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1966 Atlas

Member's Norton Restoration Projects

1966 Atlas

Postby williamblanda » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:46 am

Hello, all! Name's Will. Currently in Buffalo, New York but have roots elsewhere. I'm new to Norton's - and motorcycles in general - but have spent a lot of time involved in the air-cooled Volkswagen hobby. I recently purchased a 1966 Atlas that had been sitting in a barn for the last 14 years and want to set up a thread to document this winter's work.

The bike hasn't been on the road since 1976 and has not been started since 2002, and currently being in the mood for a winter project I figured why not? Drove out, loaded up the truck, dropped it off at the back shed and have been slowly cleaning and tinkering with it the last couple of weekends.

The bike came to me through a friends family, and the goal is more to preserve the bike and get it road worthy than a full on restoration. I know for certain it needs a new wiring harness, the golden flames of the short helped me figure that out. Otherwise, it seems to be in very good shape for having spent so much time idle. A tank cleaning, carb cleaning, oil change, new plugs, several kicks and it actually fired up. A couple minuted here and there every day and the cobwebs are slowly falling off. Everything needs adjustment and everything needs cleaning, but Buffalo winters are so, so long. Maybe it will be on the road before the last snow melts in June.

Start up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bqodJzJWUY

Anyhow, I plan on updating this thread as the time passes and will certainly have a ton of questions. For now, it's an exciting start.

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby williamblanda » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:50 am

As found
ImageIMG_4585 by williamblanda, on Flickr

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby williamblanda » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:59 am

Currently. I have the tank badges - just need to find the correct screws to put them on - and the correct front fender. Paint needs to be buffed on the tank, but there are only so many hours to a day...
ImageIMG_0620 by williamblanda, on Flickr

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby grandpaul » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:59 am

Welcome, William!

That sure looks like a "diamond in the rough". I like to google a decent-sized image of a nice restortion of the same model, and tape it up over the workbench for inspiration.

You are aware that these old BritBikes use POSITIVE ground electrical systems, correct? That would explain flames on battery connection if reversed.

I sure don't see anything wrong with that front fender if it isn't going to be a full-on restoration...

You are miles ahead, being able to start with a reasonably complete and running bike as a starting point.
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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby cjandme » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:57 am

You are certainly off to a fantastic start! Thanks for posting.
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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby gtsun » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:40 am

Wow nice find, glad your respecting it. Looks like someone loved it a long time ago. Be aware that you'll need to research things like the correct threads for your tank badges etc. You won't find them at your hardware store. Brit bikes have a variety of different thread patterns like BA, which is probably what your tank badge threads are. Don't just try something like American 10/32 you'll just muck up the threads. There are also British cycle thread, Witworth and a few others. Not as simple as just American or Metric. There are suppliers for it all so just ask & you'll get the needed info. You're going to really enjoy how well these bikes with the famous "featherbed" frames handle when you get it on the road again. Enjoy & please keep this thread going with pictures.. Glenn.
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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby dynodave » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:22 am

Tank badge screws are 3BA(british metric)
Try british cycle supply or walridge. Near to you is Jim Knoll @ British bike connection/rochester
IMO while any andover norton dealer (like Jim K) has access to pre commando stuff, It is less likely to be present in north america dealers stocks
CNW and old brits cater more to commando crowd
Be very cautious from advise given by primarily commando people.

There is NO american or DIN metric hardware on a 68 and older featherbed... NONE
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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby worntorn » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:05 am

I've been getting my 650ss parts from Walridge. It amazes me just how much stock he has. For example, after spending quite a bit of time going over the parts book, I found that there were two tank bolts required, each with it's own part number.
He had them both in stock, a bit expensive at $16 and $14. I ordered them along with all new proper tank rubbers, which he also had in stock.
The parts book for these bikes is quite poor, in fact does not even show the tank or seat mountings, so I've never been sure of how that was done.
When the bolts arrived it became immediately obvious that the existing mounting method was wrong and that the bolts were well worth the price.
The special tank bolts are shouldered so that the rubbers, one of which locates the tank, are squeezed up just a little at which point the bolt shoulder bottoms in the tank nut. The end result is a mini isolastic type tank mount. The tank vibrations are now mostly gone.
The existing method of mounting at front was via two studs and a couple of rubber washers. When tightened enough that the tank did not move around, the rubber washers were compressed to nothing so that the rubber mount effect was nil.

