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Series 'A' Handlebar Levers

A_HRD

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My early 'A' Comet basket-case doesn't have any handlebar levers; so I'm going to make myself a set. I started by borrowing 2 alleged original pairs, but they are slightly different in details. Unsurprisingly, discussions in my local Section have led to disagreements about what was standard. So here are few questions for the assembled experts:

1. One group reckons that the levers were all machined soley as clutch levers, so when you turn one over to use for the front brake, the little slot to engage the inner cable adjacent to the cable-nipple is uppermost. Is this true or were they handed?

2. There is also a lot of discussion about the pivot fasteners. Were they hex nuts and bolts? Were they cheesehead slotted? Were they 0BA or 1/4 BSF? Does anyone care?!

3. Then there's the 2 fasteners that clamp the pivot assemblies to the 1 inch bars. One school of thought says they were squareheaded whitworth bolts (& nuts?). That doesn't seem likely, so what was right?

4. And finally, is the valve decompressor lever the same as the clutch lever; or was it a smaller pointy device similar to the post-war machines?

Grateful for any informed views on the above...

Regards, Peter Barker
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Threads for pre-war levers

Somewhere (I haven't found out where) I read that "all pre-war handlebar levers were secured by 7/32" BSF cheese head screws". So I bought a die (and a tap as a precaution) from Tracy, and made up some suitable parts for my original 1938 solid brass Rudge levers. They fitted perfectly.
Since I now had the taps and dies I used 7/32" on the 1951 Shadow: they fitted. Subsequent discussion in MPH suggested that they should have been 1 BA (which is what KTB says.) 1 BA and 7/32" BSF are almost identical - there's a pitch difference of about 0.001 over an inch, and the diameters are almost identical.
So, it is possible that pre-war Vin levers also used 7/32" BSF, and highly likely that they'll fit.
FWIW, the valve lifter on a pre-war (1938) Rudge (7/32" or 1 BA, whatever) appears to be exactly the same part as used on post-war Vincents. Club replacement levers certainly are, because i know the guy who casts them.
 

Ian Savage

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
A levers

Peter
My A levers, which I have no reason to believe are not original, are both clutch side and I was always thought this was correct.
I'll have a look at the rest of the items you want to know tomorrow, too late to look tonight.
Love to Mandy
Ian S
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Not much help I'm afraid. I had seen handlebars with levers attached in one of the boxes, however, I suspected they were from a Meteor as the Twin took a big front end hit in 1958. They appear handed, left and right, and are held in with hex head caps screws threaded 1/4-20. On inspection i see one is stripped, and the other is upside down with the bolt threaded in to the top and a nut on the bottom, so in fact are not handed, but can give you no more help with the threads as I suspect these have been messed with.

Robert
 

A_HRD

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Series A Levers and Fittings

Thank you to all those who have responded so far. I have it on good authority from ClevTrev that the 2 per side holding the pivot assembly to the bars are held by quite complex square-headed screws having a BSCy thread (1/4 I guess - or perhaps 3/16?). This is confirmed by a call to Bob Stafford who reckons the square variety existed until very early 1936. Thereafter they appear to have been cheesehead slotted screws.

And it appears that the levers are not 'handed'. I have since seen old pictures of the brake lever having an upside-down hex bolt and nut (nut on top). This would fit with Robert's observation too.

As regards the decompressor lever; Bob Stafford reckons these were of the very short variety - not like the long post-war ones. He can't be certain though; but both the A's he bought in the mid-1950s (1 Twin and 1 Comet) were fitted thus.

Further comment invited.

Regards, Peter Barker
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thank you to all those who have responded so far. I have it on good authority from ClevTrev that the 2 per side holding the pivot assembly to the bars are held by quite complex square-headed screws having a BSCy thread (1/4 I guess - or perhaps 3/16?). This is confirmed by a call to Bob Stafford who reckons the square variety existed until very early 1936. Thereafter they appear to have been cheesehead slotted screws.

And it appears that the levers are not 'handed'. I have since seen old pictures of the brake lever having an upside-down hex bolt and nut (nut on top). This would fit with Robert's observation too.

As regards the decompressor lever; Bob Stafford reckons these were of the very short variety - not like the long post-war ones. He can't be certain though; but both the A's he bought in the mid-1950s (1 Twin and 1 Comet) were fitted thus.

Further comment invited.

Regards, Peter Barker
True. My "A" has never been butchered & has non-handed levers but (it is a 1938) has the square headed screws! There are no rules!
Alyn
PS I have a 1939 New Imperial with a Smiths-Jaeger speedo just like "A" Comets i.e. the strange cable take-off & solid tube........
 

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