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1979 T140E Ignition Not Working #708115
09/12/17 2:07 am
09/12/17 2:07 am
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
C
CB360theworld Offline OP
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CB360theworld  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
C

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
Hey y'all

I have taken the dive into the british world. One night (last night) of a few beers and a craigslist ad from a friend led me to a 600 dollar titled non-running oil in the framer.

[Linked Image]

backstory: 15K miles, kicks through with good compression, no battery so unknown electrical condition, ratty, matching numbers, previous owner snipped the cable to the engine killswitch (see below).

[Linked Image]

we got into it a little bit tonight, freed up the throttle cable which was previously seized.

charged a battery to 12.5V and popped it in and turned the key for the ignition, got nothing. with the meter on the battery, got no drop in voltage at all. so in all three (i heard two clicks when turning the ignition clockwise) ignition positions there was no drop in voltage and no indication of lights coming on or anything.

opened headlight bucket, looked okay inside. opened up the ignition, see below. there was one connection completely open.

(just looking head on at it)
[Linked Image]

(opened up viewed from below the key)
[Linked Image]

(view from above)
[Linked Image]

(similar view from above)
[Linked Image]

(battery, for reference)
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jZkNcjN.jpg[img]

any help would be stellar. thanks a million dudes!

Last edited by CB360theworld; 09/12/17 11:22 am.
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Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708117
09/12/17 2:33 am
09/12/17 2:33 am
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,849
Bishop, Calif.
D
desco Online content
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desco  Online Content
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,849
Bishop, Calif.
Read your own post. photo bucket does not work any more..
Will need a lot more info than "oil in framer"
Calm down, sober up and prepare yourself for a love/hate relationship.
Buy a Triumph Shop manual and parts book for your year and model? Not Haynes, not Clymer. 90% of your questions can be answered in the manual without waiting for a reply.
Check your wallet. How full is it? How hard is the guy laughing that sold you this heap? Good luck, you came to the right place.

Last edited by desco; 09/12/17 2:48 am. Reason: addition

1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: desco] #708130
09/12/17 6:22 am
09/12/17 6:22 am
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
BritBike Forum member
Stuart  Offline
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S

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted by desco
Will need a lot more info than "oil in framer"

Errrm ... the thread title does say, "1979 T140E" ... and the OP's first post does say, "in all three (i heard two clicks when turning the ignition clockwise) ignition positions" ... wink

Regards,

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708135
09/12/17 7:19 am
09/12/17 7:19 am
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
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Stuart  Offline
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S

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
Hi,

As "desco's" posted, regrettably Photofuckup are about as much use as a chocolate teaspoon for linking hosted pictures mad - if you click on "Preview Reply" before "Post Reply", the site returns a preview of how your post'll look.

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
in all three (i heard two clicks when turning the ignition clockwise) ignition positions there was no drop in voltage and no indication of lights coming on or anything.

Firstly, depending on your electrical knowledge (or whoever's helping you), your bike has (or certainly originally had) negative-ground electrics; i.e. the Black wire(s) should attach to battery "-" and the Brown/Blue wire with the fuse/holder should attach to battery "+". It also has an electronic ignition, Lucas Rita as standard, 'box' behind the timing-side sidepanel.

Ignition key switch:-

. one click anti-clockwise from "Off" is 'parking lights' (more a British legal requirement), Brown/Green wires from pilot lamp (small bulb in the headlamp reflector) and tail-lamp, key can be removed from switch;

. one click clockwise from "Off" is ignition but no lights, all White wires should be 'live' - as well the one from the handlebar kill switch, things like the front 'n' rear brake lamp switches should work; key cannot be removed from switch;

. two clicks clockwise from "Off" is ignition-'n'-lights; as well as the White wires, the Brown/Green and the Blue (from the handlebar headlamp on/off switch) are 'live'; key cannot be removed from switch.

Also be aware that, if any p.o. was lax about the water-proofing cover over the switch, water can get in and corrode the contacts. frown Replacements are available but, if you have the patience and care, it's better to open up an original switch, clean it up and reassemble with a few mods.

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
previous owner snipped the cable to the engine killswitch

shocked Because the kill switch lever is missing too, I wonder if a dpo opened up the switch without much care, lost some or all of the tiny parts in there (there's a tiny spring and ball that disappear into a different space-time continuum given half-a-chance sick ), discovered he couldn't buy spares then fcuked-up the switch even worse by cutting the cable. facepalm Some people really should not be allowed sharp tools unsupervised ...

