More Norman (v long!)

I have spent the last few days working on the late Norman T300 which I bought at the sodbury sort-out.
You may remember that when I got it home it proved to be something of a
bitsa, with 'nearly new' bottom end topped with a pair of well used (and abused) cylinders. There was a broken head stud, the gaskets showed signs of having recieved the attentions of a screwdriver or worse and one side had suffered water ingress. The rings on the 'wet' side were corroded solidly into their grooves and could not be salvaged, even when broken they had to be chipped out 1/2" at a time! But after much scraping out of rock hard corrosion, the ring grooves cleaned up ok. Perhaps foolishly I had assumed I would be able to track down RGR Sparks for spares, but no joy and the project stalled. However, thanks to an early Christmas pressie of some useable second hand rings and head gaskets (thanks Roland) the job was back on.
In deference to some of the rings not having seen this particular bore before, I decided a good de-glaze would be in order. This was accomplished with my patent tool consisting of a length of plastic drain pipe with a wide slot cut in one end, into which is stuffed one of those hard foam rubber sanding blocks. With a bit of work both bores cleaned up well and looked at in the right light one might almost imagine that they had a nice cross hatch honed surface, just right for good ring bedding-in.
Both exhaust valves were stuck but didn't put up much of a fight (watch out for nasty little burrs around the cotter hole which snag just when you think you are winning) and the seats looked reasonable with just a little pitting on the 'wet side' exhaust, so I treated them to a light grind and left it at that.
Checked ring gaps (at bottom of both barrels), no figures available but assuming three thou per inch of bore, original rings were spot on and others a bit on the wide side, though not enough to be a problem. I opted to use one original compression and oil control ring on each piston, filling the rest of the positions with the worn set. I know one it not supposed to swap components around like this, but it would somehow have offended me to have a nearly new set on one pot and worn set on the other, anyway I had deglazed the bores.
Time to start bolting bits back together. New cylinder base gaskets cut from stout writing paper went on with a smear of blue hylomar on the crankcase side and grease on the other (that way they should come off intact next time). Heads went on with more blue hylomar (yes I know it doesn't really do much on a cylinder head, but it makes me feel better with past their best copper-asbestos gaskets). Tightened up the head nuts with some trepidation (Roland had observed how easily the blighters break). One had that nasty 'plasticine' feel about it and I expected the worst, but on investigation it proved to be the washer which was too large and had not seated correctly in its recess - phew:-)
Time to turn it over and the first thing I hear is an asthmatic wheeze of compression escaping past 'wet side' exhaust valve - bugger:-( Off with the head again, valve seat looks ok but never-the-less I grind it again, this time using course paste before the fine. A smear of marking blue proves that it is touching all the way round. Before re-fitting the head I try a suck test on the exhaust stub - leaky as a very leaky thing:-(( However by turning the valve round I arrived at a point where the leak disappears - must be bent. Out with the valve and pop it in the lathe - yes there is a slight wobble of the head but the seating itself looks true. so I put it back together selecting the position where it doesn't leak and hope that it will settle down after a run. I checked the other side and the same effect was apparent, though not to the same extent. Again I selected the position where there was no leak and put it all back together. Oh well, no wheezing now anyway.
Now for the easy bit. The engine did come with a very nice Wico A, but as a single cylinder, anti-clock with no impulse, it's not much use on this engine! So I borrow the mag off my T600, should be a straight swap. Turn slowly until the impulse trips and check which cylinder the rotor arm is pointing at - neither, it's right between the two! Hmm, I didn't expect that. Check the valve timing, not so many degrees BTDC and all that just a visual check that something vaguely resembling 'suck squeeze bang blow' is likely to happen, seems ok so I move the magneto driving wheel round until the points release a slip of paper at the appropriate moment. Checking again with he impulse engaged and this time the rotor arm points squarely at one of the pick ups, connect to plugs appropriately.
Drain sump, clean oil filter (full of mysterious grey sludge) and fill with fresh oil. Will it start? Well not quite first time, but a bit of cranking produced encouraging pops (it was dark by this time so, with no exhaust pipes, the pyrotechnic display was quite impressive) and a few more tweaks here and there had it away. Still not quite right as it won't run off the choke (anyone know what the jet sizes are supposed to be?) but satisfying none the less. Without pipes the lowly T300 sounds like an aero engine and the exhaust flames compound the effect - using the choke you can 'tune' them from yellow to blue to bang and stop!
Sorry for the length of this post, if anyone has actually got this far - but I still find it amazing just how much entertainment and pleasure even a humble little engine can give.
--
NHH




