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flyingfleasteve

Restoration 3 - 1943 James ML

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Thank you Steve!

I really appreciate the advice!

I have started to unpack all of the remaining parts which I have stored for many years, just to make sure I am not missing anything major at this point..... 

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Hi Steve.

I can see that your center stand is post war. It needs to be converted like this.

Basically just move the bottom rung up and turn the feet from 'T' to 'L'.  Ron

ML Parts8.jpg

ML Parts10.JPG

Edited by Ron

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Thanks Ron!

Yes you are totally right, the stand conversion is one of the next jobs.

I was checking my clutch and brake levers after my posts yesterday evening and I noticed all of them, but one, had a screw and nut securing the lever to the handle bar bracket, one of them, however, has what looks to be a riveted pivot?

Could one type be post war and the other war time? Very curious....

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Mine have screws and nuts which came with the bike and is what's shown in the parts list.  Ron

DSCF2865.jpg

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13 minutes ago, flyingfleasteve said:

Maybe the ‘rivet type’ is just a DIY fix on this one lever......

Steve,

Part of the bike's rich history ..........

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Steve, Ron is spot-on as usual about the stand.....the WD centre stand was not as durable as originally designed. Repeated heavy use of the kick-starter with the bike on the stand can actually bend the item and/or cause the legs/feet to spread (I've been there !).....the stand was lightly re-designed for post-war civilian production by extending the feet and lowering the bottom cross-bar to help prevent the stand from spreading.....post-war civilian ML's weren't fitted with a decompressor so the risk of damaging the early pattern stand through kick-starting was highly likely......

Your gear-knob is correct......these were Wooden, originally stained black and lacquered .......

Ron is also correct about the handlebar levers.....

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Thanks Steve, most obliged!

So I have hit my first hurdle, the whole of the bike when I bought it remained untouched apart for the previous owner had each wheel re-spoked with new rims. The job has been done to a good standard but the new rims are the wrong size (18” not 19”)and width🙈

The dilemma is do I finish the build as is and maybe tackle the wheels at a later date or bite the bullet and get them done to ‘factory’ spec. now?

All the best.

Steve

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Uh Oh! Personally I couldn't cope with fitting the wrong size wheels/tyre. They might look odd in their mudguards too. I'd approach someone like Brickwood or Willis Wheels and see if they will give a small allowance on those rims and spokes, which are still effectively new and can easily be used again. Ron 

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So with such a lovely day of sunshine I decided to prep and paint the next batch of ML parts......a few repro items also in the mix, purchase some years ago from Metal Magic.... please ignore the stand at the moment......

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So the stand.....

I started cutting and adjusting the stand today to fall in line with the WD type.

Once I cut the ‘T’ shaped feet to ‘L’ I noticed whilst cleaning it up what looked to be olive drab paint! 

Low and behold the further I cleaned the more I found.......

The paint layers matched that of the rest of the bike and I have every confidence apart from red oxide primer that the olive drab is the first colour......now I am confused.....

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Steve, no major concerns over the colour you've found.........

Late ML's were finished in British Olive Drab and yours being a late-one/early post war was likely finished in this scheme even if a civilian colour scheme (usually black or maroon) was the applied over the military base coat......this would also apply to component parts supplied as spares and existing stock at the factory.......

As you're using an earlier frame now, your correct colour for that and the bike would be SCC No.2 brown if going for 1943........

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Thanks Steve, much appreciated!

I guess I am intrigued as my stand is the same as the post war ‘revised’ design but it’s original finish is olive drab. Does that imply some very late war production ML’s/spares were based on this revised stand design?

I hope this all make sense 🙂

All the best

Steve 

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I think you may be spot-on there Steve ! I've seen a genuine WD ML frame within the last few hundred numbers of (non cancelled) military production so I suspect the stand design was revised at some point late in the day.....this would also include the fitting of the stand clip which was present on the frame I examined.......proof may lie in later WD parts/spares books but to date, I haven't encountered any other than for the first contract.......

The original WD design was not really up to the job of repeated kick-starting whilst on the stand.......the number of bent or repaired WD stands that I've seen would bear this out....!

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Thanks Steve.

Thats Great!

I will check my second later frame and see if that has the stand clip fittings......

I am unsure now as to finished the stand conversion or repair it as was 🙈

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Edited by flyingfleasteve

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Hi Steve, as suspected my later frame does have the adaption for the stand clip feature........

The build is now starting to move along nicely, the front forks are back together and the NOS headlamp fitted, the colour match is pretty good too!

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That's looking to be a really nice restoration so far Steve ! I particularly like the way that you've blended the NOS headlamp assembly in with the rest of the bike......I had one of these on one of my ML's but I decided to repaint it in SCC.No.2 brown to match the bike but I did mask-off the stores lettering area painted onto the shell's exterior and then matt-lacquer over it just to preserve a bit of history.......

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Fortunately for me, the OD paint on my NOS ML headlamp was in perfect condition and a near match to the OD I used for the bike. I often wondered what the stenciling meant? And what is the white dot with broken blue line for?? Ron 

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Thanks Steve, much appreciated. I am really pleased with the colour and the progress so far! 

Ron your headlamp is in fantastic condition, brilliant find! It never ceases to amaze me what parts crop up. Yes I am also intrigued as to the stencilling of our NOS headlamps.........

I am furiously looking for the correct decompression lever so I can start piecing together the handle bar set up, but the search continues.....

 

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I had a standard Amal lever on mine till I found a correct James decompresser lever. Ron

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I'm assuming that the white painted marks are a WD inspection mark, either applied at the Lucas factory or more likely at an  Army Ordnance stores depot.....maybe the white dot with the blue mark is a "focus compliant" or "focussed" mark following testing ? Pure speculation though.......

Steve, those little decompressor levers are out there ! I hunted for one for over two years and then like busses three came along at once ! Few actually realise what they are and I'd recommend doing various Ebay searches using words like "vintage", "lever", "decompressor", "valve lifter", "autocycle", "handlebar lever", etc, etc...........and when things get back to normal the usual autojumble trawling may well produce results..........

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