Saturday 26 October 2019

Cleaning, fixing and adjusting the Rhino-/Coronet lathe

In order to move the Rhino to the new workshop, the old girl had to come apart, which was the perfect opportunity to finally clean her up properly and see just how sloppy the pre-owner and manufacturer were. (Spoiler alert: very.)

The picture shows the headstock after attacking it with household kitchen-degreaser and a bit of scrubbing. (Which sort of started this cleaning marathon)

One of the moments of shocking sloppyness: This is one of the cross-slide's gibs, which has never been fully bolted down, because the same bolt also held the oiler-cap on and because at the factory they didn't bother drilling the hole the correct size, tightening down the bolt resulted in locking the oiler-cap... 

Same gib, de-rusted, oiled and ready for install. 

It's somewhat hard to see in the pictures, but now you can make out that the lathe is actually green.

Last task on the list was to clean up and repair the power-cross and longitudinal feed lever, which had been broken off, ever since I bought the lathe.

Yes, that's JB-weld. But the pin had been pressed in from the back and there was no reasonable way to get it out. Also the lever had broken off exactly at the hole resulting in the pin being a nice alignment dowel.

Greasing all the bores and shafts with molybdenum-disulfide grease to make them run nicely again. 

Spot the dirty print marks from touching the painted bits - yup the lathe's now this clean!

With a working lathe, the new workshop is starting to feel a bit more homely at last.

Sunday 20 October 2019

Workshop move

... or how to take a lot of things out of a small workshop and stuff it into an even smaller workshop.

So here's what I've got to work with:

It's not too large, but I think it can be done. So out with the old...

And set up the new.

During the move, the Turbo broke it's own top-speed record for 2019...

Luckily I may borrow my dad's garage for a while to store the Turbo and some other stuff until I've made some room in the new workshop. 

And that's (mostly) what it looks like right now: (it's getting better though)

In the course of all of this, I took the lathe apart and took first steps towards something ressembling a cleanup and overhaul, but that'll be a few more days until I can show you some pictures of the results.

Saturday 12 October 2019

Everyday TR1 - V-star conversion (part 2)

Now the incentive to give building a V-star based TR1-engine a shot came from the fact that I managed to get hold off a BT1100 engine for approx. a third of the usual price, because allegedly it had lunched its gearbox in a rather spectacular manner.

The rear cylinder had come off normally, but unfortunately the front cylinderstuds are covered with some black plastic tubing and if rust forms underneath it, things become unpleasant. 

The angle grinder gave the stud its final haircut. 

The lathework on the BT cylinders was actually easier than on the TR1 test piece as these are made from aluminium and machine very nicely, when the correct insert tooling (or sharpened HSS) is used.

A quick fit on an older TR1 engine case showed that they indeed fit nicely into the crankcase mouths now.

For reasons, which aren't fully clear to me either, I prefer an all silver engine in my TR1. So the cylinders had to be painted in heat-resistant paint.

While I was at it, I removed the breather hose on the camchain-tensioner cover. Originally I meant to reuse one of my old TR1 covers, but the bore-spacing is slightly different, so that wouldn't work at all. 

The fitting was helicoiled in M6 and a countersunk bolt used to plug it up.  

Next was to free the crankshaft from its current home and inspect it. In order to get the rotor's taper up to sufficient temperature, I used a jeweller's oxy-propane torch to heat it up in individual spots and make it distort ever so slightly, so it loses its grip on the taper.

A very satisfying moment, indeed. Also not the usage of one euro-cent coins to protect the crank end. (Also they are cheaper than buying little copper buttons to use...)

An almost new oilpump for the new engine. 

With the right crankcase-half off, it's time to inspect the gearbox and make some room inside the cases. 

Totally fried. 

Pushing the crank out, requires a special tool, which in my case is just some angle-iron with a few suitably spaced holes and a spacer ring to spread the load evenly on the outer bearing race. 

And finally the crank: already stripped of the oil-pump gear and the ball bearing, because it had a flat bearing ball in it and the conrods removed to inspect the clearances.

New bearing shells and pistons and rings have been ordered as the pistons had some marks on them, which made me ever so slightly uneasy and as such I decided not to reuse them. (Even though they probably are perfectly fine to use.) Once the parts the parts arrive, it will be time to take the engine out and dig into it.

Saturday 5 October 2019

Everyday TR1 - V-star conversion (part 1)

The King is dead. All hail to the king.

My basic idea on how to overhaul the Everyday TR1's engine was sound, but in short the material wasn't. No way of looking at things  could hide the fact that the cylinders were just way out of spec.

The problem is, good (as in "within-spec") XV1100 cylinders are few and far between. Generally V-star cylinders are plentiful, Nikasil plated and very durable. And... they don't fit.

The reason is pretty simple: A stock V-star cylinder liner is almost 104mm on the outside...

... a stock XV1100 cylinder liner is less than 102.5mm...

... and the hole I want to stuff all that in is 103mm. 

Or in short: something's gotta give. Basically there's two options.
  1. Bore out the cases to 104.Xmm 
  2. Turn down the liners.
 As boring the cases would have meant removing all the bearings from the engine cases plus a rather unpleasant setup on my mill, a bit of recycled copper-pipe is fitted over the lathe jaws to prevent them from marring the bore.

The other thing that needs modifications are the camchain tensioners. V-star tensioners are thicker and closer to the tensioner, so they are a bit short and would run out of travel rather sooner than later.

An additional 5mm in thickness of the plunger should do the trick rather nicely. 

The next step was to take the engine apart to free up the crank and find out, whether the seller was honest and all the engine suffered from was a broken gearbox.