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1970 Tiger overheating #786376 10/06/19 6:50 pm
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splash Offline OP
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Hey Guys and gals,

My Triumph is overheating and I am running out of trouble shooting options. Nope, no leak at carburetor gaskets as I sprayed with carb cleaner while running. I've tried adjusting the air valve screw several times.I have cleaned the plugs.I have checked the oil return and it is spitting back into the oil tank. Seems as if only the left piston is causing the overheating. About a week ago when kick starting I heard a rattle. I looked down and noticed my left exhaust real loose. I tightened it back up and rode on. I stop at a red light and feel the exhaust on my leg coming out at the joint of the silencer. I didn't think much of it and noted to tighten it more when home. I tightened more with no success in fixing the leak and few days later noticed smoke coming from the header also.
At cold start and light to moderate smoke coming from left exhaust I pulled the plug wire on the left to hear how she ran. Right side fires evenly every second nearly perfect timing. I then pull the right plug wire (left piston only running at idle speed) and sputters for a quick moment and dies.

symptoms as follows:
1. White-gray smoke from only left exhaust header, silencer, and pipe.
2. Very sluggish start off first gear, misses and hesitates.
3. Lacks power and overheats easy going uphill
4. Plugs show signs of running rich (dry black carbon build up)

Seems to run good at high RPMs but can't hear if detonation or pre-ignition is happening at the higher RPMs while afraid to blow it up also. What else can I check? Can the timing on the left points be adjusted only? I also sprayed those down with carb cleaner, no change in symptoms. Can an exhaust leak cause lean mixture on one side only?

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Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786377 10/06/19 7:04 pm
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fix the exhaust leak, pull the header and see what the problem is.
check valve lash
do a compression test
clean points and check point gap. must be done before retiming
time each cylinder with a strobe if still on points. Yes each cylinder is timed independently.


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786378 10/06/19 7:15 pm
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You haven’t mentioned the routine engine service tasks, although htown has.

What makes you think it’s overheating?


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: htown] #786379 10/06/19 7:30 pm
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splash Offline OP
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
You haven’t mentioned the routine engine service tasks, although htown has.

What makes you think it’s overheating?


Originally Posted by htown
fix the exhaust leak, pull the header and see what the problem is.
check valve lash
do a compression test
clean points and check point gap. must be done before retiming
time each cylinder with a strobe if still on points. Yes each cylinder is timed independently.


I believe its overheating by the lack of power and the sweat on my balls is unusually heavy when i am sitting on her.

What is valve lash?

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786384 10/06/19 8:11 pm
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This is the manual.

http://www.classicbike.biz/Triumph/Repair/1970s/70-Triumph-Repair-Manual-63-70.pdf

Various items have to be checked and adjusted, according to a schedule. Just riding around on the bike until
it goes wrong is likely to cause expensive damage.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786385 10/06/19 8:19 pm
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Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786391 10/06/19 9:25 pm
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I'm assuming that since it is a Tiger that it only has one carb. If it's running right on one cylinder then probably the carb is not the problem. Has to be either compression or ignition. Retarded timing will cause a cylinder to run hot.

Last edited by htown; 10/06/19 9:26 pm.

1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786392 10/06/19 10:03 pm
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Hi Splash, Hmm... Kinda sounding like a blown head gasket. Start motor & see if it's leaking between cyl & head. Compression test will generally show low if blown. If just starting to blow it may show ok & only leak under power.

Valve lash is another word for valve clearance. Shop manual calls it adjusting the valve rocker clearances. You can download shop manual from any number of places. Classic British Spares is one.

Look at piston tops. What does top of pistons look like with flash light through plug hole? Lean & overheating will often show a whiteish piston top or tan, brown metal that looks like it may have been sand blasted with a very large sand. Most often Triumph piston tops look black & sooty & tend to look oily also often times.

I'd test compression before anything else to get a base line. Check cold & hot. Verify choke is off. Hold full throttle during kicking. Kick until gauge will read no higher. Count number of kicks & record. Reinstall plugs & start motor briefly on hot test, then check other side. Oil drains from rings very quickly during kicking & can lead to false low reading. Starting motor restores oil to rings. A good 1970 Tiger hot will read 170-175#. With carbon build up 180#. In my experience. Hot reading is the important reading. Triumph gave no specs.... Hot meaning after 5 miles or so.

