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Originally Posted by Gtv6george
....The cylinder under closer inspection looks ok not great not bad. I haven’t measured anything yet but I have nice and calibrated bore gauges and other measuring tools.........
Hi and welcome to the forum. About reboring, these engines were set up loose from the factory at .0035" piston clearance assuming is would be ridden hard in the dirt. This was noisy. .0025" will be absolutely fine for normal street use. If you measure it out at more than .0045" or so, a rebore will be quieter.

Originally Posted by Gtv6george
.............I tend to use everything I work on nothing sits around. So any modifications I can do to make it more streetable ....... Nothing crazy just squeeze a little more out of it ...........
You sound like me. Most everything I have gets used sooner or later. The one biggest improvement I like on these is balancing the crank. Most mods will tend to push the rev range higher but you won't like using it because the B44 isn't all that smooth at high revs. Brackets break, light bulbs blow, speedometers rattle to pieces and so on. One of mine years ago would actually vibrate the petcock closed if revved too much! Annoying.

The trouble with balancing is this. The crank needs to be built twice and a lot of metal needs to be removed from the LH flywheel. But imho, it is worth it. My current dual sport B44 with dirt gearing is balanced and it tolerates 60 mph freeway riding if needed. (Without rattling everything to pieces.)

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Have you checked the engine numbers for year? My first B44 was sold as a 1970, it was actually a 1968 but first registered in 1970, (seems it took the slow boat across the pond!) but I knew this so it was OK. Makes a difference on some fastening sizes.

Speaking of fastenings ..... do the mod that Mike Waller suggests for the rocker box studs .... it makes life much easier / possible taking the head on and off with the motor in the frame.

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The numbers are shown in the attached link .

Plus, with that tail light extension, it is a 70... nobody would put that on an earlier year!

(ps; Metrinch tools... they don't care what denomination your Fasteners are.)

Last edited by Steve Erickson; 08/27/22 2:07 pm.
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George......before we/you go much further.......you posted your engine numbers with your photos (great job by the way). Check and see if they match the frame numbers. ( I might have missed you mentioning it?) That could matter when we're talking about parts you might need other than for the engine. Matching numbers are how they left the factory back in 1970. No telling what happened after that. Steve's 100% correct about that taillight extension being a 70. I'm wondering about the headlight.......it's not Victor Special. Might have had to replaced it when they destroyed the original fender? That thing looks like it got dropped a couple of times.

PS:.....I see Steve and I were tying at the same time. Easy to get us stirred up. laughing

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 08/27/22 2:16 pm.

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Yea the frame and engine match both are HD13475B44VS. One thing to note about that is when I was looking for the frame number I remember reading it would be on the frame by the triple tree or steering stem. It wasn’t it was lower by the most foreword motor mount.

The headlight, jeez I didn’t even notice! But the fender is hard to miss. Yea I do believe the 3,000 miles on this bike are correct since the license plate expired 9 years after it’s manufacture and I remember the original owner saying he had stopped riding it and left it in his garage for years. But the speculation for me with those 3000 miles is I think they had to be a-lot of dirt or competition miles. Between the repainted dented tank, the front fender, the headlight. And the. Both clutch side and points sides of the cases had marks from being open up many numbers of times, but the cylinder head and jug seem to never have been messed with. All seems to me like it had a short but hard life.

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Wow those are interesting sockets never seen something like that before. And yes frame says 70 as well.

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That makes sense with the piston clearance for dirt. I’ll have to measure mine and see. Balancing the crank/flywheel seems like a great idea. I just had the last engine I rebuilt fully balanced and what a difference. So that will have to go on the to do list.

I’d like to take the bike to work which requires about 5 miles on the highway. Most of the commute is backroads and some dirt trails if I choose to have some fun but I think it would be nice to have the option to get on the highway for the 5 miles and not be terrified or rattle every bolt off the bike at speed. But of course I’m not expecting a highway cruiser or aiming for it really.

