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Restoration 4 - Matchless G3 Panel Tank


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Hi All.

After recently completing my James ML restoration idle hands set in again.

I said to myself no more projects, but after the opportunity of an early Matchless G3 panel tank came up I just could not resist.

I have always had a soft spot for this bike and its fantastic pre war look so when I collected the project a dream came true for me!

Quite possibly the trickiest of my restorations to date, I am sure it will be worth it in the end!

The pace of this restoration will be a little slower so watch this space!

 

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Hi All. After recently completing my James ML restoration idle hands set in again. I said to myself no more projects, but after the opportunity of an early Matchless G3 panel tank came up I

We used to bang 4" nails into a plank and bend them round pram wheel axels!!!

I've been a groveling on the floor with calipers again! External spacer 36-8-H16 is 3/8" long Spacer 10086 is 1" long    Ron

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Thanks Ron! Out of my modest WW2 bike collection this is the bike which is destined to be my ‘daily’ rider.

I have now stripped it down but due to the current condition of it there was a lot of snapped bolts! 
 

Normally I prep most restorations by hand so it was a bit of a treat to have them blasted.....

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Good start Steve. Your saddle springs are late G3L. If you haven't got the correct springs, let me know and I'll tell you who/how etc.  Ron

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Well spotted Ron. If you could point me in the right direction that would be great, my saddle frame has seen better days too!

I have got a good few coats of primer coats on most parts now.... looking better already!

My aim is to get a rolling chassis as swiftly as possible before the cold weather sets in!

Can I ask which size tyres you G3 owners are using? I was thinking 3.50 front and rear?

secondly can anyone confirm the size and quantity of the bearings used in the headstock, please?

With thanks!

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So here’s the first (of many I am sure) anorak questions. I am given to understand the correct horn for my early panel tank is a Lucas HF180 or HF190? Looking in my Matchless G3 parts list I can see that shortly after the Lucas HF1235 was introduced and found on some later panel tanks? This horn seems a little easier to find! I was given to understand from my research that the war time HF1235 horn had a recessed adjustment screw but post war this recess was deleted (photos attached)?

Does anyone know which date this change took place?

 

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I haven't deciphered Taff's jottings yet. But here are three WW2 Altette's. As far as I know, they are only dated on the triangle Tufnell plate. First one is 1943, the other two are 44. Apparently the flush screw was post war but they went back to the recessed screw in 51/52.......The Altette range over the years is quite complicated. Ron 

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Thanks Gents!

Ron my frame number fits in within the numbers you have quoted so it appears the HF1235 is the right horn for my bike!

Horns seem like a bit of a minefield!

This is the one I purchase last week it has the WD body, after checking it’s dated 47, I guess it’s not inconceivable that the Tufnell plate, with the date on it, could be replaced at some point in its life.......

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Well this one is dated 46 and I've got a picture of a 47 with the flush screw, so the change must have happened at some point in 47. Ron

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Sorry to confuse the subject, but all G3WO's and early G3L's had the HF 180 Clearhooters, and the very early G3WO, had a different type, with the little screws on the front, forgot the type, but same as on my WD-C enfield.

Cheers,

Lex

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On 10/27/2020 at 9:48 PM, flyingfleasteve said:

Hi Ron

Looking at the picture of your G3 you have posted I see the oil filter cap is almost chrome like, not brass like the G3L?

Steve

There were never any brass petrol or oil caps. (period)

Cheers,

Lex

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I disagree Lex. There are definitely a mix of Clearhooters and Lucas on G3L's as seen in these original pictures with Lucas horns

. The G3 parts lists quote the Lucas 1235 (Altette) and then later the HF500 is listed which is the large Clearhooters with 8 screws that Andrew Honychurch has on his. Then we have factory pictures of none panel tank G3's with the Clearhooters HF180 fitted. 

The one you mention on your RE is a Clearhooters HF320 (6 screws) and these are often badged with the Miller logo. There is such a mix up with horns on Matchless's that it's my opinion that they fitted what was the next available from Lucas and Clearhooters. Ron 

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OK, could be, I tried to look it up on Simon's website, but he has taken the parts bit off altogether, so cannot compare all the parts lists real quick.

But I'm not sure if the G3's had Lucas horns, does it state that in the P/L's?

Later G3L's surely did have other types, I never said they didn't.

Pictures of G3WO horns from 1940

Cheers,

Lex

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