From Bzero to B50

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From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:49 am

Hello all!

Before I get into what this is about I'll share some backstory that might be relevant!

Sometime back in 2010 I pulled this, a 68 B44, out of a barn on my aunt and uncles farm to fix it up. I had absolutely no experience with motorcycles (I was 14 at the time) but I thought it was rad.
34320_1151644648779_6777807_n.jpg

Over the next 5-6 years, working on and off(mostly off), I finished putting the bike back together. By that time I had put together other bikes too.
s20170611_132604.jpg
She isn't perfect but she starts first kick and is the bike I ride the most. I love this darn thing too much. I have come to love the simplicity of these BSA singles.

Now onto the main portion and what this thread is about! Building a BSA B50 from just an engine!

I have recently acquired a good looking B50ss engine and with my crazy ambitions I plan to figure out how to make a full B50.
I will try to update this when I can about how the build is going! This is also my first time writing a build thread.
s20170926_210757.jpg
I got this engine partially taken apart but set back together. The top end was taken down but that is as far as it went. I also got a box of reverent parts appropriately labeled "BSA B50 Parts"
Step 1: Find a frame this engine can call home
I'm not sure how much I will do to this engine before I find a frame but I am working on that! :thumb

Thanks for reading!

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by Victor500T » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:22 am

Great project! That's a very nice B44 too.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by midgie » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:31 pm

Good luck with the project. shout if you need any help.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:11 am

I have the engine apart probably as far as I am going to take it. Just thought to share some pictures of it!
Since the engine was already apart and just set together it really did not take that long to sort out.

Everything seems good in the inside besides a few things needed such as:
kick-start return spring
New points
New valves
Gaskets/Rings

Is there anything else that on these engines that I should be looking for? So far its pretty darn similar to the B44(besides the obvious differences).
s20171006_165351.jpg
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:55 am

A quick question to all the B50 pros..
What are the recommended valves and rings? I'm not looking to go oversize at all.
For valves I saw that E&V has a std intake but no std exhaust(unless I missed that).
As for rings.. I have hastings on my B44 and they seem to work fine.. Is there anything better I should look for?
Any advice will help! :grin:
s20171006_163948.jpg
Also just for fun I put my B50 barrel next to a spare B44 one. It's amazing how thin the B44 is compared to the B50 :!:

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by minetymenace » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:49 pm

IMG_3770.jpg
Hey TheSpiritOfVali, I see you also have one of these tins in your box of bits, any idea of the Part No. ? :ban
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by mlb50 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:38 am

While you got it all apart and are looking to do good things to it, I'd recommend you remove the rocker box studs from the head and install Helicoils so that you can use bolts to secure the rocker box. The reason is - the standard B50 frame is a very close fit around the motor. If you get any issues with the head, to remove it you need to pull the motor out of the frame. With bolts, its a bit fiddly to remove the rocker box, but it works once you get the knack of it. And on my last venture into pulling the head it was all over in 35 minutes. Kind of worth it!

An just in case you did not know - Helicoils or similar types allow bolts to screw in and out with no wear on the ally of the head which would not handle the torque stress for too long.

PS - There's also the highly recommended replace the CONROD with a Carillo....read the forum stories on this...
B50 @ 10:1 - what's a leg between friends?

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:55 pm

minetymenace: I have no idea of that part number! It's not in my book anywhere <201 must be for some other bike that got mixed in :thumb
Mlb50: I wasn't going to split the cases as the crank seemed in good shape. I honestly didn't know rods breaking was a big deal :shock: I'll see if I get around to going that far. Also I'll keep in mind the helicoils when I get to working on the head, thanks :thumb

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by Ian Hingley » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:41 pm

Gearbox camplate spring?

