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Old 10-09-2019, 09:26 PM   #1
MikeJustice55
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Default 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

I picked up a 1966 bsa roller with complete engine for $450 at a swap meet about 8 years ago, lost interest and gave it to my dad then decided to build something again so i got it back from him. Heres the plan.... do as much work as possible solo and reuse as many parts as possible to keep this thing CHEAP. I work at a machine shop so i will be making what I can and have good painting skills so we will see how this goes.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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If you are doing a budget engine rebuild what would you consider essential parts to replace? (For example when i rebuild hot rod cars I always replace oil pump, timing chain and clean or replace carb)
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

You work at a machine shop and can paint... I'm strapped in!
I always pull the carb and inspect then clean it good. Anything like a gasket that I disturb also gets inspected and judge its fitness for reuse. Pix will go a long way on this board!
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

Love the Brit bikes! I've rebuilt/ restored dozens of BSA machines. they are my bread and butter! Doing the work yourself is the best way to keep costs down. You might be able to get away with just doing a compression test, priming the oil pump and draining the crankcase (it's probably wet sumped since it's been sitting so long), then cleaning the carb(s) and fitting a new battery. I've seen some people get lucky with these old machines, but the trouble is they don't know what sort of state the engine internals are in and never really build any sort of trust in the machine. Since you don't know what you're starting with, my advice is to do a rebuild of the engine...clean the sludge trap, check the journals to see if you need a regrind. Check out the timing side bushing; if it is worn replace it along with the drive side bearing. Replace the con rod bearing shells...check the bore to see if it is reusable, if it is the old pistons will probably still cut the mustard, if not, then its a rebore with new pistons and rings. Check the ignition system...I prefer the stock Lucas points and coil myself, but make sure the timing advance isn't worn...this should be easy for a fellow machinist to repair if necessary. Check the valve guides for wear and replace them if necessary. You may get away with using the old carbs, but I doubt it will work like it should...replacing them is your best bet. Check your transmission bearings...if they turn smoothly, they are probably good for continued use. BSA made a good, reliable machine, trying to 'improve' on them usually does not have the desired results...avoid "bells and whistles".....Oh yeah, IM IN, so keep us posted please!...and pictures, we need pictures!
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:18 PM   #5
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Alright so i forgot to take pics before disassemble but i have had a bad experience with a "freshen it up and run it job". The sludge trap killed a triumph motor for me so we are going full disassembly to clean the sludge trap first. Using a press to keep some downward pressure on the sludge plug with a punch i ground down to a flat for the plug. Adjustable wrench on the punch with a 24" cheater bar broke it loose with a litte heat. (Not the hardest one ive dealt with but pretty bad)
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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Contents of sludge trap. I knew it would be bad when using air to blow through the oil ports in the crank. I could tell it was clogged fairly badly
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:34 PM   #7
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Heres a pic of my fav build ive done previously. Everything from engine disassembly, assembly, paint, welding and fab was all done by me. This was a 1972 I picked up for $600 as a roller project. Finished up i had a total of $2700 in it. And traded it to a dealership in Fort Lauderdale for a Buell 1125R that was street legal with after market parts and tuning for track days. It scared the shit out of me so i sold it. (Thats my wife btw so keep it classy gents)
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

I'm with Goldy.

Engine rebuild is a must or all your efforts may turn out to be in vain.

You can do most of it yourself guided by reference materials online and help in forums such as this.

I'd advise getting a shop/professional to do these parts for you:

- Build your crank assembly. Making sure rod journals are good, bearing fits correct, and rods are in good shape

- Install the crank assembly in cases. Making sure crank end float and timing bushing fit is correct


As for improvements you should consider:

- Cast iron oil pump, or at least a DD (lateA) stamped oil pump.

- Electronic ignition. Points are nothing to be afraid of, but the setup of British points with the various eccentric point cams and somewhat janky points assemblies could lead to a timing problem that could destroy your work

- Oil filter. This is a religious issue that people will fight to the death. If you go with one, use a low-resistance filter with a pass-through valve on the RETURN side of the oil circuit

Have fun.

Jason

p.s. - just re-read the original post and see that you're a machinist. Guess you can set up your own axial play and bearing fits ;-0
'

Last edited by JasonMcElroy; 10-10-2019 at 04:25 PM. Reason: added post-script
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJustice55 View Post
Heres a pic of my fav build ive done previously. Everything from engine disassembly, assembly, paint, welding and fab was all done by me. This was a 1972 I picked up for $600 as a roller project. Finished up i had a total of $2700 in it. And traded it to a dealership in Fort Lauderdale for a Buell 1125R that was street legal with after market parts and tuning for track days. It scared the shit out of me so i sold it. (Thats my wife btw so keep it classy gents)
Sounds like you know what you're doing...should be an interesting thread. Pretty lady by the way, you're a lucky man!
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:04 PM   #10
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Yeah, im pretty confident but havent really messed with bsas. I will have questions when it comes to timing the motor and reinstalling the trans, i did it on my trump but that was 6 or 7 years ago. Just trying to see if theres any unusual hiccups ill run into without being a bsa guy.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

I admire your procedure for unplugging the sludge vault. And I don't see many OIF customs I like, and I sure like that one; very tasteful & competent-looking. Purty woman, too. Thanks for showing us pictures. More now please!
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMcElroy View Post
I'm with Goldy.

Engine rebuild is a must or all your efforts may turn out to be in vain.

You can do most of it yourself guided by reference materials online and help in forums such as this.

