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Wet sumping

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My Commando suffered wet sumping quite badly. After one week I had to drain the sump to enable easy starting. I came up with a cure which entailed putting a ballofix valve in the oil feed line. On the body of the valve I fitted a microswitch connected in the ignition feed. The result was with the oil turned off I could not start. If any one wants the details I can furnish them.

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If your pump is leaking bad enough to fill the sump in one week then when running it may not be producing enough pressure, a refurb will restore the pressure.

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Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

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Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

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Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

Anna, why do you use the royal ' we' ?? The oil pump was designed to work on a monograde oil. I always run straight 40 grade oil. Thinner oil does not give the pump anything to 'bite' on. I looked at my pump and faced the plates and body.. there were no scores on the recesses for the gears. My mod also functions as a theif-proof device. There has been a thread on oils so I won't expand on that. Anne.. is your spell checker on??

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The oil pump may have been originally designed for use with mono grade oils but the Commando came 40 years later and the Rider's manual, plus many postings on this WebSite, do strongly suggest that a multigrade is a better choice for the UK climate.

The pump is relatively easy to check for wear and service but it is equally important to check its output capability. If it is not delivering between 22 and 26 gallons per hour, after servicing, then there is a problem still which may not be obvious.

Wet-sumping can be due to a number of factors but most revolve around the oil pump because of its location. Check out these other possibilities, especially with regard to the Commando.

Poorly machined mating faces. Either on the pump or the crankcase boss.

Pulled mounting studs due to overtightening. These cause a ring of metal to lift under the oil pump body and stop it sealing properly. The same happens with rocker covers.

Cracks or porous metal covering the oilways.

A worn feed bush seal.

Is your spell checker on?My mod also functions as a theif-proof device.

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Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

The oil pump may have been originally designed for use with mono grade oils but the Commando came 40 years later and the Rider's manual, plus many postings on this WebSite, do strongly suggest that a multigrade is a better choice for the UK climate.

The pump is relatively easy to check for wear and service but it is equally important to check its output capability. If it is not delivering between 22 and 26 gallons per hour, after servicing, then there is a problem still which may not be obvious.

Wet-sumping can be due to a number of factors but most revolve around the oil pump because of its location. Check out these other possibilities, especially with regard to the Commando.

Poorly machined mating faces. Either on the pump or the crankcase boss.

Pulled mounting studs due to overtightening. These cause a ring of metal to lift under the oil pump body and stop it sealing properly. The same happens with rocker covers.

Cracks or porous metal covering the oilways.

A worn feed bush seal.

Is your spell checker on?My mod also functions as a theif-proof device.

I haven't got a spell checker 'cos some thief stole it !!

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Hi Colin,

I would be interested in your tap / switch. I have tried to come up with something that does not look like a plumbers nightmare and failed. And yes to everyone out there, I know that if it wet sumps it has a problem that needs sorting but if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to drain down enough to be concerned then other than riding it more (I wish!), a possible solution would be a tap / switch.

I would not dream of having a tap without a switch as my memory is rather untrustworthy.

Regards

Tony

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Tony....sorry to hear that your Alziheimerwhatsit is getting worse. For goodness sake don't start to run a bath and then answer the phone.

Somebody, not too long ago, was offering a Timing Cover mod which put a ball and spring valve on the end of the crankshaft. The chances are that Anna knows all about this mod and who can do it.

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Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Tony....sorry to hear that your Alziheimerwhatsit is getting worse. For goodness sake don't start to run a bath and then answer the phone.

Somebody, not too long ago, was offering a Timing Cover mod which put a ball and spring valve on the end of the crankshaft. The chances are that Anna knows all about this mod and who can do it.

There is a DIY timing cover mod. detailed in the INOA Tech Digest (1999) BUT..... it's copyrighted so can't quote it here. Sorry!

