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I have two good pics of the bike, one in 1965 when Bob Wier the original owner raced it and one from 1974 when Edward Bilton Smith owned it. Some time in the 11 years the oil in the fuel tank was added. After taking a good look trying to figure why the tank was so heavy at first I started to think it was a glass reproduction, Tapping it all over it sounded dull and thick but the sound lightened up as I went up the sides and parts of the top sounded metallic, also there were cracks along the perimeter of the tank on the bottom. On the longest crack 3" I used a small scraper to open it up and what looks to be bondo or some kind of filler started to separate, some of the filler is semi-soft and some is hard. Using a heat gun I start to remove it to see what's going on, the tank has been opened up so far in two places and then sealed with some kind of white sealer. So now I'm going to finish stripping the bottom then figure what the next move is. I'm seriously thinking about removing the oil filler cap, oil/fuel divider and oil vent and putting it back to the way it was (the divider is glassed in by pouring resin in the tank and rotating it). I did not want to go this far but the work done is horrible and the tank is really heavy View attachment 94065
That tank is a hacked around early Manx tank. These tanks with the narrow V (albert modified) at the front of the tank was fitted to pre 56 Manx Nortons without oil in the left down for primary chain lubrication. The later frames needed a wider V to avoid the oil filling point.

Its probably worth reinstating the rear section as was, if you can find someone over there to do it correctly. Or send it this way and I can have it sorted for you. Or leave well alone and have a new tank made and put the original tank in the heritage box.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
That tank is a hacked around early Manx tank. These tanks with the narrow V (albert modified) at the front of the tank was fitted to pre 56 Manx Nortons without oil in the left down for primary chain lubrication. The later frames needed a wider V to avoid the oil filling point.

Its probably worth reinstating the rear section as was, if you can find someone over there to do it correctly. Or send it this way and I can have it sorted for you. Or leave well alone and have a new tank made and put the original tank in the heritage box.
Ok I'm going to strip and clean it up, post the pics then make the call to send it to you. Should I just mortgage my home and send you the engine too
 

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Spot on kiddo!

We went for years where car crashes resulting in fiery explosions pretty much ceased after the curing of the Pinto's problems.......

now, it seems like every day in the news I am seeing crashes that result in huge explosions and charred to a crisp car remains

has anyone else noticed this?

I wonder if 20,000 psi direct injection becoming more common contributes to this, if so, I advise not using direct injection on the OP's norton
 

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just dont put gas tank or any kind of tank or fuel in the desciption box of the customs form
i use a generic phrase for everything going overseas well over a thousand package maybe a dozen gas tanks
"used motorbike part"that is all you need
usps/fedex is nmot too enthused about putting gas tanks in jet airplane
on another noter but funny i sold a cant remember what it was but it was mc part
sent me a message
please do not put motorcycle parts on the customs forms !
in france we have to many thieves working for the mail
i cheerfully agreed and informed frenchy that the customs desctription would be "used toilet parts"
thing is when a package gets "lost"
its a lie a covberup,. the shit got stolen ,nothing is lost
 

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The Domi engine is very simple, typical fitting practices and parts replacement as required. I am sure you can find someone to help with the motor if needed.

The tank is a different matter. Who ever sorts it out needs to know what is should be like. The baffle for example stretch front to back and acts like an internal spine - many tanks straddle a spine of the frame and the tunnel in the tank provide rigidity front to back. The featherbed doesn’t have a spine so the long manx tank is given as set of strong internal baffles therefore.
 

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The Domi engine is very simple, typical fitting practices and parts replacement as required. I am sure you can find someone to help with the motor if needed.

The tank is a different matter. Who ever sorts it out needs to know what is should be like. The baffle for example stretch front to back and acts like an internal spine - many tanks straddle a spine of the frame and the tunnel in the tank provide rigidity front to back. The featherbed doesn’t have a spine so the long manx tank is given as set of strong internal baffles therefore.
I'd line both sections of the vessel with Seal Pak, I believe the self-healing bullet resistant stuff can be had.

Not cheap or easy to fool with, but, you can't argue with results that will outlast the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
The Domi engine is very simple, typical fitting practices and parts replacement as required. I am sure you can find someone to help with the motor if needed.

The tank is a different matter. Who ever sorts it out needs to know what is should be like. The baffle for example stretch front to back and acts like an internal spine - many tanks straddle a spine of the frame and the tunnel in the tank provide rigidity front to back. The featherbed doesn’t have a spine so the long manx tank is given as set of strong internal baffles therefore.
Steve I will put as much time and money into the bike that is needed, This one will never be for sale it has already been claimed by my oldest daughter when I go tits up, but I cannot even think about touching the motor until after Bonneville, I can start sourcing parts. I want the bike done right, it deserves to be treated right after all these years. I can register it as historical and forgo the lights so it will stay in racing trim. You had mentioned a standard springs and valves, P3 cam? and a bolt kit and balancing the crank, Should I wait until the motor is apart and inspected before ordering parts?
 

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Steve I will put as much time and money into the bike that is needed, This one will never be for sale it has already been claimed by my oldest daughter when I go tits up, but I cannot even think about touching the motor until after Bonneville, I can start sourcing parts. I want the bike done right, it deserves to be treated right after all these years. I can register it as historical and forgo the lights so it will stay in racing trim. You had mentioned a standard springs and valves, P3 cam? and a bolt kit and balancing the crank, Should I wait until the motor is apart and inspected before ordering parts?
Ref the motor, it just depends what's inside. If all close to standard I would just re-use everything possible and leave the tune alone. Sometimes the condition of these engines surprises me, I expect the worst but they are often excellent inside. I just depends upon what's been done. A standard but well put together 650ss engine will pull a comfortable 120 but with a head skim, cleaned up ports, lowered base circle cam and 30mm carbs then 130mph easily achievable and it'll get there quickly to. More than a match for a good original Manx.


Strip it 1st ask questions after. Apart from the usual things, check for loose rocker shafts, worn follower guide tunnels, excessive cam end float and position as sometimes the cam isn't central on the followers (I always correct this). As with most engines attention to the head paramount, make sure the valve heights are the same and the springs are shimmed to correct fitted length. Just be mindful of you intended use, easy road or fast track or race. This will determine how much you spend eg if road or fast track then standard valve springs. Race = race springs etc etc.....

Reference the crank I always strip and clean out and reassemble with a new bolt kit from Steve Maney and once I know where I am heading with pistons and rods I will rebalance the crank. But its not always necessary to do, if you are staying close to standard. You can drill out a web for a small plug so you can clean the crank sludge trap in future without stripping the crank. And use correct bearing with the correct running clearances.

As I said they are an easy motor to work on.
 

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'lowered base circle cam'............. sounds much like a potential DIY regrinding done by hand with a bench grinder which I've seen a few here and there done mostly on HD's, none are ever accurate and if one wants new profiles for increased duration/lift, why not take advantage of modern cam dynamics and have new lobes cut that might even return more energy on closing than they consume when opening?

they don't grind cam profiles and lobes like they used to, now it's done much better, works at higher rpm and even with pencil lead stemmed super lightweight valves

kinda like modern piston rings having thicknesses in the range of selective shim washers
 

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It all depends upon what’s inside the engine. As the idea is to keep the bike close to original I would try to keep the engine as it is unless Stuff is worn out.

Base circle work isn’t usually bench grinder quality but pro done or rather it is if I get it done. True there are many better cam forms around for the Dominator, the PW3 for example but again considering originality why not use what’s in the engine if it’s serviceable.

Pistons on the other hand can be difficult as some replica are really not very good at all (Italian) with a growth pattern when hot similar to John Merricks head. I hunt for original Hepworth pistons and usually get what I need.

With this thread can we remember the owner wants original / preservation and not modernisation.

Last point regarding tank liners, some of the products out there for lining tanks are superb but some are are a one way trip - You put the crap in and it’s never coming out without wrecking the tank. Alloy tanks should be repaired in my opinion but there does come a time when embrittlement and fatigue just make repair too difficult, as fast as you weld the tank cracks as you end up chasing. Sometimes new is the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
It all depends upon what’s inside the engine. As the idea is to keep the bike close to original I would try to keep the engine as it is unless Stuff is worn out.

Pistons on the other hand can be difficult as some replica are really not very good at all (Italian) with a growth pattern when hot similar to John Merricks head. I hunt for original Hepworth pistons and usually get what I need.

With this thread can we remember the owner wants original / preservation and not modernization.
Steve, you are correct my preference is to keep the bike as close as possible as it was in racing trim. I'm really not interested in riding it on the street. I do however want to bring it to the track where it belongs. It does not need to have every once of HP wrung out of her. I'm hoping for the best when I open her up. I may have some time soon. The Hayabusa will be ready to start today or tomorrow, then the engine builder and tuner will start it and run it through the heat cycles then off to the dyno. That may give me a little time to look at the top end. When I get it back I need to jump on the bodywork. I have thirty days left before I leave for the salt flats.
 

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I can think of no reason why getting an appropriate replacement piston blank for anything running flat tops would ever be a problem, with domes and special crown configurations taking a bit more doing.

The seal pak stuff used in aviation fuel and oil vessels will outlast the metal or fiberglass and actually hold it together no matter if it rusts through or simply fatigues.

However, removal certainly isn't as simple as letting it soak in acetone, like makes kreem etc go away quickly.
 

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Jalsteve, any special tools needed for the Norton engine?

No not really.

Removing the rocker spindles requires a puller which screws into the spindle but you can easily make this. You'll figure out what it needs to look like. Most Brit bikes were meant to be looked after by the home mechanic so no special tools, just imperial spanners but you may find over the years the bike has acquired a mix of Whitworth and AF headed bolts.

