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#867800 01/01/22 5:03 pm
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Kevin E Offline OP
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Happy new year and best wishes to all.

I’m looking for recommendations on petrol taps for my 1966 A65 Lightning and where to buy them in the UK.

Cheers,

Kev E

BSA on eBay
Kevin E #867816 01/01/22 9:28 pm
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71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Kevin E #867898 01/02/22 7:05 pm
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As to the first part of the question, I've tried just about everything on my A65s, and the taps that I find work the best, that is, last the longest without leaking or binding, are the all-metal, quarter-turn taps. Of those there are at least two levels of quality. The lesser ones are of a poorer casting or alloy, and are prone to bind when hot. I simply ask my supplier for the "better ones", and he fixes me up. The good ones may actually be a Triumph part, but there are also Triumph taps with neoprene seals - stay away from those, as the seals fail with heat and use.

Another thing that's nice about the taps I have is that they have screw-on hose fittings, and the hose fittings are available in either straight or 90-degree pipe. Makes it easy to disconnect for tank removal without disturbing hose clamps.

Just about anything you buy other than the OE Ewarts taps will be of smaller diameter than the holes in your '66 fuel tank, so you will need adapters. I have had solid brass adapters in my A65 for a very long time, which bring the holes down to the "standard" size.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Kevin E #867902 01/02/22 7:27 pm
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My view, after trying several types of petrol taps over the years is that the first two in the link shared by Gavin work the best.

The first one on the list the die-cast alloy type, sometimes called the "BAP" type seems to be the most reliable and I've never had any problems with them at all, so that's what I use on all my bikes.

The second one on the list, the all brass one also works well but depends on a tight taper, so is sometimes stiff to operate.

The taps I've found to be unreliable are the flat chrome lever type which usually leaks after a year or two. Whether this is because I bought some cheap replica is unknown to me.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Kevin E #867904 01/02/22 7:50 pm
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Brassform sell the push/pull type taps identical in style to the ewarts


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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

gunner #867945 01/03/22 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by gunner
The taps I've found to be unreliable are the flat chrome lever type which usually leaks after a year or two. Whether this is because I bought some cheap replica is unknown to me.

Yes I think the problem may have been a cheap replica. I had ones that bound, and then I got the same type but better ones that didn't bind, and I've had them on for a number of years now with no leaking or binding. Comparing with the previous taps, I can see a difference in the quality of the casting or of the base metal used.

There are also similar-looking taps that have neoprene O-rings, and they ARE prone to leak after a while. I haven't known the all-metal taps to leak, even the cheap ones.

I hadn't followed Gavin's link before I posted the first time. I could have saved some words by pointing to the "Chrome flat lever on/off 1/4-1/4 bsp with filter"; those look like mine. Again, I can't speak to the quality of Surrey's product - I buy from British Cycle Supply in Nova Scotia, and I always talk to someone on the phone and say "get me the good ones".


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Kevin E #867950 01/03/22 4:51 am
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Push pulls wth flat slide that are chromed fail because they are barrel plated fully assembled so the edge of the plating on the slide chops up the cork seals after a short time
The plain brass ones do not give any grief have become hard to find
Currently I am using a tap from a generator which were both cheaper and work better than any motorcycle tap I have ever used
Waiting to go in are a pair of taps from Ali-baba , made in China for $ 6 a piece + freight.
Being modern they have a metric thread so it was a matter of buying a BSA end plug to go into the tank then drilling & threading it to take the metric taps.

I have no objection to spending good money on stuff that works but $ 30 each for taps that start leaking within the first 6 months is not on.

