Author Topic: Excelsior Plunger frame ID  (Read 2745 times)

Offline R

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2021, 07:37:48 AM »
For a comparison this Acme is asking $6k
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/uZwAAOSwXxJgleWQ/s-l1600.jpg
Possibly more complete - esp the exhausts.
And Dealer badge
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/xGoAAOSw53ZgleWI/s-l1600.jpg

That would/should buy a lot of guitars !
Like motorcycles, you can only use one at a time ...

P.S. I would also venture to respectfully suggest that that is quite expensive.
These are only small bikes, with limited avenues for use ?
Collectable as they may be...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 07:51:35 AM by R »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2021, 09:32:25 AM »
I agree. I think that price is absolutely dippy but you only have to find one buyer donít you. As for usability I suppose that all depends on how you want to use a bike doesnít it.

Offline DELONSTAINWALL

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2021, 12:24:50 AM »
Thought I let you know that I have done the deal. It will be delivered to me in 3 weeks. I will be abele give you further information on the frame number. This was a very rare find in Vic that I could not miss out on. I would have regretted if I didn't get it. R, REX. 33D6 you are all correct.

Another TOY to add to my collection. I will be counting on  your knowledge, experience advise when I go to restore my Excelsior 1930s.
Cheers to all. 

Offline DELONSTAINWALL

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2021, 02:16:48 AM »
Hi Team, Where can I find a manual for 1935 Excelsior Pioneer any help will be greatly appreciated.

Offline R

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2021, 04:18:31 AM »
???  Not sure if this is right for your year, and your model may be only one of many covered in there.
But anything is better than nothing, and some of it would be common ...

https://www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk/product/excelsior-british-1933-to-1934-instruction-manual-covers-all-models-good-manual-rigel528/

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2021, 05:55:02 AM »
There is no workshop manual as such. One collects information from the separate makers of each component. British makers rarely wrote decent workshop manuals for the bikes they sold. That why Haynes were so successful in later days.
 In the days when Britain had lots of factories and made things one learnt the general principles of all things mechanical and broadly knew what to do anyway. It was much like mobile phones today. Who has a manual for their phone? You just ask a mate if you have an issue. It was the same for anything mechanical back then.
Donít worry Delon, if you have a copy of ďThe Villiers EngineĒ by BE Browning you have the engine and lighting covered. Meanwhile just buy yourself a dozen ordinary 1/4Ē BSF straight grease nipples and a proper grease gun so you can grease the thing properly after replacing those nasty original pointy things British factories fitted.
Clean it but DONíT pull it apart until weíve carefully examined it.
Cheers,

Offline Rex

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2021, 08:37:59 AM »
. British makers rarely wrote decent workshop manuals for the bikes they sold. That why Haynes were so successful in later days.

I can't go along with that generalisation. The bigger factories like Triumph, BSA, Norton, RE etc produced very detailed workshop manuals or "service sheets", and for those who didn't want to spring for them there were the Pitman (and similar) pocket manuals.
The minor factories supplying Villiers-powered commuter lightweights probably wouldn't have offered much more an owner's handbook giving the basics, but then the power unit was the main thing to need servicing and there was lots of info on them.
Haynes produced photo-strip manuals which was innovative at the time, something they presumably  learnt from the "Motorcycle scooter and three wheeler mechanics" magazine's monthly engine strip.
"One pic is worth a thousand words" and all that.

Offline R

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2021, 11:47:14 PM »
The bigger factories like Triumph, BSA, Norton, RE etc produced very detailed workshop manuals or "service sheets",

I'd only half agree with that statement Rex.

Norton manuals have an all too common "return part to maker"  for that stage of repairs.
So all the complicated or important bits are omitted !!
Haynes etc also frequently don't explain the complicated bits sufficiently enough for a satisfactory outcome. ?

Crank regrinds in particular often didn't include the all important radius grinding details - so reground cranks often broke.
And cam or follower grinding details - forget it ....
And pistons were often only covered in a cursory manner.
So various types requiring differing clearances were completely ignored.
Everything seemed to assume you were using utterly stock parts in pristine condition.
???

I'd think that whatever Excelsior offered was better than nothing.
A complete workshop manual it may not be though ...

