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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. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Super eventful day !

    Unfortunately I nocked the GoPro into photo mode on the way up the Cat and Fiddle ooopps!
    Ended up with stacks of Go Pro photos haha!

    All in all did about 53 miles with two break downs

    First was the fowled plug issue rearing it's head again set of misfires so ended up pulling up luckily just near a cafe ha!

    Got talking to an old guy who owned Vincent's which was amazing.

    At first I was thinking a valve guide maybe as it was smoking a bit on start up on the left side.
    Fitted a new plug and got underway.

    Decided to head home at this point as we were about 25 miles from home an in case some thing was intermittent I wanted to get back to base an go through her.

    Next breakdown was a total loss of power! Luckily right next to a garage for a drink an a Toolstation!!

    Decided to go through her an found no spark which then led me to a snapped link wire on the coils. Dad nipped into Toolstation an got us a pair of pliers an a pack of spade ends!

    Looks like most of the smoking seems to be calming down I'm gonna take the exhausts off tomorrow an give them a shake out! Left one has quite a bit of oil in it.
    Although the previous owner did put some two stroke in so may just be that.

    I'm still suspecting valve guides on the lh cylinder but fingers crossed it's just the coil wire an over rich setup on the carbs plugs looked miles better when I got home. Gonna stick a new set of plugs in tomorrow an tweak the air to fuel. Be interesting to see how she starts tomorrow.

    An always the way now I've fixed the engine seals the gearbox ones have gone ha! Gonna order a few bits and some more gearbox oil :)

    Here's a video documenting the adventure :) Can't wait to get stuck back in on her.

    I'm gonna alter the needle position in the carbs first then try and lean the air to fuel off on the pilot circuitry. Check the torque on the head just in case.

    If that doesn't improve matters I guess its pull the head off an check things out

     
    rivera likes this.
  2. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Had quite a productive day yesterday :) ended up going back through her an found one of the ears that looked like it was to frame was to a grey primer! Sorted that out an now the sparks massively improved.

    Next job was to try and tackle the fouling plugs. Ended up 1 leaner on the needle and then spent most of the day messing with the idle.

    One thing I noticed was how worn the carbs were on both cylinders when the slides were out an the l/h had gone out to the right.

    started at 1/2 out on the air/fuel and did one cylinder at a time pulling the lead off the other did the stops an the lh needed a tiny bit less air to get her to sound a bit smoother.

    Then got her running on both an dropped the throttle stops till she idled at 1100-1200rpm she sounds so much better now that's for sure more even an smooth on idle.

    After that took her down a few local roads pulling much cleaner now the fluffy feeling in the throttle positions the needle effects is nice and smooth now :) Exciting stuff.

    Just in the process of ordering some new tools to check the cylinder head torque and eventually gonna replace the head gasket an base gaskets as a matter of course might even do the valves at the same time.

    Itching to get back out for another ride hopefully it's gonna brighten up in a bit stuck in at the mo waiting for some gearbox oil to get delivered :)
     
  3. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Footage from today's Norton Commando adventure :)

    Covered about 70-80 miles an only had the one issue towards the end with the plugs again but managed to get what happened on camera this time.

    Noticed as well a bit of a concerning metalicy noise on the video that I couldn't hear fully with all the wind an my Arai's epic ability to muffle outside noise. Need to try Sus that out anyone else notice it?

    Went up the cat and fiddle stopped in Monyash which is one of my favourite bike rest stops / destinations very much the quintessential English village. Always interesting classics, then did the cat and fiddle again an home.

    Feel very confident with the Commando's handling abilities, once I get this suspect fueling issue sorted and a few little other issues that have come to light I'm hoping to use her as an every day bike to replace my RD250LC that I'm currently selling.

    Hope you all enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed the ride hopefully I can get some better audio once the elsie is sold.

     
  4. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Small world, that guy you were talking to at Monyash called in at mine and was showing me pictures of your bike, and then I see him on your vid.
     
  5. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Awesome Storm it is were chatting Norton's for ages :)

    Really can't wait to get to Monyash again once I get all these issues sorted out Love looking at everyone else's classics.

    Be interesting to hear what you more experienced guys think about that metallicy' sounding noise I can hear on the video for those that have watched it.

