View Full Version : Found a reson to visit the European section - '73 Eldo

04-05-2012, 3:01 PM
So, after a long time, I finally got the papers taken care of and sprung it out of the storage shed.

Not like I don't have enough projects going on but I'm gonna dust off the metric wrenches and put this old tractor back on the road.
After a good bath to remove the dust and rat shit, it'll need a clutch, new tires, maybe a set of mufflers, wire harness and a good fuel system flush to get her going. After that I hope to spruce her up a bit with a set of ape hangers and fishtail mufflers :eek: but I think I'll keep the patina.

04-06-2012, 7:23 PM
Excellent project! I love mine, and it started out in a lot sadder shape than yours. Enjoy- let me know if there is any knowledge I can pass along having just done my '71.

04-07-2012, 9:48 AM
I was checking yours out the other day. Nice job. I'm going to start with the clutch in the next couple weeks. Any tricks, or should I just pull the whole motor and tranny out? I'm going to order the parts after it's apart so I know what to get. I assume I'll need the clutch alignment tool as well.

04-10-2012, 3:19 PM
When I rolled mine onto the trailer to bring home, it had been sitting in the shop for a number of years but the engine had been gone through and the drivetrain had been checked out, so it didn't need anything touched with in that regard.

HOWEVER, here is what I did and where I got help...

The front forks were dead. I disassembled them, cleaned them up, and put them back together with new seals/o-rings. TIP: Now is the time to paint/powdercoat the upper fork tins since the only way to take them off is to disassemble the front end. The local shop (Sport Cycle Pacific) loaned me the specialty tools to take the front end apart.

For more tips and a picture-by-picture account, go to Greg Bender's "This Old Tractor":


...and for some parts, go to MG Cycle:


The rear shocks were replaced with Harley Dyna/Sportster shocks (eBay!) for $35. Rebuilt originals cost about $600. Eye-to-eye on the ones I got are 12" and I think stock is 12.5" It is strictly a bolt-on affair. :)

Wiring? I replaced whatever looked like it needed replacing with wiring of the same color. Again, look at Bender's website for cross reference #s for points, condensors, plugs, starter solenoids, and all kinds of other odds and ends to keep it low-buck. I found that I can actually get alot of odds and ends at Kragen/O'Reilleys (ignition parts, drain plugs, etc.).

More later, I gotta run for now. Good luck!

04-10-2012, 5:46 PM
This is my third Guzzi. I had to replace the clutch in my first one. The Chilton's book said unbolt the engine and you and friend lift the engine out of the frame and then work on transmission. Or option 2... if alone.... unbolt the engine and slide it forward in the frame and then pull the trans. I was alone. This is hard to do as there is very little room to see what you are doing when you put the clutch and trans back in place. I thought I would have less stuff to take off too. I still needed to unbolt practically every component to pull the trans. Doing it again I would remove the engine from the frame. It results in a better job.


04-16-2012, 11:30 AM
Friday night my girl and I worked out "the look". I'm not going for a "restoration" rather a functional rider with a few cosmetic changes to suit my taste, (sorry purists!). I'm gonna use this LePera chopper seat I had in my parts bin from another project.
This is pretty close to what I'm going for but I want to run taller handlebars, (8" chimp hangers) and swap the forks with a set of V-Star forks from my parts bin, (I hate the top tree, guage/light/switch cluster). The V-Star forks have tube covers and look almost the same as the stock Eldo forks except they're a little fatter. I need to lower them a little bit which is pretty easy and having a disk brake up front would be good. I'll fit the Eldo headlight and fender and I'm looking into lacing the Borrani rim to an HD hub, (fitted with the V-Star bearings) with a set of stainless spokes. The result should be a nice, clean and better handling front end.

04-16-2012, 11:48 AM
Here was the result of Sunday's forray into the project.
Removing the drivetrain was a bitch. Pretty much had to take everything off that was around the engine / trans and remove them together, (wouldn't come apart after removing all the motor mounts and bellhousing nuts, (snapped 2 studs too). Had to lay the whole bike on it's side rotating the trans up till it was just under the seat area then lifting the whole assembly until the drivetrain was standing on the generator belt cover. Then I picked up the bike leaving the drivetrain standing trans up on the garage floor. I'm guessing the motor and trans haven't been separated since birth. I'm going to set up a crane to reinstall the drivetrain later.
After removal, I was able to get them apart with a lot of dead blow mallet persuasion and some gentle prying with a tire iron, (don't worry, I used the nylon tire iron covers to prevent marring and gouging).

Love this engine:
While it's out for the clutch job, I'm going to clean off the grease, dirt and oxidation and polish a few parts, (valve covers, belt cover, etc.). I might seal it and soda blast it as i have done with other motors but I'm also looking into dry ice or vapor blasting it.

