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BSA gearboxes #249874
04/23/09 3:20 am
04/23/09 3:20 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
dave - NV Offline OP

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dave - NV  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
I posted this re a question on BSA gear boxes. With some editing I'll also post it here on the GS forum and perhaps there's some info some of you GSrs may find useful.

I have no idea of any miss alignments in BSA boxes. However I and many many BSArs have disasembled STD bushing boxes and have seen the the garbaged layshaft ends and bronze bushings. Granted this was often due to lack of lube oil.
but..
Never I have I seen a damaged lay shaft or the Torrington bearings in a 'T' gear box and I've worked on many of them..

Per his auto bio, Roland Pike mentions going to Torrington bearings due to bushing failures in the race bikes. A siezed up gear box is a killer.

The poor way BSA failed to incorporate improvements into the more mundane models is a classic example of one of the reasons for the collapse of the BI manufacturing in England.
I'll elaborate...
The bushing layshaft gear boxes had failures in the racers and quickly wore out in all models.
the fix ...
Fit Torrington needle bearings in Gold Stars but few other boxes.
now ...
they had to manufacture and maintain an inventory of different but very simular parts.

layshafts:
bearing surfaces are 2 thou difference and not interchangeable.

cases:
tranny cases have different sized layshaft bearing bores.

gears: here's a goofy one!
Both the 'A' sleeve gear and 'B' layshaft reduction gear pair have wider gear teeth for longer life in a 'T' box.
The 'T' box 'H' 1st gear on the layshaft has a 2 thou larger bore in the bushing.

BTW, a used 'H' 1st gear from a STD bushing box has enough bushing wear and it will fit on a 'T' layshaft. An OK fit. Nice.

layshaft bearings:
BSA was a nutter when sourcing parts and had a near insistence to 'do everything in house'.. They would rather make a complex and expensive bushing than buy low cost Torington needles.

more ...
The Torrington needle bearing used in the RRT.2 'A' sleeve gear helps prevent the quick wear of the bushed only sleeve gear. When this bushing wears it allows more oil to leak out.
That's our auto chain oiler!
Trouble is this oil leak is what causes the boxes to run low on lube ...
and still more ..
The Gold Star RRT, RRT.2, DAY.T, etc Gold Star boxes all have much improved, stronger and longer wearing gear engagement dogs than all of the other gear boxes. Natch not interchangeable.

Don't get me going on the POS BSA pre unit clutches ...

Why in the world would BSA make improvements in Gold Stars and not incorporate these changes to the more mundane B33s, A10s, etc? The considerable added inventory and manufacturing costs must of been obvious?
I know I know, I've read the books too.
_________________________


Dave - NV
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Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: dave - NV] #250461
04/27/09 3:46 am
04/27/09 3:46 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 29
NJ USA
K
Kevin C Offline
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Kevin C  Offline
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K

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 29
NJ USA
Dave,
As always you are exactly right on all of the transmission facts! ,,,and NO I won't get you started on those terrible 6 spring clutches!....but while we're on the subject, do you remember any of the Japanese clutches that were adapted as a substitute? I have been thinking about this, and do remember that something was, but am experiencing the C R A F T syndrome.
I guess it happens to all of us in this bracket!
Glad to see you are still improving the sport as always!!
Kevin C NY

Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: Kevin C] #253237
05/11/09 10:15 pm
05/11/09 10:15 pm
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 731
Asheville, North Carolina
C
ca7a Offline
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C

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 731
Asheville, North Carolina
Admittedly,, I'm no fan of the six spring unit, either. However, permit me a bit of nostalgia.

Several years back, I agreed to fettle another's '59 DBD racer for USCRA events. It was a quite tatty when I got it, but it was fitted with a Suzuki clutch. The Goldie was intended to be raced by guest-of-honor riders at Laconia and NH International Speedway venues, and then returned to its owner at the end of each season.

In 2003, I got the bike back from the owner and tore into the engine. Then the primary, whereupon I discovered that a burned, galled and trashy six spring unit with some other bits had been fitted! This, just two weeks before raceday!

