The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical (topic titles must be descriptive) => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: snowbeard on 23.08. 2007 20:02

Title: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 23.08. 2007 20:02
Hello, made my intro here: http://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=281

Some of my first questions will be about what badges my bike wants.  I would like to get the closest ones, but reproductions are within my limits.

I also think I need some of the carbon or tungsten magneto brushes. one is good, but one is nearly gone...

and if you see things that are not original or are original on my bike please feel free to comment!! I need any and all help I can get!
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 23.08. 2007 22:05
any suggestions for the proper guage wire to replace these?  should it be strands or solid? 

Thanks!
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: a10gf on 23.08. 2007 23:37
You have some work coming up  ;) Maybe start with getting some books if you do not already have them, and evaluate how far you want to go into the restoration. Look for the a10 \ bsa books by roy bacon on ebay, amazon etc or from any british bike parts dealer, and a parts book and service manual for your model.  Make a plan, do you just want a runner or something good for show display.

E.
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: fido on 24.08. 2007 07:54
any suggestions for the proper guage wire to replace these?  should it be strands or solid? 

Thanks!

Are you referring to the wiring in the wiring loom? The original wiring would be something like 2.5 square millimetre stranded. If you get a photocopy of the BSA Service Sheets, the wiring diagram  should tell you the correct colours to get. There are new looms available but the ones I've seen have been poor quality.
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 27.08. 2007 17:20
whoops, forgot I made this one... *red*

So, Fido, any wires that pass near the engine under the tank are toast. the fire fried the insulation, so I need to replace a lot of that.

OVERALL RUNNING?
One big question that has been in my mind is how much of the wiring do I need to replace just to fire up the engine?  will it run with simply the magneto to the plugs and gas and oil replaced?    maybe disconnect the generator (if it even functions)?

OIL?
so in reference to draining the oil in everything, would there be a good flush to do as well?  I'd really rather not have to split the cases, but I bet it's nasty in there...  course I'd hate to dislodge anything into the running parts either... 

any suggestions for oil? Is it anything special?  on my suzi with the wet clutch I have to avoid the newer synthetics or risk the plates.  anything like that on these?   

and how about filtering it? what would I need for a filter? 

and so the barrage begins...
Title: YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!
Post by: snowbeard on 28.08. 2007 01:25
I HAVE A BIG, BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL BLUE SPARK ON BOTH PLUGS!!! 

nothing could be sweeter today than that.  except maybe knowing what oil to put in the oil tank... I have a sneaking suspicion I could hear the very first grumble by the weekend if I get time to play...

does the chaincase get it's oil from the tank as well, or does it need it's very own, and is it the same as the tank?

I cleaned up the carb a little already, it slides well now, and I think will flow cleanly.  I didn't take the two extremely important jet assembly apart, as my "instruction manual" said it was not to be taken lightly by novices  ;)

so I could get a new throttle cable or even just start with the old one, its pretty tatty, but may work for a dry run gassing!!
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: a10gf on 28.08. 2007 02:18
 *smile* understand your joy. Should be no problem to use any 40 monograde (30 or 50 ok as well depending of ambient temp) you can find, preferably with no detergeant until you have stripped the engine and cleaned up the internals (to avoid sludge loosening and wanting to block oil passages). The chaincase needs it's own oil, same as engine, 50 is good, leaks slower...

At first startup, watch for healthy oil return into the tank! And carefull with petrol leaks, do not let enthusiasm burn up the bike *ex* *smile*

For some info see here: http://www.a7a10.net/instruction.htm  manual for wrong year, but gives you an idea about many parts of the A10.
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 28.08. 2007 04:34
thank you very much, you're entirely right.   *red*

I have already compiled and printed the instruction manual from this site, it is quite helpful altho I have not read it cover to cover yet...


so would opening the sludge trap be a good or bad idea if that was all I did?  can I just drop it, clean it, wipe around the edges and replace it safely? or should it really only be done when opening things up.  it sounds like there's a filter in there too? should I pull it and clean it in petrol as per the manual? *smiley4*

I did find that most of the oil on the bottom is from the chaincase, which is full just under the lower wrap of chain.  the manual points to screws A and B respectively as the level and drain screws, should I just pull out the higher of them and see if it's full to there?  (man it helps to read the manual, eh?!)

