I recently revived a 1963 norton electra that was sitting
in a garage in parts for 30 years finally i got the bike to
start and it runs very well , next i wanted to put the bike
in first gear and ride it , well thats when i realized that
thers something wrong , theres no working clutch .
the clutch pulls in all right and is fully adjusted but
doesnt engage to allow the tranny to shift .my only guess
is that it sat for so long that somthings frozen or its just
a clutch that needs to be replaced . does anybody
thats worked on these electras have any tips.
Hi Todd, If the bike has been standing unused for 30 years then it my well be that the clutch plates are seized together by old oil, dirt and corrosion. I would start by taking the outer primary chain case cover off and removing, inspecting and cleaning the clutch plates. When you reassemble the clutch, adjust it correctly and before putting the chain case cover back on try putting the gearbox into neutral, pulling the clutch in and kicking the engine over. Hopefully you will see that the outer aluminium pressure plate is lifting evenly and the clutch has freed off and spins without turning the engine over. If it spins freely release the clutch and then check that it doesn't slip when you kick the engine over. If all is well replace the primary chain case, add the 1/2 pt or 0.28 ltrs of 20/50 engine oil and test it with the engine running - hopefully the problem will be solved. Good luck!
Thanks nick , im going to try it and see what happens.
Get the bike on the centre stand making sure the rear wheel is clear of the deck. Start it up and put in top gear. Then pull the clutch in fully and stand on the rear brake. With a bit of (good) luck the clutch will free - usually with a bang. With a bit of (bad) luck the bike will fall off the stand, the back wheel will contact the ground and you (and bike) will shoot off into the sunset. You can minimise the chances of this by having the front wheel hard up against a stout brick wall.
But of course Nicholas's is the proper way to do it.
I would concur with Nick’s advice, however depending on your mechanical dexterity I would go one stage further and check out the clutch hub cush drive. I recently put back on the road an Atlas that had been laid up for 5 years, god knows when anybody had last been in there as all the rubbers had disintegrated and showed shocking wear on the splines. So after 30 years who knows what it could be like.
i cleaned mine all up, fitted new rubbers , dressed the splines and all is good for the time being.
Hi Simon, I've had a similar experience with a Jubilee many years ago - the cush drive rubbers were just black goo so I replaced them with original Norton spares which were still available - an easy job. Last year I did a clutch rebuild on my late gearbox Navigator and whilst I was doing it decided I might as well replace the rubbers even though the originals weren't that bad. I purchased lightweight replacements from the NOC but had the devils own job fitting them despite having the correct tools to hold the clutch centre still and rotate the outer shell to compress the first row of rubbers so the second could be fitted. The replacement rubber inserts were just too big to fit and eventually I had to trim them down with a Stanley knife. I have done over 1500 miles since and the cush-drive is working perfectly. I suspect they are the right size for the heavyweight twins and oversize for the lightweights. My advice would be if all looks well and the cush-drive is working smoothly then leave well alone!
after many hours of trying to install cush rubbers by holdingthe back plate still and rotating the clutch body with a variety of levers, jerry built extended strap levers and even ratchet straps, an alternative procedure occurred to me. I placed all three large inserts into their positions in the spider and compressed them by inserting a short steel wedge into one of the empty small compartments. Relatively gentle tapping on the wedge rotates the spider, resulting in high compression of the large rubbers. Two of the smaller rubbers can then be inserted. With five of the six inserts in position the wedge can be removed without resulting in too much rotation of the spider such that the last small insert goes in with minimal persuasion.
I feel certain that I will be accused of something involving grandmothers and eggs but I am hoping that by airing this method it might help those who might be frustrated with other procedures.
I'm interested to hear that the new cush-drive rubbers were such a hard fit, compared to the originals back in the day. I have not tried to fit any recently myself, but I can confirm that the part numbers for the rubbers are the same for the big singles & twins, as they are for the Lightweights - so its not an issue of different parts. The part numbers across the range are 04.0386 & 04.0387.
It must be that they are tougher these days, or simply made ever so slightly larger?
I read the method of insertion proposed by Ron above, love the simplicity - but I do worry about the blade that is being compressed by the wedge. I have seen these castings with one blade missing, from the pressure exerted.
I do however, like the idea of carefully shaving a bit of material off each of the 3 thick rubbers, and using brake lube to assist in inserting
Hi Andy. Because all three large inserts are in position before inserting the wedge, the blade in question is compressed between the large rubber and the blade. Most of the force generated is directed to the cush rubber housing rather than the blade of the spider.