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#895368 11/14/22 5:20 pm
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Who in the US does the a65 end feed conversion? Please and thank you

Last edited by grumps65; 11/14/22 5:29 pm.
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I need to know that, too.

The late Irwin "Smitty" Smith in Rock Island, Illinois, used to do them, as he was a BSA dealer who raced A50s and A65s.

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How about Ed V?

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Yep, try EV Engineering in Michigan
https://www.shopevengineering.com/services

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Frank Diehl at Classic Cycle Works in Georgetown, SC may still offer this service.

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I'm curious as to why this is necessary. I don't mean to sound like an a**, I'm genuinely curious. I understand the advantages and, obviously, it's a better setup for the long run. But I'm fairly certain a well-maintained bush (i.e., regular oil changes, street-driven bike, etc) should last 30k miles easy, no? And I would guess most 50+ year old bikes might see, maybe, 7k miles before changing hands or being parked.

Am I wrong there? Are you guys riding way more than that? Racing? Or does it increase resale value that much more? (not being facetious, I honestly don't know the answer)

On a restored or rebuilt bike (not hugely altered) my money goes towards reliability (carbs, charging/electrical, ignition) to make sure I have a usable bike when I need it. Granted, I have three bikes (plus other toys) and live in New England so each one is lucky to see 1000 miles per year and, usually, in short 100-mile rides.

Are there other benefits that makes this worthwhile that I'm missing?

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The bush is within specs design wise but right at the edge and so marginal. They can last a very long time but if something else affecting oil flow is off then the bush suffers and the clearances open up, oil pressure is lost and the big ends start to suffer.

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Originally Posted by MarcB
I'm curious as to why this is necessary. I don't mean to sound like an a**, I'm genuinely curious. I understand the advantages and, obviously, it's a better setup for the long run. But I'm fairly certain a well-maintained bush (i.e., regular oil changes, street-driven bike, etc) should last 30k miles easy, no? And I would guess most 50+ year old bikes might see, maybe, 7k miles before changing hands or being parked.

Am I wrong there? Are you guys riding way more than that? Racing? Or does it increase resale value that much more? (not being facetious, I honestly don't know the answer)

On a restored or rebuilt bike (not hugely altered) my money goes towards reliability (carbs, charging/electrical, ignition) to make sure I have a usable bike when I need it. Granted, I have three bikes (plus other toys) and live in New England so each one is lucky to see 1000 miles per year and, usually, in short 100-mile rides.

Are there other benefits that makes this worthwhile that I'm missing?

I bought my bike in 1982 specifically because it had/has an end fed conversion. I still have it, its a great riders machine , in the last 5 years its done around 17K miles.I use it for shopping, touring and such.
Devimead who used to market the conversion in the UK, claimed the following benefits, smoother, cooler, less friction claiming an actual HP bonus through reduced friction, and the possibility to reclaim a crank that was past the last regrind size "dont scrap that crank". IME the main benefit is psychological, when I cane the motor I dont worry about the drive side rod letting go. Now its near impossible to find OEM quality TS bushes the conversion makes even more sense. In theory the TS bush is adequate, in practice not so true, of course some riders have zero issues with it, on the other hand Companies like SRM and Ed V make good money doing the conversion because it is better than the original bush. Sure if the oil is kept clean it should last OK, on the other hand if the converted crank gets the same clean oil it will last longer than a bushed crank.
The biggest advantage is that hopping the motor up to 732CC with a big bore kit and an end fed crank makes for a far gruntier and smoother motor.

I understand that its not a cheap conversion, but once the money is spent its a better bike


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
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The timing side bush / oil feed set-up is an out-of-date leftover from the low horsepower 500cc twin in 1946.
It was never meant to take the abuse the later, higher horsepower, greater torque A65 engines were doing to it.

The BSA engineers refused to believe it was out-dated. OR, they knew it, but upper management was too "thrifty" (read CHEAP) to re-engineer it.

Note that the Triumph 500 unit twins used this same set-up until 1958, when the end-feed "quill" system was finally incorporated into those models.
If BSA wanted to stay with the old system, the least they could do would be to add an external oil filter to it.

But, they didn't.

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Irish, I realize 58 is a typo, but I believe the end feed came in 69?
Anyway, I agree that the A65 plain bearing set-up is marginal, it doesn't take much to overcome it. It needs a good oil pump, a perfectly made and aligned bearing, correct shimming, an OPRV that doesn't leak, a decent oil and filtering system, a plugged DS rod bleed hole, and last but not least a sympathetic owner who lets the engine spin freely! IMHO of course.

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Ok, so just how much does this conversion cost (ballpark figure)?

And one other question, since I've never seen one: Does it require changes to the inner and/or outer timing covers to provide clearance for the "quill"?

Last edited by Mark Z; 11/16/22 1:21 am.

