This article was originally printed in the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club monthly newsletter.

Installing Agostini Timing Gears, by Robert Brooks

I finally finished installing the Ago straight-cut gears in my '95 1100 Sport. There is certainly some truth to "the right tool for the right job!"

Removing the 32mm nut that held the crankshaft timing sprocket on was the hardest part of the job. I bought a 32mm socket from the local auto parts store, and my friend took a torch to the bottom end of it to open it so it would fit over the stator shaft, then he welded a 12" handle onto it. The tool worked perfectly and by wedging a screwdriver into the flywheel, this became a one-person job, although having two people would have been better.

I brushed some STP Oil Treatment onto the gears and was careful to install them so the timing marks lined up. But I ran into another problem with two nubs in the upper part of the case, which required the use of a rotary tool with a grinding wheel to grind down and out of the way so the camshaft gear wouldn't rub against them. That took a few minutes. I borrowed the crankshaft removal tool from the same friend who welded the nut removal tool.

Once the nubs were ground sufficiently, the gears went on again. I used the handle of a hammer to gently tap the gears all the way down. Using the special tool that came with the ears, I was able to tighten the nuts on all three gears. I put on a new front cover gasket, then on went the front cover. Next came the stator, stator cover, and dual horns. I held my breath as I fired it up, and the soft whir of gears meshing filled the garage. Eureka, it works!

After taking the bike for a short road test, I pulled into the garage and noticed an oil leak coming from behind the stator cover. Up on the rear stand again, and once I removed the stator the problem was apparent. When I put the front cover back on, part of the oil seal around the stator shaft poked through and wasn't sealing properly. So I had to remove the front cover again, and check the seal for rips, tears, etc. The seal was still pliable and in great condition, so I put the cover back on, being careful that the seal seated correctly this time.

Got everything back on, tightened up, topped off the oil, and out for another road test. This time not a drop came out, and the subtle gear noise was music to my ears! I put about 150 miles on the Sport, and all the while the Sport didn't miss a beat. I noticed some differences from the stock timing sprockets and chain. With the gears the bike seems to idle better and accelerate better. There doesn't seem to be much of a driveline lash when changing gears, and it shifts a little more smoothly. And there's the added plus of the subtle gear whine, which brings a big smile to my face!

This picture shows the stock timing chain sprockets, chain, and tensioner. A special tool is needed to remove the 32mm nut on the crankshaft timing sprocket, unless you just happen to have a 32mm socket in 3/4-inch drive (that's about five inches long)! Make sure the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets have their timing marks lined up before you remove them!

This picture shows the gears once they've been installed. I dabbed some red fingernail polish on the timing marks to make them easier to see. It's important to make sure these are lined up when you go to install them. Use a hammer to gently tap the gears onto their shafts, then use the retaining nuts and washers to fully seat them.

This picture shows the two castings in the upper right portion of the front end. These must be ground down in order for the cam gear to rotate freely. I put a rag over the exposed parts in the front end, then used a rotary grinder to grind them down. Then I sprayed WD-40 in the front end and cleaned up the metal shavings.

This picture shows the castings after grinding is completed. Using the right tools for this job makes the removal and installation process go a lot more smoothly! Make sure to clean the stator shaft very carefully so there won't be any metal shavings on it that could tear the oil seal in the front end cover. Install a new gasket AFTER cleaning up the metal shavings, and don't lose those woodruff keys!

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