AC Authenticity

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fleetingcontact
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AC Authenticity

Post by fleetingcontact »

I'm working (on and off) on a five-digit AC which, for a change, I am endeavouring to make as original as I possibly can. So here's the question(s):

!) should the tank supports be plain brass or chromed, and 2) was there ever a 1950 AC (or any AC) which had a bronze clutch lever, or were they all aluminium alloy?

Answers on the back of a ten-pound note please...

Thanks all.
Keith.P
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Keith.P »

The AC was a post war motor to around 1957, tank supports would be chrome and aluminium clutch lever.
Bronze lever are seen on wartime motors, this information may also depend on the age of your motor.
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Hugz
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Hugz »

I believe some of the earlier AC/D had the brass tank mount. I don't think we can say definitively that the brass clutch lever stopped at the end of production of the SD but that might well be so. Would be good if a there was a reliable database for the post war 102's.
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Keith.P »

Not knowing the date of the motor in question, makes it difficult to be 100%, as parts may have overlapped.
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fleetingcontact
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by fleetingcontact »

The SOS database gives a result of 50-51.
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Hugz
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Hugz »

That age would have plated tank mounts to the best of my knowledge and an ali clutch lever as suggested by Keith.

As a sideline question, are they chrome or nickel plated or l understand that there is also a nickel/chrome finish. And how to tell the difference?
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fleetingcontact
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by fleetingcontact »

Now that you come to mention it I would say that the tank supports in question are in fact nickel-plated since the lustre they have is different to chrome...never thought about it before.

However, thanks for the answers chaps- I can now use the brass and bronze on another less standard 102 that has lately become the apple of my eye.

How's the polishing malarkey going Hugz?
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by headdownarseup »

Right up my street this 8)

Tank supports (generally) for post war 102's seem to be nickel plated, much later on maybe being chrome plated as far as i can tell.
Clutch levers (generally) seem to be aluminium, although as has already been mentioned at times certain parts might overlap.
Bronze clutch levers i think are normally to be found on the wartime seagulls and perhaps a bit earlier into the marston era. If the early model C i have in my collection (C.266.) is anything to go by it has an aluminium clutch lever.

For a 1950's AC i would think that a pressed brass tank mount (usually) plated with nickel would be the norm. It's not unusual to see some of this plating worn away giving the impression that there never was any plating on the mounting. A quick look underneath where the bolts are mounted should give you a better idea. Better still look in an area that has the least chance of being polished that's difficult to get at when the engine is assembled.
Some pictures of your 102 would be far quicker to tell what we think is original or not. You have to bear in mind that over several decades of use and possibly changes of ownership there's bound to be some parts that have been "replaced" over the years and to answer your question with absolute certainty on my part is not without a few doubts. I have quite a few of these older 102's and surveyed a few others besides, and slowly but surely the pieces are starting to fit together with regards to what's correct for what particular time period.
The 102 side of the seagull family tree is one that has quite a lot of changes over the years, but i think it also has a lot to do with production standards throughout the years that we see in other engine types across the range. A few parts are common and can be found on many other seagulls and not just 102's.


As far as data collection goes, this is something i'm trying to get to grips with and will take me several months before anything reliable can be viewed for reference purposes.



Quite aside from keeping things accurate, i quite like having a gull that looks visually appealing with polished brass/bronze etc. and not necessarily strictly as it was manufactured. Beauty (as they say) is in the eye of the beholder. :wink:

Jon
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Keith.P »

So you are saying that its generally, what I have already said, usually. :P
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by headdownarseup »

In a roundabout sort of a fashion, maybe
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by Hugz »

fleetingcontact wrote: How's the polishing malarkey going Hugz?
Found it a bit messy. Condo living has its limitations! I'll stick to the "oily rag" euphemism for my motors.
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fleetingcontact
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by fleetingcontact »

Thanks for the input!

Hugz, polishing is a frickin' messy business. If you weren't so far away I'd be wanting that spindle.

Jon, the AC is an engine I don't see myself ever actually using, its just an exercise in doing a 102 to an original spec if such a thing is possible and as such is not a priority. But I think I have nearly all the bits to make it happen - is a bronze mounting bracket wrong? Also how about a flange-less Mk1 Villiers ignition? I have a long-range fuel tank a very skilled man straightened out for me and everyone who has seen it says it would be a crime to paint it. It is a beauty. Anyway I may do a mock-up and post a pic. Better to hear the criticism before I think its finished.

But you like a gull that is 'visually appealing' and 'not necessarily strictly as it was manufactured' eh? Well perhaps not everyone will get angry with the other 102 I've almost finished. Bitsas are better than original...fewer rules.

I'll definitely post some pics of that when I'm done.

Thanks again.
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by headdownarseup »

Depends on how much of a purist you are when it comes to bringing an old 102 up to par.

You could literally be quite anal about restoring an older 102 to absolute perfection (not to mention quite a lot of time tracking down some elusive parts) and yet not many people would be able to tell the difference quite honestly unless you're an aficionado of such things. Not me i'm afraid. Near enough (within reason) is good enough for me without causing upset to anyone, but each to their own.
I'm a bit more relaxed over certain things when it comes to authenticity. As long as it looks good from 6 feet away and nothing stands out like a sore thumb that's probably what most people would be happy with.