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2021, 06:16:20 AM »
We'll have to disagree then Rex.
Very few if any British motorcycle factory put out any sort of decent workshop manual before WWII. Owners hand books and spare parts lists, yes. These were good for basic riding maintenance but nothing further. The situation was so poor that the weekly magazine "Motor Cycling" published a series of articles beginning July 1940 and running through to March or so 1941 on servicing all the makes of WD motorcycles. Engines, gearboxes and electrics. They were all then collated and put together into a single official Services publication, "Servicing of W.D. Motor Cycles. It demonstrates the extent of the problem when a weekly magazine has to step in.

I have in front of me the local edition of the above put out by H.Q. Allied Land Forces, S.W. Pacific Area, June 1943. It's a direct copy of the British forces publication of course so only contains British bikes, no Harley Davidson or Indian.

All this led to a marked improvement in service sheets and the like as you say but all post war  after they had learnt from wartime experience. You'll find very little factory information published back in the 1920;s and 30's. Then it was all magazine articles or specialist press like Pitmans or Newnes. You really have to know where to look to find what you want.




Offline Rex

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2021, 08:32:53 AM »
OK, I misunderstood the post. I was thinking of post-war bikes really.

Seems like things have gone full-circle, as again decent manuals are rare/impossible to find for newish bikes and cars. :'(

Offline DELONSTAINWALL

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2021, 05:11:29 AM »
Hi just received the Excelsior 1930s Pioneer or Empire. It took a while to get to me due to the lockdowns. I have checked the frame number and it is FI/619. 33d6 you were correct about there being a letter in front. The head lamp is a Villiers VEC battery operated   

So what is this motorbike? 

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2021, 05:56:04 AM »
Hi Delon,
Your bike very definitely is a 1936 Excelsior "Pioneer". That frame number, F1/619 absolutely confirms it. I have my 1936 Excelsior catalogue open in front of me and with the exception of your orphan replacement gearbox it is your bike to a 'tee'.
Excelsior listed the F.1, the F.D.1 and F.X.1 for 1936. The F.! was the base model with single port Mk15C engine and direct lighting. The dry battery for the parking light resides in the headlight behind the reflector. The other two are just fancier versions of your machine. As luck has it the basic electrics and single exhaust pipe make restorsation that much easier and cheaper than having one of the fancier versions with all the bells and whistles.

You can buy yourself a copy of the 1936 Excelsior catalogue on line from the National Motorcycle Museum www.thenmm.co.uk  in the UK. Quite cheap and then you have a few pictures to work from.
Cheers,




Offline R

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2021, 08:32:29 AM »
My little just postwar Excelsior/Waratah 125cc also has that battery-in-the-headlamp feature.

This is so you can switch it to the DIM position (DIM is for PARK !!) and show a park lamp in the headlamp (and taillamp. ?).
This is for some law which has faded into obscurity ? (you needed to show a light when parked)

In the FULL position on the headlamp switch, you have the normal High/Low on the handlebar dipswitch.
The bulbs in the headlamp for this were powered by AC from the flywheel generator. They are not big wattages by any means !!

There was an option with some (postwar) Excelsiors to also have a leadacid battery, and for a rectifier to provide a trickle charge to the battery
so you had plenty of herbs for that parking light.  I don't think this gave you DC power for the headlamp ??



Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2021, 02:06:49 PM »
It did give you DC power for headlights R but it was a rather basic system that failed to keep the battery charged on a long night run. In time Villiers did address this but itís all moot nowadays as with a modern regulator/rectifier and LED lights all these problems are a thing of the past.
Nowadays Villiers lighting can be as basic or sophisticated as you want.

Offline R

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Re: Excelsior Plunger frame ID
« Reply #44 on: July 01, 2021, 11:05:10 PM »
Seems a little strange that there could be a surplus of AC power, and a shortage of DC ??
Even if that 'surplus' was only a few watts ...
The joys of inefficient half wave selenium rectifiers ?? (compared to the silicon type that followed)

The simplicity of that AC power/ lighting system has to be admired.
Something that even LED lighting cannot compare with.
Even if the lights fade away as the rpms decrease ... !!