Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great People Met Along the Way

It turns the guy I got the rim from is as much a gear head about two wheels as I am.  In the process of making the deal, paying money and doing the shipping thing I got to know Dennis Williams a bit.  Great gentleman and has some great rides.  He is also a flattrack racer from Tennessee.  And he also occasionally rebuilds a vintage cycle for resale.  This is the current bike for sale; a TT500.  Great looking bike and as a racer I’m sure Dennis has it running as good as it looks.  By the way, if anybody that happens to see this, is interested in buying a great bike, you can contact Dennis at regarding price and all the details

Being a racer his main bike is a Triumph twin.  This is the current racer.  Very nice looking bike I would say.  And I’m sure, just like the TT500, it goes as good as it looks.

Of course my not being brave enough to race, I would toss on minimal lights and ride the Trump on the street. Make it a Street Tracker.  That's just strange old me.  Oh and Montana being Montana the straight pipes would stay.  Were sort of laid back up here in the Big Sky Country about that sort of thing.

One Rim Found – One To Find

The wheels I source for the Overland came with pretty nice and straight steel DID rims.  However in my quest for weight reduction I have always planned on eventually changing the rims for some alloy.  Originally the thought was to stay with an older non-shouldered motocross type profile.  However the fates decided that was not the way to go.  While scanning the Vintage Falttrack,, for sale pages, I stumbled across a used rim.  It was in my price range and turned out to be available.  So I have a new/used alloy Borrani WM2 1.85X19 40 spoke rim for the front.  Which, now means now I have to find a second Borrani WM3 for the rear.  While I had not really desired to go with a true racing rim it probably is appropriate for the Overland Privateer.  Boranni rims have been on TT racers since the late 30s so they will be on my racer.  Just need to find that second rim for the rear wheel and life will be very good in my garage. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Experience Based Recommendation

Toddy a friend from the Dirty Bobbers forum has recommended cutting the ports at the top of the brake plate and doing a frame with mesh.  Considering that Toddy is a top builder with loads of experience I will take the recommendation.  However I may not do stainless as Toddy did on his SR500 CafĂ© Racer build.  But it may depend on what materials fall to hand when I get to the bit of work.

Go here to have your mind melted by great motorcycles built and in progress.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Joining the Righteous

In the early days of hot rodding and of cutting and bobbing motorcycles a common phrase of appreciation was, “Man that is righteous!”  A short hand acknowledgement of something good that was done to stock parts and tin ware.   I recently have joined the righteous with my Overland project.

I have taken a drill and a die grinder to the stock Honda rear brake hub.  However right out of the box I almost cocked it up.  During the measuring and drilling process, for the first two holes, I didn’t get the center punch in the right place on one hole.  But that was good because my original idea of just drilling two large holes in the brake plate steady bracket actually sort of sucked.  Even if I had gotten them centered correctly it didn’t achieve the look I wanted.

So out come the sharpie pen and the die grinder.  I have decided, since the holes have already been drilled it has to go forward.  So the decision was made to reconsider the shape and size of the holes.  So the holes will be enlarged and reshaped into a rounded triangle to echo the shape of the steady bracket. 

                                         Calibrated eye failed me

I have also decided to cut some air holes to allow warm air from inside the brake drum an easier exit to help keep things cooler while running.  So out came the sharpie marker again. 

So the intent is to remove the metal marked in black in between the casting risers and so open up the brake plate for air flow out of the drum.  I haven’t decided yet what treatment the outside face of the brake plate will get.  The options are to leave the holes open and be racer casual about it.  Or cut a nice alloy frame to hold a fine mesh screen and then drill and the tap the plate for some round headed button hex screws.  Not sure yet.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Oil recovery from a total loss system

Since this obsession got rolling one matter that has always been in the back of my mind was how to run a total loss oil system on the street.  Lowering the compression to run petrol is not a problem.  Retiming the valves and ignition for at least a semi-normal tick over and tractable on the street will be interesting but not impossible.
One option suggested by a long time J.A.P. race mechanic was to run a hose nipple off the back of the oil collection tray to an oil tank.  The concern is that while that is normal practice for using an oil collection bottle or tray for a track application; would there be enough pressure to flow up to an oil recirculation tank for the street. 
I did find that some of the early two strokes from Japan had an external oil pump for the fuel oil mixture.  The external pumps also run from a thimble nut like the Pilgrim and could be run from the magneto drive nut.  The oil mixture pump was attractive because it also had an output adjustment.  However it would hang an odd looking pump off the top of the timing cover.
Since I know enough, at this point, to be confused more questions seem to pop up.  So I keep asking questions and looking for information, alternatives and solutions.  To that end the Labor Day All British Field Meet in Portland was two days of unbelievable coincidences, happenstance and karma.  
Along with the field meet is vintage racing.  I guess my being a gear head and always looking at fast cars draws me to the racer pits.  As I was drooling over all the exotic machines a saw the nose of a small open wheel racer that I immediately recognized.  It was the nose of an early Cooper F3.  Now my heart was in my throat because if the Cooper was early enough it would have a J.A.P. 4B or a twin in it.  Rushing over I was absolutely thrilled to see a single.

