Does anyone in the middle of all of this find it amazing how car main bearings wear in a similar manner when there is no oil filter in the system. We have the worst of all worlds here. The oil goes through the bearing on the way to the centrifigal filter.
Now that you think about it Tridents will do the same thing when the oil filter is comprimised. Poor design? Gosh with all of these problems with the BSA, and its plain bearing, will we have to stop using our cars.
Gee, someone should hurry up and tell the guys developing the 900cc veicle twin in the Cotswolds. They have been running the motor with two split main bearings like BSAs around England for the past several years in a Suzuki chasis. Lets see 900cc 110 horse power well over 10,000 rpm... I saw it run on the dyno and in a chasis, real neat.
John , Thanks for the non partisan common sense point of view and analogy .
It gets difficult to shrug off comments like this
"Lannis is not updating his BSA. He rebuilt it with MrMike's help. The crank bush was done correctly. It had good oil pressure on the first ride then the oil pressure reduced significantly. Replacing the oil pump was an external fix that did not require another tear down. Will it fix it? We'll learn today or tomorrow when Lannis starts it up again."
I was under the impression that the pump had somehow seized? Perhaps because Lannis mentioned to me that the pump had somehow seized??Replacing an oil pump on overhaul of a 36 year old engine isnt exactly a major design issue , especially when I know for a fact that this particular bike has been riddden harder , longer and farther in its life than any BSA unit twin I have seen .
and this gem...
" Over ten years of "collecting" data from others who own or work on BSA A65 is the source of my pushing of the SRM style crank modification. Having, in addition, known personally people with chronic low oil pressure and rods through the cases is additional data. Knowing people who spent months and months chasing low or no oil pressure problems on A65's that were just rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt, by the right people in the right way. It happens!"
errr??? somehow I was under the impression that the guy might be afraid of his bike because of his lack of mechanical aptitude, appearantly he bases his opinions on someone elses lack of mechanical aptitude??? If I had someone rebuilding an engine over and again with the same bad results , I'd be looking for a better builder , common sense. Again ,I do believe that if you are racing the bike , all bets are off , spend the $$ get it done as bulletproof as possible , and you still stand a chance of poppin that powerplant.... thats racing....
Aww mann , I hope noone is taking this seriously , it's just too fun .I'm gonna let it go before the voices in my head take over....
Plain bearings like in the A65 have been in cars for years. The are capable of a lot of load. There is nothing inherently wrong with the plain bearing except its execution in the a65. The execution errors are (in no particular order): (1) Suspect oil pumps are well documented, (2) the only filter, the sludge trap, as Mr Healy correctly points out is after the timing side bushing, (3) the roller bearing lip, on the primary side, is the only axial thrust surface for crank movement to the left. This is bad design practice, period! (4) Oil is fed thru the timing side bushing where it can leak out as the bush wears, loosing oil pressure even if you have plenty of it. It should be fed thru the crank with an orificed tee so that the rods and left side cylinder would never be starved regardless of the condition of the bush. Three of these four shortcomings get fixd with a ball bearing on the primary, an oil filter and a late model pump.... with very little extra money out of your rebuild kitty. For a lot of money, one can have the SRM thing done. This is the best way and a similar arrangement was done by BSA on their unit singles in 71....along with a better pump. One can defend BSA design practice till the cows come home but we can enjoy these nice old bikes a lot longer with a few simple changes. And this in not new technology I am speaking of. It was all available to BSA when the A65 roadburners were made. I like to make simple improvements that really don't alter the charisma, charm, and appearance of these classy, well behaved road bikes and I like to ride em a lot, Heck, I even have a Boyer and a POD on one of my bikes which were't available in the sixties.... but only on a twin. No more badmouthing, gonna be a nice day tomorrow! Mr Mike
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2551 05/22/052:31 am05/22/052:31 am
Well boys I really appreciate the interest that you're taking in getting this bike back on the road....it's sort of like a soap opera, or The Culhanes of Cornfield County "...and tune in next week, when we'll hear Cousin Lannis say - 'Gee I wish my bike would run'."
