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#833560 12/17/20 12:18 am
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Hi All,

Forty (40!) years (sigh) ago I bought a very nice 1972 BSA B500 SS from a dealer in College Station, Texas; they had completed work on the bike in 1981 for a client who never returned - I can no longer remember what I was told they had repaired, but the bike was very nice, looked original, rode well, started as it was supposed to … :-). Was, at that point nine years old.

I had owned several bikes, new and old, by then - all Japanese - all great and fun, and reliable. THIS however, was INTERESTING!

Rode it for a couple of years in College Station and Corpus Christi, Texas while completing initial flight training in the bike’s seeming counterpart - T-28 Trojan.

Paint wasn’t as nice as it should have been, so I painted the metal bits with Emron paint - in the garage middle of Texas summer. Meh - nice, but not beautiful.

Moved to a variety of places over the intervening many years - carried it everywhere except Hawaii. It just sat in the garage in a corner at each place. “Honey, it’s a classic!” Life continued to happen.

Only odd circumstance was when boredom overcame me between flight cycles while living in Brunswick, Maine - one February I decided to start it up … figure 1988. Way too cold obviously, and kept hitting the tickler … too much gas … lit off both the internal combustion thing and the external on fire thing. Got it extinguished quickly, but did scorch the tank and a couple of wires - no burn throughs. Gave up.

Continued to move...

Well, it’s time to do something - so, I have a few options, but need some advice. Engine turns over fine (just rolling it through with everything disconnected), starter pawl needs to be replaced (it doesn’t return to vertical, and when in gear spinning the rear wheel causes it to bump, but that is minor, I think).

Option 1 - full restoration replacing almost everything, repainting almost everything, rebuilding almost everything (whether all need it simply trying to make new again)

Option 2 - partial restoration of just those things that need it, including repainting metal bits except the frame

Option 3 - use as a basis for a hybrid bike of some sort, things like replacing scrambler pipe with swept, etc.

All options would include electronic ignition, repaint, engine repairs as needed once back together.

My sense is the value of the bike is limited, even if it is in near perfect condition, so I was considering more options 2 and 3.

Furthering the sense of the passage of time, I had a large box of stuff for the bike that I had also been carrying around; I thought was mainly bits I had removed (like carb and side panels, etc). Turns out it included: two tires and tubes, the kickstarter pawl gear and shaft, a reworked carburetor (original I had redone somewhere?), complete set of oil and gas hoses, full set of gaskets, stainless side cover bolts, new rear brake light cover, new struts and seal kit, new stickers for the tank and side panels, fuel petcocks, rubber bits for all the pegs, etc, new clutch cable. Most from around 2000-2005, the last time I was going to work on it - but, life was still happening.

Would appreciate input regarding the various options - I took some photos that might be instructive on determine condition as it applies to the options - can't find how to post photos, yet, so here is a link that should work: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VFyAOL_gVX3MCUR80lhOkcwDX4fdvXQk?usp=sharing

Thanks to All!

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IMHO--go for Option 2.
From the photos you have a good start point and it sounds as though you have some at least of the parts that you will need.
Just my two cents worth of course---the decision, rightfully so, is yours.
HTH

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I'd go for Option 2 as well, or possibly just do what's needed to recommission it and then take it out and play with it, as the old dirt bike boys used to say.

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I would first make it run. fix engine as required. obviously, tires, etc need to be replaced with new.

as you said... "All options would include electronic ignition, repaint, engine repairs as needed once back together."

I'm in the make it run first camp. it sounds like it's in near running shape now, yet it also sounds like it's been in mothballs for years.
fix as required first. a complete teardown makes for a really big project. one that tends to overwhelm.

the kicker needs to be re-clocked

Florida BSA #833596 12/17/20 10:07 am
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Nice looking start point.
I would examine all the rubber mounts, replace any that are cracked or perished.
Get it running . Ride it . Then ponder paint.
The front mudguard brackets are upside down.Unless you like the big gap.


