Ducati 250

Ducati 250

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Another little Project!

Got this a couple of months ago

Not sure what to do with it yet, options are:
Try to sell it on, So I can fund the next project
Or, spend spend spend. Rebuild the engine, buy a frame + forks + tranny etc etc.
To be perfectly honest, I think this could be way out of my price range and, would take too much time and money to complete, since I'm poor, with a low patience threshold, it may not be the best idea.
Anyway, I saw this the other day and got a bit inspired:

Electric Box mount

Holy engine/electrics box mount Batman, the step drill is glowing tonight!

Decided to make an all in one mount for the rear of the engine and my electrics box, which it still needs to be welded to. took quite a few templates to get it right, but it doesn't seem too far off.

Number plate Go!

Had a thought and re-positioned the numberplate, now sits on the top leg, bolted onto some brackets welded to the frame:

Been on standby today, so I thought I'd make use of my time waiting for a phone call by making a battery box. This is about the closest I'll ever get to being paid to build a motorcycle!
First attempt was going quite well, I made it from some quite thin sheet, so it was just one piece, which could be bent into the box shape. I folded it up the best I could, but to be honest, it looked pretty amateur, and I was not prepared to put it anywhere near the bike.
Second attempt used some 3mm sheet, so every side had to be cut to size before welding it together:

Bit of a tight fit for the battery, but at least it should't shake around.
Next up was to sort some mounts, so the battery box can be bolted to the frame and still be removable, I've got the bits cut and drilled, but can't weld it to the frame until the next time I've got the engine out. The idea is to have the battery fully supported, but without any obvious supports - all you will be able to see it a bit of 10mm bar, stretching across the chassis legs. pics to follow when its welded up.

Number Plate woe

A little miffed,
Spent several hours today making a numberplate mount, I templated it to fix onto 2 x lugs which would mount to the frame. The round bit on the top is the mount for the tail light. this was a bit of a pain as my steel blank was too small, so i had to make this bit seperate and weld the 2 bits together, ground the welds flush so its seamless, happy with that bit.

Tacked the lugs to the frame and stood back for a look:

Sticks out a frikkin mile! its only 7" x 5", so smaller than the UK legal size, but it just sits way too far out. I sat back and took a sip on some beer while I pondered. Got the cardboard template back out the bin and laid it in a different position:


Been thinking for a while on what to do with the neck gussets on the frame, they are a bit ugly and I already had to weld in repair patches after cutting out the cups that hold the stock tank.
Had a quick chat to Shaun this afternoon, as I was a little bit concearned that welding the new gussets ones in place, with the frame unbraced, might lead to some frame distortion, but he confirmed that all should be ok, as long as it was welded with a bit of care and in the right order. I did one side at a time, so the gusset on the other side would keep the frame in shape, first got them tacked in place and then welded about an inch at a time, at various points, so the heat wouldn't build up too much at any one point.
No pics of the before and during but a couple of pics of everything in place:

Not going to win any Welding awards, but I'm getting there:

Went on holiday a couple of weeks ago, but I temporarily lost a bit of momentum, this was also partly due to a lack of funds and parts, so last week I thought I'd make use of my time and strip the frame to do some of the fiddly bits of welding on the various brackets etc. I ended up doing the welding in 3 stints, as I kept getting pissed off with the awkwardness of it and the first 2 sessions it felt like i was using more tungsten than filler rod. Anyway, finally finished it tonight, still got a couple more brackets to add, when the parts arrive. Also made a threaded bung and welded it into the bottom of the frame to take the exhaust clamp.

Went to Newark yesterday and picked up an electric box from Shaun - 2 spun ends and a middle piece, I've just welded one of the ends to the middle and still need to fab up some mounting brackets for the other end so it can be made detatchable.

Also managed to score a replacement wheel from e-bay, I was considering ditching the front drum wheel I have, because it was shagged and replacing it with a later motorcross disk wheel, but this would mean new spacers, buying a caliper and fabbing a mount plus the master cylinder spoiling the clean handlebars. It was a tough decision, especially as I have all of the mounts sorted for the wheel and brake I have, but I just couldn't find the same wheel in good condition to replace it. Almost at the point of buying new parts when the god of the bay smiled upon me and listed a suitable replacement, which should be with me in a few days.

