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.
I had to deal with a few minor roof leaks and a clogged inlet to a water harvesting tank which kept me from making much progress on the Ariel itself. However, I did complete the machining of the add-on pole pieces for my Magnaflux yoke. The yoke has 1"x1" legs but the closest magnet iron I had on the shelf was 2"x2". Other than the additional weight larger would be perfectly fine since that would mean the Fe would remain even further from saturation, although it still needed to have smaller faces to concentrate the field lines where they meet the parts to be tested. Ideally the new poles would be laminated like the yoke itself to reduce eddy current losses from the AC yoke but this shouldn't have too much of an effect on performance.
I used a Portaband saw to slice ~45-deg. chunks from one end of each piece leading to 1"x1" faces (offset from the centers of the 2"x2"; the top of the 1"x1" faces are even with the top of the 2"x2" Fe but the bottoms are at the centers of the Fe). I did this because sawing removes material much faster than machining. After making the crude cuts I finished the pole faces with the Fe pieces mounted at 45-deg. in the mill then tapped the bottoms to clamp to the Al holder that in turn clamps to the yoke.
With the yoke modifications now complete I can adjust the gap of the pole pieces and apply transverse magnetic fields to any piece of frame tubing (or headstock) I want.
My younger daughter responded with the designer-approved colors I'm allowed to have for my one-piece rain suit. She also said I have to replace my blue helmet with grey or black because "no more blue! you're over 60!" Hey, I prefer bright "Hockney-esque" colors, but I learned decades ago to slavishly obey whatever style instructions she issued.
For no good reason I decided to weigh and record the major components as I get to them, as well as the final bike (which is listed at 300 lbs.). The rear wheel including new tire and tube but without the brake backing plate is 33.1 lbs. The front wheel is 25.8 lbs. I normally have the scale on the jib crane that swings over the lathe and mill but I moved it to the engine hoist to make sure I don't forget to measure the engine and gearbox when I lift them out of the frame.
Well, six or so weeks after I began to circle the beast, it's time to go for the heart. With the wheels off, the bike has been balanced on wood blocks under the engine with tie downs keeping it from falling over. Since it wasn't incredibly solid in this configuration I (temporarily) installed the front wheel, jacked the bike up to remove the blocks, and lowered it onto the front wheel and rear stand. Next I removed the carburetor, gearshift assembly, and fuel/oil tank so the engine is now almost ready to be removed (I still have to disconnect the magneto's advance cable and the valve lifter cable).
A year or two ago I fabricated a "universal" 'C'-shaped engine lifting jig that bolts to the head and lets me position the lifting point directly over the center of gravity of an engine and above the top tube of a frame so that I can use my engine hoist to make removal and installation nearly effortless. Just three additional holes and two spacers and the jig will be ready for the Ariel's head. However, the rocker box has to come off first because there isn't sufficient clearance to remove the engine while it is still in place.
Once the engine is out of the frame I'll be able to trace the engine plates in order to fabricate a stand to hold it on the bench to make working on it easier. As soon as I get the engine apart I'll know how much trouble I might be in for replacement parts.
I've been making quite a bit of progress, at least as measured by the number of parts laying on the garage floor rather than bolted to the bike.
In my last post I said I planned to remove the rocker box and then use my lifting jig to remove the engine with the head still on. I hadn't realized how easy it would be to remove the head. For the record, the order for approaching this part of the rebuild is:
-- remove complete exhaust system as a single piece -- turn engine until both valves are closed -- unscrew tappets a few turns to make sure all tension is released -- unbolt tappet box. It's held by two long bolts on the right side (through the head and into the block) and a very short bolt in the center. The two long bolts have to be removed but the short bolt can't be because the frame tube is in the way. The center bolt has to be withdrawn as far as possible and held in that position as the right side of the tappet box is lifted off the pushrod tubes and then slipped sideways out of the frame. Of course, it will be easy to forget to insert this bolt the first when it comes time to rebuild the bike so I expect to do a "trial" installation without the bolt before remembering to do it correctly. -- Only two short bolts on the left side remain holding the head in place. There's no reason to leave the head on at this point so once these are removed the head lifts off. There is no head gasket. The complete head weighs 12.6 lbs. and with the rocker box the total is 17.2 lbs.
