Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where did I get all this junk?

I just spent a pleasant hour and a half digging through my storage shed for Enfield parts.

I had no idea.  That I had this much Enfield junk.

Here's a picture of some stuff that I thought would be good to have on hand  as I decide what to use for this project. In the picture are one front wheel (with tire) and one front hub, two back wheels (one with, one without a tire), four Armstrong shock absorbers, two Enfield steering stems, with upper and lower triple clamps and bearing races, one with the cast-in tach and speedo mount, one "customized" with  that part sawn off. Two inner primary  cases, one outer primary case and a  timing side cover, two boxes full of engine  mounting studs and nuts of various sizes, engine plates, a sidestand a centerstand and a rear fender. A large box full of small parts from Enfield, BMW, Kawasaki, BSA, and a bunch of generic stuff like cables, handlebar controls, etc.  which I didn't feel like sorting.

Still in the shed are at least 6 Enfield twin crankcases,  I don't know how many barrels and cylinders, three or four more primary cases, half a dozen transmission cases or complete transmissions, three frames, two more sets of front forks, and several boxes of miscellaneous parts.

I had no idea that I had this much stuff. This is what I get for buying every Enfield part that I see at swap meets and vintage rallys. If anyone reading this cares, I'm going to be wanting to sell off most of this stuff after I've completed my project.

Here's the back of my truck after I got home with a small fraction of my stash.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just a couple of items to report today.

Did a bit more disassembly and clean up.

And, I had a go at cleaning up the heads of some 1/4-28 stainless bolts.

Here are the results.

I should have placed them on a white cloth to snap the picture. They're not gold colored!

Before and after. 

The process requires three steps.

1. Rough sand with a belt sander.
2. Fine sand with 320 grit wet drum sander.
3. Polish with tripoli polishing compound on a cloth wheel.

It goes pretty fast. I took about 1/2 hour to do 24 of these.

I think  I'm  going to have to bead blast them after polishing. This is too shiny. They  won't look enough like the original Enfield stuff I need to use for places where bolts screw into threaded holes.  I think after bead blasting, these should be pretty close to the appearance of cadmium plated bolts.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've just returned from the Industrial fastener store, where I bought a box of 100 stainless 1/4-28 by 1 inch hex head bolts, and matching nylon locking nuts and washers. I also picked up four stainless 5/16-24 by 1-1/2 inch bolts, nuts and washers. I wanted to get a box of 100 1-1/4 inch, but they didn't have any  of those in quantity, so I got the four longer ones to experiment with. If I can lengthen  the thread on those easily to suit applications where I need a shorter bolt, these will  work, but I don't want to buy 100 of them if I can't cut the threads by hand.

I've also done a bit of thinking, and made an important decision regarding how I'm going to finance this project, and secondarily, how I'm going to clear enough space on my cluttered workbench to take apart a Royal Enfield 500cc twin cylinder engine.

I'm going to sell of all my vintage motorcycle stuff that's not Royal Enfield or BMW related.
I'll get some pictures and an inventory as soon as the weather improves enough to dig everything out and line it up outside where it can be photographed.
In the meantime, here's a quick list of what I have that's going to be sold off. There are people who've already expressed interest in some of this, but that interest may not extend to the point where they actually put down their money, so I'm going to list it all

1. A 1975 Kawasaki H1F, which I bought new, and took apart to restore 15 years ago. This will include a spare bike, less the engine, many new parts purchased over the years from old kawasaki dealers, powder coated frame. The engine is in one piece, but needs the crankshaft taken apart to replace worn out seals. (that's been using up space on my workbench  for 10 years)
2. A 1970 BSA 441 Shooting Star. This bike was restored in 1995, and is still very presentable as-is. The engine is currently out for a top-end job, which is basically completed, it just needs to be reassembled, which I plan to do before I sell it. This bike includes most of  a 1969 250cc BSA, which  are the same, except for the engine.That includes very nice plastic gas tank and side covers which look good on the 441.
3. A 1968 Honda CL 125 twin. This bike is running, but very rough, and will include two spare frames and other parts, a spare engine (not running, as far as I know).
4. A 1965 Honda CB 160 twin, not running but complete. Someone installed a "CL kit" on it, so it has high exhaust pipes instead of the low pipes.
I haven't determined prices yet. After I've checked what these are selling for on Craigslist, Ebay, and Walneck's, I'll set prices that will be competetive.
A lot of this stuff could be sold individually on ebay, probably for more money,  but doing that would take time away from my Enfield project, so I'd rather sell them as lots and be done with it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Can I restore two motorcycles in 18 months?

