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G621 Very early Rote Ho Gem 1943

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Due to my exhibits for Tractor World being all but ready, I thought I'd turn my attention to some of my backlogged projects. The one I've allways wanted to get finished is a very early type howard gem, with cycle type handlebars. Some of you may remember me starting it on tractorbox, however due to having a child, ongoing bad health( arthritis and shingles amongst others), plus quite a few issues in my day to day life, it ended up getting left under a tarpaulin. When I extracted it the other day, time had not been kind to it( I hold my hands up, guilty as charged) so I will have to basically start from scratch again.

My original early gem had an even lower serial number(g367 1942)however what ever way you look at it the old girl is beyond saving. To rebuild it would mean replacing about 95% of its parts so therefore it will sadly be a doner for this project.

This project was supplied new on 20/12/1943 to an A.J.Burgess in Cambridgeshire ( it would of been a very nice Christmas gift). I acquired it in October 2012, but unfortunately don't know anything about its history in its intervening period. When arrived the engine was still the original J.A.P but in a shocking state. The wheels, mag and exhaust had all gone AWOL, and the rear end was very rotten.

I will upload the photos to date later tonight when I'm by the PC as the iPad always makes it too hard.

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Heres a few of the present day photos, I made the mistake of stripping all the paint off it,

then after losing its dry storage at short notice, it went temporaily outside under a tarp, for

a couple of weeks, this then turned into a couple of years and the tarp blew off at some point

without me noticing it. The metal has gone even more rusty and the engine has suffered from

water ingression, fourtunatley it didn't sieze, but the mag is full of water so it has been drying

out for the past week in front of the space heater. The rear end was mostly beyond repair so

due to a shortage of space, this has lived outside any way.

Next to it is one of the last gems, (a Dowdeswell 650), even though nearly 50 years apart,

bar the handle bars and engine very little of the design has changed.


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Internet seems to be playing up again, seem to be struggling to upload pictures.

I'm sure it will end up as well done as your other projects have. :thumbs: 

Thanks for your vote of convidence. This one is going to be a struggle.






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Its good to see you back in the 'orange' Gareth

I thought I'd have a break for a bit. Was starting to see orange dots in front of my eyes lol. Will hopefully get this one done over the next year, and hopefully it will be almost as nice as your series 1.

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These shots are how the clutch and flywheel looked when I first split the engine off the gearbox. The early type clutches don't appear to have the locking wire like the later ones so will be reassembled with a good dollop of loctite on the threads to make sure.



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Thought id make a start at the front of the machine with the engine.

First job was to remove the flywheel, then the fan housing. I ideally

would of liked to of remove the silencer, however it is fused to the

cylinder outlet in a big way! So instead had to remove the timming

chain cover and jiggle every thing off in one lump.

At first glance the piston doesn't look too clever, however previous

experience tells me that with a light polish and a hone of the cylinder

the engine will run just fine.

Will have to give the aluminium a big clean up tomorrow, then I can

start reassembling it all once ive obtained some more thin gasket paper

to remake a couple for the engine.










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Been cleaning up the engine today. The ali was very tarnished in

places so after scotch clothing it, I etch primed it then sprayed it

with aluminium refinishing paint.

The barrel and head were also etch primed and then sprayed gloss







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Started building up the mag today, have soldered in a replacement coil,

also have given the exhaust a coat of high temp black paint. The valve

cover also received a coat of aluminium finish.

As an aside the last photo shows what ive been working on over the last

couple of days. The forklift should give an idea of scale. Once in its case

it will tip the scales at just under 4 tonne. The 4 main bolts cost £1400





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That's nice, Gareth. I take it you no longer have it?

it's at the back of one of my sheds, there's a couple of things that I'd like to improve on, like a bit of slight pitting on the fuel tank that showed up under the artificial lights at t.w. I will perhaps dig it out one of the days, will need re commissioning as it hasnt run scince the show. She is a January 1968 kohler gem, one of the first made with this engine.

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Another project that im going to be working on when im waiting for

paint to dry etc is my 1963 Series V Gem twin cylinder. Ive got about

half way, but its looking very dusty and sorry for itself at the moment.

Both machines are to be finished before next years tractor world.

20 years apart, in some ways they are very similar, yet in others very

different. Rather than get this topic muddled up ill start a new topic for this one when I get a chance.




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All the gaskets have been made (except the head gasket as it's good enough to reuse) and I've started building the engine back up. It was quite tricky to slide the cylinder down with the exhaust still attached but there's no way that it's going to separate from the cylinder without shearing off the outlet. I had to remove the piston from the Conrod, fit it to the bore then try to line everything up and refit the gudgeon pin and Circlip with the whole assembly trying to crush my hand.

Whilst at tractorworld I met up with Chris Austell again from www.vintagebrassplates I've had some of his products in the past, and whereas they are not cheap they really do finish off a restoration so I've commissioned a couple of the badly damaged plates for this project. They should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Photos will have to wait until after the weekend as I've forgotten my camera.

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That JAP engine is so similar to the Sturmey Archer derived TB Ransomes engine that it would not surprise me if the barrels and head were interchangeable.

I was thinking at tractorworld that the engine on 137 looked very similar. I believe in Australia the very first Howard's had a sturmey archer engine, then jap developed this engine for howard, so perhaps they copied it? Even Howard's own engine the British Junior was after a similar design.

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One of the next jobs is going to be to sort out the cover over the engine. Unfortunatley these early engine use

one of a different design as can be seen in the photo. The very tatty orange one is the original and is going to

take a heap load of work to smarten up. The black tidier one would only take a few minutes to give another

flash of paint.


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Just noticed my photos are coming out upside down, I don't know why apple products do this?

Would a member of admin be able to turn them round please?

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