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Chapter 6  Chronological log

6.1  Buying her

2013-Apr-25:
I saw the adverticement on motos.net and requested more information.
2013-Apr-27, 13:00:
First look, preliminarily agreed on the price of eur 25 000.
2013-May-11, 13:00:
Comprehensive test ride. Deal made.
2013-May-16, 10:00:
I picked her up and rode her home. The distance as reconstructed was 46 km.

6.2  Speedo connected

On 2013-May-19, I connected the speedo. There are four wires coming from the speedo: red, black, purple, and orange. There are three wires coming form the wire tree: red, black, and purple. Connected the three matching colors. Speedo works fine. When I looked on the mileage the first time after having driven a few hundred meters, it displayed 43 km. Thus it is a fair assumption that the speedo had 42(!) km on it when I got the bike.

6.3  Side stance switch disabled

On 2013-Jun-16, at 265 km, I had a look at the switch in the side stance that cuts off ignition when the stance is engaged. While experimenting with the switch, I tried for a while to start Wendy with the fuel petcock turned off; this emptied the battery. For jump starting her, I first had to disable the side stance switch, otherwise it would turn the engine off when I get off to remove the jump start cables.

After some testing and measuring, I found out that if the stance is engaged, it presses a little ball into the switch which then provides a contact to mass. Thus, to disable the switch, I just removed the switch, insulated the end of the cable, and tied the cable to the frame.

6.4  The big trouble with the COC

On 2013-Oct-15, I was in Cologne for some business and I took the opportunity to visit the European Boss Hoss Importer and to buy a few parts. There, I learned that the Spanish administration (I live in Spain, and I bought Wendy with a Spanish registration) had just asked the Importer in writing whether the bike conforms with European regulations. The importer told me that the bike does not, mainly because of the hot cam (which could be inferred from the files) and that it must have been registered in Spain with a faked COC (in fact, the number of the one for the big block version was referenced in the Spanish registration). The importer told me that he was going to inform the Spanish administration accordingly and that the cam needs to be replaced by an authorized Boss Hoss dealer in order to obtain a correct COC.

Instead of waiting for the Spanish administration to contact me, I decided to be proactive and get Wendy really street legal in Europe as soon as possible (which might have been a mistake, as of today, 2015-Mar-31, I still have not heard anything from the Spanish administration). Therefore, back in Spain, I arranged transport to a Boss Hoss dealer in the Netherlands, whom I knew from test riding a Boss Hoss a year before.

On 2013-Oct-28, Wendy was picked up in Spain and then delivered to the dealer in the Netherlands on 2013-Oct-29. That was the beginning of the long and sad story. I will spare the details, but it took until June 2014 before the European importer signed the COC, and after the replacement of the cam, the engine was leaking oil from a front engine cover. After a rebuild, the engine was leaking oil at the back of the intake manifold, and it took several further rebuilds before all leaking problems were supposed to be solved and Wendy was brought back to Spain.

Wendy arrived back in Spain on Sunday, 2015-Mar-22, almost one year and five month after she had been picked up, with 3599 km on the counter, 564 km more than at departure (which are probably due to the numerous test rides with the ever oil leaking engine — however, assuming test rides of about 20 km each, it must have been a lot). The bike was brought back by personnel of the dealer, who had some other business in Spain. We tried to start it to back it up into the garage, however, it die not fire up instantly an then the battery was flat. We bridged from a car battery, but still it did not fire up. It was suspected that the fuel tank was empty. We pushed the bike into the garage and I connected a battery charger.

The following Monday, it was raining, but on Tuesday the weather was fine. I put five liters of fuel into the tank. The battery was fully charged and cranked fine, but still the engine did not fire up. I suspected that the engine was flooded and cranked it for a while with shut fuel petcock, and indeed, finally it fired up.

I did a few short rides and the bike seemed to be fine, in particular, it started now always easily. On Wednesday, I did a longer ride of about 50 km. Back home, I found the right side of the bike from the side panel backward spilled with oil.

On the following weekend, I did a few test rides and found that the oil is now already dropping to the floor after a ride of just a few kilometers and that the leak is located at the back of the intake manifold, see Fig. 6.1.


Figure 6.1: Picture taken from the right, pointing slightly forward towards the back of the engine. The red arrow marks the location of the oil leak.

It is pretty clear that this problem was caused by the replacement of the cam, so it is in principle the responsibility of the dealer, however, I do not feel like shipping Wendy another time to the Netherlands and waiting for who knows how long before getting her back. Therefore, I am going to solve the issue myself. I have contacted the dealer for a new gasket for the intake manifold, but I learned that between intake manifold and engine block, there is only sealant. However, I have to replace the gaskets between manifold and cylinder heads, and the dealer promised to send me those (I am curious if he dares to charge me for them).

