In the mail, in the workshop and at the powder coater.

1. Preparation for powder coating

It's the preparation that counts. Stay friends with your friendly powder coater by COMPLETELY degreasing the parts. We use a pressure cleaner, detergent and degreaser. Make sure you get the grease out of the headstem and swing arm. This effort is not just to avoid getting grease in the powder coater's sandblaster, in the heat of the powder coating process, stray melted grease will run down your items and ruin the coat. So the effort is worthwhile. Threads and shaft openings must be sealed off. It is very, very difficult to remove powder coat from these places. We use old bolts and lengths of allthread rod and big washers.Our powder coater blasts with the fine, worn sand at the end of the week to give us a better coat finish. Most are happy to do this for you. Make sure your items are coated the same day as they are blasted - just a few hours will see rust beginning to form on bare steel - you do not want this going on underneath the powder coat.

2. The finished product

We coat in Dulux Coral Black. This is an ultra-high gloss black powder coat and is similar in appearance to black stove enamel. Two-pack black gloss has possibly slightly more gloss but you would need to put them side by side. certainly we can't pick the difference. Note we do not powder coat large parts subject to flex as the downside of powder coat is it has little resistance to flex and will crack in such conditions. We stress the choice of colour is critical as some powder coat blacks are dark grey and dull which has led many restorers to be sceptical about powder coat as a suitable finish.

3. The new conrod

The postman has visited and a new conrod kit from Jawashop has arrived!

4. Crankshaft stub ends

The next day had the crankshaft stub ends arrive from the Czech Republic. Obviously the Border Force X-Ray thought they looked suspicious or was it just that they didn't believe someone was restoring a 1972 CZ 175! Conrod and crankshaft off to the engineer.

5. Fork bushes

The fork bushes had little wear but in one of those "spur of the moment" things we decided if everything else was going to be replaced then why not the fork bushes too? After all, it's easy to replace fork bushes. Wrong. The staunchions on a CZ taper outwards at the top so the bushes must go on and off from the bottom of the leg. The bush at the middle of the leg is retained by a circlip and moves freely once the clip comes off. The bush at the bottom is held on by a similar arrangement but seems to be designed to resist all efforts to remove it. We cut a brass bush in half and used it as a drift - to no avail.

6. Fork bush removed

In the end my friend Don came up with the answer. We put the leg in his lathe and with both ends supported very carefully machined the bush off. When it was paper thin it curled up and peeled off. Don then gave the leg a quick clean up with emery paper and removed the surface rust. The new bushes simply slipped straight on. Funny how those five minute restoration jobs invariably take half a day and require the help of that mate who always comes up with the solution