Thursday, 18 March 2021

Model A - repairing threads

It's a wet day here in Norfolk, and I have some domestic stuff to do in the workshop so while I'm at it I might get distracted...

I'm looking at the workshop layout with a view to getting a bike lift in there, so I have shuffled them around and the Model A happens to be accessible, so we will have a look at a couple of loose ends. The front mudguard has been hanging off for a while (and still is) because there are a couple of dubious threads in the forks - one, a broken bolt, and then two other threads that are just fouled.

Here's the broken one - I have put a 1/8" hole through this broken 1/4" bolt, to see if it will come out with an Easy-Out. they never do, but I have to drill the hole anyway!

Of course, it didn't come out and I moved through the drills until I was one size under tapping size for 1/4" CEI. I then applied the 1/4" CEI taper tap and used it to clear the thread - it moved the remains of the bolt:

Next stop, same problem at the back. I made the mudguard & rack fasteners a while ago and could only fit one side, because I found someone had broken one of the 3/8" bolts in the frame lug, drilled and tapped it something like 5/16" and put a new bolt in. Today, I removed the broken 3/8" stump using a diamond burr in the Dremel and chasing out with a 3/8" CEI taper tap, so this shot shows it all back together with the stand spring fitted at last:

I also took the opportunity to chase out the chain adjuster threads. Grovelling about on the floor makes me realise that a hydraulic lift would be a nice addition to the workshop!

Back at the front, I now have both sides of the mudguard stay fitted - to cut the mudguard, I need the centre bracket and the front stand fitting - unfortunately I have run out of 5/16" screws, so that's the next job.

Comparing the next picture with my picture above, you can see I have the mudguard stay too far forward:

Friday, 5 March 2021

W/NG: finally fixed?

Since the last time I wrote about the W/NG, we have been locked down again and are only now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We've had snow, freezing winds, and Christmas, if only for a day or two. It's had very few outings since the COVID crisis is a very bad time to be needing the services of A&E in a hurry should the worst happen so I have been painting (a house), making an airbox for the QR50 and turning parts for the Model A

However, painting a city centre house means you need to get there and park, which is much easier on a bike so I have used it a couple of times. You might recall I put an old Lodge HN in it, to see how a traditional plug would behave - well, it failed after 200 yards and a new W8AC went in. This was fine for the rest of the commute, testing the new main jet, but the high speed thrash along the main road had us arrive back coughing, spluttering and sooting up.

Back to square one. I decided to replace the float needle, which was an old one:

Can't see what's wrong with it? No, that's because it's hardly worn. The fuel level was quite high:

Messing about with the float bowl got the level down a lot:

It ticks over nicely:

I wasn't convinced that it would make the difference, and looked back over some old pictures only to realise that the throttle needle was not, in fact new... I bought another and made a comparison:

Here, I've marked the old needle (bottom) and the new needle (top) every 10 mm. The chart below shows the diameter at each position in thousandths of an inch, with the difference in the 'wear' column on the right.

When you consider that the needle jets are sold in increments of one thousandth of an inch, wear of up to six thou' in the needle is very significant.

It has to be said, this is a schoolboy error if ever there was one - I should have bought a new needle at the outset, I would have saved a fortune in spark plugs.

A 50 mph thrash down to Weybourne produced this colour in an old B5HS.

And the fuel level? I'd set the float so low that the valve could hardly open. I could ride a couple of hundred yards and then it would splutter to a halt, and I would have to wait while the float bowl filled up again!