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Misc: Everything Else Complete Restoration of a Black Shadow

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have a question for which there is an obvious answer that many people might give, but for which I hope at least a few people spend some time considering it.

Background: I have a matching numbers 1950 Black Shadow that will require me to do a complete restoration down to the last fastener. Although I've done some amount of work on it since buying the bike a few years ago (29 years ago, to be precise), optimistically, I'll finish two other projects and be ready to start on the Black Shadow before the end of the year.

Although Graham has done a fantastic job with the web site, its search engine hasn't enabled me to find if someone previously has posted such a complete restoration thread here. There are 3.4k posts in the post-War Tech. Advice category, and various search terms haven't narrowed that number enough for me to find such a thread, if it does exist. Does such a thread exist (here, or anywhere else), and can someone point me to it? But, that's not my real question.

Assuming such a thread does not exist (i.e. a total restoration, not just of individual components[*]), and assuming I spend the time necessary to thoroughly document my restoration in readable form, on what web site should I post it? The obvious answer is "here," but is that actually the best choice?

[*] Two examples of the level of detail I would go into are at:


As alluded to above, a good reason posting it here might not be a good choice is that soon after it is finished it will be buried by later technical posts and the site's search engine won't necessarily find it. If I spend the effort required to write such an extensive thread, I'd like it to be easily found in the future by as many people as possible for whom the information would be useful, not for each post to be read and then forgotten by people who already own Vincents and who are unlikely to actually make use of the information in it.

My three choices seem to be:

1) post it here (but, why here?)
2) post it on another site (but, what site, and why there?)
3) make notes only in enough detail for myself and don't take the time to write, edit and post it on the web.

Opinions, please.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My guess is the helicoil insert was stainless and the bolt was stainless, and the two locked together and the insert pulled out with the bolt........Now that's one of the reasons I hate the stuff........Luckily I have an old school aviation grade helicoil kit where the inserts are made of hardened steel not stainless........These are the best inserts I've ever found.
 

Chris Launders

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Back to the subject of the black casings etc instead of the original "pyluminizing"could the "chromating" process used on Manx crankcases etc be used, I have a friend who occasionally does this and if the solution is fairly strong it will do alluminium alloy, and could just a single top coat of paint then be applied.
 

Gerry Clarke

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Lovely bike Steve. I remember it well. I'm sure to be in a minority, but techniques for preserving original finishes - even those with some amount of obvious wear and rust is of more interest to me than anything else. For those that might know of it, Mike Farrall has done a super job of getting that ex Tyrell Smith works Rudge running again and preserving all the patina at the same time.

On another note, the thickness of coating in a dip coating process is largely determined by the extraction rate - the slower the rate, the thinner the coating, but with solution viscosity and curing conditions also playing roles. So, quite a bit of experimentation is required.

Gerry
 

Keith Martin

Active Website User
VOC Member
EFC78759-0D7E-4C68-ABBE-B64933BE03CA.jpeg
This is the motor from a Shadow that will be built as a Lighting style hot rod. I think it has the factory paint but can not say for sure. Is this consistent with other stock cases?
I have some NOS muffs and the paint on them seem to be fairly thinner than the paint on the cases.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dam it rained on my ride :eek: , Actually if anyone came to me for paint recommendations (which is unlikely) I use Tractol Tekaloid from Smith & Allen it comes up a bit shiny it aint cheap but its good brushing paint that sticks (give it a few days)
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It might take a while for people to notice, but to speed that up, note that Graham has created a new 'Projects' forum category. It's located in the 'Club Member Access' block of forums on the main forum page.

With the opening of the Brisbane exhibition now just two months away, things are heating up and even more of my time is being sucked away. As I wrote in my first post in this thread I'll, optimistically, be able to re-start my restoration in December.
 

MartynG

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It might take a while for people to notice, but to speed that up, note that Graham has created a new 'Projects' forum category. It's located in the 'Club Member Access' block of forums on the main forum page.

With the opening of the Brisbane exhibition now just two months away, things are heating up and even more of my time is being sucked away. As I wrote in my first post in this thread I'll, optimistically, be able to re-start my restoration in December.
Good luck for Brisbane. If you are planning on visiting QLD remember to factor in the mandatory 2 week Hotel quarantine that's at your expense when you arrive in Oz.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
remember to factor in the mandatory 2 week Hotel quarantine that's at your expense when you arrive in Oz.
Even if I were willing to risk catching covid on a 15-hour plane flight, which I'm not, and even if the hotel were paid for by someone else, spending two weeks locked in the nicest hotel room I've ever stayed in would be a hell I wouldn't want to subject myself to.

IF a safe and effective vaccine were developed before the five-month run of the exhibition is completed, and IF I managed to be vaccinated early after it was released, and IF Australia opened its borders to vaccinated people without forcing them to quarantine, I'll be there. But, that's a lot of ifs so I'm certainly not counting on it.

I understand it's possible the border with NSW might be opened as early as a few weeks from now, although you Victorians are likely to be shunned for a lot longer.
 

Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Charles/MM, My suggestion would be to do a post for each section or chapter with a separate post that would consist of a master index with a link to each of the sections/chapters. In each post, put a note requesting people not post comments in the sections or index, but have a link to a comments post, perhaps one per section or chapter.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thank you for that suggestion. Several "critical" last minute details in the runup to the exhibition opening in Brisbane kept me out of the garage longer than I had expected so I'm about a week behind where I had hoped to be in finishing a BSA project. However, I still have hopes of finishing the BSA by my original plan of Christmas.

