Sunday, 14 December 2008

More Filing and Turning

So....having got the flywheel back from 'Govi Engineering' I set to with the angle grinder to remove the cooling fin stubs. Once ground flush with the main body of the flywheel I continued with a file, keeping the slight curvature to the outer edge. Then polishing with wet and dry.

It was at this point that my decision to keep the inner boss intact for refitment of the starting pulley obviously was a wrong one. Firstly I didn't need this option and secondly it certainly would look better without.

A trip back to 'Govi Engineering' for a second skim was the answer. Always happy to help 'Kev the Lathe' re-sculptured the centre, leaving a defining lip for esthetical interest. Now if that flywheel doesn't look like it came straight of a 1920's speedway Douglas I don't know what does !

It's not finished yet, more smoothing with wet and dry will be needed before plating but I'm sure you get the idea !

Well...time to lock up 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' fo't night and put t' kettle on.....

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Ok 'Vintafake''s update time. Albert here reporting on news from a 'Snowy Old Sidevalve Bar'.

As I mentioned previously it was our intention to skim some of the weight from the 'Briggs and Stratton' flywheel....How much was anyones guess until done....(lets just say we would take it to the max). The flywheel was so large that there was no chance of it fitting in the Crackleport lathe, No !...... this needed a Big Mr Lathe. Just so happens ya Uncle Albert knows the where-abouts of such a piece of kit. Not a million miles fact just in the next valley tucked away amongst the old derelict mills of a market town that in years gone by was the world leader in Tops, Noils, Shoddy and Mungo. Nestled in amongst this ever increasing industrial wasteland lies a small engineering shop. Govi Engineering, known only to a select few, a beacon for British Excellence. .....engineers wi' oil down their fingernails.....with the skill to make anything / anytime.

The route to this Turning, Milling and Welding oasis takes me past the old treacle mines . Being born and bred in the treacle mining town of Pudsey instils on me the knowledge of their location. (It's a secret I must no good asking...) Suffice to say there is still a world demand for 'Yorkshire Treacle' and the underground seams are still workable, long may it continue.....

Hey Albert...enough of your ramblings , Get on with the story.........!

Yes readers....So....I'm greeted by 'Kev the Lathe'. A metal magician ! Capable of turning steel bar to gold ! Well not actually gold...but.....unique pieces of metal art !

And that's exactly what happened to the 'Briggs and Stratton' flywheel. Once an overweight a sexy shapely beauty......Once weighing in at 7.7 a curvy 5.4 kilo !

It wasn't quite possible to skim the full surface due to the afore mentioned need to keep the magneto mount in tact, so final finishing with a grinder and file is required.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Reet Grand !

Albert here - Ya know I can't believe it's nearly a month since my last update. Shame on mi'self !

Eeeh what wi' jotting on the shared blog 'oilyracer' and keeping the peace on't homefront wi' a spot of D.I.Y. !!!!! Enough excuses Albert ! Let's catch up on what's 'appened down at 'The Old Sidevalve Bar'.

Well, the painting of the 'Briggs and Stratton' is now done. Reet Grand it looks too...

So grand in fact it forced me into making some new fittings. First off was a revised breather, forget the recycling into the inlet manifold bollocks...nah....this point's the old greenhouse gases straight t' ground. Made from a bit of 15mm copper pipe that I just happened to have after the D.I.Y. session and a brass electric box fitting, it cost nowt. Second off was mi' dummy oil pipe. Once again made from 2 scrap airline fittings and a length of 8mm copper tubing (left over this time from the Pembleton build many moons ago) Proper bling !

Last but not least...and what a find.....Yes...there was I doing mi' D.I.Y on the new kitchen, and pulling out the old boiler. (Old boiler ? nah..not the missus ! the redundant central heating one !)

There attached to the back were the most gorgeous huge brass like the same thread as the exhaust port on the 'Briggs and Stratton'....

I wasted no time getting 'um off and giving 'um a polish ! Lucky ? Yep ! The best looking one is now in position and ready for an exhaust pipe, but not any old exhaust pipe...NO ! and trice NO !

An exhaust pipe.....of such magnificence and exuberance that has not been seen before !

Thats all for now folks !

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Restoration continued......

