Sunday, 30 June 2019

FJ Fork Seal Replacement

I recently noticed a small leak on one of the FJ's forks. The bike's MOT (annual safety check) was due so I decided to replace the seal. This is fairly simple job and one I've done in the past. A couple of special tools are needed though. From my records I see that the seal was last replaced 8 years and 55,000 miles ago so not bad.   
The leak is very slight but I guess it won't get better

Tip - loosen the fork top bolt before removing the fork otherwise it's tricky to get off

Fork removed

Drain oil

This is the dust seal

The metal inside the seal has corroded and burst the seal. I don't think this caused the leak but it's not good because flakes of rust could score the fork leg.

I got a pair of oil seal & a pair of dust seals

To strip the forks a special tool is needed. It's a long bar with a 27mm hex head. I made this one years ago.

It goes down the fork to allow the damper screw to be removed

The fork then comes apart

There is some pitting on the fork leg

The pits are outwith the stroke of the seal (otherwise the tube would be scrap) I buff them smooth to avoid damaging the new seal when fitting.

New seal installed

To push the seal into place I made this tool a long time ago

New oil

The dust seal on the other fork was a bit crusty so I replaced it as well

All done. The fork protectors are after market. I don't know if they do any good but why not?

Friday, 28 June 2019

In the News - Nuntii Latini finiti

After a run of 30 years a weekly five minute radio news broadcast in Latin has been ended in Finland. Nutii Latini - the News in Latin - was surprisingly popular with an audience of 50,000 in a country with a population of 5.5 million. It also attracted an international following on short wave.

Strangely I studied Latin for a short while. Not my choice, but when I was 13 I took a class at school for a year. I didn't think I took a lot of it in but in later years, in Spain for example, it helped me figure out the odd word. 

story here 

Thursday, 27 June 2019

A Run in the Sun

Europe is currently enjoying (or enduring) a heatwave at the moment with the temperatures topping 40C (100+F) Nothing like that in Scotland, of course, but it was warm & sunny today.

I was short on time so I went for a favourite "winter run" of mine to the Rosneath Peninsular.

Might be worth a visit

Looking up Loch Gare towards Garelochhead and the naval base at Faslane.

Loch Long

This area has many grand old houses. This one is now a hotel.

I always stop here to admire the view up Loch Long

One for the vexillologists. This flag was flying at the house with the view. Bermuda, I think (I looked it up)


Looking down Loch Long to the Firth of Clyde

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Spot the Tool

I'm a sucker for cheap tools. Can you identify this one? It looks like a tiny hammer with a hollow head and some abrasive on the top face.  


It’s a grinding stone dresser.
A tool I use a lot is a bench grinder. This has two stones wheels (coarse & fine) for grinding metal. The stones had become rounded with use. They still grind ok but not for things that need a flat face like sharpening drill bits. The dresser grinds down the grinding stone.   

I actually bought a pair of new wheels but saw this for £1.99 so thought it was worth a try. I wasn't hopeful. The head and shaft are far from a right angle indicating that this is not a precision made item. Quality dressers use diamonds set in tungsten carbide but I doubt I got that for the money.

Surprisingly it worked!

I didn't use a lot of force because I thought that this would destroy the tool. But light pressure produced a fair amount of dust as the wheel was ground down. 

Using the tool
Re-shaped grinding wheel
Protection was needed

Monday, 24 June 2019

Midsummer Run

On Friday I had a night out for a former colleague who was leaving. But I wanted to go for a run so I set off early.   

When you're 56 degrees north of the equator daylight is in good supply at this time of year. Sunrise was at 4:30am! and by seven it was as light as noon.  

My route

The Falls of Dochart in Killin

The ancient burial place of the Clan MacNab is on an island in the river.

Loch Tay - I took the minor road on the south side.

The River Tay at Aberfeldy

Near Crieff


The impressive bridge over the River Tay, completed in 1771.

From the bridge there is a view to the North Inch

The North Inch is a large park

The Inch was the site of the "Battle of the Clans" in 1396. Effectively a mass trial by combat to settle a feud. Read the gory details here. the battle

Most towns in Britain have a statue of Queen Victoria but here is one of her husband, Prince Albert.