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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

Anna, why do you use the royal ' we' ?? The oil pump was designed to work on a monograde oil. I always run straight 40 grade oil. Thinner oil does not give the pump anything to 'bite' on. I looked at my pump and faced the plates and body.. there were no scores on the recesses for the gears. My mod also functions as a theif-proof device. There has been a thread on oils so I won't expand on that. Anne.. is your spell checker on??

Hello What as the Royal to do with oil pumps and why ask the question in the first place if you know what the problem was and Who told you that Commando oil pumps were made for Mono grade oil . Have you not got a brain it stands to reason that a 20/50 will get round your engine twice as fast as any Mono grade oil Any way put in what you like of me, your one of these that like wasting our time trying too help people like you then have the atituted to slag me of over some spelling, Get a life mate, like Phil I been riding Norton motorcycle for well over 40 years , and you need to try spelling my name rigth its Anna Not Anne , go day mate !

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I bought my first Commando in the 70's ex-police bike ran it on 20-50 back in those days. these days I run my new (to me) commando on a semi-synthetic 20--50. Used to race rice rockets in a sidecar outfit for years with absolutely no problems. with improvments to oils over the years it seems logical to use a modern oil in your pride and joy

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Previously Tony Ripley wrote:

Hi Colin,

I would be interested in your tap / switch. I have tried to come up with something that does not look like a plumbers nightmare and failed. And yes to everyone out there, I know that if it wet sumps it has a problem that needs sorting but if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to drain down enough to be concerned then other than riding it more (I wish!), a possible solution would be a tap / switch.

I would not dream of having a tap without a switch as my memory is rather untrustworthy.

Regards

Tony

Hello Tony ....I shall take some photos of my arrangement and get back to on this

Colin

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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously Tony Ripley wrote:

Hi Colin,

I would be interested in your tap / switch. I have tried to come up with something that does not look like a plumbers nightmare and failed. And yes to everyone out there, I know that if it wet sumps it has a problem that needs sorting but if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to drain down enough to be concerned then other than riding it more (I wish!), a possible solution would be a tap / switch.

I would not dream of having a tap without a switch as my memory is rather untrustworthy.

Regards

Tony

Hello Tony ....I shall take some photos of my arrangement and get back to on this

Colin

OK Tony.... here's a pic of the oil pipes coming from the tank to the engine. You can see the ballofix valve and the alloy plate screwed to the valve. (the valve body has enough thickness to carefully drill and tap M3 holes to hold the plate). The microswitch is then screwed to the plate. Microswitches are readily available from Maplin. (the ones with an actuating lever are best). If you need more info on connecting the switch, let me know.

Colin

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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously Tony Ripley wrote:

Hi Colin,

I would be interested in your tap / switch. I have tried to come up with something that does not look like a plumbers nightmare and failed. And yes to everyone out there, I know that if it wet sumps it has a problem that needs sorting but if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to drain down enough to be concerned then other than riding it more (I wish!), a possible solution would be a tap / switch.

I would not dream of having a tap without a switch as my memory is rather untrustworthy.

Regards

Tony

Hello Tony ....I shall take some photos of my arrangement and get back to on this

Colin

OK Tony.... here's a pic of the oil pipes coming from the tank to the engine. You can see the ballofix valve and the alloy plate screwed to the valve. (the valve body has enough thickness to carefully drill and tap M3 holes to hold the plate). The microswitch is then screwed to the plate. Microswitches are readily available from Maplin. (the ones with an actuating lever are best). If you need more info on connecting the switch, let me know.

Colin

Sorry Tony , the pic was too many kbs. I'll try to reduce it and resend.... Colin

Right Tony...this is the pic.

Attachments picture-jpg
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Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

Anna, why do you use the royal ' we' ?? The oil pump was designed to work on a monograde oil. I always run straight 40 grade oil. Thinner oil does not give the pump anything to 'bite' on. I looked at my pump and faced the plates and body.. there were no scores on the recesses for the gears. My mod also functions as a theif-proof device. There has been a thread on oils so I won't expand on that. Anne.. is your spell checker on??

