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My first restoration piece has just arrived from California, USA. It is a 3rd contract Welbike built in 1942/43. Only around 3,500 of these bikes were ever made. As you can see the wheels need changing and several other bits done. Its not a hard restoration but its my first.

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Edited by MHillyard
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seriously wish I'd had a bit of foresight many years ago.....

...round these here parts loads of lads had old motorbikes for tearing around the woods on in the early /mid 70s.........ex post office BSAs Bantams were very favourite along with C15s , Triumphs Tiger Cubs , various Royal Enfields and Francis Barnetts etc... also lots of Lambretta scooters and such were pressed into service.....and....

......one lad had a Parabike as we knew them as in those days.....

as I recall his Dad had brought it home for him from some fella he worked with..

Like everything else, it was ridden into the ground until it finally failed and was then unceremoniously scrapped like all the rest of our bikes

...ah well........opportunities lost etc !

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seriously wish I'd had a bit of foresight many years ago.....

...round these here parts loads of lads had old motorbikes for tearing around the woods on in the early /mid 70s.........ex post office BSAs Bantams were very favourite along with C15s , Triumphs Tiger Cubs , various Royal Enfields and Francis Barnetts etc... also lots of Lambretta scooters and such were pressed into service.....and....

......one lad had a Parabike as we knew them as in those days.....

as I recall his Dad had brought it home for him from some fella he worked with..

Like everything else, it was ridden into the ground until it finally failed and was then unceremoniously scrapped like all the rest of our bikes

...ah well........opportunities lost etc !

 

Its a shame when things like that happen but thats just the way it is. After the war these were almost useless as they did not meet UK road standards, many were sent to the US but they didnt last long because they wernt supposed to. Its a shame because even the parts are expensive. for example a set of handlebars sold on ebay for around £500 and a seat for around the same price.

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Been working on the bike for most of the day, gave the engine a good clean and i am getting the frame ready for a coat of temporary paint. After i have fixed the handlebars i shall strip it down fully and paint the proper colour. I also striped the paint that was on the fly wheel and found out that the rear brake is the original.

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Nice project....have you got Peter Miller's book "From Welbike to Corgi" (2nd edition is best) ? This contains a wealth of info on these bikes, even showing copies of the original WD contract build cards........I haven't got my copy to hand but I suspect the build date to be 1943-44.....(the cards show the contract ordering dates I think).......if you know the frame number which should be on the front of the frame headstock you can work out the original WD serial number allocated to your bike........

 

There was apparently a 4th contract for these bikes but it was cancelled due to a lack of need for these.......a good original idea, the reality was that the little Welbike was rarely used in combat or for the role originally intended.....the bulk of machines actually used in combat and service originating from the first contract........this was the model with the earlier fuel tanks, no rear mudguard and slight differences to the frame......many of the later machines were purloined as runabouts within the military and an even greater number sat unused in ordnance depots until the end of the war....You can obtain (at a price) most of the reproduction cycle parts for the Welbike, although wheels are a persistent problem to acquire. Very early post-war Corgi wheels are similar before going over to the solid non-spoked variety.....engine parts are still fairly easy to obtain, new and 2nd-hand, and I am sure I still have several spare gasket sets for the engine buried somewhere....

 

Your machine MAY have left the factory in "SCC No2" colour, which is a sort of medium brown shade used on many British military vehicles and equipment between 1942 and April 1944 before switching back to green (British olive drab), although stocks of earlier shades had to be used up first.......if you check the frame closely you may find traces of the original paint shade (say beneath the contract plate or on the engine, which was factory-painted)......? The military Villiers Junior De-Luxe engine is pretty much standard in design although was factory-built with greater clearances than normal in order that it could be hammered from new ! I seem to recall that the compression ratio may also be higher on the WD version.....?

 

I had a welbike myself a few years back now that I bought for £150 in bits as a "post war Corgi"......it had come from the Middle East and was from the first contract......it was missing the wheels, saddle and mount, one side of the handlebar plus the exhaust system but was otherwise complete. I had a spare engine and fuel tanks thrown in with the deal......I never got round to doing anything with the project so sold it on, although at a slightly greater price than I had originally paid !!!

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Nice project....have you got Peter Miller's book "From Welbike to Corgi" (2nd edition is best) ? This contains a wealth of info on these bikes, even showing copies of the original WD contract build cards........I haven't got my copy to hand but I suspect the build date to be 1943-44.....(the cards show the contract ordering dates I think).......if you know the frame number which should be on the front of the frame headstock you can work out the original WD serial number allocated to your bike........

