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Ron

Royal Enfield WD/L project.

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Since this bike has already been mentioned on this forum and I have now collected it from Cambridgeshire. Here are a few pictures. The bike was last used in 1986 by the previous owner. He stripped the engine in that year and hasn't touched it since. There are lots of original features as well as a few wrong bits. The original paint on the inside of the chain case seems to be Khaki Green. I'll post updates on this thread as I progress. Ron

WDL 025.jpg

WDL 021.jpg

WDL 010.jpg

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Ron ..Thanks for the photos and I am looking forward to your thread on restoring the bike ..I am pleased that you have found an original paint sample to help with the restoration ......does the headlamp have the remains of the original paint as well ?

 

 

Jenkinov

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Well the previous owner never had lights on the bike when he bought it, and ran it for a year with a daylight MOT. But he acquired this NOS 8" headlamp which he has passed on to me. Ron

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Well I hadn't intended to make a start just yet. But the unique front mudguard was worrying me. It looks like someone had run into something, and the sides where popped out like gumboils. So I spent a couple of hours yesterday with a rubber mallet and the guard clamped to my workmate. Then I spent all day today working on it. I started with Nitromoors and a rope wire wheel in my angle grinder to strip the paint. Weld the un wanted number plate holes. Then some knocking up with some panel beaters hammers and dollies. Finally a skim of filler to cover the hammer marks. Tomorrow I will give it a coat of red oxide primer and then it's ready for some high build primer in the future. Ron

WDL 035.jpg

WDL 036.jpg

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Ron thanks for the photos ....I use nitromors regularly and have used both wire brushes and sand devices but have always felt the wire brushes are quite aggressive ....do you just use wire brushes.......

 

 

I see you have filled the front bumber plate holes ..the photo you showed of the wd L had number plates in place ? ...Were these removed by the army do you remove them on safety grounds ...

 

great to see a restoration in process ............inspires me to tacle my front mudguard ............

 

Jenkinov

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Thanks Jenkinov.

The information regarding this bike is very sparse, to say the least. The first contract of 100 of these in 1940, show the bikes fitted with front number plates. But i think that the later contract in 42, along with the sister WDG's had the number plates deleted.

Traditionally, Royal Enfield always used a three fixings front number plate. My front guard only had two holes. So I assumed that they were for a post war fitments number plate and I sub sequentially welded them up. Ron

WDL 038.jpg

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I may be wrong Ron, but I think 1942 may be a tad late for WD/Ls and Gs...? Jan will probably know more !!! Most of these "oddities" were of post-Dunkirk emergency procurement, although the situation of the time saw many non-standard bikes still being manufactured and delivered well into 1941.........but by 1942 the situation had eased and WD bikes were, by and large, fairly standardised by then..........

 

My 1940 16H was built to a post-Dunkirk (massive) contract (C7353) for 17,000 machines......Rik and I established that mine probably wasn't built and delivered until around Feb 41 at the earliest....and by then the front and rear numberplates had disappeared that were fitted to initial production in my contract......mind you, my 16H retained the holes in the mudguard for the fitting, no doubt to use up stocks of drilled 'guards at the works.....

 

So, your WD/L may have had numberplates still fitted....or not.....? And the matter is further confused by post-war civvy use and/or dealer rebuilding, as front numberplates were still a legal requirement at the time.......Best comparison may be to look at WD/C's manufactured around the same period, and see exactly what they were factory-fitted with......:D

Edited by wdbikemad

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Thanks Steve, any snippets of information you can come up with would be gratefully received. Naturally I'm in constant contact with Jan.

Here is a letter from the REOC which Jan has confirmed from the ledgers, which states that the bike was dispatched to Hilsea in 42.

 

Also here is a line up of Enfield's that you might have seen. Looks like a training unit (signals?). Not a number plate in sight The fourth, fifth and seven bike in the line are in fact WD/G's from Contract C8621. 1940/41 (The owner of the original photo has confirmed the census numbers on the first two G's) (Jan is hoping to buy the photo). Also by zooming in, we can see that the second G is not sporting panniers.

