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My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning

Posted By: celtrock

My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/21/19 4:17 am

Hey folks, nice to meet you all. I've been restoring bikes for a couple of years on my off time at an amateur level. Started with a '67 Triumph Mountain Cub then on to a '75 Suzuki Titan 500. I picked up an A65 roller in 2015 and it sat in my basement up until about a month ago. It's pretty rusty, crusty and quite a project. I'm missing quite a few parts and it doesn't have its original engine but it's made up for by the fact that it comes with 3 grab rails, 2 front wheels, a number of tachs and speedos and 3 motors.

[Linked Image]

Right now I've disassembled it all and I've begun the process of re-assembly.

[Linked Image]

I find that when I go to a bike show my head is much more easily turned, not by the shiny new restos but by the bikes that show their age and their history. My last bike I stripped and powder coated, painted and restored but with this bike I'm leaving it as is. I'm just cleaning, de-rusting, re-greasing, wiping it down with linseed oil, putting in new bearings and rubbers and replacing missing parts best I can. This bike has its original Dove Grey paint and so I thought it'd be fun to leave it. If I ever change my mind I can easily do a repaint but it'd be much harder to do that in reverse!

[Linked Image]

One problem I'm finding is that there are just SO many boxes and so many doubled parts. I keep ordering stuff just to find that I had one at the bottom of a Tupperware at the bottom of a tote. It'd be nice to have someone around who could identify everything for me but the "bike guys" in Vermont tend to be few and far between. I'll just cozy up with a parts book and a giant table and spend a week identifying everything. Oh, and I'll have to look up this serial number:

[Linked Image]

I'll keep record here of my work in case anyone is interested. Cheers!
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/21/19 11:14 am

Interesting , thats the 2nd early OIF A65 I have seen lately with the fairing mount tubes on the headstock, my June 71 doesnt have this. You are off to a good start , looks like the side stand lug is intact and you got the swinging arm out. . For the head steady mount you will need an OIF head and rocker cover, easily spotted , the cover has two 5/16" holes in the centre for the head steady. The paint doesnt look to be in bad condition, typical key fob and speedo cable wear otherwise pretty decent.
The air boxes suggest it was a twin carb A65 L originally.

Have a good look at the fit of the side panels, I found that I had to cut scallops from the top of the steel panels horizontal section to clear the frame tabs properly. Any way, best of luck. keep the pics coming.
Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/21/19 11:36 am

Nice project, I have a '71 BSA 650 project as well. Where in Vermont are you, maybe we could help each other out ?
Posted By: rocket man

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/21/19 11:47 am

Interesting project. I was wondering what the tubes on the headstock were as I have them on my 71 T140 Bonneville. (thanks Gavin). My suggestion would be to buy a parts book, then you can identify what parts you already have. Good luck.
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/21/19 1:14 pm

celtrock, I like your approach, you've got enough original-ness there to make it interesting to retain.

I read "BE" as built in February 1971.

My '71 is "HE" -- built in July 1971, and judging by some of the crappy frame welds, maybe built on the last day before summer break. As to Rat-Trap, I think my BSA, as seen June 2011, would beat yours:
[Linked Image]

For BSA parts, I call British Cycle Supply -- call them up, they ship from Limestone, Maine, parts at your door next day. You will need a parts book so that you can order by part number -- they can prolly sell you a parts book.

And for sure, look up Jon Whitley!

Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 3:30 am

Interesting! Thanks for the tips Gavin, I'll keep the pics coming as the work goes on. I don't have anyone around me to do this sort of stuff with and love the comaraderie these forums create amongst folks of similar interests. Cheers!
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 3:32 am

No kidding? Sounds great... originally I'm from Barre but now located in St. Albans though I'm never adverse to travel. Seems everyone up here is either into sport bikes or Harleys so its tough to find a crowd. I'd love to see what you've got!
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 3:35 am

I do actually have a parts book, wish it had real photos and went part by part. I literally have boxes filled with bolts... who does that?! crazy

Cheers!
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 3:41 am

Wow, thanks for that tip! Can't beat next day parts. I just came back from Lowes looking for stainless screws armed with specs from the parts guide. Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a
1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I was able to get 4 bolts to hold the front mud guard. You WAIT until I post a picture of that sucker... you're gonna laugh.
Posted By: Pete Suchawreck

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 4:14 pm

About what my 72/76 Triumph looked like when I got it. Complete and running now. Original black frame paint, not as cool as your Dove grey.
Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/22/19 6:32 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock
No kidding? Sounds great... originally I'm from Barre but now located in St. Albans though I'm never adverse to travel. Seems everyone up here is either into sport bikes or Harleys so its tough to find a crowd. I'd love to see what you've got!



I'm in Barre Town up by Trow Hill Grocery. I need an engine for my '71 and I have pretty much everything else through basic parts accumulation over the years. Send me a PM or email me at wwhitjonw @ a-o-l. c...


Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/23/19 7:17 pm

It's kind of funny that anyone thinks of the Dove Grey as cool (I do) given how everyone hated it. They hated it so much that the dealers stripped down new bikes in order to paint them black. That's the main reason I didn't want to repaint mine, I wanted to keep that original color with its authentic fading and chips. I figured that, even if I found the right color to powder coat it would probably look like it did in 1971 and not almost 50 years later.

With the help of my son I got the rear wheel reinstalled last night. That thing is a beast. Trying to keep the spacer, speedo and washer all in place while also getting it through the chain adjuster is a bear! I'd hate to get a flat on the side of the road and have to change this thing out!

Lunmad Gets A Flat
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/25/19 8:06 pm

Followed the book as well as the video of Lunmad changing out his wheel bearings. Mine are installed differently and seem to use different pieces. The fact that I had two wheels to pull apart and they were identical leads me to think that maybe, due to his being a Triumph, his front wheel setup is different. After swapping out the bearings for sealed ones (originals were in great shape though, I felt bad doing it but saved them just in case) and putting it all back together I turned my attention to the brakes. Holy cow were those things corroded and dirty. Before and after:

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]


Once I installed my wheel (I'll just have to take it apart again to get the fender on... can't wait to show you what THAT looks like) I rolled it into my living room without a lift!

Yes, this photo was taken last night, yes, it is almost February and yes, I do realize that aside from having a motorcycle in my living room I also have a Christmas tree... still...

[Linked Image]

Now the fun begins!
Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/25/19 9:48 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock


Yes, this photo was taken last night, yes, it is almost February and yes, I do realize that aside from having a motorcycle in my living room I also have a Christmas tree... still...




