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  1. #1
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Norco Magnum Refurbish

    I purchased this recently from craigslist. It needs a few minor parts and a good scrubbing/teardown but overall it looks to be in good shape. It doesn't say SE or GT like some Magnums but it is double butted chromoly. I do like the Sugino crank, I'm not sure if the drillium was stock or not but it makes the bike for me. It is a 58cm from middle of bottom bracket to top of seatpost, 55.5cm to the middle of the top bar. I am also testing my new Park Tool PCS-9 repair stand.

    Components are Suntour downtube shifters, Suntour VX front and rear derailleur, Diacompe brakes with more modern tektro brake levers/hoods, Suzue hubs and some aluminum 27" x 1 1/8" (I believe) wheels and a suntour freewheel.

    The bottom bracket is 'catching' as I turn the crank. It can turn completely but it catches at various points and it does not spin freely. I will disassemble it and see what is up. The stem also moves from side to side ok, but as soon as it reaches a certain point in the rotation (usually nearer the end point when the handlebars could hit the top bar) it becomes quite difficult to turn. Any ideas? I am going to tear apart the stem/headset and redo the bearings but I am not sure if this is indicative of a bigger issue.









    Last edited by Narhay; 01-30-13 at 12:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Nice score... check the bearing races when you repack them. Using new balls is a good idea too. If the races look or feel pitted (a ball point pen can help to feel for this) they'll need to be replaced. A new headset and bottom bracket wouldn't be terribly expensive.

  3. #3
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    That does look like quite the nice bike. It's nice to see some Canadian built bikes once in a while. WRT the BB, if you're not comfortable with making the adjustments, getting a cartridge style BB would not be a bad idea and they're quite reasonable priced, too.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    I have a bunch of headset parts as well as some spare bottom brackets lying around. I've ordered some tools...just have to wait or take it to the co op.

  5. #5
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    FWIW Norco cycles like this were usually made in Japan and bear an uncanny resemblance to some Nishiki models, I've even seen Nishikis with "designed by Norco" on them. T-Mar or another more knowledgeable forumite could probably tell us where and who made what models when. A new tange headset shouldn't run more than 30$ and the local co-op should have lots of decent 1" headsets kicking around if

  6. #6
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Definitely stickers with 'Made in Japan'... at least 2 of them. It was purchased at Cap's in Vancouver here so it seems to have stuck around the area for quite some time.

    List of parts required:

    Rear axle, cone nuts, bearings etc.
    2 quick releases for the hubs
    Potential BB
    Potential headset
    Seatpost
    Saddle
    The holder for the cylinder on the sidepull brakes where you can adjust the cable tension...it is a cylinder itself with a hole drilled through it.
    5 speed chain
    Bar tape
    Tires & tubes
    New cables, endcaps + housing

    I will pull apart the wheels tonight, go over with some WD40 and steel wool and clean out the bearings. I ordered the tools to do the BB and headset but they won't be here for a couple weeks so I may take a trip down to the co-op and pick through the parts bins while I am there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    The black paint with gold lining looks really sharp. It's going to be a looker when you are finished. Just a thought: Leather or amber-shellacked bar tape might look good against the gold lining/decals.

    Re the headset adjustment: You say it turns okay up to a point and then is difficult to turn. Might be because of warped races and/or cups, or races not properly seated on the headtube. I haven't come across this issue myself, but it sounds to me more than simply old grease that is causing the headset issue.

    If your BB is catching, it may be that one of the balls has come out of the bearing cage. If your BB has a tweaked ball-bearing cage, you're better off reinstalling them loose. I'd definitely suggest using new ball bearings, even if the existing balls pass the eye test.

    Is there a serial number on the bottom of the BB shell? It does bear a resemblance to some Nishiki's I've seen. The early Nishiki's were manufactured by Kawamura, and forum member T-Mar has created a Nishiki Serial Number database with tips on decoding the serial numbers. If your Serial Number uses the same format, the initial post in that thread may be helpful in identifying your Norco frame:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...umber-Database
    -Randy

    '72 Cilo Pacer • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90ish Parkpre Team MTB

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    I'm not at home at the moment but will provide the serial when I have a chance.

    I am interested to see what pulling the bike apart yields. Also, the long bolt through the stem into the attachment mechanism (quill?) unscrewed and I cannot get it to screw back into place. I will see about removing that stem...might be an issue. Any tips?

  9. #9
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    The proper way to take out the stem is to partially unscrew the stem bolt and then give it a strong tap. This releases the wedge/cone at the bottom and (hopefully, unless you have a dreaded stuck stem) allows you to remove the stem. It is possible that you removed the bolt and the wedge/cone dropped down into the steerer tube. If that's the case, you should be able to rotate the bars/lift stem. However, if the wedge is no longer securing the stem to the steerer tub, and you still can't turn the bars even a little, you may have a whole other problem on your hands.

    P.s. When you try to screw the bolt back into the stem, does it seem to engage with anything or just spin freely (i.e. wedge/cone probably dropped out of the stem)?
    Last edited by gaucho777; 01-30-13 at 04:04 PM.
    -Randy

    '72 Cilo Pacer • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90ish Parkpre Team MTB

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    The bolt just spins freely when I try to screw it back in. I will try some WD-40 and a mallet later. It doesn't look corroded or bent in any way, it is probably just seated in there tightly.

  11. #11
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Don't whack it with a mallet unless you get the bolt to partially engage. "Just spins freely" sounds like the wedge/cone dropped out the bottom of the stem. Hopefully you can get the bars to turn with brute force. If not, then you'll need to start reading up on stuck stems/posts. Lot's of different methods have been used with various degrees of success/destruction/frustration.
    -Randy

    '72 Cilo Pacer • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90ish Parkpre Team MTB

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  12. #12
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    The catching BB sounds like a damaged bearing cage. Hopefully, things aren't chewed up inside.

