Author Topic: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration  (Read 1080 times)

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Offline Doogle

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Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« on: 20 Mar 2024 at 20:41 »
Hi All,

So firstly a huge thanks to Gary whose thread on this bike leads us to where we are now.
Now landed in Devon the 1914/15  2¾ Dougie that was recently discovered in the garage of a 91 yr old gentleman in Surrey, buried under 6ft of rubbish. It had been there since somewhen in the 60s and last on the road in 1930 going by the last tax disk still in the holder.
There is still some work to do identifying it (frame number 21209) seems likely that it is an ex WD machine with later engine/parts fitted post war. The early tank has had two coats of paint in the 2 panel style fairly early on in its life and it still remains very original looking. The plan is for a very sympathetic 'patina' restoration. The front wheel needs re-lacing, possibly both and the gearbox sprocket and belt pulley have seen better days. Engine turns over with some compression which we hope is a good sign.
Looking forward to getting it recommissioned and back on the road again! Will update with pics etc as we get into the strip down.

Doug


Link added to Gary's 'Barn Find' thread - Dave, 20Mar2024
« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2024 at 21:03 by Dave »

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #1 on: 20 Mar 2024 at 20:47 »
Fuel tank

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #2 on: 20 Mar 2024 at 20:50 »
Gearbox and other parts

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #3 on: 20 Mar 2024 at 22:03 »
Gearbox number and rear stand

Offline Hutch

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #4 on: 20 Mar 2024 at 23:04 »
Hi Doug,

From this post,

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=9253.msg36545#msg36545

I would presume the two speed gearbox dates from 1918.

I wouldn't be surprised if the current tank paint was stripped back to show the original paint it might show the usual "3 Blue panel" paint design of the pre 1919 tanks? If so I suspect it would reinforce the notion that it was refurbished shortly after WW1 as discussed before? I have an original tank from this period (although it has been turned into a pattern - not by me!) and it has a "Two blue panel" paint job like yours. It reputedly came from a 1920 2 3/4hp - so possible was also a refurbished bike from WW1 left over stock?

I'm still working on the engine number as it has me intrigued - if the engine does not have a "standard" 2 3/4hp engine number on it maybe it was originally a post 1916 2 3/4hp stationary engine that has been repurposed? From the above research there does not appear to be any engine numbers available for the presumably many thousands of stationary engines made by Douglas i.e. for the  2 3/4hp motorcycles the total number of engine numbers is approximately the same as the number of frames - so maybe they were numbered with a different scheme? - not sure.


Cheers

Hutch

Great bike and it will be good to see it back on the road!.

 

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #5 on: 20 Mar 2024 at 23:16 »
Thanks Hutch
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I haven't found any other numbers on the engine but will keep looking. Also the stationary engine idea, you could be onto something there, I guess there would have been plenty of those left over post war too or readily available.
There appears to be a letter U spaced out after the frame number, guess this could be denoting it as a model U?

Part of me wants to look through the layers of paint on the tank  but would be criminal to do that. There's plenty of evidence of two coats of black on everything too so it's had some form of refurbishment in its days.

Offline Hutch

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #6 on: 21 Mar 2024 at 00:12 »
.....
There appears to be a letter U spaced out after the frame number, guess this could be denoting it as a model U?

Part of me wants to look through the layers of paint on the tank  but would be criminal to do that. .....

Doug,

I seem to vaguely remember a W stamped under the gearbox mount on my 1915 frame - I will see if my memory is correct!? (..it is a bit sketchy these days :-) ) So possibly the U could be for the model, but unsure if this was normal Douglas practice. Usually near the frame number the "K inside a D"  trade mark was stamped on the later models.

Yes I know what you mean about the dilemma in wanting to know an answer vs keeping the patina !!

Attached is a 1919 crankcase showing the "normal" position of the engine number on the timing side half. The number (and sometimes letters) below it is the unique identifier used to match it to the timing side half of the crankcase. If you have the barrels off sometime it would be interesting to see if the crankcase halves match as it may be another small clue?

-Hutch

« Last Edit: 21 Mar 2024 at 00:50 by Hutch »

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #7 on: 24 Mar 2024 at 23:09 »
A little more info unearthed this week from the records office where it was first registered, in 1921, backing up the ex WD theory. Engine number is recorded on the register as 6193 

Offline cardan

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #8 on: 25 Mar 2024 at 00:32 »
So interesting! I don't know much about the UK registration system, but was there some kind of revamp that caused some older machines to be put on the registration record for the first time c1921? I just feel like I've read that somewhere...

Re the belt pulley on the gearbox. The chip out of the flange is not fatal - a new piece could easily be welded (brazed, probably) in. The biggest problem is if the V of the pulley is badly worn. The sides need to (relatively) straight or the belt will slip, so if there's enough meat it might be possible to re-machine the pulley once it's been welded to give a nice even V.

Leon

Offline eddie

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #9 on: 25 Mar 2024 at 09:21 »
Leon, In the UK, pre 1921, a lot of vehicles were registered through the local authorities - this gave rise to the duplication of some registration numbers, so a national registration scheme was introduced - hence, some early machines ended up with a 1921 registration date (our 1913 'TT' 2¾ is one of them!).

  Regards,
                 Eddie.

Offline Doogle

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #10 on: 26 Mar 2024 at 21:02 »
The crankcase has an X marked on one side. In better light the letter after the frame number appears to be an 'L' too rather than a U. Not sure what this may refer to.

Offline cardan

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Re: Barn Find 2¾hp Restoration
« Reply #11 on: 27 Mar 2024 at 00:13 »
There are plenty of clues on such an original machine. Not "original from the factory" but original none-the-less. I like the idea of so much history being tangled in to one surviving machine.

Eddie's info on the registration number is worth thinking about. It's not absolutely clear that the bike is a "1921" build/rebuild even if the rego dates from 1921.

It's a fair bet that the frame number is original 1915, but I wonder if the "L" is something added at the renovation shop. Either one of the wartime government shops which renovated and reissued bikes for further service (even is some reissued bikes were still in crates after the war having never made it back into service), or one of the privately owned companies that bought ex-WD bikes and renovated them before selling them to the public. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=9218

The number on the engine must have a story to tell! Not sure what it is, but with such complex numbers you'd expect some other bike survive stamped similarly? Certainly "X" was used commonly by Douglas in the 1920s on their export bikes.

I think a good description of the bike might be "1915 Douglas, renovated".

Cheers

Leon