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Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795540 01/13/20 7:54 pm
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Except for the primitive american engines that still use rockers to directly operate the valves, modern engines have an oil lubricated bucket or something to take the side load off the valves. Since lead has been removed from fuels there is little lubrication there and articles that I have read say the additives in fuel wash away any oil on the valve stem. Eliminating as much of the side load from the valve would increase the life of the guide.
This would be possible with a small redesign of the head around the spring pocket area to provide for a bucket on top of the valve. Using a beehive valve spring which is smaller in diameter, there would be room.
Another possibility is to make a spring seat cup that extends above the retainer, becoming the pocket for a bucket. If you want to keep the valve tip erosion by the adjusting screw, the bucket could double as the retainer.
Either of these requires the top end to be pressure fed.
It was reported that Pat Owens (mechanic for Romero) has a T140 with over 200,000 miles on it and never apart. Of course it leaks and smokes a lot.

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Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
DMadigan #795546 01/13/20 8:27 pm
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Hmmm, I have a "primitve" 2002 Honda CRV with a 4 valve VTEC engine and it has rockers with no cup guided springs like the Honda bikes have..I'm thinking it's the DOHC that act directly on the valve with no rocker that have the side thrust cups.....I always wondered about gasoline lubricating the intakes...Intake valve head temperatures are 400-500F or so degrees in normal running, meaning the lower stems are likely 300 F degrees and any gas hitting the valve will vaporize instantly on contact...At least that's my take on it...
Like HT Bill says, I got 15,000 miles on a Triumph top end back when despite proper maintenenace and conservative riding during warm up...But I suppose part of that was riding hard...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati 81 Ducati Pantah 500 ..On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795585 01/14/20 1:30 pm
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Hi All, Does anyone know if using a reed valve on the engine breather (and blanking off any rockerbox breathers) would increase oil flow to the rockers ?

Regards Peter


'74 T140V,'83 XR1000, C&J FLATTRACKER T140,
Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795589 01/14/20 3:34 pm
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Another thought,if you connected an oil line form the oil pressure switch joint to the rocker box (plugging off the existing rocker feel line) , you would be gaining a direct flow of pressured oil into the rocker box.
I don't know how much that would reduce oil to the crank, but with the already restricted oil flow on the TSS rocker spindles, it may only have a marginal decrease to the existing crank pressure/oil flow.
Regardless, any change to the crank pressure could be easily measured, and easily reversed.
Doe a Triumph T140 have any oil pressure to spare?
Also not sure how the TSS would react to getting a stream of 60 psi oil blasted into it.

Has anyone tried this?

Mond

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795592 01/14/20 4:55 pm
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When the OPRV opens you have oil pressure to spare.
One way you could implement this is to put a pressure relief valve on the supply from the oil switch port and a one way valve on the existing return line feed and join the two lines. That way at low RPM where there is less load on the engine it has the normal feed and at high RPM (where presumably there is higher load) more oil goes to the rockers.
The high pressure feed will likely need a needle valve or control orifice to regulate the amount of flow.
You could make a special OPRV that opens the port for the rocker line instead of using the pressure switch port.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795594 01/14/20 5:27 pm
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Assuming you're talking about a T140, the "engine breather" is the large exit from the rear upper chaincase. I think a reed valve in this location may be more of an impediment than a benefit to breathing.

IMO at best it may result in a very slight reduction in average pressure in the chaincase and even more slight reduction in average crankcase pressure. I suspect too trivial to be worth considering. For this to happen at all would require near perfect sealing of the chaincase (paricularly the mainshaft/sprocket cover seal and the always open avenue through the clutch pushrod tunnel to the gearbox).

I think a reed valve directly attached to the crankcase, either at the timing plug hole or on the chamber at the front of the engine (with internal crankcase passage) may produce a lower average crankcase pressure than the previous situation, but with the main bearing being unsealed and the breathing holes, it still won't amount to much.

