Autolite "Technical" Guy on the phone . . .

Funny Story:  I call the Autolite Customer Service Line the other day.  I want to give them a plug number, and know a couple things. 
1.  If it's a resistor plug ?
2.  If it's hotter or colder plug than the one I run now ?

After a few prompts, I get this young sounding kid on the phone that's asking all sorts of stuff like, make, model, cc's, year . . . Hey, I just want to give you a plug number, and you can tell me what the next hotter plug in this reach style is . . . but I'm getting nowhere.  He says I should talk to "I'll call him Jack" . . . so this guy Jack gets on the phone.  Jack starts in with the same questions . . . . I'm trying to tell him the spark plug is for this special racing head . . . yada, yada . . . then he says, "Look Sonny Boy, if you'd just shut your pie-hole a minute and tell me exactly what you got, I can help you."  So I say, ok - I got 1968 Harley XLR cylinder heads on a 1961 XLCH engine.  He's like . . . "You need the Autolite 55, non resistor plugs which are correct reach for those heads.  You can run the next hotter Autolite 4056, but they will take longer to heat up, and they take longer to cool down.  I'd run the 4056's . . . I did in my XLR back in 1970.  Anything else I can help you with ????  I about fell off my chair.  It pays to be a good listener.

Early Rims

Official House Cat Elliott "Franky" checks out my 19"er front runner.  Small screws are utilized in the slotted hole flange to keep the spoke heads from popping out before you get it on the truing stand.  Tightening of spokes and offset comes next . . . Matching 18" rear is done.

Vintage Bell Star

It's fortunate I didn't prematurely rip out all the old padding inside this and lose the vintage feel and smell of this classic.  In the event of a serious crash, you'd be in a better position wearing a late model Snell Approved full face . . . however, when I go fast with this on my head, I get the idea what it was like to wear one of these - like Kenny Roberts !
Roth with Gary Nixon's star on top and vintage rainbow wings 

KR Base Nuts (on my K Model)

. . . or XLR Base Nuts ?   Bought 'em from John Graff couple years ago.  Hi Julie !

Coil Voltage Fiction

A 40,000 volt coil should be labeled as " Up to 40,000 Volts "  . .because if your compression isn't high enough to offer up enough resistance for spark plugs and the coil to emit 40,000 volts, your 40,000 volt coil is still only putting out about 15,000 volts . . . or not much more that your standard, stock coil.

TECH: Cams for Stock Street Motors

I prefer cams with a small (lower) Overlap Number in stock stroke street engines.  Overlap is a period of time where both intake and exhaust valves are open.  You can figure the overlap number by adding as follows:

Example:  14/34  41/12  Overlap is 14 + 12 = 26
Example:  36/40  45/36  Overlap is 36 + 36 = 72

The "26" camshaft should give you less hesitation, less flat spots, less babble out the pipes at lower rpms - a Torque Cam.
However, It may kickstart a bit harder, and it won't like higher compression (9:0 of higher) it might ping?

The "72" camshaft may babble out the pipes at low to mid range, have a flat spot at lower rpms, and
require mufflers to perform properly.
However, It will kick easier, likes higher compression.  Power cam. Strokers !

I also like cams that the fractions of intake and exhaust are the same numbers "diagonally" - they seem to perform better . . . that's just my experience. 

Example: 16  36
               36  16

So . . . try a cam with a Low Overlap Number, with numbers the same diagonally, Valve lift .450 or under for stock spring installed heights and seat pressure.  You don't want any bigger(stronger) valve springs then necessary.  It just adds unwanted pressure and wear to valve components, pushrods, tappets, rollers, valve stems, cam bearings, etc.  It also takes extra horsepower to open those heavy springs ! 

