Ralph lubes up!
This issue Ralph opens up the very heart of the big Zed to work out what’s occurring with the oil-pump.
Last month I smashed the two crankcases together on the fourth iteration of big K’s mighty Zed One, the king of the classics. The Z900A4 was the first big Zed I ever saw. When I was 17 and tearing up the roads of Somerset on my ‘Race Developed’ 200cc Yamaha stink-wheel on L-plates (that’s what I believed RD stood for back in the day), I was lodging in a house where my landlord’s friend had a 1976 A4. He had the obligatory four-into-one Harris and a Dresda box-section swingarm, and I was smitten by its beauty.
Obviously, he made the most outrageous claims for its performance and any sound deadening the Harris can was removed to give it extra performance. It would be many years before the dream of owning one myself came to fruition, but it was worth the wait. For my money the only bike ever to hold a light to the Z900 in the aesthetics department was the Vincent V-twin and I doubt I’ll live long enough to save the beer tokens to buy one of those.
This month I’ll start by opening up the actual whirring heart of the big Zed motor, the oil-pump, which circulates the bike’s life blood, 10w40 semi synthetic. As a rule these pumps are pretty reliable, but I have encountered buggered ones in the past, where the engines have been abused by cruel owners, so it would be very remiss of me not to take this one apart and check it. This was another case for having a large, premium-quality bench vice and a good set of soft jaws so I could securely hold items whilst performing necessary surgery.