Like anything, not completely unfixable but given you'd have to buy another switch cluster to cannibalise it, you might as well buy the replacement?

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
opened headlight bucket, looked okay inside. opened up the ignition, see below. there was one connection completely open.

Mmmm ... you need to look more closely at the underside of the switch. You'll find four actually-separate terminals, of which three are 'double blades'; however, as originally only one insulation colour went on each separate terminal, one blade of each terminal can be unused.

The only blade that definitely shouldn't be "open" is the 'single' blade terminal #4, which should have the Blue wire from the handlebar "Pilot Head" slider switch.

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
charged a battery to 12.5V and popped it in and turned the key for the ignition, got nothing.

Just as well? If any engine's been standing for any length of time, it's advisable to take a few covers off, remove a few plugs and squirt some oil over a few things that could turn dry for a while before standard circulation gets 'em some oil. frown I used to be able to link a webpage written many years ago by a British triple owner, racer 'n' builder but his website's recently gone (or been taken) down. frown I have the write-up as a .pdf, put an email addy in your Profile and I'll send over the .pdf.

As "desco" advised, you'd be wise to get the proper Triumph workshop manual for the bike, they're available new. Pending its arrival, there's a '79 wiring diagram and test procedures in the '73-'78 manual, .pdf pages 192-202. Two '79 T140E (early and late) parts books are available online at http://vintagebikemagazine.com/links/parts-books/.

Hth.

Regards,

Last edited by Stuart; 09/12/17 4:55 pm. Reason: Updated due to images displayed
Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708143
09/12/17 11:21 am
09/12/17 11:21 am
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
C
CB360theworld Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
CB360theworld  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
C

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
Sorry about the photos, they are now attached properly...haven't been on forums in a few months so i did not know about this photobucket nonsense. cheers.

Last edited by CB360theworld; 09/12/17 11:23 am.
Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708151
09/12/17 12:45 pm
09/12/17 12:45 pm
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
A
AngloBike Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
$600 is a bargain

Hope you were wearing a mask!

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708180
09/12/17 4:10 pm
09/12/17 4:10 pm
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 205
London, England
Triumph5ta Offline
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Triumph5ta  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 205
London, England
Judging by the look of the rest of the bike I would be surprised if anything lights up right away.
But it looks like a good deal.
Start at the beginning.
Is it negative earth or positive earth? (earth = ground in USA)
I am going to assume positive earth. That means the red wire from the battery positive terminal goes to earth...
1. Check the fuse.
2. is 12v getting to the switch? Pull off the brown/blue wire apply one multi meter probe to it, apply the other probe to battery earth,
3. is the battery earthed OK?

When you get a bit further down the line and try to start the bike check that snipped off kill switch wire, if the wires are now joined together thats the same as having the kill switch in the stop position.

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: Triumph5ta] #708185
09/12/17 4:48 pm
09/12/17 4:48 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
BritBike Forum member
Stuart  Offline
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S

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted by Triumph5ta
Is it negative earth or positive earth? (earth = ground in USA)
I am going to assume positive earth.

Errrm ... as already posted, certainly as standard, a "1979 T140E" of the thread title is negative earth. As the posted images don't show any evidence of rewiring, on what basis would anyone "assume positive earth"; "red wire" is at best irrelevant, at worst confusing?

Originally Posted by Triumph5ta
that snipped off kill switch wire, if the wires are now joined together thats the same as having the kill switch in the stop position.

Nope. 'Fraid completely wrong.

Regards,

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708190
09/12/17 6:43 pm
09/12/17 6:43 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,801
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Offline
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L.A.B.  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,801
Norfolk, UK
Originally Posted by CB360theworld
opened up the ignition, ............. there was one connection completely open.


Due to the side-on views and also the corrosion and dirt, it's difficult to say for sure but it's probably the unused 'terminal 1' 2nd. spade, as the original Lucas switch has three doubles (1,2 & 3) and one single (4) as below, but note that the terminal 4 wire on your Triumph will be blue and not blue/yellow (= Norton).

[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by CB360theworld
Sorry about the photos, they are now attached properly...


