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Petrol head thread!!!

billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2020, 07:43:14 PM »
lol

i dunno

i have one from 1973 in malaysia for possesion of opium and opium smoking utensils.

sort of went with the time and place, you know


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hermes2015

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #181 on: September 11, 2020, 04:43:00 AM »
lol

i dunno

i have one from 1973 in malaysia for possesion of opium and opium smoking utensils.

sort of went with the time and place, you know

 :boaterhat:
“Who is to say that pleasure is useless?”
― Charles Eames

billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #182 on: September 27, 2020, 11:27:30 PM »
dammit i'm tired of 2020. i'm hanging out  in 1966 instead.







^^^this is my 1966 BSA A65 Thunderbolt, a 650 cc vertical twin with a single carburetor cylinder head, as opposed to the twin carb lightnings and hornets and spitfires. the Tbolt was a kinder, gentler BSA, easier of fuel, esier to maintain (a little) and easier to keep in tune, they said.

mine is a bitsa, a 1966 Thunderbolt frame and tinware with a 1972 A65 engine slipped in there. the history of old motorcycles never accompanies their possession, so i'm assuming that sometime in the past this engine suffered a blow up, and the owner found a 72 to put in instead. the thing is, only the core of the motor is 72-- cases, crank, and head. all the accessories and covers came from the 1966.

so working on this thing is an exercise in detectuive work. the engine fasteners are all modern UNF thread forms, and th ebolt sizes are standard SAE. but the frame and tinware is all pre-SAE whitworth threads and british Standard bolt sizes. so you have to keep in mind that you need two completely different sets of tools to work on it. plus two parts manuals, and two shop manuals.  some things come from a 1966 state of mind, some from a 1972.

for most subjects that would not matter much, and even for british motorcycles a matter of ten years is often unimportant.

but not these ten years. around 1970 was a revolutionary period for the british motorcycle industry, and lots of changes occured, and lots of others . . .  didn't. the japanses showed up and were a game changer, standardization of measurement appeared out of nowhere, and old wilson was PM.

like he said, a week is a long time in politics, and ten years turned out to be a long time for BSA. at the end of it they went out of business.

so just to make it awkward, the original 1966 tank sprung a leak. so i took the tank off my 1969 Thunderbolt:



which doesn't run, and am using it for the 1966.

i couldnot get the ignition to work correctlty. this thing still had the original dual points and mechanical spark advance unit, but 50 years of wear had done a number on the cam, and i could make the coils spark just by pushing the cam to the side with a screwdriver. i like points, but if the unit is worn out, it will make you hate yourself for trying to fix it.



so out with the points and in with an electronic ignition unit i forgot that i had. i used it on my race bike before i put on teh magneto, and it's vastly more sophisticated than this old nail needs. but i am not getting any younger, and i would rather ride this old pig than fix it.

then i'll braze up the hole in the fuel tank and see about starting the 1969 thunderbolt for the first time.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2020, 11:38:00 PM by billy rubin »


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Icarus

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #183 on: September 28, 2020, 12:43:03 AM »
I love that nostalgia bit Billy.  I never had much use for a Beezer except for the Gold Star single (dirt tracker).  That was a most impressive machine for its day.  I was more attracted to the Matchless G50, or my Ajay.   In any case your BSA is a cool machine for the current scene.

And don't apologize for putting a reliable ignition system in place of the BTH or Lucas crap that it came with.  Times have changed.  In the old days Lucas electrics were the brunt of all sorts of disrespecting jokes. "Why do limeys drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators."  No more.  The Lucas fuel injector modules, for example, are favored by many of the top tuners. .  They are reliable and accurate.  The Brits have come a long way because they can.

Dark Lightning

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #184 on: September 28, 2020, 02:47:23 AM »
As one of my Brit friends said, and I've probably said it here before, "Ah yes, Lucas Electronics, the Prince of Darkness!".  ;D Though I surely can't fault that distributor cam for wearing down, given the time frame and the number of times that thing has revolved.

billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #185 on: September 28, 2020, 02:20:22 PM »
the thing is, pointz are fixable in wAys that a transiztorized syztem isnt. on the old BsSAs. one half of the whole ignition can fail and you can ztill get home.

ive fixed worn out automatic advance units with piecez of beer can, and walked up and down the highway looking for wire and piecez of metal to use in emergency repairs.

a hall effect reluctor and silicon switching devicez ibside an epoxy pot dont offer the same forgiveness.


but this one is well and truly worn out, and modern ignition points dont last az long az the old onez. so its time.

i stl have two ither BSAs with pointz. one had electronic ignition and i took it out and put pointz back in because it wouldnt start.

anyway well get it running tomorrow i think


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billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #186 on: October 02, 2020, 10:18:59 PM »
i swear to god BSAs were designed just to annoy me in some fundamental and primitive way.