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Florida BSA #833603 12/17/20 12:09 pm
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I agree, get the thing running and enjoy it for a while. That will then help you decide what to do next, but for the love of God repaint NOW ........ Purple??!!

Florida BSA #833605 12/17/20 12:26 pm
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The purple is Hi Fi Violet and the original paint and correct for the year.

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There is a world of difference between "correct" and "right". Some fashions are best forgotten, to be passed over with a " yee Gods what were we thinking!" Purple was simply wrong then and is still wrong now!

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
There is a world of difference between "correct" and "right". Some fashions are best forgotten, to be passed over with a " yee Gods what were we thinking!" Purple was simply wrong then and is still wrong now!

Looks nice on the B50T though with just the Stripe on the alloy tank


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)

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That thing is clean! You must have stored it carefully. I vote for getting it running as is. That wouldn't take much work and helps you find out about the other things it needs.. But, expect all the oil seals to be hardened and cracking by now and demanding replacement. That's more work but I would still get it running first.

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Thanks for quick inputs, All!

Gavin - ahhhh .... I see where each side is attached by a rectangular keeper - the brackets are mounted upside down! Now, don't know if I did this when repainting in 1981, or previous owner had already done it ... it was the era prior to digital photography, so I may have been the culprit! Will reinstall correctly next time! Thanks!

Kommando - yeah, hi fi violet. Original color I tried to match with Imron (misspelled earlier) paint. As Dave Martin points out - sheesh - not crazy about the color, either - would prefer red with the stripe! If so changed, would there be damage to the value?

Mitch - reclock? Is this same as replacing or repositioning the large spring? The spring has popped off the tab or the holding pin?

Yeah, the more I examine it, the more it seems like Option 2 makes more sense ... and, while none of you mentioned it, I assume you, to recognize the limited nature of the bike's value ... it's not a 750 Norton Commando :-)

Pardon me as I ramble on, below … if you see something I should or should not be doing, please let me know?

I think my strategy will be sort of a middle one - I’m excited to hear it run, but need to get some items in work so I don’t double up fixing, repairing, then taking apart for something I know I’ll need/want to do, anyway.
- strip bits to be painted (going to farm this out this time!)
- pull wheels to see if can revive the chrome and/or live with the little rust on the rims; if I can’t then follow path to repainting wheels and obtaining new rims
- examine brakes and replace as needed (never been touched by me)
- get new tubes and tires installed and balanced
- while front wheel off, and as I already have new forks tubes and seals, get them rebuilt and reassembled
- repaint fenders, side covers and tank
- get the chain soaking (is it possible it is still suitable?)
- replace the ignition (is there anything else that should be “modernized” in the charging/ignition/lighting electrics?)
- should I replace all the bulbs, headlight included, with LED? Any changes required to the 12V positive ground system?
- replace coil springs and shocks
- remove exhaust pipe and get dent removed? Am assuming this is possible? Better to just replace pipe?
- engine - once wheels returned a bit more accessible will see what is leaking and where. Planned to drain and refill frame … thoughts on what oil to cycle through by hand? Thin dino (non synthetic)?
- given the age, should I replace the wire loom? (will have some time). I examined it, again - actually looks relatively good - frayed fabric covering, but wires appear intact
- looks like it’s OK to use an AGM type battery to replace the spec’d PUZ5A (9 AH) (5 1/4" x 5 1/2" x 3”)?


So, could you indulge a few (some silly) questions about where and what bits and pieces? I ordered all the parts over the years from britcycle in Canada and Maine - sent them a note reintroducing myself - they were always great).

