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Glen's D3/D14 bits build...
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GlenAnderson
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May 26, 2016 - 12:06 am
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Evening all. laugh

Thought I'd start a thread here about a project that's been gestating slowly in my mind for a loooooong time.

Many years ago I bought a D14/4 engine, with a notion to rebuild it and fit it into my D1. For one reason or another, this has never happened, although I did run a D7 engine with the D14's head and barrel in the D1 for quite some time. The D1 is now pretty much returned to standard, and I have decided to keep it that way.

I had been havering for years whether to sell the D14 engine or keep it. I have all the bits to rebuild it, and have had them for quite some time. To give you a clue, the crank was rebuilt by Andy and Tony (The original T&G Motorcycles) when they had their shop at Thornton Heath; it's been in the bottom of my wardrobe for more than twenty five years...

Anyway, I was looking at my D1 the other day, trying to decide how best to attack the job of replacing the forks with the correct early style ones, rather than the later D3/D5 ones it's currently wearing. I've decided that I can't justify removing sixty-three years of patina, nearly forty of which I'm personally responsible for, and that got me thinking...

In my "spares" cache I have the D14/4 engine, complete, but in bits.

I have a set of later, heavy pattern D3/D5 forks, in useable condition, complete with handlebar clamp and headlight bracket.

I have a spare D1/D3 petrol tank.

I have a D5 front hub and brake assembly.

I have a D1 rear hub and brake assembly.

I have a spare D1/D3 Wipac headlight shell.

I have a set of "ace" bars.

I have half an expansion chamber exhaust system from (I think) an RD350 twin. 

I have loads and loads of other bits and bobs kicking about that really should be built into something useable rather than taking up space in dusty boxes and not earning their keep doing something useful.

And, if I'm not going to spend a small fortune beautifying the D1, I have a small fund of money that could be diverted to build something interesting...

So. What frame would be best to build it around?

Not a rigid D1. I have one of those, and bitter experience tells me the last thing it really needs is more power. Well, a little more would be nice, the 7/8 hp of a D7 makes them go very nicely, but a peakier D14/4 engine is a recipe for something pretty unpleasant. IMHO, anyway.

Not a plunger frame either. I've had one of those, they're heavy, with all the weight at the back, and I didn't like it. 

The D7 onwards style frame wouldn't suit the earlier tank and forks I have, and I'm not keen on the styling of the rear subframe.

So we're down to two...

A D5 is out. I don't like the stretched rear subframe and side panels/toolbox, or the near vertical rear shocks, and I want to run 19" wheels that will be interchangeable with the ones on my D1. Infact, I'd like as many bits as possible to be interchangeable with the D1, either as individual bits, or as assemblies. That way, if the unexpected happens, I can rob Peter to fix Paul if I have to.

So. That means the only one left is the 1956/57 swingarm D3 - which neatly combines my desired "early" Bantam look, with the more civilised benefits of a modern-ish rear suspension setup (that looks like a miniaturised Gold Star). 

So I cast my net out looking for one. I had a bit of luck on ebay, and got a friend to collect it for me as he lived much nearer to the seller than I did. He has stored it for me for a couple of months, and I picked it up last weekend. For the £100 it cost, I'm pretty pleased.

No documents though, so I'll be needing the club's help to get it registered when the time comes.

I envisage frame, forks, tank, exhaust, wheels etc. as described above. A single seat, alloy guards, rear-set footrests.

Progress will not be swift. Wheels are going to be expensive to get built, and I'd like the whole thing to be nicely finished if the D1 is going to remain ratty. I am in a quandary as to whether to paint it black as the frame is reasonably well painted, and my rear hub is also stoved black, whether to paint it a more authentic D3 grey, or whether to maximise the interchangeability of parts with my D1 and go mist green - my thinking being that, should i decide down the line to part with it, the wheels could be swapped between the bikes with minimal effort and the biggest single expense of the job could be kept... Hmmm first-world problems!

Anyway, that's enough for now, all the best, Glen. 

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BSAdave
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May 26, 2016 - 7:12 am
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Hi,

Sounds like a plan to me, what you could do is sell me the D5 front hub, you would then have more money to buy better stuff.

D1 D3 D5 D7 Suzuki TS 125, Yamaha YDS7 250

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GlenAnderson
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July 18, 2016 - 5:25 pm
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We have an update!

Not much progress, but my misbehaving account has been ransacked and I now find myself the proud owner of this:

I have been idly looking for the bits I'm short of for the project, and pretty dismayed at how much some stuff seems to be fetching. This turned up not too far from me, and is as complete as I'd need it, together with having the major advantage of a live identity on the DVLA computer - so no registration hassles and I'm not cannibalising a complete machine for my little vanity project. 

Now I have to decide whether to do a "sleeper" type build, keeping the bike looking "standard at first glance" with stock bars, footrests, side panel/toolbox, dualseat etc., or whether to keep on with my intended mini cafe-racer notions, with cut-down alloy mudguards, ace bars, alloy side panels, single saddle and high-level expansion chamber exhaust.

