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Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Hi everyone so I thought I'd start part 4 thread wise on my Raf 16H Norton.

Firstly just want to say a truly huge thank you to everyone that's been putting up with my endless questions giving me advice and selling me parts. Wouldn't be this far without all your help! Learning every single day and with every bit of advice you all give me.

So what we know so far as a bit of a recap RAF Norton WD16H Late 44' Ordered Contract for 560 RAF Sidecar Combinations.

Shes now sporting her original wartime Raf number on her petrol tank thanks to one of the researchers who works with the RAF. Still pinching myself over how lucky I was with that.

He also had 3 one side an 5 other side of mine interestingly for others they were running in order.

Can't wait to get to the museum when this is all covid stuff is over as I've built a list up of pictures I'd like to check out that arn't online that all mention Raf dispatch riders.

Seen a copy of the Ministry of Supply Ledger for the original order contract thanks to one of our members.

Restoring her in remembrance of my Grandpa George Steele RIP who served in the Royal Artillery 8th Army from 1941 - 1944 and RAOC 8th Army again 1944-1946. From what we know he was in Tobruk and El-Alamein on the largest guns as a gunner. Sending of for his record when the covid is over.


As well my dads mentor an friend may he rest in peace was a Dambuster Gunner.

Feels so humbling to be restoring her as I've dreamt about doing a wd bike for years to use an ride all the time.

Sometimes the bikes lead you down the route they want to be restored initially my plan was to do her in army desert trim but I feel really happy that I decided to stay true to the bike an her history.

Thanks again to everyone that's shown me original pictures an some that are very close to my bikes number as well! Been invaluable resources.

We found scc.2 on nearly all the bike in including the frame so stuck with that.

Feels special to be restoring an Raf bike on the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. For everyone who served in all the divisions of the armed forces. Lest we forget.

Anyway enough of me rambling on here's some pictures.
How she was when I got her.

How she is now

Progress so far has been checking the engine out valves, piston etc all look good, Tony Cooper built me a mag for her an one of the lads on here had the correct mag plate, big thanks to Rik, Nick, Sven, Lex, Ron Henk an everyone else that has helped with the supply of bits and all those who have been giving me advice.

Repainted her darn that was a learning curve and hand painted the roundels and numbers. This week I'm hoping to fix the oil lines as those were torn that run to the tank and refit the rear brake pedal and I need to take some links out of my new chain. Gonna look at getting the grips fitted as well onto her.


An a link to the video playlist with the latest video an the previous ones of me going through a pain barrier learning to do stuff.

The next stage of the plan with her is to get her running first after chatting with one of my friends then come back to some of the unique bits that I need,

So next purchases are gonna be either send the carb off to be fixed or buy a 276 from Amal,Need to make a wiring loom an I've got all the cables ready to fit from JJ cables gonna get one of the new modern gubbins to fit into the MCR1 Casing an battery. Then with a bit of luck hopefully I can actually be at the point of firing her up that'l be so exciting an might just be doable by the end of the year.

After that I wanna try get the correct 44' oil tank, Norton Throttle grip, late rear pannier carrier racks and bags + vokes as one of the pics one of the lads shared with me had a sidecar RAF combo in Germany post 45' with a Vokes on an the tank number wasn't a milion miles away from mine.

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Good to hear from you again Tom. Just so you know, you don't need any of the electrical stuff (wiring, regulator, battery etc) to get it running. You will need a carb of course. Also as far as the wiring is concerned. There's no point buying or making a loom. (shop bought looms never fit). Just follow the simple wiring diagram and lay each wire from A to B and I use a piece of racing type bicycle inner tube from under the tank to the headlamp, and thread the few wires through it. All the wires were black (rubber) with colour coded ends.......I find it very therapeutic.


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks Ron likewise hope you are keeping well in these crazy times:)

Ahh very good point that'll speed things up a bit that's handy to know.

I'll have a go be a great skill to learn as I've never messed with wiring past fixing rubbish connections and adding coils on the Commando. Speaking of which you should have seen the state of the loom on that one birds nest wouldnt even cover it I think the lad who owned that had bought shares in skotchlocks. I'll get some wire and connections ordered next week and have a go at making one :) an I'll grab one of the old push bike tubes to, think Rik mentioned using tubes to me in the past, nice to be starting to make a tiny bit of progress on her again even if it is small. Every step is a step closer though.

