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VIDEO: Triumph 650 Motorcycle Engine Disassembly & Rebuild Part 7

This is the seventh part (check out part six here) in our extremely popular video series in which Todd Muller, Head Motorcycle Tech here at Lowbrow Customs, disassembles a unit 650 c.c. Triumph motorcycle engine and rebuilds it. Todd takes a field trip to Ace Powder Coating to get his cases, transmission cover, head and rocker boxes vapor blasted. Ken at Ace Powder Coating also explains how the process of vapor blasting works and how its way better cleaning solution for your motor parts. After all the parts are vapor blasted Todd goes back to his garage to start the rebuilding process to his Triumph 650 motor, installing all of the bearings that go in each side of the case. Also shows you an easy trick to check if your cam bushings need replaced or not.

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You can read a full transcription of this video below:

Hey, guys. Here we are at ACE Powder Coating in Green, Ohio. My friend Ed Bannerman shop and he's got the vapor blaster here. We're going to get the crankcase cylinder head rocker boxes in the tranny part all cleaned up, get ready for reassembling. Let's head on inside.

I'm Ken. I present Ace Powder Coating vapor blasting, sandblasting and powder coating. You wanted to know something about the vapor blasting on the process, how it works? It's a vixen cabinet basically what it is is it's a media that is inside of the cabinet along with water. There's a pump in there that agitates the water, that creates like a constant slurry. Almost like a milkshake. It's pressurized, it goes through the hose through compressed air and then you put the part in, the parts' sitting in there and then you can blast it.

When you're blasting the part, basically, what's happening is the media created with the water is going through the hose, coming out the nozzle and hitting your part that you're having cleaned. Basically, what it does is at that point, when it hits the part, it cleans it and conditions it. It's not using a lot of friction, therefore, you're getting a cleaner part. Vapor blasting does not take away from the metals, it just conditions it and cleans it.

When it cleans it, when the media hits and the water hits at the same time, it will clean and flush the pores of the metal. It's much, much better than using a dry media where the dry media will impregnate the metal. It'll stay in there and once it's oils, with oils or gases, it's virtually you can't clean it, it just will not clean.

Well, after seeing how that rocker box came out, you can see why I like this process so well. We'll show you the cylinder head before we get it blasted up and then we'll show it to you after. I just haven't found any way to get these parts as clean as this process. If you're going to go through all the trouble to completely disassemble your entire engine and replace all the bearings, you want your motor to look like it's rebuilt.

I washed this head probably two and three times before we came here today and you can plainly see that it still has a kind of a dingy, not so desirable finish on it. All this discoloration, all this stuff is going to come off here with this vapor blast process. As Ken explained, it's very kind to the metal. I don't recommend sandblasting or glass bead blasting aluminum parts because it tends to imbed itself.

It can open up the pores on the aluminum and if you get any gas or oil or anything spills say when you're tickling your cards and spills on the back end of the engine, the gas tends to stain it. With vapor blast, you're going to have a really durable, nice looking satin finish that is pretty much repels anything like that. If you get a spot on there, you can spray a little brake clean, a little compressed air and it comes right off.

Along with replacing a lot of fasteners, I'm like if I don't want to reuse some rusty cylinder based nuts I'm going to put new fasteners and we'll see all that as we move along through our video series of tear down and rebuild on our 650 Triumph engine. We'll go ahead and let these guys do what they do here and we'll get the rest of these parts cleaned up and then we'll go ahead and show you the head when it's done.

Hey, guys. Got my parts back from the vapor blaster and we decided we're not going to leave you hanging, we're going to put this motor back together. It should be fun. It's probably going to be quite a few parts like we did the last time but follow along and we're going to get her done. Well, when you get your cases and then the other parts you've had done at the vapor blaster back, first thing you want to do when you get it home is you want to wash the crap out of it. When you're done washing it, you're probably going to wash it again.

Well, the first thing I do is I head down to my local auto parts store and I get some brake clean. What you want to do with the brake clean is you want to blow that brake clean, you want take the nozzle end and you're going to stick it in every single hole on this crank case and you're going to put it there and they're all the threaded holes, in this hole, and in this hole, everywhere. You're going to blow it and be careful when you're doing that because if you're not paying attention, it may spray back out the other end of that hole into your face. Just don't do that.

Anyway, there's a possibility that some of the media from the vapor blasting process, it could be in one of these passageways. The last thing you want to do with all this time and effort is have a little bit of grit somewhere and not catch it. You're going to first brake clean all the holes. All the oil pump holes, this hole here for the feed and return, this hole here, there's a hole here on the bottom for the return.

