Author Topic: 1920s villiers supersport TT  (Read 284 times)

Offline Barny

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1920s villiers supersport TT
« on: May 24, 2018, 02:58:25 PM »
Hi, does anyone out there know what the ignition timing should be on a Villiers 196cc supersport TT engine from the late twenties? Thanks, Barny.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 01:50:57 AM »
Hi Barny,
I can give you all the ancient Villiers info you want but only if you give us more info first. The Super Sports engines are very robust but only if treated with knowledge. This is of particular importance with the pre-war Villiers automatic lubrication system. You have to start off with everything right. There is no room for error. Trying to learn as you go along can rapidly lead to mechanical disaster.

When someone asks for something as basic as an ignition timing figure it's fairly obvious there will be other and potentially quite expensive gaps. When they also don't even know what decade the engine was made the bell rings even louder.

I want to help but you will need to explain more. I'm not keen on helping you dig the little engine's grave.
Cheers, 

Offline Barny

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 02:58:13 PM »
Thank-you 33d6. The engine is a mongrel of sorts, 196cc supersport barrel piston and head on 1E crankcases, new piston, rings and bearings throughout. The new mains have been changed to "petroil" type and the crankcases adapted to provide feed. The original pressure and feed lines to the oil tank blanked. It has a later carb and ignition. Crankcases are 1929 the barrel and head of a similar era. Carb and ignition from 50s. Whist I am sure you disapprove of this set-up it is what I have and can afford and it would be useful to have an idea of ignition timing. I can get there by experimenting if you really object to helping. I recently posted a picture of the bike in an attempt to identify it - thanks to some very helpful and friendly members it would seem it is a 1928 Levis. A mongrel throughout but I enjoy it.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2018, 02:36:26 AM »
Hi Barny,
Yes, I remember the entertainment you gave us with the Levis. Definitely a bike to hang on to. Whether you eventually find a Levis engine or slowly sort out the current Villiers doesn't really matter does it.
The commonality of Villiers parts across the range means you are far from the first to have a bitsa engine. All these parts fit together without modification. For example, the original 196cc 1E engine has a cast iron piston so heavy you could use it to brain an elephant. The 196cc Super Sport piston is absolutely identical except made of much lighter aluminium. This means you can run the lighter alloy piston in a 1E with no problems. I have examples of both pistons and  I'm sure Villiers used the same casting pattern for both.
Anyway, the ignition timing point for the Super Sport is 5/16"slightly more advanced then the Mk 1E at 7/32". It's a good starting point.
I am more concerned at you saying the engine has ignition from the 50's fitted. I think you can do much better with an adjustable pre-war Villiers set up (as original). This allows you to fine tune the timing with the engine running. Please tell us EXACTLY what is now fitted. A photo would be good.
After we get the ignition sorted we can start on the carb. They are dead simple but people work hard to make them complicated. They aren't.
Cheers,   



Offline Barny

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 09:56:41 AM »
Thank-you 33d6. I will upload some pictures of the engine, ignition and carb if I can tonight. I do appreciate the help and it would be great to get this engine right. I get the impression somebody has spent time, money and effort on this already and then given up. When I got the bike it had obviously never run since it's rebuild. I have the feeling the poor starting and running issues may be related to crankcase pressure but given everything is new there I would like to know everything else is right before going down that road.

Offline Barny

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2018, 06:17:18 PM »
Hope these pics help. It would be nice to find it the correct ignition etc. but I live in the west of Pembrokeshire - another few steps and you're in the Atlantic. Spares and knowledgeable enthuisiasts here are a little like chickens teeth. I would be very happy to try and source the correct bits but would need advice on what I'm looking for. It would certainly make sense to be able to adjust the timing on the backplate. I do not think it could be returned to autolube, much as I would like to. The oil tank is present in the fuel tank but the crankcases have been drilled and the faces profiled rather crudely to run with a petrol oil mix. All bearings appear to be new, alloy piston, rings and bore look very good.
I bought this from a dealer who said it was a '23 Excelsior. The engine was so tight it could barely be turned over. The shoulders on the new mains that have been pressed into the cases were compressing and seizing the crankshaft.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 07:49:50 AM »
Well, you do have a grab bag of Villiers bits across the ages don't you Barney. Nothing that can't be sorted though.
Firstly you have a post war flywheel magneto system of some sort fitted with a pre war points box. The postwar 197cc 6E and 123cc 10D have what looks like an identical set up with identical flywheels but they aren't. The flywheel on the 6E is 2&1/16" wide, the 10D is 1&7/8" wide and therefore lighter. Measure the width and see what you've got. Personally I don't like the lighter set up and think the heavier 6E flywheel barely acceptable until you find the proper pre war set up. 
Secondly, Villiers flywheel mags come as a paired set. Both the back plate and flywheel should be stamped with the same number. If not you have a mystery lash up which may or may not work okay.
The carburettor is a 1950's on job. Who knows what Villiers engine that carburettor was fitted to originally and how it is jetted and what needle fitted. It's a mystery as it stands and has the prospect of being a right time waster to sort out. Fitting a correct original M/W will solve your problems in one easy swoop.  Pre war M/W carbs aren't hard to find and it's no drama fitting a centre jet and needle as recommended for your engine.   You don't even have to fiddle, it comes ready tuned.
As far as living in Pembrokeshire is concerned you have to be kidding mate. I live in Australia and except for pistons have little bother getting bits. They are no further away than my letterbox.
I'm being pushed off the computer. More on your tight engine (not the worry you think) next time.
Cheers,


Offline ScottT63

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Re: 1920s villiers supersport TT
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 11:31:41 PM »
Barny, have a word with Villiers services https://villiersservices.co.uk/ they have just rebuilt my 1931 Villiers 2E engine (very similar to yours) they have all the correct ignition parts in stock and other items for pre war engines.
You might struggle with the correct carb though, my brass one was so badly worn its nothing but scrap now, i'm just going to fit a modern Amal now, i'm not bothered about being original i just want to use it not look at it.