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Thanks for the responses...to answer a couple questions...why? Because it's want I want..there's no question its the best solution to issues that have plagued the a65 IMO...2 # I already have a billet crank, end feed ready, a cam, a PVL ignition, a BNR belt drive, a cast iron oil pump, billet rods a, good pistons & a head that's a good as its gonna get, or that my guy's can make it...ect ect...a close friend is having Ed V build his a65 damn near exactly the same way, damn near identical parts but Ed,
as I understand it is busy, and probably can't get to my project for a long time...I've had my Parts for many years and its time to s#!it or get off the pot...why am I building this, why spend the $$$...it's what I want...my buddy and I are old hot hot rodders, grew up on Triumphs and BSA's with an occasional HD for grins...the latest $ number I've heard is $700.00 for the end feed conversion...I'm close to doing the conversion myself, not because of the cost...I have access to a honest bridgeport & lathe & tig welder ( I'm an old welder ) worked in the aerospace industry ect, I've just been screwing around for a vary long time ( 8 years). Long enough, it's time...
My frame is a dry frame, my buds is a oif...anyways was just asking if there was anyone in the states who knew exactly what they are doing with an a65 conversion...I'm sure there are, but they aren't talking...can't really say I blame them...
thanks again for the response...I'm sure either myself and or my buddy will have questions at a later date...thanks again

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The fact that there are thousands of A50/65's still running on the bush bette than 50 years latter is testiment that the standard set up can work reliably for a long time on a bike that is not thrashed mecrilessly & maintained properly.
Down side is "maintained properly"
BSA recommends a bottom end job every 30,000 miles at which time the bush is checked, end float is adjusted and slippers replaced .
For the average weekend warriour that is more then enough
Clean out the sludge trap, fit an external oil filter and you can nearly triple that service interval .
The big problem was reluctance to change the oil and a bigger reluctance to clean out the sludge trap and as previously mentioned , abuse the bush and you are looking for trouble .
It is a very expensive job and down here at least there were quite a few questionable end feed conversions done resulting in grenading engines .
here are few different conversions being done and most require welding the cases then machining the weld
Welding 50 year old sand cast alloy is fraught with problems unless the welder is experienced in recovery welding on anchient castings .
The other way is external plumbing which has it's own problems


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Originally Posted by Doug P
Frank Diehl at Classic Cycle Works in Georgetown, SC may still offer this service.

Frank was still doing conversions as of last Spring (2022).
Ed at EV Engineering is probably the #1 choice and thus the long wait time (pretty busy guy)
but Frank is certainly another option the last I knew.

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If you have a mill and a lathe and can use them, the job is straightforward.
I will not have the inner covers welded.There is no need.
When and if it's done, there is no requirement for a better oil pump as 30%+ of
it's required duty are removed and inverting the feed inner seal is a real possibility.
I have raced and ridden with the standard setup and converted ones both for
a very long time.
If your crank and/or bush is clapped, fitting a needle setup is probably a similar
cost especially if you have the machine tools.

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Both the bush or the end feed are good setups - if done properly... Thats the key thing.

I have know people doing over 20k and still going with the SRM supplied bush, I am doing a friends motor at the moment which has the same, my 823cc also has the bush!

I don't think there is much cost wise if the work is farm'ed out to a GOOD engineering company. I equally like the end feed job, but those that I trust to do the work are often busy and if I am doing a motor which requires a quick turn around then I will see who can do the job quicker...

The nice thing about end feed (my 68 lightning done with this) is if in time you wish to change the TS bearing, you can do without having to send it back to an engineering firm.

Providing the big ends aren't shot then there is always an option available to you.

Grumps:... Before you get too carried away with your end fed ready crank, just check that the big ends (if they have had a grind) have been ground properly with the radius intact! The 68 Lightning of mine was a devimead job and that had the radius's ground away, (not sure who ground it, can only presume devimead). It put the crank at increased risk of cracking which for me (even though I ran it for 4k miles) made me decide I did not want to use it anymore when I found out.


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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Rod journals can be hardface welded and reground to original. Would recommend that anyway to reduce wear.
Instead of the needle/ball bearing for the timing side you could use a TAFI324720 and either a ball bearing outboard of the engine sprocket or a guide ring on the drive side roller to locate the crank.
One way to pick up the oil feed is to drill into the OPRV drilling.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
A tube set in that hole with a square O-ring goes through the inner timing cover here:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Then a bridge piece is made to route the oil to the top hat in the inner cover to the end of the crank.

Looking again at the options, if a new pump body is made with a post off the feed side stud of the pump goes up the the inner cover here:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Then the bridge piece connecting the crank end feed would be shorter, plus there would be no need to drill through the case to the OPRV feed.
An inner cover is cheaper to replace than an engine case is someone wanted to go back to stock.

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Last edited by NickL; 11/17/22 12:19 am.
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Exactly, although I would machine an aluminum block instead of building it up from pieces.
Of course, a larger capacity pump would solve the problem also without all the machining/fabrication.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by DMadigan; 11/17/22 3:38 pm.
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


I’d have done that differently.


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That was not a cut at Nick. Back in the day I might have done the same. But now I have the machines and tools to do it differently.

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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


I’d have done that differently.

So would I. It was changed when the cross member was cut out some time ago.
I have told the guys it has removed some strength but as yet, it's stayed the same.

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The most important part of running a bush timing side bearing is having
an oil filter and ensuring the relief valve is not bypassing all the time.
All the big sidecar racers in the uk who won dozens of championships
over about 12 years running a65/a70's all ran bush type timing side
setups. The standard arrangement is fine if the oil supply is clean and good.

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