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Norton Villiers Commando 1968 Re commissioning an adventures at 30

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycle Rebuilds' started by norton_rider, May 30, 2019.

  1. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    The timing cover you are using is from and Atlas/N15/P11 rather than a '68-'69 Commando (25186 AB). See DynoDave's page http://atlanticgreen.com/NHTtimcvr.htm

    This is not a problem as the Atlas cover dumps any overpressure oil into the timing chest where the Commando channels this oil back into the engine cases. Note there is no hole in the cover adjacent to the oil pump, but the case and the gasket does. The cover will block this hole and overpresssure oil will be dumped into the timing chest as in the Atlas. However, using a Commando cover on an Atlas would not allow the oil from the OPRV to be vented in an overpressure condition.

    I mention this so you don't panic when you realize the oil passage in the block is covered.
     
  2. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Last year I had a 68 Commando with original widowmaker frame in my hands. The frame was badly and crooked welded in the usual breaking points.
    So we changed it for a 69´on frame. The headsteady was fixed with two rubber mountings (06.6282) and that threaded spacer. It had the flat headsteady.
    The old frame is still in a corner of my workshop and I think the headsteady rubbers are still on it. Will have a look tomorrow.
     
  3. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Well, '220000' was the offical introduction of the box head steady according to Service Release N3/38 which states:

    "Top engine mounting - engine steady plate
    Commando (all models)
    Worldwide (General Distribution)
    An improved version of the original engine steady
    Part Number 060498 is now available under the new
    Part Number 064179.

    The new head steady has been fitted to production
    machines from Engine Number 220,000. It is of
    stiffer construction, and is fabricated as a
    "box section" member."
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  4. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks everyone! really appreciate the extra info never realised that about the engine case Ron, the bike is one of the first 70 bikes I remember reading a Norton book once where it mentioned the first 100 bikes were fitted with Atlas cylinder heads that all had to be swapped.

    So the general consensus is the timing cover will be ok for now?

    Wonder if they used Atlas cases on the first 100 bikes as these were built in Plumstead from memory I'll have to try and dig out the exact book the reference was in.

    Gonna get up early an double check I've not missed anything of the order before I place it with Andover hopefully I can get out on her later in the week for a test ride then a spin out with my uncles (dads bros) GT750 an dads gsxr 750 will be the first propper long run provided the next test run doesn't reveal anything else haha :)

    Guess anything could have happened in her life time though with some of the things I've found so far.

    Head steady wise I'm gonna order the new threaded central sleeve two new AV mounts the two lower through bolts just incase they have took any stress an new nuts on them, thinking of keeping the current side plates and box headsteady
     
  5. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Tom,
    here is a pic from the original headsteady "isolastic" setup.
    The hexagonal threaded piece and two exhaust/ headsteady Norton all purpose rubbers
    I removed them from the 68 original frame.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks Riviera Legend!! That's exactly what I've ordered from Andover yesterday :) Getting really excited for getting stuck in meant to have about 4 days of good weather so soon as the parts arrive I'll get her finished then get riding.

    What oil are you guys all using in the primaries? Forgot to order some.
     
  7. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    I am using 200ml ATF oil, does not infect the clutch.
     
    gortnipper likes this.
  8. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    You should probably use ATF type F, and not the later formulations of ATF because suposedly type F has no friction modifier additives which would make clutch slipping more likely... Later ATF, after Dexron III and onward have friction modifiers in their formulation, so should be avoided. I've also heard that 150ml is plenty of fluid too...
     
  9. cliffa

    cliffa

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013

    I totally agree kommando.

    norton-rider, seriously do yourself and potentially innocent bystanders a favour and get the frame modified pronto. Those frames where called Widowmakers 50 years ago for very good reason. Who knows what that frame has been subjected to in the intervening years. AN list all the parts, and I think they cost less that £100.


    Cheers,

    cliffa.
     
    jan nelder likes this.
  10. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks guys yeah I can't get it in to where I want till later in the year to have the modification done.

    I've had the paint back on the frame on the headstock area and it looks perfect roads are like pool tables round here and I've done alot of reading up myself as to what caused the issues the 5 fatalities in america were all found to have been doing desert / off road riding and unloaded incorrectly.

    It's been 50 years and its still perfect an not snapped that's half a century. Only one place In my head that I'd let do it and they are booked up till winter.

