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About Bfg

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    Rank: Renault 16

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    Westerfield, Suffolk, England, UK
  • Interests
    1940's - 1980's motors & motorcycles. Older aircraft & waterborne craft. Design Engineering. Touring & camping (in decent weather), and generally being a grumpy old giffer ;-)


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    United Kingdom

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  1. Bfg

    eBay tat volume 3.

    " Rootes Light Cars - 1725cc Engine - Original Workshop Manual - I'm guessing.. c. 1966 by its part number : 6601231 . Minx . Gazelle . Rapier . Alpine . Super Minx . Vogue . Sceptre . Almost New-Old-Stock Condition. No greasy thumb marks, no scribbled out notes, not even foxing (page discolouration from age) - extraordinary concourse car condition " https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324244641226
  2. Bfg

    eBay tat volume 3.

    The World of Automobiles Illustrated Encyclopedia - complete 22 volumes. c.1977 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324243565378 perhaps a little expensive ..but great value for hundreds of hours worth of total absorption in the 1970's car world..
  3. should anyone be interested .. BMW K75 / K100 Front Forks I've just listed them < here > Pete.
  4. Just playing around .. I was hoping to buy a basket-case TR4A from the USA. The car’s seized engine had been unceremoniously dismantled some 20-years previously ..and that as the expression goes “is far as it got”. Ever since it’s been in bits and open to Arkansas humidity. So, while awaiting for it and the numerous other loose bits to be packed inside the rolling shell for shipping across the Atlantic - I attempted to jump-start the project from this end ..by buying another engine. The plan was to rebuild that and have it ready for when said project arrived in the UK. However after a full 12-months of waiting and gently prompting - I politely pulled the plug & walked away. So now I have an engine and no car. Hey ho. ! I also bought an alloy rocker cover. The reason for doing so was threefold. 1. the rocker cover supplied with the ‘spare’ engine was off a TR3 and cosmetically scruffy. 2. finding another very-nice condition steel rocker-cover was likely to be pretty expensive (reflecting the high cost of good quality re-chroming), and 3. I personally find the pressed-tin rocker cover to be somewhat utilitarian looking and not at all stylish for what has again become a prestigious sports car. I do tend to prefer the softer complexion of polished aluminium over the harsh reflections of chromed steel, so when a stall-trader at Stratford IWE was asking £50 for brand new alloy ones - that seemed the way to go. And then I deliberately selected a TR4 one without the breather pipe rudely poking out of its side. However., and for me there is very often a however., the alloy cover is a bit of an overly square block. It did cross my mind to cut n’ shove (reweld) the casting - to be of lower profile ..but then I thought the better of it (rewelding a casting is not always successful). No., I can probably live with its monolithic stature. And then, despite prolific engine cooling fins being all the rage way back when, even on ‘tuned’ Ford Anglia’s and Mini’s, to my eyes their style (..early 1970’s to me) seems a little incongruous for an early 1960’s Triumph 4-cylinder. So I considered removing the cooling fins all together ..to leave me with a clutter-free but nicely polished alloy cover. But then decided against it ..because, with just two central bolt fastenings I suspect the underlying cast-aluminium shell would be too weak to withstand being effectively tightened. But if., I were to just leave the fins / external stiffening ribs along its centre - then I’d lessen their dominance. The rocker cover’s style would then reflect “form following function’ rather than trend. Certainly it was an idea worth playing around with. I did a bit of design review (using Photoshop on the computer) and decided on the route I’d try. I was going to take my angle grinder to the task, but then by chance I overheard a tidbit of conversation between my friends Rich and Mike at the TR group’s club meeting in the Alma. Mike has a milling machine and was helping Rich with an engineering task. I approached Mike to ask if he might consider doing this little job for me, and as always - incredibly amicable, he proposed I bring the rocker cover along to the next meeting so he might have a look. Mike kindly undertook the task and Covid couldn’t halt progress within his workshop. At the informal ‘takeaway’ June meeting of East Saxons at the Alma, I received the result of his fabulous work. . . ^ Just as I had requested .. Mike has very carefully (and one shouldn’t underestimate the precision and extreme care he took to cut far enough ..but not cut too deep) to remove three of the eight fins, and the superfluous short ones around the back of the filler