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wdbikemad

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wdbikemad last won the day on November 17 2017

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About wdbikemad

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

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  1. Steve, no major concerns over the colour you've found......... Late ML's were finished in British Olive Drab and yours being a late-one/early post war was likely finished in this scheme even if a civilian colour scheme (usually black or maroon) was the applied over the military base coat......this would also apply to component parts supplied as spares and existing stock at the factory....... As you're using an earlier frame now, your correct colour for that and the bike would be SCC No.2 brown if going for 1943........
  2. Steve, Ron is spot-on as usual about the stand.....the WD centre stand was not as durable as originally designed. Repeated heavy use of the kick-starter with the bike on the stand can actually bend the item and/or cause the legs/feet to spread (I've been there !).....the stand was lightly re-designed for post-war civilian production by extending the feet and lowering the bottom cross-bar to help prevent the stand from spreading.....post-war civilian ML's weren't fitted with a decompressor so the risk of damaging the early pattern stand through kick-starting was highly likely...... Your gear-knob is correct......these were Wooden, originally stained black and lacquered ....... Ron is also correct about the handlebar levers.....
  3. Dave, congrats on digging out your ML ! As Ron has commented, your ML would appear to be an early post-war civilian example, possibly either 1946 or 1947 ? Do you have a V5 document for it ? The number on the flat-"plate" section at the top of the gearbox cover "539/416" is a post-war Villiers engine identification number....these didn't feature on wartime engines as the "AAA" number is the actual engine number of yours which is either pre-war civilian (circa 1939-41) or very early WD. Unfortunately records of Villiers 9D engine numbers do not appear to have been retained but it is thought that they were fitted to WD James ML's at random without any particular sequence. The suffix "A" after the engine number was a mark applied by Villiers to signify a post-1939 9D engine with the revised crankcase sealing method (the "gland" seal on the driving side), the "A" signifying "amended"...... I suspect that your ML is a post-war civilian example that has been fitted at some point in the past with an exchange or replacement engine unit that may or may not be WD.....the gearbox cover would not be related to the engine and is likely also a replacement part..... Some of the early civilian production ML's used up existing stock of WD parts. These included the cylindrical tool box, the WD DU42 headlight, handlebars and folding footrests. Any combination of these parts may be encountered and may reflect a post-war dealer rebuild or refurbishment........ Compared to the WD/RE Flea, it is not too difficult to construct a replica WD machine from a civilian model. Most of the WD-specific parts are available as reproductions or existing parts can be adapted. However, this is clearly a personal choice ! Please post some images on here as always of interest !
  4. Nathan, do you have this part ? It's the early K/WM20 steering damper locking device......
  5. Steve, good work so far ! With the forks, they're easy enough to assemble into the frame whilst on the workbench....in fact, you can build them up once the headstock is in position. Things to bear in mind: make sure all threads are clean and working as it makes the job so much easier; don't bother finely adjusting the steering head/head-stock until the bike is sitting on it's wheels, same with the fork links; also, you may find progress easier if you assemble the two frame portions and then fit the stand/footrest/rear brake assemblies as this provides a decent platform to work from ! Peter Miller's book on the ML is a very good reference. Like Ron, I know Peter well and his son Richard. I see you have the ML workshop manual - if you haven't already, obtain the WD parts list as well as it details every last washer !
  6. Spot on Ron ! Both the Flea and the ML's rear wheel is easily removed with everything in place, although the former can be a bit more fiddly due to the longer rear mudguard...... It's always surprised me that the ML wasn't specified/fitted with a rear carrier whereas the Flea was.........looking at various period images of ML's in service, notably following the D-day landings, it seems that some were certainly fitted with improvised bags on the rear.......
  7. ML parts with the "A" suffix weren't an amended part ! It was simply James's way of identifying similar component parts, such as fork links, headlamp brackets, etc...... It must be remembered that the ML was an entirely new model developed for the military, vaguely based on a pre-war civilian "K" model......the parts list for the first contract WD version (S. 1972) includes these "A" suffixed numbers from the start of production so they certainly weren't amended parts..... Few modifications occurred to the ML during production between 1943 and 1945.......The steering head top-lug as mentioned above changed early in production to a simplified type using less metal and improved lubrication. My early ML (frame ML 27) has the early lug fitted but my later one (ML 3401) still within the first contract has the modified version. The only other modification noted at the very end of WD production was the fitting of a clip for the centre stand, the frame incorporating two drilled and threaded holes for attachment....... It's also worth noting that whilst the carburetter and filter assembly appear to be identical to the item fitted to the WD/RE they are not really meant to be interchangeable.....the ML carb is marked "3/1" on top whereas the Flea is marked "3/2".......the primary difference is the needle and the needle block which are a different measurement. The ML uses a "standard" needle and jet block whereas the Flea uses "non standard" items. Fortunately, Villiers also marked the needle at the top and the jet block on the top with either a "2" or a "1" to identify components........saying all that, you can swap needles and jet blocks around and both types are available from Villiers Services. There is also a difference between the ML and WD/RE choke assemblies but what this is I have yet to establish.....it may be the positioning of the threaded portion to attach the choke as both carb assemblies sit at different angles when fitted......... The bulk of ML models produced between 1943 and late 1944 were finished in SCC No.2 brown......thereafter machines were factory finished in (British) olive drab. Later contracts, most of which remained in storage, were generally green......
  8. Steve, well done on starting the project ! Could you possibly share your (new) frame number and engine number ? I'm compiling a list of survivors ! Thanks chap, Steve
  9. Can you list what you're looking for ?
  10. Monty, looking good ! I've built several Villiers 9D engines over the years and they're pretty simple to work on........ Best source of supply for parts is Villiers Services...they've pretty much got everything..... Points to check carefully apart from the usual are the crankcase seals and piston rings/bore to ensure good compression..... As for the ignition/engine timing, note that Villiers used three different points assemblies between 1938 and 1948. The correct one for the WD James is in a brass casing and requires spanners to adjust the points. Post-war Villiers employed an improved assembly in an alloy casing.....the first version has points now adjusted by a screwdriver and then a later version incorporates a cam to make adjustment even easier. All assemblies are interchangeable and hidden once fitted...... Do fit a new condensor........ When timing the engine and fitting the big brass flywheel, initially ignore any timing marks on the flywheel. Although Villiers did stamp timing marks on the flywheel I've had at least two engines where the existing marks were inaccurately stamped, so it's well worth starting off timing by "eye".......all easy to do with the head off.....
  11. wdbikemad

