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BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

Hi All,

We have made some good progress but now at a point where I felt it safer to ask advice, rather than possibly loose fingers, or even worse small parts of the bike. :upside_down_face: As you know I am learning as I go so please be gentle with me.:smile:


The next stage is to remove the clutch and the cush drive, can any body share wisdon with me please. The cush drive, I believe I need to compress the spring to release the tension to get the nut off, and am I right in thinking that a couple of pairs of needle nose mole grips will do this? The photo below shows the nut, it has had a harsh life, do I need to replace it?


Any advice on taking the clutch off? will there be loads of tension to be aware of? Again please see picture below.


Can I ask peoples thoughts on tyres please? I am thinking these (see picture below) I am wanting to complete the bike with RAF desert markings, would these be in keeping, what does everyone else use? And where do you get them from?


Engine plates and gearbox painted. I have seen pictures of many bike, some with these painted, some with them not, which would be correct for desert? My thought was painted to stop reflection in the bright sun, as you can see from the photo below mine is painted, and needs stripping to start again, I will be taking them back careful, so if not painted it's less work for me.


Last question for the moment, I promise. What colour would the bikes in the desert be painted? I have a local paint dealer to use, but wondered if anyone had a paint code they have use? Mine has been different colours in the past which have shown them selves as we took parts off.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above.

Thank you in advance, Dan

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Re: BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

You don't need to compress the cush drive spring to remove the nut. Had the rear wheel still been on the bike you could have put the bike in gear and used the brake to keep the crank from turning while removing the nut.

Your options now are to put a block of soft wood between the primary chain and crank sprocket to lock it in place and then you can turn the nut off. Or put the rear chain back on and use it to keep the crank from turning.

The nut being beat up is common as no one ever seemed to have the proper tool to remove it. You can clean it up with a file or replace it. You can make the proper tool to remove it from a socket.

Now as for the clutch, I have never seem a WM20 with a six spring clutch as it did not appear until 1948. If you don't care about originality, get rid of it an fit a Triumph pre-unit clutch as it a great improvement over the six spring and single spring clutch you bike would have had new.

Re: BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

Hi Dan, Bruce is right, those 6 spring clutches are crap, Originally it would have had the "Empire Star" single spring Clutch. You could buy a Triumph clutch (Non cush type) But you would also need an adapter. Try Kidderminster Motorcycles or better Still Monty's Motorcycles in Devon. I might just have a complete second hand single spring clutch for sale?

I use a rattle gun with special sockets for both nuts. Yours has been removed/replaced the old fashioned way with a hammer and drift!! (Good old Chris)

From the factory the engine plates were always painted but not the cases, although post war REME often did and everything could be splashed over for the dessert.

I didn't like the primrose yellow on offer by WD paint dealers, so I painted my 3HW in a stone colour which turns out to be German "Google Dunkelgelb"

The tyre you show is a bit too Trials to my mind. This is favoured by many lately and cheaper and nearby:-

I notice you also have a post war timing cover (with the flying B) Can I also suggest you buy or download a maintenance manual and parts list if you haven't already got them. Regards Ron

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Re: BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

You might find this thread useful
And this one

Re: BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

If you need to lock the crank to undo (or tighten, as in the picture) the cush drive nut try this. I find it works better than relying on the rear brake.


Re: BSA strip down work is progressing, advice please.

Usually you can find an opended spanner just the right length to do that

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