My new restoration project

Information relating to the Matchless G80 or AJS Model 18 500cc Heavyweight.
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My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:25 pm

Hi Folks,

First I have to say, I'm very excited to finally own a proper English motorcycle. I picked up a 1954 AJS 18s for next to nothing (£450). The bike is a partial, single owner basket case from the original owner. The bike was stored in a barn from 1964 -> recently present, and now resides in my garage. The previous owner stated that the bike was his fathers, and he stopped riding it in 1964 because he couldn't get it running right, he thought that problem was the timing gear. It appears everything is here, and this thing is a surviver, with fantastic paint, and even the original tires.

From what I could tell, the engine was seized, though once I got it apart it appeared that the only issue was glue/pitch/seal? that had worked it's way down from the mating surface between cylinder and crank case. This crap was all over the inside of the engine and when I finally got it all apart I couldn't find any mechanical damage, just a sticky big end and a set of RSL8's that need to be replaced.

Anyways, as I work my way through this bike I'll update this thread with the latest findings and results.

Here's a quick video I took after I pulled the engine apart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkP81aVXwCI

I'm debating whether or not to replace the piston, it's got some scoring on the lower side, but that's about it. The rings look brand new as they still have machining marks on them (|/\/\/\/|). I'm thinking that the PO might have replaced the rings at some point, used glue to put the engine back together again, and it ever ran right after that. I also found that the cylinder itself is smooth as silk and likely was never honed after the ring job.

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:40 pm

Well, work continues, I pulled the engine apart, and have been going through cleaning up all the crud left from the gasket shellac which was everywhere. I confirmed that this is some kind of shellac as it easily dissolves in both oil and alcohol (why would this ever be a good idea for an engine?!?)

It appears to have started here:

Image

and here:

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and here:

Image

and eventually found it way down here:

Image

Image

and of course here:

Image

So the next step is to soak all of these parts in lacquer thinner / sonic clean everything and ensure the oil gallerias are clear. The barrel, piston, crank, and fly wheel are at the machine shop were they're getting mic'd for size and the oil galleries are being cleaned out. So work continues.

I did get a chance to test the magneto which does work, a half tick past the points snapping shut while handling it left me with a shocking experience I won't soon forget :shock:
Last edited by cfaber on Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby Stephen G80 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Sounds like you have found yourself a real gem there. Look forward to seeing it progress.

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby raffles » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:32 pm

On your second photo is it distortion or are the barrel securing studs really out of vertical?
Tony

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:45 pm

Distortion

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby clanger9 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:12 am

Interesting project, looks like a great find!

The timing side bronze bearing should have a little locating pin in the recess. I can't see it in the photo. Is it there on your bike, or has it fallen out?
1966 AJS Model 14 250 CSR "cafe racer"
1993 Ducati 750SS

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:35 pm

clanger9 wrote:Interesting project, looks like a great find!

The timing side bronze bearing should have a little locating pin in the recess. I can't see it in the photo. Is it there on your bike, or has it fallen out?


It must have been lost by the PO, what is the part number for that? Maybe I'm missing it in the 54 parts book, but I'm not seeing it referenced. Additionally as you can see, someone staked the bushing in.

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby Matt Durkin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:20 am

I must ask, through curiosity.
Is that the barrel in the pic with what appears to be a wire ring in situ?
Reason I ask, upon checking timing on my late fathers (mid project) I seemed to snag on a wire of some kind within the barrel.
This was when inserting (to measure down from TDC) a knitting needle (directly inline down onto crown).
Fearing that Dad had accidentally used something that had dropped in if piston was too low (he was getting quite ill and literally forcing himself to work on the bike despite being far too unwell), I managed to hook and pull it out.
I now worry that whatever it was was a really perhaps meant to be there...... but above the piston top though????????

Anyone shed any light please, and does anyone have a diagram how the valve lifter works, or is configured?

Thanks so much.

Matt.

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:43 am

Matt Durkin wrote:I must ask, through curiosity.
Is that the barrel in the pic with what appears to be a wire ring in situ?


Which photo?

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Re: My new restoration project

Postby cfaber » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:40 am

New Parts!
Image

Also had a little bit of time tonight to pull the bike apart a little further, headlamp, and rear fender are going off to the master metal worker to get them back into true, including erasing the hole from the cigarette lighter and repairing the surround for the right side pilot light.

Image

I'm now looking for another pilot light glass lens

Image
Last edited by cfaber on Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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