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

<snipped>
Great stuff ! a good read over brekkie :-))
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel http://www.oldengine.org/members/blkstone
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Glad it all worked. Don't know what the grey sludge is but all the ones I've done had it and I've no desire to start the detergent/non-detergent debate again :-). Can't agree about humble though. The mk1 is an exquisitely designed engine and well ahead of its peers in 1925. It runs like a watch unlike the mk2 which as Kim observed is liable to run oddly without a load. I attribute this to the lighter flywheel. First engine I restored. It drove the family sawbench throughout the 60s, always without exhausts, and a frequent source of complaint from the neighbours, and the odd sawdust fire :-) One persistent problem I found was that once the valve stems/guides were a little worn there was a tendency for burnt oil to build up on the exhaust valve stem which gave rise to the eccentricity you mention and ultimately to the valve sticking. I always now whip off the covers and lightly oil the stems before starting. ttfn Roland

SNIP
but
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the write up, Nick, well worth the effort and I bet most of us read it through to the end! Now, while it's out in the open, take some pictures and tidy up the article (little needed there ) for publication, burn it and the photos onto a CD and bang it off to GW. You can easily catch the deadline.
The write up of my Homelite adventures for this NG was subsequently modified a little and sent off to SEM and if you compare it with this NG archive, you'll see why it sounded familiar!
I entirely agree with Roland, they are a very nicely made engine without being over engineered. Thus spurred on, I shall have a close look at my little CV twin now and see how it compares.
BTW, the grey sludge will be emulsified oil, caused by the fact that it doesn't get hot enough. They seriously need rings of cardboard attached to the hub in order to cut down the cooling on cool days at light load.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
- who wishes you and yours all the very best for the New Year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or a good big generator and a fuel tank to match as the military intended....;-)
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Dan Howden" said > Or a good big generator and a fuel tank to match as the military intended....;-)

W-e-l-l, whilst at pains to assure Dan I'm not taking him too seriously, or with umbrage or being over-sensitive etc, it is a point well made and I think needs answering.
One of the reasons I like the T300 is that it doesn't weigh much. I can pick it up and carry it for fifty yards if necessary and certainly it doesn't do my back in lifting it in and out of the car!
Of itself it is a nice little exhibit, eye catching in its Vile Green paintwork, not noisy and yet I can hear it running above the general chuff and puff of a rally site even when some distance away.
When I got it from Roland, it came with a solid aluminium base plate and a dynamo, ex WD and weighing a good deal more than the engine! Assembled with its frame, switch board and a trolley, it would be far too heavy to lift on my own and too long and high to get in the Volvo. Thus encumbered, the engine would stay at home and not get exhibited, only seen in pictures and articles in SEM ;o))
Yes, I do have a trailer, one on the road and another under construction. But I'm still on me own and I'm afraid I lack the dedication to load up a heavy lump one evening, wheel lock it and worry overnight and manoeuvre it onto the car first thing in the morning.
It is not lost on me that at rallies and crank ups there are an increasing number of engines that, like mine, appear out of vans, caravanettes and the back of estate cars when I know perfectly well the owners have other exciting stuff at home that would need trailering.
Gettin' old, see ................
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
- who wishes you and yours all the very best for the New Year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Whilst I agree that the colour is vile, that it is right can be seen by looking at Dan's most recent pics :-) ttfn Roland

