|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 07:18 pm: ||
While my Useless takes it annual vacation in the form of a break down I've been using my 2006 Triumph Tiger as its replacement.
The Useless has 127,000+ miles on it and I'm not sure how much further I can push it before it just collapses into a heap once and for all SO I planned ahead.
A few years back I purchased this beautiful Tiger. I always liked the looks of them because they're just so weird looking with the Richard Nixon jowls thing going on with the tank and the overall styling and they're just bizarre.
I ran into NYC on that one Christmas eve when it was nearly 80 degrees out, gave the nice man 40 hundred dollar bills, loaded it up into my truck and made it back on Christmas Day.
The previous owner had two of these: one he kept in NYC and one he stashed down in Florida for vacations. I bought the Florida bike.
I must have been a good boy as when I got it stuck getting it down the ramp off of the truck a former hillclimber was passing by and he gave me a hand - I was stuck!
Here it is the day I brought it home.
Under 8000 miles, factory hard bags, cheapie Givi top case.
After the initial battery swap and fill up the tank and ride bit I checked the oil and it was down a quart. Effen moron, said me, and changed the oil and filter and put on a few hundred miles.
Gas mileage was in the low to mid 30s so I popped off the tank (a major production on this thing) and pulled the air filter which was FULL of red sand.
Oh no, this guy was using it as a dirt bike down in Florida.
I wonder if the low oil level was tied to this sand?
Well, wonder no more...
Oil consumption varied between hardly any and a shit load with white smoke during start up and I did a compression check and it was 100/200/180 with cylinder number one only slowly going up to 140 with some oil down the spark plug hole.
At least I found the problem!
At around 33,000 miles it sounded like it was full of marbles, the idle dropped way down and it croaked in the driveway.
Guess it's time to quit being so lazy and see what the deal is.
Here it is in Winter duty a thousand miles or so before it took a dump:
Big Cee Bailey winter screen, Trident canister, XB Lightning bars, bar ends, updated rectum fryer, Corbin seat which makes it incredibly tall, all sorts of junk. Big, tall, kind of top heavy, really comfortable, burning oil and soon to be DOA.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 08:48 pm: ||
For those of you not familiar with Triumph triples, the best description I've read is that they're "wrenchy like a Ducati".
That doesn't mean that they're unreliable, it means that they take a lot of wrenching to work on.
You have to be in the right frame of mind to work on these as it's going to take a little while.
So, many hours of greasy merriment later, here she is, stripped down to her skivvies with a stylin' Hefty bag to keep crud out of the motor as this project will take a while.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:02 pm: ||
As you can see, the mischief wasn't confined to just the Evil Cylinder Numero Uno.
The good news is that the valves look okay
But right around 2007-2009 the Triumph 1050 triple pistons were cracking. It turns out this was due to detonation caused by winter gas formulation in the Northeastern USA only which is why it took Triumph so long to identify the problem. The bikes would run but high oil consumption, increased noise and steadily decreasing performance were the symptoms.
I wonder if I'm going to find cracked pistons in this one, it's not a 1050 but it's around that time period and they were using a mix of 955 and 1050 parts on this model...
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:13 pm: ||
I ordered a couple of industrial plumbing pipe rubber plugs to make a piston liner puller and while I was waiting for them to show up I cleaned the heads, lapped the valves and installed new valve guide seals.
It was interesting to see that Triumph recommended coating the valve stems with molybdenum grease instead of assembly lube which is what I would have normally used.
In the center of the head is a plastic fuse puller which was the perfect size for pushing the valve guide seals home. Finally found a use for it!
The plumbing doohickeys showed up and in order to remove the Evil Piston Number One I had to pull liner #2 so said to hell with it and pulled all 3. In for a penny, in for a pound.
No cracked pistons but it did suck in plenty of sand AND both compression rings were lined up. The score marks in both the piston and liner could be caught with a finger nail so they're toast.
