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Ron

Royal Enfield ......Rare find

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"Buggers Up" Is that a technical term used in the electroplating trade or simply a leisure activity amongst old vehicle enthusiasts in Poole ?

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As in "ARRR He'da be a roight buggerrr my you" In the vernacular o' vold Darzet.  Ron, who has mostly lost my original accent of Sarf Lonen. 

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One thing that always floats my boat are WD motorcycles with a pretty likely provenance................and they are rare in the extreme................this particular WD/C, and Rik's 16H are two examples...............if they were mine, I'd never part with them..............

About 20 years ago now, I was fortunate enough to acquire a very original 1940 WD/C complete with nearly all the original fittings, alu brake plates, etc..........it had, I think from memory, frame No. 3002 which made it the second bike produced under contract C.6125..................I restored it, didn't use it, and it was soon snapped up (wonder where it is now ?)......early engine timing cover too without the additional oil filter and small toolbox with the "briefcase" lock..................

Prior to this I owned a late WD/C that I used as daily transport..............it was good for 50mph, more on occasions, but eventually expired one particular day with the conrod shearing, taking the piston and much of the engine with it................Lol........but in fairness, I flogged it to death....................

I know my Flying Flea was delivered to the WD at Cambridge in September 1944 despite being built a year earlier in 1943.........I also know it was retained post-war until nearly 1954...........................my James was also sold-off in the early 1950's as war surplus "rebuilt" despite being built in 1943............my 1942 Ariel was found disassembled in a coal cellar in Kent many years ago now still in WD trim, and my 1941 Norton found in New Dehli, India........but with paint traces underneath showing desert use and the piston marked as being made by 501 Command workshops, IME (Indian Mechanical Engineers - the equivalent of our REME) based at Chaklala (Pakistan) in 1945........................

The history of our individual bikes and War service often remains frustratingly absent today.........................

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Ron ..regards chroming used silencers...locally they have done it for my mate in the past..... as the last job before they renew the solution...just have to wait to fit in with them..might be worth asking if your guy would do this for you being such a longstanding customer!

Also could you please post closer up pics of the silencer "side on" and "open,  rear end on" please if not too much trouble .

Thanks  A

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Andy I can get used exhaust parts and petrol tanks plated in Coventry, but not sure he does dull chrome plate. I'll ask him, he might say yes, then after a 3 month wait it could come back not as I want it. I picked up this handlebar yesterday from my plate shop for my 3SW as I've recently realised it should be matt chrome and not painted. But they categorically refuse to have any contaminated parts on the premises.  Apparently it stems from an episode some years ago when a member of staff did a homer with a friends parts which ended up costing them thousands of pounds in ruined plating and flushing and changing tanks of fluid.

I'll photograph the exhaust system tomorrow, but I have some originals on some of my RE's. Ron  

3SW 164.jpg

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Here is Ben's original silencer and underneath is one from a small batch that Armours have made to my specification. Unfortunately they are unable to reproduce the original oval shape to the main silencer, but at least from the side view it looks like the original shape, which is loads better than the normal 'common or garden' universal silencer that they have on their list for RE's. Ron

Ben 051.jpg

Ben 052.jpg

Ben 053.jpg

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Hi Ron,

I'm back in town... ^_^

Had forgotten that the silencer on Ben's bike had been opened, probably to remove the internals, and welded together again. Just a thought... why not open it again, clean it up thoroughly inside, maybe put the perforated tubes and baffles back in, and weld the seam properly? In that case it could be chromed by your platers?

Jan

Edited by rewdco

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You're also expecting some history from me... here it is:

On September 1st 1939, Hitler invades Poland. As a reaction, England declares war against Germany on September 3rd 1939. The following months (September 1939 – May 1940) are known as “the phoney war”. On Sept 11th 1939, the British Expeditionary Force (four divisions, 158.000 men) left for France, to defend the borders with Belgium and Germany against a possible German invasion. But until May 1940, when Hitler invaded Holland, Belgium and France, there was not a lot of fighting activity. Both camps were using this period to expand their armies...

