On 03 June 2020 Terry wrote:
The bike is back together. All i need to do now is valve clearances and fix oil leak tomorrow. In the gasket set there was no timing side cover gasket and no oil pump gasket so i had to make them. What i got out of the oil ways was loads of clear silicone sealant. It seemed to be everywhere, in the primary case it was ridiculous as this stuff shouldn’t be used on any bikes at all as it doesn’t dissolve. when i clean engine cases i take particular care in cleaning out all of the casing tapped holes as your casings in the past have definitely been shot peened or vapor blasted. Every tapped hole had remnants of grit in them and i am positive that no high pressure air was involved in the cleaning process. I am glad to say that no grit was found throughout the engine , only silicone sealant . Your engine was a home restoration obviously out sourcing some professional resources but the engine was put together by the owner with some care. I can say that the torque settings were all over the place on the head and barrel when they were fitted. When i put nuts on dry studs they never torque up to the correct values. your engine was incredibly dry on all of the nuts and studs. Torque values can be compromised by 10 per cent when there is no lubrication involved or the wrong lubrication is employed.This is well over looked by modern man. By the way i never use copper slip as when tightening screws down it is easier to strip threads as it is too slippery and it was never used in the day of production . Good old grease is what is needed as it doesn’t wash out or thin down as long as it is the right type of grease. Your bike has been dry stored for many years but it has escaped the ravages of time because it hasn’t got too hot , say in a conservatory with the sun blazing down through the roof. I was given by an owner of four Honda 400 fours all in different colours with no miles on them and all of the seals and rubber parts were ruined from the heat in the conservatory where he had them stored. All of the paint work had leached out. Oily rag is good but i tell this to a lot of owners of machines that i restore ground up or do partial restorations on and they seem to want stuff looking dry. When these bikes were bought they were bought purely for a mode of transport and needed to be cared for at minimal cost. What the modern man has done is bought a machine and cared for it in a different way because it is only to be used for occasional trips out rather than what it was made for in the day. We see these workhorses of yesteryear as semi retired mules that are meant to perform as well as they did in the day of daily use. Except for ethanol in our fuel that loves to eat paint and certain rubber parts there is nothing wrong with British iron as it is used at least once a week. The long and tall of it is, “If your not going to use it don’t own it”. Can i use this in my blog ?.
On 03 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Thanks for the report Terry. The valve clearances are 0.006” inlet and 0.008” exhaust. Yes you can use your report in your blog, even add the bike photos in etc. Don’t forget to turn the oil tap on once the tank is fixed if you are going to start it. Have you had a chance to look at the side stand length? Modify just enough to hold the bike up right, not leaning over too much Be in touch
On 04 June 2020 Terry wrote:
I had the day off with a very bad back but will have to go in tomorow normal time.
On 05 June 2020 Terry wrote:
I managed to haul my self into work and amazingly my back feels better, but I have to be careful. all that needs doing on your bike is the side stand tomorrow. There is a big screw in blanking cap on the front right side of the crankcase, It has corroded from the inside and caused a small hole and a part of the thread on the cap has broken away. do you want me to make one at reasonable cost or do you want to buy one from draganfly ? Oh by the way i found and repared the 3 pin pricks in the bottom of the oil tank. no leaks so far.
On 05 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Terry Might be better logistically for you to make a new cap as we do not know if Dragonfly will have them in stock or delivery time, you could check though. Thanks for getting onto the side stand. As discussed, is it possible to crank the gear leaver out a little to clear the casing? May need a little heat!
On 06 June 2020 Terry wrote:
I seemed to predetermine your suggestion re gear lever as it was done a couple of days ago . side stand and pivot bolt was a real hash up and i can understand why this was not properly attended to as it is awkward if you don’t have a machine shop. the carb top has been fitted with the right screws for the threads in the carb body. I am in work tomorrow and will make the blanking plug or whatever it is out of an aircraft alloy that we have in stock. I have ordered a set of spark plugs as one of yours has a break in the ceramic and i don’t have any spares in stock, i am not sure if it was due to me removing it or if it had a fracture in it already, but it broke when removing it. Plug is free even though i had to order 4. I have bagged up all parts that were removed and changed including any spare gaskets. I return everything including old gaskets if possible.
On 08 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Terry Thanks for the update, glad to see you are on top of it all. Look forward to the end of the week when it might be completed, no rush mind.
On 09 June 2020 Terry wrote:
work carried out at Stotfold Engineering Co Ltd Hi here is a break down of what we have done Strip down engine and clean all sludge traps and oil ways and rebuild. £800 as agreed although this is a very tight price and a moderate hourly rate if you work fast. The engine had been restored some time ago with a great deal of attention accept for the torque settings and the lack of external lubrication. All of the gasket faces had been dressed with clear silicon sealant in copious amounts. Silicon sealant has been found throughout all of the oil ways and the sludge traps but has not caused any damage. It was found in big masses in the primary chain case as i know this is a big leak area. The rebores to plus .020″ were on the tight side minus .0005″ from standard and this showed on the piston skirts which i have attended to through minimal honing and dressing of the piston skirts to give the original desired clearances. The piston on the front right side showed the worst distortion on the
- Dress pistons skirts and hone barrels and measure piston ring gaps. £45.
