Jump to content
rampant rivet

1941 Royal Enfield WDC

Recommended Posts

Thought I'd start a thread here on my Enfield project, as you may know this machine was found together with a post war wdc frame and 1936 BSA in a barn where they had lain for the best part of 50 yrs.

100_6957.thumb.jpg.02df3308a02ed7d97ac849749d5143c6.jpg

 

100_6973.thumb.jpg.daf4727a6bbdab787373b08e422fa4a0.jpg

100_6979.thumb.jpg.9ae545b68f45522316632613a8ad72f7.jpg

Acording to Jan this WDC was dispatched on 25/06/41 

20180818_115049.thumb.jpg.d51c2dd515ce4e6bdd2dcf7aa40c768d.jpg

Spent yesterday breaking it down ready to start the resto, but need to decide on paint colour and wether to refit the later rear carrier or put it back to as it came off the production line.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a late one (oil filter on the engine and short center stand).  The factory pictures show some later ones with pillion and panniers fitted, which are soooo handy! It would still have had a ribbed front guard with no number plate.  Still a bit early for Service Brown I think, so I guess Khaki Green.  Ron

407.JPG

473.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS. Another point to consider, is that the pre pannier equipped bikes have the rear brake arm in the 'up' position and a vertical field stand. Ron

 

468.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yes Ron considering it has a later engine etc, and I'd like to retain the later rack to take the panniers I'm thinking mid war khaki, will swop over the WDCO forks with the WDC ones fitted to the spare bitsa frame likewise the ribbed front mudguard, I also have the late field stand and bckt ready to fit 😁 are you going to Netly bike jumble in a couple of weeks by the way.?

Edited by rampant rivet
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I have a pitch at Netley. Plot B8 top of field facing the trees. Jan and all the usual guys will visit me.  Ron

 

G 829.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS. Mid war would probably have been Service Brown, which would have commenced from some point around 1942.  Ron.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, but since the bike in the factory picture doesn't have an oil filter, I guess it's prior to yours. There might be something in Jan's report, but I haven't had time to study it yet.... Or maybe he knows off the top of his head. I'll send him a nudge.  Ron 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ron looking forward to seeing you all at Netly, is Jan's report available to access online by any chance ? Am I correct in thinking that I could paint the Enfield service Brown or khaki depicting a machine that had been through a reme rebuild / upgrade ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm fairly sure that Jan's report is not on line, but he'll probably respond soon and send it to you on request. 

Khaki would have been the service colour at the time of production and I can't see any point in depicting it as a rebuilt machine in Service Brown. In 1944 the new Service colour was British Olive Drab to comply with the incoming  US vehicle colour. However I don't know how important it would have been to repaint a WD/C as by this time they would have been way down the line of any machines destined for front line or overseas commitment. Ron 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although it is commonly accepted that the “pannier racks” were introduced in early ’42, they must have been used (in prototype form) on the WD/C prior to April 1941. I know this because Enfield used a picture showing such a pannier equipped WD/C for an advertisement on the cover of an April 1941 issue of “MotorCycling”. Ron posted the original picture that was used for making this advertisement above. The soldiers and the background in the advertisement seem to have been added by an artist, something that was common practice back then.

1451871736_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_43_48.png.925c5a7e458c73e6b6eecdbe4a7d4e2a.png

The first time that the pannier racks appeared in an official Royal Enfield publication was around the same period. The Instruction Book for contract C/8732 was published in May 1941, and showed an experimental pannier frame setup. The experimental setup can be recognised by the horizontal reinforcement strip between the pannier rack and the rear carrier.

198915198_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_44_44.png.7bbb6945dff43162ceba3530e8b7e3f2.png

The Spare Parts List (September 1941) for this contract C/8732 (deliveries from October 27th 1941 until February 18th 1942) is also the first parts catalogue that includes the pannier frames. And contract C/11379 (contract date September 27th 1941) was a contract for “pannier frame conversion sets”! The original photograph (source: REOC Archives) that was used to make this Spare Parts List doesn’t show the horizontal bracket anymore, but it does show a carrier with long bottom brackets. These bracket extensions were needed to attach the rear numberplate, which is a bit odd, considering that rear numberplates weren’t fitted anymore since halfway 1940...

