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1952 Gold Star Restoration #420086
02/22/12 1:37 am
02/22/12 1:37 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada

After collecting and refurbishing pre-unit BSA singles bits for years, the time has come to start putting some of these engines together. I have chosen the 1952 ZB34 GS to be first.

This engine is one of only about 175 late 1952 model year ZB34 GS engines built with a separate rockerbox prior to the introduction of the BB engine. The engine number is in the 5000 series while the one piece head/rockerbox engines for 52 were in the 4000 series.

I have had this engine for more than 15 years and this photo shows what I started with after a three way trade that saw me give up a complete B40.

As you can see there are no cycle parts included and while there are lots of bits, some of these engine parts do not belong to this engine.

The plan is to be running by the summer as a complete machine.

Gordo



Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
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Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #420116
02/22/12 4:10 am
02/22/12 4:10 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
The engine came with no known history but later through the GSOC I discovered that it had been sent in May 52 to Huet Bros Ltd in Dublin Irish Republic in a plunger frame . How it got to the west coast of Canada is anyones guess.

Initial assessment: The crankscases were a matching set with several issues. One of the timing side screw bosses was badly cracked, the mag platform was in poor shape and in the 2 clock position, a large area of the mating surface for the timing cover had been poorly welded and not properly dressed out. On the drive side the extention over which the inner chaincase fits was worn from the tin inner rattling around. With the separate rockerbox the nob on the left side case for the earlier head oil drain fitting was not drilled and threaded. This made it a correct ZB engine with a separate rockerbox.

The flywheels appeared to be in good shape but obviously needed cleaning up and the bigend inspected.

The head was cracked around two of the stud bases and one of the outer stud bosses was completely broken off. It turned out that the original 5/16 inch rockerbox studs had been replaced with studs having a 3/8 inch thread at the bottom where they threaded into the head. This larger thread size caused the area to be very thin and resulted in the two cracks and the one complete break off of an outside stud base.

The barrel was only out to plus 20 but had several broken fins. It came with a very nice used plus 40 piston.

The rockerbox had the eccentric rockers for the later big fin engines but the crankcase still had the early cam followers with the adjusting nuts. the pushrods were of the early type.

The timing cover came with a tach drive but was the later type with the rotary breather and crank oil seal while the flywheels were for the quill oil feed.

The cams were decent 65-2446 scrambles cams and the TT carb was in reasonable shape but the float angle was not correct for the head. The crank timing gear was quite decent.

The BTH mag was in decent shape and gave a reasonable spark without any attention. There was a tin of small bits and nothing more.

Overall it was a very good start but as you can see it was a bit short of a complete GS motorcycle.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #420166
02/22/12 2:37 pm
02/22/12 2:37 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,746
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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Not too bad a starting point, for an ambitious type!


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #420223
02/22/12 8:28 pm
02/22/12 8:28 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
Thanks for the encouragement:

When the engine was acquired I was alternating between a 65 A65 and a 53 5T Speed Twin for the road and had a pair of B44 VS for off road riding so there was no real urgency to get the GS built and running. I figured a couple of years at most would be needed to find all the bits. Little did I know!

I had a copy of the BMS Gold Star book, bought in the 80s as an inspirational book. The price of a complete GS just seemed too much to put out in one lump so a bit by bit project seemed to be the way to go.

I had never previously owned a GS but had experience as a teen scrambling a DBD owned and prepared by a pal. As well back then brother Wilf's BB34A Clipper had been upgraded to near GS standards with a TT Carb, plus cam and piston changes so I knew how sweet the the GS machines could be both in the dirt and on the road. Back then I was basically into Triumphs with a T100C and a Tiger Cub for scrambling so could make a fair comparison of the two brands. The T100C was one of the factory kitted twin carb engines with a fair amount of instant power but the DBD had a smooth strong acceleration right up to valve float that was hard to beat in the dirt.

The first thing I did for this project was join the UK Gold Star Owners Club. My first GOLDIE newsletter is dated Feb 95 so this project has really dragged on. Once I registered my engine with the club I was contacted by several of the club keeners. In particular Ian Jackson the registrar has been most helpful helping to track down parts and information.

The GOLDIE newsletter was very good for parts sources at a time when few UK companies were on the internet. Then snail mail was used for getting quotes and ordering. The best dealer then was Len Haggis who had virtually every part needed to build a GS and his people were always very helpful. For example they had a curved (non swept back) exhaust pipe made in plain steel so that I could sort out the mounting tabs once I knew what type of frame I was going to use and then get local chroming.

