Clutch Issues

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Aug 30, 2005
Hello Fellow Norton riders,

This is a great forum. I wish I had found this earlier. Anyway, I can engage 1st gear no problem but my 73 850 Commando does like to upshift into neutral and 2nd. If can usually get it to engage after putting some upward pressure on the gear shift and then tapping it down. No problems from 3rd to 4th or downshifting. Is the cause of this a worn out a gear shift return spring or is this a result of the clutch.

Any help pointing me in the right direction would be great.
sounds like you have norton clutchitis...i have a page on the ontario norton owners club site tech pages regarding setting up the primary chain that will help alot....also check out the norton clutch pushrod seal that british cycle supply in nova scotia is probably the best accessory you can put on a norton next to a woman.good luck barry
I agree up with B.H., up front regarding the clutch issue..

A little 'tweak ' I adopted from the pages of the original NOC hand manual was to drill several <3/16> holes in the selector shafts which allows improved lubrication to the selector spindle / shaft~ and ideally better smoother gear selection.

I feel my gears are smooth and positive all round! 8)

This of course requires the gear box to be dismantled !!
check with derek wilson...ontario norton owners or he has several posts on this site...he and i independantly discovered how a commando clutch works and if you promise not to tell a soul i can give you an outline but you will have to talk with derek to get the exact dimentions....the diaphram in the commando clutch must be setup at the proper height and over the years the plates get mixed up or some expert has another great idea so most of the problems are mechanic induced....a properly working clutch shoud have a really heavy pull for about the first 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of lever pull then then the reistance should drop to virtually nothing...this is the action of depressing the diaphram over centre ...different thickness of plates will alter this height as will forgetting to put that stupid plate in the 750 baskets that have the 2 little shear pins[corrected on the 850 rivited in] im sure that you can get the correct height with the proper stack of plates but i havent had the time to experiment....the fix[as opposed to repair] is to cut the outer plate to the reqired thickness to give the proper diaphram installed height...the ridge on the outside of the plate that bears on the diaphram is critical so cutting on this side must not alter end up taking 1/3 to 1/2 the thickness off that can be determined by experimentation but its a lot of screwing around so if you can get ahold of derek he should have the figures close at not,and i really mean do not,start playing with the little actuator lever on the other side of the trans that pushes on the ball...there are several ideas on using atlas levers or reprofiling the ramp and these will get you in more trouble than you want to have...when you do get it setup properly you will have the best clutch ever built but it does not work like a conventional multiple spring clutch so do not try to set it up like one....quickie tool electrical octagon box available from any store makes a good clutch compressor for a buck....good luck barry
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