RacingNorton Newsletter No.29 : July 2019
2019 So Far. . .
Hi all, hope 2019 is going well so far and you are getting chance to ride or work on your favourite bikes. I can see from Facebook Single Cylinder Norton forum (or just emails directly from customers) that many of you having been working on new projects and I have some very interesting new purchases - good stuff, a bit of retail therapy every now and again is what keeps us all fresh!
The first quarter of the year had been difficult for us, which you may have seen refllected in some of the SOHC Norton Online Catalog updates - much family illness including Steph (my daughter, who does the mail order side), her mother (my wife!) and my mother all being in hospital at one point or another. I am pleased to say things are a bit better now, and more on an even keel.
I also took on a new role last October in my day job (I work in IT for a major UK home furnishings retailer), which has meant a lot of focus going that way, so running the Norton business as well this year has not been without its challenges.
I have only been out on Vincent once this year - a short ride around Leicestershire ending with an ice cream here at Rothley GCR
I have also been out a couple of times with younger daughter Steph (who does all our mail order side) on the back of my Honda. Here she is trying out the bike for size for herself. As I write this Steph has just passed her Part 1 bike test, so will shortly be riding a smaller bike for herself
I hasten to add - she was only sitting on itt here . . . when on it proper with me, I make sure she is wearing jacket and all the kit
Anyway, all that said - we have managed to keep on with the normal process of re-stocks and a few new parts added to the catalog as well. However, because a lot of parts have been selling well - and we normally have to restock in order of funds being available - there are still some items on long term 'out of stock' . . . but most items are being churned around as fast as we can re-make or resupply. Sorry, if you are waiting on anything - but wel do keep the wheels turning, albeit sometimes slowly - so email Steph on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are waiting and need an update - she will pass to me if she does not know herself
See below for an update on most of the main Norton Catalog parts back in stock, newly manufactured or just a progress update - as there are a few parts that have really been a challenge, taking more time than I should really spending on them - but hey ho, these are those parts that previously have proved very popular, so I think they are worth the effort.
What have I been doing in my own Workshop?:
Well, not as much as I would like but that is always the case with most of us!
But since my last Newsltetter update in April 2018 (see Racing Norton Homepage for previous Newsletters), I have had a cross section of bikes and work projects I have been working on. From a CNC machining perspective - which has taken by far the most of my available time, I have spent the last year working on a range of new parts (or parts we previously had made, but are now making in-house). However, of these, the larger projects have been - alloy Bellmouths to fit Amal TT and RN carbs, Norton SOHC engine bolts - and most recently, Norton 'sump' type petrol taps . . . which I dont mind admitting have pretty much tested my CNC machining skills to the limit! - those taps have a lot of operations on them! More on this last item are covered in more detail below.
As far as my own projects - well mainly a mixture of Douglas and Norton. This time last year I was working on cleaning, refurbishing (where necessary) and re-painting chassis parts. I then switched to rebuilding the Douglas 2 3/4hp engine, which is now pretty much complete and put to one side. I also rebuilt both beaded edge wheels - a more difficult task than I expected, but rewarding once complete, a future article on this and the other Douglas tasks will follow
I was then able to move to that stage in a rebuild project we all really enjoy - reasembly. I have got as far as having the main frame member, subframe and rear stand on the build bench and fitting the fork headstock. I am now at a point where I cannot go further until I have made new fork spindles - but I will make a batch of these on the CNC machine. I have bought the metal but need to get the Norton petrol taps completed first, so I can free the CNC up for this.
Norton ProjectsI have also made some progress with Norton projects - but not reserved to just one bike. Because I have been looking at Gargengate Norton plunger parts recently - I have actually been working on three seperate bikes - but mainly tinkering rather than a concerted effort to rebuild.
As far as my 1939 M30 (pre-war Manx) project, which will house our own engine - I am still waiting for my mate to finish remedial work on the frame, which I am promised will be done before year end. I have now finished using the crankcases for engine bolt sizing - so should really get on with finishing put it together, maybe that next. However, in the mean time I have started re-assembly work on the SOHC cambox which is to be fitted to this engine. It is a nice straight genuine and unmolested pre-war Manx Cambox. I had purchased it from Arthur Moore in Australia many years ago with a broken cambox foot - and had managed to repair it. It had been fitted to an original 500 Manx engine, and until I started work to repair it - I dont think had been stripped since the engine had last been used, maybe 1950's?, certainly the inside's were a time capsule - with everything coated in a layer of treacle like Castrol R - lovely!
