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67 68 BSA primary cover.
#795310 01/10/20 3:17 pm
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Adam M. Offline OP
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Sorting parts for my Bitsa I picked up my primary cover and found this:

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I briefly used this cover on my 70 A65 and found it constantly leaking,
Now I know why.
One central bolt is used as an oil dumping bolt, so cover has an indentation here to let oil into the bolt opening, adjacent one has a small orifice for primary to breath outside?
Can anybody explain why and how to successfully make this cover tight?
No amount of orings or fibre gaskets under the bolts made it for me in the past.

Last edited by Adam M.; 01/10/20 3:25 pm.
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Re: 67 68 BSA primary case
Adam M. #795311 01/10/20 3:32 pm
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The one hole is to drain primary and other is to set level of oil in primary. Check cover for warping, cracks or deep scratches on gasket surface. If all that is ok should seal with a gasket. I tighten bottom screws first and then tighten others. There are 2 fiber washers that go under the 2 cover screws to prevent leaking.


Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
1965 Lightning Rocket
1966 Norton Atlas
1967 Norton Atlas
1948 Panhead
Re: 67 68 BSA primary case
Adam M. #795313 01/10/20 3:50 pm
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A '70 cover has two separate screws for drain and fill level. You have the earlier type. You likely have to spot face the outside of the cover to get a good seal. Clean the screw and hole well and put Loctite Gasket Eliminator on the fibre washer. Hylomar is another alternative. One washer per screw. Over tightening the screws will warp the cover.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary case
Adam M. #795314 01/10/20 4:07 pm
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Its a good plan to lightly countersink all the perimeter female threads, they get pulled up over the years, then gently run a dead flat file across the face to highlight any potential high spots ( right at the front , stones can ding the case joint), scrape down as required.
Test fit the outer with some blue to highlight areas of bad contact, , if needed , lap the outer down on a dead flat surface with a figure of eight motion.
I have a set pattern to tighten this case , start with the middle pair , ie the pair at 12 oclock and 6 o clock, then work out evenly on each side until the last outer pair at 3 and 9 oclock. this helps prevent bowing. i do this in two steps , one light nip only, 2nd time tighter.


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary case
Adam M. #795316 01/10/20 4:48 pm
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OK thanks for all the answers, I will try all suggestions.
Will check a flatness of the case and cover having them both apart, where can I get proper fiber washers for it?
Some gasket eliminator is a good idea, however nothing worked before.
Cover gets hot and cold regularly, surfaces of a cover under bolt's heads were perhaps flat when new, but now they are not.
In contrary 70 cover worked great and never leaked.
It was probably a big nuisance for customers if BSA decided to change it.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795319 01/10/20 5:11 pm
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[Linked Image]Here is a shot of Baxter Cycle with fiber washer. Shows size so may be able to source them. Flatness of surfaces is critical for a good seal.


Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
1965 Lightning Rocket
1966 Norton Atlas
1967 Norton Atlas
1948 Panhead
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795320 01/10/20 5:49 pm
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A THICK piece of plate glass (available at a glaziers' shop) makes an ideal surface for lapping an aluminum gasket surface.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Irish Swede #795329 01/10/20 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
A THICK piece of plate glass (available at a glaziers' shop) makes an ideal surface for lapping an aluminum gasket surface.

+1 That's my go to also.


Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
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1948 Panhead
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795354 01/11/20 2:45 am
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Another place that they can leak is around the drain screw, especially if you have the Allen-head replacements, as the heads are not as big as the original "cheese heads". Also, the cover where the screw head seats may be galled.

I found that a fiber washer under the screw head did not fix the problem, so I made an aluminum washer, which DID fix the problem. On installation, the alu. washer conformed to the seat as the screw was tightened - so well in fact that when I remove the screw, the washer stays in place.


Mark Z

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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795356 01/11/20 2:56 am
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I use fairly thick neoprene cork gaskets on alloy primaries.
Once sorted out as per the above suggestions just nip the screws up.
I usually put hylomar on the cover and axel grease on the crankcase that way it will come off cleanly in future,
And the important thing is try to do all of the screws up the same amount ,
If some are looser then others then you create a weak spot where the oil can leak from.


