I have always been told the only stupid questions are the ones you donít ask, so I hope these donít seem stupid but I just donít know the answers I in the final stage of my total restoration of my 1957 BSA A10. Here are my questions if anyone can help.
1. What type of engine oil is the best to use? (how much) 2. What type of Primary case oil is the best to use? (how much) 3. Now a magneto question Ė with the magneto mounted what pickup is for the right hand side cylinder? (The timing says to set the timing using the right hand cylinder but I donít know which lead goes to that cylinder) 4. Any recommendations on first time start up and any does and doníts? 5. And lastly any words of advice for this stage of restoration you are willing to share.
You will probably have a few differing opinions, here is mine; >1. What type of engine oil is the best to use? (how much)
Is there no oil in the engine at all? REALLY a fresh total rebuild? I suggest using your favorite brand of petroleum based motor oil, no synthetics. Some folks like a straight 30W, some go with 20-40W, some go with what they will run in the engine after breaking in. You HAVE cleaned out the oil box before now, right? If not, I'd bet there is sludge settled in the bottom of the box, from before.... Best to clean it out, OFF the bike, I don't know how else to get EVERYTHING out of the box.... There is no lowest point drain plug... Take the rocker cover off the intake side, and pour @ 8-12 oz. of oil in over the valve guides, and if you use a squirt pot/gun/??? type of implement to put the oil in, attempt to get some over onto the exhaust valves too. Some or most of this oil will lubricate the cam lobes and followers, as it drains into the sump. And it MIGHT lube some of the other items needing lubrication...... Hope you oiled up the timing gears before you buttoned that up... If not, they will soon be oiled up... Fill the oil box up to it's level, but not to the top! You have the 'extra' oil in the engine to take up some space, once the oil pump starts moving it back into the box. Not all of it will make it back, there are nooks and crannies that some oil will find, some are purposely in place, some aren't....
>2. What type of Primary case oil is the best to use? (how much) Again this will be your personal call/experience. Some folks use motor oil, as the original instructions suggest. Others now find ATF to be better for them.... I wonder if any of that school of thought has specified which type of ATF??? Mercon/Dexron, ATF+4, type F, or what? One thing for certain; ATF has MUCH more detergent in it than oil does.... All you are really trying to do with the oil in the primary, is to lube the chain and sprocket teeth. You DON"T want to bathe the clutch in oil, it slips enough as they are! There is supposed to be some sort of oil leveling device incorporated in your primary cover[s]. You could put a whole quart in the chain case. Then you remove the drain plug, or case screw that has a matching slot, to allow oil to drain down to the level the case requires... And I cannot tell you how many ounces or CC's that is.... I believe while the bike is on it's center stand? Just figure out which one is the level port/screw, and which one is the drain screw!
>3. Now a magneto question Ė with the magneto mounted what pickup is for the right hand side cylinder? (The timing says to set the timing using the right hand cylinder but I donít know which lead goes to that cylinder)
I don't believe this matters.... Either one will work. The only worry about this, is IF your point cam ring has somehow become worn, and the points do not open exactly, or near as can't tell, 180 degrees apart.
>4. Any recommendations on first time start up and any does and doníts?
I like to remove the plugs, open the oil box, so I can watch the oil port, and kick it through several dozen times, until I see oil being filled back into the tank, this way, I KNOW the bottom end is being fed oil, BEFORE I start the engine up. Petrol taps OFF, plugs in their leads and grounded.
Again many people will have their own way of doing first start ups. I certainly try NOT to apply ANY throttle, or if I need to, VERY little opening. I was taught to start an engine the first time, and once it 'steadied' up, if any adjustments were needed to the carb [ and there ALWAYS is, heck, things have CHANGED radically, from what caused the need of the engine rebuild! ], once those have been taken care of, and they will only be initial changes, if the head hasn't gotten started to be warm, GENTLY vary the RPM's, until the engine's head has become warm to the touch. Shut the engine off. Let it return to room temperature, even if that is the next day.
Yep, it's tedious.
Start the engine once it gets to room temps, and gently run, varying RPM's, until the cylinder gets warm to the touch. Stop and let return to room temps.
Start and gently run the engine until the cylinder is too hot to touch. Stop and return to room temps.
Start and GENTLY run the bike up and down the alley, or low traffic street, until the cylinder is too hot to touch. Return to room temps.
Gradually increase the distances you travel, time of running the engine, etc., until you get @ 500 miles on the clock. Paying attention to engine sounds, the feel of the bike, and engine power levels. You should be fine tuning the carb as you go along at this time. NO WOT [ wide open throttle ] yet.
At about the 500 mile mark, drain your break-in oil from the engine and oil box, checking for excess glitter in the oil. Clean the sump screen plate off and out. If no or very minor glitter, put fresh oil in the box up to the level, and start riding the bike as you choose. Still pay attention to the engine, making sure it doesn't over heat, and seize up. After about 1,000 miles, it SHOULD be broke in.
>5. And lastly any words of advice for this stage of restoration you are willing to share.
I THINK I've covered this???
IF anything starts feeling wrong about the engine running, or while riding, STOP THE ENGINE QUICKLY, and let the bike do some cooling off, see if you can find anything visibly wrong; loose flange nuts, top of carb loose or off, missing air screw, oil flowing off the engine, air filter missing, etc., etc., ETC! Repair anything found... If possible...
After at least 15 minutes cooling off, try to restart. If still bad, stop and call a tow vehicle and get it home to do some diagnostics... If it seems OK, GENTLY ride it straight home, paying close attention to other symtoms, and if it gets bad again, stop the engine. Cool off. More time.
Don't just keep on pushing for home, once things start happening, you'll only destroy the engine you've put so much money into. You might REALLY strand yourself.... Brett P.S. I'm waiting for other opinions to occur...
Thanks so much for this GREAT response. Yes this is a fresh rebuild all the way down to splitting the cases and throughly cleaning. This bike has not been run in 20 years so I started completey fresh. One more question what about transmission fluid?
#319166 - 06/18/107:40 pmRe: Restoration of my 1957 BSA A10 Questions
Joined: Feb 2003 Posts: 2,884Rickman
BritBike Forum member
The Haynes manual I have sez 20W-50, or 50W. Since you're down in hot HOT HOT Ga., unless you hear different that you like, I'd opt for the 50W, or 60W, if you can find it.... I have put some gear oil in my own trans.... I usually open the clutch adjusting cover, on the right side, and fill it up until the level is near the bottom of the opening... The manual says 1 pint capacity.
One question I see I wish to ask; did you also have the sludge trap cleaned out? This is inside the crank... Well, also, did you check the rod bearing tolerances? Timing side bushing clearance? Any side-to-side clearance?
Good advice-all I would add is to check/re-torque the cylinder head after the original start up/warm up, after the first full hour of riding and at the 500 mile point (engine cold) and check/reset valve clearances (engine cold) at those times.