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Old 09-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #1
MIOB OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: A cold, wet, flat place
Oddometer: 897
Purists, avert your eyes: I bought a Matchless

What the title says. I bought a Matchless. It might be the ugliest bike I have ever seen, but the frame/exhaust/forks/engine/gearbox/wheels look great. The tank, seat, head light, fenders and handlebars: not so much.

It's supposed to be a '49 Matchless G3L:





Bought it on wednesday, rode it home yesterday. A ~100 mile trip that didn;t really go flawless.



I lost a hand grip and tore the muffler (easy to fix). Then it really started playing up: It just wouldn't start anymore. It took me 30/45 minutes each time it stalled. Which it did a few times since all of the sudden it would only shift to 4th gear.


The gear shifting solved itself, the starting like a pig remaines. Changing the spark plug helpds, it starts first kick, but if I let it stall, it is nearly impossible to start again.


So that was the way home...
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:08 AM   #2
MIOB OP
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The plans: Get rid of the tank, rear fender, headlight and handlebars ASAP. After that, I'll see. I won't make it stock, but I also won't cut up the frame so it can always be made stock again.




My girlfriend really digs it by the way...




It might be a nice bike for her to join me when I ride my Ariel.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
Mista Vern
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Way cool - best of luck with that project!
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #4
Rob Farmer
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Holy shit!!! What's happened to the poor thing? Hopefully you'll do something a little more tasteful to it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:27 PM   #5
MIOB OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Farmer View Post
Holy shit!!! What's happened to the poor thing? Hopefully you'll do something a little more tasteful to it.
It would be really hard to do anything less tasteful to it ;)


I did feel sorry for it, so maybe I should state that I adopted it, instead of saying that I bought it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
MIOB OP
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By the way: The Matchless is the newest member to the family. My other bikes:



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Old 09-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #7
MATTY
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It looks a nice base for a classic MIOB scrambler, lets face it it needed saving Poor thing its verging on a nervous brakedown its so mixed up..

A classic looking trialer like this with your Enfieldesque twist on it should be both cheap and easy to acchieve, enjoy it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #8
usgser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Farmer View Post
Holy shit!!! What's happened to the poor thing? Hopefully you'll do something a little more tasteful to it.
Shame someone tried to 'cruiserize' it, but certainly has the potential to be the great fun all around 'standard' it once was. Gonna take a bit of money, time and labor but the potential is there. Keep at it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:42 PM   #9
carpetburn
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Some alloy blades and a compy type tank and it will be sweet, starting issue could be magneto sprocket slipping on taper spline or a tired magneto, when i got my g80 basket case 23 yers ago i spent $400[that was a weeks wages] having the magneto[later sr1] rebuilt and have never had an issue with it since, went back to the same retired bloke to rebuild the magneto on the g9
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:05 PM   #10
MIOB OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetburn View Post
Some alloy blades and a compy type tank and it will be sweet, starting issue could be magneto sprocket slipping on taper spline or a tired magneto, when i got my g80 basket case 23 yers ago i spent $400[that was a weeks wages] having the magneto[later sr1] rebuilt and have never had an issue with it since, went back to the same retired bloke to rebuild the magneto on the g9

It seems to be spark plug related. With a new spark plug it fired up straight away. I checked for oil usage, I don't think that that's the cause (no smoke, spark plug is dry and white-ish).

Wouldn't a slipping sprocket also ruin the timing?


I have a suspicion that parts like the magneto are all reconditioned. Judging by the gaskets everything has been open quite recently. When I removed the spark plug I could see the piston shining trough the hole. Everything really does look like it's new too. I wouldn't even be surprised if it contains some go-fast parts because it is way faster than both my Ariel and my Enfield.

The previous owner should have saved some money on some of the parts to take a styling course ;)
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:06 PM   #11
MIOB OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTY View Post
It looks a nice base for a classic MIOB scrambler, lets face it it needed saving Poor thing its verging on a nervous brakedown its so mixed up..

A classic looking trialer like this with your Enfieldesque twist on it should be both cheap and easy to acchieve, enjoy it.
What a fantastic photo!

Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
Rango
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Blessed are those who notice the beauty underneath the buckets of make-up.

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Old 09-14-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
Rob Farmer
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I agree with Matty. Trials is the way to go. www.feked.com is a good source of parts

Good resource here --> http://matchlessclueless.com/resources/spares-lists/


Rob Farmer screwed with this post 09-14-2014 at 02:23 PM
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #14
Scrivens
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As a long term Matchless/AJS owner, I can say that starting the earlier ones is a bit of a knack and each bike has its own oddities. Once the bike's particular method is found they start first or second kick. If the bike is warm do not use any choke or tickle the carbs or the plugs will foul and make it near impossible to get going again. Put the advance/retard lever back about half way, get it over compression with the valve lifter, and as it says in the manual give it "a long swinging kick", and fairly gently at that. Don't give it a hefty boot, just a nice firm push. Get the correct carb spacer as well as that sideways carb simply isn't going to work properly. I can't make out what carb is on it from the pic, but if it is the pre-Monobloc, replace it with a Mono and save yourself some grief. Also check what the advance/retard lever is doing to the timing as some are set incorrectly.

There is a huge amount of documentation here:

http://archives.jampot.dk/

but the site is down at the moment (15/9/14), as it is occasionally. Worth joining the UK AJS and Matchless Owners Club as well as they have an excellent spare parts scheme. If you get stuck, PM me your email address and I'll send you the FW Neill and Pitmans manuals and the 1949 Spares list. They are all out of copyright and in the public domain.

BTW, the "correct" NGK B7ES plugs tend to foul easily and I always take a couple of spares with me. Champion N4s are the other option if you can find them. Make sure it doesn't have a modern resistor-style plug cap either, as they don't work well with magneto ignition.



Try this link until Christian's site comes back up:

http://www.carlsalter.com/ajs-service-manuals.asp

Dave.

Scrivens screwed with this post 09-14-2014 at 06:16 PM
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:04 PM   #15
SpikeC
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I have never understood the appeal of that Sportster peanut fuel tank.
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