69 BSA bobber project...or...the cure for wintertime madness!
Well where to start....at the begining I suppose.
Its wintertime here in Michigan. And for a motorcycleist winter brings on major boredom. So what to do.
Well right about X-mas I was out bowling with the inlaws and my wifes uncle casualy mentions that he has an old BSA in his shed that needs to go away. I origionaly blew it off as I dont know anything about bsa's. But in the back of my mind I keept thinking...hmmmmm a project bike could be cool. So I went and looked at it and found this.
After a little research it turns out its a 69 BSA A50 500cc twin Royal Star. Ive never even heard of seen a Royal star before. So I started doing a little online research learning what I could about it. I chatted with the owner a little learning a little more about it. Around here my wife tells me that her uncle was trying to talk her into buying it for me for X-mas...lol She also told me that he only wanted $200 for it.
I tried as hard as I could not to buy this bike. But in the end it came home.
I started to take a parts inventory and the 1st thing that really stood out is the gas tank.
Kinda nasty looking. But after a good cleaning wala....
I was majorly pumped it cleaned up that nice. The chrome is cherry. It needs to be re-painted but thats no big deal. This was a major score and probably worth more than what I paid for the bike.
And Badges....We dont need no stinking badges.........Oh yes we do... And they are in very good shape.
Next up was the carb. It was pretty fuzzy looking
But an evening latter and I came up with this.
Now for the rest of the bike....Its not so good. Years of neglect have left a lot of it pretty rusty. To restore this bike would cost an arm and a leg. So after some reserch the decision was made to turn it into a bobber. And this is the picture that did it for me. Dont know who it belongs to but its freeking gorgious.
I found a fella that makes riged tail sections for around $300 and said yep thats the way to go.
Ok now that the bike is home here is a quick walk around at what we have to work with.
Front hub. I really like this
That sweet motor
yes that is snow in the exhaust port....more on that to come latter.
Time to start spinning the spanners.
1st up Pull the motor. I got a Haynes manual with this bike. So I spend a while reading up on what had to be done to remove the motor. And as it happens, someone else had already done most of the work for me. Almost everything that I would of had to remove or unattach was already done. All I had to do was remove a few motor mounts and......look at that heavy ass motor sitting there. Hmmm....yea....I cant make it move. It will wiggle..But lift it up. Yea that aint happening.
A quick call to my buddy and its outta there and up on the bench.
I pulled the valve cover and found this
Not so bad looking. A little dirty but nothing too bad. Sweet.
Pulled the head next. That was kinda fun. Part of this project was the top end. The motor is locked up. I suspected it was the pistons stuck. And as it turned out I was right on. They were stuck but good. Remember that snow in the exhaust port...there ya go :lol3
I pulled the head, but to do that I had to loosen up the cylinder and raise that up a little to take the pressure off the exhaust valve so I could remove the pushrod. Even after loosening up the tappet adjuster I still couldn't get the pushrod out. Hence raising the cylinder. That did the trick. I pulled the exhaust rocker arms and got the head bolts removed.
Then comes the swamp thing. Yegads...the cylinders were FUGLY!!!
Yep that is....something in there. Water maybe??? :eek1
I sponged up the spooge and found somthing wiggling in the cylinder...The piston maybe....nope....this
A block of ice...nice :lol3
And this is pretty much were I was stuck for several weeks. I would spray PB Blaster down the cylinders and let it sit. Come back a few days latter and Give the pistons a wack by puttin the the handle of a hammer down there and wacking it with another hammer. Spray some more PB Blaster down there and walk away
Which brings us up to this weekend. Ive been working on this over at my Parents house as they have a nice large barn with a workshop. And I dont have a garage. So that makes it an easy decision. Plus they are both down south in warmer climates for the winter so they arn't around to complain about the mess I am making :wink:
Friday night my son spend the night at a friends so I had some time to get out and work on it a bit. Seeing as the pistons were still stuck I figured I would see what was under those engine covers. I had went out and bought some philips head sockets in anticipation for this step. I figured I would have to hand impact them out. I had Gave all the screws a good PB soaking several weeks ago. So now is the tim. Find the correct size philips for the impact driver. Find my handy BFH....line her up and......wait a minute..whats this...its finger tight... Screw turns right out. As does the next and the next and the next. SWEET :clap My suspision is that someone has been working on this before I got it. There is no way these should come out that easy.
Pulled the ignition cover off and ...
Pull off the clutch cover and here is where things started to get interesting. In raising the cylinder I noticed that the crank really didn't want to turn over. And that had me concerned. Well it turns out the crank was ok. It was the clutch. It was frozen in a block of ice. I wish I would of had my camera handy for that. I chiseled the ice out and PB'd the chain and things started to happen.
