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Engine rebuild cost? #430998
04/22/12 12:49 am
04/22/12 12:49 am
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 77
TX
RustySled Offline OP
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RustySled  Offline OP
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TX
Well after I got the carbs tuned pretty close and installed a pressure gauge everything to seem in order UNTIL I was out for a spin the other day and my oil pressure dropped to around 5psi and the idiot light came on while at a stop light. Now I have fresh GTX 20W-50 in it. It was about 80 degrees out so not to hot and Id been riding for about 40minutes. Im praying its not the bush but if it is what could I expect to have to pay (ball park) a brit bike mechanic with a good rep to rebuild it as it is way out of my level of comfort.


1967 BSA A65 Lightning powered by a 71 A65 Firebird

AKA phsyco4u

Technology is not the cure for stupidity!
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Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431001
04/22/12 1:25 am
04/22/12 1:25 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,596
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Offline
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Mark Z  Offline
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Owego, NY, USA
First of all, it would be well to point out that a low oil pressure indication, especially at idle, when warm, does not necessarily spell death for the engine. Did the pressure come back up as soon as you revved it? I don't mean that it should be ignored, but oil pressure indications on these engines are often inaccurate.

Some history on the engine would be another factor in deciding if and when it should be torn down and inspected, e.g., mileage since the last rebuild, etc.

If you're fortunate enough to know "a brit bike mechanic with a good rep", he's the one you should talk with about potential rebuild costs.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431005
04/22/12 1:44 am
04/22/12 1:44 am
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 77
TX
RustySled Offline OP
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Yes the pressure goes up with the rpm's.

I know nothing of the history of the bike as Ive owned it for all of 4 months now. Im working on contacting one of the previous owners from the title now.

I know of one that people here in Houston say is a good brit mechanic but his price quote seems A LOT high and I do mean A LOT!!! So hence the question of at least a ball park of what I can expect.


1967 BSA A65 Lightning powered by a 71 A65 Firebird

AKA phsyco4u

Technology is not the cure for stupidity!
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431035
04/22/12 8:23 am
04/22/12 8:23 am
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 838
derby england
wak Offline
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derby england
Take the guage off throw it away,5 psi at tick over is good for an a65,worry about it if it starts knocking ,shaking your feet off the pegs and smoking. it will let you know when its about to pop ! just ride it and enjoy it.


BSA lightning
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Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431039
04/22/12 8:43 am
04/22/12 8:43 am
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,443
Bega NSW Australia
Mark Parker Offline
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Bega NSW Australia
Personally, if it sounds ok, I'd run it with a gauge and just note what pressure it has at different RPM and temp. Then change to heavier oil, and see what difference that makes. I use 25-60w. You could also fit an oil cooler if it's a temperature related fade of pressure.


mark
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: ] #431068
04/22/12 1:03 pm
04/22/12 1:03 pm
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 90
oregon usa
chris b33 Offline
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oregon usa
It'd be a grand ol' day when i thought that i was the only brit bike mechanic i'd ever need. But of course that day may never come. So i myself searched high and low to find someone to potentially rebuild me my 66' A65t for me. i finally found a guy down the street with a good rep. after talking to him i felt quite confident he'd be a sure candidate. He quoted me $2500. i've told a few people that i know and some have thought that that was a reasonable price and some thought that it wasn't. I think it all comes down to paying someone else for what you don't and won't have to do yourself and how much it's worth to you to not have to.
Until the day i can do it myself it just might have to be worth it to me to pay $2500 to a man with a good rep to make my little 650 engine purr like a well fed cat.
i've been keeping an eye open for engines to rebuild just for practice. since i've never done it i figure it might be a good place to start.


Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431070
04/22/12 1:22 pm
04/22/12 1:22 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

Well'ard Rocker
Lannis  Online Content

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Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
Originally Posted by phsyco4u
Yes the pressure goes up with the rpm's.

I know nothing of the history of the bike as Ive owned it for all of 4 months now. Im working on contacting one of the previous owners from the title now.

