Navigation

You are here: Home / Messages / Light Twins / Electra rebuild

Electra rebuild

Up to Light Twins

Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at February 22. 2015

If your interested in seeing my Electra undergoing restoration I've create a page for it here... (nothing commercial...)

 

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by patrick_mullen at February 22. 2015

Hello there,

That's the way to buy them in the first place.  It's amazingly complete so should be very original but still a lot of work and expense to get it pristine.

Excellent photos.  Are you now up and running?

Patrick

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at February 22. 2015

Patrick,

Glad you liked the photos. Not up and running yet. What you see is where I'm at with it. There's not a lot of info on 'the net' about the Electra so I thought I would put this together.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Maurice Turlington at February 25. 2015

I'm just starting an Electra rebuild from several boxes of parts so your photos are really helpful. Please keep them coming! Thanks,Maurice

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by peter_holland1 at February 26. 2015

Ian,

I wish you had put these photos up eight years ago when I started my Electra rebuild. It is a travesty that the NOC have never produced a video of a lightweight rebuild. Your photos are, in many ways even better.

I can see from your photos that my clutch is probably more worn than I thought. I'm not sure I saw any cork inserts on the inner race plate as you show. Something else to check before summer and might explain why it slips.

I see your clutch cable has an adjuster where it enters the gearbox. This is a clutch cable from the 'early' Jub and Nav. All clutch cables on later gearbox lightweights have an adjuster mid cable. If it works for you, fine, but you will be caught unawares if you buy the original replacement.

You show all the clutch plates laid out before fitting. The thick plain plate is shown wrong way round. It should be fitted with the stepped side inwards, and may explain why your clutch spring retainers look so near to the end of the stud threads.

As for the rest, I get the impression your engine has done hardly any miles. At 15 to 20k miles the gearbox sprocket is usually losing a tooth and the clutch centre and drum are usually indented by the plate tangs and the tangs show signs of wear. It is a delight to see how a lightweight engine was put together when new, and a source of information for all.

I'm self taught like everyone else and ready to be corrected on these comments.

Wonderful. Please keep it up and include some cycle parts too.

Peter Holland

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

If your interested in seeing my Electra undergoing restoration I've create a page for it here... (nothing commercial...)

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at February 27. 2015

Thanks guys.

Peter, thanks for the advice on the clutch cable. I actually bought a new one a few months ago and didn't know there was a difference. I need to go check what I actually received.  You've got me thinking now about that thick plate on the clutch too. I'm pretty sure I installed it correctly but I'll check. As for the adjuster screws thay are not fully turned in yet -I'll do that one I get the cable attached and can spin the clutch easily. I've started on the heads and have only one bad valve which was badly corroded. It was on the left side which was no surprise considering how bad that side was. I'll be posting more photos of the progress today. Valve measurements and grinding! I'll also be showing all the frame etc, as we get to it. You'll see we've started on the seat pan.

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at March 01. 2015

The only thing I'm missing from the bike is the sheet metal panels that go behind the carb and wrap around the frame. Can anyone help?

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Tony Ripley at March 01. 2015

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

The only thing I'm missing from the bike is the sheet metal panels that go behind the carb and wrap around the frame. Can anyone help?

 
 
Have a look at NOC Shop and search for:-
SS19 E5_23168/9
Are these the parts you mean ?
Regards
Tony
 
edit - just noticed - out of stock.

I believe they had a batch built a while ago so it would be worth contacing anasking if they are going to do another batch.

Tony

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by andy_sochanik at March 01. 2015

See attached for the correct looking Clutch cable

Anfy S

----------------------

Previously peter_holland1 wrote:

Ian,

I wish you had put these photos up eight years ago when I started my Electra rebuild. It is a travesty that the NOC have never produced a video of a lightweight rebuild. Your photos are, in many ways even better.

I can see from your photos that my clutch is probably more worn than I thought. I'm not sure I saw any cork inserts on the inner race plate as you show. Something else to check before summer and might explain why it slips.

