Sunday, December 15, 2013

1967 Velocette Scrambler

About a week ago one of the New England Velocette Owners decided to put up for sale his 1967 Scrambler. He had purchased it back awhile ago from a friend of his who was ill and needed to sell. It seems that it had a previously easy life with low miles and only a few downs; the right side controls had been replaced, a few dents in the oil tank and the forks had been removed and chrome plated. The old gal needs some attention as she has not run since 1981 but the plus side of all this is that its relatively complete with only a few mods or missing parts.

Having a soft spot for old machines that need a helping hand I gave the owner a call and after a short conversation made arrangements to be the next care taker.   Within a few days it was delivered just before a predicted snow storm.  She was moved right into the work shop and as the first flakes a snow fell I was already deep into learning what this old Velo had to teach. A history lesson in the passage of time, new thoughts as to how best approach preservation and repair.
Its always feels like an archaeological dig when learning a new machine. Something different is unearthed in every move. Another bit of history and mysteries unfold as each event brings forth more intimate knowledge.

On of few known problems was a lack of compression which may (or not) be related to the straight pipe exhaust. It seems that a loose nut was causing the exhaust valve to hang open.  A very industrious rodent had packed the pipe for winter storage.  As the pipe was removed a shower of blacken bird seed piled up on the floor. Later examination shows that the valves had 'tangled' from this.

There were a few missing bolts here and there. One of the transmission case bolts was missing its threads. The most thought provoking missing bolts were on the oil pump unit.  Two screws were no where to be seen. I've yet to check and see if they might have been broken off or vibrated out.  Though, I doubt the vibration made them fall out. Hopefully the oil pump was not disturbed as this is an interference fit in the case and must be well heated befor removal.  Possible damage to the case results to lack of adequate heating.
There was a fair bit of corrosion on the rear wheel and axle.  I'm not sure how much of a problem this will be in either finding a used wheel or repair via rim replacement.

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