Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Being tied to the warmth of the house for the last few months I have been able to spend a lot of time searching the interweb for choice tit-bits and with the help of my flexible friend I have managed to score some choice parts. Growing up, Mr Tickle was always my favorite Mr Man, so imagine my joy when one of the greatest Cafe Racer part suppliers of the sixties turns out to be none other than a certain Mr Tickle himself. With that knowledge I set about collecting John Tickle parts. Here is a pictorial review of what I have found so far...
John Tickle TLS front brake...after a bit of a polish. Hardware still to get chromed. John Tickle top yoke. John Tickle clip-ons. NOS with box!And last but my no means least, John Tickle headlight brackets.There is still some more choice John Tickle parts out there, but I feel this is a good start to achieving my original goal of using as many original parts as possible. Next job is get all the bits to rebuild my forks and front wheel so that I can bolt up all of these goodies!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
A quick cup of tea while I admire my work, take some pictures, and then dismantle it again to get the frame ready to send off.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I blended the the foot rest area to match the top side with a disc sander attached to my drill. Several times I broke through the old welded patch and had to reweld the holes that I made. Once that are was looking about right, I welded up the two lower screw holes that were cracked, and then set about polishing.
First the wet sanding - 240 grit in one direction, followed by 320, 400, 600 and finally 1500, all in opposing directions making sure to totally remove the previous sanding marks. This was followed by buffing on the polishing wheel and finally out with the Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish . Overall I am pretty chuffed with the results. There is a slight ripple where the patch was done, but I don't think it will be noticeable when it is on the bike. Now I just need to find the matching inner cover - back to Ebay....
Unfortunately no before pictures, but here is the finished cover...
The next job that I will have to farm out is the frame which needs to be checked to make sure it runs true, and then the assembly can start in earnest.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Two weeks ago, while getting some parts that I will never use ready to sell on Ebay, I had an epiphany, a revelation on the direction to take this project. Up until now I had been planning on running a belt drive for the primary, and as a result I was going to have to buy a fancy rear wheel with an enclosed cush drive - about $500 dollars worth of kit. If you add that to the $800 dollars for the belt drive and I have thrown away a lot of dosh just so that I don't have to adjust the primary chain or worry about oil drips. Among the pile of parts was a complete AMC clutch that I had picked up in the early stages of planning parts, and then promptly forgotten about. With about $100 dollars of parts it will be better than new, and I can spend the rest of the saved money on other bits that will move the project beyond the pile of parts stage.
So with the primary figured out, it was time to sort out the rear hub so that I have something to align the gearbox to when I get there. The choice was either the original Norton rear hub or a Triumph conical hub, both of which I had among my parts pile in the shed. The Triumph hub is the better brake, lighter and looks like a Norton Manx racing unit. However, it isn't a Norton Manx racing unit but a later knock off and I am trying to keep this project as original as possible. So with that in mind, I decided to use the Norton hub - a full width alloy hub with cast iron drum bolted onto it. Looks nice but really heavy, and therein lies my weekend's work - trim down some weight and make it look a little less stock.
I had seen some pictures of a Velocette Thruxton with a scalloped hub and thought it would be a good look. So with some careful measurements, a calculator and remembering that π (pi) was about 3.141 I set about marking the hub up. It took me a while to get the technique down, starting with various files, grinder bits and then I came across a set of small sanding drums that were the right diameter for what I needed, slow going but the results looked good.
The first side took the better half of Saturday, but I was more than a little chuffed at how it was looking. Not necessarily any lighter but very Mad Max. I decided to call it a day and do the other side on Sunday.
Sunday morning I return to the shed and mark up the remaining side. With it all pre-marked, and knowing now what I am doing it races along; enough so that my mind starts to wander and I am not really concentrating but thinking about the next job. Two scallops left and..... BOLLOCKS!!! I misread my own marks and sand the wrong bit - right over the spoke hole leaving so little metal that the strength is going to be more than a bit suspect.
I decide to finish it off anyway and give it a clean and try and figure out if it is repairable with some clever welding. When all was done I was even more mad at myself because it really did look good and painted up it would have looked even better. I decide to set it aside and mull over my options and have a beer to refresh my soul and well being. Second beer in and I start to like the looks of that conical hub a little more. After all, it is the better hub and it is a lot cleaner a design. You can also change the sprocket without replacing the whole drum, which I needed to do with the Norton hub, and they don't come cheep. The hub I have on hand has a brand new alloy sprocket and new break shoes - I can fix this up without being anymore out of pocket.
So with another new direction decided, it was time to break out the hole saw and attack the next hub. Two inch holes fit nicely between the stiffening ribs and don't affect the strength of the hub. So once again, with some careful measurements, a calculator and remembering that π (pi) was about 3.141 I set about marking the hub up. Happy that I had the marks all equidistant and where they were meant to be, I put the hole saw in my drill press and started making holes.
The first hole went without to much trouble other than a lot of vibration. I started in on the second hole and the chuck on my drill press decided to disintegrate throwing bearing around the shed and leaving the drill inoperative. Just not a good weekend. Refusing to be beaten, I pull out my trusty old hand drill and attack the hub to finish it off.
