Changing tubes on a 18" knobby is a task for sure. Changing tubes on a 21" modern tire with sun rims is much easier. I do not use tire irons when installing tires unless it is absolutely necessary. A good rubber hammer will not pinch the tube. The first 10 years I worked at Big D we did not have a tire machine. We had a wooden box with the tire tools in it. The box was the correct size so the rim lay on box. I was taught to remove the tire with tire irons but you could only use a rubber hammer and your hands to install the tires. This works fine for most tires on vintage bikes. I removed a tube once that had one patch on the outside of the tube and 13 on the inside where they had pinched the tube. It was holding air! I keep it hanging up in the shop for years. Most tire trouble I saw on the trip was from using cheap tubes and Non DOT tires. We will buy the best available. We plan to have a large support trailer with tons of spares and tools. If you need anything on the trip just ask and it is yours.
I removed a tube once that had one patch on the outside of the tube and 13 on the inside where they had pinched the tube. It was holding air! I keep it hanging up in the shop for years.
A friend has a "Wall of Shame" in his shop where he places items removed from customers' bikes that are unbelievable. For example, someone came into his shop to have some non-tire work done and my friend saw the rear tire was so worn that the cord was showing in the center. When he pointed this out, the customer already was aware of it but told him he was riding leaned over to use up the remaining good part of the tire.
Originally Posted by RPM
We plan to have a large support trailer with tons of spares and tools. If you need anything on the trip just ask and it is yours.
I sincerely appreciate that offer. And I sincerely hope I won't need to take advantage of it! In the same vein, since electrical issues of one kind or another are the most common kind of failure I'll come with an extensive array of specialized diagnostic and repair tools and supplies. If you have a problem, just ask. But, with ~100 bikes potentially having electrical issues, and with electricity being such a mystery to most motorcyclists, please don't let this capability be widely known because the demand could be overwhelming, ending up with a lot of people pissed with me because I selfishly decided I needed to eat and sleep instead of helping them.
This brings another story to mind. Some years ago at the Irish Rally someone's magneto gave out with symptoms that told me it was the condenser. Since I carried the necessary tools and supplies with me I offered to fix it for him. He said he was horrible with mechanics so another guy offered to help me remove the magneto from the Triumph (which did not have the aftermarket long bolt that made removing it relatively easy). So, there we were, up to our elbows in dirt and grease in the parking lot when the guy walked out of the hotel with his girlfriend and told us he had promised to take her into town for dinner that evening, and besides he couldn't be of any help to us anyway, so thanks very much for fixing it for him. And off they went. Unbelievable.
Originally Posted by RPM
Most tire trouble I saw on the trip was from using cheap tubes and Non DOT tires. We will buy the best available.
After installing the rear tire a few days ago, and even though I was sure (or pretty sure...) I hadn't pinched the tube, I filled it to running pressure and set it aside to check to be sure. The next day it was down by 2 psi. Oh, oh. I then filled it to 50 psi to speed up the effect, but this time I put the valve cap on it. The next day it was down by only the width of the needle, which probably was just air that escaped when checking the pressure. Day 3 I reduced it to operating pressure and left the cap off. This morning it hadn't dropped.
The moral of this story is that even with a new, brand-name (Michelin) tube, you can't count on the Schrader valve core consistently sealing. And, even if it doesn't leak, each time you check the pressure or fill it the valve is moved from its seat, giving it a chance not to reseat perfectly. So, on order are a set of valve caps with rubber seals in them that will go on all my bikes to serve as a secondary seal.
Also, given the slow leak on the front tire of my BB Gold Star, for which I bought the tube a month ago that ended up being used for the Ariel, I have to wonder if the cause might be its valve core (the bike came to me with this tire/tube so I don't know its history). After I refilled the Gold Star's tire to start a test on it the valve leaked so badly I could hear it hissing(!). Bumping the valve caused the hissing to stop. So, I replaced that valve core with one from my tool kit and started a long-term test of the pressure. I also ordered a set of name-brand Schrader valve cores to replace the unknown-brand ones I carry in my tool kit. These are 10 cent items, showing that the devil truly is in the details...