I know of one that people here in Houston say is a good brit mechanic but his price quote seems A LOT high and I do mean A LOT!!! So hence the question of at least a ball park of what I can expect.


The 7-PSI light coming on at idle when hot is normal; if it goes off with a few revolutions it's not something to be worried about. Unless you're planning on riding the bike 1500 miles from home, it's probably going to give you enough warning to get home (as already mentioned) if something's wearing out.

If you hand a good BSA builder your bike and say "I want this engine made right", he'll have to pull it from the bike, take it apart, clean the sludge trap (which is a multi-hour dirty job), install a new timing side bushing, assemble it back and line-ream the bushing with both cases lined up, probably have the crank turned or at least cleaned up (and I'd pay the extra $125 to have the crank dynamically balanced), then assemble the crank into the cases and check the end-float, take it back apart and shim it, bolt it up and check it again, probably go through that cycle several times ...

.... either take apart the oil pump and check it or buy a new one for you (that's about $400 right there), have the cylinders honed or bored (depending on the wear) and fit up new pistons (if needed) and rings (certainly). Take the clutch apart and check the plates, work them flat or install new ones if they need it. Probably put on a new engine sprocket unless yours looks REAL good, install a new spring or two in the shifter, check the shift cam plate for wear and install a new one. Check the alternator for old brittle wires and magnetism left in the rotor, and probably install a new 180W or 220W upgrade. Check the ignition advance mechanism and either install a new one or install a Boyer if it has any wobble at all in it.

Take out the valves, check the fit in the guides. If the guides need replacing, fit them up to the existing valves if they're good, or buy new valves if they're not. Cut new seats in the head to fit up to the new valves.

Usually the cams and followers are OK, but if there's any play in the bushes or ANY marks on the cams or followers, replace them.

All this is aside from anything like valve cover studs that are stripped and need helicoils, buggered up engine mounting studs, etc.

So something like $2000 in parts and 25 shop hours @ $60 shouldn't be too much of a shock to get an engine back into transcontinental condition ..... !

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431078
04/22/12 2:44 pm
04/22/12 2:44 pm
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,902
ca, us
D
DMadigan Offline
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ca, us
The OPRV opens at 50 PSI, not 9. Unlike the Triumph with a plunger pump, the A65 has a gear pump so the oil pressure does not fluctuate with every revolution. Since the OPRV piston is not continuously moving back and forth there is little wear unless you run with dirty oil. If you want to check OPRV leakage, warm the engine, check the pressure then replace the OPRV with a plug, run the engine and check the pressure. Any significant change means it is leaking past the piston. You could use another OPRV but unless you know the condition it will not tell you much.
Oil pressure problems are either from the pump or bearings. What external filter are you using? Dirty oil will accelerate wear. If previous owners have been into the pump then suspect that especially if you have an alloy pump. It is easy to pull the pump and check it.
Only a few special tools are needed to take an A65 apart. If the bush is the only problem you can take it apart, bring the parts to a mechanic and have them replace the bush and reassemble. If it is not burning much oil and has good power there is little point in doing everything else.

Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431081
04/22/12 2:54 pm
04/22/12 2:54 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,420
Santa Barbara, California
KC in S.B. Offline

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Santa Barbara, California
Nice over view Lannis! Most people have no idea of how much ..'one thing leads to another'... occurs when you open up an A65 motor. You don't want to go back again, so as you pointed out, the balance, the head work, the oil pump, shifter splines, ..etc, all add up time and money. In my case, the TIME is just as annoying as the money! It seems to take multiple steps of, need it/find it/get it/next step, and that can really drag on! Then, when it is all together, and you get past the 1st happy rush, you start hearing noises that make you wonder all over again! The best piece of equipment for a BSA rider is a full face helmet! Funny how when we were young, we didn't worry about noises and oil pressure, just rode'em, because nobody told us otherwise!


Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 1 '56 Chevy
Oops,.. add 1 '65 XLCH
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431113
04/22/12 4:42 pm
04/22/12 4:42 pm
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 572
Surrey UK
M
Mattsta Offline
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Surrey UK
Not unusual for oil pressure to be low at idle when the engine is hot.

