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#708883 - 09/18/17 1:45 pm B50 Alloy tank dents  
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OriginalScott Offline
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NY
I have seen many B50 tanks with dents from the front forks hitting the tank. The bike I bought had the B50SS steel tank and the forks didn't contact the tank at all.

[Linked Image]

I have located an alloy 2 gallon tank but it has the dents from the forks. 2 Questions:
- Why do the forks contact the tank? Is the alloy tank a different shape or are the fork stops broken / modified?

- What do most people do with the dents, just leave them or get them pushed back out? I got a quote for pushing the dents out from the filler hole but it is pricey.

Thanks
Scott

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#708888 - 09/18/17 4:11 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Tigernuts Online content
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Naarfuk, UK
I bought a brand new, genuine BSA alloy tank for my B50T back in the very early '80s. It came with the dents your photo shows. BSA must have produced some tanks with these indentations so that extra lock could be obtained by removing metal from the steering stops? If the 'dents' on yours are like those mine came with, you'll agree that they are too neat and identical to have been made by accident. Which is why I just left them alone on mine.


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#710094 - 09/30/17 7:59 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Peter Quick Offline
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BSA fork stops on the unit singles are not very strong. The work fine when turning the forks by hand but not so good when you crash and the forces are enough to do things like bend the handlebars, etc. The forks just bull them selves past the stops and dents appear in the alloy tank when the forks come to rest against it. One of the reasons you see the dented alloy tanks more than dented steel tanks is not just because the alloy dents easier but that the steel tanks were on the SS road versions. Street tires, smaller diameter front wheel. While you get yourself an alloy tank with the dirt version, trials tires and the high fender etc. Well then you zoom around in the dirt where falling off is the norm (if you want to have any fun that is). And you get dents. I see more of the alloy tanks with one side dented at the forks than both sides. Doubt that BSA would spend the extra money to dent the tanks in advance on just certain bikes laughing It is easier to cut open the tank from the bottom to remove dents and weld it back up when finished. Dents in a tightly curved area where the fork dents like to congregate are a tougher spot to fix than side dents in a relatively flat surface.

Peter


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#710112 - 10/01/17 2:48 am Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Thanks Peter, Any suggestions on who can repair my tank?

Scott

#710139 - 10/01/17 12:06 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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I would get a couple of quotes for repairing the dent, then leave it as is and put the dent repair money into a new carillo con rod. The LHS almost looks like its meant to be like that.


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#710149 - 10/01/17 2:10 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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OriginalScott Offline
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NY
Quote
I would get a couple of quotes for repairing the dent, then leave it as is and put the dent repair money into a new carillo con rod.


This is interesting to me. The engine has less than 5,000 miles on it and will be ridden primarily on the street. I was planning on leaving the bottom end together but with this bike the plans have already changed from an easy rebuild to a complete tear down. Is a Carillo rod needed on a street bike? Does the B50 have a reputation for breaking stock rods? All opinions welcomed.

Thanks
Scott

#710159 - 10/01/17 4:00 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Andy Higham Online content
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The original rod is over 40 years old, it may have been abused in the past, a new Carillo rod is cheaper than new cases, barrel, piston and rod if it breaks.
As Clint Eastwood so eloquently put it "Are you feeling lucky........................"


1955 BSA B31 400cc "Stargazer"
1962 Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
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1967 Greeves 360cc Challenger
1984 Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
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#710169 - 10/01/17 5:26 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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gavin eisler Online content
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argyll. scotland, uk
Possibly overkill for a street motor, there may be better things to spend your money on, but as Andy says, how lucky are you feeling?

"The engine has less than 5,000 miles on it and will be ridden primarily on the street." Are you certain its the original speedo/ odo , and that its still working and was always connected?
These rebuilds cost time and money, fixing the tank dent would be well near the bottom of my priority list, just sayin, who knows what is in the motor?
I would happily reuse the tank as is with a paint touch up and a polish.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 10/01/17 8:09 pm.