My plan is to rebuild two Royal Enfield Motorcycles, starting in January, 2011, to be completed by May, 2012, in time for Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists May Show, which will have Royal Enfield as the Featured Marque.
One bike is my 1966 Interceptor 750, the other is my 1959 Indian Tomahawk (more about Royal Enfield Indians later).

The Interceptor was restored in 1984, and I acquired the Indian as a “rolling basket case” from the Eugene, Oregon Indian dealer, C. R. Saville around 1985, with plans to ultimately restore it.
By 1990, I had done a restoration of the frame and cycle parts from the Indian, but didn't have the financial resources to get the engine rebuilt (one child, and another on the way can put a damper on projects like motorcycle restoration).

I liked the looks of the Indian so much that I decided to sacrifice the Interceptor in order to get the Indian on the road. (one of the nice things about old Royal Enfields is the amazing interchangability of various parts over the entire range of models and years).
So, in 1990, the Interceptor engine went into the Indian frame, where it's been ever since.

Now that my vintage motorcycle club is going to feature Royal Enfield, and since I'm one of the Royal Enfield experts in the club, it's a fairly high priority that I have both of mine in a state suitable for a motorcycle show.

So, on January 12, The Indian was dissasembled. The next day, I went to the storage shed where I have the frame and other parts for the Interceptor, and gathered everything I could find in my driveway for a “before” photo.

Here's what each bike looked like after they were originally restored years ago.

The  Interceptor

 The Indian.

I should point out, that neither bike is "factory original", nor will they be  after I've finished this project. I  do them the way I like them, not the way a concourse judge thinks they should be.

So, here's the plan.
The Interceptor's engine was completely rebuilt from top to bottom nearly 27 years ago, but hasn't seen more than several thousand miles of use in all that time, and it's still pretty sound. It's leaked a lot of oil on itself, and acquired a lot of dirt over the years, so I'm going to get it “media blasted” (a process that uses various forms of non-abrasive materials to clean the metal without damaging it, or risking abrasive crud getting inside)
It will require a bit of internal attention, but I won't have to strip it down and rebuild it.
The Indian's motor has  immaculate, shiny cylinder bores, showing almost no wear on the original pistons. The valves also look good. What's wrong with it is that the main bearings feel like they've got gravel in them when I try to turn the motor over with the kickstart lever. It's going to have to come apart.
I'm hoping that the rod bearings are in good shape, and I intend to determine that just by feel without taking the rod caps off. Doing that necessitates getting new bolts, and considerable risk of things coming apart later. I think if they don't feel loose or gritty when I rotate them, they should be ok to use without any further attention. Enfield twins have always had good quality oil filtration, and that should have prevented whatever grit is in the main bearings from finding its way back into the rest of the engine

Since taking the bikes apart, and snapping the “before” picture, I've completely stripped both frames, and am gathering up all the metal parts that need to be powder coated black, along with the frames.
I've also gone through my stash of old nuts and bolts, and collected everything that originally came off a Royal Enfield. (I've had my Interceptor apart enough times over the years, that I have no trouble identifying stuff like that).
Most of the nuts and bolts that hold stuff like fender stays, license brackets, etc. on the bike will be replaced with new stainless steel parts. I'm not going to waste my time and money trying to find “correct” British Standard or Whitworth items, I'll go to the local industrial fastener supply house and buy a couple of boxes of 100 each, 1/4 NF and 5/16 NF (American National Fine Thread) bolts, nylon locking nuts and washers. That will cover pretty much everything on both bikes. Anything that bolts directly to the frames or engines will have to be original parts, and I think I have pretty much everything I need there. The stainless bolts will each be chucked in a hand drill, and rotated against a belt sander to give them the domed shape that's common on all the British motorcycles from the 50's and 60's. To finish them off, I can use a “wet” drum sander that's designed for gem and jewelry work. They should look just right when I'm done, and few will know that they're not the real thing.

So, that's where I'm at as of 1/19/2011. About 3 hours into the project.  I don't know how often I'll be updating this blog, and for the few out there who may actually find this not to be a waste of their time, just check back once in awhile. I'll update the blog as the project progresses.