Hi guys i'm new to both this forum and British bikes per ce (although i've got 5 Jap and 1 tiny italian). I've always wanted a big brit bike and finally got one - a 1965 A65. The catch was that it's been laid up in barn for 8 years and prior to that was turned into a chopper! It's got extended stantions and swinging arm etc. Those parts i can replace at ease with the cafe racer parts i have amassed. What i'm more concerned is that it's stood for 8 years and never been turned over (i'm told that it ran before being laid up). The petrol has all evaporated. I've taken the plugs out - one is dark and sooted. The other is an almost rust colured and looks like a whisper of rust on the electrode?. When i collected it there was no way it would move so I took the front caliper off (did i say it's got t140 forks?). it still wouldn't move - couldn't find neutral (neither the gear change - someones moved it to the right!!). After looking for neutral I gave up and took off the chain.
I've now tried to apply pressure to the kickstart and there seems no movement. I've then put quite a lot of pressure on the kick start and still no movement. I'm now thinking is it seized or have i got it stuck in gear? I've taken the plugs out put some oil and wd40down the bore. I've heard about hydraulic locks (although doubt there much is any liquid in the bore) and am afraid to put too much pressure on the kick start just in case i damage something. Any advice on how i might proceed whilst the engine is in the frame (i'm planning to take it out soon for transportation). Should i put the chain back on to find neutral? Is it 1 down 3 up? Any (positive) advice is welcome. QM
All the A65s were right hand shift. And yes, 1 down 3 up is correct. If it were mine I'd remove the sump plate from the bottom of the engine. After 8 years I'd bet all the oil has drained down from the tank and into the sump. Then I'd keep adding penetrating oil to the cylinders and let it soak for a couple weeks, put the chain back on and rock it back and forth, sometimes this is enough to break it free.
When given the choice between two evils I picked the one I haven't tried before
Re: My Barn Find - is it seized?
#443197 07/04/129:11 pm07/04/129:11 pm
Shel, that sounds like really good advice i shall do that. As i'm going to strip the bike (for transportation) should i take the pipes, carbs and plugs out prior to rocking it? Oh, I knew about the right hand change that was english humour
Hi, good luck with the A65, mines a `63, they`re nice bikes and under-valued in my opinion. Well I`m sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along soon but until then you`ve got me ! As this bike is an unknown quantity I`d certainly pull the head off and have a look. Not a big job,half hour should do it. Diesel in the bores is a good way to loosen it up, the more time you can give it, the better. That way you may not damage anything and often the bore can be ok in the end. Might need a bit of very fine wet and dry and a light hone to refresh it if theres light rust or a slight seize. My kickstart can often get into a position where it sticks and doesnt actually push on the motor. I have to put it in gear and just nudge it slightly , then alls well. It`ll be 1 down 3 up by the way. Good luck ( I`m in Birmingham if you`re local)
Good advise, Dave. I know some like to pull the head and start beating on the pistons with a block of wood and a big mallet. I considered doing this with my Trident but decided to do a little more investigating and found this.
Beating on it wouldn't have done it much good.
When given the choice between two evils I picked the one I haven't tried before
Re: My Barn Find - is it seized?
#443201 07/04/129:33 pm07/04/129:33 pm
As you`re gonna strip it, if it frees without much hassle I`d take another 5 mins and pull the barrels off; that way you get to check the rods, small ends, and can have a feel at the big ends while you`re there. If it hasn`t been stored with much love, it may have had a hard life before the lay up. When I`ve stripped mine, I leave it in the frame as long as possible as the back brake and chain helps undo most of the awkward bolts. The only special tool I need is a clutch puller.
Thanks Guy's this advice is great. I'm feeling more confident that i've got access to this wealth of knowledge. My other bikes are mostly 2 strokes and a 70's 4 pot. I'm not that experienced with a spanner but am enthuiastic! Shel, this might seem like a silly question but if i drain all the oil ot the sump plate should i replace it (with cheap new fresh oil) before trying to turn it over? Wow that con rod is something else! Dave, i'm in Bedford. Im also a slow typist! I shall try some diesel down the bores. I don't think it's had too hard a life according to the guy i got it from (he's a work colleague) it was running ok 8 years ago, but he pushed it to one side of the barn (with a sheet over it) when his family circumstances changed and forgot about it. It has very little original parts though so it lends itself to conversion to cafe racer. It has been coverted to 12v? I will take the head off and have a look in. I was also going to compression test it if i could - am i wasting my time? Another question - i have an early 70's haynes manual. The photos are diabolical as you can hardly make anything out. It also seems to lack any real detail about tasks such as replacing the drive chain. Is the later Haynes manual just a reprint or a completely new manual? Are there also any superior manuals (original factory manual?) that would better suit an amateur like me? Thanks again QM
"Are there also any superior manuals (original factory manual?) that would better suit an amateur like me?"
