Author Topic: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22  (Read 543 times)

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Offline Tim OConnor

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Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« on: 03 Aug 2022 at 22:00 »
Hello everyone! As of 2 weeks ago, I am the very proud owner of a Douglas 2 3/4hp (W-20/W-22). It runs but needs parts and work. I would like to get it in safe riding condition and then work towards making it reasonably 'correct'. All help, parts sources, knowledge sources, and advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have owned and worked on motorcycles for decades but mostly German/Austrian bikes (BMW, Puch, Hercules). My British bike experience is limited to the complete restoration of a 1947 James ML and a 1942 Norton WD16 (which I still own and LOVE).

I have joined the Douglas club, and now this forum. Here are some photos taken of my bike at the swap meet where I purchased it (you say auto jumble yes?). Please let me know what I am missing, where I might find it, and any and all constructive comments.

Here in the USA, it can be difficult (and expensive) to acquire parts and information for British bikes older than the 1950s. I ordered a manual and parts list but they still have not arrived from overseas.

Currently, I THINK I need:

Stuff:
Valve/breather ? for the gearbox top
Duel clutch handle / lifter mount for the handlebar
Cap for the top of my Actlyene generator
Carb front air screen
Clutch cable (parts on order)
Front brake shoe/pad? replacements


Knowledge:
Wheel Bearings?-Help with understanding the adjustment(s)
Not sure if the gearbox is able to shift through the gears, hope to figure out adjustments
I need to figure out if the dent in my tank is repairable (I don't want to risk the tank, Does Anyone know of a spare for sale?)
Is my rear brake correct, it does not look like any photos I have seen.
I read that Douglas bought back many bikes from the military after the war, could my bike have any of these parts?

I have already had a break in the subframe repaired, new tyres purchased, an Acetylene generator and tail lamp purchased, a new fuel petcock purchased, a friend is sending me a burner jet for the headlamp, I have fixed the leak in the copper fuel line, Handlebars might be bent but I can live with that.

I am sure there is more to come. Thank you!!





1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #1 on: 03 Aug 2022 at 23:26 »
I need to figure out if the dent in my tank is repairable (I don't want to risk the tank, Does Anyone know of a spare for sale?)

Welcome here.
Nice find. I'm sure it will give you much fun - as all old machinery does !

Tough to see the extent of the tank damage.
At worst, you could slap some silver paint on it , and ignore it.
(If its not causing that cap to leak. ?)
Or fill it with lead, and paint silver over it.

A good repair guy could likely solder some tabs all over it, and use a puller to gently pull it all out.
Or, a radiator shop can unsolder it, and the panels straightened and resoldered together.
Finding a silver shade to cover over it without a major repaint is likely the hard part..

Keep us posted.
Have fun !

Offline Hutch

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #2 on: 04 Aug 2022 at 02:56 »
Hi Tim,

Welcome to the forum!


Currently, I THINK I need:

Stuff:
Valve/breather ? for the gearbox top


The missing “valve/breather” is part 829D for the 2 3/4hp three speed gearbox. It is described as an oil injection tap in the 2 ¾ hp parts book. These are fairly scarce (but not impossible) to find. In all the 3 speed gearboxes I have seen only one that had the original tap in place….and it wasn’t on any that I have!

On most of the gearboxes I have, it has been replaced by a blanking plug, usually a spare drain plug as they appear to the same thread on the earlier 3 speeds that I have seen. One possible reason why all these taps have disappeared (apart from being pilfered for other projects....) is that it could be difficult to get the (normally used) semi fluid grease into the gearbox through them?

You may be able to find an original tap  or use something similar (commonly called (fuel) priming cup valve or tap) that you can adapt or make an adapter to fit.

Later 3 speeds went to a pressure type grease nipple (slightly different to the common "Zerk" type) with which you can use a grease gun. This makes the filling of the ‘box an easier task (see attached picture from 1925 2 3/4 hp The Handbook of the Douglas Motorcycle showing filling a CW gearbox, that can be found here; https://www.barnstormers.co.nz/barnstormers/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Douglas-350-PDF.pdf ). This of course would be non standard for a  W-20. but maybe more practical and interim fix until you find an original?
 
(note the picture of the 3 speed on page 10 in the 1920 Peace Program Brochure from https://www.barnstormers.co.nz/barnstormers/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Douglas-PDF1.pdf is a 4HP one. Very similar to the 2 3/4hp one – only beefed up a bit), but it shows the oil injection tap.


Knowledge:

Not sure if the gearbox is able to shift through the gears, hope to figure out adjustments

The 2 ¾ hp Douglas 3 speed gearbox is by default in 2nd gear with no gear selection mechanism attached. This is because of the way the selector mechanism is spring loaded internally. The spring pressure required to place the gearbox in neutral, 1st (low) or 3rd (high) gear can require a little effort (more than one would think compared to some other gearboxes)  to change gear. Worth looking into this before assuming the gearbox is broken or needing adjustment in some way. Description of how it works is in the Barnstormer's link to the instruction book above. Adjustment of the selectors is fairly straight forward tho' if required.


cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: 04 Aug 2022 at 03:42 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #3 on: 04 Aug 2022 at 03:20 »
Tim,

I just had another look at your pictures and realised the gear change linkage to the gearbox is non-standard. This may have interfered with the oil injection valve and maybe why it was removed? Not 100% sure as hard to see in the picture but may need looking into if you get an original valve.

cheers

Ian

Offline Tim OConnor

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #4 on: 04 Aug 2022 at 11:44 »
Thank you!