cap. ^ He’s done it so well the amount of final hand finishing would be minimal. And to be honest on seeing this done - I simply could not have got into those corners around the filler &/or to do anywhere nearly a good job.. It really is brilliant craftsmanship / machining. A little subtlety was to lower the height of the remaining fins, and then also to lower those either side of centre a little more, so their projected height lessens. Excellently done ! Huge thanks to Mike. I did the hand finishing over a couple of evenings and one afternoon at the weekend.. a very useful distraction to all else that’s happening in my little world at this time. ^ I started off with fine abrasive on power tools, and then wet and dry paper, to take off the slight highs and to round off the edges. . . I was happy with what was evolving. ^ The left side (with one fin removed) is polishing up nicely. Already looking more prestigious Having had a fair amount of experience in polishing motorcycle alloy cases - things went well. Castings can sometimes be problematic because just below the surface can be pin holes &/or discolouration of the alloys. As bought, there is a little veining evident in this cover’s deep sides ..but where those fins were removed it’s all very good. ^ Working into those corners was the most difficult parts of the job. On the left-hand side, where two fins had been removed and where there’s a tight corner at the filler, I reworked this little area several times more after this photograph was taken ..to get rid of the scratches I’d made in cutting out the last ¼ mm of one of those fins. It’s a time consuming task but satisfying to see the results becoming better with every effort made. ^ Early on I’d started with a round file to roughly shape the intersection of the now-lower fins with the filler neck. ^ But now with the outside corners smooth and shiny, I again reworked the tops of those fins (..rounding them so they looked as if they had been cast to that height) and addressed the last of the awkward hard edges with a needle file. As you can see my fingers are a little large to be get in to such details and to get their reflections fair. But we do this sort of thing for fun..! And so., after a lot of effort on Mike’s and my own part, we end up with a subtlety different style of rocker cover . . . ^ It is of course still a big square box, but to my mind it better reflects a 1960’s vintage. Imo, the result is visually more tactile, and its further exposed polished alloy is a compliment to other shiny & polished-alloy components in the engine bay, like the carburettors & thermostat housing ..and/or whatever other bling I might yet introduce.! Possibly not to everyone’s taste ..but hey., it’s good to celebrate our differences.! It’s what makes us and our cars all individual. I owe Mike BIG THANKS for helping me make this happen. Pete. - - -
  5. Jaguar lickers might like this one. J.E.C. Virtual Concours D’ Elegance ..where you the public are invited to cast your vote . .. https://jecpodcast.co.uk/virtual-concours " The winner is decided by public vote, so scroll through the entries below and then vote for your favourite via the form at the foot of the page. Click submit, and your vote is cast. Remember, this is just for fun and you should choose your favourite car, not the best photographs. Also, link the page to all your mates and get them to vote for your favourite as well! Have fun, every single Jaguar below is utterly stunning and worthy winner so, best of luck deciding where your vote should go! "
  6. Triumph 2000 flywheel ..so I am told. Maybe good for the Triumph 2500 / 2.5pi and possibly the GT6 ..so has been suggested. I bought this flywheel with a Triumph TR4 engine, unknowing that it was the wrong one (bolt centres are completely different) and so through the Triumph Sports Six Club forum I was told that it is from a Triumph 2000 / 2500. I've now got a flywheel for my engine, so this is available to anyone who wants it. Used but in really excellent condition, but for what looks to be impact damage to one side of a few teeth (see photos). Imo easily corrected with a file and then very serviceable, or else easily replaced with a new gear ring. Please see ebay listing < here > or drop me a line on ; o seven nine five eight, one hundred, six double three ..for dimensions or whatever Cheers, Pete Nr. Ipswich, Suffolk
