Norton Commando 1969 timing issues

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A big V8 will do similar when timing is 180 degrees out. Difference is it's really obvious and loud backfire.

I think I'm having a brain fart. Can a Norton wasted spark ignition be 180 out? Ya know like a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry I went off the rails.

Have you taken the valve covers off and checked where the valves are when you are at what you think is TDC compression stroke. You can do it through the spark plug holes too, but with the valve covers off, you'll know for sure what is happening.

In my limited experience when the Boyer ignition is set up statically according to the instructions, it's usually fairly close, and the motor should start.

I don't want to sound like a smart guy, cuz I'm not, but are the carburetors synced up and using the right jetting, needle, slide, and so on?

Kommando has a good point. If the battery is showing 11.7V with the key Off, the battery is probably too low for a Boyer MkIII with the key On. Did the bike have the Boyer on it before the rebuild?
Yes I checked the valve opening through the spark plug hole and it's all timed accordingly. The boyer came with the bike as well as a pazon powerbox if I recalled right. I connected the power box directly to the battery just like in my triumph.
The carbs are all in spec plus I placed a new stay up kit with the new needle valves (Viton tip)
I checked the spark again. Placed both spark plugs against the bolts of the engine head and was expecting more spark. I can only get a consistent spark when I kick the engine really hard and it rotates higher with the spark plugs off. Could it be caused by lack of voltage from the battery? or maybe the boyer is malfunctioning?
Cheers
 

DogT

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Charge it and leave the charger on it while starting. Or get some starting cables and attach it to your car/truck. Are your grounds good? That's another issue.
 
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A big V8 will do similar when timing is 180 degrees out. Difference is it's really obvious and loud backfire.

I think I'm having a brain fart. Can a Norton wasted spark ignition be 180 out? Ya know like a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry I went off the rails.

Have you taken the valve covers off and checked where the valves are when you are at what you think is TDC compression stroke. You can do it through the spark plug holes too, but with the valve covers off, you'll know for sure what is happening.

In my limited experience when the Boyer ignition is set up statically according to the instructions, it's usually fairly close, and the motor should start.

I don't want to sound like a smart guy, cuz I'm not, but are the carburetors synced up and using the right jetting, needle, slide, and so on?

Kommando has a good point. If the battery is showing 11.7V with the key Off, the battery is probably too low for a Boyer MkIII with the key On. Did the bike have the Boyer on it before the rebuild?
Yes it came with the Boyer allready plus a power box from Pazon if I recall right. I connected the power box to the stator and to the battery like in my t140. The carbs are all in spec, the only upgrade I made was the stay up kit with the viton tip needle valve.
I checked the valves through the spark plug hole and everything seems to be timed perfectly.
I checked again the spark plugs. Removed them and while placing them against the engine head bolts kicked the engine. I must admit I could only see a spark when the engine was kicked vigorously. Should it spark each cycle like it suppose to? could it be from low battery then and the stator only starts producing enough power when it reaches a certain rotation?
Thanks
 

L.A.B.

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yes yesterday when I started it was on the wrong timming hole (clockwise) and it was kicking back :)

That's the Boyer stator plate (and Boyer rotor) not the alternator rotor which I meant.

If it was kicking back (so some sign of life) with the Boyer rotor set to the wrong timing hole but no sign of life with it set to the correct hole then the timing seems to be wrong somewhere.
 
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Charge it and leave the charger on it while starting. Or get some starting cables and attach it to your car/truck. Are your grounds good? That's another issue.
I put it to charge already. It's grounded on the engine and frame (positive). I was scared of connecting to the charger with the battery onboard. I don't wanna risk frying anything o_O
 
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That's the Boyer stator plate (and Boyer rotor) not the alternator rotor which I meant.

If it was kicking back (so some sign of life) with the Boyer rotor set to the wrong timing hole but no sign of life with it set to the correct hole then the timing seems to be wrong somewhere.
Yes I believe it is the timing. Regarding the alternator rotor I didn't disassemble it but it only goes in one way right? it usually has one of those metal wedges which I can't recall the name. I apologize I am not a native speaker and sometimes confuse the terms
 

L.A.B.

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Regarding the alternator rotor I didn't disassemble it but it only goes in one way right?

Yes, but later rotors have two timing marks (scribed line on each raised pad) 180 degrees apart...
CIMG0391-5.jpg

...your rotor might not have two if it's an original '69.

As I mentioned before, if the timing is set using the wrong alternator timing mark then the sparks will be 180 degrees out, however, according to your description, it sounded like you had used the correct timing mark.



it usually has one of those metal wedges which I can't recall the name.

Woodruff key.
 
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A big V8 will do similar when timing is 180 degrees out. Difference is it's really obvious and loud backfire.

I think I'm having a brain fart. Can a Norton wasted spark ignition be 180 out? Ya know like a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry I went off the rails.

