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Well now you mention it , I can only but recommend BSA Unit Singles. Peter has an encyclopedic knowledge of what bit will fit what bike, and is prompt and efficient.
The books might be a tad on the pricy side but you get what you pay for. I am sure I would have been able to muddle through my 2 rebuilds without them, ....maybe ...... but it made it much easier.

I just bought (yesterday) a Wassel / Vape EI complete with coil for about $30 cheaper than a BB system (eBay).

So here is my tuppence worth of RTV silicone et al. .........
All these machines are over 40 years old. As they got older and cheaper they will have been hacked about by progressively ham fisted owners, and the cases were not very good to begin with! In fact they were truly crap at keeping the oil in the right place. I am old enough to have ridden them when new and it was a standing joke even then. Oh, we had all sorts of excuses for bad workmanship and poor quality control, but truth fully the cases came warped from the factory and any amount of paper and boiled down beetle poo was ever going to get them to seal.
So here we are 40, 50, or even 60 years later. Sure you can machine the cases so that the mating surfaces are good (as they should have been in the first place), maybe...... the outer cases are easy, but what about the inners? or you can use a modern sealant. Bear in mind that silicone was first invented in the 1850s so it is hardly ground breaking.
By lightly greasing or oiling one surface it will stop the silcone from gluing the cases together. Use sparingly, and JUST enough to squish out around the case, and you will form an impervious, form fitting, rubber gasket. Remember what ever squishes out on the outside is squishing out on the inside.

RTV is not the only thing you can use. The cunning Japanese bike manufactures have their own branded goo (urethane based? rather than silicone??) but somehow it seems a little sacrilegious to use it on a British Bike.
As far as the paper gasket ....... toss it, cummon, it was never going to work unless it had goo on both sides.

Just remember I an talking about the cases here, NOT oil pumps, carbs, and the likes!

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Thanks, Dave. I have used RTV only (specified by OEM) on car and truck differentials with success - have had a couple of failures, probably to poor technique. Will give it a try when I start reassembly.

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Bit more done today ... disassembly of clutch - gah - my clutch has rivets holding front and rear plates together. Drilled out the rivet heads and all came apart easily. Rubber shock absorbers pretty awful ... updated photos.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VFyAOL_gVX3MCUR80lhOkcwDX4fdvXQk?usp=sharing

Florida BSA #835807 01/06/21 10:30 pm
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have a good look at the clutch cush drive components if there are gouges on the end plates from the spider , scrap the lot and get a new cush drive.


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Gavin - I have added a few more photos, including of the clutch drive components. There is some light scratching, but nothing I would call a gouge ... could you look and see what you think, please?

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VFyAOL_gVX3MCUR80lhOkcwDX4fdvXQk?usp=sharing

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Have been reading a lot about bench buffers - I've had a bench grinder for many years, but it is unsuitable.

Can I get by with a 6" wheel, 1/2 HP, cheap version for doing a few bits, like covers and forks?

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I dont call that light scratching, this wear pattern is typical unfortunately, it shows the motion of the cush spider as it gives under load, the wear you see allows the clutch to tilt under load causing slip and drag. Try assembling the cush centre with no rubbers, see how much endfloat the spider has in the wear positions, it should only have a few thou. Bits like this will spoil your riding more than non shiny outer parts


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Originally Posted by Florida BSA
Have been reading a lot about bench buffers - I've had a bench grinder for many years, but it is unsuitable.

Can I get by with a 6" wheel, 1/2 HP, cheap version for doing a few bits, like covers and forks?

I have an 8" Central Machinery (Harbor Freight) buffer/ginder that works better than a bench grinder because it has an extended shaft for the buffer which allows working around the wheel more easily.

Tom


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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
I dont call that light scratching, this wear pattern is typical unfortunately, it shows the motion of the cush spider as it gives under load, the wear you see allows the clutch to tilt under load causing slip and drag.. <snip> Bits like this will spoil your riding more than non shiny outer parts

Gavin is 100% right. Get a new clutch center. It would be about $175 or so. The 'slots' on your clutch basket look okay. As Gavin says, a rough clutch on a B50 is a pita. The '72 B50SS I owned needed all of this work done, but I couldn't afford it in 1975.

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I just took a close look at the clutch center ... I can detect no play - none actually. I carefully felt the areas shown in the photo that look scratched, but can only barely detect any wear. Took some 400 paper to each to the four areas ... again, barely detect anything other than smoothness, Also nothing worn down looking from the side. Bottom of the spider shows the same machining marks as the top (top plate inside has no marks at all).

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If you feel no play you are good to go, new rubbers should fix it up, its hard to judge wear from a pic. Its only the rear plate / spider that wears, the slots in the basket and drum look pretty decent as well. You got lucky. it doesnt look like its done many miles.


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OK - so have "bunch'o'parts" on order from Peter Quick at BSAUnitSingles - great guy, focused, patient and knows his stuff!

Plan is to get painted components like tank, side covers, fenders painted by a local shop.

