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Messages - cardan

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British Bikes / Re: Coventry Eagle Silent Superb Fuel Tap
« on: June 16, 2018, 12:47:59 AM »

British Bikes / Re: Coventry Eagle Silent Superb Fuel Tap
« on: June 16, 2018, 12:27:40 AM »

Here's an earlier discussion on the hexagON tap:

A google search for "ewarts plunger tap" brings up lots of photos, like the one below.

Both tap types were widely used, and there are lots of variants, and lots of modern reproductions.



British Bikes / Re: Coventry Eagle Silent Superb Fuel Tap
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:34:44 AM »

Hi Mike,

A quick google shows most restored Cov Eagles of this type use a sliding push-pull (hexag-on) type tap, with a flat slide and cork seals in the body.

However I think I spy in some period photos and adverts an Ewarts-type push-pull tap - the one with the single-ended cylindrical slider with the cork seal attached.

If you want the bike to be very correct, perhaps contact the Cov Eagle marque specialist at the VMCC, or try John Hodson via to get the real story.

In either case, instead of the tap screwing into the fitting, there is obviously a couple of brass pieces required to complement the tap: a top bit with a thread, and a bottom bit, to secure the tap in position.

Interesting detail - let us know if you come up with an illustration of the original.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Any help with ID of this 1900's frame ?
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:07:30 AM »

Oh very nice. Probably around 1904-1906, but not Werner, Peugeot, or indeed not one of the more common machines. The key identifying feature will be the one-piece lug that forms the rear engine mount and the pedal bracket. It doesn't ring any bells at the moment, but an excellent challenge!



British Bikes / Re: Watney m/c
« on: June 12, 2018, 08:02:15 AM »
The rule of thumb is that the number of crosses should be less than the number of spokes divided by 9. Thus 4-cross is ok for 40-spoke wheels, possible for 36, but unstable for 32 or anything less.

If the wheel is asymmetric - different flange sizes or different offsets - the lacing pattern is sometimes different on each side.

If you follow the link in the post above to my spoke length calculator, you'll find suggestions there for how to deal with asymmetric wheels. Make the appropriate measurements, plug the numbers into the calculator, and it will tell you the spoke lengths required.

Have fun.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 03, 2018, 08:42:24 AM »

Unfortunately the Show Edition of the Motor Cycle in 1938 has a description of the "redesigned" James range for 1939, but no illustrations. The description does, however, mention a few things relevant to our discussion. The new heavily valanced guards we've noticed, but another new feature was the one-piece guard to enclose both the primary chain and the drive chain to the Lucas dynamo, mounted behind the motor. I reckon you can see this in our machine. Also the front wheel stand is mentioned.

Here's a photo of another of the 1939 range, albeit with a smaller engine.

Most of the bikes in the 1939 range used the new single-tube loop frame, and the rather angular tank on the 150 gives me real confidence that we're looking at a 1939 250 James. I would imagine that there aren't too many survivors, but you never know.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 03, 2018, 07:56:36 AM »
Ain't it all fun.

Yes, it is!

For the record, the last time I saw a Utility was in the early 1980s, in the hands of a chap called Fred Delfine (?), but that was a Utility-JAP. He lived up in the Dandenongs somewhere, and was burnt out in the bushfires. I don't know if that Utility survived, but I'm sure they're around, possibly not identified.

But back to Alex's dad's Villiers. Of course we're not guaranteed that it's in original condition in the photos, but some of the identifying points would be:

1. The heavily valanced front guard, and the heavily valanced front half of the rear guard

2. No rear axle stand visible, so it probably had a centre stand

3. The headlamp with ammeter and switch

4. The gear change gate up high on the tank, with a lever that looks straight-ish beyond the pivot

5. One-piece pressed steel tail-light and number-plate mount

6. Squarish-looking stuff under the saddle (battery/toolbox) where the round autolube tank goes on the vintage models

Anyway, I reckon most of this stuff adds up to late 1930s James, but I'm way short of an expert on such things. That tank has me a bit mystified - maybe they had some old ones to get rid of on the "colonial model"? I don't suppose Waratah bought a batch of bikes from James?



