Villiers attachment on 1950s Phillips

Discussion in 'Whizzer Motorized Bicycles' started by Sianelle, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    I hope I'm posting in the right place and I'm on-topic....

    I've been spending the past few days figuring out how to mount a Villiers engine on my Phillips roadster bicycle and after much measuring and mucking about I decided to go with this position and drive method (Daniel Rebour drawing)

    I had almost gone for a Wall Autowheel clone, but after a lot of thought I decided against it. I'm not that steady on my feet and I'm sure I'd end up endlessly barking my ankles on the thing whenever I had to wheel it about. Deciding a test was necessary I gathered up this engine (the slope finned one) ....... and mounted it into the Phillips frame using a cunning assembly of string and a couple of stout zip ties (pictures soon I promise I'm going to drop the roll of film in for developing this afternoon). I then spent several minutes wheeling the Phillips about, in and out of the courtyard at the back of the house, up and down the steps leading up and out of the carport to the courtyard & etc. My conclusion was that the bike felt nicely balanced and didn't feel like it wanted to fall on its side on top of me or anything. It even stood up nicely on its sidestand without me having to perform any modifications. Good!
    Now here is my question; - where can I readily obtain a decent sheave for the rear wheel? As a dodge I could modify a narrow 20inch bicycle wheel rim, but I'd really prefer it if I could lay my hands on something intended for the purpose. Please bear in mind that I live in New Zealand and I would need to deal with a company that can handle an overseas order.

    Cheers :grin:

  2. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Hey Sianelle,
    Watch the drive pulley so that it matches the back. Don't get cogged unless the front drive is also cogged but then again, You probably knew that.
    what did those motors come from originally? Is that a company in N.Z.?
    May the Farce be with ya.
  3. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Villiers engines

    Villiers is/was an English engine maker with it's roots waaaay back in the heroic days of motorcycling.

    The engines that I have were used for a variety of uses, but most were used on various types of ancient power lawnmowers......
    Over the years many home constructors have made use of these engines for a variety of purposes and while they aren't wildly powerful, they do seem to last forever. Would you believe that some folk actually race these old power mowers and events have actually been filmed for television :shock:
  4. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Thankyou very much Mike :grin: Once I know exactly what I want in the way of parts I'll contact you via PM and find out from you how to place an order.
  5. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Wow Sianelle, that small lawnmower looks EVIL. Bet that thing weighs a ton. Mike can you order non-cogged as well as cogged from your company?
  6. Whizzer Sheaves

    Hi the Whizzer Sheave is a smooth pulley designed for fractional HP belts, but also works on Automotive v-belts.

    As of this writing whizzer offers no cogged pulleys for any purpose.

  7. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    A smooth pulley is definitely what I want since what I'm doing is building a retro motor-bicycle.
  8. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Pictures at last!

    I got a roll of film back from developing this morning and finally I can show you the early mock-up stage of checking how a Villiers engine will fit into the Phillips roadster frame.

    This particular Villiers engine is the only one I have with sloped fins and an alloy magneto flywheel and I'm keen to use it for this project of mine. So far everything looks to be lining up nicely, though I will need to gently bend the Phillips long roadster crank arms to clear the flywheel on one side and the drive pulley on the other.
    Some years ago I owned a delightful wee book titled 'Reminiscences of Motorcycling' by 'Ixion'. It was a reprint of a book printed back in the 1920s and the motorcycles were of course the ones from circa 1900-1914. I wish I still owned this wee book because it's absolutely delightful and the original illustrations were brilliantly amusing. Anyway to get back to the subject I can remember one chapter in which Ixion relates how it was quite common to have to replace a pedal crank arm after a crash due to them getting horribly bent and all he did was buy a new one from the nearest bicycle shop and then put the appropriate bend in them to clear the 'works' with a large spanner he carried about his person. (sigh) So much of that wee book would be entirely relevant to what I'm trying to achieve; - Oh why did I ever sell it!! [​IMG]

    If at all possible I want use a flat leather belt too with this style of tensioner......

    The petrol tank is going to be cylindrical and I intend to make it from copper because I have some. I was lucky enough to pick up a lovely brass vintage screw-on gas cap while I was at the dump the other day. All I will need to do now is lathe turn up something for it to screw into, but that shouldn't be too hard. Amongst my treasures I had a slightly battered English P&M carbide cycle lamp, - which has to be about the largest carbide bicycle lamp ever produced by an English maker.

    It's easily twice the size of the English Miller carbide lamp I've also got. With a bit of a clean-up it should look fine mounted on the front of my old Phillips roadster.

    I'm in the middle of designing and making the engine mountings at the moment, - more pictures soon I promise. :grin:
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:Cool engine, Sianelle!