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Regarding honing the barrel, I read somewhere that ball hones are not the best for use in barrels and that using a large brake-type hone with expanding shoes is preferable, with a coarse grit of around 180 or so. I don't know why ball hones aren't recommended, maybe I'm wrong about that.

I had a lot of trouble getting my B44 rings to bed in and stop burning oil, I used a JCC piston with hard iron rings but following the rebore and several hundred miles the rings didn't seat and it smoked.

Eventually, I resorted to using a large brake hone with a 180 grit all mounted in a cordless drill. I managed to get a reasonable 45-degree crosshatch and after cleaning the barrel with hot soapy water to remove any carborundum grit I used a 3-piece oil control ring, and the result is perfect, no burning oil and smoke.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
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"I’d like to take the bike to work which requires about 5 miles on the highway"

What's the speed limit?


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Interesting I was always told the ball Hones are better for pretty much everything I’ve used brake style hones vs ball hones on lycoming cylinders with much better results from the ball style hone. But the issue with the ball style hone is when you can’t get them in the size you need sometimes the next size up is much bigger and puts deeper grooves in the cylinder vs the brake style which the spring tension of the hone stays relatively the same. So I could see that. If I do have to get it bored it will likely be honed at the machine shop anyway.

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
"I’d like to take the bike to work which requires about 5 miles on the highway"

What's the speed limit?

I believe the speed limit is 60, but it’s a fast highway speed of traffic is usually around 80 in the mid to left lane. It’s 4 lanes most of the way so I don’t mind cruising at 60 in the far right for 5 miles or avoiding the highway and taking backroads all together if I have to. I have a Kawasaki if I want to go fast, I’d like to use the bsa for blasting around town on and off road and taking it to work when I can.

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With stock gearing you should be able to scoot along that highway for 5 miles........shouldn't be a problem. IMO.......they "can" do 80 but mine don't seem happy at that speed. I tend to baby my bikes so I've never tried to make any of my bikes go as fast as they can. I have ridden a Victor Special on I-77 for a few miles and was able to keep up. I do try to shy away from those kinda roads though.....I was running late that time so it couldn't be helped.

Heck last year coming back from the BIBR rally I rode my C25 on I-40 through Asheville ( heading East) and down the mountain to Hwy 70 in Old Fort. Buzzy little devil but almost as fast at the VS. I stayed in the right lane and kept up with the speed limit.....60-65? ( got fogged out of my usual route) 55 down the mountain....easy enough even for a 250.

My B44s seem happy around 55-60......and can do that all day. I think my single (pun intended) longest riding day on a BSA unit single (1967 B44R) was right at 600 miles.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 08/28/22 5:21 pm.

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So I got a bit more work done the past few days. Ran into a few issues. The clutch pulling tool I bought from BSA unit singles was a piece of crap. (Not saying it’s their fault they don’t make the tool of course, just that it must have been from a bad batch) I screwed it into the clutch drum all the way. Obviously I had the nut removed also had the plate with the 4 flatheads removed and all that stuff. I turned the inner bolt of the puller in by hand with a ratchet and with little to no resistance it ripped sideways… considering I ran it in by hand I can’t imagine I cross threaded it by hand I mean I’d like to think I’m pretty strong but I’m not that strong. Upon closer inspection the threads of the puller and the clutch got pretty messed up. The threads on the puller also seemed messed up behind where I threaded it in so I’m wondering if I got a bad puller? Regardless I ordered another puller from the bonneville shop, it came in today seems of much better quality. Hopefully I can get it in the damaged clutch basket threads and pull hub out. Definitely going to replace the hub once I get it out. My only concern is if the threads aren’t good enough for the new puller to grab how the heck to I get the clutch basket out? I don’t want to pry obviously it seems like that would be a futile effort and would just likely end with me damaging the case.

