FAQ  •  Register  •  Login

Pa's 42WLA Build

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:39 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

ohio-rider wrote:What’s the plan “B” in case this windshield isn’t out there?


Plan "B" is a quality aftermarket one Steve if I don't find the needed parts. Even if I do find most of the parts, most likely I will have to use an aftermarket window since any oem or nos one may not be clear enough to see through anymore. I do have a couple of leads on the missing parts but the possibilities of obtaining them quickly is not good. This is because the individuals who told me they may have the parts are super active in the vintage motorcycle world, attending every vintage swapmeet and vintage auction around the world. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope the parts pan out for me. In the meantime, I've been researching military files for identification markings. The markings I choose must fit my early type III 42WLA and its engine case belly numbers. A few weeks ago I thought I had the markings nailed down but recent government military file discoveries, just for a start of its history, now have me set in the North African invasion of WW2 as a reconnaissance motorcycle in 194., Reconnaissance also know as the eyes and ears of the U.S. Army. Reconnaissance motorcycles scoped the enemy held lands for details on military gun placements and other heavy artillery. They also took notes on troop movements and the like. They were basically this first to enter enemy lines, bringing back intelligence data to the top brass so the top brass could plan invasions and use the forces at their command efficiently and effectively. I will post some of that military data soon.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:43 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

The data I am posting below came from this PDF file link:
https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=ht ... 42UQRF.PDF

This is very informative for a wla restorer.

Each Division of the United States Army during WWII received the number of motorcycles as noted below.
Source: US TO&E Documentation obtained at US Army Historical Center
Carlisle Barracks, PA

Division Headquarters
(4) motorcycles

Division Headquarters Company
(11) motorcycles

Service Company
(18) motorcycles

Armored Signal Company
(25) motorcycles

Reconnaissance Battalion
(25) motorcycles

Armored Regiments
(25) motorcycles

Armored Field Artillery Battalions
(8) motorcycles

Armored Infantry Regiment
(23) motorcycles

Armored Engineer Battalion
(12) motorcycles

Division Trains
(26) motorcycles
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:48 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

My 42WLA Registration Plate
U.S.A.
W-620102

Type III WLA’s were manufactured from May 8th 1942- through April 1943. This adds up to 11 months of 42wla type III production or roughly 1,846 motorcycles per month.
Type III WLA engine numbers would fall between 42WLA16001 to 42WLA39229 .

Registration numbers would fall between
U.S.A.-W-616923 to U.S.A.-637235, making a total of 20,313 type III 42WLA’s produced.

Marking. (1)U.S. registration symbols and numbers.

(a) When marked. -- Motor vehicles will be marked with the U.S. registration symbols and numbers prescribed in AR 850-10.
(b) How marked. -- The marking will be conspicuously done on the vehicle with white paint by means of a stencil and on U.S. registration plates by a metal stamping device and white painted figures as indicated in (c) below.
(c) Height of letters.-- The height of the letters and figures will be two inches on trailers, and on U.S. registration plates, and four inches on all other types of motor vehicles."

My engine case line bore numbers are 42-17666 .
My engine serial number is 42WLA18269 .
Both the line bore and engine boss serial numbers places my 42WLA Type III right at the transition period in production when early Type III advanced to late Type III. In other words, some later parts may have already been added to my bike but not all of the later type parts would have been added to it.
Both the line bore and engine boss serial numbers also puts my Army registration number at 620102 .

Why ? Because engine serial numbers, according to Bruce Palmer III, would have approximately ranged from 42WLA16000 to 42WLA39228, but and could be under an the actual range by no more than 50 numbers, making the engine case serial number range from 42WLA16050 to 42WLA39278. The engine case serial numbers would have been stamped consecutively as they were produced. Using the engine case serial numbers in math form, they subtract to equal 20,313 42WLA Type III’s produced in an 11 month period of time. Using the close estimate of 1,846 motorcycles produced monthly, and starting with the low engine case serial number noted earlier, we see where my 42WLA Type III falls into the calendar as produced.

Engine case serial number 42WLA16000 May-Jun 1942
+ 1846
____________
42WLA17846 Jun-July 1942
+ 1846
____________
42WLA19692 July-Aug 1942
+ 1846
____________
42WLA21538 Aug-Sept 1942

Using the average daily production of 1,846 motorcycles and dividing it by an average 30 day per month production we have a production of motorcycles at an average of 61.5 motorcycles per day produced. Why is this important regarding my 42WLA Type III motorcycle ? Here is why. In a 7 day period of motorcycle production, we see [ 61.5 bikes per day X 7 days } = 430.5 motorcycles produced.

