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Mk3 Commando fork seized

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Pete Mahone, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Deets55

    Deets55 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Perhaps careful application of compressed air through the drain hole might free it up. I have air caps on one of my bikes that I can easily charge to 15 lbs static and not blow out the fork seals. Maybe air and some tapping with a rubber mallet might get you somewhere.
    Pete
     
  2. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    I would take the top fork nut off and check the rod and see if its still engaged with the damper tube, if the damper tube top cap has come undone and the fork slider dropped then the valve on the end of the rod may be free and not going back into the damper tube.
     
  3. Pete Mahone

    Pete Mahone VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    You could be right about it being run dry, no oil has dropped out of the drain plug in the 2 days since I removed it.
    I bought the bike from an importer, it came from the U.S., and gave it to a mechanic who ‘specializes’ In British bikes.
    I asked him to give it the once over and fix a few things the needed to be done for registration.
    I’ve ridden it about 100 kms maximum.
    I am at a loss to explain how it retracted, the bike hadn’t been ridden for weeks due to the flat tyre and waiting for a new air cleaner.
    Cheers,
    Pete
     
  4. Pete Mahone

    Pete Mahone VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Thank you, I’ll give that a go.
    Pete.
     
  5. Pete Mahone

    Pete Mahone VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Thanks Kommando,
    I’ll have a look at that as son as I get a chance. At this point, I’m thinking that it might be time for a rebuild, not knowing the history of the bike.
    Cheers,
    Pete.
     
  6. dynodave

    dynodave

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    ridden 100KM no oil in fork?
    fork leg might be scored to hell and now the galling aluminum is binding up on the fork leg bottom bush.
    Seen it before.
     
  7. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Yes, I bet the bottom bush is binding in the slider. I bet once it is free there will be quite a bit of noticeable play.
     
  8. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Let's all just hope he has the good fortune to not have serious damage if it is a galled bushing, and that a bit of lube, compressed air,& BFH\block persuasion bring him through this without major time and expense.
     
    Pete Mahone likes this.
  9. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Peter

    Best thing to do is pull the forks off the bike and do a complete pull down on the bench, do you have a good vice, like I say I am willing to give you a hand, a full pull down is needed to find out what has happened, sometimes oil won't come out of the drain hole unless you push up and down on the fork, and if it had no oil in it there could be rust inside, I have Lansdown internals in my forks so have all my old internals if needed as well a set of progressive spring with about a 100 miles on them.
    I have a big workshop up the back with every Norton tool for any job, I am always willing to help out fellow Norton owners who have no meckenical skills on their bike and if you don't have a work area or tools I can trailer it to my workshop if need be, I also have a good set ot tyre levers to fix your flat, to me its not a big job pulling front forks down, I have rebuilt many Norton front ends over the years, so the offer stands if you need help.
    It be interesting for me to know what has happened.

    Ashley
     
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  10. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    I got a dribble and had to pump the remainder out of both. You've offered the man a golden opportunity to gain some serious experience too....All I may add to that offer is where were you when I first tackled this strange English beastie all those years ago and it was eating my lunch? It's gonna be okay.
     
  11. Pete Komarek

    Pete Komarek

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    The forks are very simple. I can't understand how one fork could retract that much. The good news is unless there is significant damage to the fork leg, everything comes apart and goes together easily with little drama. Just rebuilt mine with new tubes, springs and bushings. My fork tubes had bent a little, possibly from brake action or hitting a feral pig-who knows. Good luck, should be easy to fix.
     
  12. Pete Mahone

    Pete Mahone VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Hi Ashley, you are a legend. Thank you so much for the offer. I guess it’s a matter of of working out a time that suits you to take a look. Whenever you’ve got time to text or call, my number is 0417604074.
    Thanks again,
    Pete.
     
  13. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Pete
    I am retired now and always have plenty of time on my hands, I will give you a call after tea time and we can have a good talk about it.

    Talk soon Ashley
     
  14. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    I am at Brighton on the N'side.

    Ashley
     
  15. jimbo

    jimbo VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Had a fork slider ( the cast aluminum lower leg) bind when I installed my Hyde fork brace, nothing would free it up until I replaced it.I assumed it was bent. Something might have a slight bend, and now it is stuck
     
  16. cliffa

    cliffa

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    COMradery at it's best !!

    I'd like a neighbor like you ashman. :)
     
    Pete Mahone and Commando750 like this.
  17. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Thats what its all about giving a hand when needed its the Aussie way, but some people do abuse my good nature sometimes, I always give my mates a hand when they need it but sometime when I need a hand, my mates seem to forget and are busy when I need it, but it still don't stop me helping them out.
    Anyway just talked to Pete this morning and will be going over Saturday to pull his forks down, he was going to go get parts for it before I come over but I told him the leave it till we find out what the ptoblem is first, it might just be something simple but of course won't know till then, will do both forks as now I know a bit of history of the bike.

    Ashley
     
  18. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Well I finaly got over to Pete's place on Sunday morning and sure enough the right hand fork was locked solid couldn't even spin the fork leg round, Pete already had the front gaurd and caliper off and top nuts off, so only a few minutes and had the fork off the bike, we then went down to his shed where his vice was and proceeded to undo the springs and remove the seal holder.
    The fork was still solid and not bugging so we sprayed a lot of CRC down the fork seal after a while we got the bottom of the fork to move round the fork leg, it was still very tight, by the way there wasn't a drop of oil in the fork, but no rust, we then put the fork in the vice facing straight down in soft jaws and clamped it up nice and tight, we marked the fork leg so when hitting it down with a soft face hammer to see if it moved and sure enough it started to move down with light hitting where the seal goes and the bottom leg finaly came off.
    What cause the fork to jam, on the bottom bush on the end of the chrome fork leg was a big score mark and looking inside the fork leg bottom the score mark was all up the botton fork leg, this was the problen that caused it to seize solid.
    A bit of a hone out to get rid off the score marks and new bushes, seals etc etc and it will be all fixed, I left Pete to pull the other fork apart as he now knows what to do, but I told him I am only a phone call away if he has any problems.
    Pete and his wife was over my way yestertay and they dropped around to check out my bikes and work shop and had a cuppa and good talk, they are realy nice people and I think Pete will become another good friend and I am sure I be getting a few more jobs from him over time, there are a few other things that he's got to look into with the bike but at lease when he puts his forks back together he be dropping by on the Norton and I am sure we be going for a few rides together.
    Its Pete's first British bike so its all a learning curve for him and he knows I will be there to help him with any problems.

    Ashley
     
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  19. Pete Mahone

    Pete Mahone VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Hi All,
    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to offer all of the helpful suggestions. I am very grateful for your participation.
    I am especially grateful to Ashley for coming over today and finding the problem, and showing me how to fix it. There aren’t many people who will go out of their way to help anyone these days. I feel very fortunate that he contacted me through this forum. I will be ordering the parts through RGM on his suggestion, and might look at getting a set of neoprene bushes from the states.
    I’ve never really worked on my bikes before but Ashley has given me the confidence to have a go.
    Plus, there’s something very satisfying about tinkering and restoring such a beautiful machine.
    Cheers!
    Pete.
     
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  20. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Good show! I'm pleased this is going to work out for you & hope you're soon racking up fun miles...…...Nothing like good neighbors extending their hand either.
     
    Pete Mahone likes this.

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