Author Topic: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"  (Read 11042 times)

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Offline mattb31daytona

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"1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« on: 21 Feb 2007 at 17:44 »
Following on from my Introduction and Information please first posting on 16th February, I decided to travel up to Staffordshire and buy the 1947 Douglas with known clutch slipping. I have emailed a few photo's which might help you help me (I hope).

For the first time ever I have bought a bike that isn't running,fuel having been drained out last year and one which I know absolutely nothing about other than the seller had bought the bike from a private collection and had gone about minor modification to make it into a hill climb machine - he had built up a racing saddle, tuned up the engine(?) and added a few miles when he experienced clutch slip and simply wheeled it in his shed.

The bike is registered as SSJ530 previously JM7071 which the 1998 MOT states was removed as a cherished number plate on 29th July 1998. I have verified all the numbers match the V5c document - the numbers are ENGINE T35/S/1481 GEARBOX 7775 FRAME 1345 the bike being first registered on 13th October 1947.

The bike is cosmetically quite good and I am sure it will clean up well for a sixty year old machine. The plates of the date stamped 2003 battery, were completely buckled and after replacement with a spare - the total working electrics amount to a stop light and a horn (possibly original) all bulbs are OK but nothing working. The bike has a nice fat spark on the right hand plug an an intermittent fat spark on the left.

In view of the fact that I am not sure of correct tappet clearances, timing or indeed anything else about this machine and of course as yet have not been able to verify the state of fuel tank , carbs etc I have made no attempt to start her - but will once I manage to find out the essential "need to know information".  I did manage to buy an ex RAC Patrol 1948 "T35 Motor Cycle Operation and Maintenance Handbook" but it doesn't cover the electrics or the carb's and also has three alterations regarding tappet clearance From the original printed 2 thou changed to 5 thou and then changed again to 10 thou. Looking through the  spark plug hole reveals the right hand piston with heavy deposits and barrel quite scored around it's circumference and the left hand piston has very little carbon and smooth barrel. Another think that has got me scratching what hair I have left is the fact that the right carb has a spring loaded choke and the left hasn't. Handlebars are effectively straight, which surprises me and and are certainly nothing like those on the photo's of my brother in laws machine which were posted on my earlier "Introduction" posting.

Well why have I bought this bike - well I am sure it will be a big challenge and as I have been fighting terminal cancer for the past twelve months it is a challenge that keeps me going as I have every intention of getting this machine on the road and enjoying it, hopefully not only on VMCC rides but also on a Douglas Owners Club Ride - oh yes I have applied for membership of the London Douglas Club.

I am already very grateful for the help that came from this site but would really like details of where and what publication(s) I need to acquire to enable me to get cracking on her - I certainly need an idea of what the wiring diagram should be - by the way is it a positive earth machine? also information on the carb's, tappet settings and really anything else that will help a Douglas novice become a not quite so uninformed person.

Thanks,  Matt



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« Last Edit: 21 Feb 2007 at 22:14 by alwyn »

Offline eddie

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #1 on: 22 Feb 2007 at 11:20 »
Matt,
         Your bike is a T35 or Mk1 as they are often called. From the photos, it looks as if the carbs have been changed to the later Mk3-5 type. The original carbs had bellmouths with holes around the outside and the front blanked off with a shallow dome. Your later carbs would have had 4/5 slides, .107 needle jets and 80 main jet, but with the advent of unleaded fuel, most owners have found it necessary to jet up to 90 main and 4/4 slides. The straight handle bars are correct for the Mk1 and were also offered as an option on later models. Initially I would try setting the tappets to .005" - this was the usual figure for the Mark series. As the mag is giving a good spark on one side and an intermittent spark on the other, I would think the problem lies in the H.T. pickup or lead. The fact that you have a horn and stoplight but nothing else points to a broken wire or loose connection. The main battery wire feeds the light switch via the ammeter whereas the horn is fed from a second wire to the live side of the battery. Stoplights are often also fed from this wire - when the bike was manufactured, there was no legal requirement for a stoplight, so most have been fitted by the owners. Regarding the polarity of the battery - this changed during the production of these machines. A simple check - when you have got the lights working - is to see if the ammeter shows a charge or discharge with the lights on. If it registers a charge, then the battery is connected the wrong way round. The dynano and regulator were the same, irrespective of the polarity - just the polarity of the dynamo needs to be changed. This can be done by removing the wires from the dynamo and, with a spare piece of wire, momentarily connect the live side of the battery to the field terminal on the dynamo, then replace the original wires and the dynamo should give the correct polarity charge.
                      Hopefully this gives you a starting point to get it running,
                                  Regards, Eddie.