I was pretty interested myself, so when I got back from the Third Saturday Southwest Virginia Guzzi Lunch (after 200 lovely miles in the rhodedendron-scented mountains on the Centauro), I finished up the Firebird, hung a gauge on it, and fired it up with the new cast iron oil pump. Pressure snapped over to 70 pounds when revved up, 25 pounds at idle. Not so fast, boy, you been here before. Numbah Two Son fires up his Suzuki to follow me and we take off around a 16 mile loop, watching the gauge all the time. Pressure falls a little but holds steady as it gets hot. Bike is running great, torquey, smooth, sounds good.
After 14 miles, I look down and the tach is registering 0 revs. I look down at the oil pressure and it's registering zero. I coast over the to the side of the road, pull the tach cable, kick it over and the tach drive isn't moving. Son rides home, brings the truck back, we roll the bike back up into its normal home on the rack, and I guess I'll get up the energy some time this decade to pull the timing side again, take the oil pump out, and report soon on how well Baxter's Cycle, Marne, Iowa, takes care of their customers after a brand new $350 oil pump fails after 15 minutes of running.
If it weren't for you guys, this thing would be parted out on eBay in a heartbeat. L.D., I know what you're thinking, but so far, every problem I've had with this bike MIGHT be crappy oil pumps followed by a failed one I just installed. What are these "billet" and "Morgo" pumps anyway? Sounds like a Triumph thing. This MCA rough, unsized iron pump looked, felt, and smelled like a piece of crap from the time I got it out of the box, I don't want to do this again.
By the way, the TLS brake technique of glueing emery paper strips into the drum, installing the shoes and backing plate, and gradually working the shoes to the shape of the drum works great, and I'm happy with the brakes on the bike. Be nice if it ran....
I'm like super lazy today. It's like normal lazy, but I'm wearing a cape.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2552 05/22/053:54 am05/22/053:54 am
Nick , as it should be . I never thought a whole lot about the A-65 oil pump , just one of the things you do on an overhaul(would you overhaul a 426 hemi and not replace the oil pump?) , I never found one with a lot of wear , but here in Michigan the bikes tend to see less miles than other areas .
I'm not trying to bust bails here , but it looks to me , judging from the reports and posts here , that the opinion is , stock is OK . It may not be "perfect" but anyone with an eye on the ball is gonna overhaul the engine (including at least checking the oil pump), and unless they live under a rock , they will add an oil filter .Personally , I think a Boyer ignition is almost as normal as breathing , but some people havent heard about them yet . When it comes down to it , I believe that an oil filter and regualr oil changes are the absolute key to the longevity of a BSA , or any other Brit twin . In the case of a BSA unit twin , the crank endplay is absolutely critical , I wouldnt ride one without checking this . If the free end play is out of spec it needs attention . One of the reasons thatthe BSA design isnt as good as the Triumph is simply that the owner needs to understand the engine , just loosening the alternator rotor nut and kicking the engine through could dislodge the crank shims and cause damage , this is just one of the issues that leads me to my ham fisted goober observation . I would much rather ride with a guy that understands his engine .
I suppose , if a guy doesnt have the mechanical aptitude to ride/wrench a BSA , he should pursue a Triumph . if that doesnt work out , I guess it is Hondaville from then on ..... but believe me , if you think a timing side bush is the worst thing ever to come from brit technology , you should get a look at some of the highly coveted models , these guys dont complain , they just make the bikes work .
by my knuckle draggin count , the happy owners of BSA A-65's outweigh the unhappy owners , and it looks to me like the unhappy owners simply dont ride their bikes and/or are too cheap to spring for the roller bearing mod that they so spiritually sing the praises of... Myself , I tend to spend thousands of dollars per year on my bikes , if I was so believeing that this mod was necessary to keep my bike alive , it would have been done long ago , it costs 1/2 as much as the top end kit I bought . I can and WILL put my money where my mouth is , these guys dont seem to do this ???
