LH Colt restoration

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Paul_Linden
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LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:22 am

Hello everyone out there in AOMCC land, I've just joined the club and so an introduction appears to be in order. I guess that means an introduction for me and for the bike as well. I'm Paul from Exeter - that's enough about me - now lets talk about the bike which is far more interesting. It's a 1954 LH Colt which I bought locally last year in a state of near terminal decay, having been left outside under a tarpaulin for 20 years. It came with a buff logbook and some other paperwork (tax disc and insurance certificate) which showed it was registered and owned in Somerset. It was mostly complete, but as is the way someone had taken bits off and lost them. Maybe the best thing is to show a picture.
IMG_0789.jpg
25 July 2010

I'll post more pictures soon to show you how its coming on.
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:12 pm

Next stage was the strip down which took place August to October 2010. Taking a methodical approach, items were removed, photographed and labelled. Surprisingly every single nut and bolt could be undone, as the rust had not penetrated the threads. Some bolts even looked like they would clean up all right. That was the good news. The not so good news was general condition of the tinware which had deep rust pitting. This was where I first started to question the nature of the project, as it was now obvious that much more than a refurbishment or light restoration would be needed - more like a rebuild or remake. The photo here shows the pitting to the frame, the loss of chrome, missing spokes that had rusted away, and the rotten rims. It was clear that some items, such as the wheels, would need to be rebuilt with new rims and spokes. I started writing a list of parts that would be needed and how much it would all cost.
2.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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admin
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby admin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:43 pm

hey paul

does the rear mudguard, on your colt, look anything like this one:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=505

I'd like to donate the guard to someone in need ..
John Nash
Administrator
webmaster@arielownersmcc.co.uk

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:27 pm

Afraid not, but thanks for offering.
Paul
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:09 pm

One by one the components were falling off, with interesting customisation by a previous owner coming to light, for example the clutch adjuster in this picture. Something was very wrong with the clutch as the roller bearing and thrust washers were completely absent. The kick start shaft was stripped and the kick start was missing, so it was only when the primary drive cover came off that I could put a spanner on the end of the crank to see if it turned. It did, so at least the piston wasn’t seized. Took the spark plug out and put a squirt of oil in to make sure it stayed that way (then put the plug back and put rags in the ports).
3.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:12 pm

Now I’m getting somewhere - but where? The centre stand, rear brake pedal, and footrests all hang off a hexagonal bar running perpendicularly through the frame. Just above the bar are two twisted flat bars, one on either side of the frame (central in the picture below). The only purpose I can see for them is to stop the gearbox mounting bolts falling out. I’m not sure if this picture shows it but the centre stand is raked forward at a very shallow angle, so shallow in fact that when the centre stand is down both wheels are on the floor despite having flat tyres! Further inspection showed that the right hand lug on the centre stand was so twisted it didn’t engage with its stop. Also, the hexagonal bar was so bent that it was the devils own job to take the brake pedal, bushes and bar off.
4.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:15 pm

A different view of the central frame area with the gearbox and engine still in place.
5.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:23 pm

A landmark day - engine out and on the work bench. Sprayed WD40 on the threads to keep them sweet, and then covered the engine up. I've decided to work on the wheels, suspension and frame to get a restored rolling chassis before I start on the engine and gearbox. Although a few months later it becomes prudent to work on these in parallel not in sequence while I'm waiting for bits to be repaired or sourcing new parts.
6.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:03 am

Nearly there! The garage is now full of boxes of bits and containers with parts marinating in degreaser. The gearbox and engine oil leaks seem to have protected the bottom part of the frame very well. Now the big clean up starts, out with the jet washer, wire wool, and scotchbrite pads to see what lies beneath the dirt.
7.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Paul_Linden
Holder of a Waxed Cotton Anorak
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Re: LH Colt restoration

Postby Paul_Linden » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:53 pm

Well the frame cleaned up all right, which allowed closer inspection. First thing was that the welds around the footrest brackets had cracked, not a problem, a bit of grinding, a spot of welding and all was well again. The next issue was the rust, as patches of the frame were pitted, but this actually made the next decision easier. I had been planning to powder coat all the painted parts, however, the quotes for this and the price of new wheels was starting to make this an expensive proposition (in relation to the value the bike would have when finished). So on reasons of cost and the not so smooth frame, powder coating was rejected. It would be a spray job with a couple of coats of grey primer taking out the imperfections.
8.JPG
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......


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