You say the temperate was 80 degrees, quite hot. That wouldn't help either.



1952 Triumph T100 in a BSA A7 Frame
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: KC in S.B.] #431159
04/22/12 7:41 pm
04/22/12 7:41 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

Well'ard Rocker
Lannis  Online Content

Well'ard Rocker

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
Originally Posted by KC in S.B.
It seems to take multiple steps of, need it/find it/get it/next step, and that can really drag on! Then, when it is all together, and you get past the 1st happy rush, you start hearing noises that make you wonder all over again!


That's the difference between a professional shop and me (well, one of the many differences). The shop SHOULD have all the equipment needed to rebuild the engine, cut new valve seats, fit the bushing, etc etc, AND should have all the gaskets, extra nuts, bolts, studs, etc. sitting around.

A pro should be able to do it all in 4 full working days. Me? I'd save a few hundred dollars, but it would take me 4 MONTHS of take this apart, order this, try to fit it, order that, wait for this, go three weeks without being able to get out in the shop. I really didn't think it would be this way, but that's life; and that's why we have professionals.

Or very good retired friends, in my case!!

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: Mattsta] #431161
04/22/12 7:59 pm
04/22/12 7:59 pm
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,286
Gnashville
DavidP Offline

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Gnashville
Originally Posted by Mattsta

You say the temperate was 80 degrees, quite hot.

Not for Texas. 80 is quite moderate, even here in Tennessee.
Once the Summer sets in, an oil cooler and heavy oil are advisable here in the southern US.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431180
04/22/12 9:37 pm
04/22/12 9:37 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,546
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Offline
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Auckland NZ
Pycho4u:
Firstly i think you have been given very good advice on this thread so far...oil presssure guages can lead to panic attacks and premature engine jobs. Oil light comming on at hot idol is pretty much normal, the best point that was made above is about how quickly it goes out with a few revs. (and obviously no death rattles ect)

The thing I cant stress highly enough is I am a total convert to oil pressure guages becasue they allow you to monitor CONSISTANCY of what is going on with your motor. eg how many miles till the pressure starts to drop ....what pressure it runs at mile after mile whan hot ....generaly how it behaves.

Oil guage will let you see imediatley anything abnormal (ie inconsistant with its usual patern)

I run straight 50 sae in mine ....seems to love it. And yeah oil pressure just registers at hot idol but has been doing that consistantly for 14k miles.

PS my red light NEVER comes on cause i disconected it when fitting the guage!


Last edited by Ignoramus; 04/22/12 9:53 pm.

"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431202
04/22/12 11:03 pm
04/22/12 11:03 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
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Mr Mike Offline
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Cape Carteret, NC
First, I think that between $1500 and $2000 for parts and machine shop work is a fair estimate. Assembly and fitting not included. On oil pressure, I believe that if you have 30-40 psi at cruising, you are OK. Hot idle will be much less....like under 10 psi.

I did some testing on oil pressure with a ball/spring type relief. Hysteresis is the culprit. I tested a pressure relief with both compressed air and oil. My first test involved hooking up my air compressor to a pressure relief. As the pressure built to 60 psi, the PR opened as expected and began relieving the pressure. I ran the compressor up to about 80 psi and then cut off the compressor and let the tank bleed down. It did not close at 60 psi. The PR never closed till well less than 10 psi. This is called hysteresis and is caused by the flow interfering with the ball's ability to close. It occurs in electricity, fluid mechanics and may other real life applications. I tested the PR on my BSA where I could visibly observe the bypassed oil. Again the PR opened at 60 psi but still was not closed until less than 10 psi as the engine warmed and was at idle. I plumbed in a metering valve in the bypass line and was able to prevent the pressure from ever dropping below 15 psi. However with the throttled bypass it will over pressure the system when it is cold. So I have this setup on my 66 A65. I start the bike with the metering valve open so as not to over pressure. Once the oil is hot (takes about 20-30 minutes of riding) I close down the metering valve and my oil runs at about 45 psi cruising and 15 at idle. Of course I have eliminated the stock OPRV and have mine setup to return directly to the tank. I posted this setup with pics some time ago. If you do not have decent pressure at 3000-4000 rpms, take Lannis' advice. Of critical importance is a good pump, and properly clearanced bearings but you have to do it all to make a good running motor.

