Author Topic: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil  (Read 494 times)

Offline marvic

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Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« on: 29.10. 2019 11:02 »
Hello i'm new to this forum and i'm new to the pre unit A10 golden flash. I just purchased the bike and was going to do a good service oil change, gearbox and chain case. Anyone here can help regarding what oil to use please? I see that people using 20w-50 for the engine, ep90 for gearbox and sae20 for the primary case. Any recommendations would be great. Also how much oil does the gearbox and primary case take? Do i have to fill them up all the way to the inspection cover?

Offline a10gf

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #1 on: 29.10. 2019 11:35 »
Nooo.... not another oil topic :O) before anything else, use the search and do some reading, the 100 oil opinions are already posted (many times :O)

Also take a look in https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?board=17.0 > owner manuals \ service sheets.

And welcome, an intro post (and pictures) in "Introductions, Stories & Pictures" is always appreciated.


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Online RDfella

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #2 on: 29.10. 2019 11:38 »
Don't use a modern detergent oil in the engine unless it's nice and clean inside (eg just rebuilt). Reason is assuming it's been run on the type of oit it was designed for, there'll be sludge inside which a modern detergent oil will flush out. Then, because there is no effective oil filter, that muck will continue to circulate, acting as a fine grinding paste. That's if the gunge doesn't block something first. Seen some very expensive engines wrecked by this. Use a classic straight 30 or 40.
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Offline RoyC

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #3 on: 29.10. 2019 11:54 »
Don't use a modern detergent oil in the engine unless it's nice and clean inside (eg just rebuilt). Reason is assuming it's been run on the type of oit it was designed for, there'll be sludge inside which a modern detergent oil will flush out. Then, because there is no effective oil filter, that muck will continue to circulate, acting as a fine grinding paste. That's if the gunge doesn't block something first. Seen some very expensive engines wrecked by this. Use a classic straight 30 or 40.

What about if there is an oil filter fitted ?
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Online RichardL

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #4 on: 29.10. 2019 12:25 »
Don't use a modern detergent oil in the engine unless it's nice and clean inside (eg just rebuilt). Reason is assuming it's been run on the type of oit it was designed for, there'll be sludge inside which a modern detergent oil will flush out. Then, because there is no effective oil filter, that muck will continue to circulate, acting as a fine grinding paste. That's if the gunge doesn't block something first. Seen some very expensive engines wrecked by this. Use a classic straight 30 or 40.

What about if there is an oil filter fitted ?

Others may have more technical answers, but mine is "Let sleeping dogs lie." If there's lots of sludge (like in the sludge trap), and the engine's been running soundly, realeasing it ain't goint to help anything. So, no modern detergent.

Marvic, in the intro you are about to write  ;), tell us as much history of the bike as you know, specifically, how long since the last rebuild, how frequently run in the last year or so, et cetera. 

Regarding oil, I follow the advice that says to use oil with a high zinc content (ZDDP). Zinc is intended to protect surfaces with high-pressure contact. In our case, the flat tappets against the cam. Zinc has been mostly or completely removed from modern oils by law, except for non-street use (and roller tappets shouldn't need it). The oil I use is 20/50 Mobil VR1 Racing Oil. Perhaps more important than zinc is changing oil fairly frequently. I think some here would advise every 1000 miles if no filter in place.

Richard L.
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Offline marvic

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #5 on: 29.10. 2019 12:48 »
RichardL thanks. That's my problem as i don't know that much history of the bike, the owner passed away 2 years ago and i just bought it last month from his wife but she knows very little on the bike. I know that he rebuild the engine at some point few years ago and that the bike was sitting for the past 2 years.

Offline Caretaker

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #6 on: 29.10. 2019 14:17 »
And welcome, an intro post (and pictures) in "Introductions, Stories & Pictures" is always appreciated.
Marvic, in the intro you are about to write

Introductions, Stories & Pictures
For info about location\country, bike and owner story, pictures, etc.
Then specific tech questions in the relevant tech boards.
Thanks
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Offline Sluggo

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #7 on: 29.10. 2019 19:52 »
One of the tenets of why the backstory matters is because we dont have enough data to help you.  As others have posted, its important to not have to cover ground without the baseline facts.

Myself??  I dont trust others work except a select few.  Any new machine to me, recently rebuilt or barn fresh is suspect as its simply a guessing game of what might have been done by the DPO (Dreaded Previous Owner)

For example, wheel bearings, often overlooked and usually neglected, cheap insurance and always a good idea on a unknown machine to clean, inspect and service them, and in cases where possible, just upgrade them with new modern sealed units.   (On many Triumphs I can purchase the bearings in bulk/case price for $6.00 USD each which is certainly a bargain to keep me from going SPLAT!).

However your issues are situational.  WHERE are you?  Because what works for me up in the woods of the US Pacific NW does not apply to for example,, there is a fellow on here with a very nice A10 we just learned about him riding in the DGR of the wilds of Kenya Africa (Great post BTW, really enjoyed that!)