You are not the only one, as I still have my tree up too ! I would have a bike in the living room but the missus doesn't think like I do !
Posted By: Mark Z

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/26/19 2:06 am

Originally Posted by celtrock
Wow, thanks for that tip! Can't beat next day parts. I just came back from Lowes looking for stainless screws armed with specs from the parts guide. Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a
1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I was able to get 4 bolts to hold the front mud guard. You WAIT until I post a picture of that sucker... you're gonna laugh.


I've never seen generic hardware come in 1/8"-length increments. Sometimes I can't even find 1/4"-increments. Solution is to buy stainless and cut 'em to length.

BTW, I have most of a '71 FS; I'm parting it out for a friend. No fuel tank, but pretty much everything else. Oh... no FS exhaust either (of course).
Posted By: Mark Z

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/26/19 2:16 am

Originally Posted by celtrock
It's kind of funny that anyone thinks of the Dove Grey as cool (I do) given how everyone hated it. They hated it so much that the dealers stripped down new bikes in order to paint them black.


In fact the factory reverted to black during the '71 model year.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/26/19 2:47 pm

Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a 1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I've never seen generic hardware come in 1/8"-length increments. Sometimes I can't even find 1/4"-increments. Solution is to buy stainless and cut 'em to length.

BTW, I have most of a '71 FS; I'm parting it out for a friend. No fuel tank, but pretty much everything else. Oh... no FS exhaust either (of course).
[/quote]

I found a bolt here for about $.50 less than the grade 3 looking bolt that's on eBay... and it's stainless!

Bolt Depot

Boy, sure would love to have a Firebird Scrambler exhaust...
Posted By: Mark Z

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/26/19 4:25 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock
I found a bolt here for about $.50 less than the grade 3 looking bolt that's on eBay... and it's stainless!

Bolt Depot


Looks like a good site, although I seem to be able to find everything I need in SAE and metric locally.

There will be just a bit of British (CEI) hardware on your '71 - for instance, the studs that hold the carburetors to the head. Any of this sort of hardware will be 1/4" X 26 tpi, 5/16" X 26 tpi, or 3/8" X 26 tpi. Also a smaller size called 2BA, which is about identical to SAE #10 X 32 tpi. If you need any of this stuff, check out British Tools and Fasteners, ad somewhere on this site. They have about everything, much in stainless steel, British taps and dies, thread gauges, etc.


Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/26/19 4:57 pm

Where do you find it locally? A local hardware store? Chain?

Just went through a box of bits. Check THIS out:

[Linked Image]

I know some of this stuff (4 rear brake switches?!) but other bits are a little more mysterious. I know maybe 1/2 of what this stuff is.
Sadly that Norton box only held another brake switch in it.
Posted By: quinten

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 12:46 am

.
... don't know why I never noticed this before ,
Or why I am noticing it now ,
but why is the oily frame .... rear brake arm so loooong ?
.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 10:24 am

90% of the stuff in the lectrics pic is irrelevant.Maybe handy for bartering though.

The ignition switch with the key might work ( if the contacts are good), and the brake switches might work.
The steering stem lock might fit.
The lights s/w toggle style are too large to fit the flat back bucket. You need the smaller 1/2 turn type of switch.
Ammeters are off earlier models.
The chrome dome nuts, might fit the steering stem.
the tank mount rubber ( bagged ) looks too small , different bike.
most of the other stuff is off other bikes.
the rear brake arm looks fine to me.
Posted By: Mark Z

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 4:15 pm

"Where do you find it locally? A local hardware store? Chain?"

Right in my own town, there's Agway, and there's Home Central (which may be a True Value franchise; I don't pay much attention to signs). Both of these stores have an extensive selection of SAE and metric hardware. In both stores, the distributor for the hardware is Hillman, and a Hillman rep. stocks the displays.

About fifteen miles away is a Home Depot; they also have a pretty extensive selection of hardware. I would guess Lowe's does too, but I haven't really looked there.

"but why is the oily frame .... rear brake arm so loooong ?"

Oily frame, that's funny... hopefully most of it stays on the inside. By rear brake arm, do you mean the foot pedal? If so, I think it's just a matter of where it had to be mounted. Non-oily frame brake pedals are pretty long too. You may appreciate the leverage afforded by that long pedal some time; remember this is a mechanical drum brake, not a hydraulic disc brake.
Posted By: DMadigan

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 4:54 pm

People hated the dove grey because it shows dirt so easily. Remember, these had non-O-ring chains and an oil drip feed which sprayed it all over the back end of the bike.
You can get bolts in 1/8" and 1/4" increments from McMaster. Stainless, black oxide, titanium, zinc plated, whatever. You will have more than you need so you will have to buy more bikes to use them.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 9:29 pm

Looking at the first pics and the random electrics pics. Looks like you have one of the original hbar switch clusters, if it is the two position blade type then that will do high / low beam, horn and lights flash. The three position blade type is for indicators , kill switch and a dead button to keep you guessing. If you have the two blade type and no indicators you may get away with a kill switch button ( theres looks like something suitable in the random bits pic). It looks like the original grey sheathed bar loom was chopped from the switch block, its still dangling in the first pic.

lectrically, it would have come with a Zener Diode bolted to the LHS air box inner. A 3 plate rectifier ( black fins) bolted under the seat somewhere. ignition switch in RHS steel panel, Light switch in headlamp top RHS, 3 idiot lights, one oil pressure, one high beam, one for indicators .2 off 12 volt in the bracket below the seat coils . A small rubber box with 2 ignition condensers ( room for 3), under the seat .
its not unusual to find some other type of "power box" or replacement solid lump rectifier still working with the old ZD , and isnt a bad idea to fit one if you have nothing to begin with , this will replace the original rectifier and Zener.

have a good look at the battery strap mounts, the front one can sometimes rub on the carrier, a couple of licks with a file will fix it. get ready to spend over and take it for the team when it comes to buying all the knackered rubber bits.
battery mounts, side panel mounts ( buy 6, split 4 length wise to use for front fender mounts), lamp bucket bathtub rubber frame grommets, Instrument cup rubbers, handle bar clamp mount rubbers, tank mount rubbers, tank centre mount rubbers ,front fender mounts and wire stay headlamp mounts will all probably be perished or missing. Generally if they have seen UV or oil they will be FUBAR.
When it comes to all these it might be easier to get them from triumph parts list numbers, because these BSA s were only made for 2 years, and Triumph kept going with the same basic set up for another 10 or so years its generally a good bet to go to the triumph guys for all the cycle part stuff, apart from the motor mounts, fuel tank,seat hinges and rear chain guard its all the same as a T, of course they use a different part number , but T parts books are out there on line if you need them.