Measured with calipers the bore at the top of the cylinder is 82.7 mm whereas the stock bore is 81.8 mm. Although I'll make a more accurate measurement once the engine is apart on the bench it's pretty clear it's overbored by 1 mm/0.040". However, the top of the piston has lots of nicks in it from bashing something around that dropped in. Whether the damage is fatal, or there are other issues with the piston, won't be known until I take the cylinder off. The Ariel uses a piston with a rather large 1" gudgeon pin so it's unlikely I'll be able to find a suitable replacement on Amazon.com.
Whatever I tried to take off next in order to remove the engine, something else needed to be taken off first. But, before that could come off, something else... This process finally lead me to the rear brake pedal as the keystone to the rest of the disassembly. Unfortunately, it didn't want to come off its shaft and the shape of the pedal and small clearance to the primary cover didn't provide anywhere for a 2-jaw puller to grab. So, I machined a 2"x3" piece of 1/4" steel in the shape of a 'C' to slip between the pedal and the primary case, tapped two 1/4-28 holes in it, and used it with a bolt-type puller to extract the pedal. I assumed the shaft was splined or keyed but it's a simple taper.
The primary cover came off next. Overall, most fasteners on the bike are British, but there are enough metric, A/F, and "other" randomly tossed in to keep it interesting. For example, the nut for the magneto sprocket is 5/8" A/F and, although both bolts holding the magneto started life as BSW, the flats of one of them had been filed down so only an adjustable spanner fits it now.
Only after I had carefully measured the 1/2" pitch of the primary chain and counted the number of teeth on the main engine sprocket (23T) twice did I notice '1/2-23' stamped on it. Oh well, you know what they say, measure twice, confirm once.
The drive chain seems to be new and is marked 'JWIS Germany', which is a good sign, but the master link is no-name. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. However, the primary chain, also JWIS, is quite worn with 11" sideways deflection over its 40" length. Of course, since this chain was hidden from view by the primary cover the only way I would have known its poor condition was to remove that cover. This is another example showing why I'm completely rebuilding this bike. Even if a primary chain didn't cause any damage when it broke I'd rather not be disassembling the primary case on the side of the road or in a motel parking lot at night to install a new one (assuming I had a new one to install...).
The master link on the magneto chain is marked 'The Coventry' but the chain itself is no-name and also is quite worn with 6-1/2" deflection in 18". Luckily, there is plenty of clearance for X-ring chains for both the primary and main drive chains, which is what I will use for both (80 links for the former, and 95 for the latter).
Since I now know all the sprockets I can calculate the expected performance in high gear when the gearbox ratio is 1:1. A table of speed vs. rpm in an Ariel booklet goes to a maximum of ~5400 rpm so taking that as redline and using Avon's figure of 789.6 turns/mile for the circumference of the rear tire and:
engine 23T clutch 44T gearbox 19T rear wheel 47T
5400 revs/min. x (23T/44T) x (19T/47T) x 1 mile/789.6 turns x 60 min./hr. = 86.7 mph
The highest speed mentioned in Cannonball literature is the ability to maintain 50 mph on straight flat roads, which would be less than 60% of redline with the present gearing. This means the present gearing should be fine for crossing the Midwest. There's even some reserve speed if needed for short stretches on Interstates. Dropped down into 2nd the ratio changes by 1.6 so 50 mph becomes 30 mph. This means the present gearing should be fine for climbing the Rockies as well.
I removed the magneto (6.4 lbs.) leaving just the gearbox (with clutch) and engine to be removed from the frame. However, I can't predict which of those will be removed first because the system of mounting plates is complicated enough that it's difficult to know in advance.
I have a good supply of old photographic developer trays and cookie sheets in a variety of sizes so each major component gets its own tray and sub-assemblies get their own smaller containers to sit within those trays. Once everything within every container and tray has been refurbished the components will get joined back together, nothing will be forgotten and nothing left over, and all will be perfect. Yeh, sure, nothing cann gggo wwwroooongggg .....
Thanks very much. I'm also looking forward to seeing some pictures...
I've been documenting everything I do with plenty of photographs (if, for no other reason, to help me put it all back together...). But, to incorporate them in this thread, what I need is a "permanent" replacement for Photobucket so I don't spend all the time it takes to edit, resize, upload, and link to photos at some new Hosting site, only to have that site change its policy or go out of business. Google Images is probably as close to "permanent" as I could hope for, but as far as I can tell from reading their instructions it would be a headache to use them as a host. That said, I haven't spent much time on that problem as yet, instead spending my time working on the Ariel.
My posts here are always a few days behind where I actually am but, as a teaser, the engine is on my workbench.