Hello What as the Royal to do with oil pumps and why ask the question in the first place if you know what the problem was and Who told you that Commando oil pumps were made for Mono grade oil . Have you not got a brain it stands to reason that a 20/50 will get round your engine twice as fast as any Mono grade oil Any way put in what you like of me, your one of these that like wasting our time trying too help people like you then have the atituted to slag me of over some spelling, Get a life mate, like Phil I been riding Norton motorcycle for well over 40 years , and you need to try spelling my name rigth its Anna Not Anne , go day mate !

Anna,I feel I must respond to this, as I do have a brain as do the guys who wrote the NOC service notes between 1974 and 1977. On page 43 of said notes it states that "monograde oils of 30 grade in winter and 40 grade in summer are preferable to multigrades.

If you like I can send you a copy of that page. After all this is a forum where one should be able to discuss and exchange views, points and topics of interest regarding nortons. By the way have been riding for 50 years.

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I had my engine completely rebuilt including a rebuilt oil pump. Even so the bike wet-sumps (not seriously but noticeable). In my youth when I had my first Commando I used the bike virtually every day (as did most other owners) thus the bikes were never stationary long enough for wet-sumping to occur - I'd never even heard of it until I bought my 'new' 850 in 1989 and tended to use it fairly infrequently as a 'hobby' bike. I have also plumbed-in a tap in the oil feed pipe linked to a microswitch, it works in the same way as Colin's - I wired mine to an automotive 12v relay which can carry far more current than the microswitch could cope with. I fitted it circa 10 years ago and it's always worked perfectly. I must admit I've never been a fan of the anti wet-sump valves that rely on sucking open a spring loaded ball valve- I did have one fitted prior to my 'tap' modification but never entirely trusted it although I understand that Velocette fitted one at the factory and most after-market devices are based on that dsign. Ref using straight 40 or 50 or 20/50 I think this debate will go on as long as Norton twins continue to run ... . I have a copy of Bruce Main Smiths 'Book of Superbike Road Tests' dating from circa 1972-73. In it he tested a 750 Combat Interstate and at the end of the test, quoted the specification and lubrication requirements. It stated that 'the oil recommended was either straight 40 or 50 but that Norton-Villiers were currently evaluating the use of 20/50 Multigrade'.

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Charles Bovington posts on this forum regularly and has some considerable experience regarding oils. He recommends a quality 20:50 in the Commando such as the Harley Davidson brand, and Morris oils in Shrewsbury do a Vee twin 20:50. That'll do for me. I wouldn't waste too much money on synthetic. A Norton doesn't need or deserve high tech oil, it's not a high tech motor.

Oil change periods for an audi diesel are up to 19,000miles with synthetic oil. That would last a lifetime for some Norton ownerssmiley

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Previously david_evans wrote:

Charles Bovington posts on this forum regularly and has some considerable experience regarding oils. He recommends a quality 20:50 in the Commando such as the Harley Davidson brand, and Morris oils in Shrewsbury do a Vee twin 20:50. That'll do for me. I wouldn't waste too much money on synthetic. A Norton doesn't need or deserve high tech oil, it's not a high tech motor.

Oil change periods for an audi diesel are up to 19,000miles with synthetic oil. That would last a lifetime for some Norton ownerssmiley

hello David....

It's not a case of "deserving" high tech oils it just is not designed for them. Modern oil pumps use a design using rotating cruciform technology....they are quite a quite a few steps above a pair of gears contra-rotating rotating in a housing. Just a little story concerning high tech oils .. a racing mate of mine said at the start of the season.. you guys are in the past..(I was using castrol R30) synthetic is the way of the future !! (this was on british iron). It took 4 races and he wondered why his cam and followers were round and scored respectively.

P.S. have you tried degreasing R30.....not easy

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Previously john_holmes wrote:

If your pump is leaking bad enough to fill the sump in one week then when running it may not be producing enough pressure, a refurb will restore the pressure.