 

Since there is a lack of WD/L pictures. I will have to use the sister G pictures as reference......Or can you come up with a nice factory picture from contract C8620 from that shoe box under the bed???

 

Good to chat..Ron

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Dr02.jpg

Edited by Ron

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I'm surprised by the late despatch date of a non-standard make....but you can't argue with Steve Mayhew !! I'm inclined to think that Enfield were more into "home use" machinery, at least from 39 through to 42, most machines of their's being employed in non-front line areas (eg - Models D, C, (early) CO, J, etc) so they may have had a tad more freedom than other bulk manufacturers in the supply of machines to the Government....?

 

As we know, most civvy and overseas manufacture continued for many manufacturers well into 1940, only abruptly terminating following the fall of France, and there must have been a fair stock of civvy and export parts and machines knocking around the various works that didn't fit into the standard-type WD mould of the time.........from late 1940 most of AMC, Ariel, BSA and Norton's output was for a very limited number of models and almost wholly destined for the military for universal use anywhere across the Globe.......not so perhaps, Enfield........?

 

Certainly, 42 into 43 saw a change of direction, with Enfield's production scaling down to two specific models, the WD/CO and WD/RE........

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Yesterday I stripped the forks apart and am comparing part numbers with C and CO models to determine what might be universal parts. Some are, but not all. The main difference is the size of the fork spindles. These are 1/2" whereas the C/CO are only 7/16".

 

I have a pair of CO side damper knobs which will need drilling and tapping out to 1/2". Which means I need a 1/2"x26tpi left hand tap for the N/S knob??? Also I need the star shaped damper springs if anyone has any to sell.

 

One strange feature I have discovered. Is that the front wheel speedo drive, rotates in the wrong direction for a conventional speedo. Apparently it was a Royal Enfield thing on some of their pre war models???

During my short period of research on this model, I have come across two WD/G's that have had their front wheels turned round in the forks to counteract the rotation... I wont be doing that! David Woods (speedos) is going to have a go at reversing the rotation of the Jaeger type speedo that came with the bike.....No inner cable was fitted, so it was just an ornament.

 

Ron

WDL 069.jpg

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The damper knobs and star washers are fairly easy to source Ron....you see 'em at most good autojumbles....although finding a left-hand threaded one in 1/2" size may be more pot-luck than anything ! As you mention though, a standard one can be modified and a 1/2" left-hand cycle thread tap not impossible to source....maybe Tracy Tools..??

 

Apart from the primary inner, have you found anymore khaki paint on the bike yet ?

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Hi Steve/Pino.

 

I have emailed the 'Tap & Die Co' but no reply yet. I was just thinking of Tracy Tools next. A good engineer friend of mine can do it if I supply the L/H tap. He has a standard tap.

I haven't really stripped much of this old black gloop off yet. I went straight in with paint stripper on the front guard.

 

Hitchcock's have the star washers listed, but at £21 each plus post and VAT!! I thought I'd look around first.

 

David Woods just phoned me about the speedo. He's got the necessary helical gear to reverse the rotation, but the trip will have to go as he hasn't got the complicated parts to reverse it. So I'll live with that.

 

What about DVLA? This bike is registered in the new V5C as 1943. But it has a 1963 number (With an A). I phoned Swansea on Saturday. Pleasant guy called Tom. Said " no problem boyo" Just put the V5C with a covering letter through the letter box of your local DVLA office and they'll issue an age related number without inspection.

Local office just wrote back telling me I must restore the bike first??? Been on to Swansea again and now waiting for a call from the local office.

 

I don't understand how individuals in the same establishment interpret the rules differently.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron

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Ron ,,Thanks for the update .its great to see a full rebuild blow by blow ,,,The front suspension on the bike looked fairly complete was it not practical to re use the old star washers ? ..and are you confident the damper knobs fitted where not the original ones ,,..................interested as I tend to re use parts fitted parts .

