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Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
#781105 08/10/19 4:14 pm
Joined: May 2017
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Hi everybody!

For a while now (2 years) I've been working on resurrecting a very rough specimen of a BSA A65 Lightning. I've been scattering questions all over the internet, including this forum. But I decided to make a project thread and since I've always gotten the best answers here!

The bike is a 1970 BSA A65L that has lived a VERY rough life. I'm the 14th owner, it's been a track race bike, it's been a cafe racer, it's been a original street bike aaaand its been a wreck in a garage for 20+ years. It's was missing a lot of pieces and the electrical system was none existing. The engine had a warped head, and blown valves. It had fallen over in the garage more times than you can count, it has a 22 mm solid stainless steel handlebar and no fenders, missing clocks and most of the controls.

So far I've rebuilt all of the electrical system. Bought a shedload of parts. Had the top end machined and new valve guides and hardened seats installed. I've installed a Boyer ignition system.

Right now I'm working on assembling the head. But I have a problem. I keep braking valve spring compressors.
I have this type, but I've stripped the threads on two of them.
[Linked Image from i.ebayimg.com]

Is there a better version out there that you use?

That's it from me today. Next post will include pics of the bikes I promise laugh

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Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781123 08/10/19 7:38 pm
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I recently picked this one up from Amazon:
8MILELAKE Valve Spring Compressor Automotive Repair Tool

It's only $18 and is a bit flimsy but you're only doing 4 valves smile

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781127 08/10/19 8:38 pm
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Sounds like the tool you are using is very poor quality if the threads are stripping so easily. I would invest in something better quality like the one MarcB mentions or maybe One of These which are a bit more expensive.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
gunner #781129 08/10/19 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by MarcB
I recently picked this one up from Amazon:
8MILELAKE Valve Spring Compressor Automotive Repair Tool

It's only $18 and is a bit flimsy but you're only doing 4 valves smile


I've actually been looking on this tool. Does it fit good on a BSA? The one I bought slips of the valve lock ring all the time. I've been looking at this but it is really expensive

Originally Posted by gunner
Sounds like the tool you are using is very poor quality if the threads are stripping so easily. I would invest in something better quality like the one MarcB mentions or maybe One of These which are a bit more expensive.


Yupp, extremely poor quality. The fist one I got from the seller broke when I tried it on the bench and the one I got as a replacement broke today when mounting the valves. This one looks like a good one. I'll look closely at it.
[color:#3366FF][/color]

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781145 08/10/19 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Chess
I've actually been looking on this tool. Does it fit good on a BSA? The one I bought slips of the valve lock ring all the time.


It comes with a number of collars. The one that doesn't slip around barely leaves any room to fit the keepers, so I used the ones that slip all over the place. Still got the job done.
The biggest issue: the "C" clamp isn't reinforced and is so soft that it will actually expand. I kept a hammer on hand to pound it back into shape after each valve. Like I said: with any luck you're only doing 4 so make it work.

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781167 08/11/19 7:02 am
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And old G clamp modified would do the job. Or keep an eye out for some old tools. There’s that much crap on the market that you don’t know what your buying... sometimes there’s only the crap that’s available too.

Another bad one is tyre levers, especially Nielson brand, they’re like chocolate. Bought some old levers the other day and they work a treat. Same for the G clamp, I’ve even closed the ends down on that to fit my Honda 4 better and it hasn’t weakened it.

If yours has only bust the threads on the adjustment shaft then you could proabably cut that out and fit a very high tensile long bolt in its place


beerchug

(Display name changed for cyber security reasons)

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781207 08/11/19 8:57 pm
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Hi
I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the parts being fitted?
I have managed to fit valves with all sorts of gadgets
It might be worth taking the head and parts to a local engine shop or workshop where a second opinion could be sought????

John

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781314 08/12/19 9:26 pm
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I have ordered the one Gunner recommended! Hopefully it will work!

John: The head has been to a engine shop who renovated it. I have had it all together but being a bit of a idiot I forgot so grind the valve and seats. It was in the process of disassembly that the tool broke. It is made from a quite crappy cast metal.

This is my first attempt at valve renovation. I have been dedicated to two stroke Saabs earlier in my motoring career. So this valve business is new to me!

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #781319 08/12/19 10:54 pm
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It is very important to use higher than stock quality valves and guides for A65 head, average quality valves and guides are prone to a rapid wear specially exhaust side.

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782115 08/21/19 9:14 am
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I've bought hepolite high quality ones. Hopefully they are enough!

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782128 08/21/19 12:17 pm
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Didn't know Hepolite made valves! you would have bought what ever Wassel have decided to brand up as Hepo-shite Hepolite. SRM's plasma Hardened Valves have been good for me (from memory the lazer engraved name is G and E or something to that effect, or Black Diamond being just as good if not better.


beerchug

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Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782245 08/22/19 6:07 pm
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Hey @Chess,

I'm in almost exactly the same position, having just acquire a 1967 spec A65 Lightning. Really looking forward to your pictures and descriptioons, as I'm still in the where the #### do I start phase:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782255 08/22/19 7:41 pm
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Nice bike! It looks waaaaaay better than mine! I'll try to put some pictures of mine during the weekend!

I'd like to see a project about your bike!

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782256 08/22/19 7:43 pm
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psycho that bike should be a breeze to get right providing the motor is OK


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando
2 olive drab WWII military bicycle replicas
Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #782295 08/23/19 4:14 am
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That's a big IF, raf940!

I do intend on documenting the rebuild, still getting my head around it right now.

- Pasta

Re: Resurrection of a BSA A65 Lightning 1970
Chess #799903 03/03/20 8:13 am
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Hi again.

I'm working hard on getting my A65 back on the road. I have after some deliberation decided that I wont make a original renovation. I will build a kind of scrambler like bike with it as a base. Maby it is blasphemy but most of the original parts are to far gone to save and the cost of buing new ones arent reasonable.

So, I have some questions;

I am thinking about making a combined oil tank/battery box. Is there any issues I need to look out for when doing this?
Will a Gold Star tank fit on the frame of a A65L-1970?

Regard
Christian


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