Greg Marsh Enterprises

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1973 850 Engine
and Gearbox For
Export to AU

Shipped 4/19/24

1972 750 Engine
and Gearbox For
Export to FR

Delivered 12/11/23

Two Norton Frames
and Other Parts For
Export to NO

Shipped 10/31/23

US FlagThursday, May 23, 2024

September 2023 I was contacted by a customer in Norway (NO) who was helping his friend gather parts to build an 850 Commando. They were primarily looking for an 850 frame but possibly some other parts and they needed a title with the frame. We went back and forth a few times until we knew for sure what he wanted and what I had to offer.

The frame I have was planned for a far-off future project, but I had started on it a couple of years ago and it was stripped and in primer but nothing more.

About the time we were on the same page with that project, my customer decided that he wanted to build a bike too and we started conversations about that. It will be more than a frame, but he already has an engine and gearbox.

Recently my stepson and I were working to get that frame, his MK2A frame, his Harley frame, and one more painted by a friend of his. Just as he was ready to deliver the frames to the painter, the painter's wife died.

September 17, 2023 We now have a spreadsheet that lays out what I'm providing and our individual responsibilities. In a nutshell, I will send the two frames and various parts in a crate that I make. My customer will handle the shipping arrangements.

One of the things being shipped is a restored front engine mount with new Andover Norton vernier isoelastic internals. I also need two more for other current projects so I blasted three today and they are ready to be powder coated (by me). (.5 hours)

September 18, 2023 Confirmed today that the frame will go to the painter next Monday. I'm hoping that he doesn't mess around and simply gets it done!

September 19, 2023 Did a little study and testing today on how to hold the frames in place in the crate. My plan is to use the head steady threaded frame holes to hold the frames close to each other without touching and to hold them centered in the crate. I'll do similar with the top rear shock mounts and the bottom Z-Plate mounting holes. That will give 3-point mounting so the frames cannot move. I need to find a piece of foam or Styrofoam for the floor of the crate to support the bottoms of the frames. (1 hour)

September 22, 2023 Had some help today. The bike is mostly apart now. Once we get the parts packed will know more about how to crate it. The long pole is still getting the other frame back. (9 hours)

October 6, 2023 Although it seems like nothing has happened for quite a while, I've been gathering things needed for the crating. I keep thinking any day now to get the other frame back from being painted.

One of my mobile benches became available today because the bike that was on it is now ready for test and tune. The table is 6 feet long by 2 feet wide. My plan is to use another frame I have (rusty mess) to be sure of my measurements and to start the crating. After a 14 hour day today I was too tired to carry it to the shop. I did get some of the measurements I need.

I was hoping that two sheets of plywood would be enough. For that to be the case, they would first be split in half lengthwise and then cut to length, Unfortunately, 24" is too narrow. The unobstructed inside measurement must be at least 60" long x 24" wide x 30" high. Once some framework is added the width is simply too narrow. So, the top, bottom, and ends can come out of three sheets of ½" plywood. I'll use ¼" or 3/8" for the sides if that is more cost effective. If there are better options when I go pick it up I may change. For instance, if they have CDX for a much better price that AC or Sande. If the prices are too ridiculous, I can use OSB, I'm just am not a fan for this purpose. (11 hours)

Measuring 1

October 7, 2023 I brought the stand-in frame to the shop and finished figuring out the rigging. There few a few surprises. My initial plan was to use "all thread" to lock the frames together and to the crate. I'm doing that but the first try failed. I expected to put a long one through the upper shock mounts. It turns out that they are no in the same location on the frame! So, pushed through one frame and through one side of the other it was way off from aligning with the other side of the second frame.

I used one of the Z-Plate mounts – those are in line. Then I used a coupling nut and three spacers in the upper shock mounts to get the frames true with each other vertically. The third part of the plan worked fine, two short pieces and 5/16" UNF "all thread" screwed into the head steady holes in the frame and locked together with a coupling nut. There will also be pieces on the outside of the frame tied into the crate. Hard to describe and I would not have needed to if I remembered to take a picture.

Then came the hardest part. Going to Make Do Po (Home Depot) to get wood. As usual, I had to make do. Besides having to walk a long way from the handicap parking to where the lumber carts are stored it's the about 100 yards to where the frame wood is. I intended to use 2x2s for the frame but after looking at about 50 of them and finding none even close to straight, I gave up and headed for the "select" 2x3s. Select, ass! I looked at around 100 to get 9 usable. Then to make one part easier, I wanted eight metal right angles – I found one. That ended that plan and instead I bought 4" screws. Then I asked where the Styrofoam or other foam was and after walking around 100 years pushing my cart, I asked another person and they were in the aisle 10 FEET from me when I asked the first person – another 100 yard walk. Well, no 2" - had to get 3/4" and will have to use layers. I was planning to get the plywood, but the saw was down, and I have to have it cut lengthwise to get it my car. In other words, I either have to go back or wait until someone with a truck is available to help me. The final PITA was the 100 yard walk to the checkout and waiting for the illegal "contractors"  to put stuff back, get more stuff, use multiple cards, and so on.(16 hours)

October 8, 2023 My saddest day of the year. My wife died 11 years ago today.

