Re: Doodle Bug Scooters some progress
The scooter is also missing its tags so I don't have that
information either. What would be really nice is a set
of drawings with dimensions for all the parts.
So far I have made the lower counter-shaft bracket
and the three hole offset pulley and the bottom
brake lever using the patent drawings and pictures
I could find. The aluminum parts were machined
from solid using manual machines in my basement.
I found an old V-pex clutch similar to the A65S and
made dies to straighten out the back shell that was
all beat out of shape and turned the pulley faces back
to cones. They were badly worn. I made a sleeve to fit
the 3/4" bore to a 1942 Briggs N I so the drive train
is about done.
The V-plex clutches are shown on page
66 of the January 1952 Popular Mechanics but the one
for Doodle Bugs has no dimensions.
I found a proper gas tank and made a set of strap
clamps to hold it on. The old straps were gone except
for a couple of nubs that were spot welded on but
they told me what size metal to use. The hook
details came from pictures.
I adapted a 4" steel wheel from General Tire that
is more like the original than the die-cast minibike
hub that I had before. It has a 4 bolt aluminum hub
and I press fitted an aluminum tube bored out for
5/8" bronze bushings.
The rear wheel and hub were there but the drum
was badly worn cone shaped with a chunk missing.
I turned the drum to a true cone and made a shell
to fit it and pressed it on, Then I tapped 6 screws
from inside and turned the outside true. A band
brake for a go-kart from ebay fits OK.
The handle bars were mostly gone so I adapted
a set from a 1940s bike that will work. The stem
was 7/8" diameter and hollow so it was cut off
square and bored it out for an adapter shaft that
was pressed in and secured with a taper pin. The
other half is 3/4" diameter to fit the scooter
steering tube. It will have a twist throttle and a
brake lever from a minibike.
I made a cardboard pattern for the floorboard
and will see if I can make dies to turn the edges
like the original. The front fender will be easier
to make in halves than trying to raise it in one
The frame and back wheel shells had been chrome
plated at one time then rusted some and had
some paint sprayed on. The kickstand clip is
It has a minibike seat now but the original was
made like an innerspring mattress. That was
the suspension. Maybe an old mattress will
turn up for the springs.
It seems Harry Mertz designed the whole
scooter himself. All the dimensions are simple inch
sizes and the angles are 10 degree increments or
The unshielded bronze bushings were cheap but
they needed to be cleaned and oiled frequently.
Balloon tire bikes of this period needed much less
attention so Doodle Bugs probably didn't get
very much either and the same mechanics were
working on them too.
Later minibikes were more durable and a lot simpler.
I will try to make no changes that could
not be reversed later. It will certainly not be a
perfect restoration but the only person to be
pleased is me.
This is a very interesting project.