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Storing a fresh engine

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by RoadScholar, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    Normally I finish the engine last put it in the motorcycle and go through the run-in stages. Between the time I finish the engine and get it running is usually less than a month. This time I got the engine done about 10 months ago and it probably won't see action until sometime this Summer.

    It's critical mating parts are coated with assembly lube. I set the left cylinder at TDC and rotate it about every 6 to 8 weeks 360 degrees. My thinking is that the valves in the cylinder at TDC are closed and, other than pre-load, the valve springs aren't bearing additional loads. The right cylinder is also at TDC having, technically, just finished, an exhaust stroke, so the exhaust should be closed while the intake has started to open.

    The engine has new springs, cam and new flat faces on the tappets. My concern is not so much about the valve springs as it is with wiping off the assembly lube on the cam. 'am I being overly concerned? is there a better crankshaft position to park the engine in?

    Your thoughts are encouraged and welcome.
  2. ashman


    Jul 11, 2010
    My Norton has just sat for 15 months without even being kicked over while I was doing other mods on the bike then getting a new bike my Norton just sat in the corner of my shed, I fired it up the other day for the first time since its been laid up, it started first kick but on one cylinder but was a easy fix one carbie fuel line blocked, so far have ridden it 2 times since firing it up and its going the same as it always has like its never been laid up.
    Your bike should be fine with assembly oil and if its stored in a dry place, I have rebuilt a few Norton motors and gearboxes for friends and they sat around for a few months before they were put into the frame, one sat for nearly 2 years before it was ready to fire up, they had no problems at all when they got them going for the first time and them motors are still going and have never had any complains about the rebuilds.
    So you should be all good to go when the time is right.

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  3. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2009
    I think TDC is a good spot to leave it. I pulled my head and barrels off my 850 because it had sat a long time after assembly due to a life altering injury and it took me quite a while to get back to it. It had been turned over by hand a number of times and I was concerned about the cam and I sort of needed to get my brain back into things Commando. There was still a smear of assembly lube on the cam and the lifters. So long as you don't go crazy turning it over, I would think it should be fine. You could always spray fogging oil into the crankcase to cover the rotational assemblies there if it helps you sleep at night.
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Unless you’re measuring the storage time in (many) years rather than months I would leave it alone. It’ll be fine.
    concours likes this.
  5. olympus


    Aug 5, 2017
    As said TDC as one cylinder will be at the start of power stroke whilst the other will have the inlet & exhaust rocking...
    Doing this will take the weight off the valve springs ....
    cash likes this.

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