Starting the Royal Enfield Restoration

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As some of you know..I swapped for this 1961 Royal Enfield/Indian motor
cycle in 1971. Then went on the road for the next 40 yrs while it
resided in my Dads garage. He got it running about 20 yrs ago, but it
was a bit too much for him to mess with (he had my 1940 vintage BSA M20
to putter around on). I got this bike out to California with the kind
assistance of my sister Lori and Leigh Knudsen of MarMachine in
2008...started it up and then a month or two later..had my infamous
heart surgery etc etc. So Ive had this scooter for 40 yrs..and have
never ridden it.
So with the economy in the toilet..Ive got some time on my hands to
finally do something with the old girl.
First photo album above is of the bike exactly as I got it..and the
second one is the start of the tear down and beginning of the
For those of you who might not know about British bikes...prior to about
1970...the English used nuts and bolts with heads and threads quite
different than SAE or Metric... 55 degree threads and head sizes all
their I first had to get a set of Whitworth (their screwy nuts
and bolt sizes) tools, which I did from a lad in the UK via Ebay and a
set of manuals and parts listings from another lad in England.... and
then clean out the back 40 enough to set up a work area. I wasnt going
to do this on my big welding indeedy! So yesterday I started
taking the bits and pieces off the bike, and numbering and labeling them
in bins and boxes..and tonight I pulled the engine and opened it up.
Well part of it. Im very surprised that its in such good shape
internally. Carboned up, oil nasty as can least 40 yrs
old...stinky...but the bits and pieces appear to be in good mechanical
shape with little wear.
I dont know what the original owner(s) did in the 10 yrs before I got
it and when it was imported into the US..but they apparently didnt have
a very good source of Whitworth nuts and bolts..because so far..about
1/3 of the hardware Ive SAE...regular sized nuts and bolts.
And they were a bit "iffy" about making adaptions when something minor
would fall off...sigh. So its gonna be a bike thats gonna require two
sets of tools mixed together. SAE and Whitworth. Fortunately..I have a
modest machine shop at home..and can make a lot of my own fasteners and
other bits and pieces in Whitworth sizes on the lathes. Plus heat
treating equipment to make them properly.
More pictures will follow as I strip and sand blast then repaint the
frame, clean up all the aluminum bits, redo the front forks etc etc and
then do the engine. Its my fall project...way too much time on my
hands..damnit. Anyways..Ill post occasionally as the project continues.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
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Don't worry about having 2 sets of spanners - late model Nortons had both British and USA standard threads, and toolkit to suit. As long as there's a nut at the end of a bolt, it usually doesn't matter what thread standard is. That's a Matchless (or AJS - same factory) toolbox on the left side.
Reply to
Great story, I like the V-belt lifting strap technique also.
Reply to
Matter of fact I do. Don't know the numbers and too busy to remember to squirt them with wd40, oil leak.
Reply to
Maybe you want to think about getting a job before taking on another hobby.
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Anyone over 50 has less than a 30% chance of finding a job in this economy.
Reply to
Shall not be infringed
Went in to buy a drive belt for my SB "A" the other day, same place I bought the replacement for the original leather belt for, IIRC, $9.00 about 25 years ago. Price quoted? $175.00 ! Guess I get to pull the spindle and install the 52" serpentine belt I bought for $2.00 a couple years ago; probably a good idea to pull the spindle and do a thourough clean up anyhow as I doubt that it has been apart since it was new 51 years ago. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
And of course, you've paid your taxes
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