Would 1928 Ariel have used that weird continental measuring system?
Chaterlea 25 says they used weird combination Imperial/continental bearings, so why not?
I taped a note to the top cover with 'dipstick' written on it, planning to make my own cover with a dipstick to let me easily check on the grease level. However, having now worked with the semi-solid ooze I gave up on that idea. I'll have to judge how much grease remains in the gearbox by how much is on my foot.
MMan--not only over 100,000 views but also 1,000 replies. A tremendous achievement--the educator in you must be feeling very pleased and very proud. Keep up the good work. I am still planning to be in Portland ME in September to see you off.
MMan--not only over 100,000 views but also 1,000 replies.
Originally Posted by Stuart
After I posted, I saw that MM might get the chance to make the 1,000th reply to his thread.
On the face of it, this thread is about arcane details of a marque and model that that only a few people reading this own, or even think they ever might own, so the number of views and replies is as surprising as it is gratifying. After all, how many people think they might ever need to know how to fabricate their own pushrods for a 1928 Ariel?
I was curious about how many views the thread was getting despite it being in a relatively obscure location so in January I started noting the number at the beginning of each week. Interestingly, the plot has maintained an upward curving trajectory since then so new people continue to discover this thread faster than old people might be abandoning it. Clearly, there's an interest in reading the details of a methodical scientific approach to motorcycle restoration even when the particular motorcycle isn't necessarily of interest itself. It's either that, or people are enthralled by the lilt of my prose.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
I am still planning to be in Portland ME in September to see you off.
I'm looking forward to meeting you. Which reminds me, I still haven't figured out how I'm going to get my bike there. None of the options are great, although I'm still holding out hope someone will offer their Leer jet.
As a general comment on meeting people in September, I think I already wrote about the incident a year ago where someone came up to me at the local, annual motorcycle show and said "Hi, remember me?" I didn't, but he then told me he had spoken with me after a public lecture I had given in another city 19 years earlier. I mention this because others from several areas of my life may come up to me at stops along the route, and I'll likely be tired and/or preoccupied thinking about the significance of some noise that developed, so please provide some background when you introduce yourself ("Hi, I'm John Doe, rabidbabykiller13 from Britbike, and we corresponded about my attempt to get a coil from a weed whacker to work in my Tiger Cub."). That way there's at least some chance a neuron will be triggered for me to make the connection.
MM, apart from the subject matter being interesting in its own right, many of your processes that you use , and explain your reasoning for so doing, are very helpful to apply to other projects, not just rare Ariels. Thank you, a most fascinating thread !
Ditto. Being more of a dirt driveway mechanic than a precision engineer, your approach is very interesting. Only twice in 60 years have I had access to some sort of an enclosed working space. When you are on a subject that is both intersting and obsecure the quality of the posts is always good as no one bothers to make Dorothy Dicks posts to show how much more they know than the presenter. I am sure you have stood in front of such groups.
So no I will never own a Black Ariel and there is very little chance that at 64 I will ever achieve your levels of machining skills but it is still interesting to see how you have approached the various problem as they arose and even better that you have taken the extra time to show the logic or maths behind every step.
Most posts tend to be fold flap B into slot F and invert which is good if you just want to do a quick fix but there is little knowledge to be obtained form such posts.
I guess you can take the professor out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the professor.
The first photograph shows my choices for making a 22T gearbox sprocket. Starting at the 19T that came on the bike, I could machine the teeth off and weld a ring of 22T on. But, that would eliminate (or make difficult) the possibility of switching back to 19T if 22T proves to be too much gearing for the Ariel. Also, if the 22T sprocket is fine for crossing the Midwest but I can tell that it's near the limit, having the 19T along would let me (or, by then, the long-suffering team mechanic) swap for the smaller sprocket to cross the Rockies.
Moving clockwise, next is the badly made aftermarket 19T Ariel sprocket whose splines are incorrectly made for the Ariel's hub. I'd first have to narrow the splines, then cut the teeth off it as well as a 22T donor sprocket, and then weld the ring of 22T on. That would be a lot of work to end up with a sprocket with a screwed up hub that wouldn't allow it to be perfectly centered on the spline gear..
Next is a 22T industrial sprocket with a machineable hub. To use it I'd have to machine the ID to size and then devise a way to broach the six splines with the right widths and exactly 60-deg. apart. After that I'd have to mill the larger ID on the rotary table. All that could be done, but it would take a lot of time.
