On 14 Aug 2022 at 8:03pm, Jonathan wrote:
Here is a rough outline of the job that I would love you to do on the Velocette.
My goal: a reliable, oily-rag bike for everyday use. Not worried about originality. Usability and reliability are more important. Not too shiny so it doesn’t get nicked. Light, easy and fun for central London.
- Motor: Please strip to be able to check bottom end, ring gaps, valves (and seats?) and resolve head gasket leak.
- Clutch: Please strip/clean/check/adjust and renew parts as necessary.
- Gearbox: Fairly bullet-proof, but see how you think it is?
- Wheel bearings/head bearings: Please check/adjust/grease/renew as necessary.
- Mag/dyno: Please inspect and clean/renew consumables as required.
- Sprockets/chains: Please assess and adjust/renew as required.
- Rear mudguard: It looks like it’s had a bad filling job done. Please mend/renew as required.
- Exhaust pipe: Bit of a bodge on join with exhaust port. Can this be remedied without too much of a headache? I would hate it to fail one dark night!
- Battery: Are you able to source a dry-cell 6v replacement? Not worried about appearance
- LED bulbs: Are you able to source straight-swap replacements?
- Consumables/fasteners: If in doubt about serviceability/lifespan, please replace/renew on the way through. I’d much rather sort them out now than get caught out later.
I hope that’s ok and not too much to ask? Perhaps when you have had an initial look you will have a rough idea of the overall cost and you could update me by email or I can telephone at a time that is convenient to you?
On 16 Aug 2022 at 12:54 am, Terry wrote:
I have removed the rocker box, head and barrel. The engine has been flushed out and the bearings have been checked for play and there is no discernable wear from standard. The barrel bottom gasket had completely destroyed itself as it had not been made from gasket paper. there is no wear in the barrel bore and the ring gaps read a little on the lower side of the standard limits, ie a bit on the tight side, so lots of miles to go on them. The head has been decarbonised and the valves have been recut as the faces were pitted and the valve seats have been cut. All has been built back up and compression is strong. The clutch has been stripped and cleaned and put back together, there was no wear or any parts that needed changing. I have removed the cover on the side of the gearbox and found that the kick start spindle was tight due to lack of lubrication and the bronze bearing a little on the tight side. All other parts internally are generally bullet proof and yours has no wear. The rear mudguard has been removed and restored with metal and a very small layer of dolphin glaze prior to painting to give a good surface. The dynamo is giving all of the right readings as well as the magneto. It looks like the engine and gearbox has gone through a complete overhaul some years ago and has had very little use since.
On 16 Aug 2022 at 1:48pm, Jonathan wrote:
That’s great to hear. Thank you for progress report. It sounds as though you are making good progress, and following in the footsteps of someone who has done good work in the past. All exciting! One small detail I forgot to ask about: could you supply some sort of spring clips for the rear stand, to make it quicker and easier to use? No problem if not. It’s just a bit slow to use as it is….
On 16 Aug 2022 at 3:17 pm, Terry wrote:
The steering damper was a real bodge as a home made friction plate made from aluminium was used and a metal steady plate was missing from the unit. This has all been rectified as you will need a working damper as when used it will transform the feel of the ride. I have fitted one of my Vellocette racing pipes as it has all the right sizes and fits your bike perfectly with a bracket welded to the down pipe. The chrome is not fresh on it but if you wanted to get it chromed in the future it will admirably take it. I have fitted a new twist grip rubber. Wheel bearings front and back have been removed and cleaned and refitted, they were perfect and looked new. Rear brake drum nuts were dangerously loose, they have been retightened and Locktighted for piece of mind as they will not take a lock washer. The front brakes are as good as you will get on a Vellocette so many years service left in them. I will fit a clip to the rear stand.
On 16 Aug 2022 at 9:27 pm, Jonathan wrote:
That all sounds most encouraging and exciting. Please do ask if there is any further clarification needed.
On 18 Aug 2022 at 10:26pm, Jonathan wrote:
I’m not at all sure how the oleomatic forks work but would you be willing to check them over and ensure that seals etc are in good order?
On 19 Aug 2022 at 12:21 am, Terry wrote:
Latest on what has been done. Ignition timing was 4 degrees retarded so I have set it to standard. I think it was set like this to aid starting as the choke cable was too short and only partially closing the choke, I have rectified the cable and now the choke works perfectly and the bike should start easily. The brake light was not working as the brake switch was being operated by a long stretchy spring, I have replaced the spring with a wire attachment. There was also an electrical short in the tail light and a bad earth on the horn. The rear mudguard has been painted and fitted but the rear stand acts as the rear stay for the mudguard so spring mounting is not advisable. I have made a couple of knurled knobs with spring washers to tighten the stand to the mud guard as they can easily be operated by hand. It has to be born in mind that the rear stand was only used for work to be done on the rear wheel. The headlight lens was annoying me so I straightened it up. The battery box needs changing so I would advise getting a replica one on eBay, don’t get a rubber one as it will distort when the battery strap is tightened, get a hard plastic one. Your existing battery is fine to use. Will do forks tomorrow morning and start the bike and tune the carb.
