Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

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Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Darian » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:03 am

I have a 1969 Norton Mercury that is missing the front wheel spindle nut for the axel. I am trying to order a new one but have not found a part reference for this yet. I have seen 2 different parts 1 from a Commando and 1 from a Dominator. The Commando takes a 9/16 x 18 and the Dominator took a 9/16 x 20. I do not have a parts manual yet ( I have just inherited the bike ) if anybody could help me I would apreciate it.

Thanks

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby L.A.B. » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:47 pm

Darian wrote:I have a 1969 Norton Mercury that is missing the front wheel spindle nut for the axel. I am trying to order a new one but have not found a part reference for this yet. I have seen 2 different parts 1 from a Commando and 1 from a Dominator. The Commando takes a 9/16 x 18 and the Dominator took a 9/16 x 20.


I do not have a parts manual yet ( I have just inherited the bike ) if anybody could help me I would apreciate it.


http://www.bigdcycle.com/books.html

You could remove the axle and count the number of threads (over 1/2 inch x2)?
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Rohan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:22 pm

A neat trick here is that common sparkplugs (14mm) will easily screw into the dominator wheel nuts.
But wil only partly screw into Commando wheel nuts - before they jam (don't force them).
Emphasis here on EASILY.

So if you try a spark plug into a rear wheel nut, which SHOULD be the same as the front axle one, you will know if they are dommie type (quite likely).
Or if they are Commando type (unlikely), although you never know with Nortons.

At a pinch, you can get a temporary wheelnut made for a dommie by having any engine shop thread any old nut for a spark plug thread.
Don't ask how I know this....

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby frankdamp » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:25 am

The "Mercury" is new to me, as I didn't have time to keep up with motorcycles between 1968 and about '74, what with new job in new country, lay-off in 71, cross country move to Virginia then back to Boeing in '74. Three daughters kept me pretty busy too!

What was it based on?
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Rohan » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:50 pm

The Mercury was the last version of the 650 Norton.
Single carb, mostly blue paint (darker than the manxman) but with silver tank, only a speedo (no tacho) and a slight hump to the seat.
Not quite as much go as the 650SS, but has been suggested it was the best 650 and one of the best bikes that Nortons made (pre Commando) - out of the showroom.

No tacho was a cheapskate move though. ?
It was sold against the Commando, so they had to find a way to make it a little less expensive (?).
Think this one is fairly stock.
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Rohan » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:52 pm

All blue would have been a more integrated paint scheme ?

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby wilkey113 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:15 pm

Rohan,
Great photos.
I don't think that 2nd bike is a Mercury. Looks to be an earlier machine. Filler cap on the left makes it an earlier bike. Twin carbs, certainly not the originals, as it has concentrics, when originally it would have had monoblocs. Also has speedo and tachometer.
That Colin Seeley front brake sure is nice. I wouldn't mind having one of those.

As far as the Mercury goes, it was indeed an inexpensive Norton, and the last in line for the featherbed framed Nortons. Painted fenders etc, where cheaper to produce than the chrome versions. Originally a very ugly machine in it's day, but based on it's rarity, I'd say it's a very desirable machine, which I personally find to be beautiful. I've seen some Mercury engines where the castings where of fairly poor quality when it comes to the definition of the features. Mainly speaking about the head.

Either way, I'd say the Mercury is a damn cool Norton that anyone would be happy to own. I think that anyone rebuilding / restoring one, should be happy to put it back to it's original "uniqueness".

Darlan, as for your original inquiry about the axle, if you're ordering a new one, why not order the axle and a new nut of the appropriate fitment to go with it?
Keep us posted how you go with it.
Jeff

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby wakeup » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:12 am

I was told that the Mercury was to clear up all the old bits, featherbed frames, etc etc, before Woolwich was closed. I don't remember any being assembled at Andover. In late 69 they were offered to us employees at "cost" price, wish I could remember what that was! A friend got one of the last P11s at that time, which was how I got a ride on one (P11 that is).
I think the Mercury was a essentially a 650SS, with painted bits instead of chrome, and a single concentric, instead of twin tooters. A very nice, if grossly underrated bike.
cheers
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby frankdamp » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:29 am

My company hack 650SS didn't have a tachometer either. I think it was a 1965 model that had been used for all kinds of experiments. While I was at N-V, it went back to Plumstead for a while to test a single-carb configuration. While it was gone, I used a Villiers "Fantabulous" scooter for commuting.

