First I fitted the head and barrel without the piston followed by the ufm the aim being to sort the carb position and how much tank cutaway I shall need. I am not short of TT carbs or parts but I have not been lucky enough to find a clip fitting one, so I had to hunt down a flanged adapter, having done that I fitted the unpainted tank. I always understood that a Flash fitted with a standard tank (rather than the outsize TT ones) was modified underneath, and somewhere in my dull orange covered MPH, s (remember them?) I seem to recall there is a picture of that cut away, Anyway as if by magic Peter Bowen arrives, and directs me to visit a Grey Flash tank not 20 miles away. (Signed by John Surtees no less). There I see what is to be done and take some snaps. Now I can get the tank sorted out in parallel. I am using a VOCSC 9:1 Piston. The gugeon (wrist pin) was not a good fit in what I had thought was a good small end, so reluctantly I had to fit a new bush in situe. While it fitted perfectly out of the con rod, once the bush was fitted in the rod, the pin was too stiff, and needed to be eased a little. Now I suppose there are those who could wield a bearing scraper with ease in these cramped conditions, but I am not one so blessed, and I certainly know that an adjustable reamer is a no no. So I spent 10 pounds or so on a little device called a brake cylinder hone (evidently while I was in the garage they have invented hydraulic brakes). Anyway this hone is a magic 3 legged food whisk, and it removed the requisite half a thou in a very smooth way (bet it would make good smoothies too) I also prepared for the wheel building. I apologise to those who can do Wheel building in their sleep, but this is a job I have never tackled before, and I may well fail in the attempt, but it seems like a good idea to try at least one wheel. But first, (And I am sure Mr Peach who built most of the Vincent wheels would have laughed), I took a photo of the wheel and then doctored the photo in photo shop and coloured the 4 groups of 10 spokes. Yellow top outside, green top inside, red the bottom outer and orange the bottom inner this made it clear to me what the term ‘4 cross spoke’ means and how the destination keyhole related to the nipple in the rim. Looking at the rear wheel I was unlacing it was obvious that it had been some time since it had been used. The tyre was absolutely bald, and it’s a long time since a Vincent could be used as cheap transport to be run into the ground like that. The front was not much better but both hubs were in good condition and ready for another 60 years, the brake drums were plain and will of course have to be replaced with ribbed ones. Getting the drums and spoke flanges off when the mating surfaces last saw the light of day when we still had an empire and George the 6th was on the throne is a little problematic. The original locking nuts with brown inserts are not difficult to remove, but getting the H19/1 bolts (mine were original eccentric turned ones) out, especially on the front where you cannot get a drift in, is more of a problem. My solution, is a nut and bolt assembled to just fit between the opposing H19/1’s, then holding the nut with one spanner, undo the bolt with another, as it comes apart, it moves one or the other H19/1 back into the hub. Once movement has occurred is easy to push out the one that moved with a cockeyed copper drift Don’t worry which one moves as you can drive out the more solid partner through the vacated hole. It was then a case of cleaning the parts, one could of course get new shiny stainless spoke flanges, but they are hardly appropriate for any Grey Flash, which tries hard in its factory intended finish not to be a shiny bike. (Though it is said, show bikes were inappropriately glammed up). So I made an early visit to the platers for a dash of Electrolysed nickel. Surprisingly the plater rings later to ask if I really wanted dull nickel as all the others that he has ever done were Chrome plated! I assured him that, yes it is a Vincent, but no I did not want chrome plate, but thanked him for his attention. On collection he did mention he did dull chrome I will bear that in mind.
The Blog Oldracers posts - Grey Flash Diary July 2012