I think all Nortons drain down eventually or hold a minimum of oil for starting. With the dip stick are you able to determine there is or no oil and or sufficient oil for starting. Is it possible there is still oil in the tank and showing zero on the dip stick. Another question, K and N filters has their (KN-153) Norton filter with a nut welded on top and has anti -drainback valve built in . They are made for synthetic or blended oils. I can not imagine riders using anything but synthetic oils because of the protection of extreme temperatures afforded by these oils. Sure would appreciate any Norton Bros. comments.ken Electric start 74 Commando. First owner.

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Please do not degrade the Vintage 70's Norton saying they are not worth the new oils or are not high tech. Oil is cheap even synthetic when comparing to rebuilding an engine. Years ago Norton did not have a choice but to recommend the mono viscosity oils .No auto or motorcycle company today recommends such oils today. Your statement about Audi proves the break through in synthetic oils and their ability to withstand excessive temperatures and running time. Those old oils burn up when exessively running the engines over many hours and do harm to the engines. Actually, the oils are finished for their ability to properly lubricate the engine. If you put your motorcycle in storage over many months and do not change your oil as prescribed you had best use synthetic oil since the the nonsynthetic oils become acid based and start working on the metal internally. Ken, Norton 74 Electric start owning this cycle since new.

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Hi Colin, your own spell check may be mis-functioning- theif? however the spell check will not correct a word that is spelt correctly but is the wrong word.For example Anna meant "stood" but typed "stud", this will allude the spell check. I think that the technical points that Anna was making were clear even if the spelling was a little awry.

Tim

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

Anna, why do you use the royal ' we' ?? The oil pump was designed to work on a monograde oil. I always run straight 40 grade oil. Thinner oil does not give the pump anything to 'bite' on. I looked at my pump and faced the plates and body.. there were no scores on the recesses for the gears. My mod also functions as a theif-proof device. There has been a thread on oils so I won't expand on that. Anne.. is your spell checker on??

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"A Norton doesn't need or deserve high tech oil, it's not a high tech motor. "

The important feature of a Norton is that it is air cooled so its not high tech but asks for more from an oil than a high tech computer controlled water cooled engine due to the higher temps in the hot spots. The oil with the best resistance to high temps is a fully synthetic oil, plus as it breaks down it reverts to the highest viscosity rather than in a dino multigrade which reverts to the lowest viscosity.My Commando does very well on 10W/60 Miller fully synthetic, the sump magnet not longer furs up either.
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Previously kennethh_williams wrote:

Please do not degrade the Vintage 70's Norton saying they are not worth the new oils or are not high tech. Oil is cheap even synthetic when comparing to rebuilding an engine. Years ago Norton did not have a choice but to recommend the mono viscosity oils .No auto or motorcycle company today recommends such oils today. Your statement about Audi proves the break through in synthetic oils and their ability to withstand excessive temperatures and running time. Those old oils burn up when exessively running the engines over many hours and do harm to the engines. Actually, the oils are finished for their ability to properly lubricate the engine. If you put your motorcycle in storage over many months and do not change your oil as prescribed you had best use synthetic oil since the the nonsynthetic oils become acid based and start working on the metal internally. Ken, Norton 74 Electric start owning this cycle since new.

Hello well you cannot real blame the man he's been reading Mr Emery's web pages on Oil's he also is still living in the last century, on mono grade oil' and telling every one that Stright 40 or 50 is best for your out dated Commando, or Dominator, this may of been the case back in 1930s, But oil Technology has moved on vastly , and is tryed and tested in Formual 1 racing , and Super bike , i have been using 20/50 for 40 odd years now and I have done sidecars racing and solo bikes and in all that time and in all the races, I have never had a engine blow up on me, , But I have a vast list of Norton;s letting go when using a Mono grade oils , and Commando that was fitted with a oil tap via a read switch , the wire had dropped of and closed the valve, The other Norton ended up with oil burnt in the large end jounials as the oil was not getting to the large ends fast enough, So with the heat it completly brokedown the oils viscosity ,and sized its mains and locked up the engine, So then a thin oil and high pressure with a constain feed works the best, thats why my 2.5 diesel Ford Tranist Van uses a 10/40 synthetic oil , even 230,000 HP Suzler Ship's main engine uses a 30/50 oil made by Esso and Not Mono grade, there is my point made Yours Anna J Dixon

