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About Bfg

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    Suffolk, England

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  1. No worries, just send me the plane and hotel tickets and I'll be straight off to California for you.
  2. I'm just 5 miles from Ipswich, if you have an address want me to go and check them out, then I'd be glad to. I'm guessing it is one of the upmarket showrooms in Princess Street. I don't know them but really that doesn't mean much as I'm not at all upmarket. Pete.
  3. if it's of any help I went through the same learning curve < here > ..which was happily concluded < here > Pete.
  4. Tony Hi, Yes it is a subjective opinion that most everyone who buys a Bonneville shares ..and this is directly reflected in values / prices realised. The Speed Twin was created in 1937, although not introduced until after that war ..but it grew and evolved into the Daytona, Tiger, Trophy, Thunderbird and Bonneville. That is to say a transverse twin cylinder with it's distinctive pear shaped tank and very rounded oil tank / battery cover style. Sure the badges and stripes changed., but the James Dean , Lee Marvin. Steve McQueen. Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Bob Dylan, Anthony Quinn, Marlon Brando, and numerous other lesser known and /or later movie giants were filmed on and even privately rode around on early (round style) bikes. Oil in frame with flat side panels and then a slab sided petrol tank just weren't the same. That is not to say they weren't as good engineering, or perhaps even better in some respects, but they simply don't stir the same evocation nor attract the same values. The iconic statement made by the silver screen was much better understood in America - where they retained the pear-shaped gas tank for the 750cc twin and triple. But the management in Britain were old school dull-beige-suits rather than on-the-ball marketing men. They saw Japanese bikes with squarer styles outselling their own bikes and so they tried to copy them. It was a knee jerk reaction to dropping sales which lacked either common sense or acumen. The result was of course a further drop of sales and the bikes being thought of as unsuccessful. An association which is also not good for their now classic bike prices. They are just 'not as classic' as the original. That perception may be very different in Europe, but here in England it remains a fact. In 20 years time, should you keep the bike then you'll find the gap closes as the old film stars become less iconic and more corny. Kick starting a 650cc Bonneville shouldn't be that bad, as it's a relatively short stroke (compared to my Norton 850) and of course if it tends to kick back then the ignition timing is a tad too advanced. And if it is however too much, then might I suggest doubling up on the head gasket to reduce compression. That's cheap and easy to do ..and still you'll scare the b'jeepers out of your dogs and be able to enjoy the bike for cruising. Otherwise, I say .. Encourage your sons to be men of adventure and full of life, able to achieve anything and to be who they strive to be. Yes there is a risk but who of us who have ever done anything so alive really regrets it.? Much better to get hurt once in a while than to never leave the nursery. Pete.
  5. MOT is exempt for 1971 bikes, but legally, morally, and for insurance reasons it is still required to be in roadworthy condition. However indicators only have to work if they are fitted, and the speedo is not part of an MOT requirement, even though you are legally obliged to ride within the speed limits. So without further info - it would seem to get the bike road legal in the UK would only require a silencer ..and for the brakes to work properly.! Triumph's twin leading front brakes were good for the era. T120RV is for the five speed gearbox. Nice spec but but not needed (nor in my opinion desirable) for the torquey characteristics of the 650. The 750 felt a very different engine and perhaps benefited from the five speed box, but the ratio spacing was too close and not brilliant and the first gear was too low to be of any real use unless for pulling street wheelies or for pulling away on the side of a mountain when fully laden with camping gear. 1971 Bonneville is I believe the oil-in-frame model ..which do not command the same values as the earlier oil tank models, and with it being customised the value is much less still (the cost of good quality original spec parts are expensive and many Bonnevilles come in from the US so modified). However they are still good fun bikes to ride, it owes you nothing and yet it's a good investment, and a great talking point when you have friends around for a barbecue. Personally speaking .. given the parking space and the interest - I'd keep it, use it and enjoy it ..and perhaps over the next few years keep your eye peeled for the occasional bargains - to buy the correct bits, which will only go up in price but will enable you to sell it more easily / for a better price. However should you choose to sell.. then imo Car & Classic is as good for classic bikes as for classic cars, but e-bay has a far greater circulation. For £25 a month classified listing on ebay get's the advert seen (better presentation possibilities, with bigger / more pictures than C&C) and avoids most of the buyer irritations and tyre kickers. I list on ebay but avoid Paypal (because of their high fees) in payments. Pete.
  6. The 87mm pistons and rings supplied are 86mm +0.040" sets ..and unless +0.050 or +0.060" are also available (..and I don't know, I haven't looked) - this is worth considering in light of not being able to get the next size up in piston rings should you need to have the cylinder bores honed at any time in the future. Pete.
  7. Mark, with the cylinder head off you can work from above the piston. The corrosion you showed of that piston and liner shows they are now beyond economical repair, so after soaking in penetrating fluid (I use 50/50 mix of engine oil & parts cleaner ..shaken not stirred ..and big drip tray under the engine) then, with a suitably shaped block of softwood to be used as a drift on top of those pistons, a lump hammer will be very persuasive. Your crankshaft is at 90 degrees so it will turn with no damage. Pete.
