Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Rebuilding fuel taps
Q: I’m trying to re-cork some old Ewarts push-pull gas taps. How do I get the old pins out? — Jim Koenig/via email
A: The best advice is probably to replace them with something else, but if you want to keep the originals, the first thing you want to do is buy several corks so you have a chance to select some good smooth ones and also in the event you split one installing it. The brass rod that holds the cork in place is peened over into the chrome tap pull, so you have to drill through the peening. Center punch the brass and use a small bit to drill just barely into the rod. Press or punch out the rod from the pull. While you are cleaning up the brass, boil a little water and sink the corks (I know, right?) in the water to soften and swell them. Once you have the brass cleaned and the corks soft, push a new cork onto the brass rod. Take it easy pushing it over the diameter change; this is where the cork will split if it has a mind to. If you haven’t drilled off too much of the brass rod, you can re-peen the end into the chrome pull, but a little Locktite bearing fit will also help hold the two together. A very little goes a long way, and you don’t want any on the cork. Carefully fit the cork back into the tap body. I’ve been warned against greasing them, but a very small amount of silicone grease on the very edge of the cork entering the tap helps ease the two parts together. MC