Author Topic: Mini Cometesse work  (Read 5965 times)

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2016, 02:08:10 AM »
I am not that smart, I am afraid. I still do not build my own Sachs bottom ends/gearbox into casings, for instance. I still screw things up. I have just been around a long time and learned a lot from folk more skilled or experienced than myself. So many folk do not take the trouble to watch what the experienced do, question it to understand, and remember. Folk like Malcolm Thomas, Ian Hopkins, and so on, used to freely help those who suffered failure on rally, they still do, but with some favouritism against those who are in the same failure as three times before!  They are not present as a free RAC service to those who feel no need to learn. Your thanks to these guys is to take the knowledge they freely gave, understand it, and pass it on. Secondly it is to admit you do not know, if you do not and invite advice. There is nothing worse than wrong advice. Someone somewhere will have had a similar problem, even if it might be a different machine, or even in a differing scale of engineering. Its what draws the oily together and marks them from those who wish to, and enjoy, clean handed showing of cars. Its a different hobby, I think.

Anyway to the specific questions.

The drill was to attempt to break up the hollow plug of metal jammed into the threaded hole of the crank. THis took out metal, leaving the threads contaminated, but pretty mush unsupported by interstitial material stiffening the structural strength, but also blocking the inward passage of the tapered cutting tap. The unwanted metal was fortunately softer than the crank so it was possible to feel the start of the original thread. One chance to get it right or effectively the engine was scrap. Many would argue I over complicated the process, but I prefer to be cautious as I am not an engineer.

It was not the thread that was wobbly, well not after a couple of turns. It was the taper surface itself. Clearly a high spot, or malformation.

I think the woodruff key had been beaten into the slot with blows to its surface. This effectively flattening the key slightly, raising the edge of the key slot slightly? I suspect the key-way was either originally to tall. or the swarf made it to tall, if the swarf was really under the key. I cannot swear that it was.

I can remove and change the key, its not of tough material here. Its a location device, but also sacrificial should there be a seizure of such violence that the inertia of the dynostart might shear the crank. Better the taper face slip and the key shear off. This is more evident in the Sach 200, with a more massive dynostarter and also not unknown on the cardon shaft drive gears, if the rear wheel or chain has locked up on a KR200. Harry Conners tunned his Schmitt to rev up to some 7000 revs. The problem came when he needed to slow down quickly in an incident caused by someone else. The inertia of the dynostart turning was too great for the crank, which sheared through. In this case the woodruff key did not sacrifice itself on the slipping taper. Better that it had,

The crank I cannot exchange so I dressed the area around the key way slot to remove any high spots. Now, keyless the taper fits together without any movement. So I feel that with a correct sized (standard) key I have a repair, and that I can pull up the taper by using the 6 mm threaded bolt, as it should be done. It should not need to be excessively tight to stay put. I have not a torque setting to hand, but I guess about 65 lb ft. For me that is wrist tight.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2016, 05:44:34 PM »
Glad that it seems to be working out.
Do you think that it was the pounding in of too tall a key/ one with swarf under it that could have set the tapered inner surface of the flywheel akilter of its intended centering with the crank face taper?
Otherwise, I missed what caused the tilting of their mating axis in the first place.
Machinist blueing on their mating surface prior to trial fitting should reveal high spots, that could then be dealt with by a machinist, or yourself depending on severity/ surface area of protuberant material. 
Obviously a tiny bump could set off the whole assembly but be removed easily.

What do you suppose could be a good answer to the Excelsior triple's well known weakness of having its cranks additional throws (when compared to the 328 cc two cylinder base engine) located by woodruff key?
Is this also an example of a tapered fit employing the keys strictly for indexing purposes, or does the key in this context provide some more torque transmitting role?
Would a key hardened to a Rockwell hardness just below that of the surrounding seating material help in this context?
What about machining an additional key way?

