Trying to stay sane

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Frame's back from repairs/powdercoating. MkIII swingarm, engine cradle and vernier iso's are in. Rebuilt, modified forks are on.

But there's so much left to do.... I'm on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.

So I put my wheels, bars, tank and seat on (wheels are on with wooden dowels :lol: ) to help me visualize the end result. Helped immensely.

Trying to stay sane
 
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Well, one step at a time. To use a bicycling analogy, if you're climbing a big pass don't think about the 3000 ft of vertical still to go. Just set your sights on the next switchback. And then the next, and so on. Before you know it you've summited!

I'm a little discouraged with my disk brake conversion project. It's all on the bike now, the brake is bled and it seems to work. But there's a leak where the custom one piece line screws into the caliper, the drain plug leaks on the left fork slider, and the wheel has a large offset to the left. All of those problems have to be diagnosed and corrected. So near yet so far...

Debby
 
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The thing that frustrates me is that no part of this project wants to go smoothly or in a linear fashion. However, that's no different than I expected.

For instance, the swingarm still needs the following parts before I can button it up for good: Oil wicks, Disk wicks, Welch plugs. So I can kiss off another half day going down to see Fred and Ella at Old Britts. FWIW, I'd like to put a zirk at the top of one welch plug and a drain at the bottom of the other for easy lubing.

More frustration comes in the form of brand-spankin' new parts that are so poorly finished that they require time and thought to get working.

New MkIII iso adjuster (p/n 06-4665) wouldn't thread on more than a couple of turns. :evil: Easy fix, right? Just chase the threads. Hmmm... 3/4" by 20tpi UNEF taps aren't super common - so another weekend, another special order, another tool and then it works as it should have new out of the bag. Thank god it wasn't British Standard Cycle Thread or I might've thrown something. Hard.

Further, the *brand new* MkIII cradle needed 2mm removed from each side before it and the iso's would fit in the frame. The frame plates were completely in spec (222mm inside width), but even with the iso's cranked down all the way they were 4mm too wide. That's *not* an interference fit my friends. :x Lucky for me I had access to a "facing" tool used to true up bicycle bottom-bracket shells and head tubes. Worked like a charm, but the process of measuring everything 10 times before deciding to modify the cradle cost me another whole weekend.

Then there's my stupid oversights that each up precious time. For example, I put the forks together, mounted them up and *then* realized that I'd left the headlight brackets off. :oops: At least I hadn't put oil in them yet. :roll:
 
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You said

"Then there's my stupid oversights that each up precious time. For example, I put the forks together, mounted them up and *then* realized that I'd left the headlight brackets off."


My favourite is doing the rear isos before putting the battery tray in place :!: :oops: It's all so much fun isn't it. Still, there are worse hobbies.

I hope you ride this bike within your limits when you have it finished, my friend.
A mate of mine lost his Yesterday (Sunday). Mountainous twisty road as usual. 80 mph bend, he went wide & hit a bloody concrete drain & launched himself. I had to pick the bike up off his body. He was convulsing & frothing at the mouth while staring into space for almost 5 minutes. It was very scary seeing a mate in that shape. Unbelievably, he sat up after it & wanted to know why I had called for an ambulance. He is under observation in the hospital for a night at least. He took a bad knock to the head, just as well he came off where he did as he landed in a red dirt embankment. The other side was a cliff.


Heed the warning forum members, ride carefully. You can enjoy your norton without pushing too hard.

Dr_Hiller, your bike is looking very nice, love the yellow paint & the corbin seat. I have just spent about 18 months building my 850 (1973). You will get a lot of pleasure riding yours also, once it is "done". The only oil leak mine had was at the tacho drive. Even though I had it machined & a double lipped seal put in. So on Saturday night I checked to see if the oil pressure shims fitted under the "nut" that screws onto the tacho housing. Guess what, a perfect fit. So I have no tacho atm but no bloody leak :!:

The only other problem I had was with the left side main seal "blowing". Because I have put a 750 crank into 850 cases, the seal sits very close to the "shoulder" of the crankshaft. The seal "popped" a couple times & the sprocket woodruff key "sliced" the seal open. So to stop the seal from "blowing" out I have used a gearbox/differential sealant that sets hard. Now the problem is fixed, no more oil all over my back wheel :D
 
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Wow Reg, I hope your friend is going to be ok. Sounds pretty scary. Gotta be careful out there. It's all too easy to make a small mistake that has dire consequences.

My tach drive leaks too. So did the one in my 850. I guess I'll just be wiping it up after every ride. The puddle under my tranny is gone though - replacing the missing felt seal behind the clutch seems to have dried things up!

Now if I can just get the new front end debugged. I, too, get frustrated with endless complications, nothing ever going smoothly, new parts not fitting, etc etc. It's all part of the game I guess.

Debby
 
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Tough Australians

Australians are built tough.
And by the way, that bike is almost finished. Quit whining and get back into the garage!
Just kidding.
Looks like it will be a nice one, the roadburner in a more modern fashion.
Should get a lot of long looks.
 

