Norton Mercury 1969

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by manxkipper, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    Just purchased this sad fellow. It has sat in a garage for 25 years after being diagnosed with damaged valves. 1969 model in original if somewhat sad trim. Just completed a 61 Norton ES2 resto so can't wait to start on this one. It is great to have more than one Norton in the garage.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    The completed ES2. The Mercury should turn out like this.

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    #2
  3. Nessman

    Nessman Legalize It

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    Kewl,

    A friend had an Atlas in his garage for years, never could talk him out of it. Love the upright Norton twin, IMO the prettiest Brit vertical twin.

    Looking forward to the story.

    :ear
    #3
  4. dungspreader

    dungspreader King of the Heap

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    Manxkipper, you are a lucky fella !
    #4
  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Very cool! Nortons are close to my heart, have a couple myself, they are all great in my book. I've always admired the way featherbeds go around corners though, true athletes!
    Steve
    #5
  6. Reryder

    Reryder Onward through the fog...

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    Very, very nice. Sad? No way. This is a damn complete original example of a pretty rare model. Love the blue oil tank and the humpback Mercury seat. If the single is any example, you will soon have it all well sorted. Luvly.
    I have an Atlas but OMFG but they do vibrate - no wonder they invented Isolastic engine mounts for the Commando - and I reckon the 650 would be a sweeter running more useable bike.
    #6
  7. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    The 600 was the sweetest running Norton twin - the 600 was a bored 500,the 650 was stroked,and the 750 and 850 used the same stroke.My 600 SS was not much slower than a 650,and revved much free er.I used to take it out to 75mph in second every day on the way home from work.
    #7
  8. NCGS

    NCGS De Oppresso Liber

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    :thumb
    #8
  9. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    No compression on cylinder 1 equals the following - broken left cylinder inlet valve guide. trashes both cylinders pistons and head. It looks like little elves have been busy with hammer and chisel. The inlet valve stem has picked up some metal and appears fractionally bent. Exhaust valve on cylinder 1 is also bent and the seat is trashed.

    The only puzzle for me is - how did metal get back up the inlet manifold and land in cylinder 2? The Mercury only has one carb so it is theoretically possible for the foreign object to make its way into the second cylinder.

    Strangely the bores look ok. You never know what pandora's box will serve up! The prior owner told me that the bike lost power so he parked it.

    Attached Files:

    #9
  10. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    second pic

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    #10
  11. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    Piston pic

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    #11
  12. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    Two of the barrel studs were loose when I removed the barrel from the crankcase. As I lifted the barrel off both studs came out with their respective threads. It seems that Charles Atlas torqued the nuts down during the previous rebuild. Helicoil city coming up.

    The hamfisted alway confuse their abilities with their intentions. Anyway enough griping.
    #12
  13. kirk69er

    kirk69er Been here awhile

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    wow
    ..good shots
    ..looks like a lotta fun
    #13
  14. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Looks like the previous owner had a serious lack of mechanical sensitivity. He let that thing run for quite awhile with all those bits in there.

    I remember once sucking a slide needle clip into one of the cylinders on my Royal Enfield. It was obvious something serious had gone wrong, and I shut it down immediately and pushed it home (only a couple of blocks).
    On taking it apart, I found the clip neatly caught between the intake valve and the seat. It had only nicked the top of the piston a couple of times.

    As for the Mercury, I agree with other's assemsments; that's not at all sad. It's all there, and in basically good condition. A little corrosion is no problem at all.

    What's sad is to find something like that which some tasteless idiot had attampted to "customize". Which meant hacksawing or bending anything they didn't just throw away.
    #14
  15. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    That is going to be one sweet Norton! So where does one find pistons and valve guides for that particular engine?

    My freshly restored Laverda sucked a whole needle through, made a god aweful clunk and before I could kill it the bike returned to idle, but only on one cylinder due to missing the needle. I took it apart and couldn't find the needle and it just scratched the top of the piston, guess it didn't like it and spit it out the exhaust!
    #15
  16. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    I love the rebuild threads, and it's nice to see a norton going through it finally.

    Keep up the pics. Great looking machine.
    #16
  17. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    Thankfully all parts are available from the UK. There are great distributors who provide just about every part for a Norton - albeit at a price.


    Thanks for all the encouragement.
    #17
  18. fgsnyder

    fgsnyder Wandervogel

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    I had an 850 Commando that I restored and rode, it was a classic bike (wish I still had it). I also had a Norton Atlas (I believe a 650 from the 60's). I got busy a sold it before I ever really finished it. I think I put 10 miles on it. Crap, I still have my Wentworth wrenches...maybe I need to find another one!

    Better not, just got an airhead and the wife would kill me.

    Good luck on the bikes. I have a warm spot in my heart, and an oil stain in my garage from those bikes. Keep us posted on your progress!
    #18
  19. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    The Atlas was a 750. Basically the same engine as the original 750 Commando, but with rubber to isolate all that vibration. Don't worry about getting another. Airheads aren't as exciting, but they're a far better choice for long-term ownership.
    #19
  20. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

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    To open the proverbial worm can - I would rather have a Norton than an Airhead! Its a character issue.
    #20