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Returning to the original post. The old type gear oil pump is almost imposible to stop leaking, even if the pump is in good condition. This is not just on Nortons. Over a week or longer you will start to get to much oil in the sump. Straight 50 oil will slow this down but with shell big ends I would only use multigrade oil like others recomend, even a cheap basic multigrade will be better than what it was 40 years ago and lets face it we do change the oil and look after are P and J.

The best thing is to use the bike all year round

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Previously tony_harris wrote:

Returning to the original post. The old type gear oil pump is almost imposible to stop leaking, even if the pump is in good condition. This is not just on Nortons. Over a week or longer you will start to get to much oil in the sump. Straight 50 oil will slow this down but with shell big ends I would only use multigrade oil like others recomend, even a cheap basic multigrade will be better than what it was 40 years ago and lets face it we do change the oil and look after are P and J.

The best thing is to use the bike all year round

Hello the last time had seen someone using Stright oil was On a 2-8-0 W-D Austerity Steam locomotive, and that was 50 years ago , yours Anna J

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Whenever I take to the air in a Piper or Cessna it is running on Aeroshell 50. My bikes with roller bearing big ends run on Morris's SAE 40 (as does my A7 BSA). Only my Atlas, Land Rovers, carand tractors run on multigrade. I don't seem to have any major wear issues - and I certainly wouldn't want any engine problems when I am puttering along at 2,000 feet. Straight oils aren't all bad.

P.S. for Anna. WD 2-8-0s were the standard locomotive for moving petrol tanks trains out of Grangemouth refinery. Tremendous anti-fire precautions were taken with the trains. Every wagon was earthed. No petrol engines in the refinery. Then hauling the heavy train up the grade resulted in a fountain of red hot cinders blasting out of the austerity showering all over the wagons. Quite a site and amazingly never a fire.

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Previously Gordon Johnston wrote:

Whenever I take to the air in a Piper or Cessna it is running on Aeroshell 50. My bikes with roller bearing big ends run on Morris's SAE 40 (as does my A7 BSA). Only my Atlas, Land Rovers, carand tractors run on multigrade. I don't seem to have any major wear issues - and I certainly wouldn't want any engine problems when I am puttering along at 2,000 feet. Straight oils aren't all bad.

P.S. for Anna. WD 2-8-0s were the standard locomotive for moving petrol tanks trains out of Grangemouth refinery. Tremendous anti-fire precautions were taken with the trains. Every wagon was earthed. No petrol engines in the refinery. Then hauling the heavy train up the grade resulted in a fountain of red hot cinders blasting out of the austerity showering all over the wagons. Quite a site and amazingly never a fire.

Quite right Gordon, if it has roller big ends etc I use straight oil as in my Velo, ES4 and Ariel motors. Saying that I have run multigrade in them as well for thousnds of mile with no problems in the past.

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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

My Commando suffered wet sumping quite badly. After one week I had to drain the sump to enable easy starting. I came up with a cure which entailed putting a ballofix valve in the oil feed line. On the body of the valve I fitted a microswitch connected in the ignition feed. The result was with the oil turned off I could not start. If any one wants the details I can furnish them.

I would be very interested to know more please Colin.

Thanks, Mike

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Previously tim_harrison wrote:

Hi Colin, your own spell check may be mis-functioning- theif? however the spell check will not correct a word that is spelt correctly but is the wrong word.For example Anna meant "stood" but typed "stud", this will allude the spell check. I think that the technical points that Anna was making were clear even if the spelling was a little awry.

Tim

As I am always explaining to americans, the english speak in dialects. Anna's happens to be a Yorkshire variety (similar to my father's and I am very fond of it). The spelling Nazis are a recent occurrence in english. We didn't used to have them. Shakspere spelt his own name at least 4 different ways and the same goes for many of the words he used. We are now trying to keep up with the french who legislate over their spelling. It's just not british.

