When me and Malcome first spoke, he phoned me up and after a short conversation about vintage V- twins he asked if I was willing to work on a 1913 AJS Vee Twin that had been laid up for many years that was previously owned by his father. We come to an agreement and for the motorbike to be delivered. When i received the first email from him I had just got the motorcycle in my workshop and was getting to work on it.
On 28 Nov 2021 19:08, Malcome wrote:
Just a short note, to find out if there is any news on the AJS. I am concerned about the internals of the engine, possibly a bad piston & rings, valves, worn big end and habitual oil leaks, despite my fathers attempt to add oil seals . When hot it always ran on one cylinder, except when accelerating. Hope the box of bits makes a complete gearbox, also as discussed the clutch is my fathers version of what it should be like and needs converting back to original. It was never possible to “Slip” the clutch, leading to a lot of stalling. It was On or OFF !!
On 28 Nov 2021 21:43, Terry wrote:
I have checked the bottom end and all is perfect. The heads have been decoked and the valves ground in. The valve guides are perfect. The cylinder head gaskets were capoot so i have made some new copper ones. The front cylinder bore is really good but the rings were absolutely knackered showing an .080 thou at best ring gaps on both rings, amazing it ever fired up.
The rear cylinder was another story, the bore was .010 tight at the bottom of the barrel and it was .013 thou oval and the top ring gap was over an 1/8 of an inch gap. I have rebored the barrel to the correct size so it is now parrelel. I have made new rings for both pistons and all has been put back together and the valve gaps reset. I have made the fuel pipe and cleaned out the old fuel from the tank and cleaned the carb internals.
the box of gearbox parts revealed a brand new main shaft that hasnt got the woodruff key slot cut into it prior to hardening and grinding, i will precision grind one in to it. I have put the box together and tested the gearing and there is something going on between second and third gear that would be fatal to the box, i am at present looking into it, can’t be a big problem as the box is so simple.
I have dealt with the extraordinarily long front brake cable as the length of the cable wants to absorb what little braking it has. As the oiling system is a total loss system i cannot understand why there would be over oiling other than a leak where the hand pump feed is, i will look into this on monday.
On 29 Nov 2021 09:58, Malcolm wrote:
Thank you for the update. The extensive oil out of the engine could be due to over pumping. My father said a full press every mile. This might be the problem.
On 29 Nov 2021 23:33, Terry wrote:
The brand new gearbox main shaft had an area on it that was machined to the wrong dimension so i have built it up with stelite weld and remachined it so it mimics the old shaft. gearbox is now better but not perfect so slight adjustment still needed. I have also stelite welded some worn dogs on the first gear and dressed them in, if i didnt do this you will find it will want to jump out of gear. I am doing all your bike stuff in between a host of other work but we are getting there. I cleaned and checked oil pump non return ball valve.
On 30 Nov 2021 08:09, Malcolm wrote:
Thank you for the update, appreciate your help. Wasn’t expecting the bike back soon so, no problem. I’m pleased with progress and all the issues already sorted. I wonder if the piston rings were the cause of oil squirting out of the engine everywhere due to the crankcase being pressured by the combustion.
On 2 Dec 2021 23:58, Terry wrote:
The gearbox has now been remedied. Your dad was going to fit the new shaft and the new second gear that slides on the square section of it but he must have run into some probs with the gear and the mating gear as they were new components and would not mate up as the gears had not been machined to the correct pitch circle diameters making it impossible to run through the gears from top to bottom and visa versa.
I am one of the few companies that does gear grinding, mainly for the defence industry though, so it enabled me to do the mods to the gears. you will now find that the sweetest gears in the box are second gear. As i said in a previous mail that i had to stelite weld the shaft to enable it to work properly ”as when i tightened up the geabox shaft lock nut that bears onto the thrust washer (that dad made)” it all locked up tight. This was due to the clutch side of the shaft which has a shoulder on it to bear heavily onto the end of the bronze gearbox bush. Box is fitted and the gear change is good. I have some fiber inserts for the clutch plates as per original so i should be able to get them done and fitted on tuesday and you will have a perfect clutch.
