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Where did the oil go?

Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Where did the oil go? - 09/14/18 10:30 pm

I am working on a friend's 71 T120...It's cafe racer, it's ugly and very loud....I rebuilt the engine and assembled the bike about 5 years ago. I checked the oil, it was down a bit and looked clean.. and greenish........I take the bike for a 10 mile test ride..Make a few adjustments and go out for a few more miles..back in the shop I left the bike running to check the carbs and notice the exhaust is smoking.. I rev it and a big cloud of blue.....Shut the bike off and check the oil again suspecting to see a low level..I see no oil..Drain the frame tube and get about 6 ounces...Pull the sump plug from the engine there's where the oil is hiding...And quite a bit in the primary also...No debris in the screens
Pull the timing cover and pump...pump is clean and passes all tests...blow out all oil galleys and lines, all are fine... What is it with this mysterious oil crap? My 79 T140 dropped all oil pressure a few months ago but there were no faults found after doing the same as above And the bike has been fine since then..
Posted By: DMadigan

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/14/18 10:57 pm

Disconnected pickup tube?
Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/14/18 11:55 pm

Everything is connected ,no oil leaks...The pick up tube in the sump is in place....I'll just have to put oil in it and see what happens
Posted By: kevin roberts

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 12:00 am


is the pickup tube loose, like, in place but sucking air around where it's stuck in?

where else could the return side lose vacuum?
Posted By: koan58

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 1:31 am

Yer having a laugh, surely? You know pragmatic stuff as good as most!
Posted By: tridentt150v

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 1:39 am

You have the oil pump gasket on back to front? It will pump oil but is blocked from being able to pump it back.
Posted By: Mori55

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 2:03 am

If he never had it off in the first place unless it flipped itself around🙄
Posted By: tridentt150v

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 4:35 am

Originally Posted by Mori55
If he never had it off in the first place unless it flipped itself around🙄

Didn't see him say that anywhere....but yeah, I was just brainstorming the idea, the return isn't/wasn't working for a reason.
Posted By: dave jones

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 8:01 am

Do you just need to clean the pump's return side?

Dave
Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 10:44 am

Let me put it this way...the bike had no problems and then just like that, all the oil is in the engine and primary without me doing anything to the engine or oiling system..My first clue something was wrong ? The clutch action suddenly became sluggish,...

Here's what the ugly bike looks like...I was instructed to replace the clip ons with "tracker" bars, replace nearly brand new Spitfire tires with "something that looks zombie apocalypse ready" ,I added the gaiters and home made baffles in the straight pipes.....Although the tires hum a bit on the road they do handle just fine and certainly better than K70 Skidmores..This bike has been abused by stupidly in it's short life.. The owner had used it for about a year and then his girlfriend took it for a ride on the stale fuel ,lugged the engine and holed a piston...I fixed that..He put on shocks from a Japanese bike with no thought to travel....Then he and her took a short ride double and the rear tire rubbed on the modified seat frame, ruining the tire...Of course no one bothered to check why smoke was coming from the tire....Whatever...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: JubeePrince

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 5:56 pm

Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
This bike has been abused by stupidly in it's short life..


That's what you call 'job security'.

Is it possible something got stuck in the return side of the pump and was dislodged and missed upon disassembly?

Any kinks/tight corners/delamination in the return side hose(s)?

Just grasping at straws...

Cheers,

Steve
Posted By: reverb

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 6:49 pm

...Tony happened to me couple of different times; one in my pre unit and one in this 79 unit.
One with an original 1948 pump and this one with a rotary. in both cases I did not found anything, only a few tiny bubbles in the rotary.
With the 48, possibly the ultra tiny debris "cleaned" or passed itself but in that moment of non action, the oil went down...
I am not saying that this is the problem in that bike; but happened to me.
Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 9:05 pm

Originally Posted by JubeePrince
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
This bike has been abused by stupidly in it's short life..


That's what you call 'job security'.

Is it possible something got stuck in the return side of the pump and was dislodged and missed upon disassembly?

Any kinks/tight corners/delamination in the return side hose(s)?

Just grasping at straws...

