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Flying_flea

Flea restoration

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Hi guys,

heres how far my project has come along, I’m attempting to make my own blackout mask hence the template one on the flea (until I find an original/ good repro) and the engine has been sent off to be rebuilt and tank is being re lined inside.

sam

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Your restoration is coming along really well..looks great.I was interested. To see that you were fitting a blackout light and checked original photos which frequently showed the fleas with blackout fittings..how do you intend to mark the bike up..

 

Jenkinov

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Posted (edited)

Again Terry Roberts (Metal Magic) makes good repro Miller blackout masks. 01189 731631..

I also know someone who was going to make some repro Miller tail lamps (here's my original). Last I heard, he was searching for a suitable red lens. PM me if you want his email address.  Ron

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Edited by Ron

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5 hours ago, jenkinov said:

Your restoration is coming along really well..looks great.I was interested. To see that you were fitting a blackout light and checked original photos which frequently showed the fleas with blackout fittings..how do you intend to mark the bike up..

 

Jenkinov

Thank you, 

i was going to get another headlamp rim and weld it on.

and I have The tyre pressure decals and the tank numbers/ oil&petrol decal all done but not sure what para insignia I should use... 

 

cheers Sam

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5 hours ago, Ron said:

Again Terry Roberts (Metal Magic) makes good repro Miller blackout masks. 01189 731631..

I also know someone who was going to make some repro Miller tail lamps (here's my original). Last I heard, he was searching for a suitable red lens. PM me if you want his email address.  Ron

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Thank you Ron,

I am considering magic metal if I can’t make one, and I’m looking for the red lense too I’ll PM you in a sec :) 

cheers sam 

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There are these pictures from Exercise Mush in 1944, which show markings on Fleas. Clearly seen is 110 which I'm reliably informed is on a brown background, and tyre pressure markings on the mudguards.

However none of the pictures I've seen, confirm that Pegasus is on the other side. I did mark my tank with Pegasus, but then changed my mind and re-sprayed my tank with just the census number.  Ron  

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Hi Ron, Mine nearly all there, Still a few bits to go, still looking for original badge & Miller Tail Light. Had crankshaft rebuilt I will whisper, it has Harley rollers cut down to fit.  I made the Miller taillight, Local exhaust man expanded some exhaust pipe to fit the original light bracket , also some brass half round was made in a tight circle so when heated slipped over the pipe  when it cooled shrunk tight, paint putty took care of the finish. I have a later badge from Hitchcocks & have been trying here to find an engraver to take some of the brass so as i can fill it with white. I did try the mob in North Devon who wanted £200 which thought was a bit rich seeing as they would then be able  to sell to anyone for half the price seeing they had the mold. I got the switch top  , lodge cap & resistor copies from Arnaud. & he has done a marvelous job. Afraid it has been reassigned to Australian Army as it was easier to get Australian Arm Olive Drab to paint it. I have tried to keep as original as i can but sourcing parts here Australia is virtually impossible & Flea Bay is drying up worse than the drought we are in at the moment.

Regards

Richard

Geelong Australia

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You've done bloody well Richard. It's nice to get a bike finished and a pleasure to stand back and admire it.

I'd say that all of my bikes when finished are not 100% correct! But then It's even more of a joy when the odd correct part like levers, lamps, badge comes along and those parts can be corrected. 

Before I found my correct war-time Flea tank badge, I had the post war version which was entrusted to my friendly old sign-writer guy who simply painted the brass part white. However I've noticed slightly less white on the original.  

First pic is two post war badges ,one painted in by old Terry (Sadly departed) Second pic is an original all enamel. Ron

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Hi Ron, thanks for reply, my idea was to find an old fashioned engraver to engrave the brass part out & fill with white. Trouble is there is no such person as an old time engraver these days, showed a few & they all went to water, they can only use panto graph engravers these days controlled by a computer. I have been given the name of one in Melbourne which i will try & get in touch with, but i hate having to travel up to the city these days  Richard.

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Well you can go to all that trouble and then a correct one will turn up. The cheapest and easiest option is to just carefully paint it with enamel paint and put an original on your wish list!! Ron 

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Yesterday I was asked by a guy in Netherlands if I could clarify the construction of the WD Miller tail lamp as he's in the process of making some good repros. So I removed my lens and took these pictures.

