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Thread: Harley 1910 Magneto Drive

  1. #11
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    Continuing on the path...

    aan castings polished.jpg

    One thing I forgot to photograph was the process of cutting the back of the casting where it mates up with the cam chest on the right casing. But this was straightforward on the mill. The setup let me cut off the flange and precisely true the back of the case. Removed the flange and about an additional .010". This will be more than taken up with a gasket. After the cases were finish machined, I polished them. Originally, I think they would have been much more mottled, but this bike has a polished set of cases, so I wanted them to match. Of note, the machining done was to fit these to a replica bike... so may not have been at all needed for an original set of cases.

    aam shroud.jpg

    As noted earlier, the shaft on which the cam gear rides is longer for the timer than it is for the magneto gear. This is because the magneto gear doesn't have an extension to break the timer points. Short of changing the post (which involves splitting the cases) the end of the shaft must be cut off. To keep debris out of the engine, I used a shroud. The picture shows paper towel, which is just a mockup for the photo... and too flammable to use for real. I used a ceramic heat blanket for the actual cut. The end of the shaft came right off and I used machinist blue to ensure clearance inside the gear cover.

    aao shaft.jpg

    This picture shows the main gear in place on its shaft and meshed with the pinion gear. Note that this relationship is critical! I was able to position it (this is the static timing) by making sure that the pinion gear and the cam gear were marked before I disassembled them. This let me find cam center on the new gear and count teeth back to make a new mark. If you didn't mark the gears, you will need to set static timing based on some of the documents that C.O. posted in a related thread (thanks!). At this point, the gear has .003" clearance on the shaft... but it also needs side play addressed. As it sits, there is .050" of side play, which is way too much. So before final installation, I'll be putting in a .040" hardened shim to take out extra side clearance.


    aap gear layout on bike.jpg

    This shows the relationship of gears inside the case. Next, I need to get my mag back from rebuilding and fit it into place on the casting mount. The gears run on hardened pivots that are screwed into the case. The casting is not permanently mounted to the engine as I will want to test everything (and confirm my static timing) before putting on a gasket, sealant and bolting it all down.

    aaq lever.jpg

    This is a preview of challenges to come. On the battery ignition Model 5's, the timing advance and the compression release are handled by the left grip. But from what I can see of the pictures I have of magneto models (and this makes most sense), the throttle grip on the right handles both carburetter position and the compression release. The left grip control becomes only a controller for the magneto advance through a line that curves down to the mag.

    Anyone who does know... or can send me detailed pictures of the controls... I would appreciate it! I am currently putting together another order to Competition distributing for some additional control parts.

    Which brings us to the above lever. This mounts on the frame (right) downtube just below the neck and tank. It appears to go on a pedestal. It is the 'splitter' that carries motion from the right grip to both the carb and the compression release. So looks like you start the bike with the throttle open really wide to both enrich and open the valve! I'll try and post a picture of the arrangement if I can find a detailed enough one.

    More to follow as I get the next round of parts and get the shim done for the gears.

    Again, anyone who can share pictures of 'original' control arrangements... I sure would appreciate it! I am also trying to figure out the arrangement for grounding the magneto (this would kill the ignition). Some of the early bikes used a handlebar mounted 'blipper' switch. But I think the magneto singles (non-racing-type) had a tab on the magneto that you use to ground out the mag. If anyone knows for sure, I'd appreciate it. As I mentioned at the beginning... this is more involved than I thought it would be, but is turning into a fun little project.

    Thanks, especially, to C.O. who has posted some really useful timing information this weekend.

    And if anyone is interested in doing the same conversion, I am glad to answer questions or provide more details if they may prove helpful.

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
    Last edited by sirhrmechanic; 03-20-2011 at 07:44 PM. Reason: error in controls section

  2. #12
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    Sirhr,

    I've read about mounting a switch either to the frame or the handlebars. Here's the handlebar version. Again, it's from Victor Page's book "Early Motorcycles".

