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73 basketcase - great white north

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycle Rebuilds' started by 850commando, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    so some quick history while the photos upload to a hosting site.

    I bought a new 1974 commando in 75. in 76 i did the conversion to the dunstall body kit and mufflers, put 10k mi's on it and traded it of 1978 for a reliable bike... every electrical piece failed, the chain was done in by 10k mi and the camshaft also ate itself.
    i rode suzuki for years but could never get the sound clip out of my mind.. those dunstall pipes had a siren song all their own.

    i finally broke down and went hunting to buy back my 850dunstall. current owner was not every going to sell.... so the next best thing was to find another 850. In 2015 i was fortunate to locate a 73 in Ontario in pieces. the PO had pulled the head, new Kibblewhite valves, bronze guides and mushroom adjusters were already installed. the barrel had been bored to fit a new set of pistons and then it sat for 15 yrs. i paid a fair price and the PO crated it up and shipped out to the wild west.
     
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  2. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    what i got? missing pipes and mufflers, the manual is useless it was soaked and the pages stuck together.


    [​IMG]

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  3. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    [​IMG]


    when i disconnected the plastic anchors, the con rods would flop left and right, the connecting rod mains were wore out, so now its a full teardown
     
  4. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    i spent 2015 mostly reading up and planning. the game plan is to do the stuff that's absolutely necessary and the optional stuff can be done down the road. the dissemble started in earnest in 2016. this cam was also gone, things i wanted to fix
    1, poor pcv - get a Jim Comstock pcv breather
    2, cam - order a web cam from Jim (turned out the cam brg was not stock size so now need new bushings)
    3, head studs - needs machine shop work
    4, wiring and rectifier and zener - total rewire
    5, front brake M/C and caliper/rotor - hold

    package on its way to Jim Comstock...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  5. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    strip down started, everything came off, WD40 is an excellent way to breakdown old grease and gunk.
    [​IMG]

    the frame got sent to a local painted it got blasted and treated to a new coat of industrial quality epoxy prime ( structural steel quality) sanding to get a smooth finish was by hand and black top coat by aerosel can.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    one of the first items to fix was the swingarm pin. it was very corroded, but the bushings measure ok and there was no slop in the cradle. had a new one made to my own design and also did the H.Kegler mod however since it was out of frame, i just welded the nuts to the tube. also modified the oil filter bracket, with a bushing to get it to 3/4"-16 for a standard filter. [​IMG]
     
  7. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Hemmings isolastic verniers added and rubbers replaced. all fasteners replaced with UNF or UNC gr8, except where Jim convinced me to use CNW -arp 12point fasteners
    [​IMG]

    all other bits with corrosion, rust or fluff went to the sandblaster and then repaint.. the horn got installed next. i had a hella single tone on the shelf, the norton (lucas) horn was dead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    gortnipper likes this.
  8. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    hee hee

    If you'd have done all that to your OLD Commando, you'd have been enjoying it all these years!

    C'est la vie.

    Nice project.

    P.S. if that tank is steel, they're worth up to a grand.
     
  9. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    coulda shoulda woulda....but we only learn from making mistakes or poor choices... back in 1978 there was no internet which has changed how we source and buy stuff. i've enjoyed a long string of other bikes over the years so really not a lose

    the tank is steel, there is a twist to this which i cannot reveal until later
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  10. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    work completed so far in 2017
    1, oil tank cleaned and rubber pad added underneath, new top supports, HD to replace the factory wimp
    2, front forks were rebuilt this spring, new tubes seals and boots,
    3, both master cylinder and caliper rebuilt, hose look much newer so it stays
    4, shindengen sh775 RR procured, the alternator rotor is still good, now i need to find a place to mount it
    5, amals were shot, a the bottom of the bore they flopped like herring, fortunately the deal included a mik vm34 so thats what it will start on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  11. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    [​IMG]

    (july 5, 2017) engine is in, and now i realize the GB needs to go in first. a bit of a delay as i haven't cracked it open yet

    [​IMG]
    what a shit hole, there should be rules about who gets to operate mechanical things...
    [​IMG]
    new parts on the way.
    went with Mick Hemmings recommend plastic cage 6203 , GB is in, oil lines connected,
    had some grief with the shifting, it would go from 1st to 2nd and neutral but find 3 and 4 was like hitting a stop.
    turns out that the new ratchet spring on the pawl was way to tight, stretched it out same and now its fine.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  12. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    things are coming together pretty well[​IMG]
    i found some used 75 exhaust pipes, had been cut beside the crossover, that's now repaired.
    After cleanup the rear rim was found to be too badly corroded and so a replacement will be procured, Walridge is having a fall sale so i will probably get a wm3 -18" as a replacement.
    replacement mufflers will be copy of the dunstall long-dong pipe
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  13. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    (oct 30 2017)
    [​IMG]
    timed
     
  14. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    This thread is like deja vu all over again for me. The Titanic definitely has some second-hand parts and 'patina'. And I appreciate doing as much of the work as possible yourself.
     
  15. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    the original wire harness is junk after 40+ years. the wire jackets are cracked and the junction blook fell apart on contact.

    I've started rewiring. i original contemplated just doing a new harness purchase but i found a wiring diagram by www.doov.com which included a fuse box, neg ground and a modern Reg/Rect. I was hooked. i need good wire and found that the current SAE std J1128 TXL (83) calls out a specific product which has a special crosslinked poly outer jacket to better withstand the rigur (heat and chemicals) in new auto engine compartment. there are a number of places that sell it, i bought from the wirebarn.com.

    there was an obscure note on a UK supplier site which mentioned something about old stock and new stock with an improved formulation but no details, it would have been available colour coded but the wire barn had a deal on 10 different colours in your choice of ga size 25ft per each. I bouilt my own wiring diagram based on the doov one with the limitation of solid wire with no stipping, but i will use wire markers to conform with the factory original wiring.

    step one is to replace the lines to the handlebar switchs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I sourced new poly jacketing from Cycle Terminal, and so the fun begins, the garage is unheated and its been -20c for the last while. progress many be a bit slower.
     
  16. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Wiring is still in progress, but i needed to get started on the rear wheel. new rim and spokes assembled and setup for truing.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
  18. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    WELL; i got the wiring in place and its a packed house behind the headlight, so much so, i'm going to revise it and move the headlight relays to the back by the battery. that will be the only way to get enough room for a LED bulb if desired in the future.
     
  19. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    progress on wiring nearly complete. headlight relays relocated to battery compartment and all wiring to headlight tested. just need to get the rear brake switch installed. new 18" rear rim mounted, tire is on its way, and the we can lift it of the work bench
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Nice work there Sir.
    I've been running a Philips LumiLed 3000 lumen headlamp bulb in my 2013 Bonneville and it is sweet. Bright enough to make me more visible even in bright daylight. The system has flexible ribbons with copper strands on lamp casing to give good heat sink action without taking much space at all. The power supply is a separate small unit which can go some distance away. I paid about $80 from a snowmobile place in Quebec.
     
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