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Lannis,
Whether the bike is restored original or made into an off-road rider, it makes no difference to me. That old bike has always been one of my favorites along with the Victor Special and the Goldstar. Motorcycling (to me) has always been about lightweight machines that could cruise the backroads or take a spin in the dirt. If I had seen that bike, it would have been hard to resist buying it even as I try to reduce the complexity in my life.
Keep us informed on the fate of this jewel.
Mr Mike

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Originally Posted by Mr Mike
Lannis,

Keep us informed on the fate of this jewel.
Mr Mike

Mike - I don't think there's any danger of not being informed...we're on the third page of the thread and just now got it identified!

Just wait till I start turning wrenches... !

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Well, lots has been happening around here, but the dust is settling a bit and I'm coming off of some of my physical limitations, so I'm beginning to wave the fettling irons over my C15S Scrambler project.

I'm handling the cosmetics with vinegar, WD40, and steel wool. All of the chrome is speckled with rust down to the bare steel, but there's nothing structurally wrong with any of the metal, and if you stand 10 feet away it just looks a little dim after the acid-and-WD40 treatment, not horribly rusty.

So I'm concentrating on functionality. The cable vendor says that if I send my old cables in, they'll make up ones to match them. The front brake cable didn't have any adjustment screws at the lever or at the brake; there was just one of those aftermarket "clamp on " things where you loop the cable around it and tighten a bolt, so I'll have to sort that out. I have some spare new levers that I've gotten at swap meets over the years, so they'll work.

Someone in the past had taken the stock fender off (which bolts with two bolts on the fork legs on each side) and attached (brazed) a mount for a high fender at the bottom of the steering stem. It actually looks like it would work pretty well, so I'll clean that up and bolt a pair of mud flaps to it (the holes are already there). If I ever come across a stock fender I may bolt it back on, but I like the high clearance with this one.

Everything has come apart pretty easily, which shocked and pleased me for a 60-year-old dirt bike. The bearing retainers and clips for the front hub came out just fine, and the bearings themselves actually feel very good, no play or runout or rough spots. I may just hose them out with WD40, pack them full of grease, and go with them. The front fork top cap bolts came out fine, and the forks released from their tapers in the steering head with a few sharp whacks with a brass lump hammer. RF Whately's fork tools came in handy there from the tool set that I got last year when he retired ...

The forks tubes are straight, slide easily and have no play or runout, so the bushings are fine. I need to get a strap wrench to release the seal holders - they've got nothing to grab with any of the special tools. The forks are still full of oil, and there's only a little water in there, so I may run a Seal Doctor around the seals and let 'em go. They're not hard to get to later.

One thing I would like to see if any of the panel has in their parts boxes is a pair of Headlight Mounting Ears for a C15S. They're missing off of this, and the PO made up a headlight mount out of flat strap steel, which works but I'd rather have the ears while I've got the fork apart. Besides looking better, the ears also provide a spot for the fork gaiters to mount at the top - otherwise, they're just flapping open, or clamped to the spring, which doesn't seal anything. Any ideas for a source for these?

Thanks!

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Seal holder could be the type that have the notches inside???? The tool is a round cylinder with a T handle and there are two small “tabs” on the cylinder opposite of the T handle.

I have lots of headlight mounts……but have no clue what front end you have.

Pretty much all my stuff is for the duplex frame…..not the gooseneck. I don’t know if they interchange?

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 12/27/22 8:27 pm.

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Originally Posted by Lannis
......... I need to get a strap wrench to release the seal holders - they've got nothing to grab with any of the special tools. The forks are still full of oil, and there's only a little water in there, so I may run a Seal Doctor around the seals and let 'em go. .......
Don't use a strap wrench. It is too easy to crush the thin part of the seal holder. I've done it myself.

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Seal holder could be the type that have the notches inside???? The tool is a round cylinder with a T handle and there are two small “tabs” on the cylinder opposite of the T handle......
This is true. Old BSA forks take a special tool. Best to make, borrow or buy one.

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[Linked Image]

Maybe this one....or something like it???

I'd have to do some research on fork ears.....Mine go back to 64-65??? But mostly 67-70.

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
[Linked Image]

Maybe this one....or something like it???

I'd have to do some research on fork ears.....Mine go back to 64-65??? But mostly 67-70.

FWIW
I have found that when using that tool it is very hard to keep sufficient downward pressure on it to prevent it jumping out of the slots damaging either the slots or the tool
However if you invert the whole shebang ( drain the oil first or it gets very messy ) , stand on the arms of the tool an use either the actual axel or a dummy bar through the axel hole it works a whole lot better


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Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
Originally Posted by Lannis
......... I need to get a strap wrench to release the seal holders - they've got nothing to grab with any of the special tools. The forks are still full of oil, and there's only a little water in there, so I may run a Seal Doctor around the seals and let 'em go. .......
Don't use a strap wrench. It is too easy to crush the thin part of the seal holder. I've done it myself.

Excellent and perceptive observation, that. But I didn't read it until I got back from the store with a nice new strap wrench and crushed the thin part of the seal holder.