Although dis- and reassembling the intake manifold may be a relatively small operation, I would feel much more comfortable with it if I had something like a shop manual for the ZZ4 engine as used in the Boss Hoss. I could not find anything about such a manual on the web, so I looked into the forum at

http://www.v8bikeriders.com.

There had already been a question about a dedicated ZZ4 manual, but the answer just recommended to use any general small block manual. Thus I got “How To Rebuild The Small Block Chevrolet: Stock and High-Performance Rebuilds” from the SA Workbench series.

On 2015-Apr-11 (now 3722 km on the speedo), the new gaskets had still not arrived. So I optimistically gave it a try to seal the oil leak just by applying sealant from the outside without removing the intake manifold. As I should have expected, that did not work. A small test ride next day created again a big oily mess.

By the way, once again it was very difficult to start the bike. I needed to jump start and to crank for a while with shut fuel petcock before she fired up.

6.5  Sealing the intake manifold

Finally, the new gaskets from the intake manifold to the cylinder heads arrived, I took a week of vacation and started to work on the bike on Saturday, 2015-Apr-25. I took many pictures along the way which did indeed help a lot for reassembling everything. I may sometime publish them all here.

6.5.1  Removing the fuel tank

The most complicated part is to disconnect all the wires from the dashboard. This has partly to be done from the top and partly from the bottom of the tank. I fixed strings to the connectors to be able to later pull them easily back up through the opening below the dashboard assembly.

Despite the wiring, removing the fuel tank is straight forward, however, I overlooked a little issue. I had recently filled up the tank, so I was expecting it to be a bit heavy, but I was thinking that I can nevertheless remove it almost full as it was, just shutting the petcock and disconnecting the fuel line. I did not think about the line below the tank which connects the two lowest points on left and right. It has no petcocks, so I needed at the end to drain all the fuel from the tank (and distribute it to other vehicles).

6.5.2  Removing the distributor

I did not turn the crankshaft to top dead center of cylinder one. Instead, I just removed the cap and took accurate pictures of the rotor position to be able to slip it back in with the same drive gear mating. I took also pictures of some marks which were present where the distributor meets the intake manifold in order to reassembly it with the same ignition timing.

6.5.3  Removing the carburetor

Nothing special here. I suppose that the gasket can be reused.

6.5.4  etc.

For the time being, I have suspended the detailed documentation of this endeavor. However, everything was completed within a week.

6.6  Faulty ignition module

6.6.1  First time

When I wanted to make a ride on 2015-Dec-20 (or a couple of days later, not sure about the exact date), Wendy did not fire up. The starter cranked fine but not the slitest cough from the engine. I checked, and there was no spark at the plug. I search the web for some advice and found a testing procedure for the HEI. I did various measurements and the most conclusive finding was that a test light at the Tach output of the HEI did not flicker when the engine was cranked. This hinted towards a faulty ignition module. I ordered a new one from ebay, installed it, and Wendy was back to life.

6.6.2  Second time

When I wanted to make a ride after changing the headlight bulb on 2017-Feb-26 at 11942, I saw exactly the same symptoms. Voltage on the input to the distributor BAT terminal was OK. Made the test light check and it remained off when cranking the engine. However, it later came to my mind that I erroneously connected the test light to the wire to the TACH terminal, not the TACH terminal itself, so the check was meaningless. I anyway had already replaced the ignition module (I had ordered two last time), and then Wendy fired up. That did not completely convince me that the ignition module was indeed the problem. I had forgotten to close the fuel petcock, so there is a faint possibility that the engine was flooded and cranking had just sufficiently cleaned it after some time. I should anyway order two new ignition modules, just in case.

6.6.3  Third time

I try to remember the sequence of events correctly. Wendy had stood still for about a week, and the battery could not crank well (by the way, I have checked the current with ignition switched off, and it is about 30 mA, while I had expected exactly zero; it seems not to go to the air ride system). I hooked Wendy to the batteray maintainer, and a few days later, the battery cranked well, but there was not the slightest cuff from the engine. I checked the TACH output of the distributor, and the test light did not blink. So, on 2017-Dec-29, I exchanged the ignition module another time. The first start afterwards was quite reluctant (probably because of bad plugs) and I needed to jump start, but after a lot of painful cranking, Wendy was back to life.

6.7  New shocks

I wanted to get rid of the Airride system. It is quite bumby on bad roads and wacky in bends. I also don’t like that it looses the air quite fast. When I park Wendy in the morning, the leaning angle may have changed quite a bit when I return to her in the evening. This could cause problems on non-level ground.

On recommendation by the Venlo dealer, I ordered a pair of Hyperpro shocks and installed them on 2016-Dec-11 at 11746 km. Installation was straight forward; I got an appropriate support point after removing the skid plate. There were some stop washers, but the way they were mounted they were without effect, just acting as distancers. May be that was required for the volumineous Airride shocks. I did not use them for the Hyperpros.

The ride feels indeed more comfortable on bad roads and more stable in bends.


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