1033865266_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_45_46.png.76ea76b66fba03efb30f3ee6cb8f7dbd.png

The extensions have been removed from the parts catalogue drawing, but this drawing still isn’t correct! As the picture below (from the same series as the April 1941 “publicity” picture) shows, the position of the lugs for the top fixing bolts is wrong, and the bottom bracket should be kinked. It wasn’t until the November 1944 parts catalogue for WD/CO contract S/1546 however that Enfield used the correct drawing in its parts lists!

927618084_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_46_41.png.4beab2227108ca5c511de858c7006e6c.png

Fact is that contemporary pictures always show WD/Cs without panniers. Pannier equipped WD/Cs can be seen on some late-war pictures, but these panniers had been retrofitted.

 

The retrofit action was imposed by a “Director of Military Engineering” (D.M.E.) circular, which was listed in the “Questionnaire on the Norton, B.S.A., Matchless, Ariel and Royal Enfield Motor Cycles” (“prepared by the Royal Artillery Mechanical Traction School (R.A.M.T.S.)”), issued in October 1943.

The DME circulars state “immediate action” as the importance for the “fitting of pannier bags and pillion seat conversion sets”. Now one would assume that this would be done during a rebuild. But in an article in “The MotorCycle (July 29th 1943), there are pictures of a WD/C being rebuilt at Marble Arch. The pictures show different aspects of the rebuild: this looks like a “major rebuild” to me. But the (nearly) finished motorcycle still has an old carrier (without provision for pannier frames) fitted!

258454365_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_48_19.png.37af21131171126b1e2c1a9e9d14a8b7.png

On April 20th 1942 Enfield received a demand (contract C/14329) for 4.000 pillion seat conversion sets (pillion seat, footrests, rear carrier, pannier frames, fieldstand). I have also found an interesting document that had been issued by the Royal Enfield factory in October 1943: “Motor Cycles, Solo, Type WD/C 350 cc SV, Instructions for fitting Pannier Rack and Pillion Seat conversion sets”. This document lists the contracts for which these fitting instructions were meant: C/5107, C/5654, C/6125, C/7182, C/8136, C/8732, C/11463 and C/12429. (Why are the contracts C/7890 and C/7945 not mentioned?)

613228161_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_49_22.png.53bf9e7c64a626cf2f15e6b974275a79.png

There is a footnote about the contract C/8732 (3.000 motorcycles) at the bottom of this instruction sheet. Machines with frame numbers # 15501 to # 16000 were supplied without panniers and pillion seat, the remaining 2.500 machines (frame numbers # 16001 to # 18500) did have panniers, pillion seat and a horizontal field stand! The picture below (source: Stilltime Archives) shows a WD/C from contract C/8732 and although there’s no direct relation between the frame number and the census number for the WD/C models, the census number does show us that this motorcycle comes from the second batch, with panniers, pillion seat etc. No doubt this picture was taken because of the new pannier frame setup!

526999356_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_50_22.png.5d10607ace3e149b37a604c711688804.png

But: one of the motorcycles in my Register (# 18318) still has “matching numbers”, and its post war history is largely known: after the war it was stored until a Military Vehicles enthusiast found it some years ago. Some of the paint on this motorcycle is still the original paint, and the original “contract plate” is still wrapped around the rear carrier! And guess what: this WD/C does not have the pannier frames rear carrier, but the “early” WD/C rear carrier!!! Very strange…

892681502_Schermafbeelding2018-08-19om22_51_39.png.b7f6036f5b52de7bccbb0edebf97096f.png

Oh, and as for the colours: theoretically we can say that the original colour that was applied at the factory was Khaki Green No. 3 for all the WD/D, WD/G and WD/C motorcycles. The new Standard Camouflage Colour No. 2 arrived almost at the same time as the WD/CO. The early WD/CO models (until approximately halfway contract C/12425), and the early WD/RE models (until approximately halfway contract S/1945) were painted in S.C.C.2, but all later WD/CO and WD/RE contracts were painted S.C.C.15 (Olive Drab). This goes for Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy contracts. 