I'd retorque head before valve adjustment.

If you've never done valve adjustment before it will take time & some practice to understand what you are doing. Feeler gauges will be very hard to use on your motor. I would use the angle of rotation of the screw. In any case when you are done you'll be able to wiggle rocker arm sideways slightly & feel some play. If it feels tight, it is tight. Tight will take much force to move sideways. Again the side play is only a little bit. Shop manual explains how much a turn will give how much clearance. Do the math to see how much to turn for .004 & .002. Practice this with nut backed off slightly. Then just snug nut to until you can just turn screw. The reduces play in threads of screw. Tightening nut can change clearance so you need to practice & get a feel for it. Not rocket science, but does take practice.

Setting the motor position is most important. The key is turning rear wheel until the opposite valve is fully down. Use visual looking at valve & a finger on valve until you get the feel of fully down is. Then you're ready to check the opposite valve. Meaning when left exhaust valve is fully down (opened) you adjust the right valve. Then rotate motor until the right valve is down & adjust the left. Then move to intakes & do the same procedure.

Spec on 1970 Tiger is .004" on exhaust & .002" on intake.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT turn the adjuster screw way out. If you do the push rod can come out of rocker arm & very hard to get back in. If you need to back off screw more than a turn or two to get clearance something is wrong. You need to put screw back. Tighten nut & verify the motor is in correct position to adjust that valve.

You don't need to split hairs but do the best you can.

Head retorque is strongly recommended. On rare occasion a loose head will blow smoke, but be good enough after torqueing.

Cold motor means after sitting overnight. Even slightly warm motor will skew adjustment greatly which can lead to burned valves.

Also what does top of pistons look like with flash light through plug hole? Lean & overheating will often show a whiteish piston top or tan, brown metal that looks like it may have been sand blasted with a very large sand. Most often Triumph piston tops look black & sooty & tend to look oily also often times. That is what I see on good running motors.

You have a lot on your plate here. Look over shop manual & take some time to digest all this. No telling what you'll find.

You may need to purchase some tools. The valve adjuster nuts are close to 7/16" wrench but are actually BS/whitworth. I recommend you buy a set of sockets & combination wrenches. Triumph parts dealers or eBay sells them. On a 1970 you'll need them if you get into working on this bike. You'll be surprised by where they are needed. You need torque wrench for head bolts. Get one that is appropriate for the head bolt torque specs. You need another for the larger fasteners like clutch nut. If you want problems, guess on torque.
Don


1973 Tiger 750
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: TR7RVMan] #786398 10/06/19 11:08 pm
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splash Offline OP
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Thanks for the help and manual links. I ran compression test just now. Both sides were the same 95 lbs/square inch (warm) after 3 kicks.

Last edited by splash; 10/06/19 11:09 pm.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786401 10/06/19 11:31 pm
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leak down test cold

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786403 10/06/19 11:43 pm
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95 psi is very much on the low side of reasonable, I am used to seeing 140-180 psi hot.

3 kicks may not be enough, I do a standard 10 kicks, with throttle wide open. What do you get doing this? Both sides.

Put 5ml oil down each plug hole, then test again. What reading do you get after 10 kicks at full throttle now? Both sides.

The results could be most useful.

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786411 10/07/19 12:26 am
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splash Offline OP
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Left side 4 kicks with throttle open 130.
Right side 4 kicks with throttle open 150.
Same readings at 10 kicks.

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786421 10/07/19 1:37 am
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That sounds good!


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786422 10/07/19 1:43 am
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Looks like rings and probably valves while you're at it. I use Ted's on Oahu. They'll pick your stuff up from Aloha Freight at the airport and send it back the same way. Less than 100$ round trip.

Or.....slap on a 750 kit for a few bucks more. Well worth it and on the Big Island having extra power for the long haul is a plus. Oh, and if you still have points, it's likely the cause of the current issues you're having. Might as well slap a Pazon on there and call it good.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786427 10/07/19 3:30 am
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splash Offline OP
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What is the philips screw on the other side of the air adjuster screw? This would be the left side of the bike directly across from air valve adjustment screw.

