Paddock Starter Diy Project part 3

Published on 14 February 2024 at 10:56

Still got to add a chain guard but it works rather well.


It's a bit of a weird arrangement as the motor isn't ideal for the job bit it's what I had. With the whole job costing under 100 quid I ain't complaining.

Once again the Devil has chosen to piss in my pocket. After waiting 3 weeks for some sprockets to arrive from ebay it turns out they are the wrong ones - a complete waste of time and money, it's getting rather tiresome now. I am pretty much through with buying on there now, been both a buyer and seller for over 20 years but it's just turned to rat shit these days - too many far eastern sellers that couldn't care less, that sell misadvertised crap and then don't deliver. You can't get your money back,  despite what ebay might tell you, if you have a project reliant on a purchase the risk is unacceptable.

So I have had to order some other sprockets now and am having to wait, I had one correct one in my stock so I had a part number to order by, hopefully this time it will be right and I can get on - the drag bike project is stalled at the moment as I have no way of starting it and getting the engine dialled in. Same with the Maserati race bike, I need the starter to make progress on that too.

Anyway, I have made the adaptor so I can fit the sprocket to the starter motor, that all fits nicely and should be plenty strong enough - it uses 525 chain, which is commonly used on bikes with over 100 bhp so a weedy starter motor isn't going to put much strain on it. Gearing is still very much a question mark, I am going for 1 to 1, I may have to play around with what gear the bike is in to start it, I figure with 4 to choose from I should find one that turns over easily enough but gives enough revs to start a cold engine.

I am building rather than engineering so final dimensions depend on what parts I get, it's a very cheap build so if a cheaper part turns up the plan can adapt slightly. It's a slower way of building but finances are not healthy right now with an awful lot of money tied up in half finished projects and ill health making finishing them rather harder than I would like. There is progress but you have to look hard for it.



With the new sprockets in hand I was able to at last make some progress, I had decided to go large and use 525 chain, it had made all my tolerances a bit close and it's probably overkill but I am pretty certain chain stretch will not be a problem. It did all fit as intended and with a pair of jump leads going to the starter motor things were at last looking good. Briefly. It turns out the starter was on it's last legs and while testing to see how fast my back wheel would spin a puff of smoke came out and that was that. To say I was upset would be an understatement along similar lines to saying Hitler was a bit nasty or that Cyril Smith was a wee bit chubby. I had no other option but to go indoors and sulk, when I remembered that I had a spare starter for the Rover v8 in my hot rod, all I had to do was find it and modify it. It wasn't ideal, the design of it made life a bit awkward but I figured with a bit of creativity and my trusty old lathe I could make something that would work. I knew the starter turned the big old v8 with no trouble but having seen the speed the rollers turned at with the old motor I thought gearing down was a good idea. I found an 8 tooth sprocket to replace the original 17 tooth one so I now have half the speed but twice the torque, which I think is more in the ball park of where I need to be. I can always start the bike in 3rd or 4th rather than 1st or second to make it much easier to turn over.

This thing has now had far too much time put in to it but I feel I am close and should have something that will do the trick by the end of play tomorrow - I am out of light and electricity for today, the weather has gone all dismal again so the only power source right now is wind - fine for just lighting but not much good bigger power  tools.

I made a ramp for it to make getting heavy bikes on and off more easily, I just need to make some strengthening gussets, this thing is strong and will last a life time but you wouldn't want to drop it on your foot. I figure a heavy unit is not going to move about or flex but I think I may have gone a bit ott, still, better that than to make something flimsy and miss out on a day's fannying about at the race track.

The bike itself is nearly finished for now, I still have a lot to do in terms of tuning the motor but that will be a whole lot easier when I have a method of starting sorted out. I will back the timing off a little before I go much further, I think about 42 degrees would be better, it's nearer 50 at the moment and seemed to be kicking back quite a lot last time I tried it. That may have been because it was cold, it may have been because the idle jets are not big enough and it may have been because the fuel flow wasn't good enough. I am ruling out the latter for now as it's the exact same set up George had and I am told the bike ran well, I suspect it's to do with methanol really not liking the cold, I might try bunging some petrol in to see if that helps matters.


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