General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: davebarkshire on 17 Jul 2007 at 15:11

Title: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 17 Jul 2007 at 15:11
Greeting Douglas Riders,

I've just bought a 1926 EW and it's my first Douglas so I'm collecting information about anything to do with the EW. I should be picking it up at Founders Day this coming weekend a hope to see another similar machine there to take some photos of. The EW is allegedly running but I'm told that the brakes do almost nothing and the carb needs sorting so although the bike is officially road legal it is probably a long way from being really ridable.

I've just sent off my form to join the Douglas club and already have some literature about Douglas in general. There are some great articles on this site which surely must be the main focus of Douglas folk on the net. I'll post some decent photos when I get the EW back to base.

If anyone has any particular advice about anything EW please send it down the line. My first concern is probably going to be carb, brakes, oiling and anything else that I might find is amiss.

Thanks - Dave
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: Chris on 17 Jul 2007 at 16:49
Hi Dave
     The London Douglas MCC will have a presence at the Founder's Day Rally and I hope there will be an EW on display so please come along and introduce yourself. I will be present with at least one other Committee member.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 18 Jul 2007 at 16:10

There is a chance that I might be able to bring the EW into the main area and if I do I'll bring it over for inspection and comment. It will be interesting to find out what I have exactly and this is a great opportunity to show it to some experts before taking it back to the most remote corner of Devonshire.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 24 Jul 2007 at 22:53

I have taken some photos and invite and EW gurus to comment and tell me exactly what it is that I have! :D (
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: roy on 25 Jul 2007 at 21:08
Hi Dave, welcome to the EW owners. I have had one for three years and ride it as often as I can, I did the Banbury Run this year, she went up Sunrising Hill no problem.
In answer to a few of your questions:
1. The front brake is not reliable on it`s own always use both, the rear is pretty reliable, check that there is no grease seeping into the drums and onto the linings from the wheel bearings.
2. The oil system looks the same as mine 27.
7. The nut is correct, the cables from the Clutch, Magneto, Air-slide and Throttle should all pass up through the headstock and out through the two holes in the nut.
11. Yes.
12. I use Castrol Spheerol semi-fluid grease.
13. B&B is the correct carb.
14. On my machine I have No.16 Scotsman holding engine (Gold) on the rear mudguard, No,17 Scotsman holding engine (Coloured) on the headstock plus the transfer on the chainguard. All obtainable from the LDMCC.
15. I obtained a copy of Illustrated Instruction Manual 350cc EW from Bruce-Main Smith & CO. it`s quite handy, they have their own web sight.
There is a photo of my machine in the Members Gallery under Roy`s EW.
Enjoy your Douglas!
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 25 Jul 2007 at 23:33
Thanks for the info Roy. It's amazing how much there is to learn but the repro books arrived from down under today so I'll be busy looking through them. It's interesting that I have the later 27 type lubrication system although my engine number is an early one. Maybe somebody has changed it and I'm told that the 27 system is better so will keep it. I've had a very positive response from Douglas owners in my first week of ownership and have no excuses for not getting the EW into good riding fettle.

Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: Doug on 26 Jul 2007 at 04:42

I have copied over the questions form your website and replied point by point, to make it easier for everyone else to follow. Quite a number of questions I must say, and it took a bit of time to put a reply together (during which Roy has also replied), but here it goes.

1) The front brake does almost nothing and the rear brake does almost as little so I will need to find someone who can sort out these servo brakes. The rear brake seems to bite but not until near the end of the travel of the actuating arm. Is there anyone who is known for being able to sort out these servo brakes who you can recommend?

This brake has been written up in the forum, and like the Velocette clutch, a source of endless discussion. In summary it is a single band expanding brake, sometimes of nominal servo action depending on year, model, and condition. There are three adjuster screws inside the band; these need to be adjusted till the band is just shy of the brake drum. Otherwise, as you describe, the band will not contact the drum till you have used up nearly all of the travel of the operating arm. If they apply but do nothing, then the linings are probably contaminated with wheel bearing grease or glazed. Setting these screws can be a bit tedious with a lot of trial and error fitting. Everyone seems to attack/fettle their own, I know of no one specializing in Douglas band brakes. Take heed of the warnings mentioned in the links following if you get the linings renewed.

