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Triumph tuning information #795868 01/17/20 4:55 pm
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Hillbilly bike Offline OP
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Around 2012 I was building the LSR 650 bike, There's several threads in the Competition form about it....I got frustrated about the lack of reliable tuning info...Some guys recomened 50 year old books, call this guy or that guy and so on...Oh I got some info, mostly generalized about carbs and such...I called Marino from MAP,and Johnson cams, emailed Pete Russell and Alp Engineering and a few others...But it was mostly vague...Then In a phone call with John Healy about bearings I mentioned this...John replied, maybe a bit tongue in cheek...
Quote
An experienced engine builder will just tell you one more thing that he thinks you allready know....
So they figured, more or less correctly, I was a hillbilly ... John's words are good advise to remember when asking questions here..And the best worded responses can also be the most BS wink grin


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
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Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795917 01/18/20 6:01 am
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Oil Changer Offline
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I think I understand what you say, but a newbie like myself from nowhere, needs some spoon feeding from time to time, even though I know it makes a veteran very weary and worn out...

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795919 01/18/20 6:55 am
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Must be why reading spark plugs is such a mystery. Nobody seems to agree on what it all means.
One site will tell you that the outer electrode reveals whether the heat range is correct while the next says that it reveals timing. One 'expert' tells you to ignore the porcelain while another claims that it's the only thing to inspect.
One guy even claims to tell that a plug reveals too much timing at WOT, too little at idle, and an exhaust leak on the adjacent cylinder all from looking at one plug.
Of course, they're all burning fuel which we mere mortals can't buy at the local Quickie Mart.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795920 01/18/20 7:03 am
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quinten Offline
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human males at not that forthwith
at imparting what they learned by remaining silent ,
To another male ... that is Not So Silent .

its probably a hormonal thing .

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795926 01/18/20 12:35 pm
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Hillbilly bike Offline OP
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If you ask me or Kevin Roberts about the tuning info on our race bikes we'll tell you everything we remember...And some things we don't remember.


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795928 01/18/20 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
If you ask me or Kevin Roberts about the tuning info on our race bikes we'll tell you everything we remember...And some things we don't remember.


You two are likely comfortable with your knowledge base and confident in general. My experience has been that those who try to hide the information they know are generally neither. This discussion is really no different than the guy at work who withholds information about how to perform a task in an attempt to make himself indispensable. We all know those people.

I work for an engine OEM in their test lab. I know what we do and how we do it, and I’m convinced most of the “tuners” working on things have some basic knowledge that works but really dont know what they’re doing. Sometimes not having the tribal knowledge the other guys have (or think they have) is a good thing because it will allow you to try things without prejudice.

The internet has made things much easier than they were. I started working on vintage cars and bikes around 1990 and spent a ton of time at the library and dealerships trying to get a small fraction of the information we can now pull up in 5 minutes.

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795935 01/18/20 4:42 pm
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Mondtster, I would love to have your job. That said I believe we have come to live in two different worlds. I grew up in the world where the products we worked on were manufactured to attain the the lowest price possible, on machines that were totally worn out and using the skills of the workers to get the product out the door and through the warranty period without incurring any expenses. It was the norm to selectively fit parts. For example: Triumph graded pistons and cylinders for clearance as the manufacturing process couldn't hold 2 thousandth of an inch, never mind 2 tenths of a thousandth of an inch. Hepolite taper faced their top two rings, and Triumph finish honed the cylinder with 150 grit stones to help insure quick break-in. You rarely see rings today, even old grey iron ones, with a taper face. They would never seat using the 280 grit, and finer, finishes you see today. But we see machine shops routinely giving vintage cylinders bore finishes that will almost always lead to problems. You need to be pretty clever "to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." When apprentices worked under the tutorage of A. St. J. Masters at Triumph they learned the "proper" cylinder finish was check on whether a kitchen match would light when struck on the cylinder bore. If it didn't they were sent back until it did.

Why? There is very little in one of these old machines that is square and true. It is rare to find to find a crankcase mouth that is parallel with the center line of the crankshaft. Rarer to find a cylinder who's bore is square with the base. If you are lucky. the errors cancel each other out and you get a bore that is at right angles to the center line of the crankshaft. Some 30 years ago, when the internet was new, I mentioned this on a blog. Reading it was a young engineer like yourself, who had access to modern computer driven measuring equipment. He posted some days later, that after taking numerous measurements, he claimed that my comments were understated. He was amazed at how bad the parts measured up and still worked. I challenge anyone to make a modern air cooled engine design using machinery that was made in the nineteen thirties and forties (much of it that was used heavily during WWII), using the metallurgy available at the time, with the same machine operators trained in using CNC equipment. I believe their would be a clash of minds.