1. Electronic ignition - several suppliers. Which is generally thought of as being easiest and best solution?
2. I have a new clutch cable, but know I need a new compression release cable, throttle cable and speedo cable. Best sourcing?
3. I have always disliked the lack of a tach gauge - it just seems imbalanced without one. Is there a factory look solution? Or, way to center the speedo?
4. Front tire - original was 3.25, but was only able to find a 3.50-18 (ChengShin) - suitable general use?
5. Rear tire - don't know what original was, but tire on it now is a knobby 4.00-18 (Yokohama); the new one I have is a 4.00S-18 (don't know what the "S" means (Dunlop Gold Seal K-70) - suitable general use?
6. Rear shocks - pretty awful looking and likely need to be changed out. Options and sourcing?
7. Repainting wheels - what is the actual color? And, what is a good source/manufacturer? Can I rattle can it, or best to simply get done by same paint shop as metal bits?

Found some great YouTube videos by 999greeves … very helpful!

Forgot to mention - I have just moved into a new place, and found that my next door neighbor is a former dirt bike racer and works at a local bike shop that does restorations along with their usual business of repairs. Should be a GREAT resource to keep me from doing stupid things and to provide stick and rudder for where to go for things like repaint, wheels, etc, if they don't do them.

Thanks, again!!

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Quote
If so changed, would there be damage to the value?

If it is it's only a matter of a second tank, guards and side covers painted in Flamboyant Red and keeping the originals on the shelf for when it comes to be sold. The factory paint is only original once, tanks and guards are easy to come by, stainless guards are another option, side panels are rarer.

kommando #833748 12/18/20 6:02 pm
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Sounds like it is not original paint (even though the color looks right in the pix). So whatever happens now will be a re-paint, including just leaving it as is...

Florida BSA #833766 12/18/20 10:12 pm
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OK - and, for another thrill today - figured I would look through the container of keys - I'm assuming a lot of you have one of these. Keys you can't identify, but since you have them you know they must fit something?

TWO KEYS THAT FIT THE BSA!

Have not been in the bike since around 1988 or so - when I caught it on fire.

U Rah

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No, not original paint - as close as I could get it at the time. Limited time and money so I kinda took the easy way out.

Florida BSA #833773 12/18/20 11:33 pm
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I used Dodge "Plum Crazy", which is still not correct. The Hi-Violet original color uses a white base coat which gives it a brighter appearance. You can source the original color from England, but the only type they can ship is water based, which I have no experience with so I can't comment.

As for electrics, if you use an electronic ignition and a solid state regulator, the wiring will be simpler although you will have to add a two-wire pair into the points cavity, where the original only used a single wire. That aluminum box that houses the original wiring is a rat's nest.

As for the original tachometer, the parts are available occasionally on eBay, but they are quite pricey. They apparently used a smaller diameter gauge, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

Tom


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The color is very "70s".
On a personal basis I still cant decide whether I like it or not.
It is certainly a long way from the classic Brit bike black and gold---which IMHO takes some beating.

Ref electronic ignition--- I used to have a B50 and fitted Pazon electronic ignition.
Couldn't start the b****rd.
Turns out that the Pazon ignition (and probably the Boyer too) needs two triggers to switch itself on.
The B50 kick starter is very low geared and mostly doesn't provide the two triggers so doesn't spark and doesn't start.
The solution was that I talked to Andy at Pazon and he provided me with a special box that only needed one trigger to wake it up.
HTH

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lol

did you aee my fireflake purple 1970 commando when you were here?

70s definitely. could only have been more so if it were avocado with deep shag uphstery

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Hi Kevin--no--dont recall seeing your fireflake Commando when I picked up the Trident.
Is it wildly fireflake purple 70s style?
Reminds me of MGBs in 1971--every one of them seemed to be painted a horrible mustard yellow.
Jeez---that is nearly 50 years ago now---I must be getting old!

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koncretekid,

I like the clean lines with upswept pipe on your B50 ... it is so uncluttered looking ... elegant, black, silver, purple ...you also put chrome springs over the rear shocks ... nice. Missing the same front fender clip for the brake cable, too!