no room for the control box on top of the oil tank, because there's still a zener diode up there. and i still have the really nice leather tool pouch on the right, which i want to keep. but the strap the holds up the side panels did the trick:



not many places to hold the ignition coil but there was bare room up under the headstock to fit the tiny little german thing that this smartfire came with:





and of course the trigger plate and rotor fit right where they're supposed to. there's a little green light on the control module to indicate power in, the control box, and a little red LED on the trigger that you can use to static-time the ignition. really a nice package:



so i got it installed and then went looking for the instructions on setting the trigger in the timing cavity that used to hold the points. not anywhere i could find, and i  looked and looked. i tried using the instructions that came with the twin-plug pazon setup i have for when i give up on my ARD magneto in the race bike, but it uses a different rotor design and i couldn't figure out whether to have the various lights on or off and where to do it. so i emailed the manufacturer in new zealand, who was instantly prompt and helpful and sent me instructions for the smartfire unit i'm putting on, and answered my questions about the non-stock wiring i like to use.

anyway, i put it all together and it wouldn't start. wouldn't even try to start. i re-checked the timing and it was where i thought it was supposed to be, and both plugs happily sparked when i kicked th emotor. there was compression, 160 on the right, 170 on the left, so i figured the valve clearances were probably okay. so i took off the old concentric carburetor and went through it, several times. poked my little number78 drill bit through the idle jet, blew compressed air through all the holes, put it back on and it still wouldn't start. fuel was coming out the drain plug, and coming out the little hole in the tickler, so i knew it was getting there. just to check i squirted a bit of starter fluid into the cab and kicked-- th emotor fired right up and then died after a second or two.

fuel! i said, because it was obvious. so i took the carb apart again and looked it over carefully again and checked everything again.

did this over and over, to the point where i went looking for a mikuni to put on, which is not easy to do on a stinking thunderbolt, but i was ready to try. you can put the carb on, but heavens knows how you could put on an air filter. the concentric is shorter than the mikuni, and the shortest spigot manifold you can get is right at 3/4-inch, and there's just flat  not room. a lightning might be okay, because they can go off to the side, but a thunderbolt is way too orthogonal to make it easy.

anyway i finally drained out some fuel to check petcock flow for the tenth time and said, whoa,here,  wait a minute . . .

(people from oklahoma really do say "whoa . . . ". just so you know. we can't help it.)

crap. the can of race fuel that i had emptied into the thunderclone's tank was one that had been opened prior to a serious rainstorm on the way to maine last month. the rain had puddled into the screw cap recess and had wicked into the can. i hadn't noticed because i hadn't ever completely emptied the can into anything, except . . . the thunderclone.



the thunderclone wouldn't start because the son of a bitch couldn't burn water.

 so i drained out all the fuel and flushed the tank with a few cups of fresh race gas. then went ahead and kicked it.

started immediately, which i knew it would, but it still won't run except at half throttle.

ah, i said, i still don't have the timing right in this hybrid motor, and the spark is too retarded and won't run unless the rpm is up on the advance curve. so i went and advanced the spark and it started and ran better, but the trigger is pushed against its slots and so i still have to move the rotor back a bit in order to get this to where it will work okay.

but the bugger runs, so lots of other questions are now moot.

i've got it on teh battery charger now, as there was only 11.91 volts in the system. lots of these things won't run un;ess they have more volts than any points set ever needed. th eold boyer bransden ignitions i used to use wouldn't start at all if you had less than 11 volts. maybe the reason this won't run slower than half throttle is because that's where the alternator give sthe control mmodule enough juice.

we'll find out tomorw. if i get it running this will make eight motorcycles that i have running all at the same time. that almost never happens with the old junk that i own. course, there's at least five that don't.

ive promised my lovely wife that i won't buy any more until all these are running. i tried to sneak in another BSA on her once but she spotted it immediately


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Icarus

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #187 on: October 03, 2020, 05:46:57 AM »
Sounds every bit like bike shop lore Billy. Been there done that and quite a few more self administered flubs.

billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #188 on: October 03, 2020, 03:23:46 PM »
 british motorcycles were invented to instill humility

and i use machines in general az a form of meditation. lots of procedurez on theze old things are ingrained so deeply in my lizard brain that i dont consciouzly think about what im doing. i can rebuild a carburetor or adjuzt valvez without conscious thought, just uzing muscle memory, more or less.

its sim8lar in some ways to racing. when i leave the line and accelerate down a racetrack, the rest of the world ceasez to exist. there is nothing going on in my life except a motor and a vanishing point ahead of me.

ive never talked to painters about what theyre doing in tbeir heads while they create. i wonder whether its similar.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 04:25:43 PM by billy rubin »


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billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #189 on: October 04, 2020, 11:19:01 PM »
success!

the 1966 BSA lives again. i ruled out ignition, and narrow3d my problems down to air fuel ratio at low throttle settings. borrowed a carburetor from another machine and it started and ran at two of the three fuel circuits

so now im either going to fix the 50 year old carburetor thats on it

or put on a 50 year old japaneze carburetor thats easier to tune

tge light in the tunnel is brighter


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Icarus

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #190 on: October 06, 2020, 01:28:38 AM »
Billy is a nut case when he seeks the land speed record on his primitive bikes.  These Isle of Man racers are way beyond Billie's madness.   The H2R Kawasaki and it's suicidal rider are routinely exceeding 320 KM/Hr  (200+ MPH)  And they are going around corners.  At least, our Billy is going in  a hopefully, straight line.