Finally is a 22T aftermarket Ariel sprocket that also doesn't quite fit. The problem with modifying it to make it fit is it case hardened everywhere which makes working on it difficult.
Coincidentally, while looking for something else today I stumbled across two sets of small diameter diamond-impregnated Dremel burrs I bought some months ago to drill holes in sea shells for a granddaughter. So, with those, several files, and Dykem I managed to reduce the width of the splines on the case-hardened sprocket by the necessary ~0.020". I then held the sprocket in a 4-jaw chuck centered it on the base of the teeth to better than 0.0005" and machined the necessary ~0.035" off the ID of the splines using a carbide bit. Since 22 isn't divisible by 4 I held the sprocket by two teeth using one set of jaws and by one tooth using the other.
The final photograph shows the 22T sprocket on the Ariel. I still have to make a spacer/hub to set it the correct distance from the gearbox bearing but that's an easy job. Then, barring something I've overlooked, everything should be ready for the final assembly of the bike tomorrow. Unfortunately, Mother's Day is Sunday so, while I could be wrong, it might be a bad idea to head off on the Ariel until at least Monday.
[quote=Triless]Then, barring something I've overlooked, everything should be ready for the final assembly of the bike tomorrow. Unfortunately, Mother's Day is Sunday so, while I could be wrong, it might be a bad idea to head off on the Ariel until at least Monday.
Great news that you are nearly there with a complete bike again but did I miss something? About a month ago you said
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
.............turn to the gearbox (1 day), and then the magneto (1 day).
What happened with the magneto? Did you rebuild it and will post about it later or are you going to come back to it?
It depends on the definition of "one day," e.g.: Exasperated wife to husband: When are you going to fix that squeaky hinge? Husband to wife: I'll get to it one day.
Not being facetious, when I wrote "one day" for a given task I meant the equivalent of a full day in the garage, which sometimes can take a week or more to piece together. Add to that the several new tasks I hadn't anticipated, such as having to make the new pushrods before doing a test run using the old ones, spending several hours filing a pattern sprocket to make it fit, etc., plus the mathematical fact that everything always takes a factor of pi longer than predicted, and that brings us to today.
Originally Posted by George Kaplan
What happened with the magneto?
As for the magneto, I decided to temporarily use it as-is and postpone rebuilding it until I get a few miles under the Ariel's belt. No doubt the bike will be up on the lift at that time to take care of whatever issues have been revealed on the shakedown runs so little time will have been wasted in installing and de-installing the magneto in its current condition. Since I have the components on the shelf I'll be piecing together the mag. portion of a magdyno and rebuilding it to have along on the Cannonball and that work can be done in parallel with the test rides.
thumbs up !....I'm with BSA_WM20...tho I've been lucky enuf to wrench in covered/inside spaces more often than not...especially later in life.....but I've put in my share of wrenching on the floor or ground/side of the road when necessary. I joined this forum today just to reply here. I came originally to this forum...maybe a month or so ago...from the Team Norton clip at the Cannonball web site. Was so interested I read all the posts from the beginning to get up to speed, so to speak. I'm looking forward to the '18 Cannonball spending a night in my town in Sep. Back in '14 I first read about the Cannonball in AI Mag. They invited riders to stop and visit/ride a bit along the route. I rode(09 Road King) down to Elko, Nevada and followed along a couple days to almost Lewiston, Idaho. Really enjoyed the old iron. Got to assist wrenching on a '30 Indian with sidecar along the side of the road, even ! Then headed back east on my first trip on the Lochsa..US12 across Idaho....ahhhh 'Winding road next 99 miles'!...my kinda ride ! But back to this forum/thread...very interesting ! Thanx, Magnetoman, for your efforts/instruction and best of luck in the Cannonball.....maybe we'll get to say hello face to face when you get to Montana.....;-) ....or before if I'm lucky enuf to ride along for some extra days.... and I love the Mother's Day injection of humor ! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8hPVGEGHlJdZldNTTNvcFhXTmtNV011Nzh3UllfaDFhMlpV
TBDMC never ride faster than your angel can fly 1980 FXE...2009 FLHR...2016 FLTRU...1980XLH
Only twice in 60 years have I had access to some sort of an enclosed working space. bothers to make Dorothy Dicks posts to show how much more they know than the presenter.