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795375 01/11/20 2:21 pm
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I am positive my major oil leak was created by unadecuate seal under those 2 bolts - drain and oil level bolts, the rest of the cover was tight. Interesting info about allen head replacements and aluminum washers from Mark Z., I read somewhere about washers being aluminum originally as well, Beach picture also shows aluminum washer rather than fiber.
How did you make them Mark?
How thick are there?

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795376 01/11/20 2:50 pm
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Like these: ebay link

Last edited by MarcB; 01/16/20 3:26 pm.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795379 01/11/20 4:06 pm
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If you have the space, button head hex socket screws have a larger head than the Posi-driv screws.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795381 01/11/20 4:16 pm
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I agree with all the above suggestions and what I would do to stop oil leaks is as follows:-
- get some double sided self adhesive carpet tape and glue one side to a 2x2 ft square sheet of plate glass. On top of this attach some 120 grit wet and dry paper, now you have a relatively flat surface where you can check the chain case for flatness. Gently rub the chain case over the wet & dry paper, the first few passes should show where any high spots are. Keep gently rubbing until the gasket faces are uniformly grey showing no high spots.
- next, get a bottoming tap or an old bolt with cut outs which fits the threads in the crankcase and clean out any old gasket gunge which may be lurking in the threads and preventing the screws from bottoming.
- as Gavin mentions, use a 90 degree or similar countersink to remove any pulled up metal from the screw holes in the crankcases, only a few light passes are needed.
- then get a very large flat file and run it across the crankcase/chain-case gasket area to remove any remaining high spots. On the crankcase side you may need to remove the clutch, alternator etc. to do do this fully.

Once this is all done I would use a new chain-case gasket and glue it to the crankcase side using Blue Hylomar or similar gasket cement. This will allow the gasket to be reused if subsequent disassembly is needed. Sometimes thicker cork based gaskets are useful if there is significant distortion between the crankcase and chain-case so use these if needed,

When assembling the chain-case outer cover to the crankcase, make sure you have the correct length screws. Its easy enough to assume that you do have the correct screw lengths, but if you don't, potentially all you are doing is screwing in until the thread bottoms instead of pulling the chain-case tight against the crankcase.

Regarding fibre washers I suggest you try and find some which are 1/4 in internal diameter and with an outside diameter no larger than the OD of the screw head which is about 3/8 inch.

Last edited by gunner; 01/11/20 8:04 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795389 01/11/20 5:37 pm
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old microwave oven glass turntable things make good flattening surface for smaller items


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
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1972 BSA Thunderbolt
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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795415 01/12/20 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by Adam M.
I am positive my major oil leak was created by unadecuate seal under those 2 bolts - drain and oil level bolts, the rest of the cover was tight. Interesting info about allen head replacements and aluminum washers from Mark Z., I read somewhere about washers being aluminum originally as well, Beach picture also shows aluminum washer rather than fiber.
How did you make them Mark?
How thick are there?


I'm sorry, it's been a while. I know that I made the washers, by first drilling in a piece of stock and then trimming the o.d. The hole should fit the screw snugly, and the o.d. should fill the recess in the cover. All I can say with regard to the thickness is "fairly thick". BTW, another good application for an aluminum washer is under the head of that allen bolt in the end of the fork leg that holds the damper in place. Copper would probably work as well, as long as it's soft enough to conform to the irregularities in the seat when tightened down.

My recollection of A65s when they were still original is that there were NO washers on the cover screws.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795416 01/12/20 1:31 am
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The 1970 manual says "See that the oil level and drain screws are correctly positioned with washers under the heads of the screws.", it also shows the earlier 69 style with red painted oil and level screws, the 70 definitely has washers, earlier has part number 40-740 , 2 off washer shown in the parts book just after 68 -234 oil drain screw, and 68 233 oil level screw.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795434 01/12/20 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by Adam M.
I am positive my major oil leak was created by unadecuate seal under those 2 bolts - drain and oil level bolts, the rest of the cover was tight.

yes , those 2 screw holes can leak even if the the gasket is perfectly sealed .