When you're spraying it in there, you're going to see it come out the other end and you can look at what's do it on a piece of wood or a piece of cardboard and you can look and make sure. Once you're satisfied that there's no media anywhere in any passageways on the crank case, then you're going to wash it with some soapy water. When you get done washing it with soapy water, use some compressed air. Once again, just like with the brake clean in every hole, take your compressed air and blow everywhere.

Every single hole, every orifice, everywhere. One other thing that you got to pay attention to is if when you took your motor apart, if you found that the previous owner like to use silicone on everything, you want to take a flashlight and just look down in the bottom of any threaded hole like these for the timing cover, these threaded holes for the primary cover. I actually had one come back from the blaster and found a glob of silicone in the bottom of the hole.

You want to make sure. The other thing you want to do is you want to inspect all the threaded holes on your case, any threaded parts on here because now would be the ideal time to repair. If you have a stripped thread, it's easier to repair it now than it is when your motors half assembled and you go to put a cover on it you go, "Crap, this screws just spinning and spinning because there's no threads left in there". That's typical on these engines, guys don't use the correct fasteners and they bugger stuff up.

There are Whitworth helicoils available if your motor is later than 68 and above, 69 you can use for these holes a quarter 20 and you can repair this motor. I've already taken a look at the holes. It's in really good shape. I'm real happy about that. Here's all the bearings that we're going to install in this part of our video today. These are your crank bearings and we'll show you what they look like as we go along, how they get installed.

What we're going to do with the bearings after I show them to you here these two are crank bearings, this one has a bearing and a race, that's going to be on the primary side and this one's just a roller bearing that's going to be on this side, on the timing side. This is going to be your transmission, final drive, your fourth gear bearing. This one's going to go in your inner tranny piece right here for your main shaft. Then we have two lay shaft or counter shaft bearings, one's open on both ends and the other one is closed on one end.

That's that one. Those get installed, the open end one goes here in this hole and the closed end one is going to go in this hole right here. This bearing here obviously goes in that hole for your transmission. Then we also have the seal that goes the same place that bearing goes and it's much easier to install it after you're going to install your bearing. You've got a clip there and then you can put the seal right in and be done with that portion.

One other thing we're going to go over is I'm going to show you an easy way to check your cam bushings without measuring them. What we're going to do is we're going to take the crankcase halves apart, we're going to put the cams in and we're going to tighten a couple of bolts and then we're going to feel for up and down play this way. They're supported on both ends when they're in the case and you're going to get some play this way until you put the timing gears on but you don't want to see any pull up and down play in these holes.

Now the correct way to do it which not everybody has the proper tools would be to use a hole gauge and you put it in the hole and you pull it out and then you use the micrometer and you measure the inside dimension of this bushing and then you take your micrometer and you measure the outside dimension of this portion of the cam where it rides in the bushing and then you look in the book and you see and there'll be a specification.

I think I mentioned it earlier in another part of the teardown, these bearings don't wear out like this bearing would. Basically, they're not a bearing, they're more of a bushing. Incidentally since we are not going to change these, I've decided we're going to do another short video. I probably have another case at a later date, we'll show you how to remove and install and size these bearings.

If you do need to do that to your motor, you can always contact me at the shop and I've got some photographs of the process. I don't have it on video but if you need to replace those as you're going along with your motor and you're disappointed that I didn't do it, I can help you out with that. Just contact me and we'll get you straightened out on that. What we're going to do is I'm going to go put all these bearings in my freezer in the house.

The reason for that is because we're going to be heating the case which will expand the metal and we're going to freeze the bearing. That will help install it. I actually did was working on a pre unit four speed transmission last weekend and when I was installing this bearing, I heated up this part and when I got my drivers out and set it on there it just dropped right in the hole and that's not a bad thing. That's actually not a problem because then when this metal cools down and you also have a clip in this one yet we're going to be installing these two clips, that one goes in here after the bearings installed.

We're going to be using the Lowbrow tool here on these bearings for installing this one into the hole for the transmission and the open end one once again goes in this part. Then I just have an inexpensive driver kit here that I bought at our unnamed tool supply house. I won't name them you probably know who they are. This is basically a bearing, you can drive races with these and you can also install bearings.

Like for instance on this big bearing, what I'll use is probably this one, let's see how it fits on the outside of the bearing for sending it into the case. You never ever, ever want to beat on this style bearing on this inside portion because that could damage the bearing itself. These bearings they're not super expensive but they're not cheap either. We do have these available, all these parts are available on the website.

