Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Norton 1938 Model 18

Slowly but surely the restoration is comeing to an end , I have experimented with paint, transfers and pinstripes and now know that I can spray two pac over acrylic ,apply the transfers / stichers and then over coat the lot with a two pac clear , unfortunatly I have a bit to learn about masking , but I should get it right next time . The motor has now been bolted up after fitting a very good used big end bearing, three new main rollers a new small end bush new piston rings and gudgeon from JP in Adelaide , cylinder resleeved to standard bore . New valves , guides and springs from Norvil .I reseated the valves and made new spring retainers from 4140 all nuts studs screws and washers I re made in stainless with the exception of the head studs . The next job is to get some 2023 aluminium 10 mm tube or some 4140 and make the push rods , order a pipe from Feked in the UK and then I'm ready for a start ? fit a chain and I'm ready for a ride .

Friday, 6 December 2013

Norton Model 18 " looking better "

At last it looks like a bike ! the main difference being the wheels , in the last post I had the hubs and brakes sorted but no rims . I was in the fortunate position of having bought a 21 " alloy rim at the Bendigo swap two years ago and having a 19 " alloy rim on the front of my Commando, so I ordered a new 19 " stainless rim and stainless spoke sets for the front and back of the model 18 . I fitted the new SS rim with a good set of zinc spokes onto the Commando and spoked up both alloys with the SS spokes, I had a hiccup with spoke lengths [ my fault ] and had to get 10 more spokes 10 mm longer than the ones I had , Fastline Spokes in Broadford were great and had ten custom made and delivered in less than a week ! Fastline spokes is run by Bruce Lotherington phone 0411844169 or e- mail fastline7@bigpond.com

From the back fitted up with 40 year old tyres to keep it off the ground , these will need to be replaced before the red plates go on , not painted as yet the rear guard and stays have been fitted up and removed for paint the seat is another treasure from last years Ballarat swap its a middle size frame and came with a grey vinyl cover in rather good nick I'll dye it black and have a look at it then . I recently rang another Norton man in Tassie looking for parts and realised that I had got from Steve the frame ,a brake drum ,crank pinion , rocker box , push rod tubes and gland nuts and some more bits I've forgotten forks from Canberra gearbox shell from Perth bottom end Sydney tank from up on the Murray , could think of this as a "interstate " The bottom end has been interesting to say the least , the cases I am using are stamped 1937 on the inside in small letters and on the outside are stamped 82 x 113 and the serial number on the other side ,they came with a steel crank and 7 1/2 " conrod , but I will be using a pair of cast iron wheels and 7 " rod from a 490 cc motor .The timing chest cover that I will use is actually a 1938 or 39 as it has no oil pressure tell tale and the timing cover has 3 screws and no oval ridge ,I think Norton ran tell tale and ridged cover with 2 screws until 1937 and then changed over . I might add that the cover in the pic is not the one I will use ,it is a 3 screw cover but has the tell tale as well , who knows if there was a model with ridged cover that had 3 screws ???

A barrel of laughs .... Norton motors with open valves[ up to 1938] had parallel push rod tubes ,logicaly enough and would be the norm in the industry at the time , but in 1938 when the company closed in the valvegear the rocker ball ends ended up closer together at the top with both covers almost touching . This was the start of the famous ES2 motor look with the tapering to the top pushrod covers that can be picked out on old photos identifing the bike as a Norton .The next change come in 1948 when they changed the crankcase deleting the finger followers shrinking the timing chest and taking a few mm off the flywheel , the rocker box became one piece instead of three and likewise the rockers .At the top the ball ends actually spread a little but the bottom end now centred over the cam spindles and not overhung on the fingers . So from 1948 to about 1955 the tapered tubes stayed .

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Norton Model 18 Restoration

The model 19 project has now become a model 18 ,mainly because of two factors, firstly it seems to be very difficult to flush out parts for these 596 cc motors and secondly I have found out that the motor will be too tall [ thanks Marcus ] for the WD open diamond frame, as a matter of fact it may well be a tight fit with the 490 cc motor .I know of a civilian open diamond frame with a 500 T motor fitted to it ,but there are differences between the two frames . So I will now refer to this restoration as a model 18 ,I posted a few pics when the frame and forks were in primer so as you can see I have moved forward a bit.

