Can-Am is a registered trademark of Bombardier limited, Canada and my pages have no association with that wonderful company.
This site is meant as a place to buy/sell parts, share tech ideas and recently for me to offer you some unusual parts.
Back in my 30s I was big into Can-ams and Maicos even though I was a flat tracker. 49 years later I’m back into Can-am. $225 got me back from a 2002 Craigslist ad showing this 1979 Qualifier. It’s in pieces but is slowly coming back to life as an ice bike. It will look like a 1980 MX but will use the old style tank because vintage flat track tanks aren’t wide enough for C-A’s huge back bone.
Can-Am Cover screw set $24.95
I needed cover screws for my 175 TNT. I checked the cost of Allen head screws at a hardware store and the price was about $32. Screw that. I bought stainless Allen socket head screws in quantity. I offer them to you for about what others on Ebay ask for a set of used Phillips screws-around $25 bucks. Phillips screws are awful. They round to the point of swearing and screwdrivers flying across the shop. These cap screws meet DIN standards and they have a class 6g thread (6mm-1mm pitch) and the minimum tensile strength is 70,000 psi. Stainless Allen socket head screws are such a smart idea. Hex screws tighten and loosen easily without the hassle of damaging slotted screws. Stainless steel won’t rust over the years. For added insurance, dab blue Loctite on the screw threads. Red Loctite is too aggressive to be used on fine threads-it can damage them.
|5 x 14mm||3 oil injection cover|
|5mm copper crush washers||3 oil injection cover|
|6 x 30mm||4 right side|
|6 x 40mm||5 both sides|
|6 x 45mm||3 both sides|
Can-Am Tool Bags
Can-Am tool bags have disappeared and are no longer available. I aim to fix that problem. Very soon, I will be offering new ones that can be part of any TNT or Qualifier restoration project. Or to be used on vintage rides. Or on TNT street bikes where accessible tools come in handy. The bags I will be offering are exact duplicates of the original early bags with one strap. At this time, I do not have a due date or costs. If you may be interested, I want you to email me and say, “put me on the bag list." Write to phil@PhilLittleRacing.com.
Can-am Oil Can - Full
$25 + shipping
Making a pretty Can-am engine
Most of you guys rebuild a can-am to race and don’t give a hoot how the bike looks so long as it howls. The other bunch of you are the beautiful builder types who want a show bike. Then there the fringy minority who want to race with a stunning TNT, Qualifier or MX. I’m on the edge of the fringe with custom show/race builds.
If you get into the weeds enough that you are painting your cases here’s how to reveal the painted Bombardier embossed logos on the case sides.
- Use a cutting/polishing band like this on your grinding wheel. These parts are on the web-I get mine from McMaster-Carr. The idea is to cut through the scratches and leave a smooth top surface to the logo-with a power tool. If you don’t use this step, you’ll grind up an hour minimum, sanding down through paint, primer then into the metal going after the use-scratches. Use the blue fine band.
- Prep the metal for prime and paint. Paint all the case parts because you’ll go fruit loops trying to mask off the raised logo. There some trick new wet media blasting techniques that may reduce the post-blasting clean up to keep the crud from destroying you engine an hour after starting it for the first time.
- Mask around the logos with a couple layers of tape. If you don’t the sanding block will over-shoot and screw up the paint job.
- Wrap a sanding block with 320 wet/dry and water and attack the logos. Sand until they’re clear of paint and primer. If you have nicks and gouges-attack them with a pick. Re-sand with 600 w/d or finer if you are picky.
This case is for a custom 1977 MX/Qualifier hybrid built from a 1978 125 Can-am “Fun Bike” which nobody knows anything about. Bombardier used the “Fun Bike” to dump old parts prior to the new 1979 models.
Bypassing the oil injection system
The only good reason for trashing your oil injection system for pre-mix is you have a rusty-crusty frame oil tank or the early model backbone oil tank foam is degrading. Here's a tech bulletin talking about dealing with the foam.
There are important provisos, however. The stock ignition side main bearing will have to be modified or replaced. The factory main bearing had a seal-like oil sling plate which was oil directing. That seal/bearing can be popped off. Replacement bearings will not come with this plate especially if you buy your bearings from the famous Tony Murphy at 661-944-1624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll also have to drill an oil passage down to the right side crank bearing. My super mechanic friend Sam Niskanen lined up a drill that would make a hole through the cast webbing right into the perfect place on the bearing. I don’t have a bulletin on how to do this.
