Author Topic: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28  (Read 15848 times)

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Offline Dirt Track

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Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« on: 31 Dec 2005 at 01:47 »
Wanted by Howard - a complete DT motor for an early OB racer - see posting and pre-restoration photo here
Alwyn

G'day all
With regard to the completing of this early OB racer....I already have most of an OB engine and need items like a flywheel, inlet manifold and rocker gear also a complete gearbox would be great.
I bought the remains of another DT Douglas with this bike and for it I need the following....carburettors and wheels.
Most of the hard parts are there even the rare Brooks leaf srung seat. The frame No is TF118 and the engine No is EL227.
Howard.
« Last Edit: 05 Jan 2006 at 04:24 by Doug »

Offline trevorp

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #1 on: 31 Dec 2005 at 02:27 »

Offline Doug

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #2 on: 31 Dec 2005 at 03:54 »
No Trevor, for a completly different animal.  The engine on Ebay is for a mid-thirties 600cc side valve model.

-Doug

Offline Dirt Track

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #3 on: 31 Dec 2005 at 04:39 »
G'day all again..........
I made a blunder with the frame No....it is SF118.
I am not aware of what model has the frame prefix "SF".....any idea?
I will send some photos of these remains to Alwyn to place on the site.
Any help with parts would be appreciated.
I have not cleaned up the gearbox yet to see what the No is on it, will report back later with that.
Thanks.....Howard.



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« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2005 at 15:18 by Doug »

Offline Doug

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #4 on: 31 Dec 2005 at 06:40 »
Quote
I made a blunder with the frame No....it is SF118.
Frame prefix SF is listed as a RA/28 model.  RAs were not cataloged after 1925, and by 1928 it would have been superceeded by the TT/I.o.M. models.  So it would be really interseting to see what this frame looks like. 

-Doug

Offline Dave

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #5 on: 31 Dec 2005 at 09:12 »
Photos added.

Offline Dirt Track

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #6 on: 01 Jan 2006 at 01:06 »
Doug and all
Thanks for the quick answer re the frame No....that is interesting indeed.
I have said a few times that all the bikes that have come out of the woodwork in Sydney in the last 5 years have all been bitza's....and these remains are a good illustration of this...you will see an early cylinder head fitted and i am not yet sure what sort of forks came with it, they have provision for a brake of sorts and you may notice the frame also has provision for a rear brake.
Re the brake provisions...would these have been the "dummy rim" variety as per CW and OB types (thats what they look like to me)? I would have thought not by 1928!
Can anyone come up with a good photo of what this bike would have looked like when new.
I do have an RA tank and some other RA parts to bolt onto it.....sounds like my purchase is getting more interesting!
thanks.........Howard.

Offline Doug

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #7 on: 01 Jan 2006 at 05:13 »
Howard,

Yes I would say the lug on the left rear lower chain stay, and the bush midway on the left fork blade (shown assembled on the right) are for the pivoting shoe of the RA style brake shoe.  Probably the same lug castings as the CW (both used that double 'parallel link' action), but not the 'dummy belt rim' brakes. 

Basically I would say the frame is DT/SW, except for the fitting of the RA brakes, hence the name RA/28.  Except for the wheels and brakes, I would think the rest would be standard DT/SW fare based on the characteristics of the frame, not RA.  Pity someone has been sawing on the right hand footrest.  They even left the redundant rear brake anchorage on the right.  Well it was part of the rear axle lug, so difficult to leave off!

My guess is it was built to order for a specific customer in 1928 that was adamant on the RA brakes over the servo drum available since 1925.  I would not put it past Douglas to assign a new prefix to essentially a one-off machine.  There are other examples of this having happened with engines.  We will not know for sure until the Works dispatch records come back out of hiding, and are able to look up SF and see if more than one was made.  The frame number could suggest at least eighteen were made, but I can not imagine such a model would be that popular.  Until such time a frame TF118 turns up, I would be more inclined to believe it was numbered in sequence with the DT/SW frames. 