 

There was apparently a 4th contract for these bikes but it was cancelled due to a lack of need for these.......a good original idea, the reality was that the little Welbike was rarely used in combat or for the role originally intended.....the bulk of machines actually used in combat and service originating from the first contract........this was the model with the earlier fuel tanks, no rear mudguard and slight differences to the frame......many of the later machines were purloined as runabouts within the military and an even greater number sat unused in ordnance depots until the end of the war....You can obtain (at a price) most of the reproduction cycle parts for the Welbike, although wheels are a persistent problem to acquire. Very early post-war Corgi wheels are similar before going over to the solid non-spoked variety.....engine parts are still fairly easy to obtain, new and 2nd-hand, and I am sure I still have several spare gasket sets for the engine buried somewhere....

 

Your machine MAY have left the factory in "SCC No2" colour, which is a sort of medium brown shade used on many British military vehicles and equipment between 1942 and April 1944 before switching back to green (British olive drab), although stocks of earlier shades had to be used up first.......if you check the frame closely you may find traces of the original paint shade (say beneath the contract plate or on the engine, which was factory-painted)......? The military Villiers Junior De-Luxe engine is pretty much standard in design although was factory-built with greater clearances than normal in order that it could be hammered from new ! I seem to recall that the compression ratio may also be higher on the WD version.....?

 

I had a welbike myself a few years back now that I bought for £150 in bits as a "post war Corgi"......it had come from the Middle East and was from the first contract......it was missing the wheels, saddle and mount, one side of the handlebar plus the exhaust system but was otherwise complete. I had a spare engine and fuel tanks thrown in with the deal......I never got round to doing anything with the project so sold it on, although at a slightly greater price than I had originally paid !!!

Thanks for your reply.

Yes i have got the book and in the second edition, it is a very good book. I do intend to paint mine brown but i will have to deal with the modification done to the handlebars which will ruin whatever paint i put on it. The green i am painting with is a standard green and it is just do i can display it. When the modification is dealt with then i shall strip it to the metal and paint it the proper colour.

 

I have found a supplier of welbike parts in the UK who make every nut and bolt necessary to restore a welbike, they even make full reproductions and they make wheels! Of course all this comes at a price but it is very well made.

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Good luck with the restoration ! Just as difficult is the wartime "Flying Flea" ! I've had two of these, and parts are just as frustrating !!!! Steve (co-author "British Forces Motorcycles")....

Yeah i have read about those, the thing i like about the welbike is that i can keep it in a shed and it can fit in a car boot. I'm not sure about the Flying Fleas but a lot of the engine parts for a welbike, for example:Air cleaner, are standard on a lot of villiers lawnmowers and autocycles, the only diference i can find is that the welbike parts are often brass but not on other villiers engines.

 

I took a look at your book on the internet, looks pretty good, i may have to save up some money.

Good luck to you with any current or future restorations

 

Thanks

Martyn

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A coat of green has been put on the frame and other parts just so i can see the extent of what i have. I found that half the original tank pump was still in the tank, this has lost the pump and the valve has been damaged. I dug up an old paraffin lamp and used parts from that to make a temporary pump. The only thing that is not right is the shaped of the pump grip. I also removed the tank valve and gave it a clean up.

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Edited by MHillyard
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Fuel tap is a common Enots/Ewarts type found on many other British motorcycles of the period (I have spares if you need ?)...........I have also heard that the fuel pump parts are near-identical to those used on wartime and post-war British military "tilly" camping lanterns......???!

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Fuel tap is a common Enots/Ewarts type found on many other British motorcycles of the period (I have spares if you need ?)...........I have also heard that the fuel pump parts are near-identical to those used on wartime and post-war British military "tilly" camping lanterns......???!

 

I believe the tap is complete it just needs a new cork but i think i can get 3 for £5 on Ebay. As i found the pump on tilly's is very similar, the only difference i can see is the location of the thread on the base and the shape of handle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

have been doing a lot of cleaning.

Engine and clutch has been taken apart, most bearings were ceased so they need replacing. Water has leaked into the clutch making a sludge of oil and corrosion.

 

Had a lot of trouble getting the piston ring, they were completely ceased with carbon

 

I have also bought several spares including:

Piston rings

Bearings

Primary drive chain

Spark plug

Ht lead

New coil

new condenser

clutch corks

gaskets

 

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Edited by MHillyard
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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally it comes back to life!

 

After a lot of work the bike kicks back into life.

 

A great thanks to Villiers Services who supplied me with all the parts i needed and assisted me with their great knowledge.

I highly recommend them!

 

Here is a video of some of the attempts to start and then the moment that it kicks back to life.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the rear wheel was too far gone to be able to ride it so I will have to wait until i get the replacements before i can take it for a spin.

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