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

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