As for the OB/OC style cylinder head on the DT/SW (EL prefix) crankcase, well those parts switch around so readily that it could have been done any time after it left the factory.  Or on the other hand, perhaps they took the opportunity to off-load some obsolete cylinder heads on a customer that wanted obsolete brakes! 
-Doug
« Last Edit: 01 Jan 2006 at 05:41 by Doug »

Offline alwyn

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #8 on: 01 Jan 2006 at 08:15 »
Hi Howard, Doug and all,
The photos here and article and more photos here are interesting in the context of this discussion - can any of the bikes shown be identified as an RA?
Alwyn
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Offline Doug

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #9 on: 02 Jan 2006 at 03:16 »
Quote from: Alwyn
...can any of the bikes shown be identified as an RA?
Nope.  All DT, possibly one photo where he is racing an OC. 

But the only thing likely to look like RA on frame SF118 would have been the wheels and brakes. 

-Doug

Offline Doug

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #10 on: 04 Jan 2006 at 03:31 »
Here is the Research Association (RA) front brake, as seen on the late Bob Thomas' RA replica of the Freddie Dixion 1923 Sidecar TT winner. The braced forks were not standard on the RA, but are fitted since Freddie's sidecar outfit had them.


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-Doug
« Last Edit: 05 Jan 2006 at 04:20 by Doug »

Offline alwyn

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #11 on: 04 Jan 2006 at 07:07 »
Doug,
It appears that the braking effect is generated by downward force of the 'caliper' exerting pressure against the splayed faces of the 'disc' - is that right? - how is the downward pressure developed and the reactionary force countered? - one would assume the force is generated by cable actuated leverage but that's not clearly shown? The 'disc' appears to take the form of a spoked wheel - how is it coupled to the road wheel? - is it on a common wheel hub with the road wheel or keyed to it in some way? In it's own way, it appears to have been a forerunner of the modern disc brake.

Alwyn.

See reply here:
http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php/topic,1111.0.html
-Doug
« Last Edit: 05 Jan 2006 at 04:43 by Doug »
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Offline Dirt Track

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #12 on: 04 Jan 2006 at 10:35 »
Doug, Alwyn and all
Thanks for the info.
Regarding the OB type head on these remains...can I explain a little.....
Many years ago Paddy Ryan from Sydney (Ryans Motorcycles, Parramatta) bought a truck load of speedway machines from a Newcastle promoter, by this time all of the bikes were old obsolete and rundown and had been kept on the track for years by swapping bits from all models...as something broke they replaced it with whatever did the job, hence the Douglas's became a mix of RA,OB,DT & IOM models.
After Paddy and then his son Barry died the grandson Patrick kept the shop running for about 6 or 7 years before selling the property and moving up into the country, the business still runs well but by Mail Order instead of an actual shopfront.
Just before the sale of the property I was offered a 1915 HD sidecar complete, when I went down to take a look at it there was a load of Douglas stuff in the same shed...I bought that too. It turned out to be all the bits and spares for the truck load of speedway bikes Paddy had bought many years earlier.
Many of these bits will come in handy when bolting this latest lot together.
Over the last 5 years there has been two lots of machines come up out of the wooodwork...Paddy's lot was one and the other was the late Jeff Collins who died about 10 years ago...he left a large collection of both cars and bikes many of which were Douglas....you may remember the OB racer featured on eBay about 6 or 8 months ago that sold for $7000US (one of this group bought it). Jeff had Bugatti's and 30/98 Vauxhalls so the bikes were not considered very valuable in larger picture of things...they were taken to a family members farm and forgotten about for years until a VMCC of NSW member got wind of them and bought the lot.
Hope this fills in the background a little.
Howard.
PS I will send photos of a couple of RA items to be bolted onto this bike eventually.

Offline chev25250

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Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #13 on: 05 Jan 2006 at 03:47 »
Wanted by Howard - a complete DT motor for an early OB racer - see posting and pre-restoration photo here
Alwyn
Nice looking Bike Alwyn will watch your progress & good luck with the missing bits
Paul

Offline Doug

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Re: Engine parts for 28/RA
« Reply #14 on: 05 Jan 2006 at 04:39 »
Continue to post replies pertinent to Howard's RA/28 in this thread.
Further discussion about the RA brakes has been moved here:
http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php/topic,1111.0.html

-Doug
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« Last Edit: 06 Jan 2006 at 04:55 by Doug »

Offline Dirt Track

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Re: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« Reply #15 on: 07 Jan 2006 at 01:42 »
G'day all
Here are a couple of photos of other RA bits to go on this project, namely an RA tank, footrests and I have a gearchange quadrant and linkage.
Years ago I had one of the RA calipers and gave it to another mate who owns an RA...I shall have to ask if I can borrow it to have some cast off it.
I will drag out a couple of nice posters this weekend and take photos of them to place with this lot....they are "Championship of Queensland" jobs depicting Douglas machines of course..I must get them framed!
Howard.



