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Author Topic: '72 Norton restoration  (Read 7158 times)

Offline goldy

  • Posts: 375
'72 Norton restoration
« on: Oct 13, 2016, 07:34:23 »
I've got the latest project started, so I figured I might as well do a build thread. The plan is to build a reliable runner for the owner, something that looks nice, but  not necessarily 100% perfect and try to keep costs down...it's a 1972 Commando frame with an early '69 engine. He picked it up in a pretty sad state of disrepair...there is also a lot of stuff missing. The bottom line is, there is no such thing as a cheap Norton, you ether pay big bucks for a good example, or dump a ton of money into a rusty old heap of junk to make one...that is, unless you have a relative or friend who gives you one for free (Yes, I know a guy...).
Anyhow, here's what I started with:
1948 Norton ES2
1954 AJS 20B (project)
1956 Triumph TRW
1968 Triumph T100 special
1969 Norton Commando
1973 XL350 special

Offline goldy

  • Posts: 375
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2016, 18:38:46 »
After stripping the bike down to the bare frame, I had intended to get into the engine right away, but I got side tracked wondering if the wheels would clean up, or require new rims and spokes. You never know until you try. With a generous application of elbow grease and penetrating oil combined with a small fleet of brass brushes and polish, surprise, surprise, they cleaned up quite nicely! Not one hundred percent perfect, but plenty good enough...much less costly than new rims and almost as good.

Some before and after shots:



 
1948 Norton ES2
1954 AJS 20B (project)
1956 Triumph TRW
1968 Triumph T100 special
1969 Norton Commando
1973 XL350 special

Offline o1marc

  • Posts: 2242
    • Creative Candy Powder Coating
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #2 on: Oct 13, 2016, 18:49:44 »
Without regular maintenance on them they won't stay that way for long. I have polished some 46 year old parts back to acceptable and within weeks of sitting in the shop they deteriorate rapidly. Yours did clean up nicely so maybe you'll get lucky. I knew my Triumph wheels were so far gone I didn't spend one second attempting to clean them up.

Offline doc_rot

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Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2016, 19:07:12 »
I have brought some parts back that were about the same level. you need to coat them with a wax to keep them from re-oxidizing. I like never-dull.
---------------------------------
'78 KZ1000  Project

'80 KZ750 Twin Project

Offline goldy

  • Posts: 375
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #4 on: Oct 13, 2016, 19:58:58 »
Very true guys...the wheels on my own Commando were in similar condition, but over the past 27 years I have managed to keep them nice and shiny with some regular maintenance and a decent coat of wax now and then. Hopefully these ones will hang in there just as well....if not, I can always lace up some new spokes and rims, but I'll let the owner have the final say on that.
1948 Norton ES2
1954 AJS 20B (project)
1956 Triumph TRW
1968 Triumph T100 special
1969 Norton Commando
1973 XL350 special

Offline doc_rot

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Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #5 on: Oct 14, 2016, 02:13:14 »
Good call. Save the budget for whatever surprises you find.
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'78 KZ1000  Project

'80 KZ750 Twin Project

Offline The Limey

  • Posts: 261
  • Evil English Villain
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #6 on: Oct 14, 2016, 06:10:39 »
Good work.  Saved the pennies, and genuine patina looks so much nicer than components restored to a standard far in excess of when new.
If it ain't broke, then I haven't been hitting it hard enough.

Offline goldy

  • Posts: 375
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #7 on: Oct 19, 2016, 20:05:32 »
Got a frost crack on the lower right frame rail welded shut...all ready for powder coat. Got into the engine this week. By the looks of things it must have been rebuilt just before it fell into disuse. Crank has what appears to be a new regrind on the throws at 0.030" under. A new con rod and welding repairs inside the left side crankcase would indicate a catastrophic failure at one time or other. Crankshaft oil feed end was severely corroded, had to machine it and press fit a stainless sleeve, silver soldered it for added security, then machined it down to the proper size. Cylinders were being used as a pantry by a mouse and have some pretty bad water etching spots, will need a rebore. Camshaft and followers are like new. The crank was fitted with the standard main bearings, they were in very good shape, but I will be replacing them with Superblends. Got the timing case all polished up as well as the foot rest brackets. I haven't gotten to the cylinder head yet, that's a job for next week.
Had a long chat with the owner...I can cap my labour charges and do this on a budget (I've already saved him a good little pile of cash on the wheels), but I can't spare the money on the engine...it's got to be done right, or not at all. He was a little shocked by what I told him regarding the cost of parts alone. I hope this doesn't become one of those projects that sits around for months while he saves his pennies, or worse yet, comes to a screeching halt. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that as he sees things progressing, he will find and excuse to loosen up the purse strings and keep the project going.

1948 Norton ES2
1954 AJS 20B (project)
1956 Triumph TRW
1968 Triumph T100 special
1969 Norton Commando
1973 XL350 special

Offline 3DogNate

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Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #8 on: Oct 19, 2016, 20:52:39 »
He was a little shocked by what I told him regarding the cost of parts alone. I hope this doesn't become one of those projects that sits around for months while he saves his pennies, or worse yet, comes to a screeching halt. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that as he sees things progressing, he will find and excuse to loosen up the purse strings and keep the project going.

Let him know that he's gonna get charged for storage if he dicks around... Ain't no free lunch on a Norton of any kind.

Offline goldy

  • Posts: 375
Re: '72 Norton restoration
« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 2016, 07:33:15 »
Ha-ha! No storage here, I haven't got the room! I told him that if he has to put this thing on hold, he can just take it home until he can continue...anyhow, that may not happen at all, so I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.
1948 Norton ES2
1954 AJS 20B (project)
1956 Triumph TRW
1968 Triumph T100 special
1969 Norton Commando
1973 XL350 special