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E: Engine Potential problems

David Wardingley

Website User
VOC Member
Hi all,
I’m new to Vincent ownership just recently obtaining a fully restored 1951 comet. It hasn’t been used at all for two years and my questions relate to a couple of issues really. 1 is what appears to be clutch slip on starting, ie the kickstart will sometimes not crank over the engine put skid to the bottom of the stroke, if I use the valve lifter to get it over compression then mostly it appears to be ok! And number2 concerns the valve lifter being enormously stiff when trying to use it unlike my Velo which is as light as a feather. Because of these two issues it can be tricky to start from cold although once warm it starts very easily usually on the first or second prod.
Any suggestions gratefully received.
Regards DAVID
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
What adjustment are you suggesting?
Paul
Ian caught me talking about the twin, so that was my fault. Specifically, I was talking about the twin, but I do think it is important to make sure that the KS (like the rest of the bike) suits your abilities. The older crew that have done a lot of riding over the years are pretty demanding about certain items and totally care free about others.
Regarding the KS indexing, it should be indexed on any gearbox in a way that you can apply the maximum force (if you wish) while astride the bike. Your full weight is not able to be applied to the KS until it is past half way down. If the quadrant is near the stop at this point it will be difficult to start the bike easily.
WAYNE LEIDY (1055).JPG
Rider and racer Wayne Leidy is shown here with his Shadow and I think Wayne spend a bit of time deciding how to index his KS for best starting.

Most owners have it right for their own comfort. But, new riders may not think of changing the position to suit themselves.

David
 
Last edited:

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
It can be hard, though, when looking at photos, if you don’t know the bike or owner, whether they purposely indexed the kickstart, or if it has a weak return spring allowing the kickstart to droop. I position my Shadow kickstart in a more upright position, and have no problem getting enough momentum to start the bike.
 

David Wardingley

Website User
VOC Member
Has your comet got two plug holes? If it hasn't then you just missed the easy way out for problem two
As to the first problem the Burman clutch often responds to a little love and modern friction plates do wonders. Funnily enough your problems exactly mirror mine last year with my vello KSS the cure was to throw away all those little corks and get the friction surfaces fully covered by friction material from saftek now I don't even use the velo valve lifter.
My comet has a Honda clutch I rarely use the valve lifter
Hello vibrac
The comet plug holes? I have heard of the Honda clutch conversion but until later I have no idea what I’m likely to find, all I can say is the bike I’ve bought is freshly restored and looks like new, it hasn’t been run at all for two years and it had one test mile on until a couple of days ago when I did a very short run ,ie ten miles.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
If the clutch still slips after 10 miles, Try to tighten the spring nuts a turn or two,
Try to turn them all the same amount so the outer plate presses out square.
You can get to them just by taking the round plate off the chain case.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Royal Endfield decompressors (other makes are available) when I get a moment I will investigate Venhills one.
The Burman Clutch is not a bad item I only changed because mine was in a very poor state and at some point the then cost of repair parts exceeded a mariginally better Honda one after all its been in there for 70 odd years and some had a very bad time and little care when Comets dropped to £20 on the open market.
 

David Wardingley

Website User
VOC Member
Hello all,
Further to my previous posts I have now stripped the clutch and degreased the said item. Their didn’t appear to be much on the plates but reassembly has improved matters. The plates themselves are sporting more modern material , a woven dark coloured insert ( instead of cork) with what appears to be flecks of copper in it. The exhaust lifter cable I have put back but with a slightly different route and that seems only marginally less stiff but again I will give it a go for a few rides out and see how it performs. The most tedious job has been to get both footrests in the right place at the same time( nearly as bad as the Dominator footrest arrangement). The clutch adjustment I have left as it was ie the studs level with the top thread on the adjusters!
David
 

brian gains

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
i guess all clutch plates vary depending on source and also believe i'm correct in saying the OE plain plates had a thicker outer plate. Despite all this I know if I was to adjust my clutch as you have described your setting I definitely would have clutch slipping issues. Four turns of the adjuster nuts off fully compressed is what I believe Richardson suggests, I use slightly less then check for even lift using a sharpie mounted on a coat hanger and adjust accordingly.
 