Your post crossed my previous one in the mail. I don't know who Dorothy Dicks is, but I'm glad she hasn't filled this thread with her wisdom.
My first job after university was in Illinois, and my first house was rented and without a garage. But, since then working conditions steadily improved. I have no complaints about current ones.
Originally Posted by dTalknMT
maybe we'll get to say hello face to face when you get to Montana....
That's when the going could start getting tough. Fingers crossed the 1.6 Imperial h.p. of the Ariel gets it to the top of the Rockies.
Two things I wrote in my previous post applies to today's progress:
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
tasks I hadn't anticipated, everything always takes a factor of pi longer than predicted.
Making the spacer for the gearbox sprocket was straightforward, but I had to start with a piece of 2" steel to make the 1-5/8" OD item so it took a bit of time to remove the excess metal. Not quite a factor of pi, but longer than I anticipated
Then, when I tried to attach the nut to tighten the hub into place I discovered it was stripped. The previous rebuilder must have used the generally accepted rule that you tighten fasteners until they get easy to turn, then back off a quarter turn. I have a pretty fair stock of British fasteners from BSAs and Triumphs but the necessary 5/8-20 CEI must not have been a common one. Luckily I have a tap in that size so I made a new nut by modifying a 1/2-20 UNF. I hadn't anticipated that task.
I couldn't find a tap drill recommendation for this size CEI thread so, based on the fact a 5/8-18 UNF uses a 37/65" tap drill (0.578") I guessed that 9/16" (0.563") would be appropriate. I drilled the 1/2-20 nut (3/4" across the flats), tapped it, and that's what is now holding the clutch basket on.
The next issue was the chain. Although I plan to use an X-ring chain, for now I would use some "normal" chain I already have. Or so I thought. I had (mis)estimated that I had a long enough length but the 3 extra teeth on the gearbox sprocket left me ~1-1/2 links too short of being able to use it no matter how hard I tried to stretch the chain. So, X-ring chain is on order for delivery on Wednesday.
After Mother's Day 2018 is in the history books I'll finish assembling the bike (tank, gearbox linkage, carburetor, etc.) to be ready for the chain, which can be strung onto the sprockets even when the bike is fully assembled.
Since we would be leaving for brunch in a few hours, getting greasy in the garage this morning wasn't a good idea so instead I used the time to take care of "housekeeping" of my computer's Ariel directory. I have a Word document containing all my posts in this thread so the first thing that I did was to change it to 10 pt. font to reduce the length. It's now 192 pages of single-spaced text, without any images.
On the subject of documents, using the 'General Data' section of a BSA A65 shop manual as an initial template, from the beginning I've been compiling data from the Ariel (including such details as piston crown height above gudgeon pin, pushrod lengths, teeth on each gear, dimensions and spring constants of clutch springs, etc.). That document is now seven pages.
Many of my photographs already were in the Ariel/Photos sub-directory, but many others had yet to make it there from the directories for my iPhone and SLR. Going back through a year's worth of photographs to get that sorted out took about an hour. I also converted the SLR's raw files to jpegs. When done I had 1399 jpegs in chronological order documenting the rebuild.
The above gives me the raw material to write by far the most detailed 1928 Black Ariel shop manual in existence (also, the only one...). All that would be needed is the time to do the editing, and knowing that more than three other people would use it.
We were alerted a week ago that a form would be sent to us at 5:00 MST today for motel reservations. I put myself in charge of doing this for all three of us.
A list of motels for each stop was included with that initial email. There are 125 riders (plus an unknown number of drivers/mechanics/camp followers), give or take, and several of the stops have as few as 160 rooms blocked. So, I went through the list to note which motels to pick in order to avoid taking time once the reservation form arrived, possibly resulting in us in sleeping bags on the back step of a Motel 6.
The form arrived precisely on time, I entered all the information, checked and double-checked it, and had it submitted four minutes later. Confirmation arrived less than two minutes after that. There can't be too many (if any) forms in the queue ahead of ours. So, that's another step toward the reality of this actually taking place.
My current plan is to build a crate, ship the bike, spares, and clothes to the east coast, fly there, and rent a truck big enough to -- worst case -- haul the three of us and two broken bikes from town to town. Once we get to OR our mechanic will fly back to Ireland (likely never wishing to speak with either of us as long as he lives for having involved him in this), my teammate's bike will be shipped, and he and I will drive south to my house (with me likely never wishing to speak with him again for getting me into this). That's the plan in broad strokes, but details matter.
