I've spent the last couple of months building the 650 engine into my swing-arm Ariel, aiming for things to be nicely bedded-in for the VMCC Somerset section Cheddar event (April 8th/9th - last week-end - and I'd signed up self and Ariel a couple of months ago).
Quite a few teething troubles but I'd managed 150 miles(ish) by last Monday. Out for another gentle canter round the local lanes, lost the nice new oil feed bolt (one end) and shiny, equally new dome nut (other end) from the exhaust rocker spindle.
Bit miffed as I'd checked all the rocker-box bolts/nuts were tight before I'd set out and I'm used to things coming loose but not disappearing completely in a mere 45mins of gentle driving.
Ordered replacements via express delivery from Drags, attempted to refit late Wednesday afternoon, couldn't get either end to tighten up and then noticed that while holding the oil feed screw end against the banjo I could pull the dome-nut end in and out by quite a lot!
Bust rocker spindle - split right across one of the oil feed holes. As far as I can make out this is unheard of - it's the same spindle on a BSA A7/A10, they never break!!
Surprisingly Drags had new ones in stock so early Thursday I ordered one, express delivery again so should arrive before 1pm Friday, enough time still to get back on the road for the week-end.
1pm Friday came and went...by 3pm I'd decided it wasn't just the postman being late, phoned Drags to check everything had gone OK at their end, found that according to the tracking number the package had been 'resting' in Bristol Mail Office since 5am Friday morning. That's only 40mins away by BM so if I can get them to dig it out for me there's still time to get the Ariel to Cheddar on Saturday - I've already had to tighten the head bolts down once and I'm getting nearly as good as Steve Carter at getting the rocker box off and on so it'll only take an hour to fix...
The Mail Office staff had the decency to be apologetic and helpful and found the missing brown jiffy bag. Back to base, schedule a couple of hours in the evening to get the bike running (1 hour plus contingency for fettling and admiring final achievement), grab something to eat, phone assurances to mates that despite everything I've got the new part and I'll almost certainly be meeting up on the newly-rebuilt Ariel, into garage - rocker box already carefully placed on the bench from last night - carefully push out broken spindle with 5/16 rod (don't want those spacers and springs to slip out, I had a bundle of fun getting it all assembled when I stripped and cleaned it at the end of last year), carefully oil and push in new spindle, but it won't go all the way in!
The clue is the un-machined (heat treated grey?) finish on the larger diameter end. I don't think that's been even near the finishing size process (and measures 14thou bigger than the broken original) .
Another replacement (machined to size all over, I'm assured) will arrive tomorrow but the BM had to do the Cheddar week-end (grrrrrrrrrrr!)
'55 Huntmaster, '56 VH, ' 51 VH, '80 R100RT, '00 Sprint ST (but all those Ariel parts can only make one running bike...)