This entry is extracted from a series of email exchanges between myself, Charlie Mullendore of Antietam Classic Cycle and Gordon Kline of MG Cycle. Both Charlie and Gordon were very supportive and helpful.
Hi Gordon and Charlie,
A week ago Monday I dropped the sump, adjusted the oil pressure relief valve, and cut off the return oil pipe just below the threads inside the sump.
I didn't get the chance to take it on a test ride until yesterday afternoon (after work). The oil pressure is now where I want it to be, so that adjustment was successful. Yippee!!! But, it still blows oil out the breather tube (I expected as much).
So, I am down to either re-inventing the breather OR pulling the cylinders and having a look at the rings, etc. I do not want to re-invent the breather and I do not think it is necessary to do so (at least I hope not). So, I guess I need to pull the cylinders.
A brief history to jog your memories:
I bought the Convert with nikisil cylinders already installed by the PO. He had broken one oil ring during install, so I had both cylinders sent out to Millennium for evaluation/plating. The left cylinder was fine, but the right cylinder needed to be replated. Done.
At the same time, I thought about how wonderful it would be to have the piston crowns and skirts coated with one of these new fangled coatings. So, I sent the pistons out to be coated When they got back, the skirt coating was so thick I could not get the pistons back into the cylinders. The company suggested that I simply sand the skirts to fit. That didn't seem right to me, so instead, I bought a pair of good used pistons installed them along with new rings from MG Cycle.
I don't know exactly what I need to be looking for when I pull everything apart. A broken ring will be easy to see. After that, I guess it comes down to checking end gaps, fit within the groove of the piston, and piston-to-cylinder fit.
If I find a broken ring, well, that would be easy to remedy. But, if anything else is wrong, I'm not sure what to do other than replace with new Gilardoni kits??? That is, the rings are nearly new, so I can't do better with end gap. If the pistons grooves are worn, I can't fix that either. Same with the piston-to-cylinder fit. Oh, I suppose I could source another set of used pistons, but then I'm running the same risk as now.
My bigger fear is finding nothing clearly wrong: no broken rings, end gaps, grooves, piston-to-cylinder fit all fine and dandy. What then?
Gordon's reply to Gregory (after a month of inactivitity):
What's the latest on the Convert? Have you had any time to futz with it?
Gregory's reply to Gordon:
I have not touched it in weeks. It sits there, catch can attached, mocking me. Honestly, I need to get some parts put together for my project Ambo before I take apart another motorcycle.
I cannot believe how busy I have been this year. Garage time has simply not happened - and the depresses me a bit. I really enjoy my time in the garage. Hopefully I'll round the corner soon and be able to spend a lot less time in my office.
Gordon's reply to Gregory:
Well, I know about being mocked by inanimate objects. It's one of the things they do well. One good thing is that the Convert will still be there when you get around to it. I've managed to do a few small things in the garage the last month, but nothing time consuming. Too me all month to mount two spot lights to my Eldo. It's been a long winter here this year. It's supposed to rain this weekend so hopefully we'll get enough to wash the roads. I'll bet you don't miss that.
Gregory's reply to Gordon:
I don't miss the snow or the rain or the cold. I do miss the smell of alfalfa fields being cut for bailing (and the lack of cool in the middle of summer). I get enough snow each year when we travel up to Colorado and Nebraska for Christmas. Then it is back home where I can complain about the least drop of rain that falls! :> :> :>