1967 500 Comes back to Life.

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Randy67500
Posts:7
Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:50 am
1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Randy67500 » Mon Dec 12, 2022 5:34 pm

Hello to everyone,
I thought it to be about time to share a bit about my Diablo with you. My father purchased it new in '67, two years before I was born, as it was able to provide fun in the snow for my Mom, Dad, sister and brother. It was the highlight of winters for years to come, until I was old enough to want my own snowmobile. At that time, it was only out for a run usually once a season, as we all had our own individual machines from about '75 forwards. My Dad passed in '95, which was oddly the last year the Diablo was on the snow until February 24th, 2022 when I completed restoration of it. While I can admit to having shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears into its completion, my greatest gratitude goes out to Bruce, who patiently answered all my silly questions, provided invaluable guidance and support, as well as the parts I needed to get the job done.
I was fortunate enough to begin with a pretty healthy specimen. My Dad was as fanatical about machinery as I am today, so it always lived high and dry and well kept for the years he was alive. It did however sit mainly unaddressed from '95 until 2020 when I pulled it out of the barn and brought it home. The next year and a half was spent slowly and methodically disassembling it, cleaning and refinishing all the pretty parts and rebuilding the blue Hirth and gear box that powered it. Most things when smoothly, and as all of you know with significant cost. The body work was quite straight and had only surface rust to contend with, so it was sandblasted and professionally refinished. Just about everything black on the machine (aside from the fuel tank) was sandblasted and powdercoated. Fortunately for me, my father had the foresight to reinforce the bogie sets and add grease fittings to them over 50 years ago. Though it is all original, he had added a subframe behind the front bumper and fashioned front grab handles that blend nicely into the look of the machine from cross arm braces he had recovered from decommissioned telephone poles years before. He had wrapped the handlebars in split hydraulic hose to add warmth and grip. I have updated this smart idea with rubber bedliner material. A local installer who helped with this also coated the top of the skis with the same material along with traction aid to keep your boots on them better. While my Dad had also moved the cross spring back 4" to keep the weight of 4 passengers from pulling the back end of the machine up, I located them back to their original location. A move I now regret and will be rectifying shortly with the addition of an aluminum box between the seat and the cross spring that will measure 7" wide, 2" deep and 12" long mounted in the original holes and rearward with a series of holes in the bottom of it to allow for ski adjustment and give me 2" higher ride height on the seat. At 6'6", I need all the room I can get! I have added one other improvement of my own to the gear case. Seeing as it throws so much oil out the top of the case, I have fashioned a shroud to contain this from covering the front nosecone and hood. It is mounted to the back of the brake bolts which I replaced with my own studs to avoid any permanent changes to the machine.
Start up back in February went very smoothly in my opinion. A little bit of rewind aggravation at the beginning followed by a little work to dial in the carb and she was good to go. I've already had my first ride this year and look forward to taking it out to some local events to show off my hard work, and a very cool old machine! I hope you have a look at the pictures I have included and perhaps offer any good advice you can spare to make the old girl even better. Currently I have acquired a 54R out of a '67 Moto-Ski Capri. Like the Diablo, it has no designation of model on the I.D. tag and appears to be a match to the Diablo in most ways. Obviously, it was mounted vertically, so the head would have been reversed (mine came without a head or piston), the electrical all runs out of the opposite side of the motor, and there is no ring to adjust the recoil angle like the Diablo has. Otherwise I think it is all a match. The output shaft event appears to me to be the same. If anyone can shed any light on what I am working on with this gem, please let me know. Once again, a big shout out to Bruce for all his help.

Cheers, Randy.
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Last edited by Randy67500 on Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Randy67500
Posts:7
Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:50 am

Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Randy67500 » Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:22 am

A few more photos.
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Randy67500
Posts:7
Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:50 am

Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Randy67500 » Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:27 am

And a few more....
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Randy67500
Posts:7
Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:50 am

Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Randy67500 » Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:33 am

Still a few more...
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Randy67500
Posts:7
Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:50 am

Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Randy67500 » Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:35 am

1974, 1995 and today.
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Go Go Diablo
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Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Go Go Diablo » Tue Dec 13, 2022 10:31 pm

What a tremendous job Randy! I love the history, the passion and the pictures. You are a perfect example of what can be done with an old Diablo by asking a lot of questions, having a great amount of common sense and willing to make an investment in a life long dream. Your father would be so proud of you.

Thank you for sharing.

Bruce
Too many Diablos and parts to count.
Yamaha 600 SX

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Jano
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Location:Gatineau, Qc

Re: 1967 500 Comes back to Life.

Post by Jano » Fri Jan 06, 2023 12:13 pm

Great Job Randy.
Thanks for the story.

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