The first real snag was to find out that GS frames do not grow on trees and in fact even plain jane pre unit singles frames are very hard to find around here. An A7 frame was found but it turned out to have been modified and was just not going to be up to the task even with a kink put into the lower frame for the oil pump bulge.

However I found in one of the US trader magazines a fellow parting out a BB34A Clipper in San Fransisco Calif. Via phone I discovered that he had a more or less complete bike albeit a basket case. We sent him a throw away camera and he took photos of all the bits. Once brother Wilf had processed the film we saw a lot of tired parts including an iron head and barrel (no alloy top end) STD gearbox, CB34 frame, beatup steel Clipper tank, side oil tank (wrong), inner/outer chaincases, crank cases with flywheels, wheels, BTH TT mag, clutch remains, Monbloc carb and some small bits.

A phone call confirmed a price and a meeting time and place. Figuring all the bits would fit into my little Saab 900S Coupe my wife and I headed down to pick it up. It is a 1650 km road trip plus a two hour ferry trip each way so we took two leasurely days down the coast to meet the vender. However my wife did not really think that one night in SF and a non stop drive back was much of a holiday. Go figure.

The good news that I now I had a frame to start the project. The bad news was that I had the beginnings of a second pre-unit single.

Gordo





Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #420267
02/23/12 2:00 am
02/23/12 2:00 am
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,561
Illinois, USA
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Illinois, USA
Gordo, that's an interesting back-story. It makes one appreciate what the internet can do for us. Yours will be a truly international (global) bike when done. It'll be interesting to watch.

Ray


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #420927
02/26/12 1:23 pm
02/26/12 1:23 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 923
Perth. Wild West Downunder.
M Shearer Offline
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Perth. Wild West Downunder.
Good stuff Gordo. I will be following this one closely.
My ZB arrived earlier in the week so I am starting to come to terms with a bike I don't rally know a lot about and one I don't yet have a lot of information on. I'm sure it will be a steep learning curve.


Mark F.
'52 ZB34 Gold Star.
'65 Lightning Rocket.
'74 Roadster Commando.



Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #422481
03/04/12 9:52 pm
03/04/12 9:52 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
Over a few posts I will condense the past 17 years into the areas of progress. As above I was quickly off and running with some of the bits but the project quickly branched out into several machines. Each major find of bits seemed to plant the seed for another bike.

Son Rick found bits in the Okanagan that included a poor YB33 bottom end and cases and a very nice BB31 crank and cases. A bit later he found a stash that included a blown up ZB34GS, with a good one piece head, very poor (broken and welded) barrel, TT mag, MCR 1 gearbox, scrambles type rigid/plunger frame steel fuel tank, wheels and a very tired and bent rigid frame. Also in included in this collection was a nice 1950 ZB33A bottom end and cases. I now sort of had what I needed for a correct machine but also had the beginnings of a 350 project and another 500..

Given that my ZB34GS engine should be in a plunger frame I kept looking to make it possible. Through swapmeet contacts I found a plunger rear frame section and through one of the Forum contacts in Washington State I aquired the a straight front frame and other donor front frames. With that progress I sent the scrambles fuel tank off to Ross Thompson for repair.

Being confident that I would quickly find all the needed bits I sourced a new bigend bearing for the ZB34GS crank, the BB31 crank and the BB34A crank that I had acquired earlier. All three cranks were taken in to a trusted shop in Victoria for rebuilding.

These are the before and after photos. I have yet to cover the beautiful chrome with paint.







Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #422486
03/04/12 10:32 pm
03/04/12 10:32 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
A visit to one of my old pals discovered a BB34GS head and rockerbox that would go to the Clipper project and be an upgrade from the correct Clipper head.

The cranks mentioned above soon were back in my shop and with them to inspire me I took advantage of the now disolved GSOC spares scheme to find a reasonable BB34GS barrel for the Clipper project.

More amazing I found a NOS late ZB32GS (early BB?) ten fin barrel and piston and a used BB32GS head. While these parts might not seem to match, the barrel is of the same height as the earlier engine ZB barrels so will match the long conrod in my rebuilt BB31 crank.

Around this time I found a trusted welder and had my first head repaired and the fins replaced on the first of the 500 barrels. The welds required hours of work on my part to shape and blend the new material.

BB32GS Head (quite crude)


NOS 350 barrel and piston, very dirty from sitting around for maybe 60 years.


This is the original barrel shown in the first photo above after welding, shaping, bead blasting and boring for new piston.




Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423508
03/10/12 3:56 am
03/10/12 3:56 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
As per the above one should be able to see that when this project started it was more about finding than fixing.

By the late 1990s I was starting starting to accumulate a fair number of bits. Through a trader magazine I found in Idaho USA a very nice Allsport frame complete with the central oil tank and SC T gearbox. The vendor was coming up this way to pickup a bike so I was able to meet him in Victoria to complete the transaction.

We made many trips to the local shops stocking vintage parts and exhausted their supply of BSA pre-unit single bits. We discovered the annual swapmeet in Tsawwassen BC and soon caught on to the secret that all the good trading between the vendors takes place before the doors open to the public. The next year we had tables so we were on the inside the day before looking over the bits.

In total these efforts allowed me to build up a decent used inventory of gearboxes, chaincases, timing covers, magnetos, wheels, brakes, fork sliders, cams, oil tanks, toolboxes, engine plates and footpegs.

Son Rick, came up with a rough CB32 frame, again from the Okanagan valley and other bits.

By 2000 I was on line and could really exploit the various vendors worldwide. Through Len Haggis in the UK I acquired the majority of what I needed to sort out the engine. Valves, valve guides, springs, main bearings, gaskets, piston rings, cam bushings, and fasteners. Len also supplied some cycle parts: fenders, fender stays, brackets, exhaust pipe, mag straps, gearbox rebuild bits and a reconditioned oil tank and toolbox.

Through Len I discovered the Pearson clutch. Truely a thing of beauty! Contact with Phil produced a few more of his bits.

Pearson timing cover, clutch, chaincase seal plate and cam plate



I was soon into the idea of finding better bits. Some of the rough early finds like chaincase inners, outers, and gearboxes that needed a lot of work were relegated to 'spares' as I found better units that needed less work to sort out. After a few bouts of paying for good alloy welding ($$$) it became easier and cheaper in some cases to wait for better bits.

By now the accumulation of engine parts had spawned a ZB33A with a GS top end, a BB31 with GS top end, the BB34A Clipper with a full GS top end and the ZB34GS with all the right bits.

For frames the ZB33A could have a rigid frame, the BB31 could have a CB32 frame, the BB34A had the correct CB34 frame and the ZB34GS could have a more or less correct roadster plunger frame.

Here is a very early empty mockup of what one of the engines will look like in the Allsport frame.



About that time I had a strange experience with a tank supplier. I had seen an advert for alloy tanks being made in the UK. They only had a mailing address and so with a letter I got a quote that included shipping and I sent off the payment for a scrambles tank. After months of waiting and some phone calls I finally received a large carton containing an alloy tank.

Instead of a scrambles tank there was a large Lyta like GP tank. At first I thought that I had somehow been rewarded for my months and months of waiting but when I looked at the bottom of the tank I could see that it did not match any BSA frames I had ever seen. I immediately sent some photos of the tank to the vender to find out what had happened but after hearing nothing I phoned to find out that it was really for a Yamaha SR500.

The vendor said that he would send the correct tank in a couple of weeks and that I should send the first tank to a shop in the US that carried his tanks once my tank arrived. More than a year and several trying phone calls later I just gave up on seeing the correct tank and contacted the US shop and cut my losses by selling him the SR tank.

In the meantime I had contacted Surrey Cycle in the UK and they sent me a beautiful scrambles tank in very short order and very well packed.

Gordo

The Surrey Cycle tank in on this mock up.










Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423510
03/10/12 4:30 am
03/10/12 4:30 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,856
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Online content
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Christchurch NZ

Gordo, i recon your doing an incredible job. To many people save/collect parts and do nothing but dream.

All the best
Rod

Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423559
03/10/12 1:37 pm
03/10/12 1:37 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,153
Winona, MN
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Winona, MN
Gordo, amazing work, keep the images and story coming in.

The more I research my DBD, the more my eye is drawn to the earlier models. You have some thing very special and are taking the time to do it right.

Wow, Ross Thompson's work is incredible and it goes without saying Pearson's goods are amazing.

Last edited by Swan; 04/13/12 7:53 pm.

1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423584
03/10/12 5:06 pm
03/10/12 5:06 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
Rod and Swan: Thanks for the comments. When I am finished with these projects I will have four complete machines that most likely would never have come back to life without my efforts. Except for the BB34A, all of these bits were well past being part of a motorcycle when found. They will be period machines even though the parts obviously came from a variety of different bikes. It will be fun telling the 'correction' police that I really do not care what they think.

