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1951 Manx rebuild sequence


So my 1951 Manx is completely stripped down. The engine and gearbox has been rebuilt all parts have been painted, now I want to start rebuilding it. My question is what would be the best sequence to do this? Do I put the engine in the frame first or build the frame up and then put the engine in? Gearbox in first? I took it apart a couple of years back and I remember a bit of a struggle to get it apart. Sorry if this is a dull question but it’s my first time. 


Looking forward to this, sorry I'm of little help but plenty here will step up with suggestions. Please post pictures of your progress. If it was mine it would be......

-gearbox and  side plate

-engine bottom end

-engine top end

-triple clamps swing arm and shocks

-oil tank and lines and electrics

-rear and front fenders

-forks wheels, clip ons

-tank and fairing

-two mild heat sinks and an engine re torque

-off to Cadwell!!





So I don't remember the precise order. But I started fitting swing arm, rear shocks and rear mudguard. Then engine, gearbox and plates. But can't remember in which order but it was fiddly. Did it with a complete engine with magneto in place. I think I started with engine in the frame resting on the bottom frame tubes. Then some hours moving everything around until engine plates and gearbox was in place.Later did some mods on the left rear engine plate and replaced the bottom gearbox bolt with a stud plus two nuts. Now able to remove the gearbox without taking engine out of the frame. The tricky parts are the usual rear lowest 5/16 engine bolt and the top rear engine bolt. Nut hidden under the magneto.behind the magneto chain cover. The oil lines fittings to the engine are a bit difficult to fit when engine and gearbox are in place, so it might be easier to fit them before putting engine in the frame. To get engine and gearbox into the frame without scratching the frame paint is close to impossible. The only tricky part of assembly left is to get the oil tank in place. Must be done before fitting the carburettor. Which also can be a bit troublesome. The rest of the assembly is fairly easy. As you have a -51, you've got internal fork springs so you don't have to remember the leather washers on top of the springs. You also have a fly screen which I think is easier to fit than the later plastic one.

But compared to working on a modern sports bike, the Manx is very pleasant to work with.


Of course fitting the bolted on rear frame can be fitted early.

It is possible that removing the cross tube to which the upper rear engine/gearbox plate bolts are attached makes everything easier. Not tried it.

P.S. Don't worry about scratches in the paint. The Manx (and most other Nortons) has a built in rust prevention system spraying oil over most parts of the bike.

In reply to by mikael_ridderstad


Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I had not even considered the oil pipes so that’s great advice. 

Thanks. Engine and gearbox in together in the video. I did not think that was possible. May be a bit ambitious for me. The Manx has been about 2 years so far, my excuse is we have been doing a 1931 Inter at the same time, but we did start that 2 years before the Manx, but slow and steady hey. 


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