Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Project--Broken air cleaner post

The very first thing we noticed when we opened the hood was the badly corroded battery. The second thing was that the air cleaner was held by a piece of baling wire! Frankly, the wire didn't hold the air cleaner down onto the top of the carburetor and that's NOT a good thing! So, it became our first priority project. At some point someone had man-handled the nut that holds attached the air cleaner to the carb. They broke the stub right out of the top of the carb casting. The casting was badly mangled with a big chunk broken clean away from the casting wall. It looked like a pretty daunting project.

Our first step was to clean both ends of the threaded post. We then bought a metric tap and die set at Harbor Freight for $10 and reamed a new coarse thread into what remained of the top of the carb casting.

We were very careful, of course, to protect all parts of the carb from the fine metal shavings the tap produced. We then used our air compressor to blow away even the tiniest metal particles before we removed the protection from the rest of the carb.

Even though the tap we used was much bigger than the actual post diameter, we figured it didn't matter. The goal here was to give something for the JB Weld to key into. JB Weld holds much better if it has a rough surface to key into. Then we used the correct size die to ream the threads of the hold down post. We compared all sorts of two part epoxies and couldn't find anything better than Good Ol' $5 JB Weld. Why? Well, it has a very high tensile strength and is good up to 600 degrees! That sounded perfect for the carb post project.

We made a nice gob of JB Weld and stuck in the post and cleaned up the excess and waited awhile to line it up plumb from both front and side views. Then we carefully closed the hood and didn't touch the Zuki for almost 24 hours while the JB Weld fully cured.

In the meantime, we lost a metal and rubber bushing that fills in the large hole on top of the sheet metal for the air cleaner. No amount of looking would find the lost bushing. Bummer! So, we went out to ACE Hardware in Ammon and bought two rubber fender washers and a couple of galvanized fender washers and, WHAM-BAM, they fit perfectly. We put it all back together and it's better than new and tight as a piano wire. This project was finished September 17.

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