Thanks again,


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Well re-wiring the bike could while away a day or three at very little cost.

With regard to the electronic regulator I use the excellent DVR2 After gutting the old workings, I solder the four wires to the original posts within the unit. F.A.D.E. That way you can plug in with the plate and two screws in the normal manner

Good luck. Ron

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks Ron that's ace yep will be good to do loose a few days on something bike related = bliss at the moment stop me going stir crazy in another lockdown again from Friday.

That's ace thanks Ron I'll look at getting that one ordered when the time comes got the internals removed the other day ready to fit one.

Thanks again,


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Little bit of progress today :)

Decided to refit the rear mudguard supports that I've got for now to save a lil bit of funds towards getting her running. It's an earlier setup that's missing the top rack. Hoping in the future to get the late type carrier and a set of pannier frames with the correct pillon seat when funds are a bit better. As they say Rome wasn't built in a day. Got it nice n central as well onceII sorted one of the stays.

Gonna fit the new chain tomorrow, canvas grips, n repair the oil lines for the oil tank while retaining the brass fitments hopefully, also wanna swish the oil tank out as well ready for fitting. Wanna try get a 44' oil tank as well at some point.

Need to paint the mcr1 box as well an the rear brake arm forgot about those.

Next things to order is some wiring to make a loom.

Something relatively affordable that I can be getting on with.

Need to get a new timing guage as well so if anyone's got any recommendations for good ones brand wise lemme know :)

Next step is to get a carb or send this one I've got to be fixed gonna work out the cost of both options.

Gonna service my original fuel taps tomorrow as well n get those fitted onto the bike.

Apart from those bits remaining on the list of stuff to get as funds allow.

Skid plate

1944 ribbed oil tank

Rear late type carrier

Rear pannier frames

Rear pannier bags

Fluted glass for the blackout

Rear seat

Field stand

Rear brake arm for pannier setup


She will soon hopefully be ready to rock which will be exciting really cant wait for the first start up n ride once we are allowed out again.

It's also got me wanting to go learn engineering to would love to learn how to use a lathe and stuff so gonna look at some courses next year.


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Reading this twice! Tom can you confirm what you mean by "Timing Gauge" Ron

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Sorry Ron yep wouldn't let me change the text on here incase anyone asks meant dti :)

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Lil bit of progress managed to fit the canvas grips today so decided to get one of the cameras out n do a bit of a progress video on her

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

well done tom your getting there, every step is a learning curve. keep up the good work


Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks Barry appreciate the comment mate, got the bash plate this week repro but British made from one of the lads looks really great quality really over the moon with it. Yep every days a learning day that's for sure can't put into words how much I'm enjoying learning all the different skills.

Finished painting an lacquering the bask plate today can't wait to fit it in the morning nice to be able to do something for her on remembrance weekend.

Gonna refit the brake rod an pedal I've got painted the end of the brake rod to.

Hopefully tomorrow gonna fit the new chain, chain guard, an I'm gonna learn how to replace the rubber oil line sections ones torn, good job I spotted it when I was taking the tank apart as it was the return one that's damaged back in feb want to try and keep the original brass ferrel's guessing there's a tool for doing them? Think lex mentioned heating them up from memory.

Spent an hour just looking at her before can't wait to hear her roar into life be a monumental moment an a dream come true let alone the first ride. Has to be said I never would have got to the point I'm at without everyone's advice and help massively appreciated :)

Gonna order some automotive wiring from somewhere tomorrow meant to be decent weather this week so hopefully I can get her out an make the loom.

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Got the sump guard trial fitted today :) gonna have to get some longer bolts when I next get some stuff. Shes coming along though. Did a few pics for remembrance sunday while I had her out.


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Looking good mate, can't wait to hear it run 🙂👍

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks mate :) question for the 16h lads.

