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I'll confess I have never even considered the alignment of the shafts when building any box. !
As long as they seemed good, I just take it as gospel that the manufacturer got it right to begin with.

And that applies to some V8 boxes as well ..
Re-inventing the wheel can take an awful lot of time.
That can be better spent elsewhere ??

If its milliseconds in better lap times it may be different.
Or noisy, or jumps out of gear...
???

Interesting concept though.

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I appreciate the rant and it is welcome....To be honest, I hadn’t given that any thought. Not that I’m totally oblivious to that sort of thing. I just went through a situation with a set of crankcases that needed dowel pins relocated etc. I have no way of knowing for sure if the cover and case are original to each other. Both gearboxes are being built from bits, but the upside is that there were a lot of bits and was able to sift through them and find the best. It’s strange that the bottom hole is so beavered up, the rest of the case is in very good shape.
I can spend a bit more time shimming the case on the bed and do as you suggest. I could also make a faux mainshaft and countershaft to locate the cover instead of using the studs for alignment.... assuming the bearing bores are where they are supposed to be. It would be interesting to know how they were machined at the factory. The way the right side bearing bore and clutch actuator threads were machined suggests to me that the case wasn’t line bored, but that’s just a guess. That said, I’d wager they (the case and cover) were machined separately.... tossed into bins and mated up farther down the line. So... “if” that’s what happened, then I’m not committing a cardinal sin by just slapping them together.
The helicoils were supposed to be stocked locally, but I just received an email indicating they are being cross shipped from Michigan so they may rot in customs for a few weeks. Meaning I have time to check, in spite of the fact that I’m supposed to be working on something else. Anyway.... your suggestions is a good one, the only concern I have about pulling my head out of the sand is the fact that there is precious little real estate for moving the stud holes in some situations (helicoils will be close to the edge as it is). Moving a bearing bore in the case looks like it would be a gong show given how thin the web is between the two bores.

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It's easy to check the alignment without spending a great deal of time and effort. Ensure the box as you have it is mounted square and flat. Centre the quill to the bearing housing ensuring you have enough vertical lift so to be able lift it up enough to put the end cover in place. Now with the end cover in place centre its main shaft bearing housing. Inspect to see how well the mating holes line up.
Job done and now you know whether you have an issue or not..
We'll worry about the issue if we find you have one.
You're probably right when you say the parts were made seperately and chucked into bins to be assembled later. You've just forgotten about the "selective assembly" bit. This was factory speak for taking two piles of rough as guts bits and bobs then searching for the parts that happened to be the best fit. As long as you kept that particular pair together everything was hunky dory. Not so good if you didn't.

I've got some fancy Norton gearbox numbers here somewhere. If you say what your's are I can drag them out for you. It could be interesting.

You shouldn't get me started on the British motorcycle industry attitude to gearboxes. They never did really understand where they fit in the scheme of things..

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
Moving a bearing bore in the case looks like it would be a gong show given how thin the web is between the two bores.

I think you can forget about 'moving' that for merely practical reasons.
And if that was wrong, the whole box would be junk ?
And manufactured like that - naaa ??
That would be the most critical operation in machining/manufacturing a gearbox. ?
They'd be done together, so there was no room for error ??

Its also worth commenting that in top gear (4th) the input and output shafts are locked together,
so the mainshafts/layshaft relationship/alignment to each either is not especially of concern ?
As long as the main bearing(s) are good, its all good ?

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Originally Posted by Rohan
I think you can forget about 'moving' that for merely practical reasons.


I wouldn’t consider it for a few reasons... one being ... if they were out, yes...you’d think it would have turned itself into chutney long ago....also....I have other cases that while needing repairs, they just need some welding. I also have a case that has had one of the lugs welded back on and at a glance looks ok? My guess is that it was done with Oxy acetylene back in the day. Maybe I should use it? I passed over it because of the welding, but in reality it’s not going to a concours event and I could just think of it as patina. I was too lazy to set it up and check for warping.
This video is interesting.... he’s flying blind when removing material from the bore and comments on how thin it is between the bore and the outside of the case. He later comments on how thin the web is between the two bearing bores. Kind of begs the question..... how do the bearings maintain any interference fit with that little meat to contain things? I think it would be better done on a mill (farm it out if necessary). Easier to measure and limit the amount of material removed. If it was a roller bearing then a small amount could be ground from the OD of the outer race to make more room for a sleeve.... the bore looked a little rough for just plating the bearing?

