Maserati T2 50 SS Engine Rebuild

Published on 11 December 2023 at 12:26

While the engine components generally looked very good and usable the same can not be said for the gearbox components. Sadly they had been left in a box that had got water in it and the gear clusters had suffered quite badly, to the point where I decided one was usable, the other was not. I think they with only 2 and a  bit horsepower they may well have worked but they were too far gone for me to feel comfortable so a whole new shaft had to be made. This took rather longer than I would have hoped due to illness at the local firm that I took them to. I also wanted the job done fairly cheaply so had to wait for the hardening until they had a batch to do.

I went and picked it up yesterday, they have done a superb job, I am very happy with the job and the price, which was far less than they originally quoted me. I tried the shaft in the engine and it was spot on, it meshes beautifully in all 3 gears, I am confident it will last the bike another 60 years without trouble.

I don't normally plug businesses but these guys are superb and finding skills like this now is not easy - they are called Phoeniks Gears, they can be found at unit 9 Eden Business Park, Kirton. PE20 1QR, tel 07885992355. They do all sorts of engineering stuff but specialise in gears and sprockets, they work in steel, nylon, tufnol, phosphor bronze or alli. They can make custom motorcycle sprockets, which is a skill that's very hard to find.

Anyway, I did not take the engine apart, it came to me in a series of boxes, I think all the bits are there, I noticed there were some duplicates eg a spare crank. I will have a proper look as I go on and see which parts are best. One crank has been lightened but the other one looks less worn, I will get the vernier and micrometer out and see which is best. i could not start putting the engine together without the gear shaft, I am replacing all bearings and seals as I go - no point using old or used parts, I have a gasket set. the challenge is that I have no idea what order things have to go in so a dry run seemed in order.

It's a very simple engine and box, it didn't take long to work things out, the two gear shafts have to go in first along with the selector arm, it's a bit of a fiddle but by putting the shafts in the freezer for half an hour and then heating up the left hand case with a blow torch it all slotted in easily. Next job was to fit new main bearings and the left hand crank seal. The seal was a really tight fit so a bit more heat to expand the crankcase was deployed and then it went in quite easily. A quick check to make sure I was putting the crank in the right way round, more heat on the crank case and more freezing of the crankshaft ensured it went together very easily - you don't want to be bashing and hammering an alloy casting that would be just about impossible to replace.


At this stage I have the left hand crankcase all put together as far as it needs to go, I need to get some red Hermatite to seal the gasket with - it's all about keeping it original and using period correct materials. It may seem daft to some but as I don't know who my buyer is going to be I want to make it right in every little detail - no point restricting my market by skimping on the little things.

The right hand crank oil seal is housed in the stator mounting plate - weird but true. It will be replaced before final assembly, the two halves of the crank need to be brought together first.

The two halves of the engine casing ready to be put back together. The one on the right will be heated to make it expand so that it goes together much more easily. 

Probably the simplest gearbox I have ever seen, just two shafts and a simple selector that slides the center gear along the  shaft so it engages with one of the other two gears on that shaft or with the middle gear on the second shaft. The shaft on the left is the new one, all 3 gears are  one piece. Pheoniks have done a really good job of it, everything meshes perfectly and the ends are a perfect fit in the phosphor bronze bearings. 

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