Spark plugs and rear brake pads. Suggestions.

Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,451
Hello all. I want to put some new plugs and rear brake pads on my MKIII.

Recomendations?

I used to use Bosch platnum in my older 944 and the VW's I used to own.

The manual suggests a Champion N7Y. Is there a better option? Bosch, NGK ect. ?????

How about rear brake pads? I want something top shelf. Ferrodo, EBC, other brand????

Thanks.
 
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,612
Country flag
I have always stayed with Champion N7Y(C)s, have never had a problem and never seen any reason to change.

I haven't seen Ferodo pads sold for Commandos for some time and generally use the Norton supplied ones. I have a dislike of EBCs having chewed up a set of discs in short order on a K100RS.

My personal feeling is that pads haven't been the same since the asbestos disappeared* but the rear of the Mk111 is overbraked anyway so it's not a problem there.

* note to Hewho - This isn't a plea for the re-introduction of asbestos to the detriment of our descendant's health, just an acceptance of the fact that 70s discs and pad sizes were developed in conjunction with asbestos pads :)
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,451
Thanks 79x100. I'll go with the Ferodo.

I'll also stick with Champion for now as I think that is all I can find, or at least try to find around here.

Is the N7YC an odd ball or are they usually readily available at auto parts stores or should I check out motorcycle shops only?
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
696
God...must have missed my calling....think Green Peace has an opening?... :wink:

More than likely, asbestos won't get me...I use the ebc pads. Now that that is out of the way, all I have to worry about are the years I spent working in microwave radio and satilite rigs...my wife says I glow in the dark....even when I'm sober.... :lol:
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2003
Messages
747
Coco,

Autolite 63 plugs are a viable option for your Commando. They run slightly hotter than the Champion N7Y; however, they seem to perform well with no ill effects and they're available at most any auto parts stores for less than $2 each. I feel it's a waste to spend money on platinum plugs for use in a Commando.

Jason
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
748
Country flag
Coco said:
Hello all. I want to put some new plugs and rear brake pads on my MKIII.

Recomendations?

I used to use Bosch platnum in my older 944 and the VW's I used to own.

The manual suggests a Champion N7Y. Is there a better option? Bosch, NGK ect. ?????

How about rear brake pads? I want something top shelf. Ferrodo, EBC, other brand????

Thanks.

I use NGK BP7ES plugs in my 850 Commando and they seem fine. You'll need resistor plugs if you install one of those SPARX high-output alternators. That would be NGK BPR7ES I think. I put Ferodo pads in front and shoes in back last summer and they work well. Not sure if they are really any better than Taiwanese pads and shoes which are considerably cheaper. I am not really impressed with my rear drum brake. It could need turning or maybe Commando rear drum brakes just suck. :(
 

ntst8

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
1,580
Country flag
tpeever

My Norton rear drum is more effective than my Ducati rear disk, which might say as much about the Duc rear brakes as the Norton ones, but from your description i'm sure there is room for improvement in your drum.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
748
Country flag
ntst8 said:
tpeever

My Norton rear drum is more effective than my Ducati rear disk, which might say as much about the Duc rear brakes as the Norton ones, but from your description i'm sure there is room for improvement in your drum.

I am thinking I might need to get the drum turned. I have heard that drums should be pretty effective if set up properly but most people don't have them set up properly. I don't have a lot to compare to as this is my first Commando. The TLS drums on the front and back of my Triumph TR6C are pretty good so I am sure I have room for improvement on the Commando brake. Any other tricks that you might recommend?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,451
tpeever said:
Coco said:
Hello all. I want to put some new plugs and rear brake pads on my MKIII.

Recomendations?

I used to use Bosch platnum in my older 944 and the VW's I used to own.

The manual suggests a Champion N7Y. Is there a better option? Bosch, NGK ect. ?????

How about rear brake pads? I want something top shelf. Ferrodo, EBC, other brand????

Thanks.

I use NGK BP7ES plugs in my 850 Commando and they seem fine. You'll need resistor plugs if you install one of those SPARX high-output alternators. That would be NGK BPR7ES I think. I put Ferodo pads in front and shoes in back last summer and they work well. Not sure if they are really any better than Taiwanese pads and shoes which are considerably cheaper. I am not really impressed with my rear drum brake. It could need turning or maybe Commando rear drum brakes just suck. :(

Tobin, you are correct about the resistor plugs (plug wires) with the Sparx system. I completely forgot about that when I started this thread. I assumed it was the plug wires that were different than stock (which I have coming with a single coil conversion) and not the plugs.
 

L.A.B.

Moderator
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Messages
17,768
Country flag
Coco said:
Tobin, you are correct about the resistor plugs (plug wires) with the Sparx system. I completely forgot about that when I started this thread. I assumed it was the plug wires that were different than stock (which I have coming with a single coil conversion) and not the plugs.

You will need either 5k Ohm resistor plugs or 5k Ohm resistor plug caps (not including the wires) with the Sparx high-output alternator system (info on Sparx website says *plug caps*).
If resistor *wire* is also used then about 1 foot of standard (according to spec) resistor wire will add around another 5k Ohms.
 

ntst8

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
1,580
Country flag
tpeever said:
ntst8 said:
tpeever
I am thinking I might need to get the drum turned. ........ Any other tricks that you might recommend?

