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Petcock Blues
#813471 06/21/20 10:15 pm
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Well I took the original push/pull petcocks apart on this '69 Thunderbolt I'm rebuilding. It took me a minute to realize I was looking at 50 year old cork.

Seems I can purchase upgraded plungers with O rings. But those are a little pricy.

Replacement petcocks from UK are quite pricy.

Then I see inexpensive Emgo petcocks.

What's the best route to leak free fuel delivery?

Thanks

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Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813478 06/21/20 10:57 pm
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New plungers with a new cork from Wallridge..
Less expensive and don't get broken like oring do.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813486 06/22/20 12:20 am
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You just buy a bag of the corks and replace the old ones.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813488 06/22/20 12:24 am
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The o-ring deals aren't proven yet in my experience. Several attempts have been made to supply these intended improvements. The ones that hold fuel a while, you can't hardly pull em out with your bare hand.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813489 06/22/20 12:26 am
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If you want to know the whole drill for replacing the corks, well I guess it hasn't been discussed for a while.

The best route to leak free is to buy a pair of BSPP reducing bushings and then buy the other type lever taps. I don't do this, I like the corks.

Last edited by leon bee; 06/22/20 12:29 am.
Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813499 06/22/20 1:09 am
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Years ago I started using aftermarket all-metal, quarter-turn petcocks on my A65 and never looked back. No rubber parts to wear out. The only maintenance they MAY require is occasional cleaning to remove fuel residue, and they come apart with a snap ring.

There are good ones and crappy ones, you can distinguish between them by the price, or ask a trusted stockiest for "the good ones" - I got mine from British Cycle Supply.

Another nice thing about these petcocks is that they take a screw-on pipe fitting, and there are straight or 90-degree pipes. When you want to remove the fuel tank, you just unscrew the nuts and you don't have to disturb the hose.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813507 06/22/20 1:40 am
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Mark

I was already headed in that direction. I was looking at options from the Bonneville Shop. They have a straight 1/4 turn petcock set intended for Triumph at a reasonable price. That particular petcock requires a sealing washer for BSA application.

Straight/ 90 Degree does it really matter?

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813512 06/22/20 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by leon bee
You just buy a bag of the corks and replace the old ones.

that is exactly what i did , but being a pedantic ex engineer i got hold of some real high grade cork (yes there are something like 5 grades of cork) and machined them down to get a good tight fit (from memory i settled on 1/2" diameter and made a little tool with a huge tapered lead in to size them to the id of the tap and boiled them before putting them in the "fixture which i froze overnight) ,,, i just soldered the spigot back on .....worked a beauty .........5 years of no leak and counting

most important is to deburr inside theof tinny little thread where the lock screw goes or it will tear the cork on insertion..........pedantic hell yeah!


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813523 06/22/20 5:33 am
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I can recommend the B.A.P type of tap as sold by the Bonneville shop and other places, these were fitted to later Triumphs and Nortons and don't leak, I think these are the ones others have mentioned above. See This Link

Don't go for the other type of 1/4 turn tap with the longer flat type lever and circlip, I have several of these fail and leak due to o ring failure the threads stripping.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813527 06/22/20 6:54 am
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Get your current plunger and drop it in hot water for about 5 minutes or when the water has cooled, take it out and squeeze the water out of it, put it back in.

I have some new plungers should the cork fall apart one day but these are still the originals and going strong.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Petcock Blues
gunner #813532 06/22/20 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Tracey Spear
Mark

I was already headed in that direction. I was looking at options from the Bonneville Shop. They have a straight 1/4 turn petcock set intended for Triumph at a reasonable price. That particular petcock requires a sealing washer for BSA application.

Straight/ 90 Degree does it really matter?

On a dry-frame A65, the petcocks are so close to the rocker cover that I think you need the 90-degree fittings to allow clearance for the hose. I have the 90 degree fittings, but I run Mikunis, with an "H" arrangement in the hose, so mine is not a good example.

Yes, these petcocks have a nut that tightens against the tank, and the washers that work are the type that are rubber sandwiched inside copper.

One other issue, up to 1967 at least, A65s had larger diameter petcocks, that is, where they thread into the tank, larger than Triumph and larger than the standard aftermarket petcocks. So my bike requires adapters to bring the holes down to the standard size, which is about 1/2 inch. (Note: Petcocks are "sized" by the inner diameter, so those with a 1/2" outer diameter I believe are known as "1/4 inch".) I believe in 1968 BSA brought the holes down to the standard size, but you may want to verify this. The earlier larger petcocks are about 5/8" outer diam.

Originally Posted by gunner
I can recommend the B.A.P type of tap as sold by the Bonneville shop and other places, these were fitted to later Triumphs and Nortons and don't leak, I think these are the ones others have mentioned above. See This Link

Don't go for the other type of 1/4 turn tap with the longer flat type lever and circlip, I have several of these fail and leak due to o ring failure the threads stripping.

