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Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738127
06/09/18 5:07 am
06/09/18 5:07 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
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R Moulding  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ

Should be fun to watch this come together......

https://triumphbonneville120.co.uk/1938-5t-speedtwin.php

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
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Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: R Moulding] #738137
06/09/18 8:57 am
06/09/18 8:57 am
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 176
UK London
PhilM Offline

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PhilM  Offline

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UK London
Originally Posted by R Moulding

Should be fun to watch this come together......

https://triumphbonneville120.co.uk/1938-5t-speedtwin.php

Rod


Great link Rod, thanks for posting it and I'll be keeping an eye on it as well.

Phil

Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: HawaiianTiger] #738138
06/09/18 9:00 am
06/09/18 9:00 am
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 176
UK London
PhilM Offline

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PhilM  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 176
UK London
Bill,

That Square Four looks beautiful, please post more pics when completed.

Phil

Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738177
06/09/18 7:06 pm
06/09/18 7:06 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
BritBike Forum member
HawaiianTiger  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
I think my friend is back on the Ariel now after a hiatus caused by a sudden attack of Nortonitis, caused when he purchased a '72 Combat Commando, then found a Norton N15 right here on island.

The N15 was the score of the year for sure as the motor has no less than 29 Dunstall components inside, was just rebuilt, came with TWO K2F mags and a another box of engine parts. He got it running in a couple of days but the Joe Hunt mage gave up the ghost fairly soon thereafter. Still not bad for a 1500$ investment.

He has three Triumphs now he would like to sell. He's on the hunt for another Norton (my recommendations are 650SS or Fastback) or a pre-unit Triumph. I just happen to know where a cherry '62 Thunderbird is for sale just one island over.

We'l be getting a rolling chassis up before too long.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738186
06/09/18 9:19 pm
06/09/18 9:19 pm
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,660
Elburn, Ill. USA
I
Irish Swede Offline
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Irish Swede  Offline
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I
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,660
Elburn, Ill. USA
Bill, I am not a Norton guy myself, but there are a lot of those guys in the northern Illinois area, and almost all tell me that THE twin to have is the 650SS if one can be found.
They are powerful, excellent handlers due to the "featherbed" frames and, most important SMOOTHER RUNNING than any of the 750 Nortons.

If you land that cherry '62" 6T, please post pictures of it on this website, especially pix of any surviving decals.

Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738189
06/09/18 9:33 pm
06/09/18 9:33 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
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HawaiianTiger  Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
The Thunderbird for sale is none other than that one I sold a few years ago, pictured above. As far as decals.....Pretty standard, but as far as accuracy is concerned, hey, I didn't know about you then either.

[Linked Image]008
I never could find the proper 2 inch long "Made in England" that goes on the tank. Maybe available now, but it wasn't then.

I've never ridden a 650SS myself, but I have ridden several featherbed Atlas models (and a Norvin) and I was always put off by the vibrations. Jay Leno has a great video of his 650SS on his youtube channel. If you watch that, you'll be sold, I think. I just love the way they look. Classic understated English styling that just oozes quality. The Dominator 88/99 is another example that I really like but they're so rare in the US that I've never even seen one in the flesh.

Cheers,
Bill


Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 06/09/18 9:47 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738191
06/09/18 9:39 pm
06/09/18 9:39 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
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R Moulding  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ

Let your Buddy buy the other flavour Brit Bike, Bill. The 62 would look far nicer back in your shed!

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738193
06/09/18 9:57 pm
06/09/18 9:57 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
BritBike Forum member
HawaiianTiger  Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,900
Maui Hawaii
Hmmm.....I wonder if I could dig up that kind of scratch with crowdfunding or Kickstarter......it is art after all.
B.


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738201
06/09/18 11:56 pm
06/09/18 11:56 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,994
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Online content
fefsa
kevin roberts  Online Content
fefsa
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,994
ohio, usa
Originally Posted by PreunitPeter
But the other thing I have found is that authors copy the "facts" from the previous work instead of researching it themselves. This results in these same text mistakes appearing in one book after another.


it's worse than that, peter. i worked in automotive publishing for a number of years. we published professional lubrication manuals for quicklube, tuning specification manuals, wheel alignment specs, engine rebuilding books, service station parts books, stuff like that. the information we published was hard to come by and the company was jealous of its intellectual property.

what this meant was that some information in our books was wrong, didn't exist, we made it up. we did this to catch the competitors stealing our stuff and re-publishing it. for example, we might have a manual that listed all the american automobiles manufactured for a given year. we would print tables of ignition timing specs, points gap, reccommended plugs, firing order, carburetor settings, along with drawings of where the drain plugs were and what the timing marks looked like. for bazillions of engines that a mechanic might come across.

and sprinkled into the mix were specifications for engines that didn't exist, such as the 1979 cadillac 430 V-8 with the hemi head. orthe pictures of the optional harmonic balancer for the 67 mustang that came with 30 degrees of timing marks. or the two barrel carb settings for a car that only came with four barrels. or the car paint colors that were never applied to that model.

none of this was a problem, because a mechanic would never come across these made-up configurations. but a competitor who just copied our stuff out of our books could be caught because he would include our ringers, such as the 1979 cadallac that was never made.

just something to think about, when your looking through these old books and trying to make sense out of the odd things you find in them.


i have no idea what i'm doing.
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738226
06/10/18 8:52 am
06/10/18 8:52 am
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 383
Kent, UK
N
Nick_Smith Offline
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Nick_Smith  Offline
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N
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 383
Kent, UK
A point which interests me (and might have been covered in your contact with the former employees) - how fastidious were the builders with using parts to exact parts-list spec, versus keeping the production line going?
For example, if part 'a' had run out, would everything stop until supplies were replenished, or would a suitable part 'b' be quickly found and used on a batch?
How fastidious were they with decal placements and the like?

