First ever Restoration - Suffolk Super Colt - Lots of questions!

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RedLeader
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I sanded the base lightly

I sanded the base lightly just to see a bit clearer what was going on,

Definitely some sort of blistering reaction. With some of the blisters like bubbles that you can press down, I didn't want these to potentially break and flake off into the oil in future, so I thought it safest to just sand the surface down to get rid of the blisters

RedLeader
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Using my new 'surfacing plate

Using my new 'surfacing plate', I've also now sanded most of the gasket surfaces to remove old residue and remove any high spots

RedLeader
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Other than looking like some

Other than looking like some sort of 'Robot pirate' the valve chest area is a little trickier to clean up with the rusted exhaust still in place, but I'll work around it

villiers98
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Really excellent photo

Really excellent photo quality throughout . I'm not sure the metal recoil starter began life on this mower - I would have thought the Atco Standard   would have had the plastic starter and hence the plastic rotating screen. The  very early Super Colts with the metal starter had the " mazak " type zinc alloy flywheel as I recall.

As stated previously  these engine will run pretty no matter what the internals look like , with any oil and on parafin ( when warm ) or waste diesel/petrol mix . A friend of mine, finding he had no engine oil, put chip oil in the sump with no apparent ill effects .  They really are an amazing design. Only the dipper breaking off, or having no oil at all, stops them

RedLeader
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Thanks Villiers98, that's

Thanks Villiers98, that's interesting to know about the starter. It's so difficult to know what was original and what was changed at some point throughout it's life. After rebuilding the starter it certainly seems a lot better put together than the plastic variety, so I think I'll stick with the metal version for now at least. Some pics of the metal starter rebuild

The metal casing had some nasty gouges in the surface, so I spent some time (a long time!) sanding it down to get rid of these. I didn't want to take it to a mirror finish as it wouldn't have been like that originally, plus trying to keep it that way would require very careful manoeuvring of the mower, and knowing my luck, I'd catch it on something sooner or later! I opted for a smooth satin finish instead using finer and finer grade wet and dry

The washer behind the handle seems to just fly up the cord when you pull the cord out - not sure on it's purpose - perhaps the washer hole needs to be a fraction larger so it remains on the starter body while the cord is pulled out through it?

hortimech
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That is the shiniest Suffolk

That is the shiniest Suffolk starter I have ever seen ;-)

The washer under the starter handle should not be there, but there should be one under the double knot in the handle

The starter is probably original, the plastic ones came out roughly at the same time the alloy engine was introduced.

wristpin
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I’ve only ever seen a couple

I’ve only ever seen a couple of units with that washer fitted. Could be wrong but I don’t think that they were original.

Edit. I was slow on the keyboard and H beat me to it! Double knot, aka “ figure of  eight knot” is essential to prevent the rope pulling through.

 

 

 

 

RedLeader
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Thanks, as shiny as it looks,

Thanks, as shiny as it looks, I really wanted to stay away from bling and just have a smooth pleasing finish with no visible damage. What would be a good way of preserving the finish of the aluminium now?

Thanks for the pointer on the washer too - it was fitted this way when i dismantled it, but, right enough, the parts diagram shows it under the knot in the cord behind the handle, so I removed it and changed the position so it's correct now with a figure of 8 knot in the end of the cord which just fits snugly into the recess of the handle. 

Also another update - I managed to get hold of a replacement 19 tooth sprocket which was brand new - cheaper than some of the second hand ones on offer!

A new spark plug - NGK B6S - and length of HT lead

Cleaned up and removed the rust on the metal dipstick

hortimech
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Either paint it with a matt

Either paint it with a matt clear lacquer or matt silver paint, they were never shiny, well , not the ones I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot).

Also, if you are really trying to make it authentic, it should be a Champion J8c sparkplug ;-)

wristpin
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I would just let it “weather”

I would just let it “weather” naturally . They were never that shiny when new.  My biggest “hate” is machines “restored” to a greater degree than when they left the factory. By all means restore correctly as per H’s observation re the correct plug. That goes for the plug connector and cut out strip as well  - both type and position for the latter.

RedLeader
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Thanks for the heads up

Thanks for the heads up regarding the plug - I'll get a champion plug ordered and keep the NGK one as a spare or find a creative use for it! I need to also order the screw on HT lead connector also so will get those sorted next. 

Upon reflection (!) I have gone a couple of grades too far with the wet and dry. No intention of bling so will revert it slightly do a dull but clean and smooth finish. It works with a lovely smooth action now after the rebuild. 

RedLeader
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More butchery has happened at

More butchery has happened at some point in the past with the starter pawl hub assembly and retaining screw/s. The hub has some material removed next to the screw holes

I don't know if this has been shaved down for some reason, or if the 4 'claws' on the back of the ratchet pulley have cut away at this, seeing as someone had the plastic grass shield from the plastic recoil starter housing fitted, they may have had mounting depth/spacer problems? One of the retaining screws has been shortened by a good 6 or 7mm also which seems odd??

The 'claws' on the back of the ratchet pulley have the top corners worn down by about the same depth of the as the pawl hub rub marks

wristpin
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Once you get into the mix and

Once you get into the mix and match situation without appreciating ( the former owner) the result of using mismatched components there’s a risk of such damaged . Way back on this thread I pointed out the absence of the steel spacer used with the metal pawl carrier.possible. Basically, the L shaped sliding dog needs to fully engage with the scroll cut outs on the rear of the pulley. Assuming that the correct spacer is fitted behind the pawl carrier, some adjustment of the engagement may be made by moving the whole cowling on its four slotted holes. 