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Previously mike_sewell wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

My Commando suffered wet sumping quite badly. After one week I had to drain the sump to enable easy starting. I came up with a cure which entailed putting a ballofix valve in the oil feed line. On the body of the valve I fitted a microswitch connected in the ignition feed. The result was with the oil turned off I could not start. If any one wants the details I can furnish them.

I would be very interested to know more please Colin.

Thanks, Mike

Right Mike.... If you read further back in my thread..it contains a picture of my 'modification'. The ballofix valve that I used had a solid hexagonal body. Good for mounting the bracket for the microswitch. It was wired in to the 12 volt supply to the ignition. (I have electronic). The microswitch in series with the white /blue wire. The ballofix lever actuated the microswitch.

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Previously Jonathan Soons wrote:

Previously tim_harrison wrote:

Hi Colin, your own spell check may be mis-functioning- theif? however the spell check will not correct a word that is spelt correctly but is the wrong word.For example Anna meant "stood" but typed "stud", this will allude the spell check. I think that the technical points that Anna was making were clear even if the spelling was a little awry.

Tim

As I am always explaining to americans, the english speak in dialects. Anna's happens to be a Yorkshire variety (similar to my father's and I am very fond of it). The spelling Nazis are a recent occurrence in english. We didn't used to have them. Shakspere spelt his own name at least 4 different ways and the same goes for many of the words he used. We are now trying to keep up with the french who legislate over their spelling. It's just not british.

Hello all please forgive my spelling , But Thomas Telford was a brillant engineer but he could not read nor write , my Great uncle Freddie Dixon had some difficallity in spelling but he was a pioneer of motorcycle and car mechanical design and car safety and pit stops in car racing !!!

there is an old saying in yorkshire do not judge a sausage by its skin ! yours Anna J
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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously mike_sewell wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

My Commando suffered wet sumping quite badly. After one week I had to drain the sump to enable easy starting. I came up with a cure which entailed putting a ballofix valve in the oil feed line. On the body of the valve I fitted a microswitch connected in the ignition feed. The result was with the oil turned off I could not start. If any one wants the details I can furnish them.

I would be very interested to know more please Colin.

Thanks, Mike

Right Mike.... If you read further back in my thread..it contains a picture of my 'modification'. The ballofix valve that I used had a solid hexagonal body. Good for mounting the bracket for the microswitch. It was wired in to the 12 volt supply to the ignition. (I have electronic). The microswitch in series with the white /blue wire. The ballofix lever actuated the microswitch.

Thanks Colin that is really neat and tidy - very professional!

I am OK with the electrics thanks.

Thanks for your help

Mike

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Previously mike_sewell wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously mike_sewell wrote:

Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

My Commando suffered wet sumping quite badly. After one week I had to drain the sump to enable easy starting. I came up with a cure which entailed putting a ballofix valve in the oil feed line. On the body of the valve I fitted a microswitch connected in the ignition feed. The result was with the oil turned off I could not start. If any one wants the details I can furnish them.

I would be very interested to know more please Colin.

Thanks, Mike

Right Mike.... If you read further back in my thread..it contains a picture of my 'modification'. The ballofix valve that I used had a solid hexagonal body. Good for mounting the bracket for the microswitch. It was wired in to the 12 volt supply to the ignition. (I have electronic). The microswitch in series with the white /blue wire. The ballofix lever actuated the microswitch.

Thanks Colin that is really neat and tidy - very professional!

I am OK with the electrics thanks.

