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Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 8:44 AM

Folks,

I am at the start of a restoration of a 1952 British Motorcycle that has a host of grease fittings all over it, none of the fittings fit any of the adapters I can find in the USA… The grease gun adapters I can find are either to large or to small. I have tried a number of the British car tool web sites to no avail.

Does anybody have a recommendation for a supplier perhaps in the US for vintage British grease gun adapters to fit the old grease fittings?

Thanks,

Eric

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#1

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 9:37 AM

What make is the bike? Have you tried looking for an Owner's Club who may be able to help?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 10:06 AM

The bike is a Vincent Black Shadow 1952. The owners club has replied to have a go with the local Brit car tool suppliers and I have had no joy so far.

Any suggestions welcome,

Thanks,

Duc

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:16 AM

LOL!

John, thanks ! You got me back to where I was this morning in just a few hours. I have one of these "guns" winging its way to me from the UK already. The problem is while it is an replica of the original part it only fits the original fittings that came with the bike. The problem is that the previous owner has added many and changed out many of the fittings so I have a plethora of fittings to choose from on the bike and I was looking for a supplier where I could source the fittings for a modern grease gun to make the access to all the fittings easer..

Cheers,
Eric

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:23 AM

Cheers! I have a bit of a soft spot for old British bikes. I had BSAs (only 250's), but I've ridden Triumphs and Ariels as well as bigger BSAs.

Got a particular feeling for a bike that's as old as me! Look after it (and yourself). Keep us posted.

John.

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#14
In reply to #5

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 2:17 AM

"The problem is that the previous owner has added many and changed out many of the fittings"

Doesn't that make the case for you to replace all the fittings with the one original type and then your gun that's winging it's way to you will fit them all?

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#3

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:05 AM

Not being familiar with the older grease fittings, how difficult would it be to retrofit the old fittings with newer ones? Only drawback I see is you might have to re-tap the fitting opening?

Just a though - Good Luck!

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:07 AM

The Change would not be that hard at all....BUT I would like to keep this Bike as stock as possable...

Thanks,
Eric

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:17 AM

You lucky dog!

One of the finest machines ever made, and the less alteration the greater the value.

Could these be "pin" type grease fittings with a tiny ball bearing visible in the center of the port?

There are pin type guns commonly used for air tools that have a small pointed nozzle for injecting the grease.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 11:48 AM

Gents,

Here is a pic of my baby...She sat for 40 years since Sept 1970 as that is when the UK road tax was last updated. Everything is either dryed up, stuck, rusted or jamed..

I am having a ball..

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 12:29 PM

She's beautiful, I've always had a warm spot for Vincents, take good care of her, she's very important, good luck,

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 1:02 PM

Wow! What a grand scooter.

Good luck with your project.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 4:21 PM

Doing a complete strip-down/re-build?

Hmmm ... Vincent .... Dribble ...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 4:37 PM

Well The engine spins and has compression, the gas and oil tank do not leak and she seems to holding most of her oil...SO...I am going have a go at fixing what needs to be fixed, replacing what is missing, rebuild what needs rebuilding, cleaning what is dirty, lubing what is stuck, and polishing what is oxidised and then see if I can get her started, without a FULL teardown.....I am used to vintage Jap, German, and Italian stuff so working on this bike is slow going as I learn what is what.....Positive Ground! What the heck were you Brits thinking...Is'nt it is bad enough the rear brake and the shifter are on the wrong side..:-)

Cheers,

Eric

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/19/2010 4:54 PM

Positive Earth - I'll give you - bit of a slip-up there .

Back brake and gear levers are exactly where they should be .

[BWT - is "Duc" from your affinity for Italian bikes? My first motorized 2-wheeler was a Garelli 80 like this: (only scooter I ever had) ].

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#22
In reply to #13

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 8:52 AM

Positive Earth....OK ok fine You say Tyre I say Tire..:-) We say negative ground over in the Colonies ...

"Back brake and gear levers are exactly where they should be" Sure if you drive on the incorrect side of the road...

Yup, Duc comes from the Ducatis that I used to tour on on the US over 100K miles on Ducs in the 90's...I learned and moved to BMW's

Cool Scooter btw,

Cheers,
Eric

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 9:10 AM

You might say that, but you would still be wrong! Almost all vehicles were for many years positive earth or ground...

Negative earthing came (as I said before) sometime in the late 50, early 60's or so I believe.....it was found to reduce rusting if I remember correctly.....there was a "positive" reason for doing it !!!

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#19
In reply to #12

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 7:03 AM

I think you will find that ALL vehicles (most anyway!!) were positive earth until the ealy 60's....

I would think that this bike when you have finshed it will be quite valuable......actually, I would guess even now its worth a good bit !!

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#36
In reply to #11

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/02/2010 9:04 AM

Actually John,

After 40 years of sitting in barns, garages, basements and cellers the Shadow has shown it's self to be in pretty good shape. I have rebuilt just about everything except the engine...

Cheers,

Eric

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/02/2010 6:23 PM

That is looking good! Congrats.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/03/2010 8:42 AM

Thanks John!

It has been a blast....The only thing I do not have is enough time to work on her!

Eric

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/03/2010 9:52 AM

But how does it ride? :D

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/03/2010 10:11 AM

Well, that is difficult to answer....I have about 25miles on the bike to date mostly to check what I have last fixed...So the the clutch had not worked and the shifter was mis-adjusted and the tires were 60 years old and the brakes were not fixed yet so the ride was reserved....