  8. East Saxons group had an informal social distanced gathering at the Alma this evening, with take away food and bottled beer. Very sociable.
  9. TR4 engine rebuild quick update.. You may recall, although I must admit pre-corona-virus activities do seem another life ago, I had been stripping and cleaning the spare TR4A engine I'd bought, and I'd taken the crankshaft and cylinder head into the machine shop for regrind and balancing, lightening the flywheel, and for the cyl.head to be converted to unleaded. Upon subsequent receipt of those parts - I was concerned because the crankshaft had been excessively and very crudely angle-ground in an attempt to balance it, which at the time I couldn't understand ..and so I wanted to take it to another machine shop for a second opinion. The covid lock-down prevented that happening and so the parts were wrapped up and put aside while I got on with rebuilding vintage motorcycle engines. However, just prior to the shut down - my friend Rich, from the East Saxons group, had kindly lent me a mandrel for positioning the crankshaft's rear scroll seal onto the cylinder block. I'd not yet used it but John, I think also from our group, wanted to borrow it for a rebuild of a TR2 engine I believe. So on Saturday morning I pulled the cylinder block out from under its wraps in the back of the garage and set-to quickly doing this task, before wrapping and dropping that mandrel in for parcel delivery to John in the afternoon. The following is a comic strip of my fitting the crankshaft's scroll seal on the block . . . . ^ the mandrel I borrowed off Rich. It's in aluminium so it's relatively lightweight to post but vulnerable to getting scratched or dented. Handle with care. On this one, although seemingly otherwise new there were a couple of snags sitting proud along its edge. With a fine file I very locally redressed those to be level with the adjacent surfaces. . ^ the original scroll seal (grey) versus my new scroll seal (anodized cyan blue) with its evolved design to also take a Land-Rover type lip-seal (made of viton). NB. Before fitting I did run around the new scroll with a craft knife blade to remove a very sharp burr. . ^ ..first up the engine stand prevents getting to where the rear crankshaft seal bolts onto, so that had to go. . ^ After inverting the crankcase I used the overhead winch (from my garage roof beam) and strops to lower the engine case onto a wooden block. The winch remained in place as a safety guard but the weight rested on the timber ..which also stopped the engine swinging about as I fitted parts. The mandrel serves as a substitute for the crankshaft and whatever sized main bearing shells might be used ..so it just sits into the rear main bearing seat without shells. I pre-cleaned the seat and surrounding faces and oiled them, and the mandrel, before positioning it. . ^ The cap / other half of the main bearing seat was likewise cleaned and oiled before being carefully placed. With no seals in place - I used the two bolts (alternatively) to pull it down into place by hand. Tip - I often use this swivel on the end of the socket's extension bar as an easier-to-grip handle ..to finger tighten bolts rather than using a ratchet. This way I can feel that things are running in squarely and smoothly. The cap / half seat was pulled down and its rear face leveled with the crankcase before the bolts were finally pinched up tight using the ratchet handle (but not fully torqued up for this operation). That done, the mandrel was accurately located and pinched in place. . ^ The rear gasket face of the seat halves were smeared with Wellseal gasket compound and the first half of the new scroll seal was positioned and loosely held in place using the standard bolts. I also used a smear of Wellseal on those bolt threads ..because they go through into the crankcase. Note. the Land-Rover type / lip seal is not fitted while the scroll seal is being positioned. . ^ The other half of the scroll seal was likewise positioned and loosely bolted in place. It's nigh on impossible to get a feeler gauge inbetween the mandrel and the scroll seal, and any slack in its bolt holes is very little anyway. However I did gently tap them together and sideways so they were tightly aligned to one another (I could feel no step between one and the other with my finger tip running across the split / join). . ^ I tried using a powerful LED light array, with the garage doors closed and lights turned off, but could see no light coming through between the mandrel and the scroll seal. I guess that must be pretty darn close and so tightened up those eight fastenings. These are only 1/4" screws, fastening against aluminium with little lock washers, so they don't need to be brutally tight. . ^ Job done. The scroll seal was accurately positioned and now bolted in place on Wellseal compound. I released the two rear main bearing bolts just a little and slipped the mandrel out from the end. The cap / half seat will have to lifted off to fit the crankshaft at some time ..but for the time being - the cap can stay put to protect the scroll seal from getting knocked before that task is done. In my own circumstance I'm not sure when that will be as I haven't yet had the crankshaft checked. I've also been given short notice to vacate the house (and garage !) I live in. So for the time being this engine's reassembly is low priority. The outside of the crankcase is painted, and all other bare metal faces inside and around the block have been coated with oil to protect them from humidity / corrosion. The crankcase is back on its engine stand and then the whole case has been wrapped in plastic bubble wrap to keep the worse of the dust and moisture out. If I get a chance I'll get the crankshaft in asap but if not then it'll have to go into storage as it is. . . .. That's All Folks ..for today I bid you a good one and good health. Pete.