Let's go throw these in the freezer and then we'll check our cams while these are getting cold and we'll go ahead and get some bearings installed. Let's do a quick check of our cam bushings. Simply install the cams in here, pop the other half together carefully. There she goes. Now we'll just throw a couple of bolts in here and just snug this up in the cam area. We're not going to like crank it down or anything, we're just going to, okay. Like I said, snug it up.

Now where we're checking for is movement this way. Feels pretty good there, nothing going on there. Ever so slight bit of movement there but nothing to be concerned about and then what you can do is you can reach inside here to the backside and give it a little wiggle. Feels pretty good and then check the intake cam in the same fashion. Now I have just a little bit of play but it's not like excessive, it's not like slopping up and down like a huge amount of play.

I'm pretty confident that these cam bushings are going to be just fine in this motor. Let's take it back apart. While our bearings are getting cold. We'll get rolling here. Okay. We're going to go ahead and heat the area of the crankcase where the bearing race goes for the left side bearing. Once again, I like map gas for this job, tends to burn a little hotter than propane. Incidentally I could have a couple pieces of wood to support it because this where your primary chain adjuster shoe gets installed is sticking down past the surface.

I just have two pieces of wood that keeps that off the workbench. We'll get her heated up. Just go around there. Again aluminum will expand when it heats up will aid in installing the race. Nice even heating into both sides. If you so desire, that's what I normally do. Metal is pretty thick there so you want to get it nice and hot.

Well, I'm thinking that probably should be good. Now pay attention when you pull this bearing out of here because it does go a particular direction when installed on the crank. I'm going to just set it down the way it came out. This thing's pretty oily, I'm going to wipe it off real quick. It's very imperative that you get this started as straight as possible because if it gets cockeyed, it's not going to want to go in there. Should have already had that on there so it looks pretty straight. Hear that noise, that says it's home, don't be afraid to send it home. Did you hear how the tone when I was hitting it changed, that means it's seeded in the case.

That's what it looks like when it's installed. We're done with that one and she's pretty warm, not so warm that I can't touch it but don't be afraid to heat it up and heat it and beat it. Okay. We'll move on to the other side, that's all we need to install on this side. This is ready for assembly. When it's time to put this bearing on the crankshaft when we're getting getting ready to put the crank in the cases, pay attention to which way it goes.

When it came out of the race that we just installed in that case half, this was facing up so that means this edge here will be going in. If you notice on this side, it's got this little portion of the cage and it also has the part number on it. The part numbers are going to face out on the crank, this will face in. In other words, when it's installed it'll go in the crank case like this. Just pay attention to that, don't want to turn it around the other way.

Okay, now, that we've got that race installed, we talked about that, we have three bearings to install in this hat case half. We have the crank bearing right here, the large one, the transmission bearing for the main shaft, the fourth gear will stick out here where sprocket goes and the lay shaft bearing and this will be the closed one. We'll get started and get that heated up. Basically, I've configured my wood here where, obviously, I don't want to just set this on the table and start beating away on it.

I made it level by I have a small piece of wood here that will rest on it right there to clear these and those two dowels, we don't want to crunch those. Then I have another piece that will go across this way there so when it's heated up and it's time to, it'll be just looking like that, pretty level. Now this one I usually just do a little figure eight because I'm heating up both at the same time. We'll go ahead and do this one first at a larger crank bearing and that'll also help heat up the case for when we get to this portion. Let's get our torch going. Get these bearings installed. Same program as the other side, evenly heated up. Then once again, you can heat both sides.

I think it's just about ready here. A couple more passes. This bearing is the same on both sides, it can go in either way around. Once again, it's very imperative that you get it started in the hole as straight as possible. If it's cattywampus, it's not going to want to go in there. Same driver we used for the other side. Make sure she's straight. If it does get a little cattywampus like it just did, it's okay to use just this portion and just give it a little, there it goes. A little bit more. Still a little bit there. It's more on one side than the other.

Almost done here. That tone stuff jumping everywhere. There goes our intermediate shaft, fell out the other side because of the heat but that's okay. We're going to flip her over and put it back in. If it's not too hot, there we go. Let's proceed with the other two bearings here. Go ahead and set this back up the way we just had it. This bearing will be going this way, the other bearing will be going the other way. Okay, we'll go ahead and heat up the other portion of the case where we need to install the other two bearings.

