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.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Ariel 1910-13 TT? Hungary, Hello, Attila Karnok