- Remove and repair the leaking oil tank and respray the repair £52.
- Rework the gear lever £20.
- Restore the right hand passenger foot rest as it was very bent. £25.
- Sort out carburetor screws as they are not standard. £10.
- Remodel side stand £52.
- Pick up and delivery £70.
- Total cost is £1084.
Cash on delivery is ok or bank transfer to lloyds tsb. acc 00229388, sort 30/90/79. reference square four.
On 09 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Did you miss including the cost of the 4 spark plugs you ordered? Have you tried to start it (oil tap on first)? Will pay by bank transfer if that is OK. Can I assume she is ready to pick up? Did you take any further photos you could send me?
On 09 June 2020 Terry wrote:
I will keep the 3 spark plugs as i need them for the ivory calthorpe and the 2 ivy v twins that are coming this week to the work shop. I have not started it up. But if it ran before i picked itup it will run better as i set up everything to the book. She is ready to pick up. I told my son to take pics of your Ariel engine while i was working on other engines. We have, out of interest just finished a frame that was written off as there was so much rust and decay for a square four for a guy in Newfoundland. I am going to write a blog on your bike and any pictures will be in there.
On 10 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Thanks Terry Will pay you tonight on line, aim to pick up the weekend if that’s ok and weather permitting.
On 10 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Paid, please check it has gone in tomorrow.
On 11 Jun 2020 Terry wrote:
I recon saturday before 11 am.
On 13 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Terry I have ordered a new distributor cap and having it sent to you, I was not sure the old one is OK.
On 14 June 2020 Terry wrote:
just got in from work. In between jobs i have checked some stuff out on your bike and this is what i have found. i checked the ignition timing and it was spot on. i checked the points gap also good. the last time we done a spark test i said the spark looked a bit weak and yellow. I had another look at the points and found a dot of grey metal based filler stuck to the points. it looks like the condenser screw has been fitted in with this filler but i do not want to undo the screw and open up a bag of worms. The dizi cap has got a crack in it and you found that a threaded part had broken. I phoned my son not long after you left, i asked him about it, as he removed the dynamo and dizi in one piece. he said that he has the broken piece and it came away easily when he unplugged the spark plug leads. it looks like an old fracture in the bakelite. the rotor position mark according to the manual is not visible on the dizi base but there are some scratching and arrows on the dizi body and this points to experimentation by the previous owner. Unusually after doing all this we now have no spark at all. As i said i am no electrician but i can follow an electrical wiring diagram step by step. I guy came over who is into his classic fords and he pointed out some loose wiring that i should check out and repair. I asked him about me mounting the positive wire from the coil to the dynamo housing and he said it doesnt matter as that wire was a live from the coil going to a live to the frame so there would be no short circuit or damage. I have found that the coil is loose in its mounting but i cant see that it will cause problems as it doesnt get any earth through its body, i have tightened this up. He also pointed out that the carbon brush in the dizi cap was cockeling over in its housing but it should be ok but not ideal. The guy who came over to collect his velo 2 stroke was amazed at how easy his bike started after 42 years standing and i had confidence in it starting as i had in yours without even starting it up prior to collection as nothing electrical had been disturbed. It is deff an ignition prob not mechanical as i rebuilt your engine to the original specs in my original Pitmans Arial square four manual. my electrical man may be in on Monday to have a look at the wiring and he wont be pleased as he works for British rail communications. dose not like to see plastic house hold junction blocks and loads of joins in wiring looms. Sorry for the shit you went through today as i was as disappointing as you. i will keep you informed. Out of interest, did you buy this bike from a guy who uses a web name of WMC65 or WCM65 as i have had no end of problems with stuff that has been bought from him.
On 15 June 2020 Howard wrote:
Thanks for the update, It always started 1st 2nd time no problem so something has changed or not gone back correctly perhaps. There must be a way of checking the distributor timing to the cam without stripping the engine. I have however ordered a new distributor cap to be delivered to yourself, it may help. Please keep me updated
On 14 September 2022 Howard wrote:
Been a while but I thought I should give you an update with the Ariel square 4. Turns out the ignition timing is zero degrees at TDC, most old British bikes would be 6 to 8 degs BTDC, so the ignition timing being too far advanced was the misfiring issue. Sounds too retarded I know, zero degs at TDC, but is correct. Not running the fuelling too lean as well is also required, not so the plugs are black, just not too lean. Using fully synthetic engine oil to keep the insides clean, no point putting mineral oil in as this is the cause of slugging and synthetic oil performs better within a ‘hot’ engine than does mineral oil. I have been out on several runs this summer, even on the hottest days with no signs of over heating, so all good.
Another thing to know (as I am sure you do) is the points plate in the dizzy earths the static side of the points through the two small screws that hold the dizzy plate in place. I added an extra earth to the points plate as these screws do not earth well over time. Causes loss of spark and unless you know this one can be a real head scratcher.