  7. TR4 engine rebuild quick update.. You may recall, although I must admit pre-corona-virus activities do seem another life ago, I had been stripping and cleaning the spare TR4A engine I'd bought, and I'd taken the crankshaft and cylinder head into the machine shop for regrind and balancing, lightening the flywheel, and for the cyl.head to be converted to unleaded. Upon subsequent receipt of those parts - I was concerned because the crankshaft had been excessively and very crudely angle-ground in an attempt to balance it, which at the time I couldn't understand ..and so I wanted to take it to another machine shop for a second opinion. The covid lock-down prevented that happening and so the parts were wrapped up and put aside while I got on with rebuilding vintage motorcycle engines. However, just prior to the shut down - my friend Rich, from the East Saxons group, had kindly lent me a mandrel for positioning the crankshaft's rear scroll seal onto the cylinder block. I'd not yet used it but John, I think also from our group, wanted to borrow it for a rebuild of a TR2 engine I believe. So on Saturday morning I pulled the cylinder block out from under its wraps in the back of the garage and set-to quickly doing this task, before wrapping and dropping that mandrel in for parcel delivery to John in the afternoon. The following is a comic strip of my fitting the crankshaft's scroll seal on the block . . . . ^ the mandrel I borrowed off Rich. It's in aluminium so it's relatively lightweight to post but vulnerable to getting scratched or dented. Handle with care. On this one, although seemingly otherwise new there were a couple of snags sitting proud along its edge. With a fine file I very locally redressed those to be level with the adjacent surfaces. . ^ the original scroll seal (grey) versus my new scroll seal (anodized cyan blue) with its evolved design to also take a Land-Rover type lip-seal (made of viton). NB. Before fitting I did run around the new scroll with a craft knife blade to remove a very sharp burr. . ^ ..first up the engine stand prevents getting to where the rear crankshaft seal bolts onto, so that had to go. . ^ After inverting the crankcase I used the overhead winch (from my garage roof beam) and strops to lower the engine case onto a wooden block. The winch remained in place as a safety guard but the weight rested on the timber ..which also stopped the engine swinging about as I fitted parts. The mandrel serves as a substitute for the crankshaft and whatever sized main bearing shells might be used ..so it just sits into the rear main bearing seat without shells. I pre-cleaned the seat and surrounding faces and oiled them, and the mandrel, before positioning it. . ^ The cap / other half of the main bearing seat was likewise cleaned and oiled before being carefully placed. With no seals in place - I used the two bolts (alternatively) to pull it down into place by hand. Tip - I often use this swivel on the end of the socket's extension bar as an easier-to-grip handle ..to finger tighten bolts rather than using a ratchet. This way I can feel that things are running in squarely and smoothly. The cap / half seat was pulled down and its rear face leveled with the crankcase before the bolts were finally pinched up tight using the ratchet handle (but not fully torqued up for this operation). That done, the mandrel was accurately located and pinched in place. . ^ The rear gasket face of the seat halves were smeared with Wellseal gasket compound and the first half of the new scroll seal was positioned and loosely held in place using the standard bolts. I also used a smear of Wellseal on those bolt threads ..because they go through into the crankcase. Note. the Land-Rover type / lip seal is not fitted while the scroll seal is being positioned. . ^ The other half of the scroll seal was likewise positioned and loosely bolted in place. It's nigh on impossible to get a feeler gauge inbetween the mandrel and the scroll seal, and any slack in its bolt holes is very little anyway. However I did gently tap them together and sideways so they were tightly aligned to one another (I could feel no step between one and the other with my finger tip running across the split / join). . ^ I tried using a powerful LED light array, with the garage doors closed and lights turned off, but could see no light coming through between the mandrel and the scroll seal. I guess that must be pretty darn close and so tightened up those eight fastenings. These are only 1/4" screws, fastening against aluminium with little lock washers, so they don't need to be brutally tight. . ^ Job done. The scroll seal was accurately positioned and now bolted in place on Wellseal compound. I released the two rear main bearing bolts just a little and slipped the mandrel out from the end. The cap / half seat will have to lifted off to fit the crankshaft at some time ..but for the time being - the cap can stay put to protect the scroll seal from getting knocked before that task is done. In my own circumstance I'm not sure when that will be as I haven't yet had the crankshaft checked. I've also been given short notice to vacate the house (and garage !) I live in. So for the time being this engine's reassembly is low priority. The outside of the crankcase is painted, and all other bare metal faces inside and around the block have been coated with oil to protect them from humidity / corrosion. The crankcase is back on its engine stand and then the whole case has been wrapped in plastic bubble wrap to keep the worse of the dust and moisture out. If I get a chance I'll get the crankshaft in asap but if not then it'll have to go into storage as it is. . . .. That's All Folks ..for today I bid you a good one and good health. Pete.
