Sir Walter phut phut, that is.
I say broken again but since making him legal, he’s done over 100 miles without serious problem. Not exactly JD Power top 10 performance but not bad for a 65 year old relic of the 1950’s. “Shake down testing” is the way I look at it. In preparation that is, for the Coast to Coast in June, over 2 days, East to West against the wind, with an overnight stay (or re-build!) in Alston.
And the testing, or development, has gone quite well. Sir Walter has proved he can climb some fairly severe hills with pedal assistance. And we have plenty of those in North East England, like the one below with Weardale in the background.
Early on, it became apparent the engine was running very rich as fuel consumption was far short of the reported 240 mpg and the engine had a tendency to “4 stroke”. These small 2 strokes are often called buzz boxes due to the high pitch noise they make and when they 4 stroke, well, they just don’t buzz! Carburetor flooding was the cause and a sticking float needle was the culprit, quickly resolved by cleaning it and lapping the needle seat with Brasso.
As part of the “shakedown”, I found that Sir Walter pulled better with more ignition advance and started easier with a smaller contact breaker gap of 0.012″/0.014″compared to the spec of 0.018″.
Which leads me to the record of .. top speed.
First run, I got 24 mph. Not bad as the rated top speed is 20 to 25 mph. After correcting the fuel level, I got 28.5 mph. Then I achieved 29.5 on a long downhill with a tail wind. There was a “fast” left hander in the middle of the hill, with a sunken manhole cover that I hit. I’d like to say the suspension coped well but Sir Walter doesn’t have any, so it didn’t and I had more shakes than Shane Shakey Burn (BSB hero google him). Great fun.
Final try. After a bit more running in, I found a steeper and straighter hill, complete with left hander but no manhole cover this time. I gave full throttle and he revved out well. I even got down behind the bubble (i.e. headlamp) to improve the aero package. I got to the bottom safely and was hopeful I’d set a new record, when cough, splutter, phut phut … he died.
First thought were, seizure, melted piston and broken rings due to throttling off from high revs and loss of lubricating oil.
But I was wrong. Fortunately, on checking, I found that a screw had came out of the contact breaker assembly and I’d simply lost the points gap and spark. Better still, this is the Endomondo screen shot:
So I’d hit the magic 0.3ton! A new personal record.
But you’ll notice my AVG. SPEED is low. And that’s because the screw was stuck inside the flywheel on the magnet and I had no puller to get the flywheel off, so I had to pedal home.
No support team for me, as I continue the British obsession for land speed records and tread in the steps of other famous daredevils. But at least Sir Walter and I have our own personal record; for now at least.