Monday, 31 March 2008

Post War bikers.

Not mine, I’m sad to say and almost nothing to do with the Jeep, but what a lovely picture depicting a life free of Health & Safety, when people were allowed to think for themselves. I love the Wallace & Grommet slippers. I found the picture mousing around on
One can waste hours, but the rewards are well worth it. Peter will be lost forever in an historical cyber space. The bike, a B.S.A. M20 (I think) is relevant, however, as one of these lived up the road from me when I was a car/bike mad 13 year old. It was for sale, but the £5 was beyond my pocket money, so I bought a B.S.A. B31, 350 single, for ten bob instead. It was an early one with a rear sprung hub and started a relationship with the infernal combustion engine that lives on today, in the Jeep project. Thanks to John Hyatt, Nottinghamshire for the picture.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Carbon footprint.

Nothing to do with the Jeep, but interesting never the less. Trying to do my bit to save the planet, (Waste of time.... obviously. We're all doomed) I have taken to using my electric bike and charging its two 12 volt batteries via the two 40 watt solar panels on the roof of the Land Rover. Squeaky clean power. The bike itself dates back to the 30’s and is a Philips Gent's with rod brakes and a Sturmey Archer three speed with original cross bar mounted changer. The electric bit comes from a 24 volt electric shopping bike discarded by none other than Ron Combo’s elder brother. It’s remains were in a lock up in London when Ron quit this sceptered Isle. I welded the mounting bracket to the bike frame, made a battery rack and fitted a Bakelite switch offering ‘on’, or ‘off’. I even managed to rig it to run through the Sturmey Archer three speed, thus giving comfortable cruising speeds of 100 mph. No room for the back brake, but any fool can make a bike stop. Added advantages are one can quite legally ride it back on the cycle lanes having had one or two too many in town and whizz up behind pedestrians in silence giving them a huge fright!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

New this, new that.

The motor is now in complete with; new clutch, new water pump, new carb, new manifolds, new distributor, new engine mounts, new-ish starter motor that I bought on ebay. I bought this engine from Jeeparts Uk before Christmas. Originally rebuilt by the French Army, probably in the seventies, it had been stored in some vast hanger in France until the army decommissioned their Hotchkiss Jeeps. Graham, at Jeeparts, gave it a check over and a clean bill of health and with a few more little bits it should be time to fire it up. Less torque than a Hornsby, but probably more suitable for the task in hand.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Massive Torque.

In the winch room at Cadgwith, down on the Lizard Peninsula, lurks this remarkable engine. I have been aware of it for over 20 years and pop in to pay my respects every time I’m down here. It is pitch black in the shed and I banged my head on something to get these pictures. Up until comparatively recently (Within the last 30 years I guess) this engine was in regular use hauling fishing boats up the quay in this living fishing village. Web research tonight has unearthed that is a Hornsby Oil engine dating back to about 1910. There’s a mass of stuff on the web about them and some You Tube video of boiler suited enthusiasts keeping them chugging along at summer meetings.