The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Introductions, Stories & Pictures => Topic started by: Caretaker on 21.12. 2006 19:20

Title: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: Caretaker on 21.12. 2006 19:20
(text and pictures: email from Richard)

Here are a couple of pictures of my just completed (after 3-1/2 yrs) project. This bike probably started out as a '55 Golden Flash, but modifications, like 9:1 pistons and some of the tinware, have made it more of a Road Rocket. Those in the know will recognize most of the non-'55 mods, but the running gear is pure '55. A little extra history - I bought the bike in '73, paid a shop about $3K of 70's dollars for a ridable restoration, which worked until someone made a left turn in front of me in '79. the bike sat in a garage and in an outside yard until 2003, when I decided (thanks to American Chopper/biker Buildoff) to do the restoration from what was a complete rotten, rusty hunk of junk. the restoration you see, I did myself (except paint an wheel lacing)..
I have really appreciated the technical advice and photographs on your web site while I've worked on this bike. I hope that by providing some new pictures I am giving something back.
Richard L.
Naperville, IL
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: bsa-bill on 29.12. 2006 16:49
You've managed to do what I hope to do in my ongoing project - you have something fairly unique, not easy to achieve with so many A10's around.
I like it - nice work

All the best - Bill
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 04.11. 2007 17:04
Hello bsa- bill,

I know it's been a long time since you posted your comment. Since that time I had an engine problem that causes me to rebuild the engine, again. I had a video on YouTube for a while about the noise in the engine, I think you may have been one of the people who offered a comment, but I can't exactly recall. (I didn't know I would lose the comments when I removed the video). Anyway, our friends at SRM helped by suggesting it may be a typical rookie mistake of not tightening the cush nut tight enough and ending up with the crank slamming back and forth. I am just about to have the engine out of the frame and will have a better Idea of the exact problem.

You comments on the appearance an uniqueness of my bike are quite appreciated, and taken as high regard, considering the source.


Richard L
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 04.11. 2007 18:19
Great bike, great work. 33 years in your ownnership!
To make the story complete, do you have a few pictures from how it looked in 73, and the restoration?



I wish I knew how to respond to a specific comment/post. This time, I'm trying the Quote button.

I know it's been a long time since your comment. Thank you,very much. In my reply to bsa- bill, you will read of some of the recent issues.  Your comment is also taken in high regard.

As for pictures from 1973, I wish I had them. Maybe I'll stumble across some. As for adding pictures from the recent restoration, I am attaching some to this reply. At this point, it is not clear to me if this is the right way to get pictures into the forum or if there is a better way. Please let me know.

I've tried to include photos that show how I've done things done differently (not necessarily better) from other builders.

Quick descriptions: rusted-out seat pan gets fiberglass and new foam carved by me; "How to Compress Fork Springs When You Mistakenly Put the Stantions in the Yokes Before Assembling the Legs"; makeshift wheel truing jig that worked fine (However, I over-torqued the spokes, destroying a nice QD hub. I ended up sending out the wheels for truing, rather than risk another hub.); doing the whole final assembly on top of a steamer trunk in a corner of my garage, flanked by an old car project that didn't move.

That's it for now, I expect to be more active on the Forum as my second rebuild goes ahead.


Richard L.
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 30.08. 2008 21:48
For those who have followed and helped with the re-re-build. Today is the day I will try to start/ride 'er. More to follow.

Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: a10gf on 30.08. 2008 22:52
Your hard work must be rewarded. Looking forward to some good news.
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: jfligg on 31.08. 2008 13:52
Hi Richard 
Did you ever find out what was causing the noise?  Jeff
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 31.08. 2008 19:01

The original noise that set the re-re-build in motion was a spun rod bearing, probably due to my ignorance regading cleaning the slude trap in "re" #1.

Erling, et al,

It fired up fairly easily, half a dozen kicks, maybe. Sounds real strong, rode it around the block once there were signs of oil return. Two things arose, a noise that about sent me to the sanitarium, and the primary chain getting too tight. I think they turned out to be related. Loosening the primary chain stopped the noise. I am fairly sure it was the clutch hub collar rubbing the sliding plate. I restarted this morning without the noise (put away the straightjacket, for now). One thing remaining, that is concering me, is sputtering somewhat sparse oil return to the tank. Can anyone say how long it should take before there is continuous oil return on a new rebuild?


Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: groily on 31.08. 2008 20:26
Well done Richard in getting her back together after all the trials and tribulations. I just looked at your original pix for the first time - I must say she looked (and presumably does again) quite stunning.
Re the new noise, it's almost certain that something in the primary chain/clutch area was scraping. I had one similar after rebuilding the gearbox last year . . . the clutch drum was just kissing one of the fasteners that hold the sliding plate onto the inner - ie exactly what you surmise. A small spacer between the rear of inner case and the rear mounting point to the frame (to hold the case a fraction further 'in' towards the gearbox and away from the clutch - and incidentally align it dead straight) fixed it. Shouldn't be there I'm sure, but we're talking less than 1/8th of an inch. And I do remember having exactly the same thing with the first A10 I had 35 years ago.