Even my plain Jane A65T/R gets negative comments about having the wrong tail light, EI ignition, GS headlight mounts and an updated front brake. (I had better not mention that the 52 ZB34GS will have an ABSAF crank.)

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423591
03/10/12 6:02 pm
03/10/12 6:02 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
Given that the projects had grown from one to four I needed to sort out the fuel tanks. The BB34A stuff came with a beat up tank that I had a local shop repair and paint as I was of the opinion then that rechroming would have been too expensive. I had not yet discovered Ross.

The tank as found (the good side).



Repaired and painted solid colour. In the future I might take off the paint and go the chrome route as it does not look as good as the chrome/paint combination.



Later with the positive experience with having the 1950 tank sorted out by Ross I emailed him to see if he had any tanks to sell. These two tanks were available, a modified A10 tank and a genuine GS Catalina tank.



I chose the GS tank and had Ross use his people to chrome and paint it. This that tank.




With the tanks sorted out I turned to the cranks. I already had three cranks on the shelf with new bigends in them but because of my concern for my rare ZB34GS cases I decided to go to a modern crank. My plan is to make this machine my daily rider. After comparing the options I ordered an ABSAF crank. They were very good to deal with and the crank was produced in short order. The most amazing thing was that it only took about two days to get it to my front door from Holland.

It is a very nice looking crank,



With this crank for the ZB34GS I now had the rebuilt original crank as surplus. However for some strange reason the ZB33A crankcases I had were actually GS spec cases made for the large drive side roller bearing and with the bolted in support plate around that bearing. Thus the original ZB34GS crank could just slot into the ZB33A project.

The 1950 ZB33A alloy engine is very rare to start with and I would think one that left the factory with GS cases is even more rare. Writer Roy Bacon commented in one of his books that he doubted if any of the 1950 ZB33A optional alloy engines were actually built. As I recall there are several in the hands of Forum members.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423615
03/10/12 9:16 pm
03/10/12 9:16 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Originally Posted By: Gordo in Comox
Over a few posts I will condense the past 17 years into the areas of progress.

In a very similar way as you describe, I also have made 17 years of progress in restoring three bikes. Basically, over those years I managed to collect all -- I hope -- missing bits for those bikes, but basically as yet I have done no work to speak of on any of them. However, that will change in the fall, when I launch into restoring them. For this reason, your particular restoration comes at a very good time for me.

Unlike several recent efforts (e.g. Swan's Gold Star and Bry's Venom), two of my bikes started their life with me as piles of bits, not complete machines, as did yours. Because of this, I, for one, would greatly appreciate it if you would post a log on the door to your shop to keep track of how many hours it takes you to turn those bits into a complete, running bike. I'm not even hoping for details of the time spent on individual tasks. Rather, if you go into the garage at 1pm and emerge at 7pm, having mostly worked on your Gold Star, that would be "6 hrs." on the log. Time spent by others (e.g. to restore the tank or bore the cylinder) doesn't count, since that "only" uses your money, not your time. If anything, your time log will miss some things, but it would be very helpful nonetheless.

Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423810
03/12/12 2:47 am
03/12/12 2:47 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
Magnetoman: It is a bit late now for adding up the time spent.

While there is a fair amount of gearbox rebuilding for all the bikes to be carried out plus frame repair, fitting and shaping of some parts for two of the bikes, most of the work left to do on the lead bike is either paint preparation and painting or basic engine/gearbox assembly.

Obviously there has been the normal cleaning and inspecting of bits. (inspecting sometimes leads to disappointing rejection of parts)

However over the years I have invested an untold number of hours with the four pre-unit projects carrying out more than cleaning. The fact that I have four projects running in parallel really does add to the time spent.

Some of the more time consuming tasks over and above basic cleaning would be dressing out head fins, cylinder fins, crankcases and chaincases following welding plus reshaping cylinder heads following reconstruction. As well the repaired cylinders needed to be ready for bead blasting.

Removing broken studs and reclaiming threads in crankcases, heads and chaincases took a fair amount of effort.

Dressing out flaws and polishing timing covers, chaincases and brake plates. Truing up the mating surfaces of these items.

Repairing stubborn/binding pot metal oil pumps. A long and tedious task when trying to save as many pumps as possible.

Frame work to include fabrication of replacement/donor sections prior to welding and straightening/untwisting as required.

Wheel work to include disassembling, preparing rims for rechroming, preparing and painting hubs, rebuilding hub internals and respoking.

Triple tree (yokes) straightening and fork refurbishing.