Link to a topic on the servo band brake in the Reference Section here, (,338.0.html) and in the
General Discussion section here (,1927.0.html) and here. (,889.0.html)

2) The oil system... is mine a 26 or a 27 type? Is there anything that I need to know about it? How might I test to see if the system is working? The timing chest has two oil pipes coming from it which I'm told indicates that this machine has the later 1927 system. Is this correct? and what about the tube oil that goes directly into the forward facing cylinder?

The oiling system has been written up in the forum, see here. (,1002.0.html) Operation will also be described in the reprint handbooks you ordered, along with illustrations. In summary (for the system you have currently fitted) oil enters the engine via the oil pump, then back up to the sight glass, then to the non-return valve (further described here (,2018.0.html)) at the base of the front cylinder. Oil that accumulates in the timing chest is picked up by a second stage of the pump and fed through drilling in the crankshaft to the big ends. Oil that accumulates in the crankcase proper eventually escapes past the rings to the combustion chamber. Supplemental to this, you can add oil by the hand pump, which flows through the sight glass, to the non-return valve and etc. All oil goes through the sight glass, so you always have a visual indication the system is working (besides smoke is emitting from the tailpipe!) You can cut off oil to the mechanical pump by closing the tap. As the hand pump has its own internal connection to the supply of oil in the tank, it remains unaffected.

Your engine number suggests it is early enough to have been fitted with the gear oil pump with single line to the timing chest, but it is obviously now fitted with the later timing chest cover with the plunger pump and two oil lines. I do not think they waited till 1927 to change over to the plunger oil pump with two oil lines, and many gear pumps would have been subsequently changed over to the improved system by the factory or dealers. The factory would provide this service via post on receipt of 25/-, the original timing cover, oil pump, pipes, and tap.

3) I'd quite like to find some foot boards for it and maybe a chain case for the primary (do you know of anyone who may have these parts for sale?). The foot pegs seem very low and would ground out very easily. (The kick start pedal is a little bent). Stop Press : John Caddick is sending me some foot boards in the post.

Yes they do seem very low, it looks as if someone just bunged footrest rubbers on the ends of the rear footboard supports. But the rear support looks to be in the right position for the footboards. How far do you figure you will lean it over?

The primary chain case is a sheet metal cover over the face of the chain and sprocket, rolled over the sides with suitable bumps and recesses. It was open to the back (engine/trans.) There should also be a separate sheet metal strip wrapped around the clutch sprocket to prevent chain lube from being flung off to the front. This had a notch in it to allow the clutch release arm to pass.

4) Armours are sending me a complete exhaust system.  The current one looks 'wrong'. The silencer is a bit bashed around and the pipe seems to point downwards. I assume that the pipe should be nickel plated and the silencer should be painted?

Mmm, I hope it fits… The current system does look a bit cobbled-up. The curve of the front pipe looks good, but the rear pipe joins the main run too abruptly. It should sweep into the main pipe as you will see in pictures of other EWs. Also the front pipe just slips inside the rear pipe, where as your’s seems to have some sort of compression fitting or coupling sleeve fitted. The pipes were nickel plated, as was the tailpipe portion of the silencer. The body of the silencer was painted black. On more deluxe models (and the bigger models) the entire silencer was plated, as they are in many restorations.

5) I've fired it up and it sounds beautiful! There is a real readiness to the throttle too. It soon stops though as petrol gushes from the carb and the rear cylinder oils up almost immediately. Maybe I need to drain the crank cases first? There is something 'clanking' but it could be somewhere in the transmission so I need to investigate further.

