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Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? #727198
03/01/18 4:11 pm
03/01/18 4:11 pm
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Posts: 39
Near York, UK
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JonnyD Offline OP
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Hi,

Do any factory drawings of BSA parts exist? Were any stashed away when the Beesa folded? I'm mostly interested in A10 and A65 engine parts. There seem to be some parts, e.g. in the valve-train, that there is a need for and I'm considering whether it's worth doing something. While I can measure as well as most people, drawings still have a role!

I'd also be interested to know which parts people feel there is most need for, again in the A10/A65 domain.

As an aside, I also belong to the Rudge Enthusiasts Club, which has a large number of old factory drawings that were copied shortly after WW2 when Rudge's motorcycle operation closed down. These are a considerable help, but experience shows that in those pre-ISO 9000 days there were engineering drawing and production drawings and ..... and that there is still a role for measuring genuine parts too!

All help appreciated.

Jon

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Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727209
03/01/18 6:32 pm
03/01/18 6:32 pm
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argyll. scotland, uk
gavin eisler Offline
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Good on ye.
NOS A65 timing gears and valve rockers are running out. No idea about drawings, i suspect they went in a skip, hopefully not.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727212
03/01/18 6:48 pm
03/01/18 6:48 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
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Scotland
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There was a guy posting some CD's of drawings on eBay, but he had copied them from someone else, I have some from the original source but they are of the P92 (B50 in Fury frame) and no A65 stuff.

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727215
03/01/18 7:21 pm
03/01/18 7:21 pm
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Cork Ireland
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Hi
There was an article in a fairly recent "Classic Bike" mag where Rick P is pictured poring over BSA drawings at SRM's
premises, I seem to remember that they were original BSA drawings?

John

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: chaterlea25] #727218
03/01/18 7:54 pm
03/01/18 7:54 pm
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Sydney, Oz
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Shane in Oz Online content

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Originally Posted by chaterlea25
Hi
There was an article in a fairly recent "Classic Bike" mag where Rick P is pictured poring over BSA drawings at SRM's
premises, I seem to remember that they were original BSA drawings?

John

SRM sent me a copy the lift-out with my most recent order. According to the article (SRM Design), Les Mason of Devimead wound up with a lot of the factory drawings, which must have been included in the sale of the BSA side of the business to SRM.

Going off on a tangent, there were some quite interesting tidbits regarding the history of the Company. I didn't realise (or had totally forgotten) that Devimead was still doing the BSA side of things until the late 1980s.

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: Shane in Oz] #727244
03/02/18 12:56 am
03/02/18 12:56 am
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Mark Cook ( CCM ) has a lot of factory drawings of unit singles.
The VMCC also has a lot of the BSA factory drawings in their library.
Problem is without some one like Allister Cave around it would be hard to know if they are actual production drawings or pre production design drawings or the original drawings before the modifications.
Brad Smith seems to have access at least to some more BSA drawings.
Some are in the various universities as there are foot notes & credits in some books & articles to them.

The BSA parts books were made from actual BSA production drawings, however that does not mean they are the actual parts that were made, and they may not be to exact scale.
The process was photograph the drawing of each item then reduce them photographically then do a cut & paste, photograph that to make an original , inverse it then use that to make dyeline copies.
If a part was to be modified then they made a copy on velum or silk, scratched out the bit to be changed then draw in the modification or simply redrew the origin part and did another cut & paste.

A real life drawing office is nothing like what we would think it was.
It takes a lot of time to do a drawing from scratch so that was to be avoided at all costs.


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Trevor
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727339
03/03/18 1:46 am
03/03/18 1:46 am
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Richard Phillips Offline
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What a great question. I wonder can you make a cad drawing from an original part. Or a 3D replication
. Just thinking

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727359
03/03/18 7:29 am
03/03/18 7:29 am
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There are a couple of very clever computer buffs on the B50.org forum who do this regularly for B50 parts.
And dam good they are too.


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Trevor
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727398
03/03/18 5:02 pm
03/03/18 5:02 pm
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First you have to find an unmolested part to measure then use a CMM is best for measurement. If you are machining then go from there. If casting then shrinkage and allowance for machine clean up is required. What material? Generally, only the bolts were listed in the parts books. Then is it just for fun or do you want to recoup the development costs? Taking a drawing to a machine shop and asking for two will either get a "No" or rather high price.