I did a little bit of work on my 1948-49 Manx 600 chassis a few months ago - completing a lower frame repair which had partly done when the chassis came to me from Australia many years ago. The reason for this unexpected sideline work? Well I was looking for an original set of rear plunger springs which I knew would be unmolested, so that I could get a batch of springs made. This bike chassis came to me with the plungers still fitted and I doubt had been removed since the 1950's/60's. It was certainly a diffcult task to strip them down - they were locked solid, and ultimately needed more than a little help from my Oxy-Acetylene and a copper headed mallet! So while working on the plungers I thought I might as well finish the repair of the tube, as well as straightening a slight twist of the same plunger unit.
And finally, the other Norton project bike which has had a bit of movement in the last couple of months is a DOHC 1950 Gardengate Manx which I am still looking for some missing parts for. As well as an original DOHC frame, I also have original 1950 alloy oil and petrol tank for this build, magnesium conical rear hub and some other interesting parts to fit.
In the last couple of months I have managed to acquire a lovely original 1950 Manx gearbox for it - as well as the opportunity to share a very pleasent evening with the seller. However, although I am intending to fit a postwar 500 Manx engine (currently fitted into my 1938 Big Plunger) into this bike - that engine has a SOHC cambox at present - and I am really looking for an early DOHC type cambox.
DOHC Cambox Stripdown
One of two original and unmolested shortstroke DOHC cambox's I purchased from the 2019 Spring Stafford Bonhams auction. This was the more complete campbox of the two - I suspect it had not be stripped since the 1960's, and as you can see here, everything has been protected by a heavy film of caramalised Castrol R - I may cover its stripdown in a future article.
So in the mean time -- I could not resist a visit to the Spring Stafford Bonhams auction, which had a large collection of interesting Norton and Velo KTT parts for sale - which I gather came from a well know collector, recently deceased. So as normal - I told myself I had no spare cash, but found myself emptying all my piggy banks before the sale! Despite bidding on a couple of other items - it was the item in the photo alongside that really interested - an original DOHC short stroke cambox, which looked like it had sat in a cold damp garage since the 1960's. After the normal determined bidding I came away with this lovely jewel of a cambox and another, slightly less complete. Both had degrees of surface corrosion but were lovely inside - although from the look of things, had not been opened up since the '60's.
Both cambox's have been subsequently stripped - a possible future article, but for the one in the photo, new pusher bearings were required. I made a special tool for safely removing the old bearing - but admit I am no expert on DOHC cambox work, so passed the fitting and machining of new pusher bearings to Andy Molnar - http://www.manx.co.uk/
I will keep looking for an early DOHC cambox, but if not sucessful, I will try to fit one of these later shortstroke types, until one does come available. If anyone has one - I am also looking for an lipped type conical front magnesium hub and SLS type magnesium brake plate. From past experience, I am hoping one will come out of the woodwork at some point in the future!
What's new since last Newsletter?
I hope you will see from the Newsletter that follows - since our last update we have added quite a lot of new parts, many of them specific to Norton single models. I am particularly pleased we have finally got round to manufacturing nice quality Oldham Couplings - in multiple sizes. We have also just had in a new batch of Omega forged International pistons, and this time have also included a methanol/alchohol version. And finally - as you will see below, we have now started manufacturing some valve gear parts for Norton OHV - ES2 and Model 18 models . . . as we are being increasingly asked by customers if we can help with these models.
Lots of new parts and restocks due over the coming months as well - valves are running low on stock so that is the next new batch due for remanufacture.
So thats about it for now, for those in the Northern Hemisphere happy riding now Spring approaches and speak again soon!
Paul and Steph Norman
New Products - Since Our Last Newsletter
Click on any photo to take you directly to the item listing on our Online Catalog:
Norton SOHC Engine Bolts (and Nuts)
Actually, I started manufacturing SOHC Norton engine bolts over a year ago now - and they did appear in our last Newsletter. Since then I have lost track of the number of weekends I have spent machining all the different variations of these bolts. I doubt I have got all of them - and actually I know I still have a couple still left to do, but know that I can now offer the majority of Norton type engine bolts for both aluminium engined International rigid/gardengate framed models - 500 and 350, as well as the competition type M30 and M40 magnesium engined SOHC models (as can be seen from the crankcases in the photo below).
