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Messages - 33d6

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British Bikes / Re: 1952 Norton ES2 spark plug
« on: July 19, 2018, 02:08:17 AM »
In vintage times it was common practice to hide the spark plug in a deep hole away from the combustion chamber. As with every thing else back then spark plug technology was on its infancy and oil fouling was a problem. Plugs were positioned to avoid oil fouling and down a deep hole was a simple (and cheap) solution. Your ES2 engine was designed in the 1920's so is a relic from those days. Ride vintage bikes and you will often find spark plugs positioned thus and all working quite well. You can fit a long reach plug if you wish. Modern spark plugs are much improved over those from the 1920's It will make no discernible difference.

You've also received good advice about the timing. Personally I go along with Chaterlea25 I prefer his approach but that's just me.

Can we see a photo of the finished beast? I think the ES2 was at its peak in that plunger sprung frame era.  Lovely bike for just loping along at a steady 50-55mph. Like being on a steam train.

British Bikes / Re: A10 gear box problems
« on: June 26, 2018, 05:36:06 AM »
Excessive mainshaft end float allows the whole body of the clutch to move outwards when pulling in the clutch lever. This means the plates don't quite clear and everything drags a little. Neutral is then difficult to find.There may be just a  touch too much end play when everything warms up and expands after a run.


British Bikes / Re: veteran gearbox oil seal felt
« on: June 26, 2018, 04:39:53 AM »
Locally, industrial felt is made in three grades and your seal is made from the hardest. One glance at the others and you will understand why.
Unless you have a remarkably well equipped workshop don't think you can cut your own. It needs to be accurate or it will be no better than the one you remove.
In my own case the firm not only provided the material but cut it as well. Not cheap, but accurate. If the firm has a minimum charge for the job see how many you can get for the minimum charge and you then have a few extra to trade or sell.
You don't say which S/A box you are working on but Chaterlea25's suggestion is the way to go if at all possible.

Best of luck.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Any help with ID of this 1900's frame ?
« on: June 24, 2018, 03:04:37 AM »
I wince every time I see vertically coiled piping as used on that Buchet engine. My old apprentice master would have slowly chewed my ear off if i'd tried that on with him. Vertical coils are a disaster waiting to happen. Muck accumulates in the bottom of the coil and bubbles sit in the top creating a potential airlock hazard. It was horizontal coils only with him and coils much tighter than any text book said was possible and much tighter than on that engine.
I'm still useless at making up oil and fuel lines to his standard but after sixty years his very clear instructions and his godawful pipe are very clear in the memory.


I think you're right Per. It's mostly a bike built up of proprietary items. Most are a reasonable price. An Albion gearbox for example, won't break the bank. British Hub wheels are fairly easy to find.  The killer is the JAP engine. Even the cooking 250 ohv as used here is in high demand.  Nevertheless it is eminently do able and the joy of a Montgomery is that no one quite knows what is correct or not. From looking at the Montgomery in my shed its fairly obvious they were a small firm who used whatever was available. Some parts are very good, some are quite agricultural.

As far as the frame number is concerned the VMCC Register lists three Montgomery similar to yours. A 1936 model. frame number 92**. A 1937 with frame number 93** and 1939 with 95**. My entirely different 123cc Villiers powered 1939 model has a frame number starting 10***. I suspect Montgomery was so tiny they used the one set of numbers for all machines regardless of what model it was. Whatever they built that day got stamped with the next available number. The VMCC Marque specialist should be able to accurately date it for you.

Tanks aren't that expensive to have made. It's not the drama you may think. It's not as if it's a Brough or Vincent where every man and his dog will look at it and have an opinion. As long as it looks broadly like the catalogue picture, fits neatly and the handlebars don't hit it no one will know if it's slightly out here or there. If it looks right it is right.

Copies of catalogues are available from both BMS and the VMCC Library. Tank transfers are available.

It would be an attractive and smart little bike


British Bikes / Re: Villiers Middleweight Carb Wanted
« on: June 15, 2018, 03:27:27 AM »
Hi Mike,
Again, looking at Cov/Eagle loterature it appears that what Cov/Eagle did was install a left hand Villiers weak/rich lever just by the twist grip so the operator needed to push it forward to operate it.These are easy enough to find as they were used on a gazillion lawnmowers in their day. Of course the lawnmower nutters are just as bad as us so there will be someone local to you who can help.. It's just a bit undignified if it's stamped "Atco".
If you're desperate Villiers Services should be able to provide the 6E version but it looks a bit modern for a 30's bike.

British Bikes / Re: Coventry Eagle Silent Superb Fuel Tap
« on: June 15, 2018, 01:47:03 AM »
Yes, I think I've just ploughed through the same illustrations and the mounting seems to be a curious use of a banjo union. I suspect that will be a bit of a one off turning project. The illustrated spare parts list doesn't show the tap in clear enough detail to check what make.

I think a careful look at a finished restoration is needed.


It's a Montgomery. To be precise a 250 OHV Montgomery "Terrier"

I have a very poor photocopy of the 1936 Montgomery catalogue to hand. It's good enough for me to check off all the matching points between your remains and the catalogue but it gives a rubbish scan.  I'm sure someone will come up with a good picture.

The only puzzle is whether yours is a "Terrier" Standard as it has pressed steel forks or a De Luxe which has regular tubular girders but also that undershield. Did someone upgrade a Standard or replace the De Luxe forks?

Ehatever the story, it's a Montgomery.