Cam Length

When changing cams, you can check to see how the length of your new cam differs from your old cam with this method.  The few thou difference (+ or -) makes a difference in your end-play and thrust washer thickness . . .
Set your cam upright on something flat (glass, parallel block, etc).  We slide a trued sleeve (which is slightly longer than the down end of cam) over the end that's down since some cams may be a bit irregular on the end or have a burr around the center.  Zero Out the indicator on the thrust washer surface of your old cam, then set up your new cam to see the difference (+ or -) in length of your new cam.  Assuming your old cam was installed with the correct end play, this method can eliminate having to remove a tappet block to check cam end-play ?  Another more accurate method to check lengths of parts more precise than just using a caliper.

Biketoberfest Florida - No bikes for me . . .

My wife and I have been to Florida a few times during the Bikertoberfest fall motorcycle rally.  It's not really my scene, since it's all new bikes, new trikes . . . there is a swap meet that ain't too bad.  The bands are all the usual . . . it's just kinda like a rally for all the guys that just got their first Harley, which is ok for them, but not for me.  I still like the old time bikes, choppers, old stock stuff - motorcycles with more character that you have to work on sometimes . . . but it was fun anyway.   Hope everyone has a good fall, it's gonna get cold here as we all know - but a guy can always go someplace warm for a week if you get a chance or have the time, or have a few vacation days left ?

Bortell's Lounge is a good hangout.  I met Jack & Tiny from Vegas again.  They go from desert to ocean and back again - Their bike's chrome is rusty from salt - paint is faded from the sun . . . and back again.  They suggested Cape Canaveral for an educational trip.  Those rockets are incredible.  Astronauts are the greatest daredevils of all time, to endure outer space.  It was fun to fish, eat some good food, and enjoy the sun before the snow comes in again . . .

I never ate so much fish (ready for a hamburger) . . . Cheryl is great on a paddleboard (I fell off) since she went all over the place.  Fort Desoto was interesting.  Snead Point good for fishing.  Sebring Raceway was cool (they were running practice sessions) and those cars are so fast.  Not everyone gets to go places, so maybe it gave you a feeling of what it's like down there?  Hope you enjoyed the photos?

Sucks - Period

Is it just me, or does it suck the AMA Pro Flat Track Series Finale will be held at a tiny, little indoor bowl track of a casino in Las Vegas?  They tried racing on their rock infested, motocross washboard of a race track a few years ago.  The desert is for desert racing.  Casinos are for gambling.  They should all race those modified XR100s instead - it'd more more competitive.  It's a 1/10 mile track !  Let's just run around the sofa.  Why would the AMA allow such a thing?  They could put down some coke-syrup and do-it-better, but they won't.  I hope the fans in Vegas that show up for their "1st Pro Flat Track Race" don't think this is what it's really like?  I know these boys will put on a good show regardless, but they're pro racers - and they deserve a professional track.  They've all raced tiny, indoor tracks in their youth - but, this is the series - The Pro Series.  Hell, I guess if I'd get enough seating, and put up enough money, I could promote a race at our local Floyd County Fairgrounds.  They could race in between the demo derby and the mutton busting.  Sort of a disgrace to a great sport.  A close, exciting points finish to an exciting season comes down to a race on a hockey rink. 

I'm just sayin' . . .

I have to do some metal work (which I hate) since I don't really have a good place to do it - and I use the crude tools that someone with no metal working experience has in their tool box.  Grinding, welding, hammering, grinding off welding . . . re-welding.  You know the ritual.  Maybe she can help ?

Bobby's Blown Shovester

I know he sold it . . . but, I wonder if the new owner is riding this thing around?  How's it run?  Trock had that kit you could get - to make the Shovester Build easier.  Noot built one for a customer without the special kit one time, but we never knew if he got it in his bike chassis - or whether he ever ran it? 

Lead Sled

In Japan now . . .


Ironworks 1999 . . . I still have the same bike, helmet, jacket, gloves, jeans, boots . . . I don't like change.

Light Press Fit at 70 degrees

You can hone tappets for oversize lifters and get the perfect fit with easy movement and no end play, but if the tappet's guides are too tight in the case . . . it can pinch the tappet in the bore - and gall the surface.  You want a nice, easy press fit.  You shouldn't have to drive the guide into the cases too much.