Real Classic - - Letters -

An up­date on the Velo Viceroy which was fea­tured in RC158/159. From the get-go, the left cylin­der was do­ing most of the work. Quick checks showed no ab­nor­mal­ity so it was time to in­ves­ti­gate. Out came the en­gine, a 30 minute job. Off with its heads and bar­rels and out with the crank. Ow­ing to the bike’s life­time of stor­age be­fore its re­build, the pis­tons had rusted in the bar­rels. The per­son who had done the drive-by paint job men­tioned in my first in­stal­ment had also in­flicted GBH to the en­gine in his ‘get it run­ning and flog it’ ac­tions.

The bar­rels had been re­bored af­ter the old pis­tons had been ham­mered out. The prob­lem was that left side was 4 thou over what it should be, and the other side was a whop­ping 8 thou over! This re­sulted in the new plus-20 pis­tons rat­tling about in the bores. The right side was so loose that I as­sumed this was the cause of the right cylin­der be­ing a lag­gard… but wait, there is more.

The crank seals had been changed but the ones fit­ted were met­ric with the out­side di­am­e­ter 4 thou over­size. Matey boy had sim­ply ap­plied a heav­ier ham­mer and stuffed them in any­way, man­gling the seals in the process. I was con­vinced that Ve­lo­cette in 1961 were still firmly en­sconced in Imperial mea­sure­ments. I ap­plied my mea­sur­ing stick to the job to find, as ex­pected, it was all in the Queen’s own perches, bushels and pecks. The cor­rect seals were avail­able off the shelf from my lo­cal bear­ing shop so in they went.

To cor­rect the cock-up with the bar­rel bor­ing I had to re­bore again, 10 thou over the ex­ist­ing nom­i­nal plus-20. Mod­i­fied En­field Fly­ing Flea pis­tons were on hand, so re­build­ing com­menced. The re­place­ment pis­tons and the orig­i­nal Velo pis­tons had no ar­row on the top to sig­nify di­rec­tion of fit­ting. My non was plussed with this sit­u­a­tion, so I gaw­ped over a cuppa tea at the trans­fer port win­dows in the bores com­pared to the pis­tons. EU­REKA! the win­dows in the pis­tons were sit­u­ated off the cen­tre line of the pin, and the win­dows in the bar­rels were like­wise off cen­tre. This fun­der­ment dic­tated that the pis­tons had to be fit­ted so that the win­dows in the bar­rels were in har­mony with the pis­tons.

Hav­ing marked the old pis­tons upon re­moval, it was easy to see that the left pis­ton had been cor­rectly in­stalled but the bone idle right-side pis­ton was half a turn out. This had the re­sult that a con­sid­er­able area of the trans­fer ports was blocked off.

The Velo work­shop man­ual in­di­cates that the York Road boys had no truck with re­bores. ‘In the event of wear of the cylin­ders they are to be re­turned to the fac­tory to have the steel liner re­placed.’ Now we know!

The lovely lit­tle Viceroy now hums along beau­ti­fully as it should, with still only a hand­ful of miles on it since it left Hall Green.

Roger Slater, mem­ber 2429

That is one se­ri­ously ex­cel­lent ma­chine, Roger. A shame that you’ve de­clined my gen­er­ous $100 of­fer for it! Frank W

1: The trans­fer win­dow is off­set from the cen­tre line

2: Reed valve assem­bly goes on top of crank­case, down­stream from the carb. The up­per blades are the open­ing stops, the SS blades are below

3: Crank very nicely ma­chined all over, note the milled slots for oil ways to the nee­dle rollers

4. Top of the crank­case halves. Bar­rels are off­set and deeply spig­oted into the cases

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