I see your clutch cable has an adjuster where it enters the gearbox. This is a clutch cable from the 'early' Jub and Nav. All clutch cables on later gearbox lightweights have an adjuster mid cable. If it works for you, fine, but you will be caught unawares if you buy the original replacement.

You show all the clutch plates laid out before fitting. The thick plain plate is shown wrong way round. It should be fitted with the stepped side inwards, and may explain why your clutch spring retainers look so near to the end of the stud threads.

As for the rest, I get the impression your engine has done hardly any miles. At 15 to 20k miles the gearbox sprocket is usually losing a tooth and the clutch centre and drum are usually indented by the plate tangs and the tangs show signs of wear. It is a delight to see how a lightweight engine was put together when new, and a source of information for all.

I'm self taught like everyone else and ready to be corrected on these comments.

Wonderful. Please keep it up and include some cycle parts too.

Peter Holland

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

If your interested in seeing my Electra undergoing restoration I've create a page for it here... (nothing commercial...)


Attachments

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by bob_nicholas at March 22. 2015

Previously Tony Ripley wrote:

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

The only thing I'm missing from the bike is the sheet metal panels that go behind the carb and wrap around the frame. Can anyone help?

 
 
Have a look at NOC Shop and search for:-
SS19 E5_23168/9
Are these the parts you mean ?
Regards
Tony
 
edit - just noticed - out of stock.

I believe they had a batch built a while ago so it would be worth contacing anasking if they are going to do another batch.

Tony


Hi Ian, I have a set of Panels bought from the Clubs stock some time ago and they are available at cost (club price £144.64) + postage if you still need them, give me a call.

Bob Nicholas 01934 852259 North Somerset.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at March 25. 2015

Bob, Yes it's me that needs them but that's a bit more than I want to spend. at the moment. I got the whole bike for less than that! Thanks for the offer though - much appreciated.

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by bob_nicholas at March 25. 2015

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

Bob, Yes it's me that needs them but that's a bit more than I want to spend. at the moment. I got the whole bike for less than that! Thanks for the offer though - much appreciated.

Ian


That's OK. I ended up buying a set from a member that cost me about the same money but they were painted therefore I have the Club ones spare. Anyone else interested???

You did well to buy at the money your indicating even if it's missing a few bits. I have one on the road and have a second in the process of rebuilding. I need the money as well!!

 

Bob Nicholas.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at April 02. 2015

I finally checked my new clutch cable -I got the right one!

There's more photos been uploaded on the page.  The heads are reassembled now and getting bolted down this week.

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by patrick_mullen at April 02. 2015

Hello  Ian,

I am indeed impressed with the quality of your work - very thorough and your pictures are superb.

Where are you by the way? I thought you were in Scotland but where do you get acetone in QUART cans?  Are you in USA?

Patrick

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at April 18. 2015

More photos have been added. Cylinder heads are on  and we're moving on to the chassis...

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by patrick_mullen at April 18. 2015

Very interesting - keep them coming.The starter solenoid looks to be the same as fitted to the 1963/4 MGB.

The solenoid is still available new both as replica  and geuine Lucas. They are very useful when working on a race car in the paddock as you can fire up the engine by just pressing the rubber button on the bottom.  

Patrick

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by peter_holland1 at April 20. 2015

Hi Ian,

All the oil tank and battery box mounts are supposed to be a rubber grommet with a steel tube inside. The rubber hardly gets squashed at all when the bolt is tightened.

Norton in their wisdom allowed for tolerances by enlarging the lower mounting holes in the outer frames. Your second to last picture clearly shows how the steel tube, meant to be inside the grommet, has been driven into the enlarged frame mounting hole. It is a great pain to find this out when you have the frame professionally painted with the offending steel spacer driven into the mounting hole. Adding a washer between frame and spacer cures the problem.

I think your headlight shell is from another model. The Electra shell never had those two white-ish tell-tales on it. The mileage indicated may have come with the replacement shell. Your engine internals look low(er) mileage.

Thanks for putting all the photos on the web.

Good luck

Peter

 Previously Ian Easton wrote:

More photos have been added. Cylinder heads are on  and we're moving on to the chassis...