I was convinced to try using a two pac paint on the frame and forks as I am told it has a better resistance to fuel spillage ,I suppose I'll find out later ,in the past I have used enamel bought by the litre at the paint shop, pressure pac enamel , high temp pressure pac and acrylic so I have a bit of a mix certainly don't use the enamel pressure pacs they wash off with petrol .


The wide  girder forks are designed to take the QD hubs of which I cannot find anywhere so I decided to fit a later model hub to the front end .This required three bits of engineering firstly make an axle out of 304 stainless with spacers nuts and washers to bring the wheel centre in the forks .Secondly I repeated the treatment of the Domi and replaced the RH wheel bearing with a sealed bearing and then removed the seal from the hub side only  then I shortened the bearing spacer by about 4 mm , this allows the double row ball to slide in enough to fit a garter seal to the LHS of the hub, the seal  was 40 x 25x 7 mm so now the brake plate spacer has moved in and the plate is scraping so I then turned up a new spacer with the 4 mm added to its length and created a polished 25 mm diameter for the seal to contact  , I now expect that the grease will stay in the hub and not on the brake shoes .Lastly the brake torque bracket had to be fabricated and fitted to the back plate , the back plate was a roadholder type with one of the pivots extended to engage a slot in the fork leg ,so I drilled out one and unbolted the other , turned up two new pivots with rivet ends and riveted the torque bracket on as per original .

The tank repairs are under way , my nephew did the welding as " a mans got to know his limitations ".

The oil tank mounts , once again not the correct tank but it looks great and can be made to fit ,this tank is off a later model that has been fitted with a lay down gearbox , I ground the welds and removed the original bracket and made a new setup to get the clearances right from the frame . This tank has a rounded front , the correct item is rather squared off

The forks , these are Indian made which I bought off e bay for about half what the Indians want for them .I think the original buyer was probably disappointed with the quality and was able to find something better .I started by stripping them down and working with die grinder, files and emery tape and tidying up all the castings then body filler and spot putty .I managed to get steering damper friction discs from BMH trading [ see my favourites list ] and made new serrated washers and pins for the check springs out of stainless , still looking for 18 mm hex to replace the rest of the nuts .The work continues , if I hit a problem in one area I start on another bit , next is to get a spoke set and have a go at lacing the front wheel. my hold up items are a QD hud for the rear , a rear stand and rear chain guard and enough bits to make a clockwise maggy .
More later , next post    Ballarat Swap Meeting

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Deane Rotary Valve Prototype

While investigating the myriad of machinery at the last Lake Goldsmith Steam and Traction Engine Rally I came across a display and running prototype of the Deane Spherical Rotary Valve fitted to a pre war Norton 16 H bottom end and installed in a ES2 garden gate frame .
I have included a pic of a newspaper article that explains a few of the design features , inventors being inventive have experimented with valve gear for sometime , I believe one motorcycle maker produced a sleeve valve motor with a liner inside the bore which moved up and down by way of a cam to get the ports to coincide ,we see side valve ,overhead valve ,inlet over exhaust [harley and land rover] over head camshaft  , DOHC , triple OHC [7R 3A AJS ] desmodronic valves and in two stroke motors  we have piston valve and  disc valve assisted by reeds and other stuff .
In the case of four stroke motors the idea is to reduce reciprocating weight in the valve train, as when anything moves in one direction and then has to be reversed it must come to a stop, and to get it moving again requires the greater energy investment [ greatest rate of change ]. Reduction of reciprocating weight is the object of the designers and also simplification of the engine will help in lots of ways these principles apply to suspension components too.Interesting to consider the design of the Wankel rotary and a design by the Australian Ralph Sarich   
                                                      This motor has been in storage for  decades and been assembled into a frame so the general public can experience the creativity of the inventors , a quick look on google shows William Ronald Deane holds US patent 3730161       filed May 28    1971 . I seem to remember a rotary valve design fitted to another Norton shown in Roy Bacons book Norton Singles but this differs in that the Deane valve is a sphere fitted with rings that are pegged to prevent rotation and snap offs in the ports [ just like two strokes ]  I had a chat with the guys that did all the spanner work and they didn't think the motor produced any more power than the 16 H , it started first kick every time and sat and idled beautifully . The cylinder had been made from a compressor cylinder and the head is machined from solid, what kind of steel? I don't know , I think the text says the valve rotates at one quarter crank speed and the chain drive comes off the vestigial camshaft and th
e last reduction would be on the two sprockets .
All in all this is an amazing exhibit and drew a lot of attention from the more technical minded punters at the rally, the inventors also made a head to suit a small honda single but no one seems to know where its gone,  perhaps Harold Holt had it under his arm when he swam off to that Russian sub or will it turn up on a lawn mower one day ? better check your shed !
 Click on the print to blow it up big enough to read



Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Swap Meet Buggies

On a previous post I wrote about the good old days [ before Insurance Company Liability ] when the talent and imagination of the Swap Meet Junkie could be displayed at the meeting by way of a motorised shopping trollie / esky on wheels . Who needs a buggie ? you say,  well ,if you find a set of tyres for that Morris Minor or even a bottom end for a Beeza, you are gunna need a buggie of some sort to get the treasure back to the carpark, and that might be a long haul . You could make a couple of trips back to the ute but think of all the rare bits that have been snapped up by dealers and sent overseas while you dither ferrying the gold to the car , you need a buggie to suit you own collecting style and volume , where to start ? Hell we're gunna do what all the bike manufactures did before the design stage , we'll take a good look at whats out there , pick the best points, trash the bad bits, produce an economical prototype and do the on ground testing . John 'O' Groats to Lands End and 50 laps of Brooklands .That should do the trick , now check out the sly pics I took while working under cover at the last Bendigo Swap Meeting around 17 th November so this stuff is state of the art, none of your old technology here . Click on the pics to blow them up

This was the only motorised cart I saw at Bendigo this year and the organisers would only have allowed it because the owner had one prosthetic leg . I can't remember the details of the prime mover but you can see the rear slicks and that the trailer is single axle , what a shame they banned these rigs as they contributed to the feel of the meeting so much .
This guy's in a hurry , basic format is a dragster  typerfied by large slicks at rear, narrow disc wheels on the front , curious transverse front suspension, T model Ford  style and using non stressed mild steel body [ this could lead to failure at extreme speed ] His treasure is a 1950's style radio and some other junk I can't make out .

The most common type of buggie [bag trollie BT ], this one with folding frame finished in red oxide primer [rarely seen these days ] and inflateable tyres ,its got that home made look to it .Note the tub is the type bought at K mart or others ,as in the past the Sherrif  has been patroling the swaps policing the theft of milk crates. I'd like a commission for every record collection that is stored in a milk crate

 This is a blast from the past , not a purpose made ,swap meet buggie {SWB] at all  but is in fact a trailer designed to attach to the carrier of a push bike .
Main construction packing case tray, pram wheels on pram axle and 1/2 inch GWIP drawbar / handle note tray is a stressed member , this unit would be hard work in the loose granitic sand that had been spread over much of the grounds .Looks like he's scored a second WW gerry can and is hiding more stuff under a briquette bag ...
wonder what it is ?

 Another variation of the BT with a different tray , stackable with slots mouled into the sides , perhaps pinched from a greengrocer or a fishmonger .This guy has hooked his backpack on the SWB and is towing rather than pushing, a risky practice as treasure could be borrowed and not returned 

The white paper rectangle displays the price $ 2500.00
 A Tardis [ T ] best way ever to get the parts home

Recycling at its best ,the tips are full of bike parts and these big wheels are just the ticket for soft sand and pot holes

Another BT based cart using a cherry barrel for the tub QD provided by baler twine ligatures and occa strap hold down . This unit is eco friendly [ EF ]and will contain oil spills from gearboxes bottom ends and primary drives .
The writing is on the wall and soon all SWB's will have to be certified as EF

BT  fitted with sturdy home made tray looks like seat height , interesting box, nine out of ten blokes would have the tray side boards horizontal rather than vertical .This is the only SWB that had a lid .

