The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Chat, Offtopic, Meetings & Everything Else => Topic started by: Peter Burgess on 18.09. 2020 19:58

Title: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Peter Burgess on 18.09. 2020 19:58
Hi, I'm not a great engineer & I've never done an engine re build, but I have done a top end.
I've been offered an A10 which started spewing oil from it's breather 38 years ago. It was put in the garage & not started since!
Apparently the engine turns over & it had been re built perhaps 5000 miles before the oil spewing started.
The rims & spokes have rusted badly, but it's very original.
I think the owner would like a straight swap with my Triumph 3TA in good running order.
Will the A10 have to be stripped, or might I get away with flushing the oil, fitting an external oil filter & kicking it over 100 times to get the oil circulating?
Should I do the swap, or keep my reliable, slow 3TA?
Advice would be appreciated.
Is the oil spewing likely to be a stuck oil pressure relief valve ball & spring issue, an easy fix? Or major problem?
I don't want to spend £1000+ on the A10.
Thanks for constructive advice.
Peter
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: muskrat on 18.09. 2020 20:57
G'day Peter  *welcome*.
I'm not trying to scare you off but the rims, spokes and tyres will take a chunk of that money.
There's a few problems that will cause oil to come out the breather. Most are easy fixes but may take time to track down. Wet sumping is the most common.
Bringing any bike back to life after such a long coma will need at least afull service. Not knowing how far they went with the rebuild is another  *????*
But the A10 would be a much better performer than the 3TA. Depends on how much you love it *ex*.
 Just looking at the $$ for a good 3TA is about 4000 gbp. An A10 in similar condition is around 5 to 6000 gbp. So in value it's about right.
You don't say what year and model the A10 is.
Cheers
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: berger on 18.09. 2020 21:06
honest answer from me NO[quote
I don't want to spend £1000+ on the A10. stood all that time the engine will need taking down and the sludge cleaned out of the crank. also you might find heavy corrosion on the valve seats that have been left to moisture getting in after all those years. you could open a can of worms or be lucky to find everything within BSA tolerance , I very much doubt that, once down you might find excessive bore wear and valve guide wear.  new wheels and spokes eats into your budget and when you start rebuilding the engine if work needs doing you will wish you kept your slow? 3ta. just my opinion others may think different

Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: RichardL on 18.09. 2020 21:18
I'm with Muskrat and Berger. 1000 GBP isn't close. There is no "getting away with" anything. It must come all the way apart. Forget about the rebuild 5000 miles before sitting. That's gone.  If you decide to do it because you love the challenge, what you end up with, really, is a common A10 versus your unusual Triumph. If you have the need for speed, there are a lot of new and fast retro bikes on the market.

Richard L.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Swarfcut on 18.09. 2020 21:43
Hi Pete. With interest rates at an all time low, if you have the space, get it anyway. Its better than money in the bank. Better still if has title and paperwork. The swap is a bit one sided, the owner needs to use it as part payment towards your Triumph, not simply swap a wreck for a runner. If it all turns out to be a real lemon, lots of folks like a project. Just get it running, as such it is easily saleable.

 These engines are a simple straightforward design, you will have no trouble as and when. Spewing oil means that more oil is going into the engine than being scavenged out, so you can assume the all important pressure side is working. The scavenge failure could be as simple as a jammed ball valve in the scavenge pick up pipe, easily cleared by removing the sump plate and poking the ball....BSA even mention this in the instruction books!

   Wet sumping is a common phenomenon, there may actually be nothing wrong, it was  just left standing. The sump filled, smoke and oil everywhere. Picture the scene, anguish, panic,  So they put it away in the shed and that's where it has been sleeping for the best part of 40 years. Give it a go, it will be great to hear it run again.

 Swarfy
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Black Sheep on 18.09. 2020 22:44
Hmm. I left an A10 in the shed for 17 years and started it and ran it (still running it) - no big strip, just a normal service. Also a Rudge sitting for 50 years. Just a normal service. A Douglas the same if not longer.
You can go into panic mode and break it down to every last nut and bolt or spend a fortune getting the specialists to rebuild and modify the engine but more and more I am of the opinion that if it aint broke, don't fix it until it is.
If it will start and go and sounds ok I would just service it and ride it. 
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: metalflake11 on 18.09. 2020 23:57
Hmm. I left an A10 in the shed for 17 years and started it and ran it (still running it) - no big strip, just a normal service. Also a Rudge sitting for 50 years. Just a normal service. A Douglas the same if not longer.
You can go into panic mode and break it down to every last nut and bolt or spend a fortune getting the specialists to rebuild and modify the engine but more and more I am of the opinion that if it aint broke, don't fix it until it is.
If it will start and go and sounds ok I would just service it and ride it.

