Sunday, August 14, 2011

Been awhile....

I wonder if this blog has been abandoned long enough to be picked up by that artist in New York who has a blog about abandoned blogs?
Prolly not.

I haven't made much progress in the last month. I had to go to the hospital for major surgery on July 14th, and when they discharged me, it was under the condition that I not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs, and limit my activity.

So, as of Thursday, the 11th, the restrictions are lifted, so I'm back in the garage. Found someone to repair the damage that I found in the Tomahawk's crankcase. I just need to get it clean for him.  Welding on these is tricky, and this guy is supposedly a welder that other welders go to when they get stuck on a job.

I've also been working on wheels. I did most of the work before I went in for surgery, but I just finished lacing up the last of three wheels. Two of them for the Tomahawk, and one for the Interceptor.

New stainless spokes from Buchanan's, and polished up the aluminum hubs.
I'm not aiming for 100 point Pebble Beach Concourse quality, more like "cool bike" at the Pizza place on "bike night" quality.

Here's what they look like so  far. I still need to get new bearings in them all, and the rear wheels need the drive sprockets and brake plates cleaned up. The one  front  wheel of the three has had the brake plates polished (double-sided brake drum), but still needs the brake parts cleaned up and put back together.

Lacing  these after having them apart for 6 months was an interesting excersize. Two of them laced up pretty easily, using the same pattern as the BMW wheels I did back in May. (also the same as some BSA 441 wheels that I have on hand)  These were the 19 inch wheels on the Tomahawk.
When I tried to do the 18 inch rear wheel from the Interceptor, the spokes just didn't seem to want to work out. I ended up with all the inner spokes on one side being way too long, and all the outer spokes on the other side way too short.
I check of my Interceptor shop manual, and the  Indian Tomahawk/Trailblazerl/Apache manual didn't have a lot to say  about spoke lacing, except that  the Interceptor front and rear wheels are laced in "one over two" pattern. While the Indian  front wheel is laced "one over two" and the rear wheel is laced "one over three".   I presume that's the number of other spokes that each spoke crosses over.
I looked up several websites that describe  wheel lacing techniques, and none of them specifically said what these terms mean. They were all bicycle enthusiast sites, which described many different patterns, most of them probably completely inappropriate to motorcycle wheel building. 
The two wheels that laced up easily were laced with all the inner spokes (the ones you put in first) on both sides angled the same direction in relation to the hub, and all the outer spokes laced the opposite direction. This is also how BMW /2 spokes lace up.
I decided to try alternating the inner and outer sets of spokes in relation to each other on the Interceptor's wheel, so that the inner spokes on one side of the wheel were angled the same direction as the outer spokes on the other side of the wheel, and vice-versa for the other sets of inner/outer spokes.
Went together very nicely that way, and I think you can see the difference in the lacing pattern when  you look at the wheels.  The oddball pattern is the bottom picture. 
I'm not sure why the Interceptor back wheel is different, it should have been the Tomahawk rear wheel that's different. The 18 inch rim  I used on the Interceptor is the one that's been on it since I put the bike together in 1972, but it's a replacement rim, laced up by a guy who worked for the Royal Enfield dealer in Atherton, California, near where I lived when I bought the bike. Could be the rim was drilled in a non-standard pattern compared to an original Interceptor rear wheel.
As for the Tomahawk rear wheel lacing up the same as the front wheel, that's probably because I'm using the 19 inch front rim off the Interceptor.  I took the best three of the 6 old rims I had available, and must have ended up with two front rims. No big deal, there's no difference other than the lacing pattern necessitated by how they're drilled for the spokes.

Tomahawk 19 inch rear wheel

Tomahawk Front  Wheel

Interceptor Rear Wheel

The rims are original. They were good enough for my standards to use with just a good cleaning with 000 steel wool and WD40.  A few nicks, but no rust pitting, and the chrome isn't peeling anywhere.