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gunner Offline OP
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I'm about to restart the assembly of my 1972 Combat Commando and wondered about the kind of engine assembly paste required for the rebuild?

I'm told by the engineers that assembly paste is especially important on the cams and followers and possibly other parts as well, so I'm looking for a recommendation that works.

I've had the following work done on the engine which was initiated as the oil pressure was too low. The cause seemed to be that the big ends were worn and losing pressure also that the rocker spindles were misaligned and the oil holes were dumping oil

I'm now looking for a recommendation on the best assembly paste to use, I have seen Liqui moly, Lucas and others used before but don't really know which is best for a Norton Commando.

I've had the following work done to rectify worn parts and hopefully restore pressure.
- rebored cylinders with +20 pistons
- crank ground -030 undersize, new big end shells to suit, and NOS conrod bolts and nuts
- new Newman 2S camshaft and reground followers by Newman
- conrods will lightly be polished
- Main bearings will be changed with new items as well as cam chain
- oil pump is new

- I also have an MK3 timing cover which I'm planning on using to help stop wet sumping etc.

I'm also conscious of running in the pistons, what's the latest advice on this, i.e a bit of oil, fully coated with oil or dry?

All info welcome

Last edited by gunner; 09/27/21 10:42 am.

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I'm not sure that you aren't overthinking it ?

The factory just tipped some oil down the exhaust rocker area to make sure the cam was oiled
and there was a 1/2+ cup of oil in the sump, and went from there. ??

I've taken the plugs out and turned the engine over on the kickstart a few times to make sure the oil pump was primed,
and just gone from there.

If you were really obsessive you could do this until oil came out the rocker feed pipes !
Hopethishelps.

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Are you thinking of this

http://www.graphogen.co.uk/index.asp?pageid=644920

I use Amsoil Engine Assembly oil and Graphogen on all plain bearing surfaces, cams etc

Ian
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Colloidal graphite has been around for donkeys years.
It was offered/advertised as an engine oil additive before there were such things.

Its actually not much different to having lots of soot in the oil !!!
If it has many/any advantages, it would have been in the oil in the first place ?

If the engine has an oil filter, it will likely block it up.
It can also settle out in oilways, and possibly block them up.

As you can see, I'm not a big fan of adding stuff you don't need into the oil ...
I have used it in assorted Norton gearboxes though, where it can't do any harm.
And possibly gives longer gear life. Possibly.

As the old saying goes, any oil is better than no oil.
And changing oil before its all gone is a very good practice ..

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Callodial graphite, blimey i haven't heard of that for years, my old man used to swear by it.
Apparently he was introduced to it when rebuilding Bentley engines in the 30's. It was standard
practice to use it on them.
I used to stick some in the gearbox until the bag of it i 'inherited' ran out.
Stuff like Molyslip was also popular years ago, that contained it. Now PTFE seems to be the
addative of choice.

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I've used all of those in the gearbox - one at a time. !
They don't seem to do any harm.
If all the oil disappeared out of your box, they may even do some good.
Regular maintenance is a better bet though !

Graphite (dry) works very well at lubing keys in locks....

You have to be wary of anything that could block up the oil filter though. ?
Most engines back 'then' didn't have an oil filter ...

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Hi Gunner; the guys in USA call this: "assembly lube" In most parts there is no any assembly lube so we use that kind of paste. I use Liqui Molly LM48 montage paste.

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Originally Posted by gunner
I'm now looking for a recommendation on the best assembly paste to use, I have seen Liqui moly, Lucas and others used before but don't really know which is best for a Norton Commando.

What is "best" will be whatever someone uses so there are likely to be several 'bests'.

I use Graphogen. As it is a paste that's applied sparingly to bearing surfaces it won't block the oil filter (as it isn't added to the oil by the bucketload!). You'd probably want to change oil and filter not too long after a rebuild anyway.

Edit: That is, assuming your "1972 Combat" has the spin-on cartridge filter introduced mid-year but often fitted to those that didn't have it as standard?

Last edited by L.A.B.; 09/27/21 9:01 am.
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Thanks LAB, I think I will probably use the Graphogen as it seems to offer the best protection.

I do have a spin on filter fitted so that will get changed within the first few hundred miles.

Previously on rebuilds I've simply used engine oil to lubricate everything first, but this time I though I would use assembly compound to make sure there is no wear on startup.


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Originally Posted by gunner
Thanks LAB, I think I will probably use the Graphogen as it seems to offer the best protection.

Also good for lubricating cable barrel nipples and trunnions, lever pivots, Commando exhaust lockring threads...etc...etc.

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I have a litre of millers competition assembly oil, the stuff is like treacle. It gets a smeer on most surfaces, more importantly those which will not have contact with oil immediately on startup, it then only washes away with fresh flow of oil. So big ends, main journals if using a bush, cams and followers. It’s never given me any issues.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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Originally Posted by gunner
to make sure there is no wear on startup.

When you think about it, after standing for a while, a lot of parts are relatively 'dry' on startup - every time you start it.
With perhaps a thin trace of engine oil on them, you'd hope....

Wonderful stuff, that engine oil.

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Absolutely.
Tip it in - the more pints, the better. !!

