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Then painted two coats of Rust-Oleum Combicolor (as suggested by a few of you!) by hand with a paint brush. This paint is great and I am happy with the result - the hand done look. I will be trying to achieve this with a few other parts too - like sanding some of the aluminium parts and leaving light sanding marks. It will be a nice touch I think to a bike with quite a few CNC parts.
Then it was time to make those fork emulators fit the SR's damping rods... I don't have a lathe but could have outsourced the job. But then I thought that this kind of job does not need to be too accurate, they just need to fit. So I used a battery drill and a file as a makeshift lathe
And time for engine assembly! Piston rings gapped according to the Wiseco guidelines.
It is easy to get trapped down a rabbit hole of disinformation about engine assembly and tips, and after reading countless articles and forum posts, its nice to just stick with one method, follow one mans advice and have that book on hand. What is my verdict? There is several different ways you can successfully assemble an engine, period.
I ordered a piston ring compressor and a ring expander tool... Both sucked and I ended up doing the whole thing without them anyway - waste of money. I also bought some brake cleaner some ATF and a lint free cloth to get the barrel real clean after the boring and honing the shop did. Plus I ordered some good mineral oil for the engine break in.
The assembly went pretty went asides from the hiccups with the stupid tools. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I followed Wisecos guidelines through and through - so you will see the placement of the different ring gaps. I also filed the ends of the circlips (a tip from Paul Oleson) so that they were easier to install and didn't catch any edges or damage any aluminium on the way in.
Once the cylinder was on it was possible to rotate the engine and check to see if the top ring gap was still in the position it is supposed to be - which is evident with a streak in the lightly oiled bore (red circled detail).
I got the head on with the copper gasket in between as well. I will button everything up with torque wrenches another day!
One thing I did not research so much about was the way in which a copper head gasket should be used. It is generally considered standard practice to 'oring' them around the bore. If you're not familiar with that, give it a quick google search, cool stuff. It ensures a gas tight compression seal. I did not do this and am hoping I won't need to - there are plenty of people that have successfully used copper head gaskets without oring-ing them. However, if I get head gasket failure when I run the engine, I will know why and will know what to do... It'll be 'off with 'er 'ead! A great advantage of this engines cylinder and head interface is the use of orings around the oil feed galleys - in contrast to many car engines which rely on the head gasket to seal oil and water passages as well. So there was no need to use silicone around those areas like some people suggest (for copper head gaskets in car engines).
And to continue the ridiculousness of the weight reduction program... 480g reduction on the entire fork assembly - that is almost half a kg! With 67g being removed from the fork legs - which is piss all but it is also unsprung wight, which is good! These weight comparison photos are taken 2 years apart, that is embarrassing