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Davey089

1944 Flying Flea

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Hello

 

I can't seem to start a new post:embarrassed: so I've had to use the wanted section to as the question , but I am after a blanking plate for the headlight The question is I've seen the odd flying flea with the tips of the mudguards painted white , was this the norm or is it a one off ?

 

Also how can I find the "C" number for the tank ............the frame and engine number match 8753 i have the original log book it show is was "demobbed" in 1946 .

 

The plate on the mudguard reads.... Contract S6602 and the Catalogue ref no is 28

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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Also how can I find the "C" number for the tank

The plate on the mudguard reads.... Contract S6602 and the Catalogue ref no is 28

 

 

The bikes from contract S.6602 were numbered from C5816151 to C5816885. I'm afraid I can't help beyond that.

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The bikes from contract S.6602 were numbered from C5816151 to C5816885. I'm afraid I can't help beyond that.

 

Thanks for that, every bit of info helps

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Your Flea is the 583 rd bike in that Contract S6602 and I calculate your tank census number to be C5816733.

The painting of white tips was normaly done for home use for blackout purposes. Like the white edges to the wings of cars, to try and avoid everyone bumping into each other. I don't think you want any such target in a theatre of operation. Ron

 

Factory picture.

re 03.jpg

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Your Flea is the 583 rd bike in that Contract S6602 and I calculate your tank census number to be C5816733.

The painting of white tips was normaly done for home use for blackout purposes. Like the white edges to the wings of cars, to try and avoid everyone bumping into each other. I don't think you want any such target in a theatre of operation. Ron

 

Factory picture.

 

Brilliant thanks Ron ,that's one job I can now cross off my "to do" list

cheers

 

Dave

Edited by Davey089

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I'd be very surprised if the census numbers coincided with the frame numbers so precisely, Ron. It did happen but it seems that machines weren't always painted in sequence. The bike's number probably wouldn't have been far off the number that you've calculated, but I think it would be somewhere within plus or minus 30 of it.

 

The numbers certainly ran in sequence with a lot of post-war vehicles, eg Land-Rovers, where chassis plates were factory marked with the census number as well as the chassis number but in wartime it seems that this wasn't the case; it was just down to a signwriter with a batch of numbers and a row of vehicles to be marked up.

 

I don't know if they ran sequentially in pre-war vehicles but I'd like to find out.

 

There's one thing for sure though - if Dave paints that number on his Flea, I don't think anybody will be able to prove that it's wrong.

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Fair point Ivor, but it is generally considered that the main manufacturers ran the census numbers in sequence with the frame numbers. But nothing of course is cast in stone. I found this out with one on my Velo's, where I calculated the census number in sequence, but then found out from the VOC that the factory ledgers show my number to be out by 11. But then there are quite a few anomalies with Velocette, who did a few things not quite according to the book. Ron

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I understand that with larger 'B' vehicles, no true link between WD serial number and chassis number can be demonstrated. However, in terms of motorcycles, we are fortunate that copies of the post-war 'Key Cars' are in private hands and have been available for analysis.

 

Many of the machines therein have been rebuilt and the identity lost but there are sufficient with the serials originally issued which can be related to the frame numbers and these clearly show that the numbers were issued in order. It seems that this was the intention pretty much from the outbreak of war in terms of RAOC contracts and may be linked with the adoption of matching engine and frame numbers at that time.

 

It may be a factor that according to the Ministry of Supply ledgers, the main motorcycle manufacturers were paid 1/- per machine extra from mid-1940 onwards to apply the serial numbers. A straightforward paper tag tied to the machine as it went through production would be sufficient to ensure that the numbers matched.

 

Although there were a few slip ups during the early part of the war, by 1942, the system seems to have worked as it should have.

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I don't think there will be a Key Card for this machine because it was demobbed in 1946 before the new numbering system was introduced.

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Thanks for that 79. It has also been confirmed to me by Jan who runs the RE register that apart from a couple of minor errors, all Royal Enfield census numbers ran in sequence to the frame numbers. His formula also confirms my calculation for Dave's number.

 

Here is a good indication of the stencil style, which you can probably get from "Axholme Signs" http://www.axholmesigns.co.uk/

 

Ron

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Sorry, forgot to post the picture.

