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Triumph 350 3HW information.


Tim L

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Hi all, I have bought a 1940's Triumph WD motorcycle as a bit of a 'passion project' in memory of lost relatives. I wanted to be as accurate as possible with my restoration. Can anyone tell me anything about the following engine and frame numbers. TL16541 3HW56234 The TL frame number doesn't appear on any of the lists I have found on line. I would love to find out what it did during the war. Many thanks.

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Tim I doubt you'll ever know what it did during the war? 

TL16514 is far to early for a 3HW. 3HW frame numbers started after 30000. It sounds like the frame is an earlier model. A 3HW usually has a date stamp on the lug under the saddle. Can you post (or email me) pictures of the bike and the frame number. Is it located on the left side of the headstock or round the front edge of the top steering stem bearing? 

Your engine is from contract S2956 (5000 machines in 1944)

Ron

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Hi Ron, the bike won't be arriving until later in the week. I will try and add some pictures to this thread or message some straight to you. The guy I am buying it from has dating documents for 1939 and 1944, engine and frame. I hope I am not being ripped off - no deposit paid as yet!

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Hi Tim

The forks look like 3HW. 

Because of the bombing of the Triumph factory in November 1940, Triumph set up temporary works at Cape Warwick before moving to Meriden about a year later. Production started on the 3HW in 1941.  A lot of the tooling was lost so "Webb" forks were fitted to nearly all the 3HW's

As I said your engine is 1944, but I'm suspecting that your frame is from a previous model. Probably a 3SW which was the SV model used in large numbers by the WO.  

DSCF3476.jpg

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Posted (edited)

It's not the end of the Earth Tim. Apart from the 3TW, (350 OHV twin) which never went into production because of the bombing, there were 3 military models ordered:- 3SW, 5SW, 3HW and all shared exactly the same frame and it's very possible that such a mix could have happened in a workshop. The purist however might not want it. Ron

PS we have quite a lot of information regarding Triumph war time production, however there are gaps, again probably due to the bombing. Ron

Edited by Ron
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Hi Ron, thank you for your reply. And thanks for the pictures of your 3. At least I know what I am aiming to achieve. I am glad that most of the one I am buying is of the right era. It is nice to get it close, although I am not really a purist.....I doubt if many of us end up with all our original parts!!!

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Posted (edited)

The tin ware for these is very scarce, but worth asking "Ace Classics" in London. They were producing quite nice replica pre-war mudguards (you need the lightweight version) .....Worth a shout.

A 1944 engine would have had the steel primary case and oil pump cover. 

I think they only ever date stamped the 3HW frames? The earlier frames sometimes had a repeat of the frame number on the saddle lug location. (my frame is 1944)  Ron

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3HW 098.jpg

3HW 164.JPG

Edited by Ron
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Hi Ron, the Triumph arrived today. I will attach some photos. Looking at the paperwork it could be a 3SW with a 3HW engine. The paint is so thick on the frame I will need to strip it off before I can be sure.

Do the old frames stand up to sand blasting?

Lots of work I think, and lots of parts to find.

Tim.

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Posted (edited)

That was my theory. That it has a 3SW frame. I suspect that the frame number (Unless altered) is around the front edge of the top steering stem bearing. The forks are correct "Webb" forks for a late 3HW, whithout the steering damper and the tank is also 3HW, with the cut out on the right rear corner for the Vokes filter tube. 

Obviously the bike has some race pedigree about it with those rear sets and other alterations. It looks like a few hours of welding up those brake plate holes😝 Ron

3SW 004 (2).jpg

Edited by Ron
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ron, just got back from an amazing 8 days in Normandy and I have started pulling the Triumph apart. I am going to attach some pictures of the frame, engine and gearbox numbers. Do they look right to you for a 3SW frame and 3HW engine? Thank you.

PXL_20240610_162908421.jpg

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Me too. Got back last night. 

Your engine is from 3HW contract S2596 (Dec 43-June 44) 

It looks like your frame is from 3SW contract C5108 (1940) but the records are incomplete. Is that number repeted on the front top bearing housing? There looks like some filing has ocurred? 

This is the gearbox info that I posted some years ago.:-

from the evidence Brian Tillin has provided me. His own very original civy 1939 Tiger 70 has gearbox number TE29661 and apart from the civy models being churned out,  there was then mass production for the war effort (all models shared the same gearbox case untill 1948).