  10. David, no apologies needed - I only sought to understand. When one is working in Photoshop and focused on (and very often zoomed right the way in) to alter the pixels of someone else's photo, it is not easy to also render the exact design shape one is after. This is why I emphasis that the sculpturing needs to be done in the clay rather than on paper. In retrospect (because I conceived the style many months ago) this illustration conveys ( i.m.o.) too flat a rear window and tail gate. I feel it might better compliment the curvature of the boot lid itself. Had I been in the position to go ahead with this project, then I would have reworked this and other drawings a dozen or more times to explore variations .. of different rear and side window size and shapes / more tumble-home / with a roof gutter / a more rounded roof / various alternatives of tail gate opening and hinge arrangements / different rear bumper / number plate location and badging / etc / etc. But this is just a first-draft, and I suspect even Michelotti, Karmann, Harris mann, nor Triumph got their first round of sketches spot on. In short ; the sketch is just a starting place not the final design. These evolve in the mind's eye, on paper, nowadays in computer 3d models, and even after it has been modeled in clay. Marco Hi. Radford's Aston DB5 shooting brake is just one of my inspirations, but indeed a notable one. Many years ago I helped Tony Stevens (Designer) create the Ladbrook-Avon Jaguar XJ estate and convertibles (below), as well as a stretched Range Rover shooting-brake for Rapport International. I was positively intrigued by the very concept of converting two cars into an estate / shooting brake. Some years later, as a Jag owner I happened across the Xk150 shooting brake, I love the XK150 anyway - so fell in love with it and I wanted one ..for that car's driving pleasure plus its added bonus of practically-sized and very usable space.. Although I did own a 150 Roadster for a short while I never explored the idea. But over the years I've been quietly accumulating a collection of images and reports. Only when coming back to the dream, and facing the prospect of building my own shooting-brake, and then also starting from a TR4, did I remember the Radford's DB5 ..and noted the resemblance in their windscreen, front wing line, rear fins, etc. Of course I came from the wrong side of the tracks to ever own an Aston, but that doesn't stop me from admiring and being inspired by them. Design styling is a subjective matter, and of course everyone tends towards being a designer. To my eye the Radford DB5 is sublimely elegant from the front and sides, but the rear window is disproportionately big. Indeed although it's not seen in that article's photos - when one looks at the car from a 3/4 rear perspective and with the tail-gate closed - the bottom corners of the rear window poke out ..most odd. "I wish you find a more dynamic styling." I agree, but I might also hope it would be more apparent in a less pedestrian photo. Cheers. . ^ Tony Stevens Automotive designer, with whom I started my design career, worked with Ladbrook-Avon Coach-builders in Warwickshire to create a series of these. That was close to 40 years ago now but as a young man I was really inspired by what he could achieve with pencil n' paper and then an angle grinder & welder.. Pete.
  11. Sorry I don't understand, as the bottom lip of the boot-lid is standard TR4.
  12. A couple of you have expressed interest in the shooting brake I'd hope to build, and so rather than reply individually here's another photoshop illustration of mine ..which might go a little further to explain the style I was working towards. Personally I would go for Dunlop D-type style wheels for the shooting brake but the original photo (triumph-tr4-1965-8.jpg) was borrowed off the internet and the wheels and off-white were fine for my laying out the general shape on paper (or the screen). Minor details and geometry are still not quite right but some details really do need to be sorted in the clay rather than in an illustration. Then again some details have not yet been added, for example ; chromed roof gutters were usual in the 1960's and that, especially across the back would make a noticeable visual difference, possibly dropping the rear window to lessen the gap between it and the boot lid. Nevertheless it goes some way to differentiate the 1960's styling I was seeking, versus the 1970's style of Bernd Amling's superb TR6 shooting brake with its low, broad and angular rear window / buttress treatment. Best regards Pete
  13. ^ Excellent Hoges. As a fan of lightweight cars in general (I worked alongside Frank Costin's son in a summer vacation job and we got talking) and equally of the Lightweight E-type (I very nearly bought a kit-car company which made a version of one in GRP a few years back) - I very much appreciate where you are coming from. Never having been in the position to afford an aluminium special, and also wanting the car for daily road use, I was glad to be buying a TR4A with grp panels. That purchase fell through but your and my thoughts are quite in parallel. Is there a thread or perhaps your own website which will show us more of what you did with your 4 ? Many Thanks, Pete
  14. Don't know if the attached idea is what you're after but, on the kit-cars I built many years ago, I found it worked exceedingly well to use separate side-screen lowers (one for either side of the car) together with the tonneau cover with its slightly off-centre zip. I think you'll find they are more convenient than trying to do it in one piece, and more reliable than extra zips. Made and fitted at the same time as the tonneau - they didn't cost much extra, and they used the same studs fastenings. Pete. .
  15. I'm guessing you've already done an internet search ..but just in case you hadn't come across it < here > is one from our American cousins which proposes several ways and success in opening their TR6 bonnet. Wishing you every success. Pete.
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