B44SS

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Sly Dixon
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B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:20 am

I bought this bike sight unseen (other than half a dozen pics on line) and drove around 700kms there and back in a day to pick it up. Not at all disappointed in that whilst it was going to require a total strip down it appeared to be largely un butchered and pretty straight over all. It had apparently been changing hands as a project for twenty years plus. The last sign of it having been street legal is a 79-80 Registration sticker (Tax). The chap that sold it to me said that the story with it was that it had been mechanically gone over but never started. His strong recommendation was that I should see for myself (unnecessary but sound advice). On getting it home I pulled out the motor and took it to the shed. Head off and the signs were that it had had a once over lightly with a few odd nuts and bolts and a few threads on the head striped and a lug broken off under the rocker cover. The valve seats seemed pretty low in the head and the guides were very sloppy. The barrel is freshly bored with a 060" piston. Thin walls at that size but it all seems worth keeping. Pulling the piston off (clearly not new but in good order) I find the gudgeon pin is worn but the little end bush looks ok. The big end feels a just a bit on the sloppy side so I decide to keep going and spilt the crank.
Cases split the gearbox seems ok but third gear is pretty ratty. The crank swung on the lathe seems to have .001" runout so well within spec. On splitting the crank it appears that the big end is not B44. I go hunting on the web and find it is a B50 one. The journals appear to be in excellent order although there is noticeable clearance possibly because whoever put it together last time left the plug out of the crankpin so it would have had no oil getting to the bigend (possibly the reason for the .060" oversize?) so I decide to replace the rollers. Whilst I'm at it I replace all the engine and gearbox bearings apart from the roller main bearing which appear to be mint. The bearings are all astoundingly cheap and I don't spend more that $150 on all of them. I purchase a new lay and mainshaft third gear pinions and after examining the clutch I decide to replace the clutch basket which I do with an alloy one and new alloy friction plates. The head is sent off to the engineers for new guides, seats and a bit of tig welding. They'll put the pair of new valves I bought in and hopefully give it a bead blast.
The fastenings are the next issue. There is a mixed collection of stainless and straight steel Allen screws and philister head posi drives. All are worn and a couple on the gearbox side are missing. The head studs appear to be stretched in the middle of the threads and a few of the other studs appear to either have damage or are totally U.S. I decide to make an entire set and as I have a slotting tool I make them with tradition cheese heads with straight slots. I borrow a Coventry die head to make the engine case screws and as the engine case and cylinder head studs are made in medium tensile I single point turn them on the lathe before finishing them with the button dies. They get sent off for zinc plating and come back looking very schmik. The crank is reassembled with the new rollers and is much improved. I get it back to .001" runout but can't get it any better. Third gear is installed and the new clutch basket with a new timing chain which I have hanging over from a Royal Enfield reno a while back. New fastenings installed and the cases torque up sweetly. Very handsome with washer faced deep profile AF nuts made on the lathe. A brief confusion over the v and I marks on the cam pinion and bottom end done. Just waiting on the head to return now and then it's frame work.
Attachments
IMG_1962.JPG
Motor awIting cylinder head
IMG_1862.JPG
Missing oilway plug.
IMG_1841.PNG
Bike as advertised
Last edited by Sly Dixon on Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:56 am

I have a couple of questions that would be excellent to get answers to; from what i have read this model 1969 first registered 1970 was only painted Flamboyant Red, can anyone tell me if this is true and if so is there a modern 2k paint that is a decent facimilie?
Also i see a number of Shooting Stars online have their tank badges coloured in. Is this an affectation or is it legit? I quite like the plain chrome badge but then again it does look quite fetching in full 3d colour.

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Re: B44SS

Post by mick » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:55 pm

Hi all,

According to Dave Smith's (aka Rupert Ratio) excellent book the modern equivalent to "Flamboyant red" is "S*zuki 5014M" - whatever that is!