For a couple of years I had run with the cheap taps off Ali-baba with no problems till I dropped the tank onto the floor & they broke so in when what ever I had at the time which was a generator tap , works fine except you do have to turn it 2 full rotations.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Kevin E #867962 01/03/22 10:50 am
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I stopped using the push pull type 20 years ago, my favourite is the 1/4 turn taper cock type.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Kevin E #867971 01/03/22 12:58 pm
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I use the BAP petcocks on most of my bikes. They have been trouble free EXCEPT……if they are weeping at the tank, look at your seal there. Do not keep tightening the petcocks nut trying to stop the leak. Since they are alloy……over tightening them can cause them to break at the threads. Ask me how I know x2. (I’m a slow learner)

I have OEM brass petcocks on my 67 C25. I tried everything to get them to work smoothly……lapping and such….following down the internet search rabbit hole looking for answers. THEN I ran across a post from Mr John Healy ( bless that man) that mentioned a proper lube for them. ( I’ll post a photo of it tonight, after work). I “ think” it’s called EZ turn or something like that???? Night and day……really. It’s amazing what using the right stuff can do.

Don’t ( and never have) like the corked push and pull…got a drawer full of them.

Gordon in NC

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 01/03/22 1:00 pm.

Gordon Gray in NC, USA.........Life's a BEACH!!!!!!
Kevin E #867972 01/03/22 12:59 pm
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Thank you for all your feedback.

I have had the lever type petrol taps on the bike since I first restored it back in the early 1980’s. I never had any problem with them leaking when I was using the bike regularly and would be happy to stay with the same type. But as the bike has stood unused and neglected for a (far too) long time the taps are a bit tarnished and the filter gauze in them doesn’t look great.

I was thinking of getting some of the ones in the attached image from SRM, who (if my sometimes dodgy memory is correct) I believe supplied me with the ones I already have.

E4584313-28C7-4BED-B84F-2B796CF089DE.jpeg
Kevin E #868069 01/04/22 6:14 am
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Kevin, the last time I bought taps (and AFAICT, they are the ones pictured above), I also ordered copper compression washers that go between the nut and the tank (or in the case of earlier BSAs, the nut and the adapter). These work well, better than fiber washers, and they do NOT come with the taps.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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Mark Z #868073 01/04/22 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Mark Z
Kevin, the last time I bought taps (and AFAICT, they are the ones pictured above), I also ordered copper compression washers that go between the nut and the tank (or in the case of earlier BSAs, the nut and the adapter). These work well, better than fiber washers, and they do NOT come with the taps.
I always use Statoseal washers between the nut and the tank. Maybe that's just Triumph thing, but it works.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
Kevin E #868093 01/04/22 2:14 pm
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When used with the flat washer, and a paint surface that is in good shape, the stato-seals work the treat. When faced with trying to stop a leak where it is on the tank side of the stato-seal those copper covered rubber washers made by Copper Automotive Washer in the UK IS THE ANSWER. Often the paint, or the metal, around the petcock hole in the tank is distressed. Either fix the tank or use one of the CAW washers until you can fix it.

AND the nut on the petcock is NOT FOR STOPPING FUEL LEAKS!!!! It is there to locate the lever making it more convenient to turn it on-and-off. Remember that, before you take one more turn on the nut and 3 gallons of fuel washes over the motor. If the stato-seal leaks, tightening the nut one more turn isn't going to solve your problem.

AND don't forget to use the flat washer between the nut and the stato-seal.

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Originally Posted by John Healy
When used with the flat washer, and a paint surface that is in good shape, the stato-seals work the treat. When faced with trying to stop a leak where it is on the tank side of the stato-seal those copper covered rubber washers made by Copper Automotive Washer in the UK IS THE ANSWER. Often the paint, or the metal, around the petcock hole in the tank is distressed. Either fix the tank or use one of the CAW washers until you can fix it.

AND the nut on the petcock is NOT FOR STOPPING FUEL LEAKS!!!! It is there to locate the lever making it more convenient to turn it on-and-off. Remember that, before you take one more turn on the nut and 3 gallons of fuel washes over the motor. If the stato-seal leaks, tightening the nut one more turn isn't going to solve your problem.

AND don't forget to use the flat washer between the nut and the stato-seal.

Sadly the taps dont come with the ideal sized washer (though im sure a stainless one would work just as well), but I have been there and got the t-shirt many moons ago for snapping the tap and having to use my finger to plug the hole.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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

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Originally Posted by John Healy
.......AND the nut on the petcock is NOT FOR STOPPING FUEL LEAKS!!!! It is there to locate the lever making it more convenient to turn it on-and-off. Remember that, before you take one more turn on the nut and 3 gallons of fuel washes over the motor. If the stato-seal leaks, tightening the nut one more turn isn't going to solve your problem.

