Amateur Manx 40M preparation
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Amateur Manx 40M preparation

This is a discussion on Amateur Manx 40M preparation within the Vintage Motorcycle Racing forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Starting a thread about my -59 Manx. Should never had bought it 3 years ago, if it had not been raced quite successfully by a ...

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Thread: Amateur Manx 40M preparation

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mike 40M's Avatar
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    Amateur Manx 40M preparation

    Starting a thread about my -59 Manx. Should never had bought it 3 years ago, if it had not been raced quite successfully by a friend of mine. We used to ride together on our road Nortons, he on an Atlas and I had a Dommi 99. Learnt a lot from him about race lines and how to stay alive on public roads. For some reasons, I have to get it going asap. Started collecting new bits for it a year ago. In january I started to take it apart. Also got new parts needed. As a motorcycle in pieces takes a lot of space, I started to assemble it yesterday. Frame in good shape, only minor scratches in the paint. Swingarm bushes ok, now greased. Head bearings Ok.
    First thing to do was rear mudguard in bad shape., replaced with a new. I think a -59 should have alloy rear mudguard, but as I'll try to set it up as it was when my friend raced it, it got another fibreglass one. Advice and critics welcome.
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    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    No signs of cracks? Good that it is painted and not powder coated.
    "Non urinat in ventum"

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    Senior Member jaguar's Avatar
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    NICE

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    Senior Member Mike 40M's Avatar
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    Thought it was time to put in engine and gearbox. For those of you who don't are familiar with featherbed Nortons. Front engine plates is no problem if you get some friend or relative to lift engine in place. Rear bottom bolt holding rear engine plates to engine is hidden between lower frame tubes. This means that you have to lift the engine to get that bolt in place. Same applies to bottom gearbox bolt, except that you have to lower engine plates to get the bolt in under the frame tubes. I think you have to put on right engine plate first, then gearbox and left plate last. Definitely a bit of curious engineering.
    Now a problem showed it's ugly face. The TTI gearbox was a bit fatter than a normal AMC or laydown gearbox so it hit the frame. The 5-speed modified laydown gearbox from -62 will fit and I put in an ordinary AMC gearbox just to check. Have to think it over what gearbox I'll use. Maybe a Quaife?
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    I'll try to take better pics in the future.

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    Senior Member jalsteve's Avatar
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    Alloy rear guard = yes for all years.

    The enclosure type guard tuned up as the Manx engine was not factory assembled with sealer (gasket goo) and just two gaskets. The enclosure guard helps deflect oil and keep the rear tyres less oily. BUT as you have what looks like a new engine oil shouldn't be an issue. In fact most oily rear tyres are caused by over filling the gearbox.

    Quaife boxes are narrower across the mounts than AMC and need a spacer fitted. Laydown box (Burman) was fitted up to 1956 the AMC box fitted after till 62. Take a measurement on the laydown box from output bearing face to l/h gearbox mounting face. Do the same on the TT industries box and mill off the excess.

    What's the small tab for on the frame, front right side top tube? The frame by the way is GP spec as it has fairing mounts on the headstock, these were an extra.

    Q. Why not build the original engine?

    Modern hard epoxy paints can be as thinly applied as wet paints and show cracks just like ordinary paint. Getting powder type coats off a frame isn't difficult as solvent strippers like Paramose will move it in minutes.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by jalsteve; 03-27-2017 at 03:17 PM.
    Lite the blue touch paper and stand well back!

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    Senior Member Mike 40M's Avatar
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    Thank you, luck needed. Most bikes I have had turn up unsuspected problems.
    A. Reason for not rebuilding original engine. Time and a strong desire to race it. A bit worried about strength of magnesium crankcase. Prefer not to kill a matching number engine. If it only should do parade laps, maybe. Don't have enough confidence in my skills. No problem with rebuilding Norton twins or goldies, but a lot of respect for the Manx engine.
    Sharp eyes, no idea what the tabs are, one on each side, try to take a photo of them.
    Gearbox not sorted out yet, had some other things to do.
    By the way, got a stud from Andy Molnar, replacing bottom gearbox bolt. A bit heavier but a lot easier gearbox assembly.
    Last edited by Mike 40M; 03-27-2017 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member jalsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike 40M View Post
    Thank you, luck needed. Most bikes I have had turn up unsuspected problems.
    A. Reason for not rebuilding original engine. Time and a strong desire to race it. A bit worried about strength of magnesium crankcase. Prefer not to kill a matching number engine. If it only should do parade laps, maybe. Don't have enough confidence in my skills. No problem with rebuilding Norton twins or goldies, but a lot of respect for the Manx engine.
    Sharp eyes, no idea what the tabs are, one on each side, try to take a photo of them.
    Gearbox not sorted out yet, had some other things to do.
    By the way, got a stud from Andy Molnar, replacing bottom gearbox bolt. A bit heavier but a lot easier gearbox assembly.
    If you are running the bike as a 350 and racing then the 6 speed box is best but a 5 will do fine. Too much of a stretch for a 4 speeder on modern circuits with slow corners and chicanes.

    The manx engine really isn't difficult to do, its just a fitting job which only requires 2 special tools, hairpin valve spring pliers and head fitting jig. Assuming the engine is fairly good condition other than bore sizing you can feel your way through a build, loose movement in the big end, mains, bevel backlash etc you can determine by feel once you know what it should be. Everything else is common to building any other motor like squish measurement, valve drops and TDC and valve timing. Many years ago this is what I did - go to an expert and get the motor built, they will provide you with a full build spec sheet. Get the motor home then strip it, measure and rebuild again but feeling and measuring all the clearances. Today even doing valve clearances on brit twins I don't use feeling gauges, I just need to know if the adjuster bolt is UNF, BSF or Cycle then slacken off the adjuster, screw down onto the valve finger tight then back off an hour or 2 or 1 1/2!!

    The bottom gearbox bolt is pain but you get used to it. Also putting the engine in or pulling it out and engine plate wiggling.
    Last edited by jalsteve; 03-28-2017 at 01:43 AM.
    Lite the blue touch paper and stand well back!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Mike 40M's Avatar
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    Mystery. Why this lugs? Not checked for certain but they seems to be braced to frame.
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    If an angle grinder on the TTI don't work (not certain if I'm joking), then probably will use the old Arrgardh gearbox #186. By the way, it was Torsten Arrgardh, who insisted that it should have coil springs instead of hairpin springs. I stick to that.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    That is some monkey-motion shifting mechanism!
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  11. #10
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    If you are not rebuilding the engine... when was the last time it ran and what kind of oil was used? Castrol R?
    "Non urinat in ventum"

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