Author Topic: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.  (Read 250 times)

DannyR

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Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« on: October 25, 2017, 10:12:38 PM »
Hi,
I'm Danny and I've joined this forum after I recently purchased this All-Cars Charly:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/46ok34fmcrt0td8/20171008_122946.jpg?dl=0
It was a bit of an impulse purchase and I'm currently researching them. I've not much idea about them, or how this one ended up in this country. I suspect from my research that others may have already asked this forum's members about my car.

It looks to have been quite heavily modified in the past, it's not got the correct engine or seats and I suspect it's missing a roll cage like construction.

Anyway, my first question I was hoping someone might be able to help me with is: Has anyone got one road legal in the UK and registered with the DVLA and how did you do it? I've found a chassis number but I have no reg plates, nor does it seem to have ever had. It's been in the UK for quite some time through from my research.

Here's some more photos:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/q2u1gbgkcb481x2/20171008_123000.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v7ttovyo4u6l34z/20171008_123020.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbxt0y79yj0wk3p/20171008_123111.jpg?dl=0


Thanks,
Dan.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 10:18:06 PM by DannyR »

steven mandell

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 10:48:35 AM »
Hi Danny,
I have two of them.
Apparently they came in several variations of engine size, type and even placement.
Some being more mid vs rear facing.
From what I've bumped into, engine size ranged from 49 to approximately 250 cc, and included at least one 49 cc Moto Morini unit that came with a manual 4 speed transmission.  I know because one of mine has this set up with a clutch that is activated by hand grip on the shifter shaft, it makes for a necessarily engaging experience.
There were also a Minarelli 49cc, a "rather more potent 125 cc unit" in a 4 wheeled Version labelled as the Charly 4.
There was also a khaki colored convertible version that carried a spare wheel on the back called the Snuggy Tobrouk.
Later versions switched again to Motobecane 50 cc engines, and we're even offered with 250 cc units.
Considering the surprising performance of my 49 cc Moto Morinin unit - that version could be quite exciting!

I believe that most of the non Moto Morini  powerplants came with belt driven automatic transmissions.

Might help determine how much yours was modified if you can tell me if the paint color is incorporated into the gel coat.  In other words, if you look into one of the usually unavoidable deeper scratches, is a different color of primer/ fiberglass appearing, or not?
I cannot verify seeing a wind shield in yours.  Are there signs that one used to occupy the front windshield frame?
What are the short nearly circular straps doing at about mid windshield post height?

Does the row of screws located at the upper belt line of the body connect it to anything, or is it just left over from when it held an upper body shell in place?

I don't see any obvious drillings around where front hinges for doors would hang - do you?

The three approximately 2" wide holes seen just aft of the seats in the remaining lower body panel on each side of the car looks like it could be for engine ventilation, although I've never before seen this.

Ditto for the tubular flattened U shaped seat bar that resembles those found on carnival rides to keep you in your seats.  Is that for real, or along with the seats, a previous owner's innovation?

I am very interested in learning more about your car, and can tell you more about how I improved the steering and ride on one of mine, but can be of no use with your MOT issues as I am in the US.

DannyR

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 08:36:58 PM »
Thanks for your reply Steven,

The guy I bought mine from said he'd researched this Charly and claims it's one of twenty genuine convertible units All-Cars made, I've looked on some Italian websites and can't find anything to back that up. It looks like the green convertible Tobrouk models you referred to but it's definitely supposed to be that orange colour. The gel coat in places is chipped and it's orange through to the fibreglass. There's 4 mounting areas on the back bodywork where it looks to have had a tubular framework just like the green Tobrouks. This is long since gone. There's nowhere to mount any doors and it looks like the loops you mention on the A posts were to restrain canvas doors. The bodywork also has press-studs along all the edges where a canvas top should've been, again, long since gone. I received no paperwork with the Charly as the last owner bought it from a deceased man's estate along with some other quirky cars. The only history I have is I found a photo of my exact car on an Italian website and I know it's mine as the chassis number is quoted. The picture is from around 2012 and looks, as far as I can tell to be in the UK.

As for modifications to mine, I'm not sure as they all seem a bit bespoke to a degree, mine has a Franco Morini 50cc engine, looks like it's a TA50 / TA4 - GS water cooled unit with Malaguti engine covers on it, so I'm saying that's not original. It's got a radiator bodged into the rear, right hand mudguard with a pump in the piping with nothing driving it. The engine is missing it's piston, although the bore looks fine. It's engine flanges have been cut and widened on the rear axle to take this engine, badly! There's no belt drive, the engine drive sprocket has been removed and is lined up with the input shaft of the differential, with a rubber coupling between the two, again, very poor quality welding and workmanship. My clutch is not on the gear shifter, there's a clutch pedal just as a conventional manual shift car, but it's in the passenger footwell. I have two handbrakes, one is a handbrake, one seems to switch the differential into reverse, which I assume gives you all four speeds going backwards as well - I bet that's scary! The restraint bar you refer to is not present on mine, which I'm sure adds to the terror, actually, re-reading your post I think that's the windscreen rubber, it's just resting over the seats. I have the windscreen, it's been removed whilst the previous owner worked on the car, I think they lifted the whole body off of the chassis.