When the BSA is done I'll turn my attention to whatever happens to be the next project, which might or might not be the Vincent. In the sense that any of this makes sense, it makes most sense to finish the major refurbishing of my 1928 Ariel which has been sitting patiently waiting for me to install a new valve seat since finishing the Cannonball over two years ago. Oh, and rebuild its leaky gearbox and disassemble the engine to fix the large crankshaft end float that developed.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Texas John's reference to an index is worthy of note. A good index makes any publication more useful. Over twenty years ago I wrote an astrophysical text book and this was before modern word processing programs like WORD. Creating the index by hand was a time consuming pain. The ease with which a better index can be created now has to be experienced and although I would not presume to offer advice as to how to do the work you propose, at least during the creation of the individual chapters an index for each one might help to save time and repetition.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
A good index makes any publication more useful. Over twenty years ago I wrote an astrophysical text book ...
There's no doubt an index would be useful, but producing one is a lot easier said than done, and especially if trying to produce it in parallel with doing the actual restoration. The 1928 Ariel restoration I have on another site is a reasonable model for what to expect with the Vincent since I had that bike down to the last nut and bolt when I rebuilt it. That restoration thread runs to 84 pages of 25 posts/page (2100 posts, of which probably three-quarters are mine), and there's no reason to expect a Vincent rebuild would be any shorter.

As a test, I just got 45 hits when I searched that Ariel thread for 'stellite'. I made my own pushrods as well as re-faced the rockers after I returned from the Cannonball so some of those hits could lead someone else to useful information. However, to know which of those hits would be useful to have in an Index, and which wouldn't be, would take quite a bit of effort. As an example of something not useful, in answer to a question I was asked I wrote that although I could use Stellite on the oil pump plunger, it wasn't necessary in this application. Again, that was 45 hits on what was a fairly specialized word in that long thread.

Related to this, I have no doubt my rebuild of that Ariel is the most thoroughly-documented rebuild of a 1928 Ariel "published" in at least the past two centuries, if not longer. So, some months ago I thought I might turn it into a "shop manual" in case there was one other person on earth possibly interested in the information. However, I only got as far as creating a document with my posts that's 109,713 words and 278 single-spaced pages. Unlike a book, my Ariel rebuild didn't proceed in a linear fashion (e.g. Birth of a Star, Life of a Star, Death of a Star, The End), and as a result reorganizing that document into something like an Ariel shop manual would take a lot more time than I would like to spend. And that's not counting the time it would take to index it when done.

Anyway, while I completely agree with you that a good index makes a publication more useful, I'm fairly certain I won't undertake to create one while I'm rebuilding my Vincent.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Please understand that I am not trying to encourage you to go in any particular direction. I suspect that you have a much better organised way of working than I have but the difference in doing an index by hand and letting the work processing software do it totally remarkable. It is so trivial these days that the biggest problem is editing the index to get rid of things you do not want. It will take the machine about a second to make an index of each section and if you do that on the first section you finish and find it a waste of time then at least you know that it is not worth proceeding. Sorry if I seem to be trying to tell you what to do. That is not my intention.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Yes Tim. Exactly the same for me. I needed to look something up a few months and and immediately thought that Know Thy Beast would be an easy way to find the information. It really is a good source. I turned to the back and 'oh dear!'. I then had to go to the table of contents at the front and try to work out under what heading the item would have been listed. From Magneto man's description of some of his previous work it sounds as though what he writes is exhaustive and very thorough. How to find a particular item might be difficult. However, it is his project and time which is involved. If he makes the data available in a machine readable format then someone else might be able to create indices for the various sections or even an index for the whole collection.
 

Spqreddie

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
View attachment 37630
This is the motor from a Shadow that will be built as a Lighting style hot rod. I think it has the factory paint but can not say for sure. Is this consistent with other stock cases?
I have some NOS muffs and the paint on them seem to be fairly thinner than the paint on the cases.
From your picture seems like Shadow cases were brushed before to be painted? may be for having a better surface for the paint?
Here 7993, I thought the previous owner had tried to take off the paint mechanically with a brush, but under your paint it seems to see the same fine vertical markings.
As well, now that i look again at the photo of 7993, the edges of the numbers don't seems to have sings of the "brushing" so they must have been stamped after, so the brushing must have been a factory preparation before painting and stamping.
Sorry, may be obvious to many, but just realizing this now!
BS 7993 (3).jpg
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
From your picture seems like Shadow cases were brushed before to be painted? may be for having a better surface for the paint?
Here 7993, I thought the previous owner had tried to take off the paint mechanically with a brush, but under your paint it seems to see the same fine vertical markings.
As well, now that i look again at the photo of 7993, the edges of the numbers don't seems to have sings of the "brushing" so they must have been stamped after, so the brushing must have been a factory preparation before painting and stamping.
Sorry, may be obvious to many, but just realizing this now!
Yes the markings are factory done and are just them cleaning up the rough sand cast cases prior to painting as due to the nature of sand castings the finish on some cases was rough. I suspect these couldn't be used on an unpainted engine due to appearance and so used on Shadows so nothing was rejected due to casting appearance. Most probably done with a hand held rotary grinder or sanding attachment. The early Shadows, especially series B & early C were not cleaned up at all and so if you look at one of them you can see the rough casting through the paint.

So could you go as far and say the better finish sand cast cases went into Rapides and the rejects into Shadows which the paint & preparations would allow to be used? know Marcus thinks so.
 
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