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wdbikemad last won the day on November 17 2017

wdbikemad had the most liked content!

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About wdbikemad

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    Berkshire UK
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    Far too many (according to my better half)
  • Occupation
    Police Officer in London

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  1. I don't know who's the ML is seen next to the Auster, and whilst a nice restoration it isn't quite accurate if you're looking for a "factory" or "as issued" image of a wartime ML..........of course, once in service things did change occasionally... The one in the image lacks the blackout mask that would always be fitted....also has the addition of a rear carrier and support which was not specified for the ML......also, on WD versions the entire engine assembly was painted along with the silencer can and rear silencer (in either SCC No.2 brown or olive drab), only the two front down-pipes being dull plated plus the hand-change gear lever and link-rod........stand on the example shown is also post-war civvy, not the wartime type and the tank "C" number is incorrectly placed and in the wrong font.........finally, the bulb horn is missing from the handlebar....! I have three WD ML's in my workshop all correctly "factory" restored......
  2. As others have mentioned, getting back to the basics...... A deactivated firearm to whatever specification was applicable at the time of deactivation as certificated on the Proof House Certificate is in law no longer a firearm....it ceased to be so at the time of deactivation as the Proof House Certificate confirms....... Therefore, as far as I'm concerned my 1910-dated SMLE is in the same category as a garden spade, sledgehammer, or a food processor, etc, and no more or less dangerous......... You could argue that the shoes you wear were once part of a cow......or the car you scrapped years ago now forming part of the cutlery set you eat with.....same with my SMLE. It was once a firearm, but once deactivated to standards in force at the time and certificated as such, it ceased to be a firearm and is now simply an object............the key thing here is not the former firearm, rather the Proof House certificate....... The primary difficulty in enforcing any new law is that you generally need something to start with...... As things currently stand, there is absolutely no database in the UK of who owns what......sure, Proof Houses probably retained records of everything they have deactivated over many, many years but from there the ownership trail very much goes cold.....simply relying on the goodwill of law abiding individuals to declare any ownership would be an absolutely pointless exercise doomed to failure aside from requiring a vast, complicated administrative infrastructure to process such....... As a former long-serving copper, I see no reason to nowadays to interrupt my enjoyable retirement with yet more utter EU crap.......I'm off to polish my SMLE........
  3. Hi Chris, yes, the complete crank assembly is interchangeable between WD and civilian crankcases......... Talking of Flea crankcases, they also differ between WD and civilian but only internally.........images below show the WD crankcase on the left, civvy on the right......the WD version had less alloy in it's construction but the vital measurements for the crank of both types remains the same..... Ron, thanks for that. Better check my number !
  4. Thanks Ron, no, I didn't have any calls from Chris O.....! I must catch up with him soon...... I suspect the crank assembly that Hitchcock's have is a post-war type and as you say these are better and far stronger than the pre-war and WD type..........the entire assembly is hidden once fitted anyway.....you can still obtain conrods and roller bearings for the post-war Flea.......not so for the earlier type, including the rollers that are a peculiar length... In fact, the post-war "beefed up" crank assembly was actually designed/proposed during 1943 - I have the factory blueprints for it and they are dated ! Seemingly however, they did not switch over to the stronger assembly until civvy production recommenced in 1945, doubtless so as not to interfere with production.......
  5. Not sure Chris. Maybe give them a call tomorrow ?
  6. Chris, I notice that Hitchcock's Motorcycles currently have a used but good Flea crankshaft assembly on their website for £120 incl vat......
  7. Chris, you may struggle.......Hitchcock's (I think) did have the post-war crankpin and conrod but not the wartime type.........worth considering that the entire assembly is hidden once fitted and the post-war assembly less-fragile than the wartime version.....Hopefully though, any secondhand crank may only require the renewal of the roller bearings rather than the crankpin...! Also maybe try Burton Bike Bits.......they have an Enfield list on-line by original part numbers but it's often a little out of date.........
