Author Topic: How much work is realistic?  (Read 1777 times)

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Phil C

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How much work is realistic?
« on: 05 July, 2021, 12:01:27 »
Good morning everyone, When I eventually find a house to buy, I'll be looking to get its garage as I want it, which I can't really do at present as I'm in a rented place. Thinking about how I'd want the garage, I also got to pondering how much work it's feasible to do on a bike, eg my bike (1965 B40F), without any machine tools or expensive specialist equipment or assistants on hand, and with limited experience and limited knowledge, but having interest and enthusiasm, and of course access to this forum. The bike is running okay and seems to be in pretty good nick, but I've never had the head off or been into the bowels of the crankcase or inside the gearbox, or stripped the forks. I find jobs on the bike interesting, even though I've learnt that these machines are money pits and when doing one job you often find several others things that need attention (and money.) Should I firstly assume that passing the winter (or however long) carrying out a complete strip down and rebuild is out of the question for me in a normal domestic garage? What is realistic and what's not? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.   Phil

DAVE BRADY

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #1 on: 05 July, 2021, 12:31:05 »
Hi Phil,

Apart from machining you can do anything that needs doing to a BSA in a domestic garage with a good tool kit and a few pullers etc.  These can be bought but experience and knowledge can only be gained by learning and doing.  A complete strip down and rebuild is within your grasp.

Dave.

chaz

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #2 on: 05 July, 2021, 12:36:19 »
Phil
pm sent regarding B40
(and workshop)
charlie

idie

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #3 on: 05 July, 2021, 13:48:02 »
I don't know how old you are, but if you have seen a few winters pass by I would recommend a bike lift before you start. You won't be knocking out your knees.

DAVE BRADY

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #4 on: 05 July, 2021, 14:31:46 »
Hi,

I should also have mentioned a decent bench that can take a large vice so that you can grip things and bash them if needed and if you have space a small pillar drill is far better than a hand held one. 

Dave.

Phil C

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #5 on: 05 July, 2021, 15:14:56 »
I have a bench and vice of sorts, and a selection of hand tools. Might look to get a small bench-mounted drill. Hydraulic bench for the bike is obviously expensive but might be worth it. Wondered if someone might suggest a small bench-mounted rack-and-pinion press, and  a grinder. Dave, you say "Apart from machining..." - hopefully there wouldn't be much requirement for a lathe or milling machine, as there's no way I'd have space for them (or be able to justify the cost.) Any further thoughts please anyone?  Phil

chaz

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #6 on: 05 July, 2021, 15:21:08 »
Phil, have a look at the free ads locally or on facebook, if you have experience with a welder you could make your own rising bench with a car jack, there are designs on the web. if lucky someone may be giving up riding, I bought a Honda Pan European locally, and managed to wangle a workbench at half price.

DAVE BRADY

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #7 on: 05 July, 2021, 16:07:21 »
Hi,

If you can weld a bit look for hospital surplus beds.  Electrically operated they can lift very heavy people.  I made one but it struggles with an A65.  A B40 would be no problem and the heavy duty lockable castors make it easy to push it around but not advisable when fully elevated.

Dave.

BEESY

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #8 on: 05 July, 2021, 17:51:50 »
A bike lift is 100% worth it. Imagine how much easier looking for your oil leek would have been with the bike at waist height.

Even simple jobs are so much easier without the bending and stooping.

Your knees will love you forever.
« Last Edit: 05 July, 2021, 18:00:03 by BEESY »

Pete Gill

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #9 on: 05 July, 2021, 22:51:25 »
Hi Phil
In my experience garages can be too cold in winter to work so look at insulation and heating.
I have a bike lift but rarely use it. I sit on a camping stool to do a lot of low down work instead of kneeling.
Pete

Mike40M

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #10 on: 06 July, 2021, 07:25:31 »
A low stool (about 40cm high) saves your knees. Also very good when changing wheels on cars. Welded one decades ago. Just a couple of years ago got a bike lift  for a full renovation of a Manx. Still uses the stool working on bikes when the bike lift is occupied by another bike. Japanese twostroke race bikes have a tendency to stay for long periods on the lift. And Nortons.
The hydraulic press is rarely used. A quite big vice can handle most press work.
A small bench grinder is used almost every day. As the drill press.
Good lighting is a must. And of course a clean floor to find the nuts and other things you drop.
Old oven trays are useful under British bike engines.
« Last Edit: 06 July, 2021, 07:36:26 by Mike40M »

Phil C

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #11 on: 07 July, 2021, 11:16:27 »
One reason I'm tempted to try to strip the whole engine down (when I eventually find a house to buy with garage) is so that I can see for myself what condition it's in, and reassure myself that it's not about to have a major breakdown. Is that a good reason? Obviously, having little experience of engines, I would be taking photos and asking this forum what condition it's in, as I might well not know! I realise that I would come across problems which might make me ask myself why I didn't just leave well alone, and it might be me, not the engine, having a breakdown!
Other reasons include curiosity, interest, enjoyment, satisfaction.
All comments appreciated, as always.
Phil

idie

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #12 on: 07 July, 2021, 12:28:48 »
Your last but one line would sum up what I would do.

courtney

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #13 on: 07 July, 2021, 17:12:53 »
I'm in a similar position to you, Phil, though a house is a little further off for me at the moment.

I currently have to wait for good weather to do much on my C15. The engine made its way into my tiny studio flat (bedsit) to be rebuilt, which worked but was not ideal. Now that's done, I've got 4 bicycle frames and a complete bike in my room, along with wheels under the bed and a tub of bicycle parts on top of the wardrobe. My cylinder head from the C15 is currently off and in here too, along with the forks from my B25. It's either shameful or I'm living the dream.

I'd recommend a lift and a stool, a nice solid work bench and decent vice, somewhere to have your tools so you don't have to keep getting them out and packing them away each time, decent lighting and a few special tools. Having a little welder and bench grinder to make or modify tools and brackets would be good too, as would a drill press as has already been suggested.

If I had a workshop, I'd also look at getting a small compressor. Blowing through oilways, media blasting and certain other tools you can attach to it I think would be very helpful.
1965 BSA C15
1970 BSA B25 (US spec.)
2004 Aprilia Tuono

DAVE BRADY

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Re: How much work is realistic?
« Reply #14 on: 07 July, 2021, 17:27:56 »
Hi,

And don't forget that the compressor is great for pumping up tyres and seating the beads when new ones are fitted.
Although not relevant to BSAs, without a compressor you will never get a tubeless tyre bead to seat and seal.

Dave.