W/E 4th February 2018


So time to go back over the Atlas following the trip to France and see what needs fixing. The sprag clutch was on the way out so that needed investigating, the battery seemed a bit secondhand, the clutch dragged and the chain was dry…oh and the problem with the silencer melting to the sidepanel.

First line was to get at the sprag clutch. First time I’ve done this on an Atlas with the exhaust on the right hand side (Mk 1 and Mk 2 models) and what a pain in the arse it is getting everything apart.

The exhaust system is very secondhand and I decided if I disturbed it then it probably wouldn’t go back together again – or at least not without leaking. I also thought the guard bolts seemed likely the shear if I tried to undo them so the challenge was to get the sprag off without removing the exhausts.

The alternator case just clears the exhaust guard – I was pleased to have the extra long allen keys that fit my impact driver they all came out with little resistance and no distortion of the allen heads 🙂 First issue was I forgot to disconnect the battery so once the alternator rotor touched the windings we had a few sparks!

Case off the next obstacle was the starter motor as I wanted to inspect the alternator. To remove this you have to take off the plastic cover and the cam chain tensioner block and the dip stick to pull the starter out the left hand side of the motor. Fiddly.


The sprag came apart and as usual was pretty beat up. As the picture shows one of the rollers had jammed against the back-plate and this in turn had been cracked. All the plungers are seized in their bores so at the moment that’s looking like scrap!


For the first time however not only was the sprag clutch broken but also the bearings in the ring gear had started to break up – never seen this before.

I have to rummage through the bins to see if I can build a sprag clutch. I have a hardly used Zimmerman sprag but haven’t been able to find a ring gear without wear to make it work. I do have a couple of new ring gears however so maybe now is the time to press them in to action. Time to get the verniers out and do some measuring…


Moving on I spent quite some time adjusting the clutch. The new clutch works well in that it doesn’t slip however the bar adjustment was wound right out to its limit. If it started dragging then I had no adjustment. First step was to pull the cable through which helped but in addition I played around with the small screw that presses on the clutch pushrod – my aim was to get this about half-way in to again provide adjustment. The messing around played off – but as I have no spare cable I must a new one to avoid being stranded at the roadside at some future date.

The battery charged up but I couldn’t recheck the charging because the sprag clutch wouldn’t work – I went over all the connections to the rectifier and so forth and it all looks in good order so fingers crossed when it all goes back together it will be charging…

Nick 🙂

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