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Cruiser 75 Special

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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:37 pm

Hi all, at long last I have started to build my Francis Barnett Cruiser 75 Special. I thought you could do with some good news. After only one day into the dry build, you can see the difference between the 1H and the 2H. The 2H was built at the same time as the twin cylinder 2T, and shares a fair amount of engine parts. The forward sloping cylinder will mean the exhaurst pipe will pass close to the frame, I hope the paint does not suffer as a result. The hard work of getting the Norton Roadholder forks to fit onto the Cruiser frame, had been done earlier. Things are not fitting together as easily as I thought they would, I guess this is why it is best to do the dry build. I'm calling it a dry build, but I intend to get it started as soon as the wheels are on. I will keep you updated on my progress. Mike Cool

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Re: Cruiser 75 Special

Post  7VEN on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:02 pm

Mike,
That 2H looks like a beast!
Will be watching your build with interest.
Regards
Peter
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Cruiser 75

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:18 am

Hi Mike

Now this looks like it might be a good combination of bits.
I would like to see your progress it picture form on the forum please.

Please explain what parts you are using.? Looks like a 2T engine the frame looks like maybe 80 but the frame under the engine looks funny,please explain.???

Graham (tbird)

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2H

Post  piston 197 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:19 pm

Graham,if you read the post at the top ,you will see Mike says he is using a 2H engine,this was a variant of the 1H but was a full 250cc with an inclined barrel,a rare engine,which i think excelsior and Ambassador played with,but it was not taken up in numbers by the main users of villiers engines so disappeared quite quickly without trace,John H
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cruiser 75

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:26 pm

Sorry John

I am still learning about all these different engines F/B used.

So will that engine fit an 80 frame.???

Regards

Graham (tbird)

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mix and match

Post  piston 197 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:42 pm

In a cruiser 80 frame you can fit the 1H,2H, 2T,3T,4T and AMC 25T in the original engine mounts with very little jiggling,John H
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi all, well Iíve been busy in the garage this week, itís been hard work but Iíve enjoyed it. Not everything has gone to plan, I was thinking of fitting the standard steel mudguards, but it made the bike look heavy. I would like it to look more sporty similar to the Cruiser 91, so I think I will fit alloy guards, hopefully alloy rims too if the budget will run to it. Graham was asking what are the parts I am using. The frame number starts with YB, so I make that a 1957 Cruiser 75 with the Villiers 225cc 1H. Quite a few parts I am fitting belong to that model, the rear wheel for instance. This was a wheel I had built for the Russian Trip, but the spokes kept breaking, it turned out to be the brake, it was a good brake, but it used to snatch when the brake was applied.
I had another wheel built using the next size spokes, that proved reliable. The front forks are Norton Roadholder, they are from a Dominator I believe. The headlight is Matchless, which Iím not that happy with, I would prefer a chrome one with a stone guard on the front. The handlebars are interesting, they are Vincent and will only fit on one way, there is a lip at one end, the twist grip wonít pass over it, I think it is to stop the left hand grip from slipping off. The twist grip and levers are Doherty. The rear mudguard stay is Triumph. The timing side casing is the same as the 2T, but the 2H has a slightly different arrangement. Mike Cool





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75 Special

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:00 am

Mike
Looks good so far, thanks for all the detail it makes it more interesting.

Was there a problem fitting the roadholder forks to the F/B headstock.????

So that is a Cruiser 75 main frame , the centre section looks like 80 (the red primer bit) and it all fits well.

Are you going to fit it for the road or just off road.???

Regards

Graham (tbird)

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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:56 pm

Hi Graham, the Roadholder forks fitted on quite easy really, I used both F/B and Norton parts. The Cruiser 75 and 80 frame are basically the same, the only things I can think of that are different, are the way the tanks fit on, the front down tube is a slightly different design and there is a hole in the centre section of the 75 for the speedo cable to pass through. I think that frame is a brilliant design, I've found it to be very stable, even when fully loaded up. My special is being built as a roadster, I'm hoping it will out proform the 1H. The 2H was only fitted to one production motorbike that I know of, and that was the 1958 Ambassador Supreme. The model 25 Panther had it fitted, but this was only as a prototype and never went into production. Mike Cool
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:11 pm

Hi all, Iíve been trying to get the Special started, but have only had limited success. First I checked the condition of the cylinder; it is standard size and looks in good order. I tried a new ring down the cylinder and there was a gap of 12 thou, I have a new + 20 piston which I was going to use but Iím happy with it as it is.
After putting the cylinder together I tried kicking it over, but the clutch was slipping, interested to see the condition of the clutch, I decided to strip it down. The internals of this engine are in amazingly good condition, the nuts donít look spannered, and I would say it has done very little work. Whoever laid this engine up did a good job, all the springs in the clutch had been slackened off, and the plates were all covered in thick oil, no rust to be seen. After tightening the springs and cleaning off the plates, I had a good clutch.
I tried once more, is time it turned over with good compression.
Now for a spark, I looked at the wiring diagram for the 2H, I could see it was very different from the 1H. I could not see how it could possibly work, but it is very simple so gave it a go. There is a wire that goes from the ignition generating coil to one of the connections on the HT coil, connected to this is the wire from the points, then from the other connection on the HT coil, a wire goes to earth on the engine, and of course the HT lead to the plug and that is it. I kicked it over and I had a spark, he of little faith. I then fitted a carb, filled it with petrol, kicked the engine over and over???? Sad NOTHING. After a lot of kicking, I tried the old trick of petrol down the plug hole, it then started and ran for just a few seconds, but long enough to let me know the timing was ok, and how sweet it sounded. Now I am wondering why it wonít start, could it be the seals have gone or a thought Iíve just had, has he filled the crankcases with that thick oil? Mike Cool
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi all, it's been eleven months since I last touched this bike, how time flys. Now I've finished planting out my allotment, and it's being watered from the heavens, I have time to restore the engine.