British Bikes / Re: parts for 1930's James with Villiers 2E motor
« on: June 02, 2018, 10:59:21 AM »

Hi David,

The patent is from December 1927, GB patent GB281503, assigned to Frank Edward Baker. Baker was the man behind Precision pre WW1, then the novel Beardmore Precision after the war.

I'm not sure if the image from the patent shows the frame exactly as implemented.



OK - I don't get it. In the photo of the bike (and the photos of the internals of the cylinder, piston and motor) it looks like the transfer port is at the back and in the inlet port (the lowest port, that is uncovered and joins the carb to the crank case at the top of the stroke) is on the left (near) side of the bike. Viewed from this side, the steep part of the piston crown is to the rear, so the piston ring gap was always in line with the inlet port? Or is it an optical illusion? Or maybe the rings stay above the inlet port, in which case which port does the ring join line up with?

Maybe the piston in the bike when you got it was incorrect. When you peg the rings so the joins don't align with a port, make sure you fill the original peg holes. Or just use the dremel to remove the half of the original peg projecting into the ring groove.

[Edit: I just can't imagine you'd have to slide the ring gap across a port to assemble the motor!]



Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:18:03 AM »
If we go as far as 1939 we get the correct mudguards on a James:

Or this

Not sure about the angular tank though.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 02, 2018, 05:56:57 AM »

Mmm... not often I doubt a 33d6 identification of a two stroke, but in this case the bike doesn't look quite "Jamesey" enough to convince me immediately. Yet it does some have some Baker-ish features, so maybe James but later than 1930?

I wonder if, given the Sydney location, we should be thinking another Australian brand: Waratah. In the early 1930s I'd expect a Waratah to be Sun based (either built from Sun bits, or supplied complete by Sun). I think later Williams may have sourced their bikes from elsewhere - Norman is often mentioned as a source of lightweights for rebadging. Or maybe Excelsior? The angular tank, with gear-change gate up on the side, should help with the identification.



Anyway, there is a huge 40mm wide land in the bore 180 deg opposite the current location. why the designer did not put the pins there I'll never know.

The steep side of the piston crown points towards the transfer port - the one that carries the charge from the crankcase to the cylinder. Correct?



Often there's a recommended clearance from the piston manufacturer. If not, Villiers clearance would be a guide. If someone tells you less than 2.5 thou, or more than 4, I'd double check.


British Bikes / Re: 1920 sturmey archer 2sp gearbox
« on: May 11, 2018, 11:57:05 PM »

At best I think there might be a parts list - no repair manuals as such back then.

But it's a very simple box. What's the problem?


Hi Graham,

Terrot built tens of thousands of bikes, so let's assume the little bike worked fine when it was new, and worked OK until it stopped working. Most likely it wore out. Probably at the end the owner got sick of it not starting on the kick-starter and having to push it down the hill and jump on when it fired.

The idea of restoration is to measure and check everything, replace what needs replacing and fix what needs fixing, then enjoy the bike as it was when it was new. If you want the bike to run, you'll have to do these things - sadly no amount of forum chat will make it run if the thing is worn out. If the man at the engine shop tells you the bore is worn out, it's probably worn out. New rings won't help, because they are round, and the wear in two-stroke bore is not. How's the big end? The little end? Does it have any compression? If the engine is worn out, it will be very hard to start.

I'd be more than happy to have a look at it for you, but I suspect I'm on the other side of the planet. Perhaps you can hook up with someone experienced who lives locally? In the meantime, if you want it to run take the advice above and spin it over with a drill (or whatever), or just push it down a big hill. It will run, with the rattle and clank of a worn-out two stroke.



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