You could leave the oil injection pump in place to act as a plug or remove it and make an aluminum cover plate which plugs the drive gear passages. Do a little high temp silicone plug job where oil lines exited the outside cover to block dust/dirt or use a simple tube like above. From what I’ve read, it’s best to leave the functioning oil injection pump in place to avoid negative issue like premature wear and failures.
Make a Performance Rotary Valve on the Cheap
Let’s say you have a TNT and 1) want more poop or 2) you have a TNT or Qualifier that you want to get to MX performance. If want to move more fuel/air into you engine do this:
- Go to Canned-ham's technical documents page. You will find this photo of MX, Q and TNT valves.
- Increase the diameter of any valve to 4-7/8”.
- Print out the full-size photo. Trim around the photo and you have a template. You’ll have to cut out enough of the middle to line up the center teeth too.
- When the template lines up with your valve, mark the new cut line. Hint: The right side of all valves is the same so you are only futzing with the left side.
- Carefully cut along the new angle line with a grinder and finish the new edges.
This photo shows a real MX valve on the right. On the left is a TNT valve I changed to Q specs.
Note: This would be particularly helpful for 125 and 175 engines as they are so close and used the same pipes in most models. MX engines had additional changes like compression ratio, porting and pipeage. It ain’t all the valve.
Tuned Pipe Diagrams
125 &175 Broad-range Tuned Pipes
The header length for the 175 is longer than the 125. That seems to the only difference. The stinger length was not specified on the drawings I received many years ago.
175 Road Race Specs
Expect a peaky pipe that goes like stink on the high end.
200 (194cc) Can-Am ASE (mod 86)
At the time I obtained the above drawing my goal was flat tracking.
250 Can-Am Short Stroke engine
This drawing is incomplete and was not labeled 250 or short stroke, but I assumed that from the 125/175 drawing that came on the same sheet. Again, stinger length and diameter was not specified. You might plug 32mm diameter into your formula and see how that fits. This pipe applies to models prior to the MX4.
250 Can-Am MX4, MX5, 250Q 79+ Long-stroke Engines
I can’t tell you the power characteristics of this pipe but you can assume it will have more poop than stock pipes. If you have a hard time reading specs after blowing the diagrams up, contact me to see if I can help.
Refinishing Can-am Tanks
I’ve got to refinish two early tanks. One is slated for a black 1977 Black Widow replica, the other a TNT tank to be painted 1980 MX orange for my ice bike. I’ve been on YouTube looking at various plastic reclamation techniques. I tried the knife blade trick and it was too slow. In desperation I grabbed the B&D Mouse with 150 grit and was amazed how fast the junk yard grime came off. I didn’t want to use any coarser grit because I am unwilling to chase the deep-down sanding scratches. The yellowed white plastic seems hard to clear away but no matter if you are painting. Next up is 180 and 230 then 400. I’ll keep you in the loop.
When I figure out the secret formula for a dependable, long lasting paint job on plastic, I’ll let you know. I know you must use a plastic primer. It’s been explained to me that this stuff is like spraying on a tacky glue finish that bonds the plastic to the primer once the alcohol fluid evaporates.
Hint: I recommend putting an in-line petcock in your fuel line. After use drain out the tank gas so it has less time to permeate through the plastic and lift your paint.
Can-am Friends List
There are so few of us “out there” that I am starting a Can-am friends list. If you stopped on this page I want your contact information so each person on the list has someone new to call for parts and information...or use the list to offer parts and bikes for sale. I am starting the process with this list below starting with dealers. Email your info to email@example.com.
Randy Thompson [body parts and other hard parts]
PO box 254
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Keith Almond [little bit of everything]
Can-am American Dirt Bike
2693 Cherokee Place
Norco, California 92860
Tony Murphy Rotax Inc. [Rotax distributor - Engine parts]
27701 Largo Vista Rd.
Valyermo, CA 93563
Al Roberts Can-Am
135 El Pinto
Lumberton Texas 77657
Two One Nine Vintage Moto
(613) 326 1659
15612 Hwy 7, #238
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Cell 952-607- 6063 (12/7)
65 West Springfield Street
Frankfort, Ohio 45628
614 -593- 1954
719 293 1945
Eric has a ton of 74-79 C-A parts to sell. Call him first before going to eBay.
Email Summary of all Can-am People
I use this to search for parts among friends. You should, too. Identify your part with illustration and description. Provide all your contact information. Just dump all these e-addresses in your “send to” bar. If you want to be on this list email me.
Answering Your Letters
I answer all of them with whatever help I can share.