Mar 1969 fireflake red 750 S rebuild

illf8ed

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Starting a new thread for restoration progress on the fireflake red ‘69 750 S.
First things first. Just shot black lacquer with clear coat over on the main frame. Waiting for delivery from AN for isolastic parts and fork seals.
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illf8ed

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See the ID plate showing made in London, so a Plumstead assembly before the move to Andover in July 1969.
 

illf8ed

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The shipment from Andover Norton arrived. Usually takes less than a week from placing my order.
Gearbox was already in very good shape. Some typical pitting on the gear faces, but I have never been concerned about that on a Commando. The bushes were all good as was the main shaft bearings. As a matter of course I replaced the layshaft ball bearing with the roller upgrade - may as well if you’re in there. Also finished installing new rubber parts in the front and rear isolastics. Again straight forward, no problems.
As I don’t intend to ride this one much I’m not doing the swing arm shaft mod, at least not this round. Shaft and bushes still in good shape.
I had some not too bad fork legs from my ‘72 so will replace the pitted ones that came with this ‘69. New fork seals of course.
 

grandpaul

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Just make sure the swingarm spindle has zero play in the transmission cradle.
 

illf8ed

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I didn’t want to disturb the timing setup so removed the drive side crankcase just to see the inside. It was very clean which I suspected from the look of the camshaft that has no wear marks at all. I don’t think this machine has many miles on it.
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illf8ed

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It’s 4:40pm and I’m stopping. Got a lot done today. Here is the re-assembly progress. Gearbox inspected and added layshaft roller bearing. Engine bottom end doesn’t need anything. Isolastics and forks rebuilt.
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illf8ed

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Bottom 1/4-20 bolt behind the alternator holding the inner primary case to the drive side crankcase is stripped. Gotta wait for Amazon delivery of a helicoil kit. My wife won’t let me out to buy it locally. Piston order arriving Tuesday. Cylinder bore is in good shape and still standard. The head is going to need a few new parts.
 

illf8ed

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Helicoil arrived. Making more progress. Silver lining with this Covid bug, lots of garage time. Silver flake taillight cowl was lightly sanded and clear coat added to bring back the gloss. If you zoom in on the left handlebar...scored a genuine Wipac Triconsul switch.
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It’s 4:40pm and I’m stopping. Got a lot done today. Here is the re-assembly progress. Gearbox inspected and added layshaft roller bearing. Engine bottom end doesn’t need anything. Isolastics and forks rebuilt.
View attachment 14985
Hey Dave
Any idea when early code 7-solid signal red was active? The early pix I've tried to scrutinize and 2 fiberglass roadster type tanks on my shelf are solid signal red from the gel coat with not a hint of paint or overspray. One still has some residue from the Norton decal.

and only later were "metalic candy coat red" on steel tanks
15-candy apple red-no trim
15-interstate red (I'd believe metalic red)
152-candy apple red-silver double line trim

Not implying what you should build other than what you want.
 

illf8ed

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Hi Dave

I have not seen a signal red ‘71, however in the one page I have there are six that were red. Build date Oct 7, 1971 151674 was the earliest red on this page. As ‘72 models were on the line in Oct ‘71 with 200xxx could be some of the late ‘71 got these.

850s had the candy red metallic. Early Commandos like my ‘69 750 S had a heavier flake size .004” in both red and blue. Not sure it was called fireflake at that time, but the blue used for the earlier ones seems to be the same as ‘71 - ‘72 fireflake. By the time steel tanks came around all the colors necessarily change.

I can see how Norton made only silver metal flake in the gel coat then painted transparent red, blue, burgundy, purple, green, gold or clear over to make all the different metal flake colors for fiberglass tanks and side covers.
 

illf8ed

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Here is the back part of my ‘69 with a patch of clear shot over to hi lite the flake size. The transparent red was sanded off.

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Thanks I'll keep poking around.
Now that you mention 200000+ bikes, So far I had not seen any prior to Nov and Dec of 71, also these 71 dated 200000 bikes had vin plate pn 06-1441.
Only when the MFG date on the tag changed to 72 the VIN plate change to pn 06-2347. Does not seem to match the books...More research needed.
What's the round thing on the pix?
 

illf8ed

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My first Commando a ‘72 combat was Oct71 build on the plate. 201123. That said I see on the build sheet several 200180 to 200239 built between Dec71 and Feb72. These all were delivered to England so maybe a delay while machines were prepped for US delivery. I wouldn’t put my head on a block for any of this. Seems there wasn’t much for numerical sequence for what went out the door.
 

illf8ed

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Obviously I’m bored sheltering at home. Just for comparison here is the original signal red fiberglass tank from my ‘72 and the left side cover from my ‘69 750 S.

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illf8ed

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I do love when a care package arrives from England. Should keep me busy for a few days.
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