Last October we ran a short feature headed ‘The Cotton they dragged from the Grand Union Canal’ telling the story of a 1937 350cc JAP-engined Cotton Sports that VMCC Taverners Section member Brian Matthews had just started putting back together. Now the job is done, and Brian tells the tale.
A Cotton restored
Brian (left) and ace engineer Arthur, his near-lifetime mate, reflect on good times with the two bikes they once shared.
Following my progress report of nine months ago, by which time I’d restored the rolling chassis of my 1937 350cc Cotton-JAP, I lifted the engine on to the bench and the first thing I noticed was a shake in the drive-side main bearing.
As I explained in part one, there are two rows of rollers running directly on to the main shaft. My mate Arthur had re-worked this in the 1960s when we first got the bike, and fitted oversized rollers.
Upon inspection, the rollers were slightly down on 7mm, so I thought maybe I could get away with splitting new 7mm rollers. I obtained new rollers, but, of course, these were 7mm long and needed to be a quarter of an inch long.
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