I shall have to have a proper think. laugh A lot will depend on how well I physically fit on it as there's not much scope for stuff like rear-set footrests that I can actually get my feet on and still stand any chance of operating the brake and gears... laugh

Whilst scruffy, the bike is sound enough that I can simply clean/lubricate and fettle until I get to where I want to be with it aesthetically. Once I've "dry built" it and am happy with how it looks, I'll consider paint. Being black though, in the short term it'll be easy enough to make "10 feet away" presentable with the aid of some cheap rattle cans from Halfords or suchlike. I'll either leave this one looking scruffy and make my D1 tidy, or I'll leave the D1 scruffy and do this one nicely instead. The interchangeability of parts between the two is quite handy in that respect. If I do make this one properly nice then it'll be in grey rather than black, as I think they look nicer in the lighter pastel shades - although the maroon is one of my favourite ever colours on a bike... 

Can you tell I'm still undecided? thinking_gif

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Anderzander
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July 18, 2016 - 6:15 pm
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I hope you'll share your progress - this looks like a great project.

Another option would be a trials bike?  Looks a great set up for a nice old looking, but effective, trials machine.

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BSAdave
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July 18, 2016 - 7:15 pm
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This might help you , it is my D3 swing-arm frame effort, I also have the proper rear mudguard and side panels so it can easy be put back to how it left the factory if required.  Being over 6ft tall I ruled out the cafe racer route as like you say there is not a lot of room on a bantam.

https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8785/27778348763_cc71834684_b.jpg

D1 D3 D5 D7 Suzuki TS 125, Yamaha YDS7 250

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GlenAnderson
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October 11, 2018 - 11:45 pm
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Dave, your D3 looks very much like my D5 greenlane special I built many years ago. Nice. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. 

Progress has been very slow. Glacial in fact. Too many other things to do, not enough time and minimal funds means this has really taken a back seat. It’s still happening though, and I’ve done a bit on it over the last couple of years. 

The pictures I posted above were taken the day it arrived. Much to my astonishment, both tyres held air when I tried pumping them up. Handy for moving it around. The front one let go though, and that spurred me into stripping out the front wheel, cleaning it up and spraying it black (satin), as well as removing, cleaning, regreasing and refitting the front wheel bearings. A new tyre and tube had us rolling again. 

You can see in the pictures that the centre stand has been bodged, and the brake pedal is way out of line. Turned out that the whole footrest mounting had been twisted around in the frame, tearing the welds apart. I managed to realign everything, but having recently given up my gas welding bottles and kit, and unwilling to use the MIG on an area so heavily oil contaminated, I put the project to one side for a bit and concentrated on other stuff. Recently though, I’ve been reorganising my workshop and needed to move the bike from where it had been buried and used that as an excuse to get it to the local British Bike place, Roadstar Cycles in Dover, who very neatly gas welded it all back together for a very reasonable sum. They also helicoiled one of the brake/stand stop bar mounting threads which had been mangled. 

Some pictures:

And with a quick squirt of paint. Aldi’s finest:

The paint’s not perfect, far from it, but it’s sound and better by far than what it was. 

I’ve straightened the bent front mudguard stays, and found a useable replacement for the missing one in my parts stash. I’ve got a bit of patching to do on the front mudguard where it’s rubbed through on the fork leg one side, and a split, as well as a couple of dents to massage out. I think the front forks need new bushes, but other than that the front end is ok. 

I’ve decided to go with a set of D1 competition footrests, as they’ll give a slight raise and rear set without any issues with relocating brake pedal or gear lever, and I’m going to use the Ace bars I’ve got to complete the “boy racer” look. Part of my garage/workshop reorganise means that the Bantams are more accessible than they have been, but that also means I need to be able to move them easily if they’re in the way, and to be able to park them without having to find clear wall space to lean them on. Hence the push to get the frame repaired so I can fit this:

A nice new stand that I had been putting off buying up until now. 

With luck, I’ll get the footrests and stand all sorted out in the next week or so, which will in turn allow me to sort the front forks. 

Thanks for looking in. Glen. 

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sunny
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October 12, 2018 - 8:57 am
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hi  Glen    the  dropstands   are  never  high  enuf    please  put  1/2"   boots   on  your  new one

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GlenAnderson
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October 12, 2018 - 4:13 pm
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sunny said
hi  Glen    the  dropstands   are  never  high  enuf    please  put  1/2"   boots   on  your  new one  

I don’t think BSA ever made a bike with a decent centre stand. The design on early Bantams is particularly poor. As soon as someone sits on the bike whilst it’s on its stand, it bends; leaving both wheels on the ground. Extending it only makes the lever longer, and accelerates the problem. Strengthening the stand only causes the frame mount to twist and break instead - which is exactly what had happened to necessitate the repair I’ve just had to carry out. Frustrating though it is, it’s easier to treat the stands as disposable, and either straighten or replace them as necessary, than to try and engineer a solution that doesn’t require major frame surgery. 

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October 12, 2018 - 11:13 pm
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As well as sitting on the bike while it`s on the stand,I see people start their bikes while on the stand too...standing astride,might as well jump up and down on the bike 🙁

Stand down-tubing can be cut after lining-up marks scribed down them,and snug-fitting stepped inserts fitted and welded up.I`m no fan of sticking bits to the bottom of the stand feet...aesthetics fusspot that I am 🙂

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