Author Topic: Villiers Engine  (Read 267 times)

Offline D.Daws

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Villiers Engine
« on: July 31, 2018, 06:48:19 PM »
Hi, can anyone help me identify this Villiers engine that I recently acquired fitted into a Triumph Tiger Cub frame. The serial number is 996/1 7221D. I understand that the three number prefix relates to the bike manufacturer. Does anyone know which company this applies to. Many thanks.

Offline 33d6

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 02:51:04 AM »
I'm sure you've already been told it is a bog standard 6E Villiers unit. This is a 3 speed 197cc beastie and was the largest motorcycle power unit they made at the time. Made from 1949-1953.

Yes, the first three digits, 996. do identify who the engine was made for but much of the records have been lost and 996 is among the lost.  The late Roy Bacon compiled the major list that most of us Villiers nuts refer to and I've amused myself adding to it over the years but 996 does not appear in either his or my listings.

From the point of view of operation and maintenance the number is irrelevant. There are minor difference between the first and last 6E as Villiers tweaked the design over the years but essentially all 6E's are the same regardless of what they were fitted to.

Spares are reasonably plentiful and luckily they are not an attractive engine to the pre-65 trial crowd so they aren't mauled about. They find the 3 speed gearbox a handicap. Personally I'd put it back in the Tiger Cub frame and use it as a neat little stylish road bike. The Tiger Cub was always a pretty little bike but with an engine not quite up to the job. The 6E is a very good unit but often ended up in some rather dull bikes. If done properly it'd be a very happy marriage and you can always truthfully tell the nutters that it is as you found it.

Let us know what you do.   


Offline D.Daws

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 09:11:44 AM »
Thanks for all the information. This was my first posting on the forum & it is great to get such an informative reply. You say that it is a 3 speed gearbox on this engine. Whilst trawling through the internet before I posted my question, I am sure that I read somewhere that the letter 'D' suffix denoted that the gearbox is a 4 speed. I take it that this is wrong.

Offline TGR90B

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 09:40:39 AM »
At that age I would guess it's three speed. I don't think Villiers went to four speed until the late 50s. Could be wrong though.
Getting grumpy.

Offline mini-me

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 10:13:33 AM »
surely you can tell by moving the gear lever?

Offline Rex

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 10:26:49 AM »
Now now, don't go over-simplifying things.
I agree though, stick it back in the frame and try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Offline 33d6

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 11:55:57 AM »
The D suffix denotes a revision of the crankcase seals arrangement on early 6E engines. Its got nothing to do with gearboxes. It definitely has a 3 speed box as that was standard on all 6E. For that matter, once you have seen the 3 and 4 speed boxes side by side you will never confuse them again. It is very obvious.

Offline D.Daws

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Re: Villiers Engine
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 12:49:24 PM »
Thank you to all who have contributed to this post. Apart from the bike manufacturer, which it appears that I may never know, all my questions have been answered. Particular thanks to 33d6 for your knowledge.