That's a wheely nice paint job!

Reassured that the motor was basically healthy, we tore it down, cleaned it, painted it and threw new rings at it. In the process we discovered that itís not a 1200. It was once, but itís been taken out to a whopping 1385cc via bigger pistons and barrels. Score! As the saying goes, ďThere is no replacement for displacementĒ. Extra cubes are always good. We also discovered that the valve timing was so far out it would put even the most doped-up trippy hippy to shame. One exhaust valve adjuster was actually screwed back inside the rocker arm. The valve was opening, but only about half a millimetre for five degrees or so. No wonder it ran like a dog!

† †

The colour scheme for the mechanical bits was perfectly logical when Richard devised it, but the other members of the team didnít agree and had to modify it. The original plan was to paint the block and gearbox silver, the engine covers and airfilter black and the heads and barrels left unpainted. The rear suspension arms were to be orange and everything to do with lubrication (oil cap, dipstick and oil filter cover) was red. The alternator, starter motor and rear shocks were green and the pulleys gold. Anything electrical was to be white. And thatís mostly how it came out, with a couple of exceptions.

Those of lower socio-economic backgrounds (ie: Steve and Neil) were adamant that red makes things go faster, so they insisted on giving the rocker covers and the distributor cap the crimson treatment in the hope of extracting a few extra ponies from the romping stomping 1385. Well, maybe in their fevered imaginationsÖ no, thatís a truly scary place to even think about visiting! The oil pump was also left unpainted, as it scrubbed up quite well (unlike some of the team members, who donít scrub up at all!)

Another example of our disregard for basic workshop safety. The drum is full of race fuel, but wait... it gets worse! Richard had a big curry the night before and baked beans for breakfast. Workshop clearers, they were. Some of the paint blistered from the fumes.


Ze mill, painted but sans 'zorst.
Note the red rocker covers. Now it goes faster!

The crusty and dented stock exhaust has been consigned to the bin, and the decision has been made to run without the engine covers initially until we get an idea of how this affects the running temperature. Itís such a pretty engine it would be a shame to cover it up. We may need supplementary electric cooling fans and a remote oil cooler, neither of which should be an issue. A nice chromed custom Ďzorst would set the engine off beautifully. Steve favours a 4-into-4 open megaphone array (loud!), whereas Neil likes the idea of two fat carbon-fibre mufflers hanging out the back. Richard wants to move straight to installing a turbo or two (of course!), so discussions on the exhaust are continuing. Until one of us beats the other into submission, work on the Manx project has temporarily ceased.

Stay Tuned