If the bike has been sitting a long time, draining off the crankcase is not a bad idea. The drain plug is below and to the rear of the timing chest, low down (obviously) in the face wall of the crankcase. However eventually it should burn off the extra oil. Do not drain off the oil from the timing chest as that would just delay the oil supply to the crankshaft while waiting for the level to be restored. There should be a line coming out of the timing chest that is part of an internal standpipe that sets the oil level. Excess is lead over to lubricate the primary chain. Unthread the stand pipe and make sure it is not cut off (it should project about two inches into the timing chest) and that it has not been blocked off. (As yours is, I can see in one of the pictures where someone filled the fitting in with soft-soldered.) The primary chain could be thrashing about, creating the clanking noise. Or it could be the transmission.

6) I have seen a photo of another EW without a primary chain case and with the same top run shield. Was this an optional part?

I assume you mean this one here. (,1600.0.html) No, it is the incorrect part, patterned on what was fitted to some 2-3/4hp models.

7) The top nut on the steering head... does this part look ok? Should it have a hole in it? I assume that it should be nickel plated?

You are probably talking about the cap that snaps on to the steering stem nut. Yes it should have two slots either side, and it is cast aluminum painted black. Originally all the control cables passed through the slots and down the center of the steering stem to ‘tidy’ the front end. It does put quite tight bends in the cable, hindering smooth operation, so most have reverted to more ‘modern’ cable routing. You can get extra-flexible Bowden wire and in conjunction with Teflon sleeved casing might well work fine (this is what I will try.) The original cable might also have been extra flexible to allow the tight bends, but replacement cables too stiff and/or routing them through the steering stem too much bother.

8) Does anyone know the origins of this particular Douglas? It came from a dealer who could tell me nothing other than it came from the South of England.

Um, beside that it came from Kingswood, Bristol? Sorry, I could not resist!  :P No clue.

9) The wheel rims hold beaded edge tyres. 1926 seems to have been changeover year top wired tyres so I think that beaded edge type is probably original? The tyres look like they are real originals so I'll need to change them for safety reasons.

Drop center rims and wired on tyres were an extra option on some 1929 Douglas models, but really did not become standard till 1930. Even at that, the cheap lightweights persisted a few years more with beaded edge to keep the weight and costs down (and to use up old inventory.)

10) Is there anything else about this Douglas that looks 'incorrect' or is there anything else that I should be aware of?

Only in a nit-picking sense. On the whole, it is fairly complete and correct. Far better than the rusty frame I’ve started with. But since you asked for it, besides that mentioned elsewhere:

•   No rubber would be fitted to the kick start pedal, and the lever would be nickel plated.
•   Originally the lever would be mounted horizontal, which limits the amount of swing. It is believed this was intentional, as the internal stop mechanism, or lack of it, left the end cover vulnerable to damage. Most owners have repositioned the levers higher up, and take care not to over-stroke the kick start.
•   The end cover for the transmission (enclosing the kick start mechanism) should be painted black. Only the end-cover so far as I know, not the aluminum plate casting behind that closes off the gearbox. Any comments from the forum?
•   Rear stand clip looks like a replacement, and does not leave enough room for the Scotsman transfer between it and the rear number plate.
•   The saddle has been slid too far forward.
•   Post war push-pull fuel tap on the oil tank.
•   Front brake cable adjustment is nearly used up. The brake actuating arm should be at 90 degrees to the cable/rod when the brake is applied. Here it is already well past center. The brake actuating arms have an eight-tooth spline; this looks like it needs to be pulled out and rotated clockwise one spline increment. It also might indicate the linings are completely used up.
•   The brake backing plates should be painted black.
•   The volute clutch cam return spring does not seem to be doing much when the clutch is relaxed. It should remain under some tension, even when the clutch is engaged and the pressure off the clutch throw-out bearing.

So as I said, nothing earth-shattering. And other than sorting the brakes, all of a cosmetic nature.

11) There is a lug on the frame in between the saddle and the gearbox area. Is this for a carbide mixer?

Yes, or the accumulator carrier, had it been an electric lighting model.

12) Should the gearbox contain grease or oil?

Both. Gearbox lubrication has been written up in the forum here  (,1137.0.html) and here. (,205.0.html). The simple answer- it is something with the viscosity between grease and oil.

13) The carburettor is a 'Brown & Barlow'. Does this look like the correct unit for this Douglas? It does leak a lot at the moment and this will be one of the first parts to come apart for cleaning and examination.