Second thing. I decarbonized the cylinder head snd polished the combustion chamber as to prevent carbon build up. Or at least help prevent it. I also just like polishing things. I plan to polish the ports as well since the casting seems extremely rough. Is it worth putting in oversize valves? They’re very available and I’d think a 32mm AMAL carb, oversize valves, possibly a minor port job, and that electronic ignition would give it great improvement. I figure while I have the engine out why not go all out. Not trying to get a crazy compression ratio or bore/ stroke the heck out of it. Just some better top end flow I think will really wake the bike up and seems cheap enough to do. Also the Rupert ratio is giving me tuner ideas. That 38$ book is gunna end up costing me big time isn’t it hahaha.

3rd I measured the bore of the cylinder. Don’t have the numbers infront of me but it’s ovaled by .010” which seems like reason enough to bore it maybe .010 over or .020 over. But not sure if .010 out of oval is normal for these. Hard to find good specs. The shop manual doesn’t delve into the engine clearances and tolerances too much and the Rupert ratio is very helpful but I haven’t found anything about out of round tolerance in there yet.

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The clutch puller........your trying to free the clutch hub from a tapered shaft. Sometimes it comes off as you hand tighten the puller's bolt. Sometimes it takes tighten the bolt "just a little" and then give it a "smack" with a mallet. Sometimes you tear up a lot of [***] trying to get it off.

I've had several pullers.....I've stripped at least a couple....but the bolt stripped in the puller, not the puller stripped in the hub. Wonder if someone tried the wrong puller and messed up the threads?

Hopefully the new puller does the trick.

Send the bad one back to Peter.......I wouldn't think he'd want stuff like that coming out of his shop.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 08/31/22 12:12 am.

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Quote
But not sure if .010 out of oval is normal for these

I would say that's quite a lot and ideally, you want the cylinder perfectly round else the rings won't seat.

Here is what OJT (now defunct) in the UK said about the matter, they recommended cords rings, which are now hard to get, if at all.



I would use either the latest Hepolie pistons which come with a good ring package or try any of the other brands, E & V engineering supplly a JE piston with a decent ring set or maybe use a JCC or Gandini piston with Hastings or Total seal rings.

otj1-a.jpg otj1-b.jpg
Last edited by gunner; 08/31/22 4:49 pm.

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True, again I don’t think it’s peters fault. I think I’ll try the new one and if it works well I’ll let him know what happened to the other one. But he’s a small buisness I wouldn’t ask for my money back or anything but I’m sure he’d like to know. But I’ll wait to see if this other puller does the trick first.

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I can’t read that image on my phone gets a bit blurry when I zoom in but I’ll check it out on my computer tomorrow thanks. I agree .010 seems like a lot of out of round I couldn’t believe it and double and tripple checked measurements which I used a calibrated dial bore gauge to measure. Interesting how that happens but I guess it makes sense it was more worn front to back not left to right if that makes sense.

I’ll try to find those pistons and rings hopefully Peter has them he’s who I’ve been getting most of my parts from thus far. I definitely want to order that soon since I want to have the parts to be installed in hand when I take things to the machine shop so they can match it up for me when they bore and hone it and all I have to do is double check it.

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Originally Posted by Gtv6george
..... I agree .010 seems like a lot of out of round I couldn’t believe it and double and tripple checked measurements .......
It probably ran without an air filter or maybe a badly maintained one. You will probably need to go .020" oversize. The JE forged pistons are trustworthy. I've got one in my B50 dual sport bike. I don't know if Peter has them but if he doesn't, Ed at E&V Engineering lists them.
Here's the link.

https://shop.shopevengineering.com/...182&shopBy=-8415&catalogId=-2087

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Awesome! Thanks for the link didn’t know about that site or Ed I’ll have to have a look around his website. Thanks Stuart! I’ll keep you guys updated with some measurements etc as I go. Thanks again

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I had the same issue with the puller, but just ground down the external part back to good threads and it has been fine ever since. It is softer metal than the hub / center so if those thread are mashed, some one has been there before!

As far as the valves ....... "A good big one will always beat a good little one" ........ did it to one of mine, admittedly I did it by default, bought a trashed barrel and head from fleebay and the head already had it done, fitted new valves and guides, cleaned up the ports and swapped it onto the "enduro" style bitsa.
Left the carb alone, the difference was quite marked.

