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#824244 09/19/20 10:21 pm
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Just took possession of a nice original but (of course) non-running Series 1 750. This will be my first British twin project after having worked on a couple of Indian built Bullets. I've got a pair of videos up on it. The first is the day it arrived and is mostly me being gleeful. The second is some of the things I found that will need to be dealt with or questions I have about it.

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/bQfouQhNFo8[/video]

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/dDxqgj_JTi8[/video]

I'm getting a lot of advice to toss the magneto and put on some expensive electronic solution. I'm reluctant to do that as I'd prefer to keep it original and it's never going to stray far from home should it fail. I know zero about magnetos though.

Aside from the wrong color repaint and the ammeter everything appears original. It even came with the original instruction book!

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I don't know anything about Interceptors either !, but it looks great in that color/colour
and looks to be in fairly good condition too.
(But I didn't watch the videos all through though, save that for a rainy day ...)

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Firstly, what a find.......

Cosmetically looks good. Mechanically is another question. Rust in mag would indicate long term storage with all the potential problems.

If it were mine (I wish) I would inspect the engine by taking off the heads and barrels. Quite easy to do with engine in the frame and if all is well would Only require base gaskets and pushrod tube seals to put back together. Get yourself a workshop manual and parts book, both give you a good idea how things work and what goes where.

With regard to the mag, again my view is to send to to a mag rebuild specialist for evaluation and rebuild. Electronic ignition is no better or worse than a mag. Good luck with it, exciting to ride on twisty roads as plenty of torque. Richard

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Though the color is wrong it is growing on me. I will probably keep the green for now and just paint the missing side cover the same when I get it.
Judging by condition it appears to have been stored inside it's entire life. The last owner sadly passed away. I've reached out to one of his sons to try to get a bit more information on it but no response so far.
I did a top end rebuild and a lot more to the 500 Bullet I own and decided I wanted a RE twin based on the engineering and ease of repair I experienced with that instead of the usual Triumph (nothing against them; I also own a Hinckley Bonneville). I was pleased to read such glowing reviews of the Interceptor from back in the day.

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Dwight, having owned numerous Interceptors over the years, I can assure you that you're going to enjoy this machine greatly. With any luck, it will have the sports cams, which will give it lots of grunt! You've taken on what looks to be an excellent machine.

Regarding the mag: there is a lot of bad info out there about them. Rest assured they will perform very well if rebuilt correctly ... and therein lies the secret : get it done right and it will pay you back big time. This is not where you want to cut corners.

There is a significant shortcoming with an electronic ignition, in that you are now reliant on having a good battery and charging system at all times. A mag however is fully self-contained and self sufficient: it will generate a strong spark as soon as it rotates.

.. gREgg

Last edited by gREgg-K; 09/21/20 1:02 pm. Reason: Clarify second sentence of last paragraph

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A worthy project!
If your going to repaint, why not just go through it completely because these bikes are certainly great bikes to ride and handsome when all cleaned up.
Keep the Magneto, and Gegg K does an excellent restoration.
These bikes were the fastest in the world in their time and worth the respect.
Did you get it from LA Nick?
Cheers
Tom Oil

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Brother, you got yourself an above average specimen. You are way ahead of the game compared to most resto projects that show up.
I agree with gREgg..keep that mag and get it refurbished.....properly.


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Amazingly original. The paint looks good as in it was done properly. I would leave the cosmetics, that is, paint and just about everything as is, just cleaned and polished.
Clean the front fender with fine steel wool, then treat the rust spot with a phosphoric acid rust treatment (you just wipe it on). That will help stop further rust. Then I use Rub n Buff silver which is a wax paste that will adhere to the rusty spots but will easily come off the chrome. Makes the flaws less noticeable.
Gregg is too modest to say so but many will point out that he is a magneto expert.
Al in Jordan NY


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I appreciate you all telling me I won the lottery, LOL. Though I was willing to take on a full restoration I much prefer 'survivor' type stuff. They are more useable and less expensive to put together. I buy these to ride, not to roll on/off a trailer at a show. When I saw this one I just got a good feeling about it based on condition. I really wish I knew it's history though.

