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#635828 - 01/19/16 10:49 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Installing the inner primary case; need to first do a test-fit with gasket and bolt up the 3 bolts at the crankcase, while checking the gap to the stand-off stud. This is fully nipped up, and there is a 1/16" gap. While doing this step, keep checking this gap! If it closes fully before the 3 bolts are tight, you COULD crack the case by tightening further.



This washer is a little thicker than 1/16



This washer is just right



Inner case now fully tightened with zero deflection and no possibility of cracking the case when I tighten the outer cover.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
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#635830 - 01/19/16 10:52 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I don't care for the long alternator stand-offs, they leave too much of the rotor/stator interface unused.



That's over 1/4" gap on a part that is only 1-1/4" wide; that's basically 20% inefficient.

I sorted (3) 1/4" spacers and get almost full interface between the alternator components, for maximum effect.



Plenty of chain clearance to the stator.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#635831 - 01/19/16 10:54 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Primary system done after having to add 2 thin shims behind the clutch basket to properly align the primary chain with the front edge of the primary case.



Finally looking like a motorcycle instead of a pile of parts...



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#635973 - 01/19/16 10:45 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Assembled the brake caliper, installed & bled it; both brakes are done.



Slides are 3-1/2 cutaway



Main jets are 220s



Needle jets are 106s



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#635974 - 01/19/16 10:47 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Carb parts swimming in 50/50 pine oil cleaner & hot water.



Quick rattle-can spray job on the left sidecover 'till the final decision is made as to what parts the painter will deal with.



I only had 40 minutes for the carbs to soak before I had to shut down for the evening. I'll heat up the mix tomorrow and give 'em another hour with each part getting hit with a toothbrush while they soak. 40 minutes made a difference, but not as much as Berrymean's Chem-Dip does (at 3x the price).



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636087 - 01/20/16 5:02 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Carbs got 4 more hours of soaking, then a soft brass wire brushing.. Nice, but not as good as Berryman's Chem-Dip. Oh well, it was worth the attempt.



Spiffy carbs ready to bolt back on.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636139 - 01/21/16 12:05 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Valve lapping time!

First the coarse, then the fine.



Hand lapping tool works great. Using a drill on the stem end is not recommended.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636141 - 01/21/16 12:10 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
GrandPaul Online content
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Closeup of intake valve lapped face also came out blurry so hard to clearly see the thin gray band of mating face.



Done with lapping valves. I'm going to polish up the combustion chambers tomorrow.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636250 - 01/21/16 4:17 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
GrandPaul Online content
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Engine mocked up in preparation to have the bike serial numbers inspected by the local Police Dept.



Took some 0000 steel wool and Simple Green degreaser to the pipes; not too bad! There are 2 or 3 scratches, mostly covered by the bodywork.



Pipes, tank and temporary seat in place.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636251 - 01/21/16 4:19 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Bodywork in place FINALLY. It's only mocked up, but it's looking pretty close to what it will look like when it's done. Now to book the P.D. inspection.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636279 - 01/21/16 7:30 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Headlights installed but not wired. (front lower mount installed, but you can't see it)



Tail light temporarily installed with previously installed (incorrect) license plate back, (chrome bit)). Mufflers wil be aligned after final assembly.



Right side beauty shot, front fender not drilled or mounted yet.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636281 - 01/21/16 7:32 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
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Posts: 6,643
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I need the proper original layout of the indicator lights (red, blue & amber)



Cockpit looking almost complete. Clutch pull is a little heavy, I'm going to install a stuffer plate to bring the stack height up.



Last edited by GrandPaul; 01/21/16 7:34 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#636295 - 01/21/16 8:19 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: May 2015
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Zombie Offline
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Florida PanHandle
What a GREAT looking machine Mr. GrandPaul!

I haven't read the entire thread yet but I am in awe of how cool it looks.
What gets me the most about it is, I remember those bikes zooming around the television, and seeing the model kits in the stores.

It's almost hard to believe that something from my childhood comes back to remind me of how frickin old I'm getting.

For the fellas in their 70's-80's, I cant imagine it. It must have been insane watching the chariot races, and being constantly on guard for T-Rex-s, and Pterodactyl-s.