I will try feeding the carb off the bike first methinks, then if it holds I'll take it near her again...

here're my new plug wires!
(http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/2803/wiresxh5.gif)
Shot at 2007-08-27
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: LJ. on 28.08. 2007 09:35

A big welcome to our forum Snowbeard! I must firstly say how very much I like your enthusiasm towards your A10 bike.... But that is to be expected because anyone here will tell you it is a fine machine! Now don't go burning up that enthusiasm too quickly, try to take one step at a time. There isn't really much to do to the engine, if its running, sounds good. Certainly, renewing the toasted wiring would be a good idea but make sure the 'stop engine' wire is replaced first! You might just need it in an emergency.

Don't worry about the sludge trap just yet. Just be sure to have good, new, clean oil in there and do a regular change. Good news about the blue sparks from the magneto, but do you get the same strong blue sparks when the engine has been running for some time and Magneto is hot? Lets hope so.

Five years ago I did not know the first thing about motorbikes let alone the A10, I have learn a heck of a lot since then! Boy! I now own two running A10s!
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: fido on 28.08. 2007 09:42
The sludge trap is inside the crankshaft so it would need a total stripdown to clean it out. I've never done this on my A7 as it was bought in running condition, about 12 years ago. Whether you strip the engine at this stage is up to you. If you think the bike was neglected and poorly maintained, with infrequent oil changes it would be the safest policy. If it was well looked after and does not show signs of bodging or butchery you could get away with running without stripping. You should still do a bit of servicing, things like valve clearances, points gap, ignition timing, check the clutch, primary chain, brakes etc. It would be a good idea to remove the primary chain cover as there may be a pile of broken rollers in there. It is also worth stripping off the clutch plates and filing burrs off the clutch plate tenons. Similarly, if the surfaces of the clutch basket are grooved  by the plate tenons, they can be filed smooth.
I'm not sure about using flushing oil on an engine without proper filtration. It might be safer to just remove the oil tank and give that a good clean out with kerosene or some such. You can always change the oil again after your first few hundred miles if you think there is sludge build up. One place to check for this would be the rocker gear. If the rockers are thickly coated in sludge then a full stripdown would be best. These bikes do tend to lose gearbox oil as there are no seals on the gear lever or kickstart lever shafts.
As you have discovered, the bike will run without any wiring apart from the magneto HT leads. The kill button is a useful safety feature in case the throttle ever sticks open. At a show last weekend I saw an A7 in scrambles trim which is used on the road but has no lights, dynamo or wiring, just a rubber bulb horn.
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 28.08. 2007 18:25
thanks again, I will definitely take some time to sort thru it before I decide to ride it any distance, I am just overly excited to get it to roll down the block under it's own power, that will be the inspiration to go further I think.

Now the bad news (or is it?)  I don't think the fellow selling this knew for sure what it was, but had a better guess than I?  The Frame has a CA7A ### stamp on it, while the engine has a CA10SR ###.  I believe this means it is a 1958 A10 Spitfire Scrambler, no?  but the tin is all chromed, not painted red like the history of the 58 says here: ( http://www.leespeedracing.com/history.htm )

I'm using this guide:  http://www.bsaoc.demon.co.uk/1951-60.html 

I wonder if this is good or bad, as to it's value...  I'm not looking to flip it for profit yet, but I'd like to verify that I didn't get fully ripped off, no?  *conf*
Title: Re: 1959 A-10 Super Rocket rebuild thread
Post by: Pollock on 29.08. 2007 03:13
Yes, spitfire scrambler is very good news if you are planning on resale. You have a matching motor and frame...because BSA I don't believe ever matched frame # with engine. This is also good.  Hope this helps you.
Pollock
Title: Re: 1957/58 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 01.09. 2007 02:52
oh boy!! I got it started this evening!!  got a new float bowl seal and it held nicely, so I put it on and plugged in the wires. I cleaned out the oil tank last night, 50 years of sludge in there, yikes!  filled up the oil and pushed it down to the street. 

