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1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:09 pm
by david weare
Dear All

Just been for a spin on a 55 FH650 - With a view to buying.

Couple of Q'd if I may:

1. There was no advance / retard lever on the handlebars. Presume that is normal for this model (Only had a 350 before)
(It had an Amal lever with no choke cable again presume surplus to requirement)

2. The primary chain was giving an irregular, metallic rattle noise. Seemed slack.
But then once it had been run a while seems to quiten down.
Is this normal? Perhaps just needs tightening up?

3. Brakes were fairly terrifying.
Seemed to have a half size front hub / drum brake.
'56 on seem to have slightly better looking brakes.
Are they - is it normal for '55 brakes to be pretty awful?
Can they be improved?

4. Had to stall the engine to kill it.
Should this model have an ignition switch or cut of switch installed?

Appreciate any tips or advice here.

Best D

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:33 am
by Simon.Gardiner
Briefly:
1) That's normal - should have auto advance-retard fitted
2) No idea, unless it's happening under load in which case it's the engine shock-absorber cam slipping (unfortunately, my particular area of hard-won expertise for these)
3) Half-width is standard spec for '55 and often considered better than the later full-width variety, they are often not properly adjusted (same hub/brake as singles and 500 twin, see a couple of other recent posts).
4) Should have a magneto 'kill' button.

(Engine-wise, it's the same as a BSA A10)

HTH

SG

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:31 am
by john.whiting
The alloy full width hubs are notorious for brake locking up suddenly when slightly rusted from non use ,and pitching the rider ......they are a BSA design ,and BSA ditched them after one season and fitted the later FWH cast iron version ,familiar to all A10 owners.

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:51 am
by nevhunter
The primary chain may need a little tightening. Check it when fully hot. The iron Qualcast brake works OK till you get it real hot so long as it's running true and adjusted properly Have the wheel off the ground to check it properly . Sometimes a bit of lining material has to be removed from the trailing shoe. Nev

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:46 am
by Mick D
Hi

To amplify the advice posted above:

You should have a working choke system - originally the choke lever was integral to the front brake lever.

Depending on the seller, you can easily check the tension of the primary chain by removing the inspection cover - also worth removing the clutch dome to feel if there's any play in the clutch.
The primary chain case and gearbox main shaft assemblies are modified if the Fully Enclosed Rear Chain guard is fitted - incorrect components can result in the primary chain rubbing on the chain case.

I've no experience of the half width hub brakes but the ones on my FWH 58 FH are pretty poor at the moment but improving slowly with use.

The kill switch can be a little inconspicuous:

Kill Switch.png
Kill Switch.png (282.6 KiB) Viewed 1025 times


I finished restoring mine a few months ago and am loving the ride it gives.

Regards Mick

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:29 am
by david weare
Hi Simon

1)Auto advance. OK thank you, that's good to hear.
2)Primary rattle noise. No was happening at idle. Took the round inspection screwcap off and the top run of the primary chain had perhaps 3/4" of play. Settled down and was quiet after a ride.
3)Oh OK. Again, good to hear. As you say, brakes may not be set up correctly. Rear certainly had too much travel.
4)Magneto kill button. yes looks like I should fit one of those.

Bike was very pretty. In black and chrome. Went nicely once in motion.

Thank you

David

Simon.Gardiner wrote:Briefly:
1) That's normal - should have auto advance-retard fitted
2) No idea, unless it's happening under load in which case it's the engine shock-absorber cam slipping (unfortunately, my particular area of hard-won expertise for these)
3) Half-width is standard spec for '55 and often considered better than the later full-width variety, they are often not properly adjusted (same hub/brake as singles and 500 twin, see a couple of other recent posts).
4) Should have a magneto 'kill' button.

(Engine-wise, it's the same as a BSA A10)

HTH

SG

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:35 am
by david weare
OK thanks that's good to know.
Almost reassuring.
Do Ariel owners fit the later FWH iron version to their FH650s?

I have seen a few front brake mods on Ariels. BMW front drum. perhaps even a Suzuki T500 TLS.
and a Triumph T100 Daytone TLS. But perhaps these are all too modern for a '55 bike.

Thank you.

john.whiting wrote:The alloy full width hubs are notorious for brake locking up suddenly when slightly rusted from non use ,and pitching the rider ......they are a BSA design ,and BSA ditched them after one season and fitted the later FWH cast iron version ,familiar to all A10 owners.

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:41 am
by david weare
Hi Nev
OK thank you.
Yes primary chain had 3/4" of up & down play as felt through the inspection cap.
So perhaps could do with tightening up.

OK nice to hear that the HWH front brakes are OK.
Think the bike had slightly higher comp pistons and certainly buzzed along well.
So keen not to dock into the rear of a tractor.

Thanks

David


nevhunter wrote:The primary chain may need a little tightening. Check it when fully hot. The iron Qualcast brake works OK till you get it real hot so long as it's running true and adjusted properly Have the wheel off the ground to check it properly . Sometimes a bit of lining material has to be removed from the trailing shoe. Nev

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:57 am
by john.whiting
Sounds like the tension is pretty well OK ......be very careful to check when hot ,and check a full revolution or more ,because there may well be tight and loose spots ......if the primary chain has a number of links that are a multiple of the engine sprocket,there will be worn regions in the primary.I know Ariel chains are difficult to remove ,so no need to do that ,if its near new.....but check thru the hole for broken rollers and marked sideplates...........incidentally ,maggie cutout(earthing points) stop the motor at idle ,but wont normally stop it at speed ,for instance if the carby sticks wide open,so dont rely on it.

Re: 1955 Huntmaster questions

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:01 am
by david weare
Hi Mick

Thanks for your comments.

OK, so perhaps there is a kill switch somewhere.
Bike had a toggle on/off switch fitted in the LH tool box (Or whatever it's called) but was not wired in.
Suspect the previous owner had not got around to wiring it up.
Presume fitted to stop kids kicking the bike over and riding off on it.

Thanks for the photo.

D


Mick D wrote:Hi

To amplify the advice posted above:

You should have a working choke system - originally the choke lever was integral to the front brake lever.

Depending on the seller, you can easily check the tension of the primary chain by removing the inspection cover - also worth removing the clutch dome to feel if there's any play in the clutch.
The primary chain case and gearbox main shaft assemblies are modified if the Fully Enclosed Rear Chain guard is fitted - incorrect components can result in the primary chain rubbing on the chain case.

I've no experience of the half width hub brakes but the ones on my FWH 58 FH are pretty poor at the moment but improving slowly with use.

The kill switch can be a little inconspicuous:

Kill Switch.png


I finished restoring mine a few months ago and am loving the ride it gives.

Regards Mick