Author Topic: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!  (Read 4286 times)

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Offline donnh

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1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« on: 25 Oct 2019 at 22:02 »
The Mummy has been exhumed! After 30+ years in a garage I acquired this motorcycle from a friend of a friend who determined that he was never going to get around to restoring it.


The previous owner acquired the bike when he lived in Ireland and shipped it to the US with all his belongings sometime in the 70's.  Before putting the bike in a container he carefully painted everything with some kind of yellow paint and the meticulously wrapped everything in masking tape. It sat that way for decades until I took it off his hands. The picture above is how I found it in his garage.

The first order of business was looking for the frame and engine numbers so I could properly register the bike in the US. My lovely assistant (and wife) and I set about carefully peeling tape with a heat gun and pliers looking for the numbers.



The frame number is 8380 and the engine number is 7573.

So the journey begins.....
I have some experience with old bikes including a couple of Norton restorations under my belt. I'm a fairly competent mechanic but well aware of my limitations. I might be over my head on this one and am hoping for help from this forum. I've been spending time on various forums trying to learn about the Douglas motorcycles and where to source parts.

I've decided to go a step at a time.... I'll post my progress here, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Comments and suggestions welcome and encouraged.

More to come,
Donn

Offline 9triton

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #1 on: 26 Oct 2019 at 03:26 »
ha - great story to start with the masking tape.

did it come off smoothly ? I  know when you leave it it all goes hard and rips off in little strips.

Offline midman

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #2 on: 27 Oct 2019 at 01:38 »
Well the masking tape is a new one. I wonder what the reason for that was?
Good luck and keep us posted.

Chuck

Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #3 on: 28 Oct 2019 at 19:49 »
Thanks for the replies! Good to know someone is out there....
I have absolutely no idea why the tape was applied, I didn't press it with the seller. Yes, it is hard to remove. I decided to only remove what is necessary and the rest will come off when I have the paint stripped in a tank.

Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #4 on: 28 Oct 2019 at 20:33 »
Like most projects, getting started can be the hardest part. Where do I begin? During my research I came across Vintage Fenders in Australia https://vintagesteelfenders.com/

Let's see..... need fenders?? Ummm, I think so.


It turns out Andrew and Michael have experience with Douglas motorcycle fenders (or Mudguards as they call them down under) so after many e-mails back and forth with pictures and measurements I placed my order and received the front fender.

 

It's a thing of beauty, they do great work. They are still working on the rear fender and belt guard, and I hope to see that in the coming weeks. It's not like the bike is going anywhere soon.  :)

One question for the group.....
The top bracket on the original fender has a bend in the tabs, my new fender has straight tabs.



In e-mails with the guys at Vintage Steel, they thought the brackets should be straight but then they sent me another e-mail saying another customer had a fender with the bent brackets. Does anyone on this group have a similar bike that could look at the tabs???

Sooo... what's next? Ha, everything! I'm thinking of working on the seat pan next.





Ideally I would like to find a fabricator that could use the old pan as a pattern. I've been searching around the Seattle, WA area and am coming up short. Any ideas out there? My neighbor has a plasma cutter and my wife has metal forming tools.... maybe I could give it a shot?? Not sure.

More to come,
Donn














Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #5 on: 28 Apr 2020 at 22:45 »
So... progress continues. Slowly.
I found someone to fabricate the seat pan and he might do the tank as well. I removed the tank yesterday and took it to the fabricator's shop in Bremerton, WA. Basan MetalWorks. Here is a picture.


Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #6 on: 28 Apr 2020 at 22:48 »
And a couple more pictures of the tank.... pretty rough shape!




All the parts seem to be there:



Offline cardan

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #7 on: 29 Apr 2020 at 02:52 »
Hi Donn,

Wow that tank does need rebuilding! Re the saddle: keep in mind that the original pans were made from some sort of spring steel. Re-shaping the originals is always difficult. Just make sure that if the new one is made from ordinary steel sheet that it is a little thicker than the original, or, if not, be gentle when you sit on it!