I am sorry, that your pump failed. And I am really lucky about the same crappy aftermarket pump on my Lightning which does work since over 3000 mls. So I am inclined to say, it might work in the future. I can understand, that you want to get rid of that pump ASAP. But that's what happened to the friend of mine with the pump of the same origin. Get it out and please tell us, what Baxter's say about your warranty claims. Probably the pump got stuck and the driven gear on the main spindle is sheared off. What choice of alterative pumps have you got? Morgo keeps announcing their oil pump for A 65 twins for more than 2 years now, but I don't know (and suspect), if they sell them now. The only other aftermarket pumps, I know about, are the SRM billet pumps. Probably pricey, but an engine rebuild is more expensive. SRM got a fine reputation, so their products should work, at least their products are made to a certain and acceptable level of quality. Else you might ask Ed V (board member here, I cannot find his site right now). He sells oil pump bodies (steel?), where you can put the original gears in. The problem about the A 65 pumps is mostly not the amount and pressure of oil, that is pumped, but the distortion of the alloy bodies or cracks in the body, that come up, once the oil is hot. So IMHO, this is the way to go. Good luck and don't get too disappointed. Best regards Phil
Best regards Phil Duesseldorf/Germany '62 A 65 Star (disassembled) '69 A 65 Lightning '71 A 65 Firebird '75 T 160 '84 Yamaha SR 500
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2555 05/22/056:30 am05/22/056:30 am
I thought you blokes only had flame wars like this when it was cold
Anyway, getting off topic a bit, earlier in the thread BONZO wrote:
" I guess the only perfect Britbikes must have been the Vincent twins , Velocette singles ,and the Gold Stars , I never hear hack mechanic owners of these bikes who cant wrench well enough to keep them running without blaming their troubles on imiginary design flaws....
I might be amused to hear your take on the Ducati Desmo and what absolute junk they must be with all that mysterious stuff going on in there ...I guess some of us arent afraid of their bikes?? "
Funnily enough, the early Ducati Desmo twins *did* have a reputation for having extremely fragile bottom ends, especially the 750SS - but I'd still have one in a flash if I could afford it.
and if you think Roy Bacon had a set on BSA unit twins, you should read his hatchet job on the Norton Commando 750 Combat motor, which had roller mains and end feed ;-) Oddly enough, the Combat now seems to be the most highly sought after Commando, but all the owners fit the "Superblend" main bearings, which is a simple and cheap upgrade.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2557 05/22/0512:15 pm05/22/0512:15 pm
On oil pumps. Billet pumps are made from slabs of steel which are machined to size then surface ground to exacting tolerances. The sides of the gears are also surface ground and the bores in the billet where the gears go are honed. Then the whole assembly of plates is bolted together. This method of construction is far superior to boring and machining an unstable casting whether iron or pot metal as in the cast BSA pumps, but it is truely more expensive as each one is sort of hand fit together. I dealt with billet pumps for years in industry. They are quite reliable running 24 hrs/day , 7 days/week. That is not to say a cast pump body can't be reliable, but with the awkward drive of the BSA and a soft casting, the pumps are not trouble free. Lannis, so sorry for your trouble. Do inspect everything on disassembly. Make sure the washer, helical drive gear, lockwasher and nut are all in good order. I never was happy with this drive arrangement as endplay has to be hard on the helical gear drive, but your endplay is very minimal...that's another advantage of the ball bearing on the primary side.
Does anyone know if the cast iron pumps on The A and B series bikes in 71 are the same and will fit the earlier bikes? I have an original cast iron pump ready to go on my B50 (which is more tolerant of low oil pressure than a plain bearing motor) and I wondered about the interchangeability with an A65. I think if you have a pump that makes pressure don't mess with it. This was not Lannis' case. Mr Mike
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2558 05/22/051:22 pm05/22/051:22 pm
"For the record I don't hate BSA A65's. I just hate the low oil pressure problem that is curable with the SRM style fix and the stupid BSA engineers that came up with the crankshaft design. But that's too easy I guess. So you will stop implying that I truly hate BSA A65's, I'll state here that I'd take an SRM modified BSA A65 to any Triumph I can think of."