  8. " Bensport La Sarthe, aluminium fast back coupe. Based on a totally rebuilt Bentley R-Type chassis, clad with an exquisite and unique body, this car is entirely hand made in England. The totally new coach work is built by Bensport to their own concept, whilst retaining the spirit of the 1950s. The elegant hand wheeled panels are created by time served craftsman following in the traditions of the famous English coachbuilders. The chassis although totally rebuilt to the minutest detail, is little altered from its original design, whilst incorporating mild modifications to the cooling and exhaust systems and benefitting from power steering and a high ratio back axle. Efficient air conditioning adds to the superb driver experience. The car is available with manual or automatic transmission, and in right or left control. Due to the complexity of its construction, this car is built in extremely small numbers, each car unique with full customer input into choice of colour and trim. The next production car will be available in the next six months. Alongside the traditional petrol fuelled cars, and with the protection of the environment in mind, Bensport are to offer a fully carbon zero edition of La Sarthe, incorporating a 250 BHP motor, giving outstanding performance with a range of around 250 miles. Please contact us for further information and about commissions for La Sarthe." other photos < here >
  9. Katie’s dynamo, received back from the specialist ; Robson & Francis Rewinds - London, SW16 who rewind them, was refitted yesterday, but still doesn’t work. That's now twice to Stewart Engineering and twice to Robson & Francis. I had a prospective buyer, wanting to come up from Gloucestershire to look today but cancelled / postponed due to this not working. Today I checked again to see if I might be missing something obvious ..as to why this now armature rewound dynamo is not working (when the one of Nudge does work fine) and then removed and wrapped it up for posting off to ‘the magneto guys’, Hailsham. Apparently they can test rig it.. 4:30pm so I’ll now go to the garage tomorrow to send it off. This will be the fifth time ..so I'm now walking around with a big-time negative mindset. I've (expletive) had enough.
  10. Thanks JW., hadn't seen that but I'm glad to read - there is indeed something nostalgic about VHS. I do like the larger printed sleeves and there are probably some titles which have never been copied in DVD format too. Although I appreciate the four likes to my post above, nobody has actually contacted me about them, so today I'll put them on ebay (I've been given to vacate my home so they'll have to go. If there really is an enthusiastic following for VHS now - then some collector will be a happy bunny. Now listed . . < here > (from 8pm this evening)
  11. There are others but this is 75% of them. I estimate there's about 400 in total. in outline in closer detail .. I also have a vhs player or two which may or may not work. All Free to collector ..but a donation to a charity would be honourable. Thanks. Pete. Edit : Further tapes ..mostly of my favorite actors and actresses . . . .
  12. If anyone is into VHS tapes then watch this space. I'll list them all in the next day or two. Collection only from Suffolk, IP6 9JB ..but course you could arranging a courier to pick up a box full. Bfg.