got the kitchen fire extinguisher, attached a wire to the kill contact and started jumping on 'er!  After many cranks and a few fills from the auxillary tank I'm using, I started to wonder if I had the plugs on backwards, or if I needed to do anything but tickle it.  so I turned the small knurled spring loaded knob in slightly, kicked it again and it fired right up!!!  ran pretty well at idle, but I didn't even try to rev it any, I'm happy to hear the rumble, I've wondered what this bike would sound like for a couple weeks now!

I couldn't have been prouder if I'd birthed the damn thing myself!!

the oil was flowing from the return so I'm pretty happy there, it was a little bubbly but having drained it entirely I should expect some of that. I'll keep an eye on it no less.

the kill worked too, luckily enough.  I need to disconnect the generator and get a new clutch cable and I think I can get away with riding down the street! 

off for the weekend, you all enjoy yourselves!!
Title: Re: 1957/58 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: fido on 01.09. 2007 08:12
Great  *smile* Bubbly oil is good, the return side of the pump has greater capacity than the flow side so it should be pumping all the oil from the sump plus some air.
Title: Re: 1957/58 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: LJ. on 01.09. 2007 09:01

Excellent! I like to hear these stories..... I bet your smile met right round at the back of your head! Fantastic! your now probably hooked!  *smile* *lol*
Title: Re: 1957/58 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: a10gf on 01.09. 2007 19:21
Quote
oh boy!! I got it started this evening!!

Congratulations, some of those moments in life to remember   ;)
& thanks for sharing your story in an entertaining & evolving thread.
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: dpaddock on 08.09. 2007 18:34
Re Pollock's posting: BSA did indeed match engine and frame numbers (unless Pollock means that the same number was used for both, which is the case for unit twins from 1967 on), and where in other instances the numbers matched accidentally.
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 08.09. 2007 19:37
I now have it on good authority that this is a matched number, genuine 1957 Spitfire Scrambler, I can't give up my source without permission, but it's a good one!  ;)

so, with that, I am now certain about the XX on the STD tranny being the scrambler SC.T2 gearbox.  what that actually means is new to me.  I have heard that one should change the front sprocket and maybe even the gearbox to ride it as a road vehicle.  I do have all the lighting accessories that came aftermarket for the period, so it has been intended to be a road bike to some extent...

what gear would I have stock for the scrambler, and what should I look for to "upgrade" if I wanted to go that route?

how big of a difference is it really?  I don't plan to make this my daily rider, so I could leave it as is for the sake of an accurate restoration? 
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 09.09. 2007 03:55
so I've been at it evenings and weekends when I can steal away.

made a clutch cable using a bicycle cable, just for now to be able to check things out.  I've gotten 'er started a few times, now, and finally cleaned out the tank. 

rebuilt the petcock last night, that was a bugger to get apart, but I got it eventually and it actually holds!! (for now, fingers crossed)

I can get it started, and found that screw that will adjust the idle, but what is that second lever adjustment on the bars, the second line into the carb?

working on the drain plate I found the screen had come loose 80% of the way round, so I used a small torch to reattach it, and added just a little solder to be sure. seems to hold pretty well.

(http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/1637/oilplatezu3.gif)

the drain plate was held on by two bolts and a nut on a stud.  is this what was used from the factory, or was it made by someone along the way?

(http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/2836/oildrainstudvj7.gif)
Shot at 2007-09-08

anyway, it runs pretty well, a good bit of vibration, sometimes it will "walk" itself on it's kickstand at the right frequency. but I don't need to sync the carbs since there's only one, is there any adjustment left or right?