We're all getting old and forgetful, but that's ridiculous! *smile*

I started and ran an engine that had been outside under a plastic sheet for ten years many moons ago.

 I'd do as you suggest, if it sounds good carry on, if it sounds bad, stop it and resign yourself to a rebuild.

No doubt I'd do some sort of deal, but I'd rather ride an A10 than anything else ever built so I'm biased and probably quite potty.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: WozzA on 19.09. 2020 06:25
Tell him it's knackered then offer him a couple of Grand & keep both..   *wink2*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Billybream on 19.09. 2020 08:29
Left my A10 for 29yrs which was a good runner, but still decided on full engine strip during rebuild, the state of the sludge trap was unbelievable, just solid with sludge, don,t risk it.
These bikes are easy to work on and masses of help available on this forum.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Rex on 19.09. 2020 09:16
It all depends on whether you feel able or inclined to strip an old engine to see what's what. The cost depends a lot on what you can or can't do yourself and how much the 3TA stands you in at.
A DiY wheel rebuild with stainless stuff will cost the thick end of 500 quid alone, much more for a pro rebuild and that's just a cost you know about. As mentioned above, try and get a cash price for the BSA then you've got the 3TA to ride and the BSA to work on, and when they're both rideable choose (or not!) which one to sell.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Greybeard on 19.09. 2020 09:40
I had a 3TA, Triumph 21. The A10 is a much better machine.

I would have to strip the engine of a bike that I didn't know had been worked on by someone I trusted. The sludge trap referred to is in the crankshaft, so the engine needs to be taken apart to access it.

My rebuild cost several thousand pounds. I started off wanting to just get the bike going but found that one new part made other parts look so bad I had to carry on spending money. I think the term is known as 'Project Creep'. I'm glad I did a proper job; I'm very proud of my Emily.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Truckedup on 19.09. 2020 14:41
 Do you really want an A10? Do you have the money to repair what's needed to make it road worthy? Does the bike need to be perfect?
   An old worn looking bike that runs well and safe to use is fine for me, the OP need to decide what he wants...
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Greybeard on 19.09. 2020 16:55
An old worn looking bike that runs well and safe to use is fine for me, the OP need to decide what he wants...

An 'oily rag' bike is fine and currently fashionable, however there are things that need to be checked before you can ride with piece of mind.  *good3*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: metalflake11 on 19.09. 2020 20:17
An old worn looking bike that runs well and safe to use is fine for me, the OP need to decide what he wants...

An 'oily rag' bike is fine and currently fashionable, however there are things that need to be checked before you can ride with piece of mind.  *good3*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: RichardL on 19.09. 2020 20:25
If you decide to do it because you love the challenge, what you end up with, really, is a common A10 versus your unusual Triumph.

Richard L.

Sheesh! Do I have to do everything?

"Richard, how DARE you refer to an A10 as 'common'?!"

Richard L.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: metalflake11 on 19.09. 2020 20:40
I had a 3TA, Triumph 21. The A10 is a much better machine.

I would have to strip the engine of a bike that I didn't know had been worked on by someone I trusted. The sludge trap referred to is in the crankshaft, so the engine needs to be taken apart to access it.

My rebuild cost several thousand pounds. I started off wanting to just get the bike going but found that one new part made other parts look so bad I had to carry on spending money. I think the term is known as 'Project Creep'. I'm glad I did a proper job; I'm very proud of my Emily.

So you should be, it's a fine looking bike.

As for the thread topic, I'd start it with fresh oil, listen, and if it sounded right give it a thorough service and ride it.

Your ears tell you how an A10 is more than anything else for me. If it rattles, clanks or bangs, something's awry.

