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might as well take the whole thing apart and start from square one do one piece at a time allow several thousand bucks and many months of work it will be fun!! here before and after of my bitsa rig

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]anthropology careers and salaries
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Last edited by raf940; 08/26/19 11:17 pm.

1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1949 Ferguson TE20 tractor
1975 yamaha xs650b
1971 SL 175 Honda project
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Wow Psychopasta, how did the first picture look so good? Yeah, like Raf said, you're looking at a bit by bit resto...

Condensers: Someone used a 3-pack off a Trident or a Rocket 3. Note only two are connected.

So it's not a 2-into-1 exhaust. The stock header pipes also just push into the head, but they are secured by the frame mounts and either a cross-brace, or a crossover pipe on later models. In lieu of these supports, the springs are required to hold the pipes in place. This is a common racing adaptation.

'67 models had the serial number on the gusset around the headstock, left side.










Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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what MarkZ said is pretty much what I thought (about how did 1st pic look so good)

when I first saw it I thought ........wow that tank looks good but on 2nd batch of pics now I see

Its a full tear down job for sure ........you can guarantee all the seals will be gone and going by the amount of rust on nuts ect all the motor internals wont be so good either ........good start point for a restoration however

what you need to decide before you start is what sort of standard you want to finish it to ........a parts books restoration would be a money pit........everything re-plated ect will add up fast.......but hey its a good bike worth doing to what ever standard you decide.


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That frame doesn't appear to match the motor. That's a set of 69-and-up cases, based on the shifting mechanism in the timing cover and the oil pressure fitting in the front. If it's a Y bike then it's a 1970 motor. It's possible it was put in a 67 frame because of the A65LA VIN confusion, and the vin rubbed (or filed) off to hide the mismatched numbers.

In any case, a lot of work ahead for you.

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Very nice raf! How does she go and handle now?

Last edited by Psychopasta; 08/27/19 3:29 am.
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Yep, I think the chances of change the fluids and fire her up are pretty slim. Here's a bit more:

Closeup of the exhaust going into the cylinder head:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Spring removed:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Remove this one bolt:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Off it comes! One spring, one bolt:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

same on the other side, of course. Peek-a-boo:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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By the fact there is no raised pad on the left hand front engine lug I would say the frames a 65/66 (65 frame number on headstock, 66 frame number on engine lug. From 67 the pig had a squared off section for stamping on)

Motor looks like 69, got all the later features but with 5/16 barrel studs, some ones fitted a later outer timing cover on there.

Still it’s all a very good start for a project.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Thanks Allen. I'm pleased with it, and am looking forward to getting started. I bought it as-is, from a previous owner who didn't know much more about it than I did. My goal is to turn it into a nice little runner, but not a concours or period-correct thing.

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Best way to be, if you have something a little more unique or special then it’s nice to keep it stock but it’s always much more fun to make it as something which suits you, you’ll also get more pleasure from it that way.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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So here's my current thinking on the Lightning project.

My goal is the minimum restore, get her running and roadworthy. To that end, and in no particular order:

1. Top end service, check valve clearance and give it a general once over. I don't want to ask any questions I might not like the answer to, so I won't strip the engine down right now. I'll swap out the valve springs in any case, but won't go further than I obviously need to when the head's open.

My only uncertainly is the oil pump. I'm OCD about oil, and am thinking about the SRM oil pump. Can I install that with the engine still in the frame?

2. Wiring. I have zero confidence in 52 year old wiring, so I'm going to rewire it. I'll also make it 12V negative earth like the good Lord intended, and fit electronic ignition. I'm leaning towards Pazon but would be open to advice and experience from the forum.I'll need to add indicators cos I don't like not having them, and rebuild the headlamp shell and idiot light. Rather tha upgrade the alternator I'll use LED bulbs to minimize the draw from the system

3. I'm going to rebuild the front forks, just so I know what I've got. The forks are Betor units, and I don't know much about them so I want to have a good look and see what I've got.

4. I'll also rebuild both brakes and just see what condition the wheels are in. I'll swap out bearings as a matter of course.