I'm old fashioned, words have meaning. From all your vitriolic commentary in the past, many people, including myself, would have a hard time believing that you don't hate BSA's. It's a steady diatribe that is based upon collecting data, not real world experience. Your more worried about the negative than those who have positive experience. How many potential new owners of BSA's have scared off with your diatribes?
Stupid BSA engineers? I bet some of them would take exception to that comment. The A65 was developed in 2 years. It is an evolutionary development of the A7/A10 which was considered the most reliable Brit twin of it's era. They borrowed a proven crankshaft design. One of those deals that "it is what it is". Constantly berating the thing isn't going to change it. BTW, does your Hornet have the SRM conversion?
"I appreciate that people may choose to ignore the facts as I present them. They may also choose to insist that it is a problem invented by Bacon. Believe me or not, I don't care but I will continue to tell anyone that listens that there is a problem."
Continue to present the "facts" as you see it, and yes, soem people will continue to ignore you for REAL world experience. And believe it or not, some are not going to listen, but don't be surprised on getting flamed when your particularly vitriolic.
"I must have the worst example of a BSA possible, 71' Firebird. OIF, Conicle brakes, small volume oil supply, useless upswept pipes, too tall a saddle, and by many accounts butt ugly. Too bad it's stone ax reliable. Any more front brake and it would lock the front, vibrates less than it's sister Bonneville, runs cool in summer heat. Roy Boy, where's the BEEF?"
So sorry you have such a sorry example of a BSA. How about I save you the grief, drive down to Northern KY (state, not the jelly) and haul it away for you. I'd be glad to have it in my stable of time bombs And you wouldn't lose anymore sleep over it's supposed faults.
"Does anyone in the middle of all of this find it amazing how car main bearings wear in a similar manner when there is no oil filter in the system. We have the worst of all worlds here. The oil goes through the bearing on the way to the centrifigal filter."
Thank you. If your not running a filter on an A65 or any other Brit twin for that matter. Shame on you. Clean oil makes certain issues non issues. In my misspent youth, I at least ran a B25 oil filter on my A65 along with my Triumph dirt track bike. Not the best, better than none. That little filter moved from bike to bike as I changed A65's. With todays selcetion of filters, it is crazy not to have a good full flow filter in the system How many would run their car/pickup without a filter. Show of hands perhaps? Frequent oil changes WON'T cut it. You need a filter.
"Does anyone know if the cast iron pumps on The A and B series bikes in 71 are the same and will fit the earlier bikes?"
Not the same body. Your going to have spend big bucks to get a better A65 body.
Ok, feel better now, time to push my collection outside and clean the garage.