I think the only original rubber bits left on my 71 are one tank rubber , and the top wire stay mounts. Most all the replacement rubber bits are made from fast rot materials, they last a little longer if you baby them with lotions, but dont be surprised when the "new " speedo rubbers are cracking 1 year later. If any of the original stuff is still there and looks usable it will probably be better than a one year old "new" rubber part.

Nuts and bolts wise, when I give dimensions hereI refer to bolt shank diameter not Across the Flats , the chassis is all UNF, originally all nuts were a self locking type, Aero something, if nutty originality isnt a big deal, buy a dozen , 1/4 UNF ( rear fender mounts). 5/16 UNF (8 fork caps), 3/8 UNF , (2 pillion footrests, 2 Lower yoke clamp.2 H Bar P brackets)4 Shock mounts)

galvanised Nylock nuts,

get half thickness ones if you can,washers to suit, not too large, apart from the fender bolts.The lower drive side shock nut is a special, its extra thin, 3/8 UNF, you wont get a full nut in there. Might be worth buying from the parts number for this one, I just filed one down to fit.

For engine bolts there are guys selling sets on e bay , they are a mix of diameters and lengths with a couple of 7/16" diam curve balls that arent that easy to get.Make sure you get a 71/ 72 BSA A65 set,T stuff wont work here. If you keep the stock rider footrests, modify the mount bolts to a stud and nut, the bolt is a total arse to get in.
Posted By: quinten

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/27/19 10:47 pm

Quote
Oily frame, that's funny... hopefully most of it stays on the inside. By rear brake arm, do you mean the foot pedal? If so, I think it's just a matter of where it had to be mounted. Non-oily frame brake pedals are pretty long too. You may appreciate the leverage afforded by that long pedal some time; remember this is a mechanical drum brake, not a hydraulic disc brake.


No , i mean the torque arm (stay) attached to the brake drum .
Part #12
[Linked Image]
I guess its normal for oif and/or conical brake .
Just never noticed it before because ... it's tucked in behind the silencers .
... just to my eye it looks longer than the job calls for ?
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/28/19 3:00 am

So much information, I'm going to print this all out and go over it with pencil and notebook! The photo of bits is only part of it. I've got a few more totes and boxes to go through. Too bad you're across the pond, it would be nice to have someone with that eye give this stuff a look through and tell me what I've got and what's left to get! In the meantime... this makes my project not looks so bad...

1971 A65L on eBay
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/28/19 12:52 pm

celtrock, good buddy,

For hardware, my local ACE Hardware has aisles of those pull-out drawers with 99% of what I've needed, American threads and metric. This particular store has opened up its entire "out back" to the buying public. Used to be you'd approach the "out back" counter and ask for one screw, the old guy (always an old guy out back) would fetch a screw, oops, too short, please get me one a little longer ... all for 12 cents. Now, it's a whole new world, universe, of hardware for your personal browsing. (Same for plumblng, electrical ... everything. Hardware joy.)

And once you've picked over your pile of bike odds and ends, haul the rest to the British Motorcycle Meet in June in Lancaster MA, organized by the BSA Owners Club of New England (BSAOCNE). No extra charge for sellers. Meet your BSA comrades. Always a good time, rain or shine.

41st ANNUAL BRITISH MOTORCYCLE MEET
June 2, 2019
9 am - 3 pm
BOLTON FAIR FAIRGROUNDS [Actually, Lancaster Fairgrounds, site of the Bolton Fair.]
318 Seven Bridge Road
Route 117, Lancaster, Mass.

http://www.britishmcmeet.com/britishmeet/index.html






Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/28/19 5:58 pm

You got it Kurt, gives me a date to shoot for in getting as much done to this thing as I can. How many board members attend the meet? It'd be great to meet
folks in person and maybe swap some of these Norton parts I seem to have for the BSA parts I need. Thanks Kurt!
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/28/19 8:50 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock
You got it Kurt, gives me a date to shoot for in getting as much done to this thing as I can. How many board members attend the meet? It'd be great to meet
folks in person and maybe swap some of these Norton parts I seem to have for the BSA parts I need. Thanks Kurt!


Lots of makes there. The club has eased up a lot, no sneering at Hinckleys, seems like several non-brit machines were displayed last year ... nice to be welcoming.

I think a few BB forum members might be there. I'm planning on it.

Funny thing happened at the 2018 meet, I rode my BSA there, shut it off, and put the key in my front pocket (leather pants), zipped it shut. Later that same day, getting ready to leave, I found that the zipper pocket was stuck shut, wouldn't budge. So I pulled out the tool kit, and tugged at the zipper pull with pliers ... until the pull pulled off of the slider. Hmmm ... . Reached further into the tool kit and pulled out the small Vise Grips that I carry, clamped them onto the slider and pulled. Got nowhere, I didn't have a good angle of attack. By that time I had attracted a small crowd to witness the spectacle of a man pulling at his ... zipper with pliers. One of the onlookers said, "Let me give it a try," and he did, with a mighty yank, unzipped the pocket, and I extracted the key, started the bike, and rode away. Everyone graciously honored my "No pictures!" request. grin
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 3:37 am

Okay, so what do you think my bartering chances are here? I've got 3 motors with 2 sets of jugs and 4 heads. I was thinking of trying to barter all of this for one fully assembled working 1971 Lighting engine but wonder who would be crazy enough to do that. Am I best off to try to sell these off individually? Should I bail on the idea of a '71 for my '71 and just use one of these and sell/barter off the other two? Which one would you use? Here are some photos taken today... should I post this over in the wanted/for sale section? I tried dating these engines using the BritBikes link, not sure how I fared. I'm sure some more knowledgable can straighten me out where I've gone wrong...

A 1964 Lighting Rocket

[Linked Image]

A 1968 Firebird Scrambler

[Linked Image]

A 1971 Thunderbolt (at least its a '71)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 12:35 pm

"... for one fully assembled working 1971 Lighting engine ..."

If you did find such a motor, you'd prolly need to strip it and rebuild it anyway -- plan on $4K more or less, depending on what you/it needs and how much you do yourself. Just my opinion, 2 cents, etc.