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727413
03/03/18 7:00 pm
03/03/18 7:00 pm
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Measuring a part is good but only takes you so far.
What the measurement doesn't tell you is the tolerances on the various dimensions and where your measurements lie in those tolerance bands.
That is where the actual drawings should be better.
I say "should" because many of the components were not made exactly to drawing.
Remember this was 50 ish years ago where parts were being made on machine tools worn out from the World War II efforts.
The best thing to do --ideally--is to get hold of the drawings AND measure a new part-- preferably a NOS part--AND look intelligently at where the part fits and what dimensions are critical and which can be fairly loose.
Not a straight forward proposition!
However do not let me discourage you.
Increasingly in the future as old stocks are used up we shall all be looking for good new parts to keep these old clunkers running.
HTH

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: Tridentman] #727466
03/04/18 4:21 am
03/04/18 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman

I say "should" because many of the components were not made exactly to drawing.
Remember this was 50 ish years ago where parts were being made on machine tools worn out from the World War II efforts.
HTH


NO NO NO NO NO.
You have been reading too much trash from magazine "journos" who do not have the technichal skills to work out which is the business end of a screwdriver.

There was noting wrong with the machines, other than the fact that they were labour intensive.
There are things called fitters who do things like replace the wear pads found on all production line tools then reset the machine

REMEMBER THAT BSA MADE PRODUCTION TOOLS and in fact the tools division carried the losses made on motorcycles for quite some till till it was sold off.

Go back to the 40's 50's & 60's

Production cutting tools were made from HSS or HCS and they moved exactly the same distance between stops, set by tool setters.
The operator checked every part as it came off the machine for fit with a go / no go set of gauges.
When they were all "No go" she hits the stop button then called for the supervisor who then called for the tool setter.

If the operator was an actual "machinist" then they would stop the machine, remove the blunt tool , replace it with a nice new sharp one then hit the start button.

Because the tools move a predefined distance between stops the actual cut varies due to build up and or wear on the cutting edges simple as that.
Carbide tooling was very very very expensive even in the 60's when I was first exposed to lathes so no chance of it being used on 20,000,000 tools on a production line.

Then there was something like 40,000 brand spanking new tools put into production during the war to replace all of the ones that were bomb damaged beyound use.
The main BSA factory in Small Heath was the most bombed building during WWII because it was a very easy target being at the intersection of a railway line & a canal , two very easy things to see from 20,000 feet.

Now if you had said obsolete production methods based on single task machines then you have have legs to stand on.
Or out of spec parts not being removed from the line because they were behind schedule also highly probable.
But the worn out machinery incapable of making precision parts is a myth as far as BSA was concerned.



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Trevor
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727505
03/04/18 4:07 pm
03/04/18 4:07 pm
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With all due respect, Trevor---one NO back to you.
My views are not built on what I have read.
I have had enough dealings with the Press over the years to take anything they say with not a pinch of salt but with half a ton of it.
No--my views are based on being there--training as an engineer and working in the West Midland Engineering industry during the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
This included many visits to Meriden when developing the Trident oil cooler with the Meriden Development Department and visits during the Coop.
Many of the machine tools dated from between the wars and a lot were pre WWI.
Maybe 40,000 new machine tools were installed in UK after the war but
--- the UK was not a recipient of a Marshall Plan like Germany and Japan were.
--- 40,000 machine tools is not a large number considering these were the days prior to CNC machining centers etc and machining consisted of rows and rows of manually attended machine tools--and in the context of the size of UK Engineering industry at that time.
Additionally although the BSA Group as you say made machine tools--I am reminded of the plumber who always has a leaking tap (faucet).
The BSA Group like many UK engineering groups was under capitalized and under invested. More priority was given to dividend payments and Lady Dockers gold plated Daimler than to investing in new production equipment.
Another factor is that most of the parts production was done on a piece work basis.
Workers got paid not by the hour but by how much they produced.
Parts which were strictly sub standard would get by in the interests of income.
The inspectors and machine tool setters would be brushed aside by union shop stewards who would accuse them of keeping their members wages down.
I would humbly suggest, Trevor, that you have a somewhat idealized view of how things should have worked.
The reality, however, in my experience was quite different from the ideal.
Just my two cents worth of course.


Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727546
03/04/18 9:52 pm
03/04/18 9:52 pm
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It's always good to hear from somebody who was there at the time and not so close as to be unable to see the wood for the trees.

I'd read that the Coventry unions were particularly strong, but this was less of a factor in Birmingham. Did you have much to do with Small Heath, or was it mostly Meriden? It would be interesting to know how different the work culture and management / worker relations were.

It's rather surprising that so much of the equipment at Meriden was so old. I'd also read that only a limited amount could be salvaged from the Coventry factory after the bombing, so the new Meriden facility had new (at the time) machine tools.

