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'black shadow' engine specs

aaronabutt

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hello to all

I have just bought a black knight that now looks like a black shadow.
It is 1955 and now displays all the parts of a 55 shadow as far as my limited nowledge can tell.

in any case, I want to find the easiest way of telling if the engine has been modified to shadow specs, which correct me if im wrong, is balanced crank, ported and polished heads and different carbs (jetting?)

It has a big speedo though and I wonder if that's stock or if the speedo in the headlight was the stock part for that year?

Aaron, new member
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hello to all

I have just bought a black knight that now looks like a black shadow.
It is 1955 and now displays all the parts of a 55 shadow as far as my limited nowledge can tell.

in any case, I want to find the easiest way of telling if the engine has been modified to shadow specs, which correct me if im wrong, is balanced crank, ported and polished heads and different carbs (jetting?)

It has a big speedo though and I wonder if that's stock or if the speedo in the headlight was the stock part for that year?

Aaron, new member

Aaron, welcome to the Vincent world. One way of telling whether your bike has been brought up to Black Shadow spec is to look at the carbs, assuming it's equiped with Monoblocs. Rapide carbs would be stamped 376 whereas Shadow ones would be stamped 389. You are right about the speedo. Open D's had a 3" speedo in the headlamp but the Rapide one was calibrated to 120 mph, the Shadow one to 150mph
 

aaronabutt

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thank you very much

Thank you Len, for your warm welcome and prompt reply.
The world of vincents has only recently become a reality from a distant dream! It is rather daunting to become involved in such a specialised world. I have experience with triumphs and am pretty good at fixing bikes except for tuning carbs and timing. I just bought these bikes and there seems to be a lot to learn before you even get them going! They have so much compression and Im out of shape from using my fat boys electric start I want to know exactly how to get them started with the least amount of kicking!

I have been thinking that the carbs would tell me the story, but I am not near the bikes and I coudn't find those numbers you mentioned, that I had seen on 'the vincent' page denoting proper shadow carbs. The only numbers I have gotten from the carbs are stamped on the manifold and says (front one 2t32-(16 or 10) L
rear says 5421(o or 6)

cant seem to read find out what that means. any guess? The carbs have no air filters either, is that ok? Can spares be bought and do I need the proper carb numbers to buy the right air cleaners?

I take it the look of the carbs cant tell me anything? I have a rapide that has been modified to black lightning specs as well and the carbs look original. Did they have to be modified for the lightning spec'd engine to run well? I figured once you did that modification you would have to put shadow carbs on that one as well, or rejet at least?

thanks again
 

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BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
To start with the least amount of exertion pull in the valve lifter, swing down on the kick start and release the valve lifter as the kick start nears the bottom of the stroke. The weight of the spinning flywheels bumps the engine over compression. Practice a little to get the sequence co-ordinated.
Using this method removes the strain on you and your legs as you are not subjected to the shock of pushing through the compression stroke. Assuming that you have the engine in reasonable condition with suitable timing and carburettor settings starting should not be onerous.
Pain in my right knee was becoming a problem. It has stopped hurting since I started using this method.

Regards,
Eddy


I just bought these bikes and there seems to be a lot to learn before you even get them going! They have so much compression and Im out of shape from using my fat boys electric start I want to know exactly how to get them started with the least amount of kicking!
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Can spares be bought and do I need the proper carb numbers to buy the right air cleaners?

For spares, try the Forum advertisers and Burlen Fuel .

Bob Collings of Winnipeg can suggest Canadian suppliers, I'm sure. VOC members in Newfoundland appear to be thin on the ground, but the Internet brings you closer to assistance.
 
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aaronabutt

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks to all!
Will definitely try the open valve kick start.

British cycle supply has a place in nova scotia that carries some vincent materials and parts. I'll try them. neither of my bikes came with air filters or rear view mirrors. I find it strange.

Is a 'shadow' engine harder to kick than a rapide, and thus, a lightning the worst? (all other things being equal)
 

aaronabutt

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Mea Culpa!:D


I have read the Lightning had no kicker. But you see my 'lightning' spec'd rapide does.

Owning a Vincent is like being put on a sharp learning curve and I am bound to ask a lot of silly questions till I get up to speed.

Aaron
 
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roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
shadow carbs

First ,go back to Len's reply re-carb numbers, look at the top of the flange, where the carb mounts to it's adaptor,with me so far? the magic numbers will be there. Having gone through all that, the only way to be sure , is to measure the size of the bore on the engine side and report according . We all were "new boys" once. Asking apparently "idiot" questions is the way forward in my book. Be lucky, Roy.
 

aaronabutt

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks Roy.
I couldnt seem to find these numbers when I was inspecting and photographing the bike last month. unfortunately I am far away from the bike now and can't check that for a while. What I seem to have are numbers on the adaptor or manifold. If you have time, have a look at the carbs and the number I found (in the attachment on this post) and tell me what you think.
I take it you are saying the numbers I need should be on top dead center of the flange on the carb itself and not the adaptor/manifold.

can I ask another amateur question, what does monoblock mean? I know mono means one so I take it its the kind of carb that doesnt have a separate mixing chamber?

Aaron
 

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b'knighted

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Numbers and names

Hi Aaron,

The ET number on the carburettor is a Vincent part number. Some parts are always called by their number as it can identify a specific part from other similarly described parts. Most of us work from the illustrated parts list in which parts are identified by number, which can then be looked up in its “index” to get a description. This link should let you open the page about D carbs. http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/1882166/MO104D Monoblocks.jpg Amal made the carbs PR5/6 or PR5/7 and the PR denotes the fact that they were PRoprietary parts bought in from their manufacturer who called that combined float and slide chamber model the Monoblock.

If the link doesn’t work PM me with your email address and I’ll try again.

Cheers,
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I wasn't being nasty,honest:eek:..I am still asking 'stupid questions' and I've had my Comet since '69( no not 1869) I know I'm getting on but not that much.
The numbers for the carbs 'should' be on the top righthand side of the oval manifold of the carb.
Here is a link to try for carb parts and tips
http://www.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/
You can order online or phone these very helpful people.
The man(or woman) who says he knows it all is a bl***y liar or a fool.
We all learn something new or different on this forum.John
 

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