Mike Macartney

REPORTS ON A 1914 HUMBERETTE RESTORATION

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2 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Maybe for the same reason Swiss Germans are speaking a language Germans don't understand?

 

That's yet something else new that I have learnt today.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Hello Mike,

I have been away for a week or so.  I see you are getting after your engine issues.  Do you have a good idea of the direction your rebuild will be taking?  How much over boring can you do to clean up the cylinder walls?  How will that affect your piston size?  Do you have a good compression height for the pistons you need.  What size is the crankshaft rod bearing journal?  It may be possible to use a different rod and make it a bit easier to locate pistons to match the desired CR and to have a better design grudgen or wrist pin configuration.  You moving along at a good pace....god for you.  I am anxious to see more progress with your seat and hood.

Al

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Should you treat a half finished project as a 'basket case'? Below, is a photo showing why! It's the coolant inflow pipe to the right hand cylinder barrel on the V-twin Humber engine.

 

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How they expected the coolant to flow through this gasket baffles me!

 

I was told by the son of the deceased previous owner that he has the engine running. Not for long, I bet.

 

It would be a difficult problem to find, and not something you would expect when you had overheating!

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You can never take anything for granted.  I wonder what other marvels you will discover before this car is finished?🤠

 

Ray.

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All I can say is "WOW", some of the things that are passed off as rebuilding/restoring!  You would make a good Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Watson!  You sharing your project here is surely one of the high spots of the day for me.  Not only  can I learn, but am entertained by the things you say and pictures you post.

Al

Edited by alsfarms (see edit history)
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Thank you Al for your comments. As Sherlock Holmes said:

 

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

 

It seems to be true with this car!

 

When we inspecting the bores to decide on what needed to be done to them we noticed peculiar 'graunch' marks at the bottom of the bore. I didn't look on the outside of the bore at the time.

 

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But when you actually look carefully on the outside.

 

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You can see the reason for the marks. The corner had broken off and has been welded back on. I don't know how I missed seeing it! Although it does look worse in the photo.

 

1617.thumb.jpg.a2e0911f13f4f50914ac42387ced2fba.jpg

 

Perhaps, this is why I missed it? It was hidden by the water pipe.

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Hello Mike, 

Are these pictures of the same jug that had the odd connecting rod, gasket covered water supply pipe  and now this broken mounting flange ?  I am thinking that your engine suffered early on with a near very catastrophic failure....a thrown rod/bad bearing.  This may be your opportunity to locate a nice light weight modern rod that will place your compression height in a location that suitable modern pistons could be used.  This could really unload the swinging weight inside this engine and be the basis of a very spunky engine that will have a significantly improved life cycle.  Have you looked at your oiling system yet?  The root cause of the before mentioned issues may become very evident.  No engine will last long if lubrication is fouled up.  Of course, my opinion is just like the nose, we all have one!

Al

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oh yes, you must also follow our hero from Scotland Yard, for you to make a direct and relevant quote as you did......cheerio......

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Regarding the welded ear on your jug.  I made a similar discovery on my 1906 Franklin. During the engine rebuilding it became apparent that the welding had knocked the jug off perpendicular from its base enough to cause excessive uneven wear on the piston, the rod bearing, the jug and eventual seizing of the piston. It is worth checking.

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I suspect that gasket blocking off the water connection is intentional. Those water heating systems made sense for the very low octane gas they had but today they aren't needed and, to a small extent, inhibit performance. Cold air is denser than hot air.

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Joe, I understand what you are saying, but why would they block off the waterway on just one barrel of the V-twin engine. The other one was not blocked off as the photo below shows.

 

1720.thumb.jpg.f4cb8c0e99383848025cfb4e7e25677a.jpg

 

Also, if you blocked it off completely, like it was, I would have thought that it would get 'localised boiling' which would start pushing water out of the top of the radiator cap. That maybe why they fitted a new overflow pipe to the rad?!?

 

To slow the cooling I would have thought it better to reduce the flow by fitting an orifice in the rubber hose?

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Mike 

 

 

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You are probably right. I don't have a clear picture in my mind of how the water flows. I can see cutting the carburetor out of the loop but not if it impedes flow. That fact that one gasket was right and the other wrong certainly suggests a mistake rather than anything else.

