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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

Serial# 107001

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.

Tom

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  • 5 months later...

Anything new?

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.

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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

Edited by triumphleroy
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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?

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Edited by ANTONIOGMFCO (see edit history)
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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.

Edited by Scooter Guy
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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.

Regards

Antonio

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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.

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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.

Many thanks

Antonio

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  • 4 weeks later...

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.

Thanks

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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.

Edited by Scooter Guy (see edit history)
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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?

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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?

As far as I can tell, the clutches are identical except for the difference in the crankshaft size they are intended for. I do know they can be repaired and the 1/2" can be refit for 5/8" to work with a Doodle Bug. Give Don Jackson a call about that. He and I have discussed exactly that operation. Every now and then he has a real fluid clutch around, too...worth asking about.

Edited by Scooter Guy
Correction to 5/8" (previously incorrectly stated 7/8") (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

Danimal-

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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I'm having a little trouble adding a picture. But I will work on it. Thanks in advance... it has no tag.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]266897[/ATTACH]

Ok, what you have is not a Doodle Bug scooter as is being discussed in this thread here on the forum.

What you have is a 1960s-1970s minibike of some sort. There were many brands and manufacturers back then. I can't help you much with that...not the type of machine I deal with. I'd suggest visiting oldminibikes.com where they will be able to identify what you have and work through whatever questions you might have.

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  • 7 months later...
I recently found a doodle bug scooter missing only the seat and chain gaurd .curious about how much it's worth .its been sitting in a shed for along long time

Please post a photo of your find or a link to it. Please know that I do not offer public appraisals but would love to see it.

Value completely depends on condition and originality. If you just want to flip it, list it on eBay and see what happens. There is a collector market for good scooters and parts that are original and in good condition.

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hope you can see the pictures I realized the side are missing but found the original seat like I said this scooter has been sitting for years and the badges are all there as well as the Clinton engine but I noticed no kick start . My wife and I are big into model t's which we have two a 23 roadster and a 27 touring.

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Jnberg-

I'm glad that you posted photos. It is indeed a Doodle Bug and appears to be a Model B with the Clinton engine. I suspect that it is a "real" Model B, as in one originally manufactured with the Clinton engine, but that can be verified by checking the frame's serial tag. It should say 1046B on it indicating it was "born" as a Model B that left the factory with the Clinton engine. This scooter does have the right gas tank and style of tank brackets for a Clinton motor. There should also be a "dip" in the engine mounting plate, at the front, right at the floor board and under the oil drain plug.

It is quite complete, but there are some things to be aware of. Please don't take this as criticism or think that I'm knocking down this scooter. I own worse and have saved worse! In terms of completeness, you are missing more than just the belt guard in terms of the sheet metal parts: both the right and left side covers are also missing. Those parts are all available as superior reproductions from Yesterdays Rides Metalworks (Don Jackson). The most significant missing part is the fluid drive clutch (oil filled centrifugal clutch - look like a big aluminum mushroom) - those are hard to find and expensive parts when they do turn up. As far as I am aware those have not ever been reproduced. The Clinton kick starter assembly is missing (which includes a ratcheting starter gear) - the rope start cup is incorrect. Who knows why that was done 68 years ago. Reproduction kick start assemblies are also available from Don Jackson. You also need the air cleaner (flat Simplex mesh air cleaner) and you need the muffler with the flex pipe on it. Both of those pieces are reproduced by Don Jackson.

In terms of incorrect items that are there, I see a number of those things as well. There should not be a hand control lever on the left side of the scooter at all. Someone added that for some reason (probably a brake) which means that there is probably a home-brew brake mechanism (or at least linkage) that I can't see very well in the photos. This means that the handlebars would need to be repaired to fix the hole. Otherwise, it's all fairly small stuff: the floor board rubber ribbing (and attachment method) is not correct, the kill switch isn't correct, the handlebar clamp is backwards (and isn't where a "real" Doodle Bug headlight would mount but I see why they did that).

Perhaps most significantly, just by looking at the photos of the side profile of the scooter, I am almost certain the the frame is bent. What I'm seeing is that the front fork tube has been pushed in towards the rest of the scooter. When this happens, the front wheel and front fender get too close to the floor board. Often the front fender will hit the floor board when turning in a reasonable radius...that isn't supposed to happen. Yours is not as bad as some I've seen, but your scooter has definitely taken some front end hits that tweaked the frame a bit. It can be fixed - it's not cheap or easy, but if you REALLY want to save it and have the frame absolutely arrow straight to factory specs, call Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. He has a frame jig and can get your frame back to factory specs. Some new steel is will likely be involved in the process, but most of what you have looks salvageable.