    It seems like there's enough room above the engine for a goped tuned pipe. You could get the bare-metal model to keep in league with this retro engine

    That'd probably wake up this sleeping giant.

  10. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Looks like a good fit to me Sianelle. By the way, if you need some dry carbide pellets, I have about a pound left from home made fireworks. I would imagine the seals are are shot in the lamp. I believe they were leather seals back then.
    That engine looks heavy. I like the slanted fins.
  11. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Yes the engine is quite heavy Doc, - that cylinder barrel is cast iron afterall. Some engines have a beautifully fitted and finely machined cast iron piston too. Essentially the Villiers engine is a vintage design from the 1920s, the main bearings are long bronze sleeves with no seals and it's just the excellent machined fit of the shafts in those bronze bearings that keeps the gases in the crankcase. It is extremely rare to ever find a Villiers engine of this type with either a worn bore or sloppy main bearings, they are beautifully balanced and the materials used in their construction are top notch.
    The downside of all that is of course that they are low reving engines and are not especially powerful, but they have excellent torque. Putting a tuned pipe on one of these Villiers engines is not really going to gain you very much 5-7HEAVEN because their porting and port design is very conservative indeed. I've owned Villiers powered motorcycles when I was younger, - Jemma would be familiar with 'Francis Barnetts', or 'Fanny Bees' as they were usually called. They felt very single cylinder 'thumper' to ride, not revvers at all and once the flywheel was wound up they'd cheerfully roll along on a wisp of throttle.
  12. Sianelle, Thats a really cool engine, about the Whizzer rear sheave, from my experience it will be too small in diameter (to high gear ratio) if you go directly to the engine. it needs to be almost as large as the wheel rim itself. Whizzers are geared about 9.5 to 1 and thats after going through a counter shaft. and with a two stroke it will probably want to turn up higher rpm than the Whizzer. so mabey try for 15 to 1 ratio. some people haved used another rim for a sheave welded along side the wheel rim with good sucess.

  13. Egor

    Egor Guest

    That is going to be a first rate looking motorbike when done. I can see you have an affinity for the classics, It is too bad they fetch such a large sum of cash these days. Nothing like a Greeves with a Villers engine, what a sound. Have fun Dave

    Attached Files:

  14. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Thanks Dave. :grin: The Villiers engine in the second picture you posted is one I've been hunting for. It's similar to some I've already got, but it's fitted with a decompressor valve. I saw one recently in incomplete and grotty condition and it's owner was wanting far too much for it. :mad:
    The motor in the old Villiers advert though, I've got one of those and an Albion handchange gearbox to go with it. It is being kept for a very special project :grin:

    Antique-rider, - after much thinking about how to lay out a belt drive I'm going to do as you suggest and make use of a wheel rim to be my rear sheave. I did try to devise a way of rolling my own sheave from sheet steel, but really it's going to be an awful lot easier to make use of a narrow 26 inch rim and be done with it. I don't know if I'll weld the rim onto the wheel though. It would be better to devise six or so identical metal brackets and bolt the sheave-rim to the wheel rim as was done with this 1910 Shaw attachment. My brackets will need to be shorter of course, but the method will be the same.
  15. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    *huge pout*..

    I would literally commit crimes for one of the old gate-box transmissions lol

    and you are a bad influence on me ... its bad enough being able to name every vehicle in old films post about 1960... its worse to be able to recognise a Villiers stationary from the shape of the cowl plate and that double muffler exhaust... lol

    hope your project is going well :)

    Jemma xx
  16. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    I was lucky with that engine and gearbox Jemma. A huge hairy biker person who'd thought it might make a fun project one day was cleaning out his garage and decided he had too many projects already. I was the only one to respond to the auction when it came up on, but that may have been because the starting price was a wee bit high. I didn't care I just wanted the engine and gearbox because I'd been hunting for something like that for ages.
    Ha ha - I don't worry about being thought a geek for being able to identify old iron from a long way off :grin: It's expertise in industrial archeology isn't it - or that's what I tell folk ;)

  17. Yes Sianelle, that would be a much more authentic way of attaching the rim, mabey a 24" would work. By the way a friend of mine owns that Shaw, its really nice, but he won't ride it!! :???:

  18. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Why ever not! - that Shaw is an absolute honey and absolutely cries out to be ridden and enjoyed. :confused:
  19. Egor

    Egor Guest

    Sinelle - There are a set of planes for a bike that could be made today, it was published in the 50's PM magazine. It used a wheel rim for a drive sheave, the only thing you have to do is make the engine sheave larger or it will be low geared. your engine is rated at low HP so it might work out just rite. It would be a find if you could fetch an old rim with the short sides and wide, you could then possibly run a leather belt. In the article it said there was enough friction that the belt need not set in a tight grove, he just put a layer of rubber for traction. Have fun, Dave

    PS: If you would like to see the article I think I can find the link.