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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Resto questions

Trying to get my bike as close to original as possible, don't think I can do concours but as much as possible I'd like it to be original. Keep coming against some road blocks. I was going to nicad all nuts and bolts using the caswell kit. Small print on kit says it doesnt include a heater so another delay. Not much you can do without nuts and bolts

So my questions

On nuts and bolts I have a sandblasted and they look good after blasting. I assume this is temp as they would rust quickly? Im just out of patience and ready to start assembly with for now has good looking hardware.

I have the genuine headlamp with light pitting. Is it worth to rechrome or buy an aftermarket?

Same with tank badges I have the originals with slight pitting, on another bike I have emgo look great but don't fit so good, have gaps.

I have original gauges with slight pitting and need an overhaul. I can get aftermarket for 80 each, 160 each to overhaul, what's best for true value?More genuine new for close to 250 each!

I've been buying some parts on eBay advertised as nos, but I get crap. I have a good dealer in Canada and I determined never to get eBay again

Just interested in views in best direction.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Deciding between reproduction parts or refurbing an original is easy if the cost is similar. Even if the refurb is a little more, you'll save the inevitable futzing around with the repro part, and be happier in the end. When the refurb (or NOS) approaches and passes the 2X mark in cost is when I start to weaken.

I plate zinc without a heater and it works fine, but my chemistry may be different than Caswell's. You can use a cheap immersion heater (the ones that go in a tea cup to heat it up) and thermometer to get the right temp. Even microwaving the solution would probably work. It should stay warm enough during the plating time. Plating actually warms up the solution, too.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Although I doubt if anyone here ever expects to recoup their investment in a resto, I think you have a better shot at it if you use original stuff. Mufflers and such are no big deal. But gauges are pretty obvious. The repop gauges I've seen look the part from 50 feet away, but from the rider's seat, you can tell with a glance.

I'll use your gauge price comparison for how I'd view it. If repop gauges cost you $80, once they are in your hands, they are probably worth half that if not less. And if they die, I'm doubtful you can get parts for them to repair them. A set of original gauges however can be bought for a reasonable price if not yet restored. If you restore them by sending them to someone like Nisonger's I'd say that when they are in your hands, they are now worth exactly what restored gauges are worth and will continue to hold their value as long as they continue to work. I see used repop gauges at swap meets and they don't seem to sell.

When you go to sell your bike, if that is in the overall plan at some point, anyone looking for an original bike will subtract the cost to replace repop parts or incorrect parts from the value of the bike assuming they are looking for an original bike. If they are looking for a custom or just a daily rider that looks good, then they might not be so fussy, but they will also still expect to pay less than they would for correct bike. When I bought my '66, the guy that owned it thought it was a beauty. It had the wrong fenders, wrong seat, wrong tail light just to start. I never said his bike was not nice, but told him I was looking to end up with an original bike so gave him my offer based on the resto work that had to be done and the incorrect parts replacements. I did not pick his bike apart. I just told him what I would have to do for me to be happy.
He moaned a bit, but took my offer.

Last case is you get a newbie that knows very little beyond recognizing it is a Triumph and he could plop down serious money purely out of ignorance. You conscience will dictate if that is how you want to play. I know a guy that bought and "original" '66 T120R that had a partial bottom end from a later year, a bolt on side stand and other originality "issues". It was sold to him as an original bike. He put an original paint job on it that looked great, it ran good and otherwise was a nice bike. He tried to sell that bike for two or more years and got lots of lookers but no money. He ended up letting the guy who sold it to him originally put it on his floor for sale and some guy bought it and turned it into a street fighter POS. He went so far as to paint that gorgeous original paint scheme flat black. He bought the bike cheap, too.

So, not you have a little more info on which to based your direction.

regards,
Rob
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have just been through, and am still going through, some of this with my '71 project and my Jag project. It's really a hit or miss kind of thing.

