The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: bakerlonglegs on 29.07. 2018 12:03

Title: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: bakerlonglegs on 29.07. 2018 12:03
Hi all,
I'm into a 'dry build' of a '53 A10 plunger restoration.  I bought it in bits in a collection of boxes so I'm learning as I go along....  I'm trying not to run on here every time I get stuck but I've got a set of problems with the engine that I need wiser heads than mine on  *smile* .

The engine was rebuilt by a classic engine specialist (see one of the pics of it on a stand). I've got three questions:
Firstly, what's the best method for installing it into the frame one piece, or is that not possible?  It weighs a ton and I'm not exactly Ironman!!  The pic shows how I got it back from the specialist, I'm reluctant to mess about with their good work!  Do I put the gearbox into the frame first or attach the gearbox to the engine before installing? 

Secondly, one of the engine mounts looks horribly loose (see more pics of the frame and close up of the engine).  The new mounting bar I've been sent is 3/8" (part no. 67-1251) - is that the wrong diameter?

Finally, there is oil pipe next to the drive casing (see pic) that looks a bit mangled.  The engine specialist stuck all that black goo around it but it looks too short to fix anything too and I'm worried that it won't be oil tight.  The parts list I have suggests it is part no. 67-922 - Breather pipe.  Is that going to be OK?

Any help would be hugely appreciated as always  *respect*
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 12:36
You have to have the gearbox attached before the engine can be put in the frame. In the picture of the engine in a stand there is no gearbox and hence no clutch fitted. Is that how the engine is now? If so, fit the gearbox but leave the primary side off. Take care not to damage the seal in the back of the case as the gearbox shaft passes through. Grease the seal. You could consider putting a piece of plastic bag over the end of the shaft so the seal rides nicely over the sharp edges. Remove the plastic after, of course.

These engines with the gearbox attached are heavy. Luckily I am still able to do the job on my own. When I put the engine back in the frame I use the top frame tube under my arm-pit to give me a better lift.  Part of the difficulty is that you need to get the right, (timing side) front engine plate in position as you drop the engine in because you cannot get it in afterwards.

Can you get someone to help you? With two people doing it there is less chance of scratching the paint on the frame.

Fit the kick starter first to give you a nice handle to hold. Remove the footrests and the brake lever, or loosen the rod adjuster enough to be able to push the brake lever right down out of the way. You can use the footrest to hold it down.

I think the best angle of attack is from the right, (timing) side, back end in first, then lift the front end over the frame lugs, getting the engine plate in position as you do it.

Mounting bolts: Looks like you should get a washer in there to take up space. That bolt diameter is strong enough.

I don't know what is going on with the breather pipe; looks a bit amateurish to me. The pipe is short by design. It squirts any excess oil mist onto the chain and sprocket, as does the breather pipe from the oil tank.

All of the above is one mans opinions and others may offer different advice.

Whereabouts are you by the way?
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: a10gf on 29.07. 2018 12:55
The engine photo... what a beautiful sight  *good3*

My main concern when I did engine install: not scratch the frame paint !
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: duTch on 29.07. 2018 13:05
 
  **GB & a10gf posted while i was typing so they've probably covered it but you get it anyway

 Hiya BLL...fairly much need to bolt the G-Box on and do it all in one lump. I did wonder the other week to myself if it could be possible to 'split' the frame and install it to the bottom and then add the top bit of frame (that's how Tonti frame Gutzzlies are done), but I think I've discounted that idea...

 The mangled pipe is the breather with maybe a bit of rag in it to keeps crawlies out, probably serviceable but ugly, I'd swap it with something better and connect a hose to it to run to a 'catch' bottle (personal choice) this would need to be addressed before installation, or at latest before adding the Magneto. (it has answered for me what the hole is above that viewed from above- holds the 'P' clip *doh*).

 The mounting hole in the case looks deformed from previously being loose, probably ok, but not ideal....Looks like the correct through bolt/mounting bar, but asI have larger holes like that in the frame lugs also,  have used a bit of hollow bar/tube through both lugs each side as a spigot, these are not shown in the parts diagram I have, so not sure if they're a 'part#' but'm sure that's how it was when I bought the frame (I think circa '56 year), so reckon they belong....

To install it you'll need to remove the rear rocker inspection cover, and the top (middle) stud of same, otherwise it jams on the frame. I think you need to have the right-front engine plate on, but loosely attached and needs jiggling, but *NOT* the left front, that goes on quit easily after, but no way in hell of glory with it on.

 For some reason, I'm thinking it was also easier with the timing cover(s) of, but not sure- you'll need to obviously remove the outer to put the genny in but no point if no need....

 Can't be certain, but I think the lump goes in best from the right..(because of the right plate being loosely 'on').or maybe the other right.. *conf2*...I've heard of some guys laying the whole show over, and lump on it's side so it can be lifted in, but that sounds harder to me....when i did mine, I sat it on blocks of wood at about the same height as the frame rails, and did my best to cover the frame to not scratch it....