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Where can I obtain a can of "Vile green"?. All I can find on the shelves are mundane colours such as Mid Brunswick, Bottle and leaf green. Or is it a secret fomula known only to a few of the Elders of the "inner flywheel" who pass on the secret when they are too old to swing the sacred starting handle ?. Mike.H. (About to take a tablet and lie down in a darkened room )
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

--------------
It's generally available from ex-WD outlets in quantities of not less that 5 gallons...I had a phase of painting engines in a lurid '3 green' which is what it said on the top of the tin!
Regards
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Its actually a genuine BS shade "Grass Green" as used by Greens. ttfn Roland

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:19:57 -0000, "Roland and Celia Craven"

BS381C Shade 218 Grass Green, still in the standard.
Kind regards,
Peter
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk home: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Roland wrote > Its actually a genuine BS shade "Grass Green" as used by Greens.

I wasn't really critting the colour - it was a bit of a shock to start with, but it has grown on me rather.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
- who wishes you and yours all the very best for the New Year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Surely that's mould green :-) ttfn Roland

with,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the
or
pick
do
with
on
the
I'm certainly not criticising those who bring along small portable exhibits as they are a vital part of a show - T300's are popular for that very reason, light and interesting. I have a T300 myself which I take to shows if I'm ever allowed to use the car, particularly for long distance events.
Luckily I'm young (and daft) enough to be able to cart big lumps of iron around - though I am now trying to get stuff onto at least a decent trolley, or in some cases a dedicated trailer.
Cheers
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to
Thanks for that, you have set my mind at rest. I cleaned up the stems, swabbed out the guides with lighter fuel soaked cotton buds and smeared all with Rocol running-in paste before assembly, thorough or what?
--
NHH



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Err, thanks for your kind comments, but I don't really think there is an SEM article in there. Over the last few months I have written (emailed) in on what I consider to be far more important matters than the restoration of yet another rather ordinary engine. Firstly the discovery in New Zealand of another Marconi-Stanley engine, but this time an M4 rather than M5, and a response to a letter from someone who thought that SEM should include hot fog (and thus presumably become an Old Glory clone). Neither have been published so I assume my input is no longer welcomed. I don't know if the Ed. is one to bear a grudge but I did once write to him, after a particularly mangled version of one of my articles had appeared, "People will be far less inclined to contribute If their efforts appear so amateurish in print".
--
NHH



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have written

Nick,
Please dont ever assume that you own just another ordinary engine, how you restored it, repaired it and made it go is of interest to me and others because in that article maybe the one thing that I may have missed or not thought of myself. You bought the engine because it is interesting to you, Kim likes small engines because he is to lazy to move big engines :-)) each to his own, Dan, his words, is stupid enough to drag several tons of scrap iron for miles, not because he wants the public to see them, he just likes to play. :-)) SEM must receive loads of letters and article every month, I send in stuff regularly but if somebody else at the same museum or rally does also then they have to make a decision and occassionally you loose. The only critism I would aim at SEM is that they forget or wont agnolige the fact that you have written or emailed them an article.
Martin P
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sorry, I shouldn't really have written that - I had supped a couple of cold beverages!
I do understand that SEM cannot publish everything we amateur scribblers send in, but I feel it is a shame to miss out on a potentially important story and I would put the new Marconi-Stanley discovery in that category.
Written submissions always used to be acknowledged by post card with a polite little message saying whether the material was likely to be used or not, but emails do regularly go unanswered. Sniping aside, I still would not be without SEM - it is after all the nearest thing we have to an official organ for historical research into engines and the companies that made them.
--
NHH

"Campingstoveman" wrote (snip):-
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

(Snip) Hi Nick, I have been collecting for about 25 years & remember the golden years when David Edgington started & ran the magazine. I have most of the early copies but stopped a couple of years after the take over. I don't find it worthwhile to subscibe these days. -- Dave Croft Warrington England http://www.oldengine.org/members/croft/homepage / http://community.webshots.com/user/crftdv British Map http://pub32.bravenet.com/guestmap/view.php?usernum &92147218 World Map http://pub13.bravenet.com/guestmap/view.php?usernum 64374771
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.