Hopefully tomorrow I can build the bike back up so I can get cracking with mounting the electric tank, I'll try to remember to take the camera to the garage.
Headlight mount (bolts are too long so I've spaced them out with some washers for now):

Exhaust mount, needs tidying up:

Wheeled it outside for a look:

Little bit more done:
Got a rear brake lever in the post the other day. I cut the original mount out from the remnants of the rear frame and mounted it on top of a bit of spare frame tube. This enables me to use the original brake shaft and bracket, so its all very straightforward, only took me an hour or 2.
Next up was a mount for the return spring, this ended up taking me more time than mounting the lever - its  just a little triangle shaped bracket which is welded to the frame.
All done now and tacked up - same as the fender mounts - I'll be doing all of the final welding when the frame is stripped down prior to painting, this will make it easier to get into the little nooks and crannys and I can rotate the frame in any direction so I'm always welding on a flat horizontal surface:

Another little update:
Scored a nice little headlight today from an Antique shop, need to up the bulb to  a decent wattage main / dipped and add a 3 way switch to the body of it:

I've spent hours and hours on the rear fender the last couple of days, its just amazing how long it takes to make anything, especially without a lathe, but I'm nearly there. The 2 top mounts are finished and tacked in place and the lower mount (the little bar I'm holding with my fingers) has just got one hole to be drilled and tapped before it can be welded to the frame:

Also got the rear axle adjusters lined up and part welded:

Finally got the front torque arm finished (bar the painting) The drum originally had a notch which fitted into a tag on the fork lowers, but as this came from a different bike, and my forks were designed to take a disk and therefore calipers, I had to overcome the mounting problem and followed some sound advice. This is where the torque arm comes in, it mounts onto one of the original caliper locating lugs at one end, the other end is located, via a bolt, into the drum brake plate. This was expertly modified (not by me) by filling in the original slot with weld and drilling / tapping / helicoiling a thread. Torque arm is 6mm bar, which should be adequate. Fork legs can now have the excess lugs removed and be sanded / painted (brake plate needs painting too)

Getting there:


Latest news...
After much work to the tank, grinding, welding, grinding, welding etc, I've decided to give up and invest in some tank sealant, not brought any yet, but I'll be looking for some ethanol resistant stuff, due to lots of modern fuel containing this and reading lots of horror stories about tank sealant melting and gumming up the carbs / engine.
Went to Stafford Autojumble yesterday and picked aup a nice solid rear 'fender' from Shaun, It fits my rear wheel absolutely perfectly, just got to fab up some mounts.
Also managed to find some motocross footrests for 4 whole pounds, and I've spent this evening sorting them out. Its a bit of a brain teaser trying to get them in the right place, taking into account the exhaust, kickstart and brake pedal (which I don't even have yet) But I('m pretty happy with where they sit now, they're not finish welded so can be fairly easily moved if need be:

Currently working on the front torque arm for the drum brake, got the bar made up, just got to make some spacers, tap them and weld em to the bar. Once thats done I can get the forks off and cut off any unused lugs, then clean up the legs. Might end up painting them, I'll see how well they clean up.

Bargain Exhaust

Scored a cracking 2 into 1 Motad exhaust on e-bay last night - £24 whole pounds! seller is the same person I got the frame from, just down the road. Knocked the backbox off (which might be handy come MOT time) and plonked it on for a look. I love it, definately the best bang for buck part so far:

In all seriousness, I really like the raw look of the bare tank, seriously thinking about just sticking a coat of laquer on and keeping the couple of dents
Latest mockup:

Bars are only temp, knicked from my old mountain bike.
Not really done that much recently, bent the side stand today, so it would work with the new ride height, not a perfect solution, but I'd like to retain some original features.
Hopefully be able to get an exhaust sorted soon, then I can crack on with the footpegs. And should be able to get my rear wheel spindle and spacers this weekend, along with specially modified front brake plate, so that will lead on to getting the brakes and torque arms sorted, once that is done, I can sort the front forks.
Still can't decide what to do about the electric box / bag / tank


OK, so, I got the Wassell / repro wassell (I'm not sure which) stripped today. Modified the head steady mounts so it sits right on the frame backbone. Also removed the old tank mounts from the neck gusset, the 'cup parts were easy enough to remove, but they mount onto a raised section on the neck gussett. This turned out to be a pain as they are stamped into the gusset, which means that grinding them flat makes them so thin they may as well be removed, so, I ended up cutting them out completely, cut some plate to match and welded them in. Ground the weld back and now they're seamless.
Still got to weld some tabs onto the tank and fit some bungs to the frame so it can be mounted
Here's a few of the tank:

Its alive!!!  

I was hoping for a fire up on the first kick, it would have been a dream, but instead, my knee is now throbbing! had various earthing and fuel related glitches. also an oil spillage when the clutch rod popped out, as i didn't have the lh cover on.
What a pain to film, if i set the camera running then I couldn't get it to fire, if I had it running and went to turn the camera on, the engine died!
Small issue with the LH cylinder  Undecided seems to be passing oil, could be the valve guide as I think it seemed a little worn on stripdown, theres new seals in there and the piston rings measured up ok. Not to worry for now, that might be a job for next winter.
Got home from Newark and couldn't wait to stick my new front wheel spacers on, they were a bang on fit, many thanks Q. One thing led to another and this was the end result:

Also brought home one of Shauns stainless seat mounts and on of TC Boyer Branson Ignition kits, so I've got plenty to be getting on with. Plan is to get the motor running in the next couple of weeks.

Engine back together

Finally got the parts together so I could make a start re-building the top end. One good thing to come out of having it stripped down for so long (about 6 weeks) was that i read loads about rebuilding them, so it was plain sailing sticking it all back together (not that they are a very complicated unit anyway)
Cylinders, head and cam cover were all individually stripped down and cleaned using parrafin and the dishwasher, I did have plans to paint them, but they had been done badly before. I didn't want to paint on top of the flakey paint and didn't fancy stripping every nook and cranny to prep them, so they went back on as they were.

Pic above shows the barrels and head in position when I was setting the timing. I slipped sockets over 4 of the studs, so I could nip 4 nuts onto the studs, this held everything in place securely and made timing a doddle. I didn't fit a new chain in the end, as this one is not very old, I didn't need to break the chain during removal and re-installation so am happy that this one has plently of miles left.

Got the cam covers on and its had its first Torque down, I'm going to check it tomorrow and of course, will recheck after its first run. Still need to set the follower clearances, I wound them right out when fitting the cover, but I'll set them when I'm happy that everything is fully torqued.

Went seat pan crazy last week, I'm now on version 6, getting better every time. just got to sort out some brackets
Made a couple of e-bay scores yesterday: Ladies black knee length leather coat - £3, if it doesn't suit me I'll use it to make a seat or two Shocked and a Fireblade rear wheel spindle - £1, same OD as the XS, I think it will be too long, but there are ways and means...
Got my air shears delivered today - what a revalation! bit of a pain to start with, but I soon found the technique and knocked out 3 seat pan blanks. Effort 1 was a bit too small, 2 was ok, so I tried the third, which again was only ok, so I went back to No2, made some modifications and am quite happy with the result. I'm going for a replica Bates look (the seat pan is basically a rip off of the seat blanks they sell on e-bay), so am going to cover with some 1" reconstituted foam and leather (keeping my eyes peeled for a coat on e-bay). 

No2 is on the left, No3 on the right, might end up using No3 on the sportster, its taken a bit more pounding with the hammer, but is fairly even and won't be noticed once its covered.
Here's my specially made jig:

I then received my second parcel of the day, delivered to my wife's work, shipped all the way from Texas:

Probably get round to fitting this week.