That was a scooter made by Viiliers - India, initially with a 150cc engine. At Marston Road, we modified it to take an electric-start 197 (the 9E). It was on the Norton stand at the '67 show, but raised no interest, and the idea of importing it was dropped. I wonder what happened to that particular machine.
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Rohan » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:55 pm

wilkey113 wrote:I don't think that 2nd bike is a Mercury. Looks to be an earlier machine. Filler cap on the left makes it an earlier bike. Twin carbs, certainly not the originals, as it has concentrics, when originally it would have had monoblocs. Also has speedo and tachometer.
That Colin Seeley front brake sure is nice. I wouldn't mind having one of those.


Not my photos, just used them to illustrate with.
Concentrics appeared in 1967, so everything after than only had concentrics.
The blue bike was used to show what an all blue bike looked like.
Sorry if it seemed I was suggesting it was a Mercury....

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby L.A.B. » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Rohan wrote:
wilkey113 wrote:I don't think that 2nd bike is a Mercury. Looks to be an earlier machine. Filler cap on the left makes it an earlier bike. Twin carbs, certainly not the originals, as it has concentrics, when originally it would have had monoblocs. Also has speedo and tachometer.
That Colin Seeley front brake sure is nice. I wouldn't mind having one of those.


Not my photos, just used them to illustrate with.
Concentrics appeared in 1967, so everything after than only had concentrics.
The blue bike was used to show what an all blue bike looked like.
Sorry if it seemed I was suggesting it was a Mercury....


It is a Mercury
http://www.cheffins.co.uk/lot/1969-650c ... vintage-0/
Lot 1266 - 1969 650cc Norton Mercury Reg. No. XUL 726H
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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Rohan » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:38 pm

Good find, LAB....

Not entirely a standard Mercury then, is it.
And the auction description doesn't do them any credit either - "mercifully it appears to be nearly all original and untouched".
Maybe the tacho was an option somehow, and the blue tank.....?
Cheers.

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby beng » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:05 am

Every mechanic should have a thread gauge:

Image

A lot of threads were changed on Norton motorcycles after production was moved to the AMC works, and later in the 70s just about every type of thread found it's way onto British motorcycles, SAE, whitworth and metric.

I was looking at a small screw on my 62' 650ss the other day trying to figure out what it was, it had more TPI than a 6-32 sae tap, but less than a 4-40 tap, so I looked up a table of british threads and behold there was the 3BA British Association specification that had about the same O.D. as and SAE 6-32 screw but with 34.84 threads per inch.

On Norton fuel tanks:

The Norton's from the old works usually all had their fuel caps on the left, so when the bikes were put on the side-stand with a full tank they very well could weep fuel down the side of the bike onto the engine if the cap seal was not perfect.
Most post 62' Nortons had their caps on the right side of the tank, a sensible modification, one exception being the Long Range Commando fastback, which had an old Dominator tank with modifications to make it fit onto a Commando frame, it's fuel cap for some reason was located further forward and to the left than any pre-63' Dominator! I guess it may have been out of the way of a tank bag anyway.

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby L.A.B. » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:25 am

beng wrote:one exception being the Long Range Commando fastback, which had an old Dominator tank with modifications to make it fit onto a Commando frame, it's fuel cap for some reason was located further forward and to the left than any pre-63' Dominator! I guess it may have been out of the way of a tank bag anyway.


I believe the Fastback LR tank was a variation of the early Interpol steel tank where the filler was repositioned further forward to provide sufficient space for the (optional) tank mounted two-way radio equipment.

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Re: Need help please 1969 Norton Mercury

Postby Snorton74 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:47 am

Awesome!
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