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E: Engine Timing Gear Set Up

Steve Morris

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VOC Member
Hi all. I have removed the timing chest on my Comet series C and am fitting a new ATD. On inspection i noticed that the half time pinion nut was loose with no lock washer...

So, decided that i really needed to remove all the pinions and check as i also had an issue with the bike using oil/smoking. On inspection there were a couple of thrust washers missing/in the wrong place, so i have now removed all the pinions with the exception of the dynamo one, and the pins, and thoroughly check/cleaned all the above. I have done a dry fit (have ordered a new thrust washer kit) and with the correct shims/thrust washers in the correct places (as per P.Richardsons book) i have what i consider to be quite a lot of play in the pinions, id say on average 30-50thou on each one?

I have made a video showing the play. Can anyone tell me if this is correct as i cannot seem to find in Pauls book OR KTB any reference to the correct movement/gaps?

Many thanks,

Steve.

https://youtu.be/ltleq8i8HXs
 

delboy

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VOC Member
Standard is 0.501" for the cam spindle. I think the oversized spindles go up by 0.002". Thus, the first oversize is 0.503".

Standard is 0.375" for the ex spindle. I believe the first oversize would be 0.377".

Maughans makes them if you have problems, but the Club Spares should have them in stock.

I have used a space heater to warm up the engine because it is easier to get high localized heat if the heat is not being drawn off quickly by the rest of the case being cold.

David
Sorry to disagree, but the instruction sheets say 0.374" follower spindles into 0.373" crankcase holes as standard. Cam spindles 0.5015" into 0.500" holes.
Regards, Delboy.
 

Martyn Goodwin

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VOC Member
Quite a long time ago Rip Tragle put together a great article on Timing Chest restoration. It has some valuable insights.

Attached is the best and only copy of the original I have. Also attached is a much clearer reprint.

The shims and loctite he mentions are readily available. Be sure to read at least twice his thoughts about spindle retention and heights.

Martyn
 

Attachments

  • timing chest rebuild.pdf
    377.1 KB · Views: 30
  • Timing Case Setup.docx
    23.4 KB · Views: 24

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have seen the correct height dimension for a spindle on here recently. I have made a 'jacket' before to hold the spindle when inserting with the jacket length set to that (or in your case the same as the good spindles) the suggestion of water pipe freezing can is good its easier to freeze the component than heating the case my wife is alway finding little bundles in freezer bags in the fridge once she thought she had found something to eat! also remember there are a miriad of lock tights get the right one.
 

greg brillus

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I think putting spindles in the freezer would be a near waste of time........The steel items are never going to shrink any measurable amount........Heating the case is another story........You can use naked flames, but if any other steel components are nearby they can be damaged from the heat. The real trick is to size the spindle to the hole size as best you can, and linish a small taper on the very end of the spindle, then polish this to a very smooth finish........Keeping the spindle square to the hole is very important or else it can broach it's way in crooked. I use an old steady plate with the holes opened up to act as a guide for installing spindles. This method also gives you a good reference for how far to sink each spindle down each hole.
 

Steve Morris

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VOC Member
I think putting spindles in the freezer would be a near waste of time........The steel items are never going to shrink any measurable amount........Heating the case is another story........You can use naked flames, but if any other steel components are nearby they can be damaged from the heat. The real trick is to size the spindle to the hole size as best you can, and linish a small taper on the very end of the spindle, then polish this to a very smooth finish........Keeping the spindle square to the hole is very important or else it can broach it's way in crooked. I use an old steady plate with the holes opened up to act as a guide for installing spindles. This method also gives you a good reference for how far to sink each spindle down each hole.
Thanks Greg. This is my plan. I am going top speak to Maughan this morning with reference to getting a couple of spindles. My thoughts are maybe to get a few, 0.002", 0.003" oversize, and like you said Greg get some heat on the casing/engine, then use the steady plate to drive it in with the 98/1 shim attached, this should in theory put the spindle in to the correct height!