Even with the sealed crankcase of the pre-70 engines and their timed breather, at best only a small average fraction of an atmosphere "vacuum" could be achieved. In most realities, the system just did a reasonable job of releasing most excess pressure and blowby.

Rockerbox breathers, very popular with the cafe-racer crowd in the 60's, have little value. Just consider the holes that the crankcase must breathe through to get there.

At the end of the day, having a small, or more likely no significant "vacuum" in the engine will make negligible difference to the rocker oil flow.
Making a flat or groove on the spindle, with flat washers against the rockers (with the nicks at the ends) as has been described, is probably as good as it gets. Don't forget that you've got a pump working for you.
The return pump is capable of supplying considerable pressure (ok not as much as the feed pump because air is in the flow, but still much more than is necessary for its function).
There is plenty of scope to experiment with restriction of the tank outlet to increase pressure to the rocker feed.
With hot oil, I believe the Triumph spec was that the head of oil above the rockerbox was something like 24". This equates to a miserable 0.9 psi. It has been described as a drip-feed.
The flow to the tank can be restricted considerably before problems are encountered, I stuffed a sparkplug cap in mine, to no ill effect. Using clear hose, I could see a modest increase in flow to the rockers, but mine is the old system with bleeds to the pushrods.

What folk have been saying about spindles (and grooves or flats) rockers (with little nicks) and washers against those little nicks) makes an increase to rocker oil flow in the right directions. The groove is the key to oil flow, the rest of it is where it goes.
Restricting flow to the tank will increase the pressure to the rockers to a much greater level than any amount of breather technology will.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795597 01/14/20 5:39 pm
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As the rocker arrangement on Triumphs has never been known as a weak point (mine are still good after 40 years of my ownership, and they were 20 years old when I got them) do they need such sophisticated solutions? I don't think so.
Many folk get concerned when they think there isn't much oil flow in the top end, but if its enough, so what?
Blimey, all these ideas of high pressure lubing, it doesn't need it.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795604 01/14/20 7:08 pm
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

My solution for a direct flow off the return to the rockers. . .


1978 Bonneville T140V PX
Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795609 01/14/20 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Mond
Another thought,if you connected an oil line form the oil pressure switch joint to the rocker box (plugging off the existing rocker feel line) , you would be gaining a direct flow of pressured oil into the rocker box.
I don't know how much that would reduce oil to the crank, but with the already restricted oil flow on the TSS rocker spindles, it may only have a marginal decrease to the existing crank pressure/oil flow.
Regardless, any change to the crank pressure could be easily measured, and easily reversed.
Doe a Triumph T140 have any oil pressure to spare?
Also not sure how the TSS would react to getting a stream of 60 psi oil blasted into it.

Has anyone tried this?

Mond


Yes, as stated above, Triumph tried this for a year or so in the 40's. It turned out to be not such a good idea. My guess is that it caused very high oil consumption, lost via valve guides and did nothing to reassure the rider via the oil pressure gauge that was mounted on the tank. Oil pressure on these old bikes was often zero at idle when hot, and zero flying down the road. It meant nothing as the pressure was still getting to were it needed, but not to the gauge.
With regards to updating the valve arrangement on a Triumph. By the fifties, narrow included valve angles were know to have great benefit, not only in a better life for the guides, but for the combustion chamber shape, with allowed for flat topped pistons which didn't interfere with cylinder filling, and allowed for lower quality fuels to be used, by removing the "orange peel' shape there created by such high domed pistons. Saying that Triumph ignored current engineering trends throughout an until their demise is an understatement. By the time they started to address this with the four valve head which is subject of this discussion, it was too late for them to develop it fully.
For folks like me who saw this happening in real time, I have to say it was bit heartbreaking to see one of my favorite bikes be swallowed up and discarded just because the management of Triumph was so behind the times. Some of us are still developing these bikes to work better.
Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 01/14/20 8:12 pm.

