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HQsignals

ML restoration

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Since I'm starting to take on my James ML's restoration, I decided to make a topic to share the progress with you guys.

It will be the very first restoration for me, so I'm still learning along the way.

 

As I picked it up:

ml11.jpg

 

 

Hope you guys enjoy the topic.

 

Kind regards,

Bjorn

Edited by HQsignals

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After disassembling the ML, I started by sandblasting the parts.

Main focus was getting the bare frame together.

Added a 2K primer and top coat. Still need to paint some bolts & nuts.

 

 

15wghuf.jpg

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GREAT project ..looking forward to more. Just wondered why paint the nuts and bolts? They would probably not be painted when new but cadmium/dull chrome finished.

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GREAT project ..looking forward to more. Just wondered why paint the nuts and bolts? They would probably not be painted when new but cadmium/dull chrome finished.

 

Hi Andy,

 

I still need to sort out the nuts & bolts. As I don't have a lot of time to work on the ML I figured the bolts & nuts would be easy to replace in a later stage.

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Since Andy queried the nuts and bolts, can I query.....Why the silver wheel? Ron

James_M.L_Airborne.jpg

Lightweights 294.jpg

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Hi Ron,

 

I haven't overhauled the front wheel yet. Still bears color and tyre it came in.

It was just easier for moving the ML around.

 

 

n3125e.jpg

 

Regards,

Bjorn

Edited by HQsignals

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Sorry Bjorn. I probably should have realised that if I'd referred back to your original post/picture.

 

I tried to get mine as correct (paint/plating) as I could.

 

Regards Ron

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Interesting pic Ron, the knife the Para has looks like a Fairbairn & Sykes commando knife in a Ka-Bar sheath/scabbard.

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I hadn't even noticed it Duke (Too busy looking at details of the bike). I had a complete original Para's uniform before I sold up my uniform collection. The Para trousers had a special thin pocket on the front to accept the Fairbairn Sykes dagger and its scabbard. Perhaps it wasn't very comfortable for this guy on a little bike and he's adopted his own idea? Ron

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It has been a while since I saw a paratrousers, but perhaps the knife/scabbard would get in the back of your knee while riding in the position shown in the picture? Hence the alternative carrying method.

 

regards,

Bjorn

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Time to pick this up again. The project has been sitting around for too long this winter while I had other things on my mind.

I'm now looking for a good seat for the motorcycle. Finding an original Mansfield will be almost impossible, so looking around for some alternatives that at least will look very similar. Does anyone have any suggestions ?

 

regards,

Bjorn

 

Edited by HQsignals

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On 9/3/2017 at 6:29 AM, Ron said:

Since Andy queried the nuts and bolts, can I query.....Why the silver wheel? Ron

James_M.L_Airborne.jpg

Lightweights 294.jpg

The photo showing the para on a ML was a well-known James publicity image............

But if you study the image closely, the Para is actually a Canadian......note the "wings" worn on the left breast rather than on the sleeve as with British para's..........note also the Canadian pattern ammo boots without toe-cap............the fighting knife is typical for Canadian's with access to both British and American gear................

ML's were never actually used by parachute troops as no drop-cradle was ever developed for the ML.........the ML weighed a good 30-40lb more than the similar WD/RE Enfield (which was used by para's and had it's own drop-cradle) which could make-up a critical weight disadvantage on operations.........that said however, the ML was arguably of far more robust construction that the Flea and consequently more "durable".......ML's, however, were deployed in glider's alongside other airborne units although their greater usage from 1943 onward was for use by ground-based assault troops in places such as Sicily, Normandy, etc, where their light-weight enabled easy carriage on other vehicles such as Jeeps, Carriers, etc...........

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1 hour ago, HQsignals said:

Time to pick this up again. The project has been sitting around for too long this winter while I had other things on my mind.

I'm now looking for a good seat for the motorcycle. Finding an original Mansfield will be almost impossible, so looking around for some alternatives that at least will look very similar. Does anyone have any suggestions ?

 

regards,

Bjorn

 

The ML and the Flea shared the same small-size Mansfield saddle assembly, only differing in the rear springs fitted...........

To assist you Bjorn, here are some images of the Mansfield saddle frame and mattress spring assembly as fitted to my Flea........quite a distinct shape............the cover is also pretty unique and carries a brass-stamped "Mansfield" badge to the rear........I actually cast one in resin using my original one from the ML as a pattern, and once painted up looks the same.........I still have the rubber mould here..........

Repro saddles sold today are normally advertised as "Bantam" size, etc............they're not too bad overall and most is covered by the cover once fitted to the bike........however, the metal of the saddle frame shape is not quite so with a bit of bending and re-jigging you can get it to resemble the original pretty well although having an original to copy is a bonus.........as for the cover, I made a template of my original and then sent it off to R K Leighton to have it copied although I asked them to supply the fixing clips and rivets loose for me to position and fit accurately...............

013.jpg

014.jpg

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