PS -- much better advice follows below from Adam and Gavin ... et al.
Posted By: Adam M.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 4:18 pm

Do you have all the parts necessary to build 71 engine ?
Could you make more pictures with all the 71 parts you think you have ?
Even when you have most of it, it will be cheaper to build one from your parts by yourself, than buy something claimed "rebuilt and working".
We can help.
We have strong group of BSA owners here and a system of improvements and changes to built quite indestructible engine / clutch / gearbox unit.
I didn't read all the post yet, do you have your original 71 cylinder and one carb head ?
After you have yours 71 engine you can sell the rest of it and recoup some costs.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 6:51 pm

Use the 71 cases, better joint faces, stronger rods , better oil pump,, stronger barrels.,. You definitely want a 71 head twin carb and rocker box so the head steady fits and the air box holes line up with the carbs.. i would be surprised if you can trade all the old motor bits for a good 71 motor. maybe put the non 71 cases on ebay and top up the rebuild fund.
But, who knows.
Rebuilding the motor is not a cheap deal, but, knowing its done right is priceless.
Unless you are incredibly lucky you will need to install a new Timing side main bearing, this should really be done by a BSA specialist.The timing side bush is a tight tolerance fit, 0.0015 " clearance, 0.003 is worn out. On your side of the pond Ed V is the man. Be positive, you have saved a load on paint, have some useful bartering goods ,use the saved money to fix the motor.
Posted By: gunner

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 8:31 pm

Looking at the engine numbers, it looks like the engine with the raised platform for the stampings was actually made in June 1970. This is based on info on the BSA Owners Club site Here using the "GE" suffix of the engine number. I don't know if this makes it an oil in frame engine or the earlier dry frame type, perhaps others can chime in, but it's certainly the best engine to use and should have most of the later mods.

The other engines are interesting and may be of value to collectors especially the Firebird variant. If you sell the earlier engines you should make some good money towards rebuilding the later engine.

Also worth considering which head you are going to use and one looks nice and shiny maybe recently rebuilt, but is it single or twin carb? Single carb is smoother running but twin carb gives better performance.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/29/19 10:55 pm

Thanks for all the tips and advice. $4,000 just to make a motor work? Good thing we don't do this to make money. I'll have to start squirreling away so it won't hit all at once.

It only cost me $150 in parts (gaskets, oil seals, bolts) to redo the Suzuki Titan engine. Granted it's only a 2 stroke and the inside was in beautiful shape. These BSA engines have had the jugs off for too long and will need to be gone all through. And SO many more parts. I'll put everything I have in one group and take a photo. This should be fun...

Posted By: Mark Z

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/30/19 12:53 am

Originally Posted by quinten

No , i mean the torque arm (stay) attached to the brake drum .
Part #12
I guess its normal for oif and/or conical brake .
Just never noticed it before because ... it's tucked in behind the silencers .
... just to my eye it looks longer than the job calls for ?


Oh... that's different, isn't it? -Emily Latella (Gilda Radner)

Yes, the brake stay is considerably longer than on dry frame models. Again I guess it's wherever they could find a convenient mount point. Since the load on that piece is end-to-end, the length makes no difference, as long as the piece cannot stretch.


Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/30/19 10:21 am

Originally Posted by gunner
Looking at the engine numbers, it looks like the engine with the raised platform for the stampings was actually made in June 1970. This is based on info on the BSA Owners Club site Here using the "GE" suffix of the engine number. I don't know if this makes it an oil in frame engine or the earlier dry frame type, perhaps others can chime in, but it's certainly the best engine to use and should have most of the later mods.



Definately a boil in frame model engine with GE



Originally Posted by gunner

Also worth considering which head you are going to use and one looks nice and shiny maybe recently rebuilt, but is it single or twin carb? Single carb is smoother running but twin carb gives better performance.


In theory yes, although one of the biggest problems with single carb heads is being biased towards one cylinder, many 50's bike owners would fit spacers (like a cheese wedge) to try and get a balanced mixture between the two cylinders. More option to tune with a twin carb.
The early small port twin carb heads were faster, but the later ones were slower (triumph were no different here) sacraficed torque for higher rpms but slower bikes over all, and with the oif megaphone the performance is knocked back on either bike. so one being as good a performance as the other.


This said I still like a nice OIF thunderbolt for touring second to that is the OIF lightning.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 01/30/19 11:32 am

GE is June 71, same as my bike . if you go for a single carb head you will need a different air box and lids, or get busy with a hole saw and blanks. If you use an earlier dry frame head the rocker box mounts are all 1/4 ", unlike the OIF rocker cover which has 4 beefed up 5/16 fasteners to help deal with the head steady load. it can be done but its a load easier with 71 bits.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/01/19 6:19 pm

I think that pretty much decides it. I'll start looking at the '71 using a Lightning dual carb head and see what I can do with the rest. I think I'll just have to find myself one of those giant engine break-down posters and start memorizing every part in there so I can figure out what's missing/warn and I can start identifying what goes where. First I have to get this '75 Honda XL250 engine off my bench so I can have some room to work. Thanks guys, it's almost like having a buddy over to work on bikes with except I can't give y'all a beer and man, Vermont's got the best!
Posted By: Adam M.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/01/19 8:46 pm

I wouldn't dismiss one carb head so easily, specially if you have one refurbished sitting there in your workbench
My 70 BSA was originally Thunderbolt, but somebody equipped it with 2 carb late head and some re sleeved Concentrics.
Looked good, but didn't work too well. I kept wondering how this bike being in theory 100 mph bike can't reach 120 km/h ?
And still has problems below 1/4 throttle ?
Long story short Amals and a head were problematic, so finally I changed to proper Amals, found small port head and made this bike behave properly.
After I decided to sell it I went to original head and found it brilliant in everyday riding. Lots of torque down low and higher up the revs, very easy starting,
seeping gas and performance wise not very much different from two carb version.
I lost this ability to constant never ending acceleration in higher revs, but normal riding was so much easier, specially in town clogged with traffic.
Fourth gear was good everywhere.
So if you have a Thunderbolt head, use it first and try to find 2 carb head later, if you really need it.
Posted By: raf940

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/01/19 9:40 pm

my '68 A65 and my pal calvin's 72 OIF A65 are both one carb bikes....for 'normal' riding IMHO they are a LOT easier to deal with than the twin carb 72 T120 also in the garage for the 72 commando I just finished it's one carb mikuni...
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/04/19 4:43 pm

Originally Posted by Adam M.
I wouldn't dismiss one carb head so easily, specially if you have one refurbished sitting there in your workbench



Actually the refurbished head is for a Lightning... two carb. Someone really did an immaculate job on it as well.