The first “demand” for a WD/C contract dates from September 27th 1939. That day, Sir John Simon (who was regarded as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s right hand man) gets his first “war budget”, and on that same day, the big motorcycle manufacturers receive orders to build lots of motorcycles. Contracts C/5107 (1.000 Royal Enfield WD/C models), C/5108 (3.300 Triumphs), C/5109 (6.000 Nortons), C/5110 (8.100 BSAs) and C/5111 (100 Ariels) were all demanded on 27/09/39.

Unlike BSA and Norton, who had already sold military M20 and 16H motorcycles to the Army, Enfield still had to develop a military version from its civilian model C. In the REOC Archives, I have found a picture (presumably taken in October 1939) of what must have been a pre-production WD/C motorcycle (for approval...?). Typical features that weren’t taken over on the production bikes are a fixed front mudguard support (a “front stand” type was used on the production motorcycles) and an 8” headlamp (6” on the production motorcycles).

449.JPG

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The production of this first WD/C contract must have started towards the end of November 1939. The picture below (taken on December 8th 1939) shows what may have been the very first batch of WD/Cs, delivered to Feltham. Note that the headlamp is a 6” item now, but the front lower mudguard support is still the same as on the prototype model above. A total of 284 WD/Cs were built in 1939.

ww2 bikes.jpg

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Some of the contract C/5107 WD/Cs were sent to France, as part of the British Expeditionary Forces equipment.

On May 10th 1940, Hitler invades Belgium and Holland. By May 14th 1940, the German tanks had crossed the river Meuse and had opened up a fifty-mile gap in the Allied front. Six days later they reached the Channel. When he heard the news, Winston Churchill, who had just become prime minister, ordered the implementation of Operation Dynamo: a plan to evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces troops and their equipment, along with the remnants of the French army, from the French port of Dunkirk. Between 27th May and 4th June, a total of nearly 700 ships brought 338.226 people back to Britain. All heavy equipment was abandoned and left in France. Ellis' official history “The War in France & Flanders 1939 – 1940” gives the following statistics:

Vehicles shipped to France   68.618
Lost                                               63.879
Brought back                                4.739

Motorcycles                                 21.081
Lost                                                20.548
Brought back                                    533

In these 20.548 motorcycles that were abandoned in Belgium and France there were also some WD/Cs. I have put all my pre-Dunkirk British Army contract WD/C data (period  C/5107 and C/5654 photographs and Register data) in a table, and have come to this conclusion: I currently have 6 entries that are definitely ex BEF bikes (discovered in France), with the following census numbers: C68071, C68074, C68081, C68118, C68144 (Captain Keating's bike) and C68153. It looks as if the first batch (minimum 320 motorcycles) stayed in the UK. Then we have a small batch (minimum 79, based on these census numbers, maximum 337 based on the frame numbers of the bikes before and after the BEF batch in my Register) that were sent to France, but it looks as if the majority of the pre-Dunkirk WD/Cs stayed in the UK...

There was also a WD/C contract for the French Army. After a lot of research, I have come to the conclusion that approximately 600 “French contract” WD/Cs were built before the Fall of France, but 142 of these never made it to France… From the approximately 460 motorcycles that did arrive in France, at least 299 were registered within the French registration system. Those that weren’t registered within the French system probably didn’t make it much further than the French channel port docks…

Edited by rewdco

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My own WD/C was found close to the Maginot line, where it had spent the immediate post war years as a civil bike. It was laid up in the 1950's and sold by a relative of the original owner. When I found the bike, it was badged as an FN, the paperwork that came with the bike was indeed for a 1920's FN. The most visible numbers on the engine had been filed out and replaced by the FN's frame number. I can only imagine that the bike was abandoned by the retreating 51 DIV (who were stationed at the Maginot Line in May 1940), and it must soon have been discovered by one of René Artois' compatriots. These BEF WD/Cs were built around February 1940, so they were still brand new in May 1940! Our Frenchman must have hidden the bike for the Germans during the war, but when the war was over, he was faced with a problem: he had a "brand new" khaki bike without any paperwork... How did he have to explain this to the local Gendarme...? Pas de problème, he did a complete make-over, and the bike was a 1920's FN now!