42WLA17846 Jun-July 1942 production
+ 430.5 production for 7 days
_______________
42WLA18276

This means my 42WLA Type III was manufactured no earlier than the last week of June 1942 and no later than the first week of Aug 1942.

Now why is the month my motorcycle was produced important ? The answer is two fold. First, Army Regulations on vehicle markings etc [ AR 850-5 ]., was printed in three different editions, 1936, 1942, and 1945 editions. The 1942 edition was already re-written in very late April of 1942 but did not reach print until late September of 1942, meaning the Army divisions followed the earlier 1936 edition of AR 850-5 until they received the new 1942 edition. In other words, my bike would have been marked according to the earlier 1936 AR 850-5 edition of Army Regulations. Secondly….the month of 1942 my bike was produced would have provided it with plenty of time to be sent to North Africa.
<<

ohio-rider

Posts: 234

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:26 am

Location: Ohio

Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:19 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Paul, that link is taking me to some place of no help. Great post though, I'm learning something new.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Damn Bro !! That is not where it was supposed to take you. I will try again tomorrow.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:57 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I don’t know why that link I posted on the Army Division Vehicles did not work. I copied the address from the web page it is posted on and I even saved a copy of the pdf file the web address contained. Technology sucks !! Anyhow, I printed the pdf file and scanned the 6 pages of the file. My scanning skills are not the best so please ignore the different sizes of the pages. I underlined the motorcycle listings so you all could locate them in the document pages more easily. You will notice, only the “Armored Signal Company” of Army divisions stopped using motorcycles during WW2. This file pretty much proves many a WLA was in harms way. Many were with the fighting forces at the front in battle. Many were with the "Reconnaissance Battalions" who as the Army said were their "eyes and ears", entering enemy territories to map terrain, record enemy troop positions, document artillery positions, and return to deliver the data to the main body of the fighting forces. With that data, the Generals in command could work out a strategy for an offensive against the enemy.

If anyone would like a an actual copy of the pdf file, email me direct and I will sent it to you.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Here is a link to some WWII footage taken in North Africa. It is a fairly long video clip but you will definitely see WLA's. Those same WLA's would soon invade Sicily along with the main armament. You will also see French, British, German, and Americans in the footage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEOZSNURTo4
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

This link of North Africa shows WLA's as well. Towards the end of the video, A WLA is seen at the front lines of battle. It is a long video but well worth the watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-vBymPlZeU
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:01 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I was messing around with software which captures still photographs from videos and I captured the two pics below. These pics come from the U.S. Army colored video link I posted previously. This is North Africa 1942. North Africa was where the Allies first launched an offensive against Nazi Germany in WW2. The Allies goal was to take North Africa and secure it for future offensive operations in order to move north on to Sicily and Italy, pushing back the Nazis to Germany from the south. Later in the war the Allies would also push the Nazis regime back to Germany from the east and the Russians would push them from the west. Though the resolution of the pics are not fantastic, you can clearly see a WLA in each of the pics. These WLA’s are at the battle front with the big guns and tanks just hours prior to an Allied attack on the German Panzer division. The WLA’s were definitely not there as firepower. They were there for dangerous reconnaissance missions. Those missions were to report Panzer locations, ground troop locations, and artillery locations. They were useless as messenger duty since there was no one to carry messages to. They were with the full armored division and the commanders on site who would make their battle plan decisions based on the reports of the WLA reconnaissance personal. No….The WLA’s in the pics below were definitely not MP’s, Messengers, or Mail Carriers. They were battle front Reconnaissance WLAs.

Image

Image
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:04 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I made the correct decision in a recent purchase of an old windshield assembly which I believe is a WLA windshield assembly. I made the purchase because if it is what I think it is....I could not wait and permit it to be bought out from underneath me. I know the decision was risky and a big gamble but if I am correct, and it is the real deal, the risk was worth it. If I was wrong, and it is not the real deal, I had already accepted the lost before the money was spent. I just had to chance it. The windshield should arrive here sometime next week. I will take some photos and post them. The windshield assembly is not totally complete and will require some TLC to bring it back to life. I am excited. I sure hope I am not to excited and can take a disappointment if it is not what I thought it was.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:15 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Yeah Buddy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am EXCITED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just received word from an expert in the WLA field of restoration and parts manufacturing that my windshield is most definitely a real deal OEM WLA windshield assembly !!!! I don't know if my excitement is over the windshield score or the fact that I have never been one for luck or chance. EXCITED EXCITED EXCITED !!!! :D
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:52 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

While I await the arrival of my oem WLA windshield, I thought this picture might interest you folks. I came across this yesterday. The picture is a scan of the back cover of the October 1942 issue of "The Enthusiast" magazine. This picture clearly shows the intent of the military's use of the WLA in WW2.