I removed the four spring ("Triumph") unit from my '57 Spitfire, hoping to substitue it. Naturally, it didn't fit the Goldie gearbox shaft axially (I knew there are five different shaft listed, but one has to be optimistic, right?), so I sent the clutch centre out for reboring. Twasn't enough, and time was running out.

Rummaging deep in my BSA junk box, I found a "better" collection of bits. Long story short, I fitted a bunch of old six spring parts that meant I had to ignore one of the spring posts (and its opposite), and pray for rain!

Well, Jody Nicholas was the the rider at Laconia that year and he diced it out with everyone, losing ultimately to a big, contemporary Norton twin. He never complained about the clutch (but I bet he wasn't thrilled, bless his heart). We went to NHIS the following day but the Goldie was too loud for them there (109 dB vs their 105 dB limit; gosh, what do you expect from a reverse cone 'phone, anyway?)
But, ya know, I believe the clutch would have made it!

I turned the Goldie back to its owner and I've not heard about since then. But remember, that "POS" clutch was used in every IOM Clubmans race and all of the scrambles events of the time. Is it competitive today? No, but let's not curse a 1940's design that did its job for years.

David

Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: ca7a] #253254
05/11/09 11:52 pm
05/11/09 11:52 pm
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 731
Asheville, North Carolina
C
ca7a Offline
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C

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 731
Asheville, North Carolina
BTW, Dave - great information! Thanks.
David

Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: ca7a] #254007
05/16/09 12:27 am
05/16/09 12:27 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,875
California
Ron - in California R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Ron - in California R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,875
California
Hi All..!!

I JUST read a great article, written by my pal (no, he can't beat me) Bob Light.. It is very timely indeed...!

Any of you have a BSA tranny that jumps out of gear.? Many of us have had this issue... and the only EASY cure is to install new parts. Yes, but new parts or even good used parts are getting to be like hen's teeth... rare indeed..!!! And somewhere down the road it will happen again...

OK, so to FIX this issue properly, you need to undercut the dogs (both male and female). This can be done with EDM, once the "electrodes" are made up for each gear. The electrodes are the hard and may be expensive, but once done, many a gear box can be fixed..!!

I am NOT going to make electrodes in the near future, but one never knows... there are a lot of gears that have tons of life left in them that need fixing..!!

Cheers..!!!

Ron

Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: dave - NV] #281933
11/01/09 1:37 pm
11/01/09 1:37 pm
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 765
Santa Barbara, Cal.
B
Bodger Offline
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Posts: 765
Santa Barbara, Cal.
Hi Dave, That's very interesting, I have had all bush boxes except the 63 STD-T.
Can the bushes be replaced with needles?

There would still be the dog depth and design, but at least they would be safer..to think I raced one of those, and also very fast freeway use, maybe it was a blessing that the rod shrapneled the cases one fine day in the fast lane on the OC Freeway.

I think you said you cut the grooves for o-rings in the cover as well.


Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: Bodger] #281960
11/01/09 6:11 pm
11/01/09 6:11 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
dave - NV Offline OP

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dave - NV  Offline OP

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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
Bodger in SB ... You ask if bushings can be replaced with needles. I'm told the bushing cases can ne fitted with needle bearings but I've not done it. You would also need to fit a 'T' box layshaft. Hey Ron, have you done it?

But our GSr engineer friend Peter Huber in GER has come up with an interesting fix for the 'bushing' boxes. Torrington sells hardened steel races made to press onto shafts which are then fitted to their needle bearings. Peter precision grinds down worn bushing box layshafts to press on these races. He then drills and reams the 'bushing' cases to fit the needle bearings. He's given me the tooling, hardware and a couple of exchanged ground layshafts, but I've not done the mod yet. Another "One of these days" project. aarrgh.

Yes, I'm set up to rebuild BSA pre unit tranny covers with new 'modern' kicker, shift and added clutch arm shaft bushings. I've done 30-35 of these over the years with no problems. I then counter bore the cover and fit nice tidy lip seals on the kicker and shift shaft. 'Stops the drool'. I like that.

