A new member needs advice

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SteveD
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A new member needs advice

Postby SteveD » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:17 pm

Hello everyone, my name's Steve, I'm new to the forum and the club

A couple of weeks ago I bought a 1952 VH from a very nice man, I got the bike, some bits and loads of paperwork, brilliant. My wife loaded all the bits into the car and headed off and I optimistically decided to ride it home. For around 15 miles it was great, then I noticed a bit of a rattle coming from the right hand side of the engine, this lasted for around 20 seconds before the power dropped off, the engine stopped and it was clutch in and coast to a stop on the hard shoulder, oh poo. Fortunately, at some point during my journey to the motorway I had dropped my phone, so I found myself with a broken bike, no tools and no phone, double poo. I checked for evidence of seizure straight away but everything was nice and free so I left it around 5 minutes and gave it another kick and it started, hooray, I was off again. I had travelled about 7 miles when I heard the rattle again and as before I lost power, clutch in, engine stopped, coast to a halt. At this point I wasn't too bothered, I checked again for seizure and everything was ok, I thought that as it had started before it would do so again and I could get home in short hops, inconvenient but I was still in the game. I waited around 10 minutes and tried to start it, the bike appeared to be insulted by my never say die attitude and had decided to teach me a lesson by absolutely refusing to start, oh poo, I was stuffed. Fortunately my wife came looking for me, probably because I had the bank card, we managed to ring the breakdown service and I got the bike home, hooray. The next day I found that petrol was pouring out of the carb overflow as the float was stuck, new float & needle, new seals, new petrol pipe and 3 pounds of assorted material emptied out of the filter, hooray, job done. I then spent ages trying to start it, I checked the plug, the spark, the petrol flow, I fed the dog, then it started, brilliant. As it ticked over I saw that there was some movement in the dynamo part of the Magdyno (I'm assuming mag isn't short for magnificent) A triangular plate between the end of the dynamo and the triangular plate behind the timing cover is loose. I checked under the timing side end of the dynamo and I saw fine swarf underneath so I stopped the engine, a sensible move I thought. I realise that to fix this I may have to do more than just pump the tyres up, I'm ordering the extractors tomorrow to get inside the thing and find out what's happening. Has anyone experienced anything like this who could point me in the right direction. My apologies for such a long and convoluted first post but it's much cheaper than psychotherapy, Cheers, Steve

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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby admin » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:46 pm

You are almost certain to have a "magdyno". where the round dynamo sits on top of the magneto>
It is held on by a strap and also by a thread which goes through the end of the magneto and is secured by a nut. The magneto has a large fibre gear which drives the far smaller dynamo gear.

It is possible your dynamo has worked loose, and it is possible you'll see bits of fibre gear where the dynamo gear has been able to chew the edge of the fibre gear. The dynamo will only go on one way, so that the long thread goes through the hole for it in the magneto.
it is also possible that the magneto has worked loose as well. There are three fiddly screws which hold it to it's platform. If you can move it about, then the bolts have worked loose or maybe fallen out. if you can move it on the platform then it needs sortiing and the timing cover needs to come off, so that you can adjust the timing chain (moving the magneto about tightens/loosens the chain).

Dunno about starting and stopping.
If you have compression, then it's highly likely to be either ignition or fuel (unless there is something estoric - a.k.a. hard to find and expensive - wrong). A carb full of shite, will give the symptoms you describe and that is the easiest, quickest and cheapest thing to look at first.
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SteveD
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby SteveD » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:22 pm

Thanks forgetting back to me so quickly, I'm very grateful. I think you're right to say that fuel is one of the issues and hopefully I'm addressing that, once I have that right I'll fit an air filter, I won't do it yet as I don't want to add a complicating factor to the situation. I've not had a magneto or dynamo before so I'm on a very steep learning curve. I have an invoice from the previous owner stating the mag was refurbished in 2017 with virtually zero miles since then. I'm assuming that I need to go in through the timing side and remove the timing chain, am I correct?