    Sounds like the the stem may be seized and the plug has fallen down to the bottom of the steerer tube. If so, you should be able to see the plug by looking up through the bottom of the fork, Of course, this won't help removing the stem. Hopefully, the soaking works but to save yourself a lot of grief with potential future acquisitions, take a a few tools and ensure the stem and seat post are removable. If not, walk away or use it as a argument for a better price.

    The crankset appears to be a Sugino Tourist, in which case the drilled chainrings are OEM.

    The Magnum came in several different versions over the years. Based of the lack of features (no triple crankset, no cantilevers, no bottle bosses, no shifter bosses, no brake cable tunnels, no double eyelets), I suspect this is a very early 1980s model. The serial number may narrow this down and identify the manufacturer.

    Norco was the designer and importer for the Canadian market Nishiki in the 1980s, so the family resemblance isn't surprising. However, the resemblance was often only skin deep, coming primarily from the components and paint schemes, as the manufacturers were often different and could vary depending on the year and even model.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Alright, stem unstuck! Just needed some leverage and some physical encouragement. Serial YOH7204.

    No time to do the wheels tonight, going to pick up a Peugeot U08.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    ...I suspect this is a very early 1980s model. The serial number may narrow this down and identify the manufacturer....
    Quote Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
    ...Serial YOH7204....
    Bingo! 1980, Yamaguchi manufactured frame.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Nice save, nice bike!

    If the BB is a hassle — if it were my bike — I'd move right on to a Shimano or DiaCompe sealed unit with the same spindle length as your original cup type BB. Not expensive. DiaCompe makes a VERY nice series that is a good choice if you can match the spindle. If the headset is tracking some "habit", the cups may be damaged. Tange-Seiki Passage DX headsets are very affordable and have a C&V flavour to them.

    The bike shop on Main Street and Alexander? — 200 - 300 block (west side) may have something in stock to help. The owner is a nice dude and you can drool over some of his C&V frames that he has hanging on his walls. — Lorne (ex-"Kits" and the "WestEnd")
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  16. #16
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both. I am going to try to get some decent used parts for this one. I purchased it with the intent that I sell it once it is fixed up. I have a few cartridge style bottom brackets that could be replacement contenders, I just need to remove the current one and cranks before doing that.

    I see a tange headset on ebay for $12 shipped...that's not too bad a price. Maybe I will see if they have just the part that is damaged instead so replacement of the entire unit isn't required.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Ok, so the good. The headset is intact and not bent or corroded. The bottom bracket was just filled with the most horrendous slurry of rusty dried grease. It has been cleaned out and repacked and spins freely now.

    the bad... I cannot for the life of me find an axle/but combo for the back wheel. Anyone out there have a spare Suzue rear hub axle assembly?

    the very bad....the reason the forks weren't spinning correctly is because the portion of the fork inside the head tube is ever so slightly bent and it rubs against the head tube in certain positions as it spins...probably also why the stem was tough to remove.

    Any thoughts?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Anyone purchased those ebay replacement forks? They come in black which is ideal but I'm not sure if a tweaked steering tube is a writeoff for the current fork. I can take pictures of the bend later. I saw a video of someone parking their car on the forks and using a long steel tube to bend their fork back into place. I'm not sure if I would want to ride the bike knowing that the fork has been weakened like that.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Just a quick shot of the bike as it sits completed. I will pull out the dslr sometime this weekend for a photo ops but this will give you a rough idea how things are going.


  20. #20
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    I had the guys at New West Cycle cold set the steering tube back into shape for me. Nice little shop and quite reasonable. The seatpost is a 26.2 and the closest thing they had was a 26.0 but it fits quite well and I picked up the rear axle while I was there. The tires are 700c x 20 Duro brand...I've not used them before but I do like their slim profile.

    New cables, housing, bar tape, saddle, the tires & tubes, seatpost, axle, bearings and grease and chain round out the list of consumables for this project. It was a learning experience and servicing the headset/BB and dealing with a bent fork was something I hadn't done before but easy enough to figure out once I got going.

  21. #21
    Senior Member iptem3000's Avatar
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    Nice work. The bike looks great. Was this the one that came in pieces?

  22. #22
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Since I don't see T-mar rearing up in here yet, I'll ask. Does the serial begin with an M?
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  23. #23
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by T-Mar
    ...I suspect this is a very early 1980s model. The serial number may narrow this down and identify the manufacturer....




    Originally Posted by Narhay
    ...Serial YOH7204....



    Bingo! 1980, Yamaguchi manufactured frame.


    Iptem, this one did come in pieces. Mostly complete with a couple nasty surprises like the fork and crankset...but it did come with a package of NOS white bar tape, a newer saddle and some weinmann raleigh ### centerpull brake sets and a few other bits and bobbins from another bicycle. Overall though everything has been overhauled to give it a second life.

  24. #24
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
    Originally Posted by T-Mar
    ...I suspect this is a very early 1980s model. The serial number may narrow this down and identify the manufacturer....




    Originally Posted by Narhay
    ...Serial YOH7204....



    Bingo! 1980, Yamaguchi manufactured frame.


    Iptem, this one did come in pieces. Mostly complete with a couple nasty surprises like the fork and crankset...but it did come with a package of NOS white bar tape, a newer saddle and some weinmann raleigh ### centerpull brake sets and a few other bits and bobbins from another bicycle. Overall though everything has been overhauled to give it a second life.
    LoL not sure how I missed that, but awesome bike man.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  25. #25
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    I polished what I could by hand and took some photos this evening. The bike has some age to it and a patina, but it rides wonderfully. I took it for a spin just now to fine tune it and it is a very fast, light and responsive bike.
















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