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Ref TM, the Pazon is the single killing needs 2 triggers before waking up, Boyer is the single friendly only needs one trigger to wake uo. Pazon have a warning on their website against using their box on hi compression singles with low Kickstarter ratios, apt description for a B50.

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Well, best laid plans and all - neighbor broke his knee while dirt racing last week. I guess my term "former dirt bike racer" wasn't quite accurate - he's always out with his kids at races, so maybe just couldn't NOT get out on the track. After a few days of agony at home he is at one of the local orthopedic hospitals - not sure of diagnosis, yet.

Shared photos with him, so I'll start disassembling a bit more. Carefully wiped frame and wheels ... neither look as bad as I feared. Couple of tiny spots of rush on rear rim and maybe smaller fuzz on front, but not really worth replacing at this point. Will remove them first.

Hey - should I ask moderator to put this thread in the Members Bike Projects area? I can then post specific questions in this part of the forum?

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Nuff said about colour ........
Electronic ignition ..... I fitted the Vape system (marketed by Wassel), to my B441 (ish). Very easy to fit and set up and it simply works. The unit is cast in resin and looks solid, it has proven to be "fit and forget". Next bike is well on the way to completion and will certainly have one of these.

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First basic question - after pulling right side cover to clock the kickstarter, found the kick starter spring off the post so that was obvious - pulled the quadrant piece, reinstalled in position, made sure the clutch rack was set, made sure the ball bearing in place, then temporarily installed the cover. But now the clutch will not release - the clutch push rod is proud of the adjusting nut by a couple mil - cable is loose at the arm (arm is in correct 1 o'clock position.

Does this mean the clutch plates are stuck together?

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To answer your question, yes the clutch plates could be stuck together. Usually, by pulling the clutch in against resistance, and rocking the bike back with the tranny in high gear, the plates will break loose. But if not, and you're sure the clutch rod and rack are correctly installed, you may have to pry out the plates.

The adjusting screw and nut are on the clutch plate side, where the adjusting screw is screwed into the pressure plate. Even without disassembling the clutch, by removing the screw completely, you should be able to see (with a flashlight) if the clutch rod is proud of the clutch nut. On the timing side, the clutch rod needs to be proud of the mainshaft nut. In other words, the clutch rod needs to be proud at both ends in order for the rack/ball to release the pressure plate. If the clutch rod has at some time run dry or overheated, or if someone converted it to a 6 plate clutch with the original rod and adjusting screw, it could now be too short.

Tom


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koncretekid,

I drove the bike last in 1982 ... no modification prior to that. Not run since, just moved from place to place for nearly 40 years.

With right side (timing) cover off the clutch rod is loose - slides in and out - and pushed toward clutch side stops a few mil proud of the nut on that side.

Odd, though - prior to pulling the right cover off, the clutch appeared to be tight and operate ... then, after indexing the rack with the clutch arm at 1 o’clock, and reinstalling the cover, the clutch arm is loose.

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How much proud of that nut is a few mil? If you mean a couple of millimeters, which is .080", it should be set OK. But if it is only a couple thousandths of an inch, something is wrong. Did you try to adjust the screw and nut on the primary side? With both side covers on, and the cable loose, you need to loosen the lock nut on the adjusting screw and turn the screw in until it snugs up. Then back it out 1/4 turn and lock the nut whilst holding the screw from turning. I use a 7/16" socket held in vise-grips with a screwdriver thru the socket holding the screw from turning while tightening the nut with the vise-grips. Then snug up the cable adjustment to allow just a bit of free play. Then try the clutch handle, but do not force if it feels lock up, which indicates you'll have to take the clutch apart if it won't free up.
Tom


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Gah - should I be able to post photos? Here's google drive link - one shot shows clutch rod (6825), and others show indexed rack and operating arm positions - all look OK? Went together fine - not sealed, just checking function, then opened it back up.

The clutch rod move freely in and out.

I haven't pulled primary side cover yet, but clutch seemed to pull normally prior to pulling the timing side cover.

