Everything posted by Charles Lessig
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 piece. 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 gone too. 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 so. 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.
Just found this place. In 1955 I got a Doodlebug rolling frame and motorised it when I was in high school. Recently I got another one not so complete and I'm working on it. Here are some patents that turned up on Google patents that relate to Doodlebugs. MERTZ MOTOR SCOOTER - Google Patent Search POWER TRANSMISSION DRIVE ADJUSTMENT - Google Patent Search BRAKE CONTROL AND ACCELERATOR - Google Patent Search DRIVE WHEEL ASSEMBLY - Google Patent Search ROTARY FLUID COUPLING - Google Patent Search DAVIS - Google Patent Search Mine is missing the sheet metal, motor, drive train, seat, handlebars, fenders and front wheel so there is a lot to do. Harbor Freight had tires and tubes so that is a start. The Doodlebug is a lot more complicated than later scooters. Best regards, Charlie