Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dismantle, degrease, polish...

Well, I've set about polishing the timing cover, but no pictures! I've decided that I need to find some abrasive wheels to tackle the timing cover since, as you can see from the pictures it is quite discoloured & needs more grief than I can give it with a sisal mop!

So, I have moved on to the removal and resurrection of the Lucas C35SD dynamo. No problem getting it off, but I had noticed a while back that the commutator was full of fluff, leaves and oil. I had assumed that this was down to the fact that the end cover was in a bag with a lot of other parts, and not on the dynamo!
I'd bought a puller as part of the toolkit crusade, and so removing the sprocket was no problem. As we noticed a day or two ago, the nut was missing and the puller screws right on. You undo the nut you can see behind the puller, extract the sprocket, and the dynamo is then held only by the clamp.
So here it is, some hours later after dismantling & scrubbing with a small brush & white spirit. All the major parts are in good shape, with the exception of the oil seal which is completely cratered - it is now obvious why the thing is full of oil. The disrtbutor retaining screw is noticaebly bent, and is 1/4" BSF - not what I would have expected in a soft ally casting.

Here's a close up of some of the smaller parts. No wear or other nasties apparent.

Next job, when everything is finally clean enough, is to check out the field coils, the armature, and the bearings. The data is all contained in the handy instruction manual, so no problems there. We can then reassemble and do a motoring test before refinishing.
Next though, after a few days real work, we will probably get the abrasives out and finish the timing cover.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Is it time to strip the engine yet?

Well, what delights will we find under here? 

Since I have not been able to shift the head, despite undoing all the fasteners (no I didn't miss any) I have decided to attempt to remove the barrel & head together and biff the head off the barrel using a block of wood from underneath.

Thanks to the ever-helpful Brenton Roy for that most excellent suggestion!!

The only challenge is that now I must undo all the cylinder base flange fasteners, several of which are inaccessible due to the dynamo and the timing cover. So, off with the timing cover! Unfortunately my imperial  hex keys were not at home - so I had to wait a little while. It's interesting that someone has fitted a set of cap head screws to this engine, so it's likely that someone has been in here before - which I guess is almost inevitable on a 60 year old machine. 

However, it comes off very easily, apparently with no stripped threads, though there is a quite a lot of Red Hermetite about.

Here's what I found:

Nothing too appalling at first glance. Everything in it's proper place, nothing mangled, the chain looks good and the tensioner is all there.

It's quite dark though. Is this evidence of a lot of blow-by I wonder?

Looking a bit closer, there is quite a bit of wear where the chain tensioner bears on the case - but this is probably normal and inevitable since the blade is free to flex at this end and the chain tension forces the blade against the soft aluminium case.

I'm not too worried about that.

But see what is missing? I didn't remove the nut on the end of the dynamo drive shaft! It's gone! Thankfully, unless it is stuck to the inside of the timing cover (I haven't looked yet) it must have been lost last time the engine was apart. There doesn't appear to be any damage from it flying about inside.

What else?

This is a bit peculiar - the tab washers for the oil pump haven't been bent up.

The alloy block and the two plungers are free - we will have to see what tolerances are specified for these parts.

Next stop we need to figure out how to time the engine so we can put it back together. Then it is dynamo off, oil pump off & we will attempt to remove the barrel  What fun! I might do some polishing first through, so I can clear the bench of the rocker covers and timing case.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Number Crunching

Lest we forget: Cylinder numbering for the four, according to Mr. C.W. Waller:

Next job is to lift the head. We remove the four sleeve nuts inside the rocker boxes; we loosen the twelve nuts around the outside of the head and, using a 1/4" BSW ring spanner especially reduced to fit in a confined space as shown in the picture on the left we remove the final four nuts.

A curiosity here. The front two studs were both fitted with two nuts - one with a regular 1/4" BSF nut, the other with a reduced hex 1/4" BSF nut. One is tempted to think that was to allow a bit more room to throw a wrench around, but I suspect it was more a question of convenience - whatever came to hand. The two nuts were I guess fitted to protect the threads.

In theory, according to the book the next job is to lift the head and place two 1/8" wooden strips between the head and the block, to allow us to raise the head and then to actually remove the nuts from the twelve studs.

The operation will be something like that shown in the picture from the Floyd Clymer Ariel Motorcycle Owners Handbook (3rd Edition) shown as Figure 11 below.