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Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
koan58 #795610 01/14/20 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by koan58
As the rocker arrangement on Triumphs has never been known as a weak point (mine are still good after 40 years of my ownership, and they were 20 years old when I got them) do they need such sophisticated solutions? I don't think so.
Many folk get concerned when they think there isn't much oil flow in the top end, but if its enough, so what?
Blimey, all these ideas of high pressure lubing, it doesn't need it.


My thoughts exactly! A lot of 'problems' aren't actually problems at all, they're just worries (possibly caused by winter, which gives people too much time to sit indoors and think).


If anything other than a blank space is visible here, something's wrong.
Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795612 01/14/20 8:34 pm
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On our race bikes we block off the hole that dumps the bypass oil back into sump and reroute the bypass oil back to the oil tank. We then tee off of that line to feed rockers. This keeps less oil in the sump to be returned via the pump. It also feeds more oil to rockers as it is under higher pressure than the return line. We have two return lines from the motor to tank. You also have to modify the pressure relief valve.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795614 01/14/20 8:38 pm
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Quote
Blimey, all these ideas of high pressure lubing, it doesn't need it.


Quote
A lot of 'problems' aren't actually problems at all, they're just worries (possibly caused by winter, which gives people too much time to sit indoors and think).


But the opening discussion isn't about high pressure, or low pressure, but about effectively no pressure. The change was noted in a 1969 Service Bulletin, but never put into practice at the assembly line. Oil flow went from a stream to a gurgle. Being noted as a problem, and not a worry, it was partially resolved by the factory in 1973 when they cut a spiral groove in the rocker shaft. They never did change the location of the Thackeray and the flat washers to match the original engineering change made by Umberslade Hall. As noted the change was originally as a result of engineering changes to the Trident where it is easily seen by looking at a rocker box.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795626 01/14/20 10:39 pm
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In fact the first post importantly said:

"The intake rocker on my 1982 TSS was galled, most likely caused from a shortage of oil (This did not happen on my watch).
The rocker design on the TSS is different than the T140: 1) there is NOT an oil groove cut in the spindle, 2) nor is there an oil “cut out” on the rocker itself. "

The first part of the post records the observation of "galling", whether that was on the spindle or inside surface of the rocker, or both, is not clear.
The remainder of that sentence is a supposition. It may or may not have been caused by a shortage of oil. As it only affected one rocker (of 4) it could quite possibly have been a machining error in that one particular area.

It wasn't pressure that changed when the shaft gained a groove, it was just that the same pulsing tiny pressure could produce more of a pulsing tiny flow. With the later system this was important, because this was the only way for oil to get to the pushrod cup and valve tip (when the drilling to the pushrod had been deleted).

From what has been described of the TSS rockers, my guess would be that they would benefit from the later system, with a groove in the shaft, notches in the rocker end faces, and plain washers against them.A bit of restriction in the tank return would probably be a good idea as well, to give a little more bias to the rocker feed (it can be removed if it turns out to cause problems).

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795629 01/14/20 11:16 pm
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Bill, I do not see how valve angle would have an effect on guide wear. I would think it is more dependent on rocker geometry.
It sounds as though you are saying Triumph used the buyers as testers and only reacted if there enough reports of problems.
The problem of oil consumption from positively feeding the rockers can easily be solved with guide seals. Barely feeding enough oil to keep it from seizing does not seem to be the best design practice. Reminds me of the "good old days" when the mechanic had to step out on the running board and squirt oil on the rockers every once in a while.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795640 01/15/20 2:06 am
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"The problem of oil consumption from positively feeding the rockers can easily be solved with guide seals. Barely feeding enough oil to keep it from seizing does not seem to be the best design practice."

There is no problem with oil consumption with engines in fair condition, no guide seals are warranted, though I could imagine that if you force much more oil in there than necessary it could become a nuisance.

I don't think there is any evidence that the traditional Triumph top end is close/prone to seizure as far as I know, or even premature wear. The rocker boxes on Triumph twins are about the only parts I've had no bother with over 40 years!

