1949 Humber town bike restoration

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Nine One One
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by Nine One One »

This document has instructions halfway down, where you go onto the ‘NEXT’ page with the arrows, if any help?

https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/r ... intenance/
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

I've read that one recently and it is good, thanks for taking the trouble to post it!
The selector lever on the handlebar is broken I think, the lever has no indexing and wobbles about. The 4 speed has a strong spring inside to drop into a very low gear (1st) and this can break things including the selector shaft in the axle, itself very small diameter, about 4mm.
It is easy to see why the SA 3 speed is so popular as it has non of these issues.
The 4 speed can be modified to be a 5 speed which many focus on.

Need to do some DIY at home today, but hope the pawl springs arrive tomorrow so I can build the hub up fully.
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
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Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Nice when plans come together, and people do as they promise!
Took the frame and other parts to Reddich Blasting on Wednesday and asked for them to be done for lunch today, but could they keep the parts in the office to reduce surface rusting.
Nope, they would blast them Monday morning and I could collect and go home.
Original cost was £40 + vat.
I added 2 more awkward parts to the small pile and got to them at 1.00pm today, all done for the same price.

Customer service does still exist in the UK.

Sprayed all bare parts in UPOL etch primer asap, hope to apply high-build primer tomorrow.

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73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Due to the garage tempertures recently, have not been in the garage, but a tropical monday, and did a few hours. High build primer went on the etch primer a day before the temps plumeted, so the primer had a long time to slowly harden!
Gave the frame a quick #600 gtit rub down taking care not to break the primer coats to the metal and have now today smeared the super thick body stopper over the pitted areas, so about 505 of the frame. Long way round a push bike!

Will start to rub the mountains and valleys when hard about thursday.

Had a good look at the mudguards I bought which are superb and thickly painted over a yellow bomb proof primer that resists all potions bar cellulose thinners.
I think I will get away with a good scuffing and paint.

Got 30% of the wheel stainless spokes cleaned, what a chore, but all good and 1949. Have fresh NOS Sturmey Archer nipples.

My poor hands started to get the cramps after all this, so packed up for the day.
Xmas shopping tomorrow and some Boxster repairs on Wednesday, so hope to get on again on Thursday.

Rather irritatingly, found a place just 30 mins away that have some Chinese bikes for sale of the very same basic design for £200,, sold as demo bikes only, not approved for the UK roads.
If I had known, it would have been more cost effective to buy one and strip all the parts off and put them on the Humber frame, fresh chrome, new wheels and tyres (though no Sturmey Archer hub), saddle and pedals etc all could have been used and the bike would look a £1,000,000 worth.
Maybe next time...
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911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Managed to spend too many hours on this simple bike over the last few days, poor weather and issues in the family have slowly passed by, and soon the hill climbing will be starting, so time to press-on!

Never did I expect lacing these wheels to be so bloody hard.
The original rims were toast, too much rust on the brake block surface to be effective, so new (Indian/ Chinese) rims.
Managed to save every spoke from the original wheels and these cleaned up a treat with a scouring pad leaving a nick mellow stainless steel finish, new NOS nipples from Sturmey Archer...simple...

Oh no, nothing is simple on old stuff.

Did the front wheel first and once I had cracked what 3 cross meant and how to retain the butt end to the slotted hub it all came together, but only after 2 hours for the wheel!
I took a quick picture of the hub while I dismantled the bike, so pleased I did as that picture was better than any manual!
Still, done now.

The rear was so much harder.
I eventually found out the 40 spoke 4 speed wheels are a 4 cross lacing (except on 4 cross there is no spoke lacing at all, there is on a 3 cross (like the front wheel)
Made the mistake of doing the rear to a 3 cross and the spokes were all 10mm too long, nothing would tighten.

Anyway, to prevent me boring you all with the boredom I have spent spoking and un-spoking this wheel, I bought some new spokes 10mm shorter with new nipples, and all VERY BRIGHT to look at, would look so out of place.
So, one last shot at 4 crossing this wheel using the 1950 Raleigh/Sturmey Archer wheel builders manual which takes some following, but cracked it in the end.