The maestro may have something to say about the snap gauge/ micrometer scene. BTW...He mentioned my need to just get on with welding cast aluminum. Didn’t directly call me a pussy, but it was implied.


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Originally Posted by Villiers
It's easy to check the alignment without spending a great deal of time and effort. Ensure the box as you have it is mounted square and flat. Centre the quill to the bearing housing ensuring you have enough vertical lift so to be able lift it up enough to put the end cover in place. Now with the end cover in place centre its main shaft bearing housing. Inspect to see how well the mating holes line up.
Job done and now you know whether you have an issue or not..
We'll worry about the issue if we find you have one.
You're probably right when you say the parts were made seperately and chucked into bins to be assembled later. You've just forgotten about the "selective assembly" bit. This was factory speak for taking two piles of rough as guts bits and bobs then searching for the parts that happened to be the best fit. As long as you kept that particular pair together everything was hunky dory. Not so good if you didn't.

I've got some fancy Norton gearbox numbers here somewhere. If you say what your's are I can drag them out for you. It could be interesting.

You shouldn't get me started on the British motorcycle industry attitude to gearboxes. They never did really understand where they fit in the scheme of things..

Easy..... ? For starters I need to tram the mill, which may take a few minutes or may drive me to drink. Then I have to sort through the mishmash of trinkets necessary to extend the indicator down far enough so I can see what’s going on without the quill in the way. The square and flat part “should” be straight forward.... lots of shim stock around here. I did have a third clamp inside the box, so that has to go. May have to figure out another one.... can’t clamp on the mating surface because the cover will need to go on. Just indicating, so doesn’t have an abundance of clamps.

I wonder how much select fitting went on at the factory. It certainly happened with Manx and Inter, but was probably sporadic on the main line? Ebbed and flowed depending on the balance statement and non existent during the death throes. It’s actually a subject that is usually on my mind. I have some NOS parts and always treat them with suspicion. Are they left overs from the select fit bin? Were they then sold as spares? Then picked over by folk who knew knew what to look for? What do you do when you need a new part and you don’t have the benefit of select fitting? Someone described it as.... you aren’t really buying the part, you’re only buying 90%... the other 10% you sort out yourself. That could explain my drawer that’s just dedicated to files.

I haven’t really looked around for gearbox number info and haven’t studied the info that I do have. There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of numbers on some of the cases. The one that needs the stud repairs only has the raised casting number. The Manx box has some stampings, but no idea what they mean. It was sold to me (in a bitsa) as a 48 Manx box when I was 16 by a fellow who I assume was a member of the underworld. It has the proper cover sans kickstarter etc, but who knows if the main case was changed. IIRC, it has the proper CR gear set. The engine had 48 magnesium cases, so the gearbox story may be true. I long ago discounted the part where Guthrie rode it to victory in the TT. Yes I was 16, but didn’t just fall off the back of a turnip truck.

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I'd mention that I have a dolls head box that has been welded in the lower mount,
and on trying to temporarily fit it to a later ES2, it seems very reluctant to go.
Even though everything seems square and correct dimensions.

Anyone got a measurement across that lower mount ?
This one is ~85 mm, without getting out the digital calipers.
That measurement seems good ?

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Fair go Cyborg, you're just muddying the waters moaning about the set up for checking by indicator. By the sound of it your workshop may be nearly as disorganised and shambolic as mine. You're just grumbling about the inconvenience and not disputing the necessity.

Personally, I think 'selective assembly' was a permanent fact of life in those old factories. It was masked by the workers familiarity with their jobs. For example Old Joe who had been erecting gearboxes for years was so familiar with them that he could tell by the look and feel of parts as he handled them whether they were a happy fit without bothering with gauges and indicators and what not. He also knew the foibles of the various manufacturing mills and lathes and their operators and that parts machined on mill X were usually a better with stampings from press C but not quite the same with those from press D. On the surface of it Old Joe was just picking up the parts as they came but in reality he knew what to pick up before he moved his hand. All lovely of course until Old Joe retired and there was a spate of gearbox nonsenses until the new bloke learnt the tricks.

And yes, I have the same faith as you regarding 60 year old N.O.S parts.

Enough of this chatter distracting us from doing the job properly. Your best work flows from an accurate foundation. You need to know those centres are as accurately aligned as you can get them. You know this and you're just wriggling on the hook.