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by midgie » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:05 pm

The most important part is cleaning the crank sludge trap out.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:29 am

Hello again all,

I stated digging into the engine a little more and I now have the gearbox side opened up and boy is it clean. The 2 B44's I have opened up have not looked anywhere close to this good. :grin:
The camshaft lobes are also in fantastic shape as well as all the gears.
s20171014_140524.jpg
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And just for kicks here is the primary chain tensioner(right) compared to a spare B44(left)
s20171014_175823.jpg

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by beat » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:03 pm

:thumb :thumb :thumb

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:18 pm

Hey all, It's been a little bit but ill give a little update

Awhile ago I drove about 600 miles in total to buy a fame for this engine to go into. Great guy, good frame, missing too much to go for an original look but that was okay since I didn't plan on spending that kind of money to get all they stuff anyways :thumb
this is the B50T frame when I finally got home and unloaded
s20171015_222002.jpg
Its quite a nice frame, some faults like the front rim was completely buggered up
not much for originality, this one was built for the trails

So now onto what happened..
The guy I got the engine from kept the frame in hopes to put a triumph 500 twin engine inside it, so he sold the engine to me for a fair price
But alas that meant I couldn't buy the frame from him in the first place. Since he is a good friend I kept in touch about my progress about the bike and upon hearing about my purchase of a B50T frame with a title, he brought up the idea of swapping so I would have a matching frame :grin:

So we got all the b50 stuff we had together and he set me up with a pretty much complete B50ss
s20171018_175920.jpg
s20171018_175923.jpg
Here is the frame somewhat pseudo together with some of the stuff I got
s20171018_191844.jpg
A lot is there but everything needs work to some extent.. the frame is rough and rusty. one of the engine mounts is busted and its missing one of the tabs that hold the air filter on. That just means more work right?
s20171018_211839.jpg

Is it worth it to have a matching bike that will be very original? Who knows, all I know is I'm happy :grin: (but my wallet is not :cry:)

My garage is getting a little full.. Might need to stop soon :???:
s20171018_212729.jpg
I'll leave this post with a progress picture of what is to come :thumb
s20171018_221142.jpg

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by midgie » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:34 pm

That's some good gear you have there. good luck with you're build.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by koncretekid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:16 pm

You've got an excellent start to build a fun bike. The last one I built started with a motor (not nearly as nice as the one you got) from Casper, WY and a frame from Pine, CO. Everything else came from swap meets and Ebay.
B50 tracker with seat 2.jpg
By the way, that Hi-Violet paint on your tank and fenders is not easy to match. Before you blast it off, try to restore the finish and you will have truly original paint scheme. New rims and spokes are called for and Buchanan's make the best fitting spokes and can supply any style rim you want.

On your post from October 16, you show the gearbox side which shows the end of the gearbox mainshaft (2nd photo). It appears to me that there is a bushing missing from that end of the mainshaft that locates the clutch activating rod, but maybe it's just the photo.

Tom
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by Canberra » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:35 pm

Do you have the original exhaust? I notice the stainless facia cover to it. Otherwise it looks like a great project for a road bike. I'm surprised it has the smaller tank. Maybe BSA thought nobody goes far in US?

The paint jobs on these machines never loved daylight as they always fade and it is very rare for two bikes from the factory with same colour. I agree with Tom, matching using modern paints takes a real expert.

I like your seat Tom. Can you take a pillion and is it comfortable? Does it lower the seat height?

John

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by koncretekid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:29 pm

Canberra wrote:
I like your seat Tom. Can you take a pillion and is it comfortable? Does it lower the seat height?

John
Not to hijack Spirit's thread, but the seat only has about 2-1/2" of foam (1-1/2" base plus 1" pleats) and is good for a 100 mile jaunt. Wouldn't want to ride it all day, but then I'm not likely to do that anyway! And no rear foot pegs nor any place for a passenger.

Tom

P.S. The issue I mentioned in my previous thread may be that the bushing for the clutch rod is just depressed into the shaft, as I have a used one with that condition.
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:33 am

Hello to all,
First off, sorry for the time spacing between posts. I've been rather busy so it's hard to find the time.
Now with that out of the way..

Tom,
The bushing seems to be there, just pushed in a bit. It seems fine the way it is and I don't think it's much of a problem as everything is smooth :thumb
I would love to just keep the original paint but the underside of the tank is pretty rusty and the front fender needs a bit of work welding one of the arms back on. Everywhere where the paint is "good" it has chips and the base is showing.. For some reason I love that original Hi-Violet so I might have to find a way to end up matching it.

