Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The greasy and oily stuff! (Otherwise known as BSA Build Progress: Pt 1)

  In one of my early posts, I mentioned that our friends Phil and Ken at Vintage and Veteran had graciously offered to undertake some of the "Cannonball-izations" to the machine before the shipment process overseas. Since then, my team and I have been astounded to the lengths that our English mates are going to. Any machine which comes from the Vin and Vet shop is absolutely guaranteed to be a wonderfully tidy piece, and money well spent. I would heartily recommend anyone to purchase a machine from these chaps. As both a customer and friend, I can attest to the very high level of workmanship and that Phil and Ken treat their veteran machines with.

  As time allows (and not to overwhelm or bore readers with one giant post), over the next few posts I'd like to go ahead and document the build on the Veteran BSA I'll be riding in the race. Ken will be posting me a cd with photos and video footage of the build in the Vin and Vet shop, so as soon as it arrives in the mail I will quickly add some pictures. Like I said before, I've honestly been astounded by the amount of work that these gents are putting into our machine. This first post will focus on the motor work. Keep in mind that the BSA was already in sufficient running condition to complete the Banbury Run and other VMCC Veteran runs in the United Kingdom and Europe.

   To begin with, the motor was removed from the frame and dismantled. Upon disassembly it was noted that the barrel was in good condition, with no carbon build up and a recent +.020 rebore. Valve guides and springs were also in good shape with correct tolerances. The valves themselves appeared to be new, so Phil and Ken advised a light grinding. Piston, pin and rings were all in excellent form with correct gapping on the rings, no carbon buildup on the piston crown, and a clearance of 0.007" to the barrel bore.

   The lower end was also in fair order. Crank cases were in order, and new main bearings are in the process of being installed installed. Since then, the cases have been cleaned, blue printed, and reassembled. The flywheels, big end, and axles had decent rotational feel and no play. Conrod and little end were found to be sound as the British pound (pardon my humor there...) with good floating fit onto the gudgeon pin.

    Originally the timing side presented some problems. New timing cover screws had to be fashioned in order to sort out the issue of a previous owner using wrong thread pattern screws in the crankcase. The automatic oil pump body (this machine features both an automatic and manual pump) was fractured below where it connects to the timing cover. At first K and P were unable to extract it for repair/replacement, but have since been able to repair the body. Additionally, the manual oil pump was found to work well. Replacement inlet and exhaust cams are being sourced, as the present set show some marks as if a foreign element had been mashed into the teeth.

    Currently, the motor is awaiting the completion of the main bearing install within the crankcases. Both the lower end and top end are prepped and ready for reassembly. And that, ladies and gentlemen, wraps it up for the first set of updates on the BSA build. As previously stated, Phill and Ken have taken a completely running and rideable machine and built the motor to be better than new. That level of detail cannot simply be found anywhere. A huge thanks to our mates at Vintage and Veteran. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post as I digress into the beast known as the gearbox.

Ride safe!

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

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