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« Last Edit: 07 Jan 2006 at 06:19 by Dave »

Offline cardan

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Re: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« Reply #16 on: 08 Jul 2013 at 13:36 »

I came across the illustration below on the internet - Wikipedia in fact! It is said to come from a book dated 1928.

I notice a couple of things about this bike: the leaf spring saddle, the lugs on the rear chain stay that look very much like Howard's RA/28, and the similar lugs on the front fork (that look too far from the axle to be for an RA brake?)  Are these features commonly seen on early DTs? Or does this bike have a touch of "RA/28" about it?

The other slightly strange thing is the wheel and tyre size. The rims look smaller and tyres fatter than the usual 28x2 1/2, but the rims are certainly beaded edge.

Leon

Offline Doug

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Re: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« Reply #17 on: 09 Jul 2013 at 03:05 »
Leon,

Well spotted. Indeed the first few DTs did have a number of vestigial RA features. Such as you pointed out; the leaf spring saddle and lugs for the RA brakes fore and aft. Also the petrol tank has the petrol tap wells from the RA as well as the provision to hold two spare spark plugs at the nose of the petrol tank. There is an example of just such an early DT presently residing in Tasmania. This has a TF frame prefix, so it is a DT, where as the RA28 has an SF prefix.

According to Jeff Clew’s book the RA28 used an engine prefix of EK, immediately preceding the EL prefix used on the DT engine (just like the frame prefix). One such engine is known to exist, and it is definitely an RA motor in all but prefix. If it were not for that, the RA28 could have been a very early DT, as illustrated, with a DT motor and with the surplus chassis lugs. While the RA28 used an RA motor (more left-overs, no doubt), it is clear from the frame they did not intend to use the RA gearbox mounted to the engine. Many of the DT frame components at the forward end, including the entire headstock, are left-over RA.

So far, no pictures of an early DT have come to light showing one fitted with an RA motor. If one did, it could be an RA28 and I am sure Howard would be most interested to see it. There were certainly plenty of second-hand RA motors placed into DTs when the original DT engine was damaged beyond repair. Usually these have the then no longer required gear box mounting platform and sometimes hand change anchorage cut away from the crankcase casting. These did not have a very long life on the cinders, as they were not as robust as the later, improved DT. So it would have to be an RA motor in an early DT frame to be a contender for an RA28. Except for the engine, there seemed to be very little separating the RA28 from the DT. It is not known if they even bothered to fit any of the brake components to the RA28, minimizing the differences even further. The brake anchorage lugs may have already been assembled on the inventory of tubes that the factory was using up, hence having them still on the first batch of DT models manufactured.

-Doug



Offline Doug

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Re: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« Reply #19 on: 12 Jul 2013 at 04:06 »
Leon,

All but the first are RA, indeed I think the RA is the same machine in each view. 

The first is a DT style frame, the question is, is it an RA28, or just an early DT. It has the tall DT airbox, so a DT motor. The stud pattern is not interchangeable between the RA and the DT.

-Doug

Offline cardan

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Re: Wheels, carburettors for RA/28
« Reply #20 on: 02 Sep 2013 at 09:26 »
I've been indulging some Douglas archeology at a secret site well known for yielding unusual Douglas parts, and as a result I'm going to stick my neck out: I think it's likely that the RA/28 (frame prefix SF) was powered by an RA engine.

As discussed elsewhere, the gearbox bracket on the motor would not be needed (frame mounted gearbox platform), neither would the timing chest mounting lug for the RA gear lever (there is a lug on the frame).

Evidence? The photo below shows an RA airbox in the centre, an airbox cover on the left dated 1925 (at what would be considered the end of "usual" RA production), and on the right an airbox cover dated 1928. The RA airbox has a shape quite different from other models.

If the cover is not from an RA/28, what is it from?

Leon