A lot going on behind the scenes

I have not posted any pictures lately. That is not to say there is no work happening on the bike! While a lot of components are still soaking in Kroil, I have been networking with a few people who are helping to keep everything moving forward.

I am trying to acquire a spare engine for the bike. I will need it to ensure I am able to have all components to have one solid engine, and some spare parts for future use.

I am also in touch with a machinist in CA for machining the new forgings of the pedal crank. They will also be renewing the original pedal crank. MAJOR work!

Hope to have more photos to update soon……..

Still on the pedals

The pedal saga continues…..I picked up a set of Torrington no. 10 pedal thinking I could use the bearing cups and bearings. But, the pedals I picked up are a later set, without the outer nuts on the pedal rubber shafts. The bearings on the replacement set were caged, while my originals held individual ball bearings. So, back to working on my original components.


Using a variety of attachments on the Dremel or air grinder I worked on cleaning up the cups the best I could.


One of the first steps was to use this brush to clean any loose rust or dirt.


After initial cleaning.


After first pass with brass Dremel brush.


Final condition with steel brush Dremel bit.


So I will keep looking for pieces to use. A fellow AMCA member brought me a crate of pedals to look through…….so the slow steady progress continues.

Time to catch up!

It has been a while since I posted. That DOES NOT mean I have been idle with this project. Only means I have not taken the time to upload photos, and post. So here are the random photos to “bring us up to date”.

Here is the bottom left drain plug on the crankcase. This is used to drain the oil after riding a number of miles. The oil system on this bike is “total loss” meaning the oil travels from the oil tank (in the gas tank assembly), and does not recirculate back to the oil tank. At some point this oil must be drained from the crankcase or it will accumulate and create too much resistance on the flywheels.

So step one is to loosen the plug without damaging. Kroil and heat to the rescue.


And another success! Complete with 80 year old water draining out!



Now on to the left pivot on the handlebar. Been soaking for two months, so let’s try to loosen up.


With some heat and tapping, the shaft is coming out! And in fact came out unscathed and able to be re-used! That’s two for two!


OK, now on to the pedal assembly again. Here is the pedal crank housing on the frame. All parts removed in useable condition.


Here is one of the bearing eccentrics. Useable! Notice one perfect threaded hole, and the other (at 9:00) still needing to be removed.



Broken off bolt to be removed.


All good!



OK, on to the pedals…….soaking in a covered container of 50/50 acetone and ATF. Room temperature. Parts were frozen solid……even after 3 weeks.



So….let’s help the process along. Heat with a hot plate (CAREFUL!!! Acetone very flammable). So after 15 minutes of a slow boil……..


….the parts all came apart with no damage. Secret sauce!



Even though all pieces now came apart does not mean they will be useable…. Here are the end bearing cones. The ball bearings were all there but not useable. I would like to be able to either make new ones, or find some old pegs to salvage these pieces.



These are the bearing cones that are the opposite side of the above cones. These need to be cleaned better to determine if useable…..




And the two main pedal shafts. These might be able to be machined smooth again. We shall see….



OK….so now all caught up with photos and commentary. Stay tuned for the next post. Thanks for looking.

Front Rim

Well sooner or later I had to rip apart the front rim. To make sure I could at least come close when I re-lace this wheel with new spokes and a new rim, I made this crude diagram to ensure new spokes are routed the proper way. A long way to go before this exercise takes place!


I was actually surprised how many nipples I could loosen up! Of the 36 spokes on this wheel, I would say I was able to remove 25 of them! A good spoke wrench is essential!


OK, now that they are all removed let’s take a close look at the hub.



When I received the bike, there were no bearings or axle in the front hub. This unit seems solid enough and I do plan on using again. No cleaning will be done, except for the grease filling threads and bearing races.



Actually not too bad after some initial cleaning.



A little closer look shall we! Looks re-useable to me!



So I will need to final polish the bearing surfaces, obtain the proper bearings, spacers, washers, and axle. Once I am happy with the hub rebuild, I will then obtain new spokes and lace up the new wheel! Over and out for now.