 I've driven up and back the road, had it thru all four gears.  I certainly don't want to wind er out, but it seems like there's good power, no clutch slipping, altho it's hard for me to know just how much this bike should shake?  my inline 4 feels like it is like purring in comparison, but this is the first two cylinder engine I've ever had.  I guess I should assume some bump between the two, eh?



Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: a10gf on 09.09. 2007 05:05
Nice to read that all is going well and ahead. The second carb cable is the choke. Oil drain: You can use bolts or studs with nuts, what's good with studs is that they stay in there for good = no damage to the crankcase threads even after years of oil changes. You might also consider SRM's sump system, has a large drain bolt with magnet.

Regards
E.
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: fido on 09.09. 2007 08:07
The choke on these carbs is not really needed and a lot of people discard them as tickling is a more effective way of getting a richer mixture for cold starting.
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 09.09. 2007 19:08
I may just look into that sump drain too.
my stud unfortunately came out with its nut, but I can probably fix that.

yes, mine has the tickler too, so far that's all I've really used since I didn't know which way was what on the choke, I assumed it was something along those lines but I didn't know if it was an adjustment for starting or during running.  do people actually remove the slide in there, or just drop the cable and lever?

and the sprung knurled nut down on the right side of the carb, is that the idle adjustment? that's what I've been using to start it so far, tickle it a bit, turn that screw in a little bit, then kick it and it starts right up, then back out the screw to drop the idle, but I don't know how far to drop the idle, I shoot for just before it craps out.   *roll*

thanks a ton!!  I really appreciate the education!!  *smile*
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: snowbeard on 28.11. 2007 00:11
well I haven't been doing very well keeping this thread updated.  I got her all running, paperwork from ITS title service, and took her down to the DMV a month or so back.  All went perfectly and I got my plates, registration, etc. Title itself came a few weeks later, but it came and now I'm all set for that end of things.

here're the pics on title day!
(http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/4476/cemetaryfq5.gif)


(http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/9869/flatironsfo4.jpg)

I drove her up to my work a couple weeks later, after a few more important things like replacing the drive chain and setting it's play. It ran great, but wasn't very fast, it was almost like riding a scooter,constantly pulling off to let others by. in fact I got passed by a school bus!  I had to run the real two lane highway for a few hundred feet and I wound her out as much as I felt safe and only hit about 50mph before I was afraid to rev any higher.  being an old bike, theres not too much surprise, but I've since learned she should be capable of much more.

went by the local restorer, he was duly impressed and helped me check my generator and regulator, which turned out to work just fine!  he commented that there was very little valve noise, either the PO had been a genius or they were too tight he said.  he was impressed with the overall running tho, so I was very happy. *clap*

then I went to ride it in the dark one evening, and in the shadows I could see the pipe on the right GLOWING red hot.  this worried me quite a bit, so I started in on the valve clearances, which were loose if anything, then moved to the contact point gap.  here i found an issue that the gap was huge, way wider then any of my guages, but only on one cam lobe!  the other lobe didn't open the contact at all!  *cry*

I realized it was the magneto armature wobbling so much that it wouldn't keep the contact braced against that lobe.  So I  went over to the drive side to see about removing the mag and found that it was even worse!! not quite enough to let the gears slip, but enough that the fibre gear was in jeopardy of being broken. 

The one thing my restorer friend said was (pointing to the mag) "whatever you do, don't ever take that off this bike"  unfortunately it now sits with the magneto removed...  good news is I found a new friend who had a few around and put one together for me.  still with the original armature and condenser, but with spark and decent bearings.  it should be enough to tide me over while getting the other rebuilt and continue to find what else needs attention!

Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: fido on 29.11. 2007 23:33
Good stuff  *smile*It should go a  lot better with the magneto working properly. I mentioned removing the choke. Yes you remove the whole lot, lever, cable, slide, spring, adjuster etc then blank off the unused hole in the carb lid with a bolt or a rubber grommet.
Title: Re: 1957 A-10 Spitfire Scrambler rebuild thread
Post by: a10gf on 30.11. 2007 00:19
Great pictures, great work getting it rolling. Congrats.