  8. Hi Chris. I know of at least three people also looking for a Flea crankshaft ! Best keep an eye on Ebay or similar as they do turn up every now and then......also keep an eye on Hitchcock's to see if they get any secondhand units in.......... If you are not already aware, note that the WD crankshaft assembly is not the same as the post-war civilian type........the WD version used different rollers, crankpin, conrod and crank webs...........they are narrower than the post war version which was "beefed up" in proportions........however, both complete assemblies are interchangeable although individual crank components are not...... As for pistons, you can use either the early pattern ones with "deflectors" cut into the top or the later "deflectorless" type.....but if using the former make sure you fit it with the deflectors facing to the rear............. Picture 1 - WD crank assembly and civvy assembly Picture 2 - close up of civvy assembly Picture 3 - close up of WD assembly
  9. Chris, you will struggle to find original parts for a WD Flea nowadays and not a lot of parts are the same as the civilian version. As Jan has mentioned, there is now really only one specialist making decent reproduction parts for these that are not the cheapest but very well made and accurate.......most were copied from original parts...... Speak to either Terry or Drew at "Metal Magic" (Heritage Motor Works) in Eversley, Hants (Monday to Friday) on 01189 731631. They make many of the parts you seek, including mudguards, WD handlebars, WD filler caps, WD footrest assemblies, stands, toolboxes, miller headlamps and blackout masks, headlamp stays, rear carriers, WD exhaust pipes, complete WD kickstarts, etc......... I work there occasionally and as a Flea owner can testify to the quality of their products..........
  10. "Merstham is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. It is north of Redhill and is contiguous with it. Part of the North Downs Way runs along the northern boundary of the town". Thanks for the fast reply Jan ! So it was delivered to a unit in the above location during 1943.......with some further research, it just may be possible to track down the journey of this Flea........I think it's a 2-digit Unit sign on the tank, ending with a "7" so it may be possible to pinpoint the exact unit who dropped this Flea...?
  11. Jan, what do the factory despatch registers mention about the captured Flea shown in the image ? C5111922.........I wonder where it was originally delivered to ? First contract, it has some markings on the front flanks of the fuel tank but I can't make them out sadly.............I think this image was taken during "Op Varsity" (the crossing of the Rhine).....?
  12. I note that the original drop cage, as part of the assembly, had a couple of separate(?) bars that sat either side of the frame saddle down-tube just behind the engine.........see this picture of a wartime Flea in German hands after it has been removed from the drop cradle.......you will see these extra "bars" on the side still attached.......I wonder if these were a collapsible component against side impact of the cradle.....?
  13. It is indeed Nigel Silver making them..........the one at Malvern last year was £1,200 and the seller (near the door) told me it was a copy........... A friend of mine has acquired around 2-3 original drop containers for the Welbike. They are originals in poor condition as they were dug out of the ground but still have their internal crash pads fitted.....ideal for getting a replica made.......... Post-WW2 the 1,500 or so Flea's retained by the Army until the early 1950's (that sat unused in storage) were largely intended for use on glider operations, therefore the drop cage was considered obsolete. Doubtless the vast majority went to scrap unused.....
  14. In Your last photo Ron, it shows the pillion saddle often fitted to the Ariel W/NG and displaying one of those absolutely first-class covers that you had made. Mine looks a treat on the Ariel, and I must say that the chap who made these covers did a brilliant job......shame he can't supply standard saddle covers as his workmanship is excellent........
  15. "The first pattern 'Lucas MCT1 (fag end) had a rubber seal, latter patterns didn't.. Late war they introduced the MCT1A (A=aperture for number plate illumination) There was even a lens cap with a tiny pin hole red lens for extreme black out conditions - Ron" Correct Ron....the first pattern MCT1 had the rubber seal around the lense cap to assist waterproofing, but this was discontinued 1942-43 due to the shortage of rubber...... First (1940-41) pattern lense cap had the tiny "pin hole" aperture in line with the strict blackout regulations then in force, therefore acquiring the term "fag end" lamp...........this was soon replaced (1942-ish) by the larger lense cap as regulations eased but still without the lower aperture to illuminate the number plate, etc..........third pattern came in during 1945, same lense but now with the lower aperture.........the tail lamp body now incorporated the "MCT1A" designation for the complete assembly as supplied, earlier lamp bodies either bearing the "MCT1" designation or nothing at all............... Below is an image of my 1942 W/NG with the 1st pattern lense fitted onto a later body...........swapping/mis-matching of component parts often occured and invariably older stocks were used up first......
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