A few items arrived yesterday, including the 'Baja No Pinch' tire tool. The tool comes with a 20 mm shaft that attaches with a 1.5 mm thread, designed to be dropped into a wheel where the axle normally goes. Since the Ariel's axles stay with the wheels I machined a ~1"-long hollow shaft as a replacement and drilled it to slip over the 9/16" axles. Since 9/16" =~14 mm it means the hollow shaft has substantial walls ~1/16" thick. When the tubes arrive I'll try this tool instead of tire irons to see if it makes the job easier and less prone to error. If it does, it's money well spent. If it doesn't, it's ~$100 down the, ahem, tubes.
Previously I made a portable jack to help lift the front wheel off the ground, if needed. It's similar in design to a machinist's jack, and yesterday I made an add-on extension to increase its lift.
Vintage Brake confirmed the backing plates arrived safely yesterday, and later today the tubes are due as well as the magnetic powder for magnafluxing the forks. So, progress continues.
The dry and aerosol magnetic powders arrived yesterday so it was time to magnaflux. I had just finished taping the tubes, leaving the castings exposed for paint removal, when I decided to see what I could see with the paint still on. I adjusted the pole pieces of my magnet to almost touch the castings, sprayed the first one with the Goodson MFA-16 magnetic fluorescent aerosol, cranked the field up to max., and then inspected the casting with a UV lamp. Damned if it didn't show features in the casting that, once I now knew where to look, could barely be seen in the paint. For example, a ~1/8" circle on the front of two of the castings showed up brilliantly.
The MFA-16 has magnetic particles in suspension in a very thin, oily liquid that allows the particles to flow along the field lines to become concentrated wherever there are discontinuities in the field caused by casting marks. Or cracks. The particles show up bright green under UV. Detection would be sensitive to smaller features without the paint, but my magnet is more powerful than the ones used commercially so the reduction in sensitivity compared with a commercial shop working on bare metal isn't much. In any case, the result was a double-plus: my magnafluxing setup works great, and there aren't any hints of cracks in the forks.
I'm glad my Aussie conscience suggested I magnaflux the forks. As a result, I now know that it is easy for me to do this test myself, and since I now have the necessary supplies there's no obstacle to doing it whenever it could be useful. If I ever want/need to magnaflux something that doesn't fit in the gap of my magnet it will be easy enough for me to wind my own portable yoke than I can power with the largest of my DC power supplies.
However, perhaps best of all, when RPM and I are side-by-side on the Cannonball Start line a year from now and he tries to psych me out by saying "If I were you, I'd be worried about a crack causing your forks to break when we throw our bikes into Turn One," I'll just yell 'magnafluxer!,' nail the throttle, and see who blinks first when we get to that turn...
I haven't figured out a solution short of machining O-ring grooves to keep grease from reaching the fork dampers. It's not like machining O-ring grooves is difficult, but they would weaken the spindle to some extent right where the shear force is maximum so I want to think about this some more before doing something irreversible. However, since the forks don't have to be off the bike to deal with that issue they are now adjusted, greased, and installed on the bike.
When I came in from the garage yesterday I'd added a very useful diagnostic tool to my arsenal, made some real progress with the Ariel, and the granddaughters had just been dropped off for dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant followed by a sleepover. Life is good.
MM, I too will be a magnafluxer. We were worried about the forks on the 1915 Norton last year. Some big bumps along the route. Going to order all the stuff from Goodson and check all the forks.
You can have the first turn. This is not a sprint race. I am happy to tuck in behind you and study your lines. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Then make my move when you least expect it. That is if the old side valve Norton can keep up with that modern fancy Ariel.
I find the most important parts of my toolkit for such events (the only one remotely comparable that I do regularly is the East Coast Moto Giro), is my cell phone, a couple of cigars and a flask, for when the problem is either beyond my capability to repair beside the road or my repairs have been unsuccessful.
the most important parts of my toolkit ... is my cell phone,
Even if a phone + credit card tool kit didn't go against my self-reliant approach to motorcycle repair, a phone isn't even a possible substitute for spanners on the Cannonball for anyone hoping for full points. Points are awarded for miles covered without outside assistance, and all winners in previous years have received full points (ties are broken by age of bike + rider).