These bolts are all CNC manufactured in stainless steel, using the correct Imperial spanner size hex sizes - with distinctive Norton hex head patterns. Many of the M30/M40 bolts also come with 'Wasted' heads for weight reduction - which also look very nice. I will be the first to admit - they are not cheap, but they are really labour intensive to make, as they are bolts - not spindles with a nut both ends, therefore there is a lot of work to machine them down - and for most this entails machining an extra 'tit' on them initially, so they can be held in a Centre, which then requires machining off afterwards. They also use correct sized threads to originals and have the deeper nuts fitted, required when used on engine bolts, as per the Norton originals
Below are just a few examples, but if you want a more thorough check then visit the new section we have created on our Online Catalog: SOHC Engine Bolts. If you cannot see what you are looking for then just email Steph as normal on: email@example.com and she will pass your query to me
Pick a Crankcase Type!
As you can see here, at one point I had four types of original crankcase types with engine plates offered up, to use as templates. In the top half of the photo are Inter Mod 30 on left and M30 magnesium 500 types. Below are Mod 40 350 Inter on left and M40 magnesium 350 on right
CNC Manufacture of Engine Bolts
Here you can see a length of stainless hex bar having been machined down and with a centre pip on its end, so it can be held in a centre, and the thread having just been cut. The machine is an Emco CNC lathe wirth C drive (meaning 6 of the twelve toolposts in the top right are 'driven' and able to hold milling heads.
Click on link if you would like to see one of these bolts being made as a Youtube video::Youtube Bolt Making
0725: M30/M40 'Wasted' Head Top Crankcase Bolt - M30/M40
This is one of the many variations we now make - this being the long bolt that fits behind and in front of the crankcase on M30/M40 magnesium engines with wasted head. Click on photo to show the full selection of engine bolts we currently offer
0715 E4268: 'Reduced hex' Norton singles Rear Frame Bolt
Distinctive 'reduced head' rear frame plate engine bolt - as used on most Norton singles and twins, through 1930's-50's to bolt rear engine plates to saddle tubes on rigid and and just those originally made for Manx Norton models
0726 13289 : Norton International Front Engine Bolts
As with the other bolts - these 0.5" shaft front engine bolts are machined from solid stainless steel hex as a bolt (with distinctive Norton head shape and correct Whit/imperial spanner size) rather than the normal stud and two nuts - which I think looks much nicer
0714/0667/0669 - 5/16" & 3/8" x 26 tpi and 7/16" x 20 tpi
Reduced Hex Engine Bolt Nuts
To go with the Norton Inter and M30/M40 engine bolts - We are also manufacturing the corresponding engine bolt nuts in the 3 engine bolt sizes. These nuts (like the bolts) are in stainless steel, have the correct imperial threads - but also have a deeper head with reduced hex size than other commercially available nuts of the same thread size - i.e. they are correct for Norton engine bolts (apologies - I think we may already be starting to run out of some of the popular sizes of these, if so I will try and remanufacture shortly)
Norton OHV and SV New Parts
0677 A3/145+6 : Norton OHV Valve Springs - set of 4 springs
High quality (UK manufactured) coil valve springs to fit Norton OHV single cylinder models (ES2 and Model 18) from 1930's - 1950's as well as SOHC Norton Inter and CS1 engines from the early 1930's fitted with coil valve springs
0675 A2/149 - OHV Valve Collets (a pair)
Valve Collets to fit all OHV and SV Norton models - i.e. Norton ES2, Model 18, Model 19, Model 50, Model 55, Norton 16H, Big 4 etc. Collets are high quality CNC machined in-house. Sold as a joined pair (i.e. to fit one valve)
0676 A3/140 : Norton OHV Valve Guides (ES2, Mod 18, 19, 50 etc)
Phospher bronze valve guide to fit Norton OHV engines - ES2, Model 18, Model 19, Model 50 etc. May also fit Exhaust for 1930's CS1 - please check your head and email us if for that model. Price is Each
0678 A3/142 : OHV Inlet/Exhaust Valve by G&S
High quality G&S valves to fit all OHV models (and with vavle guides on the left). These were actually new in last Newsletter, but showing again as they go with the other valvegear shown here
0672 and 0673: Valve Spring Collars for Pre-48 OHV Engines
To go with the other OHV valve gear we now offer, we have also manufactured the bottom and top vavle spring collars - using original items as patterns, and blackened as per originals. Shown here is the pre-48 type, where the top collar has a recessed top collar - may also fit CS1 engines
0672 and 0674: Valve Spring Collars for Post-48 OHV Engines
Similar to the pre-war valve spring collars, the post war version has a top collar with a flat top, putting the collets in a slightly different position.
