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bigduke6

WD Matchless Chassis and Catalogue No's

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New to the forum, recently bought a Matchless G3L (1947) with the view to get a feel and some knowledge of the G3L before looking again for a WD G3L, not long after unloading the 47 bike I got wind or a possible offer of a WD bike.... then as luck would have it while searching for parts etc on ebay, come across a classified for a WD G3L 1943, the deal was done in seconds and picked it up on Sunday. (just like buses once one comes along the rest follow)

 

Still going over bike for what I need etc, I've a certificate to date it from the Matchless owners club, which I need to return as it has two digits the wrong way round, so the difference is around 4000 bikes, still puts in the 1943 year just unsure of the month.

 

On the tool box cover the metal plate gives me a Chassis Contract No and Catalogue No, just wonder where to look to with this info ? and if its original to the bike.

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The trouble is that these plates (or toolbox) could have come from another bike. Best to work from the frame number. If you post it up or PM it. Myself or someone will look it up for you. Check the number directly from the frame (a picture is best) not the V5C (log book) or other documents.

 

Ron

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The trouble is that these plates (or toolbox) could have come from another bike. Best to work from the frame number. If you post it up or PM it. Myself or someone will look it up for you. Check the number directly from the frame (a picture is best) not the V5C (log book) or other documents.

 

Ron

 

 

Thanks Ron,

 

PM on the way.

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Big Thanks to Ron for the relevant info, everything checks out, Engine is a replacement (1947) and not a Military replacement, but not too concerned, did a temp repair to the oil supply yesterday so got some circulating and kicked it over testing the Magneto, spark was there so hope to fire it up soon. Some pics below.

 

pltfEAm.jpg

 

jr4SJuC.jpg

Edited by bigduke6

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Looks a pretty good bike to start fixing up. There are plenty of things to sort out but you can work through them bit by bit. The toolbox is mounted in the wrong position, the exhaust pipe should curve over the footrest, and battery holder is wrong. Not sure about your petrol tank, but that would have a pie crust type cap same as on the oil tank, but it has a lot less wrong with it than the bike I started with! There was quite a lot of variation in the ancillaries and fittings through the production life of the WDG3L, so beware of pulling off parts that maybe look different to those on another WDG3L, but are actually correct for your bike! Good luck with it.

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Never noticed the exhaust, The battery holder is a repair on the original one I,ve already sorted some bits to fabricate another, the rear seat is not original to bike but don't know when it was added, as its got ridge down the centre to fit over the first type of mudguard, anyone know where I can get a speedo, one on ebay the other day went for £250, I need two actually one for the WD and one for the 1947 G3L. Was thinking of a replica one for the time being.

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There are a lot of parts still available as NOS (at least in UK, but I guess you can get them mailed, eg from Russell Motors or AMC Classic spares) or good repro, including that battery carrier. Check out eBay. Things like cables and consumables are readily available. The speedo is trickier. Unless you are very lucky, it will be hard to get and expensive. The dealer I got mine from only did exchanges (chronometric for chronometric) and that seems to be common, but the cost of swapping need not be high and I guess it gives you the option if buying a more common postwar speedo and swapping for a WD one, which is what I did. Check some instrument dealers in the US and see if they can help.

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Ferg has made some valid points and observations, especially the one about Matchless modifying and changing parts frequently. In that respect I wouldn't worry about your pillion saddle too much. The central rib could be used on both types of guard. Although it does look a bit close to the riders saddle?

 

I sent you a couple of pictures of mine, which I hope is reasonably correct. Below is a reminder. Although your tank looks the right shape (again there were two variations to the G3L tank) I'm guessing that yours with a bayonet cap, must be post war. It's the usual case also, that a lot of the correct WD parts were changed post war. Like ammeter, switch, levers, speedo etc. All fairly hard to find now and expensive. I wouldn't consider one of the Indian speedos, they don't look at all right. Although I have no idea of their quality, suffice to say a lot of their other stuff is crap. Ron

G3L 131.jpg

G3L 137.jpg

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Thanks Ferg and Ron, will just plod along, and keep an eye out for a speedo, will be searching the junk boxes at the War & Peace this year.

 

The tank is the first thing to do and cure the rust, as you mention parts etc during the life of G3L, I know how the Army operates also, the nearest spare to hand is used when it comes to repairs etc.