I couldn't stand another day of Make Do Po so I checked Lowe's. The wood costs the same, but they deliver same day for $35 while Make Do Po charges $79 no telling when. The plywood arrived at 6pm.  In the meantime, I did the final measure twice and cut once after I figured out exactly what to do. I did make one measuring mistake but it hurt nothing. The first picture shows the outer frame finished and you can see the rigging. At one point I was thinking about positioning the frames with the headstock further down to reduces the height of the crate - decided not to because the crate would either have to be longer or wider. It's nominally 61" long 28" wide and 32" high. Once I put the bottom on I can finish the rigging to crate connections - hopefully with the painted frame si they don't have to come back out.

I get the feeling that people don't always believe that my shop is as packed as I say.  The second picture should make that clear.  Those that know me know that I have maybe the world's ugliest legs. Scars on top of scars, always wounds, often weeping, and so on. Gave leg skin to this project several times today. :-(   (21 hours)

Crating 1
Packed

October 9, 2023 I'm so worn out and my legs are so swollen that I can barely walk, so nothing is getting done today. The painter finally painted the frame today. I expect to get the frame either Sat or Sun. Hopefully I can finish the crate and have the other things packed when it gets here.

October 10, 2023 Still having trouble walking but did get a little done today. It is surprisingly complicated with all the cubic feet inside the crate to find a box or combination of boxes that fit the open areas and won’t move around in shipment. The biggest box is 18" deep, 22" wide, and 18-1/2" high. That is the open area under the rear of the frame. Then there's the issue of the forks. Finally decided to remove the springs so they are much shorter. I may make a shelf above the rear loop of the frame for them – haven’t decided. I also figured out the uncrating plan – basically after removing all "skins", removing 12 screws and probably 4 or 8 bolts, the front and rear framework can come off. Not only does it make uncrating easy, it make crating easier. (22 hours)

October 11, 2023 I put on my "big boy" shorts and tackled the plywood. I moved the 3/8' sheets outside and then went to work on getting the 3/4' sheet on two workmates outside. I could not pick it up, but I could slide it on edge, get it parallel to the workmates and leaning on them, use a hand truck to lift the lower edge and then I could pick that up and slide it on the workmates. From there it was easy enough to cut it lengthwise at 27" and the crosscut at 60". That was the bottom. There was a piece 27" wide and more than long enough for one side. The bottom and one side are installed. That side is a little funny - I changed my mind a couple of times so there are way more screws than needed. The basic idea for uncrating is to remove the top, and both end and a few screws and bolts which will let the front and rear come off. The reason for the extra screws is that for a while I was thinking about leaving the ends on so there was less to undo to uncrate. That's a little silly because you need to do something with the crate when done so likely it will get taken completely apart anyway. I have a Dr Appt tomorrow and it's across the street is when I buy boxes. I figured out the acceptable sizes today - hopefully they have what I need so I don't have to remake boxes too. (25 hours)

October 13, 2023 I did get some done yesterday but I took a bad fall and was in no condition to write it up. That was after a day running around with doctors and ending up with the usual diagnosis – no problem found – and an explanation for the obvious things wrong with me!

Got a good bit done today. All the panels are cutout, the main box location is determined, and the primary frame location is done.

The frame has a blemish on pickup and so it is getting corrected – now expected on Monday.

October 14, 2023 The crate is now right-side-up and all construction except two supports for the front portion of the frames have to be installed after the frames are in place. I think it's a cool design. To uncrate, you remove all black screws and eight bolts. Then the drive-side and timing-side framework can come off which releases the frames. From there, removing everything is simple.  Later to take it all apart for disposal or reuse, all beige screws need to be removed. I'm working on boxing the loose parts and the crate framework is designed to hold the box(es) in place. (29 hours)

October 15, 2023 the box on the floor is 18" x 18" x 18" and contains all loose parts excepts the forks and from engine mount.  You can see the forks setup for shipment and the front mount will go in the box tomorrow - I still have to powder coat is and install the ISO internals. I hope the frame arrives tomorrow - I can't pickup the box by myself to put in the crate.  It goes on the floor of the crate in the area boxed for it. Assuming no more setbacks it will be ready to ship this week. (36 hours)


Crating 2

October 16, 2023 The front engine mount is done, the ISO is installed, and it is in the box. Expected the frame today - now it's Wednesday - about to make my head explode! (37 hours)

October 18, 2023 I'm told the frame was picked up this evening and will be delivered to me tomorrow. With any luck, everything will be crated, moved outside, and covered with a tarp Saturday or Sunday depending when I can get help. If I can't get help, I'll "man up" and get it done Sunday.

October 19, 2023 I got a steroid shot this morning or at least half of this would not be done today!

I thought the frame was arriving in the afternoon and I would have a lot of help. It arrived at 8:40PM. I started work today at 6am, switched to motorcycles at 4pm.

I got everything possible done without the frame including installing the Certification label on the other frame. Once the painted frame got here, I installed its new certification label and headstock bearings. Put the final items in the box and with help, put it in the crate.

