Tuesday, 30 September 2014


So I haven't used my 1913 Ariel TT model since I went to Ireland with Huw. Looking back that's six years ago! So its time for the old girl to come out of hibernation now she's 101 years old.

I've had the bike since 2004 after I bought it off an Ariel Club mate who had found it in Trowbridge (of all places). It had sat in an old mill for decades before the previous owner, on finding out the mill was due for demolition, saved it. It had its last tax disc still on the bike - 1924. So it had been used from 1913 to 1924 then laid up til Mick bought it. Mick fixed it up but never rode it much so I bought it off him, got it fettled and road worthy and enjoyed a good few years blatting around the countryside including a trip to Ireland and France. Then, in a `several pints of Guinness' haze, I managed to melt it on the road to Rosslare while charging along with Huw. I fixed it but its not been run since.

So, pre-flight checks went well, wheel bearings and spokes all seem good, greased the forks etc., but I couldn't stop a petrol leak from the tank. It looked like it was the tap but several fibre washers later it became clear that there was a hairline crack in a previous solder repair (from the 1920's, not a recent one). When I got the bike I had to solder up the petrol tank as it was leaking all over the place. This was quite an experience but I managed to do it successfully, so fixing a hairline crack should be straight forward. Probably...

Dug out my paraffin blowtorch and smaller soldering iron:-

The paraffin blowtorch is great - you have to pump some pressure into the reservoir while warming the evaporation tubes in the nozzle with a gas torch. Eventually it bursts into life but generally not before emitting a stream of burning paraffin in a nice arc.

I cleaned off the repair point and gave it a wash with Bakers Fluid to try to get it as clean as possible, then added some solder melting it into and onto the crack.
It takes a bit of heating to get the soldering iron to a hot enough temperature to melt the solder. The colder tank robs the heat fairly quickly.

After a bit of dressing and replacing the taps I put some white spirit in the tank to see if it was still leaking:-
So far so good. I'll let it dry out first then try it with petrol before I'm happy I've sorted it but it looks promising.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Oil Leaks

All old vehicles have oil leaks - mine more than most. But generally I don't mind that on the bikes but the Dub is dropping on the drive and it needs sorting. So while I have the drive shaft off I might as well try to change the gearbox oil seal that is weeping.

So, I removed the centre cap and circlip from the gearbox outlet shaft and the drive flange should just come off. But it didn't. So some light persuasion with a chisel and some Moleys got it off eventually.

Revealing the offending seal:-

Gotta pull it out and replace but that for next time.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Double blog alert!!

Not used the miniramp in ages so thought I'd drive over to the other side of Swindon and have a roll.

To be honest, I don't do the ramp justice. I can roll around and drop in and that's about it. But as I have absolutely no frontside kickturn, I thought I could use it to learn. So I rolled back and forwards, and threw in the occasional FS attempt. And they are starting to emerge, all be it slowly.

More doomramping needed I think.

Back in the Dub

Thought I'd better get cracking with the dub works again after the summer holidays and other stuff got in the way.

Sorting the bearings on the last rear quarter, including changing the CV joint boots and hopefully stopping a gearbox oil leak.

Fitting a new ball bearing - this one went in easy:-

Then the roller bearing on the other side - which was a right bastard to fit. Had to get the big blowtorch out for this one:-

Changed the CV joint boots too and regreased - the first one done:-

And both done and bagged up:-

Just throwing some stone chip onto the hub carrier:-

Loads more still to do, then its welding time. Uh oh.