Give Brian Pollitt a call at Lightning Spares in Manchester, 0161 969 3850, he's got a good range of re-prints of original manuals and can probably recommend one. He'll also have all the bits you need to fix it. Unless you want to go the caff route, then try Unity Equipe also in Manch, 01706 632237. they have a free download catalogue to browse.
Dismantle the engine before attempting to turn it over. At all. The rust that is holding it stuck, will, even if you get it freed up, WILL quickly destroy the engine. The old "soak it in mystery oil and start it it up" folklore is just that, folklore. Iron Oxide is harder than ANYTHING in the engine. It wins EVERY time. Good luck!
I don't think 8 years sitting in a barn is going to lock up the engine with rust. Unless it was under water? Many A65 engines had a problem with the kick start gear locking up against the pinion gear allowing NO kick start action. Perhaps you should check the kick starter first? Maybe put the trans in gear and see if you can move the engine by rocking the rear wheel forward and back.
I've heard of filling the cylinders with 50/50 fuel/ATF,then lighting the mixture and let it burn. Another alternative is to heat ATF as hot as you can get it.Heat it until it burns,smoother the flame,then let it cool a little.Pour it into the cylinders.If it doesn't free up,do it again.
You can always use hydraulic pressure in the spark plug holes to free it,after you've done the hot ATF treatment.
If none of the above works, after repeated attempts, I can ALWAYS get them loose (triples are harder to free up, but with perseverance they will loosen up) by: leaving the head bolted down, so the combustion chamber is sealed; take an old spark plug and remove the ceramic from it, then drill the plugs metal center through (what ever size zerk you have decides what size bit you want to use). When the hole is drilled, tap it for the zerk thread and screw your zerk in sealing the threads with teflon tape. Then screw the zerk in and tighten it. Take a hand-grease gun lock it on the zerk and start pumping. With singles it usually doesn't take more than a half dozen pumps, and it takes more volume for doubles/triples. It sounds strange maybe, but it works and I have never suffered any negative effects on a motor and have never not been able to free one with this. I do have to say that most were "thumpers". I just wanted to share this, since you all have been so good to me with hard won information! At any rate, here is my two-cents worth; for what it's worth...Tim (Hope this is understandably written.)
I've heard of filling the cylinders with 50/50 fuel/ATF,then lighting the mixture and let it burn.
I actually tried this. And it worked! The bike was a pre-unit Triumph, and after the fire, it came free so easy that I wonder how hard it was really stuck in the first place, but I think it's worth a shot.
Since the pistons are junk now, why not drill a million holes in the tops and break them up in chunks until the rods are free. Then the Cyl can be removed. Years ago my buddy had a '68 TR like this. We beat that poor thing to death, held by the Cylinder, and pounding the pistons with a 32oz hammer on a 1 1/2" bar! You would think the pistons would break...... they did not. In retro, I think we could have weakened them to do so. He ended up cutting the Cylinder in a pie section. Not an easy task!
"acetone and transmission fluid ,,set 2 3 days ,,throw a wrench on the motor nut try back and forth and it will loosen up.. this 63 BSA sat 16 years, ( outside under a trap ),and it work"
I was raised by Machinists who worked at the norfolk navy yard this was thier penatrating oil of choice partly because of thier "frugal " nature and partly because it just flat works warming it with a heat gun after you pour it in speeds things along as well
I'd be very careful about the condition. Look at the condition of the drained oil, signs of abuse, storage in a bad environment - like being stored in a green house for 20 years as my bike was - etc. I got my engine freed up after 20 years of storage but found out later on that one of the big ends was semi-seized, subsequent to pulling the barrels. The PO claimed the bike was running before he parked it in 1991 but if so it was running exceedingly poorly. Point is, with a seized engine you never know what you will find -- but whatever it is, it's usually pretty bad.
Hi Guys and thanks for all your good advice. I've mislaid the chain so haven't been able to put that back on to rock it.
I have soaked it in penertrating oil etc without effect. I've put a heat gun on the barrels without success. Now i'm trying diesel. I might try the heat gun again but don't want to set fire to it as it's over at my (elderly) parents house and they are somewhat intolerant!
I did read somewhere about undoing the nuts on the barrel base, and then applying pressure on the kick start to see if the barrels rise. They did (by a few mm) so i presume that the crank isn't seized. I also put a cane down the plug holes - the pistons are 3 inches + down the barrels.
If i pull the clutch in with pressure on the kick start it quickly goes down (jarring my ankle!). On my jap bikes pulling the clutch in would still allow you to kick the motor over? Whats this all about then?
1. Try a weak acid, such as vinegar (or 10:1 diluted battery acid), in the bores. This works to remove rust from old tools and it may well help break the seal where the rings have stuck to the bore.
2. Try a lot of heat. A simple heat gun probably won't get it hot enough. The principle of 'just get it hotter' worked with my swing-arm pin on a '71 OIF BSA. The thing just popped out when cherry red!
OK, obviously cherry red on barrels isn't practical but get it as hot as it would get when running and you may be in with a chance.