I seem to recall that STP was popular at one time too.
And we haven't even mentioned synthetic oil yet ....

And as every taxi and truck driver will tell you, "if it never cools down it will never wear out".

At which point you think that that engine oil is pretty good stuff.

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For what it's worth, these are the two assembly lubes I use:

https://goodson.com/collections/assembly-lubes/products/cam-shield-premium-assembly-lube
https://goodson.com/collections/assembly-lubes/products/sal-11-spray-assembly-lube

I use the first one on cams, tappets and lifters, and the second one on everything else.

I wrote "for what it's worth," because I have no way of knowing if these assembly lubes are better than nothing, or possibly worse than nothing. All I'm going on is they are stocked for the purpose by a reputable specialist company.

As for oil, my thoughts on that are not to oil the walls, leaving them dry to aid quick bedding of the rings. Also, use the worst oil you can find for the same reason. But change the oil after a few hundred miles after the rings are seated.

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My late mechanic friend put me onto Inox assembly lube about 20 years ago. Prior to that, I'd just oiled bearing surfaces well and primed he lubrication system. I also recently bought some Redline assembly lube, but haven't used it yet.
I treat the assembly lube as a belt and braces approach, and it may well turn out to be elephant repellant. Part of my rationale with the assembly lube is that it should stick to metal surfaces for a long time if I assemble an engine which won't be fired up any time soon.

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Originally Posted by Rohan
I seem to recall that STP was popular at one time too.
And we haven't even mentioned synthetic oil yet .....
Do you remember Wynns (I think) doing the rounds of ag field days and country shows with an old Holden red motor? They used to fire it up and run it for a bit, then stop it, drop the sump off and then run it for a bit longer to show how good their product was.

Of course, having primed the bearings with oil on the first run, and subsequently running at idle for 1 minute maximum with the sump off, it was always going to run with or without their additive smile
They didn't mention how often they replaced the big-end or main bearings, either.

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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Part of my rationale with the assembly lube is that it should stick to metal surfaces for a long time if I assemble an engine which won't be fired up any time soon.
That's definitely a large part of my reason as well. Also, I wrote to use low quality oil. Actually, the oil I use is:

https://lucasoil.com/products/engine-builder-lubricants/high-zinc-engine-break-in-oil

It's "low quality" in that it lacks the super-lubricating properties of modern synthetics, which you don't want if you ever want your rings to seat.

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Well I'll bog in as well.

I use CRC Sta-lube (graphite/moly) for bearings etc. and Redline (redpaste) for cams and tappets. I think the Redline came with a cam supplied by Megacycle so that's recommendation enough for me. I think the zinc there for cams/tappets is a good thing.

Penrite running in oil. Full zinc, limited/no friction modifiers.

As MM says, recommendation for standard cast irons rings is 'dry' assembly with scrupulously cleaned bores. I can attest to the value of that for good ring seal. There have been plenty of threads on here about dry assembly for cast iron rings.

Ray


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Quote
Part of my rationale with the assembly lube is that it should stick to metal surfaces for a long time if I assemble an engine which won't be fired up any time soon.

Good point, and given the likely pace of my rebuild something which sticks to metal for a long time is an important factor.

I've now ordered a tube of Graphogen which should, in due course, work its unseen magic and help protect the engine.

Quote
As MM says, recommendation for standard cast irons rings is 'dry' assembly with scrupulously cleaned bores. I can attest to the value of that for good ring seal. There have been plenty of threads on here about dry assembly for cast iron rings.

The pistons are new Hepolites which come complete with two piece oil control rings, not sure what the two other rings are made from or whether the same 'cast iron rings' running in rules apply, any ideas?

Last edited by gunner; 09/28/21 7:11 pm.

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I've always used the advice generally accepted here of coarse hone, 'dry' assembly and running in oil.

See this :
https://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=579396

Current build on my A65 has done 25, possibly 30, thousand miles on a rebore and this assembly. Good compression, no overuse of oil.

There are other threads on rings. Further info on rings here:

https://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/678204/re-piston-what-make

Cheers
Ray


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Quote
The pistons are new Hepolites which come complete with two piece oil control rings, not sure what the two other rings are made from or whether the same 'cast iron rings' running in rules apply, any ideas?

franz annd grub has a write up
of the " new " hepolite rings
https://www.fagengine.com/blogs/tech/hepolite-piston-ring-installation-notes

top ring has been PVD chromium nitrided on its face
PVD is (Physical Vapor Deposition) done under vacuum , much harder than chrome
( chrome generally takes longer to seat )
[Linked Image from cdn.shopify.com]
middle ring is coated with a black phosphate
( most likely a break-in coating )
[Linked Image from cdn.shopify.com]
oil ring is 2 piece
( a more modern oil ring design )
[Linked Image from cdn.shopify.com]

https://www.fagengine.com/blogs/tech/hepolite-piston-ring-installation-notes
.

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New Hepolites have been supplied with at least 2 types of rings, initially Hastings and now the ones made in UK by a subsidiary of Federal Mogul, owners of the Hepolite TM rented to Wassell. So if its an old box taken from the back of the shelf then it could be Hastings or A N other. So check first.


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