Hey CA7 ... Yeah David, all of us made the the 6 spring clutch 'work' during The Era. We knew no better. It just took lots of futzing around. I was pretty good at using a dial indicator to adjust clutch springs. But of course new parts were on your dealers shelf which sure helped. Hey on a good day, my Goldie would 'carry the wheel' into the first corner...

Ron mentions under cutting gear dogs to prevent jumping out of gear ... My fix for 2nd gear jumping out seems to work OK. I carefully grind the reliefs in the dogs of the pressed on 'B' gear, '4th', reduction gear on the layshaft. This allows the gear to be pressed onto the shaft ~ 30 thou further up against the snap ring slightly adding to the dog engagement into the 'D' gear. I then fit a 37 thou hardened steel shim between the OEM layshaft shim and the case and check for end play clearance. Works OK.

Last edited by dave - NV; 11/01/09 6:19 pm.

Dave - NV
Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: dave - NV] #282223
11/03/09 1:42 pm
11/03/09 1:42 pm
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 765
Santa Barbara, Cal.
B
Bodger Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 765
Santa Barbara, Cal.
Thanks Dave,

I was looking at Beeza Bill's oil/crank conversions relative to the discussion about A65 cranks/end play/bearings etc.....but then I read up on his close ratio gearbox conversion, and he mentioned you. I'm guessing.
http://bsa-a10.hailwood.com/billsgearbox.html

I have a Daytona ratio semi-rigid trans that was with an A-7 and had a triplex primary...in 1952. I have tried to puzzle it's conversion to the regular gearbox but didn't get very far.
With his conversion I wouldn't have to use anything from the semi-unit trans and just come up with the scrambles and A65 gears...I think. I'd rather keep the semi-rigid set with the A-7 engine.
Sounds easy, haha.

BBill says
"semi-unit main shafts can be used in swing arm boxes if you wish to use an AMC clutch."...very interesting alternative perhaps to the Triumph clutch conversion, altho I always got along well with my GS clutch.


He also had a page on changing the cam bushes for needles...re: earlier about needles for gearbox bushes.
He's an energetic fella.

There has been mention of using Triumph 5 speeds transmissions as a cheaper route to better GS gearing, then I think I read that there is a newly mfg five speed gearset at about $1500 or more that goes in the regular GS gearbox..can't remember right now who makes it...but this conversion seems a possible 4 speed cr alternate and maybe..maybe cheaper too....altho the standard box isn't really bad...

Has anybody actually done this besides maybe Bill?

thanks, Ken




Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: Bodger] #282276
11/03/09 6:29 pm
11/03/09 6:29 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
dave - NV Offline OP

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dave - NV  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,897
Elko, Nevada USA
Hello Ken in SB ... Yeah beeza Bill is an energetic fella! I admire such ambition.

I also have a Daytona gear set in my road GS special. Works great and does away with the large spread between 2nd and 3rd with a STD box, which is sure bothersome pulling a grade in the twisties.
I do need to replace the 'D' gear, layshaft 2nd, due to a couple of badly fretted teeth. Any ideas where I can find a gear?

GStarRon from NoCA, who's here on BB'com, has made 10-15 (?) 5 speed conversions for himself and others to BSA boxes using Triumph T140 pieces. I was privy to the 'goings on' for years and it was a hurrah to say the least. I know of others who are happy with the Nova 5 speed gear set you mention. Also there are some GSs with pre unit Triumph boxes fitted that are converted to 5 speed with T140 gear sets.

Last edited by dave - NV; 11/03/09 6:31 pm.

Dave - NV
Re: BSA gearboxes [Re: dave - NV] #282335
11/04/09 3:12 am
11/04/09 3:12 am
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,802
Comox BC Canada
G
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,802
Comox BC Canada
Dave; I love your opening comments. Not luck with the D gear in my bins but I might have an E gear. It looks like a std E gear but it has 25T so maybe it is for the Daytona box. Mind you it came out of box of BSA gears and that was the best ident I could do comparing it to STD and SC cogs.

Maybe you can tell by the photos. If you can use it let me know.

Gordo

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