Image
<<

john HD

User avatar

Posts: 306

Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:26 pm

Location: madison wisconsin usa

Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:27 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa,

cool photo, i had not seen that one before.

the rider on the right will need to clip his rear stand back up!

john
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:31 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

He sure does need to clip it back up. Must have hit hard to knock it out of the clip. Also probably explains why so many oem ones have the shoe dogs wore off of the stand.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

My oem WLA 11292-36NC windshield has arrived. The olive drab color is faded heavily but the olive drab can be seen in several areas of the 11306-41BN apron still. The 11299-41N frame is a bit bent out of shape where the 11300-41B window mounts but looks to be easy enough to bring back into shape. Remnants of the 11300-41B Lexan window are still there and look as if time, sunlight, and heat have curled it and made the remnants very hard and brittle. I will need to acquire a new 11300-41B Lexan window from a new manufacturer because I don’t believe there will be an oem or nos one that hasn’t hardened brittle out there available. The 11304-42 support and the two 11304-42A clips are missing. The 11319-41A retainer is there along with the11319-41N molding but both will need tweaked a little. All 11319-41F screws, all 11319-41E screws, and all 0101 nuts are there as well. Also there is the two 11307-41N clips. All and all I believe I will be able to locate the missing parts and eventually have a complete windshield assembly. I am open to suggestions on how to clean the apron. Below are several photos of how the windshield appears right now. Sorry for the poor quality pics but I am just not a skilled photographer who knows how to work with light and focus in order to present what the assembly actually looks like to the naked eye.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2680

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:24 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Gosh Pa,

Mine looks a lot like that, although silver and fossilized.
FLAGWALL.jpg


I believe the original windows were "cellulose acetate", which is extinct.

...Cotten
PS: There would be one more flag in the photo, but it is waving outside on this day of remembrance.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Cotten wrote:Gosh Pa,

Mine looks a lot like that, although silver and fossilized.
FLAGWALL.jpg


I believe the original windows were "cellulose acetate", which is extinct.

...Cotten
PS: There would be one more flag in the photo, but it is waving outside on this day of remembrance.


Yep Cotton. They came in both silver for civilian and olive drab for military. Yours is in much better condition and you can almost see clearly through the window of it as well. My flag is flying for remembrance also.....Lest We Forget.
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2680

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:55 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Honest Pa!

Yours is in far better condition, as mine could only be a template.
The top was cut off a later street windshield, with clear beading that has browned substantially.
(At the top left edge is a piece of tape where a rock from a graveltruck came through it like a bullet; vintage "plastics" can be a liability.)

....Cotten
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:07 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Spent a bit of time researching and comparing my oem windshield to data I looked up. Bruce Palmer III’s big book, page 467, last paragraph, provides excellent windshield details for both civilian and military windshield assemblies.

Johan at http://www.theliberator.be/liberator2.htm also provides additional details focusing only on the WLA windshield assembly and years of apron types. Johan presents the picture below of an nos early apron made of leatherette which, Johan states, was used on Type I through type IV 42WLA’s. Note how dark in color the nos leatherette apron is, compared to the olive drab back it is overlaying in the photograph. Compare it to the pics I posted of my windshield assemblies apron. The second picture below, showing a military tag, is also compliments of Johan. Johan does not explain the windshield frame details as Bruce does. However, Bruce does state the frame would have been olive drab for military models as would the apron. I’ve seen canvas WLA aprons and they definitely are an olive drab color for which I am used to associating olive drab to but the earlier leatherette type is a drab olive which almost looks black in color. Any thoughts ?

Image

Image
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:50 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Bouncing around again…..I found these files of my nos Cycle Ray headlight lens while looking for other lost files. I shot the pics before restoring my headlight assembly. I figured I would post them since the lens is in my oem Cycle Ray headlamp bucket and the pics may help distinguish a real deal oem lens in relation to a reproduction lens for those who wanted correctness in their restoration project, be it military or civilian models.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
PreviousNext

Return to 45 Flatties

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 phpBB Group.