I am working on assembly of my 66' A65L 650 engine. Maybe it has been asked. Aside from lubrication during assembly, what can be done to ensure a good "wet" startup? I'm expecting a 1 kick engine start. There are oil lines to fill, oil pump, drilled passageways, rocker shafts, and empty crankshaft. Is there a way to pressure lube the system, so everything is full, prime, and weeping out the bearings, before I kick it over?
Here's what I do. With the motor in the bike I hook up the return line to the tank and the feed line to an IV type bottle with oil in it. If you take off the worm gear from the crank you can motor the oil pump with an electric drill. You may have to 'prime', the oil pipe to get the air out. While motoring you should be able to see the oil going from the IV and returning to the tank. When you are happy pull the IV line and let some oil flow from the tank through the feed line to make sure it is full before putting it on the pipe.With care you can thread the worm back on and tighten everything up. This way you will not have to withstand the agony of not knowing. Cheers, PRT
If you've already assembled the engine, you may not be able to take advantage of the above suggestions. My motor was in that state before I thought to ask, so I solved the problem by kicking the engine over until oil oozed out the return line in the oil tank. I counted kicks, it took about 110. Before that, I also pumped oil into the rocker feed line until it oozed out the rocker ends, primed the crankcase through the timing slot inspection cover with about a cup of oil, and squirted oil down the pushrod tunnel.
Plugs out, and IGN off. 3rd or 4th gear, depending on your age,....... ; ~) push it around until you get oil return. I've done it other ways, spent a lot of time getting it to work, this works, is cheap, and proves the system is ready to ride.
This article is from a guy that is considered to know his staff and he thinks it's not a good idea doing a lot of kicks or pushing the bike around in gear. You are not getting effective splash lube especially on the cam. Put the oil in the tank a week or so before starting the bike and odds are it will prime itself via leakage through the pump. The Trident oil system and the BSA system actually have a fair bit in common, two chamber rotary pump and internal check ball on feed side. http://www.triples.co.uk/articles/articles/sleepbeast.htm
Very timely thread as I'm getting close to attempting the startup of a '70 A65 myself ( first one in a loooong time!). Lots of good suggestions regarding lubrication on initial startup. At this point in life ( pushing 70) I'd be especially happy to avoid the kick start method that I used on my rider way back in the Nineties .....although it's proven itself effective enough to result in great old rider BSA, still running to this day.
Thanks htown for the Philip Pick article. I've already spun the oil pump on this engine and checked the OPRV and low oil light sw. for function. Oil return appeared strong as well. Must admit though, I really hadn't considered splash, cam & valve guide lubrication et al. Good stuff .
My suggestion would be to use 500ml or 1pt of 10w40 engine oil as this flows better when trying to prime a dry engine. Once you have the oil flowing then top up (about 3-4 pints) with 20w50. If its really cold then you could use something even thinner, eg 5w30. Once you have done 50 miles you can then change all the oil and use the correct grade - usually 20w50.
A lot of good suggestions and some of the methods I have previously used include:- - spinning the oil pump whilst connected up to the oil tank. As mentioned you need to remove the worm gear and use a piece of rubber tube clamped to the oil pump tacho drive and the other end to clamped to the drill. When spinning around you should see oil weeping from the TS bearing and check for any major leaks from the pump flanges. You may hear the drill speed easing off as the OPRV opens and releases pressure, which is a good sign. As the sump fills with oil you should see some oil returning to the tank. - Its worth removing the rocker cover and adding 1/2 a pint of oil over the rockers and valve gear. This oil will drain back to the sump via the cam followers and camshaft so will help ensure they are lubricated. - I have also tried kicking over with plugs removed until oil is seen dribbling out in to the tank. It took about 100 kicks for this to happen, if you have an oil filter in the return line it may take longer as it will need to be filled.
You can also try priming the pump by using a pump type oil can with the end inserted into the inlet oil hose. Some resistance will be felt after a few pumps as the oil will struggle to get past the oil feed gears, but this should ensure the pump has good suction on first start-up with no air locks.