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Here's my 2p for what its worth as another young (for a classic british biker) newish owner of old BSA's

I converted my B44 to EI once i had got it running well enough on points to make sure there wasn't any nasty engine noises, I went with the Wassel Vape unit and i'm very happy with it, I'll be fitting the same to my A65 when the restoration is finished.

My opinion when i was doing my A65 was that as i had the engine apart and the bores weren't great it wasn't worth putting it back together without getting them done, So unless money is very tight or the bores and pistons look good i would personally get it rebored with a new piston, Especially as the engine has to be removed from the frame to get the top end off on a B44.

I can't help with the repar section, I would imagine you could find an engineering shop to do the work if you haven't ogt the equipment, however it might be cheaper to buy a new replacement part than to repair the old one.


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1968 BSA B44
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I can’t read that image on my phone gets a bit blurry when I zoom in

I've modded the pic from the OTJ catalogue so you shouldn't need to zoom in.

This explains their theory about "piston topple" and why in their opinion Cords piston rings were desirable to prevent excess oil consumption.

The modern equivalent of Cords rings would be a three-piece oil control ring as sold by Hastings & Total seal. The modern Hepolite rings still use single-piece oil control rings but have a spring tensioner behind them to push the rings against the cylinder.

Last edited by gunner; 08/31/22 4:57 pm.

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There really isn't any shops left in the immediate area (I'm in Oxford) John down at Competion Cycle in Stratford is very knowledgeable if you get stuck.
I just noticed you re in New Haven. I'm also working on a b44 ( among other things), and have some British specialty tools, pullers and some fork tools and CEI taps and such if you're in a bind pm me.

Also Job cycle in Uncasville (bit of a haul)
I get most stuff from Peter Quick


65 TR6R 68A65T 69 B44VS. 74 T150V 19 Chieftain
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Originally Posted by DAMadd
There really isn't any shops left in the immediate area (I'm in Oxford) John down at Competion Cycle in Stratford is very knowledgeable if you get stuck.
I just noticed you re in New Haven. I'm also working on a b44 ( among other things), and have some British specialty tools, pullers and some fork tools and CEI taps and such if you're in a bind pm me.

Also Job cycle in Uncasville (bit of a haul)
I get most stuff from Peter Quick
Oh nice! I live In Cheshire not too far away at all! I just work in new haven and that’s where I keep the bike at my job at the airport there. Is competition cycle also a machine shop or just a classic bike shop in general. I have local machine shops I like specifically mikes engine stand in prospect, however I think he’s a little more geared towards cars Im sure he’s more than capable of doing this machine work but I like to try and find machine shops that have some more knowledge on what I’m bringing them.

Im a bit of a tool junkie so I’m sure by the end of this build I’ll have a drawer in a tool box full of weird bsa tools just like I did with the last engine I rebuilt. But I appreciate the offer and if I’m stuck I will definitely reach out! Where did you get your CEI taps from? And do you know if heli coil or time serts are available for these threads? I have one bolt in my sump that the previous owner tapped to a standard sae thread that I’d like to return to original if possible.

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
I had the same issue with the puller, but just ground down the external part back to good threads and it has been fine ever since. It is softer metal than the hub / center so if those thread are mashed, some one has been there before!

As far as the valves ....... "A good big one will always beat a good little one" ........ did it to one of mine, admittedly I did it by default, bought a trashed barrel and head from fleebay and the head already had it done, fitted new valves and guides, cleaned up the ports and swapped it onto the "enduro" style bitsa.
Left the carb alone, the difference was quite marked.
As far as the puller goes the new one from the bonneville shop worked great! Threads seem much harder the original one I tried seems to be made from very soft metal.

That’s good to hear so far no one who’s actually had an oversized valve head has actually given any input so I’m glad to hear it’s worth while. On BSA unit singles I only see an oversize intake available for a 1970 square barrel so I’ll have to do some digging to find an exhaust one.

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