Went to fit the new chain today what free play are you all running on the chains did it to 91 links + the split link and its sitting quite far back in the adjusters at 1/2" free play from an old spec sheet Isaw online. Seemed quite a tight measurement compared to the none rigid bikes I've got. Just wanna check it's not a miss print.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Tom 91 links should include the split link. Sounds like you have 93 links now? 1/2"-3/4" up and down is correct for a rigid. Swinging arm bikes have to allow for the up and down travel of the wheel. Ron

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Ahh thanks Ron that's great hope you are keeping well :) I'll pop two more links out so it's 91 inc the split link that explains it thought it best to check before I went taking them out first.

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

It's looking very good Tom, a credit to you!

Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks Vincent :) she really feels like shes starting to come together now.

Chain on (thanks Ron) fitted the chain guard to.

Gonna order some wiring supplies from somewhere tomorrow, excited to start learning how to do that. Working in crazily cramped conditions unless I can get her outside.

Need to get some longer bolts for the rear stays to lower mudguard to.

Once I've got the wiring done the next step is a new Carb, an hunt for a 44' oil tank. Then after that rear carrier an racks, then a few other detail bits as an when funds allow including a vokes :)

Need to repair the oil lines tomorrow as well.


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Hey everyone hope we are all keeping well Got the wiring today for making the loom :) very excited to start making it up when I get a warm dry day. Got the clip as well thanks to John that goes on the forks.

Rubber covered like everyone recommended ignore the dust on it.


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Finally some progress for the wd16h :D hope we are all keeping well

scratched some of the black paint off n there's still what looks like scc.2 on top of the metal.

Need to get the oil tank fully back to metal but the inside is really nice.

Last few bits to get now, sort the carb, sort a rear carrier, pannier frames late type pillion seat an a field stand. Once funds allow steady progress but exciting nether the less.

The first of my Japanese classics goes this weekend just the 250 an 350lc to go then an I can get hunting for a Pre war inter to keep her company very exciting times.


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Hi Everyone:) sorry I've been so quiet been getting my yamaha rd350lc n 250lc which I've had had 15 years ready to sell to fund a pre war Inter.

Got a few more bits thanks to everyone's advice an a few Eagle eyes of the lads spotting stuff coming up for sale as always very much appreciated.

Managed to nab a brand new modern Amal 276AE/1BE for half the cost of new as no one else bidded.

An the other Night I got a nos Field Stand in the box over the moon with that.

Over the next few weeks I'm gonna order some more paint an do the oil tank so I can get that fitted and repair the oil feed and return lines then look at getting her fired up! Exciting times.

If you want any pics of it Rob for the Norton website lemme know an I'll get some more taken.


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Hi Everyone! happy new year n sorry for the radio silence been a crazy back end to the year the WD16H actually ended up being joined by a 1927 16H flat tanker as I'd managed to part with all my Japanese classics earlier in the year as i'll most likley end up with a smaller workshop so swapped 4 bikes for 1 n I'm getting ready for a house move so busy times!

Bit of good news though I've finally managed to get a few hours each week to spare to work on the WD 16H with the plan to getting her fired up by the end of the month / early feb.

Managed to get the oil tank painted this week n my DVR2 Arrived! looking forward to getting that fitted, n starting on the wiring for the lights for the running side I need to repair the oil feed  n returns n make up a fuel line, feels really good to be back at her though! 

Next things to source the coloured tags for the wiring harness, wiring clips for the rear mudguard n some for the main frame tube, 

Eventually a rear carrier to mount my rear racks on but that'l probably have to wait until I'm back in work after the move.

What's everyone's favoured method for connecting the wiring from the DVR2 up to the mcr2 casing?

Hope you are all keeping well,



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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

And how about the pre war Inter, Tom ?

Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

The original regualator was the slightly smaller (and quite a bit lower) MCR2.

If you're going for an absolutely authentic exterior view, then it's possible retain the original split ferrules and to de-solder the original internal wiring tags and fit a regulator using mini-Lucars.

This is not a DVR2 but the principle should be the same.


Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

I've fitted several DVR2's into MCR1 regulators but I've soldered the wires directly to their relative terminals.