But, wheel hubs are a mixture of trades, so was curious if I could do this myself? You can see from photos that hubs are painted the usual BSA gray, and the rims are Jones Made in England. I think I can live with the rims (small rust spot?), but spokes are awful, and hubs are awful. Looks like most everyone goes with stainless replacement spokes (~$100US per?) - cut the old ones out, lots of scraping with paint remover, sand starting with 400 and going to 600, polishing wheel with compound, then clear coat? Then restring (re lace) the spokes - this is the scary part - looks straightforward - is it?

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Wheel building ............. It scared the bejeezus out of me as well but ....

One of the advantages and disadvantages of living on a rock in the sun is that you simply have to do things your self or they wont get done. About 40 years and 50lbs ago I built several bicycle wheels but had forgotten even the basics. Lots on Youtube and desperation later and I have just rebuilt 3 wheels.
Honestly I don't know what all the fuss is about. A decent spoke spanner is an advantage but that's it. I trued and set the offset in the frame, there is no need for jigs etc, do it where it counts, in the bike. Take photos of your lacing pattern before you cut the old spokes and take your time and it is pretty simple.

Your hubs will be alloy, take the opportunity to clean and polish them

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Dave,

Right - was going to go the polish route, vice repaint - but spray with clear coat?

Big advantage of this approach is that I can do everything on wheels myself - I might get a local motorcycle shop to true, and mount tubes and tires.

So, still can't decide whether to replace the rims with stainless ... just dropped photo of the insides of the originals here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VFyAOL_gVX3MCUR80lhOkcwDX4fdvXQk?usp=sharing ... was considering replacing, and keeping the old ones JIC someone really wanted them for full restoration - but, again, the value of these bikes is limited - may not be important.;

I do know I don't to spend much time cleaning and polishing :-)

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only one of the wheels I built had an alloy hub. Personally I just polished and waxed.
I replaced the rims and spokes, spokes stainless but rims just chrome. I don't particularly like polishing, but decided the difference in price was not worth it, and lets face it stainless still stains, it just stains less.
This is all just personal preference .
Would changing the rims really effect price ? aren't they basically a disposable item anyway?

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Agree wrt rims changing price - this isn't about value, anyway - but I don't want to go too crazy.

Did you look at the photos of the wheel - not so worried about rust inside the rim (wire brush and spray rust pain probably good for another 40 years), but outside will have spots - just irks me ...

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I am now on my second BSA rebuild, after many oriental rebuilds and several car rebuilds. Still make staggeringly stupid basic mistakes, (see my questions on lack of compression, which I did not once but twice!), but the things I regret most are not the things I have done. but the things I have NOT done.

If the spots on your wheels bother you now, believe me, you will be kicking yourself for years that you didn't deal with it when you could!

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I decided against polishing the hubs on my B50 for a few reasons: they will be a pain to occasionally buff up with polish due to the spokes and they are also the brake drums which get hot and benefit from the cast surface. I did polish the brake plates though. Here's what they look like just stripped and painted with high heat silver.


[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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Nice bike Scott. Very nice.
I think the comical hubs look best either painted silver or vapor blasted and left matt.

Florida BSA #837160 01/18/21 12:05 pm
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What a lovely concept that the brake hubs get hot. Surely for this to happen friction must be generated by the brake shoes in the first place, i.e. the damn things have to actually work! I suppose it is a possibility for you guys with the TLS hubs but my 6" is, as Mr. Bugatti said, merely symbolic.

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
my 6" is, as Mr. Bugatti said, merely symbolic.

Happens to us all Dave, but medication is available.

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
What a lovely concept that the brake hubs get hot. Surely for this to happen friction must be generated by the brake shoes in the first place, i.e. the damn things have to actually work! I suppose it is a possibility for you guys with the TLS hubs but my 6" is, as Mr. Bugatti said, merely symbolic.

Well my B50 probably only weighs 300lbs and notice the longer brake arms. I couldn't imagine that brake on a 500lb Triple but it works well on the B50. There is a gentleman on the B50.org forum that just built a hydraulic Conical front brake using MGTD wheel cylinders.

Scott

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First order of parts in - Peter is looking for a replacement chrome rim for the rear wheel. Massive time saver and Peter really knows his stuff!

Cut out the spokes yesterday - now that I have hubs clear, and other painted bits - should I remove paint on all

Was thinking about polishing hubs vice paint, but even if so need to remove the paint with stripper - should I remove paint from tank and fenders or let the fellow I hire to paint them decide what to do?

Relooked at painted hubs - very nice Scott - I like the original look and it might save a lot of time and effort long term. Can I do this with rattle cans?

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I think the original comical hubs were hammertone silver.
You can change the front hub to hydraulic this way instead of installing cylinders inside the back plate. Not as hidden though.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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I believe that original B50SS front hubs were crinkle finish black, as on my stocker: This of course is with the 18" rim as OEM on the B50SS.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

But if you want to use the 19" rim, in silver as per Dave Martin's, this one on my B50 Tracker. Brake arms are lengthened as well.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Tom

Last edited by koncretekid; 01/23/21 9:49 pm.

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