Anonymous

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core exchange

Debby,

Bruce Chessel does a "tach drive seal" upgrade so you wont have to wipe after every ride.
If you are interested, but dont want to send your tach drive housing away for a couple weeks, I have a spare new housing with one of his seal upgrades already installed, we could do a core exchange.

Gary

www.nithburgcycle.com

debby said:
My tach drive leaks too. So did the one in my 850. I guess I'll just be wiping it up after every ride. The puddle under my tranny is gone though - replacing the missing felt seal behind the clutch seems to have dried things up!

Debby
 

Anonymous

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Speaking of tach drives, I too have a leaker. I converted the housing to accept a Honda lip-seal but it still leaks. I don't understand it.

Jason
 

Anonymous

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Knock on wood...but mine has never leaked...and never been out....but we know how that works...I will go out now to do a few KMs and it will suddenly leak all over.....
My big leak is the swing arm...I run 90W in it and it won't stay put. Anyone know of a fix for this? New O rings don't help much.
Thanks!
 
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Nortonfan:

My best to your friend for a speedy recovery (bike and rider).

So... you're saying to put the battery tray in *before* iso and swingarm? Or did you mean before z-braces, spacers and nuts? I'm all ears.

(After spending ten minutes test-fitting the oil tank, the advantages of the much roomier Featherbed frame are becoming increasingly apparent.)

Guest:

The swingarm takes 140wt. Buy it a heavy duty truck/equipment service establishments. Or, I've heard that STP engine oil treatment is an acceptable, if expensive by volume, substitute.
 
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Dr_Hiller said:
The swingarm takes 140wt. Buy it a heavy duty truck/equipment service establishments. Or, I've heard that STP engine oil treatment is an acceptable, if expensive by volume, substitute.

It still all leaks out and ends up on the floor. Just takes a little longer.

Debby
 
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Dr_Hiller.

My guess is that pre Mark3, the battery tray has to definelty go in before you do the rear iso adjustments.

With your mark3 model adjuster type, I guess it is not as critical. But the lugs/ears of the battery mounting tray do take up space on the rear isolastics.

You will get the picture when you have a closer look/get to putting the tray in.

Thanks for your kind wishes for our mate. He has a bad burn on the back of his leg where the bike was lying on him. When he was out to it & appeared to be "convulsing"....he may have been feeling the heat & feebly trying to get his leg out from under the bike. Naturally the first thing I did was get the bike off him & turn off his ignition/fuel. He appeared to be convulsing & sounded terrible with his breathing. I guess you see it a bit more if you are in that line of work. He is recovering ok.
 
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Dr_Hiller,

I use a lubricant called "semi-fluid grease" made by penrite in my swingarm.

Time will tell how effective it is. It was suggested to me by the local British Bike shop.
 
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Jason,

RE: Tacho leak.

I know how u feel, I finally had both mine done.

One is great...it has stopped the leak.

The other has made no difference :!:

All I can assume is that the gear shaft is a slightly smaller od.
Or that the seal is a smidge different :?:

I am going to get another seal & be very careful pushing the gear drive through it also...just in case I "knicked" the side of the seal.
 
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NF:

Are you saying that the battery tray "ears" (the slotted mounting holes that go over the engine cradle/iso bolt) go on the inside of the frame plates?

I took lots of pictures during the teardown. In reviewing them, the "ears" on my battery tray were clearly located on the *outside* of the frame plates. They were between the z-brace spacers and the frame plates.

Wouldn't be the first item incorrectly installed by the PO.

BTW, I'm not a Doctor. I would've been of the "Piled higher and Deeper" (PhD) variant, but I was too busy earning a living to finish my dissertation. Stopped after my Masters.

The joke was of the parental variety. My handle comes from my initials (David Richard Hiller becomes Dr_Hiller). Continuing the trend my brother is Matthew Douglas or M.D. Hiller.

No pressure to succeed in my house. Nope, none whatsoever. :wink:
 
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Mine were inside the frame plates, but I have never really looked that closely at that area on any other commandos.

So it may be that the PO of mine put them in the wrong place.

My 2 battery trays would seem to be made to go inside the frame plates though.

No doubt other forum members will know the answer & let us know.
 
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Glad you brought it up.

Here's the way it was mounted as I was doing the teardown:
Trying to stay sane

(Ughhh! Looking at the photos I took reminds me what a basket case the bike was.)

So the question remains, inside or outside?
 

MichaelB

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My 72,73 and 74 are on the outside. My 75 is gone and I don't recall if it was different. I did remove the tray at one time, but I don't remember having to deal with the Iso's to do it.
My vote is outside.
 
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Now this is interesting.

If the tray does go on the outside, you would need quite a few more shims on to make up the two thicknesses of the "missing" metal of the tray :?:
 
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Well I have had a bit of a look at some books on commandos in my possession. Here is a photo from the front cover of Jim Reynolds book.

It clearly show that the "mounting tab/ear" goes on the outside of the frame mount.
I would assume that it is correct.

Trying to stay sane
 
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