The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: olev on 06.03. 2009 14:56

Title: bit of a rant
Post by: olev on 06.03. 2009 14:56
OK, its friday night, i've run out of xxxx and started on mt. gay, feeling emotional and have decided to share a few thoughts. It seems a bit hard to get excited abot the quality of the spares on offer to keep our magnificent machines flying. i've been struggling to replace the oil pump non return valve (anti wet sumping) in my A7. I have in my possession 2 seperate kits from some pommy crew called MCA which are completly different to each other and the original. One of the springs looks like it came out of a biro the other would do duty as a valve spring. I mean, does anyone know the specs of this spring?? The spring suppliers can supply you with anything you want if you give them the info.  does it matter? maybe they are new improved versions better than the originals. then you read about mudguards and exhaust systems that don't fit or work. My local classic bike shop is brilliant but i know when they recondition a machine they won't use half the manure they sell over the counter. I might have some Scots in me but I feel like a mug and need an address to fire bomb. lets start a black list & to hell with the consequences.
ps. i'll be embarrased when i read this tomorrow, cheers
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: tombeau on 06.03. 2009 16:44
You're absolutely right.
I remember once chasing my regular supplier about some duff part, his response was appreciative:
"Thanks for letting me know, I don't know the bits don't fit if noone tells me, but its me who gets a bad name for selling them."

I reckon one of the Classic magazines could have a good article out of taking a couple of standard, original bikes, buying in repro parts and seeing how well they fit. Would they do it? i doubt it. They'd be too worried about advertising revenue.


Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: bsa-bill on 06.03. 2009 17:11
I don't know the spec for the spring but thinking about it all it has to do is stop oil returning into the pump, it does not need to keep the ball against its seat until a certian pressure is reached ( there is already one to do just that ).

I don't know where you got your bits but just in case you didn't get them from Draganfly they list them on thier site (onlineshop)
part 67-1400 (spring ) GBP 2.45, part 67-1401 ( screw ) 1.59, and part S9-2 (ball) 0,05.

In the absense of any information I think I would assemble using the weaker spring then ( I assume the pump is off ) insert the blunt end of a small drill into the hole (from pump side) and feel how much pressure it takes to lift the ball off its seat and that it returns firmly.

All the best - Bill
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: beezalex on 06.03. 2009 18:41

*WARNING* Don't read the below first thing in the morning, it will make your head hurt even more *WARNING*

I don't remember the exact dimensions, but you can do a bit of a reality check yourself using a set of calipers to measure your springs and a spring rate calculator ( You want the valve to open at about 2 psi (14000 Pa), so you want the compressed spring to have a force equivalent to the inlet orifice area at the seat, let's say 3 mm DIA.  The force should, therefore, be Pressure*Area=14000 Pa*3.14*(.003m/2)^2=0.1N (0.02 lbs).  With your spring rate from the online calculator, let's say you have a rate of 12 mm/N (2 in/lb), then your spring should be deflected about 1.2 mm when it is installed.  Compare this to the difference between the relief valve cavity depth and the combined length of the ball, uncompressed spring and plug.  Ideally, the latter should be 1.2 mm longer than the cavity depth.  Now, you can cut the spring to compensate, but remember that this changes the spring constant, or you can adjust the plunger depth slightly to compensate.

Wen in doubt, caculate it out.  Good luck.

Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: groily on 06.03. 2009 21:53
Spring has clearly Sprung.
And in similar vein, why can't a person obtain, easily, new ATD springs? Is there a conspiracy? Add to that, A/R springs for m/cycle distributors, which even the good folk at Draganfly can't provide. I think we should be told. All springs are available if the spec is known as olev says, so where's the list of spring specs for all the springs we need? I look in vain for the vein of knowledge, and I find it not!
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: RichardL on 06.03. 2009 23:28
Clearly, the "bloody vein" of knowledge is elusive. However, Alex's engineering spring-o-tech was quite interesting.
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 07.03. 2009 12:26
Well I will have my rant about sub standard parts.
There is a big market for inferriour parts because to a man Pommie bike riders are some of the tightest fisted cheapskates that ever walked the earth.
Just stop and think, when was the last time you told someone that you searched out the best possible part and were happy to pay whatever the vendor asked because the parts were such good quality. . If you ever had then some one in the group will instantly tell you that he could have got one ( almost as good)  for 1/2 the price you paid and upon doing this the rest of the group will ask where he got the cheap part from and suggest that your mental capacity is lacking for parting out with all that money.
Cheap poor quality parts are out there because YOU continue to buy them and even then YOU bitch about the price.
Quality parts manufacturers have ceased making BSA parts because you cheap skates won't buy them if a cheaper ( usually inferiour ) part is on offer.
Stand around a group of Harley riders & listen to their conversations. Nothing is too good for their bikes and no price is too dear.
That is why you walk into any after market bike shop and there is a plethoria of well made good quality parts for Harleys and a few really cheap & nasty parts for Pommie bikes.

This is why Harley shops are popping up like mushrooms every where to service a market which is about 5% in volume of the Pommie bike market and BSA shops are going to the wall.
While riding our BSA's might be our pass time, for the people who are supplying the parts we need, it is there life blood and if they can not make a living out of us because of our scrouge like principles then they will ( and most are ) go and find a market where they can make a living.
The same machine that makes BSA mirrors which we bitch endlessly about paying $ 10.00 a pair for can also make HD mirrors where $ 100 is readliy and cheerfully paid.

There is a company down here "Overlander Equipment", Bob the owner is a BSA owner and was quite passionate about them.
He can continiously complex bend a perfectly fitting pipe for just about any BSA ever built, but he dosn't bother and will only do BSA pipes to order because no one will pay the $ 450 for a pair of perfect reproduction stainless steel BSA pipes. OTOH he keeps as stock about 40 different BMW pipes.
Now, the one and only local Pommie bike store ( for a city of near 5,000,000 ) keeps  2 or 3 different sets of pipes for most common Beesas and the only ones he sells are the absolute rubbish ones that don't fit  because they are $ 250 a pair & the good quality ones that do fit are $375 a pair  and he only sells them because the even worse quality $ 150 / pair pipes ( the ones that come convienently pre- rusted) available as mail order off the web end up costing $ 255 with postage.

And for all you AA spring deficient riders out there, Domi Racer still have original Lucas springs. They have a good supply of them because they are $ 15.00 a pair, an exhorbenant price that we BSA owners can not afford to pay for a part that gets replaced once every 25 years.QED ?

Bike Beesa
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: olev on 07.03. 2009 15:02
I'm proud of you Trev.
Are you a XXXX drinker too??
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: A10Boy on 07.03. 2009 15:46
Well I cant speak for others, but I would rather pay 100 quid for exhausts that fit than 50 quid for ones that don't.

Its about being "fit for purpose", if they sell cheap shite that isnt fit then they are committing a crime against BSAing humanity and should be named, shamed and *^%$£$ with a bloater.

You pays yer money and makes yer chioce..
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: bsa-bill on 07.03. 2009 16:32
Is it bash a Pommie week then?

I don't think people are that different the World over, sure there are tightwads in UK some are just tight others maybe working on a tight budget.

As for not being able to buy parts; there are more parts available now than when I did my first restoration ten years ago, OK the quality is not always as we would wish, there were cheap parts on the market when I first rode an A10 in the early sixties and some of those were not as good as they should have been.
I seem to recall buying plastic leopard skin seat covers way back then and remember they did not last very long - now there's a thing bet you could sell them if you could find someone to make them.

All the best - Bill
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: groily on 07.03. 2009 17:37
That was just great Trevor!
But it's not all bad - there be good bits out there too. Pipes are a particular PITA I agree, and shiny bits generally (which I try to avoid, just make for washing and polishing). Could be a bit cheapskate!
Harley people like shiny, so they'll pay for top-notch stuff that gleams and stays gleaming, and good luck to them. But I don't feel I've suffered all that much from lousy pattern or after-market bits myself, despite my complete uninterest in cosmetics. I've got 6 not shiny machines on the road at the moment, and they all work pretty well (touch wood) and all go out all year round whatever the weather. Just done a couple of hundred km on my A10 this morning. Did 300km last Sunday on a B31, 200km the day before that on an AMC. Well over 1500km a month average on the old stuff. Combined age of the 5 old Pommies (I have one modern I hardly use) is 256 years. All are kept going with bits from these dealers we love to hate, through club spares schemes for the non BSAs, and with whatever I can come up with or recycle from something else in my barn. Dead lawnmowers are a favourite source. A bit cheapskate, I know - but I enjoy that side of it. Couldn't afford to keep my toys going otherwise.