1. the over-fill-hole can be sealed with the threads outer-half smeared with little silicone ,
( the leak is through the threads )
2. the drain hole , if you keep the feature , can only be sealed right under the screw head .
( the drain path is milled in the primary , just under the cover )

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795464 01/12/20 6:15 pm
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all ive ever done is wrap plenty of that PTFE tape (like plumbers use) under the head,. works pretty well.


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
gavin eisler #795501 01/13/20 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
The 1970 manual says "See that the oil level and drain screws are correctly positioned with washers under the heads of the screws.", it also shows the earlier 69 style with red painted oil and level screws, the 70 definitely has washers, earlier has part number 40-740 , 2 off washer shown in the parts book just after 68 -234 oil drain screw, and 68 233 oil level screw.


Yes ok, my experience was all with '67 and earlier models.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795532 01/13/20 4:45 pm
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Later covers with their separate oil level and drain screws don't have a problem with screws being tighten down with relatively big torque to help keep a cover oil tight so fiber washers work, earlier covers certainly have it and fiber washers are not good enough.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795564 01/14/20 12:21 am
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The use of socket headed Allan bolts also distorts the hole so can cause it to collapse and cup in where the smaller head has compressed the alloy.
Allan headed cap screws were designed specifically to be used on steel so they have very small head with relation to the shaft size.
Thus when used on alloy they need a thick washer underneath them to spread the load.
Have a close look at your holes. good chance they will need spot facing to make the bottom flat & true to the hole again.


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795593 01/14/20 5:13 pm
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kevin now realizes why his B44 has piddled all its chaincase oil all over the shop floor.

on a different note,

Quote

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]



i've often wondered why aluminum castings have this cross-hatched pattern on the inside. what's the purpose of it?


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795601 01/14/20 6:07 pm
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"i've often wondered why aluminum castings have this cross-hatched pattern on the inside. what's the purpose of it?"

It has obviously taken considerable effort by the casters, so would be for a reason. My guess would be to allow a slight thinning of the material, while retaining rigidity. So less alloy used = money saved.

Of course after the expenses of the lady, no money was left for casting!

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795607 01/14/20 7:46 pm
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this is a 67-68. why did they abandon it for later castings? here's a 70:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795624 01/14/20 10:25 pm
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Exactly why I'd like to exchange my nice 68 for a later 70/71.
Finally they came to their senses and realized you can't have the same bolt holding a cover and be used for draining / oil level check.
70 has all the same bolts around, and 2 additional for draining and oil level check, so everything works as expected and cover stays tight.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795627 01/14/20 10:56 pm
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Hex socket screw heads are 0.365" - 0.375". An assortment of 1/4" Posi-driv screws that I have measured from 0.380" to 0.407", not much bigger. Any screw that is frequently removed and retightened (which is essentially any screw on a British bike) should have a washer underneath. NAS washers are the most accurate. A 1/4" NAS washer has a 0.255" (+0.010, -0.000) hole and 0.468" (+0.015", -0.005") O.D., made of 300 series passivated stainless steel. They come in 0.032" (416L) and 0.063" (416) thickness.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795642 01/15/20 2:27 am
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Heck, so I should have a 300 series passivated washer beneath all my Allen screws. How on earth has it stayed together this last 40 years without them?

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
DMadigan #795663 01/15/20 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by DMadigan
Hex socket screw heads are 0.365" - 0.375". An assortment of 1/4" Posi-driv screws that I have measured from 0.380" to 0.407", not much bigger. Any screw that is frequently removed and retightened (which is essentially any screw on a British bike) should have a washer underneath. NAS washers are the most accurate. A 1/4" NAS washer has a 0.255" (+0.010, -0.000) hole and 0.468" (+0.015", -0.005") O.D., made of 300 series passivated stainless steel. They come in 0.032" (416L) and 0.063" (416) thickness.


