Wideline Featherbed Rebuild (need help):

Fast Eddie

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Here you go NorLuck, this is a different bike to the one you asked me about prior, but is also a bit of a ‘carbon special’.

This is a Hyde Harrier with a 120 degree R3 motor. These motors are much smoother than Norton twins, and the chassis and components are all by Harris Performance who are very experienced in building race bikes. Nevertheless, the alloy oil and petrol tanks both cracked! I strengthened them and took extreme care with mounting and they were then OK.

Forgive the poor pics (taken pre I phone) as it’s difficult to see, but the seat, fairing, mudguard, are all in carbon, as were many brackets and mounting plates etc (inc under seat electrics and under tank coil mounts) etc.

I shouldn’t really post these pics as it’s only going to encourage you down this path of folly… but I’m a bad man…

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Generally speaking, composite tanks on racers / cafe racers fair better against vibration induced cracks than alloy ones (not so sure about steel).

Carbon fibre is stronger than glass fibre IF made correctly. It is not normally used in order to be stronger though, it’s normally used in order to make parts thinner and therefore lighter whilst still being strong enough for the application. This might sound daft to some, but the weight difference is more than you might think and too much to ignore for OCD racing types!

However, well designed and mounted alloy tanks do work fine.

The fabricator needs to know what he’s doing though, seams need to be in less stressed places, bends need to avoid stress being caused, mounting points need to be strong and also stress free, etc.

Mounting is super critical with alloy. Even the best alloy tank won’t last long on a vibrating bike if mounted badly.

Its not vibration alone that kills, it’s vibration WITH stress, vibration WITH hard touch points. They’ll guarantee a failure.

Actually, carbon seats, mudguards, fly screens, fairings, primary chain covers, etc are quite readily available. BUT not in posh looking ‘exposed weave’. Making parts in exposed weave is far more time consuming as the layers have to placed very carefully to look nice (if making highly stressed parts the weave layering and pattern can be important, but for motorcycle bodywork, it’s only an aesthetic topic). I had to twist arms and cross palms with silver to get parts made like that when I did it. I wouldn’t bother now.

Yes really annoying I cannot convince anyone to make one for me unless I buy a sample and have it recast and made. So by the time I do that, I might as well make one myself which is what I'm going to have to do.

So I'm ordering a seat that I like made from fibreglass. I'm going to make a mould from it and then recast it in visual carbon fibre. Gonna be a pain but eh might as well learn a new skill I'm already in for learning so many new skills.
 
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Here you go NorLuck, this is a different bike to the one you asked me about prior, but is also a bit of a ‘carbon special’.

This is a Hyde Harrier with a 120 degree R3 motor. These motors are much smoother than Norton twins, and the chassis and components are all by Harris Performance who are very experienced in building race bikes. Nevertheless, the alloy oil and petrol tanks both cracked! I strengthened them and took extreme care with mounting and they were then OK.

Forgive the poor pics (taken pre I phone) as it’s difficult to see, but the seat, fairing, mudguard, are all in carbon, as were many brackets and mounting plates etc (inc under seat electrics and under tank coil mounts) etc.

I shouldn’t really post these pics as it’s only going to encourage you down this path of folly… but I’m a bad man…

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Oh wow this looks really good... Are the plates strong enough built just from carbon fibre or are they reinforced? I would assume at that thickness done right they would be strong enough my tripods are all carbon fibre and I can swing from them if I want to and they're far thinner than your plates. But I wonder if your plates are in a spot where the leveraging force of say your foot on the peg would cause issues with just carbon fibre not reinforced?
 
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Ok so does anyone know the approximate volume of oil that's suitable for an oil tank for a dominator or pre-unit triumph engine? Looks like my current dominator tank is say 1.5L max.. But is that necessary? Could I get away with a smaller oil tank? I'm thinking 600ml is about where I'd want to be size wise if I can help it. But would it be cycling too much dirty oil at that volume where I'd have to do changes too regularly? Sorry trying to grasp how this works.
 

Fast Eddie

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Oh wow this looks really good... Are the plates strong enough built just from carbon fibre or are they reinforced? I would assume at that thickness done right they would be strong enough my tripods are all carbon fibre and I can swing from them if I want to and they're far thinner than your plates. But I wonder if your plates are in a spot where the leveraging force of say your foot on the peg would cause issues with just carbon fibre not reinforced?
The strength was fine.
 

