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Author Topic: Help Id another barn find  (Read 4534 times)

Gunner

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Help Id another barn find
« on: October 23, 2008, 12:53:29 AM »
I traded for this scooter...in April of 1971 before shipping out to RVN.  Its been in my Dads garage ever since then...I finally managed to get it out to California from Michigan this last week....37 yrs later.....sigh...so is it really a barn find?  Chuckle...anyways..what the heck is it?

http://picasaweb.google.com/gunnerasch/Enfield

I think...think...its a Meteor...but the paperwork I go way way back in 1971...registration from the State of Michigan, says is a 1961 Indian....but its black
As the pictures show..its a big twin, single Amal...partially turned into a chopper....I, in my middle age dotage, would like to put it back into somewhat original condition..and ride it. Dad fired it up about 15 yrs ago, and it ran strong, until he romped on it..both hand grips came off in his hands..and dumped him on a gravel road about 50 mph...he was road rash for months....

Any help id'ing the critter, would be appreciated.  Frame numbers and engine numbers are shown clearly in the pictures.

Thanks!

Gunner
:)

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ace.cafe

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2008, 04:11:43 PM »
Looks like a 700cc Constellation to me.
That's what they made the Enfield/Indian Chiefs from.
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deejay

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 12:19:22 PM »
Whoa, cool bike and story, aside from the crashing bit of course. Looks like a bike worthy of a restoration! Thanks for sharing the photos.

Gunner

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 09:02:16 AM »
Thanks for the info!!

Ill be trying to start it up this coming weekend.

These are positive ground electrical systems, right?  Id like to not blow that classic selenium rectifyer......though if I do..I can stick in a $4 50amp bridge rectifier tucked away somewhere and  leave the big one as a Retro accessory <G>

Where can I find an online wiring diagram?

Gunner

rotorwrench

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 12:05:49 AM »
You are correct on the polarity. Most all the older brit bikes were 6 volt positive ground set ups. They were all Lucas components for the most part. Someone posted a link and a few diagrams for the old Lucas systems on the Brit Bike forum but I can't remeber the web-site. The RE Indian Chief had the battery ignition set up and the 500cc RE Indian Tomahawk had the same system. The other twins had magneto ignition systems with no key switch.

You can still get replacements for most of the early type components. You can also update to later 12 volt components if you like. You  would have to find a spot to put the zener diode. Zener diodes can usually be placed somewhere to aid in cooling without hurting the looks much at all in my opinion. The interceptors had a neat little mount on the right side of the frame just in front of the rear spring/shock unit. Boyer and other electronic ignition set ups can be adapted as well.

Gunner

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 01:59:02 AM »
Update to 12vt electrical? With a 6vt charging system?  Please! tell me how! :)

Ive got no spark.  Coil does put out juice, the plugs do spark if I short the ignition side to ground. There is no condenser on the bike. I assume I need one? On the points side of the coil?  Im unable to find an electrical diagram, but have traced most everything...such as it is...shrug.

I put a new charged 6vt battery in, + to ground. I have -6vts on the coil input, but when I turn the engine over (plugs out, but grounded to engine, no spark.  If I put a jumper on the points side of the coil, short it to ground, and turn the engine over, I get spark when the distributor lines up with each plug wire. So I assume its the points.  Can I use a regular automotive condenser?  And where do I find extra points, and a distributor cap?  Its a bit scary ..that cap is 48 yrs old, and is quite thin. Also need a rotor.  Finding a source for parts seems to be problematic..least here in California.  Im totally unfamiliar with the theory behind British bike parts....Lucas seems to have made most of them (electrical) and many are interchangable between brands....?
If the beasty runs...Im going to "rat bike" it...too hard to find an original gas tank etc etc...But Ive got to get the old girl running first.

Thanks for any info, and the info already given.

Respects to all

Gunner

RAKe

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2008, 06:29:42 AM »
Gunner, I have owned a few British bikes, and my experience with them might help you out.  My first was a BSA 650 with all the positive ground British wiring, and although the engine and chassis were in great shape and I loved the sound of the bike, I fought with its wiring from day one.  I knew nothing of electrics, and all of the other British particularities (such as Whitworth bolts) p***ed me off to no end.  As much as I liked that bike, I ended up trading it away.>:(

About five years later I acquired a Triumph Bonneville 750 as part of an
automotive engine trade.  This bike was newly rebuilt and ran well, but I was having the same electrical problems that I did with the BSA.  But this time I bought a few books on motorcycle electrics and learned what I needed to know.  With no experience other than wiring a few car stereos, I yanked  the Lucas system out of the bike, trashed it, and developed and installed a new negative-ground system.  It can be done! :)

It started as a basic system with CDI ignition in which none of the lights would function unless the engine was running.  But I later added a battery and regulator to the system, which cured the wiring problem.  One important factor I learned was to always solder your electrical connections (after crimping) to counter the vibration of the bike.  After I replaced the Amal carburetors on it with Del Orto carbs (I must have been trying to Harley-ize the bike), that joker ran like the wind, and handled even better.:D  But I could never stop that leak from the primary chain adjuster.  I wish I could go back knowing what I know now.:-\

Because you are planning to convert your Constellation to a rat bike, you might consider what I did to that Triumph.  It was not really that tough to do, and everything performed well after my wiring changes.  And because I did the work myself, I understood it much better.  Sounds to me like that would be a good way to go with your Constellation/Meteor.;)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 01:30:11 AM by RAKe »
196? Triumph 500 (basket case), 1968 BSA 650 (needed work), 1976 Triumph T140V 750 (ran well), 2004 Harley-Davidson XL883C, 2007 Harley-Davidson FXDB

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rotorwrench

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Re: Help Id another barn find
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 05:05:30 PM »
You will need British Association wrenches and some British Standard Wrenches for the larger stuff. Try this web-site:             www.britishfasteners.com
They should be able to supply your needs without breaking the bank. I bought Snap On stuff over 20 years ago, but I don't think they make the Brit sizes any more. None of the Brit sizes are measured by the size of the head like the American Standard stuff. They are all measured by bolt shank size. Head sizes are by BA or BS size only and I have no idea where they fall between American & Metric Standards.

The drain plug on the twins is a steel (or brass-I can't remember) plug in an aluminum case and due to dissimilar metal corrosion characteristics, it might be corroded in place. Auminum expands at a greater rate than steel so apply a lot of heat to the area around the plug. I'm sure you will have to remove any exhaust parts that are in the way too. It shouldn't be a problem getting a new one if it gets destroyed.

Rotorwrench