Lathe work making distance pieces, spacers, special bolts, fittings for frame truing and bits for pressing in bearings.

The list could go on.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #423815
03/12/12 4:39 am
03/12/12 4:39 am
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Originally Posted By: Gordo in Comox
Magnetoman: It is a bit late now for adding up the time spent.

Some of the more time consuming tasks over and above basic cleaning would be ...

I have a well equipped workshop (lathe, mill, etc.), and have done extensive work on various motorcycles over the years so know how time consuming it is... well, actually, I *don't* know, because I've never kept track of the hours (only the dollars). I've spent countless hours over the past ~15 years on the three bikes I will start actually restoring in the fall, and I thought from your description that your '52 Gold Star might be currently in similar condition as one or more of them. In which case, the number of hours from now through completion would be very helpful to know.

Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #492969
06/04/13 4:57 am
06/04/13 4:57 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Comox BC Canada
How time flies!

For a number of reasons the project has really taken a back burner on the Gordo priority list.

For the sake of getting this machine together and running I have chosen the easiest path. For now I have put aside both the rigid and the plunger frames as some bits are just not showing up fast enough and because I have some later frames.

The plan now is to use one of my CB32 frames, refurbished two gallon steel Catalina fuel tank, dual seat, full lighting with battery, side oil tank, side toolbox, eight inch half sided front brake, later alloy rear brake plate, STD gearbox and nineteen inch wheels.

For electrics I have had the Forums GreggK rebuild a couple of mags and dynamos.

One of the mags



One of the dynamos



some rebuilt clocks



The bits laid out last spring



and more




This past spring the Swan project shamed me into putting in some time on the engine. The first thing I discovered (confirmed) was that the cam spindles and timing side bearing outer race would not be tight enough. All three bits would just slide into the cases cold and had no interference fit. I thought about using some 'magic' stuff but after talking to GS Ron I decided to go the hard chrome route. The shiney chrome shop could not do the job but I was able to find a shop that refurbished hydraulic cylinders.


After a very long wait they found time to sort out the bits and I am now ready to put the engine together. I hope nothing else pops up to slow the project down.

The built up bits.








Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493138
06/05/13 10:31 pm
06/05/13 10:31 pm
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 726
Overland Missouri
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old mule Offline
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Joined: May 2013
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Overland Missouri
Thanks for this restoration essay. In about 1990 I foolishly passed on a plunger 350 Gold Star, very worn out and engine stuck. But it had every single part present, all the sheet metal, stands, even a factory luggage carrier and a Ferridax accessory dual seat.
Oh another regret! It was priced reasonably, I should have done it.
So I can do a vicarious restoration here, thank you.

Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493158
06/06/13 3:18 am
06/06/13 3:18 am
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Originally Posted By: Gordo in Comox
How time flies!
For a number of reasons the project has really taken a back burner on the Gordo priority list.
Indeed, it was way back in March of '12 that you posted your last update of this restoration. How could you not have made any progress on this for a year... oh, wait, what's that post just prior to your last one?...
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
on the three bikes I will start actually restoring in the fall,
Oops, how embarrassing. Say, did people think I meant fall 2012? What I meant to write is fall 2013...

Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493167
06/06/13 5:21 am
06/06/13 5:21 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Gordo in Comox Offline OP
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Gordo in Comox  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2001
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Comox BC Canada
Magnetoman: You are such a kidder! No, it is not embarrassing as this is only a hobby and not a vocation.

Actually I only post on this topic for the entertainment value.

While I had high hopes when I started this thread over a year ago it has just not worked out. Due to some ongoing family projects I am only home about half of the time each week and when I get some time in the shop I work on the projects that just get my attention, fit the time available and that do not have issues that I am waiting for some outsider to sort out.

In the garage I have three runners to play with, a road A65, off road T100C and a B44. The active restoration projects in the shop include four BSA pre-unit singles, two unit T100R road machines and one B44VS. The less active list includes a 38 Ariel Red Hunter, Bultaco Alpina 250 and a Montesa M51 Cota 360 Trials machine. Just back into the active list is my very original 53 5T Speed Twin for finishing an engine reconditioning and a complete electrical overhaul.

So in the past week I pulled the 5T engine out of the frame and split the cases for clean up and inspection. Dents and bends in a very poor pair of B44 headlamp mounting ears were pounded out and rust was removed in prep for refinishing. Two sets of BSA fork sliders were sanded down for refinishing. T100 gearbox spares were inspected and made into complete sets. One set of T100 forks was assembled with all new bits. A pre-unit oil pump was built with nos gears. Oh yes, I picked up the long waited for hard chromed bits for the ZB34GS engine and can now switch back to that project. As well I got in some riding on the A65.

