Friday, January 1, 2016

The Adventures of Replacing a Moto Guzzi Oil Pressure Switch—Part 2

Phase 1 of the Solution Leads to Phase 2 of the Problem

It’s November 27th, my 39th wedding anniversary. As a present to myself, I decided to commence repair of the suspected leaking oil pressure switch on my Moto Guzzi Norge. I undertake these projects with the same naïveté of a person who thinks a soulmate can be found by seeking the girl whose foot fits a glass slipper. All I need do is remove the broken part, buy a new one, install it, and then I'm done. What could possibly go wrong?

The oil pressure switch on the Norge is located in the space between the cylinder heads, the "V", nearer to the left side. As with cars, boats, airplanes, and most any other machinery that has a human operator, the left side of the machine is the side that corresponds to the operator’s left when in position to control the machine. Above, you’re looking at the right side of the Norge. Below is a pretty picture of the smaller Guzzi motor unencumbered from a motorcycle—it more clearly shows the transverse V design of the Guzzi engines. (I haven’t done my homework on this, but I believe Moto Guzzi makes essentially two sized motors for their entire line of motorcycles. The photo below is the engine used in their smaller bikes.) In the Norge photo above, you can see the right cylinder head peeking from the opening below the red emblem on the side of the fuel tank. Hopefully you’re fully oriented now.

The fuel tank has to come off to get access to the V of the engine. On the Norge, that’s a relatively straightforward process. Remove a couple of bolts that anchor the rearward bits of the front fairing, then remove the tank’s rear anchor bolt under the seat, and voila! you’re done…sorta. There’s a pesky fuel line you have to disconnect. Moto Guzzi uses a plastic fuel disconnect fitting that requires a legendary run-the-engine-to-lower-the-pressure-in-the-fuel-line-push-squeeze-pull, but only when the moon is full and only after you’ve eaten a full plate of pasta, procedure to disconnect it. The Internet is replete with advice on how to do this successfully and there’s even a video on YouTube:

Guess what happened when I tried it? 

I screamed the scream when you accidentally lick the scoop of ice cream off your cone and watch it fall to the hot concrete side walk. And as in that case, I cried. 

In the photo above, you’re looking at the underside of the fuel tank removed from the bike and sitting upside down. It shows the plate where the red plastic fitting—now broken—connects to the fuel line (not shown) on its long side and then turns 90 degrees into the metal plate. The black “tube” going up through the top of the photo is actually a bundle of wires that connect to a plug providing electricity to the fuel pump and fuel gauge float which are on the other side of the metal plate inside the fuel tank.

So now, I’ve got two broken parts:
  • The initial leaking oil pressure switch, and
  • The fuel disconnect fitting

Well, so much for finding soulmates wearing glass slippers. It was a crummy analogy anyway.

I’ll just go get two parts instead of one. What could possibly go wrong?

To be continued…

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