Monday, 27 February 2012

Frank's Linked!

So, time to start assembling. This shows the rebound springs, the sliders, their posts & pins in position on both sides with the chrome shrouds slid into the frame. Above these are the main springs with their caps, ready to be pulled in.

Missing from this first picture are the stand brackets which have to fit on the end of the springs, the horseshoes and the links.

In the background, you can see the rear wheel waiting in the wings!
The next step is to pull the springs into place and fit the nuts and the stand brackets to the bottoms of their pins. This is not too difficult, since you can trap the slider against the bottom of the frame with a G-Cramp or a cargo strap, and compress the rebound spring; then you can get another strap or clamp on the top of the pin, against the bottom of the frame again, and pull the main spring down until the end of the pin emerges through the hole in the bottom of the frame lug.

When you've done all that, you can slide the stand bracket into place over it's lug and put the bottom nut on - the only difficulty I had here was to get the pin central enough to get the nut on.
Pushing the slider around allows that to happen OK.

The next step is to add the horseshoe, it's pin, knurled washers and nut. That done, you can put the links on and wiggle the pivots into place.

All I need now are some stainless washers & nuts for the links; and some suitable stainless fasteners for the stand brackets.
I've put an order in to Draganfly for the rear stand, the springs and the mudguard stay mounting studs. While we wait for the parts to arrive, we will have a look at the forks.


So with the odometer and the speedo drive sorted out, it was onto the movement and the case. This is the movement as it emerged from the case:

The movement appeared intact on inspection, indeed it was just caked in grease and the debris from the mangled drive wheel. It was a simple matter to strip it down, then we sorted the various assemblies into separate pots for cleaning with pegwood, solvents & the ubiquitous toothbrush. Look at the colour of the solvent:

This took several rinses, followed by polishing of the wheels & arbors.  There wasn't any tooth damage to the wheels, and the various pivot holes in the plates are all in good condition.

Reassembled & lubricated the speedo now works nicely in the electric drill.The picture below shows it in position in the main frame, hooked up to the main drive & the odometer. We cleaned the odometer wheels (very gently) with a swab dipped in a mild water/detergent solution:

Next stop was the case, which required a trip to the shed to find the top yoke, since there was no strap for the speedo and no idea of what it should look like. A cardboard template and some of the inevitable sheet metal work soon remedied that problem, and the case was rubbed down and sprayed gloss black. The picture below shows the speedo in position in the top yoke, from underneath:

The dial and needle we left mostly as found - we don't want to polish all the patina away. I had the lamp holder still attached to the original wiring harness, so this was polished up using brass brushes in the Dremel, wired up and fitted back in place. some new M6 nuts finished the job - since the design of these instruments originated in France, all the fasteners are metric.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

I love eBay...

After months of searching, I've found the correct S467/3/L speedometer for spares or repair on eBay! It looks good in the picture!

When it arrives, it's well wrapped in a box, inside 3 jiffy bags with newspaper around the outside. So, as soon as possible, we spin it up on the drill and...nothing happens. Well, the trip works and the odometer would probably have worked if I had bothered to wait...

If you've read the Bantam article, you'll know that I've repaired these before. When I got this one apart, we found the drive pinion spread around the interior like fairy dust. It shown in the pictures, minus all it's teeth.

As luck would have it, I had a Bantam 'D' speedo in the spares box, with it's drive spindle intact. This fitted straight in.

So next, I dismantled the trip/odometer drive (as you have to do, to get the drive spindle in or out) and cleaned up all the dust with a stick of jewellers pegwood, with a cloth swab taped to it. A dose of lighter fuel on the swab cleaned it up beautifully. Reassembled & lubed up it works perfectly.

Next job, number wheels. A similar swab but this time with a weak detergent mix cleans all the oil & grease off those as well.

Then we get on to the morass of goo that covers the movement. More later.

Sheet Metal Shop

Way back when, every engineering student spent time in the workshop with a scriber and square, an engineers hammer and a dot punch, and got his fingers covered in marking blue. There lecturer would be at the front of the shop in his white shop coat, explaining how you had to wash your hands before you went to the loo, because you were a real engineer now and you didn't want any nasty skin infections.

Then you'd spend the day marking out, witnessing, sawing and filing a tack lifter that would spend the next 30 years at the bottom of your toolbox. The enthusiasts would eat that in a couple of hours and move on to a 5" gauge Flying Scotsman or a 1/12th scale Avro Lancaster - such were the days before 'Call of Duty 4'.

Actually, my bias went more towards making myself some mudguard stays for my Matchless or welding up the holes in my Austin Healey Sprite.

However, you don't forget those manual skills, and somehow they are much more valuable than the office skills you learn later in life as your career takes off.

Here's the missing suspension washer and a new clutch screwdriver, copied from the W/NG manual.


So, more work this week on several fronts. It may interest the polyamide quilting moguls of the world that I have started to collect Ariel tools.