Now the rear brakes, suspension, and tire have been serviced or fixed.... The ride is still cautious but GLOURIOUS!

The work continues..

Ciao,

Eric

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#15

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 3:11 AM

A great great bike, current values go to £35,000 ($52,500) easily.

I have a number of old (original) grease pumps which I would let you have for a few $. please let me have mesurments (diameter and length) of nipple.

Do not I say do not start to change things that have worked for near 60 years.

I have a 1959 Norton 99 that I still use (not a polished up show bike) it still does 95 miles per hours at least once a week or so (dont tell the police)

Best regards

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#16

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 3:31 AM

Dear Eric, I imagine your grease nipples are the `tit` type, with the ball bearing valve in the middle of the grease fitting, what you need is the straight type grease gun, having a spherical concave end, I have one in my kit somewhere, if I remember they were called pom pom's, and operated by simply pressing the piston rod directly on to the nipple, and pushing, this type only works on a direct access type nipple for obvious reasons, keep me posted if I can find my gun, I can arrange to send it.

As a point of interest, I worked in a factory making `airborne lifeboats`, these could be dropped by an aeroplane to any one in trouble down on the sea, the engine fitted was a Harley Davidson the same as fitted to a Black Shadow I think.

Good luck.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 4:21 AM

That is called a ZERK fitting, used on many military and industrial fittings.Good luck!

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#18

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 4:42 AM

That will be a magnificent machine once you have it finished. Be sure to post some pictures of your progress.

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#37
In reply to #18

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

12/02/2010 9:09 AM

Some latest pictures....

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#20

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 8:02 AM

Great project ! Maby this supplier could help you : www.britcycle.com

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 9:55 AM

Thanks Pops, I tried them and they did not have the fittings either....

Duc

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#25
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Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 10:03 AM

Maby there ? www.walridge.com/section/view/

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#21

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 8:43 AM

Thanks All for your input...

I will get pictures with scale of the two different fittings I have...Indeed one is the little tit with a spring loaded ball in the end the other is mushroom shaped with a small rubber circular seal in the center that is split to allow grease in..

Thanks all for your offers to send me your adapters let me see if we can locate what I need locally because if I take your tools your know you will need them.

Cheers,

Eric

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#26
In reply to #21

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 11:32 AM

Try McMaster Carr they have a variety of grease zerks

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 11:50 AM

Thanks! I tried McMaster Carr and MSC Direct already...

No luck there,

Cheres,
Duc

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#28

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 12:06 PM

Eric,

Here is a link to the company that claims to have invented the grease fitting.

Go to the document section and download the product catalog.

http://www.alemite.com/default.aspx

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 12:56 PM

BINGO!!!!

http://www.alemite.com/default.aspx Had it.....Button head and needle injector...The button head bit was $40.00 OMG the needle was only $4.00.

Man I hope this fits..

THANKS<

Duc

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#30

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 2:08 PM

any pictures ?

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 2:40 PM

Sure what pictures would you like see?

Duc

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#32

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 3:59 PM

Try Walridge Motors in Canada. I've used them for parts and information for my 1950 Matchless. Good luck, Joe. Walridge Motors Ltd. 33988 Denfield Rd. RR. 2 Lucan, ON N0M 2J0 Phone: (519)-227-4923 Fax: (519)-227-4720 sales@walridge.com

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/20/2010 4:01 PM

Thanks Mate...

I called them today very nice but they did not hav ethe bit I needed!

Much Thanks,
Duc

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#34

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/22/2010 7:12 AM

A fitting for Universal joints might work.

http://www.uktools.com/ Search Sealey AK4481

They ship to the US

Ebay UK has some vintage grease guns

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/27/2010 8:57 AM

Thanks All for the help I am sure I will get this in the course of time.

Cheers,

Eric

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#42

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 10:23 AM

Well Gents here is the latest picture of the Shadow....This picture was taken after the first 50 mile run. It all went well....:-)

Then in the weeks and months that followed I tried in vain to get the bike to the Ton and the best she would manage was 95. So with endless carb adjustments and tuning tricks I managed to seize the front piston and that was that. The teardown has proved very enlightening as everything really needs to be fixed and rebuilt from the crank out.. Oh well the fun just moves inside for a while...:-)

Cheers,

Eric

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 10:28 AM

Very nice.

Shame about the engine.

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 11:03 AM

Thanks she has been a hoot to work on...

That said I do not see it as a shame, not really...It could have been a lot worse if I did not find the internal damage when I did the cases could have been toasted...now that would have been a pain to fix

Cheers,

Eric

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#46
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Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 11:37 AM

That's a point - guess you'll have a better machine in the end. Can you get parts ok?

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#47
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Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 11:51 AM

Oh yea you can get part$...They come from all over.... The US, England, Islands in the Irish Sea, Australia, The Netherlands etc...They all cost a mint and are never quite the perfect fit...All require some "fitment" and PAYMENT. Additionally it seems time is always required to get any thing needed. You never put in your order and just get it.. As it takes weeks, months or years….to be delivered.

Indeed the motor will be better and I am changing out the valve cams to a bit more radical profile and upping the compression from 7.5:1 to 9:1 with modern rings etc..

I will be chasing down GSXRs and Fireblades (CBR's) in no time..:-)

Cheers,

Eric

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Vintage British Grease Fittings

08/09/2011 10:57 AM

thanks for sharing

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