 Just had a call for work in the morning so'll sleep on it....I'm sure you'll hav eothe input in the meantime..


Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: chaterlea25 on 29.07. 2018 13:18
Hi,
My 2 cents worth  *ex*
Are the rest of the cycle parts assembled? if the frame is bare it sometimes is easier to fit the frame to the engine

That looks like a frame joint? try a 7/16ths bolt in the cases and frame
I would not put it together with a slack fitting bolt, its a recipe for  vibration

John
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: duTch on 29.07. 2018 13:22
 Now I've read the other comments, we seem to be on the same page there... *yeah*, and after a closer look at the bolt hole, I agree with GB that it'll need at least a washer/spacer (I've used S.S washers for stuff like that-works ok so far), and maybe some dressing up.

 ** before you bolt the G-Box on, check the mounts on that as well, and see how it sits alone in the frame. I had to pack up the bottom ones (with aforementioned SS washers, but I will at some stage make a plate for same), that had been a bit trashed, and the top lug/frame interface is also fairly critical for chain alignment (had to also dress that square and pack it)
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 13:51
To install it you'll need to remove the rear rocker inspection cover, and the top (middle) stud of same, otherwise it jams on the frame.
Yes, I forgot about that. The stud, rear rocker cover, at the top should have flats so you can get a tiny spanner on it.

I recently discovered that fitting the gearbox is much easier without the magneto in the way.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 13:57
I'm trying not to run on here every time I get stuck...
Please don't worry about that. We are all here to help one another. Later, you will probably be giving people the benefit of your own experience.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 14:01
My main concern when I did engine install: not scratch the frame paint !
When I put the engine in after getting the frame powder coated I put a doormat over the bottom tubes to sit the engine on but getting it out was a right pain in the wotsit!
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Gavin on 29.07. 2018 14:28
Hi Mate, done my 3rd one of these. Best advice i ever had on frame n engine fitting (from Orabanda)... lay engine down flat on the bench (properly tucked up etc) and carefully place the frame over it. (I recall loose fitting rh front engine mount) and add a couple of bolts, studs to fix frame to engine and bingo you lift the frame up and there she are !!!
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: A10 JWO on 29.07. 2018 14:53
I agree with Gavin very wise. I covered all my tubes with split 22 mm foam lagging which I tied on with small cable ties. One the engine was secure I just cut the ties. I did the same on all my bikes when fitting a new chain over the swinging arm as well. Lovely looking engine, what jointing compound did you use please. Well done so far.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 15:38
Lovely looking engine, what jointing compound did you use please.
The engine was rebuilt by a classic engine specialist.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: bakerlonglegs on 29.07. 2018 16:39
Huge thanks as always for the benefit of your experience and the time you take to type all that in - it's really appreciated! 

I took the decision a while back to put the bike together from the collection of boxes it came in, before getting everything painted/coated.  This is for several reasons, in no particular order:
1) To work out if I have everything.  As I bought it in bits, I've done my best to go through the parts list to buy what's missing, but until I build it I won't really know.  If there any really expensive and/or elusive parts I've missed it would be good to know before holding up the final build. 
2) DVLA don't know about it, so I have go through the BSAOC dating inspection and then registration process to keep the original registration.  The dating inspection needs to have the bike in one piece, so I might as well do that and then break it down for painting while the paperwork goes through which apparently can take a while.
3) I don't know what I'm doing!! There is a decreased risk of scratching pristine paintwork/coatings if I've already built it once already and can work where the pinch points are and cover vulnerable areas as you all say. 
4) If anything is bent I can work this out and get it straightened before expensive finishing takes place.  It's been used on sidecar duty before I think  based on some parts that came with it, so I need to check it tracks in a straight line.

There's a picture below of the build so far.  The wheels, engine and gearbox have already been refurbished (gearbox pic is there too).  I could take the wheels off and lay the frame down, that is a ruse.  I'm not sure I'm strong enough to heave the engine and gearbox in together, with the frame upright.

Thanks again!   *beer*   
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: JulianS on 29.07. 2018 19:03
Advice re point 2 - after submitting an application to DVLA do not dismantle the bike until you have the V5C in your hand. They might want their inspector from SGS to inspect it before issuing one and they wont inspect a dismantled bike.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Greybeard on 29.07. 2018 19:31
There's a picture below of the build so far.  The wheels, engine and gearbox have already been refurbished (gearbox pic is there too). 

Ooh, that gearbox looks lush!

Please let us know roughly where you are. There might be someone here who could come and give advice or even lend a hand to put the engine in the frame.

I made this slideshow and short video after I completed my rebuild. https://youtu.be/nrOfq1O-gV8
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: duTch on 29.07. 2018 19:49

 
Quote
.... The new mounting bar I've been sent is 3/8" (part no. 67-1251) - is that the wrong diameter?.....


