing the top frame tube and the bottom frame rails.
  6. I take a step or two back and set the engine right on the ground.
  7. This last step - with my wife helping - takes less than 5 minutes of her time in the garage.

This process requires removing more pieces than some other techniques. But, the pieces are all easy to get off and the net benefit is more pieces that - for me - require less time and work. How long does it take me to remove an engine? Almost always less than 2 hours (my best time is 45 minutes - but that was in a frustrated, caffeine induced frenzy that I don't care to repeat). Assembly always takes longer. Probably 4 hours is a good estimate on assembly for me. Okay, there you have more technique to consider when you do the deed :>