I will!


I need to figure out if the dent in my tank is repairable (I don't want to risk the tank, Does Anyone know of a spare for sale?)

Welcome here.
Nice find. I'm sure it will give you much fun - as all old machinery does !

Tough to see the extent of the tank damage.
At worst, you could slap some silver paint on it , and ignore it.
(If its not causing that cap to leak. ?)
Or fill it with lead, and paint silver over it.

A good repair guy could likely solder some tabs all over it, and use a puller to gently pull it all out.
Or, a radiator shop can unsolder it, and the panels straightened and resoldered together.
Finding a silver shade to cover over it without a major repaint is likely the hard part..

Keep us posted.
Have fun !
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Tim OConnor

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #5 on: 04 Aug 2022 at 11:45 »
This is great info thanks!

Do you know if the 2-speed gearbox uses the same shifting linkage as the 3 speed?


Tim,

I just had another look at your pictures and realised the gear change linkage to the gearbox is non-standard. This may have interfered with the oil injection valve and maybe why it was removed? Not 100% sure as hard to see in the picture but may need looking into if you get an original valve.

cheers

Ian
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Tim OConnor

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #6 on: 04 Aug 2022 at 11:51 »
On most of the gearboxes I have, it has been replaced by a blanking plug, usually a spare drain plug as they appear to the same thread on the earlier 3 speeds that I have seen. One possible reason why all these taps have disappeared (apart from being pilfered for other projects....) is that it could be difficult to get the (normally used) semi fluid grease into the gearbox through them?

The spare drain plug, is this a spare Douglas drain plug? Know of any easy to find ones that will fit?

I noticed a thread chart on this forum, I will check to see if it is listed.
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Hutch

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #7 on: 05 Aug 2022 at 05:47 »
On most of the gearboxes I have, it has been replaced by a blanking plug, usually a spare drain plug as they appear to the same thread on the earlier 3 speeds that I have seen. One possible reason why all these taps have disappeared (apart from being pilfered for other projects....) is that it could be difficult to get the (normally used) semi fluid grease into the gearbox through them?

The spare drain plug, is this a spare Douglas drain plug? Know of any easy to find ones that will fit?

I noticed a thread chart on this forum, I will check to see if it is listed.

Tim,

Sorry my comment was a little ambiguous. I meant to say that in the past it looked like someone had replaced the oil injection tap with a drain plug from another Douglas gearbox, as it has the same thread. This plug could have been from a spare gearbox or possibly bought as a spare part. It is also possible that Douglas themselves did not supply the tap on some bikes but used a plug instead. I don't know, but they look identical to Douglas gearbox drain plugs!.

Not important to you, but some later 3 speeds (i.e. CW) have a larger threaded hole (looks like a 1/2" x 20tpi parallel thread)  for the filler so the drain plug will not fit. Also some later 2 3/4hp gearboxes had a riser tube for the filler - I guess to make it easier to fill due to the proximity of the gear change rod? I don't know what year models this feature may have been used. The internal thread of the riser tube is the same as the drain plug - so a drain plug could be used to fill the hole if needed.

This thread jogged my memory of something I obtained in a small job lot of Douglas parts bought online quite a few years ago. It is an adapter that someone made using a grease nipple and brass sphere - I assume made to help inject fluid into the cup of a priming tap? It does not have any evidence of ever being used and I have not used it, so cannot say how effective it would be in injecting semi fluid grease through the oil injection tap on a 2 3/4hp gearbox!

cheers

Hutch

Offline Hutch

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #8 on: 05 Aug 2022 at 06:00 »
This is great info thanks!

Do you know if the 2-speed gearbox uses the same shifting linkage as the 3 speed?


Tim,

I just had another look at your pictures and realised the gear change linkage to the gearbox is non-standard. This may have interfered with the oil injection valve and maybe why it was removed? Not 100% sure as hard to see in the picture but may need looking into if you get an original valve.

cheers

Ian

Tim,

The 3 speed linkage is similar but different to the 2 speed one. The 3 speed one is a little longer and has a kink in it. It is made from 1/4" rod. The adjuster part and ends are the same or very similar for both. The 2 3/4 hp parts book describes 900D as a striking rod.

I don't have an original 3 speed one to measure up unfortunately. The striking rods are fairly scarce to find but easy enough to make if needed.

The sliding adjuster part 901D is to the front of the bike so well clear of the filler for the gearbox.

Cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 05 Aug 2022 at 07:02 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #9 on: 05 Aug 2022 at 06:33 »
Tim,

The 3 speed grease filler / riser tube was listed under 2 speed gearbox.....which is why I didn't find them in the parts list when I looked!. They were for 1923 onwards. They use a plug rather than tap so this answers two questions!

cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 05 Aug 2022 at 06:39 by Hutch »

Offline Tim OConnor

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Re: Hello Everyone! New Douglas Owner, W-20/22
« Reply #10 on: 05 Aug 2022 at 13:57 »
great info!

I will try to measure it today.
1920 2 3/4 W-20