W/E 16th April 2021

Well that’s buggered up…

So after months of messing about I finally decided to get Atlas #3 going. Many, many, many months ago it started misfiring on the nearside cylinder. First of all I had a drama with one of the exhaust valve clearances leading to a broken head stud and many nights trying to tighten things up without jamming the cam. I planned to sort out the alternator wires (work in progress so borrowed the alternator off Atlas #2) and tried to fix a broken gearbox return spring.

So finally it’s ready to fire up and damn it is still refusing to start on the nearside cylinder and it’s still banging away. Checked the spark which is good so decided to swop out the carb’. New carb’ (off Atlas #1) gives me nothing so out with the carb’ cleaner and go through the original which seems to be working well. So back cranking the motor over and it starts on the offside cylinder. I run it for a short while before I notice smoke on the exhaust – that’ll be the smoke out of the exhaust port then…bugger it’s messed up and will need the head off.

Knackered gear return spring

A bit of good news is that I replaced the broken gear return spring. I couldn’t face some weird Brexit fiasco so contacted Alberta Springs, Colchester UK (01473 311783) and had them knock up 10 replicas for £65. I’m pleased with the result (although annoyingly found a pristine spring when rummaging for something else) and now have a box of spares! You can see this spring is already showing signs of failing with the lower coil distorted. Let’s see if this UK replacement is a bit stronger (assuming I get a damned Atlas to run).

Replacement alternator grommet

The other replacement part I sourced was the alternator grommet. The original was perished but I suspected replacement would be difficult. A bit of www time threw up the idea of a grommet off a Honda CD200. Dave Silver sold me five for just under a tenner and with a bit of trimming these’ll work.

Back on two feet

Not much progress on the Jota, although it is now off the floor and on its centre stand.

Ral 2010 Orange peel…

The front mudguard however has been sprayed after quite a long time being filled, sanded and filled again. Quite a monotonous process but quite satisfying when the paint goes on. As with most of my projects I found it difficult to stay interested enough to do a really good job but even so it’s not bad. I put a few coats on and rubbed back in between. Mrs A managed to put a thumb print in the finish as due to the cold weather it has taken an age to harden up. The result is okay and this despite not having a session of T-Cut to reduce the ‘orange peel’. When it is a bit warmer I plan to do a final cut and apply the clear coat and that will do.


So with covid lockdown lifted on the 12th April I was off down to Motoliner to retrieve my busted wheel and drop off another. The wheel that failed whilst being straightened is a hell of a mess. That’s one serious crack hey?

Wonky wheel – try saying that after a few drinks!

You can see that the replacement wheel I dropped off for straightening needs quite some work! Motoliner are more optimistic about this wheel as the dent is not by a spoke. Thing is the wheel is 40 odd years old so fingers crossed it works this time round. If this fails then I’ll either fall back on the original wheel which looks straight but it well used with cracked powder coating with worn bearing housings that require assembly glue…not ideal. Failing this I happen to also have some wire SFC 1000 wheels though I understand these need modifications to fit…


One of the modifications to fit SFC wires is the use of an RGS swinging arm. As luck would have it I have a spare in the loft…but this was bent many years ago when the chain snapped on my RGA. Like all of us I never throw anything away and now in 2021 its off to Motoliner to be put right. The picture shows how the broken chain bent it. It didn’t come to light until I pulled the back wheel out and the ends ‘sprang’ inwards. With the cost of swinging arms these days its cost effective to repair rather than replace.

So as lockdown loosens its grip and summer is starting to shine through I find myself with just the little Turismo to go ‘Laverdaring’ on. I think really the focus has to shift squarely behind the Jota as someone else built the engine and all that’s left is for me to screw together the running gear and electrics. What could possibly go wrong?

Nick 🙂