Is the general consensus that the single carb is better? Seems odd that BSA would design an engine that
doesn't perform well that late in the game but, at the same time, they did come up with that OIF thing ;-)



Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/04/19 5:55 pm

Advertising sold bikes using words like "Big Valve", "30mm carbs" amongst other things. Its almost funny that as soon as they went to big ports they had to gear the engine down a tooth.

Nothing wrong with a single carb head and nothing wrong with a small port twin carb head either. I also don't suffer with carbs going out of balance as so many claim to have. However it depends on what your using the bike for, my friends lightning is pretty standard apart from having the belt drive, its a lovely smooth bike and makes a great tourer. Thats a 71 OIF Lightning....
Posted By: Adam M.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/04/19 6:34 pm

They overshoot it with a late big valve/big port head like Triumph did with late 120 Bonnie.
But my advice would be to use what you have on hand first and perhaps change things later, if you are not happy.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/04/19 7:00 pm

Waiting for parts to arrive decided to work on the rats-nest under the seat (which I'm also working on and will post separately). Seems as though this was stored outside without its seat for a while...


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So quick question: How many of you would try to rejuvenate this wiring harness and how many of you would scrap it and find a NOS or one of the newly manufactured ones? I'm having to fight this:


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This is after a bit of cleaning and with the wires removed:


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And then I bit the bullet and ordered some EvapoRust. Please keep in mind I do not work for EvapoRust but holy cow. The folks who've used it knows it works. I wanted to submerge the under seat parts and the only thing I could find was this cat litter jug. I cut through the top to make it hinged and put a clamp on the edge to force some of the liquid up. Incredible results. I found it made the metal quite rough in texture but a rubdown with steel wool smoothed it right out. Then hit it with a coat or two of matte clear coat.


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WOW

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Posted By: quinten

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/05/19 12:41 am

Check out those red wires coming off the top of the rectifier .
Is it just dirt ... or are they getting crispy from years of heat ?
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Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/05/19 1:39 am

Originally Posted by quinten
Check out those red wires coming off the top of the rectifier .
Is it just dirt ... or are they getting crispy from years of heat ?


Just dirt, it'll clean. But when I can find a new cloth-wire harness on eBay for $60 I'm thinking of making the jump...
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/05/19 2:48 am

Went through my Bits Bin. Here are some more for your identifying pleasure...

I ended up cleaning the tachometer below the larger Lucas box and the speedometer bottom right. Kept the rest as is for now.
Anyone know the vintage of these? Probably not much to do for cracked glass...

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After

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Top end bits

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No clue

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Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/05/19 1:03 pm

You need a 3:1 tach , the 4:1 mounted in the pic will read wrong, the grey faced clocks are off earlier models, the bottom pic shows the rocker arm thackeray ( spring ) washers and plain washers they mount on the rocker spindles. 3:1 tachs are not nearly as common as 4:1 . , your bike had black face clocks originally , the gray faces are the same inside just different cosmetics.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/06/19 2:02 am

Right you are. Thanks Gavin. If you ever need a place to stay in the states you hit me up ;-)

The tach in the picture far left is a 3:1 though it has a cracked glass. I'll either have to learn to live with it or figure out how to replace it.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/06/19 3:30 am

The bezel holding on the glass is crimped on, I have tried to remove these, without the proper tool its not easy, and you will probably distort it a little but it is possible, gently work round the seam with a fine blade , once you get a gap use a thicker blade. The seam is hidden by the mounting rubber, so you can get away with some collateral damage and hide your shame. A decent glass shop could cut you a new piece using the old bits as a pattern. There are folks out there , Nissonger I think in the states ,who can refurb these, check the price first. Thanks for billet offer. The 4 :1 tachs are probably triumph types.
Posted By: Adam M.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/06/19 3:42 pm

Yes and yes, however you can buy a kit consisting of a glass with a new bezel + necessary seals which are mostly gone in these old instruments.
Not from Walridge, because his kit has a bezel too short.
3:1 speedos show up regularly on american ebay, but I'd buy a copy for $70 which is longer but fits your 71 rubber covers.
Their reliability is good and it's hit or miss with old original.
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/06/19 4:36 pm

Originally Posted by Adam M.
Yes and yes, however you can buy a kit consisting of a glass with a new bezel + necessary seals which are mostly gone in these old instruments.
Not from Walridge, because his kit has a bezel too short.
3:1 speedos show up regularly on american ebay, but I'd buy a copy for $70 which is longer but fits your 71 rubber covers.
Their reliability is good and it's hit or miss with old original.



Just the information I was looking for on my build Adam, at around £60 for a pattern unit I’m quite prepared to pay that even if they only last a few years As opposed to buying an old instrument and then trying to find someone decent to rebuild it. The only decent guy I had for these has now retired. He used to build them way back when and was brilliant. He was always conscientious and the instruments were spot on for a good few years. But as long as they fit the OIF rubber cups I’ll be quite happy
Posted By: gunner

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/06/19 7:07 pm

I've rebuilt a couple of Smiths speedos using info from a book by author Graham Blighe see This Link, results were ok but you do need to factor in the cost of a new bezel and glass which are also available on eBay.

Generally I have found that old speedos found in spares collections have faults and will need rebuilding sooner rather than later. The cost of a professional rebuild is expensive and home rebuilds are fiddly and time consuming so not worthwhile unless you crave originality.

The pattern speedos and tachos are actually very good and much better quality than Smiths in my opinion. I have been using them on my B44, A65 and Norton for several years without issue and for the money it's a no brainer.

Regarding the harness cover you can get black braided harness covers with a slit which allows fitting over the existing harness and wires, see This Link. I've had good luck with these braided covers which can be used to renovate old harnesses or when making new ones. The slit allows the cover to be opened up and fitted over existing wires and also helps if new wires need adding.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/07/19 7:55 pm

Originally Posted by kurt fischer

For BSA parts, I call British Cycle Supply -- call them up, they ship from Limestone, Maine, parts at your door next day.



