Cleaning oil tank (2004)

Anonymous

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For those of you who have, as I am attempting to do, resurrected a Commando that has sit unused for the best part of 20 years, what is the consensius on removing the awfully complex oil tank and somehow cleaning it? I have spoken with two Norton/British specialists in my area and both suggested just changing the fluids/filters and running for a short time before repeating. The shape of the oil tank, however, frightens me, however, as it looks as though a good bit of debris could settle into the bottom of the V shaped tank.
Additionally, the stock chain oiler seems to present more trouble than it is worth. The back of the machine was encrusted with oily gunk that only repeated applications of degreaser and scrapers could dislodge. What is the preferred method of blocking-off the oiler. I don't believe that oil is the preferred lube for a drive chain anyway.
Thanks
Todd
 
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Hi Todd,

I think most people remove the "rear wheel oiler" and blank off the outlet at the tank. That was done to my bike before I got it.

I don't know if cleaning the oil tank is necessary though I suppose it wouldn't hurt to remove it and rinse it out with some kerosene. Or maybe you could just remove the union bolt and see how dirty the wire mesh filter is. You might want to get some new crush washers if you do that.

HTH,
Debby
 

Anonymous

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Oil tank

Hi Todd -

Pull that thing out and clean house.

My bike would puddle after every ride. After pulling out and cleaning the oil tank and removing that antiquated chain oiler, I can happily report that my bike doesn't drip a bit. Not a drop.

It's a bit of a puzzle as connectors and the strainer need to be removed to get it out ... but it's a worthwhile and easy job to do.
 

Ron L

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Todd,

The tank is a bit fiddly to remove. Don't forget the bolt in the bottom of the tank (if it hasn't fallen out). If you really want it clean, rinse it by adding kerosene and some nuts after blocking off all the fittings. Shake well and empty. Then take it to a radiator shop or metal refinisher and have them dip it in their strip tank. This will strip the paint as well as clean the inside, but after all the work in removing it, you'll want a nice new coat of paint anyway.

While it's out and stripped, check rear mounting tab as these often crack. This is the time to weld it or perhaps re-inforce it. When replacing the tank, use Harley oiltank mount rubbers rather than the Norton ones. These are much more substantial and won't disintegrate.
 

Anonymous

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Todd, as far as the chain goes, go down to your local pet shop and purchase a brass air regulator for a fish tank, that has a little knob that you can adjust the air flow with, insert same between oil tank and steel fitting on chain guard that lubes the chain, works a charm. I have a Scott oiler and use same to regulate oil flow and have used brass fittiing refered to above for last 30 some odd years on all my Nortons. Now you can adjust from 0 to full flow.

The tank, I would clean it out, however, use a little light and a view the interior, see if it is gunked up, pull the supply filter out, shine the light through the opening, view from the filler neck. Now go out and aquire a "S" central tank.
Regards
Jerry
 

Ron L

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Todd,

I usually solder a copper plumbing cap over the chain oiler nipple and remove the rest of the plumbing. Keeps the back of the bike much cleaner. Spray chain lube after a run (when it is warm) does a much better job. Wipe excess from chain before the next ride.
 
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Water condenses in the oil tank, settles to the bottom. Where it will eat away at the metal over time. Every oil change I make an effort to clean out with paper rags and a long (enough) stick before putting new oil in. Depending on the time of year and average running time I have at times found quite a lot of water. So for me one of a number of reasons for regular and low interval oil changes.

I think I entered the Internet and got lost, 2004!!!! Is that a record for resurrection!
 

concours

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Water condenses in the oil tank, settles to the bottom. Where it will eat away at the metal over time. Every oil change I make an effort to clean out with paper rags and a long (enough) stick before putting new oil in. Depending on the time of year and average running time I have at times found quite a lot of water. So for me one of a number of reasons for regular and low interval oil changes.

I think I entered the Internet and got lost, 2004!!!! Is that a record for resurrection!
Zombie threads have value. Just like the bikes, old doesn’t mean worthless.
 
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