Offline roy

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #2 on: 22 Feb 2007 at 11:30 »
Matt, you could try Bruce-Main Smith on www.brucemainsmith.com he has photocopies of an instruction manual for your T35 its Ref No. is 1071/ARA112 price £7.30.
Hope this may be of help, best of luck with the project, I understand your determination to succeed.
Regards Roy.

Offline mattb31daytona

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #3 on: 22 Feb 2007 at 14:48 »
Matt, you could try Bruce-Main Smith on www.brucemainsmith.com he has photocopies of an instruction manual for your T35 its Ref No. is 1071/ARA112 price £7.30.
Hope this may be of help, best of luck with the project, I understand your determination to succeed.
Regards Roy.

Thanks for this - I've ordered what is called "instruction manual" plus an illustrated parts guide to the 1948 T35. I will let fellow contributers to this site know whether they are of use in due course.

Matt

Offline Roger Gibbard

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #4 on: 22 Feb 2007 at 17:02 »
Matt,
Your 1947 Mk.I appears on the LDMCC machine register with a Mk.V engine and a registration number different to either of those you quote: clearly it’s had a traumatic life!
I strongly recommend that you download the article written by John Holmes that appears on this website under - Reference - Douglas Motor Cycles Technical Articles - Mark Series Maintenance Guide.  John has decades of experience riding, maintaining and modifying these machines and these words of wisdom have taken four or five years to produce.  John is meticulous in his work and this article had to be absolutely right before he put it on the Net.  It’s an excellent read and easy to follow, although you will need a copy of the Douglas Parts List because the Plate Numbers in that are used throughout John’s article.
Roger Gibbard.
G. Roger

Offline mattb31daytona

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #5 on: 22 Feb 2007 at 23:58 »
Matt,
Your 1947 Mk.I appears on the LDMCC machine register with a Mk.V engine and a registration number different to either of those you quote: clearly it’s had a traumatic life!
I strongly recommend that you download the article written by John Holmes that appears on this website under - Reference - Douglas Motor Cycles Technical Articles - Mark Series Maintenance Guide.  John has decades of experience riding, maintaining and modifying these machines and these words of wisdom have taken four or five years to produce.  John is meticulous in his work and this article had to be absolutely right before he put it on the Net.  It’s an excellent read and easy to follow, although you will need a copy of the Douglas Parts List because the Plate Numbers in that are used throughout John’s article.
Roger Gibbard.



Roger,

Thanks very much for referring me to John's article - it is excellent and I have by coincidence today ordered the BMS illustrated parts guide and also the instruction manual as recommended to be earlier.

With regard to my bike I am aware that the register actually links my frame 1345 to engine 9356/5 on a bike registered as HKJ 605 but if you look a few bikes down you will come across T35/S/1481 (my engine number) on bike registration JM7071 ( the plate that was removed as cherished number and replaced by SSJ 530) which is my bike registration.

As I have log book and MOT documentation, together with the fact that I have personally verified all the details of my machine are as I have posted I can only assume one of three things, firstly that the frame details of the two bikes have somehow been juxtaposed ( it is strange that the listing for T35/S/1481 seems to be the only one with supposedly matching numbers) or alternatively for reasons and at a date unknown the frame of HKJ 605 has now been used on SSJ 530 (previously JM7071) which of course means that the former bike is no longer on the road, or itself nowhas a different frame. The third alternative is of course that two frames have been stamped with the same number albeit of course that this would not explain why an incorrect listing would have been made for JM7071 in the 1988 edition of the register I have borrowed.

