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Author Topic: First AVL ownership/build... tech questions...  (Read 3708 times)

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ace.cafe

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Reply #30 on: April 11, 2018, 07:26:24 am
Given your stated parameters,  I recommend running the pipe you already have.


ringoism

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Reply #31 on: April 13, 2018, 12:00:27 pm
The bike's thankfully up and running!

Not being scientifically measured, performance assessment is prone to subjectivity - I'm looking forward to riding another healthy, stock fleet Machismo or two to compare side-by-side... BUT meanwhile my initial impressions are very positive:  As desired, it seems very punchy and responsive, with a healthy thrust from low rpms in pretty much any gear - this is with the stock 18T sprocket and 19" rear tire.  I could probably pull a 19T easily enough, maybe even a 20T if/when I move to the 18" tire.  Not really revved it much yet, so that part remains to be seen, but thus far it feels pretty entertaining.  With the hot tube out of the header, it definitely sounds a lot better than it did earlier, too. 

Besides the performance change, the compression increase is noticeable when kickstarting (still starts easily though, without decompressor) and when decelerating.  No apparent increase in vibration.  On the first run heard a little detonation at certain throttle openings, but after refueling on some other cheap Indian fuel, not observed at all, so I think we're okay there.   

No adverse sounds coming from the crank/piston now, and the gearbox is definitely in order, with not a single false neutral / any popping out of gear on a few runs down to town and back. 

With members' experiences / advice falling on either side and not a lot of time to re-open and cut valve reliefs, ended up timing the cams to the marks, partly so I'd have a baseline to work from.  Same with the carb - it will make effects easier to compare/evaluate later if I know how it's running closer to its original form.  Did raise the needle a notch, as the bike always seemed lean and hot even before the compression / pipe changes. 

It's got an oil leak in the primary drive housing someplace that I need to resolve (new gaskets / seals, so a little mysterious). 

ATF in the forks now which is about right - not too firm or spongy.  But handlebar sits to the right a bit when driving straight, so something not quite right up there and I'll have to get into it. 

More concerning, I've got blowby pushing a LOT of oil out the crankcase vent.  I suppose the higher compression probably exacerbates any incomplete ring sealing at this early stage?  I remember someone else in one of the forums having this problem initially, and am hoping it resolves itself before long.  Fleet owner had told me earlier that these AVL's do that a bit when especially heated up, but it wasn't running hot, and this is definitely WAY beyond normal.  I remember some talk of the possibility of converting to an older vent system...  Mine is just a plain plastic pipe out of the top of the engine case, but I don't know where it actually taps in to the innards.  Any advice / experience there appreciated.   

I put the double seats (front springer) on it yesterday and will probably get working on that oil leak tomorrow.   Cam spindles and possibly pinion still need replacing as there's still some noise on that side and no adjustment leeway left on the exhaust pinion eccentric.
   
I've been riding a 13.5hp 150cc Honda since the RE has been apart, and of course this feels very quick compared with that.  I'm not pulling unintentional wheelies, and I don't think it's going to prove as quick as my DR350S, but then that's a torquey 30hp engine with a light flywheel in a 130lb chassis.  What I'm sure of is that freshly rebuilt, this thing (in true Indian fashion) pulls our family of four (!) much better uphill than it could earlier, when it used to feel pretty sluggish.  Even with all that weight, twisting the throttle now really pushes (us) back. 

Thanks to all for the helpful advice / inputs through this process. 

And again, if anyone can tell me something about this blowby / crankcase ventilation I'd like to hear it.  How long could it take for the chrome top ring to get properly seated, and is that quite likely to resolve the problem? 

-Eric 

For anyone who doesn't know what a Machismo is, photo of ours is attached:


ace.cafe

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Reply #32 on: April 13, 2018, 02:49:49 pm
To seat a chrome ring, you need a slightly coarser hone, and you have to be vigorous with the break-in. Don't baby it too much, or it won't seal right.
The way to do it is work it up and down with some pretty good load, and then shut it off before it gets too hot. Let it cool down and do it some more. About 5-10 minutes at a time usually works good.

It will get spit-boiling hot pretty quickly in the early break-in, so keep an eye on it.


Adrian II

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Reply #33 on: April 13, 2018, 05:37:47 pm
Quote
More concerning, I've got blow-by pushing a LOT of oil out the crankcase vent.  I suppose the higher compression probably exacerbates any incomplete ring sealing at this early stage?

Also check the oil tank hasn't been overfilled. The engine breathes through a hole in the casting wall between the crankcase proper and the oil tank section of the main crankcase casting, and out through the union at the top, instead of the pre-2004 vent on the left-hand side of the crankcase. If the breather catch-can is the same as the 500 AVL export models the catch can then is supposed to return expelled to the engine via a pipe to the back of the timing case with a short duckbill inside as a non-return valve. There's also a short duckbill inside the catch can as the main non-return valve.

It is possible to block off the hole between the crankcase and oil tank and fit a breather take off in almost the original position on early 500 AVL, or even drill out the unused breather stub if it hasn't been polished under-size. Sorry, should have mentioned that while you had the cases apart! Late AVL and C.I. Bullet (post 2006?) don't have the now vestigial breather stub, but it should be possible to drill thorough and tap for some sort of union (my project uses a 1/4" BSP by 1/2" stub hose tail) for a breather pipe in the side of the crankcase where the classic breather sat. With this you can fit one of Hitchcocks' oil filler neck extensions which takes any surplus oil back to the tank, remember to fit a non-return valve between the breather outlet from the crankcase and the filler neck extension.

Despite the 500 AVL being a home market model several have escaped to the UK, where we were only offered the Electra-X officially (same disk front end, smaller front fender). In the USA they were offered both the Electra-X and the 500 AVL Classic, which very similar to the 500 Machismo except for the standard drum brake 500 Bullet forks and fenders.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


ringoism

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Reply #34 on: April 13, 2018, 11:49:14 pm
Also check the oil tank hasn't been overfilled.... If the breather catch-can is the same as the 500 AVL export models the catch can then is supposed to return expelled (oil) to the engine via a pipe to the back of the timing case with a short duckbill inside as a non-return valve. There's also a short duckbill inside the catch can as the main non-return valve.

It behaves as though overfilled - just raw oil being pushed out with vent gases, not an oil-mist.  Could the hole between the crankcase/tank have been factory drilled a little lower than usual?  Or is 2.5L too much - I put that quantity in there because it's what the shop hands told me to do - and they should know.  Round, smooth dipstick is next to impossible to read with clean oil, and in truth haven't really tried to check it the "proper" way (as a dry-sump).  Anyone done something to improve that dipstick?  Thought of grinding one side flat and filing the typical hatch-pattern in it...

I suppose that aluminum shavings are soft enough as to not damage critical things, so maybe can still drill/tap into the crankcase for vent relocation if resolution doesn't come by whichever other means.

The bike doesn't have a catch can at all.  The duckbill is there inside the timing cover, but from the nipple on the backside, there's what looks like an OE molded rubber pipe running (along with the main vent pipe) into the swingarm area - which of course would have zero functionality.  I suppose I should be thinking of retrofitting some kind of catch-can at minimum, so that whatever comes out can at least be reclaimed.   

Ace - The hone pattern was quite a bit finer than what I've generally done on my own.  Was done in a proper automated machine and it didn't occur to me to go over it with my rougher hand-drill three-finger hone.  I'm almost always running uphill or downhill and quite a few full-throttle bursts (not at high revs), so not going too light on it.  I'll take your advice, ride it a bit hard, put in a few hundred km's and hope for the best. 

-Eric


ringoism

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Reply #35 on: April 13, 2018, 11:55:35 pm
It is possible to block off the hole between the crankcase and oil tank and fit a breather take off in almost the original position on early 500 AVL, or even drill out the unused breather stub if it hasn't been polished under-size.

I'm supposing that if the existing oil-tank-based breather's external fitting was blocked with a cap-plug, and a new opening / fitting fixed on the crankcase side, it wouldn't really matter if a hole was still there between the case sections? 

-Eric


DanB

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Reply #36 on: April 14, 2018, 02:05:57 am
Quote
2.5L too much?

Yes, thats is too much. I usually put in between 1.25 and 1.75 L depending if i change oil filter. Fill to the halfway mark on the stick.

For the breather, try running the hose from the oil tank straight up and then to the can. Reverse it basically.  Block of the return line to the timing chest; that becomes your drain from the can. Ignore the hose to the primary. Doesnt do much either way. I can take pics of mine if youd like.
Suppose I were an idiot, and suppose I were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ... Mark Twain
2006 AVL Electra


ace.cafe

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Reply #37 on: April 14, 2018, 08:35:52 am
Not sure what a duckbill is doing inside the timing cover. The duckbill belongs outside the engine.