I should mention the bike was purchased with the stock air filter. So many people bash K&N (which is what I use in my bikes) but this damage was done with a pleated paper element.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:24 pm: ||
Triumph parts are priced like they want to be Ferrari so I found a set of liners and complete piston assemblies from a bike breaker in England.
I could NOT find aftermarket rings so had to order OEM rings (made in Japan and Germany) and 2 piston pin circlips. $280 to my door from my local dealer - bend over!
Triumph parts are not any cheaper in England so it's not shipping or importer mark up.
I ran a stick of oiled dingleberries through the liners
and replaced piston/liner/rings for Numero Uno and just did new rings for cylinders 2 and 3.
I used a little H-D 20W50 on the rings and liners and sealed the liners to the case with Hylomar per the manual.
Many hours of greasy merriment later, it was back together.
New oil filter, new Mobil 1 15W50, reoiled K&N, new plugs, cams timed, valve clearance checked, new coolant and time to see what we've got.
Start it up and it runs like crap but no codes.
Take the tank off and Fun Boy didn't do a very good job of plugging in two of the coil connectors and a fuel injection connector. Idiot!
Start it up and coolant comes out. Off comes the tank and Fun Boy needs to reseat the radiator cap.
Third time's a charm and all is well - no leaks, no smoke, no explosions, no need to use the handy fire extinguisher.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:39 pm: ||
There are so many different notions about how to break in just a set of new rings (not new pistons and rings).
I went with the recommendations posted by Hastings Piston Rings. When in doubt, ask the experts.
Basically, it's run it at fast idle (2000 - 3000 RPM) until it's up to temperature, shut down and let it cool completely.
Then it's run it at fast idle until it's up to temperature, ride it until the oil is warmed up and then 10 short full throttle blasts, in fairly rapid succession, in a medium gear to seat the rings.
The idea is no lugging, put it under a good load, let the heat dissipate a bit and then do it some more.
Hey, I can do that!
I gave it a good dozen blasts in 3rd and 4th between 4,000 and 5000 RPM and then back to the driveway to let it cool down.
Here it is doing a coolant puke while Molly Dog supervises.
It did one other, smaller coolant puke and then it reached its level.
The rest of the Hastings instructions said 100 miles of easy riding and then use as normal so I did a day or so of back road use, varying the load a lot with no lugging, and then back into service it went.
I'm about 1000 miles into it and the oil use is either negligible or non-existent. The motor sounds much, much better than new and fuel mileage is mid to upper 40s.
It moves right along and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.
I expect to return my attention to the Useless in the near future and hope that my problems do not involve the mainshaft being excessively worn from old age.
Hope you enjoyed the little Tiger write up.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:52 pm: ||
Here's the break in procedure from Hastings. I extrapolated for my particular application.
1. Set tappets, adjust carburetor and ignition timing as accurately as possible before starting engine.
2. Start engine and set throttle to an engine speed of approximately 25 miles per hour (trucks, tractors and stationary engines one-third throttle) until the engine coolant reaches normal operating temperature. Then shut down engine and retorque cylinder head bolts, recheck carburetor adjustments, ignition timing and valve tappet clearance. (Run engine at fast idle during warm-up period to assure adequate initial lubrication for piston rings, pistons and cylinders.)
1. Make a test run at 30 miles per hour and accelerate at full throttle to 50 miles per hour. Repeat the acceleration cycle from 30 to 50 miles per hour at least ten times. No further break-in is necessary. If traffic conditions will not permit this procedure, accelerate the engine rapidly several times through the intermediate gears during the check run. The object is to apply a load to the engine for short periods of time and in rapid succession soon after engine warm up. This action thrusts the piston rings against the cylinder wall with increased pressure and results in accelerated ring seating.
2. Following the breaking-in, turn the vehicle over to the owner or operator with the following suggestions:
PASSENGER CAR AND LIGHT TRUCK
Drive vehicle normally but avoid sustained high speed during the first 100 miles.
HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS AND BUSES
If possible, place in light duty for first 50 miles. At no time should the engine be lugged. Lugging is said to exist when the engine does not respond to further depression of the accelerator.