2 versions of a "flangeless" ignition, also fitted to other seagulls of the same period.
Nothing wrong in my eyes with a bronze mounting bracket :P (they look good when they're cleaned and polished) A bit heavy though!
Unpainted fuel tanks are not something i personally like unless the tank is absolutely perfect and dent free, in which case polish it to the highest level till you can see your face in it. I much prefer to see a nicely renovated fuel tank with the correct age related decals for a lot of mine though, but there's also nothing wrong with a "barn found" condition either. There's a lot of older 102's in this sort of untouched way that i quite like. Kept in running condition like this they can last for years if properly looked after with some basic maintenance.

Bitsa's are great. No rules, so do your own thing with it. As long as you're satisfied with the end result that's all that matters. Mix and match a few parts around and create something a bit different to all the rest and you'll be surprised at how different you can actually build one. Absolutely anything goes here.
I have a few ideas of my own which might upset the die hards on here. Probably best to keep that to myself until i've completed one to my own specs.


When you're ready some pics of your AC would be good to look at. You'll always get my approval when it comes to a good looking 102 but then i'm biased. :lol:

All good


Jon
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fleetingcontact
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by fleetingcontact »

Hi Jon

The AC is looking ok it seems. Have to get the drive tube re-chromed, that seems to be the biggest issue. The gearbox it came with turned out to be absolute junk, it had been filled with grease with the predicted results and in addition part of the front end cap had disintegrated so the grease was a lovely mix of ally fragments - just the job to destroy gears and bearings. So I bought another gearbox - I've not yet looked inside but it seems really smooth. It has two grease nipples - most (but not all) pics of ACs I have seen seem to have only one. Opinions?

The fuel tank really is perfection itself and you really can see your face in it (polished by the lovely man who sorted all the dents). I really wish I'd taken some 'before' shots - it was a right mess. But I still think I will paint it... :shock:
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Re: AC Authenticity

Post by headdownarseup »

As mentioned earlier, you can be really anal over some things and yet be ok with other things. Entirely up to you. Just about everything all fits together anyway so there shouldn't be any problems with running the motor how you've put it together.

Gearboxes for AC's would appear to come in 3 distinct specs depending on age.
The very early ones are EXTERNALLY exactly the same as the wartime motors. To spot the difference between a wartime and post war gearbox you'd have to separate it from the pump housing to see what that difference is. (impeller) These range from 46 up to around 48/49(ish as far as i've been able to work out).
2 nipples in the gearcasing (generally on the port side) and 1 in the straight out back pump housing (again port side).These are often found with a swept back 2 bladed prop. Quite sexy looking if you're into that sort of thing. :P

The next ones came in when the slightly uglier looking "sub ejector" pump housing was introduced. These have just 1 nipple in the gearcasing, no nipples in the pump housing and a different style of prop, the "bowtie" as we call it. I'm not 100% certain how long this version was in production for with just 1 nipple in the casing but i suspect it wasn't very long before the use of oil nipples was completely dropped from specs.There's some other slight changes elsewhere in the dna of a 102 for this time period, but there's still some work left for me to do in my data collection.
There might also be a few boxes around that i call "transitional" between the earlier and later pump housings that have 2 nipples in the gearcase but nothing up top, but as yet there's still gaps in my data that need filling which might help to answer a few unknowns.

The last ones in the range have no nipples anywhere, a completely different end cap this time because there's no provision for oiling as in the previous 2 versions, so there's now a filler/drain plug (normally brass and later on a bendy plastic or nylon) just like all the rest of the later gulls.

All 3 versions of gearboxes have 3 sets of 3 holes for the inlets, slotted inlets come along a bit later in the mid to late 50's (57 i think but i'm not entirely sure yet)
From what i've seen, the earlier boxes are polished (with holed inlets) and the later slotted inlet boxes seem to be painted. Same scenario with the props, early are polished and later are painted.


Fuel tanks change over the years as do the fixings to hold the tank to the engine block.
Earlier tanks were the bayonet type with corresponding fuel cap (quite scarce these days and sought after by many of us)
Later tanks have a screw type fixing for the cap, with these caps being aluminium. Again 2 different versions of ally caps to add to the confusion, small ears and big ears with wide and narrow slots to the vent (small/narrow early, big/wide later)

Bored yet?

Missing chrome seems to be quite a common thing with many older gulls these days. I have the same predicament with a lot of mine.
It has been said in the past that the chrome plating wasn't that great back in the day, and nowadays we face the same problems with finding a plating firm that can do the job reliably and not muck it up. At times i've had quotes from plater's that are eye wateringly expensive, so it's worth checking out a few before parting with any cash.

All well and good me just chatting about stuff, why not just show us a couple of pics of your 102.
We like pics on here, and it's a sneaky way for me to acquire a bit more data as well without boring the pants off you :lol: :lol:


Jon
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