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Thread: 1920 Harley Model F

  1. #161
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
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    205

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    Hello folks, well its time for me to post a small update on my 20F and hopeful more updates to come in the near future.

    If you remember I found that the bores were in bad condition. The first port of call was to find someone who could be reliably trusted to bore out these blind cylinders. I spoke to Steve Slocombe who kindly put me in touch with the guy that he uses, the only downside was that he was 250 miles away. I also spoke to Ian Biddle (f-head.com) who is located approx 50 miles from me and Ian gave me the contact details of someone that he knew who is good with these early bikes, someone called Kevin Hellowell.

    Kevin is only about 40 miles from me so I went to see him and Kevin had the right contacts to get the cylinders re-bored. Note that Kevin seems to be the UK (and possibly Europe) Go To guy for early (pre-1915) hub clutches and transmissions for these old bikes and is very knowledgeable and experienced and also a genuinely nice guy.

    He did explain to me however before he did anything that he was very busy so it would be a long wait if I wanted him to do anything. That was OK by me, I would rather things were done by someone with the right experience and skill than rush things and screw up 97 year old parts.

    The first thing Kevin noticed was that they had be relined previously. This must have been done some time prior to 1936 which is the last time the bike was on the road. I left the cylinders with him and to cut a long story short it turned out that the existing liners have cleaned up nicely. As well as the scores and pitting the bores were also oval. No wonder it ran like a smoke machine. I have been told though that the previous lining job was actually very good. There are still some marks at the bottom of the bores but they are below the rings so it is not a concern.

    We had a debate on new pistons. We decided to go with new cast iron pistons so I spoke to another specialist also reasonably local to me who could do them for me. I picked the pistons up just before Christmas. Here is a picture of the new pistons, one old piston and the core box and pattern.



    Here is a close up of one old piston next to a new casting. Somewhere inside the one of the left is something that looks like the one on the right.



    I would have quite liked to have machined the pistons myself but 2 things put me off. One, I would have been really annoyed if I had made a mistake. Two, my milling machine isnít functional at the moment so I donít actually have the equipment available to do them. Therefore Kevin machined them for me. We used modern style plain cast iron rings which have been kept high to make sure that we avoid any of the remaining marks in the bore.

    I picked the new pistons and my cylinders up this morning.

    Here is one of the pistons.



    Here are the various parts on my bench. Cylinders, new and old pistons and 2 new exhaust valves.




    Once Kevin had called me earlier on in the week to say that the pistons were done I knew that the next job was balance hence my post over in the Engine section.

    I deliberately hadnít pulled the bottom end apart until the pistons were done so that the disassembly was still reasonably fresh in my mind when I go to re-assemble it. One evening this week I reduced it from one lump into lots of bits.





    That brings things up to date. Kevin has put me in touch with a balancing guy who I am hoping to go and see next week. Whilst that is happening I need to find someone to machine the cylinders to accept new exhaust valve guides because the new valves are at best a rattle fit in the old integral guides.

    I do have a couple of other jobs to do which I had delayed until I had the engine work in hand so hopefully everything will come together in time to get some miles on the bike in the not too distant future.

    Watch this space.

    John

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,514

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    You certainly have been busy, and productive, John; and your timing looks like it will work out quite well, with Summer just around the corner. I am so impressed by your thoroughness, and desire to make your '20 run well. I am looking forward to hearing your impression of it's road manners. Are there some good places to ride in your vicinity?
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    398

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    These "Build Threads" always amaze me on what you guys can do! Even though I don't have an "F" Model, I've been "watching" this build.
    Jim

    AMCA #6520

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    205

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    Thanks for the comments guys.


    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I am looking forward to hearing your impression of it's road manners. Are there some good places to ride in your vicinity?

    I am keen to get to know how it rides too Eric.

    Without publishing my exact address on here I live in a village just to the west of the City of York. If you dont know, York is a very historic city and is very popular with tourists.

    I live in a very rural area and the roads outside my house have on average probably 1 car every 15 to 20 minutes. Also I am also close to the North York Moors and also the Yorkshire Dales which are also very picturesque.

    If I ever get it on the road I will see if I can borrow my Nieces GoPro and put up a video.

    John

  5. #165
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    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    I would love to see a GoPro of your region, John. When you say Moors, I think of those fantastic Hammer horror films of the '60s with Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. With those guys around, you would want a motorcycle that could get up and go at a moments notice
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    205

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    Ha ha, probably not my 20F at the moment then.

    The original Hound of the Baskervilles comes to mind for me and of course who could forget An American Werewolf in London where they get caught on the moors in the fog and end up in the pub called the Slaughtered Lamb with the pentagram drawn on the wall. (who could forget Jenny Agutter in that film too)

    I cant promise the Slaughtered Lamb pub and I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a horror film but once I get it squared away I will see about doing a home movie.

    John

  7. #167

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