    Calling Steve M

    Roger that Ron !
  12. I think they are foundry casting/mould marks...? All my ML's have them on various components........ The WD ML's are fairly unusual in that they don't appear to carry the standard WD inspection stamp anywhere (the arrow or "crowsfoot" with a number beneath) on the engine......
  13. I was lucky enough to have a new old stock (NOS) set of cables for my second ML (probably the earliest survivor too with Frame number "ML 27") and my other one (Frame "ML 3401") still has the original cables on it....... The cables are all black lacquered cotton-covered.........fortunately, years ago now I bought a load of various new cables dating back to the 1940's/1950's plus a long length of lacquered braided cable covering. With a reasonable stock of cable ferrules, adjusters, nipples, etc, and having originals to copy, making a set for the current ML I am working on (Frame "435") has been an easy task....... The petrol tank filler caps on both the Flea and the ML were originally painted on top. I had one NOS example still in the box and this was painted........it would soon wear off in use however....
  14. Ron is, as usual, spot-on ! ML engine and carb all painted at the factory......... Gear cover should be curved all-over without the flat portion for the engine number (this is a post-war feature) but apart from that is the same component.....always a case of making do with the next best thing if the original is beyond repair..... The plug on WD versions does indeed go on the left with the decompressor on the right.....it doesn't make any difference to the running although for aesthetics should be on the left..... Bike's looking good Monty !
  15. That's a lovely piece of engineering....!
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