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 4:54 PM, alsfarms said:

oh yes, you must also follow our hero from Scotland Yard, for you to make a direct and relevant quote as you did.

 

Al, I must admit I cheated! I have not read any Sherlock Holmes books since my teens, I remembered there were many 'Sherlock' sayings and I Googled it!

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 11:49 PM, ChuckR said:

During the engine rebuilding it became apparent that the welding had knocked the jug off perpendicular from its base enough to cause excessive uneven wear on the piston, the rod bearing, the jug and eventual seizing of the piston. It is worth checking.

 

Chuck, many thanks for the tip. I will check it.

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10 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I don't have a clear picture in my mind of how the water flows. I can see cutting the carburettor out of the loop but not if it impedes flow.

 

I now see how we both missed the point. You thought the water pipe was to heat the carb. There is no carb heating. The radiator has one top hose and two bottom hose outlets. The engine has an aluminium 'Y' coolant connection going to the top of the radiator from the top of each barrel, do you call them 'jugs'? The water flows from each of the two bottom hoses to the bottom of each coolant jacket on each of the barrels.Capture9.PNG.5f1f06e432523cc0d8b510b203281981.PNG

 

Here is a photo of another Humberette engine showing the coolant hoses.

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        Inlet Valve Exhaust Valve Ignition    
      Date Date Opens Closes Opens Closes Advance Valve Clearance
Notes Engine Make cc From To before TDC after BDC before TDC after BDC Full Inlet Exhaust
  Typical Veteran       10° (after) 10° 25°      
Measured HUMBERETTE RH 998cc 1914   59° 55°   0.008 0.006
Measured HUMBERETTE LH       6° (after) 55° 52°   0.008 0.006
  AJS FRONT 6hp 1919 1920 30° front cyl 55° front cy l0° 35.5° 0.006 0.008
  AJS REAR           rear cyl 50° rear cyl 12°      
  AJS FRONT 7hp 1921   27° front cyl 54.5° front cyl 0° 34° 0.006 0.008
  AJS REAR           rear cyl 51° rear cyl 0°      
  BSA  7.7hp 1921 1922 10° 50° 55° 15° 0.004 0.006
  J. A. P. 680cc & 750cc 1921 1928 40° 50° 25° 38° 0.004 0.006
  J. A. P. 980cc 1921 1930 10° 50° 60° 20° 40° 0.004 0.006
  Royal Enfield 976cc 1927 1929 45° 60° 15° 35°    

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Before I started writing my post, I tried putting in the above Excel spreadsheet, of my findings on valve timings, I measured the Humberette water cooled V-twin engine, and listed similar engine valve timings as a comparison. I then tried removing the spreadsheet from the post, to then start writing the text, before adding the spreadsheet later. When I tried to delete the spreadsheet I could not find a way of removing it. So here it is 'warts & all'!

 

It took me quite a time to find valve timings for various V-twin engines of the early period and I thought the information maybe useful for somebody in the future.

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I see now. I had misunderstood what I was looking at.

I'd say the blocked off gasket is just bad work... obviously, it would cause a major problem.

Is it a thermosyphon system? I suspect it is because I don't see a pump. I'd be tempted to incorporate an in-line thermostat but I've no idea how that would work with a thermosyphon system...probably not well but perhaps worth a test. Practically all brass era cars run too cold.

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9 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

I'd be tempted to incorporate an in-line thermostat

 

I like the idea. When I try the radiator back on the chassis, I'll measure the distance between the top rad pipe and the alloy 'Y' and see if there is room to fit an in-line thermostat.

 

I've just found this on the internet that may do the trick, if it's the right OD. https://www.dmgrs.co.uk/products/rover-75-mg-zt-cdti-inline-thermostat-89-degrees

 

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Good Morning Mike,

Do the in-line thermostats work on low pressure and only react to temp changes?  I assume yes.  I think you are going to have a very nice running unit when you are done with the rebuild.  The water manifold gasket snaffoo in my thinking is just that a boo-boo.  Your valve setting information is good.  I wish I had a V-twin JAP engine and a frame to put it in! 