I'd advise getting a shop/professional to do these parts for you:

- Build your crank assembly. Making sure rod journals are good, bearing fits correct, and rods are in good shape

- Install the crank assembly in cases. Making sure crank end float and timing bushing fit is correct


As for improvements you should consider:

- Cast iron oil pump, or at least a DD (lateA) stamped oil pump.

- Electronic ignition. Points are nothing to be afraid of, but the setup of British points with the various eccentric point cams and somewhat janky points assemblies could lead to a timing problem that could destroy your work

- Oil filter. This is a religious issue that people will fight to the death. If you go with one, use a low-resistance filter with a pass-through valve on the RETURN side of the oil circuit

Have fun.

Jason

p.s. - just re-read the original post and see that you're a machinist. Guess you can set up your own axial play and bearing fits ;-0
'
Thanks Jason I wouldnt say im really a machinist though. I work at a machine shop but mostly do heavy equipment hydraulic repair. I have a few old dudes that do the real machinst work. I make pins and bushings, custom fittings, and do some aluminum and stainless tig welding. As well as painting anything we fabbed up with the worst industrial paint you can imagine. Im more of a house of kolors guy and i get stuck spraying rustoleum rust X most of the time. I have a lot of experience with automotive short block assembly so im familiar with proper torque sequences, plastiguage and using feeler guages to check endplay. I will look into the oil filter you suggest. And check out the oil pump situation.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratso View Post
I admire your procedure for unplugging the sludge vault. And I don't see many OIF customs I like, and I sure like that one; very tasteful & competent-looking. Purty woman, too. Thanks for showing us pictures. More now please!
I just had my dad pick me up another one in Alabama, he brought it home today after work. It looks close to original 1972 so i dont know if i can cut this one up or not. It may just get an engine rebuild and a freshen up. Id feel bad destroying a numbers matching bike.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJustice55 View Post
Yeah, im pretty confident but havent really messed with bsas. I will have questions when it comes to timing the motor and reinstalling the trans, i did it on my trump but that was 6 or 7 years ago. Just trying to see if theres any unusual hiccups ill run into without being a bsa guy.
I think you'll find the BSA a better design as far as being oil tight goes...only 4 places to leak on the top end compared 16, or so on other Brit bikes of the period...The crankshaft is a little tricker to set up properly than the Triumph, but the transmission basicaly just 'plugs in' much like the T100 Triumph unit twins. Nice find on the Triumph by the way and I concurr, it's too nice to hack up...when there are so many scrap heaps that need resurection, it makes me sad to see someone cut up a perfectly good machine.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:06 PM   #15
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Started polishing the crank today, its cleaning up very nicely. I did a few rounds of 800 grit with wd40 to clean the staining off. There doesnt seem to be any pitting so ill hit it again with 1500 then polish with rubbing compound after that and then get the micrometers out and start measuring to make sure it is not out of round and within the correct tolerances before i get some new bearings and plastiguage it. Looks like the motor had water in it at some point to cause rust and staining. Checked out the main bearings and i will have to replace bearing, bushing and race. On a side note all of my coworkers at my shop think i bought a bunch of knock off wrenches that have the sizes labeled wrong. I get a kick out of that.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

If you're wanting inspiration, I rebuilt my '66 Lightning (more than once).

Pics and details here: http://jasonmcelroy.com/bsaredo.htm
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMcElroy View Post
If you're wanting inspiration, I rebuilt my '66 Lightning (more than once).

Pics and details here: http://jasonmcelroy.com/bsaredo.htm
Was a clogged sludge trap the reason for loss of oil pressure? Thats a very nice bike btw, i wish i had an original tank for mine. It seems to have almost everythine else though. Also i hope i dont run into too many issues with the timing bushings and shimming and installing the crank properly.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:33 PM   #18
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I made a nice rotating engine stand for the bsa motor today so assembly will be a bit easier. Also now i can hold the motor still and run a chain on the sprocket and clamp it to my table so i can get that nut loose. I think theres a seal behind there?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

Download all the factory service manuals and parts books you can find for reference. They're easy to find and superior to aftermarket tech data. (Check your messages.)
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1966 Bsa 650 on a budget

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Was a clogged sludge trap the reason for loss of oil pressure?
I believe it turned out to be a rod bolt failure. I had already done the sludge trap.

Pics of carnage (warning!) here: http://jasonmcelroy.com/bsacooked.htm

This was a tough one to find root cause for me . . . and I'm the type to stress until root cause is found.

My theory is . . .

1. I lapped the rod big ends down a few thousandths and ran a boring head through then to get back to round. Was sure to install and torque rod bolts before boring. Confirmed round with no taper using bore gauge.

2. Installed shell bearings and confirmed fit

3. Installed new rod bolts on final assembly and torqued to spec.

4. I think the nuts were just reaching the end of the threads at torque leaving me with not enough clamping pressure. This could be due to either replacement bolts not having long enough thread section -OR- shortened big end clamp enough (I'm guess less than .010" total after lapping caps and rods) to leave bolt shanks too long. I'm inclined to think the former. Hard to imagine a bolt having a thread section short enough that .010" or even .020" would matter

5. Loose fitting rod bearing allowed lubrication to escape at the area of least resistance, starving the other rod and the timing bush.

Lessons learned:

A. Always check fastener thread lengths. I already do this on head bolts and the like. Guess *everywhere* is the right answer.

B. Don't resize aluminum British rods that have stretched out-of-round

C. Keep original fasteners where possible. If replaced, inspect and test carefully.

D. I might have made another mistake that I'm not aware of

E. Shit happens sometimes regardless of level of effort and care

Have fun with yours!

Jason

Last edited by JasonMcElroy; 10-17-2019 at 04:09 PM.
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