Thursday, May 12, 2016

Electrical Part I

So I thought I would be riding old bikes by now and putting things up for the summer but that is not the case. It has been cool and rainy for the last week or so giving me a chance to get a bit more done on the Interceptor. Rain is not necessarily a bad thing here as it washes off the salt and sand applied to the roads during our snowy and icy winters. Anyway it's time to sort electrics.

Although it had been sitting in a small storage shed for many years the Interceptor fired up and ran well once a battery was installed. It idled well, the lights and horn worked fine. The system was typical of one 40 plus years old. the connectors were all yellow and a bit corroded, the casings were cracked and the cloth harness was soiled beyond cleaning. Although it was tired many components were still serviceable with a little help.

A video of the Interceptor running when I purchased it....thought it was a '70 at the time but it's really a '69 titled as a '70.

Typical of old wiring, dirty and a bit corroded. 

I won't be using these....

The first order of business was to take many photos. Although I have a wiring diagram and read them alright there is no substitute for pictures. Once everything was documented components were removed and put on the bench to take inventory. Things that could be cleaned and saved were put on the shelf to do so while bits beyond repair, such as the main harness and the turn signals, were set aside. As usual missing components were added to my buy list.

More additions to the parts list.

The electrical system ready for assessment and repair.

I am familiar with plastic polishing from my work in the prototype industry and the efforts on my BSA Hornet. I used 3M "Perfect It" it polish for all of the plastic switches and small harness pieces I could save. The amp meter was cloudy but returned to its original finish with "Novus" polish. This polish is used for wind visors and helicopter windshields. It worked well and the gauge was made usable again.

Before, a bit cloudy and nicked up. 

Polished and looking like new again. Let's hope it works as good as it looks. 

Novus polish is made for windscreens and works well on hard plastics. 

I have found that Lucas headlights get dirty inside and yellow with age. This causes light output to be yellowish as well. Windex outdoor window cleaner works well to bring back the shine. I put a diluted solution inside the lamp, about a 50/50 mix, and shake it well. Rinsing thoroughly gets the soap out. Sitting the unit to drain from the pilot hole stops water spots from forming. This soap is formulated to minimize water spots and it lives up to its claim. (I also use it on the exterior house windows when my wife makes me.)

Ready to "Windex" the headlight. This one is not to bad. I have seen much worse. 

Cleaned and ready to reinstall. 

The bullet connectors also clean out well when worked with a brass brush. I use a .177 caliber brass bristle brush used for gun cleaning. I coat the connectors with dielectric grease to keep corrosion from coming back.

The Zener diode and rectifier were in good condition but needed to be touched up. Paint, rubbing compound, and polish did the trick and they are ready to go.

The Lucas brake switch re-plated, cleaned up and reassembled. 

Plug caps and switches before polishing. They were a bit oxidized. 

Polished and ready to go.....

Electrical components cleaned up and looking presentable. 

Finished and going on the rack...

Another up a kerosene lamp. This will be a table decoration for my daughter's wedding this fall. The brass is getting the vinegar treatment and will be polished with a felt wheel in a Dremel and Semi-chrome polish.

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