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....