Author Topic: More Caravan chronicles  (Read 4654 times)

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Offline Patrick

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  • Join Date: Sep 2004
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Colorado, USA
More Caravan chronicles
« on: 28 Sep 2004 at 03:14 »
September 23, 2004

Howdy  Bro,
Thought youíd like to see what Iíve been playing with lately.
A customer/friend of mine inherited this bike from his dead daddy this year.
Robert Edison Fulton rode this 1932 Douglas around the world in 1932/33.
He chronicled it in a book, ďOne Man CaravanĒ. Travis, the son asked if Iíd be interested in restoring it to life. Of course, I said, ďf^#*%A skippyĒ.

When Iím not being maxíd out at the airport, Iíve been working on the Douglas a little bit. Iíll need to get it out of my garage before the snow flies.

When I first lit it off, last Friday night, with the second kick!, it sounded like a thrashing machine with a starter bendix hanginí up in the flywheel. From its fishtail exhaust pipe it expelled rust, dust, carbon, smoke, and acorn husks. It still sounds heinous when it is cold, but, the tone improves after it warms up. What a primitive, noisy machine! My R50 is very civilized and smooth compared to this Duggie. And REF rode it around the world in 1933!

The rear brake is a heel-type, pedal. It works ok, but is very cumbersome and unnatural. The front hand brake is a totally ineffective, narrow, small dia. drum. My mountain bike brakes have more authority than this motorbike. Up in the tall 4th gear, with full spark advance, the SOB feels like it could go a 100hunert mph. I donít dare go there till I can tweak in some more brakes. Both axle bolts are left hand threads. I just got the front wheel off tonight. The brake linings are fresh and the drum is clean. Now I am confident that merely tweaking the cam and monkey motion should create some front brake authority.
It has fore and aft, opposed, cast iron cyls with flat heads. A single, Amalgamated Carburetor Company, (AMAL), needle jet unit. The BTH magneto points rotate at cam speed. The manual spark advance lever is adjacent to the, reverse pivoting, clutch lever.

After 1983, it was first handled by the London Douglas Motorcycle Club. Then some Ďapprenticesí from Allied Signal Bendix, located at the former Douglas Works at Kingston, Bristol, handled it. Then, a fellow there, put together the bottom end. He did a good job. Iím sure Iím the first to run it since 1990.

Half of the hardware was barely finger tight. Iíve found British Standard, metric and airplane hardware on it. The carb and tank were rotten with a varnished, syrupy goo. The tranny has a zerk fitting to service it. Iím not sure what Iíll service it with. Of course, Castrol ZZ wonít be real easy to cross reference. I donít think it has conventional seals like a 90wt gearbox uses. Iíve got the hand shifter adjusted precisely and all the gears are smooth and positive. It is a hard tail, with a girder front end. Dunlop K-70ís. BTH mag and dynamo. The baloney slicer flywheel offers an exhilarating buzz when oneís boot contacts it while misplacing a foot on the floorboard.
Google him, Robert Edison Fulton, Jr., he was an interesting dude. His inventions include the Airphibian, and the Skyhook rescue system.

« Last Edit: 09 Jan 2018 at 00:55 by Patrick »