I need to ship my bike well ahead of time to some secure "depot" where it might have to stay for up to a week depending on how long it takes to arrive there. Any suggestions for where in or near Portland ME such a "depot" might be?
Suggestions for good shippers with whom you've had actual, relatively recent, experience?
Suggestions for the "best" rental firm and type of truck to use for our purposes?
It was a busy week with no time to do any work on the Ariel itself since last Saturday. However, tomorrow is looking good for a full day in the garage.
A few days ago I wrote that the X-ring chains would arrive Wednesday. Unfortunately, when I wrote that I hadn't noticed it was Wed. a week from now. Because of this delay I planned to install the conventional chains I already have as a temporary measure and swap them later. However, in a bit of good luck the X-ring chain for the primary arrived today. This means I won't have to pull the primary case off again (which requires removing the rear brake pedal and the footrest). Swapping the drive chain is a much easier job.
I bought D.I.D. 428VX X-ring chain for the primary and 530VX for the drive chain, which they rate as good for 15k-20k miles. However, D.I.D. only recommends the 428VX for bikes up to 350 cc so I have to hope the h.p. of the 500 cc Ariel doesn't prove too much for it.
I pushed the gearbox all the way forward on its platform to allow for maximum later adjustment for stretch, wrapped the chain around the sprockets, and marked where I needed to break it. After grinding the end of the pin I used the chain breaker I carry in my bike tool kit to remove the pin. I'd like to know if the chain breaker is capable of dealing with a pin that hasn't been ground but I decided against testing it. I hope I don't find out on the road it isn't up to the task...
This side plate for the master link on this chain is a very tight fit on the pins. I wasn't able to press it into place using vise grips but succeeded with a large C-clamp and a spacer so I ordered a Motion Pro chain press tool to carry in my tool kit. When done installing the chain I cut 1-link and 3-link segments to carry in my toolkit as I do for "normal" chain, to use if a chain breaks and it needs some extra length for the repair.
When I went to Amazon.com to order the necessary two 428VX master links to use for emergency repairs I discovered I had screwed up with my previous order of drive chain, having ordered 520VX rather than 530VX. So, I cancelled that order and now have the correct chain set for delivery on Tuesday, along with two extra master links for it as well. I'll have to pay the $9 return shipping on the incorrect chain, but that's the price of me screwing up the original order.
I use DID 428 X ring chain on my B44 as the drive chain and have had no issues.
But your B44 is a mere 441 cc whereas my Ariel is a mighty 500...
It's good to know your experience with this chain, but I'm not worried about either the 428 or the 530 on my Ariel. DID's ratings are for when it's used as a drive chain where it has to survive the torque after being multiplied by the gearbox (~2-2.5x for a 1st gear). So, as a primary chain it's equivalent to being rated for that purpose on a 700 cc B44. The rating for the 530 drive chain is 1000 cc so that shouldn't be a worry, either.
Did you use a chain breaker on your 428VX without first grinding the head from the pin?
That's very good to know since I won't have a grinding wheel with me on the bike and the DID is rather beefy. The chain breaker I carry in my tool kit can be partially seen in one of the photographs I posted yesterday. I've had it for years and it has performed well on several unground "normal" chains on the side of the road but I've never had to use it on X-ring chain other than in the garage where I'm always able to grind the pins first.
These size ratings for chains are misleading, any rubbish chain with thick side plates can say its for a large engined bike due to the chains tensile strength from the thick chunks of metal on the side but the true effectiveness is the size of the pins/bushes, materials used for same, solid or rolled bushes and protection against dirt ingress. Yes it needs to cope with the horse power but that is not the sole requirement, a small well made chain can easily out perform a huge badly made chain in terms of longevity as its really a large collection of shafts running in bushes. Hence why I went for the DID X ring chain despite the 520 chain the B44 got in 67 being an option.
Yes, but I'll typically take recommendations from reputable manufacturers with more than a grain of salt. That's why since DID says their 428 X-ring chain can be used as a drive chain on a modern 350 cc machine I'm not too worried about it surviving as the primary chain on my pre-modern Ariel.