All the best,

Mick

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Re: B44SS

Post by kommando » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:46 pm

Its Candy Apple Red and because of how it is made up ie a ground coat of silver (and later gold) with a cover of a red varnish of several coats that allows the ground coat to show through. Metallics can look ok but can never match the Candy effect of light at different angles, when they painted it they also varied the number of coats and the thickness of coats depending on the sprayer so original tanks show variation plus the sun faded the colours too.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:07 am

I shall check out the Su*uki colour and also the potential to have a crimson tint put into the clear coat with a gold base coat. I have a friendly paint man. Just the badge question now. I am fairly convinced to leave it unpainted as it will be bright enough in what is to all intents and purposes a nail polish colour. :).

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Re: B44SS

Post by PFeeney » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:06 am

I had a 1970 for few years the badge was filled in in red, the tank was red as well.
I will add a photo later.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:07 pm

That would be brilliant thanks :grin:

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Re: B44SS

Post by PFeeney » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:08 pm

B44 Shooting Star.JPG
1970 B44 SS

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Re: B44SS

Post by minetymenace » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:59 pm

I always think the swing arm on these bikes looks like it should be a couple of inches longer....so that the centre of the arc that forms the rear mudguard is concentric with the rear wheel spindle...... <201
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:23 pm

Handsome machine. I have a long way to go!

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:59 am

Any one who has a 69/70 B44 could do me a big favour by posting a pic of the head stock from the handlebar view. I seem to have an open nut holding the headstock in place meaning that i can look right through. It may be a bit of home engineering or it is simply missing a screw in plug. The swing arm has the same setup which is also a bit homely. Id love to have a decent reference photo so if i have to make a more suitable replacement i can base it on the real thing.
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:29 am

Found the parts book and spotted the original nut. Good pics on Ebay so its back to the lathe.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:25 am

Interesting day today. The head is ready at a fairly eyewatering price but the bike wont go well without it and it has been comprehensively overhauled, guides, seats and lots of tig welding. I pick it up in Monday so i got on with the forks. From my initial discovery that the centre nut was rogue it all went down hill. The tube top plugs were both stripped of any thread and the bushes were tired on one side and shagged totally on the other. Purchased new generic bronze bushes from the local bearing house and machined them to fit. (Had one destroy itself in the lathe, tricky stuff bronze if you are too lazy to grind a new tool). Fitted up and pleased to see that the tubes are pretty good and so the re bushed forks will be sweet. The top nuts were nicely chromed and I'm a bit tired of being the Chrome Platters retirement funder so i single point turned a 28tpi plug that fit the fork tubes and the bored and tapped it to 7/8ths UNF. Turned down the nuts and ran a 7/8ths thread on them and loctited the new threaded colar on. It was then i discovered that the other fork tube had a bung internal thread that was most likely responsible for the woeful state of the plugs in the first place. Turned up another 28tpi thread to fit on a lump of 4140 and cut slots in it. That chased the thread back into a decent state and the plugs now fit a treat. Picking up new seals tomorrow and new fork springs are in transit. As for the centre bolt, Ive decided to go the easy route on that. Ill turn off the 11/2" hex on the top and turn a piece of 1" hex bar to screw into the top and the silfoss it in place. Ill paint it until im driven to platters again for aomething else.
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IMG_1970.JPG
The plug with a threaded collar in place

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Re: B44SS

Post by beat » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:02 pm

........ there is always a way.....

:lol: :lol:

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:45 am

Did the centre nut this morning. I'll wait until I reassemble before silfossing the centre plug in as the available thread inside the nut may be critical.
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Re: B44SS

Post by minetymenace » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:54 am

Sly Dixon wrote:silfossing
<017 is that ancient Greek for brazing?
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:55 pm

Its a brand name i believe for a silver solder that plumbers use. Very strong with a relatively low melting point. Its what they use to attach tungsten points to disk saws so it is strong. You're right though i could just use brass.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:47 am

I have made a prettier 1" AF dome nut for the swing arm draw bolt as the previous was too ugly. It also seems that some "genius" has cut off various vital lugs so I have to make new ones and arc them back on to minimize heat damage to the otherwise adequate paintwork. I can see why the several previous owners never proceeded with this restoration there is so much to do and most of it is silly little repairs that shouldn't have been needed in the first place. I realize the dome nut wasn't actually vital but as you will see on one of the pics above the existing was not satisfactory.
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:59 am