I decided to rebuild my WD/C in the colors of the 51 DIV, as this is in my opinion the most likely "first owner". The Frenchman who used the bike after the war has done a lot of bodges, to keep the bike running. This made the rebuild that I had to do quite a challenge. But based on some original factory photographs, I have managed to get all the details correct, it now looks exactly as it left the factory in February 1940.

WDC.jpeg

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Hi Jan

Thanks for posting the History side of things. I know you thoroughly went over C68153 after you picked it up, Ron has the list you prepared. 

I hope to have yours and mine sat besides each other in Dunkirk in a few years time. 

Good idea about opening the exhaust out, that would certainly be a good way of repairing it and getting it re-plated. 

All the best

Ben

 

 

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Thanks Jan. I was just about to say all that^_^

Christmas will get in the way now, but I'm gradually compiling a list of engine bits and cross referencing the numbers with CO numbers. I've had to do this several times with other WD Enfield models and fortunately for us they all used quite a lot of the same parts. I'll have to wait until I get the cylinder bore measured before know what is required regarding rings or piston. Again it will have to wait now as I expect my engineer will want the whole day off .......What a way to pick a man's pocket..............Bah Humbug!  >:(  Ron

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5 hours ago, Ron said:

Thanks Jan. I was just about to say all that^_^

Christmas will get in the way now, but I'm gradually compiling a list of engine bits and cross referencing the numbers with CO numbers. I've had to do this several times with other WD Enfield models and fortunately for us they all used quite a lot of the same parts. I'll have to wait until I get the cylinder bore measured before know what is required regarding rings or piston. Again it will have to wait now as I expect my engineer will want the whole day off .......What a way to pick a man's pocket..............Bah Humbug!  >:(  Ron

Just  drink your whiskey and stop being so ginger !!  :wave:

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Today I decided to check out the steering head races. Some degreasing of parts and cleaning up the races reveals that 3 of the 4 are almost unblemished with the the lower frame head race showing signs of distress, so I'll replace that one and a set of new balls......"You can not be serious man" .....There is more evidence of KG3 paint and the nickel plate on the flip top oilers is still near perfect:thumbsup: 

Andy I took your advice:$  Ron    

Ben 057.jpg

Edited by Ron

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I see you are still using the same pain killer Ron, but perhaps a larger measure, keep up the great work but try and have a few hours off. Ian C.

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I promise you, it's not neat Ian. I don't want you thinking I'm under the anfluence  of ilcohol.O.o Ron

 

 

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Yes they're very nice little feature Rik, I don't think I've ever seen them on fork parts before, I've got them on a few Hubs. These ones were well protected by grease and the rubber doughnut buffers (which were rock hard and broke up when I tried to remove them) 

The oilers were made by 'Abingdon Works Ltd'  (King Dick tools?)  ............2/6 a Dozen! Must get some!

 

Ron

Edited by Ron

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On the Norton WD16H, there is only one, on the front brake cam spindle. The civilian models didn't have it and it is listed in the factory records as  a WD 'Flip-Flap Oiler'. In view of the Mansell family Abingdon / Shelley Norton connection it is inevitable that they used an Abingdon oiler too.

Fr brake cam oiler.JPG

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Ben's wheel hubs have flip flaps also and several of my Enfield's have them on their hubs too. Since you mentioned your 16H front brake arm Rik the one on my B4 has a ball type oiler. Ron  

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My engineer measured the cylinder bore yesterday to reveal that it's on plus 20 with minimal wear. He gave it a light hone to bust the glaze and I've ordered some new rings along with small end bush and other parts from Hitchcock's. However the piston  is 'Gamma' and stamped 70.5  which is something  I'm not familiar with so  I'm hoping the standard RE rings will be the right size.  I'll pull the valves out soon and get the head and barrel ready for grit blasting by Steve at Phoenix as I don't have the compressor power for such blasting in my own cabinet.  Ron 

Ben 059.jpg

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