Starting A Maintenance Tool Kit For 74 Commando

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Jul 1, 2008
Searched the forum and did not find much on this...

I have just brought home my Norton and am trying to get setup to preform regular maintenance. I would really appreciate any advice on what tools I should have to support this bike.

Any comments on sizes etc (Metric, Standard BSW etc) is much appreciated as is any other items that are mandatory (grease guns, torque wrench etc)

Thoughts? What do you all recommend to keep this thing running?
Regular maintenance? For a British bike that could include what modern bike riders consider major overhaul.

35 years of Norton care and feeding has caused me to accumulate a number of special tools. The basic necessities are probably a decent set of "whitworth" sockets and wrenches, as some engine and all transmission fasteners are British thread form. I find the Japanese made (Kokosun?) sockets to be of reasonable quality and have thin walls, which is important for getting in tight spaces (like head bolts). I also find a set of combination wrenches (Spanish made Acesa work well) very handy.

That with a reasonable assortment of standard inch size sockets and wrenches and a timing light will let you do most maintenance.

For a '74, you will need a large wrench to remove the sump filter for cleaning. I found a box end wrench for a trailer coupler ball that not only fits the sump plug, but the fork top nuts (bolts) as well for around $10. Norton parts suppliers have a special wrench available for this also.

If you plan to remove the primary drive you will need to add a clutch spring compressor and a puller for the front primary sprocket. You can make these if you are creative, but they aren't terribly expensive.

If you open the timing chest, you will need the seal guide to replace the cover without damaging the seal. This was included in factory toolkits, but most are missing.

Peg spanners are needed for wheel bearing replacement or brake caliper rebuilds. but these can be easily fabricated or purchased.

That's a start.
Good job on your list of special tools there Ron. I too have the brand of sockets and wrenches you refer to; they work well.
Ron, can you give any particulars on the box end wrench for a trailer coupler ball? Is it a one time find or is it readily available?

A couple of other tools might be a spanner wrench for the exhaust nuts and some short, steel flat stock of the appropriate size to fit the inspection screws on the primary case. The edge entering the screw should be ground convex and they can be operated with a small adjustable wrench. The screw removers are small enough to be carried on the bike.
Good call on the inspection plug tool and the exhaust rose spanner. I have always used a "plumbers spanner" that I picked up at a flea market to tighten exhaust rose. Then a couple years ago I won a genuine, used-used-at-the-Norton-factory spanner from Jerry Doe (identify the photo contest). When it arrived it was identical to my 50 cent plumbers spanner!

I bought the trailer ball wrench a couple years ago, it is 1 1/2 inch to fit the sump plug and I'm pretty sure it is 1 5/16 to fit the the fork nuts. Checking the web, all I find is 1 1/2 X 1 1/8. I have a 3/4 drive socket that I usually use for forks because it is easier, but I'm sure the wrench fit the top nuts.

These wrenches are available from most trailer supply stores.
... a good hide mallet because you shouldn't need to hit anything on a Norton with a hammer :)

A couple of good thin or ground down 3/16" and 1/4" whitworth ring spanners are really handy for engine work.

I hate to say it but Triumph cylinder head toolkit spanners are good for cylinder nuts. They used to be easier to find because they were better made than the bikes they came with but people seem to collect them now

The other thing that you should make sure you have is a multimeter because you will find yourself checking continuity sooner or later.
really good cut at this lads and I appreciate the comments thus far.

Many thanks
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