Monday, July 4, 2011

Tiger Engine Update

Saturday I took my engine down to Craig Congleton to have him look it over. Craig does lots of work for local AHRMA racers and has several cool bikes in his own right. Below is a picture of his Benelli 250 racer.

Craig seemed surprised how good the overall condition of my engine is. I then spent most of the rest of the afternoon using my long forgotten machinist skills to measure and re-measure everything. Almost everything is on the upper limits of acceptable wear. Assuming I go for a pretty good rebuild rather than a perfect build I think I may be able to get away with main bearings, rod bearings and piston rings.

So how did I waste the rest of my weekend? I mentioned previously my dilemma with the mystery rod bearing inserts. I pulled a shell out and found a mfg logo and 3 characters of a part #, "****14M". The relief for the rod bolts goes right through the bearing number.

Eventually I was able identify the logo, bearing manufacturer Vandervell. I've gotten no where on the " 14M". Other than the relief for the rod bolts the bearings do not appear to have been modified.

Several Internet forum searches mention using Austin bearings:
  • Austin A30, Austin Seven, Austin Countryman (1952-56 with 803cc engine)
  • Morris Minor and Morris Traveller (52-56 with 803cc engine)
The bearings are no longer being made but the most recent Vandervell part # is VP243. NOS pieces are readily available.

They look the same. Perhaps "Vandervell XXX14M" is a legacy part number? I'd just order a set but I can't find specs for them anywhere. I have absolutely no idea if I need STD, 10+, 20+. If you happen to have access to old Vandervell bearing catalogs, A30/Seven/Morris Minor manuals or have any other clever ideas I'd love your input. I've started trying to contact some of the places selling NOS bearings for specs but haven't gotten too far as yet.

UPDATE - As if anyone actually cares, based on the fragment of Vandervell bearing number I had to work with I now believe the donor was a 1954-61 Triumph Herald (803cc or 948cc). The most current part number was VP421. The original Vandervell number on the bearing would have been VP R2614M.

The Herald bearings look to be much more challenging to scare up than the Austin bearings. The engine displacements are the same and the crankshafts look nearly identical but I don't believe the Triumph engine was built by Austin. It would be nice to know real-world dimensions (STD, .010, .020) for either of them.

1 comment:

Flathead45 said...

I called my friend with the Morris Minor, but he no longer has the manual I referred to. Can't find my Austin Manual either right now, but will keep looking.

Now, whom do I know with a Triumph Herald...