I already had the forks back on the bike, and now the mudguard, headlamp, handlebars, and controls are back on the forks (it's interesting how much work is compressed into an innocent half-sentence description).
I installed the front tire using the modified Baja No Pinch tool and as a result it has earned a place in my supplemental tool kit. I worked slowly and carefully with it and it took 20 min total to install the tire. Even though I could have done it in half that time had I been hurrying, I realize this still gives RPM a lead going into Turn Two. This means I'll have to hope the Ariel's OHV advantage will let me get by him on the straight before Turn Three.
I confess that in my haste to see how the Baja tool worked I forgot to check the direction of rotation of the tire before installing it. Although mathematically there should be a 50/50 chance of getting it right, we all know the actual odds are close to 0. Despite that, when I remembered to check I found it was on the correct way(!). It took 99.5 g to balance the tire, again achieved using 1/8" Pb sheet.
When I started looking into making modifications to install seals for the wheel bearing grease fix suggested by Richard Kal in an earlier post I discovered seals already in place. This means I only have to deal with the rear wheel, which doesn't have seals.
My two cents on the Slime issue: I have seen it work very effectively for a semi-long term on other's and my own tires. For my own, it has only been on a new tube which I had just pinched. The feeling of hearing a newly installed tire going hisssss is extremely deflating. I seem to manage to pinch about half of em. Can't say this is a recommendation, just an observation. So far no second leaks on ones I did but the front off a Victor which I had bought was completely green inside. Harder to remove than paint.
69 A65T 71 B50T 85 K100RS 54/59 A10SR 69 B44VS 71 A65FS Too much moderation is bad for you.
Must be down to the chickens I have been sacrificing for you.
I appreciate it, so please keep it up. You've also saved me money. I hadn't had time to follow up on it yet but I located an M.D. in Haiti who sells specially processed chicken entrails ("Which doctor?," you might ask...). I was going to buy a batch, puree it, and use it as tire bead lubricant to keep from pinching tubes.
Originally Posted by No Name Man
My two cents on the Slime issue: ... Harder to remove than paint.
One of the reasons I won't use it.
Originally Posted by No Name Man
The feeling of hearing a newly installed tire going hisssss is extremely deflating. I seem to manage to pinch about half of em.
I have just one word for you: Baja No Pinch Tire Tool. And plastics. So, make that two words.
Having the chicken entrails and baby powder situation under control, it's time to turn to other riding matters.
I realized a birthday is coming up in a month so this would be a good time to create a "gift registry" for motorcycle clothing. So, I've been looking through catalogs trying to decide what to ask my family for. It looks like the most expensive item will be a one-piece Goretex riding suit but I still have to decide on a brand. They're expensive enough that I might have to miss Christmas as well so I'd like to get this right and not be cursing my choice in the rain. Suggestions (based on personal experience)?
All black would, ahem, suit the 'Black Ariel' quite nicely, but I'm afraid there's no choice but to go for something more visible than black.
I had to be away from the Ariel for five days to attend a reception in California, but this gave time for a half-dozen items to arrive.
I was impressed enough by how Magnafluxing had put my mind at ease with the girder forks that I did some more reading about the process. Without going into the details, DC inspection (as I had done with my large electromagnet) is best for detecting sub-surface defects, but AC is best for surface cracks. Basically, a DC field penetrates the entire object so the resulting magnetic field pattern on the surface, where the magnetic particles sit, is an average of whatever flaws or voids are present throughout the volume below. Because of this averaging the sensitivity of DC testing to surface cracks is reduced. In contrast, because the skin depth of a 60 Hz AC field is only ~2 mm the pattern of particles from surface cracks isn't "blurred" by whatever is going on deeper in the specimen so they appear with higher contrast with AC than with DC.
I had decided to make my own portable yoke to allow me to make 'in situ' measurements but just before leaving for this latest trip I came across an older, AC-only, fixed-leg yoke on eBay that I was able to buy with a low enough 'best offer' that fabricating my own made no sense. A large box of mail was waiting on the front doorstep when we returned last night, one package containing the yoke. The Magnaflux site says if an AC yoke is working properly it should be able to pick up a ~10 lb. steel bar and mine certainly does that. Also, since it will be easy enough to make, today I ordered a $7 rectifier to make an electrical adapter box -- 110V AC in, 110V DC out -- to "instantly" switch between AC and DC operation whenever I want.