Now, if you're bothered by valve guide wear, that's a different matter, and rocker box oiling won't sort that out.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795643 01/15/20 2:30 am
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...regarding too much oil in the rocker boxes and no seals. I notice oil consumption in my 79 and no smoke; no power lose. Could be that the rotary pump send plenty of oil and one possible solution could be fit seals?
For any reason sometimes I have too much oil in the primary like 700cc!! and sometimes the pump pump them in not time again to the system and reservoir...

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795646 01/15/20 2:46 am
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Reverb, if that 700cc has naturally ended up in there (ie you haven't poured it into the chaincase?) then the natural oil balance between the crankcase and chaincase isnt working. You should find (after a say 50 mile ride) something like 150-200 cc in there.
That is usual with the standard oil pump and breathing arrangements.
700cc of oil in the chaincase is likely to cause clutch slip and drag issues.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795656 01/15/20 4:15 am
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Perhaps the lack of wear on rocker shafts is partially due to the fact that if there isn't a supply of oil you will hear a horrible screeching sound, like fingernails on a blackboard. At least you should if you're riding normally with stock exhaust. It will definitely get your attention and you'll look into it.
Cheers,
Bill


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Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795657 01/15/20 4:34 am
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Hi Koan, as mentioned, only happened few times in a year and a half. Most of the times has 150cc. I do not know how that much oil find the way there. What some one mentioned about the return vacuum in the crankcase let me thinking, but again the pump send all that (if you put higher RPMs) to the reservoir in a fast manner.
I did not nor do not have clutch slip or drag. I have the MAP plates that work perfectly right.

HT, in other thread I mentioned the mechanical screeching sound, hence I checked the rocker boxes but all is oily and all the valves open and close very easy.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795664 01/15/20 9:46 am
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All these thoughts have had me thinking too. This in itself is a rare occurrence and worthy of notice, but let that be.
Reflecting on my own experiences over a few decades, and a fair mileage too, I think my conclusion must be that a Triumph twin don't really need much oil to the top end to work well.
I had the rocker feed break on my T110 in the 70's so I had to plug it (or hammer it flat, can't remember) and ran it several miles home with no problems at all.
In 37, when the Speed Twin was launched, enclosed valve gear was almost a novelty, as was pressure lubricating it. Open valves, rockers and pushrods was the norm up to the 30's.
Lubrication of it was up to the owner.
The Speed Twin started out with enclosed valves and rockers, lubricated by a true pressure fed system. Why this was altered to a low pressure feed from the return line is unclear, but one may speculate in over oiling of the top end? Possibly with oil burning issues as the valve gear wore?

What I'm taking with me from this discussion is that increasing oil flow a la NickL may be good.
Re-arranging the rocker springs and washers to match the blueprints may make a difference.
Or leave it like it is and use the bike. There are many thousand happy Triumphs on the streets, they can't be too bad.

SR

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
koan58 #795714 01/15/20 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by koan58
"The problem of oil consumption from positively feeding the rockers can easily be solved with guide seals. Barely feeding enough oil to keep it from seizing does not seem to be the best design practice."

There is no problem with oil consumption with engines in fair condition, no guide seals are warranted, though I could imagine that if you force much more oil in there than necessary it could become a nuisance.

I don't think there is any evidence that the traditional Triumph top end is close/prone to seizure as far as I know, or even premature wear. The rocker boxes on Triumph twins are about the only parts I've had no bother with over 40 years!

Now, if you're bothered by valve guide wear, that's a different matter, and rocker box oiling won't sort that out.


Are you saying that there is no problem with oil consumption with no guide seals and flooded rocker boxes or are you saying that there are no consumption problems with stock engines and no seals?

My suspicion is that the reason we have minimal oil flow in the heads is because Triumph didn't want to flood the boxes with oil and create an excessive consumption condition. But this in turn can cause valve guide and rocker shaft wear.