Even on days when I don't have time to do anything on the Ariel, I try to do something. Yesterday's something was machining a socket to use for accurately adjusting the clutch once I reassemble it. I described the principle behind it in detail in a thread on rebuilding a BSA 6-spring clutch that was better before it was gutted of images by the Photobucket apocalypse.
Anyway, based on measurements of the gearbox housing I started with a 13/16" A/F socket, opened it up slightly with a 7/8" drill, then machined a slot over ~1/4 of its surface of the appropriate shape to clear the clutch arm and housing. With this modified socket I can measure the torque required to move the end of the clutch arm 0.5" just as I had done with the BSA clutches.
From what I've read the Burman clutch has a reputation as being light, and my measurement showed this to be the case with my clutch as it came to me. I didn't test the bike very thoroughly or hard before getting caught up in the rebuild but I didn't notice any sign of the clutch slipping so the adjustment is reasonably good right now. Although I don't know yet what the internals of the gearbox look like, the external arm is about the same length as that of the BSA (2-1/2" vs. 3-1/4", so 77% of the leverage) and the lift of the clutch plates looks to be about the same (to be accurately measured later), which means the internal leverage must be about the same as well. This means the torque as I measure it this way is proportional to the relative pull required at the handlebars for the two gearboxes. For the BSA the torque required to move the end of the arm 0.5" is ~11 ft.lbs. but for the Burman it's only 4 ft.lbs.
There are ~4 threads showing on each of the clutch nuts so there is plenty of adjustment possible to increase the pressure if needed. Also, the pressure plate doesn't lift perfectly evenly now so there's room for improvement. But, having measured and made note of the current settings will make it much easier later to get the clutch operating to the limits of its capabilities after I rebuild it.
Removing the front engine mounting plates was just a matter of removing four studs. Plus supporting the engine with a jack because it serves as a stressed member of the frame so otherwise the lower portion of the frame would sag and make the studs very difficult to remove. Once the four studs were removed two heavy engine plates, covered by two "cosmetic" sheet metal pieces, came off to leave a 6" gap between the frame downtube and the two smaller diameter frame rails under the engine. However, the rear engine mount was a real problem.
The rear mount is semi-circular and comes around the top enough to block the engine from being lifted straight up. It's also welded into a single piece that closely straddles the frame so it can't be easily moved although, when unbolted, it can be moved back just a little which isn't enough to free the engine from the clutches of the frame. Plus, the magneto platform is part of the welded assembly and it extends under the timing chest (it bolts to the timing chest) so the assembly can't be pulled straight up because the engine blocks it. That is, the engine can't move upward because part of the rear mount is in the way, and the rear mount can't move upward because part of the engine is in the way. Sigh...
Before completely removing the front mounts I had attached the engine hoist and put enough upward force on the engine to balance the weight. The solution to removing the engine was to push it as far forward in the frame as it would go where it was then (barely) possible to tilt it just enough to allow the magneto platform to clear. Once clear of the timing chest the rear mount assembly could be wiggled upward and out of the frame. At some point in doing this a spacer I hadn't noticed before dropped out -- I hope I can find where it goes before it all goes back together and I discover the spacer has to be installed before it all goes back together. With the rear mount out of the way I moved the engine back to the center of the open space but it still had to be rotated maybe 5-deg. CCW to escape the frame.
I can't see there would have been any way I could have removed the engine without my lifting jig and engine hoist. It's not just that these made it easier, which they did, they made it possible. I can't see how two people could have done it, either, at least without a lot of collateral damage to paint and engine surfaces. However, having gotten the engine out of the frame, I'm now afraid it may require divine intervention to get it back in since it's like one of those metal puzzles whose two pieces only can be separated if you know how to cleverly maneuver them in just the right way.
As removed the engine weighed 56.4 lbs. so with the head and rocker assembly the total weight of this Ariel engine is 73.6 lbs.
Prudence would have had me wait to remove the cylinder until I had made a stand to firmly hold the engine, but what does Prudence know about motorcycles, anyway? So, at the risk of doing something stupid and having the top-heavy engine crash to the floor, I worried the cylinder off (weight 10.8 lbs.) to expose the piston.
The piston is a "modern" one with split skirt and 13/16" gudgeon pin rather than the original 1" as well as having two compression and one oil control ring. There are a lot of marks on the top where it had bounced something around while running earlier in its life but I can make out '040' and the letters 'D2' above it. Also, 'Front'. So, as my calipers had indicated a few days ago, the cylinder has been bored 0.040" over.