Adrian II

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Reply #38 on: April 14, 2018, 10:32:48 am
Not sure what a duckbill is doing inside the timing cover. The duckbill belongs outside the engine.

The late factory breather set-up has two. The first one is inside the catch can on the exit from the breather pipe. This is effectively the external duckbill as used on older models. The second duck bill in the timing chest is supposed to be a non-return valve (just not a very good one) for the return line from the catch can, by which surplus oil in the breather is returned to the engine, at least according to the plan.  ::)

If you're thinking of fitting an external breather union to the l/h crankcase you can probably avoid getting alloy swarf into the engine if you're careful, but at the very least you'd need the top end off to ensure breakthrough was as gentle as possible and for stuffing the lower crankcase mouth with loads of rag. Not sure how effective an external breather would be with the hole between the crank chamber and oil tank still open, though.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


ringoism

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Reply #39 on: April 14, 2018, 11:11:24 am
Yes, thats is too much. I usually put in between 1.25 and 1.75 L depending if i change oil filter. Fill to the halfway mark on the stick.

For the breather...
I can take pics of mine if youd like.

Sure... a pic or two would be helpful - I don't even know what the can looks like / where it mounts.

I guess I'm substantially overfilled, that's likely the problem, fits the symptom.  I wonder how these techs got that wrong, being that they service 30-odd of these bikes?  They stock oil in 3L cans, 2.5 for the engine, 500mL for the primary, they say.  Weird. 

Mine doesn't have a catch can at all right now, I'm pretty sure that none of the AVL's here had them as OE.  I need to check if some other model of Bullet came equipped with it, if so can probably order and retrofit. 

Or if filling with less oil minimizes the amount being thrown out, I can just leave things as they are and fix the end of the vent down near the chain for auto-lubing (though I've got an o-ring chain now anyway).   

***
I put some more distance on it today, ran up-valley several km's, a fairly steep/steady climb.  I went a little heavier on the throttle, a few more revs.  Engine didn't get noticeably hot doing it, I think richening the carb has helped, it actually seems to run cooler now than before the rebuild.  Running very strong low / lower-mid, and no detonation at all.  I'm sensing that the power's going to taper off pretty substantially at high-mid to higher rpm's though - it just doesn't seem to have that kind of "ramping up" of output that I felt in the cast iron 500 I rode recently (though this one is definitely stronger down low).  Might try bolting on the 32mm CV carb / filter setup next week and gauge the effects; Besides being highly convoluted/restrictive and taking over my otherwise useful side box, the stock inlet setup is pretty leak-prone, so I want to be rid of it considering how dusty it can be up here. 

If after some time with it I feel I still want more pull further up in the range, as per various recommendations here, I can think of retarding the inlet cam (or else maybe going for stock cast iron cams?) and fitting the 1-1/2" 350 pipe.  I think that's about the extent of what I'd want to do with it, it runs great and hasn't cost me much to put together. 

Resolved the leak (I think) in the primary case today - I believe what caused it was my mistake of installing the shaft seal behind the clutch before fitting the housing to the engine/gearbox.  Because production variations can alter the distance between the crankshaft and gearbox output shaft slightly, that seal needs to be installed after the inner housing half is bolted to the engine/gearbox.  The four mounting holes around the seal are oversized to allow the seal to center on the shaft before tightening down the bolts.  The other potential culprit was a 10mm nut missing from the stud coming through from the gearbox behind the clutch.

Basically very pleased with how it's running, it's going to be a lot of fun around here locally.  Even my wife felt the difference in responsiveness and pull (not sure she appreciates it entirely, though!).  Earlier it took a few revs for power to build up, now it's just so immediate - despite its being CV-carb'ed. 

Again, only changes were the .030" overbore/compression mod/squish, 3-angle valve job, very mild port/chamber work, removing the hot tube, and slightly opening up the header gasket and matching the header flange/inlet to it.  I'm going to say it was worth that much trouble.  Cylinder leakdown was minimal before starting the work, so whatever improvement is there is due mainly to the changes rather than the freshening up. 

I would expect that as the engine gets more fully broken in, the performance should increase slightly. 