Better yet has anyone else already come up with a cure for the weakness?
My motivating factor here is not only my intention to enhance reliability, but to increase output.
Note that the Kawasaki 500 triple that was gestated just a decade later put out a healthy and reliable 60 h.p., which is double that of the Excelsior of similar displacement and configuration.

Perhaps with effective modification the Excelsior could be made to half make up the difference.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 05:47:00 PM by steven mandell »

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2016, 10:42:52 PM »
Well on this Sachs, I am making educated guesses. I am not really looking to go much further on it, as the project starts needing investment of cash. Easier to buy another engine as I have all the parts to make it an electric start. As it happens I think I guessed right. Hitting things is never a good policy, unless its designed to be hit.

Excelsior crank. Well its a wonderful thing that its made to come apart so easy, and can be built at home. Trouble is most homes do not have a suitable way to balance all the bits into a perfectly aligned crankshaft. If Mr Botch has been busy the ability of the assembly to dis-associated its parts in action becomes more likely, as fit is poor. Its a bit like giving a blind man the job of putting the pins in the hand grenade at the end of the production line. Its only a question of time before something goes rather wrong. But certain folk have produced stunningly good machines that are rather difficult for any other Microcar to keep up with. Sadly completion shows longevity remain elusive. Its not an engine I like and I have had little to do with building the units up, other than to make runners to sell.
Likewise I do not know what grade of key would be demanded by the Excelsior. Best bet is for an Excelsior guy to chip in, but I am not sure we have any real experts on those engines within the forum. You need to talk to the Berkeley boys on this front.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 09:10:37 AM »
Success, the unit is now running true. I need to fine tune as correcting the eccentric track of the commutator has moved the cam, effectively, so the timing is out. Need to find the sweet spot. Well I wonder how long that car has been struggling to supply service carrying an injury. Maybe it would have been kept as it will probably go like stink now.

Shifted the Tri Tech Schmitt yesterday. One of my failures. The wiring was unintelligible, with no diagrams from the builder. So I never got to resolve the overheating (water pump?), put the lid back on with a new hinge, nor resolved further front suspension mods. I have to say that it was looking very tatty after its long being out of use. Hopefully the next person will have time, health and a better idea how modern electrics work. I have no idea what is wrong with on / off. Linked relays, in line with micro safety switches and relying on chokes to stop current going the wrong way is just asking for things not to work to me. I would bin all that and go back to simplicity. After all its not a CN250 scooter on two wheels anymore. Glad to see the back of it. as I can get on with the first of the years Messerschmitts. For the record a Tri Tech will go in a SWB Transit with the boot flipped over with the door off, or off if the door is on. Perfect fit.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2016, 08:14:09 PM »
I now worked out the headlight situation. Interesting as the later units carry a W badge that I though should be Westinghouse. I was happy with that idea as Westinghouse supplied parts for the Inter. They also hold several patents on headlight technology, I believe. Its the wrong style logo  though. So it took a while to break down the lack of information.

Anyway I have got hold of some bits and this evening I have restored the componants and made up a pair of units. THis now need to be mounted onto a proper mounting gasket, and I need to alter the wiring so as to suit the correct packplates. Pity, I do not think I have a pair of yellow bulbs to give it that French look.


Tony has been round and I now know how to edit down my replacement website. So a lot of work to do there
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2016, 06:06:52 PM »
What is this replacement website that you are referring to?

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2016, 09:37:53 PM »
The one that replace the one I stopped modifying about 10 years ago, thanks to the Inland Revenue attempting to use it to assess my tax due and rip me off. It decided me to choose cease trading, rather than to invest in growth having bought a commercial site and preparing to move. Greed and force got them what they did not want, as I have produced next to no taxable revenue for 10 years. So up yours, thieves and liars.