Operate at one-half load or less for the first two hours.
|Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 11:13 pm: ||
I've been using Moly-be-damned assembly lube for years! Great stuff! Thanks for writing this up and for the pictures, nice job. I like the dingleberry hone! We called it a ball or bottle washer hone. Looking forward to what you find on Useless.
|Posted on Friday, August 09, 2019 - 09:45 am: ||
Steve, great write-up! Hopefully you have many triple-motivated miles ahead!
I'm really diggin' the Useless, but I do miss the Sprint's howl.
|Posted on Friday, August 09, 2019 - 12:56 pm: ||
In the last piston picture is that part of the piston missing between the oil ring and the second ring?
|Posted on Friday, August 09, 2019 - 03:36 pm: ||
Cool write-up; glad it was worth the effort!
Looking forward to a similar write-up on the Uly resuscitation in a few months.
|Posted on Friday, August 09, 2019 - 06:15 pm: ||
It must be a trick of the camera angle as I just double checked that old piston and nothing's missing.
I don't know why I keep junk like that around but I do. Might come in handy for braining a burglar with some day.
The manual made mention of possibly having to remove a burr to remove ye olde gudgeon pin which I thought was strange.
Sure enough, I had to use a dremel to buzz off some material to get one out.
I have another Sprint to finish fooling around with, adjust the valves and replace the fuel filter on this Tiger in another week or two and then I'll see just why the Useless decided to break the big circlip around the clutch pressure plate area. That might just be a consumable which I stupidly reused?
It might be a $10 repair but I'm still pretty ticked off at it. Two tows and one limp home in rapid succession will do that!
Here's a few more guts pics while I'm sitting here. The black line on the piston is a 1 put on with a Sharpie.
My guess is the original owner dropped it on the left hand side while trail riding and before it conked out it sucked in the sand.
|Posted on Friday, August 09, 2019 - 09:34 pm: ||
I had to look at that piston pic a few times myself. Itís an optical illusion because the ring is sticking out so far.
I guess it all worked out for the best, but I would have thought you would use dino oil for the break in period before switching to syn. Canít argue with success.
|Posted on Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 05:16 am: ||
I did go back and forth on the oil and read on one vendor's site to use the oil that the manufacturer would have used when it was brand new.
That made sense.
Back then Triumph was using Mobil 1 so I did a compromise: regular Harley 20W50 for the liners and a drop or two on the rings with Mobil 1 in the sump.
|Posted on Saturday, August 17, 2019 - 02:20 pm: ||
I'm sure you'll have many trouble free miles with it.
|Posted on Saturday, August 17, 2019 - 08:15 pm: ||
After 1500 miles I changed the oil, oil filter and fuel filter and tomorrow I pull the camshafts and buckets and reshim the valves.
At 35,000 they're finally getting their first adjustment which isn't bad. I'll shoot for the middle of the range.
Aside from a chain and sprockets (maybe) that should be it for major service work until it turns 50,000 miles.
It looks like road construction grit may have done in the seal behind the countershaft sprocket, that will be the second one. I guess chain lube gets in there and the grit gets turned into a grinding paste.
They are CONSTANTLY redoing sections of the road I commute 100 miles a day on so it's an endless battle against the grit.
The grit appears to be winning!
(Message edited by SteveFord on August 17, 2019)
|Posted on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 09:41 pm: ||
One of the reasons i sold my 97 Sprint EX was I hated working on it. Everything was a PIA and theist of parts made the BMW's I owned in the past seem reasonable.But it had a great motor and went down the road really well. I sold it and a 750 Paso to buy my 06 Uly. That vintage triumphs are as cheap as Bulls these days, I may buy another.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 05:27 am: ||
Agreed, Triumph parts are criminally over priced and it takes some patience to work on them.
Recently did an oil change and adjusted one valve which was out of spec and all is good in Tiger Land.
The Useless is in the Classifieds section but it looks like I'll send the primary case out for repair and will be back to bombing around on that one as well.