All of them have obviously needed major attention now and again as part of the inevitable cycle. So far I have managed to get everything I've really wanted, and often to a better standard than the bit that was there in the first place. The same goes for an old car or two, one really pretty old (she's 73 now). The other one's barely run in, only 42. They both, and the majority of the bikes, have been down practically to the last washer over the years.

So while I rant as well as the next guy when so-called solutions prove to be just more problems, I have to say (despite being unamused by the difficulty of getting springs - thanks for the Domi-Racer reference!) mostly I'm actually happy.
Happy? Am I mad? When I think back to the hassle of running old machines in the '70s, when they were in no-man's land (unsought after and all the old spares running out), life today is a bed of roses compared. So I think I'm only a bit mad.
Now I'll probably run under a truck, need loads of unobtainium if I'm still alive, and rapidly retract every word when horse thieves sell me stuff that doesn't ***** fit.
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: A10Boy on 07.03. 2009 19:53
And another thing --

Dont talk to me about them, I had a Harley cos I liked them, I went to a club gathering and all they talked about was how much their bikes cost or how much someone else's bike cost. They judged the bikes [and the owners] on how much the bikes cost and who had the most expensive after market gizmos fitted, needless to say, I never went back.

After much pestering, I bought a dual touring seat to take "er indoors", I went in the shop with her, and said to the salesman, "one of your touring seats please my good man", he came out of the stores and said "Thank you, that will be £350.............that was ten years ago.  *sad2*

Anyway, I saw sense, sold it shortly after, bought a BSA and never looked back.  *smiley4*
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 07.03. 2009 23:40
Don't be mistaken.
I am a one ( star ) eyed Beeserphile and have been riding continiously since I was 12.
My residence is in Australia so I am not having a Pommie bash ( unless we are talking cricket) and tha attitude that no part is too cheap to be fitted you your BSA is quite previlent down here.
As a committee member of the state BSA club I get people ringing me almost daily looking for parts suppliers.
Of these 99 out of 100 want to find these cheapest possible part, not the best & seem to think that we have access to truckloads of bits with the 1954 prices attatched.
AS to the differences in attitudes between HD & BSA riders I recall the early attempt to market Fornales shock absorbers in OZ.
The first 2 distributers went out back wards, the market firmly deciding that if the bits are a lot cheaper than genuine then the quality was obviously not high enough. The final successful distributor repackaged the same shocks with some bumph about superiour quality and longer life, doubled the price ( for the same shocks ) and sold them by the bucket loads.
BSA owners finally decide that their 50 year old shocks might be in need of replacement ( about 30 years too late) and I direct them to IKONI, a locally made unit which I have used for years & firmly believe are the best you can get.
This is usually followed up with an abusive phone call because these shocks retail for around the $ 400 / pair and the searcher found a set ( of unknown quality ) on ebay for $ 50.00.
AS I said previously Sydney is a city nearing the 5,000,000 mark , BSA's would outnumber Harleys 20:1 yet all the specialist BSA shops have closed and a new Harley shop opens every month.
One of the last Pommie parts stores sold out and moved to the bush going 100 % mail order.
Some time latter I rang Patrick to see if he had the bits I needed only to be told that has closed down the parts section totally.
Why well was sick & tired of being called a thief when owners drag him out of bed at 10 pm looking for a part so finds them one  then cops a tyrade of abuse because a liquidator has the same bit 5% cheaper, so now he only supplies trade , dosn't answer his phone spends his time in the shed rebuilding basket cases getting double the price for the parts that as parts cheapskates won't pay for.

