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Observations on a restoration
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PatricB
Belfast
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November 27, 2018 - 6:52 am
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Some of this will be familiar to those who have been down the same road as me, while for those who haven't, but are planning their journey, I hope it helps! I had never done a 'proper' restoration before, but had lots of experience with patching things up, making do and mend, papering over the cracks and so on. This time it was going to be different. Proper.

The bike in question was a D14/4 Sports basket case, purchased on a whim (see the story in my 'Introduce Yourself' post.

It was in a bad way. I knew immediately that I would be spending way more on the bike than it would be worth, certaintly in the current market.

Running through what was needed was daunting. New wheels, tyres, brakes, wiring loom, exhaust system, handlebars, controls, electrics, fork seal holders, complete set of nuts and bolts, front mudguard, brake arm would all be required as the originals were either missing, or beyond repair.

Add to this rechroming of rear mudguard, headlight shell, heat shield and brake arms, all of which were very rusty, but sound.

A total of 20 items for the powder coat treatment, and respray for the side panels and petrol tank would also be required.

Add to this an engine rebuild (it was in pieces, in a box, with a shot big end, missing piston and unknown other problems.

So, expensive then. As it was a Sports model, the best-looking Bantam in my opinion, I reckoned it was worth it. I would never spend the money on a standard model, unless I had some emotional attachment to it.

The project almost fell at the first hurdle when I discovered that, although the engine was a genuine sports one and all the signs pointed to a kosher bike, the frame was from a D7. Probably replaced following an accident. Gutted, but knowing I could make my money back by selling what I had from parts, I was stunned by the generosity of an individual, well known in these circles, who offered to swap my frame loop for a genuine sports frame which he had, just to keep another Bantam on the road.

Of course I couldn't refuse and it turned out that both the frame and engine left the factory within four days of each other, in December 1967. Not matching, but not far off. No V5, unfortunately, but an age-related number will be fine by me.

The same individual put me in touch with a fellow Bantam enthusiast in my local area who has provided skills which I sadly lack, having rebuilt the engine and done an excellent paint job on the tank and side panels for me. Thanks Jimmy!

The project will be finished very soon. Everything is ready and just waiting to be assembled and I'm just awaiting a NOS petrol cap from a fellow club member in Canada to make it complete. From start to finish will have taken less than three months which, for a total restoration, is not too bad.

So what have I learned along the way? Keep as much as possible, restore rather than replace, unless it's just not an option. When sending a frame to the powder coaters, mask off any threaded holes. Hours spent with paint stripper and a cotton bud is not time well spent. Don't add up what you've spent. Make sure the sort code is correct when making a bank transfer for a large sum of money for, say, chroming. Some lucky person finding a large sum of money unexpectedly arriving in their bank account may not always want to give it back. Oh, and ask lots of questions - there are some very good people here who know the answers and are always willing to help.

Sorry there are no pictures of the ongoing process - there will be some of the finished article, though - watch this space!

Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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BonesCDI
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November 27, 2018 - 8:43 am
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Great write up!

Hope you enjoy your bike and can't wait to see the pictures.

Bones

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

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PatricB
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November 28, 2018 - 6:56 am
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IMG_0542.JPGI'm looking forward to bolting these on! The chrome on the springs was so far gone, they couldn't be saved, unfortunately. I managed to find a NOS pair of Girling springs for a Bushman, still in their cardboard boxes from the 1960s. They were painted black, so I sent them off for chroming. The dampers weren't too bad, so got them painted up and the chromed springs put on. Not a bad result!

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Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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PatricB
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December 10, 2018 - 4:24 pm
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New paintwork!

IMG_0557.JPGIMG_0554.JPGIMG_0555.JPG

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Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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PatricB
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January 18, 2019 - 2:10 am
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Finally finished! Four months from basket case to what you see here. Restoring a Sports Bantam was always something I wanted to do, but, on reflection, not something I would ever want to do again. The downsides include obvious stuff like the enormous expense involved, new parts not fitting together and having to rely on others to do things which I had neither the skills nor facilities to do myself. But on the positive side, this project brought me into contact with some amazing people, many on this forum, who were generous with their knowledge and helped me out with some hard-to-find parts. There's also a great sense of achievement, knowing that something which had, in effect, been abandoned as scrap over forty years ago, has been brought back to how it was when it left the factory in 1967. IMG_7777-1.jpg

IMG_7774-2.jpgIMG_7778.jpg

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Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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cocorico
Central France
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January 18, 2019 - 7:53 am
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tip-my-hat Looking back to your starting point, that is a super restoration in the best sense of the word considering you started with a box of bits. Cost must have been huge but if you plan on keeping the bike that's fine. Well done.

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Jon
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January 18, 2019 - 8:23 am
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You have done a first class job of the bike. She looks amazing.

Jon

1975 Kawasaki Z1B

2004 BMW F650GS

1954 BSA D3 plunger

2007 Kawasaki 650 Versys

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PatricB
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January 18, 2019 - 2:56 pm
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IMG_20181019_080941.jpgThe starting point:

Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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mikef
Chatham Kent
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January 18, 2019 - 3:42 pm
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Hi Patric.
      What a result, amazing. I love just looking at it.
All the best.
         Mike.

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swalsh58
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January 18, 2019 - 4:23 pm
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Great work, that's definitely a Bantam to be proud of, well done!

Current bikes......1958 D5, a 77 Suzuki GT250 and a 77 Honda CB125S. I have a 74 Kawasaki KH400 and a B175 waiting for restoration. A 1980 Honda CB400N waiting for MOT.  Everyday ride is a 2011 Harley Davidson 883 Sportster. 

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Mags 1
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January 18, 2019 - 4:47 pm
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Brilliant rebuild, puts mine in the  shade!

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

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Blue Heeler
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January 19, 2019 - 1:25 pm
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Wow, top quality restoration in very quick time!

A fly-screen would just put the icing on the cake...or cherry on the sundae 😉

Blue

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nickjaxe
Runcorn Cheshire UK
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January 19, 2019 - 7:02 pm
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Very very nice...a credit to you.

My Bantam video              https://www.you.....jpOFmzRZRI

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PatricB
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January 19, 2019 - 8:07 pm
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Thanks so much for the comments, very much appreciated! Here's a couple more pics which were originally too big to post. PS- if anyone has an original fly screen knocking around their shed, let me know!

bantam2.jpgbantam1.jpg

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Current bikes: 1968 D14/4 Sports, 1974 Triumph T100R Daytona.

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Blue Heeler
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January 19, 2019 - 8:39 pm
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BSA Bantam Sports 4 Fly Screen

Good luck....this one sold for £113 Nov`17.

Threads on here re knocking one up.....here`s one....** Please log in to view **

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