Now I've got a bit of handwork to do while I consider where to get the proper tool.....!

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I had this tool ( the one pictured) NOT fit a set of BSA unit single seal holders. It was a couple of decades back but the tool was new and purchased to do front end rebuilds. The tool wouldn’t fit (diameter too large to fit inside the holder). I don’t remember which holders it wouldn’t fit but I do remember completely destroying the holders getting them off.

Probably back when I was stripping down parts to put on the shelf?

Just saying to double check if you end up buying the tool sight unseen. Pretty disappointing to wait for a new correct tool and then find out it doesn’t fit.

That said……I’ve done other BSA unit single fork rebuilds using this tool….so I know it does fit some seal holders.

You’re going to need another tool to make the task easier…….I’ll take pics of that tonight. Don Roe had borrowed mine and just returned them…..good timing.

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I have never had much luck with a strap wrench.

Ed from NJ

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I could have sworn I typed a reply to this thread…..oh well

For the BSA tool to remove/install seal holders….I had fits getting mine to work well, finally took a triangular file and carefully cut a taper on each tang. It isn’t a lot, but when you twist the tool in either direction, the taper draws the tangs onto the slot. Big improvement.

Lannis - I have 2 set of new fork sleeves with ears. These are the style that are full length and don’t require gaiters that are gonna crack and fail. I am reasonably certain one set is for B40 Enduro/ early B44. The other set…I have no clue. Measure between the underside of the top triple clamp and top of lower triple clamp and I will see if either will fit. Probably measure OD of the seal holder as well. If either set will work, I can bring them to York and we can make a deal.


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That BSA Unit Single "Front End" rabbit hole has sucked me in a BUNCH of times. I read and compare......figure out what I need.

Then completely forget all the details.....in a week or so.

Lightweight, heavyweight, C15, B40, rod damper, shuttle.

Headlight brackets.......1959-1972 there were several......and some came in both short and long versions. (Rupert's Everything But....)

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Thanks, guys, for helping with this job, as I try to figure out how yet one more BSA model is put together, finding one more set of manuals, getting one more set of special tools, figuring out exactly what parts fit this model..

I got the seal holders off by methods which do me no real credit and with which methods I will not disappoint or disgust readers of this forum. However, they are in no worse shape than when I started, and they will still function if I can find no better ones. I AM going to replace the seals, but the bushings feel like they are in excellent nick so this is as far as fork leg disassembly will go.

I've taken a notion that I want to put gaitors back on it for that Scrambler look, so will measure tomorrow and get the relevant dimensions.

Tomorrow is take the steering head off;. I was hoping that the action would be smoother but it's very notchy, so new races are probably in order. I hope they just tap out with a long drift?

Bedtime!

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Originally Posted by Lannis
......new races are probably in order. I hope they just tap out with a long drift? .....
Hopefully they do drift out because.....

Depending on how hard it was ridden, the races may just fall out, which means the housings are beaten out and new races won't be a tight fit.

There are several ways to deal with this.

Heat and blacksmith work to reshape frame around a steel plug slightly undersize of a new race.

Shims a la magneto insulcups.

JB weld.

Be very careful to not notice it ie: Just ignore it.

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Lannis……gaitors/gaiters are better now than they were a few years back.

Last set I got from Peter Quick have been crack/split free for 4 years now. Before that the new ones would split in less than a year.

I probably have a set of headlight ears you can use because I “ think” after looking at your photos closely I know what forks you have.

I’m just not familiar with Goose Neck bikes.

There is another fork tool……I homemade mine but a BFH might work? They’re the kind of tools you don’t need very often….like my empty set of cases with a window cut in them so you can view the tranny bits in place. Those type of tools are the ones I don’t mind loaning out. I mean, how often do you plan on taking that front end apart?

I’ve rebuilt “most” my bikes front ends and until I have time to start another project ( not planning that any time soon) those tools will just sit in the tool box unused.

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Rupert Ratio single manual volume 3. Theres even a picture of yours on the front cover. Should be energy transfer as the trials bike.The distributer has a five degree advance. normal road bike 12 or 15 degrees. hope this helps

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
[Linked Image]........
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I had this tool ( the one pictured) NOT fit a set of BSA unit single seal holders. .........
Gordon, and anyone else that's interested, I think I just learned why that tool of yours might not always fit.

I'm piecing together a set of forks for an A10 basket case I never should have bought and just had a good look at my selection of various seal holders including a reproduction one. It turns out the ID of the spring end on the repop is quite a bit smaller and my home made tool from years ago won't fit in it. The other odd thing is the seal housing measures larger than an oem one even though it screws on the slider nicely.

SO that may be an answer but also, for anyone rebuilding these forks, you might be better off with original seal holders if at all possible. But then, we probably already knew that.

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[Linked Image]........[/quote]
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I had this tool ( the one pictured) NOT fit a set of BSA unit single seal holders. .........
Gordon, and anyone else that's interested, I think I just learned why that tool of yours might not always fit.

