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Maddogs 1956 D3 Swing-Arm Budget Restoration
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Maddog Leary
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February 14, 2014 - 10:21 pm
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Hi All,

Finally gotten round to starting the documented rebuild of my old girl. Most of you will know I've been hanging around this site for a few months now. This was going to be a 'high end' restoration and farm a lot of the work out to specialists; but dosh constraints and the growing idea of doing almost everything myself means it's now going to be a hands on best effort budget affair.  Some of you would have seen some of these pics before; I just want to share my experiences and show what an inexperienced bodger can achieve or not achieve. The brain is willing (has a great support base, ie you lot out there in Bantam land) and has a good idea as to what is required, however the hands don't necessarily have the skills LOL. I've also decided to keep one or two of her 'battle' scars just to retain some of her character.

Enjoy the ramblings, errors and naivety of a novice restorer.....

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As she was when we arrived from UK in 86.  Hand brush painted, (not cut back) bodged and put back together by Dad and I.  Lots of issues, lots of problems, but running.  Back then there was no internet to reference from or order bits for - Haynes manual only went so far!!.  Spent the next twenty yrs in varying forms of dismantlement due to space limitations.

 

Fast forward 20 or so yrs, having moved the old girl round my various houses and settled with my current partner I decided it was time to restore. Dismantling and stripping was a fairly simple affair.  Hard wire hand brush, 240 volt drill with soft wire brush attachment and a large supply of dust filters for the breathing mask.

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No real surprises or nastiness found on the frame and tinware except for the usual wear and tear.  Mind you I did find the butane burner useful when it came to getting some of the 'painted/rusty' nuts and bolts undone.  Moved onto the tank.  This I knew was going to be tough.  All we did last time was sand the existing paint down, fill the obvious dings and repaint. Stripping this thing was a real pain and she certainly looked her age when all was bared...

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It's amazing how much the human eye can miss!, a light spray of primer soon showed up many many nicks, scrapes etc.  Once fixed It then a matter of working out how to paint the thing.  Decided to shoot the cream/ivory as the first layer, mask off and shoot the red, mask again and shoot the black.

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Now I realise to some of the purists out there that the size of the panel isn't correct, it is however the way I want it.  I'm really pleased with the way it came out, all it needs is a few touch ups here and there, a wet paper, cut and polish and a clear coat applied once I get the decals on.

More to come......

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  • sp_PlupImage shocks.jpg(347 KB)
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  • sp_PlupImage Left_tank_ready2_wetpaper-3.jpg(409 KB)
  • sp_PlupImage Right_tank_ready2_wetpaper-3.jpg(428 KB)

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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raslo
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February 15, 2014 - 11:58 am
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Woah - I checked your post expecting a modest beginning. Seems you're well into it, good job. I feel quite humbled - I add a couple of nuts and bolts to my project each week and think I'm rocketing forward! Keep the momentum, man, and keep us informed, it looks like a nice project.

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Mags 1
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February 15, 2014 - 10:41 pm
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totally agree, a bril job.

us poms have got a good escuse with the wether just now?

Four now on the road and at least several in bits.

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Maddog Leary
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February 15, 2014 - 11:10 pm
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Thanks guys, in process of editing engine strip photographs so they will be going up shortly.

MD

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Maddog Leary
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February 15, 2014 - 11:56 pm
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Moving along...

Fork removal and dismantling was a challenge, a stubborn shim necessitated in a do it yourself bodge involving an old socket, rod and heavy hammer.

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Fork legs were true and only required a clean up as did the bottom retainers.  Also recovered multiple 'hens teeth' in the fork spring securing bolts from accumilated old forks.

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Mindyou I think I will need a new wiring harness, mine looks a bit ratty...

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I think that can wait though, not good with electrics....  Will leave until I've finished most of the other bits n bobs.

The engine strip went easily enough, though I did skin my knuckles in the same places I did first time around. Glad I filled her with oil when I mothballed her.

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Took ages to remove all the sealing gunk and gunge out of the cases, also found out why she rattled so much when she was running.  Most of the bearings were best described as 'knackered'. Also had to be creative in removing some of the bits .....  Just waiting for dosh now so I can order the new bearings and oil seals.

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Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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HowD1
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February 16, 2014 - 8:19 am
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Good progress Rob. I never knew how complex and different those swinging arm D3 subframes were - a headache to clean up with a wire brush.

Keep up the good work.thumbs-up

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Maddog Leary
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February 16, 2014 - 9:56 am
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Thanks HowD1,

Many a time I'd be in a cloud of dust thinking, i'm sure the gremlins were repainting the thing of a night after I'd finished a section..... Lol.  However one thing is for certain; the quality of the brazing on the joins and the workmanship put into the frame and other components the like of which will never be seen again.  Machines can do almost everything these days, but they don't have a soul to put into their work like those old chaps who made those old bikes did..

MD

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Maddog Leary
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February 27, 2014 - 11:49 pm
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Hi all,

Just a quick progress update.  Have been experimenting with enamel - cannot afford to get the paint done by professionals so I thought lets give it a go.  After a bit of trial and error with different rattle paint types have managed to get a very hard and quite good finish using enamel.  The white bits on the brake shoe and arm is glare from the flash (they are deep glossy black all over.  Will seal with a high grade clear laquer. To see pics you will have to scroll down a bit.

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Really pleased with the results, will probably do the guards and tinware the same if I can get the same finish.

Cheers

MD cheers

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  • sp_PlupImage Brake_shoe_before_after.jpg(469 KB)
  • sp_PlupImage Swingarm_before_after.jpg(567 KB)

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Sprung Chicken
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February 28, 2014 - 8:43 pm
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thumbs-up Top job Maddog.