  13. Batteries arrived today and I was surprised that they were a.) Yuasa batteries, b.) they are 12ah, and c.) it says on the front "Designed For Standby Use" . . . . ^ The e-bay advert is misleading but I'll give it a try anyway. I'm not worried about it being 12ah rather than 14 because they are replacing 2x 4.5ah = 9ah batteries. "Designed for Standby Use" is of concern because that implies very trickle charging ..so I tried to call the seller on the number given on the delivery slip and on their ebay listing but that didn't go through (as if it's a disconnected line). Hey ho. Good news is that the size of the batteries works very well in its new location . . . . . ^ with this battery sitting on a pad of 1/4" neoprene, on top of the 3/8" plywood, which is sitting on foam rubber strips to isolate the battery from vibration - the height in the box is perfect. The lid of the box is a domed so there will be enough space for a 1/4" thick pad on top as well so the wires will not touch. The narrowness of this battery (2") also means that this battery can be fitted or lifted out of its new home without disturbing the (former battery-) box above it. - That's an unexpected bonus There's another 1/4" thick pad of neoprene inbetween it and the outside of the box and 1" polystyrene packing around the other three sides. so it's snugly in there and cannot rattle around. As long as it works re. charging I reckon it should be a neat improvement, insomuch as in freeing-up the sizeable former battery box for things like my waterproof over-trousers and in offering easier access for tools stored in there. Pete.
  14. . Ok here's a quick update of latest progress.. Starting off with getting the electrical box in place, which sits just below the saddle on the right-hand-side of the bike. Within it, aside from it being the main junction box for electrical connections, are the coil and voltage regulator - so there's a decent amount of weight in there. On its hinged door are an ammeter and the combined ignition / lighting switch. Inside the door are spare bulb holders .. a nice detail. .. ^ The pressed metal construction is pretty tough, but a support plate (shown) fits on the underside to prevent the holes from splitting. Of course over the course of many years quite a few bikes have it missing ..and yet I've rarely seen a split box. Never-the-less, as I have them - I'll refit them. The battery box (2nd photo) is slightly larger in size and of similar shape, but a mirror image, as it sits back-to-back with the electrical box. Inside that is a hefty cradle (Right in 2nd photo) to take the weight of the original type 6v battery. My intent is to move the battery (I now use a modern gel-battery which requires no maintenance) to the smaller and less-convenient-to-access tool box, which sits on the bottom frame tube next to the left hand footrest, so immediately below the old battery box. And I'll leave the battery cradle in the garage, as I'll be using that box for tools and as a general purpose hold-all. I decided to modify a spare electrical box backing plate (I'm holding in the 2nd photo) to fit this box, but isn't making slotted holes a pain ..in the ol' flat plate ! Where these boxes are suspended under the frame, directly under the saddle, there's another little plate ..also with slotted holes.. . ^ I had one of these, but not another for the second bike ..so while it was off - I used it as a template to make a second. . ^ although I temporarily positioned both boxes (to ensure they were aligned to each other and the frame) - I then took the battery box off for easier access to the distributor and when re-tightening the cylinder head bolts while running in. NB. the small plate, I made a copy of, sits on the top of the electrical box (indicated by red arrow) and its main purpose is to lower the box by that 2mm plate's thickness - so the hinged doors of those boxes doesn't scratch the frame. It's an odd detail which might easily have been overcome by combining the frame's two brackets and lowering it by the 2mm. Hey ho., I'm probably missing something profound. Moving on., with reassigning the use of the tool box ..as it used to be, to now be the battery box. . . ^ two modern 6v - 4.5ah gel batteries (taped together) I've been using. These are petite compared to 1940 - 50's 6v lead-acid batteries ..and they'll tuck nicely out of the way, inside the (former) tool box. To level the box's floor (which has the heads of its mounting bolts protruding) I cut a piece of 3/8" thick plywood to fit in there. Subsequently painted, I then glued a couple of strips of rubber to its underside, so as to offer some insulation from vibration. I also drilled a 3/8" (10mm) hole in the rear curved face of the steel box, through which I'll run the battery leads to the electrical box. There's wiring to the brake-light switch and horn down there anyway, so the battery wires will run together with those. Although no fuse was fitted originally, I use a spade-type fuse (within a watertight holder) on each of my bikes., so I'll place that conveniently - for when I want to connect the top-up battery charger. And yes, I did touch-in the paint around the hole I drilled. I acknowledge moving the