I don't know if it's standard, but mine has a Fiat 126 started motor in a bracket on the rear axle, which indirectly drives the kickstarter shaft via a idler sprocket to reverse the motion, again all very amateurishly done. The start motor is cable operated and the switch is integral to the motor. The air ducts in the side should have Fiat 126 air scoops feeding through them.
Lastly, the seats are not standard and anyone in the UK who uses public transports would think they look familiar. My wife thinks they're bus seats, I think from the colour they may be train. Either way their framework is not secure to the body, although they do look like they were made for the Charly, with contours lining up as if they were made for the job.

I was hoping someone might know the car, or have an idea when it was manufactured. I've no idea how it ended up in the UK, how long it's been here or if it can be put on the road.


This photo may help:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7c7l4utdww05a86/20171008_123059.jpg?dl=0

steven mandell

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 08:22:22 AM »
WOW, that is a lot to chew on.
What does the white large lettered script beginning with "ON"on the body sides spell and signify?
By the absence of threaded holes in the front of the usually considered to be door apertures, I agree that this was built as a true open car, despite it's lack of khaki  coloration.
The front fascia on yours sprouts a useful and good looking additional extension in the form of a filler panel connecting to a very light rubber bumper surround , that also mounts a rectangular headlight.

The others that I have seen have no rubber surround and instead have simply a hexagonal aperture housing a close fitting round headlight whose bulb seems similar if not the same to those found in ordinary flash lights.
Not surprisingly it functioned more like a marker light than a headlight.
That is until I replaced the entire unit with a circular Led Hunter's spot light.
This set up with some additional electrical modification transformed the totally inadequate lighting , into one where you can see the stop sign a block away - yet all run off the completely puny charging system , which consists soley of a magnet  mounted in the flywheel spinning around.
Ah, the wonders of Led lighting!
How bright is your rectangular headlight?

The rubber coupling joining the engine to the differential sounds stock.  Mine is deteriorated.
Do you know what they came off of?

Believe it or not the starter drive with dual chains from (on mine) a Fiat 500 starter is the stock set up.
Although it literally exploded my crankcase cover when first tried.
Had to get some very expert and expensive welding to piece my Humpty Dumpty back together, but it has worked fine since.

Hilarious about me mistaking the windshield rubber for a restrain bar!   I've never seen the roll bar like appendages that you say is missing from yours, but with a single wheel up front, no roof or doors, it certainly seems like a needed piece of apparatus.

As long as you have the rear mudguard cut out already for a radiator, and have an engine that needs merely a piston to be complete, I think you might as well give it a chance.
The picture that you posted of the rear axle set up appears identical to my 4 speed in both directions Moto Morini powered Snuggy.
Being able to work the gears in this relatively high revving and higher performance powerplant is both a challenge and source of additional fun not usually available in  Sans Permis cars.   With a real clutch pedal on the floor, yours should be equally fun, but without being so challenging.

I would be most curious to experience one of the larger displacement high performance 2 stroke scooter engines
in one of these if it could be had with a manual transmission.  Water cooling should work just fine in this chassis.
The hopefully minimal extra engine mass would be located almost directly over the rear axle, so if anything would serve to make it more rather than less stable.

So clean up the bodged edges, put in a new piston, create a drive or electric motor for your water pump, and have somebody weld up something for roll protection based on a picture (that I'd like to see)- and enjoy your most unusual toy!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:34:45 AM by steven mandell »

Chris Thomas

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 08:00:04 PM »
Hi Danny and Steve

I think you will find that you have a Charley 4 with a modified front and a missing canvas tilt on the rear.

The 125 and 250 cc models were all 4 wheelers.

This may help

http://www.microcarfan.com/index.php/marques/96-all-car

Chris Thomas

steven mandell

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 05:57:48 AM »
I sincerely doubt that this car ever had 4 wheels, although I do admit that it has some surprisingly well executed fabrication of a front fascia, rectangular headlight assembly, and good looking sculpted rubber surround at the single front wheeled end.
Obviously the folding top and supports are missing.
I'd like to see where they sprouted from.

Similarly would like a close up on the Tobrouk's spare wheel mounting.
The pictures I have seen of it are not well shot for determining this.  Could it really be off center enough to partially block the view of the right hand tail light?