 

Jenkinov

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Hi Jenk. If you look at the first picture in this thread. No damper knobs or star washers were present. However the previous owner had sourced some NOS CO damper knobs which I must modify.

 

I'm also looking for a rear stand if anyone has one to sell. Something like one of these. Or a post war Model G stand might do it. Ron

WDL 041.jpg

WDL 044.jpg

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Ron, good luck with the speedo....it might just be worth a phone call or email to Ashley Pople of "Speedo Repairs" in Frimley, Surrey (if he's still going).....he has a speedo workshop full of old chrono stuff so he might just be able to assist with the peculiar parts....I remember he sorted similar out for me on an old Enfield back in the early 90s.....:-D

 

And for the fork parts, whilst Hitchcock's are good, autojumbles are by far a better source for price in my experience......before they closed, Blay's of Twickenham had a fair few Enfield WD fork parts knocking around, including damper parts, plates, links, etc.......Bob Blay is still around on the odd autojumble, and I know he does Popham jumbles although I don't know how to contact him......perhaps try Eric Patterson or Paul....??? Also, Yeomans sometimes have obscure bits knocking around, as do Vale-Onslow.....I got a set of Miller Flea points from the latter !!!

Edited by wdbikemad

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Thanks Steve. I'll be on the hunt at Staffs. At least I won't be competing with Henk, Leon or Rik, who all have eyes like the proverbial hawk!

Yes Ashley Popple is still going. But seems to live in his own time zone??

 

I finished stripping the bike today, and I don't think I can get it any smaller. Some heat had to be applied to a couple of places for some removal persuasion. The saddles on these Enfield's also appear to be unique, with that large D shaped plate at the nose. I have the same saddles on my C and CO. Any idea who made them?

 

Also I found Khaki paint on the inside of the brake plates and also under the black paint on the saddle frame. Ron

WDL 074.jpg

WDL 076.jpg

WDL 078.jpg

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Hi Ron, well at least you now have a colour match !! Looks khaki-green No.3 gas-proof to me.......:D

 

I would assume that the saddle is Terry or Lycette manufacture, probably the former (due to the mattress springs, Lycette favouring elastics) but a variation model..........it's the same with many other models around the period 1939 - 42 (eg - the 16H saddles with the notched cutaway on the rear corner to clear the oil tank filler cap)........

 

This large number of variants was not particularly helpful during wartime production and supply, hence attempts at standardisation that resulted in the "universal" pattern saddle (along with controls, handlebars, etc) by late-44........

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First application of Nitromoors to the frame reveals more army green paint. God I hate this part!!

 

Today I went through some of my old tins of paint and by mixing and matching some Dark Olive/Olive/ American Light Olive/ and Service Brown. I have ended up with nearly 5 litres of 'Goose Turd Green by Moonlight' that is a bloody good match for the colour I have found on this bike. Ron

WDL 082.jpg

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I wrote an appeal to DVLA over the Easter weekend and popped it in my local office letter box. This afternoon I got a phone call on my mobile from Jemima. She apologised for the failings of another member of staff and said that an age related number would be issued to me within a few days.......I think I'm in love! Ron

Edited by Ron

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I couldn't understand why the bottom fork spring mount was removable? I'd never come across this before. Then over the weekend whilst cleaning up the other fork parts, I realised that the steering stem is reversible.

Apparently it was a feature of some 1930's Royal Enfield models. It's so you can alter the rake of the forks for side-car or solo use. The bottom spring mount can be adjusted accordingly.

 

You learn something every day! Ron

WDL 084.jpg

WDL 092.jpg

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Just rushed out to the garage to look at mine but it is 'central' type - so I will be looking for one like this since I have fitted a sidecar to my RE WD/C replica. I assume for solo the forks are set more vertical and for sidecar at an angel?

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Ron, the temptation of a project in the shed is obviously too strong !!! Primer applied and a snippet of khaki green I note......:D

 

Be up and running by the summer knowing you.....!!!:-)

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