On 19 Aug 2022 at 11:06am, Jonathan wrote:
Thanks, Terry. I really appreciate the thorough updates, with the care that is taken to explain the reasoning behind it all. I’m no mechanic but I’m mechanically-minded and get great enjoyment from learning more about how things work and am most grateful to you. I wonder if the carb slide is within its wear limits and not too rattly? And carb seals/gaskets ok? HT lead/spark plug ditto? Sprockets and chains ditto? Would you also please renew oils and advise on modern grades for future topping up and changing?
On 20 Aug 2022 at 12:21 am, Terry wrote:
Done the forks this morning, all they needed was a little air bleeding from them as they were a little hard for todays potholes. With hard forks you will get vibrations through the whole machine that can start to loosen parts such and nuts and bolts and tin ware. The carb has been cleaned internally as it was dirty and the float needle was not seating and shutting the fuel off properly, there is no ware on any internal parts. All of the ignition side has been inspected and is all in good order including plug. All chains have been inspected and adjusted and there is no ware to any of the sprockets. I have flushed all of the oiling system out and replenished it with Halfords 20/50 classic oil. The filters have been cleaned also the non return valve. The gearbox oil was very low so I put a heavier 50 weight Castrol oil in, I always prefer a little bit more oil stiction on gears that have a limited amount of oil to play with. Only use straight oils, not anything synthetic or partly synthetic. Halfords 20/50 for engine and any non synthetic 50 weight oil. I started her up on 3rd kick and she sounds sweet as a peach. I just need to fine tune the carb. You can order off eBay a couple of champion L82c spark plugs for any future changes.
On 20 Aug 2022 at 1:55 pm, Jonathan wrote:
That’s all good to hear and helpful to have your advice on the oils.
On 23 Aug 2022 at 2:16pm, Jonathan wrote:
When all is done, would you let me know what the bill is please? It sounds as though you aren’t far off being finished!
On 24 Aug 2022 at 12:15 am, Terry wrote:
Hi Jonathan just a little addendum to the work I carried out directly after cleaning and refitting the clutch. It will be noticed in the riders manual that the clutch cable has a very tight tolerance on the amount of end play in it, ie no more than an 1/8 of an inch and no less than 3/32 of an inch. Unknown to most Velo owners this tight set up is so when the clutch is operated it does not hit the inside of the clutch cover, also known as the primary side cover. This is a very common fault on old Velos as the primary cover is only made out of pressed steel and is quite liable to denting in the area that directly covers the clutch. The dents usually occur due to the owner removing the primary sprocket with levers or screwdrivers. The sprocket is just under the removable dome that is held on with 2 small screws. Also on your machine it was missing the gasket that had been replaced with copious amounts of silicone seal. If the correct thickness cork gasket is not used the clutch will touch the primary cover when the clutch lever is pulled in. The giveaway that all is not well is when the clutch is operated you will see the primary cover distorting as the clutch tries to push on the inside of the cover. I have fitted the correct hand made cork gasket to your bike and all is well. I will mail you tomorrow regarding collection and does.
On 25 Aug 2022 at 08:59am, Jonathan wrote:
Thanks, Terry. All most helpful! I will admit, up front, to having an irrational fear of Vellocette clutches and their set-up. Perhaps, one quiet day, I can book a session with you to learn the dos and don’ts properly. I look forward to hearing from you about dues/collection.
On 27 Aug 2022 at 10:52 pm, Terry wrote:
There is an irritating leak from the kick start spindle which is very well known on Velocette gearboxes no matter how good a fit the bearing is on the shaft. Normally the gearbox is filled to the correct level which is too high in my opinion until it stops leaking from the spindle and finds its own level leaving an ample amount of oil for the lower gear cluster to throw it up onto the upper gears. I don’t know why Vellocettes do this over filling. There is a mod that I and many others have done in the past that is a pain to do, and it is to fit a seal inside the gearbox housing. The only other mod is to fit a drip tray under the Vellocette as most owners do.
On 29 Aug 2022 at 6:39pm, Jonathan wrote:
Thanks, Terry. Is it worth doing the mod with the seal? What would the approx cost be? Otherwise a drip tray is fine.
On 29 Aug 2022 at 10:18 pm, Terry wrote:
I will let the gearbox find its level and make you a dipstick with oil level markings to fit in the oil level screw hole. I am out tomorrow on site work so will do this on Wednesday.