Given how far the rack moves, it would seem like the clutch rod should be sticking out farther?

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Did the clutch disengage before you removed / re fitted the timing side case? if so look for whatever you did wrong!!

I have had a case, in a long unused motor, where the pushrod itself was stuck. removing the adjusting screw / nut on primary side and gently tapping it out through to the timing side, followed by much cleaning and lubrication solved that issue,( there were MANY others!).

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Dave,

So, the flow was:
- reconnected the clutch cable a few days ago (I apparently disconnected all cables about 38 years ago :-))
- actuated via the lever, but didn't do anything else; had spring strength and all the play was used up in the cable
- removed the cable
- removed the timing side cover
- found kickstarter quadrant spring off - reclocked and reattached the spring
- cleaned a bit (actually looked like the photos linked - pretty amazing after 38 years)
- indexed the rack so actuator arm was at 1 o'clock
- put the ball bearing back in
- put the cover back on temporarily
- installed the kickstart lever temporarily
- clutch actuator would swing without engaging clutch
- took back apart
- found nada (photos)
- clutch actuator rod slides in and our easily

Mechanically, the actuator arm should move the rack and the ball bearing should meet the actuating rod which should move the clutch, yes?

Grrr ... will pull primary side next ...

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The short answer is yes to both your questions. The clutch rod should be proud of the nut on the mainshaft by a couple of millimeters.

I use Photoimage to post photos. Free so far. You sign up for an account, post your photos to that account, and then click on the photo you want to post. One of the options will be "share." A menu will be visible below the image. Click on the one that says "hotlink for forums" which will copy your image to your clipboard. The go to this forum and click post, which is command "V" on a Mac, like this.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Originally Posted by koncretekid
The short answer is yes to both your questions. The clutch rod should be proud of the nut on the mainshaft by a couple of millimeters.

I use Photoimage to post photos. Free so far. You sign up for an account, post your photos to that account, and then click on the photo you want to post. One of the options will be "share." A menu will be visible below the image. Click on the one that says "hotlink for forums" which will copy your image to your clipboard. The go to this forum and click post, which is command "V" on a Mac, like this.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Tom


That's as clean and as functional-looking B50 as I've ever seen. Love the seat and tail treatment. I've always liked B50s, used to ride Ben Strain's when we'd swap bikes at the TSMR, but have never pulled the trigger on one for some reason ....

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hmmmm..... Not sure you are doing the indexing of the actuator arm right.

The arm should be at 1 o'clock once the timing side cover is in place. You assemble it complete with ball bearing guessing the correct position on the rack. Offer up the timing case and see how it looks. Repeat until you get it right and the arm is at 1 o'clock when it just touches the push rod. Then fit the cable and see if it works.

When you said "clutch actuator would swing without engaging clutch" do you actually mean "disengaging clutch" i.e. disconnecting the drive? or is the drive permanently disconnected?

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OK - great question, Dave ... I may have missed the part about the arm needing to be at 1 o’clock AFTER installation... duh.

Will check tomorrow!

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OK ... so Dave is right! Bad read of the procedure for me. Adjusted rack until was about 1 o’clock with cover in place ... won’t be to install stage for awhile, though. OK to use dab of grease on the ball bearing to keep it from falling out during final seal/install? (have dropped it twice so far)

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Yes, stiff grease is fine, oil never gets near there anyway so good for rust prevention.

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Oh no, the one occasion in my life to be right used up on someone else!
I had been saving that for nearly 40 years to use in an argument with "' 'er in doors".
Ah well, I suppose by now I am well used to being always wrong, it would have been nice though, just once .............

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
Oh no, the one occasion in my life to be right used up on someone else!
Ah well, I suppose by now I am well used to being always wrong, it would have been nice though, just once .............
This song helps me when that happens.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/sear...amp;vid=ea8754d78ff8c3c0389d4ca1ad1161cb

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That is a waaay funny song 😀

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Originally Posted by Florida BSA
That is a waaay funny song 😀
The fair sex gets away with too much these days.

