"Build Thread" for my 1974 850

gatsby

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I apologize in advance for a long thread, but I wanted to give a little background on this project, and why it is special to me.

About 8 years ago, I got my first Norton that was restored for me by a family friend. In early ownership, I encountered a mechanical problem (turned out to be a bent valve after a piston kiss). I was very green, and my tool box consisted of an “all in one home tool kit”, with many missing pieces. I had no idea what to do. I saw a classified ad for someone looking for Norton parts. I called the number in the ad, and asked if he knew of any Norton mechanics. This gentleman right away offered to come right over to my house to help troubleshoot my problem. This is how I met Geoff. Little did I know, this chance encounter would spark a very tight friendship. Geoff figured out my problem right away, and after a bit of work and a few more visits, my Combat was back in running order. Geoff took a shine to me, took me under his wing, and acted as my Norton mechanical mentor. Finding another Norton nut that was as enthusiastic about these bikes as I was was wonderful. From that day on, we would compare notes, team up in orders, buy and restore bikes, and enjoy each others company.

Earlier this year, Geoff was diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and he lost his battle this past summer. Prior to his passing, Geoff had started to build a 1974 850, in his vision of "The Ultimate Norton". He completely rebuilt the engine and gear box, and I helped him put the engine into the frame. The below picture is as far as he got, and this is how the bike sits today in my basement. Prior to his passing, when I think he knew deep down that his time was getting short, he told me that he wanted me to have all his Norton projects and parts. It is an amazing gift.

I am going to build this 850 the way Geoff wanted it built, and it will be a tribute to my good friend. This will be challenging as I will be doing this for the first time without my wingman.

Cheers,
Gatsby



Photo Credit: Manfred Buchheit
291460481_10159617596971418_4080397730541535621_n.jpg


As the project sits today. The remaining parts are mixed into a much larger basket case. Many new parts were already purchased, and I have been accumulating what is missing.
Frame.jpg
 
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baz

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Sorry to hear the passing of your friend another one of us gone
I'm sure you will do him proud with this project
 

gatsby

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Progress so far.... Tank, side covers, and cups dipped and stripped. Purists look away... this tank will be 0.025 Sea Foam square flake over a silver base coat. Decals will be silver with black outline. Paint job will be farmed out. Cups will be matt black Tremclad rust paint rattle can. I have used this in the past, and it is surprising close to original.

"Build Thread" for my 1974 850


Remaining item dipped and stripped prior to sandblasting, masking and powder coating.

"Build Thread" for my 1974 850


Items picked up from powder coating. They look great!
"Build Thread" for my 1974 850
 

MichaelB

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Condolences on your loss.
Thank you for sharing the build.
This will be a GREAT thread!!!
 

Bonzo

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Great post and I'll watch this thread with much interest.

Sorry to hear about your mate Geoff. Someone must be slicing onions in here.
 

gatsby

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Here is my electrical system:

Tri- Spark ignition and coils
Lucas cloth harness, 3-phase stator, rotor, and rectifier/regulator.

New old stock indicators

"Build Thread" for my 1974 850
"Build Thread" for my 1974 850
 

gatsby

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Slowly getting parts cleaned and ready for buffing and polishing. My fork sliders still require more cleaning to get the congealed sludge out of the bottoms. This WM2 19" alloy front rim has been sitting in a shed, and has some light oxidation. It should clean up. I have Stainless spokes from Central wheels, so I will try my hand wheel building. I will need to order a valanced rear wheel and spokes. I have other wheels to measure offsets, and I believe the offsets are posted in Norman White's restoration manual. Any first timer tips? Also, will the switchgear polish up?

Cheers,
Gatsby



"Build Thread" for my 1974 850
 

mean gene

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Enjoy your build, I'm sure it's starting to cool off up there and you will have less riding time!
 

TomU

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Slowly getting parts cleaned and ready for buffing and polishing. My fork sliders still require more cleaning to get the congealed sludge out of the bottoms. This WM2 19" alloy front rim has been sitting in a shed, and has some light oxidation. It should clean up. I have Stainless spokes from Central wheels, so I will try my hand wheel building. I will need to order a valanced rear wheel and spokes. I have other wheels to measure offsets, and I believe the offsets are posted in Norman White's restoration manual. Any first timer tips? Also, will the switchgear polish up?

Lacing a wheel is not hard, but it can get frustating if you don't do it right. I spent hours doing it wrong until i figured it out, then it was like 20 mins. Unfortunately, i don't remember what i did wrong. Anywho, this is good info



There's a litany of you tube vids on lacing wheels. Just make sure you lube your nipples :cool:

Some tools i found useful

Amazon product
Amazon product
And yes, anything aluminum will polish
 

gatsby

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Lacing a wheel is not hard, but it can get frustating if you don't do it right. I spent hours doing it wrong until i figured it out, then it was like 20 mins. Unfortunately, i don't remember what i did wrong. Anywho, this is good info



There's a litany of you tube vids on lacing wheels. Just make sure you lube your nipples :cool:

Some tools i found useful

Amazon product
Amazon product
And yes, anything aluminum will polish
Thank you Tom! I did not know that made a torque wrench for spokes!
 

TomU

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Spoke tension is actually more important than the torque on the nipple but good luck trying to measure that. Those with experience can tell by pinging the spokes, but i can't pick out a properly tuned spoke from one that isn't so i go with a torque wrench
 
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