Author Topic: 1931 James/villiers  (Read 2933 times)

Offline ScottT63

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1931 James/villiers
« on: July 28, 2017, 11:29:51 PM »
I've just bought a 1931 James C12 it has the Villiers 2E engine in it. Its a non runner and about 95% complete, i'm looking for information on the engine and the carb if anyone knows anything can you please help?

Offline R

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 01:18:30 AM »
http://simplywizard.co.uk/folders/pre1940/prewarl3/31c12196.htm
http://classic-motorbikes.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/11564.jpg

What sort of details are you after, and what are you missing ?
Quite a few of these seem to have survived.
As you might expect, being a tough little Villiers and a popular little economy make in tough times.
(Don't assume restored bikes are always correct in every detail, as I'm sure everyone knows).

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 01:44:52 AM »
Everything you need to know about the 2E engine can be found in 'The Villiers Engine' by B E Browning. First published in 1949 the earlier editions have a little more on pre war engines than the later editions. Rubbishy copies of Browning regularly come up on eBay but better quality ones will be found on the  ABEbooks site - and probably cheaper. Browning is the best value general info Villiers book available. Much better than the alternative Pitmans series.

Catalogues, brochures, spare parts lists for both bike and engine are all available from all the usual sources, the VMCC Library, the National Motorcycle Museum Library, Elk, etc,etc.

The most important thing to learn about Villiers is they are a bodgers paradise. Do not expect anything to be right. People do dreadful things to them. Check everything.
 
Cheers,

Offline iansoady

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 10:10:03 AM »
Villiers Services in the Black Country are a good source for parts & expertise: http://villiersservices.co.uk/
Ian
1952 Norton ES2
1982 Moto Guzzi V50

Offline mini-me

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 10:15:59 AM »
Meetens  used to be the go to place for Villiers, and there is the British 2 Stroke Club as well for info,

http://www.meetens.co.uk/products/villiers_engines.html


Offline ScottT63

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 11:46:57 PM »

http://classic-motorbikes.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/11564.jpg


Despite spending many hours online searching thats one of about 3 pictures that are online, and they are all the same bike, and thats the bike i've just bought.

What i'm looking for or hoping to find are any online manuals for the bike or engine or Albion gearbox (model 3, three speed)
Thanks to everyone that replied, i'm ok for the engine parts i need, it came with some spares and Villiers Services have some items in stock that i'll need (all the electrics)

Or if anyone else has one or the D12 model, they were only made for 2 years so i'm guessing there are not many left.
Though the 2E engine was used in other bikes, mine is the 196cc single port engine.


Offline 33d6

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 01:26:58 AM »
There are no freebie on line manuals as James did no manuals in in the first place. You have a typical lightweight of its day built up using proprietary components. Very little is actually pure James so you seek out the various literature supplied by the component manufacturers. I told you where to go in my first reply.

Your 196cc 2E engine is regular Villiers and I said previously is comfortably covered by Browning. Albions made many variations of their three speed box, all to the same basic design. Once you have a grasp of the first principles you can handle any of them. Same information sources as for Villiers. Same for the wheels and brakes.

Unfortunately all these things require some effort and a little money to acquire. No freebies today.

Welcome to old time motorcycling. You have now started your apprenticeship. Have fun,
Cheers,

Offline mini-me

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2017, 09:31:47 AM »
Ever considered it could not be a James but a Francis Barnett?



« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 09:34:39 AM by mini-me »

Offline R

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 09:36:55 AM »
The "built like a bridge" slogan would rule that out ?
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8360/8446512643_8d0e498ec7_n.jpg

It looks to be fairly complete, and in exceedingly good condition (cosmetically anyway).
What makes it a non-runner ?

Offline mini-me

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 09:56:43 AM »
 Yes. it was just a thought but a lot of similarites if you look for 1931 Francis Barnett among google images;

Offline ScottT63

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 05:09:13 PM »
There are no freebie on line manuals as James did no manuals in in the first place.

Well i have managed to download the following James manuals.
1948-1953 98cc spare parts
1952 Cadet Captain Commando
1953 Cadet spares
1954 Cadet - Comet spares
1954 Colonel manual
1955 Cadet - Comet manual
1955 Captain Cotwolds Commando manual
1955 Colonel spares
1956 James spares
1957 James spares
1958 Cavalier manual
1958 Comet Cadet manual
1958 James spares
1959 James spares
1960-62 Flying cadet manual
1960 Scooter manual
1961 150 scooter spares.
1930, 1931 & 1932 James sales catalogues
All were available free to download, handy as i have other James bikes.

You have a typical lightweight of its day built up using proprietary components. Very little is actually pure James so you seek out the various literature supplied by the component manufacturers.

The frame and forks were made by James using a design by Baker, James bought out the Baker motorcycle company in 1930 and used the Baker frame for a couple of years (finding information on Baker is even harder). But like many companies of that time yes parts were bought in did any company make everything?



Your 196cc 2E engine is regular Villiers and I said previously is comfortably covered by Browning.