I'm afraid i'm not much of a wrench but there are plenty on here who should be able to assist.
My drum was replaced by a shop about a year back (worn teeth and bearing problems with the old one) and they set it up very nicely.
The limit of my skills are making sure the shoes are not glazed (which can make a big difference) and applying a bit of rear brake when refitting the wheel to centre things. Having the drum turned sounds major unless there is surface damage.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
44
Coco-
I have been in the auto repair biz for over 30 years. I have sold literally thousands of spark plugs. Based on that experience,I would steer you away from using Champion,or Bosch plugs,given a choice. The only reason for that, is that those two brands have a lot more "defective out of box" than any other brands I have sold. No big deal if all you change is plugs,and have a miss.You know it's probably one of the plugs you just replaced. But,if you have made lots of changes along with the plugs,plugs are not usually the thing you first suspect,so you can go crazy looking for the fault.

NGK,Nippondenso,and Autolite all make excellent products. I have used Autolite plugs for years,in all my bikes,with no problems. I deference to Jason, I recently put AP63 platinum Autolites in my(points equipped)'71 Roadster,and immediatly noticed an improvement in starting,idling,and low speed throttle response. Nothing earthshaking,but noticable.

tpeever-
Make sure your cable is lubed,in good condition,and routed as straight as possible.Make sure the cam pivot is lightly lubed where it goes through the backing plate,and not binding or wobbling. If the shoes are not worn out, the brake should work pretty good,as long as everything works smoothly,with no binding. The front drum,on the other hand........ :wink:
:D
Cheers
Bruce
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2005
Messages
922
Country flag
I fitted a pair of Nippon Denso platinum plugs ( W24DC ??) to my racer and it made 2bhp , no other changes.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,451
CommandoRoadster said:
Coco-
I have been in the auto repair biz for over 30 years. I have sold literally thousands of spark plugs. Based on that experience,I would steer you away from using Champion,or Bosch plugs,given a choice. The only reason for that, is that those two brands have a lot more "defective out of box" than any other brands I have sold. No big deal if all you change is plugs,and have a miss.You know it's probably one of the plugs you just replaced. But,if you have made lots of changes along with the plugs,plugs are not usually the thing you first suspect,so you can go crazy looking for the fault.

NGK,Nippondenso,and Autolite all make excellent products. I have used Autolite plugs for years,in all my bikes,with no problems. I deference to Jason, I recently put AP63 platinum Autolites in my(points equipped)'71 Roadster,and immediatly noticed an improvement in starting,idling,and low speed throttle response. Nothing earthshaking,but noticable.

:D
Cheers
Bruce

I'll give those Autolites a try if I can find them locally. Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
44
pommie john said:
I fitted a pair of Nippon Denso platinum plugs ( W24DC ??) to my racer and it made 2bhp , no other changes.

2 horsepower? My Bantam makes 4HP. Wanna race? :lol:
:D
Cheers,
Bruce
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
6,658
Country flag
I recently bought some Ferodo pads for the Norton at Vintage Brake in the US.
I haven't fully bedded them in yet. The owner of Vintage claims they will make the bike stop much quicker than the Taiwanese pads did. The Taiwanese pads did squeal a lot, so far these don't.

He also sells linings for the Vincent which he claims are better than the Ferodo. I'm not sure about that, I have the old green Carcenogenic Ferodo in there now and it will lock both wheels.

A big part of how well drum brakes work is how well the shoes fit the drum.
Often the radius of the shoes does not match the radius of the drum. In some cases, when these curvatures are not matching, the shoe will actually bend under pressure to let the lining conform to the drum. With a setup like this there is a small initial contact area that comes under great pressure as the brakes are applied and the shoe starts to bend. This initial contact area gets very hot, so it soon loses it's braking effect. The later contact area has little pressure on it, so it doesn't help much either. Most of the pressure you are exerting is being applied to this small percentage of the lining that is overheated, and probably glazed.
Often brakes like this are spongy to operate due to the poor fit.
Vintage sells linings that are ready made to fit right in(quick and easy, but probably won't match your drum well), or oversized ones that can be trimmed on a lathe to the exact radius of the drum. This is the way to go.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
696
Just general infomation...

I know this might be a lowly, shade tree mechanic solution...but I have also had shoes that didn't touch the drum but in a single, or in a couple "high spots". This can be seen by using the new shoes for a while and then getting upset because the bike won't stop the way you had hoped it would and you take it apart again. Then you can see the spots where the shoe makes contact, and where not, as mentioned by worntorn above. As he says...not much contact, equals , not much braking.

Long story short...I have taken the drum off, laid the shoes in the drum, see they indeed rock back and forth in the drum and then laid a trip of medium grit emery cloth...the stuff you can tear into strips, into the drum, sand side up, put the shoe on it and spent a bit of time sanding the shoe in an arc motion, until the high spots were gone and the shoe laid flat in the drum. Blow out the dust...outside! Protect the bearing too from the dust...rag in the hole or something. Not perfect, naturally, but took care of the high stops, removed the glazing, and made the brakes work better. Done this on at least six different bikes at one time or another, so now, they stop better, and I have had my dose of brake dust for the year.... :wink:
 
Top