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Hi-violet looks good to me

[Linked Image from b50.org]

Perhaps with a contrasting bright yellow or burnt orange panel on the tank smile

Edit to add: not my B50

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Didn't the original tank paint job have a black band around the tank at about a 30 degree angle, with gold pin-striping, with a gold BSA transfer inside the black band? Just from memory. That violet looks great.

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Dibnah - that is a beautiful bike!!!! Wow! Sent you a PM.

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Hi All,

So, bike is torn down to frame, engine, hoses, cable and electric - wiring looks good, soldered/fixed a couple of frazzled connections, know a bit more than I did about what is needed. My sense is there are some basic changes that most endorse, and some specific manufacturers and suppliers? I’ve read until I feel nearly blind.

In the end I want the bike to be close to stock, with changes as unnoticeable as possible - except the paint color - aack - just don’t like the purple - but Dibnah may have convinced me to keep it :-). Far prefer something like yellow or red with black and white striping.

Sorry such a long list, and I could stumble through, but would really appreciate thoughts based on your experience and knowledge!

I’m posting on both B50.org and on britbike.com - I appreciate any and all help and am not trying to game either site or group - I don’t really have opinions on any of the products discussed, just reflecting what I have read.


Questions:

1. Replace points/condenser with EI (BB Mk IV is most common discussed and appears to be solid choice?).

2. Rectifier and Zener with Rectifier/Regular (Boyer Bransden or Podtronics - advantage to staying with one manufacturer?)

3. Should I mount whichever R/R in airflow (some bolt under the battery) vice try and fit into the aluminum box?

4. Aluminum bits like side covers - sand and polish or vapor blast? (was considering sanding to 2000 grit or so, then polishing on bench machine)

5. How do I add loom to the wiring harness for those areas where it is deteriorated?

6. Preferred sealant for the timing side cover?

7. Preferred sealant for the gasket on the primary side cover?

8. Have a huge dent in the leading bend of the exhaust pipe - no spring on the pipe, and even with the bolt/net released on the frame, the pipe is SOLID - I have tapped it a bit with mallet, but seems SOLID. What method to release? Relatively inexpensive to replace, I think.

9. Should I add a heat sink ring on exhaust pipe header? Most photos don’t show this on B50 … is it needed?

10. I’ve got new oil sitting in the frame. Will rotating the engine over help relube anything or is oil pump not capable of moving oil at that rate of turn? Should I squirt some oil via the valve inspection caps?

11. Given the engine still in the frame, I would not be able to move solvent around in the frame, but would it be helpful to pull oil lines to engine and dump and drain a bit? Which solvent? Gasoline or mineral spirits?

12. Is there a template/instructions for the more classic striped tank that would assist in getting the paint tech?

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Originally Posted by Florida BSA
Dibnah - that is a beautiful bike!!!! Wow! Sent you a PM.

Unfortunately it's not my bike. I'll edit the previous post for clarity.

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OK, so going through the list ....... this is purely what I eventually did on two B44 rebuilds ..... I say eventually, as both went through several iterations of options before completion. Many will disagree with my options.

1. I used the Vape ignition, cheaper than the BB and looks more robust, has been perfect since day one. DO NOT under estimate the level of vibration, being cast in resin means that bits will not vibrate lose.

2. Podtronics, works even when you wire it up wrong (don't ask .....)

3. Nice idea, I just fitted it under the saddle with the mud guard as a heat sink, and it has been alright ..... might move it.

4. I like shinny bits so I would polish.

5. Personally, I replaced both harnesses, made my own, there are not that many wires, ran them in long thick heat shrink. If you just need to re wrap, use spiral wrap or amalgamating rubber tape, get it in a Yacht shop as rigging tape .Copper gets brittle with vibration (eventually, see 1.) . Back in 1972 there was a shortage of the stuff in the U.K. and what was available was crap.

