il Crustico - '73 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Basket case Restoration

Still working on the wheels. The final drive gearbox is all ready to be reassembled, I filed down the exposed edges of the bearing carrier that connects the driveshaft to the hub and painted it gloss black


Moto Guzzi used stainless steel spokes and brass nipples on these bikes which is just awesome. I soaked the nipples in muriatic acid to remove the corrosion and tarnish, after a run through the parts washer.



Threaded them onto a spoke and hit them with a quick polish. They clean up awesome.



Got all the nipples done and about 1/4 of the spokes.

Bead blasted the new hoops and the front needs some sanding still as it has quite a few dings and dents.


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It’s been a lot of work to get here but I finally got the wheels polished, laced and trued up. The rims were sanded 220 to get the deep dings out, all the way up to 2000, then polished with black and white compound.

Lacing the straight pull spokes is much easier than the J spokes on the Hondas, just make sure to set them with a punch as they have a little ridge that needs to seat into the hub.


The harbor freight stand is pretty annoying, if you don’t spin it the same direction the “axle” moves side to side and messes with you. I’ll probably modify that at a later date.


Got the wheels within a couple mm and for 50 year old rims I’m totally happy with that.




For reference, here’s what I started with:


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wow those were rough. you did a great job.
Thanks all. I also went up to the Guzzi Doctor’s this afternoon. We mounted the D404s that I finally ended up on. This feels like half the bike done to be honest.


Arced the brake shoes. The plate on the machine has been specially made to fit both types of Loop Frame drums. The rear shoes were too large so a mil or so was taken off of them. Apparently they don’t reproduce the correct shoes for the 2LS front which I didn’t pay attention to, but luckily we found a good set in his stash.


Took just the high spots off the old stock set.

We checked the shims on the wheel bearings, the rear had no shims and was set way too tight. We ended up with a couple shims totaling 2.75mm. The front shims were good so we left those alone.

Yesterday I cut the rubber mat for the DB boards which are partially restored. Of course the pictured set I cut on the reverse side and didn’t realize the long edge didn’t line up perfectly with the ridges so I cut another set. Joe had a pattern made up so it was an easy task.


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Lots more done this weekend. I gave the wheel bearings a final packing and installed new wheel bearing seals.



I finally picked up a bearing and seal driver kit which has been awesome.


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Next up I installed the powder coated center stand with zinc plated hardware and spring. Installed a new bump stop on the left side as well. Have I mentioned I hate installing springs? Chipped some powder off the end of the spring stay so I’ll need to touch that up later.




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This morning I turned my attention back to the engine. The bottom end needed to be buttoned up which included first reassembly of the oil pressure relief valve.


I put everything together with a new copper crush washer and tested the check valve function. The intent is to relieve high cold oil pressure which can climb upwards of 100 psi. Manual states it should release pressure at 48-60 psi. To test this, rather than making a fancy rig like others do, I set the pressure regulator on my air compressor to blow at 60psi, plugged one end of the tube and listened for the valve to open, which it did, so we are good to go there.


A nice new oil pan gasket, tightened down the pressure relief valve assembly and knocked over the bendy tab lock washers.

The oil pan then went on, with the pan guards in place. I had to do some repairs to one of them and it needed to be adjusted a bit with the grinder before it fit correctly. I powder coated these the same chrome as the hubs just because I had it in the gun.


And with that the bottom end is buttoned up.

Except I can’t find the drain plug LOL.

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Earlier tonight I got ready to install the flywheel and clutch. First the breathers needed to be installed. The lower breather bolt got new copper crush washers and the upper got a new gasket.


Everything had been cleaned up prior and I used the SD Tech clutch kit with new friction discs and intermediate plate and transmission gear. These use a 4mm spline rather than a 2mm spline as the original was, so they are much more durable.

First pick a cylinder and put it at TDC. There is an arrow on the flywheel that aligns with the TDC casting on the crankcase, doesn’t matter which side. This is important for later, the arrow isn’t lined up in the pic but it was adjusted for the important bit.


Install the flywheel with some blue loctite on the bolts and fold over the bendy tabs.


Springs next.


Followed by the pressure plate, this part has a dot on one of the splines that must be aligned with the arrow on the flywheel so that the springs seat properly with the reliefs in the back of the pressure plate.

Joe let me borrow his flywheel locking tool and homemade clutch alignment and assembly tool which is basically just a 4mm splined gear from a transmission output and a long bolt that threads into the crank, along with some spacers. Tighten it down and the pressure plate compresses the springs so the clutch can be assembled.


I forgot to take pics of the next step but the first friction disc goes in, then intermediate plate, then second friction disc, followed by the starter ring gear which holds everything together. Torqued down and now we have a new clutch assembly ready to roll.


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Today was a big day. A buddy came over and helped me lug the frame and engine out of the basement. Slapped the front wheel on and maneuvered the engine into the frame.

To make it easy, install the engine first by itself and secure the front engine mount bolt. Floor jack under the back side and jack up the rear of the engine until the heads hit the frame. This, along with removing the swingarm, allows plenty of clearance to install the transmission and get the nuts cinched down. Lower the jack slowly until the rear bolt is lined up. I had to skim a mm or so off one of the new stainless spacers, but we got it to fit.


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Wow, look back at the first page again... never would believe it. Looks fantastic.
Yesterday I gave the U-joint a quick freeze and seated it into its bearing.


Installed a new boot using one of the old stainless clamps on the swingarm side and a new one on the transmission side.


Finished installing the swingarm, adjusted and tightened the swingarm pivot bolts and put on a nice new set of the big cover nuts.

Next up was to line up the driveshaft and install the bevel drive box. New lock washers and gaskets there, torqued down the shock mounts and installed the shocks. Yes, I am aware they are upside down in the picture LOL.


Then the oil seal carrier on the inside of the bevel drive box was tightened up. Torqued to 35 ft lbs and fold over the bendy tab washers.


Applied a generous coating of moly grease to the splines on the wheel and hub and installed the rear wheel. I used Loctite LB 8012 as it has the highest moly content that I could find available, between 65-75%, so it was a much better choice than the other options I found. Yama-Moly only has 10%.


Now it looks like a motorcycle!

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