Got it going!

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Apr 15, 2004
Country flag
Got my Norton snortin today for the first time in 5 weeks! Started in a couple of kicks using ticklers and full choke. I'm not sure if the choke really was necessary; playing with the choke setting as the bike was warming up didn't seem to make that much difference. Was running rough initially but settled down as it warmed up and ran fine when warm.

For today's run the bike had:

fresh gas
new plug wires
reset timing and points gap, with adjustment for rotor mark being off
LOTS of oil drained out of the sump (see separate thread).

So I fixed several problems but don't know if I fixed The Problem. Have to wait a week and see if it will start again.

One thing I noticed is my ignition switch is going bad. While riding it suddenly went dead, totally, and started coasting to a stop. Wiggling the key brought it back to life. And recently I've noticed a similar situation with the lights. Maybe replacing the cheesy Lucas switch with something from a modern bike would be a good idea? Generic replacements seem to be available at reasonable prices.

Good work Deb!

I replaced my ignition switch with an exact-looking replica and have had excellent service from it for over two years now. It sounds like you still have some electrical gremlins, which are often cleverly disguised as fuel delivery problems.

Perhaps your next step is a new ignition switch. Purchasing a generic switch may mean that you have to replace the wire terminations in order to match the switch.

Ignition switch

Hi Deb! I once had an accident due to that ignition switch. Another poster said he had good luck with a repro, so maybe they are alright. I never found the Lucas switch to be any good, so I replaced mine with an aftermarket switch. First I tried one of those generic Pep Boys etc. universal switches that have a sort of tapered body, but it wore out faster than the Lucas switch. I wound up with a Custom Chrome (I think) H-D replica switch which works very well. It gives my one position for ignition and one for ignition and lights. I would make replacing the switch a high priority. BTW the H-D switch is in a home-made alloy plate on the handlebars so I can't say how it would fit in the stock position but I doubt if it's rocket science to make it work.

You gotta hate that !!!!

Hopefully you have found it this time & it is really just a faulty/worn out ignition switch.

In the mean time you should know how your bike functions a hell of a lot more than when you brought it home.

On the positive side:

You now have it timed correctly.
Points gap is correct.
Carbys are clean & adjusted, closely at least.
You know about gas problems that may occur with fibreglass fuel tanks.

You are close to being mistress of your norton :!:

You are now able to ride a legend around.......

Aren't you glad you didn't sell up as tempted to a week or so back :?:

Good on you for sticking with it.

HOHOHO, Merry Xmas :D
Good going Deb!
Deal with the ignition switch, keep the battery charge high, drain the sump, good gas, it'll fire.
Dress out the points every 500 - 1000 miles or so and have a nice ride.

FYI, I got my 71 going on Friday, rode it around for the first time and I want you to know that this particular TLS brake works better than both my stock 73 and 75 disc set up. I haven't had it apart so I don't know if anything's been modified. I also haven't ridden it hard enough to try to develop fade, I just wanted to pass on the info.
I decided to go with the repop switch, mainly because it's plug & play. Don't feel like making wiring mods at the moment. If it wears out fast I'll make the extra effort to adapt the Harley switch. Should have the new switch on the bike this weekend :)

Hope the weather is kind this weekend then.

I did mention that an 8 month old ignition switch of mine was cactus in one of your previous posts.
A replacement was provided by my supplier, but it did not have a "positive" feel to it & I really had to be careful turning it on. They key got "stuck" inside even. I managed to get it out and gently filed the key.
I dare not ask for another one.............badly made.

So I also have an aftermarket ignition switch "zip tied" to the bolt that holds the front air cleaner plate on.

Bloody annoying, but it works !
Uh oh. You did mention that didn't you? Will my cheap repro part work this time or will it let me down? It sounds like I'm entered in the Ignition Switch Lottery :shock:

fingers crossed,
Just a followup. The bike started in two kicks today and ran great, as it did last weekend. The new ignition switch seems to work fine too.

Today, though, I drained 1100cc of oil out of the sump after sitting only six days. Last time I only got 300cc after it sat for a full week. So the wetsumping rate can vary. I think that might have a lot to do with the random nature of my starting problems.

Also, now I cold-start it on the centerstand and I position the engine at compression before kicking (a tip from the britbike forum). That seems to help me spin the engine faster and I think that helps too.

"Just a followup. The bike started in two kicks today and ran great, as it did last weekend. The new ignition switch seems to work fine too."

Good stuff debby !

Sounds like you are getting to know your norton well now.
If you have a norton manual, it should cover the oil pump "fix"
Maybe you could send it off to Dyno Dave or RonL for a good job :idea:

You should have the contact breaker tool to refit the timing cover also.
Les Emery talks about storing the bike on the compression stroke to minimize wet sumping. I don't know why this is. All I can figure is the counterweights take up volume in the crankcase thereby not allowing as much oil to fill the crankcase.
This may or may not explain the difference in your oil amounts.
Congradulations on keeping the bike going.
It's store the bike on TDC so the oil has to go up hill to get into the case. That's if it isn't leaking out between the pump and the motor case like many I have seen. norbsa
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