04-30-2012, 10:55 AM
Got my new clutch in from MGCycle along with the $100 compressor/alignment tool, (if anyone in the San Diego area needs to replace their Eldo/Ambo clutch, I have the tool for rent:cool:).
I sanded / scuffed and cleaned the clutch steels and installed the Stucchi plates so it's all ready to go. I also replaced all of the studs to attach the transmission bell housing as well as the nuts, (flanged nylocks). McMaster/Carr rocks with their 1-day delivery.
After getting the clutch done and the drivetrain bolted back together, (sitting on a furniture dolly at thre moment), it was time to turn to the tires.
I pulled the wheels off and ran them down to my friend's bike shop. He's set up to do tires and he does laced wheels. I picked a pair of 18" Bridgestone BT-45's off his tire rack, (the only ones he had that would fit). I was hanging out with him when he peeled off the old IRC rubber and noticed a few of the nipple heads fall out of the tire which had pulled off the spokes. This was the case with both wheels. Upon further inspection we came to the conclusion that 40 years of accumulated moisture and galvanic corrosion had taken it's toll. Aluminum rims, brass nipples, stainless spokes and lots of California salty moisture will break down eventually. So, I headed home to dismantle the wheels. The spokes were pretty well siezed in the hubs so we soaked them in Kroil and let them set for a couple hours. My girlfriend did al lthe work. Loosening all the nipples, hammering all the spokes down to loosen them from the hub, then removing all the nipples and the rims.
I'm going to clean up and polish the Borrani rims and the hubs a bit and the spokes are good so once we're ready, we'll reassemble the wheels with new nipples and get the tires on.

05-10-2012, 6:21 AM
That must be the largest brake hub I've ever seen. Freggin' awsome!!

05-20-2012, 1:03 AM
They're a whopping 10.5 inches.
I got the wheels back from the shop today. I tried to save all the spokes but the nipples were just too fatigued to hold together. All of them busted off when they were tightened up. After a little research I discovered the FF nipples had a unique thread pitch that isn't available anymore. So I had to buy 2 brand new sets of spokes.

Now, everything is ready to put her back together.

06-04-2012, 5:38 PM
Last Friday night my girl and I spent an hour in the garage stuffing the drivetrain back into the frame.
Needless to say, it was much easier putting it back in with the swingarm removed than when I removed it.

We spent Saturday morning cruising down the aisles with my lady at Marshall's Hardware aquiring
various cotter pins, bolts, safety wire and a few other odds and ends for the project. We also made
a stop down at Trophy Motorcycles for a set of grips and maybe a few other bits. Then we headed
into the garage to get as much done as possible. Final motor mounting, footpegs and controls, swingarm, rear wheel and fender along with cleaning up the Tomaselli throttle and fitting new grips. Now, it's starting to look like a motorcycle.

07-08-2012, 3:37 PM
Looking good.
I found an eldorado for sale, would mind having one just because you don't see many running down the road.

07-08-2012, 11:11 PM
Thanks. That's one of the reasons I decided to keep this one. Old and Odd. Hope it lives up to the old tractor reputation.

I've been focused on my FXR project to get ready for an upcoming trip in August, so I haven't had much going on this. More to come next month.

07-09-2012, 7:59 PM
I was going to say they are just goofy enough to be cool, but I didn't want to offend you....lol
I'll be waiting to see how it turns out.

08-26-2013, 11:35 AM
It's been about a year since I posted on this one. I've been tinkering on it every so often and I got the carbs and gas tank cleaned out. The stock petcocks were pretty messed up and one of the bungs was a little stripped so I replaced them with a set of aftermarket ones that ended up being a little smaller. It was okay for putting around the neighborhood but not so good for riding on the freeway. Needless to say, I dug out a couple old bashed up Harley gas tanks, cut the petcock bungs out and welded them into the guzzi tank. I screwed in a pair of Drag Specialties petcocks that I had in my parts bins, (still way cheaper and better than replacing them with the stock Guzzi units.
Upon arrival of the distributor cap and new plug wires one evening I couldn't wait to fire it off so after 2 years in hibernation I set to bring it back to life. I turned it over and I felt it needed just a little help so i sprayed a little starting fluid in the carbs, pumped the throttle and hit the starter. Apparently I had the plug wires reversed and it backfired through the carbs. Some fuel had unknowingly dripped out of the carbs onto the transmission and the ground so when it coughed a fireball out of the carbs, POOF! (half full tank of gas too BTW).
Someone said something about Italian chicks.

Fortunately, I had a fire extinguisher handy and was able to save the day. With the exception of a crispy throttle cable the bike is perfectly fine. Note to self, flip flops and shorts may not be the the best PPE.

So, after that fiasco, I cleaned her up, fixed the wires and got her running good. It's a good ride but I haven't quite gotten the hang of bending it over in turns yet. The forks are a bit softer than I like and it doesn't quite give me the feeling of surefootedness that my FXR does. But, I'll figure it out soon.
Here she sits ready for this year's DGR:
I'm looking for some slightly taller bars and longer cables to give her the look and feel I want. All in good time.

08-26-2013, 12:25 PM
good job..
those Guzy's are cool bikes, one of these days I'll own one.

08-26-2013, 12:35 PM
my Dad had a 74 it was the first bike I really worked on we restored the whole thing in the mid 90's and then the president of a Moto Guzzi owners club bought it from him.