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Norton 850 start up after sitting 20 years

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by PeterM, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Hi Norton friends,

    [​IMG]
    I`m a new member from Denmark. I Just bought This 1973 Commando 850 from the widow to the former owner. Its been stored for 20 years and I´m ancious fire it up, but I want to do it right.
    I managed to get a good fat spark in both sides and I will inspect the carbs. My questions are:
    1. What oil to put into it? all oil is drained for storrage.
    2. Best oil filter.
    3. How do I check the oil circuit, before start up?
    4. Can I run unleaded fuel or do I mix it with additives.
     
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  2. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Welcome.

    Stop.


    Download a FREE shop manual.

    Removing the exhaust rocker covers & pouring some oil in will lube the cam..

    Dry sump oil system.

    Carbs will need cleaning. Or, at the very least, idle gas passage wired out.
     
    Nater_Potater likes this.
  3. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thank you sir, I will do so
     
  4. Torontonian

    Torontonian

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes for sure the carb idle passages are clogged after 20 years . I use a thin Banjo guitar string to poke clear after some carb cleaner spray in there first to soften the clog up. But being in Europe there are no banjos I know of so improvise. Ukelale ? Guitar ? Have fun .
    Also you will eventually need to replace the layshaft bearing , safety issue.
     
  5. Peter R

    Peter R

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    You can not use just any guitar string, use the G. or a drill of 0.3mm.
    As for fuel, I always use Euro98 without any additives.
    Welcome to this forum.
     
  6. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Are you sure the oil was drained for storage? Norton oil pumps aren't so tight and they allow
    the oil in the oil tank to drain into the sump. Drain the oil in the sump before adding any oil
    to the oil tank. +++ to pour a small amount of oil into the two exhaust rockers so as to lube
    the camshaft before startup. Only fill the oil tank to half way between the low and high
    marks on the dip stick. Get a manual. Unleaded fuel is fine. Use 20-50 oil with a zinc additive
    such as Mobil 1 V-twin. Andover Norton filters are available at Holland Norton Works
    http://www.hollandnortonworks.eu/en

    After adding new oil remove the spark plugs and slowly kick the engine over until you can see
    oil being returned to the oil tank. This could take 20-30 kicks, maybe more.
     
  7. NortonMKIIA850

    NortonMKIIA850

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    +1 to all that, except I've used a 0.04mm drill bit to clean to pilot bushes in the carbs, 0.04mm is still slightly smaller than the holes in the bushes. Also I've seen mention of actually opening up those holes slightly, I believe to ease idle adjustment(?), but I've not tried it and don't know if it's a widely accepted procedure.
     
  8. 3 of them

    3 of them

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Citroen 2 cv filters are the same as used on the Norton Commando . you might find one at a local car spares emporium . particularly if they have been trading for a good few years
     
  9. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    You do not need leaded gasoline.

    Welcome!

    Russ
     
  10. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thanks a lot. great advice. I`m a fairly good guitarist. Maybe we can jam someday :)
     
  11. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thank you Peter. I will look for similar fuel.
     
  12. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thanks, you might be right. I will drain the sump and follow your advice. Should i lube the pistons a little, through the spark plug holes?
     
  13. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thanks, I`ll just give it a good clean to begin with.
     
  14. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Amazing, they are available close by.
     
  15. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Thanks, Great forum
     
  16. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Would Castrol Classic XL 20W-50 be usable. Its available close by...?
     
  17. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    There was little or no alcohol added to motor fuel 20 years ago, so you might get lucky by just removing the idle air screws, squirting some carb cleaner into the passages and blow out with compressed air. Your fuel line may be highly brittle, wouldn't hurt to replace the lines. Do a hard look into the tank and check for rust/debris, if it is loaded with same, remove the tank, add about a cup of nuts and bolts in there with mineral sprits/paint thinner and dance with it for about 30 minutes, drain and repeat as necessary until the solvent you are using comes out clear. When done up-end the tank and remove the nuts and bolts, use a long handled magnet to get the ones that want a free ride.

    Check all the adjustments and torques.

    Change all the fluids: transmission, primary. And do clear the clutch with the K/S before attempting to engage first gear. If the clutch is locked up, and it may well be, remove it clean the plates and make sure that it disengages before dumping it into first gear. Norton gearboxes have been know to break up when selecting first gear with a locked clutch.

    The fork oil would like a change, probably never been done.

    Your front brake would like new fluid, again, probably never been done.

    Get new tires immediately, if you are satisfied with the way the power train is operating. Those old tires will give you the traction of a man running on banana peels. And, don't skimp, get new tubes also.

    Lastly. When you do get it running well, don't be too eager to "go up country". Start with a 5 mile circle, increase the radius slowly until your new friend earns your trust. When you do head up country, bring your cell phone and a credit card, file a flight plan with someone you trust, so if you become MIA someone will know, roughly, where to look for you.

    Best wishes, and congratulations!

    After you have put between 50 and 100 miles on your new friend change all the fluids again

    More strategically, be aware that the valve springs that were left with load on them are tired; they will not restore themselves, so if it runs well don't challenge the advertised red-line
     
    Nater_Potater likes this.
  18. Peter R

    Peter R

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Castrol 20w50 will be all right, I use ValvolineVR1 20W50, But concerning oil types : if you will ask ten people, you will probably get eleven different answers.
     
  19. Steves

    Steves

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    All good advice, I like the one about getting a workshop manual. Personally I like paper so I paid for a manual (I think RGM), invaluable along with tips and tricks from the forum. Welcome to the world of Norton.
     
  20. PeterM

    PeterM

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    :) Yes I know. There are many oil religions. Thanks
     
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