Re sputtering and continous as in oil return, I guess those are somewhat subjective terms. You won't get a high volume truly continous return unless there's loads of oil in the crankcase already, given the time-worn stuff about scavenge pump being higher capacity then delivery pump, etc etc.  If the pump's fine, the pipes are clear and there isn't a big build-up in the crankcase, I'd guess it is probably fine. There'll be others who know much better than me. Did Manormike ever measure the volume of flow when analysing the issue of return line filters on here - I can't remember but you might?!
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: a10gf on 31.08. 2008 22:12
Many congrats. There must have been a big smile when it started up. I too think the intermitent oil return is normal (I suppose it's continuously intermitent lol). Basically, if your oil tank gets hot, the oil is circulating! Hope you get some good rides the coming days.

Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: jfligg on 01.09. 2008 13:31
Hi Guys This brings up an interesting point.  How much oil should be in the crankcase?  Jeff
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: fido on 01.09. 2008 14:47
In theory, very little. there will always be some oil draining off the rockers, crank, cam etc when you stop the engine plus the scavange point is not quite at the bottom of the cases.....
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 01.09. 2008 19:42
NOW there is a big smile! *smile* *smile*

Groily, Erling, et al,

After absorbing what both of you said, I decided that either I had a problem or I didn't know enough to know if I didn't have one. I suppose I should have described my initial oil return as spit-pause-spit-pause-spit. It just didn't seem right. Also, not only was the oil tank not hot, it was not lowering enough in level to make me believe enough oil was getting to the engine. I opened the pressure relief and saw some emission there, so I supposed there must be something moving. I pulled the drain plug from the sump plate and got about a 1/4 cup. I pulled the rocker feed and got no output with the engine running. OK, the search was on. I blew air into the feed line backwards toward the tank and it was clear. (Though as an additional surprise, blocking the pickup tube inside the tank didn't stop air flow to the tank. It makes me wonder if I have a spurious hole in the pickup tube inside the tank or if there is supposed to be some secondary port.) I did discover that I had a lot of carbon pooled with oil at the bottom of the tank from before this build and, also, some grit too big, I think, to get by the oil filter integral with the bottom plug. Nevertheless, I was glad I discovered that mess before running-in the new build. So, in a last thought, I decide to try a pipe cleaner into the oil feed fitting at the engine. "Hey, why isn't this thing going in?" I pull away and out drops an 1/8" diameter ball of some kind of schmutz, that wasn't there when I mounted the fittings. I don't know where this thing came from, maybe it was some kind of insect nest or food spirited away inside the engine end of the feed tube while the tank end was still attached. What a find! This changed my whole day and holiday weekend. I checked the feed fiiting again with the pipe cleaner and it went smoothly in. For a bit I  pondered the question as to if I must go deep in the engine before starting up, rather than take any chance of other big pieces in the system. I decided that anything similar to this that already got into the engine must get pulverized in the pump. The next question I pondered was, "Am I out of grace period for running on assembly grease?" Having seen some flow at the pressure relief and, also, having the spitting return, I figured I could run a short time to check for better oil return, Also, I put a piece of clear tube in the rocker feed line to watch what happens there. So, I started her up and got proper "sputteringly continuous" return within about 15 seconds. What a relief (for now, at least).

With the engine running with oil (usually a good thing) and without installing the mufflers, I took a short ride and found that the primary chain tightened up again. While stopped in front of my house to assess the situation, a police car went right around me. I think I got a break regarding the mufflers because I was wearing my helmet (not law in this state).

Anyway, this post has run on a ways. I am really looking forward to being one of those among you who reports where and how far they rode, instead of just talking about the fun of rebuilding. I suppose I have some more running in to do before I take on long-term confidence, but, as I said, today was a big step.

I'll say thanks, again, to everyone who contributed to the mechanical issues and offered friendly encouragement. The latter, perhaps more important. I have a few mechanical quesions/topics in waiting, but, for now, I want to languish in the glory. Also, I will be posting new pictures and video.

Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: RichardL on 03.09. 2008 20:16
From my previous too-wordy post, there was a question buried within:

I blew air into the oil feed line backwards toward the tank and it was clear. (Though, as an additional surprise, blocking the pickup tube inside the tank didn't stop air flow to the tank. It makes me wonder if I have a spurious hole in the pickup tube inside the tank or if there is supposed to be some secondary port.)

Does anyone know if there are two holes in the oil pickup within the tank on a swingarm model?

See the lousy sketch.

Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: a10gf on 03.09. 2008 21:52
Great news, Richard, and congrats again. And the 'What a find!' part was a good read, reminder about thinking about everything during and after a rebuild.

Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: LJ. on 04.09. 2008 09:55
Well done Richard! so many questions regarding that find! Good luck with Ironing out any small hiccups they always usually seem to occur.
Title: Re: Richard's ( 55_A10 ) 55 RR
Post by: snowbeard on 11.12. 2008 19:38
glad to hear she's running again for you.

Groily, you mentioned addind a spacer to the rear mount of the primary case to keep it in more away from the clutch basket.  I recently found that there is supposed to be a spacer there, 1/8 or 1/4".  I was missing it myself and got a horrible sound with the clutch in, and it was the basket rubbing.  it all sorted when I replaced that spacer, but I did have to make a new gasket for up front, since the case had possibly warped to the incorrect angle!!

just wanted to share!