Amal slides sticking? Try this!

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I learned a new trick today and thought I'd pass it along. Warning: it's not for the squeamish.

I took my ailing amals down to Isles Motorcycles in Denver for a consultation. Greg Isles, the owner, said they're basically worn out and it's time to start saving up for new ones. But he showed me a trick to unstick the slides. He was able to squeeze on the carb bodies by hand and get the slides to drop freely. I did it too with a little practice. I have to say the things aren't the most robust parts I've ever seen.

Anyway the fix is to wrap a shop rag around the body near the top and give it a good squeeze with a large pair of channellocks. You squeeze perpendicular to the manifold face. Repeat as required until they don't stick. I just happened to have a suitable pair of pliers in the toolbox so I did it and it worked! I couldn't believe it. Now I can clean the things out and put them back on and see if the bike will run with the pilots cleared out.

The long term solution in my case will be either resleeving or new carbies. But I think this will work for a while.

Debby
 
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Hi Deb,

Thanks for sharing your "carb squeezing" experience with us; glad to know it really does free slides that are stuck in warped bodies!

Jason
 

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sticking slides

Hi Debbie,

I think you just defined warped carb body. Someone previously said this doesn't happen often to Commandos, but your case in point. I've heard the "carb sqeeze" technique from a few Norton mechanics over the years with variations on how to put the sqeeze on them. After getting the carb bodies to straighten out, there's a good chance you will warp them again if tightened too much when reinstalling.

You've been debating resleeving the Amals or moving on to a Mikuni. Have you made a decision?

My choice has been the Amals because I know how to keep them working and I like the stock air cleaner with large K&N filter. What I'm finding is the jet needles wear in about 5000 miles likely due to the fact that they're rigid mounted (not rubber mounted like the Mikuni) and that wears the heck out of the moving parts from the shaking, such as the slide and the needle.

I ride my Commando less than 3000 miles a year so the consumables don't bother me. Someone riding more will probably want to make changes that extend the life of these parts.
 
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David,

I'm leaning towards resleeving the amals. It's the lowest cost option, should give better performance than the mikuni, and keeps the bike original. I'm hoping to finish out this season as is though.

One thing that concerns me about resleeving is the body will be thinner and thus even weaker, meaning more prone to warping. Have you had any problems with that? I guess if it happens I could get the pliers out again!

I don't expect to put a lot of miles on this bike either. Our riding season isn't that long and I have other bikes I can ride when the Norton gets cranky. So parts longevity isn't a huge issue for me.

Debby
 

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Amals sticking

Hi Debbie,

I've got 6 years and 13,000 miles on the resleeved original 932 Amals. I don't apply a lot of torque when tightening the Amal to manifold junction and have not had a sticking slide problem at all.
 

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Amals sticking

Hi Debbie,

I've got 6 years and 13,000 miles on the resleeved original 932 Amals. I don't apply a lot of torque when tightening the Amal to manifold junction and have not had a sticking slide problem at all.
 
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Deb,

My carburetors have been bored over-size and I don't have any problems with bodies warping. I atribute this to having flange faces that are absolutely flat and using minimal torque during assembly of the carbs to the intake manifold.

In addition to boring the carb body, the flange face and o-ring groove were recut to true them up; AMR does this as a standard part of their carburetor repair procedure. The mating flange face on the intake manifold was trued with a flat file and checked for flatness against a glass plate. I did this simple operation in my garage over a Boddingtons Pub Ale.

When installing the carburetors to the intake manifold I was careful not to overtorque the fasteners. I used new spring-type lock washers and snugged the nuts up just a bit past hand tight. Since the o-ring does all the sealing and there is no gasket to compress, very little preload is required. For additonal security, a dab of blue Loctite could be added to the nuts prior to tightening.

You too should have warp-free carb bodies if you adhere to the above tips.

Jason
 
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