AND don't forget to use the flat washer between the nut and the stato-seal.

Yes sir.........."NOT FOR STOPPING FUEL LEAKS"

Took me two BAP petcocks before that sunk in. The first one I blamed on the petcock........UNTIL the second one a few months later (different bike) and THEN the light bulb came on. The second one was 350+ miles from home in a motel parking lot early in the morning. After the first one I started carrying a spare. The only bright spot was that night before I had rolled into the motel parking lot on reserve and there was a gas station right across the street.


Story of my life........on the job training with little supervision.

Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 01/04/22 6:08 pm.

Gordon Gray in NC, USA.........Life's a BEACH!!!!!!
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Kevin E #868147 01/04/22 7:50 pm
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I have both BSAs and Triumphs. I buy the best UK-made taps for my Triumphs, yet it's seems I have to replace or service them every couple years because they either will seep at the lever and/or become very hard to turn. (Then I take them apart, clean them, and lube them with EZ-turn.) The BSA Ewarts push/pull cork style taps seem to last forever as long as they're not allowed to dry out. They're a little more time-consuming to fit - I sand the red fiber washer to get the orientation I want - but once they're installed they just keep working.


Tim Inks
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Kevin E #868152 01/04/22 8:08 pm
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Read down to "BSA Ewarts Petcock Conversion"

https://www.classicbritishspares.com/blogs/news/the-truth-behind-emgo-petcocks

I recommend that...

Kevin E #868235 01/05/22 4:54 pm
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KC mentioned earlier about the sealing problem with the fuel taps. The problem with the pull-push taps is the cork sealing drying out (how many people keep fuel in their tanks over the winter?) The lever type (at least the ones that I have had) have a tapered plastic plug for sealing which eventually breaks at the lever.
I want AN fuel lines so I made new pull-push taps but instead of cork seals I used Viton O-rings. The hose seal O-ring moves in and out of the outlet hole so it is not being cut by the hole edge. The US parts suppliers were out of the filters so I had to order complete taps from China just to get the filter pieces. McMaster has 1/4 and 3/8 BSPP stainless nuts and Delrin washers.
These were made in the standard configuration with 1/4 BSPP outlet threads:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
The through hole on these is 1/4" which is larger than the stock taps.
When I make the AN type I will change the outlet to a vertical orientation so it will not need 90 degree elbows on the hose. The knob on the end needs to be bigger and knurled for a better grip.

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Kevin E #868266 01/06/22 12:41 am
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I wish I lived next door to D Madigan.

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leon bee #868294 01/06/22 11:58 am
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Leon, that makes TWO of us.

Kevin E #868306 01/06/22 2:33 pm
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I got these custom billet taps over 5 yrs ago from British Cycle Supply

The on / off is a quarter turn on the dial

Super expensive I recall but great quality and zero leaks

S

B156F696-5483-44F8-B92A-AABB81230829.jpeg

Keep It Greasy
Kevin E #868309 01/06/22 3:39 pm
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https://tlm.nl/moto-guzzi/nieuwe-onderdelen/tank-dop-kraan/benzinekraan-v35-50-65-rh/

I just buy these, very cheap and functional, they fit straight on the polyester fueltank from '68

Last edited by lemans; 01/06/22 3:40 pm.
Kevin E #868364 01/07/22 5:57 am
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FWIW, the "copper covered rubber washers" referred to by John Healy are what I referred to as "copper squish washers". This is what I have between my petcock nuts and the tank (or in my case, the reducing adapters), and they work!

DMadigan, your solution is interesting but not terribly useful to those of us who don't have the facility to fabricate our own parts.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Kevin E #868382 01/07/22 3:10 pm
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I could add these to my parts list if there is enough demand. The problem is, I made mounts for my remote filter to fit the OIF because posters said they wanted them. I have mounts for the OIF and the dry Triumph frame now sitting on the shelf and sold none. I do not expect everything will be popular but with the small mark-up that I have on parts it takes a long time to break even.


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