This type were fitted to all OHV engines from 1948 onwards
0242 A2/30: OHV and Side Valve - Crankshaft Main Ball Bearing
Single row ball bearing. Fitted to all pushrod and sidevalve engines (from 1930's to late 1950's). These are original high quality RHP bearings (plastic sealed), in the correct C3 fit - now extremely difficult to find.
Note: we can also supply a non C3 fit bearing at slightly cheaper cost
0243 A2/32 : OHV and Side Valve - Crankshaft Main Roller Bearing
Single row roller bearing. Fitted to all pushrod and sidevalve engines (from 1930's to late 1950's).. These are original high quality RHP bearings (plastic sealed), in the correct C3 fit - now extremely difficult to find
Side Valve Norton parts now being manufactured!
As I am often being contacted now by side valve owners - last year I decided to acquire a rough pre-war 16H engine for patterns. It is shown here next to my 1936 Manx 350 engine which I had been using as a template for 350 40M engine bolts dimensions.
I still have a soft spot for the16H model - my first ever ride on a Norton was on our own early 1950's 16H - down my parents driveway as a 14 year old kid while they were out! it was only half built at the time and the brake lever was not tight . . . so progress was stopped by riding into the garage door!
OHV 1938-47 Head Fitted with 0696 OHV Valve Guldes
Photo above shows a 38-47 OHV cast iron cylinder head fitted with our phosphor bronze valve guides - I still have a number of OHV engine parts and will probably be manufacturing more in the future if I get time
0802 3709: Magneto Chain to fit 1930's OHV/SV Models
High quality Renolds chain to fit 1930's OHV/SV models - 42 links
- Highest quality inlet or exhaust valve manufactured by G & S Valves - to fit Norton SV (Side Valve) 16H, Big4 and Model 1 engines.
0804 9122 : Sidevalve Valve Springs - Per Pair
UK manufactured coil valve springs to fit 16H, Model 1 and Big 4 Sidevalve engines of the pre-war and WD type. Pattern taken from 1937 sidevalve engine. Price is per pair.
Note: The photo also shows an original 16H valve guide with grease nipple - I will be having these manufactured shortly
Carburettor (TT/RN) and BTH parts - Manufactured or Back In Stock (for now!)
0140a TT/BellS: Amal 10TT/RN Short Bellmouth - Various Sizes
'Short' type bellmouth to fit original Amal 10TT carburettors . High quality CNC machined from an original bellmouth pattern. Available in various internal diameter's - including those to fit both 350 and 500 variation SOHC Nortons
0140b TT/BellM: Amal 10TT/RN Med Bellmouth - Various Sizes
'Medium type bellmouth to fit original Amal 10TT and RN (Remote Needle) carburettors . High quality CNC machined from an original bellmouth pattern (see photo) . Available in various internal diameter's - including those to fit both 350 and 500 variation SOHC Nortons
0140c TT/Bell_L: Amal 10TT/RN Long Bellmouth - Various Sizes
Long type bellmouth to fit original Amal 10TT and RN (Remote Needle) carburettors. Can also be fitted to 10GP1 .carbs High quality CNC machined from an original bellmouth pattern (see photo) . Available in various internal diameter's - including those to fit both 350 and 500 variation SOHC and early DOHC Nortons
0142 TT/119: Amal 10TT/RN Bellmouth Lockring
Lock ring to fit original Amal 10TT, RN and some GP carburettor bellmouths. These alloy lockrings are CNC machined copying an original Amal TT pattern for reference.
0167 185/120+106: Amal RN (Remote Needle) Prayer Book Spring and Cap - sold as pair
This is the distinctive Remote Needle Alloy Cap and 'Prayer Book' spring fitted to Amal RN Remote Needle carburettors - the two components listed as a matching pair. Together, they fit over the Remote Needle part of the main body alloy casting of the main Amal RN body. This listing is for both components - but can now also sell spring seperately
Sorry these not cheap - but have had to have a batch of the special prayer book spring manufactured ourself . .. they are a very hard to find item though!
