1971 Roadster - Long Slow Play

SEd27

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I though it was about time to get a proper build thread started. This one may take a while, hence the title.

Below is what I started with. It was a true basket case in every sense of the word.

BECBA4E8-615D-4DB4-A98B-5126858EE812.jpeg


I undertook a quick mockup to review how the fit/ finish was and to see if anything was tweaked.

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SEd27

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For the most part everything looked to be pretty straight.

This said, there were some indications that the bike may have tipped over/ dropped - One of the gauge holders is oval and scarred up, the fork stop on the front of the head tube is bent slightly and lower fork tube on the left side is cracked at the axle.

Everything got bagged and tagged and then broken down to the bare frame.


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Was pleasantly surprised to find out the rear loop had already been braced.
 
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SEd27

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As was expected, after nearly 50 years some parts were beyond stuck.

Had to cut off the rear iso bolt to remove the cradle. I cannot for the life of me get the swing arm spindle to budge. I’ve broken a punch, soaked with penetrating oil, applied heat. I even fashioned a puller per the manual. Nothing has worked. Next is to find someone with a press....

I am open to other advice from those that have been in the same situation. I am trying to not be ham fisted and damage the parts. I‘ve picked up a spare swing arm just in case.

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SEd27

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Dismantled the triple trees. There was evidence that one of the previous owners had used a hammer to separate the top and bottom

4824BC66-1F9F-4A21-82F4-9809572B0A9F.jpeg


It‘s really surprising what a little time with a file can do to smooth out the scars

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There is still some prep to do before they get shipped off to the powder coater.

Steering head bearings had also felt decently smooth, so I suspected that they had been replaced at some point. Turns out they were Japanese units.

While the files were out I also cleaned up the fork stop. A few well placed whacks with a brass punch and some edge dressing straightened everything out.

C7A7AD43-8E74-4E24-936A-52526266E617.jpeg
 
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gortnipper

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SEd27

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The engine was also disassembled when I purchased the roadster.

After I had everything home, I noticed that one of the bottom fins on the head had been cracked. I kick myself for not noticing and trying to negotiate down the price a bit more.

Unfortunately, the crack was deep enough that a portion of the fin came off with a bit of prying.

4FA95863-B1B0-4CA6-8D72-6EF33BEF6E68.jpeg


Currently searching for someone local who is good with a TIG to weld back on. The good news is it is on the bottom and accessible.
 

SEd27

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Cool!

Are you hard and fast about powder coating? (I know I wouldnt) A lot of masking work to do. Google on the forum if you are just thinking about it...and look at this.


And look at this for ideas on evaluating the frame straightness. I did a little of this, but not OTT.


Good luck!
gortnipper,

Thanks for the links. I had previously come across those articles. How far did you go down the rabbit hole with straightening?

Will be going with powder powder coating on the frame components. One of my best friends owns a powder coating shop and did all the parts for my XS650 (even the tank, side, and engine covers).
 
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The engine was also disassembled when I purchased the roadster.

After I had everything home, I noticed that one of the bottom fins on the head had been cracked. I kick myself for not noticing and trying to negotiate down the price a bit more.

Unfortunately, the crack was deep enough that a portion of the fin came off with a bit of prying.

View attachment 17245

Currently searching for someone local who is good with a TIG to weld back on. The good news is it is on the bottom and accessible.
Lumiweld rod kits work quite well on unstressed components, just clean the pards up and pre heat before attemping to carry out a repair.
 

gortnipper

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gortnipper,

Thanks for the links. I had previously come across those articles. How far did you go down the rabbit hole with straightening?

Will be going with powder powder coating on the frame components. One of my best friends owns a powder coating shop and did all the parts for my XS650 (even the tank, side, and engine covers).
Well, if you think it has been in a crash, that is a ball of string question.

My bike came with a broken frame above the rear iso mount, which I had welded in the late 80s. When I stripped it down for a resto a few years ago, I took it to a frame shop here in NZ who had experience with racing Nortons, so he knew the bikes and had the frame parameters in his computerized frame jig, so he could check it.

As long as it was stripped down, I would do some research to try and find a good frame guy near you (preferably who may know Commandos) to check everything is square, plumb, parallel. Send a copy of the article and a copy of the frame specs from the workshop manual, and then install the new isolastics and the swingarm with the new parts and take it to him to measure up. Then he can check for square. After that, strip it down again and have at the powder.

Just my .02
 

SEd27

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Well, if you think it has been in a crash, that is a ball of string question.

My bike came with a broken frame above the rear iso mount, which I had welded in the late 80s. When I stripped it down for a resto a few years ago, I took it to a frame shop here in NZ who had experience with racing Nortons, so he knew the bikes and had the frame parameters in his computerized frame jig, so he could check it.

As long as it was stripped down, I would do some research to try and find a good frame guy near you (preferably who may know Commandos) to check everything is square, plumb, parallel. Send a copy of the article and a copy of the frame specs from the workshop manual, and then install the new isolastics and the swingarm with the new parts and take it to him to measure up. Then he can check for square. After that, strip it down again and have at the powder.

Just my .02
I don't believe it was crashed. The triple trees and tubes were straight and slid together easily.

Need to find a frame diagram and use a string to get some base measurements
 
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Unless you are a expert I would still get the yokes and stauntions checked they can be easily bent.
 

SEd27

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Unless you are a expert I would still get the yokes and stauntions checked they can be easily bent.
possm,

Yes, you are correct, it is probably good due diligence to get everything checked over while the bike is apart.

Better to find out something is bent now rather than down the road.

I am going to replace the fork stanchions, as the original ones are too rusted and pitted to save.
 

TomU

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As was expected, after nearly 50 years some parts were beyond stuck.

Had to cut off the rear iso bolt to remove the cradle. I cannot for the life of me get the swing arm spindle to budge. I’ve broken a punch, soaked with penetrating oil, applied heat. I even fashioned a puller per the manual. Nothing has worked. Next is to find someone with a press....

I am open to other advice from those that have been in the same situation. I am trying to not be ham fisted and damage the parts. I‘ve picked up a spare swing arm just in case.

View attachment 17236
Any luck on getting the swing arm spindle out? I had some success fashioning a puller using a long bolt and socket, but found it easier to just push it out using a socket and extender

IMG_1560sm.jpg


Had to cut the rear iso off as well ;)
 

SEd27

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Any luck on getting the swing arm spindle out? I had some success fashioning a puller using a long bolt and socket, but found it easier to just push it out using a socket and extender

View attachment 17282

Had to cut the rear iso off as well ;)
TomU,

Unfortunately I’ve had no luck with the spindle. It’s been relegated to the corner of the shed for now.

I tried the socket, and bolt method, but managed to only strip threads and round off nuts. I also attempted the setup you have in the picture (to drive out from the other side). Spindle would not budge.

Hydraulic press is the next viable option.
 

gortnipper

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PB Blaster in between bushings and spindle, and into top via the locating bolt and leave overnight. Heat the swingarm around bushings and the spindle tube. Maybe best done off bike.
 

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