batteries to down there is bit of a compromise ..not least because the former battery box now has to be removed to get these batteries out and off the bike, but that's not a big deal me as it's not something I do very often. And I'll just make the old battery box q.d. That occasional inconvenience is little compared with now having a usefully sized (double the volume of the tool box) and easily accessible handy cubby hole box to stuff 'thing's in. - - - . . ^ for ease and to save my back while I fit the engine's ancillaries & exhaust, and to do a few jobs on the wiring - the bike is now back on the lift (home modified) . Under the white-painted crate is a Sealey bike lift, which I found to be useless when changing the engine oil and otherwise very dangerously unstable. But with the (3/4" thick plywood) crate bolted onto it, and the extension to support and securely clamp the front wheel, plus the addition of legs under that end - it is now a useful bit of kit. So, onto the exhaust pipes . . . ^ aluminium headers and (as fitted to Nudge) stainless steel down-pipes .. looking Ok., but a little dreary from that bike previously being used for my all-weather commute to work. . ^ With a good bit of elbow grease - the down-pipes in particular came up better than I thought they might. . ^ Yes that's pretty . ^ It's an after-market down-pipe, supplied by Stewart Engineering, which for some inexplicable reason are always too long (see arrow). I've had this several times when I used to restore customer's bikes. Then I'd have to chop 3/4" off the top of the tubes. Those fitted to Nudge (as bought and subsequently used) had a stepped kink in its flexi-pipe ..but it's a job which I really ought to do correctly now. . ^ Conversely., these are the chrome plated steel down-pipes off Pudge ..which as you can see are the right length (height). As this is Pudge's engine, I may as well use these for now, and sort out Nudge's later on when I fit her own engine. So back to polishing.. these pipes and its aluminium headers. . ^ I'd already had these apart so there was less work to do. The gasket face of each header (..to the cylinder head) did need redressing back to being flat though. The above shows the olive used to (mostly) seal between headers and down-pipes, and how the screw collar joins and clamps them together. It works very well as a very firm assembly, but the exhaust gasses blow through the split in the olive. I'll fit them for now, knowing that this will blow ..and I'll come back after a few heat cycles (starting the engine and letting it cool again several times - to let things settle in place). Then I'll apply a little exhaust sealing putty. Again during assembly I use copious amounts of Coppaslip, which smokes like anything for the first 5 minutes ..but it does help prevent corrosion and binding of the aluminium threads, as well as helping the pipes slip together and be unstressed. . ^ Next up was to clean the exhaust silencer. On the S8 (Sunbeam's more sporting model with slim section tyres), which Nudge is, the exhaust silencer is cast aluminium and of a narrow upswept design. I guess it is Art-Deco in style ..which I think is rather nice. I don't honestly know what the original finish was - but I'd guess it was most likely to be cast matt or grit-blasted finish with just the styling flashes being polished bright. Of course, over the course of 70 years, these exhaust pipes get salty and scarred ..and have otherwise been polished and then scarred again. If I was getting anything else blasted I'd take it back to matt, but as I'm not - I'll quickly rub it down and polish it up yet again. Can't really complain when one thinks that this (very likely to be a 1953 exhaust silencer) is still going strong and in use today ! . ^ Polished, fitted and if I might so - looking rather neat. So, another job done. The clamp for the back end of the flexi-pipe (which of course is used because the engine is rubber mounted) extends inwards and is bolted to the underside of the frame, so the silencer's front end is held secure. The silencer's weight is mostly carried on a hefty stud through the base of the rear suspension upright. There is also another bracket, from the down-pipes to the underside of the gearbox, but for whatever reason that bracket has been cut off. That's of no concern, as I've done without it before - and not had an issue. Just one last piccie for today, and that's taking a step back to earlier in the afternoon when I loosely positioned Pudge's exhaust silencer on this same bike and down-tubes.. just for comparison. . . ^ this is the Sunbeam S7 and S7-deluxe exhaust silencer. I understand that with the narrow wheels and tyres on this bike (an S8) the rounder and lower set silencer tends to grind against the road on hard corners. The fat tyres of the S7 are enough to make the difference. To our eyes, its chromed metal may look quite commonplace ..and with its mounting clamp (by the rear suspension) being on top - not so attractive as the (less expensive when new) S8's silencer. I guess in the 1940's ; cooking pots n' pans were made in aluminium whereas chrome plated fittings were something special. I'll leave that thought with you. Have a good evening, Pete. .