British Bikes / Re: Villiers Middleweight Carb Wanted
« on: June 11, 2018, 09:18:13 AM »
Hi Mike,
Can't help with the M/W carb I'm afraid. This is just to say that a single lever or double lever M/W are one and the same. You don't have to specify which one you want when you are seeking to find one. Whatever M/W you get you just build it up into whichever one you want.

As it happens Villiers continued with the double lever style right up to and including the 6E introduced in 1949. The throttle slide and jet cable assembly from the 4/5 cab as fitted to the 6E just drop straight in to your prewar M/W carb. Have a good look at the 6E spare parts list and you'll see what I mean. I bought my last set from Villiers Services.

Just be aware that Villiers manufacturing accuracy way way back when was nowhere as good as modern computerised parts so you may find the throttle slide either a rattling good fit or too tight to go in.  I have a natty little holding fixture I use in my lathe so I can turn oversize slides to size if need be. It used to be that you could take your carb in to the dealer and sort through his stock to find the best fitting slide but unfortunately those days are long gone. It's make the best of what you find nowadays.

Finally, to finish off, the single lever style with natty little adjustment lever sticking out of the carb was just a cheaper version of the double lever. It saved the buyer a few pence at the expense of the rider losing the convenience of instant carburettor adjustment on the handlebar. The double lever style is much to be preferred and si the easiest both to source for parts and to ride with.


British Bikes / Re: Albion 3Gear model E questions.
« on: June 05, 2018, 09:22:36 AM »
Hello FN,
Albion supplied all their gearboxes in many varieties. If the customer gave a big order they would change them even more. Yours is a very common problem.

The first thing you do is check the chain alignments.Both the primary and the rear chains. Albion supplied their boxes with varying alignments depending on what the customer ordered. Regardless of anything else, when the gearbox is in position the engine sprocket and clutch sprockets must be in alignment and the rear drive sprocket must accurately line up with the rear wheel sprocket. I would be surprised if you can do this with both boxes.

I expect you are right and the box with the lightest clutch is the right one. Motorcycle factories always used the cheapest and lightest components they could. There is certainly no need for a large and heavy clutch with the 196cc 1E engine.

Tell us what you find.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 05, 2018, 04:33:45 AM »
There is always an element of doubt in what is written here given what we can see in the photo. We can be very confident, we can be almost positive but never surer we are utterly and unequivocally right.

But, there is one thing we can be 100% positive about and that is the capacity of the engine in your photos. It is most definitely a 250. Like many makers James fitted different sizes of engine in the same cycle parts. They also tweaked them with extra paint or chrome or different shape if exhaust to make "de luxe" or "sports" models. This is why pinning down the exact model of the family bike gets a bit fluffy at times but to repeat, have no doubt. It is a 250.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 03, 2018, 01:03:28 AM »
Hi Leon,
It's fairly obvious James made a 250 in much the same style throughout the 1930's and I maintain my suggestion of it being a 1930 James B8 is just as valid as any other but we'll never be absolutely sure will we.
One thing we can be sure of is that there was never a Norman based Waratah. Excelsior ,yes. The postwar Waratah was pure and simple a re badged Excelsior but Norman never came into it. It's a persistent story but not true. Norman were sold in export markets as both the Roamer and Rambler but Waratah never used them.
There were many obscure makes built up using Villiers components. We'll never get them all straight. The other two Australian assemblers were Utility and Simplex but when did you last see any of them? I've only ever seen one Villiers powered Simplex and that was donkeys years ago.

And R is right. Loke most countries during WWII petrol was tightly rationed and bikes just went off the road for several years. Two strokes survived better because the armed forces didn't like them so they weren't requisitioned.

Ain't it all fun.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 02, 2018, 02:15:36 AM »
Alex, you posted whilst I was writing mine.

The Adelaide guy has had been trying to sell that bike for some time. Villiers powered bikes of any sort do not bring high prices. Certainly not out here in Oz. Nor does anything 250cc and under. The seller knows that and hopes you don't.

The external flywheel is a standard Villiers item. Some manufacturers fitted them and some didn't. It is absolutely nothing to worry about. If anything it's good for amazing the natives as it goes round and round when the engine starts. You'll get asked lots of silly questions.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Nostalgia is strong on this one
« on: June 02, 2018, 02:05:09 AM »
Personally I think it is a James of about 1930. About then was when James started to move away from fitting their own make engines and gearboxes to concentrate on Villiers engines and Albion boxes. It took a few years but that was the beginning. The valanced mudguard and style of front fork are very distinctive. A shot from the other side allowing us to identify the gearbox would seal the deal but we have to make do with what is given us.

The chances of finding an identical James are tiny. Villiers powered bikes mostly occupied the utility/economy end of the market and were quickly discarded if something bigger and flashier came along. The 1935 Excelsior was built to the same pattern and for the same market. Out here Excelsior's seemed to have survived better than other makes. I think they just sold more because Excelsior had a good sporting history in the Lightweight classes. At least you had a sporting name on the tank even if it had a Villiers engine underneath it. As ever, being fashionable counted.

I think that particular Gumtree Excelsior is a recent import. It has an English VMCC badge fitted and few Australians would ever bother with that. Nor does it have any indication it's ever had a local number plate fitted. It has all the makings of a pleasant rally bike.


British Bikes / Re: parts for 1930's James with Villiers 2E motor
« on: June 01, 2018, 02:22:00 AM »
Why not look at the photos of the Baker held on this site? James bought Baker in the late 1920's and used the Baker frame for a few years.
You might also find it helpful to buy copies of the 1931 and 32 Annual Sales catalogues from the NMM. They usually contain illustrations of help to a restorer. They may even have an illustrated spare parts list as well. That makes life a bit easier.

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