No... I've been through the parts lists for the SQ4, and checked all the tools the toolbox is supposed to hold. I have looked at Drags website to see which ones I can buy. I have obsessively trawled eBay for examples of tools marked 'Ariel'. I have printed the W/NG spares lists, and the handbooks, because these have pictures of all the tools.

And I have retired to the deep, dank, dark & smelly recesses of our cellar workshop to make the ones I cannot find...

Monday, 6 February 2012

Amelia's Plungers

So, we spent the weekend cleaning, painting & collecting pieces of suspension from the boxes the machine was delivered in. We are missing a washer (!) which will have to be made and we were missing the two large upper shrouds (the ones with the slots in) which came from eBay, with better lower shrouds than the ones I had.

Generally the bushes are good - the tubes along which the sliding members move are a bit pitted in places. Some threads need recutting as well.

The chrome plating done by the previous restorer is flaking and will have to be removed - the link pins are especially bad. However since the first build is to be non-cosmetic, we will leave these for now.

Draganfly have the rear stands in stock, so when I have acquired the material to replace that washer we will take a trip down there and pick one up, along with the springs, the mudguard stay fixings and various other small parts. We'll go to Mike Peters at for all the stainless fasteners (as we did for the Bantam).

However for now, the plungers are loosely fitted in the frame:

And this is what it will look like:

Frank's Links

So, to bike building, starting at the back.

My Square Four, like many others is fitted with the famous Anstey Link rear suspension, designed by Frank Anstey to overcome the chain-tension problems inherent in the plunger design, whilst avoiding the complex frame re-engineering required when providing a true swinging fork. Mr. Anstey joined Ariel from Triumph, as Ariel's Chief Designer, in 1937. Here's an extract from Patent 498544, filed by Ariel Motors & Mr. F Anstey on 16th December 1937:

Patent Number 498,554. Spring frames for motorcycles. ARIEL MOTORS, Ltd., and ANSTEY, F. Dec. 16, 1937, No. 34840. [Class 136 (iii)] A spring mounting for the rear wheel of a motor-cycle comprises in combination, ...on each side of the wheel, a lever j arranged horizontally or nearly so at the rear end of the frame a, one end of the lever receiving one end of the wheel spindle m, as by means of a slot k, a fulcrum piece g having a pivotal connection, i with an intermediate part of the lever j means for carrying the fulcrum piece g on the frame so as to allow it to move in a vertical or approximately vertical direction, and means for attaching the other end of the lever j to the frame so as to allow this end to move in an approximately horizontal direction, as by means of a vertical link n or a horizontal guide, the movements of the parts being controlled by one or more springs.; The fulcrum piece g is slidably mounted on a guide pin f secured in a bracket c formed on or attached to the rear end of the frame a, the sliding movement being controlled by a main spring h and a rebound spring or rubber buffer, with or without a vibration damper, such as an hydraulic damper combined with the guide pin mounting. The lever j is formed with a forked part passing around the bracket c, the pivot pin i extending across the forked part. Thesprings are enclosed in telescopic tubes t, u. The two levers j on opposite sides of the wheel may be interconnected by links &c. and controlled by a single spring or set of springs

The  design uses all the 'normal' elements of a plunger suspension, but instead of suspending the wheel from sliding member it incorporates a cast steel horseshoe, which carries the wheel and pivots on the sliding member. This horseshoe is retained by a link, pivoting above the lower frame members and forward of the plunger allowing the horseshoe to travel through a short arc so that the drive chain tension was kept more constant during compression and rebound. Of course, this is not a perfect solution since the centre of the horseshoe's rotation is still a long way from the gearbox sprocket centre, but it is a lot better than a conventional plunger.

Of course, there are lots of pivots, sliding members & bushes to wear out...

Here are the bits I have acquired:

You can identify most of these from the sketch above. The long screw poking out of the horseshoe (and painted that WD green colour) is the chain adjuster, which replaced the snail cams. You will also see that my '51 bike has volute-type rebound springs in place of the previous coils.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gearbox. Woes?

So, in a change from electrics, we have had an anorak moment with the gearbox. Reading part numbers (ZZZZZzzzzzz.....) and looking through the parts books, we find that the Squariel is supposed to be fitted with a Burman BA gearbox, with a part number staring with G106.

All not very interesting, until we see that our gearbox number is G107J51, which means it is a G107 gearbox built in November 1951, several months after Amelia was sold in sunny Leytonstone.

The problem is... the G107 is from a different Ariel with a different mainshaft and probably doesn't fit! what are the chances of finding the correct box? why did I buy a bike in bits?

But but but.... I feel a plan coming on. How will I figure out if it is OK? the folks on the AOMCC forum says it is all about chain alignment...

So, the plan is that we assemble the bike enough to check the chain alignment. I'm not sure if it will be the primary or the secondary chain, so I'm going to build up from the rear wheel to the primary cases and see where it goes...

To see how this story turns out, go to this post...

and to see how I rebuilt the gearbox, you can turn to this one.