Dougie;Glasgow ;Scotland.
1955 D1, 1970 B175

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Maddog Leary
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March 16, 2014 - 1:15 pm
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Hi Gang!,

Was hoping to add posts of the engine rebuild with this update.  Unfortunately the long awaited package from the UK was damaged in transit and half the contents were missing....  So I am minus the timing chain and engine bearings,  Have to contact the 'dead letter' office  (DLO) and hope they have turned up there....  Contacted supplier and advised them the packaging wasn't up to the job and they said to keep them posted on developments from DLO.  Fingers crossed as it will be a while before I can afford to order said items again....

If ever I get my hands on 'Murphy'.....  He'd better have bloomin good health insurance......

MD ranting

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Hawaii50
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March 18, 2014 - 12:16 am
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Looking at your avatar - if I were Murphy I'd be s******g my self!

1950 D1 (Ex Hawaii!), 1936 Ariel 500 OHV, 1923 Raleigh Model 2 350 SV, Various bikes hidden from the Missus in sheds, under floorboards etc., etc., ...

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Maddog Leary
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April 17, 2015 - 8:04 am
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Well its certainly been a while.....  Didn't think it had been this long since I posted on this topic.  As most of you are probably aware I was made redundant a while back and funding dried up for the old girl, add to that 'Top Management' decided it was time for us to downsize (house) so what with the lack of dosh and all the associate cr*p of moving work stopped on the D3.  Moving also meant I lost my workshop... GRRRR ranting

Due to possibly losing my sanity I have managed to fashion a small work shop area in the garage amoungst the piles of stuff now stored in there and started to sort out the mess that is my resto.....  Looking at my work sheet I have a long way to go LOL.

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Have managed to get a small work bench in, however I do have to watch my bonce on the shelf.  Have become quite good at cutting in enamel and then spraying with lacquer to quite a nice finish ( not any where near the standards of some of you lot out there...) but! I'm reasonably happy with the results.

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Also have been able to fashion a temporary spray booth... lol and found space for all my bits n bobs...

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All I need now is an income and I should be able to start making some real progress.  Hopefully it wont be as long a break before posting again. 

MD cheers

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Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Hans Kreuzen
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April 17, 2015 - 9:40 am
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Good on ya'h MD, All the parts you have worked on so far are looking really good,

The building and parts list is a good idea, I do the same and it is a good way to keep track of things, It also rewarding to knock something of the list when it is done.

Keep up the good work,..Hansclap

1950 D1 plunger for daily use, Concourse 1948 D1 rigid, Black 1953 D1 plunger nearly done and a 1949 rigid D1 survivor.

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BonesCDI
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April 17, 2015 - 11:24 am
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Good work MD,

Good to see you are making progress. Don't let the frustrations of your broken package halt your progress too much.

If you need a hand with anything just holler! wave

Bones

Running and project bikes from 1912 -2005..........She hasn't said stop yet.........

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Maddog Leary
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April 24, 2015 - 2:56 am
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Dosh has dried up again, however have decided to press on with other bits and pieces.....  As I have a pile of NOS have been able to clean up and refurbish the carb, cleaning out the bowl, cleaning the jets, slide and float and rinsing out the choke with neat petrol (been sitting in a jar of oil for many yrs). Really pleased with this as it would appear the 'mothballing I did all that time ago seems to have paid off.  Also went through the cables (brakes, clutch and speedo) are in great nick with no external damage and no binding or grittiness when you move them.  

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Some of you more eagle eyed lot may have seen in previous posts with the tin ware and this one that I have left some of the 'scars' ie small dings and dints.  Some of these were caused by me the novice numpty learner back in the day and some were her years of wear and tear.  She had a real character when I first bought and restored her and I wanted to retain some of that.  If this was a bike I hadn't previously ridden then I would have done a 'sterile' factory resto.

Anyhoo onwards and hopefully upwards!

MD cheers

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  • sp_PlupImage Refurished-D3-Carbie.jpg(346 KB)

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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Hans Kreuzen
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April 24, 2015 - 7:17 am
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I suppose that I am going to be called the STERILE RIVET COUNTER nowroflpopcorn

1950 D1 plunger for daily use, Concourse 1948 D1 rigid, Black 1953 D1 plunger nearly done and a 1949 rigid D1 survivor.

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cocorico
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April 24, 2015 - 8:06 am
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DM - bravo, I like a bit of age on an old bike.

Hans - what can I say?

(You know it's all good clean fun) bravo_gif

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Hans Kreuzen
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April 24, 2015 - 8:44 am
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cocorico said
DM - bravo, I like a bit of age on an old bike.

Hans - what can I say?

(You know it's all good clean fun) bravo_gif

I know that cocorico, I love the stirring and get a smile on my face every time I see that you take the bait. fishing_gif

MD,clap That another part of the resto you can knock of your to do list, It might feel that the resto is going to take fore ever, but it all needs doing and is very time consuming, Good on ya'h.

Hans

1950 D1 plunger for daily use, Concourse 1948 D1 rigid, Black 1953 D1 plunger nearly done and a 1949 rigid D1 survivor.

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cocorico
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April 24, 2015 - 10:23 am
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Hans Kreuzen said
I know that cocorico, I love the stirring and get a smile on my face every time I see that you take the bait. fishing_gif
Hans

Curses - I thought it was me doing the fishing!

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Maddog Leary
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April 24, 2015 - 10:57 am
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I'm not entering into this one!!! LOL....  I didn't mean any offence to other restorers... (well not much lol)  Can't take a joke, shouldn't have joined!!!!!!........ roflroflroflroflrofl Each to his or her own.

MD

Maddog - 56 Swingarm D3 Major -  Major Works in progress! Machine is fighting against me every which way!

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