This was an early sign that has since come true, that running a business from then on was seen as an opportunity to systematically apply arbitrary taxes and fees to drain the self employed and small business of money. The exact opposite of the prior Tory commitment to encourage commercial activity and start being self employed or run a small business. I called it right to cease trading. Right now I am nearly out of investment in the City. Only the Pension, another rip off of broken promises, remains, and that takes a turn in a month or so. So I am out of the Government  / City hegemony of lies, traps and coming crash. So I am not paying for all these immigrants, wastrals and big whigs who produce bullshit. Indeed in a few more years I will be able to emigrate without to many problem. At that point I do not care if the country fails, not my problem. My website is a world entity, not British.

The new website will be about my interests, associated interests and links to places where parts can be obtained, but it will not be a commercial outlet, other then market my cars to be cleared from the collection. It will probably develop organically depending how things go. I am making no predictions or commitments. But it might become the window through which folk and I communicate. I am not interested in Facebook stealth theft or light weight activity. If your serious you get in a do the job properly. A website is not expensive nowadays. A website should grow into a repository of useful information. More accessible than a stack of printed magazines or a forum date based stack of information. I do not know how far I can go down this route on my own. But it is clearly the way forward.

As with microcars, driving them was/is to be at the front of what is going on, so with what replaces the failing club scene, driving your own web presence is to go where you want to. It will be good for my brain to, over the years to come.

A longer and much more frightening answer than you expected, I think!


Meanwhile the little Saxonette is now running freely and crisply. Need to do some circuits to tune it into the sweet spot. The lights to be sorted and fitted and we about there. I will put it against anyone else’s.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 08:09:00 PM by Big Al »
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2016, 12:13:02 PM »
It's a shame that the world never got to see an expansion of your trading.
In the early to mid nineties, from my far away perch in Los Angeles, the very existence of "Alan's Unusual Microcars" seemed as whimsical and alluring as finding a lost plateau in South America where dinosaurs still roamed freely.
The only things that I knew about Micro cars was only what I had discovered by reading a couple of World Car books from the late fifties.  I had only seen a couple of Isettas and Messerschmitts at the home of a local collector at the time that I bought my Freeway HMV from him.
The very idea that someone was actually making a business out of buying and selling alluringly original and tiny vehicles that I had not yet been even able to view seemed almost unbelievable to me.  At the risk of being rightly accused of over dramatization, I will compare it to a hungry child in Botswana first discovering that there was a real place called Disney Land where fantasy took form.

You sent me a pack of pictures of cars that you had for sale that drove me crazy with desire, but inherent limitations of letter writing and the expence and complications associated with making trans oceanic international calls at the time, combined with your own migratory patterns whilst you chased down cars and auto jumbles together with my lack of experience in dealing with so many unknowns, conspired to prevent me from ever being to actualize a purchase from you.
  I had my mind set on a Scootacar Mark one that needed finishing  for approx 1,800, an FF3 that had its door handle punched in from roll over for a good bit less, and a Heinkel powered tractor for but a few hundred quid.
I was also considering buying a completely restored brown Bond for a very reasonable sum for the proposed purpose of resale to help finance my shipping.
It took me nearly twenty years to make up for these missed opportunities.
If the internet was any where near as available and useful back then, I could have actualized my dreams much sooner. 
Your business may not be as appreciated in your homeland as it was from afar due to the much greater density of indigenous unusuals in the UK, but it is indeed a greater loss to the rest of the Micro car world that your unique business was deprived of its opportunity to expand during the era of the fully blossomed internet.

Are you sure that you couldn't make another smaller scale go at it when you eventually become based in another less taxing country?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 12:21:02 PM by steven mandell »