  15. .. Pottering around in the garage the other afternoon saw me fitting the head-steady / top snubbers .. . ^ the component parts of the Sunbeam engine's head-steady. This is a rather neat design detail from the 1940's that I think would be hard to better value engineer even 70+ years later. There's nothing here to support the engine (..the two engine-mounts do that), but the rubber snubber blocks do stop the top of the engine from moving sideways (ie. they counter the torque reaction of an in-line engine &/or the sideways swing of using the kickstart). The clever part though is that the (above left-hand) plate and spring assembly is a friction damper. Rubber engine mounts have, for any configuration and weight, a certain vibration frequency ..whereby the harmonics of reciprocating mass and the elasticity of the rubber are in sympathy, when the engine will tend to dance around and bounce on the rubber. The chassis and engine designers work together to ensure the harmonic do not coincide within the vehicle or machine's normal operating range. The engine mount's shape, their thickness and hardness, their location and angle of installation, as well as the design of engine mounting plates are a best compromise ..for any one set of criteria. An example of this was my '66 Jaguar S-type saloon which originally had been sold with an automatic gearbox. Later in life this was swapped-out for a manual box with overdrive from an early XJ6. But the rear engine / gearbox mount (a steel coil spring) hadn't been changed. Most likely because of the difference in gearbox weight or c. of g. distribution, and/or operating speeds - things were not as smooth as they ought to have been ( also the exhaust pipe joints were being stressed). Discovering and changing that spring made a world of difference to the feel of the car. Some designers and/or the mechanic don't get it quite right though, and resultant extenuated vibration can be clearly felt at certain revs. Often that means the vehicle is driven a little faster or slower, or in another gear to find a 'sweet spot'. My last Norton Commando 850cc long-stroke parallel twin literally had vision-blurring harmonic vibration around 20-25mph ..which made town driving almost unbearable. As an aside - this is when I bought the Sunbeam S8 for my daily commute through town to work. The Norton was superbly smooth at other speeds but because of this 'issue' the bike fell into disuse. Eventually, I discovered that by changing its head steady (coincidentally also springs) ..it moved those harmonics to around about 45mph, which was easily ridden through, not least because at higher rev's the vibration was not nearly as bad. So, to alter the characteristic 'bounce' of rubber and therefore the combined harmonics, the Sunbeam has this damper. The assembly consists of a mounting bracket with vertical tongue (above, top of photo, painted black) which clamps around the frame's top tube. And there's the plate (chromed but originally painted black) which bolts onto the back of the cylinder head and onto which are mounted two rubber snubbers. This is all that needed to stop the engine from rocking sideways. But then to the left of the photo is another plate used for a friction damper (also originally painted black). This bolts to the frame clamp bracket and otherwise hangs down to overlap the engine plate. Inbetween these is an oval shaped friction pad (made of the same material as a clutch friction plate). The two plates are held together by the pressure of a spring. As the engine vibrates on its two rubber engine mounts the snubbers control the big sideways movement and the friction damper works to absorb vibration. . ^ For clarity (above) this is how it goes together (sans the spring & its cap ) with the friction pad sandwiched inbetween the two plates. The large diameter hole and adjacent two larger studs is (sometime later on) where the distributor will be fitted - taking its drive from the camshaft / cam-chain sprocket. The long slot across the bottom has a cover that is fitted over the six studs. In the meantime - the photo helps illustrate the simple way to correctly align this assembly. With the (two) main engine mounts and front/lower snubbers (previously) set correctly. The engine's head-steady plate is temporarily but securely fastened to the cylinder head with a few nuts (thick washers under those). The clamp around the frame is loose enough to freely move forward n' back along the frame tube and/or twist around - so its forward-downward projecting tongue sits evenly inbetween the rubber snubbers. [ NB. that tongue is loose on many bikes, and is intended to be held tight between the bolted-up