Called him on Tuesday, too late for him to get stuff in the mail that day but said he'd get it out yesterday. I was going to make a brake rod but figured for $17 I'd just order it and save myself the hassle. Got all the rubbers coming for the battery box, fender mount and seat bumpers. We have a "snow" day here due to ice and generally terrible weather and I've been waiting for the mail man all day but alas... no sign! So instead I redid my seat. I think it came out well! I'll post pictures...
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/07/19 8:45 pm

So my seat was just about as crusty as the bike... didn't even come on the bike but rather sitting on top of a tote with the tank. The pan felt pretty solid though there were signs of rust, a bit of damage but I couldn't really tell until I got that seat cover off.

BEFORE

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After removing the cover I found the entire lip of the seat pan was pretty corroded. That lip was already pretty thin due to the tabs being punched out to hold the seat cover on. Having that vinyl wrapped around it just seemed to hold in all the moisture which damaged the metal. So I cleaned it up best I could and let it soak overnight in EvapoRust. A gallon doesn't go very far with an object this big, I put it in a giant tote but couldn't really get the pan fully immersed. I spent the evening tilting and sloshing the whole thing around. When I checked it in the morning I was surprised to find that it actually came out pretty well despite it all. Gave it a rinse in hot water, dried it, scraped a bit more rust out and painted it with black brake caliper paint. It's the only thing I had and figured it would work just fine.

I didn't like the idea of wrapping new seat upholstery over the sharp, jagged metal of the edge and wracked my brain to figure out what I could do. A friend of mine suggested that Flex Tape stuff... or Gorilla tape. As a guy who plays in a band I hate it anytime anybody mentions Gorilla tape. That stuff shouldn't be put anywhere NEAR musical equipment. It's Gaffer's tape all the time for us. But in this case he was right. Gorilla tape was just what I was looking for. I pulled some off, cut it down the middle and carefully folded it over the edges. The stuff is nice and sticky, thick enough to be protective and I don't have to worry much about it coming off as the upholstery is going to wrap around it anyway. I felt pretty confident pulling that fabric tight over the Gorilla tape.

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The issue with the original cover being in such rough shape is that the foam in all the exposed areas had turned to a substance that resembled hard, dry brown sugar. I proceeded to cut it off with my wife's cloth scissors and replaced the bits with sections cut from a couch cushion I kept up in the attic in case I ever needed dense foam. Finding a use for this stuff certainly isn't going to help my penchant for hoarding! A bit of spray adhesive held it into place while I fit the cover. I didn't worry too much about making it perfect knowing that the upholstery would hold it all down.

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So then came the scary part; fitting the new seat cover. After convincing myself that it couldn't turn out worse than it was I commenced positioning and stretching. I did a couple of tabs at a time around the perimeter of the seat and once I got it fairly lined up I pulled like crazy. This was NO easy job. Actually pretty stressful for me. I'm pretty happy with how it came out, I know it isn't perfect but it works for my needs. Seat cover cost something like $45 on eBay, probably could have found a seat for that but I feel better knowing that I got rid of the rotted foam and stopped rust production in the seat pan. As this won't get much weather (if any) I can feel good knowing it will last a while longer.

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I got new SS bolts and washers to attach the brackets with and next I'll attach it to the bike. That is after I get my shipment of rubber from Maine. Post Office probably couldn't make it up our ice-rink of a driveway so maybe they'll be here tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/07/19 9:53 pm

Right on Aron, the seat looks awesome !
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/11/19 6:43 pm

Thanks Jon! I put it off for a while because I was a bit nervous but was able to sit on my bike for the first time. The folks who warned me that these are tall bikes weren't kidding! I'll have to de-rust the tank so I can put that on as well and get a real feel for it. Before that though I'm working on the headlight shell. Which brings me to my next question:

How on Earth does one get those indicator lights out of the shell without destroying them? How does one change the lightbulbs in them? I've a LOT of de-rusting to do and it's difficult with them still in and the wires still attached to the right one (as you look at it from the inside). The other two have wires that detach but not this one!
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/12/19 10:59 am

The idiot lights lens holders push out from inside to out, the plastic OD is swollen to grip the bucket shell, to remove the lamps pull the lamp tails they are also a friction fit. . A skoosh of WD 40 or similar will help.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 3:31 am

Don't take my silence for lack of work, just been too busy to post or even take pictures really. I'm waiting for a batch of parts to come in and so I've been working on tearing apart the handlebar controls and putting the good bits together. It was no easy job. It appears that someone had the '71 owners manual which had the controls switched as one set of these had the wires backwards. Many broken switches and broken inner contact plates. Many cut wires. A lot of grime, dust and corrosion. I used 3 different bits of controls in order to make just one working left-hand control setup. Everything else is broken down into parts now either as backup spare replacement or to pass along to the next fella who needs a brake lever or clutch lever or the like. Here are a couple of pics I took as reference followed by the finished product.

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Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 3:37 am

Got the fender on. What a pain in the [email protected]#. An awful lot of work for such a ridiculous looking fender. I'll keep my eyes peeled for one with fewer spikes and fewer holes. Looks like someone wanted to join the Black Widows and go after Philo Beddoe...

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Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 3:40 am

I laid the tank on just to get an idea of it all coming together. Note to self; avoid letting the Evaporust onto the red paint. It tends to wash it out.

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Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 11:43 am

Looking good Aron thumbsup
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 6:39 pm

Hang onto the front fender, it may have been an English type with the front number plate mount holes, maybe blank the holes with a strip of SS? If it fits and doesnt rub the tyre be happy, repops can be a lottery for fit.
Going well .
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 10:40 pm

Originally Posted by gavin eisler
Hang onto the front fender, it may have been an English type with the front number plate mount holes, maybe blank the holes with a strip of SS? If it fits and doesnt rub the tyre be happy, repops can be a lottery for fit.
Going well .


That's exactly what I thought. I was even thinking I could put some sort of plate there (though it would be out of place on an American issue BSA) just for the fun of it but most likely I'll lay a strip of that self-adhesive chrome auto trim... for now. I could just leave the holes, it would allow me to check in with the front tire periodically once I get this on the road...

Received my turn signals today and the new headlight bucket rubber to replace my hard, cracked one. Put the headlight in place just to dress her up. I love this part, it's just like putting together a Lego set... slowly...

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Posted By: raf940

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/19/19 10:45 pm

slowly slowly catchee monkey
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 1:06 am

Lookin' good, I like it.

Suggestion: take a *very* close look at the frame crossmember that carries the center stand and rear motor mounts -- look for cracks on both ends of the crossmember where it attaches to the frame. Mine was busted clean through, had it welded back in with reinforcements.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 12:54 pm

Originally Posted by kurt fischer
Lookin' good, I like it.

