Elliott Montagu’s 1927 Triumph N model restoration – Part 3

Surprisingly the carby wasn’t difficult to obtain and it came from the UK in excellent condition with inner and outer cables and complete with a float and needle.

The gearbox casing I had was compatible with the earlier scissor type clutch but my machine was fitted with the pushrod type which requires lugs on the casing. I took some measurements off another bike. Made some lugs and had them welded in place. My attention then turned to getting something to put in the gearbox. After twelve months I still hadn’t been able to source the innards for the gearbox. My luck changed at the Bunbury IHC Rally. One day’s riding ended at Boyanup and while waiting at the finish line I got talking to an IHC member. After telling him about my search for gearbox bits he said he thought he had the right gearbox in his shed which was about 300 meters from the finish line. We went over to the shed where he ratted around in his collection of bits and pieces and produced a gear box full of gears. It was exactly what I needed. A price was negotiated and he brought it to Perth when he came up for the Swap Meet. The gears were in good condition. I fitted new bearings, turned up bushes and made leather seals.

I also needed the part which attaches to the lugs we had welded to the gearbox. It has the rather grand name of a ‘gearbox clutch control buttress’. (I still didn’t have a clutch for it to control but more about that later). Eight months of trying to locate one of these buttress things proved fruitless. Once again a Club member came to the rescue and offered to cast one for me. I borrowed a buttress off a mate’s bike and we used it for a pattern. Each side of the part to be made was pressed into special sand contained in two halves of a box. Before the two halves were joined small channels were gouged in the sand to allow the molten metal to reach all corners of the impression. The furnace was fired up, metal scraps and off cuts dropped into the crucible. When the metal was molten it was carefully poured into the mould and on the second attempt we had a gearbox clutch control buttress. In the Club parts store I found a control rod that was so close to the original that with some minor modification it did the job. I turned up a stainless steel pin to secure the control rod to the buttress and another problem had been solved. Solving the clutch problem didn’t prove to be so easy.