Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scrub it up.

If you love the feel of wind,dust, and dirt in your face, the smell of paint in your nose, and the taste of rust in your throat, you will love this part of the restoration. I absolutely want a sand blaster. The thought of gently waving my magic wand of high speed abrasion that lifts the most stubborn patina gives me the chills. Oh the time I could save and the rust I could kill.... ah dreams.... reality dictates that a machines that operates at 150 decibels and leaves pounds of sand within a 4 block area of where it operates, relegates this particular fantasy to my dreams.
Enter the modern wire wheel. 3400 revolutions per minute of paint and rust stripping madness. Every part that has just been disassembled from the trike has now to be stripped of all the paint and rust that 40 years of use has contributed to it. The jack shaft and axle are dissembled and scrubbed clean then lubed, bad parts replaced and then reassembled. Frame parts are stripped, primed, and repainted.

Mitch and I debated over what color to paint this trike and decided on bumble bee. Yellow frame, black wheels, and haven't decided what to do with the chrome yet. Handle bars will be black.      

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Tear-Down

A major drawback of sharing my workshop with my wife is that she seems to think it should be used for parking the cars in. I, like any other real man, know that garages are made for maintaining and restoring toys. Cars can live outside..... Had to look around and make sure my wife wasn't reading this. So, since I am the man of the house my truck is parked outside and my wife's truck lives in the garage, and yes, I am very thankful for the 20' x 12' spot I can use for dinking around with my hobbies.

I pulled the blue Tryke into the garage for the tear down. Since these trikes originally came as a kit it is fairly easy to break them down into the various large components. This include the rear frame, front frame, front triple tree, and the engine. The  most complex structure is the rear frame. This holds the engine, drive train, and brakes. The axle and jack shaft are a complex mess of adjustable bearings, clutches, and sprockets. Take my word, when disassembling one of these trikes, take a lot of pictures for reference.

Start the dis-assembly by removing the engine. Mine came with a Briggs and Stratton 10 horse L-head. It weighs slightly less than a small-block chevy. Lifting with the knees is especially recommended, unless you have sired all your kids and would rather not worry about one more.

Depending on how long the trike has been sitting outside in the rain and moisture, you may need more than the two 1/2" wrenches that it took to put this thing together originally. Mine came from the desert of southern Utah  so it came apart quite easily. If you live in Georgia, just go get the gauze and antiseptic because you are going to be busting nuts, bolts, and knuckles all day.
Pull the engine plate, battery plate, and jackshaft. The is a total of ten nuts and bolts! This only leaves you the axle left. Pull the tires off and throw one under the seat to lift everything up. Now remove your axle. Eight nuts and bolts! Pulls the fenders. Twelve very rusty bolts.

Unbolt the shocks and pull the large bolt out of the middle pivot and ta-da. The hardest part is done.
Next you want to pull the triple tree and handle bars off. Easy, the large bolt that runs through the triple tree is the only thing holding it all together.

Really, you are looking at a couple hours to pull this thing apart. It was barely 10 o'clock when my wife poked her head out the door and asked if I remembered that I was married. I went inside and scrubbed the 40 year old grime from underneath my nails and crawled into bed. Deb was already incoherent. I was able to watch the latest episode of "Bering Sea Gold" on discovery before finally shutting the TV down and drifting off to sleep.