All done, all tight, all wobbley, just need to true the pair. So very tempting to hand them over to the local bike shop to be straightened, but that would be too stress-free wouldn't it?

Going to use the forks and the frame to align the wheels as jigs, so saving £25 on a fancy truing jig.

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KS
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by KS »

I used to build the wheels for my time-trial bike, which ran 28-spoke front wheels and 36 rear. The fronts were laced radially - which made for a very rigid ride! The rears were laced so that three spokes crossed, with the middle spoke of each group of three being radially spoked, the other two tangentially. Where they all crossed they were bound with fuse wire and soldered. The wheels didn't flex at all but if you did break a spoke, the wheel went out of true instantly due to the tension.

I found lacing wheels to be very therapeutic and, like you, used the frame as a jig. Happy days.
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911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

It is a new world for me, and why I chose to do the bike.
Getting facts on the way they were originally built can be tricky, and over time these bike have seen a few fixes to say the least.

I am trying to keep a lot of the original parts if I can, but it's tricky!

Lacing my wheels on my Honda CB175 was much easier for some reason...
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
neilbardsley
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by neilbardsley »

I have a wheel tuning/building stand if you want to borrow it. You can get pretty close with the fork and brake pads but this makes the job easier

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911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Thanks Neil, but I think the forks as a stand will be fine.
I will not try to get too perfect, about 0.5mm will be fine.
I'll see how the simpler front wheel pans out this week.
A pro shop cost would be about £40, bit too much in the scheme of things.
I'm over budget already....
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Posts: 17871
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:26 pm
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Both wheels now trued to about +/- 1mm in lateral and concentrically, can't pull them tighter.
Any excess spoke length outside the nipple grounds off and 2 layers of tape applied.

The Woods type tubes will be used and nice new tyres, so that lot is all done.

Time to paint, paint, paint, esp now the weather is getting cold again! :roll:

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73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Cold here, just 6 degrees in the garage, so hard to make progress.
Decided to strip the old chrome off the parts, ie crank wheel, brake levers etc.

I bought some salts for this very purpose from Youplate and set too.
Diluted the salts in cold water outside in the garden and that went ok, the chemical reaction warms the water and it must be cool to do the next step. Didn't take long...
Connected the battery charger (set to 6V) to a long copper wire and connected all the parts to be stripped. Emmersed this lot in the salt bath to cover all parts. The -ve is then wired to the charger -ve and to a piece of scrap mild steel which is also emmersed in the tub.
Switched on, pulled 6 amps, and left it to simmer for an hour.

Result, nothing! Chrome still in place, anode mild steel as it was.
Have emailed Youplate for advice.
Typical situation for me, nothing I buy like this seems to work.
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Had a reply from Youplate at 8.15 tonight(!).
They say the chrome is off, the metal remaining on the parts is nickle, so i will have to dissolve that next, not a cheap option (£25), so will see if I can sand/grind it off at the right places ready for paint.
Getting a bit tedious, but will get sorted soon.

Re-assembled the original Brookes saddle to it's sprung frame, so another part done.
New inner tubes with the correct Dunlop Woods valves ordered from the very efficient Bankrupt Bicycle Parts means the wheels can be completed.

Hoping to have these bits n bobs done for when the temperature will allow painting of the frame etc.
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
911hillclimber
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Re: 1949 Humber town bike restoration

Post by 911hillclimber »

Still chipping away at this bike, but the cold weather is really hampering things...maybe.
I have decided on painting the brakes, handle bars and a few other parts that normally are chrome gloss smooth black, Hammerite Smoothrite black.
Used it before on all the other restorations, but using spray take the coating a lot longer to cure than brush.

So, started painting.
The cold weather allows the coats to smooth over very well resulting in a very good gloss finish, so pleased so far.

Re-fitting the 4 brake lever fulcrums onto the handle bar has been a tease this afternoon, crazy design, and cannot see how you could do the threading quickly for production back in the day, most odd.
There must have been a factory trick or two at play in 1949.

In between doing this have been fixing my one model R/C plane as that season is fast approaching too!
Busy Busy tinkering.
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
Lola t 492 / 3.2 hillclimb racer
Boxster 987 Gen II 2.9
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