Author Topic: Help needed with Douglas identification  (Read 11205 times)

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Offline john-saab

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Help needed with Douglas identification
« on: 16 Mar 2006 at 10:43 »
Hi all.
I am helping a friend clear a garage that has been closed since the mid 60s. We have found a very tidy and original Douglas but we have no paperwork that will help identify the model. I have had a look at the photos posted on this site and our Douglas looks similar to the 1913 and 1914 models. Our Douglas has 2 cylinders and no running boards...it has foot pegs.
Is there a frame number stamped somewhere? Can i identify the model from the engine number?
I will try to add a link that has a few photos but will add newer photos later when we get a chance to get the Douglas out into daylight.



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« Last Edit: 16 Mar 2006 at 11:57 by alwyn »

Offline alwyn

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #1 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 12:42 »
Is there a frame number stamped somewhere? Can i identify the model from the engine number?

Hi John and welcome - there is a section on this forum here devoted to the indentification of Douglas motorcycles. The location of frame, engine and gearbox numbers is outlined on this page. This may be help you to identify your bike yourself but please post again quoting the relevant numbers you find and I'm sure other members will assist in obtaining an accurate identification.

We look forward to receiving more photos.

Alwyn.





Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline john-saab

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #2 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 16:34 »
I had another chance to get a look at the bike  and have found a few numbers.
The frame number looks to be 43649 and the engine carries the number 42656 with a number 7 stamped on the next face of the block just below the magneto. I managed to find everything except a chain guard....still another 2 boxes to look through.
I found the tax disk holder with 1948, 49 and 1950 disks still inside...so i guess that is when it was last on the road.
Would the side plate .....the aluminium plate that has 8 screws and the name DOUGLAS stamped into it....need to be removed to check the timing? I am asking because i cannot find any signs of wear/damage and i am trying to figure out why the cover was removed.
I have tried to date the bike using the information on this site but as i am unfamiliar with the bike i am struggling a little.
More photos to follow.
The bike has LOW NEUTRAL and HIGH gears and a EIC magneto with the numbers 180o stamped below...so i guess a 1919 G2 engine.
« Last Edit: 16 Mar 2006 at 17:06 by john-saab »

Offline Ian

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #3 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 20:49 »
From the numbers it would be a 1920 model W I think - the engine is late 1919 according to the list.

Offline john-saab

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #4 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 21:32 »
From the numbers it would be a 1920 model W I think - the engine is late 1919 according to the list.
Thank you Ian. Please excuse my ignorance but how do we know it it is a model W? and not  a U or V?
Also i am not sure if it makes any difference but the bike carried two black on white plates with CD (Corps Diplomatique) i wonder if the bike has military history?

Offline Ian

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #5 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 21:59 »
John, I think in 1920 the 2 speeds were all W models - someone correct me if I am wrong here ? A friend of mine has a W20 - one thing that is very hard to find are correct barrels for these as they are different to the later TS models and also different to the veterans - so I hope yours are OK.,

Offline KiwiJohn

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #6 on: 16 Mar 2006 at 22:05 »
Found in an old shed eh?  Send it to me and I will do my best to identify it for you!   :D

Offline Doug

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #7 on: 17 Mar 2006 at 01:55 »
My impression was the W was the top end of the line for the 2-3/4hp, so the first to get three-speed gear and all the bells and whistles. In a 1916 catalog advert the W had three-speed with clutch, and in 1923 again the same. So I would go for a U or a V (though they too could be had with a three-speed, for an extra two pounds sterling.)

The G2 is the gearbox code in the dating tables, not the model code. But the shift gate suggests it is a two-speed.

I see I need to correct the dating tables re- the headstock brace. I have them as being dropped in 1919-20, and here we have a 1920 frame that still has the brace. Possibly feature/year overlap, using up inventory, etc. The 1918-1922 era was very difficult due to a scarcity of catalog illustrations of a definitive date. I also must mention one can not trust the catalog illustrations one hundred percent as being exactly what they were selling that entire year. The information in the lists is only a guide, and always ready for a bit of refinement.

