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KennyNUT

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Hi All,

OK, It’s time to open up the story again with the final components of the restoration in two or three parts to accommodate the photographs (limited to 10 to a reply).

The final steps to completion!! Part 1

Can I just take a moment to remind all that this started as a top end overhaul and check due to some smoking from the exhaust during running with many warnings issued from VOC members that I was potentially going to be opening my wallet in a breeze. I have to take it on the chin that this is exactly what has happened.


What have I got to show for it:

  1. I have a cracking Vincent Comet to show for my efforts. It was a nice bike before, but now it’s a beauty with a very nice (albeit restored look to it). Anything removed from the bike has been wrapped up and kept in a box (except old gaskets), in case any future owner has a masterclass in parts restoration

  2. Increased knowledge about the mechanical workings of my Vincent Comet and a better general knowledge about Vincents

  3. A better knowledge and experience of a range of other specialist suppliers for chroming, painting, carburettor refurbishment, wheel builders/suppliers etc

  4. That this is a fantastic forum for immediate, helpful, and thankfully, humorous responses ( I am a member of the DOC GB club as well on account of my latest two wheeled acquisition J and the forum is less responsive though the moderators have been helpful in the background)

  5. Some fun dialogues and experience of a super Vincent Spares team who delivered parts that arrived in their multitude on occasions as I exercised my credit card at the online Spares shop

  6. Peace of mind as I now know the condition of the inside as well as the outside of the main parts of my bike. For me this has given me huge confidence with the bike. I cannot underestimate this

  7. My annual bonus this year has gone up in smoke! Such is life……..

I will soon learn if the bike is still generating smoke after this summer’s running in. And I am pretty sure that it will still leak oil, though not badly (it didn’t before, just a dribble now and again).

P1050310.JPG

I have, frankly, thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, especially the last 5 days when I locked myself inside the garage refitting the refurbished carburettor. Martin Bratby did a fabulous job re-working the main bore, fitting a brand new brass slide and replacing all other worn internals, and a few externals, springs, screws etc. All replaced parts were also returned as part of the job. No more rattly carburettor internals!
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Everything was finished off with a label on the float bowl. Very professional….

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Whilst Martin did a bit of refinishing on the external carburettor, I decided to repaint the body for “completeness and so the enamel heat resistant aluminium paint was brought back into service along with the domestic oven to help cure it (after all it was still February and pretty chilly)!

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Thanks, Martin.


Moving onto the wheels, hubs and brakes…….

Now, I have to admit that I didn’t know the hubs and flanges originally should not have been black as that was how they came off the bike. I had them powder coated and then regretted that after this was pointed out to me a by my friend, Rob!

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Also, shame on me for not using the excellent Vincent reference books to check this. So while I had these powder coated black, I then had them stripped again by bead blasting!

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Then my attention moved to begin the process of fitting the bead blasted hubs (casting marks and “Made in England” all still visible) and flanges (now powder coated silver) ready for the wheel building process where the SS spokes and correctly painted rims fitted together beautifully (according to the wheel builder). I set the hubs and aligned the flanges with a couple of bolts, added the bearings and sent them off to the wheel builder who had received the SS spokes and rims directly from the Devon Rim Co (excellent to deal with). Five days later, I got a call and the wheels were packed into the car and ready to bring home. After removing some trace grease from each nipple, I was able to admire the wheels. What a super job, and great to see them back together. The process of rebuilding after all the hard work is very motivating!

L1021147.jpg

Putting tubes and tyres back on the new rims was very easy for the front but the rear tyre had me beaten (the first side went on OK but the second was really tough and my fingers couldn’t take any more, so it was put on by a professional. I should add that one of my 3 tyre levers mysteriously disappeared only to turn up when I finished putting the bike back together!

L1021157.jpg

The newly wet-painted drums were fitted to the hubs with some gentle persuasion and then I fitted the steel eccentric bolts and stainless steel nuts/washers (after refinishing them on fine wet grit to get that shine back again).

