Author Topic: Douglas V 4  (Read 635 times)

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Offline Red

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Douglas V 4
« on: 15 Sep 2022 at 08:50 »
The attached article may be of some interest.



Images and PDF converted to linked files, Dave, 16Sep2022
Please note:
Images below are screen snips from the attached article - "Concerto for four pots" - Motorcycling April 21 1949.
Use the link in the line above to download the PDF and zoom in to get a more readable copy than the images.








« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2022 at 21:39 by Dave »

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #1 on: 15 Sep 2022 at 10:04 »
Thankyou !

Most certainly of some interest.
Those were the days ....

Offline Hutch

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #2 on: 15 Sep 2022 at 23:25 »
Great post Roy,

Coincidentally I was asked about the V-4 by a fellow Douglas owner only a couple of days ago. He had been shown a facebook (I think) page asking for information on the "V-twin" Douglas in the picture (attached) by another vintage / veteran bike owner. I think I answered the question more or less correctly! (..or maybe not! :-) ...).

There is some information on the V-4 in the "Fairy" thread here https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=6560.0
(reply #10 and Leon's reply #35). It would be nice to know more about its origins and why Douglas didn't pursue it.

Cheers

Ian

« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2022 at 23:39 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #3 on: 16 Sep 2022 at 00:02 »
Yes there are many unanswered questions about the V4.

The bike on display at the show at the end of 1907 was fitted with a two-speed gearbox and an up-draught spray carburetter, neither of which I recognise. Of course the reconstructed bike has later Douglas parts. Chater Lea made gearboxes at the time, but they were (mostly?) larger items for tri-cars and the like. As mentioned in the Fairy thread, the original four-cylinder cycle parts were pure Chater Lea.

And, if the engine restored in 1949 is the engine from the 1907 Show bike (there could have been more than one), it's weird that the bike never ran. Why attach the cams to the shaft if they were not in the correct position for the engine to run?

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #4 on: 16 Sep 2022 at 01:29 »
I can answer one of my own questions.

The 1907 Douglas V4 didn't have a gearbox, but it did have two gears. The drive was by chain to a countershaft, which carried two different-diameter pulleys, one on each end. There were two belts, driving equal-size pulleys on either side of the back wheel. A lever on the right side of the bike selected either pulley, or none, presumably by dog clutch, giving two speeds and neutral.

Leon

Offline TonyC

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #5 on: 16 Sep 2022 at 19:20 »
The V4 Douglas is owned by the Bristol M shed museum on Bristol’s harbourside.
I borrowed it from the museum and took it down for display at the Douglas cavalcade in May 2018
It is kept in there extensive store room and can be viewed when they hold behind the scene tours which are held regularly

Cheers
Tony

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #6 on: 17 Sep 2022 at 06:50 »
Nice clear photos Tony - I'm envious that you have had a chance to fondle it close up! I'd love to hear it run...

So, to be a bit controversial, can I point out that the engine in the surviving bike is not the engine that was fitted to the bike shown at the Stanley Show at the end of 1907?

The 1907 bike (see https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=6560.msg24616#msg24616 and the photo I posted above, which I found in NCR August 1973) had quite long inlet manifolds cast into the heads, so that the bolt-on inlet manifold was quite horizontal. The surviving engine, on the other hand, has the ports on the cylinder heads angled up, so that the bolt-on inlet manifold has quite a "V" at the top.

So it seems there were at least two versions of the V-four. Anyone know the full story?

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #7 on: 18 Sep 2022 at 03:08 »
Great pictures Tony!

I have no idea if there was more than one V-4 Douglas engine made but great observation Leon! Definitely a different inlet manifold setup on the Douglas V-4 of recent times to the original Stanley show exhibit version – maybe the original inlet stubs on the atmospheric valve been modified for a new inlet manifold at a later date or is it a later design revision? Hard to say as the original pictures are very grainy unfortunately.

Found this question and answer from The Motor Cycle April 24 1907. It seems to imply that to the knowledge of the person answering the question there were no V-4 engine motorcycles being manufactured when the question was asked (albeit the question was about a larger engine than the one fitted to the Douglas – implying the engine in question was maybe for something bigger than a motorcycle)? Does this comment tend to support the suggestion that the Douglas V-4 might be the first applications of this type of engine in a motorcycle? I don’t know. I looked up the V8 made by Adams Manufacturing & Co. It is one of the very early applications of a V-8 in an automobile in the UK. It does not appear at first glance to have much to do with the Douglas V-4. Picture of the V8 here;
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:Im061201MN-Adams2.jpg

I wonder whom “P.C.” of South Devon is? Coincidental question or somehow related to the appearance of the Douglas V-4 at the Stanley show later in the year? I think this may all be a bit of a Furphy and have nothing to do with the Douglas V-4 but information appears to be quite scarce and I'm scratching for anything at all !! :-)

Also attached is a little extra bit of information from The Motor Cycle December 11,1907 about the Douglas V-4.
The later V-4 of Saville Whiting comes to mind as an early V-4 motorcycle from this period, but I have not come across much else but will keep looking…….


EDIT:- How would the author of the report on the V-4 Douglas at the Stanley Motor Show know what the crankshaft looked like? Maybe there was a disassembled engine  or maybe some engine parts on display as well? No idea.

EDIT:- "P.C." of South Devon - the electronic copy of the magazine has cut off the text, most likely due to the binding. Does anyone have an original copy that might have show a word before "P.C." ?

Cheers
Hutch
« Last Edit: 18 Sep 2022 at 06:03 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #8 on: 18 Sep 2022 at 04:12 »
Attached is a report on the Stanley Motor Show from the American publication The Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review  of December 14 1907 (pg 407). Which engine is the author referring to?.....the horizontally opposed twin or the V-4?? A little bit ambiguous unfortunately so I think the origins of the V-4 is still a mystery? (...my heart did miss a beat there for a second! :-) )

cheers

Hutch

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #9 on: 18 Sep 2022 at 06:16 »
Hi Hutch,

Presumably the Fairy reference is to the twin. But of course the only "design" name we know at Douglas in 1907 is Barter, presumably (??) the four design came from him, so could have somehow surfaced earlier while he was at Fairy.

Re the Motor Cycle query about sourcing a "12 to 14 h.p." v four, this size is HUGE for 1907, when most motorcycles were around 2-3 h.p., and almost never larger than 6. The only well-known V4 around in that period was the French Clement racer, which made its debut around 1902, but was still being paraded around the place by Fournier and others years later. https://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/clement/Clement-1902-V-Four-Gaillon-IBra.htm It was said to be about 1500cc, which would put it in the monster 12-14 h.p. class. The French liked a V4, and Mors powered their dog carts with one from the mid 1890s. So plenty of inspiration.

A loose V4 motor - alongside the complete motorcycle - on the stand at Stanley is certainly possible, particularly with pictorial "proof" of engine developments.

Leon


Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #10 on: 28 Sep 2022 at 01:56 »
In the original description of the v four (Motor Cycle, 27 November 1907) the valve gear is described as follows:

"...the inlet valves are automatic, while the exhaust valves are worked by outside tappets on the Daimler principle."

In a 1907 Daimler car - choice of the King and others, large and lovely but a little primitive - the camshaft ran in the open air with cam followers with adjustable tappets operating the valves, see first photo. A low revving revving engine and "the man" in the motor house to oil things before every outing and this would work.

Apparently the Douglas V four was similar - see photos - but there were no adjustable tappets. This was pretty typical of motorcycles of the era. Adjusting the valve clearance was done with a file - very fiddly inside the V of the cylinders. And as the motor would be quite high speed, like the contemporary 4-cylinder FN, I'm not sure that the lubrication would be up to the task. Still, the survivor made it to Brighton a few times.

Leon

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #11 on: 28 Sep 2022 at 22:04 »
and "the man" in the motor house to oil things before every outing and this would work.

This lubrication 'feature' persisted long long long after 1907 though. !

Engines with inlet-over-exhaust layouts (ioe) etc had exposed valve gear until it mostly died out in the late 1920s.
So needed some manual lube along the way.
And many a sidevalve had open air valve gear, with mere covers, until after WW2 in some cases.
WW2 army Norton 16H's had grease nipples on the valve guides, to assist in this dept.
Manx Nortons had valve springs out in the fresh air until the early 1960s. (and never redesigned).
But had a 'deliberate oil leak' to keep the guides lubricated.

Royal Enfield claimed at some point that their 1936 models were the 1st to featured full enclosed valve gear,
to permit a fully lubricated design of valve gear. There were earlier (unsuccessful ?) attempts at this ?

We diverge ...

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas V 4
« Reply #12 on: 29 Sep 2022 at 23:50 »
Absolutely true, but a camshaft running in the open was an anachronism in 1907, on either bike or car.

A bit of this primitive design was also evident on the first Douglas twins at the same show: the rockers that changed the direction of the exhaust lift from the horizontal tappet to the vertical valve ran in the open, as did the final magneto drive gear. The better designs of the period - the Belgian FNs for example - had all this type of stuff well sorted by 1907.

Still, both the twin and the four were nice little engines for 1907, when multi-cylinder engines were uncommon.

Leon

 

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