No, this is not a lesson in nutrition!

Yesterday I had a bit of a play and cleaned up the 276 Carby I got with the bike. Most of it is useable, needs a new slide and loads of other bits, but is looking good after a careful clean. Someone had painted it silver, presumably to make it look new!

That had to come off, thanks to some stripper I had lying around (not draped, you notice, no, no, not that kind…) and judicious use of a real brass brush (not a cheap, brass-coated steel job, beware!) to buff up and remove any last bits of paint left behind (don’t forget the rubber gloves and eye-protection, especially when brushing!)

On the right the original paint, looking a bit ‘tired’ and on the left the carb body already cleaned up and re-assembled. Thankfully, all parts are now available, albeit at a price, but you know what? Why should I worry about the price, when it will save me possibly hundreds of miles, hours and the equivalent in nerves, all for saving a few pennies? What if I get stuck somewhere in the outback as a result of my penny-pinching? Just not worth it! (we all know that 90% of carburettor-problems are electrical, anyway!?)

What I will say is that I like the look (‘patina’ or colour) of the original casting, so that will stay. I will retain as much as is possible, including the slightly buggered and de-chromed nuts and screws.

The slide and choke-stuff will have to be replaced/obtained as new parts, and that could cost more than a completely new carburettor, but that’s the price you pay for keeping as much as possible and throwing as little away as is practical.



I re-faced the flange and only cleaned up the rest with a wire-brush and a rag with some de-greaser…no polish! In the last pic, the wear on the (brass) slide is evident. What you can’t see is the extent of the work that was necessary on the top ring, which was badly squashed and dented. Almost all the ribs were smudged or filled with C.R.A.P and so a needle-file was called to help, the result pleasing (if time-consuming – a good half an hour!). The ‘knurling’ all sharp again, even if the chrome has gone. No, I shan’t get it re-chromed! After a few months outside and with the heat of the engine + some oil, I daresay, it will lose it’s brassy shine and quieten down to an almost organic golden lustre, in keeping with the autumnal feel of a 70-year-old instrument, and much like the rest of the bike, which I will in no way attempt to make look as if it is brand new!


So here is the finished plot. It has a № 3½ slide and will get that replaced along with a № 3 & 4 as well, and an assortment of main jets around the 160 mark. This will very much depend on the compression-ratio, cams and any other factors I have to take into consideration. Who knows, I might even go for a flat-sided Mikuni and DOHC, 4-valve, twin-plug, Desmo setup!! Now that would be interesting, where did I put that old Ducati 450 engine again…?

Joking aside, while cleaning up, I decided to have a go at the outside of the primary-chaincase, which had been (badly) chromed at some stage, as can be seen from the photo below. This is almost an ‘after’ shot, as it looked a good deal worse, covered in rust and other crap.

I decided to get creative, and since it looked like a lot of chrome was only just sticking to a layer of rust, attacked it with a razor-scraper, the sort of tool one might use to get stickers off glass (NOT the back of your Porsche!)


This, of course, will be duly powder-coated in black and will NOT be re-chromed! All will be revealed as the blog moves forward, I suppose, so please forgive me if it doesn’t get a special mention until it gets fitted!


What a lovely mess!


What I really want/need to do next is split he timing-side case from the crank, which is not as easy as described in the books…the bevel-drive just will not separate from the crank…I’m still having a think about that. The previous owner seems to have had a love-affair with silver paint, as the crank-cases and head have also been painted silver…I don’t really want to blast those, so I’ll have to have a think about that too, once I manage separate the cam from it’s shaft, too!


© peter gouws 2012

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