Author Topic: 1929 Excelsior (UK)  (Read 3659 times)

Offline PaulBurton

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1929 Excelsior (UK)
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:25:25 AM »
I have a 1929 Excelsior with JAP engine nş I=350cc; O=OHV; Y=twin port; S=1929 build; 54073= serial number;; J=non-standard. The bike is complete and I am in the process of restoring it. It has been 'in the family' since 1931 (I have a sale receipt for £15 from the original owner dated May 1931 to my wife's uncle). I have had the magneto overhauled but am a bit stumped by the (very simple) electrics (most of the cables and wiring had rotted away). Anyone got any info on this machine or the wiring? Thanks

Offline cardan

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 10:20:11 AM »

Hi Paul,

It's possible that in 1929 the bike was offered by the factory with no electrics at all, and that the dealer added the lights too the customer's pleasure. You say "magneto", but is the bike fitted with a generator of some sort? If so, the brand of the generator and lights will dictate the exact detail of the wiring. If you can provide detail of the generator, lights, switch, etc. I'm sure we can come up with a wiring diagram.

Cheers

Leon

Offline iansoady

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2016, 11:31:39 AM »
If it did have electrics it would probably have a 3 brush dynamo with internal cutout and a headlight switch with a half charge resistor.

As said, the wiring diagrams for most are pretty straightforward (although the method of controlling the earth side of the field rather than the live side confused me somewhat.....)
Ian
1952 Norton ES2
1962 Ariel Arrow
1982 Moto Guzzi V50

Offline mini-me

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 05:08:42 PM »
For 1929 you could also have had acetylene lamps, especially on the cheaper bikes.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 12:39:35 AM »
I also have a 1929 Excelsior, albeit the smallest in the range, not one of the bigger ones. It's been my habit for years to collect as much info as I can on any bike I have so I've accumulated much of what is available on the 1929 Excelsior range.
From your description you appear to have either a Standard Model No7 or a Tourist Trophy Model No11. There is little difference between the two, the obvious one being the Standard has a kick starter, the Tourist Trophy has rear set footrests and no kick starter with no means of fitting one. Electric lighting was an extra on both.
Excelsior advised that if electric lighting was fitted it should be ordered with the machine as it was built in during manufacture. In other words they would fit some sort of mag/dyno arrangement instead of the plain magneto of the base model. Companies such as Excelsior bought electric lighting sets as a complete kit from the relevant maker. This was much cheaper than buying separate items from different makers.
So, whatever make of mag/dyno is fitted also dictates what make of headlight, tail light, etc, is fitted also. This also dictates how the beast was wired up and what wiring diagram you need.
If you have a plain magneto with no dynamo to charge the battery it probably means the bike was bought without lights and an aftermarket lighting system installed. In that case anything goes.
You need to tell us a little more.
Cheers,

Offline Rex

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 09:08:17 AM »
So the most basic initial question should be...."does it have a dynamo fitted?"
If so then finding out the type of dynamo will lead to a typical wiring diagram. If not then it's either-
1) daylight only use,
2) find some acetylene lights or
3) rig up a total-loss electric set up.

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 03:44:15 PM »
Hi everyone,
Many thanks for your posts and helpful contributions. Here is a pic of the bike as it was. I will be back where it is stored at the weekend and get some more pics/details then to send on. Hopefully these will be of help sorting the electrics. I will reply more fully after the weekend.
Many thanks
Paul.

Offline Rex

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 04:01:03 PM »
Jeez, did he store it in the village pond?

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2016, 04:12:40 PM »
Garden shed since 1958!! It's now with us in sunny Portugal. Here's how the JAP engine looks today!

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 09:36:48 PM »

Hi Paul,

It's possible that in 1929 the bike was offered by the factory with no electrics at all, and that the dealer added the lights too the customer's pleasure. You say "magneto", but is the bike fitted with a generator of some sort? If so, the brand of the generator and lights will dictate the exact detail of the wiring. If you can provide detail of the generator, lights, switch, etc. I'm sure we can come up with a wiring diagram.