Oh, and if anyone cares, the LC is going to have a bush (std. size on a really nice std. crank) ball bearing, and an OIL FILTER. Funny how many A65 cranks are still std size in my collection of ctranks. And no evidence of LH rod bearing failures....strange
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2559 05/22/053:34 pm05/22/053:34 pm
Hello all, I’ve been lurking around this forum for the last month or so and this thread seems like the perfect place and time to chime in. I bought my 67 Lightning in 1973 for $300 at the tender age of 19. It was mostly stock but didn’t run. “All it needs is a head gasket” barked the owner and for $300 I jumped at the “deal” Thus began my love affair with this bike. Well, it had a blown head gasket but I thought it might be prudent to pull the jugs and check out the bottom end. (You all know where I’m going with this I’m sure.) We’ll it had burnt valves, a broken spigot on the barrels, and about a 1/4 inch play in tone of the rods. Part of my point of writing is to point out what a great resource this forum and the internet is to find parts and fixes, and how it differed from back in 1973/4. What knowledge I acquired was through magazines and a few distant racers/mechanics I knew. So here’s what went into this bike (as best as I can recollect). The crank was sent to Don’s Crank in Cinn, magnafluxed and ground .30 under. It then was sent “somewhere in Indiana or Illinois to be balanced on a Stewart-Warner machine. I wanted the bike to cruise at 65/70 and figure the balance factor (which I have forgotten). When I received the crank back it looked like swiss cheese. No less than 20 3/8 inch holes drilled through the flywheel and on the sides. The new rods and pistons had also been weighed and balance. The head went to Speed Melton in Xenia Ohio and was fitted with S&W valve springs and aluminum keepers (alloy tech-that’s another sore story for later). The barrels were sent to Bruce Spratling in chicago. The spigots were cut off and it was fitted with steel liners which he had worked to be used in a 750 kit. I opted to leave the bore stock. All new bearings and seals were installed…..the crank bushing was a new high performance Alloy-Tech solid bronze type. All in all..finding the parts getting the machining and then rebuilding the motor took over a year….a pick up truck full of beer and countless ounces of …….. but I digress. It didn’t take long…..but during the break in period, traveling about 40mphs the crank bushing seized, locking the rear wheel. I looked around having heard tire squeals thinking it was a car but realized it was my bike. So started the second rebuild. This time everything Alloy-Tech came off the bike. Bushings, pushrods, valve parts. Granted it might all have been my fault but I didn’t trust the stuff. A new stock bushing was installed. Endless checking of all clearances and slow methodical torque of bolts and nuts. This rebuild was slow., I took my time, checked every part. I noticed the oil pump was binding…sometimes. I disassembled it and found the oil pump backing plate had grooves in it, so I slowly rubbed the plate on a piece of glass and 300 grit wet/dry paper until it “just” turned freely. Having put all this time into the oil pump I felt it was a design flaw to run a tach off it. The internal parts seemed fragile enough without attaching a potentially binding tach and cable. It’s also of note to mention that I found the timing marks (both on the crank and rotor to be off by almost 3 degrees) The bike ran wonderfully. VERY fast and in 3rd gear would when the cam kicked in it was like an on/off switch, blowing away my good friends bonnie everytime. This rebuild lasted 20 years until it blew a headgasket (really this time). Another top end rebuild was performed and the bottom end check. The whole bike internals were in good shape. Crank endplay was within tolerances etc. The steel liners still had the crosshatch in it. The cam and followers had some wear but not enough to warrant splitting the cases at this time. (I also had two teenagers and no tach or speedo so I’m clueless to the miles, but the miles I had were spirited) The point here is this. These engines were built in a time where nothing was spared to create horsepower. Having more than 1 horsepower per cubic inch is a higher state of tune than most Ferrari’s. When rebuilding these engines it becomes all about trust. Do I trust the rods and the valves not to go flying at high revs. The swiss cheese flywheel to hold together. The oil pump to keep pumping. The crank bushing not to spin or overheat. That the sump is clean enough. The tires are good. Etc etc. This trust is something only the owner can decide but it is to that end that this forum so great. It can inform the uninformed about the potential weaknesses of this beautiful and powerful engine and what options are available, whether they be needle bearing conversions or oil filters etc. Personally I would love to have the needle bearing conversion. I do think about the bushing when riding my BSA, and don’t on my triumph (yes my friends old triumph I bought years later- I think about other things for it, but not the crank) It is just another trust factor for me. I see that there are at least 3 US shops advertising this….any opinions and experiences with these brave and dedicated venders?
Todd 67 BSA Lightning "Jolene" 67 Triumph bonnie rat....."The Go Devil" 89 Harley heritage softail."like driving Ralph Kramden's Bus" and for sale
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2560 05/22/054:01 pm05/22/054:01 pm
Hey, for a first post (or 1000th), that was a good one.
Thanks for the inspiration!