 

You can also buy the tank top transfer and the lube details and the headlamp Miller transfer from "Classic Transfers"

 

Ron

re%2002.jpg

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Thanks for all the input from everyone its been very helpful .I'm also curious to know would it have had the tyre pressures on the mudguards ? I know many Jeep owners put them on but I never bothered putting them on mine , was it a standard thing done at the factory or added afterwards by an MT section .

 

Dave

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Sorry, forgot to post the picture.

 

You can also buy the tank top transfer and the lube details and the headlamp Miller transfer from "Classic Transfers"

 

Ron

Thanks Ron , I was wondering about the transfers another job made easier . I've tried to source a blank for the headlight but had no luck, I rang Metal Magic but its something he is considering doing in the future.

 

Dave

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I'm also curious to know would it have had the tyre pressures on the mudguards ? I know many Jeep owners put them on but I never bothered putting them on mine , was it a standard thing done at the factory or added afterwards by an MT section .

 

Dave

 

I have seen it in a very few war time pictures and I have done it in the past on some of my vehicles/bikes but I don't do it any more as i think it's more likely a post war feature.

 

Here is the ammeter blanking plate that Metal Magic made for me years ago, but I have a feeling it should have a rivet in the centre. Something to check on and correct if necessary. Also showing the correct Miller switch. And if you want to get really serious, here is the correct Miller fag end tail lamp. Ron

lightweights 027.jpg

G 653.jpg

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Just a quick reply, that's my Flea pictured there! but I'm not the one carrying it, my back wouldn't stand it for one second!!

 

Cencus number hand painted, after first tracing outline with pencil, made up the font myself in photoshop, so nothing commercially avaialable as most of these are.

 

Re. tyre pressure markings, original black and white evidence shows that they were used on some fleas, not from the factory, but by troops most likely, email me for sample picture, also of font of census no.

 

Ron, no rivet on the blanking plates!! and the front and rear should be relieved to follow contour of headlamp, there is a little clip spotwelded to the backside to hold it in place, thought I sent you the piccy's ?? Also your headlamp stays are the civvy ones, ie. too long, or did you change those already?

 

Millerblackout001.jpg

 

Transfer indeed now available thanks to pictures of Matthew Moore, and research by me.

 

Have still a couple high quality reprint rider manuals for sale, not the el cheapo ones others offer after copying my copy.

 

Re. census numbers, the original idea was that the last 2 digits of the frame number were same as last 2 of the census number, Welbikes have this for example, others tried, but with the huge volume of bikes, this system soon fell by the wayside!!

 

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

Edited by welbike
Additional info

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Ron, no rivet on the blanking plates!! and the front and rear should be relieved to follow contour of headlamp, there is a little clip spotwelded to the backside to hold it in place, thought I sent you the piccy's ?? Also your headlamp stays are the civvy ones, ie. too long, or did you change those already?

Cheers,

 

Lex

 

Thanks for that Lex. Yes I long ago changed the headlamp brackets for the shorter ones. I've had that re-enacted picture of the bloke holding the Flea for a long time. I didn't realise it was your bike though. Cheers Ron

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Yes, and I have since changed the front mudguard centre stay, that was in the wrong spot somehow!!

 

Here the detail of the rear mudguard with the TP marking.

 

Flea_marking_01.jpg

 

The front TP was 16 btw.

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

Edited by welbike

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I have seen it in a very few war time pictures and I have done it in the past on some of my vehicles/bikes but I don't do it any more as i think it's more likely a post war feature.

 

Here is the ammeter blanking plate that Metal Magic made for me years ago, but I have a feeling it should have a rivet in the centre. Something to check on and correct if necessary. Also showing the correct Miller switch. And if you want to get really serious, here is the correct Miller fag end tail lamp. Ron

 

Thanks Ron,

I was debating about the Tyre pressure stencil , that's made my mind up I'll not bother . I've seen a few Jeeps with just about every stencil that's available put on them , which to me looks a bit OTT .

 

Unfortunately Metal Magic hasn't any of the blanks on stock and is unavailable, its an item that he is looking at making in the future . The switch ,light and blank now I know what they look like is something I can look out for at auto jumbles.

 

Dave

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It should be quite easy to make the blanking plate. By using a piece of steel bar or socket or something of the same diameter as the hole as an anvil and with a slightly bigger disc of 14-16 gauge clamped to the top of it and gently peen the edge round. Ron

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It should be quite easy to make the blanking plate. By using a piece of steel bar or socket or something of the same diameter as the hole as an anvil and with a slightly bigger disc of 14-16 gauge clamped to the top of it and gently peen the edge round. Ron

 

I thought about that but was after an easy fix , then again probably not an easy fix because none are available :D.That looks like the solution is make one.