I removed the aluminium water excluders before sending the brake plates off to the painters, so had the job of refitting new water excluders, though I opted for stainless steel alternatives, after they were returned. Not original, but I liked them for their shine and ease of future care. The originals, which I am sure could be gently reshaped and polished back to their new condition are all packed away for any future owner to do that job. I just didn’t have the time or dollies to do that. I refitted all the brake parts (drums and brake shoes were all matched up again as the chamfered shoes were matched to the skimmed drums (each set was marked up differently to identify them for correct fitting back onto the wheels). I am now feeling confident that I will have an excellent functioning front brake. The rear was actually pretty good, I am pleased to say.

At this stage, I am so pleased I did not have this stuff powder coated (apart from the flanges which were professionally machined back on the mating inner edge of the flange to fit back onto the hub) as everything is such a tight fit anyway and with the added thickness of powder coat, I would have been filing ALL internal surfaces back to bare metal and even though any threaded holes could have been fitted with bungs, there would bound to have been one or two missed with so many parts to repaint!

L1021160.jpg

I refitted new springs (as I lost one – though I believe in my heart of hearts that only one was fitted on one side when I dismantled them and boxed everything up) and new grease nipples on the brakes, swingarm and also on the front girdraulic forks. Again nuts were cleaned up on fine wet and dry.

IMG_0076.JPG


I stripped and rebuilt the rear spring boxes with freshly painted parts and they went on fine (before the wheels were fitted). I left the damper alone as it seemed to do what it should and was in fine condition.

The remainder will follow in the next reply due to the limitation of images per reply.

BR, K.

The final steps to completion!! Part 2 to follow....
 

KennyNUT

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member

The final steps to completion!! Part 2


Next up was repacking of the bearings with grease, the shimming of the wheels which proved to be less easy than I thought as those damn felt pads (why don’t they compress down easily) made it difficult to determine any wheel wobble. I bought some extra shims and ended up not using them. Anyway, once-shimmed, the complete wheels and tyres made the chassis a rolling one, once again.

The clutch cover that was blasted and polished went back on with a new gasket.

The downpipe (rechromed and internally ceramic coated at CamCoat to stop the chrome “blueing, hopefully) and silencer were reconnected and fitted with a new gasket at the exhaust port and sealant at the join of downpipe and silencer.

The front and rear brakes were connected up to the cables and rods and adjusted for play. The horn was refitted together with the battery, tested and then battery cover was fitted. Brake lights were checked (all good).

I then cleaned and polished the entire bike before fitting the crowning glory, the tank (after rinsing out with petrol to check for any loose debris), new fuel cocks/filters, washers and freshly re-chromed oil and petrol caps with new cork gaskets.

P1050287.JPG

Interestingly, that tank held a story all of its own and cost me another one of my kidneys! I noticed the paint finish was a little too smooth on the top part of the tank and felt different to the sides, but did little to investigate further. I soon learned from the tank painter that after blasting it the top was full of fibreglass filler!

photo 3.JPG

He removed all the filler by bead blasting and the steel was all good underneath, it just had a carelessly sustained bash across the top! Check it out! Well, I have gone this far , so then it went off to yet another specialist who made what a believe to be a very modest charge to completely repair it.

photo 2.JPG

Here is what he did; the tank was opened from the bottom, all the internal tank coatings removed, the bashes were panel beaten out to the tank’s original shape, from the inside with the tank then welded up again, the whole lot acid etched, pressure tested and returned to the painter for finishing.

photo 1.JPG

The welding is magnificent and no-one would ever know! The paint job is fine and the shape of the tank is symmetrical once again.

Then the finished tank was refitted to the bike in all its crowning glory. I had towels duck taped all over the critical parts of the tank that came into contact with the bike, eg around the oil filler pipe, up front at the fork bolts, each was also covered in duck tape to soften any accidental contact on fitting and the tank rubbers fitted and everything went on very nicely, indeed. Anyway, it’s the final piece of the jigsaw and what a picture it is. I then swung the seat into position towards the tank and bolted that to finish things off.