Fast Eddie

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Ok so does anyone know the approximate volume of oil that's suitable for an oil tank for a dominator or pre-unit triumph engine? Looks like my current dominator tank is say 1.5L max.. But is that necessary? Could I get away with a smaller oil tank? I'm thinking 600ml is about where I'd want to be size wise if I can help it. But would it be cycling too much dirty oil at that volume where I'd have to do changes too regularly? Sorry trying to grasp how this works.

It is heat you have to think about. One reason for having an oil reservoir is to allow the oil some cooling time, and the ability for freshly returned hot oil to mix with the cooler stuff before being recirculated.

If anything, a composite oil tank is worse for this becasue an alloy tank actually acts like an oil cooler.

You also need space for the oil to froth and settle, otherwise it’ll spill out of the breather pipe and / or filler cap.

Look at the manual, it’ll tell you how much oil it should have and personally I’d stick with it. It’s probably somewhere between 4-6 pints.

The only way I’d consider reducing the oil volume would be via use of an oil cooler. But in order to achieve that, the cooler will most likely have to be of a size that will spoil the looks you‘re aiming for and certainly outweigh any weight saving from the CF oil tank.
 

texasSlick

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Ok so does anyone know the approximate volume of oil that's suitable for an oil tank for a dominator or pre-unit triumph engine? Looks like my current dominator tank is say 1.5L max.. But is that necessary? Could I get away with a smaller oil tank? I'm thinking 600ml is about where I'd want to be size wise if I can help it. But would it be cycling too much dirty oil at that volume where I'd have to do changes too regularly? Sorry trying to grasp how this works.

My Atlas tank, (same as a Dominator) holds 2 liters. I have been told that a typical Norton oil pump delivers 1 liter per minute at 3K rpm. Thus at 3K rpm cruising speed, the residence time of the oil is 2 minutes. This gives the oil some time to cool. FE beat me to the post ...... you will need an oil cooler.

Slick
 
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Also does anyone still make the "upgraded" brass bushings to replace the metalistic whatever bushings from the featherbed swingarms? Paul and I are in talks for the one set he has left, but I need two sets. So figured why not try another type since I know a few ppl made them/sold them at one point.
Removing Metalastiks is a job that annoys people.

Are you doing the conversion for a reason?
 

t ingermanson

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Ok so does anyone know the approximate volume of oil that's suitable for an oil tank for a dominator or pre-unit triumph engine? Looks like my current dominator tank is say 1.5L max.. But is that necessary? Could I get away with a smaller oil tank? I'm thinking 600ml is about where I'd want to be size wise if I can help it. But would it be cycling too much dirty oil at that volume where I'd have to do changes too regularly? Sorry trying to grasp how this works.
@Fast Eddie and @texasSlick are right. The volume of the tanks is imperative for cooling and frothing.

The function of the oil tank is more complex than a reservoir with a couple hoses. There are some somewhat delicate intricacies (return pipe diameter and placement, breather diameter and placement, etc) that allow the oil pump, hence the motor, to function. If one of the variables is wrong you'll be chasing your tail trying to figure it out. Ask me how I know...

If you watch ebay, a fiberglass or alloy tank that's seen better days will come up and you can dissect it to see how it's plumbed, and use that for your mold. Also, instead of paying for a carbon tank, you might think of paying someone to make the mold, and make the tank(s) yourself. The mold is the hard part!

I'm with @Triton Thrasher, the Metalastic bushings are impressively functional for the little rubber turds they appear to be. Brass (brone/oilite,etc) bushings (while used on the race Manx frames) are a sacrificial wear item, that actually do their job of wearing out, and you have to dismantle the entire the back half of the bike, to even check accurately for wear. No biggie on race bikes that get rebuilt at least once a season, or bikes meant for cafe posing, but if you're gonna ride the thing, use the Metalastics. Seems counterintuitive, I know, but the roads are way better in New Zealand than the cafes!
 
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Removing Metalastiks is a job that annoys people.

Are you doing the conversion for a reason?
Powder coated my frame and the bushings swelled a slight bit so they're gone.. Either need to order a new bushing set or get an upgraded set. I seen ppl selling upgrades of brass and some of a special ceramic or plastic or something (memory not good). BUT nobody seems to be selling them in 2021, these were all old 2008/11 posts.
 
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@Fast Eddie and @texasSlick are right. The volume of the tanks is imperative for cooling and frothing.

The function of the oil tank is more complex than a reservoir with a couple hoses. There are some somewhat delicate intricacies (return pipe diameter and placement, breather diameter and placement, etc) that allow the oil pump, hence the motor, to function. If one of the variables is wrong you'll be chasing your tail trying to figure it out. Ask me how I know...