Cheers

Leon

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #8 on: 29 Apr 2020 at 08:15 »
Re the tabs on the front mudguard.
I think you can answer this question from your as acquired picture.
Can't I see that the turned up tabs allow a bolt to go through to the mount on the forks, to hold it all there,
at the right height to keep the mudguard (fender) off the tyre.
A just flat steel strap, as supplied new, is going to have nothing to connect with, so cannot be right ?

I've been grappling with a similar problem on an EW Duggie, with a probably similar solution, although I'm not
sure at this stage how original my bits may be...

Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #9 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 01:35 »
About the seat.... I saw this online and placed an order. It's less expensive than having mine hand built. I think it will work??? If not, it will be up for sale.

https://www.veterantriumph.co.uk/brooks-b170-seat-complete-and-assembled-3149-p.asp

My tank builder asked if I would consider aluminum. He seems to think it would be better. I'm thinking about it.

Offline cardan

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #10 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 01:57 »
This repro seat should be fine. I have seen others that are pretty poor.

Re the tank: no, not aluminium. The original (as you can see) was made from rather thin sheet steel, often tin plated, so that it can be more easily soldered together and the fittings soldered in. You should have all the original fittings from your tank, ready to be reused. It's hard to attach these to an aluminium tank. Personally I prefer a soldered tank, as per the original, but be pragmatic and let the guy weld the main body of the tank (in thin steel - he will want to use something thicker), and just solder the fittings in.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Daren W Australia

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too many dougli not enough time!

Offline eddie

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #12 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 07:50 »
4HP tanks (with no oil compartment) are easy to make from tin plate. .028" thick is the easiest gauge to obtain here in the UK. Start by knocking down all the rough edges on the old tank, then make paper templates of the top and the base - the top can be made in one piece. Fashion up a couple of patterns from hard wood for the front and back of the top - the radiused corners can then be formed so the joint is down the centre of the corner. When you are happy with the shape, form a strip about " wide to make a doubler for the joint, and solder it to the inside of the tank. Attach all the fittings to the top of the tank before soldering in the base (you may want to temporarily fit the base with, say, 4 tacks of solder to get the holes for the oil pump and the tubes for the sight glass and gear change lined up correctly). You should be able to do all the soldering with a large copper bit (with the help of a hot air gun to preheat the thicker fittings). When you form up the base of the tank, steel patterns may be better - so that you form tight corners around the base and get good capilliary action when running the solder in around the base.

   Regards,
                   Eddie.

  P.S.  I am also of the opinion that producing a tank out of aluminium would cause more problems than it solves!
« Last Edit: 30 Apr 2020 at 08:41 by eddie »

Offline roger h

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #13 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 08:22 »
2 years ago we found a couple of 2 3/4 hp projects locally, they had come from Ireland a couple of owners ago and were painted in the same dull yellow colour. Same source??
best wishes with the restoration. Steel tank is the way to go!
Roger

Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #14 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 16:22 »
Hi everyone, thanks for the responses.
Eddie, I thought seriously about trying this myself and you make it sound easy. Maybe it is... I realize on this project I need to consider my fabricating skills (or lack of) and the time involved. I'm curious about the disadvantages of aluminum, over the years I've had many rusted steel tanks, wouldn't AL solve that problem?

Daren, thanks for the link. It's not clear how usable that pan is and looks different than mine but that isn't a problem. I'll see what the seat I ordered looks like and report back.

Roger, indeed that is some strange stuff. I put some paint remover on and it comes off pretty easy but is messy. There is a nearby company that has stripping tanks and I will probably drop the parts off. They are closed now because of the virus...

Thanks again,
Donn


Offline donnh

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #15 on: 15 May 2020 at 19:41 »
I picked up the tank yesterday and it's not too bad. I stuck with aluminum for better or worse, we'll see.




Now, back to the wheels and frame.
Donn

Offline cycarmark

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Re: 1919 Douglas 4hp Restoration - The Mummy!
« Reply #16 on: 15 May 2020 at 21:34 »
I have purchased two of the seat pans from Veteran Triumph Spares and am very happy with the quality and overall construction.  Here is a picture of the completed saddle for my 1920 Clyno.  I used the process outlined the the Radco book to cover the seat pan.

 

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