Thanks for your help

Mike

Well the Royal Enfield reed valve its fitted to Enfield Twins on there beather are a lot better as there is no wires No ball valve to get stuck , but even this is no cure for a Worn oil pump, So fix the problem first , yours anna j

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Here is a probably dumb question: If the bike has been left unused for a while and I check the oil level in the tank and it is low enough to assume wet sumping, what do I do then? Clearly I should not start the engine. The only thing I can think of is to remove the spark plugs and kick it over until I see oil coming back to the tank. Is this a good idea or should I drain the sump and re fill the tank? The 72 750 has not been used in over a year. Cheers Nick

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If the tank is empty then you don't want to start by pumping air so you'll have to put a small amount in. Then I'd be reckless and try to start it up and run very gently until the tank is full again. There will be lots of splashing inside and lots of smoke. I've always thought the chances of my keeping any oil I drain out clean enough to be safe to put back in are close to zero - so draining it would do more harm than good. It worked for my Dommie in the past. Lots of smoke for a minute or two.No doubt there will be other views and maybe bad experiences? But if it hasn't been used for over a year, maybe this is the opportunity for an oil change!
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Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Tony....sorry to hear that your Alziheimerwhatsit is getting worse. For goodness sake don't start to run a bath and then answer the phone.

Somebody, not too long ago, was offering a Timing Cover mod which put a ball and spring valve on the end of the crankshaft. The chances are that Anna knows all about this mod and who can do it.

AMR does a timing cover mod

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If the bike/engine has not been run for a year then I would have thought that the best move would be to drain the sump and tank and start again with fresh oil.

The problem with starting an Norton engine that has got half a gallon of oil sloshing around the sump is that much of it will try and squeeze out through the mainshaft oil seal. Then you end up clutch slip. Play safe and drain the oil off.

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Hi thanks for the advice.As it turns out the tank was not empty in fact it was halfway between the H and L on the dipstick. It came flowing through nicely when I started it. Nick

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Interesting reading this thread and obviously an issue bugging most Commando owners (not sure of any other models). Personally, Im not one for inline taps or valves in the oil feed... dunno why.. just want to keep the bike as original as I can.

I had what I thought was a "fairly major" wet sumping issue on my bike. It would drop (min of a baked bean can full) in a 12 hour period under compression.

So bit the bullet and changed out the oil pump for a new one (yep fairly hefty cost but was an issue I was prepared to try to fix) and as importantly... I changed out the SUMP PLUG out for one of those magnetic ones with the smaller drain screw in it. I was running 20/50 Oil.

Having had that type of wet sumping problem, it now seems trivial to get a fairly small amount of oil in the sump over a fortnight of non-use. It also seems far less messy and easier to drain her out with the smaller sump drain screw (and ive the original tucked away with the spares).

In my opinion, if I didnt use my classic bike for 3-4 weeks.. Id give her the once-over check anyhow before taking out to ride...and this would involve a 5-15min oil drain/ and check bike oil levels etc..... so as far as I am concerned its issue resolved if I am using weekly or fortnightly.

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Further back in this thread Anna refferd to a failure thus:, "and Commando that was fitted with a oil tap via a read switch , the wire had dropped of and closed the valve,"

I would suggest that such a setup is courting disaster - relying on a valve inserted in the oil feed being held open by an electric current is not a good idea in this application. All of the home-made systems I have seen rely on a manually operated tap i.e. turned on and off by hand and linked to the bike electrics to either disable the ignition or the entire electrical system (as in my case). The worst that can happen in this case is that the bike will stop if an electrical fault occurs (as would most likely be the case for any electrical failure with or without this tap fitment).

With regard to the use of synthetic oil, I've seen reports of instances of increases in oil leaks when used on old leak-prone engine designs e.g. British with vertically split mating surfaces etc. Has anybody any experience of this?

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Previously Colin Fairall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

Most experienced Big Twin Owners will tell you that the oil pump needs attention if your bike's oil tank is dumping its contents within a week of non-use. Anti-drain valves are not the cure. They only mask a problem which will get worse very quickly.

