Need Help in N.H

Not open for further replies.
Jul 23, 2007

I'm a new member in need of help. I just bought a 1974 850 Commando Interstate. I was told it ran last year with the exception of a bad coil. Well I attempted to bring her to life last weekend and cannot seem to get any lights to come on. I'm assuming that when I turn the key on (parking mode, full CCW or run, full CW) I should see something light up? Any ideas how I can debug this problem would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of a norton expert in southern new hampshire that would be nice too. I'd really like to fix it myself, so i'm open to any tips. Thanks in advance.....
Welcome ROADY99

So, is the battery fully charged up?
Not sure of the battery charge level when I tried over the weekend. I have had the batt on a 2amp trickle last night, I was going to try it tonight (its a brand new battery). Would a low batt cause this problem?
Obviously the battery will need to be fully charged before you start.

If so, then you would need to check the circuit (including the fuse) between the battery and the ignition switch (normally a brown/blue wire).

If you have power as far as the ignition switch then further checks can be made to the various ignition and lighting circuits and ground wire connections.

Do you have a workshop manual or a wiring diagram?
The ignition switch can go bad too, the internal contacts wear out or corrode and no contact is made. Just had to buy and fit a new one myself, had a disconcerting habit of turning off the ignition as I moved it to the lights on position.
Thanks folks..... well i got home from work and tried the new battery, did not work. Batt. fuse is ok and tested. Then i got my test light out and connected one lead to chassis and the other to the brown green wire on the ing. switch. There is no voltage going to the switch. Is it possible the zener is blown? I'm lost....
ROADY99 said:
i got my test light out and connected one lead to chassis and the other to the brown green wire on the ing. switch. There is no voltage going to the switch. Is it possible the zener is blown? I'm lost....

It isn't really wise to jump to any conclusions at this stage, first check if the power from the battery is reaching the ignition switch? Did you test the brown/blue wire for voltage at the switch connection (Ign. terminal 1)?
Brown/blue is the power supply wire to the switch, the brown/green is the feed from the switch to the lights (Ign. terminal 3) so check there is power reaching the switch first.

Hi Roady99,
I'd like to suggest that you search out and join the Northern New England Norton Owners club a bunch of good guys with some very knowledgable members. They hold monthly meetings in Exeter NH the schedule is on their website. Good luck finding your problem.
ROADY99 said:
I checked, there is no power to the switch. Now what?

Then you need to check the wiring and connectors between the battery and the ignition switch (and the battery Pos./ground connection).

I did ask if you have a manual or wiring diagram (you did not give an answer) so I don't know if you are familiar with the electrical circuit layout or not?

The battery wire connects to the rectifier, Zener diode and possibly a 'blue can' 2MC capacitor before it reaches the ign./Sw. so make sure there is voltage at each of these connection points and check that all brown/blue wires are connected together, but remember that a previous owner could have modified any part of the electrical system.


I said previously that the brown/green wire was the lighting circuit feed wire, this wire is actually the tail, position/pilot and instrument part of the lighting circuit, the headlamp (both high and low beams) is fed by the blue/yellow wire (via the headlamp switch on the headlamp shell and the handlebar high/low beam switch) from switch terminal 4.
Thanks everyone for your support......with the help of this forum my electrical problem was isolated to my key switch. I now have power and can begin trying to bring this Norton slowly back to life. Again, thank you for the help.
Not open for further replies.