 

Think the only things that will come off is the Battery box and the rear seat, looks like its been fitted more recently, needs some tin bashing also. On the subject of seats, when did they start to use canvas as a seat cover ?

 

The pannier frames are slightly different to most I,ve seen as they don't have the wing nut to secure when down or up.

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The 'WRIGHTS' canvas covered saddles were not made for motorcycles. They were in fact a gun layers seat for an artillery piece. But over the years some artistic licence has crept in, and I dare say some enterprising squadies might have used them to avoid getting a scorched arse in a hot country. I've even done it on my desert 3HW.

 

Regarding the pannier frames with the 'sliders' I've only ever seen them fitted to Matchless G3L's in original pictures. I reckon they must have been made by or for Matchless. All the rest seem to have the universal wing nut type.

 

Ron

3HW 243.jpg

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I've just been reminded that it was the 'ARCHER' self propelled gun that had the motorcycle saddle for the gun layer. You can see it on this example, missing the cover (bottom left) Ron

 

PS since I posted this, I've been trying to do some research and asking around it seems that these guns also might have used Rexine on the saddles. So still no conclusive proof about where the canvas saddles were used?

Archer.jpg

Edited by Ron

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The 'WRIGHTS' canvas covered saddles were not made for motorcycles. They were in fact a gun layers seat for an artillery piece.

 

So, first for the gunner, and then later for the gunner's daughter?

 

trevor

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Hi there , I'm new to this forum so please be gentle with me . After looking at your WD Matchless I noticed it has a mag-dyno . I am only familiar with civilian models with a sprung frame and as I remember they have separate magneto and dynamo . If Matchless then the dynamo is in front of the engine with the mag behind , believe it or not the AJS was the other way around but everything else was the same if my memory serves me right . Enjoy your WD Matchless .

 

Paul . K

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Hi Paul.

No both the AJS and Matchless have the dynamo in that silly place in the middle of the engine plates to the rear of the engine which is driven by a chain in the primary case. The Matchless has its mag to the rear of the engine driven by a chain from the inlet cam. The AJS mag is in front driven by the ex cam. Ron

AJS_1939_350cc.jpg

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Oil debates can get long and tedious. For years and thousands of miles I've used Morris Golden Film Classic 40 in all my bike engines. Which I usually buy off the same guy at Kempton or Shepton Jumbles for £15-£16 a can. There is always someone selling it at jumbles a lot cheaper than the RRP. Ron

G 1775.jpg

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Thanks Ron,

 

I know a little about oil (worked for a few major oil companies in the past) long time since I've looked for something for a classic.

 

I,ll keep my eyes open. Gearbox was the other I was going to mention?

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The Burman gearbox on a matchless is semi fluid grease. In the old days I think you had to mix axle grease with white spirit. But you can find semi fluid on google. Mind you it's still a bugger to get it in. I stood the pot in simmering water to get it as thin as poss then rodded it in. Takes patience! I think the original idea was to fill the box on strip downs. Ron

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Thanks Ron regarding the gearbox, Although a slow start as I've a million other jobs in hand but made a start on the petrol tank, I've used the electrolysis process as the start to remove some of the rust that was present, doing the inside and out,

will get some pics of the process up soon for anyone interested.

 

Regarding petrol tanks has anyone used or recommend a sealer for the tank? all the bikes I've ever had used to get a clean with gravel a good flush out with red diesel then petrol.

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Well Petseal is no good any more! I think the only one I would risk using if I had too is 'Caswell' (google it)

 

Ron

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Regarding petrol tanks has anyone used or recommend a sealer for the tank? all the bikes I've ever had used to get a clean with gravel a good flush out with red diesel then petrol.

 

I just used por-15 sealer, but I haven't used the tank or even put fuel in it yet.

 

It was a very simple process to seal it, that's all I can say for now.

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Well Petseal is no good any more! I think the only one I would risk using if I had too is 'Caswell' (google it)

 

Ron

 

 

I gather you never use one Ron?

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I've had enough heartache over the last few years with removing de-laminating Petseal from various bikes that I would only use it if I had too. But a guy who is well known round here for motorcycle painting (Larry) swears by Caswell. In some cases it's unavoidable, like fibreglass and even ally tanks I think. Ron

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