Brian has evidence that bikes leaving the Coventry factory in 1940 had numbers in the TE4**** range and as my 3SW has box number TE40455 I'm happy to assume it's the original box.

It doesn't take a genious to work out the minimum amount of WD bikes that were built after mine (around 40,000) and add that to my gearbox number would give a figure around TE 80455. And that doesn't take into account spare gearboxes, or the losses during the bombing and any others that we don't know about. 

I can't understand these 1945-47 dates given by "experts" for gearboxes with TE77*** and TE80*** numbers?  

Ron

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Thank you for your reply Ron, I now need to decide which way I want to go with the restoration. So many parts aren't right.  I will remove the paint around the top of the frame tomorrow, I did have a look tonight but couldn't see anything interesting, mind you the paint is pretty thick on the frame.

I wish I could have stayed in France a bit longer. Really had a great, if emotional, time. Got a bit lucky in Arromanche, right place at the right time and met quite a few of the veterans after the memorial service on the 6th. 

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We stayed away from the throng on D Day. We were invited by the Mayor of Fresney Le Puceau for wine and nibbles on our regular pilgrimage " Don Fife memorial run". We had 40 bikes this time. I'll post the story in a separate thread later.  Ron  

Don Fife8.jpg

Edited by Ron
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The 3HW engine number 3HW 56234 was originally fitted to frame number TL 46234. This bike was made under military contract S/2956 (frame numbers 41418 - 46417; census numbers C5423418 - C5428417). This means that the original census number would have been C5428234. Deliveries of this contract started on January 6th 1944, and were scheduled at 800 bikes per month. Which means that your bike (your engine) would have been delivered around late June - early July 1944.

I've added a few pictures from the same contract, for your interest...

Kv2xyAL.thumb.jpg.bcbc3c367160923f8d8358cadede81e8.jpg_57-41kopie2.thumb.JPG.bd6f6f59ad7cbb1a8abf5e460d11acea.JPGSchermafbeelding2024-06-11om11_26_21.thumb.png.bda580ea28c485456c4f38dfc34e5f7c.png

 

Edited by rewdco
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The origin of your frame (TL 16541) is shrouded in mystery though. Most likely it comes from contract C/5108, as frame numbers for this contract were (most likely) 14000 - 17299. We don't know for sure, as the factory records were destroyed during the Coventry Blitz. Deliveries started in September 1939, and several contract C/5108 bikes were sent to France with the BEF. 

Census numbers were a mess. According to the Chilwell list they were:

60788-61000; 62686-62885; 62916-63085; 63144-63585; 69586-70088; 70586-72365

But according to the Receipt Cards they were:

60638-60704; 60758-60842; 60938-61000; 62686-62885; 62916-63085; 63144-63585; 69586-70088; 70586-72365

Considering that your frame number (presumably) comes from the second half of this contract, it is likely that it had a census number from the C70586 - C72365 block. This would have been post-Dunkirk.  

Some pictures:

_57-127.JPG.fc18a37370a48d20ffbab70fdfb645e4.JPG5ruGwFx.thumb.jpg.1e2456eb7759b3c0c98bf1da22f81d0e.jpg1465546176_WKUPtJN(2).png.aac7e78b805217c5b5e146e020ae82bb.png.6f2a2f0ec81e5d72f246eb242d32851c.pnggettyimages-1207734444-2048x2048.thumb.jpeg.3bfbcdc9b40a6877b61743ad0eb12b41.jpeg629445783_o1.thumb.jpg.08f605dfb40a3d4597672fc7dbc19fd6.jpg629445833_o1.thumb.jpg.a5b7a929d030dfbbae5498b2fbe0f1d6.jpgTriumphBrennCarrier.thumb.jpg.cf699c7c7305b05ac7468e8242ff6394.jpgTriumphBrennCarrier.thumb.jpg.ad706f72f1d9d28b58b2f7455598dc80.jpg

Edited by rewdco
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10 hours ago, Tim L said:

Hi Ron, will your 3SW be at any shows or rallies over the next few months. I would like to see it.....and take a few pictures.....and do a bit of measuring.

