My blood. Cubbie's guts. Everywhere. I started work on the valve timing at 11am today. I had soon smacked my knuckles on the fins as I undid the spark plug, and the silly thing is, I knew I would, but I kept on going. With the zorst and carby removed, rocker covers and oil feed pipe out of the way, I set about slackening the head nuts, and I don't care if that's not the proper name for them. Two of them seemed awfully reluctant to shift and I was concerned about stripping the thread or breaking something, but recalled that when Fido helped me assemble the top end all that time ago, he had trouble with them then. Got them off eventually, but then the head wouldn't shift, I guess it was sort of welded in position - oil tight I have to say, not much chance of that now :-(
A thwack with a bit of wood and a mallet soon had it free and just pulling it up about 1cm gave enough room to manouver the pushrods and rockers to the right places. Carefully holding the tappets in the 'up' position enabled me to fit the 'big cog' back in exactly the same position as it had come off in, if you know what I mean. The thing is, the dots and dashes didn't line up on the timing pinion (that's the small cog of course) but at least it meant I could secure the head back down without tappets and pushrods dropping out. Easier said than done, because for some reason, the upper pushrod tube O-ring decided it didn't want to live there anymore and each time I tightened the head nuts up, it sort of oozed out. Numerous times I tried to hold it and do the nuts up but without success. With my patience wearing rather thin (I was possibly verging on the border of crabbitness)the help of Mrs Bikerchick was called for. It's bleedin' easy with two people!
Next up was to rotate the engine by hand to check that the dots would line up, 'cos I was told that they don't line up on every revolution so I turned it, and turned it, and turned it............yawn...........patience ebbing away......hand throbbing and stomach rumbling.......gave up on that in the end and phoned a collegue at the mag who was able to decipher the instructions in the Triumph Workshop Manual. Just undo the timing pinion and rotate it until the dots line up - right? I hope so. But he forgot to mention I'd need a special puller. A quick call at 4pm to Greystone Enterprises has one on the way to me, just hope it arrives by Saturday so I can get it finished.
Oh, you want to know if my MZ is ok? Well, normally I just have to drain the carb after a winter holiday, but the screw is so mashed up that I can't get any grip on it. So no bikes on the road for me just now. And all this glorious weather too! HUMBUG.
Anyway, the postie brought something good today - my entry form for the S&T rally which I hope to go to. Oh, and a huge pile of cards and chocs....