Have you taken the valve covers off and checked where the valves are when you are at what you think is TDC compression stroke. You can do it through the spark plug holes too, but with the valve covers off, you'll know for sure what is happening.

In my limited experience when the Boyer ignition is set up statically according to the instructions, it's usually fairly close, and the motor should start.

I don't want to sound like a smart guy, cuz I'm not, but are the carburetors synced up and using the right jetting, needle, slide, and so on?

Kommando has a good point. If the battery is showing 11.7V with the key Off, the battery is probably too low for a Boyer MkIII with the key On. Did the bike have the Boyer on it before the rebuild?

Yes, but later rotors have two timing marks (scribed line on each raised pad) 180 degrees apart...
CIMG0391-5.jpg

...your rotor might not have two if it's an original '69.

As I mentioned before, if the timing is set using the wrong alternator timing mark then the sparks will be 180 degrees out, however, according to your description, it sounded like you had used the correct timing mark.





Woodruff key.
Yes it's seems to be the later one with two marks 180 degrees apart. I checked the compression stroke through the spark plug hole to make sure it's right. I get to TDC right after the intake valve closes and the piston is at the highest compression point. Then I go to the timing hole on the primary cover and with the 4th gear rotate the wheel backwards until I reach the 31 degrees mark.
I charged the battery a bit and tested again with 12.5 volts. Again it backfired and I get smoke out of the carbs through the air filter. Should I try and advance it further past the 31 degrees or go below the 28?
Cheers
 

illf8ed

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It’s possible you are flooding the engine. Quick check for this if it doesn’t start in a few kicks....open the throttle wide open. It should start in one or two kicks. If not at least that’s eliminated.
 

Carl H

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Yes it's seems to be the later one with two marks 180 degrees apart. I checked the compression stroke through the spark plug hole to make sure it's right. I get to TDC right after the intake valve closes and the piston is at the highest compression point. Then I go to the timing hole on the primary cover and with the 4th gear rotate the wheel backwards until I reach the 31 degrees mark.
I charged the battery a bit and tested again with 12.5 volts. Again it backfired and I get smoke out of the carbs through the air filter. Should I try and advance it further past the 31 degrees or go below the 28?
Cheers
Most times even though I carefully set the static timing, I have to retard the Boyer quite a bit. When you do get it running , strobe time it to 31 degrees at 5,000 rpms. Carl H
 

DogT

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Coils? You should be getting a good blue spark even with them out. The 69/70 used 6V coils in series as I remember. Different ignition system than the later ones. But with a Boyer, I don't know. I've had bad coils and they make a weak spark. Shooting in the dark here.
 
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Coils? You should be getting a good blue spark even with them out. The 69/70 used 6V coils in series as I remember. Different ignition system than the later ones. But with a Boyer, I don't know. I've had bad coils and they make a weak spark. Shooting in the dark here.
thanks. The coils are 6 volts in series. ignition black to coil negative then positive to negative and ignition red to positive. They are not wassel but the good German ones. It seems that who ever had the bike the before saved no expenses :)
 
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Most times even though I carefully set the static timing, I have to retard the Boyer quite a bit. When you do get it running , strobe time it to 31 degrees at 5,000 rpms. Carl H
I don´t have the strobe light yet. I tried to retarding to 26 and still the same or perhaps even more intense backfire. I hope I am getting the advance and retarding concept right?
 

DogT

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Yeah, I got some of those German coils and they were good. I got some from MAP in Florida and one broke internally. I fixed it but wouldn't trust it. If you have a Pazon, try it.
 
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It’s possible you are flooding the engine. Quick check for this if it doesn’t start in a few kicks....open the throttle wide open. It should start in one or two kicks. If not at least that’s eliminated.
tried that just now with no success :(
 
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Yeah, I got some of those German coils and they were good. I got some from MAP in Florida and one broke internally. I fixed it but wouldn't trust it. If you have a Pazon, try it.
I am running out of ideas. Just delayed the ignition to 26 and to 20 degrees to give it a shot. Did more or less the same. Perhaps a bit more smoke inside the cylinders and air filter on 26 but still backfired.
I am dying to hear those S type pipes for the first time...
 
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Use alternator timing marks OPPOSITE the crankshaft key put some marker paint on that pad
If you are sure the timing mark is at 26-28 degrees BTDC Then with the pick up plate set middle of adjustment, then put magnet white dot in CW hole above pickup, make white dot on the CW edge of the Cw hole.
plug gap .020 for testing make sure clean and dry
this is retarded a bit and should start easily from an ignition stand point, if engine is mechanically good and carbs are OK.
If it does not start then I would suspect the pickup wires are reversed which retards the the timing 20-30 degrees and it will never run.
but might make it bang/backfire on intake valve just opening ?
then swap the pick up wires
4 kicks each max and it should run. if not, do a compression check 120 psi minimum
 
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