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1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Member's Norton Restoration Projects

1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Jerry Doe » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:25 am

I have decided to start a thread for my 1971 rebuild. Its been many years since I worked on a 750, so I might have some questions. I have been reading the forum and there is so much to know. I promise I will search first. It's great. I am not sure how I am going to build this bike yet. I do know that there are some things I must do right at the beginning though like getting the cases to Matt for the breather mod. I have been reading about the side stands and learned that the 71 stands are bad news because they are pinned and can fall to bits. I looked at mine it it is not pinned and not like a 72 onward type. Please have a look at these pics of my stand and let me know if I should grind it out and put a later one in. The one I have looks ok to me. Perhaps I will "through bolt" it.

71-norton-commando6.jpg
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71-norton-commando5.jpg
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When I restore I always forget to take good before pics. This time I took a few, see below.
71-norton-commando1.jpg
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71-norton-commando2.jpg
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71-norton-commando3.jpg
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71-norton-commando4.jpg
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71-norton-commando17.jpg
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71-norton-commando20.jpg
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There are a few parts missing as you can see, but in general its not that bad for $800. I have not tried to turn the motor yet (still soaking). This is going to be a fun project. I expect it will take a while, which is cool as I ride my MK3 all the time.

Per the other registration thread that I started, I was able to get the bike completely registered with a Bill of Sale and an Inspection. So time to take it apart- cheers
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Dennis C » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:09 pm

The heavy tab in front of the new kick stand and on the inside of the frame is the original 71 kick stand mount. the stud to go through the kick stand is broken off. the common problem.

Not sure about your current kick stand, it looks like it is welded to the frame tube and it could cause a stress crack over time.

The new kick stand mount from Old Britts mounts to the side frame and the cross tube for better strength. the mount is cheap, not so much for the new kick stand and spring.

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Onder » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:19 pm

Have you given any thought to having the frame and swinging arm checked out on a frame table?
Now is the time before you get it cleaned and coated.

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby namibchris » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:08 am

Looks like problems that a big pile of money will fix......

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby gtsun » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:46 pm

Let me know when you need a hand. Josh (transcon here) just gave me a brand new clutch cable to give you for this project, he also has a unused seat, one of those cool single cafe type from England he will sell at a great price if you don't go stock. Glenn T.S.
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Jerry Doe » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:43 pm

Started taking it to bits. Very happy with the condition. Looks like someone took care of it once. One interesting thing was the last clutch spacer. Someone had drilled and pinned it. I have never heard of this before, see the pic below:
71-commando.jpg
Clutch pinned spacer
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Here are some other pics during dismantle:
71-commando-4.jpg
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71-commando-3.jpg
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71-commando-2.jpg
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71-commando garage.jpg
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1975 MK3 Norton Commando
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby L.A.B. » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:56 pm

Jerry Doe wrote:One interesting thing was the last clutch spacer. Someone had drilled and pinned it. I have never heard of this before,


Standard early clutch drum and pinned backplate.
clutch-sprocket-backplate-t18252.html
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby DogT » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:33 pm

Yeah, that's the way my clutch plate looks.

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Jerry Doe » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:30 pm

Thanks for letting me know. I had no idea about that. I took the head off this morning and one of the pistons is in the wrong way around...
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby ashman » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:30 pm

Jerry Doe wrote:Thanks for letting me know. I had no idea about that. I took the head off this morning and one of the pistons is in the wrong way around...



Thats proberly why the bike sat for awhile, one side of the motor wanted to go forward and the otherside wanted to go backwards :roll: anyways its a good cheap project bike, all the best with it and have fun.

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Robert_Norton » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:53 pm





Jerry,

When you get around to disassembling the front and rear brake, remember that the brake drums may contain dust with asbestos present. I'd open them up outside the shop, take a deep breath, and blow them out with compressed air -- on a windy day, of course.

Clutch plates probably have asbestos in them, too. At least the original ones.

That might be an interesting thread to start: "Potential Environmental Hazards Present in Norton Motorcycles."



Also, I really enjoyed the video you posted on youtube of you out and about on your MK III. Far too short, but well done, in particular the portions with the camera mounted down low on the left side of the bike, as the sound was much better with the camera mounted in that position. Please consider making more videos, that are greater in length.



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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Onder » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:10 pm

Id carefully dunk the hubs in warm soapy water and use a parts cleaning brush after they are
submerged to get the asbestos dust out.
You are going to immediately dry them and toss the bearings anyway.

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Jerry Doe » Fri May 01, 2015 12:21 pm

A quick update.

After stripping down the bike I have found a few minor issues:

1) Upon examining the frame it had a different side stand welded on. I am sure that stand would be ok (see pics above). In my mind though the only choice would be to remove that section of the frame and have a new section welded in with the later style lug. The original frame had 2 small holes drilled in the loop too. Well that's what I was going to do and then I found a 72 frame on eBay and bought it. I am going to use that frame now as it has the later lug. The loop looks a bit bent on the '72 frame so still trying to work out what to do about that if anything.

2) The front end is completely shagged out. I am selling the TLS hub and R/H leg. I have purchased a R/H disc fork leg from Mike and for sure will be using a disc front end. Not sure which way to go with that. I don't have the same budget for this rebuild as my MK3 rebuild, so we will see. I got to say the front brake from cNw on my MK3 is brilliant. I might do that again. I know it won't be stock.

3) The crank cases were covered in crap. I cleaned them up and found 2 cracks around the bolt holes (see pics below). I am sending the cases to Matt at cNw for the breather modification, then tumble and he is going to repair these cracks for me. I am also sending the gearbox shell for the tumble treatment, as well as inner case. I am sending my oil tank as well for the modification that they do. This will be the 3rd one I have had done. Its a no-brainer to me. If things cost more during these rebuilds, it just takes longer.

First Issue
WP_20150501_007.jpg
Cases
WP_20150501_007.jpg (90.52 KiB) Viewed 1006 times


Second crack
WP_20150501_009.jpg
1971 Crankcase craked bolt hole
WP_20150501_009.jpg (45.51 KiB) Viewed 1006 times


Mrs is happy I did not use the dishwasher this time
1971 Crankcase craked bolt hole
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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby bill » Fri May 01, 2015 2:45 pm

here is MY dishwasher in the far right. the mrs has been told it is off limits. :mrgreen:

Image

Jerry Doe wrote:Mrs is happy I did not use the dishwasher this time
WP_20150501_005.jpg

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Re: 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild Thread

Postby Jerry Doe » Fri May 01, 2015 3:28 pm

Nice. Looks like you are set up for some heavy equipment too.

I forgot to mention one thing during the dismantling. Removing the timing side crank woodruff key was a nightmare. After lots of tapping and heating i used the dremel to grind a hole in one end and with heat got it out. Probably spent 4 hours on that. I thought i was damaging the shaft, but after i got it out all looks good, thew..
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