It looks rather like the purpose of working at the Meriden factory was to make as much money as possible by churning out as many parts as possible, with in-spec parts being a matter of luck. I suppose the reason for paying a piecework rate was to lift production rates, but that's always going to be counterproductive if there aren't associated quality gates. Ahh, the joys of being at each other's throats instead of realising that it's a symbiotic relationship.

On the dividend front, apparently there were strong taxation incentives to pay dividends rather than invest in improved production facilities. The "old boys' network" would have come into play strongly as well. From this distance in space and time, it appears to me that the BSA board didn't see much of a future in motorcycles, so remained with the old labour-intensive methods which allowed quick responses to changes in demand, and old tooling rather than spending money on future-proofing something with a limited future. Most of the capital expenditure seemed to go into M&A, probably with a certain amount of "old boys' network" shaping the investment decisions.

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727555
03/04/18 11:48 pm
03/04/18 11:48 pm
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I had no involvement with the BSA Small Heath facility but plenty of involvement with engineering companies in both the Coventry and Birmingham areas.
Some factories had the reputation of being more fiercely unionized than others but they were all by todays standards very strongly unionized.
A couple of examples:
a) If as a manager you wanted to recruit an extra guy you couldn't just advertise and recruit. You had to approach the local union shop steward and tell him what you wanted to do. He would then give you a list of approved union members and you had to recruit from that list.
b) In the big coal strike of 1974 there was a big coal depot at Saltley just outside Birmingham. The coal miners picketed the depot to stop coal being supplied to the power stations and thus accelerate power cuts. The police removed the miners and allowed trucks to go in to get supplies of coal. The local engineering unions called for all their members to join the picket line at the coal depot. The next day 250,000 engineering workers arrived to picket the coal depot---the police just gave up.

Don't assume that the new Meriden facility got new machine tools--there were not enough new machine tools to go around.
So bombed out factories were cannibalized of anything that would work and transferred to factories judged vital to the war effort.

With our rose tinted spectacles on we tend with all the benefit of hindsight to have a mellow view of the workers in factories such as Meriden and Small Heath.
Most of the workers did not have any affinity for bikes--it was just a job. And their interest was to get as much money as possible--hence taking short cuts with piece work etc etc.

JonnyD--sorry to go off your original question at such a tangent---but best of luck with your mission to make new parts.
All above just my two cents worth of course.


Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #727596
03/05/18 7:41 am
03/05/18 7:41 am
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OK, I wiill take one on the chin, no more teeth to knock out so it dosen't matter.
And yes I am long way from Small Heath with no actual first hand knowledge.
However some times you get a better picture from a long way away because you can be detached & thus impartial.
I have been a BSA fanatic since I was 13 & riding since 14 so have been sucking up BSA information for decades.

Coming from an underprivileged background I have stood in front of a lot of very old obsolete machines, much of which was exported from the UK & USA, totally worn out when the UK or USA company bought out a local manufacturer .
Mind knumbing work shoving bits into a machine then removing & grading what came out .
Even as late as the 80's I stood behind flat belt machines, powered from overhead drives where the only thing different from 1901 was an electric motor had replaced the steam engine.

I learned about carbide tooling in high school but never actually saw any in use for another 10 years.
So I will agree that ATTITUDE was a big factor for quality and I know you can make top quality parts with very substandard worn machines, just as you can make rubbish with modern tooling.

As far as BSA paying dividends over reinvestment, people on this very forum have mentioned the regressive taxation system, initiated post WW II to force companies to pay dividends rater than reinvest in their own plant.
IT was a good plan in 1945 but it just stayed around for way too long.
According to Keroner BSA only ever paid out modest dividends and only on a handfull of occasions post WW II.
What they did do that was criminal was to pay way way too much for bankrupt business to bail out a person of the "right upbringing" Triumph, Sunbeam, Carbodies, Daimler & Lanchester were all either bankrupt or facing bankruptcy when BSA bought them and then a member of the dud board that had sent the company broke aways seemed to end up on the BSA board for no reason other than they were a major shareholdr of a business that went bust.

Over the years I have had contact with a lot of ex-BSa factory production line workers ( usually the wife of a member ) and all of them speak highly of their time at the BSA.
So perhaps the workers at Triumph that had suffered bankruptcy twice were somewhat more militant.
AS for garbage management, we imported all of the rejects from the UK down here where they effectively destroyed Australian manufacturing just as well as they did it to the UK ones.


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Trevor
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #728090
03/09/18 12:10 pm
03/09/18 12:10 pm
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JonnyD Offline OP
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Well, (going back to my original question) thanks very much guys for your information on places to look for finding original BSA drawings. I will follow up the VMCC library and the B50 forum, and then probably some of the other places too. It's a real shame that so little information on parts from such a large manufacturer is properly in the public domain.

