Be still my beating heart

Four weeks.  That’s how long it took.   When Jim, Selena and Mark were on the run in 28 Days Later, all they had to deal with was a few zombies.    Danny Boyle would have been far better served getting his film crew down to the shed and filming the many attempts of me trying to get the flywheel off the stator.    Whoever invented assembly oil and then made it get spilled onto bits of Little Project has a lot to answer for.

I whiled away the time between my frenzied pulling sessions (I mean that in the nicest possible way) by trying to clear up the rest of the oil slick.    As I may have mentioned, assembly oil is incredibly sticky and oily.   I tried spraying the workbench with gunk and leaving it to soak in for a day or two, it didn’t help much.   I ended up painting the bench (it is made of marine ply and before I started has about 100 coats of lacquer on it) with some of the sludge from the bottom of the rust removal bath.    This took off most of the oil and several coats of varnish as well.   If only I could remember the exact constitution of the rust removal bath it would be more popular than medicinal compound (if you aren’t the same age as me, or live outside the UK, you will have to google “Scaffold Lilly The Pink”,  My, you are in for a treat).

I am probably the only motorcycle restorer in the world to get splinters whilst building an engine.

I’ve built an engine!   Would you like to see it?   I shouldn’t ask rhetorical questions, if you are reading then you’re going to see it whether you like it or not.

I made this

I think it only right and proper to point out that this is pretty much the same engine on the outside as the grubby little thing in the first ever picture of Little Project.  The only part that you can see that has come from elsewhere is the barrel.    The old barrel is now (possibly) on its way to “Ripley’s believe it or not”  (tickets £14.00) in Leicester Square.   Following that it will be (probably) touring the mid West of the United States with Mr Dark  and his sinister carnival.

So I’ve assembled the engine.   I have set the timing and checked it twice, I’ve set the gap on the points.   I’ve checked the valve clearances and I’ve made sure that everything (very gently) turns just as it should do.   I’ve also put it back in the frame.

back in the frame

Which makes me very nervous because there isn’t a lot left to do now before I try to start it.

What is left to do is to make sure that the clutch is clutching before I put some oil in.   Work out where the little cable that comes from the coil goes to, work out where the little cable that comes from the points goes to.   Put the exhaust on, put some oil in, attach the kick starter and gear change and then hopefully the shed will be filled with the roaring noise of Little Project working.   I plan to jump on the kick start on Easter Sunday.   There’s a nice little feeling of resurrection about it.

The only thing that I can think of that will stop me is the electrics (of course).   I need to work out how I can be sure that the engine is switched on as there are no lights or anything connected to it yet.   Still, a quick read of the multimeter manual might shed some light on how I can test this.

Wish me luck.   The next post will either be of a grown man in tears or a small video of a smoky motor.

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7 thoughts on “Be still my beating heart

  1. Hi Rob, maybe I shouldn’t tell you this seeing as how you have already spilled the oil, but I spent 26 years of my life working as a production engineer at Nissan South Africa’s Engine Assy plant where we used to assemble up to 350 engines per day and we only ever used SAE 30 oil and nothing else!

    • Ha, thank you Tracey. I’ve just realised I don’t have a clutch cable so eBay has been summonsed. I haven’t been this nervous since the day before the boy was born.

  2. Hi Rob,
    Forgot to wish you good luck for tomorrow when you finally fire up Little Project. Please let us all know how it goes ASAP. Also Lilly The Pink is one of my favorites from the ’60’s, it was a hit here in SA. I suppose you know that Scaffold member Mike McGear is actually Paul McCartney’s brother?
    Regards.

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