I think I'm going to install the small one first, that way if I flip it over to put that one in, the large one doesn't fall out because of the heat. Hopefully, we have the right combination of wood over here, maybe we'll be using that piece. There is an installed depth on this closed bearing, this is what we're going to put in next. We're also going to use the Lowbrow installation tool. Well after I install it, I'll get my manual out and show you the specification for where that's supposed to be installed.

How far into that hole. Once again, we're not ever going to reuse old bearings. Just doesn't make good sense even if they still spin okay, they're still years old and God knows how many miles they may have on them. That should be hot enough for that small bearing because they're not as tight of a fit as the crank bearings. Let's see what kind of combination we need to do here. Once again, I want to get it going straight. What I like to do is I just grab the washer that goes on the end of the counter shaft and I just set it on there and I look and I go okay, it's still not below that.

Maybe just a little bit more. One more tap. Okay, I lied, two more. Let's go ahead and get this other one in before she cools down anymore. Let's give her a little bit more heat. Not really worried about that other bearing falling out. I went ahead and grabbed a different size driver for this one, one that this one will fit into the hole because the bearing goes until it stops. This is where we have a snap ring groove there. Let's give that a shot.

This bearing same thing, either way around. Look at that. One in. Looks nice and even. Rut row. She's cockeyed gang. Got to straighten it up. We're just all out of whack here. Son of a gun. Still not in there all the way. Using the tool to gauge. That looks like it might be good. All right. Looks like the bearings' correctly installed, I can see the snap breaking groove all the way around go ahead and reinstall our snap ring now so we don't forget. There it is. Make sure that's in the groove all the way around that bearings. Done.

I've got my workshop manual open to the page in the transmission section where it shows the installed depth of the first bearing that we put in the lay shaft bearing the smaller closed end bearing and it's saying the range is .073 to .078. I have a vernier here we're just going to go ahead and check my work. The method I used was with the thrust washer. In reality, it's not going to be the end of the world if it's not exactly perfect because the end of the counter shaft actually rides on this, not on the top edge of that bearing.

We'll turn on our electronic digital caliper here and make sure it's zeroed and then we're going to open it up and this is called the nib and you can actually measure things with this. Then what I'm going to do is I'm going to set this end of the nib on the crank case and then I'm going to run this down and that right there will give me the measurement of what I installed that to just for the heck of it. Since I played with this okay, we're still at zero and there's a little step on that nib so I'm doing it this way.

I'm going to run that down until it touches the top of the bearing and I'm at .701. Technically I'm only 2,000s off so I'm sure that'll be just fine. All right. I think she's cooled down enough now that we can go ahead and install that seal. Then this is your seal that goes right here. Shouldn't be any need for any sealer on the outside of that. This is a pretty tight fit. We'll grab one of our drivers to do this. It's peeling a little bit of rubber off the edge but that's okay, not to worry.

Working my way around there a little bit and that actually tells me if it's peeling that rubber there, that's tells me that it's a good tight fit in that hole so it won't leak around the outside edge. I'm pretty sure it's liking it right about there, I just did a pre unit tranny the other day and it went almost all the way down so I think that's good right there. What this is going to seal, see this nice machined edge on the main drive, when that gets installed in there, that's sealing that to keep the oil from leaking out of the transmission.

This edge and this lip on the seal. All right. We're pretty much done with this half of the case. We'll move on to this part next we've got two bearings to install in their. Same program as we did before, heat it up, two bearings going here in the same area so we'll kind of do the old figure eight thing going on here. Once again I got two blocks of wood because I got some dowels on the cover there that locate the kicker cover.

Same program when bearing goes this larger bearing will go this way other bearing will go this way. Let's give that a shot this bearing can go in either way around. She got cattywampus right out of the gate. Straighten her up. Not going very straight. Son of a gun. I've never put so many got bearings in cattywampus in my life as it today. Finally, it looks straight and it went right in when it was straight.

Same program on this side we've got our thrust washer and our installation tool. See if we can't get this one going a little straighter from the get go here. Just below the surface of that and usually this one ends up just like it is there. Just about flush with the other side. That's hot. Then we have another snap ring for this bearing with our smaller snap ring pliers. Careful, still hot. There it goes, I heard it click.

There it is. Always make sure your snap rings are all the way engaged in their grooves. That's it for today, gang. We got all the bearings installed in the necessary places, on the crank case inner transmission cover. Next time we'll put our sludge trap plug back in put our hang our rods on our crankshaft and hopefully get our case all sealed back together with the two cams in the crank in there and then we can move forward with our Triumph 650 engine rebuild.

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