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#710193 - 10/01/17 9:10 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: Tigernuts]  
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Tigernuts Online content
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Originally Posted by Tigernuts
I bought a brand new, genuine BSA alloy tank for my B50T back in the very early '80s. It came with the dents your photo shows. BSA must have produced some tanks with these indentations so that extra lock could be obtained by removing metal from the steering stops? If the 'dents' on yours are like those mine came with, you'll agree that they are too neat and identical to have been made by accident. Which is why I just left them alone on mine.


Just repeating this in case you didn't see it? Like I said, the tank I bought was new, never been fitted, and came with neatly formed indents just like those in the photo at the top. Bought from Clive Humphries, who had a large stock of NOS B50 stuff at the time. I've seen other tanks with the same indents over the years. The only explanation I can think of is that these were for serious trials bikes rather than the usual road bikes with trials bike looks.


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#710204 - 10/01/17 10:50 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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OriginalScott Offline
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NY
I get it. The tank is just throwing me for a loop because I have no idea who can fix it. I know where to get motor work done and where to get parts. I've been convinced that I need a new rod. Now the question is to either rebuild the current crank with a Carillo rod or buy a new NEB crank with rod. I will have to think on that one for a while.

Tigernuts, I did see that some tanks came dented. Mine did not as the right side is only slightly dented. I don't think I can bring myself to dent the other side more.

Scott

#710251 - 10/02/17 9:37 am Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Tigernuts Online content
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Yes, if the dents are uneven, they're accidental, not intentional! I had a B50 in the early '80s (the one I bought that new tank for). It had the standard crank &rod. I thrashed it for nearly 20,000 miles including several 80+mph rides to/from London (120 miles each way). I sold it to friend in 1985 (for £700!) and he's still got it. He's put quite a few more miles on it and hasn't always been kind to it. It's still on the original big end and rod.

On the one I'm rebuilding at the moment I'm not touching the crank/rod as they are fine. Maybe if I was a wealthy man!


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#710252 - 10/02/17 10:11 am Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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OriginalScott Offline
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The voice of reason. How did you determine that the stock rod and crank are fine? It seems the only way to check is to split the cases. Just by grabbing the stock rod and wiggling I don't feel any up / down movement. There is side play and the small end of the rod has some discoloration from heat. In my case I will still split the cases and replace the rod but I hadn't planned for it originally.

Scott

#710268 - 10/02/17 1:40 pm Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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edunham Offline
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If you are going to replace the rod, you might as well replace it with a Carrillo. My B50 has the stock rod, but there is a fair bit of stuff on the B50 forum about snapping rods.

Ed from NJ

#710376 - 10/03/17 6:35 am Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Wilfred Online content
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For a different way of looking at things.......I have a 69 Victor tank that is going on my T100 ISDT replica and had to get a gouge on the bottom corner welded up. Welder asked me if I would like him to push out the dent on the side and I decided not to have it done. Aluminum doesn't like to be manipulated with too many times and, like I told him, I'll probably just bend it again next time I fall down as this is a rider and not meant to be perfect. Just my 2 cents (cdn) worth.

My friend, who has since sold his Victor, had the dent on his pushed out and then had the remaining imperfection welded, filed and polished. Didn't look too bad either.

Cheers, Wilf


Last edited by Wilfred; 10/03/17 6:38 am.

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#710779 - 10/07/17 11:57 am Re: B50 Alloy tank dents [Re: OriginalScott]  
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Tigernuts Online content
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Originally Posted by OriginalScott
The voice of reason. How did you determine that the stock rod and crank are fine? It seems the only way to check is to split the cases. Just by grabbing the stock rod and wiggling I don't feel any up / down movement. There is side play and the small end of the rod has some discoloration from heat. In my case I will still split the cases and replace the rod but I hadn't planned for it originally.

Scott


I see no need to dismantle a crank when the condition of the main bearings, and everything else inside the engine, is excellent. There is no up-down movement to the rod on the big end. The rod itself looks like new with highly polished fore & aft faces. To dismantle it just to check would be making work for nothing.


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