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OK, so where is the ‘Vert-Voyager’ project now? (see previous blogs for the why and how)

They all do that sir
Phase 1 ended with the failure of the Guzzi Mk1 flywheel. Surprisingly, the malady was not actually obvious. Well, it was a bloody great rattle, but it could well have been in the Reliant engine itself. Stripping the engine did reveal a lot of worn parts – mains, big ends, camshaft, cam-followers, oil pump. Winter 21/22 was spent with an engine in bits, but parts all available. Reassembly revealed the Mk1 flywheel moved fractionally independently from its centre - oops. Ebay and Mk2 f-w later, I was surprised to find that its bulk was 3X that of the Mk1. Luigi (Guzzi design department) had obviously decided this one was not going to break! Convert lore said the extra weight made little difference to performance.

Sins of the FFathers
Building up the transmission with the new f-w revealed a repeat of an old issue. Namely seized transmission when bolted up with the gearbox. Investigation eventually revealed that the components were 1mm longer than the space available. For reasons best glossed over, the Reliant/Guzzi adaptor plate, whilst fine for the original clutch, was 1mm too narrow; and this only showed up when the more rigid auto components came together. I had inadvertently solved this issue in phase 1, by skimming the Mk1 f-w to ensure it was flat. Now Mk2 needed the same treatment for the real reason.

Gearing Up
Thanks to Colin R for loan of his 9/34 bevel box. This was original Voyager fitment, but most owners have replaced that with the 8/33 for better response and easier town work. Too low however for the ‘vert and my 16” rear wheel, so I was pleased to go back to the original.

After major work, tax and MOT have run out, so the first outing must be to the local tester. Not the best time to shake-down and discover your mistakes. Got there OK, despite popping a water hose and steaming out the boot. An understanding tester issued the necessary paperwork after tightening up the rear brake lever. Too much it transpired, as the brake seized on as I rode back – more steam and smoke!

An outing with the VMCC went well, despite a bit of a p-pick-up stutter towards the end. Feeling braver, I set out for a day’s ride, only to have my electric ATF pump fail after 20 miles. Symptoms for almost all these problems are a catastrophic lack of drive, as the ATF heats up and will not transmit drive through the torque convertor. Analysing the pump options, I decided to run a new smaller 12v pump through an old ‘ballast’ resistor. The previous pump had died through overwork, so I reasoned I should not be pushing it so hard, provided it had enough grunt to circulate the ATF through the tortuous oilways of the Convert. Preliminary testing is promising.

Breaking Cover
So off to meet the rest of the FF gang at Peterborough. This was my longest run to date and was almost fault-free apart from that strange stutter away from roundabouts, late in the ride. Discussion later with knowledgeable folks suggested fuel evaporation when hot. Logical, given all the hot pipes running alongside the fuel lines. Pipe insulation should fix that – watch this space.

Final thoughts
It was never going to be faster, or cooler, or more economical, but it does have a certain easy-going attitude. Always being in the correct gear is nice, but then again, I now have 2 temperature gauges to worry about; and pump failure is a bit of a catastrophe on a long ride. Good enough however to keep it for the moment

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Link to photo of Graham & Voyager at 2022 MCN Festival

There's a photo of Graham sitting in his ConVert-ed Voyager V05 at Peterborough here:
And many more photos of the occasion in the same folder. PNB