Ok, so this may not be a rare Lightning or a beautiful Black Shadow but my modest 1950 Series C Vincent Comet now has had my attentions (and cash) lavished on it and taught me a few things along the way and given me huge confidence in the bike.

I should add that it made me shed some sweat and sometimes blood, it made me smile, laugh out loud, and on the odd occasion shout at it in frustration.

Will it still be smoking?

Well I hope not, but whatever happens, I hope you will excuse me if I show a little pride in this little piece of history that at one time, 65 years ago, was wheeled out of the Vincent Works in Stevenage to meet its first owner. Now that the weather has improved and I am back from an Easter break walking in the Yorkshire Dales, I will be wheeling it out of my little garage, for its first ride of 2015.

In the meantime, and before the rain that was forecast this morning, my 12 year old daughter carrying all my photography gear accompanied me without complaint down to the end of the street for some photographs very early this morning, Sunday 15th April 2015.

Enjoy these images that are selected from the many that I took today.

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L1021431.jpg

L1021432.jpg

L1021433.jpg

L1021435.jpg

L1021443.jpg


The final steps to completion!! The 3rd and final part to follow....

BR, Kenny.
 

KennyNUT

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
The 3rd and final part!!

L1021463.jpg

L1021451.jpg

L1021399.jpg


I hope you have enjoyed this thread and also for any newcomers to the classic world like me, that you are inspired to tackle some jobs on these fabulous machines. I am no engineer, so with some common sense, a little patience, attention to detail and support from the many helpful people on this VOC forum not to mention a few quid in your back pocket, and most of all lots of hard work, it’s amazing what can be achieved.

Best wishes and safe riding everyone,

Kenny.
 

BigEd

Super Moderator
VOC Forum Moderator
VOC Member
The 3rd and final part!!
I hope you have enjoyed this thread and also for any newcomers to the classic world like me, that you are inspired to tackle some jobs on these fabulous machines. I am no engineer, so with some common sense, a little patience, attention to detail and support from the many helpful people on this VOC forum not to mention a few quid in your back pocket, and most of all lots of hard work, it’s amazing what can be achieved.

Best wishes and safe riding everyone,

Kenny.
Dear Kenny,
A great write up. Congratulations on a job well done on the computer keyboard and in the workshop.
 

Pushrod Twin

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
I bought a new Italian Ducati bevel 1974 at the beginning of the year and as I had to import that (as very few of this model come up for sale in the UK), so there has been lots of supportive discussion with the DOC (GB) and the DVLA and today I took that on its first road run, mot's taxed and with a UK registration plate - amazing! As you can see lots of distraction, never mind kids and family stuff.

Sorry to hear about the Bevel Ducati, you have registered it so I guess your going to ride it? They make a great lounge ornament! But then you also have a set of running gear to fill with another Vincent twin engine when the Ducati big end & gearbox get tired! Ooops, Guzzi bias showing!:D
 

KennyNUT

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
:eek:"Big ends" - even whispering that to a Bevel owner can turn them into a quivering wreck:D

Actually, the bike's engine and gearbox have all just been rebuilt and I have indeed ridden it. I have to say it does not feel like a 1974 bike at all. The gearbox engages like silk and the clutch is smooth. I thought it a little heavy at first, however, after a couple of rides it seemed just fine. Lighter than some clutches I have experienced. And there is not even a trace of smoke.:eek: It starts first kick and sounds like God racing at the Classic TT races! It does sound good, it really does:):):)

I bet most would not have expected me to write this.;)

This one will not be a lounge ornament! I have ridden many Ducati twins over the years, not all of them mine either and most are characterized by engines that understandably judder at modest to low revs. This thing is so smooth, I cannot believe it is 41 years old. It is a joy to ride. And the brakes are fantastic. This one has the optional twin brakes on the front and they have been overhauled. Its stops with ease, unlike my Comet before I sent its brakes off to have a good seeing to. Jury is till out on that until I ride it!