0156 TT/2980: Amal TT/RN Pilot Needle Inner Spring
coil spring that fits inside the TT Pilot Needle. This helps keep the pilot in tensioin and ensures does not unscrew, particularly if leaf spring lost or tension gone
Note: We also recently made the distinctive pressed steel Pilot needle Outer Spring, which can be found here:
Girder Fork Parrallel Springs - back in stock
0347 and 0347DN: Parrallel Fork Spring sets - St Stl and Dull Nickel
We sell these parrallel spring sets with both stainless steel (still the most popular) and dull nickel fittings - however both had recently gone out of stock. We have now had a new batch of both and all available again.
As originally fitted to pre-war competition International girder forks (but can also be fitted to any Norton fork using check springs).
Kit consists of springs, coarse spiral clevis mounts, clevis's, clevis lock nuts and abutment washers. Clevis's are LH/RH sided, so locknuts can be loosened and spring tension adjusted without removing units from forks
0345: Girder Fork Clevis Pin Set
Spot the difference! Looking similar to photo on the left, here you can see our parallel spring set modelling the correct Norton type clevis pins - which are cross-drilled with greasing points - a good idea and adds nice touch to any restoration. Ours are CNC manufactured in stainless steel, supplied with split pins - back in stock again, as a very popular item
Other New and Re-Stocked Parts Since Last Newsletter
0124 A2/277: Norton Petrol Tank Bolts - Stainless Steel
Back in stock are one of our most popular items - coarse BSW thread petrol tank bolts - as fitted to most Norton models prior to the Featherbed. As well as CNC machined in stainless steel, we also X-drill the heads as per competition versions, so they can be lockwired for extra security against vibration (note: the orgiinal design of these bolts was that the shoulder would stop you overtightening and crushing the rubbers - but that also provided the 'lock' to stop them loosening. Therefore when fitting, make sure they lip is up against the tank, otherwise thread will stretch and they drop out!
Stainless Dished Washer and tank rubbers
We have also re-stocked on the dished stainless washers and lipped/non lipped rubbers (although this was a few months ago, and these starting to go fast again). All in Petrol Tank section
0801 A2/369: Large Lefthand Gearbox Nut
A new item to our catalog we have been asked about a lot - Distinctive large hexagon nut that retains gearbox rear sprocket to the large sleeve gear, using Left Hand thread. Always difficult to find in the Spares box!
Various Stainless Steel Nuts and Washers - Packs of 10
It was actually a few months ago now that we did this - but we had a restock of various BS Cycle nuts and washers - most in packs of 10.
At the time I was also able to obtain a quantity of 'reduced outer diameter' stainless washers (as used for Norton engine bolts). . . but I know we have since sold many of these and am struggling to get further stocks - email us if you see a particular listing showing out of stock - click on photo to show Fasteners section
Norton Transfers - All Back in Stock
Another section that we have recently restocked is our Norton Transfer section - most transfers fitted to Norton models 1920's-1950's available - all though some only have limited stocks remaining
0807 WKM0017: Colour Facsimile of 1953 Catalog and other catalogs coming shortly update
Over the years I have collected a wide collection of original Norton catalogs - both the sales brochures (known as the Roadholder pre-war) and Spare Parts catalogs. They are very useful for the restorer as they give a good indication of correct specification for a given model by year (sales catalog), as well as invaluable to understand individual parts were fitted by Model/part number (Spare Parts Catalogs).
Although we already offer some of the pre-war catalogs and 34 and 48 spare parts catalogs - we still have many still to do, andhoping in months ahead we can back to making progress with these.
Shown here is the 1953 Sales Catalog (unfortunately - despite the cover, it does not list a catalog picture of either the Manx or International model that year - sorry!), but we others also to follow - including 1929 Spare Parts Catalog, 1937 Spare Parts Catalog, 1950 Spare Parts Catalog (with DOHC Gardengate parts shown) and numerous 1950's, sales catalogs.
As a final point - although we try and replicate as close to original as possible - for those '50's catalogs using non-standard paper sizes (like here), we will replicate to the closest std size our printer can manage.