5. The frame is in good shape, and doesn't need repainting, so I'll restrict myself to pulling the swing arm and changing the bearings.

6. New Hagon Shocks, new tires, new exhaust, new handlebars.

7. General clean up and paint with VHT Gloss epoxy paint.

Any thoughts, experiences, suggestions?

Last edited by Psychopasta; 09/05/19 9:18 pm.
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That one port (drive side?) looks like it has a look of oil in it. Maybe a badly leaking exhaust guide?


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


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Maybe you'll get lucky and get one of the later iron oil pumps. Said to be better. Informative post here by CBS:
https://www.classicbritishspares.com/blogs/news/the-bsa-a65-oil-pump-journal-1962-1972
I bought a '67 BSA A65 Lightning on Ebay and while it looks nice and the price was good, the motor had no pistons, clutch, alternator, oil pump.
All stuff that is inside and one can't tell they weren't there! That's my next project.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Nick H; 09/05/19 10:05 pm.

1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
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1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
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@Htown, yeah, the top end may need some work. @Nick H, yes the bike looks great but I didn't realize the engine cases were hollow...

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Before I spent the money on an SRM pump, I'd try to gauge the amount of wear on the timing side bush. Mike Brown shows how to in this book.
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Bud...567726469&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


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gota say Psy you have a seriously good camera..........superb close up detail


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htown #783559 09/06/19 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by htown
Before I spent the money on an SRM pump, I'd try to gauge the amount of wear on the timing side bush. Mike Brown shows how to in this book.
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Bud...567726469&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0


+1.

A complete waste of money if the bush is worn.
If you can get bigger than a 1.5-2 thou feeler in the bush/journal then a new bush is needed.
Stick a return line oil filter on it as a matter of course.
Chances are the existing pump would be ok if rebuilt properly.

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Good point, thanks

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Sounds a bit backwards approach to me. What good is a bike with new valve springs (?!?) and great brakes, suspension, tires, electrical, and wheel bearings if the motor is shot? The amount of oil in the exhaust port is way too much to be a simple leaky exhaust guide. That sticky stuff has actually been through the combustion chamber. Note that the pressure in the exhaust chamber is up and out so any oil getting pulled in would be in the pipes, not around the valve.

At a minimum, pull the head and primary cover. If it were me, I'd also pull the barrels to check rings and big-end play, and re-ring if within specs. Check the state of the mechanical bits, like pistons/cylinders, valves, bearing/bush. The biggest unknown on these bikes tends to be the sludge trap, and that can't be checked without a full teardown, so you'll be taking a chance regardless.

If it isn't too bad, fix the minimum needed to fire it up and listen for weird noises. Keep in mind that any the motor may have sat for a long time and may have debris just waiting for heat and fresh detergent oil to break free and cause havoc. Once you have a working motor, now's the time to build a bike around it.

Lastly, the right-side case is definitely 69-and-up. I haven't seen a good picture of the primary side to know if it's matching. If the engine is a A65LA with a Y in the VIN, it's not a '67. There were a ton of changes that happened to the engine cases between 1968 and 1970, including different threads on the hardware and different sized studs. You don't have a VIN on the frame... do you have a title for this? Don't go too far before you know if this thing is legal.

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Originally Posted by Psychopasta
So here's my current thinking on the Lightning project.

My goal is the minimum restore, get her running and roadworthy. To that end, and in no particular order:

1. Top end service, check valve clearance and give it a general once over. I don't want to ask any questions I might not like the answer to, so I won't strip the engine down right now. I'll swap out the valve springs in any case, but won't go further than I obviously need to when the head's open.

My only uncertainly is the oil pump. I'm OCD about oil, and am thinking about the SRM oil pump. Can I install that with the engine still in the frame?

2. Wiring. I have zero confidence in 52 year old wiring, so I'm going to rewire it. I'll also make it 12V negative earth like the good Lord intended, and fit electronic ignition. I'm leaning towards Pazon but would be open to advice and experience from the forum.I'll need to add indicators cos I don't like not having them, and rebuild the headlamp shell and idiot light. Rather tha upgrade the alternator I'll use LED
>
Any thoughts, experiences, suggestions?


