My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Information relating to the Matchless G3 or AJS Model 16 350cc Heavyweight
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My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby neilp » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:24 pm

Hi All - Plse bear with me - i am new to this.

I recently bought a 1957 Track AJS 16M just a few months ago - fulfilling a long time ambition. The wife is still a bit grumpy!

Since i got her i have driven her just a few times, but now when i try to kick start her she won't event fire up, let alone start. She was quite difficult to kick over on the compression stroke when i got her so i have emptied the sump of oil to remove any issue of a sluggish kick start. i have checked to spark plug and it gives what i think is a good spark - gap is 16.5 thousand of an inch. The spark plug was wet when i removed it so i believe fuel is getting through. I filled her up with standard unleaded fuel - post that she has stopped working?

The previous owner was a mechanic and i know he set all the ignition timings just before i bought it. Since then it has only been risen for a few miles so i am at a loss as to why she won't even fire, let alone start. something has changed / happened - could it be the fuel? Could the timing have gone out of sink - but just after a few miles of driving???

Has any one got any ides as to why she won't start? I am doing something blinding obviously wrong. being a new owner of a classic bike i may be doing something wrong

Any insight, ideas and advice is most graciously received.

Best / Neil

Neil

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby g80csp11 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:52 am

Neil. Where are you in east sussex. Your local section meet in hassocks. Are you planning on joining the club ? One of the many benefits is local guys who can help with many years of experience on ajs and matchless. I'd hazard a guess it's your starting technique if you have both fuel and spark . Do you have a copy of the bikes user manual ? I always give my singles a priming kick after ticking the cab with decompressor lever pulled in . Then bring up to compression and just ease over compression slightly before starting . It's that easy !

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby clive » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:59 am

Hi Neil I have copied and pasted this advice I gave from a previous very similar query. If you use the forum search facility you will find starting technique problems come up quite often. I am suspicious of your starting technique because of your comment on it being difficult to kick over compression. Sounds like you may be treating your single like a twin ie bring it up to compression and stamping on the kickstart. This makes for difficult if not impossible starting in my experience with a single. The valve lifter is there for a reason.
My starting technique is to bring it up to compression. Allow the kickstart to return then using the valve lifter push the kickstart down about 2/3 of its travel. Allow it to return to the top and then give it the long swinging kick.
Next point if it has not started by three kicks i would flood the carb more. There is little point in my view in just kicking and kicking if it wont start you need to try something else. Having flooded it further if it does not start in a couple of kicks then its time to take the plug out. If it is not wet then there is something wrong with the fuel supply, if it is try to dry it off with a cloth and blowing on it. Make sure the plug sparks when against the cylinderhead, although that is not a guarantee it will do so under compression.
If it still won't start i would be looking at the following.
Timing is it spot on 1/2 inch before tdc with the automatic advance held fully open.
Are you using an ngk plug if so chuck it (they just don't seem to work on our bikes) and fit a champion N5c from a reputable dealer.
Is the carb pilot jet and the little drilling clear of muck?
Do you get a good fat spark with the plug against the cylinderhead?
Good luck.
clive
if it ain't broke don't fix

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby clive » Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:01 am

Oh yes and you will get lots of different advice on how to start a single, there are probably as many ways as there are owners 😂
clive
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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby SPRIDDLER » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:39 am

Welcome, Neil.
Do you have the manuals for your bike?
If not they can be found here under 'Books'
http://archives.jampot.dk/

Here's an extract from the Owners Manual. It's for a '56 model but the same procedure for your '57.


Image

Tell us where you are and a Sussex section member may be able to help.

Image
Last edited by SPRIDDLER on Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby g80csp11 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:46 am

Looks like my starting procedure has been following the handbook recommendation , that's lucky and i can say always good for my singles

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby alanengineer » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:49 am

When i got my first Matchless (first classic bike) i was in a similar dilemma. Luckily, their was a rally at Plumstead only the following week. I got there early and i asked at least 5 people on singles how they started their bikes. Every one had time to stop and go through their procedure, all similar, but not the same.
Dont suffer alone, the bike is a reliable old classic if you treat it right. Ask questions and get someone from your local section to come round and show you the bikes oddities.

Enjoy

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby neilp » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:08 am

Hi All - what a great response from the forum - many thanks to all.

Yes i have joined the owners club - problem is my local club meets an hours drive away - which is not best, but i plan n going so i can meet the members.

I have bought a workshop manual which arrives next week so i can get into that and check the timings.

I'll practice my startup technique - but at the moment nothing seems to be working - blast!

Clive - I'll change the plug as its a ngk. see that helps. cheers.

Again thanks for all the advice

Best / Neil

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby alanengineer » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:43 am

My local section meets over an hour away from me, so i understand where you are coming from. I dont go very often now for other reasons, but when i did, not once did i come home not learning something about my/our bikes that was useful.
We have a interesting spread of people in Kent and from what i know, you have similar in Sussex.

Oh, and when i had my bike at my first rally, it played up and i didnt know what to look for. Along comes one of our section and fixed all the troubles and showed me what he was doing so it didnt happen again.
We all have to start somewhere on our funny old bikes, but their still is plenty of help

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Re: My newly bought AJS 16M won't start.

Postby SPRIDDLER » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:19 pm

neilp wrote: - problem is my local club meets an hours drive away - which is not best, but i plan n going so i can meet the members.


Although Sussex is about 70 miles East to West we have members living throughout the area so it's likely there's someone within a chaincase's drip from you. At least advise your nearest town.
Give your email address to our Hon. Sec., Christine, at c.morris.sussex@gmail.com so that you can be added to the emails detailing events etc.
Our normal club nights, Brunch Runs etc. have had to comply with Covid regs so you'll need to be kept up to date with arrangements, any changes and news.

P.S. You're not showing here as a member so best to email Eamonn the webmaster webmaster@jampot.com to arrange it or your access to website features will that be limited to Guests.

P.P.S.
I've just this moment rec'd the following email from Hon. Sec. Christine..........

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you must have heard by now about the new Covid restrictions which prevent groups or more than 6 people meeting up, inside or out. They take affect on MONDAY, so we need to use SUNDAY as our last hurrah for the foreseeable future.

The venue that has been selected is The Roedean Cafe at Brighton Marina, Marine Dr, Brighton BN2 5RL. It is Bike friendly and has loads of outside space. You can even have a round of mini golf if talking about spark plugs and oil leaks is being to bore you. (who’s that then? - ME)
(Sorry, no website, but you can take a peek on Trip Adviser)

Meet up at 11.30am as per usual.

The sad news has also probably put paid to club night unless there is a very rapid U turn. I will keep you updated, but we might need to go back to Zoom.

Hope to see lots of you there on Sunday. Don’t forget you don’t have to come on a bike. We are pleased to see you however you choose to travel.


Christine.

I poke badgers with spoons.

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