Happy New Year! We made it to 2022 hey? This is going to be the year my Jota finally makes it to the road…(that’s another new resolution wasted)!
Started the year by going back over the oil cooler which you can see is now in the process of being painted black. I’ve moved it into the kitchen as the cold temperature is messing with the finish. Anyways I thought it was all going to be plain sailing from here but I have found another issue.
I’m lucky to know a lot of folk who have years of Laverda experience and the same source that put me onto the Citroen oil cooler also warned me to check the bore of the engine union connector. Sure enough the bore is smaller. There’s a step in the bore so that one end is okay but you can see the end in the picture is significantly smaller. I’m advised that if this is too small then it may induce top end wear. Still I’ve recently met a man with a lathe so I’m not anticipating any problems getting it bored to the right size. It’s a cautionary tale though in that as soon as you step away from standard you must keep an eye on the details.
The last piece in the oil cooler jigsaw was the mounting bolt. It’s an unusual M7 item and I hunted around to get the best price. The problem is that while the bolt can be had from a motor factor for about £5 taxes and postage double this. I finally woke up to how ridiculous I was being wasting time over five quid when I spent so much on a motorcycle that hasn’t turned a wheel in maybe 20 years! I ended up getting a very nice stainless item from Motalia. It wasn’t cheap but now I have it I’m very pleased.
I’ve moved onto the brakes and hydraulics in my critical path analysis workflow. The front brake moves okay but the clutch was ‘stuck’. I remembered that you just have to put a pin into the end of the master cylinder and give it a tap and ‘hey presto’ it was apart. Aside from the nasty grease on the piston I could also see that the last time I’d overhauled this I hadn’t got the retaining ring in properly and this was in contact with the piston as it moved. It wasn’t a big deal but I think the inactivity meant this was what caused it to seize up. Thinking about it if I’d hit it with a hammer it would probably have unseized but hitting things with hammers is not what I do these days 😉
Having got the master cylinder apart I didn’t want to make the same mistake with the retaining ring on reassembly. I did a bit of fishing on the internet and the LeClair Laverda Forum came up with a very helpful post http://laverdaforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11278/Repair_Guide_Clutch_and_Brake_Master.pdf Now in this article the author suggests you find piece of tube that’ll go down the side of the piston so that when you tap (not hammer) the piston is slides down and locates the retaining ring. Where am I going to get a bit of tube of the correct size?
I was pleased with myself for not jumping in and for making a few calls. A very experienced owner passed on the tip to use a RGS gudgeon pin for the task – works a treat (even if you use a gudgeon pin that shows signs of seizure). The other advice was to press everything down so that the retaining ring was just up against its locating groove and then tap the top of the piston. I achieved this by pressing the gudgeon pin down on the piston with a lump hammer and then gently tapped the top of the lump hammer to snap it home.
I thought I might be on a roll and now be ready to plumb in the hydraulic clutch but first I’ve got to get some new ‘Goodridge’ copper washers. In the meantime I listened to the advice of the RGS gudgeon pin guy who said to remove the spring that can sit behind the slave cylinder piston. He recalled this was only put in following comments by roadtesters who claimed the clutch went ‘limp’. A friend with a Series 2 Jota also reported he didn’t have one and had never had a problem. What you can see from the case tho’ is that a locating plug is cast in the bottom of the slave cylinder.
The arguments not to put the spring in are that it’s solving a problem that doesn’t exist and that it can lead to a problem whereby the ball bearing in the back of the slave cylinder piston can be pressed against clutch pushrod and eventually get flattened. You can see this on my slave cylinder piston. Whatever the truth I’m going to leave my spring out and see how it goes…
I moved on from the clutch to the brakes. The brake caliphers for this bike should have twin nipples and this is the case for the front. They need cleaning and possibly new seals but are okay. I had to ‘tap’ the rear master cylinder and clean it for it to operate. I have a seal kit but I’m going to try it first to see if it needs rebuilding. What I couldn’t find was the original rear calipher…but I found the remains of what I think I was using when it was last on the road… The picture shows a calipher in need of cleaning but whatever the pad retaining pins had rattled and worn out the housing. You can see that back in the day I fixed the problem of retaining the pins (they wriggle out and the pads literally fall out the bottom of the calipher) with an ‘R’ clip – job done! Luckily I have a brand new P08 (albeit single nipple) that I can use.
I’m getting closer every week now. I have to get new copper washers for all the hydraulics – I could have used the old ones but at 10p a pop I’ll wait for new. I’ve also ordered a set of pads and some rubber boots to cover the brake light switches to make sure the wiring looks tidy. With luck the next time I post I should be moving on to the starter motor, alternator and gears. What could possibly go wrong?