I suppose I will never get all the projects finished but I will always enjoy tasks I work on and enjoy the excitment of sparking up of each completed machine.

Gordo



Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493185
06/06/13 1:06 pm
06/06/13 1:06 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,746
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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GrandPaul  Online Content
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Posts: 6,746
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I don't think anyone should feel bad in the least, for slow or even lack of progress on a project thread.

I asked Morgan to open this forum section years ago, because it is what I enjoy the MOST about motorcycles, building and/or working on them.

This is DEFINITELY my favorite section of the forum, and there are several truly excellent threads in it, including this one.

It's not about how quickly you get it done, it's about sharing the entire process with friends, ESPECIALLY interesting details, resources and tips.

We ALL learn something here.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493196
06/06/13 3:19 pm
06/06/13 3:19 pm
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,775
Comox BC Canada
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Gordo in Comox Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2001
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Comox BC Canada
GP: I'm with you about the Forum. I learn a lot from what others post and occasionally I can pass on some info from what I have seen.

I most likely spend too much time following threads on the Forum and not enough time in the shop but it is easy to get caught up in someone's interesting project or problems. I like to check in every so often during the days I am home to see what is happening.

I like to post occasionally about some of my projects so that others with similar issues can see a possible solution to what they are working on.

Most of my slow projects started from basically 'nothing' (bitsas) and are a tough go for sure. All the machines that came to me as complete bikes are up and running (except the 38 Ariel) or have been running at some point in rotation. I only keep one machine licensed at a time.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Gordo in Comox] #493324
06/07/13 9:21 pm
06/07/13 9:21 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Magnetoman  Online Content

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U.S.
Originally Posted By: Gordo in Comox
I like to post occasionally about some of my projects so that others with similar issues can see a possible solution to what they are working on.

Most of my slow projects started from basically 'nothing' (bitsas) and are a tough go for sure.
Prompted by a current thread in the Gold Star forum, I've started pulling together the material needed to create a "definitive" 1957 Spitfire Scrambler restoration project on the forum (which requires such things as scanning slides I took way back when Kodachrome 200 was state of the art and consumer digital cameras were only a curiousity).

What has held me back is that currently my bike is basically in the condition Swan's Gold Star was when he started his 27-month restoration back on 11 December 2010. If you look at the first photo in that thread, that's pretty much how my Spitfire looks today. However, I realized I put in a lot of hours over the years to get it into that condition since I started with a container holding only an engine, butchered frame, rusty wheels, and part of the forks. I hope that others will find it interesting to see the work required when starting from scratch to restore a machine to factory original condition when that model is poorly documented so just determining what "factory original" means is a project in itself.

Just identifying what constitutes the correct configuration for a bike that doesn't even exist in most books was tough enough, but then finding the missing pieces was a whole other adventure in itself. It took me over 15 years to find an SCT2 gearbox, in short supply because they were used only on 1957 Spitfires, and even longer to find the carburetor distance piece. Anyway, what I have in mind is a two volume restoration thread. Volume I will be a series of posts starting within a couple of weeks that will describe getting an incomplete, butchered bike into the condition of the machine that Swan started with. Volume II will take it from there to the condition of the machine Swan now has made for himself. Of course, that second volume will take another, um, 27-months once I being work on it...

p.s. While I'm sure there are other examples I could cite, Bry started his Velocette restoration on 9 October 2008 with a bike in pretty much the condition mine is now and he finished with a beautiful machine 36 months later. So, unless I'm prepared to quit my job and work full time on it, Volume II is going to take a while.

Last edited by Magnetoman; 06/09/13 3:36 pm. Reason: added p.s.
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: Magnetoman] #493384
06/08/13 1:30 pm
06/08/13 1:30 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,746
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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GrandPaul  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,746
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
Prompted by a current thread in the Gold Star forum, I've started pulling together the material needed to create a "definitive" 1957 Spitfire Scrambler restoration project on the forum.


I think you'll have a dozen or so folks following the thread AT LEAST (probably lots more than that).

Starting from slides may be double trouble; you'll end up scanning a whole lot more than just the bike project, since you're already set up! hee hee


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: 1952 Gold Star Restoration [Re: GrandPaul] #493388
06/08/13 2:30 pm
06/08/13 2:30 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Posts: 4,067
U.S.
Sorry, Gordo, I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I'll start a new one once the Kodachromes have been scanned...


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