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Old 04-22-07, 08:30 AM   #1
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HOW TO convert Italian to ISO (BSA) BB? (if it's even possible)

I like a frame that has an italian BB. I want to standardize my equipment, though, and was wondering if italian BBs can be modified to take british (ISO) cartridge BBs.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:40 AM   #2
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I don't think that it's going to work, at least not very easily. The Italian BB is a little larger in diameter so there isn't enough metal there to tap it out to English threads.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I don't think that it's going to work, at least not very easily. The Italian BB is a little larger in diameter so there isn't enough metal there to tap it out to English threads.
Thanks a lot, Grouchy. That's what I was afraid of, myself. Still, I wonder if there's some kind of adapter.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:26 AM   #4
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Not only is there not enough metal, there is no metal. Outside thread measurement of english = 34.8mm (1.37"), inside of Italian is about 35.2mm. Any adapter and machining necessary would cost more than the benefits gained.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by vpiuva
Not only is there not enough metal, there is no metal. Outside thread measurement of english = 34.8mm (1.37"), inside of Italian is about 35.2mm. Any adapter and machining necessary would cost more than the benefits gained.

Yeah, the numbers don't lie.

damn


Alternatively: cheap source of BBs (I think they're called "cups" in case of italian BBs)? Anything I have to watch out for, as a purely ISO user, when working with italian BBs?
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Old 04-22-07, 06:34 PM   #6
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all the major companies still make italian BB's for most cranks out there so there should be no problem finding an Italian BB that will work
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Old 04-22-07, 07:16 PM   #7
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First you buy a lot of that Alum-alloy from the infomercial...
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Old 04-22-07, 07:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
Alternatively: cheap source of BBs (I think they're called "cups" in case of italian BBs)? Anything I have to watch out for, as a purely ISO user, when working with italian BBs?
Yep, Italian bb's are right-hand threaded on both sides. This gives the drive side cup an unfortunate tendency to loosen spontaneously so you have to torque it REAL TIGHT. A lot of mechanics like to use low-strength Locktite when they are installing Italian cups as an added precaution.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:21 PM   #9
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What I've done is get an English-threaded BB shell. Mill off about 1mm from the outside. Then bored out the Italian BB by just enough for a tight 0.05mm interference fit. Then use a hydraulic-press to push it in. Tacked a couple spots of brass on the inside to hold it in place. Mill 1mm off both ends and faced the new English-threaded BB.

If you've got the equipment, it shouldn't take more than 30-minutes.
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Old 04-23-07, 04:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
What I've done is get an English-threaded BB shell. Mill off about 1mm from the outside. Then bored out the Italian BB by just enough for a tight 0.05mm interference fit. Then use a hydraulic-press to push it in. Tacked a couple spots of brass on the inside to hold it in place. Mill 1mm off both ends and faced the new English-threaded BB.

If you've got the equipment, it shouldn't take more than 30-minutes.

That's how it should be done. I have none of the equipment, though.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
What I've done is get an English-threaded BB shell. Mill off about 1mm from the outside. Then bored out the Italian BB by just enough for a tight 0.05mm interference fit. Then use a hydraulic-press to push it in. Tacked a couple spots of brass on the inside to hold it in place. Mill 1mm off both ends and faced the new English-threaded BB.

If you've got the equipment, it shouldn't take more than 30-minutes.
WOW, all of this work to avoid using an Italian bottom bracket?

Or was the Italian bb shell ruined and this was a way of saving the frame? Even so, it's a lot of work and great expense unless you have the tools to do thee work yourself. This had to be a very valuable frame or one with great sentimental value.
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Old 04-25-07, 05:03 PM   #12
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Italian BBs seem awfully expensive, compared to ISO. And yet, the only frames I seem to be interested in lately, are italian. Why oh why do I always do this.
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Old 04-25-07, 05:40 PM   #13
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Because you like the pain....
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Old 04-25-07, 05:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
Italian BBs seem awfully expensive, compared to ISO. And yet, the only frames I seem to be interested in lately, are italian. Why oh why do I always do this.
??? I always see them at the same price as English for the same BB. What are you on?
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Old 04-26-07, 04:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpiuva
??? I always see them at the same price as English for the same BB. What are you on?
Only place I see them, is ebay, and there they sell for 3 to 6 times as much as I can get an ISO BB:


http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-Dura-Ace...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/FSA-MegaExo-Ital...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-Ultegra-...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-105-Octa...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dura-Ace-Triple-...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-07-Dura-...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dura-Ace-7703-BB...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/BB-cup-set-Stron...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/CAMPAGNOLO-RECOR...QQcmdZViewItem

Strangely, square taper italian BBs seem very rare.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:33 AM   #16
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they still make threadless bb you know.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:05 AM   #17
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Shimano and Campy both still make square taper Italian threaded bottom brackets. Campy Veloce if you need iso, Shimano UN54 if you need jis taper. Try aebike.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:25 AM   #18
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I had no more problems with mine after I torqued it to specs.

Al
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Old 10-15-07, 08:39 PM   #19
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Spending the time/money to modify a frame just to save a couple bucks on a bottom bracket is questionable.
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