SWB0 1948 Triumph

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Jul 17, 2022
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Ashland Va
Started a build thread on this earlier, but hit pause so I could enter the swbo.
Right now I have a pile of parts:

Mistake!!! The original wheel had these oval nipple washers. I did not use them when I measured the spoke length. They aren’t sitting flush in the rim which makes my spokes a few mm too short. I have not tensioned the wheel yet. Maybe they will compress enough when I tension the wheel? Fingers crossed, but I am likely rebuilding this one.
Hard not to get frustrated with a mistake like that. Luckily I had a pack of spokes 5mm longer. So I rebuilt the wheel. Problem solved. Just have to remind myself , it’s a hobby. Building a wheel twice is twice the fun!

However I will need to buy more spokes for the rear wheel.

I also rubbed the frame with boiled linseed oil cut with mineral spirits. Will have to get better pics in the morning.

Or, remove the oval washers and gain 3-4 mms.
Also, I've never seen washers like tbat in a wbeel in 34 yrs of working on bikes. Seems like a weird design.
I've done a few bikes with the washer all west wood rims never knew the purpose.
I have somehow misplaced some of the small parts of the SA AW hub. They have to be in the shop somewhere, but I just can’t find them. I did have a spare hub and found most parts. Just missing a locknut.
I have somehow misplaced some of the small parts of the SA AW hub. They have to be in the shop somewhere, but I just can’t find them. I did have a spare hub and found most parts. Just missing a locknut.
Nice to know that I'm not the only only one who can lose things like that. Spent 30 minutes yesterday searching for the 6mm allen that I 'just had'.
Still cannot find the locknut. So I ordered a replacement from eBay. I had also saved the old rusty oval washers like the ones pictured above. Those are missing too. So now I’m worried I might be missing more small parts. They are all likely sitting in a plastic container somewhere.

Made progress on the pedals. Several cycles in the ultrasonic some with dish detergent, some with evaporust.

I was surprised to find caged bearings in an English bike from 1947.

This is a mechanical restoration and I am embracing the aged look. I used boiled linseed oil on all the exterior facing parts.

Mechanically sound and read to go!
The missing locknut is really bugging me. I took a lot of pictures and video while taking this bike apart. I have reviewed everything and cannot find any evidence of having it to begin with. Also per some old diagrams I am missing a few spacers. Maybe these pieces were missing when I got the bike. Hopefully my replacement will arrive soon. I’m sure I can use standard washers as spacers.
More confusion (and I haven’t gotten to the rod brakes yet)

The headset is welded on.

I was concerned an about the condition of the cup. Complete disaster.

Then I realized I had TWO crown races for the fork. What in the world!!

But now I am thinking the second crown race actually sits in the upper headset cup.

That would explain the condition of the upper cup.

Does this look right ??
Still having issues. I assembled as pictured above using 1/8 ball bearings. I guessed in the size and quantity of bearings as the original bearings are LOST.

I have a system when I work on bikes. I place all the parts into a box and do not discard anything until the bike is finished. Even then, I save all the metal parts for recycling. The bearings for the BB and headset are nowhere to be found. There must be a container of small parts hiding somewhere in the shop. I was able to find the right BB bearings searching the web.


Problem is the fork does not spin smoothly. I have tried changing the quantity of bearings with no improvement. My best guess is the bearings are too big. I just ordered some 3/32 size. Fingers crossed. If that doesn’t help I will make a video with more details.
That almost looks like the headtubes with integrated cups. not a great idea in my opinion, ‘cause if the races get damaged you’re outta luck. But maybe that happened and somebody shoehorned in separate races? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Try the cap on the bearings without the fork and see how smooth it turns. If that's good, try the fork without the top tightened to see how the bottom rotates. If both seem good, then maybe the cups aren't exactly in line or there's a slight curve to the fork tube.

3/32 did not help. Too small and the two halves bottom out.

Wildcat I think you may be right. I tried what you suggested with the 1/8 bearings. Without the fork the bearings are smooth as butter.

The fork spins fine with the headset loose. But the loose headset means way too much play in the fork.

As soon as the headset is tightened just enough to remove the play, the fork will spin about 25 degrees in either direction. Beyond that there is a springy type resistance and the fork springs back towards the front position.

I’m stumped.

This is a mechanical restoration. I have to figure something out. I am more interested in making this mechanically sound like than anything else.
Definitely that's the problem. You could try to straighten it, but a good fork would be the best bet.

It's bent on the tube, not on the crown, so you might be able to gently correct it to the point where it's useable.
The bend looks to be where the yellow X is.

I would put the cap on to protect the threads and lay the fork on a flat surface. The bend should be pointing upwards. Then I would put something solid under the crown so just the crown and the cap on top of the fork are where it is supported. Then use a rubber mallet or a block of wood to cushion the fork tube and hammer gently on the top of the bend. I would do it little by little until it was almost perfectly straight, then check it on the bike for steering smoothness.
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