I'm fine keeping the mag. I've read a lot of posts around the internet from guys with electronic ignitions over the years whining about this or that problem. Mags and points were perfectly functional devices when these were new. I think some people just don't want to understand them.

I received a very nice response on YouTube that suggested I pull the heads off regardless and replace the pushrod tube seals as they will most certainly be rock hard. This would give me opportunity to see the innards far better than with my $25 bore scope.

Aside from a gasket set and new needle valve anything else I should be getting to rebuild the Amals?

I think I'll just send the mag out for a refresh. The vintage bike dealer I bought it from has someone he recommends but I'd welcome thoughts from you as well, Gregg.

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Thank you for your compliments gents. I have done work for both of you during my 10 years in business, and I appreciate your kind support! Assurances from you mean much more to Dwight than anything I could say.

Regarding your mag Dwight, an inspection is key to determining what it needs for a return to health. I often say that a mag is easy to get working badly, but much more challenging to rebuild properly. At the risk of appearing immodest, rest assured that I have what it takes to do it right, and more over I have worked on Royal Enfield twins for over 55 years..

As for pulling the heads: yes do it now as a preventive measure, to avoid the possibility of downtime for silly leaks once you're mobile. When puling the heads, you may upset the integrity of the base gaskets, so you should plan to replace those and inspect the rings at the same time.

For your carbs, inspect the slides and bodies for wear. Remove the jet blocks and clean the internal passages meticulously with an ultrasonic cleaner. Inspect the floats to ensure they are not leaking. When re-assembling, be sure you have the gaskets for the fuel inlet in the correct location, or the fuel level will be incorrect.

With my best wishes,
.. Gregg


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Lodge plug caps and ignition wires? Lodge disappeared many years ago. I would be thinking about new wires and caps.
When I had Gregg rebuild my Magneto I had him put together a new set of plug wires and caps tp go with it.
Cheers. Good luck and have fun. You will love the torque!
Don in Niagara
1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph TR6r Tiger


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Originally Posted by Don Leaming
Lodge plug caps and ignition wires? Lodge disappeared many years ago. I would be thinking about new wires and caps.
When I had Gregg rebuild my Magneto I had him put together a new set of plug wires and caps tp go with it.
<SNIP>

Quite right, Don. Any sort of resistance in series with the plugs is bad news. I used to have both resistor and non-resistor plugs for demo purposes on my mag test bench. You could clearly see and hear the difference in the spark intensity. I have found the Bakelite Lodge resistor caps to be terrible for failing, and I've even seen fairly new NGK resistor caps which have failed. The newer Lodge rubber caps are straight through but are poorly made and soon perish.

Dwight, you want stranded copper wires with straight through NGK plug caps and non-resistor plugs.
.> Gregg


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Are modern electronics different in their susceptibility to RF interference? My shop manual on p.32, section 83 HT cables talks about latest engines fitted with high resistance cables which, if replaced, must use a 5 kΩ suppressors to comply with laws in the UK and overseas. I understand the point of low resistance for best ignition performance, but there are riders who might suffer from RF interference. Never me, but we have all seen them - GPS satnav, Bluetooth intercom with their passenger, making phone calls and posting helmet cam images on social media..... ...I am being facetious.
Seriously, is RF interference more or less of an issue with current era electronics?
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Quote
Are modern electronics different in their susceptibility to RF interference?

Yes, an analogue EI such as the Boyer MK4, Pazon Surefire and the Vape unit are not worried by EMF and like a magneto best run non resistor HT and plugs. If the EI is digital then you need normally 5K ohm's of resistance in plug, plug cap or HT lead. Digital EI are the Trispark (most sensitive of the lot, even a prodtronics causes misfires) Boyer red and blue boxes and the Pazon Altair and Smart fire.

