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James ML - opinion needed


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Thanks Ron. I will try to make the list a bit longer and then share it with everyone.

 

I have another question, as I spotted yesterday that there are some remains of a brown/yellow-ish paint on both manifolds of my engine. Does anyone recognize this color?

 

DSC01551.jpg

DSC01549.jpg

Thanks in advance,

Bjorn

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Another one in Normandy, and found the church! it's in Bernieres sur Mer. Lex

There are several things not right with the bike. As has been said the handlebars are postwar, engine not correct but not insurmountable.   Ian you frame number almost looks like they have stamped t

Got to say, I rather like red oxide.

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By early 1943, when ML production started, the standard WD base colour was by then SCC No.2 brown..........so ALL first contract / early ML's were finished in this shade rather than green.................after April 1944, olive drab was specified as the new service base colour for vehicles, but older stocks of paint had to be used up first before the new colour.............

 

So, late-contract ML's were finished in olive drab.............

 

The colour on the bike shown is indeed the remains of SCC No.2 brown...............

 

I consider the numbering on the saddle-stem lug on wartime ML's to be a factory build/identification number, separate from the frame number.......the former may have been what the works identified the bike by, rather than the frame number.........Ariel used a similar system, issuing each W/NG with a "tab" number (works identication number) although in Ariel's case this was never applied to the frames................post-war, this practice ceased, as I have a 1947 ML frame that bears a frame number but no stamping on the saddle-stem lug..............

 

I have a list I have compiled of surviving WD-ML's...........some of this info has come from photos without double-checking the "C" Serial number against the frame number, but it's a start................

 

No record survives of Villier's engine number allocations to James and others (eg - Excelsior)............:-)

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By early 1943, when ML production started, the standard WD base colour was by then SCC No.2 brown..........so ALL first contract / early ML's were finished in this shade rather than green.................after April 1944, olive drab was specified as the new service base colour for vehicles, but older stocks of paint had to be used up first before the new colour.............

 

So, late-contract ML's were finished in olive drab.............

 

The colour on the bike shown is indeed the remains of SCC No.2 brown...............

 

I consider the numbering on the saddle-stem lug on wartime ML's to be a factory build/identification number, separate from the frame number.......the former may have been what the works identified the bike by, rather than the frame number.........Ariel used a similar system, issuing each W/NG with a "tab" number (works identication number) although in Ariel's case this was never applied to the frames................post-war, this practice ceased, as I have a 1947 ML frame that bears a frame number but no stamping on the saddle-stem lug..............

 

I have a list I have compiled of surviving WD-ML's...........some of this info has come from photos without double-checking the "C" Serial number against the frame number, but it's a start................

 

No record survives of Villier's engine number allocations to James and others (eg - Excelsior)............:-)

 

Thanks for the info!

 

I'm really puzzled on the motorcycle right now. pre-war engine, no framenumber, post war handlebar assembly, but aside quite some watime parts. Traces of wartime paint on the engine's manifold and the seat lug might indicate that at least some parts of the motorcycle were made during the war (mid '43 I guess).

Edited by HQsignals
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I've posted on the WD motorcycles forum recently, and the frame of my james could well be a military spare frame, but with some later on added parts to make it into a motorcycle after the war.

No way of ever knowing this for certain tough.

 

Now I'll get into the rebuild of the motorcycle.

 

kind regards,

Bjorn

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  • 5 months later...

Last week, while waiting for parts to come in, I found a bit of spare time and got a look at some paint on my ML's gear lever gate. During my search I noted that some restored ML's have a lighter shade of brown (SSC2 and BS499 ? ), then others.

Found some pictures online of original unrestored James ML parts, and now I'm starting to think it 'might' be some original BS 499. The colour is dark brown, but with some kind of dark green-ish shade in it. I'd like your opinion on this colour.

underneath there seems to be some kind of red primer.

here's a photo of it:

 

DSC02262.jpg

 

 

regards,

Bjorn

Edited by HQsignals
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I think you'll find that BS499 is the British Standard code for SSC2 Service Brown. It will all vary between manufacturer and even batches. I used BS499 on my Flea and Welbike. Ron

Copy (2) of Lightweights 002.jpg

Lightweights 400.jpg

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On 2/18/2016 at 5:48 AM, H1HU said:

There are several things not right with the bike. As has been said the handlebars are postwar, engine not correct but not insurmountable.

 

Ian you frame number almost looks like they have stamped the eights upside down, which at the time they wouldn't worry about that. According to records I have it was a 1943 machine. My own bike is a 1944 machine.

 

 

Edited by La Diva
Thanks for the help!
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On 2/18/2016 at 5:48 AM, H1HU said:

There are several things not right with the bike. As has been said the handlebars are postwar, engine not correct but not insurmountable.

 

Ian you frame number almost looks like they have stamped the eights upside down, which at the time they wouldn't worry about that. According to records I have it was a 1943 machine. My own bike is a 1944 machine.

 

 

Edited by La Diva
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I don't know if any of us know who owns that picture. Mine is a fairly accurate Restoration shown near the beginning of this thread. Not a high resolution and only in a shed environment, so probably no good. Ron  

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8 hours ago, La Diva said:

I am inerested to get a High Res copy of this photo, and am happy to pay for this. My husband is rebuilding a James ML at the moment, and it would be great to get an image of one for his garage wall to help with the process. Please let me know if this is possible - fingers crossed!

These are higher resolution versions of the ML next to the Auster at Jeep n Cheerful  in 2007.

DSCN6733.JPG

DSCN6734.JPG

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I don't know  who's the ML  is seen next to the Auster, and whilst a nice restoration it isn't quite accurate if you're looking for a "factory" or "as issued" image of a wartime ML..........of course, once in service things did change occasionally...

The one in the image lacks the blackout mask that would always be fitted....also has the addition of a rear carrier and support which was not specified for the ML......also, on WD versions the entire engine assembly was painted along with the silencer can and rear silencer (in either SCC No.2 brown or olive drab), only the two front down-pipes being dull plated plus the hand-change gear lever and link-rod........stand on the example shown is also post-war civvy, not the wartime type and the tank "C" number is incorrectly placed and in the wrong font.........finally, the bulb horn is missing from the handlebar....! I have three WD ML's in my workshop all correctly "factory" restored......

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On 8/8/2016 at 10:39 PM, HQsignals said:

Hi Ron,

 

most helpfull! My list is getting longer and you can start getting an image of the lug numbers as the framenumbers go up;

 

framenumber-seat lug number-engine number

ML27-38- ?

ML515-558- ?

ML648-884- AAA20739A

---my james' lug number (1135) goes here

ML1313-1670-AAA21495

ML1689-1807- ?

ML1811-2301 - ?

ML3401-3520 - ?

ML6716- ? -AAA25428A

ML7619-6138- ?

I have ML 2739 AND ML7210

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