0018: SOHC Main Bearing - Drive Side Ball Bearing Update:
This update really pleases me - because it is the first time we have been able to commision a (small) new batch of the correct 'C3' loose tolerance main bearings from RHP. This is one of our most in demand bearings and we have just had a new batch made for us which we are hoping should keep them in stock for at least the next 18 months - click on the photograph and read the website listing with update - hope we can have similar 'good news stories' with some of the other bearings now going obsolete
SOHC Valves - Inlet/Exhaust and 5/16" (late M30) Back in Stock
Again, I am a bit late on this update - as it actually happened about 2 months ago, and customers already waiting should have been emailed - but we have had a recent re-stock of our range of SOHC valves.
As always, these are provided by top valve manufacturer (and original manufacturer of Norton valves) G&S Valves, and most popular sizes are back available for 350 and 500 models with both 'sized' and 'blank' stems. Blank stems are for those people that have non standard valve lengths, whereby they can cut the valve stem themselves to the size of their original valve. Due to recent requests - we have also re-stocked a couple of the later SOHC 5/16" stem diameter valves - which I understand were sometimes fitted to later SOHC Manx models (but obviously have a longer valve stem than DOHC valves)
Click on photo above to go to our Head and Barrel section where all valves listed - photo shows just a few of the many trays of valves as they look when delivered - it took a couple of weekends just to sort through them!
0732 KD1 028: Waterproof Cloth Ochre/Black HT Lead
Another small but signifcant addition to the catalog - for many years I have been looking for a supplier of the early waterproof cloth HT lead used on motorcycles and particularly competition bikes. We do already sell a period cloth yellow/black HT lead - but the original waterproof variety I think was Cellulose covered - I have picked up old KD1 magnetos, where this lead still fitted - but the protective cover has totally disolved and split and no longer usable.
This HT lead is a spot on copy of that original HT lead - being cloth weave with the correct period ochre/black strip pattern, but also having a shiny/satin protective covering. I shall be using it on all my future period 20's - 40's restorations!. Sold per foot
Update on Other BTH KD1 Parts
Sorry we have been out of stock of many of the smaller BTH KD1 parts in the last 12 months. We did receive a small order of many of the most popular parts in June - so if you have been waiting then it is worth checking in our BTH parts section (click photo above) - although I admit some items have ran out again almost immediately - to customers already waiting
For information - I will shortly be having an extended period of manufacturing many of the most in demand BTH KD1 and other related items on our own CNC machine once it is available from other work. Let me know if anything you particularly want (and open to suggestions on other magnetos)
0383:SOHC SOHC Sump Type Petrol Tap -Red Fibre Washers
The red fibre washers for the distinctive SOHC Sump type petrol taps fitted to Norton Inters and Manxs (see update on tap manufacture below) have an obscure size and we have been out of stock of this item for a few months - however, we now have it back in stock - click on photo for link
0377:SOHC SOHC Sump Type Petrol Tap -Sump Fileter Washers
And similarly - we have just made up a new batch of the copper gauze filters for the same petrol taps - click on photo below
Magneto Labels - All Types Back In Stock
We have been running low on our stock of these excellent quality magneto labels - which come from a specialist manufacturer in Europe. Sorry if you have been waiting, but we have now had a new batch of these arrive - so Steph will contact anyone already waiting - and click on either photo to go to our magneto section to see the full selection, including rivets
Continued Douglas 2 3/4hp Parts
0729/0730: Douglas 2 3/4hp Valve Collar and Retaining Pin - two types
-CNC manufactured Valve collars to fit Douglas 2 3/4hp models, including silver steel pin that feeds through valve.
We have manufactured two types - original type with no slot (Item 0730) and type shown here, which has a milled slot to retain the pin better
0806: Douglas 2 3/4hp Valve Springs - Set of 4
This listing is for a set of 4 valve springs to fit all Douglas 2 3/4hp (350cc) models. Springs are high quality UK manufactured to original pattern and design.
0803: Douglas And Belt Drive Bikes: 12 Gauge Spoke:
Beaded Edge Belt Rim Retaining Bolts
These special little cylinder shaped bolts are used to retain rear wheel Belt Drive rims to the rear wheel of Beaded Edge rims on Edwardian belt drive motorcycles. They are cross drilled to be fed onto 12 Gauge (xx.xxmm) spokes. Having seen another veteran bike restorer using something similar, I decided to make some for my own Douglas belt drive restoration project - and CNC a batch. All parts are in stainless steel and they come as a pack of 10 - enough for most complete rear wheel/belt rim builds.