But in my Register I have a couple of motorcycles that can give us some more precise information about the date when Enfield started using S.C.C.2 (because their stocks of K.G.3 had run out): frame number # 12828 was despatched on December 1st 1942, and was still painted in khaki. Frame number # 15432 was despatched March 27th 1943, and was originally brown…

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you notice how Jan just got in a little dig about my RAF CO😃😃😃 

I'm just off at Sparrows fart with my mate Tim to buy him an Indian military Chief in west Wales. Should take all day😕

Ron

 

CO 107.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the info Chaps 😁 called in to drop off some more parts to be blasted this eve and my mate Deano had done the frame and forks etc that morning so it was a quick trip down t'shed to get some acid etch primer on them 😁 bolted the frames together and loosely fitted the fork yokes but am waiting for new head race bearings.

20180820_152132.jpg

20180820_152144.jpg

20180820_152149.jpg

20180820_152202.jpg

Edited by rampant rivet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm back from my 14 hour road trip to collect Tim's Chief, and I also  managed to pick up a WM20 project on the way home.......If anyone is looking for such a bike?

You've made a good start there with the frame. The forks in the pictures look like CO, but you said you have some C forks?

 

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like there’s some friction parts missing from the steering damper. Did you just fit to have a quick look at how it will appear? I tend to do that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see more friction parts on the workmate👍 Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be interested in the WM20 project Ron pm me your mob please as I seem to have lost it from my phone, the grey forks were not fitted with  helper springs so I presumed the were WDC the other set is complete whichever set is WDCO I'll let go along with the WDCO tank I don't need. Will take some more pics later today 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris Hall said:

Looks like there’s some friction parts missing from the steering damper. Did you just fit to have a quick look at how it will appear? I tend to do that!

Yes Chris I need new head race bearings and friction discs etc before I can assemble it properly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The side check springs are really nothing to do with the fork blades. In fact I think the first CO didn't have those springs. But the C forks are bolted together at the friction disc spindle (see pic) whereas the CO forks are brazed together. However, again I don't know off the top of my head when the change in fork blade design took place? 

I'll PM some M20 pictures and my phone number.  Ron

Ben 060.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some images of the front forks both are braized but the grey pair has an extra lug on the right leg as viewed from the front

20180821_134353.thumb.jpg.90117ce86b37e6e9b5d88ba00884bfcb.jpg

20180821_134359.thumb.jpg.19f7037772cfb0c4ec39a030a04af723.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The extra lug is for the WD/C speedometer bracket. The "late" WD/C forks were constructed in a similar way as the WD/CO forks (brazed, not bolted centerpiece). So that's a set of WD/C forks (grey) and a set of WD/CO forks (rusty) you've got there.

Jeremy, you can find all this information (plus lots more) in my Report on the WD Royal Enfields, a copy of which I have already sent you on 07/09/2017! 😉

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jan 😁 I've lost it somewhere in the putor will try to dig it out and read up on the relevant  info 🙃 I thought that the grey forks were C and rusty one CO but wanted to make sure that I fitted the correct forks to the frame thanks again for sharing your knowledge 👍 the CO forks are spare if anyone needs a set Inc springs etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bearings arrived today, just time to fit them with the top and bottom yokes and steering damper, need to sort the large nut that holds it all together.

20180822_163752.thumb.jpg.50fd126050fd0b23077d0cd19206435e.jpg

 

Loosely fitted side stand and rear footpeg 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying Enfield today down t'shed well more like dangling Enfield as the frame got it's undercoat proper ready for the green stuff weds hopefully.

 

20180827_171211.thumb.jpg.a7662e40bf5f3cf3062093d7364c0337.jpg

 

20180827_171051.thumb.jpg.901d43af74a58d103ae2bebcbf0703b0.jpg

Sorted inner and out primary chain cases too as well as giving the forks a coat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×