I'm spending the day in church most of today instead of in the shop; maybe I've been too much the other way and that's part of the problem!!!?
Then back out to the shop; I'm not going to jump on the BSA problem right way. Clean up and organize my tools and parts, stock the shop fridge, take a deep breath, reread all these posts for inspiration, put in a parts order for some gaskets, lock washers, oil and gear lube (I've used up a case just draining it to take the cases on and off), and tackle this thing like the fun hobby problem it really is......
Lannis (mind modification in progress....)
I'm like super lazy today. It's like normal lazy, but I'm wearing a cape.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2561 05/23/0512:59 am05/23/0512:59 am
Todd, Nice post. You touched on all the things that have frustrated most of us. What is amazing to me is that with all the great bike designs that are out there, with their outrageous HP and displacement, monster brakes, tires as big as a cars, and superb handling, I have not a particle interest in any of them. I rebuilt my first BSA in 1970..a B25, a b44 in 1980, and a few singles and an A65 in the nineties. This site and some of the contacts I have made have taught me a whole lot about these bikes that I would have otherwise have learned by trial and error.
Now to talk about the subject of this post...oil pumps. When I rebuilt my 66 A65, I heard of the outrageous costs of a new pump so I decided to just use the original which didn't appear to be a problem, but without an oil pressure gauge or warning light on an and engine needing rebuilding, how would I know. I am going to try and rig one up thru the oil pressure relief just to temorarily see what kind of pressure I have. Next time I have to rebuild---hopefully not in my lifetime, I will for sure install a pressure guage port. I am sorry I did not. But anyway, I still love these old bikes that I absolutely lusted for as a teenager trying to figure out how to get thru college. Rich, Don't be so hard on LD. Like all us technical folks he has strong opinions too and might just be a little more bold in his presentation. Most engineers are like that or they wouldn't be one. He can probably laugh, choke down a few beers, and lie about his near misses just like the rest of us. Mr Mike
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2562 05/23/0510:49 am05/23/0510:49 am
"He can probably laugh, choke down a few beers, and lie about his near misses just like the rest of us."
If you have to choke down your beers, then it is time for a new brand!
"Engineers ?? I think I may be able to write a book on these characters... I have spent a good part of my professional carreer working with these guys and covering up their inadequate ideas with common sense and making them look good when they made their final presentations. In short , I have very litte regard for an engineering degree ,"
Careful there. My degree is in mechanical engineering. Of course not a practicing one anymore. Discovered service engineer and quality engineer paid better in this company. Plus has a better chance of movement in the organization. And a big plus, when your in service enigneering or quality engineer, you get to pick on the mechanical engineers. Kind of a win win situation. More money and abuse the poor mechanical engineers. :p
Sheesh, your having the time of it. You want to discuss any of it, let me know.
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2563 05/23/0511:41 am05/23/0511:41 am
There is no problem with plain bushed motors like the 500cc unit Triumph that won Daytona or the car in your driveway. The problem with the BSA that the Triumph unit 500 does not have is end play control. The Triumph and the first year A50/A65's had a ball bearing on the primary side and a plain bush on the timing side. The ball bearing can handle both radial loads and axial loads thereby controlling end play and making it zero for the life of the hardened steel ball bearing. The later A50/A65's (after the first couple of years) went to a roller bearing and a plain bush with a simple hardened thrust washer running against the end of the plain bush for end play control. This can last for years but the bushes edge will eventually wear away increasing the end play. MrMike believes once it becomes excessive the axial wear in the bush goes up exponentially as the crank continually shucks back and forth across the bike as it can now do in increasing amounts as the end play becomes even more. Such motions increase the axial wear in the bush and increases the clearances that allow oil pressure to build.