I would be interested to hear any other views on this point or better still a comment from the previous owners of either of the bikes identified. One thing I am now however fairly certain about is that my machine is indeed a Douglas T35 Mark 1 and from direct comparison with another Mk 1 it in fact seems to be a 1947 T35 De luxe.

Of course it's not running..........YET!

Thanks for all contributers to the perplexing question "Now what do I do" - I really feel that I have learnt so much and so far without even undoing a bolt --- fantastic web site !

Matt

Offline Reg

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Re: "1947 T35 Well I bought it - Now what do I do?"
« Reply #6 on: 23 Feb 2007 at 18:04 »
Matt,

Just a few words to add to your increasing knowledge with regard to frame and engine numbers of your T35.
For many years it was assumed that all the post war models with the exception of the Plus series left the factory with matching frame and engine numbers. In actual fact such matching numbers only commenced from the Mark 3 series when they were introduced in June 1948. The T35 or Mark 1 as we now know it with the exception of very early models had differing frame and engine numbers. The factory records recorded the engine number only and quoting this number is the only way to properly date these machines. Engines and frames were stamped as they were made prior to final assembly so any number frame came along to be installed with any number engine. this system has been borne out in recent years by verification of original log book details.
With regard to your Mark 1 I would bet your bike with frame number 1345 and engine number 1481 is as it came from the factory. The gearbox may however be from a few years later.  Machine number 1481 was a T35 de Luxe model sent to (dealer?) James Walker of Kendal in Cumbria on 3/10/1947 from the factory in Kingswood, Bristol. This ties in nicely with the first date of registration you give as 13/10/1947. Club details are on the way!.

Regards,   Reg

Offline mattb31daytona

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Yesterday to my complete and utter surprise after cleaning out the petrol tank and carburettors (different type left and right), setting the timing cleaning slip ring points tappets etc - I risked a partial reassemly and put some of the gold stuff (4 star) in the tank and started to tickle the carbs.

I was expecting fuel everywhere but there was none, operated the choke on the right carb (the only one fitted) half advance ignition first prod of the kickstart and........she started! - The little cul de sac where I live was enveloped in smoke but she started, not only that albeit not a flicker from the amp meter the lights started to want to work as well - so hopefully a simple rewire will sort that out in due course.

The biggest problem with buying a non runner on the word of a supposed classic enthusiat who was "using it for hill climbs but as the clutch started slipping confined it to the shed a couple of years ago" - is you never really know what is wrong. Well having established that the engine will start, albeit it may well still work if I want to be able to see my front door, with the engine running it also seemed the right moment to engage a gear and establish just ow bad the clutch slip was - NO WAY WHATSOEVER - the crunching was deafening - so this is what a classic hill climber meant by "clutch slip". Reference to the inspection plate and clutch adjustment control seems to indicate that the clutch mechanisim is fully extended i.e as it was set from the factory - would it still be like this if the plates / friction material was completely worn ?.

Both Tom and Eddie have given me some guidance in my first posting on this site regarding "clutch slip" and in due course I will try the petrol wash suggestion to see if any sign of a clutch appears. The good thing (I suppose) is that without the engine running I can select each of the gears so the bike certainly still has them.

A point about spark plugs that I am sure "real Douglas riders" are fully aware but which surprised me and caused mr to have a little concern is the fact that the BMS illustrated T35 instruction book (a direct copy of the 1948 T35 operation and maintainence book that I had already managed to purchase) list the spark plugs as Champion J8 /Lodge C14 /KLG F.50 HOWEVER when you cross reference these plugs for todays equivalent you discover the J8 eqivalent is the J8C  but the listing for the KLG.50  gives Champion L86C /L40  NGK B7 / B6HS or B7HS (for oily engines try B5HS) which all seems fine UNTIL you realise that these alternative plugs are different lengths i.e. 3/8" or 1/2" and checking the plug to piston crown clearance by vernier guage suggests to me that the extra 1/8" could be significant - or am I worrying about nothing?

Still can't get over how well run this club is, it really is great  I wrote to Matgaret at post war spares ref missing petrol cap and by return I have one - Fantastic!

I guess to answer my own original question "well I bought it - Now what do I do" - keep working on it and keep my fingers crossed.

Matt