The field has to be applied perpendicular to cracks in order to detect them. Since this yoke has non-adjustable legs I'll have to machine a pair of pole pieces to allow it to provide a transverse field to tubing, but making those pieces along with adapters to clamp them to the yoke shouldn't be too time consuming.
This yoke should be quite useful for testing a number of things since I won't have to disassemble pieces in order to Magnaflux them. In the case of the Ariel, as soon as I have those pole pieces made I'll check all the lugs on the frame.
Since I am not smart enough to make my own magnet I am buying a kit from Goodson. It cost 800 dollars but we are doing 4 maybe 5 bikes so cost gets easier to bear. I am thinking of getting Goodson kit FCD-HP-KIT . Could not post a link but I think that will work if we remove all the paint. What do you think MM? Of course I have magnet envy. New pistons from JP pistons arrived. Using alloy ones from a CS1 1929. It uses the 5/8" wrist pin like the earlier SV Nortons. A little higher compression but should be fine. I was happy to see they sent them with 3 compression rings and no oil control ring like later bikes. Not enough oil in the old motors to need oil control ring. Cranks off to Alpha. Sent a magnetos off to someone new. Got my fingers crossed. My trusted magneto and dynamo guy passed away just a few weeks ago. Mick Hall at FTW did a great job every time for many years. Good guy I will miss his good work The 1915 Norton we ran last time has been repainted after repairs.Need full gearbox rebuild but I did find a spare gear set for a 1915 Strumey Archer gearbox on ebay. Going to go over it real good. It let us down last year. Going to put small drum brake on front. It has no front brakes to speak of. Annoying on inclines as rear brake and compression release is enough.
I am buying a kit from Goodson. It cost 800 dollars but we are doing 4 maybe 5 bikes so cost gets easier to bear.
The total price of the two kinds of powder I bought from Goodson was low enough that I decided it wasn't worth the time it would have taken to search for less expensive suppliers. However, it might be worth a few minutes for you to investigate other companies that sell magnetic yokes. The one Goodson sells certainly would work, but their kit is just the yoke, a UV light, and two kinds of magnetic power and sells for $900.
Used, but guaranteed to work, Magnaflux yokes sell on eBay for under $300 and a UV light is less than $50, so with new bottles of powder you could put together a kit just like Goodson's for not much more than one-third the price. Although it makes sense that Goodson supplies a 100 W lamp since they cater to car people, for what it's worth, although I have much more powerful UV lights the 18 W I used provided plenty of illumination. If I magnetized a V-8 block and wanted to inspect the entire surface without moving the light a more powerful one located further away would be a benefit.
Originally Posted by RPM
New pistons from JP pistons arrived. Need full gearbox rebuild ... Going to go over it real good. It let us down last year. Sent a magnetos off to someone new.
You're ahead of me on the engine, gearbox and magneto. Fingers crossed I don't find too much amiss, or unobtainable parts needed, when I get into them.
Turning to the Ariel, the threaded portion of one end of the rear axle was bent by ~0.02" so I marked the high spot, clamped the straight section in V-blocks, and used my 30T press to bring it back to within a few thou. of straight. I also used a small jeweler's file to eliminate a few burrs and polished the axle, allowing the bearings to be pushed on with less resistance than before.
The front wheel bearings have a larger ID than the rear ones and use stepped spacers to match the ID of the bearing to the OD of the axle as well as to provide a surface for the grease seals. The rear wheel bearings have the same ID as the OD of the axle so to install grease seals I machined two short pieces (0.36"-long) of 1.250" OD brass to be press fits over the 1.106" OD projections on the inner races of the bearings. After greasing the bearings and adjusting the tension I put the rear wheel aside with the front one to await return of the backing plates.
I started work on an Al piece to clamp Fe bars in place on my Magnaflux yoke to provide transverse fields to sections of the frame. This shouldn't take long but, of course, already has taken a lot longer than it should take.