Not quite. (Use 'Preview' to check before posting)

Quote

(battery, for reference)
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jZkNcjN.jpg[img]
=
[Linked Image]






Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708197
09/12/17 7:28 pm
09/12/17 7:28 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 645
Ewing. NJ
E
edunham Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 645
Ewing. NJ
Verify whether your bike is positive or negative ground. Stuart is usually correct, but you need to make sure of what is actually on the machine. Check the fuse. Use a known good battery. Just because it charged up, doesn't mean it didn't lose its charge as soon as you put a load on it by turning the key. With the battery disconnected, check continuity between the non-ground wire (what folks this side of the pond call the "hot" side) to the battery and the cut off wire at the handlebar with the ignition off and on. If you have continuity with the key on, but not while its off, there is a good chance that is where your problem is. If you do not have continuity either way, or you have continuity both ways, check continuity between the hot wire and one of your coils with the key on. You probably won't have it. Now, with one lead of the continuity tester remaining on the hot lead, work your way back on each connection. When you find continuity, you will know where the problem lies.

Ed from NJ

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708199
09/12/17 7:33 pm
09/12/17 7:33 pm
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
A
AngloBike Offline
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AngloBike  Offline
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A

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
Did the previous owner ride that bike to his job as a lighthouse keeper?
How does a bike get that rusty?

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: edunham] #708219
09/12/17 11:44 pm
09/12/17 11:44 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
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Stuart  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
Hi Ed,

Originally Posted by edunham
positive or negative ground. Stuart is usually correct,

Mmmm ... before the o.p. added his picture of the battery and connections ...

Originally Posted by Stuart
bike has (or certainly originally had) negative-ground electrics; i.e. the Black wire(s) should attach to battery "-" and the Brown/Blue wire with the fuse/holder should attach to battery "+".

If you click on the o.p.'s link ...

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
(battery, for reference)
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jZkNcjN.jpg[img]

... or look at L.A.B.'s correction ...

Originally Posted by L.A.B.
Quote
(battery, for reference)
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jZkNcjN.jpg[img]
=
[Linked Image]

... they show Black wires attached to battery "-" and a Brown/Blue wire with a fuse holder attached to battery "+" ...

Regards,

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: edunham] #708247
09/13/17 11:20 am
09/13/17 11:20 am
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
C
CB360theworld Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
CB360theworld  Offline OP
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C

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6
Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by AngloBike
Did the previous owner ride that bike to his job as a lighthouse keeper?
How does a bike get that rusty?


it was down in rockaway beach, NY. very very close to the ocean.

Originally Posted by edunham
Verify whether your bike is positive or negative ground. Stuart is usually correct, but you need to make sure of what is actually on the machine. Check the fuse. Use a known good battery. Just because it charged up, doesn't mean it didn't lose its charge as soon as you put a load on it by turning the key.


checked the fuse. noted that there was a 20A fuse in the bike and not a 30A.

battery was taken out of a running BSA. Battery reading was 12.5V at all positions of the ignition.


Hoping to get back into the shop tomorrow night to look a little further into it.

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #708252
09/13/17 12:01 pm
09/13/17 12:01 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
BritBike Forum member
Stuart  Offline
BritBike Forum member
S

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,239
Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted by CB360theworld
checked the fuse. noted that there was a 20A fuse in the bike and not a 30A.

It's actually 'correct' ... smile

Specifically the tubular glass-'n'-metal fuses that fit in the fuse holder on your bike, us Brits rate by 'blow' Amps, and the original would've been 35A, not "30A".

Otoh, the US rates that type of fuse exactly the same as any other, by 'continuous' Amps. 'Continuous' Amps are half 'blow', but you can't buy 17.5A tubular glass-'n'-metal fuses (or any other type), so you go with the nearest - either 15A or 20A. bigt

Hth.

Regards,

Re: 1979 T140E Ignition Not Working [Re: CB360theworld] #709405
09/23/17 11:30 am
09/23/17 11:30 am
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 7
VA,USA
H
hutch Offline
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H

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 7
VA,USA
The two 6V coils are in series and the LEFT one should have +12V ignition feed. This should be two wires on +VE coil terminal right next to battery. +VE
Usefully you can hot wire ignition by connecting battery + to this point.

The ignition should be Lucas Rita unit located under right or left rear panel. If you have 10V it should spark.


Moderated by  John Healy 


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