Pete and Laz

Pete and Laz
Yeah, Pete it's rough...but it's a runner.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Triumph restorations begin...

Brought home most of the frame parts for the 1957 Triumph 650, that have been collecting more rust and dust in storage. The frame for the 1966 Triumph 650 is buried out in the "Nightmare Garage". The plan is to spend several days cleaning out and organizing the garage and hopefully finding most of the parts to these bikes. While I'm at it , I'll also extricate parts for the next several other projects on my  big "to-do" list.

I'm going to actually try to do these projects the "right way". Inventory all the parts here first. Make lists of projects to do. Make lists of parts needed. That kind of thing. Take lots of pics and document as I go. Try to keep the blog updated on progress. I'm going to do a "dry-build" of both bikes. Assemble everything once before paint, and final assembly. With the 1966 bike that won't be as critical as most of that bike will be assembled from it's original components, as it was actually a running machine as purchased. It was sort of semi-chopped. The rear frame loop had been lopped off and a solid bar "sissy-bar" had been welded in place. I have a replacement loop from another 60's frame for it, that will need to be welded in place.

When I left off, these parts had been freshly blasted of paint and rust, looks like I'll be blasting again.

Here's a pic of a swingarm frame that's for sale on E-Bay right now. This is what I hope that pile of rust will resemble soon.

The 1957 bike is another story. I'm going to be putting a frame together from two frames. This bike was a full chopper with a "weld-on" hardtail rear frame unit. When they did this they chopped off  the swingarm pivot point. I actually started this project a number of years ago, and have the frame partly finished. I'll need to build a frame table to align things properly when I do the finish welding. I've wanted a proper frame table for years and now would be a good time to have one. At this point I'm thinking of building the '57 as what I'd call a swingarm "custom". There are enough so called "bobber's" and "choppers" out there already. I'll be modeling it partly after a bike, that the foreman at the shop I worked at once upon a time in the seventies, rode. He had one of the nicest '59 Bonnevilles around at the time. Most of the modifications he did were in the interest of gaining reliability, and making the bike safer . His was one of the first I saw with a disc brake front end from a Honda 450 made to fit. He also had one of the first 5 speed transmission modifications, that I know of. The engine did have high compression racing pistons, hot cams, twin Mikuni carbs, a really nice looking Hooker Header two into one megaphone exhaust system .Oh yeah, it also had an early "morgo" oil pump. He had a "cobra" style seat, mainly because he was short and it enabled him to reach the pavement with his boots. He ran a smaller gas tank from a Triumph 500, that he had chromed. He finished the bike in gloss black with the chromed knee notches . He had decals instead of the "mouth organ" badges. Even with all the mods the bike still had a classic look and stance to it at first glance. It did ride very nicely, the 5 speed box really made it nice to ride. Wish I had a picture of it, but I don't. I've always wondered if that bike survived, I know he eventually sold it to support his ever expanding family. Last time I ran into him , he already had a "Brady Bunch" going. His bike kind of had the look of a Black Les Paul guitar, very simple....Black and chrome...with all the alloy polished to a mirror finish.

Black cats, black guitars, black Triumphs...?

Mine won't be a 5 speed this time around. Some of the other mods I might incorporate. I'll probably build it with a Bonneville top end, mainly because the engine came with later 650 components, like the later crank, and top end parts. I'm not sure if I have enough earlier parts around at this time to build it otherwise...will have to see. Brrrrrrrrrrr! It's cold out there today, but...back to the shed with me.

Rather large chunk of alloy missing there...

A couple pics for Nomad...Sorry, wasn't the right inner primary, and it's in pretty rough shape. But it does make a handy carrying handle for moving that trans and clutch around.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Working just that, been working too much.Need to spend time in the "Shed".

 Woke up this morning and realized I have a ten day stretch off from work. The school district shuts down for the Thanksgiving holidays, and by taking two days vacation....I have a nice break from work. Slept in the first day. Check. Now where's that to-do list?  Fixed the big hole in the garage roof where the squirrels or rats or some other sharply toothed critters did their thing last winter. Check. Also sealed up all the cracks and tears in the carport roof. Check. Watching an animal documentary the other day, and learned the reason some rodents teeth are orange is because of the high iron content. This strengthens them up so they can chew through things. Yeah, like my roof.

Been looking forward to a stretch of time to work on the "shed". Really need to get in there and do a massive clean-up and sorting.