Cheers,

Steve
Job security perhaps if I had an actual busy bike shop instead of doing a low cost "favor"....I charged him 600 bucks total ,I bought the tires, bars,hand grips tail light and did the labor plus messing with the rear shocks...And then the oil problem and three quarts of oil .Pulled the timing cover and pump, ...Plus after "feeling" the engine respond ,I raised the carb needles one notch...
It;s possible there was debris that fell out unnoticed.The oil hoses...I put in motor oil ,started the bike and it took about a minute to show a strong return flow...I took a short ride and the oil is still returning as normal...The clutch feels better and the exhaust stopped smoking...I have no idea what was wrong with it..Just like the oil pressure failure on my 79 T140... I think the bikes wanted attention....
Posted By: Triless

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/15/18 11:35 pm

And one of my nieces asked why I considered my motorcycles of the female gender, my Triumphs in particular ................ ( I will now be hiding for a while !)
Posted By: kevin roberts

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/16/18 12:51 am

comfort is over-rated, at the time, certainly.

you only realize how much you hurt when you're back home in bed. and you forget before you get back on.
Posted By: reverb

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/16/18 3:28 am

...I think a better title name is: "why the oil was down there?"
Posted By: Gaspare

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/16/18 4:21 am

yank off ALL your oil lines,,feed and return.. Buy a Morgo standard plunger oil pump. Every Triumph should have one anyway!.. Especially if an older motor. A new rebuild,,well it should have been on there.
Replace the oil pump,,care with the gasket. Drain sump. Drain frame. Drain primary..IF your using a oil cleaner or cooler don't for now..

Hook up your new lines primed with oil before the last clamp is tightened... Fill with proper amount of oil.. take spark plugs out of motor. Kick kick kick away until you get oil out of return. Once you do and see oil coming out of return... Plugs back in. Start bike and confirm everything is OK..
Posted By: triton thrasher

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/16/18 7:26 am

Originally Posted by Gaspare
Buy a Morgo standard plunger oil pump.


Only if there’s something wrong with your oil pump.


Quote
Kick kick kick away until you get oil out of return.


Silly behaviour. Ascertain that the feed side of the pump is pumping oil when the crankshaft turns, either when the timing cover is off, or by removing the pressure relief valve and looking into the hole. Then start the bike and see that the oil light goes out after a couple of seconds.

Testing the scavenge side before starting is a bit obsessive, but you can take the sump gauze/plug off and slip a clear tube over the scavenge pipe. See if it sucks oil out of a jar when you turn the crankshaft. Or put a cupful of oil into the crankcase. It should appear at the return in the oil tank after a few seconds running.
Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/16/18 10:39 am

Originally Posted by NickL
I bet that bike is really comfortable eh?



Yeah, like riding a fence.......The only difference between the pump on the engine and a new Morgo pump is the money wasted on a new pump that wan't necessary..
Posted By: spuggy

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/23/18 1:13 am

Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
eplace nearly brand new Spitfire tires with "something that looks zombie apocalypse ready" ,I added the gaiters and home made baffles in the straight pipes.....Although the tires hum a bit on the road they do handle just fine and certainly better than K70 Skidmores..
[Linked Image]


Umm, very curious as to what those tires actually are?

Your glowing endorsement of K70s is has made me thoughtful...

Posted By: quinten

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/23/18 4:05 am


Quote
.I take the bike for a 10 mile test ride.


Took off before the oil was warm ?
.
Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/23/18 10:21 am

Originally Posted by quinten

Quote
.I take the bike for a 10 mile test ride.


Took off before the oil was warm ?
.


Oil doesn't get very warm running the bike in neutral ...
Posted By: quinten

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/23/18 8:05 pm

Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by quinten

Quote
.I take the bike for a 10 mile test ride.


Took off before the oil was warm ?
.


Oil doesn't get very warm running the bike in neutral ...


Quote
I take the bike for a 10 mile test ride..Make a few adjustments and go out for a few more miles..back in the shop I left the bike running to check the carbs and notice the exhaust is smoking.. I rev it and a big cloud of blue.


..Cold oil equates with higher working oil pressures ... took off Aggressively ...before oil was warm .

Just a guess ,
, coulda blown the crank seal ?



Posted By: Hillbilly bike

Re: Where did the oil go? - 09/23/18 8:51 pm

Originally Posted by quinten


..Cold oil equates with higher working oil pressures ... took off Aggressively ...before oil was warm .

Just a guess ,
, coulda blown the crank seal ?





I don't ever ride aggressively until the oil has warmed up some.....I mentioned in the OP I pulled the timing cover to check out things... And the problem was oil return, not oil feed..It's fine now, I found nothing that would cause the problem..Gremlins....
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