Looking at the through-bolt again after CL25 mentions it, I'm thinking mine is 7/16", and still need the spigot.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: morris on 29.07. 2018 20:36
When I lifted the engine in, I had the frame more or less in the state that yours is in with wheels and mudguards on.
The engine however had the dynamo, head, cylinder and pistons off. Also the gearbox innards had all been removed to make the unit as light as possible.
I still remember it was a hell of a job lifting it in without scratching the paint, partly because the right hand front engine plate must be loosely on, but does a great job of getting in the way wherever it can.
For the bottom engine mounts, I made a couple of stainless steel press fit bushes. They hold the front and rear tubes together so they won't wobble around while mounting the engine.
As duTch mentions, it's a 7/16 bolt
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: bakerlonglegs on 26.01. 2019 21:16
Thanks again for all your advice. As the frame was bare I laid the engine on its side and lowered the frame over the top, worked well. That was a trial run. I stripped it back down for powder coat so next time will be ultra careful - lots of pipe insulation!
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: AdrianJ on 29.01. 2019 15:56
Yep - I've just done this.
Scratched the frame a little, but it will touch up.
My back took a fortnight to recover and I didn't have the barrels and head on.
My frame is probably a bit strained but I found that the order I fixed the engine bolts mattered.
Under gearbox screws, then rear top bolt then front upper and finally front lower bolts and studs was the only sequence that worked for me.
The front lower engine bolt is a problem . Mine looked just like yours, but I needed a longer one to take a sidecar mount on the LHS, so I got some 7/16  EN8 bar and put a BSCY thread on each end. Still needed a bush to fit inside the frame lug at each side. I'm hoping that's done the trick. I need to make the sidecar fitting now - a ball with a hex on one side with a BSCY threaded hole.
Adrian.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Bsalloyd on 29.01. 2019 19:19
There are two spacers required for the lower frame where the front and rear meet. I have never seen a part number for this item. The ones I have measure : 7/16"OD x 3/8"ID x 0.910" long. The holes are sometimes worn due to the studs being loose for long periods. You may want to measure the holes and make the OD fit your dimension. Lloyd L
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: AdrianJ on 29.01. 2019 19:25
Thanks Lloyd, yes I had to make them.
Not being familiar with the plunger frame it took a while for me to realise they were needed.
I can't remember the exact dimensions, but I had to make them specially to fit. Completely missing on the original bike.
Adrian
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: kiwipom on 29.01. 2019 19:52
hi guys, why is the install of this engine/gearbox so difficult? dose anyone know how B.S.A. factory did it must be an easier way i would have thought, cheers 
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: AdrianJ on 29.01. 2019 22:11
I doubt that it is difficult with a brand new perfectly straight frame and all the appropriate bushes.
Adrian
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Swarfcut on 30.01. 2019 10:06
 For a typical semi unit plunger engine installation, it is far easier to build the engine into the frame. Make it as light as possible, start with the basic cases and gearbox. Leave the magneto, barrel, head  and primary drive off.  Assemble the gearbox to the crankcases, add the right hand front mount to the crankcase, tied on loosely  with a bit of wire or similar to stop it dropping off, do not bolt it on at this stage, as a bit of movement here  is needed.  Load this lump into the frame from the right hand side. The web in front of the camshaft is a nice carrying handle. Rotate the unit into its basic fore and aft position and lower the back end down to clear the upper gearbox mount. Move it backwards as far as possible to the frame tube, and there is usually just enough room to wiggle the unit sideways slightly to the left to allow the pesky right side front mount down past the frame lug as the engine front is  lowered. Then move it to the right and up to position the mounting plate. Once the engine is in place, this plate cannot be easily added, unlike the left hand one.
 
Without the primary drive, barrels etc the engine is light enough to handle without a hernia.  Padding the frame to prevent scrapes etc is a must.

  Try all fixings for ease of use before assembly. When the engine is in place, move as appropriate to fit all the bolts and through studs loosely, then tighten them all gently to minimise localised strain, before a final tighten.

 Swarfy.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Black Sheep on 30.01. 2019 14:26
Didn't have that option without an unnecessary strip with the Star Twin. Had to get the complete engine and gearbox lump back into the frame after changing the gearbox sprocket. Don't try this at home...
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Rex on 30.01. 2019 15:56
+1 more for laying the engine unit (less head and clutch assembly in my case) on a piece of carpet and fitting the frame around it. Glad I did, because the top rear gearbox mounting was a sod to line up, and had I been jiggling the weight of the engine around it would have used up a whole months supply of swear words.
Eventually it was in, and with no damage to the frame coating either.
Title: Re: Installing an engine - how to, and other problems
Post by: Russ on 17.02. 2019 10:25
There should be a tube fitted in the frame where the front section joins the rear section. "Your 2nd photo". When installed your stud will be the correct diameter.
This "Tube" has been discussed before and from memory? I don't think it is listed in parts book.