Removing the valve collets can be tricky (after the rockers are removed) as the spring and retainer are shrouded by the head casting. I never use the typical valve spring compressor which are usually designed for cars I use an old fashioned G clamps with the floating foot welded up (got 6 or 7 in different sizes) and a load of home made sleeve adapters for different engines, usually made from pipe with a 100deg section cut away to access to collects. Again you'll figure it out.

You can still find original Norton service tools, eBay etc but often I just make my own, it quicker.
 

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I can think of no reason why getting an appropriate replacement piston blank for anything running flat tops would ever be a problem, with domes and special crown configurations taking a bit more doing.

The seal pak stuff used in aviation fuel and oil vessels will outlast the metal or fiberglass and actually hold it together no matter if it rusts through or simply fatigues.

However, removal certainly isn't as simple as letting it soak in acetone, like makes kreem etc go away quickly.
The problem with pistons is that the style of piston is no longer common. Deep skirt, full round, largish measurement from pin to top ring and crown so many piston blanks of the correct diameter aren't useable, they are usually too short.

Italian made GPM are OK for a gentle plodder but not in a performance engine, have had some terrible experiences with these. As I said try to seek out original Hepworth stuff its still out there waiting to be found. Many old engine that come my way are generally quite good inside even those that have not been used in 50 years! Often the cylinders just need a hone, new rings fitted to the old piston. In the 80's when the classic movement sort of kicked off, many would strip an engine, demand new valves, guides, rebore and pistons like wise big ends..... I believe move metal was removed from engines by over zealous home mechanics than was ever worn out on the road. Today I only rebore / regrind if its needed as most of these old bike only do 500mls a year and with 15000 miles left inside the motor that's 30 years of life. Lets face it parts are difficult enough for some bikes, in 30 years they are going to near impossible to find.

You can still get Omega to make pistons in medium sized batches though to pattern or design. I have never had an omega piston fail.
 

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The problem with pistons is that the style of piston is no longer common. Deep skirt, full round, largish measurement from pin to top ring and crown so many piston blanks of the correct diameter aren't useable, they are usually too short.

Italian made GPM are OK for a gentle plodder but not in a performance engine, have had some terrible experiences with these. As I said try to seek out original Hepworth stuff its still out there waiting to be found. Many old engine that come my way are generally quite good inside even those that have not been used in 50 years! Often the cylinders just need a hone, new rings fitted to the old piston. In the 80's when the classic movement sort of kicked off, many would strip an engine, demand new valves, guides, rebore and pistons like wise big ends..... I believe move metal was removed from engines by over zealous home mechanics than was ever worn out on the road. Today I only rebore / regrind if its needed as most of these old bike only do 500mls a year and with 15000 miles left inside the motor that's 30 years of life. Lets face it parts are difficult enough for some bikes, in 30 years they are going to near impossible to find.

You can still get Omega to make pistons in medium sized batches though to pattern or design. I have never had an omega piston fail.

my inclination, being on the other side of the pond, would be to dial up the shop foreman at KB-silvolite and request a couple of appropriate supereutechtic slugs with sufficient meat where needed to finish. pistons that will reliably run 0.0005" skirt clearance are very gentle on the bores and will run much thinner rings without flutter or other sealing issues

it may not be 'ol skool' traditional, but, nothing wrong with taking full advantage of modern tech and processes especially when nobody will ever know, except to wonder why yours makes so much more power, and sounds uncommonly not like a loose wheat threshing machine

horses for courses etc
 

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Has anyone seen Witworth?

Is that all ya got?

Here's a clue, some will appreciate the open sharing of info all easily verifiable including the "in" at KB who is easy enough to find.

Meanwhile, best of luck burdening your con rods slinging obese forged slugs for normally aspirated and non-top fuel applications.

I can pick one of those machines off by ear, and from many paces just hearing it start cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
Is that all ya got?

Here's a clue, some will appreciate the open sharing of info all easily verifiable including the "in" at KB who is easy enough to find.

Meanwhile, best of luck burdening your con rods slinging obese forged slugs for normally aspirated and non-top fuel applications.

I can pick one of those machines off by ear, and from many paces just hearing it start cold.
Danger, is my business."
WTF are you all butt hurt about.

Steve, I'll be needing an oil tank, any chance you have seen one of these, supposedly made in England. I don't want to buy a copy, I can make my own copy if I need to but I don't want new or repops s-l500.jpg s-l500 (1).jpg
 

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WTF are you all butt hurt about.

Steve, I'll be needing an oil tank, any chance you have seen one of these, supposedly made in England. I don't want to buy a copy, I can make my own copy if I need to but I don't want new or repops View attachment 94089 View attachment 94091
I don't get it, are you suggesting that was gas welded by an 'old skool' artisan many years ago?

It does appear to be nicely tig welded to me and really should be a simple fab project.

What does "WTF" and "butthurt" mean in plain English?
 
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