Recent Posts

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »
Hi Tim,

Welcome to the forum!

Currently, I THINK I need:

Valve/breather ? for the gearbox top

The missing “valve/breather” is part 829D for the 2 3/4hp three speed gearbox. It is described as an oil injection tap in the 2 ¾ hp parts book. These are fairly scarce (but not impossible) to find. In all the 3 speed gearboxes I have seen only one that had the original tap in place….and it wasn’t on any that I have!

On most of the gearboxes I have, it has been replaced by a blanking plug, usually a spare drain plug as they appear to the same thread on the earlier 3 speeds that I have seen. One possible reason why all these taps have disappeared (apart from being pilfered for other projects....) is that it could be difficult to get the (normally used) semi fluid grease into the gearbox through them?

You may be able to find an original tap  or use something similar (commonly called (fuel) priming cup valve or tap) that you can adapt or make an adapter to fit.

Later 3 speeds went to a pressure type grease nipple (slightly different to the common "Zerk" type) with which you can use a grease gun. This makes the filling of the ‘box an easier task (see attached picture from 1925 2 3/4 hp The Handbook of the Douglas Motorcycle showing filling a CW gearbox, that can be found here; ). This of course would be non standard for a  W-20. but maybe more practical and interim fix until you find an original?
(note the picture of the 3 speed on page 10 in the 1920 Peace Program Brochure from is a 4HP one. Very similar to the 2 3/4hp one – only beefed up a bit), but it shows the oil injection tap.


Not sure if the gearbox is able to shift through the gears, hope to figure out adjustments

The 2 ¾ hp Douglas 3 speed gearbox is by default in 2nd gear with no gear selection mechanism attached. This is because of the way the selector mechanism is spring loaded internally. The spring pressure required to place the gearbox in neutral, 1st (low) or 3rd (high) gear can require a little effort (more than one would think compared to some other gearboxes)  to change gear. Worth looking into this before assuming the gearbox is broken or needing adjustment in some way. Description of how it works is in the Barnstormer's link to the instruction book above. Adjustment of the selectors is fairly straight forward tho' if required.


I need to figure out if the dent in my tank is repairable (I don't want to risk the tank, Does Anyone know of a spare for sale?)

Welcome here.
Nice find. I'm sure it will give you much fun - as all old machinery does !

Tough to see the extent of the tank damage.
At worst, you could slap some silver paint on it , and ignore it.
(If its not causing that cap to leak. ?)
Or fill it with lead, and paint silver over it.

A good repair guy could likely solder some tabs all over it, and use a puller to gently pull it all out.
Or, a radiator shop can unsolder it, and the panels straightened and resoldered together.
Finding a silver shade to cover over it without a major repaint is likely the hard part..

Keep us posted.
Have fun !
Hello everyone! As of 2 weeks ago, I am the very proud owner of a Douglas 2 3/4hp (W-20/W-22). It runs but needs parts and work. I would like to get it in safe riding condition and then work towards making it reasonably 'correct'. All help, parts sources, knowledge sources, and advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have owned and worked on motorcycles for decades but mostly German/Austrian bikes (BMW, Puch, Hercules). My British bike experience is limited to the complete restoration of a 1947 James ML and a 1942 Norton WD16 (which I still own and LOVE).

I have joined the Douglas club, and now this forum. Here are some photos taken of my bike at the swap meet where I purchased it (you say auto jumble yes?). Please let me know what I am missing, where I might find it, and any and all constructive comments.

Here in the USA, it can be difficult (and expensive) to acquire parts and information for British bikes older than the 1950s. I ordered a manual and parts list but they still have not arrived from overseas.

Currently, I THINK I need:

Valve/breather ? for the gearbox top
Duel clutch handle / lifter mount for the handlebar
Cap for the top of my Actlyene generator
Carb front air screen
Clutch cable (parts on order)
Front brake shoe/pad? replacements

Wheel Bearings?-Help with understanding the adjustment(s)
Not sure if the gearbox is able to shift through the gears, hope to figure out adjustments
I need to figure out if the dent in my tank is repairable (I don't want to risk the tank, Does Anyone know of a spare for sale?)
Is my rear brake correct, it does not look like any photos I have seen.
I read that Douglas bought back many bikes from the military after the war, could my bike have any of these parts?

I have already had a break in the subframe repaired, new tyres purchased, an Acetylene generator and tail lamp purchased, a new fuel petcock purchased, a friend is sending me a burner jet for the headlamp, I have fixed the leak in the copper fuel line, Handlebars might be bent but I can live with that.

I am sure there is more to come. Thank you!!

Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion / Dragonfly clutch
« Last post by Traveller on 03 Aug 2022 at 17:31  »
Having just purchased a 1955 Dragonfly ,the clutch is really heavy,engine starts fine and can engage gear if i adjust beyond free play at lever .The machine has been standing for a year in a workshop ,could it have seized on the gearbox coupling .I am going to remove engine gearbox unit to investigate,but any advice very welcome. Traveller.Pembrokeshire.
I do have a few remaining. I have your email, so will reply to that with postage details.

Hi Doug. I am in need of a pair of tank brackets for a 1930 S6, do you have any left?

Regards Alan Reid
Couldn't get anywhere without joining and they want 65 pound . I don't want to pay that just to get another picture of the lamp.
Thanks Leon
It is actually the model pictured above and you can see the reflective quality of the inside of the body. I'll see what the VMCC has to offer.
Douglas Motorcycles and Parts Wanted - Private / Re: BTH light switch, 1930
« Last post by cardan on 31 Jul 2022 at 06:59  »
OK, but we sometimes have to work for knowledge - most often it doesn't just appear for the asking. Reading the various BTH posts here there is some very interesting stuff about the different BTH headlamps, and the P&H-like variants, with the different configurations of switches (bakelite knob or alloy blade) etc. There are clear variations in the detail of body shape and rims, switches, and meter positions.

I'm interested, but I'm not an expert. However I can say that by 1930 all headlamps worked by positioning the filament of the globe at the focal point of a parabolic reflector, so, yes, there is a separate reflector. But to get the details, you need to be really specific about exactly which headlamp you have, and let us know what is there and what is not.

With the internet, there is info everywhere. The Vintage Motor Cycle Club (UK) has a library with an online catalogue. They have the following:

BTH Ignition and Lighting sets, types PBK, PBM, 1930, 28 pages

BTH Ignition and Lighting sets, types PBK, PBM, Forms A&B, 1927, 11 pages

BTH Generator lighting set, type PA for Douglas, 1930-33, 12 pages

Maybe the answer to your query is in one of these? If you're a member of a club affiliated with the VMCC, you're welcome to use VMCC facilities, and the librarian might be able to help.


Followed your instructions Leon and still came up empty. Some of the stuff was mine anyhow. My original post was about a year ago and was to ask whether there was a reflector, or was the body the reflector. Richard responded and said there was a reflector. I still haven't seen a picture or diagram of the internals.  The picture I saw yesterday tend to show a shiny surface on the inside of the body and I can sort of believe it is correct because of the parabolic shape of the body. Nor the clip underneath to secure the rim. So if anyone has one would they please take some pictures of it or some diagrams etc..
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »