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Flood Victim

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycle Rebuilds' started by Danno, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Got this recently from another site member. It was stored in a barn that took 5' of floodwater, so it was completely submerged. Should I name it "Thresher" after the famous sunken submarine, with a nod to it's agrarian Iowa origins, or maybe "FEMA"? In any case, it's a 1973 850 Commando Roadster with 4500 original miles. Plan is to keep it stock, since it's all there. As delivered:

    [​IMG]

    Took the seat (which cleaned up like new), tank and sidecovers off and trailered it to the car wash to blast off the last of the Mississippi mud.

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    It's locked up tight, so job #1 will be to pull the top end and see what's inside. I'll also disassemble the primary drive and gearbox to see what the extent of water damage there is inside.
     
  2. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    If you don't split the cases, you'll never have peace of mind.
     
  3. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    When I get the cylinders off, if there's any evidence of water, I will. I have little doubt there won't be.
     
  4. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Pulled the drain plugs (exc. primary, gotta get the pipes off for that). Very little oil in the tank, Gearbox was a mix of water and penetrant. Crankcase was mostly water with a little oil. At least it wasn't rusty water.
     
  5. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    As soon as you let the water out, the rust starts!
     
  6. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010

    Even if I fill everything with oil?
     
  7. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    If you fill everything with oil, make sure it's BONE DRY first!!!
     
  8. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Removed the valve covers last night. Everything up there looks OK, no rust. Then I removed the pipes and mufflers (which are junk anyway). Looking into the exhaust ports revealed a real mess of built-up carbon and corrosion. I assume things will be similar in the combustion chambers. Carbs and head are coming off tomorrow. Also filled the gearbox with oil and poured a half-quart into the head to drain down into the pushrod tunnels.
     
  9. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    How about Titanic?

    Good pickup.
     
  10. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Just brain storming here. You might flush the internals with alcohol to absorb water, drain, dry, then oil. Might have to repeat to ensure that all the water is absorbed. A gallon of WD-40 might be even better since it displaces water; drives through it to the metal.
     
  11. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    That's good, too! :lol:
     
  12. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    That's good, too! :lol:
     
  13. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    I think it's as Grandpaul said and needs to come completely apart. No way to tell if there's corrosion on the crank journals and main bearings otherwise, and I don't know if anything would clear it out in situ. The PO added some penetrating oil in an attempt to free things up, but the rings are almost certainly rusted to the bores.

    There's bad paint and rust on the lower part of the frame, although not many fasteners and chrome parts are rusty. Wheels are fine but some of the front spoke nipples are rusty. Might as well take it all down, replace what's corroded and put it back together in a leak-stopping manner. Other than pistons, rings and cylinder bores, I'm hoping the low actual mileage means most of the wear parts are reusable as-is.
     
  14. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Spent the day removing, cleaning and testing the lighting. Headlight reflector was toast, but I had a spare. One turnsignal bezel smashed, had a spare for that, too, although I had to tap it to accept a threaded post. Amazingly, all the bulbs worked except the smashed signal and gauge bulbs. Taillight lens came off in pieces, so I ordered a new one off fleabay. Got two signal lenses coming even though I only need one. Only a pair were available and I want to make sure they match.

    Only thing weird was, one of the wires to the charge warning light had no connector inside the headlight so I had to cut it. If it had been the + side, I could have disconnected it at the bezel, but it was the -.
     
  15. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Got the head off this evening. Pretty ugly in there, full of rusty mud.

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    One good sign; the head came up as the bolts were removed, so the valves are free in the guides, despite what the ports and combustion chambers look like. The rockers and valve springs are clean.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    After some scraping and vacuuming, things are a llttle more visible.

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    Filled the cylinder tops with penetrant and the pushrod tubes with oil, which quickly drained down. I'll keep adding until no more will drain down.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Torontonian

    Torontonian

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    How about " Mississippi Mud ? ".
     
  18. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Haha! That's the crap I'm trying to get rid of!
     
  19. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Looks eerily familiar!

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Like, Deja Vu all over again! :lol:
     

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