We have recently been chronicling the challenging Dave Wedlake restoration of our 1956 T110. We already posted three installments of Dave’s experience with that project and our fourth and final report will be published soon because the bike is finally on its wheels and almost finished, hopefully in time to be shown at the Vintage Motorcycle in Tacoma, Washington next weekend.
In our T110 postings, we’ve mentioned several times that Dave is simultaneously restoring the T110’s sister bike, a 1956 TR6. We haven’t been separately detailing Dave’s experience with that restoration because much of what he was doing on the T110 he was also performing on the TR6.
So, we thought it was time to post a report on the TR6 restoration which is turning out to be almost as challenging as the T110 has been.
We bought our TR6 as a basket case last summer from a fellow in Las Vegas. It initially appeared that the bike was mostly there. The bike had correct matching numbers, the tank and fenders had been painted (although not to our standards), the engine and gearbox seemed solid, but it had no chronometric speedometer. Here is how it looked when we picked it up in Las Vegas …
We transported the bike directly from Las Vegas to Dave Wedlake’s shop in Portland and over the next few months, Dave sent us periodic reports on his restoration progress and what issues he was finding.
Dave reported that this bike had seen some hard times, as would be expected from a competition bike from that era. He found the frame needed quite a bit of work as one of the two center stand lugs had been squished, making the stud hole oval shaped. Also, the prop stand lug has been broken off and poorly repaired.
The picture below is of some of the metal work done on the frame. The prop stand lug was repaired, holes filled, and new tabs fabricated to replace ones cut off.
The bike came with rechromed rims with Buchanan stainless steel spokes already laced up. Unfortunately, the front rim was found to be incorrect, so we had to procure a new rim from Devon in England.
Sheet metal …
The rear fender turned out to be incorrect but we were able to source a new one from Tiger Spares in Minnesota.
The tank had some issues with four welded in studs and some gobby looking welds on the bottom which were all corrected. The front fender was fine. The parcel grid was a cheesy knockoff and was tossed in the trash.
Oil tank and battery box …
Dave reported that “apparently the TR-6 has had heavy and abusive use which is typical for a scrambler. The oil tank has some minor dents but both upper and lower mounting tabs have broken in the past and fixed badly. The tool box has suffered worse, has had holes drilled and welded up, more broken tabs, and no provision to mount a battery.”
As with the T110, both of these parts were trashed and we had to source replacements.
There were no internals in the clutch.
I traded another chronometric speedometer to Greg Poirier in Phoenix for a built up Smiths S433/3 120mph chrono, which is the correct speedometer for the 1956 TR6. Here is a picture of the beautiful gauge that Greg made up.
The head was cracked like so many of those we find on these old bikes. Fortunately, we have a very talented individual in Oregon who was able to repair it correctly.
The ammeter that came in the headlamp was a cheap and incorrect one. We fortunately found a proper one on Ebay for a decent price although it required a bit of cleaning.
Engine and gearbox internals …
As with the T110, Dave performed the following work on the TR6 engine and gearbox.
- Bottom End
Crankshaft: Clean, inspect, magnaflux, grind and polish rod journals.
Rods: Clean, inspect, re-size big end, install new pin bushings and hone to fit pin.
Oil Pump: Clean and inspect all pieces, seat ball check valves.
Parts: New main ball bearings, rod bearings, and crank seal.
Assemble cases using Three Bond sealer and newly cad plated hardware. Case was vapor blasted.
2. Piston and Cylinder block:
Glass beaded the cylinder block and coated with high temp paint. It was bored and honed to fit the new pistons
3. Cylinder Head:
Cleaned and vapor blasted. Weld and machine 2 cracks between the exhaust valve seats and head bolt hole. Repair a broken fin on the head. Installed new guides, ground seats & valves, installed measured spring pack.
Parts: New intake and exhaust valves, guides, and springs.
4. Cams: Clean, inspect, and polish. Regrind cam followers.
5. Rockers: Clean and inspect, polish shafts and rocker housings.
6. Gearbox … Here is a picture of the repair Dave did on the gearbox. The exterior was properly retextured.
Here is Dave’s report on the TR6 magneto …. “During its lifetime the magneto took some abuse, it's been apart many times, has incorrect fasteners, etc. The worst part is they stripped out one of the threaded holes that hold on one of the pickups. It will require a new housing, which I have.” The magneto was sent out to Bill Bauer in Puyallup, Washington for complete rebuild.
The TR6 will be up on its wheels as soon as the Devon rim comes in from England. Hopefully that will happen this week so we can have this motorcycle ready for the Motorcycle in Tacoma, Washington next weekend, side by side with the ’56 T110.
Our next posting … Dave Wedlake competes the restoration of both 1956s, the T110 and TR6.