Service info for series D Black Shadow


New Forum User
Non-VOC Member
Hi all.

Hope you can help me with some noob questions?

I'm servicing the shadow for a friend.

Is normal car 10/ 40 ok in the engine? - how much should go in?

Is it the same stuff in the primary and again - how much?

How much play should there be on the primary chain through the inspection hole?

The gearbox appears to have had grease in it. Nothing shows on the dipstick. I've dipped a long screwdriver in and a small amount of clean grease came out on the end... Any recommendations?

Am I right that tappets should be 0 clearance?

That'll do for now. I'm sure I could think of other silly questions but I'd appreciate any advice or directing to other online resources of manuals etc. if they exist?

Thanks, Ian (Dadthespanners)
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chankly bore

Well Known and Active Forum User
Non-VOC Member
Primary tension 1/4" to 1/2" engine hot.Many will argue, but low ash 30 grade oil is my preference for engine oil, unless you are giving the machine a real caning.Gearbox should have oil, not grease!Same grade, ditto primary chaincase.Tappets should be zero.Ignition timing should be around 35 degrees BTDC full advance with modern fuels and standard 7.3:1 pistons.Now watch the contrary opinions fly in!!!! Cheers.


Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
The old engine designs require the old fashion oils. I learned from the world's fastest Vincent rider to only use Avshell 50, not a multiweight in gearbox and engine.Vincents are pretty much bomb proof when assembled properly, nothing too radical. All of the aforemention books are a good start, but not necessary. Most new parts will require some feddling to work. Vincent parts don't bed in or wear in they break if not properly installed... When in doubt, ask a VOC member. We always have opinions on what's best for someone elses machine. Good Luck, Dan