-Eric


Adrian II

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Reply #40 on: April 15, 2018, 09:59:10 am
Here's the quick and dirty breather fix with the outlet on top of the oil tank, point the duckbill over the countershaft sprocket, it works fine if you don't overfill the oil or ride with too much ethusiasm, which given your efforts to liven the engine up a bit is a distinct possibility! If that still makes too much mess of the back of the bike, remove the short duckbill, fit a metal non-return valve and a longer piece of hose running to the back of the bike.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


ringoism

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Reply #41 on: April 16, 2018, 12:10:51 pm
Well, I had a look at the (Indian) "Discontinued Models" parts catalog this morning and discovered that Indian AVL's indeed DO have the PCV breather canister.  Asked the mechanic who confirmed it's there under the seat someplace and that I should clean it.  Took me awhile to find it - it's much smaller than I expected.  I removed, cleaned (wasn't much of anything in there, not having been connected recently), hooked up  the pipes, and we'll see how it works in stock form, particularly once my oil level has settled out to wherever it's supposed to be.  I just let the canister vent out near the chain, I don't really want it near the air filter. 

My duckbill doesn't seem to operate very well as a check-valve though - I suspect age-hardened rubber.  Will have to see if these are available new still. 

Came out this morning to take my son to school, got 20ft out and realized the rear tire was flat - big old bolt sticking out of the tread.  Already had a new rim waiting, so went ahead and did the changeover to the 120/80-18 rear (Dunlop) and 90/90-19 (Ralco, fairly soft compound) front today.  Had to re-drill the front mudguard mounts to lower it 3/4" to match the smaller diameter.  Kinda gives the bike a kind of lower, longer look - overall better I'd say, though I'm giving up a little ground clearance (a justifiable Indian obsession).  Rear braking better for sure.

Got on the bit ugly silencer with some chrome polish on a 4" felt wheel.  Quite an improvement. 

Slowly whittling down the "to-do" list.   

Need some kinda mirrors, come to think of it.  Tried on a pair of the original type but didn't like the look so removed 'em again...   Any ideas?

-Eric


heloego

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Reply #42 on: April 17, 2018, 08:32:43 am
Mirrors?  8)
   Best bet is to get on Amazon or E Bay and spend millions of hours perusing the available offerings.
   I finally went with these:

   

   Felt they looked more appropriate with my Electra AVL. The C5 has round ones.
'18 Bonneville T-100, Blue/White
'12 C5 Classic
'06 Electra X AVL w/32mm Mikuni and Gold Star system.


ringoism

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Reply #43 on: April 17, 2018, 10:52:35 am
Mirrors?  I finally went with these:

Thanks, I like those a lot, and I'm sure they'd give a better view than the originals, which on mine sat quite inboard. 

In other news:

Surprisingly I found the breather can duckbill in stock at the shop where I bought / rebuilt the bike.  Wasn't even shown/listed in the exploded catalog diagram.  Parts man there says "throwing oil" is a pretty common problem with AVL's, especially with...eh... foreign riders, who I suppose drive the bikes a bit more spirited / higher rpms than most Indians would.  See photo below for what is apparently the RE part number, if anyone else should need them.

But even the new piece wouldn't seem to function very completely as a non-return valve.  I can just as easily push / suck air through either end - maybe it would close off under sudden, higher-volume vacuum (or when very oily?) but have some doubts - held up to light, it's clear that it's a bit open in its static position. 

Parts guy says that what has worked well on several occasions (incl. with the farang riders) is installing in its place in the can a piece of upright rubber tubing with end blocked, and a fine cut through the side.  Same basic function, but being razor cut rather than molded, might provide a finer, more immediate seal?  Incidentally, this is how tire-tube valves on Indian bicycles work - tiny little length of end-blocked, slit rubber pipe - they'll stay sealed for months apparently, while still passing air in the other direction when it needs to be added - brilliant! 

Anyway, figured that if it was possibly going to be throwing oil out as a regular feature, I'd better at least figure out how to check my oil more reliably.  Now re: my eyes I know I'm nearing the half-century mark, but still, that smooth, round dipstick shaft has seemed about the worst thing in the world for visibility, especially with fresh, quite transparent oil. 

A few minutes with an angle-grinder brought us to the solution below - flattened one side with a rather coarse wheel, then notched with a cutoff wheel.  Maybe still not as good as a crosshatch, but quite legible now:

-Eric


heloego

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Reply #44 on: April 17, 2018, 11:21:20 am
   Interesting. So your dip stick was completely smooth? Must be an Indian thing.
   My Electra X dip stick is flattened on one side with cross hatching. Still a bit hard to read with fresh oil, but workable.
   
'18 Bonneville T-100, Blue/White
'12 C5 Classic
'06 Electra X AVL w/32mm Mikuni and Gold Star system.