Suggestion: take a *very* close look at the frame crossmember that carries the center stand and rear motor mounts -- look for cracks on both ends of the crossmember where it attaches to the frame. Mine was busted clean through, had it welded back in with reinforcements.


You know, you had mentioned that before and I neglected to look. Now's as good a time as any with it all empty like that. I went over every bit of the frame with steel wool, WD40 and linseed oil and I don't recall seeing any cracks but at the same time there is a place where the paint has lifted... here's hoping it's not a crack!
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 1:19 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock
Originally Posted by kurt fischer
Lookin' good, I like it.

Suggestion: take a *very* close look at the frame crossmember that carries the center stand and rear motor mounts -- look for cracks on both ends of the crossmember where it attaches to the frame. Mine was busted clean through, had it welded back in with reinforcements.


You know, you had mentioned that before and I neglected to look. Now's as good a time as any with it all empty like that. I went over every bit of the frame with steel wool, WD40 and linseed oil and I don't recall seeing any cracks but at the same time there is a place where the paint has lifted... here's hoping it's not a crack!


Ah, so I'm telling the same stories over and over again ... hmmm ... .

Anyway, here's what my frame looked like at that junction

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Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 1:43 pm

Oh, no I would have noticed that. Nope, mine seems solid. Looks like yours may have been dropped straight off the back of a truck! Do you know others this has happened to?
Posted By: edunham

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 1:58 pm

There are chrome buttons that you can buy for the unwanted holes in the front fender. I bought some at a chopper shop once. Another time I bought them at an ACE Hardware.

Ed from NJ
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 2:02 pm

I didn't even know those existed! Makes sense, and in all sorts of sizes as well. Can't believe they're $3-something a piece! I've got something like 6 holes to fill...

Chrome Plugs at Home Depot
Posted By: kurt fischer

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/20/19 2:30 pm

Originally Posted by celtrock
Oh, no I would have noticed that. Nope, mine seems solid. Looks like yours may have been dropped straight off the back of a truck! Do you know others this has happened to?


In the case of my bike A65L HE 12xxx, July 1971, maybe one of the last bikes built before the summer shutdown, maybe built on a Friday, which is after Thursday pay-day/pub-night per Tridentman, I think it started with crappy welds the day it was built. A few other points on the frame look pretty poor, weld-wise. Yes, it happens on these frames. I guess if no new oil has oozed out of your beads after cleaning, you are OK!
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/22/19 12:54 pm

Waiting for parts to come in so figured I'd get to work on the horn. So I pulled it out of the box of parts... this is NOT the horn that goes with this bike. I have NO idea what bike this even goes to! Touched it to a battery and it doesn't even work. Anybody know what bike this comes from?

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Posted By: kommando

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/22/19 2:12 pm

I have one of those horns, it was on a Commando and also not original. Some no name aftermarket junk (mines dead too).
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 02/22/19 10:00 pm

Originally Posted by kommando
I have one of those horns, it was on a Commando and also not original. Some no name aftermarket junk (mines dead too).


Good to know. I was going to hang onto it in case it turned out to be the ever elusive lost rare horn of the '69 Beezle-Rump-Ton only-two-in-existence type of thing. I had an experience quite a few years ago when I had this Mountain Cub frame with this weird piece on it that a bunch of folks told me to throw away thinking it was some sort of OIF conversion for this '67 bike. Turned out the bike was one of 17 that were customized by the Commerford company in England of which the whereabouts of only 5 were known. Good thing I didn't chuck that piece!

I think in this case I'll chuck the horn into the junk bin and feel pretty good about it. New horn is expected here next week but I'm heading to Iceland so it'll have to stay snug in its box until I get back!
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/04/19 5:14 pm

So, for someone who is putting back together a bike almost from scratch... anyone have a layout of where the wiring harness is supposed to run throughout the bike? I've done a search and there's discussion about wiring but no pictures of the best path for which these arms are supposed to go. Perhaps a post to the BSA forum?
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/05/19 12:05 am

The main loom runs under the oil spine RHS, goes between the air box and the seat rail. Meets up with the Zener and the ignition switch RHS, crosses over to LHS for rear tail lamp switch and rear lamp.
Its not critical, but some space is used up on the LHS with the frame breather pipe , leaving more room RHS.

The headlamp loom goes through one of the front frame grommets, I use LHS, the whole lot unites under the front of the oil spine.
Clock wiring goes into rubber bucket rear of lamp/ , bar Switch cables join up with the rats nest under the frame spine, they are clipped to the bars, I pass them through the frame grommets, but Ive seen it done without.

Some of this layout will depend on whether you keep the electrics bone stock , or delete the rectifier and zener with a one piece reg/ rec. Fitting EI will change details in the ignition circuits, no big deals.
There are looms out there that accomadate modern electrics, they are a sort of universal fit and need trimming and terminating to suit, but makes more sense than buying a stock loom then hacking it up to fit new modern bits.
I havent fitted a new stock loom for a while, last one did was home made, but it follows the same paths.

A word of advice, buy a new ignition switch, this component can really spoil your day, causing missfires and all sorts of nonsense with intermittent interuptions.. Consider smashing the old rectifier to bits or dropping it into a well, ( some folk swear they still have the originals fitted and they still work,, thats some folk only), do NOT re use old condensers if staying with points, they are short shelf life items.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/05/19 8:44 pm

Thanks for the advice. Well noted. Do you know of a good source for a new ignition switch?

I actually asked a more specific question on the BSA Forum but no takers. Here was my post there:

"My bike came basically in bits with the original wiring loom hanging off it like the wrappings on a mummy in a B movie. I'm wondering about the physical path that the loom was meant to take through the bike. I'm hoping someone can point me to pictures of the loom already installed on a 1971 Lightning the correct way. For instance I've seen some with the rear tail wires coming out behind the license plate bracket and going up the wire stays along the mudguard but then there is that dip between the mudguard and rear hoop that looks as though it's meant to pass a wire through. I'll keep digging and searching but if anyone can jump in and help it would be most appreciated!"

So I'm still not sure of how to run the wires leading to the tail... does it go under the hoop at all or does it run the length of the rear fender joining up with the tail electrics between the light and the license plate holder?
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/06/19 1:05 am

"but then there is that dip between the mudguard and rear hoop that looks as though it's meant to pass a wire through"

Edit, what I wrote below is my own experience with non stock rear mudguards, just read David ps reply on the other thread, if you have the stock rear fender then the central run is accomadated with a dent to clear the wiring, i didnt kno that.