Regarding those mudguard cable clips. The only place that we seem to have found them so far is Draganfly. The part number I have is 13235. But unfortunately I don't see them on their site now. Maybe make an enquiry with this picture or hunt elsewhere.
They're stainless and I just paint them black. Ron


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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Thanks Rik n Ron that's really helpful going to have a mess with it later on when it thaws out a bit still covered in ice I'll pop them a message over the clips thanks Ron :)

I'll snap some pictures later of where I've got the MCR to.

Decided against the Inter in the end Michael, when the flat tank 16H came up I couldn't resist it as that was the original idea before the inter. Had that running for the first time a few weeks back learning about the Amac carb on the flat tanker is different to say the least! The main priority bike wise now though is the WD16H really can't wait for the first start up n first ride on them both.

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

I understand Tom. Norton Inters, especialy the pre war models, are very hard to find. Unfortunaly.
And probably seriously priced (....)
Personally I think they are about the most beautifull bikes ever made on this lonely planet.

Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Indeed although I actually got out on the flat tank 16h this week grin inducing mad to think how much fun 4.9 HP can be! Really excited to get the WD16H done now n ready to ride was doing a little bit on her tonight in between getting my head round a few bits on the flat tanker.

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Hi everyone hope we are all keeping well an sorry for the radio silence as a few will know I ended up having to take a bit of a social media break after being on the receiving end of some bullying hopefully all nipped in the bud now so starting to post again.

I'm just starting to get back to getting stuck in on the bikes and it's all change!

I've had to take the decision to stop riding the Norton 650ss I was daily riding and kick starting was constantly re setting the injury off on my nerve that I've now been landed with an I was finding it just far to much to kick start so after 4 years of daily riding she's now become a high days and weekend bike.

The 1927 16H Flat tanker has been my go to over the past 2 weeks unfortunately the magneto went pop again so that's off to be repaired at the moment (casting failure on an ml)

So without further ado here's the update the the WD16H

Happy Friday! It's time for a WW2 Norton RAF WD16H update.

Making really great progress this week after a few unexpected setbacks.

Today I did something I've never done before making a wiring loom from scratch just wanna say a big thanks to everyone thats helping with advice along the way an Ron's guide was a big help.

I'm making one or two tweaks as I go along as the intention now is to shelve my Norton 650ss which I've daily ridden for 4 years an 4 winters an use the WD16H as a daily there's quite alot of thinking behind it.

No1 inspiration and remembrance paying respect every day I ride to those it remembers.

No2 I'm struggling best will in the world to continue to kick start the 650ss with my nerve injury, lots of rethinking on future plans for motorcycles an the best ways to keep my riding. To make sure I have more good day's than bad days with it, an taking the 650ss out of the equation really ensures that.

No3 after riding the 1927 Norton 16H flat tanker an being pain free

Being able to kick start it trouble free with the valve lifter was a utter revelation, an now the magneto is away for rebuild the logical choice is my wd16h also parts availability for the rigours of daily riding the wd16h makes sense.

No4 older bikes are built solid 🙂 simple an so much fun!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I just wish I'd got myself into gear with doing the WD16H earlier very exciting an all fingers crossed next week we will have a running bike.

Tomorrow's job is to fit the late type oil tank and repair the rubber sections of the oil lines I heated the old fitments off an managed to get them off with heat without damaging them so I'm gonna put some new rubber sections off the oil lines on.

Priority at the moment is getting her being a running bike,then correct the year correct details as I go along.

The inner tube that worked the best was a 650 size push bike one from Decathlon :)

Got some new taps on the way from Vintage Replica thanks to Lex for the recommendation.


Comparing the Farrant Brown version of SCC2 from war paint to a Ammeter I got an when I carefully removed the black paint was a pretty decent match between the two

Starting to Wire up the bike! Thanks to Rik for the colour shrink tube which I'd really struggled to get the right colours off.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork thanks to everyone who's helped :)


Does anyone know the measurement for the convoy light position down from the top edge of the lower mudguard?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Rescuing my Raf WD Norton Part 4

Good to hear from you Tom. Good work and the paintwork and wiring is looking splendid.

Best regards Ron

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Thanks Ron really appreciate that :) hope you are keeping well. Great to be back at it an able to spend some time on the bikes again I'd missed the WD Community an everyone in it.

Really can't wait to be riding her.

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