First question: replate or replace? Well, from an originality point of view, replating leaves you with the original part. However, what you get in a replated part depends largely on the plater.

If you are plating yourself, you will have to decide on how good your results are. I don't do chrome but have been zinc plating for years. My results are reasonably good but probably a commercial shop could do better. The Caswell kit that I bought was a little disappointing in that the power supply was a joke and the heaters supplied died almost immediately. When I called them about my problems they would not/could not help me because that would mean acknowledging the fact that the power supply was not up to the task. They also would not replace the heater. They just suggested that I go to the fish store and buy a heater there. Eventually I found that I didn't really need a heater in the summer and began using a car battery attached to a charger for a power supply.

One of the advantages of doing it your self is inventory control. Once you turn your stuff over to some one else you always have the risk of something getting lost in the shuffle. It also becomes much more difficult to track where each piece goes. I always take lots of pictures and tag and bag every thing as I take it apart. I maintain those tags (pieces of scrap paper with a description of where this hardware goes in the bag with the nuts and bolts) through out the process. However, I still get pieces mixed up and find later that this or that doesn't really go with the rest of what's in the bag. If you send it to a shop it all gets dumped in a pot and that's the way it comes back.

If you have a good reliable plating shop that you can trust then it comes down to how much it costs versus how good a job they do. I have just spend thousands of dollars on the chrome plating for my Jag project. Add to that the chrome for the '71 project and one would think that the shop would be looking to keep me coming back. I'm not so sure that is the case

The platers always argue that their plating will be so much better than what you will get with repop parts. If that is true then in some cases the additional expense is worth it. I find that there are different levels of repop. Some, the Chinese and Indian stuff is probably on the low end of the scale. Next up is the Japanese stuff which, could easily be as good as anything else. After all they make excellent cars and bikes, I guess it's just a matter of selling to a specific market. After that is the top of the line repop, usually English or German or other original country manufacture. Quite honestly, it's hard to make the argument that the plater will produce a replated part for a price that is really a better buy that much of the top of the line repop stuff.

If you take your stuff to the plater or you ship it to them and it comes back flawed now you have to take it back/ship it back and fight with them to redo it. Most of my stuff took 6 weeks to completion. Most of the repop parts a here with in a week. If the part is flawed I send it back and if the seller is worth his salt he will comp you the shipping as well as replace it. And, when you are done you have both the original which you could sell or keep for spare as well as the new repop.

To replate or replace just comes down to a judgment call on your part, what do you intend to do with the bike. Same goes with economy repop and high end, original manufacture repop. In part it will hinge on what you hope your final result will be. My '71 is being built as a nice runner with the option of showing it but not really having any hope of winning any trophies. I went with repop gages, the price difference between them and Smiths was pretty extreme. Same with a verity of other parts. However, I got pretty good quality mufflers for it because I wanted them to be original looking with good chrome. But, economy header pipes/clamps ect.

I have a seller, Mitch Klempf, in Minesota, who I can rely on to tell me what repop parts are a good buy and what are not. Some times he will tell me that he has this inexpensive part but it's crap so the high end part is what's needed. Other times he will tell me that if I don't need a correct Lucus or Triumph replacement the cheaper repop will work just fine. However, he is usually a little high across the board so I still buy from e-bay sellers, just assuming that I will be getting the low end economy part.

Good luck with your project and post pictures, Art.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just to throw my 2 cents in.

If your budget allows for genuine parts, buy them. For some items the emgo stuff will work and do the job well. For throttle cables, light switches, key housings, and other small items, they are great. For clutch and brake cables I would spend the money on quality parts.

I also have had decent luck with the new Amal carbs. I know carbs have not been brought up yet. I will clean and adjust an original as best I can. But if it gives me much static. I buy a new one and forget it. For the money its not worth the aggravation of constantly messing with them. Thats for concentrics of course. Monoblocs I send to lund machine and resleeve. Worth every dime. Especially if you have a dual carb bike and cannot get both the 389 and 689.
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