Its too tight a squeeze , I know what you mean looks like it should run down the middle.
I run the rear lamp wire inside the mudguard rim ( through a tough plastic sleeve) LHS then up through a grommet to the lamp housing, use a couple of P clips, you can hide one behind the seat rail , if your rear mudguard is stock there will be some holes there already to mount the frame breather tube which runs externally to the far end.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/09/19 9:07 pm

I've been putting proper ends on the marker lights I got. "Lucas style" doesn't refer to the bullet ends I guess. I just took some of the mangled harness that I had, a hot soldering iron and Robin Hooded the bullet ends onto the new lights.

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Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/31/19 6:30 pm

Things have been really slow here stymied by the fact that I HATE motorcycle wiring. It's taken me weeks of hemming and hawing to finally get into the headlight bucket. This bike came without the bulb holder, signal lights or anything that made sense. Because of that I've had no real guide to the inner wiring of the headlight. I've looked for photos online, looked at wiring diagrams and it's all greek to me. So I finally just did it, best I could. I wonder if anyone out there can take a look and tell me if anything glaringly wrong has occurred?

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I've got the green wire from the new bulb holder in with the 3 red Earth wires (one from the loom, one from the shell and one from the warning light).

I made a new brown wire for the headlight switch (it too was missing).

I attached the left signal to the green/red wire and warning light and attached the right signal to the green/white wire and warning light.

I've got one of the black wires coming from the bulb holder plugged into the blue/white wire coming out of the loom and the headlight switch in the top.

I've got the other black wire coming from the bulb holder going into the blue/red coming out of the loom that I believe is the dip light wire. I have NO idea if it matters which black wire goes to which colored wire as there is no visible difference between them.

After spending a couple of hours on this I decided to just throw it all together and put it to the folks here. I figured someone would set me on the right path!
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/31/19 9:24 pm

"I've got the green wire from the new bulb holder in with the 3 red Earth wires (one from the loom, one from the shell and one from the warning light)."
Fine. Consider where the tach and speedo lights will earth, the tails from the clock lamps go inot the bucket, you might need another double connector to accomadate two more earths

"I made a new brown wire for the headlight switch (it too was missing)."
Fine

"I attached the left signal to the green/red wire and warning light and attached the right signal to the green/white wire and warning light. "
Thats what the diagram shows ,

"I've got one of the black wires coming from the bulb holder plugged into the blue/white wire coming out of the loom and the headlight switch in the top."
Yup.

"I've got the other black wire coming from the bulb holder going into the blue/red coming out of the loom that I believe is the dip light wire. I have NO idea if it matters which black wire goes to which colored wire as there is no visible difference between them."
Just swap if the main beam warning lamp is lit when dipped.

"After spending a couple of hours on this I decided to just throw it all together and put it to the folks here. I figured someone would set me on the right path!"

Apart from the instrument earths you should be OK, the crappy little pinch screw on the switch are a pain, worth checking after the first settle in period, they can slacken as the wire crushes.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/31/19 9:37 pm

Thanks Gavin, you don't know how relieved I am to hear that! I wondered about the tach and speedo tails. Hard to imagine they're going to squeeze in that relatively small hole. But it makes sense. Yeah. I think I have to pick up a batch of assorted connectors. Two of them have busted from the insides just pulling out a misplaced connector. If I was really smart I'd replace all of them. Back to eBay!
Posted By: gunner

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 03/31/19 9:54 pm

Looks OK to me but I guess the real test is what happens when you turn the power on, does everything work as expected?

A couple of points to check:-
- are the bullet connectors nice and tight? Often bullets work loose and short out against the head light shell. Might be worth wrapping the connectors in spiral wrap to help keep them secure.
- the multi bullet connectors sometimes expose a small area which can short against the headlight shell. Insulate as appropriate.
- the headlight shell looks rusty inside, check the headlight shell earth connector is tight and works.

Consider changing the headlight for one which uses a H4 halogen bulb, these have a much better multi block connector, the original bulb holder sometimes has poor connections and looses power.
Posted By: Adam M.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/02/19 4:05 pm

You will have problems with those blinkers, I have them on my Trident and it's constant pain.
First problem their earth is realized by "chromed" plastic parts, they have to be really tight to connect.
Second, they are constantly getting loose inside because threads are metric and course, even Locktite can't keep them tight.
All the flat washers have to be exchanged for something more substantial - originals are paper thin and useless.
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/03/19 12:01 am

I just noticed something in your pic, there are two metal strips inside the lamp bucket, looks like you have them 180 degrees out, the long ends should point outwards , use them to secure the wiring to the back of the bucket, it helps keeps things neat,.
If you look hard at the rubber bathtub you will see it has a large wire hole and a small wire hole, the small hole is for the instrument lamp tails.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/03/19 12:38 am

Thanks for that... that makes more sense than simply keeping the rubber bucket in shape ;-)

I thought the small hole was for the front brake switch cable? Seems like it might be tough to fit both those in there. Then again I was under that impression from the illustration in the 71 parts manual which is not always as helpful as one would think...
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/03/19 9:24 am

Its a long time since I had a stock front brake switch but IIRC the tail for that lives outside the bucket.
Posted By: celtrock

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/03/19 5:26 pm

Huh... I was following this...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: gavin eisler

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning - 04/03/19 6:37 pm

Hmm, no sign of the instrument tails in that picture, I recall my old loom had a pair emerging near the bucket then heading off to the RHS side where it plugged into the in line cable switch.IIRC it was just before the rubber entry.
I dunno, I am probably wrong here, the point where the tails for the brake switch emerge from the loom will dictate whether its in or out of the bucket. Do whatever works best. My current set up is non stock and I run the instrument tails in the wee hole for convenience, they do have to get into the bucket somehow .
The picture could be a draughtsmans fantasy, the parts book has a few errors . One that got me before was the headlight P brackets, parts book only has two of the domed washers , there should be four, one above and below the P bracket both sides. My bike was rough at the bars for years before Stuart put me right ( eternally grateful).

Edit, i just a hard look at the 71 diagram, the diagram is a bit vague about earth paths.
With the clocks being rubber mounted the only possible earth path without a dedicated wire is through the drive cable, maybe thats what they were like from new? All I know is I fitted earth wires years ago, relying on the drive cable isnt a very good idea.
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