Thank you for that, i've found a copy and ordered it, i've also ordered a couple of other handy manuals from the National Motorcycle Museum archive.



It looks to be fairly complete, and in exceedingly good condition (cosmetically anyway).
What makes it a non-runner ?

It has been restored previously, if you look at that picture it has an external coil fitted, but its not wired up to anything, the points are in very poor condition so i'm going to replace the whole electrical system. The gearbox has a very worn bearing and the gearbox sprocket is missing several teeth, so its mostly engine work to get it up and running the rest is ready to go.

Offline R

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 11:07:41 PM »
None of that impressive list are a manual for a 1931 though, which is what d33 was referring to ?

But like many companies of that time yes parts were bought in did any company make everything?

Whole books have been writ on this subject ?
I think BSA alone at the time had the foundries and drop forges and presses etc to make much more than most makers.  But the list of oem equipment still included Amal, Smiths, Lucas, Dunlop, Ferodo Champion so 'everything' is a rather nebulous concept.
Honda owned Keihin (carburettors) , so they were one rung further up the ladder.
Indian back in the teens were a huge manufacturer compared to everyone else,
but they went from having their own foundries to having it all done outside.
If the foundries got ahead with production, they then had nothing to do - but if it was outside they could go on to other things and the employees weren't idle. (?).
Wasn't it said that Broughs were the ultimate bike - and not one jot was made by them.
Villiers supplied a heck of a lot of makers, concentrate on what you are good at ?

Sounds like you have everything well in hand, have fun !

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 03:02:35 AM »
You now seem to be on your way. It's always fascinates me that owners put so much in to the shiny bits but not in to the bits that make it go and it's always laborious and time consuming when you come in later and have to do jobs with the utmost care so as not to scratch the lovely finish.
There are a few tips about the engine you may find useful. Supposedly the three types of point box are interchangeable. That is not quite right. Some of the pre war engines have a bigger diameter points operating cam in the flywheel. Only the pre war type points box provides enough points adjustment with these bigger cams. The post war points boxes fit but you can't get the adjustment on the points. Stahlwille make a slimline 6mm 'electrical' spanner which makes pre war points adjustment much easier than those Terry's bunch of magnetos spanner thingies.
The original 2E piston was cast iron. It is a heavy lump causing much vibration. The 196cc Super Sport piston is aluminium, one third the weight and dimensionally identical. It transforms the engine.
Very little is written about Albion gear box maintenance. The best available is found in Volume 1 of Newnes "Motor Cycle Repair and Upkeep" published 1931. The odd reprint appears on eBay or you can get copies of the relevant chapter from the usual sources. It's never a bother replacing bearings in an Albion box. They are either plain bronze or common metric sizes. I've never yet met an imperial size ball race in an Albion. 
Cheers,

Offline ScottT63

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 08:19:04 PM »
There are a few tips about the engine you may find useful. Supposedly the three types of point box are interchangeable. That is not quite right. Some of the pre war engines have a bigger diameter points operating cam in the flywheel. Only the pre war type points box provides enough points adjustment with these bigger cams.

Yes i know what you mean, from what i've found out so far the Pre-war engines have a brass points box thats a bit different in size to the normal one.
I converted my James Cadet to electronic ignition so i have a full set of electrics left from that, while they look very similar they just dont fit right, even the old brass flywheel is about 1/2 smaller on the Cadet.


The original 2E piston was cast iron. It is a heavy lump causing much vibration. The 196cc Super Sport piston is aluminium, one third the weight and dimensionally identical. It transforms the engine.

That is very good to hear, mine has at some point been fitted with an aluminium piston, plus i got 2 spare pistons with it, one is in reasonable condition with rings, the other will make a nice ornament once polished.

Very little is written about Albion gear box maintenance. The best available is found in Volume 1 of Newnes "Motor Cycle Repair and Upkeep" published 1931. The odd reprint appears on eBay or you can get copies of the relevant chapter from the usual sources. It's never a bother replacing bearings in an Albion box. They are either plain bronze or common metric sizes. I've never yet met an imperial size ball race in an Albion. 
Cheers,

I got lucky in that someone put me onto a link where i got a parts list for my gearbox, if anyone else wants it its here.
http://www.barnstormers.co.nz/barnstormers/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Albion-PDF-1.pdf
Mine is the E model, that list gives the bearing size as 2-1/4 x 1 x 5/8
After another tip off i found a company that has the bearing in stock and at 8.50 delivered thats not a bad result.
Thanks again i'll see if i can find a copy of that Albion book.




The James manuals i downloaded came from a website http://klassiekrijden.nu/ which had about 500 manuals for all types of British bikes, i also downloaded about 20 Villiers manuals from there, but at the time had no interest in Pre war so never bothered downloading any of them!
The sad news is that site is no more, when you click on the link the domain name is for sale, but the person who originally owned the site must have all those manuals somewhere even if only in PDF format, hopefully he'll show up again it was a wonderful site with so much information to download, pity its gone.

Offline ScottT63

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Re: 1931 James/villiers
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 08:21:38 PM »
This is my bike