Going to dig out my 441 Victor gas tank, last seen on my BSA 650 as a test tank, from when I got it running years ago. Going to shoot some pics of it and get some measurements from it, for "Bodger" to use as reference for the paint job on his Victor. There is a link to Bodger's blog (Thrash'em Motorcycles) to the right. Bodger lives out in Texas.

Also going to find that Triumph pre-unit inner primary that is still attached to a transmission I saw laying out in the car port. Need to see if it will work for a project "Nomad" down in Southern California is putting together. I'll have to add a link to his site some time. He has a shop in Southern California. He works on a lot of Triumphs. He's also a surfer, and he's into the Southern California "Punk" Rock scene. He was a friend of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, the wild and crazy car customizer and father of the "Rat Fink".

And I need to construct a box to mail off a chopper seat to Alabama, to "Kustom Jeff". A link to his blog "What I See" also to the right , and down.

And see Mrs.BC....I really do own, a giant spark plug. No brag...just fact.
Now, those are two large male cats...not kittens.

For scale. That is an actual cylinder head for a 1978 Triumph 750.
Of course, the spark plug is just an advertising gimmick molded from plastic.

Going to try my hand at some art work and do some sketches and/or water colors of proposals for the Triumph projects...something preliminary...we will see.

Really looking forward to finally going through all my British stuff and getting it sorted so that I have some idea what I need to start on my Triumph projects. For now that will be a 1966 650 Unit, and a 1957 Triumph 650 Pre-unit which I have mentioned in a previous post. Say Kawa, is it time we got serious about starting that inter-blog "build-off" someone proposed....?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

One of my father's Sargent's stripes and  another uniform patch from the Korean War era. When my father first joined up it was the Army-Air Corps which became the Air Force. The match book depicts Mather Air Force Base, which in 1943 was where B-25 bomber crews trained. For more information on the base: Click this Link.
Frank, a friend from work was a Sargent in the Air Force. His Father as well. He recently showed me a really nice framed box that contains his father's memorabilia from his service days. I'm going to make something similar for my father. 
My father retired out of Mather Air Force Base in 1965. That is how we ended up in the Sacramento area. He picked this area at the advice of a Korean War buddy who had settled here.  With McClellan Air Force Base nearby as well , a lot of service personnel settled into this part of California. Here's to all that served.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

California Automobile Museum....Part two....The future of transportation?

First a couple of  different gas burning vehicles.

Later model Oscar Mayer Weinermobile  from Wickopedia,not at the museum.

This is a follow on to the car show post, a 50's Muntz 

Looking kind of like an overgrown Karman Ghia.

This is a very rare car that had many features that were really advanced for the time.Click here for a link to a site about the Muntz.

The CHP electric chopper from previous post.

Recently saw a spot on television about Mercedes driving several hydrogen fuel cell vehicles around the world crossing 14 countries.. Of course, they had to be re-fueled by a large tanker that went with, since there is not yet hydrogen fuel available everywhere (In the back of my mind I picture this huge Zeppelin...) where was I? Oh, yeah...they also featured some companies that have hydrogen producing mini-stations that  produce the hydrogen with electricity produced on site. Very clean all around.  The museum has an interesting area that covers some earlier prototypes of this technology, as well as all electric vehicles. 

2001 Nissan Exterra FCV   set up so you can view the systems that make it all work.
Don't ask me to explain it...
2007 BMW Hydrogen 7
1972 Datsun Electric conversion.
Mercedes-Benz Necar 4a  (New electric car)
2001 Nissan Hyper Mini EV
2 views of a 1913 Rauch & Lang electric car

2002 Nissan Altra EV
One of 12....1997 GM EV-1 

I receive e-mails from a local EV association. One I received recently announced a new movie out, called "Revenge of the Electric Car". It was produced by the same man that brought you "Who killed the Electric Car?". It is interesting that GM is now producing an award winning Hybrid car. Ah, the politics of energy. As gas prices go up, alternatives start to look better all the time. I've been toying around with the idea of doing an all electric conversion myself, to a 1994 Ford Ranger pick up truck with a blown gas motor.Have even bought a couple books on the subject and am currently researching it, and looking at the costs involved and savings it could afford me in the long run. I'd use such a vehicle for commuting to work and short runs around town. Course I'm also looking at a motorcycle version as well....probably with a sidecar. Who knows? Stay tuned as they say.

Another view of  the Nissan Xterra FCV, with a model showing the components of a fuel cell vehicle.