Has anyone used Maughan before?
 

greg brillus

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VOC Member
Steve, If you have access to a lathe and a good length of emery tape, you can linish to size the oversized end (only) of each spindle. It would be nice to have a range of "Go no go " gauges, but you can use the spindles them selves to work it out. The difficulty is the sizing of the new spindles verses how much heat you can get into the case.......On a stripped engine, you can simply put the case half in the kitchen oven to get the case up to the proper temp........using a flame or similar, the engine acts like a giant heat sink and it is quite hard to get enough heat into it. Don't use an Oxy as this is too intense........ The larger (cam) spindles you want 0.001 to 0.0015 max over size, any more and it will be very difficult to get it home. The smaller spindles, a half to max 0.001" is plenty.......remember they are only small in diameter........If the valve lifter spring arrangement is close by the heat from a naked flame will destroy the spring so either remove it or mask it off with a bent piece of alloy strip or whatever you can use to cover it. I use one of those MAP gas butane heat torches, like the plumbers use.......It has the Turbo type head, and it puts out a huge amount of heat........perfect for these kind of jobs, I use it all the time..........Maughan's have been around Vincent's since JC was a pup........... Cheers........ Greg.
 

Steve Morris

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VOC Member
Thanks Greg, yes i have a decent lathe and an once or two of common sense so should be OK. I am loathed to remove the engine and strip it at the moment as i have another project lined up, and i only really removed the timing cover to fit a new ATD, while i was waiting for said part i decided to have a rummage like you do and found the half time pinion nut loose and these spindle problems, hey ho...

Just had a chat with Maughan and he mentioned that the new cam follower spindle is 0.375 whereas the old original was 0.374-0.3745 so I'm going to take a standard new one from him i think, and will have another measure of the original cam spindle tonight (measure twice, order once) but think its 0.5015, so Maughan suggested taking an 0.503 and then potentially linishing it down maybe 0.0005 if needs be. I plan like you mentioned to put a blower heater on the engine for a while to heat it up, then locally heat with a proper electrical heat gun, naked flames just aren't my thing unless I'm gas welding!!

Thanks for your advice, i'll probably do a video of it when the time comes to fit..
 

Steve Morris

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VOC Member
So, after a measure up (again) the cam spindle is measuring 0.5017" and the exhaust follower spindle is measuring 0.3742", both at room temperature. I appreciate what some have said about 'freezing' these things, but i am going to do a little experiment, just to please my own mind. So I've put them in the freezer and will measure them again later this evening. Our freezer nominal temperature is -18 degrees so ill see how they measure after that. From speaking to an old colleague today, and discussing the BMW Gearboxes we used to strip, c. +80 degrees was enough to get a taper bearing case out of an aluminium housing which was about an 0.001" interference fit, so i reckon i if i can achieve about +100 degrees locally in the casing i stand a decent chance. I am going to order new spindles from Mr Maughan tomorrow, 0.503" and 0.375" respectively.

I'll keep you posted...
 

davidd

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VOC Member
I tend to agree with Greg about freezing. Liquid nitrogen works well, but short of that, it is hard to get much shrinkage. You still have to heat the cases. I will be interested in your results.

David
 

greg brillus

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VOC Member
Just another small point Steve........Just check the length of the spindles before you install them........i had an oversized cam spindle a couple of years back that was actually longer than the original one removed.......I had a hell of a time installing the spindle the last 2 mm or so, because it was longer by said amount........Naturally it was on the rebuild of my engine..........Always the way.........
 

Steve Morris

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
OK, As i mentioned i stuck the spindles in the freezer last night, it was Burns night so i enjoyed the usual 'fayre' and forgot about them! This morning i checked them and there has definitely been some shrinkage, here are the figures;

Room temp.
Cam spindle = 0.5017"
Follower spindle = 0.3742"

After a night in the freezer.
Cam spindle = 0.5010"
Follower spindle = 0.3739"

Bearing in mind that a std interference fit has a difference of about 0.001" I would say that's quite a considerable amount of shrinkage?
One thing i did notice this morning is that it only took c. 1 minute in room temperature for them to warm up sufficiently to change.

Best regards,

Steve.
 

Steve Morris

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Just another small point Steve........Just check the length of the spindles before you install them........i had an oversized cam spindle a couple of years back that was actually longer than the original one removed.......I had a hell of a time installing the spindle the last 2 mm or so, because it was longer by said amount........Naturally it was on the rebuild of my engine..........Always the way.........
Thanks Greg, i have made a mental note to check this, as it can as you say make a good job go bad very easily!
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Imagine how much heat they would suck in, in contact with a ~150C crankcase!
If you take a minute to install a spindle you are not preparing the job properly. The last (non Vincent )engine I did found that I had to insert a 1.5 " phos bronze bearing with 1-2 thou interference I fridged the big insertion plug and the bearing together carried it in a polysyrene box to the room temperature crankcase that was already chocked up wirh locktight applied to the bore and popped it in with a few well aimed blows of a small mallet as in so much, preparation is all.
 

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