The rust killing phosphoric acid was left for at least 3 days on the engine. Mainly due to me having other work but a quick check shortly after the application revealed that the solution had dried on the engine and wouldn't cause any damage.

A rotary wire brush in the electric drill soon removed the black oxide and revealed an ideal surface to apply paint.
Gloss Black Engine Enamel.....just like a Vincent Black Shadow !
Time for a cuppa !


We could hardly turn up to the 'Biker Build Off' with a rusty relic....could we ?..?....something had to be done to make our 'Briggs and Stratton' look presentable.

A thorough de-rusting was the obvious first step. The flaked rust was brushed off with a wire brush and the stubborn rust was scrapped off with an old screwdriver. This left a firm base on which to apply my rust killer. I use phosphoric acid that I dilute solutions from, to whatever I deem fit for the job in hand. I started off with a 40% mix. Brushing on with a paintbrush. Several applications saw much of the rust turning but for a final coat I applied a full strength layer. I left this bitting into the rust overnight.
Heres the chemisty - Rust is really Fe2O3, a reddish form of iron oxide. Iron has another oxide, Fe3O4, which is sometimes called black oxide, black rust, or hammerscale.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

What a weight

Once the flywheel was released it became apparant just what a weight it was. Surely we don't need ALL that metal thrashing around, I suggested to my fellow Picklington Precision builder Basil K. the other evening (over a flagon of ale down at 'The Sidevalve Bar) that a touch of skimming wouldn't go amiss.
Poor Old B.K...torn between not inflicting any irreversable damage on the 'Briggs and Stratton' and doing what would (or should I say could) give us the edge in the competition. He was undecided, and so it was a few days later I received a change of heart via email -

Well I would of course bow to your superior knowledge re the Whirly things - we don't want to win the great biker build off and then lose a leg on the basis of something that's aesthetically pleasing to the eye - that would never do.

They're extra weight in any case - so if they've got to go , they've got to go.

Chop chop !!

Exciting days what !!

So at some point the flywheel will be modified....just need to find a huge lathe and a lathe man to do it.......

Saturday, 11 October 2008

More Workshop Reporting

So......excitement over.....time to start a basic strip down to ease the clean-up planned over the next few weeks at Basil K.s polishing shop. Removal of all additional cowling was straightforward, the flywheel though proved to be rather stubourn.

Having undone the large centre nut gentle tapping with a plastic hammer proved worthless.

A puller was made from 1" angle and tensioned to the point of nearly stripping the threads...Still no joy....

Years of working on rusty relics teaches many tricks and the use of heat on seized components often brings results.

Striking up the big gas blowlamp and heating the flywheel before applying a carefully aimed blow with a hammer was just what was needed. The flywheel was free !

Crikey it's a hell of a weight though......skim ? how much ? more points for discussion with Basil K. (any excuse for a beer)

Workshop report

Albert here.....Reporting on last weeks progress down in 'The Old Sidevalve Bar'. Bench space was allocated to the 'Briggs and Stratton' and immediately further investigations were performed to ascertain more details on the motors origins.
Sidevalve obviously but engine size and year of manufacture would be helpful should we need parts. I looked high and low over the castings for evidence of a reference plate and only a search one evening on the Tinternet gave a clue to their possible positioning. The important numbers were in fact stamped on the cowl that had been removed last weekend.

Model - 233401
Type - 024801
Code - 6706051
Useful to a 'Briggs and Stratton' geek, but not meaning much to your average 'oilyracer' so another search on the tinternet was in order.

Here are the details -
Model - 23= 23 cubic inch displacement 3= Design No 4= Horizontal shaft 0= Plain Bearings 1= Rope start
Type - more info required
Code - 67= Year of manufacture 06= Month 05= Day 1= Assembly line

So important bits from all that info......23 cubic inch sidevalve. Made on 25/06/1967

Rope start !!!!!!! mmmm..... might have to alter that...or maybe not ?

Time for tea....

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Rodent and Spiders now homeless

Saturday p.m. 4th Oct

Back at 'The Old Sidevalve bar' (or Crackleports shed dependant on whether theres a brew on the go!) the mighty Briggs and Stratton can be studied in more detail. A fitting end to the day would be to go to bed knowing that the engine was usable...(ahhhh sweet dreams)

First job - pull the starter and check for a spark.....nah start with the H.T. cap has been lost and arcing the lead to earth produced nothing.

