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Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum

Dutch army, Johan Herman Fuhler, somewhere between 1945 and 1950

Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum
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Big 4 Engine cease

Hi everyone,

I have a Norton Big 4 sidecar outfit. I have recently re-bored my engine (500 mile ago so it is well run in) and fitted brand new piston and rings. The piston randomly ceased the other day on a short run on a cold day. Has anyone an idea why that might have happened? The was plenty of oil, the rings were gapped correctly, I have 50 grade oil in it.


Re: Big 4 Engine cease

Possibly incorrect piston skirt to bore clearance. Also I wouldn't consider it run in until at least 1000 miles. Did it free off when it cooled down or is it seized solid? Lastly is the cylinder base gasket obscuring the oil passageway to the oil pressure feed to the rear of the piston skirt?

Re: Big 4 Engine cease

It freed up once it cooled down, I will check the oil passageway when I take it apart for inspection. Thanks

Re: Big 4 Engine cease

Check the ignition.

too mutch advaced = The heat goes into the piston and the piston expands
Too less = the heat goes to the exhoust valve
Good luck

Re: Big 4 Engine cease

On a cold day the piston expands but the barrel less so. On japanese trail bikes the clearance was a touch extra to allow for cold seizures. For instance when one goes through a puddle the barrel can shrink onto the piston. Normally with a light seizure one can rub off the high spots with fine emery and clear any jamming ring lands and aluminium from the barrel and, after washing, put the piston back in [with a new circlip if one has disconnected the piston from the rod]

Re: Big 4 Engine cease

Hi thanks for your input chaps, I will check all the items meantioned by you all soon. Are you into trail riding Jez? I have a Honda crf 230

Re: Big 4 Engine cease

Yeh I've got a few twinshock DR400s, a couple of twinshock KLX 250s
An Ossa MAR frame with Honda 185 engine and running gear, and a Dick Mann framed TT540 mark 4, possibly the only running one in existence. Oh and a Series One 80 inch Landrover and an M21 and the recently acquired 16H. Most of the stuff runs, some of it is even road legal. Live in the welsh marches and occasionally compete, at a very low level.