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2016, 08:30:00 PM »
Ah, should I be based somewhere that was to reward entrepreneurial activity I would be more than tempted to do some interesting stuff. But age and health would mean it would be in a more managerial way. There are so many opportunities out there that it amazes me folk can sit around saying there is nothing to get into. Spot bots, you have to go to where the action is.
My own success is really what is now stopping me move forward. I have property, cars, spares all to sort out, and reduce to a sensible level, having been very good at accumulating projects, rather than profits, when I was in my prime. Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining, as I planned it that way. I did not bank on being a semi invalid! Ignoring that last, I think our modus operandi have been much the same. If it looks buy-able, take it. Trade the unwanted, keep the better stuff. Buy property to suit your activities. Can be a lonely lifestyle at times but when your busy producing stuff, and making it visible, it attracts some great and interesting folk who join in the fun, and your friends build up again after natural wastage both to females or to the stiff yard. One day, one, or both, will get me. Be great to have all my stuff on some really daft place, like St Helena, to get at with folks wanting to get in for a deal.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2016, 11:54:49 AM »
So St. Helena is the heaven on Earth  that you would follow the footsteps of Napolean Bonoporte, by allowing yourself to be voluntarily exiled to.
Sure looks the part of a tropical paradise replete with volcanoes and lost plateau.
Is it indeed inhabited by minitiarized species that survived the extinction experienced on the rest of the globe due to relative isolation from competition for the niche of personal transportation?

Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California has indeed been host to these processes on both the biological and mechanically microcosmological levels.   To wit - the Pygmy Mamoth lived on in this island for several thousand years beyond its extinction on the rest of the planet.  Relatively lower levels of resources, and less need for increased mass to fend off competition,conspired to rapidly reduce the body mass of an already fully evolved species in a relatively brief spurt of dwarfistic evolution.
Catalina is also host to a slew of functioning  micro cars not typically seen on the streets of any other US city that I am aware of.

Downsizing, is an evolutionarily easy game to play on a secluded island.  Perhaps you could apply the principal to relocating / re-establishing  your collection of unusuals.

Problem to overcome would be high cost of transport, and therefore great limitation on trading with the rest of the world.
If the native ladies don't get to you, could still make for a dramatic ending when the volcano erupts, and your collection falls into an earthquake opened crevase, or the whole isle of Atlantians fall into the sea.

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2016, 04:16:19 PM »
I could become King of Peel Island. Only last a year, though, I think.

Trouble with Islands is there are either people already there, nasty bitey creatures, or they are very expensive. I like the idea of miniature pachyderms. Might be really good pets.
Can you get Pygmy Muslims, or do they spontaneously combust?
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2016, 11:04:52 AM »
What you are describing seems eerily like your taking Marlon Brando's part in the Island of Dr. Moreau!
So do keep yourself well isolated from nasty bitey creatures armed with combustibles.

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2016, 11:14:53 AM »
Only a small part. The Island of Dr Moreau Minor. Look out for the mosquito with Nibblola. A cross between Ebola and AIDS, not made by the CIA, but Alec Issiagonayet.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Big Al

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2016, 12:05:26 PM »
Finally able to devote time to getting the Comtesse sorted out ready to sell off. The new, much better original style rear lights have been located and bought. Thanks to the bins on the inner rear wings access on the left side is very difficult. I had to use the original position as the leads pass through the hole that matches the light units, to feed the power and earth cables in and out. That it is a fit was proved by the very shrouded screw being lined up with the the hole in the bin that the rear location peg also uses, Cunning. The other was at just an angle that a quality bladed screw driver could do it up. A posidrive might have been easier, but I had none suitable. The light units needed a slight modification as the internal light screen was not correctly made, fouling the captive nut moulding. I suspect this is a product of the unit being modified from the totally original unit, probably due to some minor EU law. My guess would be bulb power requiring good distance between bulb and lens, as you can see the former bulb holder position, now not used.

Have had all the fighting on the first one, the other was a simple fit. The effect looks so much better and well worth the effort.

The headlights remain to be done, again all the parts have been located to do the task. Then a check on electrics to be sure I have done everything correctly.

Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

steven mandell

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Re: Mini Cometesse work
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2016, 11:15:49 AM »
So much to fret about on so small and simple a vehicle.
Good thing that it wasn't more complex.
Mine came without a spare.
Does anyone know if and where a spare was meant to be carried on these smallest Comtesses?