Ran into a little problem marrying the two frames together. Even though the test frame and this one are both from 74 850s, they are not identical. With a bunch of wiggling, I got all three attachment points to work. It looks like I may need a thin shim under one of them when they go in the crate.

By the time I got that done there was no way I was trying to put them in the crate tonight! (42 hours)

October 20, 2023 Have about an hour to go on the crating - wanted to stop and take pictures before closing it up. It's difficult to get good pictures that show what I want to show and to get the in focus as well. These are the best two I took out of about 20. It looks like the top is bowed downward - it's not, it's completely straight!

I only had one small disappointment. I wanted the top to overlap all four sides. It does on the left and right in the picture but not on the drive side and timing side. To make sure and water that gets on top doesn't make it inside, I'm going to put a fillet of silicone across it. If I had realized it before it was on I would have gone and got a new sheet of plywood. It's just my overdoing it - it will be just fine like it is.

Tomorrow, I'll close it up and figure out how to get it off the table by myself. If I can move enough stuff out of the way, I can pick it up with the engine hoist. It would be nice to leave it on the table if a trucker was coming soon and had a fork lift - I would roll it to the door and not need to take it down. It would be easier for the forklift as well.

Look after the pictures for the quick and full ways to uncrate. (50 hours)

Crating 3

Crating 4

Quick uncrating (full recommend):
  • Remove all black screws from both end and from the top within 4 inches of the drive side (crate corner upper marked with a "D")
  • Cut the silicone in the top seam.
  • Remove the drive side cover.
  • Remove the forks by first removing the two painted black screws form the top fork and pulling it out. The remove the two painted black screws holding the bottom fork and pull it out.
  • Remove the black screws holding the three metal plates securing the front crate frame (six screws each).
  • Unscrew the four hex bolts holding the bottom crate frame to the base.
  • Loosen the ratchet straps and free them from the hooks.
  • Pull the drive side frame straight out, some wiggling will be required.
  • Remove the cardboard box - caution, heavy!
  • Pull the frames straight to you. Once the all thread is released from the back supports you'll be able to tip the frame and get them out.
  • The frames can now easily be removed from the crate.
  • Removed the outer all thread from both frames.
  • Unlock the nuts and unscrew the coupling nut until those two pieces of all thread are free.
  • Remove the two bolts into the coupling nut at the top center shock mounts.
  • Remove all nuts from the 3/8" all thread through the frame Z-Plate mounts.
  • Remove all the remaining the all thread.
Full uncrating (takes more time but overall is easier):
  • Remove all black screws from both ends and the top
  • Cut the silicone in the top seam.
  • Remove the drive side, and timing side covers
  • Remove the black screws holding the all metal plates (six screws each).
  • Remove the forks by first removing the two painted black screws from the top fork and pulling it out. Then remove the two painted black screws holding the bottom fork in and pull it out.
  • Unscrew the eight hex bolts holding the bottom crate frames to the base.
  • Loosen the ratchet straps and free them from the hooks.
  • Pull the drive side crate frame straight out, some wiggling will be required.
  • Pull the timing side crate frame straight out, some wiggling will be required.
  • Remove the cardboard box - caution, heavy!
  • Remove the outer all thread from both frame's head steady mounts.
  • The frames can now easily be removed from the crate.
  • Unlock the nuts and unscrew the coupling nut until those two pieces of all thread are free.
  • Remove the two bolts into the coupling nut at the top center shock mounts.
  • Remove all nuts from the 3/8" all thread through the frame Z-Plate mounts.
  • Remove all the remaining all thread.
October 22, 2023 This projects is all done except affixing the Way-bill to the crate when I get it and figuring out how to get it in the truck. I used a hoist scale to weight it today - 283lbs! I had a real hard time rigging it for lifting as I kept running out of lift range and I was having to do it standing on a ladder.

In all, this project took 56 hours of actual work, and a good bit more time locating/buying materials and coordinating. If I do another crate this big, I won't use sheathing. It costs much less but it is much harder to work with since it's always bowed.  Using it to sheath a house is no issue - I've done it several times, but it was a PITA for this and required much more time.

October 29, 2023 The owner and I have been trying to work out how the crate will be loaded to the truck with no success. The driveway to the shop is around 86 feet long and slopes downward about 5 degrees. Picking the crate up on a pallet jack and pushing it up the hill would be quite difficult, and my medical condition won't allow me to be of much help.

Spent several hours yesterday moving bikes and maneuvering the table to the door. I'll be so happy when I get a few more projects done and picked up!

Ideally, the truck will have a liftgate and will back down to the shop, make the liftgate the same height as the rolling table the crate is on, and we can push the crate onto the liftgate.

I could have put it on the ground outside, but I could not get it back up if I did. I put motorcycles on and off my tables with my engine hoist all the time but using it for this is a rigging nightmare. Easy enough to lift but keeping it from tipping is hard. I could buy more straps and install screw eyes to make it safe and if they won't pickup that's what I'll do for the second try.


Ready for Pickup

October 31, 2023 It's on its way! Of course the trucker showed up late, with an 18-wheeler and an attitude. Fortunatley, I had a visitor who helped becuase the driver was no help at all!

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