Tell us how you get on.

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Cyborg Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rohan
I'd mention that I have a dolls head box that has been welded in the lower mount,
and on trying to temporarily fit it to a later ES2, it seems very reluctant to go.
Even though everything seems square and correct dimensions.

Anyone got a measurement across that lower mount ?
This one is ~85 mm, without getting out the digital calipers.
That measurement seems good ?

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


With a decent digital caliper and a limited amount of brain fog. The surfaces of the mounts aren’t perfectly parallel. The narrow one is different on one side.... not so much sticking out, so modified for some reason? When you say late ES2... how late?
Upright
87.84 mm
88.14
85,08
87.75
Early laydown
84.05

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Originally Posted by Villiers
Fair go Cyborg, you're just muddying the waters moaning about the set up for checking by indicator. By the sound of it your workshop may be nearly as disorganised and shambolic as mine. You're just grumbling about the inconvenience and not disputing the necessity.

Personally, I think 'selective assembly' was a permanent fact of life in those old factories. It was masked by the workers familiarity with their jobs. For example Old Joe who had been erecting gearboxes for years was so familiar with them that he could tell by the look and feel of parts as he handled them whether they were a happy fit without bothering with gauges and indicators and what not. He also knew the foibles of the various manufacturing mills and lathes and their operators and that parts machined on mill X were usually a better with stampings from press C but not quite the same with those from press D. On the surface of it Old Joe was just picking up the parts as they came but in reality he knew what to pick up before he moved his hand. All lovely of course until Old Joe retired and there was a spate of gearbox nonsenses until the new bloke learnt the tricks.

And yes, I have the same faith as you regarding 60 year old N.O.S parts.

Enough of this chatter distracting us from doing the job properly. Your best work flows from an accurate foundation. You need to know those centres are as accurately aligned as you can get them. You know this and you're just wriggling on the hook.

Tell us how you get on.

No getting on today... I just finished hacking rust out of my truck. Today was cleanup day, which I usually do once a week. It’s semi organized, but I have to constantly work on the shambolic part. The garage is meant for mess making anyway. When my eldest daughter moved out, I claimed squatters rights, epoxy coated the floor and filled her room with benches.... so I have somewhere civilized to assemble things.
Although it never crossed my mind to check the gearbox, I have an Inter cambox and I suspect the parts are mismatched. I believed it would have been line bored, so may have to move the bore on the back cover. At least there is a reasonable amount of material around the bearing.
Anyway... will keep you posted on the results. Likely won’t be for a week or so. I have another project that needs to be dealt with.

This will be the dolls head’s new home.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]6CE6DCBD-86D8-4D11-A362-5F8EDA6FB285 by First Last, on Flickr

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Thanks. Width is not the problem then.
Alignment then ? ES2 is a 48.

Looks like you have the cycleparts all ready to go.
Maybe I need to shuffle some parts to do likewise ...

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Any sign of repairs?

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]BB23E50A-D43E-4945-8C84-B61AC2E4BDA1 by First Last, on Flickr


The cycle parts have been in that state for eons, so will need to go through the brakes and wheel bearings. Hope to just wipe the dirt and R40 sludge off and use things as they are. The tank could use some lipstick, but that’s a slippery slope, so best left as it is.

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
Any sign of repairs?.
Yes - its been welded about the whole lug, so I've wondered about alignment problems.
Could be tricky to undo. ?
Originally Posted by Cyborg
The tank could use some lipstick, but that’s a slippery slope, so best left as it is.

Ha- tell me about it.
It looked sorta reasonable, but I started to strip it back.
And found it was terrible underneath. Shoulda left it...

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Yes could be tricky. If it was brazed back together it might make it a little easier. I think a really solid jig is going to be mandatory for reworking that mount. Judging by the number of cracked gearbox lugs..... along with over tightening without shims if needed, mounts that are misaligned must account for a few. I have a garden gate frame with that mount broken, but just the outer end, so “should” be relatively straightforward. I’m assuming the one in the photo above was acquired with the idea of grafting it on.

Look closely.....

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]FF4DB1F6-AE5C-46FD-87A7-7AEC6288A5FF by First Last, on Flickr

The crack travels right along the nice sharp corner left by the cutting tool (end mill?) A radius may have helped a little.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]267EFBF7-1D80-4903-9AB5-FDE329804269 by First Last, on Flickr

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