6. and 7. I have said several times. There are two kind of Brit bike owners, ones whos bikes leak oil and those that use RTV silicone, use grey and grease one face so it doesn't stick.

8. Heat and a bigger hammer.

9. Looks nice. Do it! P.S. getting the new exhaust to seal ...... Use the high temp RTV silicone and 1) it wont leak 2) it wont seize, I suspect yours is sealed with exhaust paste.

10. and 11. get one of those cheap pumps that fit on a drill .... 10 bucks ..... circulate kerosene, gasoline might prove somewhat exciting, though on the plus side, once the flames have died down at least the purple paint would be gone. I know the purple is original for the year BUT I cannot help but notice that this was just before BSA started pushing up daisies .... is there a link??

No doubt many will disagree with the above!

P.S. Get Rupert Ratio's books Volume 1 & 2

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For the stuck pipe, percussive therapy with a length of 2 x 4 end on behind the curl usually works.The wood is soft enough not to do real damage.
+1 for Rupert ratio, excellent.


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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
+1 for Rupert ratio, excellent.

sticker-Shock on the price of the books

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Thanks, Dave - pricing in US is about the same between the Wassell/VAPE and BB solutions - will take a look. Wish I could claim the idea of mounting R/R under the battery - got it from some reading - somewhere :-). I like the wire loom wrap idea better than trying to disconnect and relook with fabric. Help me with the idea of greasing one side of the cover/case with RTV on the other - or did you mean its gasket and RTV - if greased how does it seal face-to-face? Bigger hammer - it worked! Will evaluate how to build a recirc for the frame - I need to understand it better, anyway!

Thanks, Gavin - excellent advice - I tapped around the circumference and then got a longer piece of 2x4 to align with the insertion/release angle and whacked it with a much bigger hammer! Worked perfectly, thanks!

Relinking in case anyone wants to see photos of the dismantling process ...

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

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Originally Posted by S-NJ-W
Originally Posted by gavin eisler
+1 for Rupert ratio, excellent.

sticker-Shock on the price of the books

Check out site sponsor BSA Unit Singles instead of Amazon, et al.

DJinCA

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Original finish was silver sheen.

The silver sheen I believe had very fine metalic particles which are not noticeable as a painted finish. A lot of aluminium coloured paints are about spot on on the finish.

I’ve got 2 original wheels on mine, ones still got great paint but the chrome could do with some TLC, the other the paint has gone like yours has Dave (patchy) but a nice rim. They won’t get touched until they need to be.

I painted my brake plates in Würth alloy wheel paint, the metalic content is more obvious in the paint but I quite like it. (I’ve also already painted the rear light unit in this so won’t be painting that again anytime soon.

At the end of the day, do what pleases your eye.

06A3465F-D221-4BF7-8699-9B0FFF42B633.jpeg DEADED01-C685-4F9A-B5DE-3033BC042EF7.jpeg
Last edited by Allan G; 01/23/21 9:55 pm.

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Quote
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?

Thanks and yes. I used Duplicolor Engine Enamel. The color is DE1650 Cast Coat Aluminum. It is very close to the stock color that came on the hubs. It is available at most auto parts stores.

If you want to get crazy with the hubs: there are people who have drilled big holes in them to lighten them up and then polished them. They look great but keeping that hub shiny between the spokes is a little too much of a pain for me.

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Re KoncreteKid's post ....... I actually wired a 21" rim onto a 6" conical single lever hub, and to be fair the braking isn't that bad, it is just a matter of setting up the shoes etc. properly, and as most of my riding is what you mainlanders would describe as trail riding (actually our main "roads"), it is more than enough.

I choose not to paint the hubs as I like shinny bits so I polished the hub and brake plate, it is what I like, and your decision should be based on what you like.

I have tried to make what ever changes I have done from original to be reversible, so I am not too sure drilling gert 'oles in yer 'ubs is entirely sympathetic to the history of these machines!

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