    Checked the clearances out 6 an 8 thou still.

    so did some more investigation work

    Checked the carb's out today can't wait to get to the bottom of this issue.
    Jets are 220 main 106 needle jet. slide is a 3 and the clip on the needle is set on the top slot to give leanest condition.
    Carbs are 930 bodies running an air filter. 
    Tri spark ignition checked with strobe at 28 degrees. PVL Coils leads from Andover.
    Champion N7YC plugs.
    Running 97-99 Ron Shell vpower or bp ultimate dependant on where I stop.


    Chokes are clearing perfectly in the bodies and slides are opening at exactly the same time.
    This is the set of plugs that I took out when the fault occurred.
    [​IMG]66156272_10219194781804802_2080329716908163072_o by norton.rider, on Flickr

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  6. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Think I mighta found the issue :) adds up with a few of the other mad things she's been doing.

    Checked the float heights out both look like they are above the bowl if I'm doing it correct

    Finger on the pin so it doesn't fall out flipped upside down so the needle seats.
    Fingers crossed :)

    [​IMG]IMG_20190709_180556418-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr
     
    gtiller likes this.
  7. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Here's how I check/set floats

    [​IMG]

    I fill the lines up with fuel past the top of the bowls to check the heights. Drain, adjust and refill until you get what you need. Floats can stand slightly proud of the top of the bowl due to the space created by the bottom of the carb body and the bowl gasket, but not much.
     
    o0norton0o likes this.
  8. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Too high of a float is a problem. A slightly lower float height than "The highest possible working float setting" has no detrimental effects to the running of the bike, so why anyone would adjust their float to within a few thousandths of having a problem is beyond my understanding.

    I doubt the venturi effect is much different for the carb with a fuel level that is 1/8" lower than the maximum fuel height. In norton.rider's case, he's already rich, so if his richness is carb related rather than weak spark related, then lowering the fuel height is going in the right direction...

    The thing about too high of a float is that the bike should leak fuel if they are too high, which is always noticeable, so I always find it hard to believe they are too high if the bike isn't puking fuel at rest... but I suppose it could be just barely seating the needle, but I don't like that explanation.
     
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  9. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Hi guys thanks for the comment's I'm always quick turning the taps off an it's got an airfilter on so that mighta been masking it


    actually had a go at setting the float height's today set them to 0.80 -2mm below the bowl rim.

    Set the valve clearances as well so a inlet 6 goes in an slides 7 wont exhaust 8 goes in slides 9 wont

    Seems to have really made a big difference, after that I had a bit of an idea while trying to chase down the racket it was making so decided to apply what I'd seen done on my Yamaha RD250C by Yamaha after a few people mentioning it might be the fins making noise. So I made some rubber inserts for the cylinder head fins and filmed a before and after. Quite interesting although the jurys still out on it.

    One thing I did notice now when tickling the carbs it doesn't flood fuel out like it used to would end up drenched in fuel on my hands. Just a slight trickle now. Put the clip position back to the middle.

    New plugs are on order it's smoking far less from a cold start now an its actually going consistently first an second kick without having to jump right up in the air :)

    Another thing I did was put a smear of wellseal on the primary chain case that seems to have stopped that puking oil all over the l/h exhaust.



    Actually went for a test ride on her as it was going dark, post on that to follow :) Does feel like it's a gigantic leap in the right direction.
     
  10. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    The most common "jingling" sound coming from the top end is the exhaust nut clamps that have 2 prongs that engage the fins on the engine and 2 prongs that engage the exhaust nuts. If they are lose and move around, they jingle and make a clicking sound. I take a big screw driver and a hammer and lightly tap a prong or 2 on each of them to see if I can get them wedged solidly and under tension so they don't jingle around and are quiet.

    Also,... The idle air screw needs to be adjusted a special way...

    What happens is, at an idle there is a certain amount of change in the air/fuel ratio that the bike will tollerate and still idle nicely. So you can turn each idle screw about a half turn and it doesn't seem to do anything because you are still within the working air/Fuel ratio of the bike's engineered elements. (idle jet size/port size/ displacement size, etc)

    The controlling influence that positions that idle screw correctly, is based on what happens to that A/F ratio when you begin to lift the throttle. If lifting the throttle makes your mixture go lean as the needle and needle jet kick in, then in order to stay inside the best working A/F ratio, you would need to have the initial setting of the idle screw toward the richer side of it's half turn of workable adjustment.