Lastly??  My votes is a good service and if possible, a good quality modern oil (Assuming the sludge trap is in good nick) with a quality filter, a good climbing gear modern gear oil and a DRY primary with a belt drive, failing that using Type F Auto trans fluid.

Oil is a debate and shifting paradigm and some people are known to argue hotly about.  On the old Brit-iron forum oil wars percolated for years.   What I *THOUGHT* about oils is outdated and I learned a lot from some recent testing.

This link leads to outstanding work and while Not-Run orientated is close enough.  The guy who wrote and did the work was very thorough.  I dont always agree with him but nothing but respect for the work and effort he invested in this endeavor. 

See: https://www.accessnorton.com/Oil-Tests/NortonOil.php

**Note; One of the list members was making inquiries with a oil company on specs and details related to vintage bikes and the tech rep he spoke to referred him back to this topic!  So even oil companies are paying attention!

Here in the US it is getting challenging to find suitable lubricants for our vintage machinery.   Go back and do your intro, and happy to help otherwise.
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A big THANKS to Jim Comstock for evaluating oils that will work best in our Norton Commandos! Jim has spent a lot of time testing these oils. Click here to visit the Access Norton "Oil Tests" thread.
Donate to Jim for his hard work testing these oils:   
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online! 
The oil testing is done with a set load at 220 degrees for the first 30 minutes. This stresses the oil under high shear conditions and gives a good indication of the heat produced by friction.
Then the oil temp is raised to 320 degrees and the load is increased until a scar is produced on the follower. The test stops at this point and data is collected.
The red trace is follower pressure.
The black trace is follower temperature. The difference between the follower temp and the target oil temp is a good indication of heat from friction.
The green trace is friction.
The violet trace is cooling fan cycles. When it is high, the fan is on and it shows oil temp. When it is low then the oil is at the target temperature.
For use in a moderately tuned street performance Norton I would suggest a minimum load capacity of 150 lbs. Low friction is a plus, particularly in warm climates.
Heat from friction is on a 0 to 10 scale. The lower the number -the better the result.
A detailed description of what Total Heat from Friction is, how it is derived and that lower values are desired:
The term total heat from friction refers to a unitless value that describes the overall heat generated during an oil test and is derived using the following inputs:
1) follower temperature.
2) oil temperature.
3) cooling fan run time.

Separate calculations are performed to characterize:
1) heat generated during the steady-state phase of the test, i.e., from 10-25 minute run time with fixed load, and referred to as heat from viscous friction
2) heat generated during the latter phase of the test, i.e., as load increases continually from 30 minutes to test conclusion, and is referred to as heat from high pressure shear.
These 2 separate values are then weighted appropriately and combined to obtain the total heat from friction value.
Lower total heat from friction values are desirable and will make for a cooler operating engine.
The high heat from friction oils would be best used in moderate or cool climates.
There are a few ways to browse the Norton Commando Oil data. The same data is available in each section, but laid out differently and more detailed in some areas. (Please note this page is not designed for mobile devices).
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Offline edboy

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #8 on: 29.10. 2019 21:36 »
hi marvic. i would use 10/40 oil and fit a norton type cartridge oil filter on the return pipe/side to the tank. unlike others here on this forum i use bri ties anti drain valve on the supply side oil pipe without any problems [follow instructions and no wet sumping].i recommend morris straight 50 oil in the gearbox . ep oils are for needle roller gearboxes.

Offline Sluggo

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #9 on: 29.10. 2019 21:54 »
Edboy brings up a good point, SOME, not all but SOME oils can attack bushings, So well worth researching that.
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #10 on: 29.10. 2019 22:21 »
Hi Marvic,
When you drain the oil tank, make sure to clean out any dregs that remain below the filter gauze unit
It's best to remove the tank and wash it out but replacing it and sealing the pipe unions can be a PITA

I have been using Castrol Classic 40 in mine and customer classic bikes for as long as its been available, (Duckhams 40 before that)

Did you get any paperwork or old MOT's with the bike?
A look around the late owners shed might reveal his choice of oil ??

John
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Offline marvic

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #11 on: 29.10. 2019 22:38 »
Unfortunately not, this bike was in Texas and i'm in Long island. Bought it from his wife and she's living in UK since he passed away. Don't know much history about the bike so i'm trying to figure out what oil to use before i start it.

Online muskrat

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #12 on: 30.10. 2019 09:32 »
G'day marvic.
For the motor I use 20/50 high zinc (1200-2000ppm) oil with a filter on the return to tank (and add Nulon E20). Same for the gearbox (add Nulon Slck Shift). In the primary I use a modern 15/40 motorcycle oil as it's safe for wet clutches (Castrol 4T).
Cheers
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Offline owain

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Re: Help wanted for A10 pre unit oil
« Reply #13 on: 30.10. 2019 11:46 »
I use 20/50w oil for everything on the A10.
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