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1942 WLC build

37397 Views 173 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  Cpt.Fred
I thought i'd summarize my first build here for everyone who's interested.

Unfortunately i must have done something wrong and the computer killed everything
i typed for the last 20mins.
So i start over, and this time i try short posts.


Sooo, i decided to get a new project 2 years ago and i wanted it to be two-wheeld this time.
I got onto everyone's nerves here for quite some time and then found something of interest. I didn't think too long because i knew i'd buy it anyway, and bought it.

Here's what i got:

edit: the board keeps telling me my message would be too short. i don't think so?
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It is a 1942 WLC that was imported to the Netherlands from Indonesia (!) in the early 80s or something,
and then some 10 years later got dressed as a late 40s/ early 50s civil version
and was locked away in some private museum for a while.
Then in 2004 i think it was bought from a guy from Belgium who tried to ride it, sank a lot of money into it, and then decided to put it up for sale.
That's when i stepped in.
It looked to have all the important parts on it, 18" wheels and a linkert.

We tried to start it, and after some 100 kicks it fired up,
but it sounded like a can full of nails... scary. Since i wanted to wanted to
take it apart anyway and do some changes to it i started right away.

starts to look good:

edit: message still too short? i'll save everything i type from now on before i push the send-button... it doesn't really work here. Or is it too much pics?
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Thanks, greasystain! What a happy little critter... :)

Tattoo: Photos are liars. At least these ones are.
It was a good bike from 15m distance, though.
You'll see the damage...

magnum45pete: yikes... :D
Well i don't know if it's THAT great in the end, but i sure like it now.

Next thing: measuring stuff!
The frame seemed to be bent and i wanted to be sure about it,
and maybe try to straighten it...

One nice afternoon at my friend Gobi's shop:

Summary: it looks crooked, but is pretty straight, actually.
Funny thing is that the usual "side car bend" is on the opposite side of the russian imports, because they have left hand traffic in Indonesia. Or so i've heard.

edit: Still no normal posting possible, smilies don't work. What's going on? Arrrgh... this is the 37th attempt to post this...

edit edit: now it worked again. wtf. i quit for today and get me a beer. cheers...
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I always love 45 builds, I will be on this like an oil spot on a driveway!!!
Yes they still drive on the left hand side in Indonesia, something I learned when I borrowed a buddies SR500 to scoot around the neighborhood one evening. Almost had a few head on's as every time I took a corner I wound up in the wrong lane. But enough of that.

I am pumped about your bike sir, I really want a 45 and seeing as that's a WLC and I'm a Canadian it holds some special interest for me.
Looks like a good start

lets see some progress
cool bike i have a 1943 WLC
you dont come across to many WLC models often
That looked damn good when you bought it!!!! I'll be watching this one also!!!
Yeah, curious to see where this goes!
Unfortunately most of the stuff that makes the wlc model so special was already gone missing in the dress-up job as a late civil model.
I was actually quite sad about not having the big twin front wheel with star hub and the big drum, although i think the wla hub is a little more elegant on the tiny 45 frame.

Anyway, after measuring i put the neck bearings back in.
Nice to work in a yard like this, pretty backdrop here with the buick of an aquaintance:

Next thing was the wheels, the front is running quite rough, but the back came out pretty nice. After i had solved the star hub mystery, that is...

And of course, new rubber! i chose 4.50" x 18" firestones. since i am quite tall at 6 1/2 feet i want the bike to appear as big as possible, and i think this wheel size helps me with that.

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In the meantime i had set up a new work shop with some friends.
time to move in and play the silly tank game:

In the end i decided to go for the original one for the beginning.
So i pulled it out of the shelf and started removing the paint.
I'm not really fond of red, in my opinion the bike looked kind of like Santa's company vehicle in the beginning...
I found that the tank (and actually all the rest of the motorcycle as well)
was covered by a thick crust of filler. It was a real work of art, almost like sculpting... at the thickest point i measured 10mm.

When i put the oil tank back on for fun, you could actually see it was now smaller than the other half! the emblems were literally "frenched" into the filler...

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There are some really amazing dents and repairs on the tins,
and on may other parts, like the throttle handles for example,
under all the filler and paint they were covered with deep scars and scratches.
So at this point i kind of decided to leave them as they were, because i didn't want to cover it all up with tons of filler again, and beacuse i thought they might as well show their injuries with pride.
Plus i'm very bad when it comes to choosing colors...

edit: the picture is somehow not showing up...

I bought a set of "narrow" speedster handle bars.
The army bars made me feel like pushing a wheelbarrow,
and since i planned to move the seat way back and lower it
it would have been quite awkward to sit behind them anyway.

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Now it was time to tear into the bottom end.
The top end looked OK so far, at least saveable.
One barrel was already sleaved, but my machinist told me
he could straighten things and i would end up with oversize 6 out of 8 possible
(sorry i don't know the exact measures in inch) so i decidec to keep the cylinders.
there were 2 different pistons installed, with 2 different piston pins.
the rods were drilled and looked awful. and then there was this nasty rattling sound coming from the cam case...


your pump leaks oil? no problem, just tighten the bolts until you strip all the threads out of the block, then glue it back with sealing mass.
why, thank you, sir...

removed the cam cover. no shims on the camshafts? makes you wonder...

a closer look to the inside of the cover showed it was cracked...

cracked bushings and worn or missing pins:

the missing pins showed up in pieces at the bottom of the cam chamber:

lifters and blocks looked ok (later i was told they were junk, too... little did i know):

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Indeed. Bingo...

Now for some case splitting.
Did i mention the belly numbers didn't match?

No wrenches in Indonesia. Must... use.... chisel....

Bushings can be glued in place if they don't want to stay on their own.

So i decided to put it all in a box and ship it to a trusted engine specialist.

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  • Wow
Reactions: 1
lol wow...... hope you can save it. looking to me like you might need a NOS ww2 case to restamp your numbers on.(which is relatively easy to find actually)
Greasy, i'm just summarizing the last 2 years.
The engine is already up and running again.

Here's some pics of what was done to the engine,
it got NOS cases and cam cover, new crank shaft, rods, hastings pistons and rings, NOS cams , blocks, lifters etc etc...

Oh, forgot the best pic:

no discussions, everything had to be done.

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Man Im learning a lot on this thread . I don't know much about flatties but hope to and this helps .This Engine has been thru some pretty bad things but its in the right hands now.....Thanx.
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