It's hard to tell if the scooter is just dusty or if there is a lot of surface rust there, but it looks like most of the original paint is pretty much gone. Still, it's pretty neat to find some so well intact after all of those years. I feel that it's at the point where it should be restored. The good news is while pretty much EVERY surface will have to be touched, you will not have to purchase very many of the major components at all. If you are interested in keeping it and/or restoring it, my suggestion would be to get in touch with Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. You can find his website via Google. It's best to call as he's fairly "old school" and not much of a computer guy (his daughter will answer emails after a few days but if you have questions or want to order something, call).

Oh...I almost forgot...Clinton Doodle Bugs (the model B) were made in very limited numbers (1000, thought most think 650-750, tops). Beam Manufacturing company when to the Clinton due to the short supply of Briggs & Stratton NP engines (as used on the other 39,000~ Doodle Bugs). It is said that the Briggs engines were cheaper for Beam to purchase in large lots than the Clinton, but the biggest reason for the short run with Clinton was due to lubrication problems. The early Clintons had an oil pump in them driven by the cam. The problem was that the the pump was rounding off the cam lobes which starved the engine of oil. Many of them "blew up" in the hands of unsuspecting owners. I'm not sure if there was a official recall, but I know that Clinton ended up switching to a splash system with an oil dipper instead and completely scrapping the idea of using an oil pump. The dipper proved to be far more reliable, but the damage was done and Beam went back to Briggs as soon as they could.

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There have been more than 50,000 views of this thread since originally posted in 2009. Impressive, I'd say. 

 

I believe many people have been able to identify, save, or restore their scooters using information posted here to get themselves started. 

 

Nothing has been added to this post in just over three years, so it seemed to be time to check in on any new developments. I remain happy to discuss Doodle Bugs and share the information that I have. I'm still buying stuff, too, if you're just wanting to sell your Doodle Bug stuff. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks you for this sight and all the information contained here, it has really helped.  I have pretty much finished mocking up my Bug and now making some new side panels. I am now going to taking it all apart and paint and detail things back to as close to original as possible. My question is about the white striping around the edges of the side panels' are they paint or are they done with tape and also the striping on the front fender.

thanks, Jon D.

 

 

 

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Thought you might like to see a big block Doodle Bug. This has a twin overhead cam 88CI Crosley V8. I know Crosley didn't make a V8 but the owner of the Doodle Bug didn't let that stop him from making one. This was at last years Crosley Nationals. The sidecar was strictly so his wife could ride along he also rides it without the sidecar.

 

Hope no one is offended by the mod, he made minimal modifications to the actual DB in case it ever needed to be put back.

 

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 8:32 PM, Jonnyd said:

 My question is about the white striping around the edges of the side panels' are they paint or are they done with tape and also the striping on the front fender.

 

 

 

 

 

Jon-

 

As far as I can tell from closely examining the scooters and original parts that I have, the white stripe along the edges of the side skirts was painted on with striping wheel. It does not appear to be tape, but it's very hard to tell on my original scooters. If it was tape it is extremely thin tape and was applied very, very precisely (all things considered). But it sure looks like it was painted on to me. The front fender, on the other hand, appears to have been done with water slide decals. I do know that the "Hiawatha" or "Western Flyer" decals along with the Doodle Bug logo were originally water slide decals. 

 

On the Doodle Bugs that I have restored, I have painted on the white side skirt stripe and use a reproduction decal set to do the front fender. Note that on the fender there are two stylized stripes on each side and one that it at the top center of the fender. Some folks miss that 5th stripe that is there. I use reproduction decals from Jim Lovelace or Engine-Decals.com. He sells a lot of eBay, but has reproductions available of all of the Doodle Bug decals, not all of which are always listed on eBay.  Some of what is available from him is because he originally made up a few sets for my restorations. They are not water slide, but no matter...I'm REALLY picky - his decals are nice. 

 

That's a nice Model B (Clinton powered scooter) you have. Can't wait to see what it looks like as you get it finished up. It looks good so far!

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Jim, 

 

That Crosley powered scooter is wild. I've had folks send me photos of it before, but it didn't yet have the side car. I had always been told that it wasn't rideable because there was no "transmission" to get the power from the engine to the rear wheels, but clearly that's not the case and the owner figured something out. I'd love to examine it up close to see exactly how he did it. Doesn't offend me at all, by the way. I can certainly appreciate the time, effort, and craftsmanship that goes into a custom or hot rod. My personal tastes tend to be more "purist", but more so than that I'm just a "scooter guy" and like 'em all! 

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The owner showed it at the 2017 Crosley Nationals not finished, the engine wasn't running yet and the final drive was just a roughed out idea.  In 2018 the engine was running great with dual overhead cams (one per bank) and final drive installed. The drive is a rubber wheel running against the flywheel to a jack shaft. He is not happy with setup because of the slippage at startup and is looking into other options.

 

The front fender was missing and he fabricated one from the eagle gas can shown in the first picture. He then made what was left of the gas can into a tool carry box.

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