                                          All in all just a lovely engine

                                                       Safety wired to the hilt

The owner of the car wasn’t around but I was told by a pit mate that he had just finished a race and should be back soon.  I hung around and very enthusiastically accosted the owner driver when he showed up in the person of Ed Millman from Seattle.  Ed is the President of AdServices,  He is a very nice guy and is as obsessed with the J.A.P. engines as I am.  Of course the difference between us is he runs his with four wheels as opposed to my two.
We talked and talked.  Ed was impressed that I had a 600 SV on the street and really thought my idea of doing a street 4B was pretty cool.  He was very gracious and in great detail talked about his engine and the cars history in New Zealand and its early history with a J.A.P. v-twin.  The more we talked the more it became clear that I very well had some spares Ed could use.  But as they say the other shoe dropped. 
Ed realized that he might have the solution to my oil recirculation puzzle.  Apparently while looking for parts on ebay (turn head, spit) Ed found an aftermarket oil scavenge pump which was designed to bolt up behind the Pilgrim pump and run off the timing gear thimble nut.  He had tried to fit it but the pump pushed the Pilgrim out far enough that it would foul a tube of the frame.  He was not about to modify the frame tube and so it got put in the spares box.  Ed was not able to remember even why he had brought the pump along to the race.  That pump was the clean answer to recovering oil to be recirculated for the street use of a 4B.  Ed sold me the pump.  It was my birthday all over again.  Did I mention that I was thrilled and happy and probably acted like a complete idiot when Ed handed over the pump?  Oh well!

                                         Larger bottom tray for oil and Pilgrim with scavenge pump

                                         Open face of scavenge pump

The pump has no makers mark on it and I have no idea how old it is.  A pretty knowledgeable cycle restorer at the meet thought the pump gears looked like BSA but couldn’t be sure without some stare and compare.  I have no idea.  I just hope the pump works.  I’m going to build a test board for a proof of operation for the pump combination.  The thought is to build a backboard that the two pumps can be bolted to and then drive them at low speed from my lathe.  I think it’s worth the effort to be sure both pumps work like they should before I trust the oil sensitive and friction adverse internal parts of a rebuilt engine to the combination.  During this winter when my old bones are too frozen to work in the garage I will be making a drawing of the scavenge pump for future reference for both Ed and I. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All British Field Meet, Portland, Oregon

Over the Labor Day Weekend I took a road trip with four of my Land Rover buddies to the All British Field Meet in Portland, Oregon.  We did a bit of camping on the way.  Flew some kites on the beach and drank some beer.  The main reason I went this year was to try and sell my race engine and deliver my wounded case to a welder machinist for repair.  It turns out that Custom Machining of Dallas, Oregon is just 60 some miles south of Portland.  That made it very easy to run down and drop off the case and get a chance to face to face so to speak further build my confidence in the shop.  I have not gotten the case back yet but talking with the welder/machinist I think it will prove I chose wisely.

                                                      Chad of Custom Machining who
                                                      will be doing the welding and the

As for the Field Meet it was great.  I passed out my flyer for the engine and got some very good response for it being not really a motorcycle venue.  Plus I found a guy running a Copper L8 F3 racer of 1952 with a J.A.P. 4B coupled to a Norton Dolls head box.  I was so excited to talk with him about the engine.  Usually if I can even get a person to listen to me talk J.A.P. very quickly their eyes glaze and they take on the look of a deer in headlights.  Well Ed didn’t and in fact as fate would have it I may have spares he needs and he solved an oiling problem for me.



                                         Think Grace Kelly and Cary Grant


                                                       Gold Star

                                                       1960 MG A Twin Cam Racer


The Bad and the Ugly

Most of what I have recorded so far is the good.   However there is the bad.  The case I have chosen to keep has been severely wounded in a racing mishap some years ago.   Seems the engine prep wasn’t as detailed as it could have been.  The bottom screw retaining the Pilgrim pup came adrift.  Of course the bottom screw holds the spring plunger valve against the timing drive end which is the oil passage for the make pin.  Connected to the main pin is the con rod.  The screw came a drift; the pump body pulled away from the timing case and oil stopped flowing to the main.  The piston rod and crank pin over heated and by mutual agreement decided to separate.  The pin kept the house and the rod left the premises through the front door.  What you see pictured is the aftermath of the marital separation.  The pieces are positioned where they belong but in reality there are foure seperate pieces.

While I’m sure saner people would have super clued this together and called it a shelf knickknack I couldn’t do that.  So I searched around and found a shop that gave me great confidence that it could be repaired and be useable for what it was designed for: a bit of speed!  The firm I found to do the job is Custom Machining in Dallas, Oregon.