If you watch ebay, a fiberglass or alloy tank that's seen better days will come up and you can dissect it to see how it's plumbed, and use that for your mold. Also, instead of paying for a carbon tank, you might think of paying someone to make the mold, and make the tank(s) yourself. The mold is the hard part!

I'm with @Triton Thrasher, the Metalastic bushings are impressively functional for the little rubber turds they appear to be. Brass (brone/oilite,etc) bushings (while used on the race Manx frames) are a sacrificial wear item, that actually do their job of wearing out, and you have to dismantle the entire the back half of the bike, to even check accurately for wear. No biggie on race bikes that get rebuilt at least once a season, or bikes meant for cafe posing, but if you're gonna ride the thing, use the Metalastics. Seems counterintuitive, I know, but the roads are way better in New Zealand than the cafes!

I'm not fussed over the new style or old style bushing.. I just read that the upgraded bushings are better.

As for the mould, that's not a bad idea but I bet the cost of the mould is going to be more than just buying an alloy tank. And they'll need an alloy tank anyway to make the mould as I doubt any company here is just going to build the part from scratch for me.

Speaking of, anyone have 3D files for any of these parts? I could probably 3D print one and make a mould from the 3D printed part :D
 

grandpaul

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Powder coated my frame and the bushings swelled a slight bit so they're gone.. Either need to order a new bushing set or get an upgraded set. I seen ppl selling upgrades of brass and some of a special ceramic or plastic or something (memory not good). BUT nobody seems to be selling them in 2021, these were all old 2008/11 posts.
I can sell you the extra few bushings I have, and you can have another spindle turned with a plate welded to one end for probably less than $100.
 
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Hi guys,

I'm trying to restore a dominator but with updated looks to suit my desires. It'll consist of a wideline featherbed frame and a dominator engine. Likely a triumph race modified (slick shift) gearbox because I have one and I don't have a Norton gearbox. Originally I was going to try to convert my Reg Luckhurst race engine to petrol from methanol but it's a bit too much trouble so I'll be selling the RL engine and just sticking with a Dominator engine. IF anyone thinks retaining the Triumph gearbox is a bad idea I'd consider getting a Norton box.

I have a few serious build questions (but maybe obvious to most of you) for the frame/bolt ons as I don't want to get myself into trouble since it's a total rebuild from pretty much scratch I have no references and I have no prior experience.

1) Does anyone have torque setting information on everything from wheel bolts to engine bolts?
2) Does anyone have grease information. Do I use grease on my tapered bearings (the old tapered bearings had thick grey grease, my new bearing are NSK brand), do I use grease and or oil on the wheel axels or etc? Where do I put grease and oil basically when building a rolling frame.
3) I get how the engine works and how the oil is pumped in etc but I don't get how the gearbox oil works, does it just fill up and every once in a while you drain it and let it fill up again?
4) I see people using small wires to keep bolts from unscrewing themselves, is this necessary? Does anyone recommend using locktite on certain bolts?
5) Is it better to buy a new seal kit for all the engine/gearbox components or is it fine to use the sealing red gel in those tubes?

I'm sure more questions will pop up as I start reassembling everything but thank you in advance for any help you can provide!

Best,
Adam
Hi Adam, get yourself some books on motorcycle restoration techniques, generic and Norton, you will need some Whitworth spanners and some special tools, maybe enroll on a motor vehicle evening class. Join the local branch of the Norton owners club. Roddy
 
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Got all the tools until I happen upon a speciality tool then I get all frustrated because I have to order and wait for it to come :D

Dos anyone know who does the upholstery for all those Manx seats you see out there? Want to talk with them about something custom and all the typical seat makers are being really cagy about A) doing custom work and B) giving up their source.
 

grandpaul

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Got all the tools until I happen upon a speciality tool then I get all frustrated because I have to order and wait for it to come :D

Dos anyone know who does the upholstery for all those Manx seats you see out there? Want to talk with them about something custom and all the typical seat makers are being really cagy about A) doing custom work and B) giving up their source.
I have seen Manx style seats done in vinyl, Naugahyde, canvas, and leather. There is no "one" source to upholster seats. I have a guy in Laredo, TX that did many seats for me, including the Dreer copy on my green bike, in leather; looks exactly like the blue monoshock bike....
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Same guy has done all sorts of different vinyl including the gold metalflake for the 'Vegas Triumph, and the JPN copy patterned after 8 different JPN seat photos I collected. The dude also upholstered some of my boat seats and engine cover to match the seats that were still in good shape; near perfect. I never asked him about his materials sources, I just drop off the seat pans and any relevant photos, and pick up the finished product in a couple of days.
 
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