Author Topic: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?  (Read 748 times)

Offline R

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2021, 10:51:53 AM »
Only the battery models would have needed/used an ammeter ?

Offline doughobbs

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2021, 11:14:14 AM »
Only the battery models would have needed/used an ammeter ?

good point - mine has an ammeter but no battery, that said I'm still learning what is missing from the bike, what it should have had on it and also what its had added to it!

Offline gambole1949

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2021, 07:07:09 PM »
hiya Doug I have asked my brother to take a couple of pics of our Challenger headlight and i will post them on here. I put the pics of the rims on here. This is the original lens and note the number at the bottom 575 ( 5 3/4 ) Hope this makes sense lol. All the best Bud.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 07:11:52 PM by gambole1949 »

Offline R

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2021, 09:00:25 AM »
good point - mine has an ammeter but no battery, that said I'm still learning what is missing from the bike, what it should have had on it and also what its had added to it!

Do you have a lightswitch ??

In my (earlier) style Villiers (Miller) headlamp, the only fitting in the headlamp (apart from the bulbs and reflector) is a lightswitch.

I can't help wondering if yours should be the same. ??
Batteries were a rather late addition to becoming standard on a bike.
And if there is no obvious place to fit one, maybe it didn't have one...

Offline john.k

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2021, 10:50:10 AM »
The electric output from flywheel mags is a/c ......to charge a battery you need d/c.....consequently a rectifier and a voltage regulator .....so save expensive complication that owners of tiddlers would never maintain in working order,and run an oversize filament bulb direct from a coil inside the flywheel......A/c output also means an ammeter wont work.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2021, 11:32:09 AM »
Villiers provided two lighting circuit choices from the 1930’s on. One the el cheapo direct lighting from the lighting coils only and t’other a circuit that included some sort of rectifier for battery charging plus a battery of course thus providing a steady light.

Many bike manufacturers offered the second and more expensive circuit plus the odd other extra as well and then sold that bike as a “de luxe” model.

Both circuits are primitive by modern standards. They rarely, if ever, provided an ammeter. My electronics engineer nephew is very rude about both circuits.

I expect your 1953 Challenger was offered with both circuits depending on how much money the buyer wanted to spend.

Finally these old circuits are dead easy to upgrade using modern components.

Offline mini-me

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2021, 11:44:05 AM »
that last lamp is, possibly, a villiers unit, can't be sure.

What i am sure of is that 40 years ago if I got any of them in a load of spares they were scrapped, no one wanted them, much the same as the bikes that used them.

funny old world.

Offline doughobbs

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2021, 03:01:32 PM »

Do you have a lightswitch ??

In my (earlier) style Villiers (Miller) headlamp, the only fitting in the headlamp (apart from the bulbs and reflector) is a lightswitch.

I can't help wondering if yours should be the same. ??
Batteries were a rather late addition to becoming standard on a bike.
And if there is no obvious place to fit one, maybe it didn't have one...
There is a flip switch on the left side of the handlebars that also has a press button (assuming horn). There isn't anywhere obvious that a battery carrier would bolt to ( in terms of lugs/holes etc.), my gut feeling is it was direct lighting and my dad was either in the process of 'upgrading' it or someone before him did and never finished the job off.

Its all very curious stuff and good fun learning for me!

I have to also say at this point - many thanks to everyone for your comments and help - you are a grand bunch of people!

Offline R

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2021, 12:30:18 AM »
I think that hole in the headlamp where you presently have an ammeter would originally have had a lighting switch. ?
If this bike had the simple ac flywheel electrics.

Unless the headlamp switch has been stripped off someplace else.
As has the battery carrier.

Offline R

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2021, 06:50:39 AM »
A battery in situ, as it were ... ?



The 'de Luxe' tag may indicate it has a battery ?

Offline doughobbs

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2021, 04:09:43 PM »
A battery in situ, as it were ... ?



The 'de Luxe' tag may indicate it has a battery ?

You're onto something there - especially with that image! there isn't any lugs/holes for a battery on the frame so I'm guessing its a clamp around the seat tube battery cage affair....something for another thread, or maybe I rename this one!  ;D

Thanks for the image - all helpful stuff!

Offline 33d6

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2021, 01:01:37 AM »
Perfectly normal for the “de luxe” battery carrier to be attached in weird and wonderful ways. Having played with this sort of thing for years and years I can say with confidence that the usual design philosophy was to build a bare bike and then add things on to make it “de luxe”.
The British lightweight world were very slow to catch on to the idea of designing a complete roadworthy and legal bike without needing to add to add stuff.

Offline mini-me

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2021, 09:19:07 AM »
When that thing was current the target market for it was mostly men who just needed cheap work transport, couldn't afford a car, and buses probably not the routes they needed with emphasis on cheap, it was still austerity days, still lots of things on ration, and very little disposable income for the working man, unlike today.

Its a cheapo bike, probably availiable with direct lighting, which could be uprated as and when. Accessory catalogues such as from Halfords, Marble Arch motor supplies, Grose and the like are a mine of information for add on bits from those days.

The bike should be looked at in its place in time not as some two wheeled treasure.

Offline R

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Re: 6" headlamp shell but lights are 5 3/4?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2021, 11:40:46 PM »
The bike should be looked at in its place in time not as some two wheeled treasure.

This may not be the time nor place to debate the merits of that statement. !
But I'd both agree and disagree.

1. I'd agree on the basis that spending too many large wads of cash on it is probably not an economically sound decision.
2. And disagree, on the basis that ANY motorcycle from the past is worthy of preserving, simply so a representative
population of survivors will survive. Not forgetting #1 ...

We could go on, but I'll leave it there.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 11:49:13 PM by R »