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#313757 - 05/17/10 10:08 am “I’m forever blowing bubbles!” - a Spider cartoon  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,074
Grandad Online content
BritBike Forum member
Grandad  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,074
The Crypt - South East England



Our Mate Mr Ed, loves buying old motorcycle magazines, so he couldn’t resist picking up a few at last Saturday’s Kempton Park auto jumble. On the way back to East Kent in the car his voice kept chirping up from the back seat with fettling tips from several 1950’s editions.
Some of them were really barmy and had us falling around with laughter (not a wise thing to do on the dreaded M25 London Orbital motorway!).

Of the many zany tips the prize surely must go to this one, which I summarise below:

“To find top dead centre (TDC) first take an old spark plug and remove the ceramic part. Then plug the metal base with plastocene (modelling clay) and make a small hole in the centre by means of a nail or rod. Screw the plug base back into the head and take some soapy water and form a soap bubble on top of the hole in the plastocene. Turn the engine and as the piston rises the bubble will inflate. Keep turning the engine gently until the bubble reaches maximum size - you are now at TDC. If you go past TDC the bubble will start shrinking again.”

Spider saw a chance here for a cartoon so here goes:



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Don't nail that lid down - I'm still bloomin' breathing !!
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#313784 - 05/17/10 2:10 pm Re: “I’m forever blowing bubbles!” - a Spider cartoon [Re: Grandad]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,069
Lannis Online content
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Lannis  Online Content

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Posts: 12,069
Central Virginia
That trick, as well as the one where you screw a little whistle into the plug hole, and raise the piston till it stops whistling and then you're at TDC .....

Assumes that your old nail has enough compression left to BLOW a soap bubble or a whistle!

Sometimes they don't but still have a lot of good miles left. No, I think I'll keep on using a soda straw ...

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#313861 - 05/17/10 8:18 pm Re: “I’m forever blowing bubbles!” - a Spider cartoon [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,074
Grandad Online content
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Grandad  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,074
The Crypt - South East England
Hey Lannis,
How does your 'soda straw' method cope on machines where the spark plug is angled in from the non vertical position?

The whistle method sounds just as barmy as the soap bubble method. How one would accurately set the timing with either of these makes the mind boggle! The fact that the magazine even published the bubble method is a bit worrying! Mind you, after listening to some of the other fettling gems from the same source I'm not really surprised.


--------------------------------

Don't nail that lid down - I'm still bloomin' breathing !!
Click here to see SPIDER cartoons!
#314381 - 05/20/10 12:02 pm Re: “I’m forever blowing bubbles!” - a Spider cartoon [Re: Grandad]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,038
snowbeard Offline
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snowbeard  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,038
US citizen in Lisbon, Portugal
funny, I used a similar idea to know the compression stroke, if not the actual TDC. an old rubber glove finger over the plug body with a hole in the tip, it would inflate on the compression stroke, and deflate after. I had a small ring clamped to the oil feed on the A10 to hold the stick straight on the angled plug hole.


=================
/1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (in a friend's shed)
/1960 BSA Super Rocket Basket Case (in the attic!)
/1987 BMW K100LT nekkid
#322518 - 07/11/10 6:45 pm Re: “I’m forever blowing bubbles!” - a Spider cartoon [Re: snowbeard]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 96
Ed Johnson Offline
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Ed Johnson  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 96
Satellite Beach, Florida 32937...
A piece of 5/16" fuel line works great and requires less preparation.
Ed J.


Eddy55W
1964 Bonneville
1992 Bonneville
2001 Trophy

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