I looked at Guzzis but the Ducati is a svelte 184kg and I am NOT built like Arnold Schwarzenegger, so I think it suits me better. One day I may also have a Guzzi, but that day is not here, yet. Especially as I am happy enough to maintain a chain.

Enjoy the Guzzi, and thanks for baiting me with the idea of putting a Vincent twin into the chassis of the Duke. Was that a small concession to this bike's handling? Better than the V7 of the time?:D:D:D
 

Pushrod Twin

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Kenny, you have done a spectacular job on the Comet, congratulations! I am pleased you have procured a good Bevel Ducati, I hope it serves you well, I know they can. I wont rib you any more about it because I dont want to subvert your Vincent thread! Will we see you in Italy? (Oh, there is what appears to be a really nice 750S3 on EbayUK right now!)
 

KennyNUT

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Hi,

Many thanks for your comments on the Comet and the Duke. Much appreciated - the feedback and support is excellent from this forum. Everyone, certainly helped keep me on track and motivated.

You would only see me in Italy if I could bring my wife and two young kids! :eek::eek::eek::eek:I am not sure that the rally can accommodate that! :(

I saw the Guzzi you mentioned, however, I have my eye on a Laverda, possibly, if I can sort out greater secure storage, though, I think 4 bikes are quite enough for me at this stage.

Funny enough, I thought about taking the family to Italy this year. Maybe I could find a cottage near one of the sections of the rally? I am probably too late now.

Thanks for the encouragement though.

Kenny.
 

vegasvince

New Forum User
Non-VOC Member
Congratulations! what a fantastic job you have done, Vincents restored to this standard will last forever. The photos were just as perfect. Thanks for sharing this achievement with us. Tony Day, aged 85, Auckland, New Zealand
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Hi
Seems you have done a great job, but at the other end of the scale from mine, which I try to keep looking like it did in1956 when I bought it to go to work on.
I do around 3,000 to 4,000 miles a year now and after a couple of engine rebuilds (last about 10 years ago) it still runs beautifully and is very reliable.
Will be riding it 240 miles to Liverpool in August for the Manx rally for around the 40th time and do not expect any serious trouble (I do however carry a spare mag and ATD)
Have had around 60 Japanese and German bikes over the years including Honda Fireblade, VFR 750s and K100 etc. but still think the COMET the most user friendly for everyday use.
Matty (only aged 82)
 

Colin

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
One other thing you MUST have on your rides, is a pair of VERY GOOD earplugs, then you won't worry about any noises. Also if it ain't broke don't mend it!. My Egli Comet owned for about 35 years rattles like an old gas oven being dragged across cobble stones, drips oil, until recently had a carb that was totally worn out, was dropped a couple of times a while back and now has more lock on one side than the other. Also as a natural born pessimist ("Blessed is he who expecteth the worst for him shall I not disappoint!) I carry EVERYTHING for a complete rebuild on the side of the road. Never had to use anything other than a plug spanner, a few yards of insulation or gaffer tape an some wire or cable ties. and oil. Good job too as I do not have the expertise to do a complete rebuild, let alone on the side of the road. It has NEVER been rescued by a breakdown firm, despite being clouted by a passing tractor in France, being hit up the rear by a BMW in Germany where it went over and broke off the gear lever and front brake lever.(I was carrying a spare brake/clutch lever) and a pair of Mole grips make a handy gear lever. Be a pessimistic optimist , ride it enjoy it don't listen to it. and good luck. Best wishes from me, often known as "Single Minded" PS Don't ever listen to any passing pundit who reckons a Comet is only half a Vincent, tell him it is a Vincent with the "difficult" bits let off. Keep you wheels BETWEEN the ditches. Here endeth the lesson for today. SAM_3696.JPG
 