Here is some close ups of the paint(I don't have a picture of the underside of the tank)
s20171020_144335.jpg
s20171020_144352.jpg
John,
I have the original pipe/header that has seen better days (ugly welding on the tab) and no muffler :( As far as I know the muffler just rusted to dust(there are bits left on the guard). The guard is in great shape though! Not sure if trying to find an original is worth the effort or just finding a cool replacement is easier.

The entire lot seems to be the complete bike, but bit by bit I'm noticing little things that are missing such as the center stand and the front headlight harness. So far I'm pretty happy with how much is there :mrgreen:

So a good question to all; is there any reasonable way to recreate the Hi violet paint? Also is there any good way to find the rubber mounting things for the headlight ears and the electrical box?

And some progress pictures!

The next two are the frame taken further apart
s20171019_161012.jpg
s20171019_150937.jpg
Broken tabs in need of repair(the engine mount is already cut off in this picture) I used a spare set of B44 engine cases to measure where to weld on a new tab :thumb
s20171107_172651.jpg
s20171101_164008.jpg
Progress of sanding the frame in preparation for repair and paint
s20171107_172656.jpg

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:15 pm

Hey all

I have made a bit a progress with the bike and I have pictures to follow. I have the frame painted all the way to almost together! I find that I am still missing a huge lot of stuff the more I work on the bike. I have new sprockets on the bike as the old ones had no life left, they are 18/52. I also went though and cleaned all the electrical components inside the box. I still need to look into the paint when I get around to that part. Things have been going well so far with the bike! :thumb
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by beat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:14 pm

:thumb :thumb :thumb

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:29 am

It's been a bit so time for an update for where I am sitting.
Things are going well with the bike and slowly its becoming more complete. It seems like the more money I throw at the thing the better it looks!
:grin: :cry:
I set up a pazon ignition for the first time so hopefully everything is right there.
I have a few more wiring kinks to work out then it is on to paint!
I took my fender to a local paint shop and started looking around in the house of kolor paint book at the kandy section and wouldn't you know it they had a kandy violet over a silver base coat that looked identical to the color of my fender. The bad news was they discontinued that color a few years back. The good news was they had one pint of the stuff leftover. Some experimentation is needed but I think it will work out nicely. :thumb

Just a few pictures of small things coming together
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s20180110_162137.jpg

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by TheSpiritOfVali » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:02 pm

Hey all,

It's been a while now so I figured I'd jump back to make a post about the bike.
The bike is all (mostly) finished to the best I could make it. The bike was painted to an original looking purple candy with a silver base. It turned out very nice looking. Unfortunately a camera just can't capture the sparkle of the candy :cry: I Got a nos muffler and just starting piecing everything I could together.
I ran into some trouble with the transmission not shifting right so after much trial and error I tore apart the transmission only to find that nothing was wrong.. I put it back together and now it works great! I'm not too sure what I changed.

The bike runs fantastic! the difference between this and my B44 is amazing. The bike has so much more go than I expected.
Snapchat-583553375.jpg
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20181023_181752.jpg
There are still many minor things that I need to get done to have it perfect, but I'm sitting pretty content to just ride. Eventually Ill fix the rust on the rims. It leaks a bit of oil from the primary too. Nothing too concerning though.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by skippy » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:37 pm

Well done, it's looking good. :thumb
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by beat » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:08 pm

:thumb :thumb

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by Keefe » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:41 pm

Looking good.

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by Rookster » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:15 am

The bike looks great. I really like the color.

Scott

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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by koncretekid » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:42 am

Looks great! That color is amazing. If I repaint my "plum crazy" B50 again, I'll look into that.
Tom
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Re: From Bzero to B50

Post by kommando » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:28 pm

House of kolor seen to have all the Flamboyant colours available at some point, they must have been the original inspiration, but BSA Triumph got their paint from ICI and Carrs, wonder if they had a licencing deal going.

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