Tech notes from Steve Christo
Steve's solo OHV.
My first CJ is my “workhorse”, a 12V flat head that I use to get me to work on good days and to run errands around the county. I owned a 6V flattie for a while but had to give it up to a friend who appreciates simple, robust engineering as much as I do. It’s so much fun riding and maintaining these beasts that I decided that I needed to add another CJ to my (hopefully) permanent collection.
Without thinking, I bought another one. Went up to PA to pick up a red OHV Chang from Greg who brought it back from China where he works occasionally. The bike was built by Luke who had done a first class job on the brightwork. Couldn’t count the number of thumbs-up I got from motorists on my way back to VA. I wanted to ride this one solo for a while to see what all the OHV guys were talking about on the forum.
I prefer not to use machine tools unless absolutely necessary. I’m no Luddite but more and more I see the expensive, unwarranted uses of higher technology in situations where simpler solutions are more appropriate. With that in mind, I armed myself with a few simple hand tools, some experience with two other CJs and a wisdom gleaned from the CJ forums and set to work. (I did, however, let myself use an electric hand drill on this go around!)
The first job was to remove the sidecar and make it portable. A scrap 2x6 board, a couple of U-bolts and two 5” casters (rear fixed and front swiveled) was all it took. Had to cut the “+” cable that went to the sidecar-mounted battery. Decided to make the cut near to where the battery box would be. A locking connector was already in place for the sidecar lights. The negative cable was simply unbolted from the transmission housing.
Once the sidecar was out of the way, I took off the passenger seat to give it a lower look. The next step was to install a battery box. Greg gave me one that was already chromed but no mounting holes. Mounted the bottom to the passenger foot peg mount and the top to the fender with a nice stainless steel tube for a stand-off to keep it from wobbling too much.
The battery is wedged in with foam. The only thing left to do for this installation was to make up some cable and fit the box with rubber grommets. The disconnect to switch from sidecar battery to bike battery is a ” bolt isolated from the frame with some zip loom.
The bike is fitted with two Chinese “Mikuni” carburetors. One of the throttle adjusting bolts on top was broken. I replaced the adjusters on both carbs with parts from a “conQuest Control Cable Master Kit”. Part #390, adjusting bolt, 6mm dia. X 0.75mm thread pitch. Thread length = 1” (32mm). Overall length = 1-5/8” (41mm).
Had to drill out the I.D. of the threaded portion to fit the ball end of the cable. The top had to be drilled out a little to fit the elbow. Using the conQuest part turned out to be a good move since this adjuster gives me more adjusting length without interfering with the slide. I think you can order these parts in packages of 10 from the company and they’re pretty inexpensive.
conQuest Products Co., 28090 Missouri Trail, Perris, CA 92570, 1-800-346-3150 (customer service)
The right side carburetor slide was twisting and sticking open because the guide had fallen out. Looked around the shop for “just the right” material to make another one. Found a brass #12 wood screw that fit the bill. The shank would be a press fit into the carb. A little cold forging on the vice and some filing and sawing had the slide working nicely in about 20 minutes.
The shank was tapped in and sawed flush with the body with the keyed end sticking into the carburetor body about 2mm. Both carbs were running way rich so I let the needles on the main jets down a notch (with one more notch left for adjustment). It’s still running pretty rich but runs cooler as a result. Balanced and adjusted the carbs by ear and am getting great response throughout the range. And, those baffled straight pipes make it sound sooo good!
Next stop is the kickstand. It looked like the stop had worn down to the point where it would almost go all the way forward.
Cold forged some wedge shaped shims from 1/8” (3mm) steel rod to fit and bent them over to keep from falling out. Sits rock solid now.
Changed all of the fluids. Used straight 60 weight Valvoline Racing Oil in the crankcase, and NAPA GL4/5 and synthetic Royal Purple 75W-90 in the transmission and straight Royal Purple in the final drive. Took her on the road for a test drive and it exceeded all of my expectations.
Loving the low center of gravity and mighty throttle response. I might have to keep this baby. Oh, did I mention that those straight pipes sound really really good? The only thing left on my list is to add now is 4.00” tires and to change all the bulb sockets and bulbs to easily obtainable American and European types.
Here she is tucked in for the night after a long ride on beautiful sunny fall day in Virginia. Snug as a bug in a rug. Ahhh.
Side note: I had lost the plug that covered the hole for the timing marks on the flywheel on my M1M. Found these at Lowe’s (American building supply chain) in the hardware section. “Nylon Hole Plug”, Hilman, 5/8 inch, part # 881285. They’re available in white or black and come two to a pack. It’s a very snug fit and handles the heat with no problem. This one’s been on there for a couple of months.