Mhm, I expect a hard working A65 engine without a proper oil filter to be worn down and your engine looks like it is.
It needs proper rebuild if you want to have a reliable bike in a future. Stock or old pattern parts don't have a very long life in those engines, exhaust valves and guides were normally done after 2 seasons, I believe they will be done after a season of track racing.
The head needs higher quality valves and guides ( Kibblewhite in a US ), I'm pretty sure your timing bush and con rod's shells need replacing as well.
I'm curious about a head in this bike, is it a small port or later big port head?
Small port is worth to have, here have it works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UEJ-4I_QnQ

Additional full flow engine oil filter is a must to protect your investment in a bike, but I don't agree with not upgrading an alternator, when prices of 1 phase and 3 phase stators are the same. You need only a new stator and regulator / rectifier which you would need with 1 phase alternator anyway. Pazon for ignition is OK, I don't think your Betor front end needs anything but changing oil.

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. The comment about valve springs was that the bike has sat for 20 years, and so one of the springs has been under compression all that time. It's generally accepted that valve springs are consumables to be renewed with the barn find class. All I meant was, I expect to replace those, the rest is wait and see.

Most of the earlier advice I got was to do a minimum of work until the bike is rideable, but as time has gone on the majority opinion seems to be that a full engine teardown is needed :-) I suspect that when I do open the engine up, one thing will lead to another ohno

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Ah, British bikes...they put the side stand on the left, and the oil tank drain hole on the side at the right, so you have to lean the bike over and hold it the other way to the side stand in order to get all the oil out. Love it.

That gripe aside, the 'filter', if I can call it that looked fairly clean:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and it was time to get the bike up on the ramp. It doesn't have a center stand, so I just used a scissor jack at the rear of the frame, plus a wheel chock and some tie-downs to keep it all solid:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here's a better close-up of the oily port:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and the dry one:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Current plan is get the top off and have a good look, then get the barrels off and have a good look, and then get the rest of the engine out of the frame for rebuilding. Stay tuned!

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Wife was out with her boozy mates tonight so I got a little Bitsa time. Took off the air filters and carbs:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

On the RHS the bolts were so tight that the stud unscrewed from the cylinder head instead:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Red loctite on the carb mounting bolts:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

LHS one came off without any trouble but I noticed its tickler is gone:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and the throttle cable has corroded solidly into the carb slide:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Soaked it in WD40 and left it for another day.

Sump plate came off:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and judging from the sheer volume of oil, I'd say it was wet-sumping. Seriously, more came out the sump than the tank! Filter looked OK, as did the oil itself:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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With the sump plate off you can get a crude indication of crank end float by prying the flywheel left / right, better still if you put a clock gauge on the crank end, primary side is easiest at this stage. The seized carb stud is a crude piece of screwed rod, the carb end should have a finer thread.


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Good point Gavin, I'll try that soon

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So today was mainly about removing all the stuff so I can get clear access to the engine. My plan now is to do a full rebuild of the motor, so it has to come out of the frame, and a bunch of stuff has to move to allow that. The good news is that soaking the bike in WD40 when I first got it, and a few more times since, seems to have worked well, and I had no problems with undoing any bolts. Yet.

Anyway, off with all this:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Mr. Frodo! Thaat's a left-'anded Whitworth right there!
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
and off with this:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Lets the whole brake chain come off as a piece. Interestingly, there seems to be no bolt for this to screw into, and it seems to have been held in place by the rust. Held quite well, I might add.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Then another left'aanded Whitworth:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Removing the clutch inspection cover revealed some fine swarf-like material
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Urgh. With the footpeg off, I could see a crack in the sidecover that had been masked by the footpeg:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
The bigger ding I could see before, and I'm OK with, but I don't like the crack. Getting the cover off shows it's been supported from the rear by some JB Weld or similar:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Would welcome opinions on whether this is serviceable or scrap.

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