Yes it looks right. It should be a model 123-5, cast in raised numerals on the side of the mixing body opposite the B&B logo.

14) Transfers... I'm aware that a full sized primary chain case would have a transfer on it. What about the head stock or any other part of the EW?

Scotsman in color upholding an engine on the headstock, the ones already on the petrol tank, and a small transfer admonishing riders to use the clutch when changing gears (for the benefit of previous clutchless 2-speed Dougie owners) on the top frame tube just in front of the saddle spring clamp. Also I believe they used an additional Scot upholding an engine in gold on the rear mudguard between number plate and rear stand spring.

The transfers are available from the LDMCC and the VMCC in the UK, except for the clutch notice, which I believe only the VMCC stocks.

15) I have a pile of reproduction literature on its way from Australia at this very moment which may fill in some of my knowledge gaps. I do have the Carrick and Briercliffe/Brockway books and have joined the LDMCC. One of the best sources of information is this website  . I'm looking for a copy of 'The Best Twin'.

Go for the second edition of “The Best Twin”, it has more pictures in the back and the benefit of updated and corrected text. More info in the Bibliography section here. (,317.0.html)

Nice plug for the forum, by the way.

16) The clutch does very little (it does not separate) so this will need to come apart. The flywheel looks like it has taken a slight knock at some point. Is there anything that I need to know about it? I'll need a flywheel extractor if anyone has one for sale. (I'm not an engineer so can't make one myself!)

Flywheel clutches have been known to wobble from the Works! They are pretty simple, but there are a lot of loose rollers that may fall out when you dismantle it. The clutch was introduced just a few years before, and went through a lot of early detail changes, which continued right through the EW era. That ought to tell you something… There is not a lot of travel to the clutch, so you need to keep the minimum of slack in the cable. There are cross-sections of the clutch in the manuals you ordered. It looks like yours might be backed right off on the adjustment. Also there is a course adjustment by rotating the ring on the crankcase that the clutch throw-out cam runs against.

Topics on flywheel clutches here, (,568.0.html) here, (,205.0.html) here, (,2094.0.html) and  here. (,1839.0.html)
Eventually you may run across this post here (,453.0.html) but note this depicts a 1924 clutch and it is a little different than what you will have despite appearing externally to be the same. It has balls instead of rollers and in other respects the EW clutch was greatly simplified (and cheapened.) As time went on they had to make the clutch more and more robust.

17) The manual oil pump can be pulled up and then it goes down slowly. I think that this is expected behavior? The regulator on the sight glass does work too. On my Ariel I usually set this to about ten clicks out. Would this be a good starting point for the Douglas?

Yes it is. The hand pump is spring loaded and feeds oil on the return. The number of ‘clicks’ is arbitrary, and could vary with the viscosity of the oil and ambient temperature, configuration of the needle and seat, how fine the thread for the needle spindle is, the tides, if Jupiter is in the house of the Scorpion, etc. Suitable oils have been discussed on the forum, as well as ‘drips per minute’ or ‘drips per mile’, see oil links under question 12 above. There should be a little smoke visible on acceleration.

Others will probably provide the setting they run with, but for starters the handbook suggests setting the needle valve on the sight glass such that a full stroke of the hand pump lasts 5 to 7 miles at a steady speed of 20-25mph. With the tap open and oil being circulated by the mechanical pump, the drip rate should be the same. Obviously it is safer to start out a little generous on the oil supply and gradually cut it back. The 2-3/4hp machines like a good slug of oil when climbing hills to help seal the rings and provide a slight more compression (and power); the EW should be similar in this respect.

Pictures of other EWs, in the Reference section here (,1602.0.html) and here. (,2023.0.html) Note the first appears to have the larger 600cc EW silencer canister fitted, it was slightly longer in body compared to the 350cc.

Enough for now!

Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: Dirt Track on 26 Jul 2007 at 05:12
G'day Dave and all
I have a 31 page "Care & Maintenence of the 350cc Models 1926-1930" booklet.
You may have a copy coming from Australia but if not I can either scan and send a copy or photostat and post.

Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 26 Jul 2007 at 10:09
Howard, Thanks for the lead. Fortunately the repro manuals arrived from down under yesterday and I've been busy reading and learning.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 26 Jul 2007 at 10:35

Thanks for taking the time to go through my many questions. I'm learning very fast and it's good to hear that my Douglas is not just a pile of ill-fitting parts.

It's also good to know that someone has replaced the 26 oiling system with the 27 type and I feel that I understand the oiling much better now. I will have the wheels off and deal with the brakes as I live in Exmoor and we have some very steep hills here with very little flat ground. Hopefully the clutch will not prove to be too much of a problem either. I have some bits and pieces on their way from Chris Wright which include a cast primary chain cover.

I've had some email with Wilfred in Germany who has an Armours exhaust and he said that it took some fitting. ( but in his photos the lines of his exhaust do look good.

The current tyres do look like originals and are a bit cracked but I'll keep the existing size and type if I can find replacements.

I'd really like to get the Douglas into a very rideable state this summer hopefully (what summer I hear you say) and will no doubt have the occasional question or progress report that I'll share with the forum.

Many thanks - Dave
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: graeme on 27 Jul 2007 at 00:29
Thanks for putting the link to Wilf's page up - I looked at this some while back and forgot it's address. His restoration problems with the Montgomery make most restorations look like a piece of cake!
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 27 Jul 2007 at 18:53
Graeme, I think that Wilfred is busy with the Monty right now but he said that the Douglas had not moved for about 10 years!!! I'm hoping that I can help energise him with enthusiasm during the recommissioning of my EW as his one does look like it wouldn't take much work to finish off and I'm sure that he would be suprised by the performance.

Whilst I'm typing, I'm hoping that someone here can advise me on beaded edge tyres...

The current front tyre is an original vintage Dunlop and is marked 650x65 and the rear which is also an oldie and is marked 25x3. The rim types are both pre wired on types.

I'd like to get a pair of new boots for the Douglas but don't know what sizes I should get or whether they're even available. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: cardan on 28 Jul 2007 at 02:15
Hi Dave,

That's a good looking machine you've got there - but it's the tyres that have me all excited. What  a fascinating glimpse of tyre history you have on your rims! My guess is that both of your tyres probably date from the 1930s at the latest.

The 1926 EW specs say about wheels:

"The wheels are built to accommodate 25" x 3" balloon tyres; the rims will also take the following tyre sizes: 24" by 2 1/4", 24" by 2 1/2".  ...26" by 3" wheels can be fitted at extra cost."

A while back I spent some time looking for a useable pair of 25 x 3 tyres (for a 1908 Australian-made water-cooled Lewis motorcycle, but I shouldn't mention that here), and I did eventually find some, but unfortunately not good enough to use. They were marked "25 x 3, to suit 24 x 2 1/4 rim", in keeping with the EW specs. A 24 x 2 1/4 rim is about 20 1/2" outside diameter, and about 2" wide.

650 x 65 was a size commonly used in the UK from around 1914 (when companies like Rudge adopted them), but I think they faded away in the early 1920s. They were a French "voiturette" rim size: about 21" outside diameter and about 2 1/4" wide, with a very flat base (unlike the dropped-centre Westwood pattern, or the more curved flat-base 26 x 3 rim). The press of the day used to issue dire warnings about the perils of putting a motorcycle tyre on a voiturette rim, or vice-versa, with a cross-section diagram showing that the beads didn't sit properly in the rim base. That said, 650 x 65 tyres can't be found these days (nor can "old fashioned" 26 x 2 1/2 to suit a 21" rim), so 26 x 3 is the only option for this type of rim.

The problem here is that strictly speaking there is no rim size that will take both the 25 x 3 and 650 x 65 tyres. Looking at your photos, my guess is that you have 26 x 3 rims, and that the 25 x 3 tyre has been stretched to fit it on the rim (very possible because beaded-edge tyres don't have a wire in the bead like modern tyres).