A veritable work of art.... rickshaw standing on rear end , this was parked and although I waited some time did not get a dynanic shot .Note push bike wheels and red and green trim this could indicate traditional Chinese colours or the with Christmas so close the colours of holly

Thinking laterally , double decker stock crate  four wheel unit ,small esky on the bottom in the shade all the junk up top .Lets not kid ourselves this is a laundry cart and would never take the weight of say a GoldWing side cover ,this bloke needs to go back to the shed and take a good look at himself

Note far left   Stolen Milk Crate  SMC  grey plastic property of Polar Milk Company

The low volume of this cart will limit this guy's shopping

This one reminds me of my tool box not sure if you would push this unit or pull it

There you have it ! now you are armed with the design variation and lots background, so get out in that shed get down to the tip" keep your eyes wide the chance won't come again " grab the bits and get welding, Ballarat Swap last weekend in February and don't think you'll get a SWB up and running before Christmas .I want to see more original Stuff out there here's some pearls for free.
Stop lights  Radio  Sunshades   number plates    EPIRB   suspension  brakes   

Next post    Deane rotary valve prototype fitted to a 16H bottom end and mounted in garden gate norton frame      this post will not be a joke

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally X 100

The Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally held it 100 th meeting on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of November 2012 .Lake Goldsmith is known more for its Steam Rally, than for its Lake [ usually dry ] its located in Central Victoria, approximately 10 kms South of Beauford and 50 kms West of Ballarat , the Society that run the Rally, stage two meetings per year the November one and again in May, I have a feeling that they have been timed to avoid the use of fires during  the height of the fire season , the area is usually pretty green in those months .Although the meeting is always referred to as a Rally it is staged at a permanent site and has been for about 50 years , the result of this and the nature of the machines means that a small town has grown upon the site . Members, I believe can rent a site ,build some manner of shed and install a large boiler in it, or they can park a travelling hut [ like a gypsy caravan ] live in it for the meetings and whenever they come to work on their machinery . I am led to believe that there are  always people camped in vans there working on the machines and keeping an eye on the stuff that is too big to lock away .
Its not all about steam, the show attracts vintage and veteran cars, trucks and motorcycles ,oil engines  ,military vehicles , earthworks machinery , models of every thing  boats, trains ,aircraft , real aircraft engines and lots more stuff I've forgotten . But the real attraction with this show is that its dynamic  , you would walk down a rutted gravel track and move to the left to alloy a working scale model traction engine to pass , on your left you could see a steam shovel operating a drag line just tip its load on a pile , lots of the sheds that have boilers run pipes out the back as an  exhaust that puff little steam clouds out in the lanes .Steam has an unusual smell with that hint of oil ,steam whistles blow all the time, you can hear the breaking down saw from a working saw mill and in the back ground some sort of fairground music machine ,as you approach the oil engine area the  pop  pop  pop of these engines grow louder and the other noises fade away . The highlight of the show is the grand parade, where everything on wheels does a lap of the oval and the crowd watch as a commentary is broadcast over the PA , its very impressive to see so many of these massive traction engines  gently moving over the ground .
I don't how many times I've been to the Lake, but I think the first time would have been in the late 1960's as my primary interest is motorcycles I wouldn't attend this event every year , but I can highly recommend this show to any one who likes machines , forgot to mention admission $ 15.00, free parking although this year I was in a 50 minute queue [ should have come in on the side road ] all in all I had a great day and caught up with lots of m/c people to top it off .   Here's the pics and some comment   click on the pics to blow them up

 Ex Shire road roller 
Working saw mill

 Steam drag line unloading

People go to great lengths to create the old world charm

Model radial engine just started , a work of art !