When I take the piston off I hope I find a proper engineering solution was used to reduce the small end rather than just a piece of brass. Even better, I hope I find it has a "modern" rod with a 13/16" small end. Not that 60-over pistons for later Ariels are all that cheap and common. And then there's the issue of balance factor. But, for now, I couldn't feel any up/down motion of the connecting rod, which ends this post on a promising note.
I use SmugMug for Hosting my photos. I've been using it for a long time, so I don't know how it compares to other services. I will say that I find photo sharing on forums is easy to do from SmugMug, using either my desk/laptop or my Ipad.
Since your photos hadn't disappeared with Photobucket I already had right clicked on one of them to see who you used as a host. I did this for others as well.
My concern with SmugMug, and others, is their long-term viability/stability. I can think of at least three large photo Hosting services for professional photographers -- which is SmugMug's background -- that shut down in recent years, and there well may have been others. A huge amount of my time was lost as a result of Photobucket's change in policy and I want to minimize the chances of that happening again.
According to Wikipedia SmugMug is still owned by the father/son team who founded it 15 years ago and all they have to do is decide it's time to cash out for things to change. Hoping for "permanence" on the web is futile, but I'd like good odds of at least a decade before committing time to a new site.
I woke up Friday to an email from Michael Morse of Vintage Brake saying my front and rear brakes are done and ready to ship back to me. Fantastic! I can't say enough good things about MM/VB, who I've had do the brakes on four bikes that I can think of over the past 20 years. All have performance approaching that of disc brakes.
When I sent the backing plates to him I described the bike and how I would use it and he decided on VB3000 compound, about which his site says "High friction compound with consistent feel and performance at all duty levels and rotational speeds, for off road and street use." I hope I don't find myself testing the Ariel's off road performance... It goes on to say "Good first stop capability and with excellent water dispersal." That is, it works well without having to be warmed up, and works well in the wet. Both are what I want. Although the description doesn't mention fade resistance, which isn't important for the Ariel, apparently it's not bad at all. It's just that he has other compounds that are better where that matters, like racing. In addition to bonding the compound and arcing the shoes to the dimension of the drums he replaced two rusty springs.
He asked me what wheel bearing grease I would be using (Sta-Lube High Temp Disc Brake Grease). He said he used to paint the shoes he relined and knew the temperature where it discolored, and some shoes that came back to him at the end of a racing season that weren't discolored by heat had signs of grease splattered around despite the claimed drop temperature of the grease being higher. As a result, he recommends Extreme Temperature grease since it has a drop temperature of 500 oF. I then checked and the Sta-Lube has a drop temperature of 450 oF. However, I discovered I have a can of Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease, also recommended for wheel bearings, and it has a drop temperature of 550 oF. Anyway, even though it's almost certainly not necessary for the way the Ariel will be used, I'm going to take the time to thoroughly clean out the Sta-Lube and replace it with Mobil 1.
Michael has now shipped the brakes back to me but I'll be in a state of anxiety for the next few days until they arrive, hoping that UPS doesn't misdirect or lose them. I've already checked and Amazon doesn't sell 1928 Ariel backing plates so to lose them would be a serious setback.
I've now removed the piston so I can see what's underneath. It's a Hepolite (Heplex) 10793, with other markings 3160AM, 413 and AF3. A pdf on the Draganfly web site lists this as a 6.3:1 piston for 1935-58 Ariel VG/VF/VH Red Hunters. The total weight with rings and wristpin is 466.5 grams.
The casting on the rod is A6/247, the number in the parts manual, not 'Carillo', so it's the original rod. The ID of the small end is 1-3/16" so a thin bushing would have been used to reduce that to the 1" OD of the original wrist pin. Instead, a fat bushing of reddish brown color, consistent with it being a bearing bronze, reduces the small end to 13/16".
The hunt is on for a replacement piston and a spare, assuming the engine will need decoking on the "day of rest" halfway through the Cannonball. If it does need decoking it will be a lot easier to swap pistons (assuming the OD of the replacement is close enough to that of the original). Note to self: bring hone to break the glaze.
I woke up Friday to an email from Michael Morse of Vintage Brake saying my front and rear brakes are done and ready to ship back to me. Fantastic! I can't say enough good things about MM/VB, who I've had do the brakes on four bikes that I can think of over the past 20 years. All have performance approaching that of disc brakes.
My experience with Vintage Brake has been the same. Only thing is, you need to time your brake work with the racing and summer schedule; he stays booked up solid during that time, but will tell you as accurately as he can just when he will be able to get to yours. Don't look for next-week turnaround!!