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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bought a 1966 BSA 650 Lightning, sold as a recent rebuild and restoration: perfect runner. Guy shipped it to me and i picked it up and rode it home 35 miles only to find that as I pulled it into the driveway it dies. Come to find it was so low on oil it ran out. Some aluminum colored goo is dripping off the bottom of the engine. After 2hrs the motor is still pretty hot to the touch.

Questions:

  • How much damage am I looking at?
  • Is there anything i can do to recoup some of the cost of damage?
  • Why/how/what?!? I am at a loss for words right now... The guy owns other bikes and i fear for their lives.
:mad:
 

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A lot of shippers like Forward Air will make you drain the bike of any fluids before shipping.

Most likely your fault on this one and no one is going to help you with that. Learn a lesson and never assume that the other dude did things right.
 

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Sounds to me like its your bad. Once you took posession from whomever shipped it to you 35 miles away, its out of the sellers hands. Theres no way to prove/disprove you didn't do anything to run it out of oil. Depending on the shipper, he may have had to drain the bike of all its fluids before it was shipped. That sucks man.

As far as damage, theres no way of knowing exactly whats damaged without opening the motor up. Not that familiar with a BSA motor, assuming its a "unit" motor/trans combo based on the year, trans could be damaged as well. Good luck, sell it as a restored roller, minus motor/trans.
 

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If you ran the BSA motor dry, you likely cooked the timing side main bush.

That you saw "aluminum colored" goo on the motor might mean you spun the bush in the cases when the bush seized to the crank.

If this happened, it's not insignificant. These motors are finicky to rebuild.

I hope that's not the case, but it doesn't sound good.

Jason
 

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Seems you have no experience on old motorcycles... You do have to drain some fluids when you ship either overseas or conus. You should have checked all the bells and do dads before jumping on it and riding it home like a brand new 2011 Honda CBR 650. Your talking about a bike that is over 40 years old and thinking about jumping on it and crusin around the island? Go rent a scooter for that.
 

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Full rebuild. Crank for sure will be toast. That silver goo will be all through your engine. Need a good flush. I would assume the timing side bush is gone too. Hopefully you didn't score the cases on the timing side. Cam bearings will probably be roached too. Yuck. Always check the fluids my friend.
 

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like the other bsa guys said above me ... complete rebuild. Saving grace the engine did not handgernade on you while driving home.

The spun out right side bush may be real bad .. shit might be time to convert to needle bearing. Need another A65 set of cases I have a 67 hornet set I will let go cheap.
 

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I've shipped quite a few bikes and motors. I ALWAYS drain the oil and fuel, as was stated several times already, most shippers require this. I wouldn't buy a bike and not check everything over before riding it. I'm sure that cosmetically the motor still looks great on the outside, but you'll definitely have some serious damage outside.
 

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A wise old man once told me "an education is expensive, no matter who pays for it" That would be you in this instance. And I really do feel for you, but as another wise old man told me, " always check the oil, even if your great aunt Tillie says its full. Check it yourself!" And I've always heeded that advice. I hope things work our for you.
 

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These bikes aren't japanese ultra reliable next to zero maintenance , i always check the oil level and if the oil is returning to the tank first thing in the morning or if i haven't ridden the bike in a while,
You should have checked the oil along with the tyre pressures ,brakes etc before setting off on a journey.
 

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I'm a professional motorcycle exporter .

It is common place with older bikes to drain the oils and fuel . The battery should also be disconnected . Most decent freighters will have a note on the bike with say "Battery disconnected , no gas or oil" just to avoid issues like this .

With Quarantine in many places you are not allowed to ship a bike with leaking fluids or in a dirty condition . If a bike arrives with an oil leak it's generally a rather expensive steam cleaning to get them done . With the older bikes they tend to leak so as a precaution you drain them . This should have been told to you by the seller or the shipper and is poor form on their part .
 

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I feel for you counterreset, but you drove it away without checking the fluids or confirming oil circulation???!!! I ALWAYS check for that stuff on all my Brit machines before I ride. You will have done some serious engine damage and possibly transmission damage too if that was drained of fluids as well. Hate to make you feel worse, but don't go looking for someone else to blame this on, unfortunately it's YOUR bad.
Oh well, almost anything can be repaired/ rebuilt, it's an expensive lesson, but hang in there and stick with it, she will live again.
 
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