I'm looking for JUST THE WASHER, I will buy the bolt/washer combo if necessary, that holds the spark advance mechanism in place. I've found a couple online but for some reason everyone wants $10 to ship it to me!
I don't think that washer is any special steel. IE: Not Hardened.
It is a specific size.
I would bet you could use a 1/4" FENDER Washer.
Mount it on a 1/4" Bolt firm up against the Head with a NUT - chuck it up in a drill and spin it- holding it against a grinding wheel to trim it down to the correct diameter.
That's been an ongoing topic of discussion. Personally I'm very much in favor of the process you described. Steve (Sprint) doesn't seem to be in favor of that process. It seems like a relatively low risk proposition. The cost of failure is improperly advanced spark. If it doesn't work, I can order the proper washer...I'm just morally opposed to paying $15 for a single washer.
The next problem presented, though, is "proper diameter." What would that diameter be? A perfect match for the OD of the cam on the advancer?
Any advancer washer I've ever seen is black, not the usual plating and it might even be a bit thicker - so it might be somewhat hardened, which is Steve's point. that said, I don't think there's enough outward thrust on one to cause the need for spending the money that is asked for at all our available NOS sites... but I think I'd at least keep an eye on one of the standard variety for a little while to make sure
Oh I totally get Steve's point, and it's valid. His experience is valued, and I've read enough of what he has to say about these bikes to know that there aren't many people around who know more about them than he does. I'm never, ever, in favor of "half assing" any job. I am however in favor of a substitute that serves the same function at 1% of the cost.
A guy I am lucky enough to work on bikes with sometimes is an absolute encyclopedia of vintage bike mechanics. He has spent so much time fixing other people's bikes that his answer is always "buy a new one." We were working on the brakes of my Suzuki one time and he looked at some minor pitting in the caliper piston and said "That needs to be replaced, buy a new one." I said "No, new ones are hard to find and very expensive" and his response was "Oh, well then that one will be fine, clean it up and put it back." I relate that story because so often in vintage bikes the answer is "buy a new one" even though there are other options. I try to use my best judgement to discern when there is no substitute for replacing the part. In this instance, I'm going to buy a hardware store washer, grind it down until it looks like the pictures on Google, install it, and see what happens!
You can buy hardened washers as well as standard non-hardened.
Just grind it down until there is no chance of it conflicting with the advance assembly.
I see Steve's point that the Cam Advance Part needs to move and uses the washer flat surface as a thrust bearing surface.
But the entire thing is spining and only the small movement of the advance is what would be the wear factor.
I'd go with it and the worst that happens is you need to replace it later.
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