The racing of the early to mid 1960's that Triumph did with the 500 unit Triumph lead to the 1968 change to a ball bearing/roller bearing crank. Unit 500cc Triumph's, that evolved from a grocery getter 350cc unit twin of 1959, were stressed terribly hard in the earlier years as they had to compete against extremely highly developed factory 750cc side valve Harley's with only 500cc and over head valves. The fact that Triumph got the plain bush motor to survive regualr excursion to 8000+ RPM's is amazing. This ball/bush approach can be retrofit into an A65 as MrMike has done and I believe is better than the roller bearing/plain bush of the later A50/A65's.
Your car has all plain bushes but designs in adequate thrust surfaces into one of the plain bushes. Those suirface on some cars I have seen are on both the front and backside of one of the plain bearing inserts and are at least 1/2 inch wide or more depending on the car.
As for BMW's I have no idea as to how they control end play but I'll bet it beats BSA's method!
And for those of you that have a disdain for engineers remember engineers got us to the Moon through innovations not even thought of before the efforts to get to the moon started. Design and materials engineering has changed machines we use today. Few important modern day inventions in the world of mechanical things came from hands on mechanics. Yes, some engineers are not practical but many are. The world needs the conceptualizer and the practical Joe's. They should be working as a team. BSA often did not practice this approach (see the OIF developement story).
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2564 05/23/052:06 pm05/23/052:06 pm
Wow , heated topic.If Lannis cant get a decent oil pump on the wrong side of the pond I have an old iron 71 pump that will help him out, ive PM ed him. Heres my "engineers " take on the plain bush. Because the pressure feed is fed first to the timing side bush then enters the crank radially it is fighting a loosing battle , the faster the crank spins the more it is trying to throw the oil back out , fighting against pump pressure. A plain bearing crank with an axial feed would not suffer this problem. Earlier lower output and lower revving BSA twins could survive this , later A65s get the odds stacked more against them with their higher output and higher Revving nature. Bonzo, down boy, your bikes survive ( Im guessing) serious use with the standard set up, possibly because you do stuff like changing the oil at sensible intervals, not neccesarily the case on many old abused A65 motors.God knows Ive seen some that suffered serious neglect on this side of the pond. The std timng side bush is a self fulfilling disaster scenario, the more worn it gets , the more worn it gets, starving essential lube from the big ends. Personally Im in favour of the roller drive side bearing, combined with the timing side ball needle conversion, removes all doubt on whats happening with the bottom end. Both my motors have this, one is the original Devimead conversion, still going strong on its original converted mains , 20 years later. To paraphrase a non engineer, " The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten" Henry Royce , who considered himself a mechanic , not an engineer. Cheers pod
71 Devimead A65 750 56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65 Cagiva Raptor 650 MZ TS 250 The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2565 05/23/052:56 pm05/23/052:56 pm
Rich B posted: Ask an old dealer how much warranty they did getting a motor right, since Small Heath didn't. That put the nail in the coffin so to speak. But the reputation existed before.
We were told, as dealers, that in 1971 BSA was paying out over $800 dollars for each A65 they sold for warranty work performed by dealers. I don't know how truthful this was, but dealers were kept busy.
Rich, you might examine the the effect of moisutre collection in a ball bearings outer track. We find that most Triumph timing side ball bearing failures can be traced back to improper winter storage with resultant condensation in the oil. With this kind of bearing failure you will see additional clues of oxidation in the motor.
Here in the Northeast US we would find a Triumph would go about 1,000 miles after being improperly stored (in an arear where there were dramatic changes in temperature) before the timing side main bearing would fail.
Few people change the oil before they put the bike away. This causes two problems. There is a chance that the oil is already contaminated with water and the anti-oxididant additives are exhausted.
With the switch to the roller, there is less chance for the water to collect in the bearing and a chance that it might actually drain out of the bearing. A note: as an engineering practice roller/ball bearings need very little lubrication to perfom satisfactorily and they do not need a high flow of oil to remove heat like a plain bearing does. So the fact that little oil gets to the drive side ball or roller bearing should not be a cause for concern.