I have found a "low hysteresis" PR valve but have not gone ahead with the testing. I would not be concerned with low pressure at hot idle as long as I had good pressure at cruising rpms....and I like gauges as opposed to idiot lights. It tells you when things change.

Mr. Mike

Last edited by Mr Mike; 04/23/12 11:39 am.
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: ] #431248
04/23/12 6:44 am
04/23/12 6:44 am
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,286
Gnashville
DavidP Offline

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Gnashville
Originally Posted by Trevor
Throw the pressure gauge away. Don't fit a gauge and nobody worries.

Nobody worries because nobody has any idea that there's not enough oil pressure to keep the shaft away from the bearing shells.
Last time I had an engine blow up the only warning was the five seconds when the bike wouldn't take throttle before the left rod went through the case.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431350
04/23/12 10:07 pm
04/23/12 10:07 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Of course an oil pressure gauge won't help you if the engine throws a rod or other sudden catastrophic failure. It will, however, (1) tell you whether your motor has good oil pressure and hence is destined for a long healthy life and (2) Over time it will give you signs of wear and tear.

Oil pressure is the lifeblood of a plain bearing motors and BSA's at best fall short in this area. Chintzy pumps and suspect oil pressure reliefs, suspect crank bore alignemnt among other things contribute to the lubrication problem. Why wouldn't you want a gauge? Many modern cars and trucks have gauges. Ideally a gauge and audible/visual warning system would be best.

On the other side of this argument are those that would rather not know and ignor or disconnect the warning light.

Mr Mike

Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431356
04/23/12 10:34 pm
04/23/12 10:34 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,546
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Offline
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Auckland NZ
Trevor:
Just becasue you have a guague fitted doesnt mean you suddely become deaf to warning rattles ect.

The sudden BOOM ive got a blown motor does happen, rarely, but more often than not it is preceeded by many miles of something wrong noises and drop in OP....

There are also diffrent types of accelerating, theres the flat over the tank fully rung out in 2nd accelerating or theres the leasurely open the valve to pass a truck in 4th type of accelerating.

Perhaps a real life example of why im a guage convert. I fitted mine some time in the 80's ..........many years latter after i was well aware of the behaviour of the motor , I was getting along on the motorway when i noticed the guage had dropped real low. I killed it at once and pulled over, the motor was utterly dripping in oil and the oil tank was empty! ....seems the return side of the pump had packed up .....did i blow the bearings NO i didnt....why? because looking at the guage let me know there was a problem.
I probably wouldnt have seen the red light.

Last edited by Ignoramus; 04/23/12 10:45 pm.

"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431373
04/23/12 11:59 pm
04/23/12 11:59 pm
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,251
Boston, Massachusetts
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John Healy Offline
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Posts: 10,251
Boston, Massachusetts
A good case of detonation can break a rod/crank in a couple of revolutions. So a rough calculation: at 3,000 rpm the engine will turn 360 50 times in a second.

Ok Tom Mix, just how fast is your draw?

As an aside, I have taken apart motors with massive amounts of rod bearing clearance and the owner said he never heard a thing...


Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431405
04/24/12 2:48 am
04/24/12 2:48 am
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 77
TX
RustySled Offline OP
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RustySled  Offline OP
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Posts: 77
TX
Well Ive been away a few days after my initial question so Im sorry for the slow response. First thanks to all who chimed in I really do appreciate y'all taking the time.

1st thing tomorrow I will be tracking down so heavier weight oil, will also be ordering an OPRV from SRM as well as a new oil pump just to be on the safe side. Anything to avoid a $3500 rebuild for now! Hell I jus bought the dang thing and would like to enjoy it atleast a little before I have to tear it down(and yes I did say "I") cause hell if Im gonna pay someone else to do what Im pretty sure I can do if given enough time, patience and the wisdom of my fellow Brit iron fanatics here at BB!

