Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mondial Electrics ...progress

So I refitted the new regulator properly. Nice soldered connections and a new fuse in the headlamp housing. The new fuse is from the output of the regulator. So now the bike has 3, one at the output of the battery, one at the output of the regulator and one as original for the switches and lamps. I guess back in the day they didn't bother protecting the two power sources (the battery and regulator) from shorts in the ignition system or horn. Well now they are properly protected.
I'll also note that the bullet connectors were a real pain.  The regulator came with beautiful brass male bullet connectors. But of course there were no matching female connectors. Here in the USA I only can get fairly cheesy aluminum connectors, and they crimp only weekly. So I crimped them for the test. And then I soldered them. Unfortunately, once I soldered them, some solder wicked into the connector area... making it so the male and female would no longer fit together. A bit of work with a small file and some pliers fixed that. But as usual something that I expected to be simple took a lot longer than I anticipated.
So then I suited up and took a 5 mile ride to test things out. Its was a hilarious start as I made it about 100 yards before stalling because both petcocks were off. Then I made it about another 25 yards before a remembered to turn off the choke. Luckily I did remember the shift pattern (right foot; heel for downshifts and toe for upshifts) and the manual ignition advance.
The ride went well. No problems. So I pulled into the driveway stopped the engine and went to check the lights and horn. Nothing. What!? Just when you think you have everything under control the rug gets pulled out from under you. I bumbled around for quite a bit with the new fuses and my voltmeter before I realized I had two problems. The key's on off contacts were dirty, and my old battery was shot. The battery had been rather abused while fighting with the old mechanical regulator and I've already ordered a new one. And a bit of emery paper and the key contacts were repaired. So it appears all ready to go...
I put the bike up on the lift again, and ran upstairs for a beer and this blog. Gotta stop before something else breaks!
But actually, that seems to be the process with these old bikes. You restore them, and then you have to debug them. All those people who don't ride or drive their vintage machines miss the debug part. And then they are upset when the vehicle has problems on the annual outing. I believe that if you restore the vehicle, and then use it and debug it, after a couple hundered miles you end up with a car or bike that will be more reliable than it was back in the day fresh from the factory. More reliable, due to whatever modern enhancements you have fit, like maybe an electronic regulator. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Carl how about a few hundred words for Benzina #3 on what it takes to win a (modern) giro?