 

 

RedLeader
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Thanks Angus, yes I remember

Thanks Angus, yes I remember you mentioning about that spacer, it was post #109 and I confirmed it was present so with the incorrect plastic grass shield our of the way, hopefully the sliding dog should fully engage with the full depth of the scroll cut outs. I'll check this is the case when re-assembling. I don't hold much hope of finding a replacement screw to replace the shortened one, as searches for part number 1H335A only bring up an online parts site with stock in the Netherlands and although the screw is less than a Euro, postage takes it to over 20 Euros! 

Could this be one of the slowest super colt restorations of all time? Its feeling that way...

hortimech
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Finding a screw should be

Finding a screw should be fairly easy, just take the good one to a local bolt supplier and they should be able to match one for you, even if it is a bit longer.

As for the length of time it is taking, it will take as long as required, but I will say that I (when I was working) used to be able to winter service one of these in about 3 and a half hours, I didn't go quite as far as you have, but it was close ;-)

 

wristpin
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Finding a screw should be

Finding a screw should be fairly easy, just take the good one to a local bolt supplier and they should be able to match one for you, even if it is a bit longer.

Not that easy in these parts, even the last "traditional" iron monger only stocks metric now. Namrick fasteners can possibly help . 

RedLeader
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Wow 3 and a half hours - I'll

Wow 3 and a half hours - I'll be lucky to finish this in 3 and a half years at this rate! Well I know that the 2 screws I have are measuring 5.99mm diameter thread, but they should be 1/4" sized, so I don't even know if they are correct/original or not. They have 20 threads per inch and are UNC thread. The longest is an inch long exactly. It looks like you can get the correct machine screws in 1/4" online, but if anyone has one of these motors and happens to have the cowl off, it would be really useful to know what the screws should be like. 

The flywheel has no markings cast into it in relation to the threads, as I believe some of the older models of flywheel had on them. 

Hub assembly on top of spacer on top of flywheel mounting point

 

Correct Spark plug :)

RedLeader
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Piston cleaned up and the new

Piston cleaned up and the new rings fitted

Also removed the casting spurs on the con rod small end which were very thin - don't want them coming off into the oil (probably being over cautious)

The engine block, head, sump, flywheel and backing plate are now all cleaned up with paint removed and ready to be reassembled as soon as I can sort out the dowel pins. My order from the far east never turned up after nearly 2 months so I ordered a 100mm length of 6mm silver steel in the end and will grind it down to the correct (7/32") / 5.75mm diameter that the sump and block holes seem to require, although the holes definitely have a slight internal taper. 

I really like the natural colour of the cast iron block and think the other parts painted to match that colour would look nice, however as I'm keeping everything else as original as possible, I'll still go ahead with the planned colour as near as I can get it to the original green/grey colour

With the letter 'B' cast into the block, this leads me to believe the engine, at least, was built in 1979 according to the letter reference guide in the Atco standard manual

RedLeader
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I've used a length of 6mm

I've used a length of 6mm silver steel and ground it down to the required 5.75mm for the two sump dowels. Put a chamfer on the ends and they fit perfectly into the sump and block - replacing the cracked incorrect spirols that were in there originally

I think I'm ready to start rebuilding the engine now. I've thoroughly washed it inside and out to remove all the machining grit from honing, lapping etc and dried it all. Amazing how quickly the iron block starts to flash over with rust!

RedLeader
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2 new replacement screws for

2 new replacement screws for the starter engagement hub assembly

New crankshaft oil seals fitted

Cam followers, camshaft and crankshaft fitted, making sure the cam timing marks lined up

I bought some gasket material to knock up a few extra gaskets - mainly so I could achieve some end float on the crankshaft, and a spare sump gasket should I need one in future

With the piston at TDC I inserted the valves into the guides so I could check and adjust the valve clearances. According to specs, the inlet should have 0.007" and the exhaust valve should have 0.015" clearance. As a fair bit of material had been removed from my valve faces to clean them up, I was left with no clearance at all. Using the grinder I carefully removed material from the bottom of the valve stems and rechecked several times with the feeler gauges until I achieved the correct clearances. 

Then the valves were lubed and inserted with the valve springs, retainers and cotter pins. With no valve spring compressor tool, the inlet spring is nice and easy to compress and fit, and the exhaust spring could be compressed easily enough with 2 cable ties to hold the coils together while fitting the retainer and pin

Valve clearances checked again just to make sure and all still correct. So now I am at the point of needing to paint the magneto stator plate and the engine block, as there are parts of these that the paint won't reach if I paint it as it is. The first round of paint will be the sump, engine block, cylinder head, stator plate and flywheel. Looking at Etch primers as i'm down to bare metal, followed by a 1-pack paint in as close a match to the original colour as possible, to achieve at least some resistance to oil/heat. Going to be weather dependant so I'll get the paint ordered and wait for a couple of days of low humidity - might be a while...

villiers98
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The letter 'B' in front of

The letter 'B' in front of the  engine number does not, as far as i am aware, indicate year . It is the machine/ chassis number where the 'B' indicates the build year. Early 75 cc engines had no prefix, then some with 'A' and 'B'.

RedLeader
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Thanks for clarification

Thanks for clarification Villiers98. Do you know where the machine/chassis number would normally be found on an Atco standard with a suffolk engine if there is no 'engine plate' with info on the cowling? 

wristpin
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The model / chassis number

The model / chassis number was most likely on an adhesive foil label - long gone.

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