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1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver #790801 11/21/19 8:12 pm
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Gary Hawthorn Offline OP
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I started this thread after purchasing a project - some would say parts - bike,my first Brit. I then got lucky and found this site and the “Barn Find Beeza” thread (thanks Pasta) that has been very helpful because of your entries, the responses, and the photos.

Now on to my project.

Greeting from Vancouver B.C. where I recently bought a 1969 A69 Thunderbolt that had been stored in a heated basement for 40 years.

The good:

No rust
Came with title
Lots of spare mainly engine parts, including some spares for the spares.
Came with a nice period-correct leather jacket & a OEM 1969 shop manual.
Thanks to the Internet I have downloaded all of the required OEM manuals, and more
It is in better shape than some other BSA projects that have been described on this site

The “can-live-with-it”:

The bike has some components from adjacent years including: 1971-72 conical wheels, and same period front forks,
1971-72 Triumph Lightning head with correct dual AMAL carbs for that head.
It is a somewhat butchered hybrid, and will still be a hybrid when it is back on the road. I'm Ok with that.

The bad:

Not complete, but nothing that a bunch of $ won’t solve.
As a result of a “racer” conversion, several important parts did not come with the bike: headlight, instrument(s), center stand, fuel tank, seat, and a few smaller items.
The frame had been chopped at the rear and is extensively cracked around the steering hub, so I will replace it.
Engine would not turn over on the kick starter. Turned out to be worn out kick starter parts, now replaced from the spares.

After promising myself that I would not touch the bike until I had completed a couple of 1960s Honda MCs, I promptly put the BSA on a stand and started to strip the engine. With both sides are stripped and the head off. The engine is very clean, and the cylinder bores are like new.

I’m not in a hurry to finish it, since it still have 1960s Hondas to ride. I have however put want ads in local and nearby (BC, WA) Craigslist plus alerts with the perhaps unrealistic faint hope of finding a parts bike that can provide a frame, and hopefully more. Also eBay, I have an WA USA mailbox and most of what I need can be sourced in USA..

I have some questions:

Perhaps these questions will be answered if I buy either Haynes or Chilton or both, or make more effort to search this site.
The centrifugal advance is not easily separated from its timing gear. I had hoped to cobble something together from my parts bin or “borrow” a suitably threaded fastener from elsewhere on the bike, but so far that has not worked out. I know that the tool can be purchased. Suggestions please, including "don't be cheep, just buy the tool"?
The special “timing plug” tool used for engine timing (part 61-7002) can also be purchased, but can one merely insert a suitably sized rod into the crank ssembly and center it in the hole?
A 1971-72 conical front wheel was installed when I bought the bike. I like the appearance, so am thinking of replacing the original QD wheels (I have them but they require work) with the very nice conical wheels. I realize that the diameter of the rear shaft is smaller on the conical so I will have to deal with it. Good / bad idea?
Since I will be replacing the frame (swing arm?) over how many production years can the frames be interchanged?
Give the apparent ease of installing the conical wheels with an OIF type frame and swing arm, is that what I should be looking for?
Should I retain the dual carb Triumph head and the Triumph 930/66 930/67 AMAL carbs? I have a correct 1969 A65T head but no 928/6 carb.
The Amals are nice and clean but have no choke parts. Is that normal, or desirable?

Now to upgrade to Premium so that I can add photos.

Cheers and thank you Pasta and scribes

Gary


1969 A65T BSA
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Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790825 11/21/19 10:08 pm
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Gordo in Comox Offline
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From your post it is hard to really picture what you have. I expect that you have a BSA Lightening head and not a Triumph head. Which front forks do you have for the Conical front wheel?

Are you saying that you are going to replace the frame?

Photos will really help Forum members to offer advice.

Gordo


The roadside repairs make for the best post ride stories.
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790829 11/21/19 10:38 pm
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Once upon a time the later alloy slider forks and conical 8" front hub would have been considered an upgrade, if you have the forks that match the wheel, live with it for the time being. Hang onto them, you can get generic alloy headlamp brackets that dont look too out of place from EMGO distributors. the frame is a bit more of a concern, cracks around the steering head are unusual, has the gusset been removed? IIRC a 5/16 " UNF or maybe BSF bolt can be used to push the advance retard mech off its taper, .