The ring around the back end of the lens is actually a groove on the inside which holds a spring wire circlip. This circlip clicks into a corresponding groove in the bulb holder.  This should hold the lens in place if the screw falls out.

The lens rim diameter is 32.5mm. Ron 

 

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On 8/8/2018 at 7:20 AM, Ron said:

You've done bloody well Richard. It's nice to get a bike finished and a pleasure to stand back and admire it.

I'd say that all of my bikes when finished are not 100% correct! But then It's even more of a joy when the odd correct part like levers, lamps, badge comes along and those parts can be corrected. 

Before I found my correct war-time Flea tank badge, I had the post war version which was entrusted to my friendly old sign-writer guy who simply painted the brass part white. However I've noticed slightly less white on the original.  

First pic is two post war badges ,one painted in by old Terry (Sadly departed) Second pic is an original all enamel. Ron

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The badge fitted to my first contract flea is the original and as can be seen here is nickel or chrome plated with green and black enamel.....no sign of white or off-white paint !

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Richard, lovely restoration there chap !

May I just mention that the Air Filter is incorrect..............rear end should be flat bearing a plate acid-etched with the Villier's Air Maze details...............Terry Robert's at Metal Magic produced a run of decent repro filters copying mine and the name plates are/were available from Arnaud...............

HT lead should be black-rubber.............no immobiliser was fitted to the Flea, only the supressor, as the entire lead could be detached to immobilise the bike.................you need 7mm black HT lead, preferably with a copper core..............

Your brake and clutch levers are also incorrect.........Flea originals were much smaller......civvy ones are the same, differing only in the finish...............:-) Not too difficult to find today..............

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Hi, thanks for the info. The trouble here is I can only work from the parts or maintenance manuals as there is a very limited amount of "Fleas" here in Aus & the ones I have seen are usually civilian fakes. I download an awful amount of photo's if I see them but you will always see something different so its hard to work out whats correct & what isn't.. I have had a few parts from Arnaud & i will see of he has any plates left &  I will check out Metal Magic to see if they have any filter bodies. Good if you could give me the length of  brake & clutch handles. I will have to admit plug lead was hanging on the wall left over from a 1932 Chev i did many years ago

Regards

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Hi, could anyone please give me Metal Magics address.

Regards

Richard

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A Dutch friend of mine has a tank from the last contract (still with original paint and census number found under black paint) This also has a chrome badge! But the Flea that was dug up at Oosterbeek definitely has white enamel. Clearly then unless these chrome ones were retro fitted,  both types must have been used, but I'm told that mostly it was the type with white enamel. 

Richard, Terry Roberts (Metal Magic)  email address is metaltel@yahoo.co.uk Phone 01189 731631.He's in Eversley, Hampshire

My Flea is now quite correct and if you want any specific pictures, just PM me with your email address. Ron

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Hi Ron, I think that would be a brushed Chrome rather than a bright chrome. I might go down & see my friendly Electroplater  and see if he can brush plate the brass section without ruining the Enamel parts. My father Had his own Electroplating shop in London & by God I wished i had taken more notice. A good Electroplater is worth his weight in gold now. Also I was wondering if you could send me the the length of Clutch & Brake lever.

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Richard the levers are about 4 3/4" long... Also a shot of my Airmaze filter with one of Arnaud's repro name plates on.

My James ML has the almost identical 'Coopers' maze filter which originally had the makers details embossed into the end cap. I simply sanded the embossed lettering down and fitted one of Arnaud's name plates to make it 'Airmaze' 😈 Ron

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Hi Ron, Thanks again, I went & saw my friendly Electroplater no go on that idea I'm afraid.  I have noticed people have been asking about the blanking plug I was baffled for a while but I went and got a Brass domed truck  Welch plug, very little filing to get the edges right, bronzed a 3/16 flat head machine screw underneath with a flat plate to hold it down. It was only a couple of dollars  with very little work. I have emailed Arnaud but if he is away working sometimes takes a while to reply.

Thanks once again

Richard

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I just Had a text from Arnaud, he's on holiday in Normandy this week.  Ron

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Yes Arnaud is with his young son at the campsite in Normandy where many of us stay during the D Day commemorations.

PS I can't think what the blanking plug is that you refer to.....No doubt the penny will drop as soon as I 'submit reply'

 

Ron

 

 

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Once again, Terry Roberts at Metal Magic makes replicas of the blanking plate for the Miller headlight !!!! Copied from my original..........

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