Saturday, June 7, 2014


I remember back in the 60's reading an article in Cycle (a long defunct magazine) about how to set the timing on your Bultaco with a nail. As I recall, you bring the engine to TDC, put the nail through the plug hole and make a reference mark against a fin. Then you back the piston down 2.00mm (more or less) and make another scratch on the nail. Then you just put a piece of cellophane between the points and adjust the impossibly small screws which adjust the points through the impossibly small holes in the Bultaco flywheel until the cellophane is released just as the timing mark passes your reference. What could be more fun??? Actually if you are sitting alongside the road with a mis-timed Bultaco this might be useful information.

In fact the whole mechanical experience is massively enhanced by using the correct tools. Above is a quick shot of some tools I put on the bench to demonstrate. The torque wrench, micrometers, feeler gauges, snap-ring pliers, flywheel pullers, gear pullers and a Dremel tool are really indispensable  in a project like this....and, none of this stuff is massively expensive. Start your collection now kids, you will be using this stuff until all the bikes are electric...did I mention that you might consider purchasing a multi-meter???

For the last couple of days I have been installing the seals and trial fitting the flywheel and the drive gear on the crank. The seals are easily installed. The key is to have a socket head which matches the outside diameter of the seal so the seal can be driven home....just like the roller bearings. Just keep everything straight and resist the urge to apply too much force.

Yesterday I discovered that the Electrex World electronic ignition did not quite fit. Note the picture above. The tang on the Yamaha case just interferes enough with Electrex World backing plate that the mounting screw will not engage. This is not an impossible problem. I will just mount a grinding wheel on my Dremel tool and grind the tang (on the engine case) back a couple of millimeters and everything will be fine.

The Electrex World unit appears to be beautifully made but why did they design the backing plate to be so impossibly close? Really no good reason

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