Saturday, April 11, 2015

It Never Rains...

But it does pour a lot!
The Easter break gave me a chance to not only procrastinate some more, but actually get a bit done on the GSX. I decided to fill the front brake lines with a beautiful blue DOT3 fluid, just so I could check for leaks and feel at the lever. The Chinese reservoir was duly fitted, and ten seconds later developed a leak from the sight glass. Tossers! 
It came off pretty bloody quickly as my freshly painted headlight switch sat underneath it. So a plastic reservoir was put on loosely while I bled them. The anti-dive units haven't held fluid for years so I was expecting problems, but the only issue was a slight leak around the banjo bolts. With a bit more tension applied to the bolts, all seems good. The lever is a bit on the soft side, but should improve once the pads have bedded in. 

Oil be fooked!
Next job was to put a new oil filter in, fill with oil and crank it on the starter to see if the oil light would go out. As previously mentioned, the wire to the oil pressure switch was 'missing' - which could spell trouble. The 'oil light' for today being my test-light mounted between the switch and the live terminal on the battery. It lit up nicely, but refused to go out once cranking. Bugger!
Could the oil pump have gone dry after all the months of sitting around with no oil? Had somebody removed the wire because the engine is fuckered? Was there more to this conspiracy? Oh joy.
I wasn't taking any chances, the sump was taken off to check the pick-up gauze.  The sump itself was full of thick, treacle-like oil and in desperate need of a clean out. Degreaser and brake clean soon had it spotless, but it's a worry that all that  was running round the engine. The oil pick-up was holding a tiny amount of carbon, but not enough to stop the oil pump sucking and pumping the brown stuff around. So, with all that cleaned up and blown out, the sump was refitted with a new gasket.

The oil pump.
The next step was to inspect the pump itself so it was back off with the clutch cover and, would you believe it, my new gasket broke taking it off! (I call it new because the engine has never run with it fitted, but it's probably been on a year now.) C'est la vie. 
Not having taken the clutch off this motor before, it did give me a chance to inspect the plates. So with the four M6 bolts removed, the pressure plate was taken out and the plates taken out for cleaning. They all measured at around 2.8mm with service limit being 2.6mm, so clouds and silver linings aplenty!
Bend back the tab washer and off with the 32mm nut - I use an airgun which makes it easy, but if you're using a breaker bar, you'll need to lock the basket with the right tool (or the wrong tool if you fancy your luck).
There was a bit of rigmarole to get the clutch basket out (the needle roller bearing and spacer need to come out to get enough room), but then the oil pump was clearly visible. Whoop!

Three M6 bolts hold the little beauty on and the problem was soon revealed. The O-ring sealing the pump to the crankcases was split between the two sides of the pump. With engine running it would've been pumping, but never to capacity. Always nice when you can see an actual fault.
The way the O-ring points into the next chamber, it looks like it could have been like this a while. It doesn't bode well, although the engine sounded pretty good and the cams were in great condition. The only thing we can do is put a new gasket on and try it again, while holding everything crossed.

Internally, everything looks pretty good for its age. Fresh oil, and an engine flush once running, should clean out any remaining old oil. There's no carbon build-up visible, and once the oil's been changed a few times it should be running clean. I'm just hoping that the engine wear isn't critical, but we'll just have to wait and see now.
The gear you can see in the bottom of the crankcase drives the oil pump - it actually sits on the back of the clutch basket and is prevented from freewheeling by a dowel that locates in that slot.

The clutch.
Not much to report here and the plates all came apart easy enough. I just gave them a quick wash and rubbed the staining off the steel plates. It's a heavy-duty setup in fairness with a massive drive gear/basket. 

All measuring 2.8mm, they'll be going back in. A digital vernier makes the job easy and gives you the accuracy needed. Only 0.2mm less would make them scrap.

A roughing up with wet & dry took off the staining you get after years of being stuck in one position.

The clutch basket slots and hub splines are in incredible condition for a thirty-year old engine. Yes, there's slight grooves, but not deep enough to warrant dressing them with a file.

Spring lengths are all within spec too so, if the planets align, we shouldn't get any clutch slip. But if we do, expect some swearing in them thar hills.

That's all I've got at this point. I'm now waiting on parts. I've also ordered two new O-rings: one for the top of the oil pick-up, and the other for where the sump meets the crankcases. I'll fit the new oil pump O-ring first and test it, but if there's still an issue the sump will be back off for those seals too.

In the meantime, I've just had to put a front wheel bearing in the Aurion so a big thanks to Dan and Belinda at Anything Mechanical, Nerang for the use of their press. Legends!