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Not Just One, But Two!

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  • Not Just One, But Two!


    To cut a long story short, evolving over several months, I was offered a pair of barn find Greeves, by the son of the owner, who has been deceased some years. They were buried in the corner of a large shed, and apparently took some unearthing. Far from looking for another project(s), in the last year I have sold 4 bikes and my Sprinter lwb race van, in order to cut down on time spent fettling, and to gain space. Get the drift? I had only seen photos, as they were 140 miles away, but what could a chap do? Borrow a mate's trailer, that's what!. Who said the camera never lies? Anyway, I arrived home with a 1959 24SAS and a 1960 24TCS; both matching numbers, with a bit of history, and a V5C for the Scottish. The idea is to oily-rag re-commission them, not full restorations. The Hawkstone may have gone a bit far for that..... The Scottish I am more optimistic of achieving that goal.

    The engine, a correct 33A, was out of the Hawkstone, On closer inspection it has a 34A top-end and long-rod crank, the latter having discernable big-end play. Fortunately I had a rebuilt crank on the shelf, so in it has gone, with new bearings, seals as appropriate. Much work to do on the clutch; now awaiting a response from VS to a request for parts. The cycle parts are a bit more of a challenge; watch this space!

    The Scottish, as I posted on a previous thread under 'non-Greeves engines', is all matching numbers, but has a Vale-Onslow iron barrel, with a trick ali head from the time, possibly a Hogan, as volunteered by John Wakefield. So far I have been unable to unearth any info about Hogan heads for Villiers engines though, only Bantams.

    So far, they are both on their wheels, stripped of unusable bits, mudguards, seats etc, and have been de-greased and pressure-washed. Next up is to take the head & barrel off the TCS to see what lies beneath.

    That is the story up to date; more as it pans out.

    A few pics.....
    Last edited by IanCordes; 02/06/2019, 10:49 AM. Reason: Typo correction

  • #2
    More pics, this time of the Scottish....


    • #3
      Thanks for sharing Ian, very interesting .


      • #4
        Thanks Tony. I was hoping for a bit more interest, as this is what the 'Projects' section of the forum is about. I know many on here, you included, are well aware of what is involved in restoring neglected Greeves back to full working order. However, every one is different, and I am sure there are many others, perhaps newer members, who may not have been through the process, and will be interested to follow a couple through on here. The rules of this section ask for one thread per machine, so I will start a thread for each one, as things progress.

        Cheers. Ian


        • #5
          Good luck with your rebuilds Ian the 24TC looks interesting .I have started back on the TFS having finished the C15.
          Lever covers are on there way .


          • #6
            Hi Simon. Thanks for that. I will run this thread for the SAS, and start a new one for the TCS.

            Cheers. Ian


            • #7
              As stated previously, this thread is about the SAS Hawkstone. Not too much more to report, as I am waiting for parts from VS to continue the engine rebuild; rings, points, gaskets, odds 'n ends. I did find that the clutch basket was cracked in several places. Fortunately the chain wheel is in good order, so I have knocked out the rivets. I have another with a good basket which has cleaned up well, but the roller track bearing surface has had it, so if I can get the correct rivets, one good assembly out of the two should result, See pics.......
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Hawkstone engine now rebuilt. There was slight play in the big end, so I swapped the crank out for a VS-rebuilt one I had on the shelf, a standard bob-weight long rod. Main bearing and all seals replaced, including the gearbox mainshaft seal, as a precaution. New set of points. I haven't touched the gearbox, save to give it a good clean-up, visual check, and check all the gears can be selected. The gearbox sprocket was u/s, so I pinched a good one off a spare gearbox I have. Clutch rebuilt as mentioned above, including new primary chain. I had the head and outer cases vapour blasted locally to pretty it up. The piston and bore appear good at +.030", but had the rings with plain ends, which give an enormous gap. New stepped rings sourced from VS, which involved carefully reducing the length of the pegs in the piston, to allow the rings to overlap the pegs, giving a gap of 0.008"; a bit more like it. All timed up and a nice fat spark is showing, just turning by hand.

                Turning to the cycle parts, they will prove to be a bit of a challenge. When I collected the bike, it was obvious that both wheels were out of line. The front wheel points a little to the right. This proved to be caused by a slight twist in the fork bottom loop; just discernable in the photo. This has the effect of pushing the left fork leg slightly forward, likewise the wheel spindle. I have attempted to tweak it back with a long iron bar through the loop, but the Metalastic bushes just compress, making that method ineffective.

                The rear wheel tilts to the left, viewed from above. This made me think the right swinging arm leg was bent upwards, tilting the wheel spindle, which would have that effect. However, the swinging arm is straight. Removing the wheel showed the cause, a very worn fork where the wheel spindle sits, on the left hand side, (see pic) thus dropping the wheel spindle, causing the wheel to tilt. These two jobs are beyond my skills to rectify, but I think I know a man who can; more later!

                Lastly, the rear sub-frame loop is bent very slightly to the left, which is barely visible from the photo. I think that will straighten easily.

                This bike has had a hard life! Fortunately, the frame and rear sub-frame are straight, and the swinging arm spindle came out easily, having been well greased at some point, and no apparent play in the bushes. The wheels are also straight, although a little bit cosmetically challenged, but I will try to revive them without going to the expense of costly wheel rebuilds. Having removed the front wheel spindle and bearings, everything is well greased and in surprisingly good condition, with no play in the spindle and bearings, which run smooth and free.

                The idea is to renovate the two bikes to a good, usable and tidy condition, without breaking the bank in the process.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Interesting stuff Ian, I think a few of my bikes have had a hard life, twisted and cracked frames. Thanks for sharing.


                  • #10
                    My swinging arm forks are worn too, I got around this by making a new spindle with a flat to suit the increased fork width and so far have done a few trials like that with no issues


                    • #11
                      That's a really interesting post on your Hawkstone renovation, Ian, thanks for writing it. A no-nonsense idea of just what goes into a rebuild for anyone contemplating one.

                      I suppose any scrambler must be expected to have had a hard life - must be one of the most challenging scenarios for any bike - plus a lot can happen in sixty years.

                      Well done.
                      Colin Sparrow


                      • #12
                        Thank you for your comments, gents. I know there are some on here who are very skilled and experienced, to whom this will be a 'been there, done that' thread. However, there are those less so, me included, who can do so much themselves, relying on experts to do the rest; welding, straightening, blasting and powder-coating, wheel building all come to mind.

                        As you say, Tony & Colin, some of our Greeves have had a hard life, scramblers and desert racers in particular. Fortunately there are those to whom we can turn to sort out these issues, and with luck, this thread, and the other one on the Scottish, will be of benefit to someone, at some point.

                        Teamferret, this is obviously not uncommon, then! Because mine is only worn on the left fork, I don't think your solution would work in this case. I suspect it needs either welding and grinding, filing or machining back to shape, or possibly even making up a plate of the correct dimensions and bronze-welding it onto the existing one. I think the spindle would be long enough to cope with the extra thickness. I am waiting to hear back from an expert as to what he thinks.

                        More anon.



                        • #13
                          mine was only worn on the one side, seem to remember it was the left though. as i made the flats to suit the fork then it didn't matter that one side was bigger than the other. to keep everything straight I set the front spindle level and made the rear the same


                          • #14
                            A bit of heat on the bent bit and press it back into shape in a vice. Then a bit of weld (if it needs it) and file back to original dimension.


                            • #15
                              Yes John, I think I already said that was one way of doing it, didn't I? Not necessarily the best way though. I am exploring possibilities.