OK, what to do:

Measure the rim size of both rims. With luck you will find that they measure about 21" outside diameter and about 2 3/8" wide, in which case your correct tyre size is 26 x 3. If they are smaller (say 20 1/2" od and 2" wide) you will have some decision making to do: 24 x 2 1/4" tyres are available but they will look very small and skinny in the EW.


Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: Chris on 28 Jul 2007 at 09:26
When I purchased my CW 25, it had not run since 1937 when it had been stripped and stored in tea chests. It had been assembled purely for display purpose in the late 70s or early 80s. It was fitted with the optional balloon tyres 25" x 3" on the same rims as used later on EW models as available for "Colonial" customers where roads were thought to be worse. The first subsequent purchaser who tried to put it on the road had changed the rear tyre to the only available option namely the 24" x 2.1/4" and frankly it looked ridiculous. The front tyre was the original 25" x 3" and the canvas could be viewed through the sidewalls. Research indicated that although most common tyre sizes in the beaded edge type had been reproduced, some by several different manufacturers in France, England and the Far East. the 25" x 3" size had not been made since at least the 1930s and was not available from any source. As part of the general restoration I then carried out I changed the rim size to take 26" x 2.1/2" tyre which is the standard size tyre for the CW model. Like the EW the CW uses "C" section rims as opposed to Westwood section rims used on the TS and veteran models. The tyres purchased for these larger rims fitted perfectly suggesting that they would have been loose on the original smaller rims.  26" x 3" tyres can also be fitted on these rims.
Aware of these problems, many EW owners fitted modern rims to take wired edge tyres, (BSA Bantam rims and tyres) However, talking to Joyce Cobbing who administers the VMCC tyre and rim scheme, revealed that her late husband Ken had maintained that 26" x3" beaded edge tyres would fit OK on the smaller rim. Since then I have known of several EW machines that have fitted the larger tyre on their original small rims. The only concern that still niggles is that beaded edge tyres do come in vastly different sizes with the same size embossed on the side of the tyre. I have always found Dunlop tyres to be an easy finger fit on rims whereas some of the Far East tyres of the past have been notoriously difficult with recommendations for warming for days in airing cupboards and stretching devices made from split car rims to enable them to be stretched onto the rim. With these variations it is quite possible that some tyres would be more suitable for the smaller rims and others for the larger.   Chris.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 28 Jul 2007 at 10:28
Leon / Chris

Thanks for the info.  I've just been into the garage to have a proper look at the rims and they both measure 20.5"x2" (external measurements).

I've had a look at the ( website and they do have several options for beaded edge motorcycle tyres and they seem to come in two main flavours. Expensive (Dunlop) and cheap (far eastern).

The nearest candidates on offer are 24x2.25 and 26x3. I'll give the VMCC a call on Monday to see if they have any stocks of 25x3 or 24x3 tyres just in case. I'd prefer not to go for the skinny look so 3" would be best. It's interesting to hear how the different manufacturers have different actual sizes. If I go for the 26 option then it sounds like I should go for the far east option if it is tighter. The Ensign seems to be a popular make and their 26x3 costs £59.50 with a two stud pattern.

There is also a twist in the tale to this tyre research. I noticed that the front tyre was flat yesterday and when I measured up this morning I noticed that the front tyre was ripped open! It was pumped up a few days ago when I went for a ride and I suspect that someone may have come into the garage and slashed the tyre (we have builders doing a loft conversion at the moment and the garage door is iften ajar).

Whilst on the subject of rims... I noted that you mentioned the term 'Westwood' which I've heard before. There was a rim type used in the UK in about 1926 which was an interim profile and it lasted probably less than a year and was for the first wired tyres. Does anyone know if these had a special name? (I know that both Ariel and Brough used these rims for a short while)

Thanks - Dave

PS I've just found another tyre supplier in Devon ( and they list a 25x3.85 although the tread pattern does not look as nice as the block tread. This may be a bit too wide for the rims and cycle so favourite right now is the 26x3 Ensign.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: cardan on 28 Jul 2007 at 12:44
What a pity the bike has the smaller rim size.