Were they original BSA Phillister headed screws ?
Me thinks you will find them to be bigger still
And yes fitting a thick washer capable of spreading the load ofer an even bigger surface area is always a good Idea on alloy


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795763 01/16/20 3:09 pm
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I found thick, 3/8 OD alu washers but their ID is 1/8 not 1/4", and I have to buy 150 of them in box for roughly $25 CAD ( with shipping ) to make those 2 washers enlarging their ID to 1/4 ". Above deal on eBay is even more expensive with high cost of shipping in US $.
anyway still looking for solution.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795765 01/16/20 3:24 pm
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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795772 01/16/20 4:38 pm
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Either you are reading too much into it or trying to be sarcastic. I did not say fasteners cannot be used or would not hold without a washer. Take a plate of aluminum, drill a 1/4" hole in it then put a screw through it and tighten it down to 7 ft-lb (typical torque on a 1/4" screw). Take out the screw and see the surface has been scored by the screw because it was rotated against the surface whilst pushing down.
That is the point of using a washer, to keep the surface from being damaged and spreading out the load. Look at the surface of any screw into aluminum on a Brit bike that is often removed and the surface has been scored and crushed (although most of the damage is probably from the high quality mechanics that work on them).
NAS620 (National Aerospace Standard) are made in several materials, I prefer stainless. http://truefocusengr.com/NAS620.pdf

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795816 01/17/20 1:20 am
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mak yer ane Al washers, use a coke can or two, use a motorhome body, ( better), use any bit of Al sheet you can find that is about the right thickness, cut out squares, trim the corners, drill a 9/32" ( just bigger than a 1/4 for clearance) hole through the middle , put an old bolt through them, tighten the stack with a nut, fit to power drill, have at it with a coarse file till it fits, sand a wee bit to take the burrs off.
Then
A day after that take a trip to the boat store and notice pop rivet Al washers, buy the size you need.


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795839 01/17/20 4:30 am
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The washers I found are pop rivet Al washers used for planes, just the thicker type.
Only problem with amount they sell and their shop is 100 km from my place.
Thanks Gavin, I will check boat shops now.

Beach, my handrail doesn't look very good, one tab was broken and welded back later, I will make a photo later during a day and attach here to show you.

Last edited by Adam M.; 01/17/20 2:09 pm.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795859 01/17/20 2:27 pm
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Maybe it's preferred but does the washer itself have to be aluminum?


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Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795865 01/17/20 4:29 pm
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Doesn't need to be aluminum, a fiber washer will work just as well and probably seals better.

Just my tuppence worth.


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1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795896 01/18/20 12:55 am
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I can't believe we went full circle back to square one with this. I'm the one who first suggested the alu washer, so let me explain one more time: The whole idea of the alu. washer is that it's soft enough to conform to the irregularities in the cover as you tighten down the screw. In fact, if done right, the washer will not turn once it's secured. It's also good to have the o.d. of the washer fit snugly in the recess, so the washer jambs in place. Now when I remove the screw, the washer stays in place in the cover. In a sense we have repaired the screw seat.

Note: In my case at least, before this fix, fiber washers DID NOT work.

Note 2: If the screw seat in the cover is not damaged, i.e., the screws have never been overtightened, etc., none of the above is probably necessary. But who out there has a pristine primary cover?


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795944 01/18/20 5:57 pm
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Aluminum washers also deform to take up the space around the screw itself, helping seal any fluids making it's easy up the threads.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #795946 01/18/20 6:58 pm
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I have some M6 dowty washers I use on fork drain screws, must try them out on the same offending cover bolts on my B44 and see if that helps.

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #797015 01/30/20 4:45 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,464
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Posts: 10,464
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M6 Dowty washers work including fitting the cover.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Re: 67 68 BSA primary cover.
Adam M. #797093 01/31/20 5:37 am
Joined: Aug 2001
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Looks effective Kommando. I have to get used to the idea that one can find just about anything on the internet these days.

https://www.eBay.com/i/183860090947?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=183860090947&targetid=859853091318&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9005396&poi=&campaignid=6470552772&mkgroupid=91562449080&rlsatarget=aud-412677883135:pla-859853091318&abcId=1139336&merchantid=112300624&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlqz4346t5wIVyZ-zCh3ndAAwEAQYASABEgKaYPD_BwE


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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