I now have the engine on the bench and ready to strip, having removed the cylinder and piston, I noticed the crank holds ferm at the bottom and top of the stoke, it is the magnets in the flywheel, they have quite a hold on it.

I have to split the crankcases just to access the left seal, it is a bit of a pain, you would have thought they could have come up with some way of accessing it from the outside. The trouble is I run the risk of cracking one of these cases, and they are like hens teeth. I aquided the seals from Villiers Services, I had to order seals for the 2T engine, as there is no mention of 2H in there parts list, fortunately they are the same.

This engine has a lot of shared parts with the 2T, the gearbox is the same, so to is the flywheel, clutch and the casings. Mike


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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:15 pm

Hi all, I need not have worried, this engine is a piece of cake to work on, it came apart as easy as can be, it's a lot easyer to work on than the Villiers 1H, you need loads of heat and a big hammer to get them apart, or I've just been unlucky with the three I've split.

When the 2H comes apart, it leaves the outer track of the bearing in the crankcase retained by a circlips, and the inner track and rollers on the crankshaft.

I think it's a shame Francis Barnett never used the 2H, it must have been in production at the same time as the AMC 25T was introduced. I bet Villiers lost a lot of money on this engine, when you think of design, tooling and production costs. Mike

http://www.oldbikemart.co.uk/articles/2011-11/when-was-it-francis-barnett


Last edited by RussianFlyer on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Special

Post  tbird on Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Hi Mike
I agree that Villiers had a good engine here by the looks of it, with 3 roller bearings on the crank it will be a sturdy beast.
So lets see it back in the frame soon.
Great stuff

Graham (tbird)
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:59 pm

Hi all, now I have my 2H stripped down, I've hit a problem. To get to the nearside oilseal, I have to remove the outer race of the inner roller bearing, and the outer ballrace bearing, which are both retained with circlips. To remove these is going to be a risky business, the last thing I want to do is break a crankcase, with it being so rare. What I'm thinking of doing is, putting the seal in from the outside. I wanted to know how much pressure is there inside the crankcase, and how well do I have to secure the seal? I found this webpage below, I think it's worth a read. Mike
http://www.dansmc.com/vacuum_testing.htm
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seals

Post  piston 197 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:30 pm

Mike,seals on 8E,9E,10E and all 250cc "A" series singles are pressed in from the outside,after removing engine sprocket ,they can be stasbbed with a screwdriver and removed without splitting the cases,they are never subject to enough pressure to cause a problem so cannot see a 2H developing more crankcase pressure than a 250 cc "A"series scrambles engine ?? JH
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:25 pm

Hi John, thanks for that information, I've been trying to think of the best way to secure it, it's easy when you know how. Thank goodness for JH. Mike
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:20 am

Having got the crankcase back together, I've now turned my attention to the cylinder, when I turned it over to remove the old cylinder base joint washer, to my surprise the paper washer was covering half the transfer ports, this has got to have affected the performance of the engine, it is not a home made washer, it matches up exactly with one from a nos set made by Kayay.

There was problems with the transfer ports on the 1H, in that case the washer was right, and the cylinder was wrong, I know when that was rectified it improved performance noticeably.

When you fit one of these washers, you fit it to the crankcase and then lower the cylinder down onto it, with it being a proper manufactured one, you just assume that it's right and don't check, well maybe we should, your bike could be under performing, this one was. Mike


I've opened the right hand port so you can see it's size.
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:28 am

Hi all, can anyone help. I'm missing a part from my 2H, if you look at the diagram of the crankshaft assembly, it is No15, the engine sprocket shim, this part is also common to the 2T engine. Is this shim made of copper or just an ordinary metal one? and what is the thickness? Without this shim, the engine sprocket distance piece No16 will not rotate, and I'm almost certain it should.
Any help appreciated. Mike
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:07 am

Hi all, panic over I've found the missing shim, I must be more careful when taking things apart. Mike
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:30 am

Hi all, I've now fitted the armature plate, as you can see it's nothing like the ones on the 1H or 2T, it has three coils two lighting and one ignition. There are only three fixing screws, but no one told the people who made the gasket sets, yes the joint washer/gasket was for four. I'm still waiting for a chaincase oil seal, I have on order, I need that before I can start building the clutch side back up. Mike
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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:58 am

Hi all, I've now fitted a new gearbox oil seal, and a nos 19T final drive sprocket. I'm still awaiting delivery of the chaincase oil seal. Mike

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Cruiser 75 Special

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:43 pm

Hi all, almost there with the engine, now I have the seal, after a two week wait, should have gone to Villiers Services. The clutch is all back together and the spring loaded chain tensioner is in place. There is a small breather hole in the cassing, it's just to the left of the top right-hand screw hole. Mike

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Chain tensioner

Post  Cruiser Ron on Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi.Where did you get that chain tensioner from?or did you make it yourself.
Cheers Ron.

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Chain Tensioner

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:16 pm

Hi Ron, one of our members designed them and had a batch made, he brought some to the AGM to sell, I remember they went like hot cakes. It must have been three or four years ago. Mike
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cruiser 75

Post  jasonmanaroman on Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:39 am

hi guys looking good mate, i have a cruiser 75 and looking for the center section of frame which forms rear engine mount, as shown in you pics in oxide primer. can anyone help?

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Re: Cruiser 75 Special

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