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Royal Enfield ......Rare find


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These WD/C forks are a bit of a work up to assemble as the fork blades have to be drawn together with the top spindle which has a left and right hand thread at each end. Then the damper spindle tube can be fully bolted up with the eight little nuts and bolts. I've assembled the forks onto the bike with new friction discs and adjusted the steering stem bearings and will re-check the spindle adjustment when the nuts come back from the platers.  Ron

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A very complete and original Royal Enfield WD/C has been found on the continent by forum members Jan and Rik and has been acquired by Ben Hawkins here in UK. The bike is a very early example and was p

My own WD/C was found close to the Maginot line, where it had spent the immediate post war years as a civil bike. It was laid up in the 1950's and sold by a relative of the original owner. When I foun

On a personal basis, probably along with many others, I really appreciate these progress restoration blogs............so thank you Ron for this.............it gives us all inspiration and ideas.......

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5 minutes ago, Niels v said:

Sorry for my ignorance, but what is the purpose? As a corrosion inhibitor?

 

Yes indeed Niels! But as Steve pointed out in a previous post it has limited capabilities compared with cad or chrome, but it was what they used on some fixings. I've sent other fasteners to be electro plated black, but in the case of the fork spindles, I just wanted the tips done so I did it myself. Ron 

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I've been working on the wheels over the last couple of days. The bearings are perfect and I guess must have been replaced in recent times. I've spun the wheels up and the rims are as true as you could ever wish for. The spokes are all tight and in good condition, in fact I'd say some of the spokes have been replaced, so maintenance has been performed. 

In the interest of saving £250 or more on a re-spoke and on the old adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" I've just stripped all the old paint off and primed them with several heavy coats. The bearings are of the non adjustable type and will just require repacking with grease. Ron

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The Norton factory assembly books refer to WD wheels being painted after assembly so you're achieving the correct effect, Ron. I did the same with my Norton wheels to no ill effect. A sound wheel is just that, regardless of age. I was able to clean and re-use the bearings too.

Some of these 'BEF-Abandoned' bikes spent a long time hidden away and saw little further use (none in my case as it was damaged).

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It's amazing just how many parts can be disassembled from something as basic as the brake plates, and some fasteners are already away at the platers. These early WD/C's had aluminium brake plates, obviously before the cry to save aluminium for the more important task of aircraft manufacture. 

Talking of plating. Ben has received some samples of Dull Nickel for one of his other vehicles and decided to go with that finish for this bike. Should be nice! The process after chemical stripping will involve both polishing and grit blasting, before the nickel is applied.

Here's a very good excuse to eat more ice cream.  Ron 

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Chris the rear ally shoes and springs are indeed different. The shoes themselves are wider in section and would probably not be any good on the front as i expect they'd collide with the speedo drive.  What do you mean by "steel plate surface"? I can't find any steel with a magnet. All four shoes bear the number 4091 PBM and the brake plates are 4090 PBM....... Foundry casting marks ??

Ron

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On the surface of the shoe where the cam operating lever contacts, there is a steel insert (Unless there was a production change at some point and the very early shoes were completely alloy). I assumed all the ally shoes had the insert as I can see the soft aluminium wearing away very quickly under the pressure exerted.

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I guessed that's what you meant Chris, but I can see no seam of  a join between the ally and steel, and a magnet has no attraction at all. Regarding the rear shoes and other obvious replaced parts. I think as Jan suggests, there were quite a lot of available ex WD RE parts available in France to previous owners. Ron

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3 hours ago, Ron said:

Chris the rear ally shoes and springs are indeed different. The shoes themselves are wider in section and would probably not be any good on the front as i expect they'd collide with the speedo drive.  What do you mean by "steel plate surface"? I can't find any steel with a magnet. All four shoes bear the number 4091 PBM and the brake plates are 4090 PBM....... Foundry casting marks ??

Ron

These are indeed the original early WD/C brake shoes. My WD/C had exactly the same shoes fitted. These PBM numbers are aluminium casting numbers, on most aluminium castings you will find a similar PBM number.

Jan

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I decided to take a look at the battery carrier today. I was aware that a tray had been welded to the bottom and I soon realized that it had been modified in the past to accept a larger battery by adding 1/2" to the rear support and extending it upwards. The mounting bracket ('J' bracket as I call it) had also been cut and roughly re-welded into a strange shape. Fortunately I had a spare 'J' bracket, but then the tool box rear bracket had also been cut back, so that didn't fit the replacement 'J' bracket. Ron

 

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Fortunately again, I could take measurements from my own WD/C and after several hours of cutting, welding, re-shaping, sanding and priming, it all seems to fit properly now. Ron 

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On ‎27‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 4:28 PM, Ron said:

It's amazing just how many parts can be disassembled from something as basic as the brake plates, and some fasteners are already away at the platers. These early WD/C's had aluminium brake plates, obviously before the cry to save aluminium for the more important task of aircraft manufacture. 

Talking of plating. Ben has received some samples of Dull Nickel for one of his other vehicles and decided to go with that finish for this bike. Should be nice! The process after chemical stripping will involve both polishing and grit blasting, before the nickel is applied.

Here's a very good excuse to eat more ice cream.  Ron 

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Hi Ron who do you use for your plating if that's not classified information. Regards Ian

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Ian, dull chrome/nickel has always been a problem as most firms can't or won't be bothered with it. I'm not fully conversant with the process but it mostly seems to have fallen out of fashion and taken place by 'satin chrome' (too shiny). I do have a local firm who have done some superb work for me, but even so there has been mixed results. I'm a long time customer and they have been very patient with returned items, and I don't think they are looking for anymore work in this respect. Likewise the same thing applies with the firm I use for Cad plate.  

Ben has his own plating firm (thank goodness) and I think he's in a same situation.   Ron

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13 hours ago, Ron said:

I decided to take a look at the battery carrier today. I was aware that a tray had been welded to the bottom and I soon realized that it had been modified in the past to accept a larger battery by adding 1/2" to the rear support and extending it upwards. The mounting bracket ('J' bracket as I call it) had also been cut and roughly re-welded into a strange shape. Fortunately I had a spare 'J' bracket, but then the tool box rear bracket had also been cut back, so that didn't fit the replacement 'J' bracket. Ron

 

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Hi Ron.... are you joining metal  in this ..if so what "welding" products/method are you using here please ?  

 

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6 hours ago, Ron said:

I simply mig welded the brackets Andy. The torch was for heating and bending the top of the battery carrier into shape, before I shortened it. Ron

Ok Ron ...I understand now...I thought you where doing so sort of brazing !!! :$

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I commissioned a small batch of the unique Royal Enfield front number plate mountings to be made by my local engineer. Copied from an original. (3 per bike). They cost £75 per set, even so, he didn't charge me anything like the correct hourly rate. Correct raised countersunk screws are on order. I have one spare set if anyone wants them. Ron

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My neighbour and fellow biker Tony was in my workshop yesterday and his carpenters eye spotted that the right side fork leg looked bent out to the right. On inspection it was about 3/4" out of line and the left hand leg was about 1/4" out of line.So I guess a previous owner must have been in some sort of accident at some time.

I must admit, I hadn't noticed this and it would have been a simple process to straighten them before I'd painted and assembled the forks. 

But with a bit of thought and some dexterous use of some 10mm studding against the workshop wall, and some trial and error adjustments by over springing the legs, I was able to get both legs straight without damaging the paint. Look at my contrivance to adjust the left hand leg. Heath Robinson would have be proudB|  Ron

 

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