How To Rebuild Everbest Petcocks

by Craig Vechorik

Everbest petcocks (used up to the /5) are rebuildable. I do it all the time and so can you.

You'll need:
a vise
600 sandpaper
wheel bearing grease
a light hammer
a roll of cork gasket material sold at auto parts stores (one-eighth inch thick)
a razor blade or X-acto knife
a 3/16-inch drill bit

Take the leaking petcock from the motorcycle. Examine it carefully to be sure it is worth rebuilding. The brass tubes should not be split. The outside of the pot metal should be solid (no holes). If the outside looks good, take it apart to check the inside.

Take the leaking petcock apart. Carefully cut the crimped part of the body away from the area around the lever. An X-acto knife or razor blade works well for this. A sharp blade will trim the crumpled pot metal of the petcock.

Before working on the petcock, protect the threads. Screw both nuts (the one that holds the spigot to the petcock and the one that holds the petcock to the gas tank) back onto the petcock.

Hold the body of the petcock in a vise with the tubes to the top or bottom. With pliers, pull the lever plug out. Clean the outside surface of the plug with 600 sand paper. Carefully examine the plug. If the surface is pitted, you might as well forget this petcock valve and find another one to rebuild. If everything is in good shape, you're ready to replace the cork.

Replacing the cork.
Lay a sheet of 1/8-inch cork gasket material on a flat surface. Carefully and accurately cut a rectangle 1 31/32 inches by 1 1/16 inches. It is very important that you make straight, accurate cuts in the cork. You can bevel one inside edge of the cork (a 1 1/16-inch end) to help insure a tight seal.

Thoroughly clean inside the body of the petcock and remove all of the old cork gasket. A round wire brush as used by plumbers works well for this. Roll the cork into a cylinder-shape. Lightly grease inside the body of the petcock with wheel bearing grease to help ease the cork into the body. Position the cork seam at one side of the body. Push the cork into the body of the petcock.

Examine the cork.
The cork should be flush with the inner lip. The cork should appear seamless; no evidence of gaps. If you weren't accurate with your cuts and the cork doesn't seem quite right, remove it and try again.

Once the cork is perfect, it's time to reassemble the petcock. Be sure the spacer washer is still on the plug and insert the plug into the body of the petcock. After you get the plug started inside the petcock, use a vise as a press to squeeze the assembly back together.

Crimp the pot metal of the body back over the plug to retain the plug in the body. A small center punch and a light hammer will do the job.

Select a drill bit which will slip into the brass tubes. I use a 3/16-inch bit. Turn the petcock to the "on" position. Don't be alarmed as to how tight it seems. It will loosen with use. Insert the drill bit in the long brass tube. Use your fingers on the drill bit to drill out the cork that covers the holes in the plug. Turn the petcock to the "reserve" position and drill out the cork inside the short brass tube.

Blow out the petcock with compressed air to remove any small crumbs of cork from the passages. The petcock is ready to install.

If you drain your tank in the future and remove the petcock, remember to put the petcock in a sealed jar with gasoline to store it and to prevent it from drying out. The cork drying out is the main reason it failed in the first place!

Can you patch holes in petcock bodies?

Not to my knowledge. I have had limited success using these low-temperature propane torch rods for "welding" aluminum and pot metal that J.C. Whitney and Eastwood Supply sells. I say limited, for pot metal is tricky. Too hot, and the whole thing melts, without warning.


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