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Bike Review - Posted 29th April 2016
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1950 Ariel Square Four 4G Mk1 Pictorial Rebuild

From auction project to concours classic, Mart James documented the rebuild of his plunger framed square four in a series of photos...

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

From the Bonhams' auction in April 2011 via a dealer in Sunderland, the Ariel arrived at my house in Febuary 2013.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

On closer inspection the right hand side of the handle bars, kickstarter and footpegs were slightly bent and the rear mudguard was out of alignment. The wiring harness was either perished or burnt-out, especially in the area of the battery compartment; this was later replaced. It was, however, complete apart from a missing horn.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild
Ariels on Now...

Dismantling was a pleasure, no over-tightened or seized nuts and screws to get off.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

The bodywork was grit blasted and etch primed.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

The petrol tank was as clean as a whistle inside, although outside there were slight dints. Elsewhere rust was only superficial and very little filler was required. A black finish was applied on top of base coat.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

If at first you don't succeed...

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

...Use a couple of handy brick walls and a hydraulic jack.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

With the appropriate extractors the crankshaft coupling gears were taken off and the crankcase halved.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

The big and small end bearings showed little excess play likewise the cylinders bores were OK. However the camshaft showed excessive wear and was replaced. It was essential to make sure the all the oil passageways were cleaned.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

Engine assembly progressed well and the special Draganfly cylinder head gasket was used. The old oil pump was replaced with a higher capacity Morgo pump.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

A nice set of silencer and exhaust pipes were fitted along with stainless steel wheels. The carburetter and dynamo were refurbished (cleaned), and a solid state voltage regulator was used in preference to the mechanical type which still remains in place.

Ariel Square Four  Pictorial Rebuild

I managed to obtain a toolbox which will come in handy for keeping my sandwiches; hopefully I won't need the tools... The total rebuild cost was around 3000.




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