Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rebuilding Wheels

The Interceptor wheels were a mixed bag. The front rim was bent and twisted requiring a replacement while the rear was relatively straight but rusty. I had a '69 Commando front wheel fitted with the same rim which was straight so I decided to use it. The rims were re-chromed and the spokes were CAD plated to match the originals. The nipples were nickel plated completing my part set.

The starting point.....a bit rough but alright to restore. 

The front hub was in decent shape. The bearings were replaced with sealed units and the brake pads and drum surfaces were cleaned up. The Commando wheel had a dual leading shoe brake which was restored in addition to the original Interceptor unit. I will put the original RE brake on but may switch to the Commando unit in the future.

Commando DLS brake ready for assembly & installation on the RE some time in the future. 

Finished......a fine looking brake.  Nice job Norton.

The rear unit was a different story. The bearings were shot and fell apart upon dis-assembly. The cush drive unit was busted up a bit and needed repairing. Parts were fixed and the hub was rebuilt with new rubber blocks and sealed bearings.

Busted up bearings and cush drive probably took it off the road. 

Parts sorted and ready to go. Measurements of the spokes and rim offsets were made to aid in assembly. Pictures of the wheels were taken for reference as well. 

The inside spokes were installed first. One side was completed and the wheel was flipped to complete the opposite side. Then it was on to the outside spokes.  

Outside spokes being installed.

The outside spokes were completed one side at a time. I worked over the edge of the bench which facilitated inserting the spokes. Spoke nipples were left fully loose until all spokes were in. They were tightened 1/4 turn at a time in the following order...brake side inner...opposite brake side inner....brake side outer...opposite brake side outer. This sequence was provided in my torque wrench manual. 
Side two and the final spokes being fit. 

Complete and ready for the truing stand.

The front wheel was pretty straightforward. I followed my pictures and diagrams and everything fell into place. The rear wheel was a bit trickier but came out well. The next steps were; get everything running true, set the offset, and torque down the spokes.

The rear wheel on the truing stand.  Pics on the PC are of the front wheel which was being assembled on my other bench. I used the pics to get the proper direction of the spokes and spacing. If something is off it is quite obvious as spokes don't match well with hole directions and some stick out of  the rim more than others. 

I purchased an Excel motorcycle spoke torque wrench for this build. I'm not sure this is a critical tool for an experienced wheel builder but it added a level of consistency to my process.  It seems like a person could get into trouble by stripping out spokes or pulling spokes through holes with a torque wrench if they are not careful. Torque specs are hard to find & I set mine to readings taken from existing bikes. Measured torque was lower then internet postings. Beware. 

Wheels were laced finger tight and indicated true after the proper hub offset was achieved. Spokes were tightened with a standard spoke wrench and the torque wrench was used to get everything consistent. This process seemed to work well for me. 

Checking the hub offset with a steel scale. This was done at 90 degree intervals. 

Rear wheel finished with rubber and ready for the road.  On to the front....

One lesson learned on this build is to inspect the original wheels before taking them off the hubs. Spinning the wheel on a stand makes it easy to find damage. It is much easier than measuring the bare rims after dis-assembly which was my approach. 

Now it's on to assembling the chassis. Most parts are refinished and ready to put together. Engine rebuild parts are purchased enabling that phase to begin shortly thereafter. This should take me to riding season where my project will slow down until it is cold again.... 

On with chassis assembly.....

The pipes and the headlight trim ring back from chrome plating. They look very nice.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Timing Cover Oil Seal Retainer

This is an area that receives  a lot of attention on the Interceptor discussion board. It is a known weakness in the Series II Interceptors that can wreak havoc on an engine. So what's at issue here? The timing cover seal does not have a mechanical lock and can shift into the oil pump gear destroying itself. Although I have not come across many occurrences of this issue it sounds like a genuine concern needing attention.
As delivered from the factory. The lower seal has no retainer.

There is not much real estate to work with when addressing this issue but many clever solutions have been devised. The method I liked best is a retaining clip but it did not look like there was enough room to work with and my machining skills are a bit rusty to attempt it on my one and only cover. Another popular method is to drill holes and put in retaining wires which looked difficult to do with the limited amount of space. An idea I liked was drilling small screws (44-40) into the boss and putting washers on the them to hold in the seal. Here again it looked like it would work but the amount of material is small so I went a different route. I decided to anchor a retainer on the seal boss supporting rib. This is a method which was recently covered on the Yahoo Groups Interceptor discussion board. My approach is a variation of that method. .

My print and business card prototype. Instead of pinning the gear end of the retainer I will use leverage against the rib it is anchored on for hold down pressure. 

Holes drilled and cutout complete. 

Bent and fit into place. Time to check clearance, modify as needed, and drill the hole. 

The progression; print,prototype and part. Custom fit via my "apprenticeship project" vise, machinist ball peen hammer, and an aluminum block pulled out of the scrap bin at work. 

The hole location was transferred to the rib from the bracket and drilled with an air grinder. It was straightened with a carbide burr and opened up to fit the screw. 

The bracket was fit with a 10-32 cap screw, washers and locking nut. After mounting, final adjustments were made to make sure the retainer fit snug against the seal boss and cleared the shaft. 

And the top......

And the opposite side......The cap screw made it easier to tighten than a hex head bolt. 

Overall the project went pretty smooth. Thanks go out to the people who figured this out and shared what they learned. I'm one step closer to having another Interceptor on the road!

The Interceptor cylinders bored and ready to go. E & V Engineering in Howard City Michigan did the work. They are regional British bike experts and offer many services and parts for British motorcycles. Check out their site and custom part offerings including many for BSA singles.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Riveting the Front Fender

The Royal Enfield shares a common trait with the Norton Commando of a two piece riveted front fender. The front fender on the RE was dented but fixable. Wanting to keep as many original pieces as I could, I removed the dents, cut off the aluminium rivets, separated the pieces, and sent them out for plating. The pieces came out well so on to putting it all back together.

Aluminum rivets direct from the factory. 

The tools and rivets used. The steel cross is my practice piece. Before hammering rivets into my fender I wanted to convince myself I knew what I was doing. 

The rivets did not fit the holes and had to be cut down with a parting tool on a lathe. Length was trimmed with a hand trimmer to 3X the thickness of the parts being fastened together. 

The proper way to do this is with a rived gun but I did not have one and did not want to buy one for the little bit I will use it. I elected to hand hammer them in. A nylon block was used to support the heads while working over the ends with a hammer and punch. My son-inlaw Tom held things in place while I set the first couple of rivets. 

Getting the rivets to form to the fender took a bit of persuasion.

Aluminum punches, ground to fit the contour of the inside of the fender, were used to form the rivet head bottoms the fender outer side. This was done from the inside of the fender with the rivet heads bucked by a nylon block. My lovely redheaded assistant held things in place while I ran the hammer. She loves helping out..........

The final assembly looks good & I am happy with the results.

Next.....Pipes and the headlight ring heading to Atlas for new chrome.