Thursday, March 31, 2011
As many of you know, I have been working on a 125 as my winter project. I have all of the things done on the bodywork part of it and I now have the performance motor work finished, so it’s time to put the engine together. Since a 125 is considered the baby of big motorcycles it's important to get as much power out of the engine as possible. However, I refuse to cheat, so I gain performance by doing specialty work myself that is completely within the guidelines of the 125 class instead of sending a motor to have it built illegally like so many people do. The performance work that I was doing was matching the cases and porting and polishing the cylinder. It makes a big difference in the way a motorcycle runs, but is very expensive if you have to send it to someone to do it. Fortunately, I know how to do it, so it only cost me some time. The first thing that I do when doing this type of work is matching the cases. To do this, you have to take the engine completely apart so that you only have the engine covers and the cylinder. This was not a problem since I needed to take the engine apart to repair it anyways. Next, you bolt the cylinder onto one of the engine covers. You then have to carefully grind away any of the metal that overlaps where the surfaces meet. The purpose for doing this is to make the transitions as smooth as possible. The fewer disturbances there are the better and more efficiently fuel and air can flow through, which creates more power. Think of it as a vacuum cleaner that is partially plugged. Yes, it still works but it is not nearly as efficient or powerful as it could be. After the cases are matched it is time to work on the cylinder porting. Ports are open spaces in the cylinder that help control fuel and air flow. The more efficient the porting is the more powerful the engine is. Porting is tricky, though, because a lot of people think that to port a cylinder they need to make the ports bigger so that you get more fuel and air. This is not the case. The cylinders and ports are designed by the manufacturers to certain specifications for a reason. If you make them bigger, you mess with the timing and other critical features of the motor. When I port a motor I am simply cleaning up casting flaws, (since the pieces are cast and not handmade there are some imperfections) smoothing transitions and sharpening dividers so that things flow better. On the exhaust port (where everything finally leaves the cylinder) I used a polishing compound and polished everything to a mirror-like finish so that things flowed very well out of the cylinder. You, however, should never polish the other ports of a cylinder because a polished surface will not allow the fuel to atomize correctly and will defeat the purpose of doing all of the porting work. As I said before, it’s a tricky balance. After spending hours of cleaning up the ports and matching the cases my engine is finally ready to go together! Now I just have to assemble the complete engine and get it in the bike so that it’s ready to ride. I can’t wait! With spring break on the way I am hoping to be doing some assembly very soon. When it's all finished I will post pictures. I’m sorry about this slice being so long, but I figured that I should probably put some explanations as to why and how I was doing things to allow you to better understand. There you have it, 31 days and 31 slices!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
10. She is able to teach middle school students and keep her sanity.
9. During the school year she is also able to teach ballet classes once a week.
8. She does her best to try and make me feel better when I am sick (which has been a lot this year)
7. She always knows the right thing to say if things aren't going well.
6. She puts up with me and my sarcasm.
5. She always tries to help others out, even if she doesn't really have the time or energy.
4. She puts up with my constant talking about and working on motorcycles.
3. She allows me to have 2 motorcycles - a 125 and a 250
2. She it a Purdue Fan. Boiler Up!!!!!
1. She loves me no matter what and will always be there for me.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I’m so tired of being sick! For the first couple of days I haven’t had my voice and now I am so congested that I can’t breathe. If I didn’t know any better I would say that my kids are trying to get rid of me. :) On the plus side, my voice has returned, which makes communicating much easier. I can’t wait for the day that I’m completely healthy and am not coughing, sneezing, wheezing or sniffling. When that day comes I think that I’m going to buy a lottery ticket, because it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve felt 100% great! :)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Now that the weather has gotten a little warmer and the snow has gone away I have really been chomping at the bit to get out on my dirt bike and ride. It’s such a great stress relief, especially with having a difficult class this year. However, it has been raining pretty much all day and it is going to take quite a while for the soft and soggy ground to dry out. What a bummer! I was really hoping to get out and do some riding this weekend. Oh well, I guess that I will have to sit at home and work on my project bike some more. If I can’t ride I may as well do something with a motorcycle. :)
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Moral of the whole building an oven story: When you think things are going bad you can always tell yourself "at least I'm not that crazy first grade teacher who was trying to build an oven for a silly raffle!"
I've added some pictures for anyone who would like to see what has given me all of the problems. There are a lot of cool ideas that I had and would have liked to do differently, but I was working with donated items and a $15 budget that I set for myself. What can I say, I guess I like to make things difficult on myself. :)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
It's been a long time coming, but I am finally about finished with the toy oven that I have been working on for our school fun fair. My class and our book buddies chose the theme of baking for our fun fair basket. I don't know that it's a very interesting topic for most people, but that's what the kids wanted so that's what we went with. Our kids and their families have donated cake and cookie mixes and various kitchen/baking utensils. To try and make our basket a little more interesting I decided to build a wooden toy oven instead of using a plain old basket. I mean, what kind of fun can you have putting a basket together if you can't use power tools and risk causing some bodily harm, right? Needless to say, the project has taken a long time and has caused somewhat of a mess in my basement. It's been so cold that I couldn't stand to work in the garage, so I transported my saws, lumber, drills and other various tools down to the basement. It has caused quite a mess and I'm sure that my wife is more than irritated at me. Fortunately, I will be putting on the first coat of paint on today. That means that it's finally about finished!!!!