On 3 Dec 2021 08:07, Malcolm wrote:
Wow – So pleased with what is happening and the solutions to all the issues. I was also concerned about engine and gearbox alignment. I suspected a slight twist in the front down tube (possible sidecar use in the early days).
On 3 Dec 2021 22:01, Terry wrote:
Clutch of hell is nearly finished, i could write a blog on it. I am returning it to original spec and i will send some pics of what it looks like now. Quite a bit different.
On 4 Dec 2021 07:38, Malcolm wrote:
That statement is going into the family book of quotes !
I did say we considered my dad as a bit of a bodger. !!
On 5 Dec 2021 00:56, Terry wrote:
I couldnt wait for my son to take pics on monday as we have 4 vintage car chassis coming into the workshop and they are going to take up a lot of room so i had to put the clutch back together this morning. Here is what i have done to it. All of the fibre was removed from the plates and in doing this it revealed 35 equispaced 1/2 inch diameter holes in each plate as i expected except for one, this one had to be drilled and was made of stainless steel. I have not put cork in these but instead i have precision punched woven fibre discs to fill the holes as it will be superior to cork. I had to make a plain plate as the thick one that dad had made was of stainless steel and was too thick and was unmachinabale. All of the fibre discs were a size for size fit in the holes so if you took the clutch apart you would have loads of discs falling out of there respective holes. After a little use of the clutch the discs will bed in and tightly fit within the holes and the only adjustment that may have to be made should be via the screw and lock nut on the push rod actuating arm and this should be done to only free the plates, but only just. The clutch in my opinion is in perfect working order and will be better than it was when new in 1913. I also dressed the teeth in on the starting quadrant gear as some of them were meshing way too heavily and made a horrible noise as well as not letting the kicstart pedal return properly. Also there was a spacer missing in the rear wheel as when i tightened the rear axel nut on the brake side the rear wheel locked up and would not rotate so i removed the wheel and found a spacer missing, also the brake pads were laden with oil. All of the rear end has been attended to and refitted as well as the chains and the cables and chain covers. I also filled all of the oilers on the fork spindles. All i need to do in the morning is check for spark and check ignition timing and fuel her up. Nearly there.
On 5 Dec 2021 10:22, Malcolm wrote:
Great news as always. Please let me know how you get on and if finished, I’ll come over and collect it to give you some room.
On 13 Jan 2022 23:06, Terry wrote:
- I have removed the heads and checked the valve guides, all perfect.
- Stand has been straightened.
- Gear lever has been rectified.
- Exhaust has been modified and sealed.
- Checked the ignition timing and it was on the dot.
- Removed the mag and took it apart and found it to be very dirty inside.
- Checked all internal parts for resistance and all was as it should be.
- Cleaned all internals and lubricated all of the correct parts and rebuilt it.
Other than dirt it was perfect.
The bike seems to behave in a different manner and consistently runs cleanly throughout the rev range. i have not been able to test ride it but I have had it idling at all different revs with no miss firing and the cylinders are running at the same temperature 10 minutes of running would have shown up any probs. If you run the bike on full retard it will play up and be very awkward. I have put a sticker on the tank to point out where the advance lever position should be kept.
I have born in mind the generous payment you made previously and have deducted about 3 hours leaving a total cost of £350. if after riding it, you find it still plays up I will not charge you as it would only be something very minor like a dirty plug. Ready to collect when you are ready
On 17 Jan 2022 14:04, Terry wrote:
I wanted to contact you to let you know how pleased I am with the1913 AJS vee twin.
It has been in the family for over 70 years, having been restored to running condition about 30 years ago. It is now running the best I can remember. The work you did with the clutch and gear box , now makes it a pleasure to ride. I have a steep and long hill nearby, which I use as my test route. I was amazed at the pulling power of the engine. I went up swiftly, without missing a beat. Again testament to your full engine rebuild.
Thank you for your help and advise with the use of the bike as well. I am an extremely pleased and satisfied customer.