Oil-In Frame BSA Design Issues

A reader questions whether his friend’s oil-in-frame BSA will have any issues.

Reader Contribution by Jerry Gere
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by Keith Fellenstein

If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an email with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.

Oil-in-frame BSA

Q: A friend has an oil-in-frame 1970 BSA. Are there issues related to this design? It hasn’t run in 20 years.

Jerry Gere/via email

A: The only mechanical issues I’ve run into with oil-in-frame (OIF) Triumphs or BSAs were caused by careless sandblasting, leaving sand in the frame oil tank. Having sat that long, the oil left, if any, will be sludgy at the bottom. Best practice would be to first drain the oil, then remove the four bolts holding the bottom cover on the downtube. Thoroughly clean the filter screen, looking for any telltale metal parts, then reassemble with new gaskets.

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