First registered 90 years ago today in Dumfries, Scotland, the Sloper is finally running again after 26 years off the road. A big moment!
The early ’30s Lucas headlamp has no internal wires, but instead uses a ‘spider’ with brass fingers to connect the switch, ammeter and bulb terminals. The original is made from thick pressed card, and the brass fingers, with spring steel supports, are riveted to it. After 80+ years these items are usually in poor condition. I had two, both broken, so have fabricated a replacement using the brass fingers, cleaned and annealed, and a new base made from circuit board material. The reinforcing fingers are shaped from 12 thou shim steel, and the assembly is riveted together with hollow brass rivets.
Period rubber-coated wiring only came in one colour – black – so wires were identified by coloured rubber collars placed close to the component. I’ve followed the original Lucas colour code but used rings of heat-shrink sleeving, which gives an authentic appearance – and makes wiring easier! Read more …
Persuading semi-fluid grease, a teaspoon-full at a time, into the gearbox is slow work – but Sloper gearboxes are prone to shedding teeth if the correct lubricant and level is not maintained. This ‘box was missing a tooth when I started the restoration, but I have seen far worse!
If it was big enough to stamp, BSA stamped it! Wheel bearing adjuster from the 1929 Model S Sloper.
Smooth low-speed running requires a clean carb. Rather than brushes and bits of wire, an ultra-sonic tank will remove deposits – from brass or alloy carburettor parts – without causing damage.
Every link of the primary chain is stamped BSA – could this really be the original from 1929?