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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got a phone call almost a week ago, I missed it but the caller left a message. The message recorded poorly but my knackered old ears heard "I've got a couple of bikes", "restoring" then "Norton" then I though I heard "Manx" then "Seeley", "Surtees" and "Beart"! What the......... Best I call this guy back but best not sound too keen and perhaps I should give it few minutes? Bollocks I must have called him back before he had put the phone down.

The chap on the phone was an old racer, now 75 years old and still had two of his old race bikes, he gave me his name which was a little familiar then started to tell me about his bikes. One was a 1954 350 Manx with a Surtees connection and the other was a period built special which consisted of a 57 Beart Manx frame with a Matchless G50 engine fitted, the engine was the 3rd G50 AMC made and the full bike was constructed in 1958. All very interesting and right up my street, appointment made and the next day I went to see the bikes.

I met with a spritely gentlemen who then took me to the bikes. Both were hidden under piles of stuff, the Manx was in big pieces and looking very sorry, the Manx G50 was as last raced in 1972 and complete. I hatched a quick plan a decided the Manx would be the most problematic, probably incomplete and would take the longest. The Manx G50 I could get on with later in the year.

So what do I hope to do under this post? I plan to write a short post every few weeks accompanied by a half dozen photos of the restoration work as it progresses. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting and not too boring. I will detail the engine build and other parts if there's enough interest. This Manx has gone through many changes but these will be reversed and the bike restored to 1954/5 spec as requested by its owner. Or rather this bike will be a restored as the factory racer that in my opinion every "caferacer" owes a debt.

By the way the old racer had ridden for Francis Beart winning a Junior Manx, rode for Ray Petty, has won the Thuxton 500 on a factory supported BSA and endurance raced Laverda's for Mead and Tomkinson amongst lots of other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
1st Post

Perhaps the last post.

1st van full of bits: Tank, gearbox, engine and a box stuff including cambox, primary drive, carbs, engine plates......

surtees manx.jpg

Started the strip today. I noticed the spark plug was only screwed in a turn so feared the worst.

54 manx cylinder and piston.jpg

I was right! Cylinder thick with rust, piston solid! Yep that is a high comp domed piston in there somewhere.

54 manx timing side magneto drive.jpg

Not looking good in the timing chest.

54 manx timing side timing chest engine.jpg
54 manx timing side timing outer cover.jpg

A poor mistreated magneto, which still sparks!

54 manx timing side magneto.jpg

The engine doesn't looks so bad but wonder what's lurking inside the cases? Will see tomorrow if I can get the bottom bevel off! But it looks like I've got work to do.

54 manx timing side engine.jpg
 

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Got your work cut out with this one, look forward to seeing how it's sorted out. I wouldn't know where to start.
 

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There certainly is from me. Fantastic stuff.

Robert
Interest from me too!

I feel your pain, this is Porsche head off an engine I got years ago, after a little clean up…



That one shot water/mud all over a shop wall when I pulled the plugs and tried to turn it over. There's still a stain there 10 years later. Amazingly it did still turn over though!
 

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Very exciting project!

- - - Updated - - -

Very exciting project!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Looks like the ultimate BBQ for "they" who hate the Goldstar. A few beers, a lump of steak and perhaps a little tribal music = sorted.

I'll stick to boiling in oil and a little direct heat thanks. If that doesn't work then its remove the cylinder studs, part the cases and big fly press, if that doesn't work I'll be using a friends hydraulic press and withdraw to a safe distance.

One thing that worries me is how dry the engine is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I couldn't move the piston so I removed the cylinder studs and parted the cases and 1st look inside below.

54 manx crankcase 1st look inside.jpg

Then.......

54 manx drive side crankshaft inside.jpg
54 manx timing side inside engine case.jpg
54 manx drive side crankshaft.jpg

Started cleaning some internals so establish what's scrap and the internals are cleaning up ok. This is the oil scavenge tube form the very bowels of the engine is fine, so is the case thread!
54 manx timing side engine scavenge oxidised.jpg
54 manx timing side engine scavenge.jpg
 

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So. Given the quality of your work. And the epicness of your work ethic. You will have this running by Valentine's day won't you? :D

Love seeing the insides of these engines, even in sad shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
So. Given the quality of your work. And the epicness of your work ethic. You will have this running by Valentine's day won't you? :D

Love seeing the insides of these engines, even in sad shape.
Errrrrh no.

The crank with piston and cylinder attached are currently enjoying a hot oil bath; about 90 deg C. They can stay in the bath for a day or so.

When parted from the piston the crank must be dismantled and sorted, the bearing feels ok but it has to be checked and cleaned, I have no doubt it will be full of crap, the flywheels need to be cleaned and shot peened (and I might re polish). Crank flywheel pins mic up OK. And the mains are good. The drive side main is a works type and unobtainable, these are broader than the standard Manx drive side main.

The cylinder needs relining, I can see what looks like seizure mark on the bore (although the owner said it was running ok!), the piston is scrap. The bore has been shortened so thinking the engine has a 2 ring piston fitted. The cases also need cleaning out and then robustly blast cleaned and new chromate. The cambox doesn't turn God knows what's going on in there. The frames needs a lot of work too, wheels and forks look ok (hopefully).

I have another 6 bikes on the go ranging from close to finished to not started in the shop, I have started this one as some of the lead times can be very long so best get in the queue. Some of the cycle stuff will 4-6 months to turn up. Hopefully by late summer for this one.
 

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This will be a great thread.

Steve, I am a bit confused. Did you purchase this bike or are you restoring it for a customer?

What is that white stuff all in the engine? Was it under water for a time or is that alloy corroision?

Thank you,
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
This will be a great thread.

Steve, I am a bit confused. Did you purchase this bike or are you restoring it for a customer?

What is that white stuff all in the engine? Was it under water for a time or is that alloy corroision?

Thank you,
Jack
It a customer bike.

The white stuff is oxidisation, the crankcases are magnesium not alloy and its not very stable stuff, it will bloom with very little provocation. This engine has be stored dry but in a cool garage if there's a reasonable change between day and night temperatures the workshop breathes and so does the engine. If the engine does this for 35 years the "white stuff" is usually the result. It does look worse than it is, if its painted with a thin oil the crystals will dissolve slowly and the residue can be removed with a little effort. In this instance the black chromate has been breached in a number of places so this coating needs to be reapplied to prevent further corrosion or rather slow it down.
 

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I've found that sort of corrosion in several early VW engines I've brought back to life. The magnesium is a little thin around the sump plate on those, and fairly often the bottom of the case will fully rot out with the engine in the car and flat tires...
 

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Thank you for the explanation! Glad not as bad as it looks since it looks Horrid!

So how does one avoid the Blooming in long term storage?
 
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