Dark Lightning

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #191 on: October 06, 2020, 02:58:15 AM »
Billy is a nut case when he seeks the land speed record on his primitive bikes.  These Isle of Man racers are way beyond Billie's madness.   The H2R Kawasaki and it's suicidal rider are routinely exceeding 320 KM/Hr  (200+ MPH)  And they are going around corners.  At least, our Billy is going in  a hopefully, straight line.

I've watched some of that footage. I guess that those guys are made of way better stuff than I am. That driving is simply insane!

billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #192 on: October 07, 2020, 08:12:12 PM »
i would give up everything i've ever done, everything i've ever owned, and everything i could ever be

excepting my family

to have had a successful career at the island

without dying, preferably. but if dying is part of the deal, then i'd want enough time to be really good at the TT first.

then dying is okay.


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billy rubin

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #193 on: October 07, 2020, 08:25:21 PM »
in the meantime the old thunderclone is successfully resurrected.


th eslide in the carburetor was too lean to open th ethrottle quickly, which is why it died at the end up ^^^here. but i used the number three slide out of san old carburetor i had in a box, filed the slots until the choke mechanism slid freely, and put it back together. it runs fine now, except that there's no oil in the forks because it leaked out.

but now its off the lift, and i can start work on the road race bike i've been putting off:



i have almost everything i need too put this hot rod together so i can go around corners too fast on a racetrack next year, but it keeps getting pushed to the side. no more. track bike is number one.



except i've got to braze the hol e in the tank on ^^^this thing and put the 1969 tank back on the other thunderbolt befor ei lose any parts.

only the 69 thunderbolt, the 69 starfire, and the 68 441 victor left to do. all BSAs, for crying out loud. there's a lesson there for me. 


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Icarus

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Re: Petrol head thread!!!
« Reply #194 on: October 09, 2020, 01:01:16 AM »
Billy if you are serious about building a road racing machine, consider abandoning The British Small Arms Machinery.  Look at it this way.  A functional BSA of yore will bring a pretty fair price, more than it cost new.  Sell off a few of those things.  Now you will have some mad money.  Next...........................

Dig around and find an old 70s vintage Kawasaki KZ750.  In its' day it was often regarded as a road toad. Ahhh! but it has enormous potential, it is far more reliable than old Brit scoots.  It is a tad overweight but can be lightened pleasingly. It is a most capable overhead cam sort, and the head flows rather well even in stock form. Replace the pistons with some Suzuki...I forgot which ones....which raises the CR to about 11 plus.  With suitable exhaust and intake mods it will deliver more brute power than any but the most sophisticated pushrod bikes.  It runs even up or a little faster than the Cosworth Triumps.  It can be a ripper out of the corners. The brakes on the stock machine are pretty near adequate.  The swing arm is a bit crude so replace it with a box section alloy unit.  The rear coilovers can be whatever you can find that is better than the stockers.  The forks can stand a little tweaking with the valving so that they are in tune with the weight and position of the pilot (rider)

How do I know all this about a so called road toad?  I built one to compete in the BOTT (Battle Of The Twins) class.  The More I massaged it the better it became.  It was ultimately equal to any thing on the BOTT track.  It could worry the hell out of factory Sportsters on certain courses.  Damned fine machine that Rob Muzzy used to think worth some passionate development. No real money in that class so he never bothered to develop his own version. He was busy with the big time factory four cylinder super bikes at the time.

If you really want to go road racing for vintage bikes, consider the KZ750.  No way you can compete with modern twins like the Ducatis but you can stay with the old time Ducs for a lot less money.

Billy I have a Flow Quick that I need like a need like I need a paper ass.  It is in a box in my garage. I don't know if it still works but it might.  It is a poor mans air flow measuring tool. I will give it to you for free if you have any interest in playing with it. It can use its' own, included, computer program to plot all sorts of information.  Nifty little digital readout. Uses PVC pipe to route air flow past the differential measuring point. You drive it with your shop vac.  I will also give you some books about flow in cylinder heads if that is sufficient to occupy your interest instead of killing yourself on a road course like Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, Laconia,  Daytona, etc.