As a relevant aside, DID recommends lubrication every 300 miles to avoid rust as well as to reduce wear of the side plates. I'll have a can of chain lube on hand for possible application each evening, but excess oil from the Ariel's constant loss lubrication system exits one tube onto the primary chain and another tube onto the drive chain. If those sources keep the chains wet I expect that to be sufficient.
In my opinion, I see nothing wrong with old style classic chains which use clip type of link as these make chain installation and replacement much easier. If I were riding some 3k miles coast to coast, I would use a clip link chain which would make maintenance much easier. Chain wear within this somewhat limited mileage would be relatively minor and you could also invest in a Scott Oiler which would reduce wear significantly.
X and O ring chains are excellent products mainly intended for high HP super bikes covering high mileages. They can be used on classics but they do have some drawbacks such as increased friction which saps power due to the o/x rings between the plates and increased difficulty when changing due to having to push/in out the rivet pin.
I don't know how much HP your Aerial Model C makes (and I'm assuming its not huge) so if it was my bike I would use a standard non o/x ring chain with a clip link together with daily lubrication.
Last edited by gunner; 05/20/188:44 pm.
1968 A65 Firebird 1967 B44 Shooting Star 1972 Norton Commando
you could also invest in a Scott Oiler which would reduce wear significantly.
Except a Scott oiler requires movement of a swing arm to power it and my Ariel's swing arm is frozen solid.
Originally Posted by gunner
X and O ring chains are excellent products mainly intended for high HP super bikes covering high mileages.
They're made with fat pins and sidewalls to survive high HP, but that could be done without X/O rings. The "intent" of the manufacturer in adding those was to ensure lubrication for a reasonable amount of time because most riders will never oil their chains. Design overkill plus being "maintenance free" (in the sense that I won't maintain them...) is why I'm using X-ring chain.
Originally Posted by gunner
some drawbacks such as increased friction which saps power due to the o/x rings between the plates
Power loss with these chains is negligible.
Originally Posted by gunner
increased difficulty when changing due to having to push/in out the rivet pin.
Master links for these chains are supplied in one type with spring clips, like I have, or in another type that needs to be rivetted on for truly high h.p. application. Unlike a standard chain where the side plate is an easy slip fit over the pins on the master link, on the X-ring chain clearances are less which is why a small clamp is needed to assemble and disassemble them. Compared with the other difficulties I might have at the time that resulted in me breaking one of these chains, deploying that small tool to remove and install the master link isn't a major consideration.
I'm down to the last 2% of the restoration. Unfortunately, that's the part that takes 98% of the time. Today I Loctited and torqued all the engine and gearbox mounting bolts and studs, which takes a minute to type but several hours to do, installed (but didn't time) the magneto, installed (but didn't adjust) the clutch, and installed the carburetor. I also measured the dimensions and spring constant of the clutch springs (10.7+/-1 pounds/in. in case anyone cares). I may have shown it much earlier in this thread, but a leaky carburetor when the bike arrived prompted me to modify a BSA A10 drip plate that's shown below. It has a cutout to clear the magneto's advance cable and an extension on the side to go under the pre-Monobloc's float bowl.
At the time I quit for the day there were only five more components, plus the fuel tank and exhaust system, left to install, as shown below. I'll leave the primary cover (and rear brake mechanism) off until the drive chain arrives because it will be much easier to install it if I don't have to fish it into position. Left over is a 5/16"x2.5" stud that I have no idea where it goes. No doubt I'll discover on the road that it is absolutely critical to the bike.
As I wrote earlier, as part of the sorting out process I'll be using the magneto as-is. Once I reach the point where the bike makes it to the end of the street and back, and those short test runs have helped me identify all (or some) of the things I did wrong with the rebuild, 'll completely rebuild the magneto at the same time I'm addressing those issue.
Thanks to someone mentioning it on the AOMCC web site I contacted someone in Australia who makes variable magneto timing sprockets for several old bikes, including my Ariel. The center of it locks onto the magneto's taper while three bolts allow the teeth to be rotated with respect to it. I like this idea a lot since timing a magneto is one of the more fussy jobs thanks to the gear/teeth typically slipping a little as the nut tightens the sprocket onto the taper. Anyway, the Australian responded that he would get back to me shortly with the price, no doubt once he can check on the postage.
With the bike now almost back together I'm feeling pretty good. Until the bike refuses to start I can live with the delusion that it will start, and until the crankshaft falls out I can live with the delusion that it will reliably carry me 4000 miles.