Cheers

Leon
Hi Leon thanks for this. There is no dynamo/generator. Just a BTH magneto (see pic) with headlight (Miller) with rotating dip switch on back, hooter and rear light - all 6v.
Any help?

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 09:43:56 PM »
I also have a 1929 Excelsior, albeit the smallest in the range, not one of the bigger ones. It's been my habit for years to collect as much info as I can on any bike I have so I've accumulated much of what is available on the 1929 Excelsior range.
From your description you appear to have either a Standard Model No7 or a Tourist Trophy Model No11. There is little difference between the two, the obvious one being the Standard has a kick starter, the Tourist Trophy has rear set footrests and no kick starter with no means of fitting one. Electric lighting was an extra on both.
Excelsior advised that if electric lighting was fitted it should be ordered with the machine as it was built in during manufacture. In other words they would fit some sort of mag/dyno arrangement instead of the plain magneto of the base model. Companies such as Excelsior bought electric lighting sets as a complete kit from the relevant maker. This was much cheaper than buying separate items from different makers.
So, whatever make of mag/dyno is fitted also dictates what make of headlight, tail light, etc, is fitted also. This also dictates how the beast was wired up and what wiring diagram you need.
If you have a plain magneto with no dynamo to charge the battery it probably means the bike was bought without lights and an aftermarket lighting system installed. In that case anything goes.
You need to tell us a little more.
Cheers,
Thanks for this- really useful and good to know you have accumulated so much info! This is definitely a kick start, so its seems we are looking at a Standard Model 7. It seems there is no dynamo, just the magneto. 6v Miller headlight plus hooter and rear light, nothing else! So, i guess we are in 'anything goes' country! See the pics posted earlier.
Any further thoughts welcome - I'm a complete starter in this game!

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 09:48:24 PM »
So the most basic initial question should be...."does it have a dynamo fitted?"
If so then finding out the type of dynamo will lead to a typical wiring diagram. If not then it's either-
1) daylight only use,
2) find some acetylene lights or
3) rig up a total-loss electric set up.
Hi Rex. Thanks for this. The answer is 'no' - no dynamo. 1&2 do not apply. There is a Miller 6v headlamp, hooter and rear light but no dynamo! Battery vanished!
Any further thoughts?
Paul.

Offline chaterlea25

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 10:42:25 PM »
HI Paul,
The BTH magneto fitted also has a "dynamo" section sitting piggyback on top of the magneto
Its a rare survivor, I think they were called a mag-generator ??
No doubt it will need a full overhaul after all this time, including at least a magneto rewind and new condenser
The low voltage section may have survived in better condition as there is a lot less stress place on the insulation materials with 6volts

Regards
John

Offline JFerg

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 11:01:54 PM »
BTH offered light sets for only a few years of the late twenties.  I have a bike fitted with a BTH "dyno-mag", and some years ago managed to acquire at great expense a correct headlight to match it.  That's the only BTH headlight I have ever seen!!  To describe them as uncommon is a sweeping understatement.   The BTH tail light is a generic bullet styled thing, and so I've given up on finding one.  Any sort of late twenties electrical kit is hard to find, and expensive if you do; I'd be using the Miller headlight on the basis that you have it.

Somewhere I think I have a BTH brochure and wiring diagram.  I'll see if I can find it and scan a copy to post.

cheers,
JFerg

Offline PaulBurton

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Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 11:27:35 PM »
HI Paul,
The BTH magneto fitted also has a "dynamo" section sitting piggyback on top of the magneto
Its a rare survivor, I think they were called a mag-generator ??
No doubt it will need a full overhaul after all this time, including at least a magneto rewind and new condenser
The low voltage section may have survived in better condition as there is a lot less stress place on the insulation materials with 6volts

Regards
John
Hi John,
That explains it!!
Already had the overhaul and rewind - they didn't mention the piggy-back dyno though!
Thanks again
Paul.