Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum Auction Catalog

Something exciting came in the mail today!

It's the catalog for the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum auction.

To call it a catalog is a little bit of an understatement. It's more like a hardbound 800+ page full color encyclopedia of microcars. Without a doubt, the nicest microcar book ever published.

While it's sad to see the museum close, what a beautiful memento of the finest collection of microcars ever amassed in one location.

The catalog is available for purchase from RM Auctions or you can download the entire catalog for FREE as a 35MB PDF by clicking on the above photo.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mazda T360 Brochure

I want one, but since I know I'd never find one of these in the US, I'd be perfectly happy to find a Subaru Sambar truck. This brochure came out of a nice book my wife brought back from Japan for me about the history of Japanese trucks and commercial vehicles. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Second Csepel Danuvia Ride of 2013

On my first ride of the year, one little problem I had that I wanted to resolve before I rode the bike again was the gas cap was leaking. As you can see in this photo the inside lip is mangled and the top edge of the opening is uneven, creating a situation where the gas cap will not get a good seal. I wanted to try to straighten  the inside lip so that the cap would fit tighter, but I didn't have any kind of plier that could get in there and do it. I tried adding another rubber gasket, but I still couldn't get the cap to cinch down tight enough to get a good seal. A thicker soft gasket tape might work, but I don't know how long it would last in an application like this.

I came up with another solution. I turned a little cup out of a plastic called Delrin on the lathe. It fits through the larger opening but has a lip with a rubber seal that prevents it from dropping through the smaller inner opening. It also has a few vent/drain holes drilled in it.

Here you can see it dropped into the opening. It had to be a cup shape to accommodate the way the underside of the gas cap protrudes into the opening.

The last little addition is a spring that holds the Delrin cup tight in the opening when the gas cap is put on. This seems to have worked pretty good. On my second ride I filled the tank up pretty full and I didn't have any leakage whatsoever.

Another beautiful January day can only mean it's time for another ride, and this ride was much better than my last because I didn't have gas leaking out of the cap every time I hit a bump!  I've been wanting to get some photos of the bike outdoors, so I rode it over to KC's Kauffman Performing Arts Center which is just a few blocks from me for an outdoor photo op.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Csepel Danuvia Ride of 2013

In my last Csepel Danuvia update back in November of 2012 I had installed new clutch friction plates. Before I put the gear oil back in the bike, I thought I'd pour it through a strainer just to make sure there weren't any stray pieces of the broken bakelite plate somebody had used as a shim. Well there was no bakelite, but there was a 5mm ball bearing. Somehow while I was replacing the friction plates the ball bearing that is between the clutch throwout rod and spindle had came out without me noticing. I had to take the clutch apart one more time to replace the ball bearing. Wouldn't be a big deal, but the clutch springs are kind of a pain to install on this bike. 

After finally getting my clutch issues resolved and the bike back together, in anticipation of getting the bike inspected and licensed this spring I added an original Csepel squeeze bulb style horn. I also added an Albert style NOS Bumm mirror. I really like the minimalist stripped down look of this bike but I needed the horn for it to pass inspection and for my own safety I wanted a rearview mirror. 

I was thinking I probably wouldn't be able to get the bike out until early spring but last Friday we had an unbelievably warm day in KC. It hit the mid 60's which is quite unusual for the middle of January. I took advantage of the warm day by taking the Csepel to KC Brake for an inspection needed for licensing the bike. KC Brake is right down the street from me and the owner is a vintage bike aficionado and host a big get together each year the weekend of the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiast Show in KC. After the inspection I stopped by a friends gallery/studio. My friend Dale suffers from the same problem I have. Our studios are being taken over by vintage vehicles. When Dale isn't making furniture he likes building and working on cafe racers. He had never seen the Csepel running so I thought I'd stop by for a demo. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but the Csepel seems to be running real good!! 

One other little change I had made before my ride was the spark plug I was running. I found an old Champion spark plug application chart for motorcycles  on a website called that had my bike listed on it. The chart recommended a Champion L-10 which I cross referenced to a NGK B6HS. I was running a NGK B8HS and wouldn't have thought it would have made that much difference, but the bikes starts much easier and runs better on the NGK B6HS.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Soldering Control Cables

It's been bothering me that my Csepel's clutch cable was a tad too long and as a result the adjuster screw was not properly threaded into the mount on the engine. It was bothering me enough that I finally decided to fix it. The items I used to accomplish this were a propane torch, liquid soldering flux (hydrochloric acid based), silver bearing solid solder, a file, cable cutters, ball peen hammer, and a simple home made soldering pot.

I experimented with using a soldering iron but found the most effective way is to make a simple soldering pot. For my soldering pot I used a cap that is intended for 3/4" pipe. I cut up small pieces of solder and placed them in the cap and then heated the cap until the solder became molten. 

The next step was to dip the end of my cable into the liquid soldering flux and then into the molten solder. I've seen this referred to as tinning the cable.

The cable barrels on my Csepel are a size I couldn't find, so I ended up making my own barrels. These are 7mm in diameter and 12mm in length. I drilled a hole sized for the 2mm cable I'm using, and I also countersunk the hole.

I then inserted the cable into the barrel so that about 2mm was protruding and clamped it in a vice with rubber jaws as not to damage the cable.

I then used a ball peen hammer to smash or mushroom out the end of the cable.

After peening the end of the cable, I slid the barrel back and dipped the end of the cable in soldering flux again. I then slid the barrel back to where it is suppose to be and dipped the end of the cable and barrel into the molten solder a couple of times. It looks a little crude in this photo, but will easily clean up with a little filing.

The soldered cable end after cleaning up with a file. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013