Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Well, today is December 18th, my birthday. The Big Six Oh. Not older than God or even dirt, but pretty dadburned old, nonetheless. As George Burns said, "If I had known that I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." I still have outlived my Dad and both of his brothers, so that's something to crow about. I can still hold up my big ol' sickle and ride the snot out of it, so screw everything else.

No progress on the Ranger swap. I'm still waiting for the necessary parts to arrive. In the meantime, I'm working on some of my woodworking projects that have been on the back burner for a while. A sewing machine cabinet for the wife and a table for a friend. The cabinet was finished, but the top warped, so I need to build another one. Bummer, but "stuff" happens
That's my 47 Whizzer in the background. I'm doing it as a "barn fresh restoration". I have rebuilt and prettied up the engine, put on new whitewalls and a new echo pipe. All the rest will remain original patina.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well, nothing to report today, so I think I'll rant. Recognize these two knobs? Yeah, the Teutuls, who will, hereafter, be known as Nostrils and Walrus Face. Yeah, I know, they have more money than me. Money is all that they have. I watch their show because I enjoy beating myself over the head. It feel so good when it's over.

Where to begin? How about the bikes. I will admit that their fabricating skills have improved. At first, all Nostrils did was to go to the shelf, select a bunch of parts, assemble the whole mess and then begin welding on all of his ill chosen encrustations. Most of the bikes are, in my humble, yet accurate, opinion, heinous. The most striking example has to be the POS...oops, sorry, the POW bike. Holy Crap. That is supposed to be a tribute to our MIAs? The two Vets that were blubbering over it were probably left shell shocked by the comprehensive ugliness of the thing. And what's up with a solo saddle and a sissy bar??

Did you see the Gillette bike episode where Nostrils and Vinnie were going on about shaving, and then talking about shaving EACH OTHER???? The only thing missing was that "BOW CHICKA WOW WOW", porno film music. Jeezo Pete, what a couple of bone smugglers.

Ol' Vinnie seems to be a pretty regular guy, but he isn't the Master Mechanic that he's made out to be. They had to call in a guy, on one build, to assemble a transmission and on another, they got someone to install a big inch kit while Vinnie watched. As it happens, the bike wasn't quite ready for a show where they were going to debut it. It wouldn't start. Vinnie stayed up all night chasing an electrical problem. You could hear, over the TV set, that there was a compression issue, but he soldiered on, looking for the non existant electrical gremlin. The guy installed the wrong pushrods. DOH!!!

One time, Cody (who, BTW, has the best looking bike to come out of OCC) asked Vinnie why it's called a suicide shift. Vin 'splains it's because you have to take your hands off of the bars to shift. WRONG!!! I have enough gray in my beard and I was there 40+ years ago and here is the correct answer. There is no such thing as a suicide shift. It is a suicide CLUTCH and a JOCKEY shift, and here's why. Back in the Jurrasic period when I was a youngun, the old sickle hounds, in their quest for lighter, faster bikes, began removing the stock, rocker style, clutch pedal from their HDs and Indians and replacing them with a simple in or out pedal. It saved a few ounces and you could really bang a shift by just stabbing the pedal and grabbing the next gear. Here comes the suicide part, pay attention, children. While sitting at a signal, waiting for the green light, you're revving your engine to impress the babe next to you in the Stude convertible. You loose you balance, your foot slips off of the pedal, you shoot into the intersection and, the next thing you know, you've become the hood ornament on a Mack truck. Suicide. At the same time, a lot of guys yanked the shifter off of the tank and bolted it to the trans. When you reached down and behind your butt to shift, it looked like a jockey whipping his horse ie: Jockey Shift. End of History lesson, back to OCC rant.

Here is the thing that pissed me off the most. The episodes where they bored us to death with their trip to Europe. They were at one of the cemeterys where our fallen heros of WWII are buried. Young kids, mostly, who sacrificed all for the freedom of the world. And here we have Walrus Face, walking around, trying to look somber, but appearing constipated, wearing that stupid assed wife beater. You arrogant, ignorant, douche nozzle.You were on hallowed ground. Show a tiny bit of respect for those who never came home, while you avoided military service.

OK, that's it. I can't take it any longer. Maybe later I'll go on about Nostrils' girl friend. Does anyone think that with a face like that, he could land a hottie like her?? Couldn't have been the $$$$$? Nahhh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tranny arrived

Well. boys and girls, I received my brand spankin' new Ranger III transmission. She's a beauty. I thought I'd post a picture for those who haven't seen one in person. It came complete with an adapter to bolt it to the Curtis box as well as a new bearing and race for the Curtis. For the time being, it will have to live in the shop while I am sourcing the rest of the parts. My old Nesco will be going on Ebay when the conversion is complete or I will entertain cash offers. It's recently rebuilt and works perfectly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ranger III Transmission Conversion

This blog will follow my adventure into converting my 1998 Boss Hoss 350 motorcycle from the current one speed Nesco automatic tranny to a two speed, manual shift Ranger tranny. I will also, from time to time, interject some of my loves, hates, substandard observations and paranoid delusions.

Who is this boob, you may be asking. I have a partial bio listed already, but here's a bit more for those who care. I 'm a SoCal native, baby boomer, gearhead. I've been up on two wheels for 44 years, starting with Cushmans, Whizzers and the like. The BH is the culmination, the "Big O", 385 horse dose of Viagra. I have several welding certifications, a 1000 sq/ft home shop, a lathe and a mill and a fair degree of fabricating skill. I should be able to knock it out in a day or two....in dog years.

The Ranger was originally a two speed under or overdrive unit for trucks. It has been redesigned by Bill Alexander and fitted with an all new, custom, gearset. It has a 2 to 1 first gear, a direct 1 to 1 in high and a true neutral. It is bullet proof, all synchro and of the highest quality, built right here in The Peoples Republik of Kalifonia. It's like totally bitchen, Dudes.

Here is a shot of the victim bike, soon to come under the torch and my BFH (big f'n hammer). I hope to begin the transformation after the first of the year (2008), when things slow down a bit. I will also be addressing the swing arm bushings and replacing them with sealed bearings. There will also be a built in pump with miniature lines going to all major components that will inject a continuous flow of dielectric grease.

This will be a true, back yard, modification. I'm a tradesman, working for wages so I will not be able to go scoop a few shovels full out of the money bin.

So stay tuned boys and girls and watch as Ol' Uncle Carl cuts, welds, curses, bleeds and give tools and parts flying lessons. If it comes out as expected, great. If there are any screwups or failures, you'll see them as well.