    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  3. #13
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    Default magneto controls

    Thank you for this thread sirhrmechanic . Very interesting.
    Here find detailed pictures of the 1910 magneto controls
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #14
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    Thanks Eric. I had seen the picture of Fred Lange's bike and it's a bit odd, because the splitter lever appears to mount into the frame, not on a pedestal. I wasn't sure if that was a 1910 model year only way it was fitted or if there is some other reason. Fred's restoration shop is where the castings came from.

    All the other bikes have the lever on a pedestal like the unrestored bike in your second picture. That bike/picture I had not seen and it's a great picture! Thanks! I also found some good pix in HD Chronicle (Doug Mitchell) and another book. Both have very detailed photos of magneto bikes.

    Cheers,

    Sirhr

    Cheers, Sirhr

  5. #15
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    Got this in from Competition Distributing regarding gear replacement and timing:

    "Replacing the gear with the new one will allow everything to wear a little
    more evenly is all." So from this I can be safe leaving the original 'Timeless' gear in place as it has so little running time, there is no problem. But for someone starting on an older or worn machine, yes, I think this is great advice as you don't want to mix new/worn gears if you can help it.

    For timing:
    "As far as the timing goes, we start between 30-40 degrees depending on compression ratio and move it around till we like it. We don't really have a set degree that we start or end at."

    This makes a ton of sense for the early bikes. As with a lot of early cars I bet they were so 'individual' in some of their characteristics that the makers, riders and mechanics (there weren't many of those!) were just dialing things in until they felt right. I used to have a Curved Dash Olds 1903 that was like this. You could use science all day long to try and tune it. But in the end... just keep dialing until it runs its best.

    Cheers and thanks to Andy at Comp. Dist. for his help.

    Sirhr

  6. #16
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    Since I am waiting on parts for the EL project... it's back to the Magneto drive for this weekend. Got most of the control parts in from Competition Distributing. And my magneto arrived back from Mark's Magneto Service in Ct. Lovely!

    First order of the day was to fit the magneto to the casting. This required elongating the mounting holes slightly, but only about .020" had to be removed. Easily accomplished with files. The magneto was then lined up and the gear mesh was confirmed. I also removed about .020" from one side of the shaft input hole in the casting. It cleared, but only just. Again, filed the material away in just minutes.

    With the magneto mocked in place, it became time to deal with the carb and manifolds.

    The replica Schebler that is on the bike is probably the root of most of the poor running. Despite all my tinkering, I can't get it working right. So, instead, I am putting on an M16 Linkert. The problem with the linkert is that, dimensionally, it won't fit in the space allocated -- especially with a Magneto. The bowl will hit the mag and the intake end of the Linkert will hit the fuel filter/outlet fitting.

    Here's the solution.

    aaaa 2 intake.jpg

    The answer, fit a custom intake manifold that has a slight offset -- in other words, rotate the carb about 20 degrees away from the Mag so that it angles out from under the tank.

    aaaa 1 intake.jpg

    Here is the intake that I will be modifying. It used to be for, I think, a Servicar. I cut off the split and trued it on a faceplate. Then, holding it on the intake port, I could figure out the angle.

    aaaa 3 intake.jpg

    Intake set up in a rotary vice on the mill. Cut the shank off to shorten it at the correct angle.

    aaaa 4 intake.jpg

    After checking the fit and the angle, reset in the table and use a boring bar to open up the port in the intake manifold for a new threaded coupler that will screw into the intake port. The boring head lets me open it up to about 1.1" at a 20 degree angle.

    aaaa 5 intake.jpg

    This is the coupler fitted tightly in the intake manifold flange. This will be silver-soldered into place after final fitting. But first, it has to be threaded.

    More in a moment.