There are those who have been able to adapt what is new to these old engines. This is especially true with the area around the valve seat, and learning how to attach the flow to the surface of the combustion chamber surface helping in keeping it from stalling. Looking for more reliability, and available power, one of the first things to do is to mount the crankcase in a mill and check the crankcase mouth for truth, and correct as necessary. This process extends to camshaft, tappet alignment and cylinder head and valves and guided. And yes, this attention to detail will eventually extend all the way to mounting the rear fender. Their is a reason we only sell fenders without the holes drilled. On the assembly line the fitter had a stack of fenders to choose from. When one didn't line up, or he had trouble pulling the sides in and out to change the radius, he pulled another one from the stack. Being hand rolled, rather than stamped, each fender has a personality. That is why when someone who only works on modern equipment asks me why I have so many files (at last count over 100 of sizes, shapes, and types - Coarse, Bastard, Second cut, etc) I have to explain why.

Then we get into the lack of experience of working with air cooled engines. It's like me commenting on two strokes, diesel or the v6 engine in my Dodge Durango.

I am one of the lucky ones who has the ability to watch something being done, and own it. And I have been around, and had work for me, people who were real mentors. Just don't ask me to spell.

And the quote attributed to me: "A man will tell you one more thing than he thinks you know to impress you that he knows more than you." It is only human nature.
John - Who shares what little I know to anyone who asks in an effort to pass on what is a lost art, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Last edited by John Healy; 01/18/20 6:14 pm. Reason: cleaned up a bit

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: John Healy] #795938 01/18/20 5:03 pm
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Roger that!

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: John Healy] #795942 01/18/20 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by John Healy
.

And the quote attributed to me: "A man will tell you one more thing than he thinks you know to impress you that he knows more than you." It is only human nature.
John - Who shares what little I know to anyone who asks in an effort to pass on what is a lost art, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.


Hmm, maybe I misquoted you crazy.....I can say that the help you gave me went beyond mere words. thumbsup.......And other words of wisom came fro the late Ron from California....He told me to get the damn bike on a dyno or track and test the tuning, do not simply do something because others say it works well...And from an Smokey Yunick 1980's book, Power Secrets, Always mock up any hand built engine as many times as necessary to make sure it all fits....And as a novice,do not necessarily do what the fastest do, build the most reliable engine possible that your skills and money allow, you can not win if you run over the crankshaft before the finish line..


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795954 01/18/20 8:35 pm
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It's all good quoting the methods used by the factory but what if your machinists equipment was not old and worn out before WW2. Are ring manufacturers really using the same metallurgy as they were in the 60's. Are safety matches still made the exact same way? When I spoke to the machine shop that bored my cylinders and mentioned a finished surface using 150 grit stones they laughed. Both mine were finished with 280 with no issues.

Rod


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Insist on something else.
Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795961 01/18/20 9:53 pm
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I quizzed the guy that bored and honed my 650 about grade of grit and he had to think about it, because he always used the same stones on old tractors, cars and bikes. He reckoned it was probably 130.

No laughter was involved and the engine compression tests at 170 psi with 7:1 pistons. I get the impression some owners are content with poorer ring seal than that.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #795999 01/19/20 12:21 pm
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John Healy, I saved your post on my computer. I tagged it "John Healy, Old World vs New", hope you don't mind.
I'm a mere hobbyist but find myself working on these old things for others quite often, and try instruct owners as best as I can on what they can expect from them.
My instructions have been something along the same lines but you just gave me some very useful historical basics and a vocabulary to use.

I have 180 grit stones which seems to work fine in cast iron cylinders. I have a set of 120 too but they seem overly coarse to me?
When I had my Trident cylinders bored, I had my machinist "plateau hone" them. He use Sunnen stones, which are graded differently, but they looked much like 150/180 and maybe 250/300.
He's old school and very reluctant to use a fine hone over the coarse, but a friend convinced him to do it on his Trident some years ago with good results.
I use NOS Hepolite rings with the 2nd ring gap 30% bigger as per current practice, and oil consumption is now very low.
But then Trident liners are, as I understand, of a different grade cast iron. I'll stick to 180 grit for the cast iron barrels.

SR

Re: Triumph tuning information [Re: Hillbilly bike] #796060 01/20/20 5:00 am
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Kids these days don't know how good they got it, with their dang new-fangled interweb.
Used to spend hours in the basement at the university library. That's where they kept all the big engineering books that one couldn't check out.
Then there is the long oral tradition of information shared around campfires at rallies and race tracks. As long as you can remember what you learned after a night of imbibing.
BTW: I knew a machinist outside of Atlanta who did a lot of work for the local Jaguar dealer. He still used a valve-grinding machine from the 1940s. Said it gave him tighter tolerances that the modern machines. But, he wasn't doing near the volume of a manufacturer.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"

Moderated by  John Healy 

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