Crankcase progress

While parts are soaking thought I’d try and remove the six crankcase bolts. These bolts hold the two crankcase halves together. With ample heat and days of soaking, four of them came out pretty easy. Two are still in and are not budging. I have time to let soak some more for these. I will also be cleaning the decades of dirt and oil from these cases. I will not be detailing then to look like new, simply remove the grudge from them.



This bolt head sustained a bit of damage when removing.




The two crankcase halves each have a number stamped in them to indicate they are a matched set. I am extremely happy I have a matched set!




Hope you are enjoying these posts. I have many more photos taken and will work away at getting this site updated more regularly. Thanks for reading!

Front Sprocket Update

Last front sprocket post was regarding removing from engine. I sent this to Wayne at Heather’s Leathers  for a new leather liner and to evaluate the rivets. Here is Wayne’s commentary for each photograph. More updates on this sprocket at a future date.

Here on this leather you can barely see some stitching on the right side, the left side no problem. However, I know that they would not have only sewn on one side. Yes, this stitching would have been cotton or linen thread.



Here we have an example of the last owner using a copper rivet to hold the friction belt onto the pulley. Chris and I have chatted about this and we will be tapping these holes out to accept screws. This way change out would be a lot easier to switch, in the middle of say… a… Cannon Ball Race



One third the way around the inside, you can see where two rivet holes were added, (Factory I would assume). Someone enlarged the hole, probably trying to get the rivet out, by drilling. Thus the two different size holes.





Wheel through Time

The next “chunk” will be the front wheel assembly. My thoughts were this will be a fun component to complete because some pieces (OK, most pieces) will have to be new; Tire (because there was no tire that survived the 105 year hibernation), rim (this original one had fallen victim to severe rust and had several holes), spokes (these had worn this from the rust and most were bent and fragile), and the hub bearing (bearings missing when I received the bike). In fact the only item that might be able to be saved was the hub. But time to get going here…



Soaking the spoke nipples in Kroil with the hopes to remove a few. I will need to have new spokes sourced and hoped to be able to provide samples.



Success! I was able to remove seven (out of 36) spoke nipples……awesome. Look how clean those 105 year old threads are!



A good day when the new USA made “clincher” rim arrived!



The next day this black wrapped package showed up!



Well, well…..lookie here! A new white clincher tire!



I will need to now remove all of the remaining spokes and start work on the front wheel hub. Not sure if I can save it as it had no bearings for so long the pitting maybe too deep. But we shall see……the story continues!

Gas/Oil Tank

Here is another item I was somewhat concerned with. It is interesting to know this tank is actually two separate tanks housed in one unit: Gasoline and Oil. Another interesting fact is the tank assembly is made of copper, which means there will be no rust inside to deal with. But the concerns I had about the tank consisted of leaks and mounting screw hole (7) threads and leaks. I was able to run a thread chaser (10-24) into all seven mounting holes (three on top and four on bottom). Also confirmed all seven threaded holes did not leak into the tank assembly.

The inside of the tank was “dusty”. No visible corrosion or old gas seemed to be present. I filled up both chambers with mineral spirits to “wash” the inside and let the tank (with petcocks closed) on a clean piece of cardboard for two hours.  Glad to say NO LEAKS!

I then cleaned up the two petcocks and confirmed they were in good working order and the flow of gas and oil was metered with the threaded petcock needles.

I then filled both chambers with acetone to rinse the tanks and again check for leaks using a thinner liquid. Nothing. I am thrilled! What this all means is now this tank can be stripped and I can paint it with a spray can of black paint………..NOT!!!! This tank will stay as you see it, 100% unrestored original!

Also interesting when I did my final flush and blow dry on the inside, this rag blew up from the gas chamber! If only this piece of cloth could talk. What was the original garment this came from? Why was it in the tank? We will never know so I guess I will have to make something up.

Over and out for now……..