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at April 20. 2015

Thaks for the comments Peter. I see what you mean about the headlight tell tales. The shell seems to be the right size and shape. Wonder what it came from?  I've got a lot of photos of Sammy Miller's Electra and his doesn't have the white markers as you say. His also shows a 20 Amp ammeter which I can't seem to be able to find - still looking. You can see I have an ammeter on the shell but the face is completely gone.

I've wondered about the mileage too because of the condition inside the engine.

I did find pieces of grommets everyhwere. They were all dried out and crumbly. I've got the frame all apart now (I can understand why people thought it wasn't Norton's "finest hour') and been taking out the steel inserts before it goes off for powdercoating.

Keep the comments coming -they're very helpful.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by patrick_mullen at April 20. 2015

Previously peter_holland1 wrote:

I think your headlight shell is from another model. The Electra shell never had those two white-ish tell-tales on it. The mileage indicated may have come with the replacement shell. Your engine internals look low(er) mileage.

I have never owned an Electra and I do know that Peter has a superb Electra , so he does know his Electras.    My 1961 Navigator has similar tell-tales (but in red plastic) and a previous 1963 Jubilee had the same as well (also in red).  So the headlight shell is Norton - maybe yours has lived in a hot climate and the colour has faded to whitish.  I think the tell tales were deleted on later models of Jubilees and Navigators but I don't know exactly when or if they were originally fitted to Electras.

Patrick

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at April 21. 2015

Patrick,

The bike sat out in desert heat of southern California for at least 30 years. I'm sure the red has just faded away. It's amazing that it's actaully in as good a condition as it is considering.There might be remnants of it when I take it apart.  The frame is all dissasembled now and I've posted new photos. 

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by peter_holland1 at April 22. 2015

Hi Ian,

Both the Navigator and Electra I've owned had the 1964-on wider Roadholders. Identified by a steering lock on the top yoke and lock stops welded to the front frame member adjacent to lower steering bearing. You have the earlier narrow forks with bolt-on lock stop and Patrick may be correct that tell/tales were discontinued with the wider forks.

The styling panels your bike lacks are held on by the 5/16 BSC outer threads on the long, cross frame, double threaded stud under the seat. Also by the thin nuts you found on the end of the swinging arm pivot stud.

Your centre stand has been repaired. Looks like the original pedal broke off and was welded on again at a strange angle. Looks OK now, but it might foul a regular silencer. There's probably a picture of the lightweight centre stand, with foot pedal, on the NOC spares website. Pricey though. Navigators and Jubilees had a similar stand without the foot pedal. A 3/16 pin, about one inch long, was inserted just above the foot on the left leg. You'll see where if you look at the casting. You might decide to remove the welded pedal. Hope you read this before the new paint has dried.

Why does it always look so sunny in your photos? I'm beginning to think you must live in Australia.

Great photos

Peter

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

Patrick,

The bike sat out in desert heat of southern California for at least 30 years. I'm sure the red has just faded away. It's amazing that it's actaully in as good a condition as it is considering.There might be remnants of it when I take it apart.  The frame is all dissasembled now and I've posted new photos. 

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by robert_tuck at April 23. 2015

A bit of little Known lore,  Lucas headlamp shells were finished by Lucas, so its normal for them to be a completely different shade of colour from the rest of the bike.Especially after a few years in the sun.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at April 27. 2015

Thanks for the information Peter.

The stand has already gone off for powdercoating but I have no problem fixing it when it returns.   It's interesting you noticed the repair as it's not quite so obvious if you've never seen another before (like me) and I didn't look at it that closely.  That might explain why it takes two men and a small donkey to get the bike on to the stand - it's unbelievably difficult.  As for where I am -  it's southern California (for now anyway).

 

Previously peter_holland1 wrote:

Hi Ian,

Both the Navigator and Electra I've owned had the 1964-on wider Roadholders. Identified by a steering lock on the top yoke and lock stops welded to the front frame member adjacent to lower steering bearing. You have the earlier narrow forks with bolt-on lock stop and Patrick may be correct that tell/tales were discontinued with the wider forks.