I do have a secondary question not related to oil pressure though and it goes as such:
While cruising along at about 40mph I notice the tail end bobbing or swaying. Is this normal? Air pressure in both tires are at the specs listed on them, the reason I say this is caus it feels like a really low tire pressure on the rear when I know its not low. Any thoughts? Im thinking neck bearings.


1967 BSA A65 Lightning powered by a 71 A65 Firebird

AKA phsyco4u

Technology is not the cure for stupidity!
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: ] #431420
04/24/12 3:54 am
04/24/12 3:54 am
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,286
Gnashville
DavidP Offline

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Gnashville
Originally Posted by Trevor
How could an oil pressure gauge have helped in that situation?

It would have helped had I paid attention to the low readings I had been seeing for months leading up to this catastrophe.
Unfortunately that bike was my only transport at the time. I chose to ignore the gauge, hoping to rebuild that Winter.
Many of the expensive noises build slowly, you don't really notice over time or you get used to them. But, an oil gauge can give advanced warning long before the BANG.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431445
04/24/12 11:09 am
04/24/12 11:09 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,250
argyll. scotland, uk
gavin eisler Online content
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argyll. scotland, uk
manuals have the wrong air pressures listed for modern rubber, if your tyres are less than ten years old try a bit more air in them , about + 10 psi. Steering head bearings are an easy check, get the front end in the air and push fore and aft , any play means adjustment is needed.

Your bike should handle pretty well, other possibilities are tired shocks or bad wheel bearings.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431446
04/24/12 11:25 am
04/24/12 11:25 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,666
Scotland
kommando Online content
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kommando  Online Content
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Scotland
1st thing tomorrow I will be tracking down so heavier weight oil, will also be ordering an OPRV from SRM as well as a new oil pump just to be on the safe side.

Buy the OPRV but not the oil pump, your current pump can be reconditioned by yourself in most cases with plate glass as a flat face to rub against. Only if you have broken gears or a seized pump do you need the SRM pump.

Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431458
04/24/12 12:46 pm
04/24/12 12:46 pm
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,443
Bega NSW Australia
Mark Parker Offline
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Bega NSW Australia
I wouldn't even replace the OPRV yet, I'd just try the heavier weight oil. See what difference that makes, note hot and cold pressures at 3,000RPM. If it's under 80PSI say 50 or 60PSI when cold I'd stretch the spring in the OPRV a bit because it will help it when it's hot. The reason it has an OPRV is to stop excess pressure. I've run with cold pressure over 100PSI but I think that is a bit hard on the pump, 80PSI seems fine as a cold maximum and I have had my bike set at that for about 5 years. When its hot the pressure will naturally reduce but it should be higher than before stretching the spring a little.
Gauge story: I fitted a gauge to my T150V after fixing a spun rod bearing. The oil warning light wasn't much use, it didn't come on even when I could hear the knock. The motor was in perfect condition and wouldn't have spun the bearing if it had a gauge. The T150s have an oil feed problem, in cold weather the too small feed hose can make the pump cavitate, with a gauge I could see pressure around 100+PSI warming it, then when I rode a few miles pressure would suddenly fall right off, with the gauge I could see instantly and at least stop and let it idle and get pressure back, plus work out to cover the oil cooler, though it was only a larger oil feed mod that actually fixed it.


mark
Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431461
04/24/12 12:56 pm
04/24/12 12:56 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,619
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Online content

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Tridentman  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,619
New Jersey USA
And if your tires are more than 10 years old then buy new ones and then use ,say, 28 p.s.i.g. front and 32 p.s.i.g. rear in them rather than the handbook pressures.Tires are probably the area of greatest technology advance since these bikes were new.
HTH

Re: Engine rebuild cost? [Re: RustySled] #431538
04/24/12 9:34 pm
04/24/12 9:34 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,546
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Offline
BritBike Forum member
Ignoramus  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,546
Auckland NZ
Psycho4u :
check that your stearing damper isnt wound down too tight , that can cause the kind of "wandering" you are talking about ...on the main stand it should feel free on the bars not tight.


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)

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