SWM TL350 Jumbo: First Impressions

The flush of excitement as getting a new bike (whatever state its in) is usually ended by the close inspection of your purchase in the comfort of your own shed.

It was later in the week that started to have a closer look at the bike. The engine didn’t have a kickstart, but I’d already obtained one from Martin Matthews so a couple of kicks proved that the engine wasn’t seized. However it confirmed that there was no spark. Swapped on a spare ignition coil I had from my TL320 and still no spark, though the multimeter showed a pulse. Pulled off the flywheel cover to discover the chisel marks in the flywheel nut and the need for the patent Rotax flywheel puller to get to the ignition coils and points.

The Rotax tool isn’t cheap (I found it on a model aircraft tools site skydrive.co.uk which has since dissappeared) at around £45. Quick discussion with my next-door-neighbour, Gavin, produced a home made puller and off with the flywheel. One of the coils, the lighting coil was damaged (probably by someone trying to get the flywheel off without the right puller). No obvious problem, so planned to replace points and condensor.
flywheel puller
Cranking the engine over with the plug in seemed a little too easy and after discussions with Gavin suspicion fell on the crankcase seals and the likely need to strip the engine to replace them. Therefore a major rebuild/restoration project had started and I commenced with the strip down.

Other problems that were noted
– the head was loose on the engine probably due to two of the head bolts being stripped
– decompressor cable was present, but the level and mouting bracket were not there (I didn’t realise it had a decompressor in the first place)
– the rear exhaust box had had some form of surgery in the past and the mid-box was clogged full of crap
– the footrests were completly shot and worn-out
– the forks make a wierd hissing noise when depressed; there is a valve in the top of the fork legs which seem to be stuck open

So, unsurprisingly a major project had started.

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