New 0808: 12 Gauge Black Etched Stainless Steel Spokes For
Beaded Edge and Belt Rims - Special Order
Just to let customers know - if you are rebuilding a Veteran or older motorcycle - I can supply 12 gauge black etched spoke sets from my normal UK manufacturer - to your wheel specifications. Shown in the photo are the spoke sets for my own 1920 Douglas 2 3/4hp rebuild, with original hubs in the centre and the small belt rim retaining spokes in the centre of the picture. Click on photo for more detail
In the top right corner is a 26 x 2.5" Beaded Edge Rim drilled for these spokes - I cannot supply these myself, but they are available from excellent Veteran specialist Bert Pols - whose web site link is below:
0698/0699: Douglas 2 3/4hp Gear Lever Knob and Bolt
Offered in two types of exotic wood - Yew or Wenge, are these rather nice gear knobs, to the original Douglas design. They are CNC manufactured from exotic wood blanks. Also supplied with the original design centre bolt, in stainless steel. This centre bolt also available seperately. Click on photo for more details of how they are manufactured in the listing
0701: Douglas 2 3/4hp Tank Gate Screws (Pair)
CNC machined - and copied from the original design, this item is for a pair of the distinctive barrel screws that hold the bronze gear indicator tank gate to the top frame tube. Helps clean up that area as these are often a bit chewed on original bikes
Douglas 2 3/4hp - Original Type Iron Piston - Piston Rings
Douglas 2 3/4hp crankshaft Assembly Ready for Refitting
In this picture you can see the crankshaft for my Douglas 2 3/4hp, fitted with a nice condition pair of Iron pistons, which originally would have had two 'deep' type piston rings - as per the pitons on the top right. They have now been replaced with 4 slimmer rings per piston - see text below. Click on photo to see engine when reassembled
Old Douglas 2 3/4hp pistons for comparison. Top two are also cast iron pistons - still fitted with original type rings. Pistons below are early aluminium with 3 thinner rings. I am told iron tend to work better if you still have them. Below is a jig I made for lapping new rings to the correct width when used in pairs
Douglas 2 3/4hp Piston Rings for Original Cast Iron Pistons
- Possible Special Order
When I was rebuilding the engine of my current Douglas 2 3/4hp project bike recently, I was looking for pistons available. I had some later alloy Hepworth pistons (new old stock), but without rings, and was told some alloy pistons had been made in recent years - but with mixed results - and that original cast iron pistons were better. The pair in this photograph are the original cast iron type and came with bike when acquired - note the bronze gudgeon pin caps. However, being the orginal Edwardian type pistons - the piston rings were very different to modern looking rings - very deep in the vertical plane, but not very thick. Trying to get any new rings like these is nigh on impossible without making them yourself - and a quote for having some made was prohibitive. .
After much searching around I was able to get some custom piston rings made from a specialist ring company in Holland. As you can see here these rings are now fitted to the pistons - but are 'half depth' and required doubling up, i.e. i have fitted 2 new rings into each ring slot to replace the original deep depth veteran rings. Overall dimensions of these 'doubled up' rings are the same as one original ring - and I made up a special lapping tool to ensure this - lapping the rings so their combined depth is identical to the single originals. Therefore 4 rings per piston were required - 8 rings in total. I havent tried them in action yet, but am confident they should do the job.
This was not a cheap option - the rings were quite expensive, but as I could not find any existing supplier of Douglas 2 3/4hp piston rings - if there is enough future interest I may consider offering them . .. just dont be too surprised if the price is much higher than a mass produced item!s
Odds and Sod's!
0614 : Castrol Valvemaster Plus - Lead Replacement/Octane Booster
Not long after our last Newsletter we ran out of this popular lead replacement product - essential for anyone running historic bikes that are not able to rebuild the cylinder head with Lead Free valve seats. This particular product also boosts the octane of the fuel - which is what differentiates it from many of the other lead substitute products
We got a lot of customers enquiring at that time, as I gather there was a major shortage of this product - not just us. Therefore in the last Newsletter I advertised a similar US product that does the same thing (called Driven), however, I am able to report that we have now had a new stock of this Castrol product as well. I have used both types and both seem to agree with my Vincent and Royal Enfield Constellation road bikes when added to Unleaded pump fuel
STOP/GO Gauges and 2nd User Measuring Equipment Update
Since our last Newsletter we have now listed a large percentage of the second hand engineering measuring gauges I acquired from an aeronautical company when it went into receivership. Have a look at our new Measuring Equipment section (click on either photo), and you will see item listings with multiple items - and individual condition/prices. some are well used, but others look brand new - many still with hot dip grease protection, in both metric and imperial sizes. We also have some digital micrometers in various sizes and conditions - but most well used.