Gunner, my petcocks have a flat lever and a snap ring to hold the plunger in, but they have no rubber O-rings. But I think you're right that they are the type that were fitted to later Triumphs and Nortons.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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Re: Petcock Blues
Mark Z #813550 06/22/20 1:38 pm
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Just be careful with the BAP petcocks. I use them on several bikes BUT. When they weep a little at the tank DO NOT over tighten the nut thinking you’ll stop the weeping. You need a good sealing washer. Over tightening the nut can break the threaded section off. Yea, go ahead and ask me how I know that x2 ( I can be a slow learner). Other than that I love those taps and keep new spares on the shelf for the next project.

Never cared for the push pull corks......but they can be made to work. O-ring conversion failed 2nd or 3rd time it was used....and was costly.

It’s all part of the fun, Gordon in NC

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813553 06/22/20 1:49 pm
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The weep with BAP valves is usually down the thread inside the sealing washer and through the locknut. Fit the valve to the tank using PTFE tape and lock in correct orientation using the locknut


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Re: Petcock Blues
Mark Z #813561 06/22/20 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Mark Z
On a dry-frame A65, the petcocks are so close to the rocker cover that I think you need the 90-degree fittings to allow clearance for the hose.

Yea, I noticed that this morning. I sat the tank on the frame and could tell a straight tap would bring the hose uncomfortably close to the heads. I'm not to the point where I can mount the tank on the rubbers yet, but that's not going to buy much room. I think a 90 degree 1/4 turn tap would be great. I may have to use an adaptor for 1/4" taps. That would give me a lot more options.

In the mean time...... I think I'll get some chem tool and soak the original petcocks. See if I can remove all the fuel varnish crud. If I can get the bores clean enough I may try soaking the cork and see if I can get the originals to hold fuel.

In the mean time... I'm cleaning the tank.

Thanks all for the advice.

Re: Petcock Blues
Andy Higham #813567 06/22/20 4:27 pm
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[quote=Andy Higham]The weep with BAP valves is usually down the thread inside the sealing washer and through the locknut. Fit the valve to the tank using PTFE tape and lock in correct orientation using the locknut[/quote

PTFE isn’t rated for our fuel ( at least around here) stuff just deteriorates. You can find the yellow that’s labeled “gas” but it’s not for the gas we use.

Seems like the last time I mounted BAPs I used a good sealing washer and some type of pipe dope. I’d have to scrounge around to find what I got for it. The last I did were solid brass and they had their own problems. Thanks to Mr Healy I now have a lube that makes those a joy to use.

( ethanol, it’s getting worst not better)

YRMV..........Gordon

I’m having a flashback. The dope ( I think?) was/is a Permatex product made especially for our fuels. Dark brown stuff that worked a treat. And yes I pretty much used the nut for orientation but there still was a sealing washer above it.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/22/20 4:52 pm.
Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813569 06/22/20 4:53 pm
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+1 to above. And I did everything mentioned above, other than changing taps to non original, mainly because of limited space, using home market 4 gallon tank on my A65 instead of original smaller one. Anyway soaking old plungers never worked for a whole season, trying to install a new cork on old plungers often failed because of low grade of cork sold. Finally, after 10 years of trying different things I used new Walridge plungers in original BSA petcocks and it worked like a dream - no leaks for a full season anywhere and I sold a bike with them.
It is also important to use original taps, modern copies look the same but inside design is different making leaks even harder to tame.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813595 06/22/20 7:17 pm
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You have to like the original taps to deal with them. I like them and can change out both corks on a bike in about 30 minutes........if the tank isn't real full. Or I can go over to my jar of spindles/corks soaking in gasoline and swap in another pair in about 10 minutes.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813599 06/22/20 7:44 pm
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I am a big fan of original, authentic BAP valves, or if they aren't original, at least in the form as they were for many years in the past. They work at least as well as any petcock on the market and are leak free, installed properly with new dowty washer and backing washer. Not always original, of course, but they work really well and reliably.

More recently, I have had a couple leak though, and there is nothing to get your attention like gasoline leaking in a connected garage! I am assuming that wherever these came from, they were cheap Chinese imitations of the real thing, even though they say "BAP" right on them and look identical.

You can do a couple different things with these leaking petcocks. One answer is throw the darned things away before they burn your house down. Another is to take it apart and figure out what is wrong and fix it. Since I am a fixer, I tried that. On the leakers I had, I took them apart by removing the screws and it turned out the valve portion of the more recent imitation BAP -- the valve is integral with the lever -- was not finished properly (smoothly) where it faces the neoprene seal in the body. Instead, it had some minor casting irregularity in it, both times. Interesting to contemplate something that could burn your house down being apparently so minor a flaw. I flattened them on a piece of 400 wet or dry wet with WD40 on a piece of glass, and they did not continue to leak when I put them back together. They now work flawlessly, just as I have come to expect from BAP petcocks.

