Author Topic: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...  (Read 691 times)

Offline Mark M

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Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« on: April 29, 2022, 05:12:00 PM »
I've been sent pictures of this little box. 2 stud fixing and looks by it's size to be 2 speed. The serial number seems to be MRP548 but the lower portion of the P is indistinct. It's been suggested it might be from a motorised delivery cart or similar. I think it's available if anyone is interested
REgards, Mark

Offline cardan

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2022, 12:16:12 AM »
Mmm... bottom mount was unusual for a lightweight motorcycle, but maybe someone out there has been searching for just this box!

Leon

Offline 33d6

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2022, 03:12:25 AM »
Looks like an absolutely bog standard Type EJ Featherweight 3 speeder to me. This version was introduced around 1930 or so and continued on right up to the 1950's-60's. The pre-war style had the bicycle cotterpin attached kickstart whereas I think this one is postwar as it has the later multispline clamp on type kickstart introduced in 1949.
If postwar it is then off some piece of industrial exotica as I find it hard to think of any bike that used a box like this in the postwar years. Even in the late 30's they were getting thin on the ground as the foot change was rapidly pushing the hand change out.
Anyway, they're a good box but with hopelessly wide ratios. Drop out of top gear into middle and you are plodding up even gentle hills at walking pace with the engine screaming. Go down further in to bottom and you can get a job in the Ukraine towing Russian tanks to the scrap yard.
I blame English Observed Trials with their fixation on mud and steep hills. Gear something low enough and it'll crawl up anything and this box is a classic example of how they did it. So, a good sturdy and reliable box but frustrating on the road.
Cheers,

Offline cardan

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2022, 07:30:46 AM »
That's interesting - I'm obviously stuck in the 1920s. Were there other versions of the box with pivot or top mounts?

Leon

Offline Mark M

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2022, 08:50:36 AM »
Thanks for that very detailed reply 33d6! I will pass the message on. It might end up with me if I know the finder. Not that I can do anything with it...
REgards, Mark

Offline 33d6

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2022, 01:43:04 PM »
Certainly were Leon, plus Albion also supplied them with a couple of different chain lines to boot. As it happens the VMCC library has quite a few official Albion factory line drawings of various boxes giving all the relevant dimensions and particulars needed to install them in the frame of your choice.
On my solitary visit to the library I managed to get a copy of each and Iím surprised how often I refer to them.

And I donít know why youíre grumbling MarkM. You now have the start of a proper bike.

Cheers,

Offline Mark M

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2022, 04:53:06 PM »
Ha ha! I am assembling the parts for a 1939 Royal Enfield G (G39) which is the all alloy pre-War 350 Bullet. Few were made and of those that were made for the 39/40 season many were impressed into the forces so they are rare. That's 'proper bike' enough for me! Factory pic of engine attached.
REgards, Mark

Offline 33d6

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2022, 03:00:14 AM »
Naah. Royal Enfield two strokes were always far more interesting than those four-stroke thingies. Theyíll never catch on.

Offline R

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2022, 03:50:45 AM »
Ere, I resemble that remark. !  With a mostly done 1937 J ...

Burmans were still supplying AMC with grease boxes until the late 1940s.
The instructions were something like add a 1/4 pound of grease every xxxx miles.
Oil seals came later.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2022, 03:53:29 AM by R »

Offline cardan

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2022, 07:47:28 AM »
I am assembling the parts for a 1939 Royal Enfield G (G39) which is the all alloy pre-War 350 Bullet.

Hi Mark,
Good luck with that project - these days probably few people recognise just how successful RE were in trials in the late 1930s and post war. I like the bit in the 1939 listing for the model G that says, "This model can also be supplied in Competition from with narrow section mudguards, Dunlop Universal or Sports tyres, 27"x3" front, 27"x4" rear, small tank, upswept exhaust pipe, no air cleaner or tank panel, narrow fork, 6 1/2" front brake, etc. as Trial model." Also the option of a B.T.H. Racing Magneto on the model with no lights.
If I were building one up I know which way I'd be heading!
Cheers
Leon

Offline Mark M

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2022, 08:29:14 AM »
Leon, it's tempting. The 1939 Works team ISDT Enfields were this model but with the barrel painted black by the look of it. And various frame modifications too. the Works photos show them shorter and higher at the rear. The 39 ISDT was the one where the British team had to do a runner from Austria when war broke out, a fascinating tale. See some pics at Speedtracktales.com
Several of these engines in either ex-Works frames or copies of them were very successful in Trials in the post war period before the Bullet came along. I have both a BTH and Magdyno on the bench at the moment, I haven't decided which way to go yet. The frame I'm using is WD/CO which is mainly similar to the G but I need to do a dry build first to make sure it all works.
REgards, Mark

Offline R

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2022, 02:33:33 AM »
I was intrigued to see that the factory records for my bike mentioned a red paneled tank.
I have since acquired a few bits aimed in this direction ...

??
https://i.postimg.cc/x1QpfvHG/Enfield-1937-compy-Brochure.jpg

It does have an Albion, albeit a 4 speed, to stay in tune here.

Offline 33d6

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2022, 02:48:50 AM »
Who supplies the rubber saddle nowadays?

Offline cardan

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2022, 03:29:31 AM »
All this trials RE chatter prompted me to dig out Don Morley's series of articles for Motor Cycle Sport in 1978. Unfortunately mostly post-war, but fascinating none-the-less.

I don't know much about the subject, but I can say that the "BTH racing magneto" fitted to trials bikes of this era was the same "TT Magneto" as fitted to race bikes. I was surprised when I learned this, but the major feature of interest is the waterproof-but-vented design, and presumably some extra quality control. As well as RE, the BTH TT Magneto was fitted standard to things like the Norton 500T Trials bike. The model was something like a KD1 C6 - some special ones even used magnesium alloy bodies.

There are various repro Dunlop Drilastic saddle tops around, but quality is variable. The best ones seem to be made for the German bikes, but they often have German writing cast in.

My racing Rudge used both BTH TT magneto and Dunlop Drilastic saddle.

Leon
« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 03:31:35 AM by cardan »

Offline R

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Re: Another mystery Albion gearbox for identification please...
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2022, 05:03:28 AM »
The frame I'm using is WD/CO which is mainly similar to the G but I need to do a dry build first to make sure it all works.

Something you may need to pay close attention to then is the engine mounts.
Many of the prewar engines had wide front motor mounts, and narrow gearbox mounts (width).
Postwar (and CO)  bikes were the opposite - narrow front mounts and wide gearbox mounts.
Depending on which CO frame you have (there were 3 or 4 versions, according to Jan) you might get away with it.
Otherwise it may be frame cutting or surely will be spacer adding time.
Enfields seem to have done this deliberately, so adding/changing to a bigger/different  engine can be/ is quite tricky.
Even the stands for 250/350/500 are all different !  Wheels too.

Not sure if this will be clickable
https://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/royal-enfield-1939/images/Royal-Enfield-1939-12.jpg

Hopethishelps.

And, the frame neck for tele forks is ~1 inch longer than for girder forks.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 05:23:09 AM by R »