I'm piecing together a set of forks for an A10 basket case I never should have bought and just had a good look at my selection of various seal holders including a reproduction one. It turns out the ID of the spring end on the repop is quite a bit smaller and my home made tool from years ago won't fit in it. The other odd thing is the seal housing measures larger than an oem one even though it screws on the slider nicely.

SO that may be an answer but also, for anyone rebuilding these forks, you might be better off with original seal holders if at all possible. But then, we probably already knew that.
[/quote]

Thank you Stuart........I don't remember what exactly I was working on back then. I do remember waiting for that tool to arrive only to have it NOT fit into the seal holder I was working on. BUT.......that tool has done a half dozen other unit single front ends since then. At the time, I was thinking there must be "another" tool I didn't have but couldn't find it mentioned anywhere.

[Linked Image]

Here's my other front end tools......home made and kinda rough but they get the job done. Made from top nuts (threads) with the heads cut off.

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
......other front end tools......home made and kinda rough.....
Right on. I'm not sure how one would assemble a BSA front end with oem headlight ears if he didn't have those tools.

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Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
......other front end tools......home made and kinda rough.....
Right on. I'm not sure how one would assemble a BSA front end with oem headlight ears if he didn't have those tools.

Got 'em, they're the same tools I use on my '69 Firebird Scrambler.

I got the seal holders unscrewed off the sliders, now I'm trying to figure out two things:

1) I don't plan to replace the fork bushings, as everything is tight and straight, so I was hoping I would not have to disassemble the forks any further. However, on this bike, the fork tube has about a .060" increase in diameter from the area where the seals run to the top of the fork. Since the old seals were shot anyway, I went ahead and pulled them and the seal holder up over the top of the fork, but the increase in diameter made it a hard pull and I'm afraid that trying to push new seals on that way would ruin them.

On my Guzzis with similar issues, I wrapped the fork tube with a single layer of Saran Wrap clingfilm, oiled it, and the new seals went on with some convincing but without damage. Will that work on this fork, or must I disassemble the fork tube from the slider in order to put the seal on from the other direction?

2) Is a special tool necessary to remove the seal from the seal holder, and install the new one?

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Originally Posted by Lannis
......on this bike, the fork tube has about a .060" increase in diameter from the area where the seals run to the top of the fork. Since the old seals were shot anyway, I went ahead and pulled them and the seal holder up over the top of the fork, but the increase in diameter made it a hard pull and I'm afraid that trying to push new seals on that way would ruin them.........
I'd be worried about ruining the seal too. the upper surface of the tube is rough and could tear up the new seal. Probably better to disassemble the forks. If you do, mark the parts so they can be reassembled in the same orientation for smoother operation.


Originally Posted by Lannis
......2) Is a special tool necessary to remove the seal from the seal holder, and install the new one?....
Not really. For disassembly a wide blade screwdriver or a chisel with a flat end applied alternately in the notches works fine. It's a lot like knocking out a wheel bearing race but more delicate.

Installing however is much easier with an accurately sized driver and a press. The threads grab the edges of the seal if it cocks even the slightest bit so you have to guard against that.

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All right, Service Bulletin 426(A) "Competition Forks" is the right one.

Got the forks apart, not hard once you have the service bulletin and the above advice to go with it.

[Linked Image]

Internals are lovely, bushings tight, just needs new fork seals after all these years.

Now working on the front wheel.

Big nut off, brake plate/shoes out ... shoes and drum look good, just a little handwork and adjustment and they should be fine. Bearing retainer ring off (I actually have the right pin wrench) ...

[Linked Image]

Now the manual says "Drive out the R/H or brake side bearing by striking the L/H side of the spindle with a copper hammer."

[Linked Image]

This doesn't look very inviting, first of all because I tried everything to get this black dust cover off and it wouldn't move, and secondly, if I hit the end of the axle, it's going to put pressure on the inner race, and I don't typically drive bearings out by the inner race. Doesn't matter in this case, since I'm replacing them with new bearings, but .... should I go ahead and whale away on the axle?

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Originally Posted by Lannis
......but .... should I go ahead and whale away on the axle?......
Methinks I have a dim memory of my dear old mom once promising to "beat the whaley" out of me for something I may or may not have done. Not sure if this applies or why I even mention it.

But I suppose trying a judicious tap on each end with a HEAVY copper hammer would be a good start. It might move more easily in one direction than the other. Not much else you can do without a big press. Maybe heat up the brake drum side of the hub first?

And "Whaley away."

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The copper hammer judiciously applied was just the thing.

Definitely needs new bearings, maybe the vendors have new dust covers and seal holders too, although the old ones will work.

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Glad to hear you got the RH bearing out by beating the LH axle with a copper mallet or similar.

The left side bearing should come out after the removal of the retaining circlip and use of a suitable size drift from the RH side.

The cover plate on the LH side is usually sort of crimped over the edges of the hub, so you have to lever it off carefully.

I would swap the bearings for fully sealed types which are maintenance-free.

I had a C15SS way back in the late 1970s and learned a lot about these bikes, I now have a 1968 B44 Shooting Star and the design is essentially the same.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
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