David Wardingley

Website User
VOC Member
i guess all clutch plates vary depending on source and also believe i'm correct in saying the OE plain plates had a thicker outer plate. Despite all this I know if I was to adjust my clutch as you have described your setting I definitely would have clutch slipping issues. Four turns of the adjuster nuts off fully compressed is what I believe Richardson suggests, I use slightly less then check for even lift using a sharpie mounted on a coat hanger and adjust accordingly.
Hello Brian ,
Yes I agree with what you say and am using my adjustment as a starting point, I have taken the clutch apart ,cleaned , reassembled and it is marginally better although still a bit of slip. I will do as you say and adjust it some more through the inspection hole. As soon as the weather dries up I will then get some good miles in although I do have other machines that I call out of the shed when it’s wet.
Thanks again
David
 

Chris Launders

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi David.
It's the York section monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, The Bay Horse at Fulford in York. Don't know how many will be there as I haven't been for over a year myself (100 mile round trip for me)
Chris.
 

plasticbeer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi David.
It's the York section monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, The Bay Horse at Fulford in York. Don't know how many will be there as I haven't been for over a year myself (100 mile round trip for me)
Chris.

Chris
We've missed you.

Dave
I will be there and a few more, but this time of year not many bikes.
8pm is a good time to arrive.

Vince Farrell
 

David Wardingley

Website User
VOC Member
Chris
We've missed you.

Dave
I will be there and a few more, but this time of year not many bikes.
8pm is a good time to arrive.

Vince Farrell

Hello Vince,
I will attend your meeting at the Bay Horse Fulford on Tuesday evening, I will aim to arrive by about 8 pm. I will be the guy with the bike gear on ( I rarely use a car).
Regards
David
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi all,
I’m new to Vincent ownership just recently obtaining a fully restored 1951 comet. It hasn’t been used at all for two years and my questions relate to a couple of issues really. 1 is what appears to be clutch slip on starting, ie the kickstart will sometimes not crank over the engine put skid to the bottom of the stroke, if I use the valve lifter to get it over compression then mostly it appears to be ok! And number2 concerns the valve lifter being enormously stiff when trying to use it unlike my Velo which is as light as a feather. Because of these two issues it can be tricky to start from cold although once warm it starts very easily usually on the first or second prod.
Any suggestions gratefully received.
Regards DAVID
Hi David I like you am new to Comets that is I had a 1952 mark in the 1960s my present machine a 1954 Comet sat in a museum for 30 years I bought her 2 years ago and now rebuilt is recently on the road and is settling in but slowly, my problems are starting and of course todays road conditions. Starting may be mag related, the clutch was cleaned and still had the old style inserts that works well enough getting started is a problem but she runs well when on the road. I have left a note on a Forum thread regards magnetos most riders there seem to have a problem from hot which is not my problem mine is as I say from cold. The Comet has a great throaty bark and sure is a head turner when heard beautiful!

Chris
 

Roslyn

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thanks all for the replies,
I have been looking at the cable routing as you suggest and mindful of the fact that the bends in the cable should be as gentle as possible. My cable comes out of the timing chest via a tube? Then bends upward on a very tight bend before it meets the battery case, up under the tank and to the lever. To get a more gradual bend it seems sensible to take the cable actually under the battery box and do a gradual u bend somewhere near the rear mudguard and then the normal route up along the underside of the tank etc. My next question is how does one get the cable off the timing chest end? It appears as if my cable could do with being 17” longer!!!!! Although I need it off to send to Venhill as a pattern .
Regards David
had the same problem with the valve lifter it was the cable made my own cables very easy job to do.
 

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