I been having sadistic fantasies regarding crushing the nuts of the person who designed the cylinder head of the B44 in my vice. What were they thinking? I had to buy a new spanner (buggered if i was going to stuff up my nice Britools) so i could grind it to access the 11/16" nuts under the rockers to tighten down the head. There was absolutelg no need for it as far as i can see, why couldn't the plate bolt down with the rocker cover? I glad this is an Internet forum as i can i agine the scandalized silence if Id made such a comment amoungst the annointed but Holy Shit what a stupid design!

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Re: B44SS

Post by matt49g » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:59 pm

:thumb :thumb :thumb :thumb :thumb :thumb
My feelings exactly.

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Re: B44SS

Post by HPbyStan » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:08 pm

you guys are what they designed Hondas for.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Ian Hingley » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:31 pm

Sly Dixon wrote:...What were they thinking? I had to buy a new spanner (buggered if i was going to stuff up my nice Britools) so i could grind it to access the 11/16" nuts under the rockers to tighten down the head. ... Holy Shit what a stupid design!
Guess we've all been there. Just gotta accept foibles like this. Stops you fretting about torque values anyway, cos you can't get a torque wrench anywhere near the nuts...

:thumb

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Re: B44SS

Post by koncretekid » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:41 pm

If it was easy, everybody would have one.
life's uncertain - go fast now

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:45 pm

Spent the evening making new rocker box studs and nuts also realized that whilst my dome nut for the swing arm draw bolt looks nice its a bit silly as one end of what is supposed to be an open tube will be sealed off at one end.

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Re: B44SS

Post by ghislain » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:06 pm

Really don't understand ...tightening head bolts is a real pleasure ! >44
Thats' why I have three of them...
In the same way of fun , I had to unfit the carb on my 2cv Citroen ...mmmhhh, not so bad : Unscrew fan bolt , extract fan, un fit belt , unfit alternator belt cover , unscrew alternator tensioner , the n unfit alternator ..;and yes , now , you can unscrew the front left small carb nut ....
None of the three others causes access problems... :lol:
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:13 am

Obviously with a 2CV you would get used to the concept of three head studs. I loved those motors although it was generally easier to take them out to do anything other than an oil change.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:00 pm

Trial assembled the forks today with the new springs from Draganfly. They never answered my query re the length and gauge however I think the springs are right as the number of turns is correct whereas the old ones are too few according to the workshop manual. They do seem a smidgen short so I turned up two aluminium spacers 12mm thick and put them at the top and the whole shebang pulls up nicely. The centre nut was fine so I brazed the hex plug in the top and then spent ages with a file cleaning the damn thing up. If I was charging a dollar an hour it would still have worked out cheaper buying a new one but where is the fun in that.

Made yet another annoying discovery in that the rear shocks that came with the bike looked ok but I have never examined them together. Turns out they are different and not even the same length. I'm looking now at a set of Hagon's which are the repro Girlings but I'd be interested to hear what peoples opinions are on this topic. I may try and cadge a pair of Paioli's out of a friend of mine if they are the right length but he may be immune to my entreaties and of course they might not come close to fitting.

I'm back to the platers tomorrow with a whole heap for nuts and bolts to zinc plate and once that is done I can finish assembling the motor and get on with getting the the bike back on two wheels. I think I'll give it a bit of road time before I repaint as there is usually teething with a total rebuild and soft paint makes it worse.