I know what you're now thinking GB, and I know what your thinking about! *smile*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Peter Burgess on 19.09. 2020 20:57
Thank you guys for your helpful wisdom.
So new rims, spokes, lacing, tubes & tyres £600ish.
Chain, sprockets & battery £200ish.
Engine rebuild, up to £2k?
So what should I offer for a non running, full restoration project.
You've convinced me to keep the 3TA & perhaps make a cash offer, or walk away!
I'm viewing the 1960 bike on Wednesday, but a daily runner with upgrades, but scruffy sold on ebay for£3300, with just 2 bids, so I think this covid panic is affecting prices currently.
Perhaps I should go for a scruffy but sound bike?
Thanks again for sharing your experiance with a novice!
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: morris on 19.09. 2020 21:28
I think the ebay price is correct.
I paid roughly the same for the plunger a couple of years ago. It was a runner, complete with all the tinware but in a sorry state.
In my book a non runner should be at least a thousand cheaper.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Greybeard on 20.09. 2020 09:46
I know what you're now thinking GB, and I know what your thinking about! *smile*
*red*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Rex on 20.09. 2020 15:48
One thing I've always believed is that any old British bike which has been unused for a period and  is fitted with a Mazak oil pump should never be attempted to start before stripping out the oil pump and checking that it's free to rotate.
My current A7 bore this out, in that while the engine appeared free the oil pump would barely rotate. It certainly wouldn't have survived a couple of thousand RPM for very long at all.. *sad2*
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Black Sheep on 20.09. 2020 19:59
And yet the derelict A7 I bought for £45 that had been left outside with the plugs out and engine full of water is still using the same mazak oil pump 40,000 miles later. Just lucky I guess.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Swarfcut on 20.09. 2020 20:44
    Now while the oil pump lives in its own protective oil filled cavity, there is no doubt that the Mazak "grows" over time, and on some pumps more than others. This is why, unused, they seize. Some pumps I have seen are cracked and bloated, others as good as the day they were made. So, yes, you can be lucky, but in the light of experience as a a first step a drain of the sump, timing cover and oil pump off, and a pressure fed dose of fresh oil down the oilway to the timing bush would be my first move on an unknown or long time sleeper engine. Just jumping on the kicker has a good chance of doing damage to the pump and drive gear.

   As to the pump, a hot air gun usually expands a seized one enough to be dismantled, there is plenty on the Forum on ways of fettling what you have and the expensive alternative(s).

 Back to Pete's Possible Purchase. A late model with all the R&D sorted, plentiful spares from any number of sources! By no means a distress must have purchase, and if he makes a reasonable offer, will the seller walk away and be faced with more hassle getting rid? By my reckoning Pete's in the driving seat, but only he can put a price on the value.

 Watch this space folks, meanwhile gimme the address.

 Swarfy.

 Additional  Reckon Richard  is starting to show the signs of a split personality.........
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Slymo on 20.09. 2020 23:11
Wheels can be sorted for quite a lot less than 600 quid I would have thought. I put semi finished stainless rims on my SR and having polished them on the buff and carefully re-spoked they look the business. I think the total cost was around $380 NZD which is less than 200 quid. I agree about the oil pump especially if the bike has been stored with old black oil in it. You should get a clue from the external appearance if it shows signs of acne then it is kaput. If not I'd still take it off and see if it spins easily. Spose you aren't going to be able to do all this prior to committing to the deal but for my money it would be an A10 over a small Triumph Twin any day. That said if you aren't confident with mechanicals.................?
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Peter Burgess on 30.09. 2020 22:04
I finally saw the A10 today.
Apparently  dealer has offered £3000 for it *lol*
I think money would be better spent starting with a runner.
Thanks for all your help & advice.
Kind regards.
Peter.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Tomcat on 01.10. 2020 06:56
Or $5402 AU, which sounds about right for a complete, project A10. I doubt a dealer would offer that much as they need to add on a profit margin to pay overheads. And yes, it's always less money to buy a running machine than to rebuild/restore.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Rex on 01.10. 2020 08:42
I agree, I seriously doubt that any dealer would offer three (or even 1 1/2) grand for that bike as it stands.
That said, I prefer a good project over someone else's shiny bodges any day.
Get it for a price you're happy with and you've got the makings of a good bike.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: a10gf on 01.10. 2020 09:20
I prefer a good project over someone else's shiny bodges any day.
*smile* good.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Black Sheep on 01.10. 2020 10:16
So right. In this month's Roadholder (Norton Owners Club mag) is a tale of someone who paid a lot for a shiny "restored" 650SS wanting a bike ready to ride. Oh dear oh dear...
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: RDfella on 01.10. 2020 11:31
Offer 1 1/2 but set 2,000 as your limit.
Title: Re: Should I buy A10, not run for 38 years
Post by: Topdad on 01.10. 2020 14:31
hi Peter, whereabouts do you live ,just thought maybe you may be near someone  on tis forum who a) could let you possibly see there A10,b) help you if you go ahead with getting one , if you are anywhere near Liverpool You could come here and have a look ,listen to mine.