Author Topic: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)  (Read 4870 times)

Offline twr7cx

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BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« on: 26.12. 2013 10:07 »
I have a BSA A10 Goldenflash (1961 originally sold in South Africa) that has been in storage for the last thirty years. Currently putting back together and am nearing the point of seeing if the engine runs, as such I need to drop in some oil.

I have spent hours Googling and reading results for "BSA A10 oil". There is a lot of discussion and debate about brands and weights, etc. But it seems to be frequently stated that 20W-50 for the engine, EP90 for the gearbox and ATF for the primary is ok.

I currently have a bottle of:

Castrol Activ 4T - http://productsforyou.castrol.com.au/product/Castrol-Activ-4T/73 - http://www.tds.castrol.com.au/pdf/11100_Activ_4T_460329-AU02_2007_11.pdf - which is 15W-50 designed for motorbikes (newer ones I imagine as I use it in my 2000 Honda XR250R). Is this thick enough and ok to use?

I also have a bottle of Castrol ATF Dex III - http://productsforyou.castrol.com.au/product/Castrol-ATF-DEX-III/34 - http://www.tds.castrol.com.au/pdf/10601_Castrol_ATF_Dex_%20III_337 - which I have read is right to use in the primary?

I'm reading that EP90 should be used in the gearbox, but this type of oil doesn't seem very common any more? This sheet from Granville indicates that EPX 80/90 is a replacement for EP 80 and EP90. Has anyone used this in their BSA as a replacement? I have a bottle of Penrite Gear Oil 80W-90 < http://www.penriteoil.com.au/products.php?id_categ=4&id_products=371 > here already.

But then got a copy of the Haynes BSA A7 & A10 Twins Owners Workshop manual < http://www.haynes.com/products/productID/333 >. This lists on p. 10 to use Castrol GTX for the Engine, Gearbox and Chaincase (Primary).
Thoughts on using Castrol GTX < http://productsforyou.castrol.com.au/category/Castrol-GTX/28 > for all? Castrol GTX is cheap and easy to obtain tomorrow morning.


Note: The bike has been in storage in a few key parts for 30 years. The engine hasn't been stripped and rebuilt. It's been kept complete and seems to be ok, so we thought we would lube it up and see if it runs. The bike is not in a rideable condition and won't be for some time still! I just want to put fresh oil in it and try to get the engine running and idling for now!


For reference, the quantities according to Haynes p. 10 are:
Engine - SAE 30 (oil tank capacity 5 1/2 Imp pints)
Gearbox - SAE 50 (capacity 1 Imp pint)
Chaincase - SAE 20 (8 fluid ounces, 225 cc)

Online Greybeard

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #1 on: 26.12. 2013 12:38 »
Hi, and welcome.
I am not as knowledgable as some others here but here are some things I've learnt about the A10 and suitable oils:
The crankshaft has a hollow tube sludge trap between the big end journals; the designers have made it so that when the engine runs debris in the oil is accumulated by centrifugal force around the edges of this tube. In the days when the engine was designed monograde oils did not hold debris in suspension, (unlike modern detergent oils which are used with an efficient filtering system) so the centrifuge was a reasonable way of cleaning the oil. You can use multigrade detergent oils in an A series engine but you MUST make sure the crankshaft sludge trap has been cleaned out and probably fit an external filter of some kind. I have a canister filter fixed to the front of the rear mudguard, behind the gearbox.  http://tinyurl.com/cqbbnj7

Although I did clean out the sludge trap and fit the filter I've taken a belt-and-braces approach and am using monograde SAE40 oil in the engine.
I'm using SAE90 in the gearbox and ATF in the primary drive. Apart from any other reasons using three different oils means it is easy to identify where the oil on your garage floor is coming from!

Offline twr7cx

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #3 on: 26.12. 2013 20:24 »
Mate,
         Use the EPX 80/90 in the gearbox and ATF in the primary. I think that modern engine oils are too slippery for the primary.
As for the engine, toss a coin. The manufacturers recommendations from the time of the bike's manufacture were based on what was readily available.
If you look at the handbooks for the later models, which had basically the same engine, you will find that 20/50 multigrade was the oil recommended.
I use just that but others I know use  monograde.
Find what you like and stick with it.
If you are going to start the engine without a strip down, use a cheap oil and make sure that it is circulating before hand. Either kick and kick or put it in gear and take it for a walk, without the plugs in!
Trev.

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #4 on: 29.12. 2013 07:08 »
Grey beard is on the money with mentioning the sludge trap.
putting fresh fluids though an old stored motor could easily disturb sludge and wreck the mains.  *eek*

I know its tempting to fire it up but doing so without flushing out the sludge trap wouldnt be my recommendation.

Back in my uni days I seized several triumph twin cranks because I failed to flush the sludge traps and the new oil carried all the crap onto the mains tearing them up  *sad2* in short order

Doesnt take long to tear a motor down even if the only thing you do is flush the oil lines and sludge traps.

From then on most oils will work, but be aware modern car engine oils have different additives than those mentioned by BSA/haynes and can cause accelerated cam follower wear,
plenty of threads here on recomended oils. I can't help as I run both my A10's on castor  *whistle*
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline muskrat

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #5 on: 29.12. 2013 12:21 »
I echo the need for a strip down and clean out. A rebuild with new bearings & bushes would be better.
Active 4T would be my 2nd choice for the primary behind ATF. Modern car oils will make the clutch slip.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, .
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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #6 on: 30.12. 2013 09:13 »
I was in a similar situation, I had left my bike standing for 29 years, but decided on full strip down, shock for me was the sludge trap, the crap inside was almost solid, with no through route, similar tale in the bottom of the oil tank, thick crap. My advise would be not to risk engine start without strip down after such a long time standing idle.
1960 Super Rocket, owned since 1966, back on the road 2012 after being laid up for 29yrs.

Offline A7SS-rph

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #7 on: 16.01. 2014 15:05 »
Hi Muskrat

I read with interest your comment that "modern oils could cause clutch slip". I put a bit of modern oil in the primary just after I acquired my A7SS, and I have been thinking I might have a little clutch slip. All the cables seem adjusted OK, so I will drain it and try the ATF route.

Regards

Peter

Offline muskrat

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #8 on: 16.01. 2014 18:37 »
G'day Peter. If she still slips after the change to ATF the plates will need to be cleaned (petrol). You might be lucky that your plates haven't soaked up too much friction modifier.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, .
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Offline duTch

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #9 on: 17.01. 2014 09:11 »

 I go long with fairly much what's been said, you could be lucky-or not, but unless I been thinkin' all wrong have to question RR...
 
Quote
Back in my uni days I seized several triumph twin cranks because I failed to flush the sludge traps and the new oil carried all the crap onto the mains tearing them up  sad2 in short order

 ...The oil flows though the Main bush before going to the crank/sludge trap, then potentially picks up crap and squirts out through the Big Ends- which will be shredded...?

 I think that's what you meant?
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
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Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: BSA A10 - oils to suit? (after long storage)
« Reply #10 on: 17.01. 2014 19:31 »
Yes!  Typically also seized the pistons too, so was not a nice result. Was 30 years ago *eek*
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
New Zealand