Well, I hope it will. It hasn't happened yet. The head is stuck fast with the adhesion of decades of setting time of a whole tube of Hermetite, by the look of it.

I have taken the hide mallet and waved it around near the engine in a vaguely threatening manner, but I don't plan to do anything else with out a bit more thought and a plea to the AOMCC forum members.

Monday, 17 September 2012

On with the engine...

Winter draws on... and I have no lights outside, so I am only able to work on the engine until dusk. It is in the summer house with the rest of the bike until it is small enough pieces to bring inside. This is something of a pain but my view is that the enforced pace allows me time to think!

I can't wait until the new workshop is up & running!
Here it is - it's a 20' x 9' garage I have bought in the middle of Sheringham, and it has a 9' square area upstairs as well. It has a solid concrete floor, is built from breeze block and has a tiled & felted roof.

There is no power or light yet but at least it is dry.

I plan to get rid of the up & over door to make it a bit more bike-friendly, and then get UK Power Networks to provide a 100A power supply.

Anyway, this evening I have been preparing to lift the head.

I've been using the tool kit spanners I have collected, for the sake of familiarity, to back off the fasteners around the head. I've slackened off the 3/16" BSW rocker adjusters and the 1/4" BSW rocker spindles so that we don't have any accidents on the bench later, which all came apart quite easily (though they were all pretty tight, apart from one of the rocker spindles (offside rear)).

I then moved on to the head studs, and now I understand where they all are if I don't know how to get them undone! The twelve nuts under the third barrel fin were easy to find, especially the one at the front offside where the fin is missing.

The four inside the rocker boxes look straightforward, though I guess they are 3/16" BSW and I don't have a suitable tube spanner for that - over to you Mr eBay.

I guess that I will be replacing these fasteners with more from Acme Stainless, or possibly plating them.

As for the last four, two at the front and two at the back... one I got to with a small 1/4" BSW ring spanner; but they are very inaccessible. Maybe a tube spanner from above, though not at the back where the inlet manifold covers them up, or mabe a slender Britool ring spanner my grandfather gave me many years ago. I've asked my ever helpful AOMCC colleagues for advice.

Anyhow, I have ordered a couple of suitable tube spanners, and I'm off to Leeds for work tomorrow. then I have a couple of important family events... Maybe some more activity this time next week?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Labour of love

Going through the grits, page one of thousands...
There has been no time this week to take the head off yet - it is still sitting in the summer house awaiting hours of patience with an open ended spanner, but we can finish cleaning up the rocker covers.
I haven't commmited to any polishing equipment yet, but with a spare hour I have started to polish the two rocker covers by hand.
Starting by scraping off the dirt with the ubiquitous credit card/hotel room key, we move on to 240 grit used wet to cut back most of the oxidiation. Moving through 400, 600 & 800 stopping periodically to ensure that the whole surface is cut to the same standard.
For some reason we seem to be out of 1000 grit, but we move on to 1200.
The next step is a waste of time - we try with some Farecla G3 cutting compound, but quickly find that this will not cut alumnium. It is an excellent product for what it is made for - paint & lacquers.
For final finishing - Solvol Autosol, resulting in the shiny parts we see hereabouts. Shiny enough, not to ruin the patina of a 60 year old bike? too shiny? not shiny enough?
You be the judge.
More next time...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

We're back - and it is engine build time.

Well at last. It may be nearing the end of summer, but what better time to get back up and running with the Ariel.

The Bantam is finished - it is now 12 V, and has had it's second engine rebuild. It's just carried me 25 miles around the country south of the city without missing a beat, even through a ford. It still doesn't like ticking over when it is hot though.

The Cyclemaster has been in the workshop for a look over. It is remarkably original as I had thought; it has a coaster brake and is a 25 cc model, but it has been some while with the spark plug loose and is siezed solid. I've put it aside for a rainy day as it's time to get back to the next step with Amelia, building the engine. Regular readers will remember that the gearbox is suspiciously offset, and part of the engine strip will include sitting the bottom end in the frame for an alignment check.

However today, there is not much biking time left. Just enough to make a little start and write a blog post.

So here are some rather grubby rocker covers, taken off for the first time in years, and bringing two of their studs with them.
Here they are again, after a session with some white spirit and a cloth. What I need to do now is source some polishing mops, and some advice on what compunds to use.

And here is what they revealed. Nothing apparently amiss there!

I'm going to spend the rest of the evening relaxing in front of the telly with a book. One by Mr C.W. Waller perhaps.