The styling panels your bike lacks are held on by the 5/16 BSC outer threads on the long, cross frame, double threaded stud under the seat. Also by the thin nuts you found on the end of the swinging arm pivot stud.

Your centre stand has been repaired. Looks like the original pedal broke off and was welded on again at a strange angle. Looks OK now, but it might foul a regular silencer. There's probably a picture of the lightweight centre stand, with foot pedal, on the NOC spares website. Pricey though. Navigators and Jubilees had a similar stand without the foot pedal. A 3/16 pin, about one inch long, was inserted just above the foot on the left leg. You'll see where if you look at the casting. You might decide to remove the welded pedal. Hope you read this before the new paint has dried.

Why does it always look so sunny in your photos? I'm beginning to think you must live in Australia.

Great photos

Peter

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

Patrick,

The bike sat out in desert heat of southern California for at least 30 years. I'm sure the red has just faded away. It's amazing that it's actaully in as good a condition as it is considering.There might be remnants of it when I take it apart.  The frame is all dissasembled now and I've posted new photos. 

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at May 29. 2015

Added some new photos today. Frame coming together and forks dissassembly. Interesting thing, the fork springs have green paint on the top. According to the old Mick Hemmings and Brian Crighton article on roadholder forks, solo bikes had red painted springs, sidecars had green,. Also, my springs are spot on 18" long, according to mick hemmings they should be 18.687. Any thoughts?

I managed to catch the centre stand before it went to the powdercoaters and I see what you mean about the repair.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by peter_holland1 at June 01. 2015

Ian,

The lighter springs in roadholder forks intended for Navigator and Electra are colour coded green. Yours are exactly correct and I'm sure they will be of correct length for your Electra. Everything, other than the spring, is common with norton dominator.

On my Electra previous owner had found longer 5/16 ins cycle bolts to secure the strengthening plates to the headstock. Still in place when I got it, these had made very severe gouges in the thread of the triple tree and must have had a dire effect on the steering. You are lucky to have an original build.

The welding on my head steady bracket, the one you powder coated, ran over the side and prevented it clamping properly in the front down tube. Soon smoothed with a file it was just one of the faults Norton built into my machine.

You may find the grit or sand blasting of the frame components prior to powder coating causes some distortion. With paint in the holes as well, prepare yourself for some resistance as the final bolts and studs are presented.

Good luck

Peter

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

Added some new photos today. Frame coming together and forks dissassembly. Interesting thing, the fork springs have green paint on the top. According to the old Mick Hemmings and Brian Crighton article on roadholder forks, solo bikes had red painted springs, sidecars had green,. Also, my springs are spot on 18" long, according to mick hemmings they should be 18.687. Any thoughts?

I managed to catch the centre stand before it went to the powdercoaters and I see what you mean about the repair.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by patrick_mullen at June 01. 2015

Hi Ian, 

Your pictures are proving very useful as I have just spotted that there is a riveted on cable clip on the right hand side of the front mudguard which is missing on my Navigator's chrome mudguard.  

When I stripped my forks down I measured the spring at 475mm. which is very much in line with your quoted figure of   18.687 inches but I am fairly certain that I have Dominator springs. (no colour code on them). The original correct Navigator/Electra spring with the green paint is a bit shorter than the Dominator one so your springs are probaby near enough right.       

Patrick.

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by Ian Easton at June 02. 2015

Thanks for the feedback on the forks, it helps clear up- some issues.  Glad your finding my photos to be helpful.  Off for a few weeks vaction  so nothing new will get posted for a while.  All my new fork parts should be here for me when I come home!

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by andy_sochanik at June 04. 2015

Hi Patrick - just spotted your note.

The cable clip on the front mudguard was not riveted on as you write - the original was spot welded on. - See picture (with apologies for the state of my Navi...)

Previously patrick_mullen wrote:

Hi Ian, 

Your pictures are proving very useful as I have just spotted that there is a riveted on cable clip on the right hand side of the front mudguard which is missing on my Navigator's chrome mudguard.  