I got the crank to turn. I got the cylinder raised up. Sweet! Little steps right
There are them bastard pistons stuck as hell in the cylinder. I was starting to get iritated. I broke out the acetaline torch and heated the bottom of the cylinder around the rings red hot and heat the hell out of the pistons...and nothing....WTF! :huh
Time to go home and re-asses things.
So I spend a little time cleaning up the ignition cover. It was pretty nasty. But with some scotch brite pads and some aluminum polish I think it cleaned up pretty well. Good enough for now anyways. Ill probably sand out some of the nicks and scratches at some point and polish it proper. But for now it works
decided to start your own thread eh?
Nice pics + write up so far. I'm pretty bad at summarizing what I've been doing, but you seem to have a good knack for it.
you might want to put those cam followers in a safe spot, nothing is securing them in there and you might loose one without noticing :deal
Went out today and got some more work done. Mainly was out there to help my brother in law tear apart a 1980 Bombadeer 300 twin sled that he blew up. That came apart pretty easy. Torn base gasket caused the LH cylinder to blow. Easy fix. 2 new pistons, bore job and new gaskets and its good to go.
Well that and clean the mouse nest outta the airbox and clean the gas mung outta the carb..
So while he was there I figured Id take advantage of the added hands. I found some wood and made some blocks to wedge under the cylinder. He held all that steady while I wacked the piss outta the piston. And the result.. SUCESS BABY!!
Off came the cylinder. It looks like it was mainly the LH cylinder that was the culprit. The one that had the open exhaust valve. The one that had the snow in the head...Yea that one..lol
Well I have also been doing a little research and have discovered that 500 pistons cost around $220 while 650 pisons are only around $100. I found out that other than the cam, cylinder, head and pushrods that the motors are identical. So after a little digging I found a really nice 650 cylinder and dual carb head with valves for $125 delivered to my door. Should be here this week.
A fella about an hour away from me specializes in BSA motors. EV Engineering. Well I have been picking his head via a slew of emails and he has a good used 650 cam and probably pushrods for me. He also stocks the 650 pistons. So once I get the motor broke completely down the crank will be going to him to get re-ballanced for the heavier 650 pistons. Ill probably have him change out the sludge trap (vs me doing it) and check the bearings while he has it. but we will see. I might do the trap myself. The more I can do the more $ stays in my pocket... And I like that.
I just ordered up a clutch puller, complete gasket kit, and STST allen head screw kit for the side covers. Slowly but surely things are starting to happen.
I have the clutch cover home now so maybe Ill get around to polishing that up today. But I dont know. Temps are in the 40's today and the roads are clear. I might have to break out the Vstrom and go for a ride :clap
I just love these threads. Hats off to those who make the effort!
Is there any rear brake at all on that bike?
Nice project!! You'll make good progress with that bobber pic and this thread for motivation!!
I need to head over to 'Beasts' and start a thread for project motivation.
Nothing wrong with those pistons and barrels that a little spit and polish wouldn't cure :D
Gives me a nice warm glow seeing another Brit bike getting ready for a come back. Good on ya.
So those cam followers just drop out do they? I tried pulling one out but it didn't want to come out. Felt like a clip was holding it in or something. Maybe its just a ring of mung holding it up though. Ill have to work on them next.
Looks like my clutch had the same barf in it as yours. I managed to get 1 steel plate out and that was it. The fibbers are stuck but good. More PB and more time sitting sipping a barely pop contemplating my next step I guess. But at least with the plates rusted up I might be able to zip that center clutch nut off. Well see.
But I think I am going to start stripping un-needed parts off the frame and getting them ready for ebay. Im seeing that there is a fair amount of money sitting there bolted on there that can help finance this project.
You know what really piss's me off. I broke 2 fins off the cylinder taking it off. CRAP. That is definately going to hurt its ebay resale to like nothing. Cylinder is probably going to the scrap bucket. But the head will be sold.
Hey YZMan, Great find and a nice start. The bobber you're trying to emulate is nice, but still a solid rear framed bobber. Being that you have a matching number unit here, have you considered a restoration? Value will only appreciate in time. If you chop the frame you'll never be able to go back. Just a thought.
Ya know while a restore would look nice. It would probably help if I liked the bike the way it was. While nice the stock bike really dosn't do it for me. If I am going to sink that kind of $ into a bike I could think of a lot of bikes I would do before this one. No a bobber it will be. There is just too much wrong to restore to origional. At least for my pocket book.
Neat project and thread. I've been dreaming about building a bobber out of a old triumph or beezer for awhile. Could you pass on the place that makes up the bolt on hardtails?
This would be the guy
I am looking at a 4" stretch and at least a 1" drop. Possibly a full 2-1/2 drop but not sure.
He also sells some nice seat parts and exhaust tips.
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