Stubborn Drain Plugs.

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Hi, I need some guidance. I bought an 850 Commando Roadster a little while back and want to change the fluids after the winter storage. I cannot get the primary case drain plug out. I just tried a large screw driver. This is the only plug I have tried so far. I saw some special tools on E-Bay last night that a guy from CA. makes especially for Brit bikes and wondered if they were what I need. I thought about a socket with a screw driver tip but do not really want to do anything until I can get some feedback from you guys. I saw the post yesterday from Jorgeng and I am in a simlar situation. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. PG
 

L.A.B.

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porterg said:
I cannot get the primary case drain plug out. I just tried a large screw driver.

I think what you could be trying to unscrew is the level screw (low down, between clutch and alternator?) as the primary case (according to the factory w/shop manual-except 850 Mk3) has no drain plug?
The level screw should unscrew fairly easily? Try some heat, possibly the PO has used threadlock/loctite?
 

Ron L

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The plugs in the primary can be easily damaged with a screwdriver. You need a tool that fits squarely in the plug. The original tool kits had a lug wrench to adjust the spring height that had a bulge that fit these plugs. You can make one from a piece of flat steel the proper thickness or buy one from most Norton parts dealers.
 
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L.A.B. said:
porterg said:
I cannot get the primary case drain plug out. I just tried a large screw driver.

I think what you could be trying to unscrew is the level screw (low down, between clutch and alternator?) as the primary case (according to the factory w/shop manual-except 850 Mk3) has no drain plug?
The level screw should unscrew fairly easily? Try some heat, possibly the PO has used threadlock/loctite?

Thanks, the plug I was trying to remove is a small one on the forward bottom of the pri. case, about 5/8 ". I am at work and cannot look right now but there were two very much larger one's toward the top of the case. My Haynes manual is at a friends house and he is out of town so cannot put my hands on it now. I have a heat gun and will try this when I get home from work. Thanks L.A.B
 

L.A.B.

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Maybe yours has a drain screw then?

Follow Ron L's advice regarding the larger plugs which are for topping up/chain tension checking/clutch/timing adjustment etc.
 
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Ron L said:
The plugs in the primary can be easily damaged with a screwdriver. You need a tool that fits squarely in the plug. The original tool kits had a lug wrench to adjust the spring height that had a bulge that fit these plugs. You can make one from a piece of flat steel the proper thickness or buy one from most Norton parts dealers.

Ron, thanks, as I mentioned in the 1st post a guy in CA. makes a tool to remove these for about $8.95. I saw them on E-Bay last night. I will mail him when I get home from work and order what I need to do it properly.
I still have draining the sump and the tank to contend with. All the oil has drained down in the sump. Have you guys done anything to your machines to alleviate this problem. thanks again.
 

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porterg said:
Have you guys done anything to your machines to alleviate this problem. thanks again.

If I know that I won't be using the bike for a while then I remove the oil from the tank with an oil suction gun. Although you do need to remember to put the oil back before starting up again!
 

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Portg,
The plug you are trying to remove is the level plug and not the drain plug. (Unless you have a Mk3 and then the drain plug is a hex head plug). To drain a pre-Mk3 you need to remove the central fixing bolt and separate the chaincases. The level plug is steel compared to the other three inspection plugs which are aluminum. You should be able to put a fair amount of force on this plug. Try a little heat.
Alternatively, leave it in. After separating the cases and cleaning out the gunk, clean the rubber o-ring and put a small amount of RTV silicone in the groove then push the o-ring into this while still wet. A light smear of RTV on the face side of the o-ring will help to create an oil tight seal. (Of course make certain before hand that the inner case surface is flat by checking with a straight edge).
Add just enough ATF from the top (large) inspection cover to reach the bottom run of the primary chain. This should be no more than 7 oz.
For wet sumping, you can significantly reduce this by carefully lapping in the end plates of the oilpump and using a good gasket between the pump and engine case. Even then, it will seep into the crankcase on long periods of storage. I'm a little paranoid to use the antidrainback valve, so if my Nortons have not been run a couple weeks I'll drain the oil from the sump and add it back to the tank before starting.
 

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Ron L said:
The plug you are trying to remove is the level plug and not the drain plug. (Unless you have a Mk3 and then the drain plug is a hex head plug).

That was what I thought! But from porterg's description of its position I don't think it can be?
porterg said:
the plug I was trying to remove is a small one on the forward bottom of the pri. case, about 5/8 ".
Possibly a mod done by a PO?
 
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Hmm, why not just remove the primary cover? That'll get all the oil out. The nut dead in the middle holds the cover on, remove that and then you may need a few swipes with a rubber mallet to dislodge the cover. The rubber seal should be reusable.

HTH,
Chris
 
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I just installed an anti-wet sumping valve in my 75 - 850 . It works great . The oil stays in the tank where it is supposed to be . I bought it from Matt at Colorado Norton Works and used this particular one because they have installed one on every bike the rebuild without any problems. There are many valves to chose from however i feel better with one that is test proven on Nortons
 
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I can also speak well of Harmut's anti wet sump valve. I like his because it replaces the big banjo that threads into the oil tank, rather than adding the valve in-line...

http://tinyurl.com/ozkly

My Commando has run for a year with it, no problems and remains oiltight.

FWIW
-Chris
 
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