Indian , the motorcycle that is

Lovely twin port 500 Norton

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Weekend Ride to Broadford Classic Races

The Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria held the 31 st Southern Classic race on the weekend of 20 and 21 st of October at the State Motorcycle Complex , Broadford  Victoria  Australia .
This is a grass roots race meet which provides an entry point for those who love to ride and compete without needing a fortune behind you , you will however need a couple of mates a good toolkit and a bike trailer beside the obvious bike . The racers range from the slickest teams with immaculate bikes and gear to some of the roughest machines you have ever seen [one of which won its race ] being a classic meet ,almost all the riders were old enough to know better but shelved the common sense for the weekend , we did too .
It has become the habit of our rider group to attend this meeting as matter of great urgency , we all love the casual organisation of the meeting , for instance Jules picked up four free tickets at a hill climb two weeks earlier so it was free entry for us , parking is anywhere you like , food and drinks available ,camp on site , you can stand beside the starting line [two metres from the bikes ] and wander through the pits at will .I think the ticket are about ten dollars , program five they sell some quality shirts and stuff  and they have the club members on the counters giving a nice feel to the place .
The format for us getting up to Broadford is preceded by a series of text messages phone calls and even a conference call [ may need to take minutes next year ] eventually we decided I'd meet with Andy in Ballarat and both Commandos to meet with two ZX14 's at Ballan and all ride up together via Trentham , Woodend ,Lancefield , Kilmore , Broadford , and to the track . Perfect weather once we crossed the Great Divide and enjoyed mid twenties blue sky and had to use sunscreen . We move around and take a few pics always run into other blokes and have a brief catch up  and spend lots of time in the pits and of course watch the races
Late afternoon we jump back on the bikes and ride up the Hume Highway to our digs at Seymour ,a few beers a big steak [ 600 gms] a wander around the town and off to bed by midnight .
Sunday morning late rise and over to a small cafe for a big bacon and eggs breakfast and back home via a few new roads , one of which I liked very much , putting the question to the boys " why didn't we come up this way ?" they answered..... " we did " ..
The weekend went off well , I suppose the key ingredients are the company the weather the event , probably really is ,only the company , but I managed to plan the fuel stops better for the thirsty Commando with the 11 litre tank and we didn't have rain or even wet roads , just really want to do it all again .

Here's the pics , click on them to blow them up
Also see Tarsnakes report on
The starting line, I have a close up of the motor, number 29 the others are a Bultaco and a Indian twin , quite a lot of these racing some with four valve heads exposed rockers , like the early Rudges .
Nasty little right hander , always hated right handed bends, the line of punters in the background are at the starting line, the noise is deafening on take off clouds of blue smoke from the two strokes , and from some of the others too !


 7R  hybrid

Close up of motor, number 29  a rigid girder pre war  ES2 fitted in a cradle frame .I had a bit of a chat with the owner / rider and was surprised when he said that he is running a Rudge steel crank with a remade barrel to give the motor square diementions or close to .
Also note drain tubes from the valve wells ,34 mm Concentric carbi , and not shown third order lever to depress the clutch like a 20 s Ajay instead of the Norton spiral arrangement .I watched this bike race and was surpised how well it went , success is the sum of rider and bike .well done !

 Slick looking Yamaha
JP in foreground with Coke

Triumph ,this bike won in at least one race
What can I say that hasn't been said before some times the parking area is more interesting than the pits and more creative !

 Dual twin Triumph unit , didn't hear this run or see it race but would imagine it would have a bit of go .
 Note the left engine must have had its rotation reversed  with implications to the cams  ignition and the oil pump
JP entered into negotiations to swap his ZX14 for this unit but the owner wanted too much !
Just fancy how this would cut through to air like a knife with that aerodynamic chair .
 The only machine I have seen that rivals this is a R series BMW in the Birdwood Museum SA set up for touring
Nice emblem on the front guard, I must keep my eye out for something for the Commando
 Our riders , over the years the line up has included a 500 AJS, R75 BMW ,ZX9 , ZX10, CBR600 , VFR 800 and this line up in every case the change has been to a bigger engine .