The carb issue is threefold, the one that was attached to the engine without the elbow is dry and the choke butterfly is badly corroded although it functions, gasket kit and seals at the needles minimum, choke butterfly is probably o.k. but I'd have to remove/replace the 'freeze-plug' to fix it.
The elbowed carb that came in the box of parts is even worse for wear, a dedicated strip down and soda blast would see it restored but even more work than the first.
The elbowed carb on the donor motor is a runner, so I'm really looking for an excuse to use it without compromising the originality of the engine for when it was built.
I'm not sure as I haven't had them side by side looking down the throat but the non-elbow deal may be a bigger carb, I seem to think the throat is smaller in the elbow deal, maybe that was a hop-up/add-on in the world of early '50's Briggs'.
In the 25 years or so that I was told this scooter was ridden by the family (late '40's to early '70's) maybe 'Dad' when he was younger a. disconnected the governor. b. put a larger carburetor on it. and c. junked the muffler and put a straight-thru 14" Romex pipe on it!
How cool is that! (I'm only speculating btw).....but that must have been the bitchin-est Doodlebug on Paradise Rd!
Thanks for the replies Scooter Guy, you've really helped me out here.
Just had word through the old mini bike forum that the Super never had the mono body carb.
That was from Don Jackson through a fellow Doodlebugger who was just there.
So it was either a replacement (why would you replace instead of rebuild?) or a performance enhancement.
I did find a couple of non-factory photos in my collection with the mono body carb and, as I mentioned earlier, my model A came to me with that carb on it, so it must have been fairly common to swap these out. I'm not sure if it was performance or what.
I pulled the mono body off the engine and compared it with the elbowed carb at the main throttle butterfly, it looks exactly the same.....maybe new carburetors were a cheap option when the throttle axle wore out or something....I think this calls for an old-timer with a razor sharp memory who also happened to own a Doodlebug whose carb started playing up around 1952.....
This IS keeping me awake at night trying to figure what happened......
I also have a Doodlebug. Bought it many years ago at an auction. Unfortunately, all I have is the rolling frame. The rear wheel is not correct. I know that it would cost an awful lot to restore it correctly, so I don't know whether I want to just rebuild it into a running scooter or pass it on to someone who wants to go all the way with it.
Here are the numbers off the tag.
Model G-1046 D
Type 24-5501 D
It had the Hiawatha tag so I'm guessing that the G stands for Gambles and the D is the model.
I sandblasted the frame when I first got it, but it has been sitting in a barn and needs it to be done again. I'm not sure what year it is.
Thanks for any other info you can give me.
The last post on the topic was September, shortly after the 25th annual Doodle Bug Reunion in Webster City, Iowa.
For those interested, the Doodle Bug Club of America is working on a website at wcdoodlebug.com
The dates for the 2012 Doodle Bug Reunion are September 13-15, 2012 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City.
Suppose I might qualify as an Old Timer or? At 70 years young I remember well the Doodle-Bug as My father bought one Brand new from Western Auto In downtown Dallas in March 1948. He rode it home from there to our home near Love Field. I started riding it back then when I was still only 5 years old! I studied that little scooter well! It had an Briggs Stratton Manual for its NP engine that explained the Four Stroke Principal with drawings. That bode me well in making repairs to the little Scooter. It was used for years, both of my little brothers rode it also and was still in use, in the 70s. My baby brother was 15 years younger than I and he rode it in the 60's thru early 70's.
Somewhere I have pictures of it when new with my Dad in his suit astride the Doodle-Bug,and myself standing behined it,with my younger brother sitting side saddle on the seat. It was our familys only means of transportation back then! Will try to find those pictures, though I am not the best at getting them online.
One other minor detail is that I still have the Doodle-Bug in its entirety. And my memories are sharp on it and it's details, though I usually can't remember what I had for breakfast or even if I ate breakfast by Noon!
From going back and looking through some post I can say that the scooter had Elbow carb set up and had flex pipe welded to small muffler that ran out at rear of scooter down low near rear wheel. It was registered and ridden in Dallas during the 40's to and from work by my Dad! Over the years I have also built up other scooters utilizing the Briggs up to and Including the Model 8 which developed far more horsepower than the original 1 and 1/2 horse power of that NP. The original NP is intact on my original Doodle-Bug. These were Cast-Iron engines,the side shrouds were Aluminum on our scooter, but were melted when our garage burnt down in 1959! They were off of the little scooter and laying on a shelf at rear of garage that day! The seat is still intact in it's entirety, cover and all; though well worn, and dis-colored
Last edited by triumphleroy; March 11th, 2012 at 10:29. Reason: additions
"I'm Just A Kid Again Doing What I did Again"
The 26th Doodle Bug Reunion is coming up in Webster City, Iowa.
September 13-15, 2012 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. See link for more information:Doodle Bug Reunion
The Doodle Bug Reunion is this weekend!
September 13-15, 2012 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City, IA. It's the place to be if you're a Doodle Bugger.
Hope to see you there!
Hi Everybody , I recently purchased a doodlebug "basket case" in my country (Brazil), and I thought I would never see one this here. I started a search in the web ( should do the contrary right??rsrsrs), and found this wonderfull thread about this scooters. I will problably have to purchase some manuals first to id and before start to restore and buy parts. Here goes some pics of it. I think there is some non original parts and a lot of it missing but anyway , that´s the fun it right?( Iwonder if it was originaly painted black or just red?
Last edited by ANTONIOGMFCO; October 15th, 2012 at 15:55.
A Doodle Bug in Brazil...how very interesting.
I wonder how it got there. Did Brazil have Gamble or Western Auto Stores in the 1940s? Both of those companies were based in the midwestern United States and both grew rapidly, but I didn't know either to have a truly international presence. Otherwise, an individual or company imported it...and I wonder when that was. Could it have been in Brazil since new or do you think it came there much more recently?
Speaking of Doodle Bugs outside of the USA, I did recently confirm that Doodle Bug Scooters were sold new in Canada through a hardware store chain there in the 1940s called Macleod's. I had wondered for a long time and finally found a catalog offering the scooters for sale there. It is unclear, however, if Beam Manufacturing (who actually built the scooter) supplied them or if Macleod's stores were buying and flipping scooters that were actually built for Gamble Stores. I am looking for information on any connection between Macleod's and Gamble's or Western Auto...it may just be the Canadian Gamble's brand or some such thing.
EDIT: As to your paint questions...they were ALL red when new.
EDIT #2: According to the Minnesota Historical Society, Gambles purchased Macleods in 1945. Macleods had 270 stores that operated in Western Canada. The MHS has no evidence that Gambles ever operated in any other location outside of the United States.
Last edited by Scooter Guy; October 16th, 2012 at 15:58. Reason: Added paint information
Hi Scooter Guy, problably someone brought this one from USA.There wasn´t any of that stores here in Brazil. Do you know if the manual available at Yesterday´s Rides if enough to restore my DB? Or do you know the cost of the Stephen Elliott Doodlebug "Bible"? For now I have only the pics in the web for reference but certanly I will need something more complete to do a full restoration. MY little son is crazy to help me out on this one as you can see by the pics....rsrsrsrs
Anyway, mine have a adaptation ( or not) to start the engine by using a cord? is that correct? Here we have this Mercedes TRuck red paint , it seems right by looking at the web but it still has some paint in the wheels so I can do a matching color.
Thanks for your help , and I will try to post some news about this resto.
Start by getting the Doodle Bug "Bible" from Steve Elliott. He was selling them for $50 at the Doodle Bug Reunion. It contains all of the manuals and parts lists and also contains the owners manual for the engines and for the accessories.
Yesterday's Rides manufactures reproduction parts or can restore your original parts. Their website has lots of good information. Don is the only direct source for parts. Jim Kilau in Minnesota sells Don's parts, if that makes more sense for you. Buying used parts (like on Ebay) is a real crapshoot. There is really no telling if the parts are usable or not until they show up at your house. I've spent some serious money on some original parts only to discover on arrival that they were being unloaded because they were irreparable.
I don't know where you really want to go in this restoration, but would caution you that most of the Doodle Bug scooters seen online are not completely correct...even some of them billed as "completely restored." I'm not here to rain on anyone's parade, but even some of the Doodle Bugs that have won awards in AACA class judging aren't 100% correct. It's best to study the factory literature and ask people like Don Jackson (owner/operator of Yesterday's Rides) a lot of questions. I'm happy to help, too, if I can.
The engine is correct (according to the tag), but should have a kick starter. They did not use a rope/pull starter.
The paint you'll probably have to source locally. See if your paint shop can figure out what "Cessna red" (as in the airplane) is...that's the right color. Going to the Doodle Bug Reunion is funny...you can see Doodle Bugs in every shade of red you can imagine.
Hi Scooter Guy, thanks for all the explanations!! I will try to contact Steve and Don, send some pics and start a long list of missing parts...
About the paint both wheels have original paint and it will be easy to sort it out at our local paint stores. I will try to restore it to original as possible , some big parts are impossible to import since the shipping and taxes make it too expensive. I noticed that the handle bar have holes at both sides, but acording the model it should only have 1 control for acell. and brake. When I travel I try to visit as many as possible museums and classic motorcycle meetings. You allways find many new friends and info from helpfull people like You. My last trip was to "Autoclasica" at Buenos Aires Angentina. You couldn´t believe how many cars and bikes they have there.
I am new to the group and am glad to have found out that there are others interested in the hobby. I recently obtained an early DBug that has a Briggs and Stratton NP engine. It came with a fluid drive clutch that is broken. It would be nice to find out if anyone repairs these clutches, but my main question has to do with the engine. Can anyone tell me what the diameter of the crankshaft should be for those engines that had a fluid clutch? I am wondering about the diameter at the end of the shaft where the clutch is mounted.
The correct crankshaft size is 5/8"
The clutches can be rebuilt and repaired by (I know I sound like a broken record here) Don Jackson at Yesterday's Rides Metalworks. He has done one for me and is going to do another for me soon.
Also a word of caution to anyone looking for a fluid drive clutch: a similar fluid drive unit was used on washing machines (also manufactured by Beam Manufacturing), but they are 1/2" instead of 5/8" I actually purchased a washing machine fluid drive once because I got caught up in an auction and didn't carefully check the size beforehand. Oops.
Last edited by Scooter Guy; April 23rd, 2014 at 23:34.
Thanks Scooter Guy for the quick reply! The reason I asked about the crankshaft size is that mine is actually 1/2" and I found that quite odd. That now raises another question. Since mine apparently is for a washing machine will it work on the Doodlebug if I have it repaired? Does it have similar operating characteristics to the fluid clutches for the DB?
Last edited by Scooter Guy; April 23rd, 2014 at 23:36. Reason: Correction to 5/8" (previously incorrectly stated 7/8")
I have acquired what appears to be an older doodlebug but can't find ANY I'd markings on it it has been painted any help on the id location would be appreciated . thanks
A photo would help tremendously to identify what you have on your hands.
It is not terribly uncommon for the frames to have been modified and/or painted over the years. The id tag was riveted to the inside edge of the fork tube, facing the engine, but they are frequently missing or illegible. Unfortunately, those were the only identification marks on the frame, nothing else was cast or stamped in. However, if your scooter does have a tag, make a note of everything it says exactly as it is stamped and let me know...I can tell you a lot about your frame based just on that little tag.
In any case, I'd love to see a photo.
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