DannyR

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 07:46:15 PM »
The large 'ON' is the start of a sticker which says "O'Neil", it's the famous Surf equipment brand, everything in the UK seems to get those stickers on 20 years ago.

I also think it's a genuine open top machine as there's no sign the rest of the closed compartment parts were fitted, including a lack of bolt holes. With regards to what Chris said, I've looked at the webpage and I've come to the conclusion there's a formatting problem on the page. Other sites I've seen suggest the Charly 4 was a 4 wheel drive and at the minute I'm of the opinion mine's a Tobruk, with bits missing. I'm still in process of trawling European language websites to try and find stuff out.

The lighting on mine isn't too bad. I've powered up all the electrics and although some re-wiring's required I've had everything present working. The square headlight, whether standard or not isn't too bad. It's a halogen unit with dipped and main beam, no worse than any eighties motorbike I'd say. The two clear markers are interesting, they are dual filament units too and function as both sidelights and indicators although they're clear when flashing,  not amber and there's some amber side repeater where the door hinges would be on a conventional Charly. Not sure how this is gonna go down with a UK MOT or MSVA inspector. There does though, seem to be a lot of load for a motorbike generator, especially one of a 50cc engine, it must only be 4hp and a modern car alternator can certainly put that much load on an engine, there is under the driver's seat, a aperture for a car sized battery, don't know if that's standard either. I'll worry about electrical upgrades if I ever manage to get it road legal.

The rubber coupler between engine and differential; I've no idea what that's off. It looks like a 70's mini but it's not. Before CV joints became popular in the 60's and 70's these things were common, but if it's like everything else, it'll be off a FIAT, probably 500 or 600.

Where you were talking about the started motor failure on yours, I think mine's had something similar happen to it. There's some really awful looking welding / repair on the kickstarter shaft input on the RH crankcase. This is one of the things making me wonder whether to persevere with this engine. I know you said I might as well give it a chance, but it really does look like it was bodged to fit. The mounting bracket has been widened to accept it and it looks awful and has already cracked. The engine needs a new piston, rings, gasket set and clutch basket that I know of and I'm not sure the big end bearing has much life left either. It's easily going to exceed what I paid for the Charly in parts alone and then I'm concerned the poor performance could make it un-usable (I live in a dip with a steep hill out in every direction).  I'm wondering about fitting a period 125 cc engine with a built in electric starter which I could probably obtain for the same money as to rebuild the non original Morini engine. Another part of me is thinking radical and converting it to electric power. There are classic purists who'd probably gasp at the notion, but this Charly is already so far from standard I'm wondering if it could hurt? Still undecided on all this, I thought after a bit more research I'd decide.

Following on from Chris' post with the link to the Microfan website, I am thinking of reproducing the roll cage, although I wonder if that was it's intended purpose or just a frame for a canvas roof. Can't see it being much good if you were to roll it.

First hurdle though, is to find out how to make it road legal, I'm pretty sure there's at least one more in the UK as it's on YouTube, wonder if he's riding around in his?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX0672d1zxg

Dan.

steven mandell

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 10:57:54 AM »
I thought that I was reading "Oneil", but being in the States am unfamiliar with the brand.
Hard to imagine it going from a 4 wheel drive to a three wheeler, so I still think that the "Charly 4" moniker was intended to refer simply to the fact that this model came with 4 wheels, rather than 4 wheel drive.

Yes the Fiat 500 starter is strong enough to blow the case apart if something isn't set up correctly in the drive through the kick starter shaft's sprocket and chain reduction drive to it.
Was your case half pieced back together and welded also?

Pick whatever powerplant fills your bill, but beware of making it so much more a project that it adds years to completion time, or worse yet doesn't get done while in your stable.  I know that I have the trait of idealizing my projects to this point, so know well to warn you.
However, I'll stick to my initial assertion that the 8 speed (4 in forward and 4 in reverse) transmission is quite rare in a Sans Permis car, and can add greatly to driveabilty and enjoyment, and is hence worth preserving.

The huge cast in battery tray is stock, so can be taken full advantage of if you'd like a higher power lighting system than the solitary spinning magnet could keep up with charging.   Just fit in whatever battery takes up the allotted space well, charge it fully with a charger, and unless you were to drive it for many hours at a time, you'll never draw it down enough to notice the charge vs. use deficit.    And since you might be likely to need to charge it after resting for a few months between trips, you'll never get caught out of charge!

Yes a roll bar would seem more important than a hood stay, but only if you value the contents of your own head.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 10:00:03 AM by steven mandell »

Chris Thomas

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Re: Hello from a new member and here's why I joined.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 06:21:46 PM »
Hi Danny R

You are correct the Charlie 4 is the 4 wheeler. I misread the section title on the web site link I gave you thinking it was the image caption. I deserve a slapped wrist for such an obvious mistake.

Chris Thomas