I imagine most of the assembly was by hand, and possibly the 'in time'/kanban system of parts supply wasn't as developed then as it is now (plus, certain parts always came from outside suppliers).

Do today's restorers operate to tighter expectations than the manufacturers in certain respects?

Nick


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738228
06/10/18 9:52 am
06/10/18 9:52 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
BritBike Forum member
R Moulding  Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,022
Christchurch NZ

I've always wandered similar,Nick. When I replaced a knackered later type seat on my 66 TR6 I ordered a grey top seat as specified by the parts book. Looking at an old pic from the original owner it actually came with an all black cover that was only supposed to be fitted to the export competition models. So have I "restored" it incorrectly?

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738230
06/10/18 10:01 am
06/10/18 10:01 am
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 28
Sydney Australia
P
PreunitPeter Offline OP

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PreunitPeter  Offline OP

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P
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 28
Sydney Australia
Gday Nick
As far a I was told the purchasing dept was pretty on the ball. The schedule of what bikes were about to be made was always well known within the factory. The idea was to always have everything ready in time for the up coming build batch. Of course some parts were under Triumph control and made in house. Remember in the 40s and 50s they had the a full machine shop making gears, pistons and machining most of the castings however the casting was done off site. Also they had their own plating shops for cadmium and chroming. They of course had their own paint dept.
In saying that sometimes there would be shortages and also sometimes at the beginning of the new production year there would be left over stock of old spec parts.
For example some years the new spec bikes didn't actually have the full new specs until weeks into the new production year while they used up over stock of these old parts. With regard to keeping the line going yes they did what ever they needed to keep going. If this was impossible then the factory would use the time to make spare parts. This was common at the end of the year when changes were coming up particularly if the new parts weren't substitutable by the new one. While on that subject remember if you took your bike back to the factory repair dept or a dealer back in the day then your bike would be repaired of have replacement parts of the current spec without any view to originality. For example if your sprung hub on your 1949 T100 went in for repair in 1952 you would most likely get a service exchange mark 2 hub replacing your damaged mark 1 hub.

As far as were they fastidious? They made a quality product and were very proud of it. The rivalry with other brands was high. However they also had a mass produced product to build. It was no use if they sent a whole day only producing one bike per day. They had every conceivable jig and mass production methods. For example to paint the centre stripe on mudguards they had fibreglass masks that fitted over the guard (fender) to spray the stripe. Then the main reason for the pin stripe was to cover the less than sharp edge between the two colours. On models without a centre stripe the pin stripe was used for uniformity between the models. Two tone petrol (gas) tanks also were done with fibreglass masks. Tank badges were painted using copper masks that fitted over the badge with the parts to be painted cut out in stencil fashion on the mask. Think about that next time you are painting the black background of your freshly rechromed harmonica tank badges. I didn't actually ask about transfer position jigs but I would imagine they would have had them. Remember they were water slide transfers so they are easy to position once on the part and still wet so a jig would be easy to use.

Assembly was mostly by hand. No robots in those days however they had air screw drivers , jigs and special tools for every job and they extensively used T bar stud installers and T bar sockets for nuts and bolts. Components were made into subassemblies so that final assembly went pretty quickly. Each subassembly dept like the wheel builders, frame builders, gearbox builders , engine assembly line etc would all have the schedule well in advance of the start of the build. Each dept would for example know that the upcoming build was say Tiger 100s and they would build anywhere from small batches of 50 TR5s to 600 6Ts in a batch before moving to the next model in the sequence. Just think of the trouble they would be in from Edward Turner if their dept was to hold up production.

Today's restorers over restore the bikes. No doubt about that. A pin striper working on your tank or guards today for example would take his time knowing that if he makes a mess of the job you will complain however the pin striper in the factory would pick up the petrol (gas) tank with one hand by the filler hole and not put it down until he striped the whole job. This operation typically took a couple of minutes. I know that this example is not preunit but take the scollop two tone tanks of the late 60s and 70s and you will see the original top stripes that point towards and end near the seat nose sometimes had an inch difference in the length of the points. If your modern painter did that you would complain however I would be pleased because it would look more original. If I can't see brush strokes in the pinstripes and see where they have been started and stoped then I am unhappy with the job. Masking taped and spray painted pin stripes are a no no for me.
Peter


Dedicated to the preservation of pre unit Triumphs.
Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #738235
06/10/18 10:54 am
06/10/18 10:54 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,534
OZ
Triless Online content
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Triless  Online Content
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Posts: 1,534
OZ
Yes, craftsmen alright, in that well known film of inside the factory in the '50's, not a tension wrench to be seen, not even tape to protect the conrods, etc.......but a quality product that was popular was still the result ! Apparently, Edward Turner aimed for 30,000 miles before serious overhaul would be required !
Apart from things like suspect high speed handling, marginal forks, etc, I believe Triumph quality control was at its best in the pre unit era !

Re: Pre Unit Triumph misinformation [Re: PreunitPeter] #739331
06/20/18 11:07 pm
06/20/18 11:07 pm
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 997
.
Les P Offline

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Les P  Offline

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.
I can't thank Peter enough, I never realised the dispatch records were that detailed. thumbsup thumbsup


More bikes and projects than you can shake a stick at but they should be done in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
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