When I stripped my forks down I measured the spring at 475mm. which is very much in line with your quoted figure of   18.687 inches but I am fairly certain that I have Dominator springs. (no colour code on them). The original correct Navigator/Electra spring with the green paint is a bit shorter than the Dominator one so your springs are probaby near enough right.       

Patrick.

Attachments

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by andy_sochanik at June 04. 2015

Hi Peter & All,

Just to add my two pennyworth into the Tell-Tale indicator lamps on the headlamp shell. (I have yet to see the photos, but think I know what you are referring to).

On the first 1959 Jubilees, with the 5" headlamp shell (held in place by an extension of the fork crown), there were two red tell-tales fitted, to act as an ignition warning light. They were 'powered' from the speedo bulb, which was on all the time the ignition was on. It did not go out (car-fashion) when charging. This led to several 'problems'...

1) They could not be seen in daylight anyway.

2) No indication of correct battery charging.

3) At night-time, they would glow red all the time.

4) Premature bulb failure - as running all the time.

So, in 1960, with the introduction of the larger 6 1/2" headlamp, the Tell-Tales were done away with, and the speedo bulb was energised from the tail lamp circuit instead. Consequently, no Navigators or Electras had Tell-Tales & only early Jubiless had them. Of course, Norton being Norton - some may have slipped through as the same 6 1/2" headlamp shell was being used on other bikes in the AMC stable, notably the 250 and 350cc AJS & Matchless single 'lightweights'. Maybe they retained the Tell-Tale lights?

HTH

Andy S

==========

Previously peter_holland1 wrote:

Hi Ian,

All the oil tank and battery box mounts are supposed to be a rubber grommet with a steel tube inside. The rubber hardly gets squashed at all when the bolt is tightened.

Norton in their wisdom allowed for tolerances by enlarging the lower mounting holes in the outer frames. Your second to last picture clearly shows how the steel tube, meant to be inside the grommet, has been driven into the enlarged frame mounting hole. It is a great pain to find this out when you have the frame professionally painted with the offending steel spacer driven into the mounting hole. Adding a washer between frame and spacer cures the problem.

I think your headlight shell is from another model. The Electra shell never had those two white-ish tell-tales on it. The mileage indicated may have come with the replacement shell. Your engine internals look low(er) mileage.

Thanks for putting all the photos on the web.

Good luck

Peter

 Previously Ian Easton wrote:

More photos have been added. Cylinder heads are on  and we're moving on to the chassis...

Ian

Re: Electra rebuild

Posted by andy_sochanik at June 04. 2015

Hi Ian,

Another fine looking Electra is to be found at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Coventry

Andy S

===================

Previously Ian Easton wrote:

Thaks for the comments Peter. I see what you mean about the headlight tell tales. The shell seems to be the right size and shape. Wonder what it came from?  I've got a lot of photos of Sammy Miller's Electra and his doesn't have the white markers as you say. His also shows a 20 Amp ammeter which I can't seem to be able to find - still looking. You can see I have an ammeter on the shell but the face is completely gone.

I've wondered about the mileage too because of the condition inside the engine.

I did find pieces of grommets everyhwere. They were all dried out and crumbly. I've got the frame all apart now (I can understand why people thought it wasn't Norton's "finest hour') and been taking out the steel inserts before it goes off for powdercoating.

Keep the comments coming -they're very helpful.


Powered by Ploneboard
Upcoming Events
Norfolk branch camping weekend May 12, 2017 - May 14, 2017 — Whitwell and Reepham railway station, Reepham, Norwich NR10 4GA 01603 871694
CRMC Track Parade - Mallory Park May 20, 2017 - May 21, 2017 — Mallory Park,Church Rd, Kirkby Mallory LE9 7QE
Surrey Branch at the Kempton Park Classic Motorcycle Show & Auto-jumble May 20, 2017 09:30 AM - 04:00 PM — Kempton Park, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ
Tay Valley Branch - lunch meeting May 21, 2017 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM — Ben Lawers Hotel,Loch Tay, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2PA
Yorkshire Branch at the Sowerby Bridge Classic Bike & Scooter Show May 28, 2017 10:30 AM - 04:30 PM — The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2AG
Upcoming events…
This is Brio Diazo Plone Theme