A safe bet on engines that have stood a while is to clean the points....ok...remove the cowling to gain access to the flywheel magneto...

No points under the cowling only a mouse nest.....Basil K. 'volunteers' to poke the nest and check for residents. Carefully removing the mouse abode shows no signs of life...(well maybe a couple of spiders....)

Basil K. advises me that the points could be inside the small cover at the back of the motor, and once removed his hunch is correct. A rub with emery cloth and pull the flywheel round again, still doesn't appear to be a spark.. I hold the lead, yes I know the consequences but it does save time...pull the flywheel, yyaaawww! Oh yes it's generating H.T ok.

Happy in the knowledge our motor has a little heartbeat despite standing silent for many years another cuppa is ordered.

What a day ! the Blighty team charge on ! Forward and Upward towards the creation of the first 'Picklington Precision'

Soon I hope to bring you news of our motor specification.

American Iron

Report 4th Oct

Early morning and Basil K. and myself travelled the short distance across town to 'Crackleport Towers' the family ancestrol home. Underneath this stately pile runs a labarinth of passages and within these are stored many historic machines and motoring artifacts.

Our search was concentrated underneath the 'West Wing' , the 20ft long x 3ft high passage leads to a chamber and there stored for many years I expected to find our quest. I was looking for a vintage sidevalve of immense proportions. The small J.A.P and larger Villiers singles that blocked my path were of no consequence today.

In the furthest corner underneath years of dust and cobwebs I saw it.....rusty yes, but I've seen worse.....a Briggs and Stratton. The water slide transfer on the cowl proudly proclaiming it's roots.
Made in Wilwaukee U.S.A.

Basil K. held the hand lamp as I dragged our prize slowly and carefully back down the dark passage towards the staircase and fresh air....

Not wanting to be left out in this historic moment Basil K. took over the manual lift up the narrow twisty staircase and in no time the ancient motor was free of it's tomb where it had laid undesturbed for over 20 years.

A celebratory cuppa and 'jammie dodger' biscuit were timely provided by mum, as we stood in awe looking at this internal combustion masterpiece.

"Are ya taking some more rubbish away young Albert?" asked mum.....

"Yeah," I replied, not wanting it be known that this was a valuable family heirloom...

Into the boot of Basil K.s transporter and back across town to 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' for further analysis....

Friday, 26 September 2008

Up Front

After further rummaging through 'The Treasures of Crackleport' I have found a worthy set of forks. Once gracing the front end of a YDS7 Yamaha of about 1972 vintage they will see the light of day after over 20 years in storage and hopefully marry to the proposed Picklington Precision.

Not just any old forks though....this set of forks used to be part of my '250cc Production Class' sprinter. Furthermore...a championship winning sprinter. Already this machine has 2 components with race history...what a start !

Sunday, 21 September 2008


Progress report 2 - Albert must have a reputation ! For collecting rubbish ! Nah, Not in this case. A neighbour offered me an old motorcycle rear wheel that he considered past its best. Sure ! Bring it round I said, I'll have it. Turned out to be from an early DT250 Yamaha. Minus brake plate, sprocket and bearings it could be just what we need for our project. (Mind I'll have to tighten a few spokes too !) Never say no thats my motto.

Wait while I tell Splut, he'll be rite proud.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

From small acorns....

Albert here....reporting on progress.

Unearthed amongst the old motormowers at the back of my shed we have the beginnings of our project. A little trimming down with the angle grinder and lo and behold the first building block of our vintafake. This frame/headstock carries the I.D of it's previous life and may be useful later...

What does the future hold for this 1980 S.W.M. trials frame....even I don't know at this stage...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

A journey into the unknown

Albert Crackleport here - starting this blog as a record of our preparations to win the 'Golden Helmet Award' at the forthcoming Belgium Biker Build Off. I will be accompanied on this challenge by my trusty pal Basil K. Splutterpipe......

At this point in time it really is 'A journey into the unknown' .... Decisions on power plant, frame layout, controls are all to be decided.