It's alive!

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Apr 15, 2004
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I finished things off last night. The restoration, which started ten months ago, came to an end. I added gas and oil, tickled the carbys, and it started on the third kick! I have a Snortin Norton again, not a pile of parts - woohoo! :D

As is traditional in our family, the fire-up occured at night, well after sunset. It just always seems to work that way. So the photo below had to be shot in the shop, not out in the sunshine:

It's alive!

There are a few issues: the carbs are leaking (new gaskets aren't doing their job), there's a big oil leak from somewhere on the head, and that custom front brake isn't working very well. Could be the shiny chrome-plated Harley rotor or maybe the used brake pads are all glazed. And there's a few other little things that need rework.

But overall, I'm very pleased! 8) :D

Looks good, runs well. Head leaks sounds like a 750. Hope the re-tourque of the head slows the leaks. Did ya loose the rear fender stay in the building somewere? I wouldn't leave that one off.
Good job and congrats. Hope ya can cure the head leak.
norbsa48503 said:
Did ya loose the rear fender stay in the building somewere? I wouldn't leave that one off.

It's a Mk3 fender with no front stay. With the Nissin caliper the rear stay doesn't fit, so for now I just flipped the fender around backwards :oops:

Funny thing is, I was just looking at ebay Nortons and saw one with the fender mounted backwards just like this. That bike had a drum brake though so no excuse for him! :lol:

That's inventive But after seeing the results after the back of the fender tangeles with the tire.... Just as bad as a ride with the kick stand down. Don't let being in a hurry cause you any harm I have done worst on rides after a bike long dormit runs. Customize the stay and put it right.
Or get one of Matt's fenders at Colorado Norton Works. They seem to work well without stays. I have a fiberglass Norvil fender on my cafe racer, but the steel one from CNW would add needed stiffness to the front end.
Congratulations Debby

I now have one of Matts front guards but had one like yours when i first fitted a Grimeca caliper with the standard disk. My stays were easily bent by hand to clear the caliper, just needed to adjust both sides to keep the guard centred.

Iain B

You mention braking performance.

What are you using for a master cylinder on this? What is its bore diameter and what is the bore diameter and number of pistons in the Nissin caliper?

Maybe you have already dealt with this, but if the master cylinder isn't properly sized to your new caliper, you will never be happy with the front braking. See, for instance, the ratio chart at Getting this right can make the difference between a dangerous brake and a wonderful brake.
For the brake, I'm using a master cylinder from a CBR600F2 and a caliper from a CBR600F4, both from ebay. You can get this stuff fairly cheap from people doing upgrades.

The mc has a 13mm bore, which is rare for a dual-disk brake. Honda went to a larger bore starting with the F3, which doesn't work as well on a single disk application like this. For the calipers, I think pretty much any year would work. These are just what I happened to find.

The idea originally came from a former member of this forum, Derek Wilson. He designed up an adapter to use the caliper with the stock Norton rotor. I bought the parts a couple of years ago but Derek never delivered on the adapter - said he was too busy. So the parts sat on the shelf until recently when a friend in our club came up with this design independently. The larger H-D rotor should offer improved performance due to increased leverage. And stock take-off H-D rotors are available cheaply as well.

I think the performance issue is from either glazed pads (I used the ones that came with the caliper) or maybe that nice shiny chrome plating on the rotor. Stainless rotors and full-floating cast iron rotors are available and should offer improved performance. The stock stainless rotors are cheap, the floating ones are not so cheap. The guy who made the adapters happened to have this rotor so it's what I'm using for now...

I think you might have had the Mk111 front fender mounted back to front. The short side with the strengthening flute pressed in should be on top facing forward....the longer side and stays should be at the rear of the wheel. Of course on a Mk111, the caliper is on the other fork leg and is facing forward. Very important to have stays at the rear of the guard....if it touches the rotating wheel here you are in deep trouble.
Cheers, Jay in NZ
Debbie, WELL done! I found that one set (inside) of my nissin pistons were stuck after sitting around for awhile..try pulling your caliper off and checking their movement... Maybe?? I found after getting them all freely working, braking was GREATLY improved! Congrats on your fine work!
Debby, Still thinking of you riding around with an unstayed fender please tell us that you have sorted it out and your rings have seated and the oil change reveled no huge hunks of metal.
Hi Debby (chapette),
Great to be back on the road again innit. spotted the deliberate error in the photo tho' - no empty beer cans on the workbench.
norbsa48503 said:
Debby, Still thinking of you riding around with an unstayed fender please tell us that you have sorted it out and your rings have seated and the oil change reveled no huge hunks of metal.

I just reached the century mark so it's time to change the oil, retorque the head, and check the valve clearances. The oil leak is fixed - turned out to be a bad spindle cover plate (the outer plate was bowed, creating a gap that made the oil come squirting out). I found another one in the used parts box that was good.

So far, things look good with the motor. Oil pressure is good, it's running great, and I haven't noticed any smoking. And NO oil consumption in the first 100 miles (not the case with the old worn out motor)!

Fender stay issue is still unresolved :oops: It looks pretty solid to me though...

I'm jealous.. the 71 basketcase is still sitting with an assembled engine but in need of electronic ignition, wheel re-build, etc.....

now that school's out (I'm a teacher) it's time to get back in gear!!!!...literally!


karl hoyt
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