One of the new bolts has an extra long hex head so that it can be reached easily even though it is behind the rectifier mount, hence the different part numbers.

I had all of the part numbers written down before calling in, but it still took twenty minutes or so for Mike to go thru everything and sort out number changes etc. After that there is still more time needed to pick the parts, package and post.
All for a $90 order, obviously not a money maker but Mike never showed any impatience with the task.

Ten years ago it was really hard to find these Dommie parts but it's getting much better thanks to suppliers like Walridge.

Glen

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby williamblanda » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:34 am

Thanks for all the interest. I put in an order to RGM (cheap, but not happy at all with the quality of parts) and was able to get the badges on and confirm that the clutch indeed is functional. With that information fresh in my mind I proceeded to immediately jump on the bike and put right down my driveway. It works! Only put it through first gear; but it moves forward, stops, starts on one kick... sometimes, and generally seems happy to be worked on and kept company.

The next challenge is the wiring harness. I think I might bite the bullet and order the higher end harness from British Wiring. The repop from RGM really doesn't seem correct for the bike and the original harness is so tampered with it's not really providing any help with running new wires. It's capped, spliced, melted, randomly cut, you name it - not fun.

Example
ImageIMG_0887[1] by williamblanda, on Flickr

Also, the diagram I have available for the Atlas also doesn't seem like it's correct. It appears close, but oh so very different at the same time. Any pointers on finding a diagram that works?

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby williamblanda » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:45 am

Changed the front fender and sanded the tank up to 1600 and hand buffed the paint. Looks old and crappy like the rest of the bike. The fender was heavily oxidized, but a little tinfoil, water and some time took care of that.
Image

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby grandpaul » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:31 am

Just needs some patina'ed mufflers!
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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby Cycle Goon » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:25 am

Small world-I'm just down the road in Eden, NY and at one time was into air cooled VW's. How's the Atlas coming along?

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby Bernhard » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:42 am

Norton atlas wiring diagram ; these came the same as the 650ss with Mag ignition- scroll down to find it:
http://inoanorton.com/Articles/1968_AllModelsManual.pdf

suppliers ;
http://www.feked.com/norton-atlas-650ss ... -1966.html
https://www.britishbikebits.com/cloth-w ... as-1964-67

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby Bernhard » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:59 am

worntorn wrote:I've been getting my 650ss parts from Walridge.
When the bolts arrived it became immediately obvious that the existing mounting method was wrong and that the bolts were well worth the price.
The special tank bolts are shouldered so that the rubbers, one of which locates the tank, are squeezed up just a little at which point the bolt shoulder bottoms in the tank nut. The end result is a mini isolastic type tank mount. The tank vibrations are now mostly gone.
The existing method of mounting at front was via two studs and a couple of rubber washers. When tightened enough that the tank did not move around, the rubber washers were compressed to nothing so that the rubber mount effect was nil.

One of the new bolts has an extra long hex head so that it can be reached easily even though it is behind the rectifier mount, hence the different part numbers.
Glen


Bolts should have a cup type washer below the rubber

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Re: 1966 Atlas

Postby dynodave » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:46 pm

OP gone missing...never the less
I have a 63 atlas and in the US it's the last year for the small L564 tail light

noticed the concentrics and I also have a 66... and 66 is the only year for 389/689 monoblocs, my 66 luckily had them.

Don't take any of this as a criticism, only as knowledge so you can be forwarned in case some one asks....I modify my bikes but I usually know what I am bastardizing. LOL
Bike looks nice and hopefully runs sweet and clean.
How's the magneto? seemingly a trouble spot unless recently overhauled by someone knowledgeable...fortunately I can do my own. :mrgreen:
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