Oil tank

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Jul 18, 2004
Hi Folks,

Glad to see some life here again! The snow has started to melt so I have to get this thing together.

I have an oil tank that seems to have an inordinate number of outlets. Can you help me identify/confirm what is going on here.
Oil tank

1.a ? - (hard to see as it is coming at you and has been pinched shut
2. main feed (screened nipple not shown)
3. return
4. breather


looks like #1 return from engine #2 feed to engine #3 vent to air box ( or to atmesphere ) #4 vent from engine.

It is from a 68 fastback. It was the original oil tank design with an oil level sight tube you can see at the front.
Thanks for the input.

Yessir, that is the original Commando oil tank.
This is the front..
Oil tank

Any second opinions?
Why so many vents - the cases vent to the atmosphere (dribble on the ground) on the early bikes so.... what's with all the breathers and where is that second little tube (1.a) headed to ? :?

Any '68- 70 riders out there?
Fastback oil tank

Bill is correct and your 1a is the drive chain oiler. Early Commandos did not have breathers going to the ground...those are Triumphs and BSAs, not proper motorcycles.
I have a '74 Commando. Is there a more elegant option to mashing the oil line to the rear chain than mashing it with a vice-grip? I cannot abide the mess of the oil flung from the chain, and believe that engine oil is not a suitable chain lubricant.
Any suggestions?
Thanks and regards
Oiler woes

Sure, that chain oiler can be made redundant with a small piece of correct size braided steel line, a short bolt that is a tight fit to plug it, two small hose clamps, and a dab of good quality silicone. I did this once and it lasted for 7 years, no leaks, and when the oil tank hanger "ear" fractured and the base fractured (as most do over time) I took care of blanking it off correctly at that time. Make sure the braided line doesn't rub or chafe on anything and it will be fine.

The chain oiler was about as well thought out as the electric starter was.
and I thought I was the only one to block mine off...I did it up behind the battery though, as I found the tube running down by the chain seemed to get slit open by a loose chain...never did claim to do things like adjust the cahin at correct intervals......and the oil never even got as far as the chain, so I cut the tube out, and blocked it way up near the tank. I just screwed a bolt into the hose,and put a hose clamp over it. Peace!
Hi Gang:
I am in the process of restoring a 72 combat fastback.I cut off a bolt , put it in the chain oil line and brazed it shut.They never worked right anyway.All of my norton's have had them done to it.
We all know how well the oil seems to seep out of the swingarm.
Maybe we should hook a hose to that area and have a real chain oiler.
I remember when I rode triumphs back in the 60's a friend of mine used to leave his oiler wide open and just add oil. He said it would give him an instant grunge biker look. Boy was he right. Sorry to get off the subject guys.
Thanks, that makes sense.

I was a little hesitant to ask what your plumbing looked like...

Any guesses on the reason the two vents are styled differently?

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