I wouldn't worry about getting oil flung up into the cylinders as you need the rings to bed in quickly. Its fairly common for people to fit pistons and rings into cylinders with minimal if any oil present. The idea is that the rings don't need much lube in the first few minutes to help bedding in.
Last edited by gunner; 01/12/185:02 pm.
1968 A65 Firebird 1967 B44 Shooting Star 1972 Norton Commando
On my 3 rebuilt A-65's the oil pump gets assembled with a lite coat of wheel brg grease and lots of assembly lube on the internal engine parts. This was how a dear friend who was a Beeza Dealer had me do it. also pistons went in bores dry after WD-40 and paper towel came out of the bores more white than off the roll. Piston pins lubed with assembly lube. Towing down the street got oil pressure in the space of 2 power poles. Done 5 Triple engines that way also.
The approach to waking the "sleeping beast" and how you would bring a rebuilt engine back to life can differ. With a rebuild you have every chance to make sure each and every part is pre-lubricated and all cavities, oil lines and pumps are primed with oil (this especially includes the crankshaft). If starting a rebuild cannot be carried out shortly after final assembly, the use of some sort of assembly lube is recommended. When you have no control on when the engine will be first started I highly recommend that the engine be built using assembly lube. This gives momentary protection to bearing surfaces until normal oil flow can be established.
The object is to have the engine fully primed, including all oil lines, before trying to start the engine. Gear pumps will not self prime if there is NOT oil in the feed line!!! Because of this special attention must be given to make sure the oil feed lines, and pump are primed before one attempts to start the engine. And while piston pumps are self priming it is still important that the feed oil line be full of oil.
The elephant in the room is "splash lubrication" mentioned above. While an experienced engine builder will always include a coating of camshaft pre-lube on both the camshaft and lifters, this protection only lasts a very short time. In general, it is known that cams rely on splash lubrication! There is no more important time for the cams to get adequate splash lubrication than on initial start-up. If you kick, push or pull your motorcycle to build oil pressure you are not supplying that important lubrication to the cams and lifters.
I had a recent conversation with Kevin Cameron (a lot of US guys know Kevin, but for those who don't he is a MIT trained engineer, avid motorcyclists, and technical writer) about just this subject. It came up when we were talking about why all aftermarket automotive cam manufacturers include instructions on not letting an engine idle after first start-up, but to run it at 1500 - 2000 rpm for 1/2 half hour. Because we are air cooled WE DON"T have the ability to do this. The down side problems for air cooled engines for doing this would far out way the benefit to the camshaft and lifters. We only have the option of not letting the engine sit an idle and taking the bike for that "break-in" ride.
I use assembly lube on all my motor builds, as much as I can on cams etc. I also put plenty of oil down the pushrod tunnel in the hope that it gives as much lubrication to the cams as possible. Big ends are built up with this also.
Numerous kicks with the plugs out and with the OPRV returned, until you see some oil at the oprv. Clean this up and re-install then start the bike, Once the motor is spining at its own rate then it will prime in a couple of seconds.
I've always used grease on the bearings and wear faces. and ya, you can pack a ball bearing too, it will rinse out when there is enough oil through it. I coat the oil pump gears with grease too. I use moly cam lube on the cam, valve tips, push rods, followers, etc. in the valve train. piston rings get whatever the manufacturer says. I rub oil on parts during assembly, splash where ever I can once together.... then I fire it up. ya, I have kicked them over, spun with a starter, and turned the propeller to pre-oil, but truth is if you pre-lube the parts they will have no problem lasting 20 seconds until pressure comes up
i use assembly lube on anything that moves. lots of assembly lube. the engine and me are a sloppy mess before i'm happy.
then i pump all the oil lines full of brad penn 30W break-in oil until i can't get any more in. i fill the tank and pre-fill the filter housing.
then i squirt oil down the rocker openings, whatever they are, to cover up the cam lobes, which were formerly all covered in assembly lube anyway. and get some oil in the sump so it starts to return immediately.
i assemble the cylinders almost dry, one drop of oil on the skirts, nothing on the rings. bore spotless.
then i start it, preferably with a fan on it, long enough to see oil return to the tank.
get it out and ride it as soon as i can, which is never as soon as i'd like.