VH 500

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Jay.Watson
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Re: VH 500

Postby Jay.Watson » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:17 pm

Sorry I've not updated this in a while but what with the cottage renovation and several months of being "out of comission" due to a bad back things haven't progressed as well as I'd have liked.
Well, Dave Owen was good enough to help me out with a light switch panel for the headlight - for which I am very grateful and definitely owe him a beer. It's nice to be a member of something where folk seem to think more about being of assistance than of scoring points off each other like on so many forums... Been meaning to say a public "thank you" for a long time now but was hoping to have had a few good things to report as well.
Albert was all back together and over the past months I've delved into the black art of setting up the magneto and the carb', and similar archaic practices and learned a lot - some that I'd previously known and forgotten, and some that I've never known. Unfortunately despite my best efforts I couldn't get him to run right. Recently tho' whilst having a little play I noticed that the head is blowing badly in at least two places. Before fitting the head I made sure it was ground flat on a sheet of glass - I understand now, due to the lack of a head gasket, that I should have "lapped" the head and barrel together. How is this best carried out? Is it just a matter of grinding paste on the mating faces and turning to and fro like lapping a valve?
The other problems I have is that the forks seem to have seized with all this standing, and the gear selector no longer returns as it should so that's a couple more little jobs then...

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Keith.owen
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Re: VH 500

Postby Keith.owen » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:13 am

Jay,
I rather suspect that your bike should have a head gasket. The head, being aluminium, will have a different expansion coefficient to the iron barrel and there will be a lot of movement through the differing expansion rates at the joint face. I should check Drags website.

I do know that even the iron headed VHs adopted a gasket from 1952ish onwards (or maybe a bit before). My VH has a 53 engine which has a
thinner spigot on the barrel and takes a gasket.


Keith
Keith Owen
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1950 Rigid Ariel VH
1951 Rigid Ariel NH (under construction)
1973 Norton 850 Commando Interstate

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admin
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Re: VH 500

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:33 am

Ideally you should try to get both the round lip, on the barrel liner, and the flat sections to engage fully.
The manual specifies that you should use fine grinding paste on one and course on the other which can sometimes take an age to get right.

The usual problem is that one of the other of the surfaces won't meet, no matter how much grinding you do; usually because the head and barrel are off different bike etc. I have had to resort to asking someone to skim the head very slightly to get the the round lip flush and then ground that down until I could employ the method in the book.
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Keith.owen
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Re: VH 500

Postby Keith.owen » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:46 am

Jay,
I looked on Drags and it appears that only the late all iron engines used a head gasket so, what John says about his experiences is probably going to be the case.

BR,

Keith
Keith Owen
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1950 Rigid Ariel VH
1951 Rigid Ariel NH (under construction)
1973 Norton 850 Commando Interstate

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Jay.Watson
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Re: VH 500

Postby Jay.Watson » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:05 am

Thanks for the replies - I was pretty sure that no gasket was used but you can't believe all that you read on the 'net! Especially when I've already been informed that the head isn't original. Lapping sounds like a long job... I'm going into the garage now, I may be some time...

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admin
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Re: VH 500

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:59 pm

What I should have pointed out was that an awful mismatch only really occurs when you build a bike from bits.
When you have the head ground to the barrel correctly, then it doesn't require major work every-time it's off (just the same amount you'd do with a valve)
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Re: VH 500

Postby nevhunter » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:57 am

I've never used a gasket on an iron motor. Lap both surfaces and then remove the paste from the inner surfaces and oil. Continue to lap on the outer face for a few minutes of more if you are just playing with it. Don't use coarse paste. If someone has played with the faces, get the worst one remachined. You have to remove the valve guides to put the head on a faceplate. As well as a seal you get good heat transfer with this method. Oil sometimes goes down the head bolts on the pushrod side, and looks as if the gasket surface is leaking. Nev

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Jay.Watson
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Re: VH 500

Postby Jay.Watson » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:02 am

Can't believe that it's been over a year since I last posted on here... Well, I have absolutely no progress to mention whatsoever - in fact things have gone backwards! I did manage to take Albert for a very short test ride, but neither the clutch nor gearbox wanted to operate correctly and in the time he has been sat the forks seem to have seized... I did think it might be of interest, and maybe even encouragement, to others who are struggling to make progress to know that they are not the only ones. Lots of other projects, mainly the hot rod and the cottage - having to replace rotten timber in the roof etc., have conspired to take up all my time and money but a recent purge of unwanted projects could mean that work on Albert may commence again soon. The other half's Morini has been sold and a new bike shed is under construction, so fingers crossed.
So to anybody else who's project is languishing in the doldrums - you are not alone.
Albert must have something about him tho', or he'd have found himself on eBay by now. Hopefully will report some real progress soon.

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Bob.Murphy
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Re: VH 500

Postby Bob.Murphy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:25 pm

Tell Albert he is not alone ;) .

(I haven't been near the Panther Project since last Winter and the 'VH' tank still isn't fixed :roll: ).

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

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dave.owen
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Re: VH 500

Postby dave.owen » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:54 pm

Jay, just on the way home from the annual. Will try and pop over soon,

Dave
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