After all five holes are drilled, it is time to smooth them out and remove all the sharp edges that will encourage stress fractures to start. A good clean up later and I am pretty pleased with the results and I think it will look good on the bike. I am tempted to scallop this hub too, but after the last unmitigated disaster I am thinking I might just leave it as is.
The next job is to powdercoat it black and fit gauze in the holes to stop rocks, birds, small children and the like from falling in and jamming the brakes. But that can wait until I am ready to get it laced to a rim.
And if I change my mind again, it really will make a lovely lampshade.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Once this is done, I will take the gearbox to Steve at European Cycles (http://www.europeanmotorcycles.com/) to check out the mechanical condition and see what is needed to make a reliable box out of it.
So, without further ado, on with the polishing. You can see from the photos that the old cover isn't in the best condition, with some deep gouges and scratches. First job is to give it a good clean with degreaser.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
It started out as a 1958 Triumph T110 bottom end, complete but in need of a total rebuild. The cases were stripped and bead blasted, with all threads checked and repaired where necessary. A late sixties two piece crankshaft from a TR6C with the lighter flywheel was used, with reground journals to first undersize, polished conrods and all new bearings.
Later NOS nitrided E3134 camshafts were used with all new bushings, and R cam followers running in Morgo tappet blocks. The cylinder is a Morgo 750cc kit and topped off with an early twin carb 9 stud head. The alloy pushrod tubes join the late style blocks to the earlier head, and house lightweight performance pushrods. The rocker boxes house lightened dural tappet adjusters and solid spacers instead of the original springs to reduce friction. They are joined by an original finned Webco oil rail.
Other goodies include a finned sump plate complete with drain plug, timing cover with tachometer drive and oil seal conversion and a Morgo rotary oil pump to keep the whole lot lubricated. The magneto is a Lucas Competition model (K2FC) but with all internals removed. They will be replaced with a Boyer electronic ignition unit which will be fitted further down the line.
Still needed - Oil pressure release valve, intake manifolds, finned rockerbox caps and a dynamo blanking plug to switch to later alternator electrics.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Now while it serves its purpose as a place to keep my tools and various projects, it is both a little cramped and a little too damp for restoring old motorcycles. This isn't all bad. I have come to an agreement with the girlfriend that as parts get restored, as long as they don't smell or leak oil, they can live in the warmth and dryness of the house. Sadly the old BSA does not fit into either category so it has to fend for itself in the tool shed. Maybe when I am done with the Triton, the old girl will get an engine overhaul and come stay in the living room. Or maybe we will move to a place with a garage. We will see, but for now, a visual tour...
These actually make it look quite tidy... The Honda Monkey Bike sitting in the corner - I have to finish this by the time my girlfriends nephew has long enough legs to ride it - don't they grow up quickly nowadays.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Using a Norton gearbox, this will be the only part that will be fixed laterally. The engine, having its mounts narrower than the engine plates, has room to adjust side to side in order to align the clutch and engine sprocket. With the plans to use a belt drive, this has to be spot on to stop the belt wandering off. I will be using a double sided gearbox adjuster to stop the gearbox twisting under load. As well as the engine and gearbox being lined up laterally they must also be spaced suitably apart for the primary chaincase to fit, and using a belt drive, the belt must fit within spec - belts are not made in every conceivable number of teeth and the permutations are not limitless. The gearbox centre should also be below the centreline of the rear swingarm when the rear suspension is loaded. This is so that when the power is applied, the force on the rear sprocket is such as to pull it down more in contact with the road rather than pull it up away from the road. Also the nearer the gearbox shaft is to the swingarm pivot, the less the variation of the distance between the gearbox and rear sprockets as the suspension extends and compresses. This is kinder to the rear chain. So that is the gearbox.
The rear wheel has some movement side to side by fiddling with the axle spacers, and adjusting the rim offset to suit. Things to be careful of are compromising the rear brake plate torque stay mechanism, and the chain clearing the swingarm. The Gearbox sprocket also has some lateral adjustment by using shims or offset sprockets, so even though the gearbox is fixed, the sproket alignment is not. Of course, the same is true with the clutch. It is also true with the crankshaft sprocket.
So, if I haven't confused myself, I put in the gearbox, adjust sprocket to rear wheel, adjust rear wheel to gearbox, put in engine and adjust to gearbox, shim sprocket to get spot on and Bob's your uncle, I will have a drive train.
So with all this thinking about alignment, I am going to have to get my frame trued before I start putting things in it, or all will be for naught. I guess I am going to have to make my mind up on my rear wheel too. And who I am going to get my engine plates from. Should probably figure out my primary cases and order my belt drive while I am at it. And then I have to decide what sprocket sizes and chain guage to use. I guess I should quit worrying about alignment for now, and go back to collecting parts and upsetting my bank balance...
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Sunday, May 6, 2007
And then I came across a strange company called Disco Volante and discovered what only can be described as cafe racer porn - let me introduce you to the 250 mm Fontana four leading shoe front brake and its little brother, the 210 mm twin leading shoe rear brake. Time to start saving, I think I am in love...
Well, a lad can dream. Think I will put this decision off for a while, maybe I will make my mind up next year - for now, back to the motor and start on the gearbox...