I found the discussion on production methods and the spirit within different factories' workforces really interesting. In the early to mid 1960s I used to make an annual pilgrimage to the Service Department at BSA Armoury Road to get things like service exchange crankshafts and the folks there were all keen and really helpful, sometime bending the rules in favour of an impoverished young lad in most welcome ways. I always felt that the BSA parts were well made and I have to admit that I agree more with Trevor in Oz than Tridentman regarding BSA itself. However, whatever may have happened at Triumph in their very last days may well be quite another story, and one which may have tarnished the reputation of more British bike makers and parts suppliers than it should have done. The BSA Group made machine tools, for example they owned Churchill Machine Tools between about 1961-71.

Cheers,

Jon

Last edited by JonnyD; 03/09/18 8:10 pm.
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: NickL] #728114
03/09/18 5:15 pm
03/09/18 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by NickL
The fact that many of the new machine tools installed between 39-45 were 'WAR FINISH' marked items
may also point to the quality.


I don't think a WAR FINISH finish machine tool, was necessarily of inferior quality, I always assumed it referred to the general finish of the castings, and no chrome control handles etc. We had a few in the machine shop in the sixties which were still operational. Also ex government spanners, which were made by renowned manufactures, but not with a bright chrome finish, but of high quality, none the less.
All the above comments make for interesting reading.


Brian

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Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #728141
03/09/18 8:47 pm
03/09/18 8:47 pm
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I don't know what "war finish" meant in WW II Britain, but in weapons made in the USA it meant rougher, less finely-machined outer surfaces, and "parkerized" finished outside surfaces for protection against rust.

In other works; not "pretty," but fully functional, and thus a higher production rate

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #728167
03/10/18 12:44 am
03/10/18 12:44 am
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Nick--you cant be an ex-pommie.
Once a pommie always a pommie.
You are a pom living in Oz--I am a pom living in US.
Cheers to all of us poms!

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: NickL] #728184
03/10/18 3:16 am
03/10/18 3:16 am
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Nick, I live in the small country town where I was born nearly 66 years ago,but have travelled a bit, and you are absolutely smack on with your sociallogical analysis ! Still the best country this, though !

Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: NickL] #728190
03/10/18 5:20 am
03/10/18 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by NickL
"What they did do that was criminal was to pay way way too much for bankrupt business to bail out a person of the "right upbringing" Triumph, Sunbeam, Carbodies, Daimler & Lanchester were all either bankrupt or facing bankruptcy when BSA bought them and then a member of the dud board that had sent the company broke aways seemed to end up on the BSA board for no reason other than they were a major shareholdr of a business that went bust."


Do you honestly think that this sort of thing is unique to the UK?
As far as i see it, it's just as important to go to the right school, University, clubs etc and to have the correct handshake, connections etc in Australia, USA, India, Germany and on and on.
A class system is defined by haves and have nots, they are everywhere.

Sorry to detract from the thread but Trevor has a very biased opinion of life and living in the UK, obviously without experience.

Nick (ex-pommie)



Quite right Nick, however I went to school with a man who became chied steward for Qantas, and he lived in an estate with a father who was a traumitised WWII vet who was always drunk & violent.
A migrant who I did the application , medical & english tests for ended up deputy commissioner of the NSW Railways.
Prior to the corpratizing of government business enterprises most of the executives got appointed by merit or in some seniority , not class.
Private enterprise is some what different, if you name was Packer you would be welcome on any board of directors but I , son of a minimum wage earner have been invited to join the management of several companies over my working life.

Australian companies can not buy out a bankrupt busines to bail out "mates" it has been criminal offense to do that here since day one of Australian corp law. And board memberd from a bankrupt company can not take up positions with whoever takes them over.
We have "fit & proper persons laws", one of the things that was used against Allan Bond .
One of the big whinges you get from executives in Australian business is they spend all their time ensuring they are acting withing corp law and the boards number 1 priority is complying with regulations.
Nepitism runs just as strong here as anywhere else in the world but since the late 60's we have very strict recruitment regulations for all government bodies and many a scenior manager has had their "resignation accepted" because they did not follow procedures .
I really have no poinions about living in the UK other than what I have picked up from the £ 10 poms I have worked with, worked for or under.
I do not think I expressed one.


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Trevor
Re: Do any BSA factory drawings of BSA parts exist? [Re: JonnyD] #728198
03/10/18 9:19 am
03/10/18 9:19 am
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We can decide in our minds that they bought out companies to help their mates, or that is was a cheap way to diversify.

If Australian legislators think they can stop sharp practice in business, they are very naive and wrong, or deceiptfully grandstanding to the electorate.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.

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