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Having restored two WD Flea's now, one early and one from the last Contract, it's no easy job to do if parts are missing.......the WD Flea is significantly different to it's James ML WD and civvy counterparts............

 

Re: the headlight - it's a standard Miller unit with the riveted-on side bosses and two holes on top for the switch and blanking plate.........the plate itself is a pressing in either 1/16ths or 1/8ths gauge steel and as Lex has mentioned is contoured to fit the headlight shell pretty closely and secured in place by a thin steel strip spot-welded in place........as for the switch, good luck ! It was unique to the WD Flea and has "Ch H T P" positions...........although the top of the switch is unique, the bottom is almost common with all other Miller switches and they are easily disassembled so if you can source a top, you can cannibalize a similar civvy switch for the rest............reflector and bulb holder are also standard Miller........blackout mask is also of Miller pattern and although similar, not the same as the Lucas type......

 

Tail lamp also very hard to source...........

 

WD handlebars are also different to the civvy ones, so best to check that yours haven't been replaced at some point..........

 

Engine should have the frame number stamped on top beneath the carburetter.........note that the latter is almost the same as the James ML but has a different (non-standard) needle and jet block...it is a Type 3/2 rather than a 3/1.....the choke assembly also has a different part number but I'm not sure what the differences are here.............

 

Rear wheel sprocket also has one tooth difference to the civvy versions..............

 

Later in the war some manufacturers were lucky enough to have the Serial numbers running in-line with the frame numbers, but not all...........in the case of Ariel, their parts lists carry frame, engine and serial numbers in editions from about 1942 onward but not necessarily matching the frame or engine numbers ! :-D

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Having restored two WD Flea's now, one early and one from the last Contract, it's no easy job to do if parts are missing.......the WD Flea is significantly different to it's James ML WD and civvy counterparts............

 

Re: the headlight - it's a standard Miller unit with the riveted-on side bosses and two holes on top for the switch and blanking plate.........the plate itself is a pressing in either 1/16ths or 1/8ths gauge steel and as Lex has mentioned is contoured to fit the headlight shell pretty closely and secured in place by a thin steel strip spot-welded in place........as for the switch, good luck ! It was unique to the WD Flea and has "Ch H T P" positions...........although the top of the switch is unique, the bottom is almost common with all other Miller switches and they are easily disassembled so if you can source a top, you can cannibalize a similar civvy switch for the rest............reflector and bulb holder are also standard Miller........blackout mask is also of Miller pattern and although similar, not the same as the Lucas type......

 

Tail lamp also very hard to source...........

 

WD handlebars are also different to the civvy ones, so best to check that yours haven't been replaced at some point..........

 

Engine should have the frame number stamped on top beneath the carburetter.........note that the latter is almost the same as the James ML but has a different (non-standard) needle and jet block...it is a Type 3/2 rather than a 3/1.....the choke assembly also has a different part number but I'm not sure what the differences are here.............

 

Rear wheel sprocket also has one tooth difference to the civvy versions..............

 

Later in the war some manufacturers were lucky enough to have the Serial numbers running in-line with the frame numbers, but not all...........in the case of Ariel, their parts lists carry frame, engine and serial numbers in editions from about 1942 onward but not necessarily matching the frame or engine numbers ! :-D

 

Thanks for the info , when you say the frame number is stamped on the engine , does it also have it stamped on the frame somewhere . Interesting I've just looked at the engine and found another number 4800 ???

What will the actual year of the Flea be ? using the census number and frame/engine number , I understand it to be 1944 is that correct ?

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The actual engine number of a Flea is stamped on the rear engine lug and should start with a 'V' ( For Villiers carb). An engine was taken from stock and once fitted to a frame, the Royal Enfield system was to then also stamp the frame number on the crankcase.

Effectively giving it two engine numbers. Ron

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The actual engine number of a Flea is stamped on the rear engine lug and should start with a 'V' ( For Villiers carb). An engine was taken from stock and once fitted to a frame, the Royal Enfield system was to then also stamp the frame number on the crankcase.

Effectively giving it two engine numbers. Ron

 

Just looked again and the 4800 has a V .........V4800 , strange the "old" logbook and new one lists the engine and frame number as 8753, as can be seen in the photo they don't match !

IMG_0786.jpg

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