Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A new day and a new project

So today is a new day: this morning, we hoisted my Bantam into the back of a van for it to start it's journey to a new home in Teeside:

A Bantam, waiting for a van
It's been a brilliant little bike, attracting a lot of attention and getting me back into a hobby which I love and which I had missed for almost 20 years. It started me off on this writing lark, lots of blog posts, magazine articles and the Bantam Restorer's Guide, if it ever gets published...

But what now? Time for the FH to come down from the loft. It's going to become my fast road bike, possibly replacing the Square Four. My thoughts are:
  • Fully restored - it's in bits, in multiple colours, and several key items are missing. In short, it's got no patina.
  • It's going to be finished in export paint colours, because I like that and because there are a lot of maroon Huntmasters out there
  • I'm going to replace the rims with stainless, with stainless spokes and plated brass nipples - I thought about getting these built at CWC, and ask them to polish the hubs, but I'll probably build them myself as usual
  • I'll use stainless fasteners throughout. I believe Ariel's of this vintage would have had zinc plated (and not phosphated) fasteners, so in view of the proximity of the sea, dull stainless is the way to go
  • It's got a new Mk1 concentric already
  • It's currently got a 2 into 1, though I have two silencers - I think I will keep the 2 into 1, at least for a while
  • I'll tear the engine down before I decide what to do with it, but it will be rebuilt to standard specification
  • The magneto will be rebuilt by Tony Cooper
  • I need to get it built, inspected and dated to retain the original registration number. I'll do a dry build first.
To get moving, I am going to start with the frame and cycle parts. There is quite a lot of welding to do before we get to sending out for painting, so perhaps I will do this:

  1. Strip the top end and timing side off the engine, to release the head, barrel and engine plates for the dry build and to release the magneto and dynamo for reconditioning.
  2. Put the frame on the bench, and assemble the gear box and empty cases into it
  3. Start welding the mudguards, chain guards and seat pan to trial fit tinwear and frame components
  4. Dry build, with fasteners from stock and no engine internals, wiring or cables.
  5. Register, photograph and develop the 'missing & broken parts' list
  6. Send black items (cycle parts) out for powdercoat 
  7. Send the wheels out for rebuild
  8. Send the levers and handlebars out for plating
  9. Send the tanks, toolbox, and mudguards out for paint
  10. Start the engine and gearbox rebuild
  11. Reassemble when it's all back...
  12. Wiring and cables
  13. Shakedown!
We'll see what happens!

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