Saturday, 5 May 2012

Moses Basket (Wicker seat)

Again the cart before the horse.
Got the sidecar body back from Dave B, who is a wiz at wood work.
Dave fitted the inside of the body out, and secured this to the chassis.

We wish to thank Dave for his work, and design input as this is much appreciated.

Some interesting design features were incorporated like the tilting front of an early hot rod.
This has been incorperated so we can roll the side car up to gain access to the working parts of the bike should maintenance be needed.

We all know this will not be the case.

Anyway this needs to be surface finshed (coated)  and then off to the for the interior fit out.

It should be noted that this was not the body we intended to fit to our 1925 Invincible Jap.

It was going to be a Bullet style however time constraints meant that this was not possible.
The bullet design is now completed and available to market should anyone be interested.

Zepplin Bullet, was not completerd in time to be fitted. (Darn it as it is sweet)


Forks are done


We planned from the outset to give the 1925 Invincible a complete once over to inspect and repair any small area that could or might cause problems during our ride.
This blog outlines what has been done with the front forks.
The forks were pulled off, disassembled and completely stripped to look for cracks, fatigue marks or just poor workmanship and bad design.

Well this task found much wrong with some poorly engineered items that could benefit from modification.
The headstock shaft itself was worn and was loose inside the front fork stem, and the headstock bearings were just plain worn out and deemed just usable at a pinch.
While this would have been fine for a local run, or around the car park of a shopping store it was not up to the task of a sidecar trans-continental.
The loose headstock shaft had caused the headstock bearing cup to fret in the frame and the wear was excessive providing another area that could be a problem and we decided to rectify this.
The headstock  cups being loose within the frame was more of an issue that the bearings them self.
A metric bearing conversion (Timkin Tapers again) were sourced and new cones machined to accept these. These are slightly oversize on the O/D and under size on the I/D which allowed modification with the original outside dimensions being maintained
We could have machined the existing cups to take these taper bearings however as the cups were loose within the frame it was decided to machine new ones.
The head stem was removed from the fork blades and re-machined to accept the diameter of Timkin bearing prior to being located and brazed back into position.

New lock nuts and top headstock nuts were machined and the main fork leg re-united with the frame.

Not a major task, but one that was well worth undertaking and hopefully will result in some reliability throughout our tour.

The front fork (which is the same as Excelsior) was pulled apart , cleaned and inspected.
To our surprise this appeared okay however it quickly revealed a broken spring.
The reason was the the inner spring on the cartridge had fretted on the outer and caused this to fatigue.
This was rectified by machining two central collars to hold the springs concentric minimising the fretting by not allowing the springs to rub.

As fate would have it  i had a spare spring in a misc box of springs that had the same pressure but was 3/8" shorter, allowing the collars to be fitted.
It actually made the assembly quite neat and this is know finished.

It would be interesting to see how the Excelsior forks differ to the Australian copy on the Invincible Jap.
The Invincible forks are quite well made, robust and strong.
Considering these forks are close to 85 years old and have had minimal maintenance i am surprised at the overall condition.

We spent time discussing the options of securing the bolts on the lower fork legs on both the inner and outer legs.
It was decided to fit Castle nuts and split pins to ensure these are held in place and install jam nut (1/2 nuts) on the outer side of the fork rockers.

The front cartridge was painted, and the assembly was re-assembled.
Other discussions were on what grease to fit to the shocker, and we are still undecided on this one.

This is the first component that is finished for the 1925 Invincible Jap and with much more to do we at least have a tidy set of forks.

Messinger Seat Cushions

We are doing the seat assy at the moment and though this infomation might help some fellow restorers .

This included the Messinger seat cushions.
The original seat fitted to our 1925 Invincible Jap  was a Messinger No 1 Air Cushion.  While this is serviceable it was decided to uspsize this for well, comfort and support for yours.

The air cushions are one area that is often neglected and it was no surprise when we had pulled ours apart that we could find no support amongst the Harley or Indian restorers.

Infact many had not actually taken one apart, or if they had rebuilt them they had fitted modern o'rings and new pistons.

I thought it would be a simple task to buy new seals and fit.

These turned out to be not available, and after several questions to notable leather workers it was found that the seals are made from a unique tanning process to the more common vegetable tanning.
Hence it was not feasible to make them out of the wrong material.

Our search ended up at the leather warehouse and boy this was like a lolly shop to me.
So many goodies, decorative gadgets and leather tools and devices.

They advised that they specially ordered this material in for one customer who still made them for there old lights.
They were happy to pass on the detials.
Well, a trip down to the local lamp shop was an experience and step back in time.
They speciallised in oil lights going back to 1800's and were really an aladins den and  for $25.00 Dollars we came out with the last of their stock of four (4)  leather washers and a wealth of knowledge.

They explained that there are two different washers used in these plungers, one being the primary seal and the other being the secondary seal.

Depending on which way you place these leathers the cushion works in either the up stroke, or the down stroke.

The suggested that they would only work one way, and boy were they right.

We dissembled the cushions and cleaned everything up to spec.
New leather was fitted and the seals were placed in a small tub of oil fro 48 Hrs prior to refitting.
The cushion is yet to be re-assembled, but will have a small amount of grease fitted inside the canister prior to assembly.
After some discussion we decided to install ours to work on the down stroke, as this is what we are trying to cushion.
It if doenst work out we will pull these out and turn them 180 Degree's as it not a big task.

A good friend Ben B helped out on this, as he was interested in how they work for his own excelsior projects.
We both we surprised at the effect that these actually have, and how well they actually work.
I would recommend anyone else doing this to source the leather washers prior to pulling the assembly apart.

Hope this helps someone.