clamp. Like many before, I weld mine to one half of the clamp - as it makes assembly much easier. I also use a longer bolt and a spacer-tube for the lower fastening of the clamp, so it now extends wider than the plate to get a (1/4" Whitworth) socket onto its nut. ] The top plate is adjustable (up n' down relative to the frame clamp) and is set whereby the friction damper's spring bolt is positioned central within its oval hole (see above). That is important - as it allows the engine to bounce around on its mounts without this fastening hitting the inside edges of that plate. The tubular sleeve around the bolt fits into the hole through friction damper pad to hold it steady. In use it doesn't move relative to the engine plate, which is bolted to the engine .. it only moves relative to the top-plate. . ^ The clamp around the frame is presently still loose, because it needs to freely slide forward along the frame tube until the top-plate and the engine-plate sit parallel / flat to each other ..with just the friction-pad sandwiched inbetween them. 4. The conical spring is now loosely fitted within the cap and sitting on a thrust washer. The spring can be compressed by hand just enough to fit the lock-washer and its nut . 5. The spring's fastening is tightened - which squeezes the two plates flat to each other, with the friction-pad sandwiched inbetween. The position of the top-plate needs to be checked and adjusted to be central across-wise and up n' down (above, blue marks) relative to the spring. 6. the frame's clamp is then moved to sit flat against the top-plate, and the top-plate to frame-clamp bolts can be loosely pinched-up ..with the top-plates reinforcing tabs positioned vertically. 7. ...at the same time, the frame-clamp can be rotated - so its forward-and-downward projecting tongue sits evenly inbetween the rubber snubbers. The frame clamp's bolts can then be tightened. Only then is the top-plate to frame-clamp bolts tightened. That's the damper set up. This ought to be good without subsequent adjustment, but because the main engine mounts may 'settle' with use - it is worth checking they don't need re-tuning after a hundred or two miles. . 8. The head-steady / top snubbers can be removed with the damper and clamps all tight. Shouldered nuts, which sit into key-hole slots in the engine-plate's top bracket, hold them in place. They are (sometimes) fitted with shims to lessen the clearance between the rubber and the frame-clamp tongue. Personally I feel shimming flexible rubber blocks to thousands of an inch a bit of a piss-take. I use a skinny penny washer if it fits in there, otherwise if there no room for that then nothing. imo that is close enough tolerance ..and I really don't care if there's 0.025" gap or if the two rubbers are squidged just a little ..not least because I've never bought a pair of new snubbers, and I'm sure after 70 years the shore-hardness of the rubber I use is 'a little off ' from the original design spec. On this engine I fitted one penny washer inbetween the plate and the left-hand-side snubber. . ^ These brackets and also the nuts and bolts were originally painted black, so the chrome bits you're seeing here are all from the special treatment this bike had in preparation for the Queen's Coronation celebrations in 1953. I don't know what exactly was chromed at that time but I do have photos of the bike taken in the 1980's and there was a whole lot of chrome plating evident from then. As it is mostly hidden under the petrol tank and the distributor, and behind the cast aluminium rocker cover and rear access cover I not sure I'm going to worry about it too much. I'll very likely spot a little silver paint over the grubby bits one can see while counting rivets but that's more to prevent any further corrosion. Anyway job done, engine mounts are now correctly adjusted. Sounds easy enough, so why are they so often wrong. ? . ^ these plates show uneven wear from where the friction damper has been missing (..for a long while). The arrow points to the corner of the engine plate bracket which should protrude a coupe of mm. The friction pad is positioned by the sleeve around the central spring bolt, but the protrusions prevent it from rotating. The top plate which I'm seen holding shows wear grooves from it was face down on those protrusions. Do people not see or hear this sort of thing ? Or is it that "all Sunbeams are shyte" because they make all sorts of squeaking and rattling noises and vibrate horribly ..when they are put together by total morons? I sorta guess that applies to any car or motorcycle. I bid you a good weekend , Pete.
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