The swing arm up to 1969 should all swap, beware though, earlier types used slightly different brake arrangements, all have the same rubber silentbloc bushes, similar axles and same shock mounts., 70 onward got metal bushes.
look for the correct 69 rear wheel, the conical brake plate will fit , the conical wheel is not QD , the 69 type is , very handy for tyre changing.
Although the engine is relatively simple to work on, the most critical area is the crankshaft timing side main bearing, if this bush/ brg is worn budget for sending it to Ed V for a proper repair, its outside the scope of most machine shops who are unfamiliar with this particular model, the fit is very close, 0.0015 , once it gets to more than 0.002 oil pressure to big ends is compromised, once it wears more than that very bad things happen. i strongly recommend fitting electronic ignition, ( Boyer works for me) , a new ignition switch, and new 6 Volt coils to match the electronic ignition.
FWIW some bits last forever, cam shaft bushes and gearbox needle rollers are still original in my bike, leave these well alone if they look OK, changing these items can bring a world of pain. Expect worn valve guides/ valves, and look for wear on the drive side cam lobe/ follower, these seem to go first.
Budget for renewing all rubber items, tyres , fork gaiters, battery carrier mounts, and most importantly a complete new clutch centre cush drive , probably the most neglected and overworked part in the whole drive train, out of sight out of mind etc.

,


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790941 11/22/19 2:37 pm
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Adam M. Offline
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+1 on wheels, conical look much nicer but are worse, rear needs lots of work to change a tire, front break is more fiddly to keep braking 69 / 70 front brake is really good, however wheel is quite heavy. If you have original 69 front end and wheels in a parts bin rebuild them and use them, I consider 69 front end with shuttle valves and external springs also better than later 71/2 front end.
I also believe it is easier to buy dry bike frame than OIF frame and OIF frame from 71 could by quite tall.
Never had any experience with OIF bikes, so can't help here. Same with points ignition, always had a Boyer and was happy with it.

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790970 11/22/19 6:25 pm
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Hey Gary,

Thanks for the comments about my thread. I find it really helpful to take lots of pictures, and to post them in my build thread. I just use a regular point-and-shoot camera, and I upload them to imgur.com. When I upload, I resize them to 1280x1024:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and then I just copy and paste the BBCode for the image straight into the text of the posting:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and Bob's your uncle. Imgur is free and is not at all spammy, I've had great results with it.

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790990 11/22/19 10:24 pm
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Gary Hawthorn Offline OP
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Thank you for your responses.

Some of the questions that I have asked may become redundant. I have received a response to my one day old Craigslist posting offering a 1967 (?) rolling chassis. I have responded to that email, but have not seen any photos, and have not yet talked with the seller. That could make our discussion re conical wheels and frame redundant, so let's hold off on that topic. A lot of what I will do about restoration will depend upon that rolling chassis offers.

Gordo - I guessed at the source of the dual carb head since it does not have a part number. However, the AMAL carbs numbers are correct for 1971-72 Triumph. I cannot find a part number on the front forks, but the parts books indicates 1972 A65T/L with what looks like a 1972 bottom yoke and 1969 top yoke. I did say "hybrid".

Gavin - I plan on installing an electronic ignition. I will pay attention to your comments re crankshaft and clutch center. Did you actually say "replace the clutch center" (I have 2 of them) or merely open it, check for wear, and replace the rubbers?

Adam- If I buy that 1967(?) rolling chassis, or another pre-OIF frame, I presume that your concerns will be addressed?

Pasta - if the photos that I attached display it was using the britbike "attachment manager" option, after having already resized them.

The cracked frame - see attached photo / I was unable to find that frame detail in the several parts lists that I have downloaded, so I am a bit of a loss. However, when I replace the frame, it will merely be an observation.

Attached Files my bike on Craigslist.jpgengine.jpgclean inside engine.jpgcrack on steering head.JPGhome.jpg

1969 A65T BSA
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #790994 11/22/19 10:38 pm
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Psychopasta Offline
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Oh Lordy! Those handlebars...

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791017 11/23/19 1:06 am
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Adam M. Offline
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Somebody definitely tried to build a bobber, not a racer from it.
Rear crincle wheel with I believe 16" rim and tire, but without shocks + ape hangers on a front.:)
Now could you make same pictures of your 69 front end if you still have it as a spare part?

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791018 11/23/19 1:12 am
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Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gary: I am not sure your frame is cracked. It looks more like previous owner blended it all in with bondo and that is what is cracking. I have a T100 frame that someone blended in.

Here is what a 68 headstock looks like for comparison.

Gordo

click to enlarge

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


The roadside repairs make for the best post ride stories.
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791019 11/23/19 1:23 am
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I will never understand those who put a strut in place of their rear shocks.