Since I bought these two BAP petcocks from different sources, at different times at least a year apart, I am assuming this could be a fairly widespread problem, at least with the imitation knockoff Chinese (?) BAP petcocks. FWIW

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813604 06/22/20 8:46 pm
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Quote
they were cheap Chinese imitations of the real thing

Completely agree with this, I'm sure that the problems I had with the BSA replica taps with the 1/4 turn longer flat lever were due to poor quality materials and tolerances. I'm not sure what their origin country was but presumably somewhere in Asia. I found the metal was so soft that the threads stripped easily both on the upper part where the nut seals against the tank and the lower part where the fuel pipe union bolts on. Additionally the internal rubber seals gave up after a year or so and the combination of these problems led to my garage reeking of petrol a few times.

These issues made me change to the BAP type of tap and I've had no leakage problem for a few years. Since most new taps are copies I don't know how to identify good taps from bad but I do notice that some vendors market their taps as excellent quality and these tend to be more expensive.

Last edited by gunner; 06/22/20 8:47 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #813618 06/23/20 12:45 am
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This all inspired me so today I grabbed a couple spindles with good looking corks out of my jar. Soaped em up real well and dug out my 67 Hornet, stuck em in there and went for a ride. Pretty sure they'll last till it gets too cold out for me.

Re: Petcock Blues
leon bee #813689 06/23/20 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by leon bee
You have to like the original taps to deal with them. I like them and can change out both corks on a bike in about 30 minutes........if the tank isn't real full. Or I can go over to my jar of spindles/corks soaking in gasoline and swap in another pair in about 10 minutes.

I like them, already have a set of original BSA taps with new plungers ready to install in a special A 65 I build from pieces.

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #814154 06/27/20 2:21 am
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I went with this from our good friends at Baxter. 90Deg 1/4 Turn Petcock Kit They had Nice Reproduction, Taiwanese, or made in UK. I ordered the one from UK and verified that it fits reasonably well. I suppose time will tell how well it performs.

Looking at it though, it's hard to deny the elegant simplicity of the original Ewerts design. What do I need to do to revive the original? Don't start on boiling the corks. These 50 year old corks are way beyond that. How do I go about rebuilding?

It looks like the brass shaft needs to be released from the knurled knob with the L channel. Replace cork, Reassemble.
Is it that simple?
Does the knurled knob thread onto the plunger or press fit?

Where do I source corks that are likely to result in leak free plumbing?

I assume a good soak in chem-tool is in order to remove the varnish from the barrel? Seems to me the bore has to be clean for the cork to have any chance of sealing.

Thanks All

Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #814168 06/27/20 5:32 am
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Yeah, you're supposed to drive the spindle out of the knob with a pin punch, replace cork, knob back on and peen the brass a little. Then a few years ago Norbsa, Michigan I think, mentioned just slitting the cork to install and I've been doing that ever since. Submerge new cork in real hot water for a few minutes. Trim length with a razor blade, then slit one side and carefully ease it onto the brass spindle. Have a bar of white real soap, soap up the cork and force it in there. This works just fine.

I can lean a bike way over and replace either or both sides quickly.

Don't ever let the corks dry clear out, that's when you have to boil them, etc. Over the winter my corks/spindle plungers live in a jar of gasoline.

But. You can't just buy two corks, gotta have a little bag of them. Some break and some you have to reject. And I haven't bought any for some years so don't know what parts guys may be asking these days. I've always been going to sit down and figure out how to make my own, but that hasn't happened yet.

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Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #814728 07/01/20 9:04 pm
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For all BSA's I like to use the 83-2800 & 83-2800 petcock with the Triumph seals, and the adapter we stock (or reducer) from 3/8BSP to 1/4BSP

No more corks, no more leaks

You will have to change your fittings that lead up to the end of the petcocks


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Re: Petcock Blues
Tracey Spear #816965 07/21/20 7:51 pm
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I've got the 90 Deg petcocks waiting in the wings. But respecting the elegant simplicity and correct looks of the original Ewerts I decided to attempt to refurbish the original petcocks. I've received corks and disassembled the plunger.

So.... How does one properly reassemble the petcock with any hope of proper function?

My first issue is the size of the cork. It seems a fair it large for the bore. Is this where the boiling water comes in? Does boiling allow the cork to compress into the bore?
Dry, I don't see it fittin'
https://i.postimg.cc/HnwCV639/IMG-2666.jpg

Thank you

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