There is now a growing number riders busy buying up Enfield parts which they spend hours modifying to fit their beesas because they are cheaper than either genuine after market or NOS BSA parts.

The local manufacturers of special fasteners are dropping BSA items off their catalogue for a similar reason, BSA owners simply will not pay a reasonable price for hand made special fasteners, and the typical example of this one is a bloke who bought up buckets of superseeded stainless bolts, cut off the threads, rethreaded them brass ( because he was too cheap to buy CEI taps & dies ) ground down the heads to make up mudguard bolts, which in his time probably cost $50.00 each but he would not pay Classic Fasteners ( described by him as thieving bastards ) $ 4.75 each when he could make them for 90¢.

Ok I am off the soap box now , wiped the foam away from my mouth and firmly promise not the mention this again. ;-)

Bike Beesa
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: Brian on 08.03. 2009 05:28
All very interesting and a subject I quite often go on about.

For years I have been complaining about the quality of aftermarket parts, its a pet subject of mine. Unfortunately most aftermarket parts are very poor quality regardless of cost. I spend many hours on the internet and phone all over the world trying to find suppliers of decent parts. Although I am by no means wealthy cost is of no concern to me, I want quality and I am very fussy what bits I put in and on my bikes. I make as much stuff as I can myself so I can control the quality.

Even dealing with reputable companys you can sometimes get caught but the difference is the good ones will happily refund your money when you point out the fault.

The magneto guy Trevor refers to is very good, extremely good at his job and stands behind his work. I have had a couple of minor problems but there has never been a hassle sorting it out. For this reason I will only use his services and I dont care how much he charges (hope he doesnt read this !!!)

Unfortunately Trevor I know why Overlander cant sell British exhausts from experience. I dont know what he has told you but his exhausts, and other aftermarket stuff (handlebars etc) are absolute rubbish. Possible the worst made stuff I have come across. This is not just my opinion but that of many people I know. Just one example that springs to mind is a set of pipes a local chap bought for a A65, when he tried to fit them to the bike the brackets where no where near the mounting points and one side was about 3" lower than the other. One time I was down there looking at a set of mufflers he told me not to polish them as the chrome would come off ! He refuses to admit his stuff is no good. None of us will deal with him and havent done for some years now.

Out of all aftermarket stuff its obvious that exhausts are the biggest problem. Possibly because they are expensive so we all expect good quality and also the fact that they are very visible on a bike and a bad set can make a bike look bad. I try to find originals at swaps and have them rechromed. If this is not possible I get the maker to bend them up and leave them unchromed, when I am happy with the fit I then get them chromed.

Now to finish off, Olev you have owned up to being a Four X drinker, not something many would admit to. Have you never heard of Coopers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for Harleys, I live near the coast and they come in very usefull, boat anchors.........................................
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: a10sausage on 08.03. 2009 08:48
is cheap always some of you may have read in the tech topics i had an oil pump that cost £260 gbp fitted to my a10 that lasted 600 miles....groan....on the other side of the coin i have just bought some rear silencers (wassle) from a bsa spares dealer in liverpool and they where a very good price...the quality is good....the fit was good...and they sound can be a bit of a lottery when it comes buying spares but sometimes things do work out.!
Title: Re: bit of a rant
Post by: A10Boy on 08.03. 2009 12:57
Look at it another way, what is the price of a set of exhaust pipes and silencers of good quality ?

For example, a good and reputable local supplier sells these for £138 for the silencers and £90 for the pipes. I can't vouch for the quality, but given his reputation I would say they are good. So you will have to pay about £240 for a set.



Now, to put this into perspective, in my shed I have a 1974 japereraki Z1 and replacement exhausts [4 pipes] for this are obtainable from the manufacturer, and with all the kit and caboodle they cost over £1000. GULP!!

Looked at in that way, we [in the UK], get good quality stuff for our brit bikes at a fair price, but I think that maybe we should just accept that if a good set from Burton costs £240, then thats what they cost, and if we find a set made in taiwan for £75 on the internet then they will probably be rubbish.

I'm not suggesting anyone here has done this, but we cant expect the cheap ones to be to the quality of the proper ones. However if we pay for quality stuff, then we should expect quality stuff.