    How do you figure that out?... easy

    You don't adjust the idle air screw with the bike just idling. You slowly make a small adjustment to one idle air screw, as you lift and lower the throttle gently to about 1800-2000 rpms and listen for the smoothest transition from idle speed to 2000 rpms. Then do the other carb on the other side. Then go back and do the first carb again, trying to micro adjust for "smoothness" of transition from idle to 2000 rpms.

    The thing that will be most improved by this method is your bike will not stumble when you go to take off. The reason this method is used, is because the influence of the idle air screw affects the A/F ratio greatly at the lower RPM range, so you are adjusting the interaction between the idle jet influence and the early effects of the needle jet/needle/throttle body size engagement as you engage the throttle... If you become proficient at this adjustment technique, you will never curse your amal carbs... and your bike will never stumble when you take off..

    good luck the bike's lookin' great
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    norton_rider and Fast Eddie like this.
  11. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Love my Amal's.
     
  12. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks guys really Appreciate the comment that's massively informative and helpful really enjoying learning about setting the Amals and everything else up correctly.

    Here's a link to last night's quick test ride was about 9 pm an pretty much going dark but I couldn't sit still haha!

    Was driving me to distraction thinking about if I'd fixed things.

    Couple of quick questions everyone noticed in the 68 NV book it mentions iso clearances at between 0.020-0.025" Front and 0.010-0.015" on the rear.

    and on the Norvil website it mentions verniers sometimes need to be set at 0.20"

    Last night with them set at 0.020" to try it the vibes were vanishing about 4k rpm.

    Or should I try them between 0.006 an 0.008"

    What clearances with verniers is everyone using on the earlier frames?

     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  13. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Bit more progress today :) sussed out what I'd screwed up on the Tacho cable easy fix.

    Tried it with an without rubbers so decided to leave her without the fin rubbers ready for the next ride.

    Jobs for tomorrow are sort the iso adjustments again :) gonna try them at 0.010" Finally after that turn the idle up a bit.

     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  14. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    One thing that might help is that the tacho and speedo cable aren't routed quite right as they would normally go under the lower yoke cable tied together and then up to the instruments which might give the cables an easier run with more radius.

    And you still haven't pulled those gaiters down! ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Cheers Lab! Gaiters are on the list for tomorrow that's a good point on the cable thanks for the picture I'll get that re routed tomorrow! Was wondering why it was bowing out a fair bit.

    Just trying to sus the Iso adjustment out again :) really got me thinking between the clearances in the earlier NV Manual for 1968 even though the arn't vernier being much greater than the vernier clearances.
     
  16. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    The formulation of the Iso. rubbers seems to have changed and you are likely to feel some vibes somewhere in the rev range so I suggest you set them to approximately 10 thou and check the clearance with a feeler after the Iso. through-bolt/stud has been fully tightened and don't rely on the "back off by so many holes" for vernier method.

    Edit: Do you mean they are or are not vernier adjustable?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  17. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Hi Sorry L.A.B. my wording isn't perfect sometimes why I've started doing videos :)

    Yep using been using feeler gauges rather than the hole method my Commando is fitted with the Vernier Adjustable ones.

    I was flicking through the 1968 Norton Villiers Workshop manual know my bike was originally fitted with shims from the factory but I was surprised to see clearances of between 0.020-0.025" Front and 0.010-0.015" on the rear.

    Does other parts of the Iso differ between shims and vernier or is it just down to them being more adjustable ? seems a bit of a difference between the 0.06" on the vernier instructions I've read online an the 68 NV clearances was even wondering if it was down to the frame. Interesting stuff :)

    I'm guessing looser just means the handling suffers?

    seen 25 ftlb and 40 ftlb mentioned for the through bolts as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  18. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    You mean 0.020" - 0.025" / 0.010" - 0.015".

    Later recommendation is 0.010".

    Yes, it's up you and whether you notice any deterioration in handling with more clearance although more clearance should feel smoother so it's a trade-off.

    25 lb.ft. is correct as far as I'm aware. I've not seen 40 lb.ft. mentioned before? Although for 850 Mk3 it's quoted as 30 lb.ft.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  19. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Cheers mate :) yep shall be interesting to give it a go really bad weather again hopefully it clears up
     
  20. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Yes, it's up you and whether you notice any deterioration in handling with more clearance although more clearance should feel smoother so it's a trade-off.-LAB

    This is what I found with the first set of adjustables. With a little fiddling, you can set them to your preference rather than setting with feelers or the hole method. The SS clone is set up a bit tight (buzzy) because I like to tear around backroads more than actually go anywhere on it.
     
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