Now I do Back up Phil's Note's. We Do Not recommend the use of a tap or anti -wet sumping devic of any kind, And a Norton engine is only a dry sump engine when its running , there should be a pint of oil in the sump when your Norton has been stud for some time this is normal, as the engine will need this on Start up to lubricat the camshaft and follower and ball and roller main bearings and bronze bushies in your Norton Engine. before the pump dose its job , as it takes time for oil to get round your engine, thats why we use a 20/50 oil and Not a Stright 40 or 50 oil witch is like treacle and takes a lot longer to get round a cold engine, and the oil pump has a very hard time of trying to pump this thick oil around small oil ways , were as thin oil in a cold engine get to the parts were is needed much quicker and dose the job of lubicating , So get your oil pump looked at now, Yours Anna J

Anna, why do you use the royal ' we' ?? The oil pump was designed to work on a monograde oil. I always run straight 40 grade oil. Thinner oil does not give the pump anything to 'bite' on. I looked at my pump and faced the plates and body.. there were no scores on the recesses for the gears. My mod also functions as a theif-proof device. There has been a thread on oils so I won't expand on that. Anne.. is your spell checker on??

The family coat of arms of our Scottish Dixon family with good scottish blood the god gene O RH Negitve I can give blood to any one, but only O rh Negitive back, and the oil pump information you have is false the Commando Oil pump were 6 start a run at a high pressure and pump more volume than the earlier pumps did and with a filter cartidge fitted you can run on a 15/50 sinthetic oil witch will run at hight tempertures , has for the wet sumping bit you can now get a drain plug with a smaller magnetic nut in the center makes it easy to drain and the is no spell checker on this web site

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Anna there is a spell checker on the web site the ABC radio button at the top of the box where you type your message out

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I raced a 1950 long stroke Manx for years on synthetic oil and had no problems. The usual oil leaks around the open clothespin valve springs were cured by using a modern packing around them that absorbed only oil and not water. Excellent stuff.

If I leave my 850 for a couple of months in the winter it will wet sump. I kick it over and run it at an idle until the oil is back in the tank. With that much oil in the cases splashing around, eveything that needs oiling gets well oiled. During riding season, the bike rarely sees more than a couple of consecutive idle days so wet sumping is not a problem. I use Castrol 20-50.

Anna's dialect is interesting and ocassionally a bit challenging but her information is usually spot on. Carry on, Anna.

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I have always used 40 mono in all my old bikes and not had any problems , I have just started to use Morris 20-50 and will report on any changes. I also use a little 2 stroke oil in the fuel as I think it helps avoid tank rust,and helps the valve guide,carb slide and rings on start up. My exhaust does not rust through either.

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Wet sumping did not seem to become a problem, until the introduction of multigrade oils. A 20/50 oil is much kinder to the engine, as it circulates much better from a cold start. However the gear oil pumps were designed for use with thicker oils ( when cold), so, the multigrade seeps through the gears more easily. There is no one safe solution, except to ride almost everyday (as most motorcyclists did in the 50's). Fitting taps, or valves, whether "fail safe", or not, will mask the symptoms of a badly worn pump.

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My Commando oil pump was serviced/lapped in etc, the studs are good and the faces are flat. It still drains down 500ml in 6 days (20:50) After having my anti wetsump valve run dry and a seized big end. crank regrind, new conrods, bearings, gaskets etc. I'll live with it and drain the sump and tip it back in the tank.

Jim Comstock has a video on the accessnorton website showing how long it takes for the scavenge side of the pump to return oil to the tank at tick over. About 7 or 8 minutes. Life is too short to wait for it and most of it will be squirted through the drive side oil seal or end up hiding in the timing cover.

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Previously david_evans wrote:

My Commando oil pump was serviced/lapped in etc, the studs are good and the faces are flat. It still drains down 500ml in 6 days (20:50) After having my anti wetsump valve run dry and a seized big end. crank regrind, new conrods, bearings, gaskets etc. I'll live with it and drain the sump and tip it back in the tank.

Jim Comstock has a video on the accessnorton website showing how long it takes for the scavenge side of the pump to return oil to the tank at tick over. About 7 or 8 minutes. Life is too short to wait for it and most of it will be squirted through the drive side oil seal or end up hiding in the timing cover.

Hello but did he say what grade of oil he was using !

 

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