I mostly ride my 5SW (same thing really) but I'm not that much into shows these days. You are welcome to visit if you ever get Bournemouth way. 

I've just got home from a full day trip to collect a mates new (old) Indian 741 military Scout. 

Ron

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Hi Ron,

Thank you, I may take you up on that.

We pop down to Hengistbury Head quite often to walk the dog or to the Isle of Purbeck in the motorhome.

I stripped the paint off round the neck of the frame and found the frame number stamped up there, same number as lower down on the frame. I did notice that the retaining bracket for the field stand is on the frame but not the mounting bracket that sits up beneath the seat which is a shame as I would like to include the field stand.

I am not sure which way to go with the restoration but I would like to end up with a passenger seat for my wife for occasional trips out around Normandy where she is from.

I also noted that there are another million(ish) holes drilled in the rear wheel brake plate for cooling purposes I guess.

Tim.

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Tim the earlier 3SW's had a clamp on field stand pivot. I have an original on my 3SW and had a few copied, (One for my 5SW) but my engineer has retired now. One of my copies has been used by a friend to try and get a few made. I'll find out if it happened tomorrow. 

I'm a bit further west the other side of Bouremouth( 5-6 miles from Hengisbury Head. Ron

pivot.jpg

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9 hours ago, rewdco said:

The origin of our frame (TL 16541) is shrouded in mystery though. Most likely it comes from contract C/5108, as frame numbers for this contract were (most likely) 14000 - 17299. We don't know for sure, as the factory records were destroyed during the Coventry Blitz. Deliveries started in September 1939, and several contract C/5108 bikes were sent to France with the BEF. 

Census numbers were a mess. According to the Chilwell list they were:

60788-61000; 62686-62885; 62916-63085; 63144-63585; 69586-70088; 70586-72365

But according to the Receipt Cards they were:

60638-60704; 60758-60842; 60938-61000; 62686-62885; 62916-63085; 63144-63585; 69586-70088; 70586-72365

Considering that your frame number (presumably) comes from the second half of this contract, it is likely that it had a census number from the C70586 - C72365 block. This would have been post-Dunkirk.  

Some pictures:

_57-127.JPG.fc18a37370a48d20ffbab70fdfb645e4.JPG5ruGwFx.thumb.jpg.1e2456eb7759b3c0c98bf1da22f81d0e.jpg1465546176_WKUPtJN(2).png.aac7e78b805217c5b5e146e020ae82bb.png.6f2a2f0ec81e5d72f246eb242d32851c.pnggettyimages-1207734444-2048x2048.thumb.jpeg.3bfbcdc9b40a6877b61743ad0eb12b41.jpeg629445783_o1.thumb.jpg.08f605dfb40a3d4597672fc7dbc19fd6.jpg629445833_o1.thumb.jpg.a5b7a929d030dfbbae5498b2fbe0f1d6.jpgTriumphBrennCarrier.thumb.jpg.cf699c7c7305b05ac7468e8242ff6394.jpgTriumphBrennCarrier.thumb.jpg.ad706f72f1d9d28b58b2f7455598dc80.jpg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, just wondered if you could have a look at the attached pictures of my frame. I think it is complete and unbutchered but wanted to double check before I strip and prime it. Thank you.

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On 5/29/2024 at 9:20 PM, Ron said:

That was my theory. That it has a 3SW frame. I suspect that the frame number (Unless altered) is around the front edge of the top steering stem bearing. The forks are correct "Webb" forks for a late 3HW, whithout the steering damper and the tank is also 3HW, with the cut out on the right rear corner for the Vokes filter tube. 

Obviously the bike has some race pedigree about it with those rear sets and other alterations. It looks like a few hours of welding up those brake plate holes😝 Ron

3SW 004 (2).jpg

 

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On 5/29/2024 at 9:20 PM, Ron said:

That was my theory. That it has a 3SW frame. I suspect that the frame number (Unless altered) is around the front edge of the top steering stem bearing. The forks are correct "Webb" forks for a late 3HW, whithout the steering damper and the tank is also 3HW, with the cut out on the right rear corner for the Vokes filter tube. 

Obviously the bike has some race pedigree about it with those rear sets and other alterations. It looks like a few hours of welding up those brake plate holes😝 Ron

3SW 004 (2).jpg

Hi Ron, is this frame powder coated or painted?

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