Last night I cleaned the carbs (the exterior only; the carbs had been performing flawlessly and I figured I should not try to "fix something that was not broken"), and robbing a spare carb of its throttle bracket, I swapped it out for the bad one on the good carb. Both carbs now attended to, and the area around that would be hard to access with them in place cleaned, I reattached them to their intake boots.
Today, I turned my attention to cleaning out the centrifugal oil filter on the right side of the bike. I spent a couple hellishly hot hours in the garage, with both doors propped completely open in the vain hope of catching a fleeting wisp of a breeze, with sweat flowly freely into my eyes.
I usually clean this filter every other oil change because I have never found more than an insignificant amount of dirty oil clinging to the sides of the oil basket. But word to the wise—don't get complacent; check it often. I don't know what the difference was this time; whether it was the result of the recent regasketing and assembly of the motor, the dino oil I put in after the regasketing (I usually use full synthetic, but knew I would be changing oil soon to rebuild the starter clutch so I opted for cheaper dino oil), or whether all that mountain riding was harder on the bike than usual; but when I pulled the cover off the oil filter basket, I was amazed and mortified to see the thing stuffed full of gritty gunk. It was caked into every available orifice.
I scraped out what I could so I could get down to the "nut" and lock washer, with a mind this time of taking the basket clear off to clean it. And as usual, things didn't go as planned. For the life of me I could not turn that nut off, in spite of having thoroughly flattened out the locking tab on the washer. Some of that gunk I had to scrape out to get to the bottom of the basket to get to the nut, inconveniently fell between the basket edge and the case and into the left side cover and down the oil holes in the side cover, clogging them. Off came the left exhaust. Off came the kickstart lever. Off came the foot pegs to allow clearance for the engine case. I loosened all the screws and pulled off the full right side cover.
This gave me plenty of clearance to get the basket throughly cleaned without removing it, which by this time I had decided was way more work than it was worth. Working with rags, little screwdrivers, and picks combined with a spray from time to time with cleaner finally resulted in a shiny clean oil filter basket, and I thankfully rebent the locking tab on the washer into its notch on the nut and reassembled everything. I had not forgotten, either while the cover was off, to inspect and clean the oil pump screen, which had its fair share of thick oily "mud" constricting it.
Before reattaching the exhaust I climbed as far under the bike as I could and gave the bottom of the motor a good degreasing.
I found a new silver thottle cable on eBay a couple days ago, and it will be here perhaps next Monday. In the meantime, I will be running back to the auto parts store for some full synthetic motorycle oil and then refilling the motor. Once the cable is here, I will be able to replace the old one, install the tank again (with a new tank rubber holder in place; the old one was torn). I will be back with the details of those final manipulations and the verdict on the new, and hopefully now working, starter clutch.
Road Dog, aka "Garage Dog" from time to time