Mark’s Top tips – Engines

1 When separating major engine components, a tap with a soft hammer helps to release the bond between them. If that does not work, don’t automatically use a bigger hammer: you have undone all the nuts and bolts haven’t you? Some are carefully hidden by the designer, just in case!

2 When rebuilding an engine unit, make sure that you can select every gear at an early stage. You can do this before you assemble the external selector mechanism, but you might need to rotate the selector drum by unorthodox means. It is so much better to find the fault early on, rather than on the first outing.

3 Take a look in the manufacturer’s workshop manual and you will see 100 special tools for your bike. You might be able to cobble together something from Jubilee clips and chewing gum, but sometimes you cannot or even should not. Some bikes have assemblies with strong springs held back by circlips so a tweak with a screwdriver is followed by a visit to A&E…

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