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Restoring an engine. Now that we have some time

ER Classics Desktop 2022

As a classic driver I am regularly approached by - often older - people who want to know everything dreamily. Often there are former motorcyclists with fond memories. But what I often hear is: "I think that's fantastic, but I can't tinker". That is a comment that people fall short of. And I now know that it is also a doubt of some loyal ones Auto Motor Klassiek readers. That fear and doubt are unjustified. The BMW in the header photo cost 200 euros. And with a BMW or other classic with pushrods you can always make a happy ending to your first own restoration. Restoring the engine, some tips.

For people who want to set the bar even lower, there are still endearing free-range animals such as the two-stroke MZs and the Russian Ural boxer twins. The Dneprs are just a bit more sophisticated. So pay attention to what you buy. Because there can be substantial differences between things that are very similar. But if you want to restore an engine, start with something simple.


Buy wisely

Besides the basic simplicity of a first project, it is very wise to choose a motorcycle for which it is easy to get parts. And BMW, for example. This is often the case with English and Italian brands, but when you first restore an engine you can get stuck on some completely unique and illogical technical solutions that the geniuses from those countries have ever come up with.

But now that we have some time ...

Start by asking around and hearing around. In any case, that already keeps you busy. And it is amazing what is still in sheds only a little more than a meter and a half from your house. Because there have always been people who have put their motorcycles in the shed or who have started a restoration project that ...

Also take a look at the Internet. There are many specialized parts providers there. And for the common brands there is a wide choice between used and new of what our Flemish readers call 'spare parts'.

The following applies when purchasing: 'The more complete. The better'

Restoring an engine? Please note that the papers with the engine are also complete. Absence of this does not in principle cause terrible problems, but can degenerate into a lot of fiddling. For example, they can decide at the RDW to investigate whether the engine has ever been reported stolen somewhere.

To restore an engine, there are many paper and online workshop manuals, also called 'shop manuals or wphb's. Moreover, the unsurpassed youtube contains a lot of videos in which all those incomprehensible people explain everything while they show what they do. You can stop those videos to copy them step by step or grab a cup of coffee.

You don't need a complete garage outfit

For most work you only need a basic set of tools as you can buy them through our advertisers or occasionally at the Action of Aldi. A good set of tire levers is important. When assembling it is later really useful to have a torque wrench at hand and to read the instructions for use.

Remember that things are simply outsourced during a restoration. That is no shame. We have known someone who could lay a perfect paint job with aerosols from the Action, but it takes a lot of practice.

If you can overcome the fear of restoring an engine beforehand, you will notice that restoration is a form of meditation. A kind of black-handed yoga. And maybe in this weird time it's a good idea to start meditating. Good luck! And have fun!

More articles about classic engines through this link.

More practice and technology through this link.

That's how it can be

Think realistic

New chrome is expensive!
See if the numbers and documents are correct
Good tools don't have to be expensive
Super simple. Nostalgic. And you can drive it at 100 km / h

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