Sunday, May 22, 2016

The tale of 3 Pans

Sunday 22 May 2016 marked a special day where 3 Pans got together in Auckland, NZ. A cool, showery day in May but what a day to remember...

Murrays ,52 EL
My '61 FLH
Richards '55 FLH

The run started in Hamilton as the '61 and '52 left early and braved cool, rainy and blustery conditions. A stop at Bombay BP for fuel showed a minor problem with a broken cabbage cutter bracket on the '52 .

Early morning just after sun up

Waiting for Murray to arrive riding his '52

My '61 with a toolbox

Murray arrives..

Let's go...

Gas station, Bombay BP
Bombay BP

A broken bracket on the cabbage cutter..


'52, '61, '55

'55 FLH
 The '52 had a throttle cable problem so a temporary fix was implemented in light rain..
Back in Hamilton

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kick start shaft breakage

The kicker shaft broke today. I'd got the bike started and I noticed the lever was a bit limp looking. A bit of a wiggle and it came right off. The motor was happily idling but I decided to abandon the outing.

It looks like it's been cracked for a while. The question now is what will I replace it with? Certainly there are a number of offerings of aftermarket shafts but how good are they?

The thought occurred that it's broken where the shaft has been necked so the clamping bolt can clear. It doesn't need to be fully necked though, only enough so the bolt can pass would do. The benefit would be a stronger shaft.

I've created a page on this blog site that gives more details of the fix and repair process. See blog pages, top right..

Monday, December 21, 2015

Primary, clutch, chains

The primary had water contaminated oil giving it a milky appearance. The big clutch race had rust pitting. It was repacked with grease. Overall the clutch was in quite good condition.
The cush drive was worn a bit requiring a spacer to correct primary chain alignment. The primary outer has a chrome snap-fit plug to facilitate greasing the cush drive parts via a grease nipple. I used an o-ring on the chrome plug. I massaged out a number of dents from the cover.
All the primary cover screws received fresh zinc plating in the home shop plating bath.
I left the inner primary in situ when I removed the motor. It worked OK but did make the engine left rear bolt awkward to tighten.
The primary chain is Diamond brand and was in very good condition. Now that the primary oiler has a proper screw to regulate flow, I need to keep close watch to ensure it's adequately lubricated.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Timing marks, distributor-timer, log book.

I checked my timing marks on the bikes' flywheel. I used a degree wheel to accurately determine TDC. Then I moved the flywheel to the 35° point on the degree wheel (full advance).
I drew pictures of the marks for reference. They were perhaps a degree out compared to factory pictures..
Log book for record keeping.

Timings marks as they appear in the timing window. True TDC and 35° marks.
Note: I punched a small dot on the case to eliminate guesswork. I recommend cleaning the timing marks with thinners, then painting with white marker pen or white paint and artist brush. I also carefully marked the rear cylinder, using black and white paint to highlight it. Strobe timing showed how poor the timer condition really was.

A special tool made to service the timer rear base bolt.. It needed heating with oxy/acetylene torch till red hot, then bending to the appropriate shape.

The bikes' timer had been severely hacked and modified to take an auto advance mechanism. As I write, I'm waiting on a single point replacement to arrive from Canada.

These pics are my old timer.

The body has been brazed and does not dismantle like stock ones.

It had a later automatic advance weight set up

It couldn't be removed without head removal else I have to cut it. It fouls the heads' fins as it lifts out.

The replacement timer arrived before the Xmas rush. It looked good. I replaced the screw that holds the points for a longer one so I could use a spring and flat washer. I fitted another condenser. It strobed well with the marks much more stable. With the front cyl dash perfectly on the mark, the rear cylinder was slightly retarded. I tickled a tiny mount off the lrading edge of the more advanced cam lobe. I was surprised how little needed to be removed to make a difference!
This pic shows a cheap repop condenser. I've since changed it for the old Delco condenser the timer came with. This gives less visible sparking at the points with early indications of better running and easier starting as well. Testing shortly...
Update: A problem remains, especially starting

6V Dyna coil

23Jan. No sooner said when another problem emerged. The engine was giving an occasional misfire, then it got progressively worse. I headed home. I began checking voltages. I discovered the ignition wire to the coil had .5 volts more when the switch was in "lights" position. I realigned the switch on the base and carefully cleaned up the hole in the dash console. It was applying pressure to the switch possibly causing havoc with the contacts. Testing next opportunity, perhaps tomorrow..

My ignition switch was losing one volt through the switch so I soldered the contacts to their tabs. The crazing is actually electrical spray grease by Wurth. It came out pretty good so I'm proceeding to reassemble and test..

Ultimately I fitted a relay to bridge battery to coil directly. This eliminates voltage drop at switch, etc.

Re-bushing the timer

18 Dec 2019 The time came to repair the slop in the timer shaft and bushes. I bought sintered bronze bushes that were a bigger OD and smaller ID so I could turn them to exact dimensions.
Studying sintered bronze showed the bushes aren't supposed to be honed though reaming is OK if the reamer is very sharp. Machine finishing is ideal. Blunt tooling smears the sintered porous holes closed so best avoided.

Theory: The porous bush material holds oil so as the bush heats up, oil gets released for lubrication. This seems ideal in situations where oil feed is non-existant or erratic. There are a few caveats..

The shaft was polished between lathe centers using emery cloth on a flat file. The unworn part of the journal was half a thou bigger  so this was carefully reduced. Fine wet & dry paper was used to get a nice finish. The shaft was rust pitted but I didn't attempt to remove it all. When the timer housing was chrome plated decades ago, the shaft was not removed so this may explain the rust pits.

I turned the bush OD to half a thou interference then pressed them in with a draw bolt made from thread stock. I used no Loctite because I didn't want it impregnating the sintered bush.

I centered the timer in the 4jaw and sized it till the shaft fitted nicely. The lower bush wasn't fitted yet so the shaft could be check-fitted at the top bush alone. Next I pulled the lower bush into place. Then I centered the timer from the other end. A steady was used to hold it in position. Finally the bush was sized and timer removed from the 4jaw. This was the moment of truth. Would the shaft slide right through, meaning that the 2 bushes were perfectly aligned. Yes, success!

The fitted bushes now need oil impregnating. I heated a small container of motor oil and let the timer sit in it, then cool. I cycled it a few times, end for end, hot and cold while immersed. The hot and cold are said to draw oil into the pores. (Do not use grease)