24 x 2 1/4 is a size that was introduced for small, lightweight bikes like the Baby Triumph and Levis 2-stroke before the first war. They carried into the 1920s on lightweights like the round tank BSA, but as Chris has confirmed they will look a bit silly on an EW. That said, they'd be safe although uncomfortable to ride on. (BE tyres require quite high pressures, and in small sections there is not much cushioning.)

I'm sure a 26 x 3 could be fitted to the rims you have, but you might have to trim the beads a little to get them to seat inside the narrow rim. Talk to the tyre people about the safety aspect of this tyre/rim combo. If they say it's OK, perhaps consider a couple of security bolts on each tyre.

A Westwood pattern beaded edge rim has a dropped centre - no idea where the name comes from!


Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 30 Jul 2007 at 20:03
I spoke to Joyce Copping today. She certainly knows her tyres! She said that she didn't recommend putting a 26 on a 25 type rim and that I'd be better off changing the rims. She said that she sells rims but they are the westwood type and I'd rather stick with the standard flatter profile. She also said that most beaded type rims available are spun and can be a bit sharp and that Dunlop tyres were far superior to the Ensigns.

I also had an email reply from one of the tyre suppliers asking me about the rim so he may come back with a suggestion. I'd really like to keep the rims because someone has recently rebuilt the wheels. I'll see what happens and will let you know.
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: davebarkshire on 06 Aug 2007 at 14:57
The wheels came off today and will be sent away for new rims and boots.

I'm not sure if the brake linings need replacing? They look like they have plenty of meat on them and have probably not done that much work. The inside of the drums still have some paint from the last restoration (!!!).

Should I clean up the brakes and try to set them up or should I send them away for re-lining?

I've found out that the previous registration was YB 6478. This number was stripped by Stuart Bray Motorcycles but they can't (or won't) give me any information at all about the origin of the Douglas. Maybe someone will recognise the registration mark. I get the impression that this Douglas was restored a while ago and that it has probably been stored for quite a while as the grease is very dry but apart from a bit of light flaking the finish is in good condition.

If anyone is interested in what an Armours exhust system costs (which may or may not fit!) the costs were as follows (pounds sterling)

I have some photos of the brake parts and the exhuast  here...  (  

Update : DHL have taken my wheels away! They are going to Brickwood Wheel Builders near Salisbury for new rims and tyres. Fingers crossed...
Title: Re: New bike - 1926 EW
Post by: Doug on 06 Aug 2007 at 18:28
The linings do look as if they have seen little use. I would try what you have before going through the hassle of having your bands relined with new material. But do scrub the paint off the inside of the brake drum before it glazes and bakes on to the lining! Also degrease the linings if they have been contaminated by lube from the wheel bearings.

The replacement lining available today is stiffer than the original. They tend to want to glue this material on. This is in itself not a bad thing, but you will either need to send your brake drums along or provide/pay for a gluing fixture. Since the brake drums are not detachable on the 350EW, sending the drums along is not an option unless you have an 8” drum another model (or you just happen to have your wheels de-laced.) A friend had the new asbestos-free green stuff (you know the brand) glued onto his bands while the bands were in a relaxed state, and significantly smaller than the brake drum. The linings fractured (they were weaker than the glue bond) when the bands were expanded the half inch or so to the drum size. Also if you glue the lining on in a relaxed state and the band is not perfectly circular, it will tend to resume being non-circular once it lifts off the adjuster screws. You will have one or more high spots that touch first, giving spongy action and possibly using all of you brake actuation travel to bring all of the lining into contact with the drum. But if you glue the band while set up inside the drum, then when the brakes are operated they are much more likely to contact fully and evenly over the entire lining surface. The brake return springs, and the natural tendency of the band to form an arc smaller than the drum, will be more than enough to collapse the band slightly to the released position.

It is a lot like gluing up many thin laminations to form curved pieces of wood. They tend to keep that shape once the glue cures.


P.S. You might want to consider starting a new thread, as the list of subjects covered in this one is not being adequately described by the subject "New bike- 1926 EW" If you want help breaking off the brake subject to a new topic, let one of us moderators know.