  7. #17
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    Continuing on the intake part of the installation.

    aaaa 6 intake.jpg

    Turned threads. These are about 1 1/16 x 20 TPI. I lapped in the threads after turning. I will make a copper or aluminum 'jam washer' to set the intake in place when I do the final installation. This will let me precisely align it so that the float is level and the intake is tight. Material for the union is aluminum bronze, which should be more than strong enough to hold the carb.

    aaaa 7 intake.jpg

    This is the finished "offset" intake manifold. Just needs to be silver-soldered.

    aaaa 9 intake.jpg

    This shows the offset of the carb. The bowl clears the magneto just fine and the throat clears the fuel filter/outlet from the tank. It's far enough from my knee that I won't hit it. I still need to design some kind of a screen. More to keep out the larger bugs and stones than act as a true air filter. But before I do that, the carb is going out to Mike at "Into the Wilderness" for rebuild.

    aaaa 8 mag.jpg

    Back to the magneto itself. This shows the magneto in place. I tested the spark by removing an intermediate gear and rotating the mag with the spark plug grounded. Nice hot spark! I also ran through the valve timing according to some of the articles you folks posted for me in a related thread. Everything timed out perfectly! The piston-to-exhaust-valve relationship was right on. Now I can put in gaskets, button the cases up and get onto the controls.

    aaaa 99 intake.jpg

    This shows the mag from the left side. It's a lovely arrangement! And between the Mag and the Linkert, it should transform this bike into a fun rider.


    The controls are going to be interesting. I am going to have to make one of the brackets from scratch as the castings are NLA. But I can make it in such a way that I can probably screw it onto the frame instead of brazing it.

    And I need new control cables as the 'timeless' ones are too thin and don't work as well as the larger original style cables.

    I think, as well, that I may try and take the engine out of the frame and put it on a stand to run and tune it... anyone know if someone makes a stand for an early HD single?

    More tomorrow as I'll likely be buttoning up the cases, setting the timing on the mag and starting on the controls. I'll try and post some great controls pictures later on tonite as long as noone complains about the copyright violations... I'll plead fair use.

    Cheers, Sirhr.

  8. #18
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    I think what you are doing is fantastic Sirhr. I think the Timeless motorcycles will become highly sought after because there will be a whole sub-culture of people that improve and upgrade them to be fun, enjoyable motorcycles. Obviously, no one is going to re-work a 1910 H-D to make it user-friendly, but a Timeless can be retro-fitted to be a reliable time machine that can transport it's owner to 1910. Then you can beat the hell out of it like they did to H-D's in 1910.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  9. #19
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    What Eric said!!! Thanks for taking us along for the ride Sirhr!!!
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  10. #20
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    Thanks for the interest in the thread... There's two of us in the 'neighborhood' (by that I mean the state) with Timeless machines. His seems to run better than mine. For now. But hopefully some folks get some ideas and vice-versa. I think they are neat... w.out the risk/expense of the real thing.

    Here are some linkage pictures pirated... er borrowed from some books. The first set seems to have a clamp-on bracket for the throttle/compression release. This may be homemade or may be something HD offered to allow owners to convert battery machines to magnetos. But the Magneto bikes seem to have a brazed-on bracket for this lever. If anyone knows for sure, I'd be interested to find out. Rat up at Harbor Vintage has a 10 parts book. But I didn't look at frame/controls section last time I was there.

    These are some of the original controls pictures.


    bb magneto 5.jpg

    This shows the magneto advance arrangement. Note that there is some covering on the cable up near the neck. Also, this has the clamp-on bracket for the throttle/compression release lever.

    bb magneto 3.jpg

    Close-up of the magneto showing the direction/arrangement of the advance/retard lever and cable. Competition Distributing sells these bits.

    bb magneto 4.jpg

    Again, the clamp-on bracket. Original or home-made? It's a good arrangement to put a mag on a battery bike.

    bb magneto 1.jpg

    Curved pipe that bolts to the top of the cylinder and carries the cable down to the magneto. Also the bracket again. Competition Dist. has these bits, too.

    bb magneto 2.jpg

    This shows the carb side, but with an original Schebler. Note the spring arrangement to 'buffer' the movement of the carb linkage. And the arrangement of the compression release/throttle lever. On the battery models, the compression release is controlled by the advance grip. On the Magneto models, the valve is held open w. the throttle wide open.

    More to follow

    Cheers, Sirhr

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