|1926 Douglas EW - 350cc|
This Douglas was a fresh design for Douglas back in 1926 and was made very light to fit within the low tax bracket. It seems to have been restored in fairly recent years but was not 'sorted'. It has recently been given a new lease of life and is a 'runner'.
First firing up! Superb! There is a lot of work to do and it may be a while until I can have my first proper ride. First impressions are excellent and the way the engine sounds and pulls far exceeds my expectations! I know right away that I'm going to really enjoy this motor cycle so long as I can get it into a reliable state.
The wheels have been rebuilt as the old tyres were completely useless. The front one exploded on the garage the night after the test ride. 3" tyres for 25" beaded type rims are no longer available so I have had new rims laced onto the hubs (26x3). The brakes have been relined.
I have a brand new exhaust system but it is a very bad fit. The vendors are not that interested (we had emails and they don't think that the customer is right!) so I'm taking the pipes to a welder who will do the necessary changes. Unfortunately the nickel plate will be ruined in some places. Buyer beware : This has cost a lot of money and if you want to buy a system for your EW I'd advise that the front pipe and silencer can be used from this well known southern English vendor but if you do buy from them do make sure that they make the middle section longer so that the silencer has more than 2mm to connect to and also make sure that they give you more length so that the pipe actually meets the rear cylinder.
The flywheel has finally been extracted! Now to examine the clutch giblets and see if everything is present.
Update April 1 2009 : The Douglas has been sorted out by Henry Body and he found a lot of problems with it. These problems included... knackered crank, missing oil pump cog wheel, rear cylinder bored out too far, no engine breather, broken magneto pickup ring, leaky HT leads, incorrect magneto drive fixing, clutch friction material too thick, clutch thrust washer too thick.... etc. Henry has also fitted the foot boards and has been through the bike and given it a general sorting out. It now runs like a Swiss watch and starts easily! It would have taken me eons to detect and rectify these problems.
Update April 8 2009 : The EW has had its first test ride. I always test up the hills so that I can roll back down again which is often the case for vintage maiden voyages. The first think that I noticed was that the front brake is almost completely useless. The rear brake can lock the wheel but is in a very strange position and you have to take your foot off the foot board to put the ball of your foot on the rear brake pedal which will take a little getting used to. oil can be seen dripping through the sight glass and the street was full of smoke at the beginning. the clutch is 'draggy' and I have been told that I have to live with this. Pulling away from a standstill can be helped if the bike is paddled forward whilst selecting gear. Changing gears can also be a bit of a grind with the dragging clutch. The engine is as smooth as silk and could almost be mistaken for a Scott. Handling is fairly odd but the tyres probably need some air. The engine stopped running until it cooled down and there were no sparks at this point.
28th May 2009 : The reconditioned magneto is back on the EW and it had a second test run this morning. The engine is smooth and starts first kick every time. The clutch really does drag and the handling is a bit like jelly but the acceleration is amazing for a vintage 350 side valve. The motor cannot be expected to pull from low down like a single and it has its power further up the scale. The font brake still does nothing. The timing cover was wobbling when I got back and it clearly needs to be fastened down and maybe given a silicon seal. When this is done, it will be ready for the MOT.
The timing cover has now had all of the screw holes helicoiled to M5.