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: HawaiianTiger] #786429 10/07/19 3:39 am
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[quote=HawaiianTiger]Looks like rings and probably valves while you're at it. I use Ted's on Oahu. They'll pick your stuff up from Aloha Freight at the airport and send it back the same way. Less than 100$ round trip.

Or.....slap on a 750 kit for a few bucks more. Well worth it and on the Big Island having extra power for the long haul is a plus. Oh, and if you still have points, it's likely the cause of the current issues you're having. Might as well slap a Pazon on there and call it good.
/quote]

Thanks Bill, I may have just found a mechanic here in the Big Island. Paxton, is that the electronic ignition? I believe I’m going to see what I can do here before slapping into some major overhaul for now.

ALOHA!!!

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: bodine031] #786439 10/07/19 7:55 am
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Good info from the others.

Splash did you do the compression test with the throttle fully open? This might give a better reading. It is encouraging that the figures you have are even.

Dave

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786449 10/07/19 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by splash
What is the philips screw on the other side of the air adjuster screw? This would be the left side of the bike directly across from air valve adjustment screw.

What carbie do you have on the bike? Do you see a brand name?

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786450 10/07/19 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by splash
What is the philips screw on the other side of the air adjuster screw? This would be the left side of the bike directly across from air valve adjustment screw.

You remove that screw so you can clean the pilot jet...Use a .016 pin drill or guitar string...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,2001 Sportster....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786470 10/07/19 2:58 pm
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Sounds like an AMAL Premier carb with removable pilot jet. From your description of the problem, the carb is not the cause if one side runs good and the other doesn't on a single carb bike. I'd leave it alone. IMHO you have an ignition problem. Do you have points or an EI? Pazon? Your compression numbers are a little low but the bike should run fine with them. I'd put off an engine rebuild for now.


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: htown] #786471 10/07/19 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by htown
Sounds like an AMAL Premier carb with removable pilot jet.


Depends if its a brass cross head "screw" or a zinc plated one? If its brass then its the jet itself, if its zinc plated then its just a plug and the pressed in pilot jet bush is still installed, not great but its an improvement over being blanked off as before.


beerchug
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: Allan Gill] #786475 10/07/19 4:32 pm
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Quote
IMHO you have an ignition problem. Do you have points or an EI? Pazon? Your compression numbers are a little low but the bike should run fine with them. I'd put off an engine rebuild for now.


+ 1 ... an ignition problem .

if still points , there are two sets of points ... both individually adjustable .
a visual inspection of them operating is where i would start . ( done in the dark or at least in heavy shade )
it could be as simple as a failed condenser on the bad side ... (who knows , the condenser is wired remote ... it could be
as simple as a loose wire )

both cylinders will use an individual set of points , condenser , spark plug wire and spark plug to work one side .
any one of these parts , on the bad side is a suspect




if its an electronic ignition ... running 2 separate coils .... one coil , are coil wire can fail and the other coil still work
Switching the spark plug wires over would switch the problem to the other cylinder .

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786476 10/07/19 5:22 pm
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Yeah, it’s a single AMAL carb with two coils and points. I’m gonna feel really stupid if filling the oil tank up a lil over the fill line causes these symptoms but it’s just another simple guess without many tools at hand. I know piston aircraft engines will spit out or burn oil when overfilled but it’s usually black instead of gray.
I’m calling a recommended shop today to see if they could fit me in possibly to help me with ignition or timing problems. I wish I had the tools because the last guy I paid to work on my bike really got one over on me in the mainland. I told myself never again and I’m here again needing the tools. It’s gonna be 2020 soon, where are tool libraries??? Books are nearly obsolete so when are we going to replace with tools to check out for a week? I hate owning tools I very rarely use such as a light gun. Sorry I’m off topic but that is my philosophical stand bleeding out.

How do you attach pictures from phone here?

Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786480 10/07/19 6:20 pm
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The Pazon is a solid state ignition which I think gives the most bang for the buck, so to speak. Great warranty, and I've installed a number of them, each one a huge success in making the bikes run better.
I've used the Pazon Surefire. They have others for more $$, but this one is great for a daily rider.

Well, if you lived on Maui, you could drop by and tinker on your bike here.

Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 10/07/19 6:37 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: 1970 Tiger overheating [Re: splash] #786494 10/07/19 7:44 pm
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If you don't have any tools, you bought the wrong motorcycle.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
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