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791020 11/23/19 1:37 am
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By all means open up the clutch centre hubs, expect to find severe wear, if its not worn, new rubbers will suffice, everyone I have examined has been badly worn, a new unit is the fix.
The cracks in the headstock, might be just shrinking bondo?


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791026 11/23/19 2:19 am
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There's no way a Triumph cyl. head can go on an A65. The Triumph unit twin is a dual-cam engine with external pushrods. The A65 is a single cam engine with internal pushrods. The bore is not the same either. Carburetor markings are not helpful - Triumph and BSA used many of the same AMAL carbs. The dual-carb cyl. head is from an A65 Lightning, Hornet, Spitfire, or Firebird Scrambler.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791099 11/23/19 9:06 pm
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Gary Hawthorn Offline OP
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Guys

Please replace my misspoken “racer” with “bobber”, but retain “hybrid”.

The bondo supporters were correct. I drilled out enough of it to see that a gusset had been installed and everything in that location had been enclosed in bondo. I could not find a crack in the steering stem. I will replace the frame since it has been chopped too much for my liking.

Although I have lots of spare parts, that does not include spare front forks.

Adam - You are correct. The QD rear wheel is 16”, not 18” as was, I believe, the original. Perhaps another reason for me to install the conical wheels. In that regard, several responders have supported the use of a rear QD wheel for ease of removal. When I temporarily installed the conical wheel, I had the bike elevated on the stand. I removed the entire QD, lowered it to remove the intact chain, and easily installed the conical. I know that if I actually use it, I will have to bush the smaller dia. conical shaft.

As for the dual AMAL carbs, I downloaded an AMAL PDF file that included their 1969-72 carbs. The only bike that used No. 930-66 and 930-67 in the period was 1971-72 Triumph T120R. I had intended to attach that file, but I could not include it as a PDF. Have to figure how to do that. Strangely, my spares include a pair of Triumph rocker boxes.

I posted below a photo of the Craigslist offered 1967 rolling chassis, at a negotiable $ 750 (that is in Canadian pesos, becoming more modest $ US 550). Potentially it will provide: frame, fenders, wheels (for the QD encouragers), fuel tank, battery holder, perhaps a better oil tank than I now have.

I don’t want to stop my conversation with the Craigslist guy since he has a large inventory of A65 parts in “long term storage”. That may be important; since I still have a fairly long needs list.

I checked the parts dwgs for 1967 & 69 A65, and note different frame numbers, but only a couple of small work-around differences. Is that correct? Can I use a 1967 frame? Should I?

Cheers again

Gary

Attached Files Craigslist rolling chassis.JPGbono.JPG

1969 A65T BSA
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791111 11/23/19 10:17 pm
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At least this red frame has an unchopped frame and original fork sliders and wheels


beerchug
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791155 11/24/19 1:27 pm
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The changes in the frame between 67 and 68 were minor things, like adding a bracket to install condensers (which you won't need for electronic ignition). 68 to 69 changed a few more things, raising the seat mounts for example. There shouldn't be anything that prevents you using a pre-OIF dry frame in your case, as long as you're willing to adapt a few things.

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791165 11/24/19 2:52 pm
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+1 to 67 frame. I'm using one in my bitsa build now and can't find any significant changes.
It's a pity original 69 front end with a front wheel didn't survived, it's a big improvement over earlier forks in comfort and braking.

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791186 11/24/19 7:38 pm
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Mindful of Marc & Adam's comments about the 1967 frame, can I merely transfer my existing 1971 front suspension and 19" conical front and 18" conical rear wheel to that frame? Am I over / under thinking this and am better off to retain the 1967 QD front end, and the 1967 QD rear wheel?

I could of course use the entire offered 1967 chassis, drop in my then expensive 1969 engine, and replace the missing bits to end up with a non-numbers matching 1967 A65T/L. That would leave me with the option to retain the current 1969 title that is consistent with 1969 engine number or go the bill of sale route and title it as a 1967. I have done that several times for my Honda MCs. Bit of time consumer, but it is pretty straightforward and not expensive in BC.

Almost too many options.

Cheers

Gary


1969 A65T BSA
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791225 11/25/19 1:32 am
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Adam M. Offline
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The cheapest solution is transfering your engine, conical wheels and front end to 67 frame because 67 front end needs front stanchions and some more parts which aren't cheap. If you do it you have a complete bike and can sell extra parts to help in rebuilding it.
I'd be first to exchange my original but worn out seat for a side stand which you would have from your chopped up frame.

Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791249 11/25/19 10:11 am
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I'd keep the complete rolling chassis as a 67' the front forks have the damper rods and as long as they have been rebuilt well are really well (If they haven't they will be like a pogo stick). I remade the rods from "Drill Rod" (perfectly straight and dimensionally correct rod) with new bushes etc the tollerence between the bushes and the rod tightened up enough so leaving just enough play to work, my originals were badly pitted, I've seen another set which has as much play as mine did but without the pitting (These are on a B44 so probably not so much an issue). They will then be as good as any other fork (triumph style shuttle valve or 71+ forks) that BSA fitted.

I would also fit the 8" single leader, these can be a good stopper. Not quite as good as the Twin Leading Shoe (TLS) from the following year, but without the fear of locking up. and probably still an improvement over the TLS conical hub (providing the hub is skimmed and shoes made to suit following any wheel rebuild)

You will also have something more attracive to a buyer should you wish to sell it.


beerchug
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #791252 11/25/19 11:00 am
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gavin eisler Online Content
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Having used both 8" SLS and conical hub TLS brakes, the Conical gets my vote. The 71 front end will transplant ( its already done in the pics?) It does look like the stanchions/ legs are oversize, std legs are available.
Have the rear crinkle hub rebuilt onto an 18" rim. The QD feature is very useful.
make the best with what you have, dont worry about matching numbers, in general the later the parts the better., not so much for the frames which are all essentially the same, but the engines and forks improved with time.

looking at the black bondo frame, its only been lightly messed with, rake looks stock, maybe some small mounting brackets missing, the swinging arm looks OK, biggest missing part is the rear seat loop, not a huge deal, these can be replaced. The two mounts on the front of the steering head look like the 1970 fairing brackets. If the BB frame is straight/ not bent, I would consider fixing it rather than starting again. Most of it looks OK, get friendly with a welder .Someone with an old Sportster might even buy the rear mudguard tuning forks .

Last edited by gavin eisler; 11/27/19 4:19 pm.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #792128 12/05/19 10:38 pm
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Gary Hawthorn Offline OP
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AMAL Question

Neither of my 930 carbs contain the air valve components, and the cable openings have been sealed with machine screws.

I have seen comments from other owners who have done that, and appear to use just the tickler when starting a cold engine. Perhaps I misunderstood those comments.

I have not found anything in any of the AMAL literature to endorse that change.

Someone commented that if you retain the "choke" feature, the cable has a bad habit of creeping.

Comments please.

tks

Gary


1969 A65T BSA
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #792132 12/05/19 10:58 pm
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Hugh Jorgen Online Content
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Very useful post from John Healy regarding the utility of a choke:

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/788771/re-premier-amal-help#Post788771

If the tension screw on the choke actuator is adjusted correctly, should be fine.
At least mine is.

Van man!
Couver groover!


1970 T120R
1970 Commando
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #792133 12/05/19 11:00 pm
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First I’ve heard of any cable creeping. It depends on what your climate is like, I know that Vancouver is Canada but that’s all. In typical British weather it pays to have the choke system. On a cold day you will still need to flood the engine, then you take the choke off when warm. If your like 20°c most days then you could probably get away without choke.

Worth noting that any bike will start without choke if the idle mixture is rich enough.... but all it means is that the bike will be a pig 10 miles later when the engine is warm.

I use chokes, I also recommend them as if nothing else they can be a
Good diagnostic tool.

AMAL sell a choke kit for the 900 carbs. You would also need to buy a cable adjuster, choke lever and cable.


beerchug
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #792135 12/05/19 11:06 pm
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Allan Gill Offline
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Just thinking about this creeping. If you have a poorly made or assembled choke lever it will creep. If this happens put the spring the other side of the lever, it will stop it and give you a smooth enough use.


beerchug
Re: 1969 BSA A65T resto in Vancouver [Re: Gary Hawthorn] #792170 12/06/19 11:45 am
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gavin eisler Online Content
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Chokes make your bike easier to start and run when cold.
Chokes get removed for a few reasons.
1 Cable snaps, DPO too cheap to replace cable.
2 Ignorance, bike will start and run on over rich pilot settings, DPO then gets all in a fuss about plug choice because they will foul regularly on the over rich settings.
3 For a custom "clean " look, more show than go.
4 For racing , when the idle circuit is hardly used.
They can creep shut if the friction adjustment at the lever isnt set properly, this is not difficult to get right.

If the pilot air screw is set to run correctly when the engine is up to temperature, then the choke is needed for a short spell after a cold start, result good MPGs , clean pick up no fouled plugs

if the pilot air screw is set to run correctly for a cold engine with no choke, result , poor MPGs, fouled plugs, bad running when hot.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
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