I thought this would be a couple of hours today in the garden, I think tomorrow the Ariel will be up on the bench in the garage. Despite a shaky start I'm over the moon with the bike, I've always wanted a big single, the aim is to get it reliable and then go touring next year. I'm planning to break down in some beautiful places :)

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dave.owen
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby dave.owen » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:43 pm

The intermittent lost of power could be a tight exhaust valve partially seizing.and free up after a cool down.

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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby admin » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:43 pm

If it's a plunger/rigid (1952 ?) then there will be bugger all space between the carb and the oil tank for a filter. If you have a pre-monbloc, then there is something called a flametrap which keeps the larger lumps out of the carb (and you can also sandwich some filter foam in there too).

If you take the flat headed screws out of the cover, on the timing/right hand side, which has VH written on it then all be revealed. There will be some oil in there. If the mag is loose then you will need to pull it to where it needs to be, to get the chain to the right tension. Then with your other two hands, preferably shaped like E.T.'s, you get to fumble a spanner underneath the platform where the magneto sits to tighten the bolts up( it may help to get the footrest off ). Three bolts usually. Two on the corners, one in the middle.

If the bike was starting and running ok, then the timing is likely ok. If you pull either timing chain sprocket off, then you will need to reset that.
You can check the timing, for accuracy, without disturbing anything, with the traditional stick down the plug hole and some fine paper. I think there is an article in the AOMCC members area on doing it and it might save you the complete timing job (which if it's your first time will take a while..).

If you can move the dynamo around on top of it's platform, then pull it all the way off and just check the fibre gear on the magneto. You can do that with decent light and turning the engine over. If you need to change that fibre gear then the magneto has to come off completely to take off it's cover and replace.

everything is pretty accessible and straightforward on these things.
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby pete.collings » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:09 pm

It is also possible that the dynamo has jammed, I once had a dynamo converted to 12v that overheated the armature and unsoldered the commutator segments, jamming the dynamo rotation. As a result of this, the slipping clutch assembly in the magneto slipped (!!) and generated a lot of heat in the magneto, causing a loss of sparks. Letting the bike/magneto cool off allowed a restart, only for the same to recur a bit further on, eventually the bike had to be recovered home. As also mentioned, the dynamo strap/retaining special nut can come loose, also possibly causing slip of the drive assembly.

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adrie.degraaff
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby adrie.degraaff » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:49 am

Normaly a 1952 VH would bring you around the world, the only thing missing is knowledge so find a good member nearby.

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Bob.Murphy
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby Bob.Murphy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:32 am

Welcome to the wonderful world of Ariel singles, Steve - and welcome to the Club.

Whereabouts are you . . . . We may be able to get someone over to give you a hand and advice ??

A few pictures of your 'new' bike would be good as well 8-) .

Bob.
My avatar shows the late Len Rich in 1970 with the bike I now have - a 1958 Ariel VH

SteveD
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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby SteveD » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:34 pm

I've had a look at the dynamo strap and the screws holding it in place, is there a special tool I should buy or make to access these? Judging by the state of the screws a previous owner didn't have much success

I haven't yet worked out what the rattle may have been that I heard from the right hand side before the engine cut out and I haven't found a diagram that shows the triangular plate between the end of the dynamo and the triangular plate behind the timing cover

The information regarding the fibre gear was very reassuring, it looked like swarf to me and I feared the worst. I'll check the exhaust valve this weekend and get the timing cover off to see what's going on

I'm going to Ardingly this Sunday so I might get some bits there

Thank you for all your suggestions and advice, this really is a great group to be part of. Cheers, Steve

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Re: A new member needs advice

Postby KenGriggs » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:14 pm

If you have Facebook, there is also a group called "Ariel Motorcycle group", where you will find a lot of members also in it. There's a lot of information in the "Files" section on the left hand side of the page.


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