I just started my 1961 99SS engine up for the first time in 45 years-ish. It started pretty easily and is mechanically really quiet. The Armours small bore siamese pipes and silencer are pretty efficient too.
I only ran it for 45 seconds or so, but I didn't see any oil returning to the tank.
When I looked in the tank I expected to see an open ended curved return tube at the top, like in inferior marques.
But it looks like a straight tube running all of the way to the top, fanning out towards the inner tank wall.
Should I give it a bit more time to pump more oil into the sump through the big-ends?
I did remember the rubber cone on the oil pump, and I photographed it!
It will take more than 45 secs unless you have pre primed the oil pipes and the crank, you could take the OPRV valve cover off and kick with the ignition off and plugs out and check for oil and it may already be there as its just after the pump.
My upright pipe just has a hole on the front face. You won't see it but you should be able to feel it with your finger tip.
Are you sure that the tank and engine fittings are the right way around?
Thanks David I can see that hole now with my led head torch, now that I know what I am looking for.
Not really sure TBH. It used to be modified for a Combat Commando engine, with large bore pipes.
Now it has two parallel pipes, the outer (the supply I have always assumed) goes direct to the crankcase junction block.
The inner (return) has a banjo adjacent to the tank, with the rocker feed teeing off from that. It doesn't look like they would "want" to be crossed, but I have never really considered the possibility.
Pour a good mugful of oil in the head and allow to drain down into the 'sump', once it has all gone down, start up again, if you do not see any oil after 45 seconds this time then you do have a problem on the pump / pipes side of things.
Tony that's a great idea. Will test the oilways from the head too.
... do this anyway if starting up a freshly rebuilt engine or one that's stood for a while. Of course Norton made this an automatic feature (AKA wet sumping).
I have been through the whole gambit of worrying about poor rocker oiling ,fitting 6 speed gears etc. Trying to then cope with excess oil . Pretty much gone back to std now. A finger over the return hole for a few seconds on start up seems to be enough now. Just as God told us.
My auto wet-sumping feature isn't working. Possibly a cold garage and 20/50 are the problem.
If it ain't broke,fix it till it is.
I probably overdid priming the sump with oil because I got an impressive continuous stream back to the oil tank. And out of the breather too unfortunately.
After a while it became just spurts of oil, so all good.
And the smoothest tickover of any British bike I have ever owned.
New lesson. Life is too short to use knackered old Amals. New ones are great.
I have a question about oil. I have no history on this bike, other than it came from Investment Bikes. It came by sea to the NW. U.S.A. not relevant but I thought a little info. could be of interest. I see a shut off valve has been installed on the supply line from the oil tank; for what reason I ask?Also, both pet-cocks are leaking after I put some petrol in the tank ; any easy fixes ? Where can I get a workshop manual for my 1954 Dominator ?
Old bikes often have cork seals in taps . They can sometimes be improved by putting them in hot water and then rubbed with bar soap. Sounds like you have a good motor. treasure it, Fit an air filter, keep an eye on carburation and ignition timing . Getting these old motors back to health can be expensive and frustrating . Stay lucky.
I see a shut off valve has been installed on the supply line from the oil tank; for what reason I ask?
Its to stop wet sumping when the engine is not running and parked in the garage, if you forget to turn the tap on before starting the engine then its goodbye to the engine. Remove it and then either drain the sump each time you start the bike after a layup, ride it every day or start and idle until the sump clears. Starting and letting it idle comes with some risks, ie smoky exhaust until the sump clears, oil out the breather and other leak points such as the primary crank seal.