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Re: B44SS

Post by minetymenace » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:12 pm

I like Ikon shocks, and they are in your hemisphere. They will make what ever you want and you can get a modern shock that looks like a period one.
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Re: B44SS

Post by kommando » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:20 pm

NJB's are assembled by Norman who used to work for Girling, IKON's are better but priced as such too, I buy old Koni's and rebuild them as a lower cost alternative.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Barry Creary » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:34 pm

I bought Ikon for my B50 and am very pleased with them :thumb when I rang them I got the owner and he asked me my weight and what I was using the bike for and made them to suit :grin:

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:23 pm

Thanks for your thoughts
I've got an email into Ikon already asking for a price. My V50 Monza has Konis and they are a nice shock. Ill see what they come back with pricewise.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:45 am

Interestingly the price for a set of Hagons and a pair of Basix Ikons are pretty much the same at just under $400 NZD delivered. Ive sent an enquiry to NJB as well as they do look the part.
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Reason: Link Added :)

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:10 am

As a complete contrarian I went and got some paint today and then came home and stripped the tank. It wasn't a bad paint job that I removed but a metallic turquoise blue with a pinky clear coat was never going to fly for me. Interestingly as I stripped off the paint with some nervousness as to what I would find beneath what was foremost was the brilliant gold layer that went under the red creating the Flamboyant Red that it once was. The nervousness was not needed thankfully as whilst there are a couple of minor dings the tank is generally in pretty good nick. No signs of rust although there was a mountain of solder under a rubber mat where the central fastening goes through. I torched that off and revealed no rust but a couple of puncture wounds probably from the mounting bracket working on the skin. I'll most likely resolder that as it is already tinned but won't use the quarter pint of lead that the previous chap had. I've got a modern 2k paint which I chose from a colour swatch as none of the numbers for S@":uki Bandit paint meant anything to the Glasurit man's computer. It is a very candy apple-ish red and requires two different base coats to give it depth and then the clear over the top. I'll go black on the oil tank and tool box cover which seems to be a common theme. I was dreading a badly bogged and rusted tank which I've had on previous bikes so this is a win :grin:
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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:05 pm

Reading Blaise's fascinating post re the B25 with the 441 motor I realized that all the bits that continually broke off his machine have already broken off mine. I assumed some Neanderthal with an angle grinder had removed various lugs such as the one that supports the chain guard at the front and the one of two that holds the oil tank in place but on closer inspection it would seem that they simply broke. What is rather perplexing is why with a mounting obviously prone to fatigue did they drill holes in it (I speak of the oil tank mounting lugs)? It seems to be a classic weak spot. It is an inspiring read but if I rode as far as he did I would have circumnavigated my whole country!

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Re: B44SS

Post by kommando » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:33 pm

If they broke from vibration then now is the time to check the crank balance factor is set right statically and also could be worth getting it dynamically balanced but on a single with a narrow crank that will not work as well as it does on a twin crank plus with the B44 having one flywheel wider than the other it may not even be possible on a B44 crank. My B44 has only ever broken the front chain guard mount, all the rest are intact.

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Re: B44SS

Post by minetymenace » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:23 pm

I think with age, the odd bolt falls out and all the stress is then applied to the remaining mountings, these bike are old now and have had a chequered past, a previous owner would probably only notice an oil tank mounting lug has broken off when it is only supported by the pipes!
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Re: B44SS

Post by HPbyStan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:54 pm

If you read the part about how Blaise aligned the flywheels when reassembling the crank you might be surprised that anything stays on that bike.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:45 pm

Yeah I tend to go with the age argument I think. He said that he didnt notice any particular vibration and he did ride many thousands of miles with a rigid mounted motor. I had a Benelli 650 a long time back that nearly took out your fillings.I did a 100 mile run on it and it was an hour before i could focus again, It was an exhausting ride. I also trued my B44 flywheels the same way but i used an axe head, my workshop not being nearly as well equipped as Blaise's. Got it to .001" runout but the reluctant .001" was due to the flywheels pinching like Blaise's. Time will tell. Should have the top end fastenings back from the platers tomorrow and i can start the final reassembly.

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Re: B44SS

Post by Sly Dixon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:53 pm

Ha! I like the fact that the name spelling alteration doesnt extend to Italian machines, or does it? Ducati, Laverda, Moto Morini, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia.

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Re: B44SS

Post by HPbyStan » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:19 am

You measured the runout on the OD of the flywheels, How does that make any sense?

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