The top end design of these Triumph engines is similar to another engine that I am very familiar with, that being Lycoming aircraft engines. The Lycomings were designed in the same timeframe as the Triumphs and exhibit some of the same problems/concerns with the top end. On most of their engines there is minimal lubrication in the rocker boxes and exhaust valve sticking, valve guide wear, and rocker shaft wear on those engines is common. It was such a problem in some engines that an oil spray jet was added to help flood the rocker boxes, and after those modifications were completed the durability was improved.

This is some interesting reading about Lycomings and their valvetrain problems.
http://precisionengine.home.mindspring.com/engine3.htm

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795725 01/16/20 3:27 am
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Ok, been busy and came into this discussion late.

OP I would be looking for the reason why the galling occurred....I'd be surprised if it occurred because of any standard bike parts or engineering. There has to have been another reason, I have a TSS with over 60,000km on it and never had an issue. My riding was mainly longish distance, often with a pillion, largish leather saddlebags, swag, tent and other stuff strapped on. I'd sit on 100 to 140km/h [depending on my chances of finding a highway patrol cop] and do +2hrs between fuel stops. I'd typically do 500 to 1,000km in a day. And some days in the outback were bloody hot. I had a lot of things go wrong with the TSS [which I still have, but I have my Trident registered atm], including fracturing nearly every bracket on the bike, but top end oil wasn't one of them.
Funnily enough, after beefing up all the brackets [horn, rear mudguard, coil, heady steady, tank centre bolt one. rear frame loop, plus others] the bike was very reliable and surprisingly oil tight.

So my best advice is to look elsewhere for the cause of your issue. Did the PO kink or pinch the line etc?

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
RPM #795737 01/16/20 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by RPM
On our race bikes we block off the hole that dumps the bypass oil back into sump and reroute the bypass oil back to the oil tank. We then tee off of that line to feed rockers. This keeps less oil in the sump to be returned via the pump. It also feeds more oil to rockers as it is under higher pressure than the return line. We have two return lines from the motor to tank. You also have to modify the pressure relief valve.



The best way, i do a similar thing with the a65 motors i build. Especially for racing.
Get the oil over the head, that's where it does the best cooling job. Plus why just
circulate most of the oil back to the tank, waste of energy etc.

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795743 01/16/20 8:41 am
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C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\20200115_183733_a.jpg

Re: Rocker box design – TSS vs T140 vs John Healy
Mond #795745 01/16/20 8:50 am
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My TSS has 19,000 miles, 1,000 of which I put on myself. The bike didn’t seem right, it seemed to be running too hot. When I measured the CHT it was 440 degrees F, compared to 330-350 degrees F for my other brit rides under similar conditions. I pulled the head and sure enough the rocker spindles were blue from heat, the intake spindle and rockers were galled, the guides and valves were worn like I have never seen, the guides looked serrated, and left long grooves on the valves. The spindles and rockers were worn, sorry I don’t have pic to show, I junked most of the parts.

I have a second set of rocker arms from a TSS that I believe has 10,000 miles. While in much better condition, these are also blued and showing a lot of wear. I have enclosed a picture of the 10,000 mile TSS rocker arm, a new OEM TSS rocker arm, and a properly lubricated T150 rocker arm with about 10,000 miles. As you can see, the T150 is showing almost now wear. If you can zoom on the blue section of the TSS spindle, those grooves are not smooth, they can be felt with fingernail.

I never experienced any rocker arm issues on any of my brit bikes, so I was concerned about the TSS rocker box oil design. They did change the design on TSS eliminating the spindle oil groove, position of the thackery washers and oil cut outs on each side of the rocker. What was the reasoning for this, no one may ever know. Perhaps Brian Jones felt rocker box lubrication was not an issue. Having a sample of two out of two showing excessive heat and wear. I will likely cut an oil groove in my new spindle and rockers, and rearrange the flat washer/thackery washer like the T150 set up. I don’t see any downside risk to this, and the cost should be minimal.

TridentT150v's experience contrasts with my observations. Hmmm, not sure what to think. I hope he is right.

Mond

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