Raising the 'Beam - and reaching the end of the 'Beambow

By Robert Beech
A Restoration Story - SSJ 537... (Part 8)


Chapter 4 - April 2003

I was hoping that this would be the last chapter of the tale, however I am stuck for carburation at present . I would appear that concentric carbs have gone into short supply while the production site changes.

Over the past couple of months I have only been working on the beam in hops and catches, all this has been based around the exhaust system, the wiring harness, and electrical components.

The exhaust system went together quite well, with copious quantities of fire gum on all joints, the only problem area was the pipe to manifold fitting. Its obvious that these take quite a bit of stick over 50 years of life, with the fine threads for the exhaust clamp nuts taking most of the hammer. When I was restoring my manifolds I was conscious that the threaded portion on one manifold was about a quarter of an inch shorter than the other. I thought at this time that this was just a difference in manufacture. The first few threads on both of the manifolds was not brilliant, but off the bike I could get the olives in place and the nuts on easily. Once these were on the bike and the exhaust pipes in the olives the picture changed. It was impossible to get the clamp nuts past the early bad threads on the shorter manifold on to an area with some purchase. I have got round this by reducing the thickness of the olive, allowing the nut to travel further. It appears OK and quite solid, but I am not yet sure, I may have to redress this properly at some point in the future.


Stewarts did an excellent job of restoring the dynamo, it came back like new. The new harness and full diagram from Stewarts were also super, it makes the job so easy. The only difficult area is the control box, take my advice don't be in to much of a rush to to bolt the coil and CVC in-place, it really does leave your working space very restricted. Take each component one by on, sort out the wiring on each, shortening wires or changing connectors what ever. Then once every thing is right and to your satisfaction, then actually bolt them into place. Take care again not to trap any wires, its so easy to do when working in such a restricted area.

Chapter 5 - May & June 2003

Lost my way for a few months, what with a new job, leaking caravan, jobs at home the wife was not going to wait any longer for and still no carburetor. The beam just had to be put on the back burner for a while.


Chapter 6 - July  2003

The 2003 UK Sunbeam Rally, my original target date for completion is one week away and the new  carburetor arrives, not much chance now of hitting the date now. Still I returned from the rally full of renewed enthusiasm, to get on with the task the following weekend.

Had to make a bracket to hold the horn and the stop light switch, by the way the horn is not original I just could not bring myself to pay £100 for a horn.

Then fit the carburetor and the fuel line system, I have had some fun getting my head around imperial nuts and bolts, but BSP on fuel systems is still a complete mystery to me.

The other problem was trying to get a dry battery filled with acid, took me over a week to find someone who didn't say “oh no mate what with COSHH regs we don't touch that” or “what do you want acid for?,  you put distilled water in batteries”.


Chapter 6 - August  2003  D Day!

A gallon of LRP fuel and its time to see if all this work was actually going to result in a running bike. I was a little crest fallen when it didn't go first kick, but after cleaning the points up again it went first prod with  a healthy charge showing on the ammeter and oil pressure and a big smile on my face. Couple of blasts up the road and the smile was even bigger.


Jobs left to do before the MOT

The front brake is abysmal and needs looking at again

Right hand petrol tap joint to the tank adapter leaks badly

General carb setting for tick over and mixture

Lubricate all grease points and cables.


And that should be that....

Well Done Robert and thankyou for this fabulous diary of a sometimes frustrating but eventually rewarding labour of love... Now about that Chicken Chaser... :-))  (Robert has a BSA Bantam to restore next) - Chris.


E-mail: sunbeams@classicglory.co.uk