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SteveM
SteveM
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Here's an update on my '69 Thunderbolt project:

The first shake down ride ended with a damaged valve train. A rocker and a couple of push rods later and I was able to take it out today for a second ride. The first time out I had, what I thought was a AMAL issue, but a forum member taught me that a lot of carb issues are electrical. Which was very helpful advice since I had incorrectly built one of the spark plug connectors. This time around the engine pulled better and did not crap out at mid RPM. I did not attempt to push to max rpm, but I think I assembled the intake valve train correctly this time and the electrical carb issue seems resolved. The engine over all sounded much better, fingers crossed.

I need advice troubleshooting and sorting out the shifting issue which remains from the first ride.
In my previous post about ride one, the forum suggested a weak shift lever return spring. The only thing I changed so far was the position of the shift lever. I thought I might have installed it a bit low and perhaps was riding with my foot.

Again Neutral to 1st was a solid clunk, Neutral was easy to find. 1st to 2nd was also nice and solid. The shift from 2nd to 3rd nothing.
In the last post someone mentioned that perhaps the lever isn't returning positively. To test this I very lightly pressed down on the shift lever then up shifted to third. It was very sensitive and I did manage to hit third once or twice. Even then it took three or four attempts to get the shift right. I didn't have room in the neighborhood to go for 4th.

Now that I have it running. Are there more test I can conduct while riding to better troubleshoot the issue?
Or
Do I need to pull the outer case and have a look at the _______? Return spring?
Or
Do I have a problem deeper in the transmission.

Please Advise and Thank You

Gettin' closer. grin

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I’d replace the return spring and go from there. By moving the lever down a touch before selecting third again shows that the spring isn’t giving enough support to bring the quadrant back to its home position so you can cleanly select the next gear.

This might only be half your problem and if it still continues then your problem exists within the box. The spring is cheap and easy to replace and you would want to do this before delving too deeply anyway.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Tracy, are you absolutely sure that the shift lever is not slipping on its shaft? The slippage can be subtle and hard to detect. It's also a common problem on BSA twins because the splines are so fine.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
1 member likes this: wbabojo
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Hi. I'd surmise from your description, that the pawls on the gear change quadrant are not engaging with the camplate properly. it's an inner-timing-cover-removal-job, then dry change to check all gears are selecting. The pawls are adjustable, but shouldn't stick out more than is necessary. Trial and error... Do you have a spare cam plate to try? They get worn over the years!

Also, as an edit: Is/are the layshaft spacer/s leaving you with nil perceptible end float? 0.003" measured I think. You should be able to turn the layshaft when in neutral by hand with the inner cover on, and it shouldn't move back and forth in situ. Spacers came in three sizes from the factory for this fitment.

Last edited by wbabojo; 09/30/20 8:11 pm. Reason: Forgot to add...

Gavin
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Quite often gearboxes dont work properley for a few hundred miles until everything has settled down, so maybe cover some more miles and see what happens.

The other thing to check is whether the clutch is fully disengaging, any clutch drag can adversley affect gearchanges so I would check the clutch cable isnt too slack and the pushrod is adjusted properley so that the clutch is fully disengaged when the handlebar lever is pulled.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
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Well, I guess I sorted that shifty business out. Though it is unclear to me how, I can now shift cleanly into all four gears.

I removed the outer cover. Looked intently at the shift lever return spring. Then I removed the stop plate and spring. And, just because, I turned the spring over. Then I looked intently at the spring for a minute. I reassembled everything, took it for a ride and low and behold! I'm shifting in all four gears.

I can't explain how reversing the spring fixed it, I'm just happy to be one step closer to bringing this beast back from a long 35 year slumber.

With 3rd and 4th available I left the neighborhood for trips up and down the feeder road where I could stretch er legs a bit. Everything felt fine. 'Cept for a bit more top end noise after I got it really good and warm. I'll adjust the valves and take it out again tomorrow.

Oh! and the 51 year old Smiths speedo doesn't seem to want to register much over 40 mph. But Officer, I swear, I was only going 40......

Teaching my body to learn to operate a properly configured motorcycle is more difficult than I thought. Shifting with right foot is coming along. Teaching that left foot to brake is more of a challenge. Even after not riding for 30 some odd years, that brake reflex that my right foot developed is hard to unteach and I've downshifted right when I should have been on the brake left. Learning curve.

I recon learning to stop properly is a good reason not to venture forth into traffic until both the bike, and I, are sorted out.

Tomorrow I'll see if I can't figure a way to get the throttle cable sorted out. Then I can warm it up and tune the carb a bit. I haven't gone through the fine tuning procedure on the AMAL Premier yet.

Thanks all for the advice.

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You might want to get a spring for your spares kit. It’s probable the problem will occur again once everything has settled.

It’s a big no no apparently but what has worked for me with stuffed up speedo and tachos (magnetic units not chronometric) is spraying something like a duck oil, ACF50 etc onto the mechanism via the bulb entry. I’ve had them sticking, or whizzing straight round to the stop and howling and this has brought them back to something like normal. Not a permanent fix but been good enough, least till you get it fixed properly.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Thanks Allan

Based on your advice above there is a new spring on the way. I had considered returning it. Perhaps I should hold on to it.

I appreciate the advice.

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Regarding the speedo, I've had good luck with the replica Smiths versions available on eBay. The speedo types which use a rubber binnacle need a bit of work as the replica speedo is slightly taller and rubber needs to be cut away from the base of the binnacle. Otherwise the replicas work much better than the Smiths originals and are cheap.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando

Moderated by  Allan G, Jon W. Whitley 

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