The Benelli 254 restoration blog - Part 1.. IT LIVES!
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Thread: The Benelli 254 restoration blog - Part 1.. IT LIVES!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Borat's Avatar
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    The Benelli 254 restoration blog - Part 1.. IT LIVES!

    As most of you know I recently purchased a Benelli 254 off fleabay, with the intention of restoring it. I thought it might be worth logging the progress as I go, so you can all laugh at my ineptitude and hopefully offer advice and support. Also maybe it will be of some help to someone in the future who buys one of these things. I will be updating my gallery with some pics as I go (nothing there yet but will be later this week).

    So, first to set the scene.. I have never done more than an oil and filter change and basic maintenance and replacing the odd part. I have always fancied having a bash at doing something up and so when I saw this little 254 on ebay I had a moment of madness and bought it on a whim. It was advertised as "easy fettling" and I had spoken to the guy before I bought it.... "Oh yeah mate its very tidy just needs a bit of a clean. I have cleaned the carbs already" was how he put it. It was clearly in a few bits but looked pretty tidy in the (very poor) pics. So anyway, our resident Benelli delivery service "Goose Logistics" kindly agreed to pick it up. When he did he was good enough to ring me to tell me it wasnt quite as tidy as the guy had described as the bike had been stored outside under a tarp, but none of the things he described were enough to put me off.

    So, back home with her and in the cold light of day, it became clear that this was not just going to be a simple clean up and cash in job. Most of the painted bits will need powder coating, the guy has made a fairly poor hash of modifying the loom to fit an electronic ignition and the clocks have been poorly repaired.
    On the positive side, the fairing is all in reasonably good nick, and he did at least protect the chrome, so that will be fine.
    Thought I should make sure it ran before I started stripping things down, so I stuck the carbs back on and gave it a go. Nothing. There is a wierd 4 into 2 fuel pipe from the tank to carbs which seems to be under stress due to its location. These were split so have had to be replaced. With that done, next attempt to start went without even a cough. Easy start sprayed into the carbs made it splutter so that was encouraging. Next problem was one of the carbs started pissing fuel out. A couple of conversations with people who know the bike and it was fast looking like the carbs were still going to need a lot of work and possibly money. Luckily Chris Grigson spotted a set of poorly listed new carbs on ebay italy which looked like 254 carbs. Managed to do a deal with the guy and now have a set of shiny new carbs for 100 quid. Yes maybe I could have rescued the old ones, but by the time I have sold them for a few quid I reckon it was worth a few quid to save on the time.
    Anyway, fitted the carbs and still no luck, but a new set of plugs later and hallelujah she LIVES! I have ridden her up and down the road and the gears are all there but seem a bit hard to find, so next thing is to try and sort that out. Its also not running right so I need a crash course in carb tuning. I have balanced carbs before but how do you go about getting the mixture right?
    Last edited by Borat; 10-25-2009 at 02:41 PM.

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    Senior Member richardm's Avatar
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    sounds fun .and sure at the end will be a dream to ride .keep at it .selwyns have loads of parts but he is ill at mo so parts are slow but still faster than moto gb lol

  3. #3
    MCN Benelli Test Rider angledangle's Avatar
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    could it be worth taking the carb floats off col and comparing jet sizes to new carb set . pilots worth checking first as they are the ones for low speed running then look at mains . dont forget that the new carbs maybe set up for running with correct airfilter system not the small mesh on the rear of the carbs ala old set . when that manual comes you will also be able to do timing check to see if running order also made worse by that aspect. the gear lever does it have any play in it as such a component can be a weak link in the gear selection process .
    Last edited by angledangle; 10-25-2009 at 03:31 PM.

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    Senior Member Borat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angledangle View Post
    could it be worth taking the carb floats off col and comparing jet sizes to new carb set . pilots worth checking first as they are the ones for low speed running then look at mains . dont forget that the new carbs maybe set up for running with correct airfilter system not the small mesh on the rear of the carbs ala old set . when that manual comes you will also be able to do timing check to see if running order also made worse by that aspect. the gear lever does it have any play in it as such a component can be a weak link in the gear selection process .
    I am told that the 254 was the only bike to use these carbs so pretty sure the jets will be ok. It does run and ticks over fine for a while, but then revs up higher. Its early days I need to check the throttle cable isnt sticking etc and basic things like that. I am sure it will run fine with a bit of playing around. I have the original air filter so will try it with it on. The old owner reckoned it ran better without but thats not surprising given the state of the carbs and plugs

    The gear lever is pretty loose feeling, so thats my next job to look at. I just want to be sure the gearbox is ok before I take it to pieces and spend money on paint etc.

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    Benelli Wannabe ! ROBFM's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me Col, I'll look forward to seeing your progress as I'm doing a similar thing with my Zephyr, not quite the same but at least mines mainly cleaning and polishing !






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  7. #6
    Senior Member Borat's Avatar
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    New carbs were sticking a little. Sorted that out and got rid of any potential for air leaks and she now runs like a dream!
    Gear selection still an issue though. I can get all gears, but 4th is particularly hard to engage. Its generally about equal between doing nothing, getting a false neutral, or finding the gear, although it did seem to be getting better the more I rode it (which was only a few mins). Any suggestions on what is likely to be wrong? Engine is coming out at some point anyway so I guess if it means taking a look inside thats not a biggie, but want to make sure I have checked everything else before I embark on anything like that.
    Last edited by Borat; 10-27-2009 at 03:44 PM.

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    Fyule fyule's Avatar
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    Sounds like your getting on with it there Col. Sometimes simply taking things apart, cleaning and reassembling again with fresh lubes, nuts bolts etc works wonders. Keep us posted with the progress. I'm on the hunt for anoter project, but not sure what yet.

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    Senior Member Borat's Avatar
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    Cheers Fraser thats pretty much the plan! Forgot to update this - Managed to get her out for a longer run last weekend and lo and behold the gearbox loosed up and all gears present and correct! She has been sitting around for best part of 5 yrs so not surprising things need a little loosening up I guess!
    Been short on time this week but hoping to start stripping it down next week ready to get bits polished / powder coated.
    Some pics finally loaded into my gallery! Not really a "before" as I have cleaned the chrome since picking the bike up, but close.
    Last edited by Borat; 11-06-2009 at 03:49 PM.

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    Still trying! grayVTWIN's Avatar
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    Look great Colin .. much better condition than I had imagined. Mike

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    Fyule fyule's Avatar
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    As Mike says, a lot cleaner than expected, however I do appreciate you've been polishing chrome etc. For coating your wheels and frame, try Triple S up in yorkshire, they did the Guzzi and I was very happy with the quality and price.

    Looks like a good project to get stuck into and at least you know it runs and moves under it's own power, unless of course you've stuck some pedals on it!

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