I really do need my head looking at..

my cylinder head that is.

After making a second copper head gasket to get the correct cam chain tension and fitting the head, I found I could see light through the joint! Worse still, it was at the edge near where the oil gallery runs. So back off with the head and this is what I found.

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Ideally the head and barrel should be skimmed on a horizontal milling machine to correct the “out of flat” but I don’t have one. So it’s back to my friends trusty old Colchester lathe to see if I can skim the head and barrel on that.

First problem was how to hold the head and I settled on making a frame from aluminium extrusion that I secured to the head using the 4 x M6 cam cover holes. I then clamped the aluminium frame in a 4 jaw chuck and trued up the head face using a dial indicator.

Using a new TCT tip tool, I skimmed the head, using a very slow cross slide auto feed, to get the smoothest finish possible and in total I removed 0.19mm.

To skim the barrel, I first made a plug out of nylon, that was a tight slide fit into the bore – tight enough that it needed tapping in place with a mallet but hopefully not so tight that it would split the steel liner.  The plug served 2 purposes. Firstly to allow the liner skirt to be clamped in a 3 jaw chuck without risk of crushing the skirt and secondly to keep the barrel true by supporting it with a floating tailstock.

To true the face, I removed 0.14mm. The good news was that removing a total of 0.33mm, enabled me to use the fist copper gasket I made; the 1,2mm thick one.

Now the joint is perfect and clamps up without daylight!

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Job done (hopefully).

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“I’ve been to Paradise but I’ve never been to me”

is a very, very, cheesie song released by Mary MacGregor, Charlene and others.

It’s about living a hedonistic lifestyle but never finding self fulfillment – very deep. Hedonists believe that their sole purpose in life is to maximise pleasure and happiness whilst minimising pain. Full-on hedonism is a bit extreme but I don’t see the harm in some pleasure and that’s what I’ve had with Sir Walter, since we became road legal in April last year.

Wherever we go, young children cheer as we go by (or is it “jeer”), teenagers point and laugh, builder’s mates hang out of transit vans and shout “give us a wheelie”, women often smile (sometimes shaking their head from side to side) and even Jack Russells are happy when they realise this is the first “motorbike” they can out run!

We’ve been stopped by pedestrians jumping into the road to ask, “what’s that?” and brought nostalgic smiles to men who were young in the 50’s and had a Cyclemaster as their first “motorbike”. One motorist even asked to buy Sir Walter, as “it’s exactly what I want for Steam Rally weekends”. Virtually everywhere we go, we strike up conversations with strangers. And we’ve been to quite a few places.

We’ve been on the East to West Adventure –

FROM CRIMDON DENE                            TO TEESDALE

AND HARTSIDE                                     TO WHITEHAVEN

We’ve been High and Low  –

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We’ve been to Castles and Windmills

We’ve been to North America

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and in the words of the song

“We’ve been to PARADISE

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and we’ve also been to PITY ME”

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a great year all told. Bring on Hedonism.