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Thanks, I had not considered the electronics we use on our bikes. What about my neighbor's big screen TV? And their kid's cell phones? WiFi? Not having a working magneto here, cannot test for myself.
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Two people speaking a foreign language in those last few posts. laugh
Thanks for the info on the plugs/wires. I'm off on a week-ish vacation riding my modern Triumph Tiger. When I return I'll start working on the Interceptor and get the mag off and shipped.

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kommando, what in the world is wassell doing creating a new EI unit for machines that have been orphaned for 50 years?

https://jrcengineering.com/technical-support/vape-ignition-installation-and-troubleshooting/

i know it's not hard to do an Ei on this standard pattern, but why would one do that? we're dividing up a very small market these days-- my old Boyer on my T120 has been there for 30 years and i'm not shopping for a new one.


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Speaking of alternative ignition lifestyles, I have been intrigued by the chaps that prefer to do things a different way of utilizing an automotive control unit (Ford TFI) that relies on the original points as the trigger mechanism.
The claim is the voltage is so low that the points (if clean to begin with) will never burn and will provide the timing and advance.
Now I know there is going to be inaccuracies in the mechanical points system, which is done away with by installing the latest whizbang EI units.
But this is about getting by on the cheap, or possibly outfitting some odd ball machine where there may not be a modern replacement.
Try the link below. Hopefully it will lead you to the PDF

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&CD=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjSlbruhaXsAhWSW80KHVfkDrMQFjABegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.49ccscoot.com%2Fmanuals%2FFORD%2520TFI%2520electronic%2520ignition.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0efdfaViYqs1tEJ5-wBCj1


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Originally Posted by kevin
kommando, what in the world is wassell doing creating a new EI unit for machines that have been orphaned for 50 years?

Wassell want increased margins for themselves, hence the AMAL copies as AMAL would not reduce prices, the Vape is bought from Eastern Europe from a company already making ignitions for old bikes mainly East European and Japanese, not much work required to fit to the Brit single or twin. Vape cover much more engines than Boyer.

http://www.vape.eu/

Originally Posted by Chris Overton
What about my neighbor's big screen TV? And their kid's cell phones? WiFi?

Not a lot unless you drive into the living room wink Car radios will buzz a bit as you pass them but could they link that to the bike passing them.

I run ohm free unless I have a Boyer red box, never failed an MOT or had any complaints.

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I just want to confirm two things: positive ground? And according to the Instruction Book that came with the bike it is 6v?

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Dwight,
The early Interceptors were 12V, positive ground. At the time, the battery was made up of two 6V batteries in series .
.. Gregg


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Originally Posted by gREgg-K
Dwight,
The early Interceptors were 12V, positive ground. At the time, the battery was made up of two 6V batteries in series .
.. Gregg
Sounds similar to the Norton Electra.


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Originally Posted by oilyamerican
Originally Posted by gREgg-K
Dwight,
The early Interceptors were 12V, positive ground. At the time, the battery was made up of two 6V batteries in series .
.. Gregg
Sounds similar to the Norton Electra.
Exactly ... when the motorcycle industry switched to alternators and 12V electrics, all the manufacturers went to using a pair of 6V batteries in series.
I suspect that was because 12V batteries in a small-enough package were not readily available at the time.
.. Gregg

Last edited by gREgg-K; 10/17/20 1:06 pm.

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Especially true with the Electra since there was an electric starter involved.
Even though the motor was smallish and not particularly high compression, there would have still been a considerable power draw to spin it over.


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Originally Posted by oilyamerican
Originally Posted by gREgg-K
Dwight,
The early Interceptors were 12V, positive ground. At the time, the battery was made up of two 6V batteries in series .
.. Gregg
Sounds similar to the Norton Electra.

And my 1957 NSU Prima.


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