The front forks though I think definitly from an earlier model, say 1914. If running and taxed into 1950, it might have been a very early 'restoration', back when mixing bits from various years and models was normal practice. The petrol tank has been painted in the pre-1916 three-panel scheme. By 1920 the top end model had the filler caps over on the right, but the lesser models may have continued on with the filler caps on the left to use up old stock. Again, details during this time period are sketchy. Or the petrol tank may be a year or two older than the frame.

The timing chest cover may well have been removed to time the magneto. I am not sure if they were doing it in this era, but some of the early 2-3/4 service manuals talk of no key in the magneto drive taper. When you had the timing spot on, you nipped up the bolt (nut?) and just the friction on the taper kept it in time. 

-Doug

Offline Ian

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #8 on: 17 Mar 2006 at 02:40 »
Doug - interesting. We believe that the W20 my friend has is original (though restored recently) and it has always had a 2 spd gearbox. Has only had two owners.

Offline Chris

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #9 on: 17 Mar 2006 at 06:09 »
I tend to agree with Doug above that the W model was the top of the range and came with a three speed gearbox as standard. In respect of the forks, the "veteran" forks as we call them (oval front and oval, tapered and curved rear tubes) were run in parallel with the later tubular steel forks right through to 1919 to my knowledge but I recently came across another machine with these forks claimed to be 1920 and there is little doubt that it was original. The steering head is a different size on the frame for each of the fork designs so it needs some modification to fit the incorrect forks although it is possible. Chris.

Offline john-saab

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #10 on: 17 Mar 2006 at 07:11 »
A friend of mine has a W20 - one thing that is very hard to find are correct barrels for these as they are different to the later TS models and also different to the veterans - so I hope yours are OK.,
Than you all. While i had the chance yesterday i managed to try out the gears and they seem to engage fine...when LOW or HIGH gear is selected i can turn the rear wheel and the engine seems to turn over smoothly without any alarming noises or tight spots.
The bike was stored under a oily tarpaulin in loft loft of a now closed SAAB, DAF and Peugeot dealers so has been in near perfect storage conditions.
The bike will be up for sale soon so ....i know this subject is sticky...what should we ask for it? Should we try to get it running first or is that something that a new buyer would like to do themself?...i know when i buy a classic car that has been standing for a number of years , i prefer to be the first to hear it running so i know if there are any problems to look out for?

Offline Doug

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #11 on: 18 Mar 2006 at 02:43 »
Quote
...the "veteran" forks as we call them...were run in parallel with the later tubular steel forks right through to 1919 to my knowledge...
Kingswood really wanted to make it difficult for all of us eighty six years on! I did see the veteran forks on catalog illustration of a ladies model some year or two after all the other models seemed to have gotten the 'new' forks. I figured this reasonable within the practice of using up old inventory. I would not have imagined they kept using them till 1920!  Talk about over-stocking! 

The difference in the steering stem is not something apparent in illustrations, and does rather point away from casual fork swapping. No doubt an engineer could effect such a change, but it is not something your average enthusiast fifty years ago would be likely to tackle. However I do not now the scope of the job so could not really say how much skill and workshop would be needed. Most likely they would just look around for another set of what would have been twenty year old forks. Like scrounging for a spare set of forks for your 1980 Suzuki GS550 today.

-Doug
« Last Edit: 22 Mar 2006 at 03:12 by Doug »

Offline john-saab

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #12 on: 18 Mar 2006 at 07:12 »
The gent who owned the bike back in the 50s was a very capable engineer who developed the original Mc phearson struts that were seen on most Fords from the 50s onwards (...he didnt copywright the system and Mc phearson put the idea into full production) Famous for his 1940s company LMB ,Leslie Ballamy even developed a car in the 60s that was based on Ford parts. So it would not be a surprise if some modifications might have been done some time in the late 20s-30s BUT the head stock looks untouched and everything looks standard...unless he done a fantastic job and it was made to look correct?
I will get a few close ups in the next few days and you guys may be able to tell the difference.


Offline john-saab

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Re: Help needed with Douglas identification
« Reply #13 on: 02 Apr 2006 at 13:07 »
Thank you all for your help. I have added a few newer photos. This is not a advert but we now have the Douglas for sale on Ebay and there are more new photos on there aswell. Again thank you.



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« Last Edit: 03 Apr 2006 at 07:13 by alwyn »

 

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