I was talking to randy baxter over the weekend and he claimed that he has had problems with oil pressure in BSA A65s when they used Castrol 20/50 oil. He has had two of these "low oil pressure" motors to bits not finding any problems. When they tried Valvoline straight 40 the oil pressure returned to normal. He's wondering if they have changed the formulation. I wonder where this is going to take us? john who is eating crow over on the Triumph list
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2567 05/23/055:19 pm05/23/055:19 pm
Interesting stuff. The dealer I worked for out of high school had been a dealer since 1956. BSA was actually out of business when I started there, but the people who knew the motors were still there. Don, the owner, had started checking end play out of the crate. If it was out of spec., the motor came apart and was fixed. Many times, according to him, BSA would not pay his claim, since no failure occurred. Through all this, to this day, he is a die hard BSA man. Sold the dealership once BSA was gone. It is still around to this day too.
Next time I take one apart with what I feel is bearing damage due to minimal lubrication, I'll have to look for signs of oxidation. I have binned the ones that I recently took apart, so that evidence is gone. The thing I keep noticing since I have gotten into thie routine of disassembling early A65's lately, motors with no LH rod oil hole invariably have a main bearing that is toast. If the LH rod has an oil hole, the bearing is ok (but I still wouldn't reuse it). Maybe not scientific, but the observations I have made.
I hope we aren't going somewhere bad with Castrol 20W50. Until this year, I ran 50W oil in my motors faithfully. Decided to come out of the dark ages finally and switch to multi grade. So, used Castrol 20W50. But that is easy to rectify. But so far, my 68 Lightning has shown no signs of a problem.
And something completely off this subject. All the complaints about A65 oiling. Check out an Allis Chalmers small 4 cylinder as used in the B, C, CA, and probably the D10. End of cam drives a 2 vane pump, the output of the pump is into a hollow cam with drillings at the cam bearings to deliver oil to the main bearings, and holes in the cam to squirt oil into little troughs on the rods. And a crude multi piece thrust arrangement for the crank. A bypass supplies oil to the filter, top end and governor. Amazingly crude, but it works. And setting up the big ends, oh fun, you have to shim for clearance. After doing bearings & rings in one, I have a lot less issues with A65's
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2568 05/24/051:11 am05/24/051:11 am
I am not going to write a litany here as we have worn this one out over the years. My preference would be a roller on one side and a ball on the other. Short of that, I prefer to convert to the ball since I don't run the bike too hard. I can make the roller work too. Just takes some more fiddling around. Overall the bottom ends of A 65's have suffered from most of the things mentioned in this post. Of the things mentioned, I think that the #1 problem is the oil feed thru the bushing disproportionately starves the things down stream as the bushing wears. #2 is inadequate oil pumps and filtering, #3 is a lot of HP flexes the crank with no center main bearing putting a lot of wear on the bush and #4 cranksaft axial control is less than adequate. I can live with these shortcomings cause I know how to get around them and the bikes are just a blast to ride. Good power, good sound, good handling....a real motorcycle for whining down country road through the tobacco and soybean fields of eastern NC. Mr Mike
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2569 05/24/051:59 am05/24/051:59 am
My solution to the bush problem: make the bush out of aluminium bronze (very tough, self-lubricating alloy), hard-chrome the crank journal and grind to size after installing the bush (or align bore the bush after installation), shim end play with hand-made shims located between outer race of drive-side bearing and crankcase, straight 50wt in summer, 40wt in winter. Then, take `er out and give`er the good thrashings her maker designed her for!
When people who should have known better cautioned me about the dangers of motorcycle racing, I always told them that a fear of death is nothing more than a fear of life in disguise.
Re: More Oil Pump Blues#2570 05/25/051:01 am05/25/051:01 am
Nick, I am not a fan of grinding the crank to fit the bush UNLESS, I am absolutely know that the bearing bores in the cases are aligned in the first place. The best way to check this is in a jig boring machine. If you know the bores are alligned, then grinding the crank is ok, but you do waste valuable crank material if it did not need a grind in the first place. Mr Mike