Very cool bike Mr. Paul!

#636313 - 01/21/16 9:46 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,056
Lannis Online content
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Lannis  Online Content

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Central Virginia
Really nice to see a proper narrative and photos of "how to assemble", with the right shims and all. This is going to be a great bike, and the build info is much appreciated!

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#636320 - 01/21/16 10:48 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I have been getting one heck of an education about the medium-rare John Player Norton from people on the various forums, facebook, and vendors including Phil Radford of Fair Spares America who is a recognized authority on the subject.

This thread brings everything I've learned into one place (not to say there isn't a lot more to know "out there", I'm still searching for details).

The back story on this bike is definitely unique to me. "One of the ones that got away" came back (at a price). Even though I've acquired the taste for it, I knew I was going to be selling it before I ever bought it.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#637078 - 01/25/16 7:29 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Zener diodes, "before & after"



Spiffy clean underside; centerstand installed.



Just a mock-up. I sure love timing side shots of Commandos and Bonnevilles.



GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#637079 - 01/25/16 7:32 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
GrandPaul Online content
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GrandPaul  Online Content
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Posts: 6,643
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
One of these two tanks will be for sale; still haven't decided which one.



"Stable mates", sans bodywork. Waiting for rings for the JPN and title for the 880 Special...



(2) Replica OEM solo seats ordered for the JPN today. I made a deal to send them my fairing and they'll send me a brand new one after they model it and start making new ones. So, I will have a FULL JPN bodywork set for sale soon (fairing, mounts, windscreen, tank shroud, tank & seat), plus one spare rough fairing.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#637433 - 01/28/16 2:07 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
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GrandPaul Online content
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Shipped out my new JPN fairing on FedEx insured for full replacement cost, to Airtech. They'll make a mould to reproduce it, then send it back to me. I'll get the first clean copy they produce at no charge (other than the cost to send it to them, which wasn't cheap).

So, will soon have one complete JPN bodywork set for sale, ready to bolt on (with extended gas tank)

I'm going to have them copy my Tracy 2000 & 2001 quarter fairings, on the same terms. I've searched high and low for those...





GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#637621 - 01/29/16 8:55 pm Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,643
GrandPaul Online content
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GrandPaul  Online Content
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Just got done reverse engineering the JPN fairing brackets and ordering all the materials to build a few sets for myself & Airtech. I love playing with AutoCAD.

I may be the only source for the brackets once they're done (other than onsie-twosies stashed in people's sheds and garages) I haven't found any after searching pretty extensively.

Really itching to get in my rings and get the engine done. Less than a day's work left to fire it up...


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
#637666 - 01/30/16 8:34 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Allan Gill Offline
Allan Gill  Offline



Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
you've moved really fast on this paul.


beerchug
#637668 - 01/30/16 8:50 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Allan Gill Offline
Allan Gill  Offline



Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
Originally Posted By GrandPaul







The back end on yours looks a little lower than the auction photo, are there different spring lengths for the JPS compared to the normal commando?


beerchug
#637669 - 01/30/16 9:10 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,887
kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,887
Scotland
Allan, look at the relationship between the rear tyre and the mudguard and the bottom shock nut and the silencer on both, they are very similar. What you are picking up on is the seats being different and GP's is not as high has the lower extension for the racing number and that makes his look like its riding lower but if it is its only by mm's.

#637679 - 01/30/16 10:23 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Allan Gill Offline
Allan Gill  Offline



Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,533
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
I think your right John. The number board also makes it look closer to the back tyre


beerchug
#637680 - 01/30/16 10:25 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
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Andy Higham Online content
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Bolton Lancs UK
The seat looks "droopy"


1955 BSA B31 400cc "Stargazer"
1962 Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
1962/67 Greeves 350cc
1967 Greeves 360cc Challenger
1984 Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
Modified Nu-Trak GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
#637685 - 01/30/16 11:26 am Re: 1974 John Player Special Norton Commando 850 resto [Re: GrandPaul]  
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Posts: 6,643
GrandPaul Online content
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Correct seat is winging it's way from the west coast.

I'll have it upholstered and installed in a week or two at the most.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
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