    Chain could snap lock the back wheel up, tyre blow out, engine seizure, fork failure etc. Heard widow maker applied to Mach III's and endless other bikes that all had reputations after a few incidents even my Yamaha elsies including 500 two strokes an I've done 10's of thousands of miles on them.

    To be honest what I'm going to do is buy another Commando an throw this one behind the sofa for prosperity at some point. Or get a second frame with a v5 plenty flying around an just swap it all over onto that!

    Gonna have a nice think what to do over the summer :) Got the 650SS to run for the longer trips and use the Commando on these very small local runs.

    Do appreciate all the comments and will be constantly checking it on these very short rides not pushing her an showing her respect on these ultra smooth roads as you are all bringing it up an I appreciate the advice :) but enough haha point taken!

    So yep its in hand lads.

    One Primary oil I was looking at was this.

    http://www.lucasoil.co.uk/products/motorcycle-products/oils/lucas-hd-primary-chaincase-oil

    Anyone used it ? :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  11. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Got stuck in today :)

    Fitted the comparison between the bodge the previous owner did an some of the new parts
    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_162036077-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_162303010-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    An fitted :)
    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_164037635-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    Had a nightmare trying to get the breather union undone he hadn't used a sealing washer so had really swung on it. Got it off in the end an fitted the new sealing washer.

    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_172804732-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    Fitted the new oil lines all over the bike. One issue I ran into is the lack of spiggots on the feed and return unions on the engine block something else to order but will be ok for now although allthough I'll probably order it on monday.
    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_174514646-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    Looking alot better that's for sure

    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_191021783-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

    Next job is to fit the new tacho cable, clearances, rocker end cap gaskets an finally get some oil in an get her started again!
    [​IMG]IMG_20190627_191525998-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr
     
  12. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    One original piece is made from unobtanium: the Rotolock fastener for the sidecover.

    I used a VW-part for fixing the under engine protection it look veeery similar to this:
    https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-details/15443.
    Should´nt have told Joe Seifert...

    And for complete originality freaks: the early Commandos hat raw cast footrest hangers and brake pedals.
    Also the valve covers were´nt polished.

    During a visit to his shop near Munich I was able to inspect Joe´s Panama Commando, original down to the widowmaker frame.
    https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/our-bikes/detail/250

    Regards
    Uli
     
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  13. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks for the post Uli! Didn't realise about the side panel faster I'll have to get one of those ordered got a shiny bolt in it at the moment.

    I read an article the other day about the rocker/valve covers being cast and not shiny something else I need to sort. :)

    An the kickstart being a Matt chrome to!

    Thinking of replacing the fuel line next an taps.

    Tomorrow's job is clearences, fit the new tacho cable get the oil back in an start her up again super excited to get out for another ride!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  14. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    If I don't get a daily ride I get a tad on the irritable side. A Norton ride does something to calm the soul.....even a short one. Anyway it works for me.
     
  15. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    indeed I totally agree :) tonight I had an interesting experience with a deckchair at my dad's sister an the damn thing decide to disintegrate with me just starting to sit in it ha! thing nearly took my neck just goes to show for people that think early commando's are risky imagine that never riding bikes then death by plastic deckchair :D
     
  16. BusDriver330

    BusDriver330

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2018
    Ummm. I think some refer to that as an addiction;)
     
  17. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    That and the pain meds make a happy couple. Toss in a bilateral facet or two occasionally and all is well...Bring on the potholes.
    I've cut the meds by half, but had to more than double the riding dose to compensate. Dump the other half of meds and figure it'll increase saddle time to between 3-4 hrs. per day minimum just to get by. Life is hell after 65.

    Norton_Rider you've got an amazing restoration going. When I pulled mine from the dungeon I just didn't feel like pulling it down to the complete make over point because it would have stopped my heart to ding or dent it, so it was left at the just 'good enough' point on the cosmetics. However, I was rather picky on the running and road worthy particulars. Anyway I'm fond of the road whore appearance of old well ridden bikes which don't leave a trail.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  18. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
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  19. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks guys! Really appreciate the comments :) ouch yeah I see what you mean about small fortune! That can wait for a while, next plan once the Commando is up an running properly again is to sort the clutch on my 650ss an hopefully get my rd250lc an a couple of my other two strokes sold to fund some more Norton stuff :)
     
  20. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Had a couple of long days grafting on the Commando in the heat finally finished the gasket replacements an oil lines.


    She's starting alot better now! Bit of a chat bout what I've done up to now an towards the end me starting her up getting better at it now!

    Thanks for all the advice so far everyone
     
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