Al 

Edited by alsfarms
change (see edit history)
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Removing the valve covers; I know they can be a pain to remove, without damaging them!

 

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I found this J.A.P. spanner in my toolbox. It was just a fraction on the small side. With a belt sander I ground a little off all 6-flats inside the spanner and got it to fit nice and snugly. A sharp bang with the copper hide mallet and it was loose. One down three to go!

 

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Being a water cooled barrel, the valve covers were a lot longer than the ones I was used to on the vintage motorcycles.

 

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Just the water jacket plug to remove next. That also came off easily, a gasket between the plug and the barrel was missing!

 

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I couldn't resist including this photo. It looks like a early gas mask!

 

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I thought at first this was a decompressor.

 

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Now, I can see it is a place for priming the engine with petrol (gasoline).

 

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This plug between the water jacket and the combustion chamber proved a problem as none of my sockets would fit through the top hole. I got over the problem by finding an old spare socket of the correct size and turning down the outside of the socket on the lathe until it fitted.

 

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With all those plugs removed from both barrels I could get on with checking the valve timing. As I found so much wrong, or incorrect, on this car, I decided that before completely stripping the engine I would check the valve timings. So far so good - but the luck was not to last!

 

As I had this timing disc I thought I would use this.

 

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The only place I could think of fitting it was on the starting handle. I drew out what I needed to make and drilled the disc out to fit tightly on the handle.

 

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Now, something is needed to hold it firmly onto the handle and to keep the handle engaged with the engine.

 

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A bit of lathe work and milling sorted out my fixing.

 

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I also made a pointer to fit on the magneto.

 

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I found TDC for the LH cylinder and set the dial gauge to zero and the timing disc to zero. Now I can get on with checking the valve timing. As I was getting tired, I would leave that for the next day.

 

 

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 A great example of why I wouldn't even consider doing this kind of work without a lathe and a mill handy. Good work!

 

jp

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17 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Do the in-line thermostats work on low pressure and only react to temp changes?

 

I would think the in-line thermostat just works on temperature. The link I posted is for the Rover diesel engines. It was developed as an aftermarket product so that the heater in these vehicle heats up more. I have contacted the company to find out the diameter of the thermostat to see if it is of a size that I could fit into the top hose on the Humberette. Hopefully, they will reply to my email!

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Checking the valve timing on the V-twin engine.

 

For some unknown reason I forgot to take any photos of the dial gauge showing the position of opening, the valve lift and the valve closing - I must have got carried away with the measurement's I was taking!

 

After writing all the figures in my book for both the inlet and exhaust valves on the LH cylinder I looked to see if they compared to a typical motorcycle of the period.

 

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The figures I had made absolutely no sense whatsoever!

 

I then twigged that one turn of the crank handle turned the engine over two revolutions - what a 'Wally' I am for not realising this before!

 

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I attempted to extrapolate the correct readings from the timing disc. The disc was marked in degrees before TDC, degrees after TDC and the same for BDC which made working out the correct readings difficult for my, by this time, muddled brain. It may have been easier if I the disc was marked in degrees from 0 to 360. It was then that I went back to the house and started the Excel spreadsheet to try and get my head around the problem. How was I going to get over the problem? Without access to the flywheel which is inside the crankcase it seemed difficult. I went and had another look at the engine and realised that the cone clutch worked on a 'small flywheel' and that this rotated with the crankshaft. My excuse for not realising this before was that I have never owned a car with a cone clutch before! Yet another 'Wally moment' on my part!

 

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I then found TDC on the RH cylinder and marked it on the outer part of the 'cone clutch'. At least that was a start!

 

A friend has just arrived to see if I have some bolts that will fit his MG PB. I'll be back later.

 

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20 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

 

1671.thumb.jpg.330c3e2724736eae1fdae4eebb9ebde0.jpg

 

This plug between the water jacket and the combustion chamber proved a problem as none of my sockets would fit through the top hole. I got over the problem by finding an old spare socket of the correct size and turning down the outside of the socket on the lathe until it fitted.

 

I have kept all my late Dad's box spanners for precisely this sort of problem.  It is surprising how often the old stuff comes in handy!

 

Ray.

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

Edited by R.White (see edit history)

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