MartynG

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
One other thing you MUST have on your rides, is a pair of VERY GOOD earplugs, then you won't worry about any noises. Also if it ain't broke don't mend it!. My Egli Comet owned for about 35 years rattles like an old gas oven being dragged across cobble stones, drips oil, until recently had a carb that was totally worn out, was dropped a couple of times a while back and now has more lock on one side than the other. Also as a natural born pessimist ("Blessed is he who expecteth the worst for him shall I not disappoint!) I carry EVERYTHING for a complete rebuild on the side of the road. Never had to use anything other than a plug spanner, a few yards of insulation or gaffer tape an some wire or cable ties. and oil. Good job too as I do not have the expertise to do a complete rebuild, let alone on the side of the road. It has NEVER been rescued by a breakdown firm, despite being clouted by a passing tractor in France, being hit up the rear by a BMW in Germany where it went over and broke off the gear lever and front brake lever.(I was carrying a spare brake/clutch lever) and a pair of Mole grips make a handy gear lever. Be a pessimistic optimist , ride it enjoy it don't listen to it. and good luck. Best wishes from me, often known as "Single Minded" PS Don't ever listen to any passing pundit who reckons a Comet is only half a Vincent, tell him it is a Vincent with the "difficult" bits let off. Keep you wheels BETWEEN the ditches. Here endeth the lesson for today. View attachment 22221
Remember .. Vincent's started life as singles - so in fact a twin it 2 comets!
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
One other thing you MUST have on your rides, is a pair of VERY GOOD earplugs, then you won't worry about any noises. Also if it ain't broke don't mend it!. My Egli Comet owned for about 35 years rattles like an old gas oven being dragged across cobble stones, drips oil, until recently had a carb that was totally worn out, was dropped a couple of times a while back and now has more lock on one side than the other. Also as a natural born pessimist ("Blessed is he who expecteth the worst for him shall I not disappoint!) I carry EVERYTHING for a complete rebuild on the side of the road. Never had to use anything other than a plug spanner, a few yards of insulation or gaffer tape an some wire or cable ties. and oil. Good job too as I do not have the expertise to do a complete rebuild, let alone on the side of the road. It has NEVER been rescued by a breakdown firm, despite being clouted by a passing tractor in France, being hit up the rear by a BMW in Germany where it went over and broke off the gear lever and front brake lever.(I was carrying a spare brake/clutch lever) and a pair of Mole grips make a handy gear lever. Be a pessimistic optimist , ride it enjoy it don't listen to it. and good luck. Best wishes from me, often known as "Single Minded" PS Don't ever listen to any passing pundit who reckons a Comet is only half a Vincent, tell him it is a Vincent with the "difficult" bits let off. Keep you wheels BETWEEN the ditches. Here endeth the lesson for today. View attachment 22221
I have always thought your Bike did not look like a Special, To me it looks Factory done, Very nice.
And I know it's Fast !!. Cheers Bill.
 

karl johnson

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
kenny nice bike, just food for thought in the riders handbook it does say that our bikes do over oil themselves at lets call it ( pottering about speeds ) but hi speed distance travel oil distribution does even out ( or it should) :) mainly remember this.. if its not broke dont fix it
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
If it does not rattle it doesn't go they say. Mine is not too bad and I think the racket is mostly a bit of slack in the steel timing gears which have been set up as well as is reasonably possible but give no trouble.
If you care to look on the forum about oil consumption you will find that I have been fighting a 150 mile to the pint problem on and off for the last 40 years - worrying about porous head, duff valve guides, glazed bore etc. The different oils I have tried did not seem to make any difference and the checks were quite thorough because I do over 3000 miles in an average year on the Comet, and have settled on Morris Classic 20/50.
Rebores, low expansion pistons, new standard valve guides, blocking the oil feed to the back of the bore, deglazing the bore etc did not seem to help over the years-and the engine has only sometimes ever leaked a small spot of oil, though it did smoke from the exhaust on the overrun and the exhaust pipe was always oily and black inside.
However I had Conways fit valve guides with seals last year, and after a thorough cleaning of the head I attempted to fix any porosity by heating the head to 100deg C and painting it with a special very thin Loctite 290 which supposedly gets sucked into the porous parts as the head cools. I painted it inside the inlet and exhaust ports and on the area above the valve guides.
Blue smoke has gone and I now do 500+ miles per pint which will have to be good enough.
Matty
 
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