Not shown but we also have a number of obscure Stop/go thread gauges
Work In Progress Update
For all below, if interested and wanting to go on our waiting list - email us on our normal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
0375: Norton SOHC Petrol Tap With Sump - Re-Manufacture
As I mentioned in our last website update - our previous manufacturer of these distinctive SOHC petrol taps had serious illness last year and is now unable to make these again - a real shame as his work was really excellent and these were beautifully made - we have a number of customers waiting for them
Therefore, I decided to take back the stainless Hex bar (in the correct imperial 'across flats' size) I had already purchased for the next batch and write all the programs to manufacture them on our own CNC.
I dont mind admitting it has been more of a challenge than I thought it would be!, simply because of the number of parts and operations needed to make them, and the limited time I have available.
However, they are now gettng closer to completion - and after many tweaks and minor changes - are now pretty much indistinguishable from the last batch. shown is my Inventor drawing for this tap -
0375: Norton Petrol Taps WIP
Shown above are the first few tap bodies after the third of 3 seperate ops to created the distinctive external profile. At this stage we do not bore through the full tap - this final bore being made when taper pin is in place
Below is shown machining same hex on our CNC. Lathe chuck is a Rohm pneumatic chuck with 'soft jaws' - note distance piece behind tap to en sure positioned correctly in chuck and .
Norton SOHC Engines: Vertical Shaft
We are in the process of making a trial batch of SOHC Vertical Shafts, as you can see here.
Initially we have concentrated on the standard International 500cc length shafts - as you can see in this photograph all machining has been completed other than milling the slots for the oldham couplings, which we should have completed in the next 2 months
We do not have a price for the completed shafts yet - and I would prefer to wait until we have them complete and I know the full manufacturing time - but if you are interested and want to reserve one (and we will be asking for a small deposit on these), then email on our normal email address:
Gardengate Plunger Springs
Do you have a Gardengate Plunger Norton, and if so - are your springs getting tired? I have stripped down numerous plunger units over the years and often the springs are badly worn on one side - whcih must detract from the original strength. Therefore I am having a batch of both top and bottom springs made at the moment, about two months away from available
As a pattern I have taken the original springs from the Manx chassis shown here - which I know are original and probably not stripped for 50 years or so
Norton M30 (pre-war and early post war) Gearbox Racing End Covers
I have just had the patterns manufactured for two much in demand items - firstly the distinctive end cover that was fitted to pre-Featherbed racing Norton motorcycles - the M30/M40 and pre-Featherbed Manx models.
As always - an original was used for the patterns and when complete these should be indistinguishable. Expect at least 6 months away with these
Norton M30 (pre-war and early post war) - Alloy Racing Gearlevers
At the same time as making the Norton M30 gearbox end covers, I have also had patterns made for casting aluminium racing gearlevrers.
The pattern for this gearlever is a genuine early M30/Manx gearlever that came with the original Manx gearbox end cover that the patterns on the left were copied from. These were brought back from Australia some years ago, along with a number of other genuine Manx parts - and look untouched for many years. I need to have a spline broach made for these, so they are some away of yet, but am hoping to have them ready for end of this year. Email if you want to reserve one
Norton Featherbed DOHC Model - Early type Racing Seat Covers
I recently acquired a genuine early 1950's DOHC Manx Norton racing seat - which although in tatty original condition, is a wonderful time capsule.
The shape of the cover stitching is original Norton - including red beading, and the same as the one fitted to my own 1955 DOHC Manx Norton.
If I get time, I will shortly do a web page to show the stripdown and sympathetic cleanup of this seat (all the original foam had dissolved inside and the base, although solid, was quite heavily rusted) - However, I am considering having copies of the seat made if I get enough interested.
I have already found a specialist upholsterer to make the covers, but am still trying to get quotes for fabricaing the base.
Email if you are interested - I may ask for a deposit on this item as the manufacture is not likely to be cheap : email@example.com
SOHC Cams - Expected Back In Stock Shortly
We are just having a new batch of SOHC cams made - similar to the Longstroke Manx profile cams shown here, which have been out of stock for some time now. Expecting this profile as well as roadgoing International 500cc and 350cc profiles to be back in stock in next 3 months