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#120829 - 08/02/07 8:29 am Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
AussieOn81Bonne Offline
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AussieOn81Bonne  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
Sydney
Hey One and All,

I am about to investigate a friends '57 6T - yes you read it right the BIG BIRD. My friend has the bugger scattered all over his garage and has owned it for 10 years. He is not exactly what i would call a Triumph enthusiast (otherwise he would have restored it himself) but he obviously knows a bit about these beauties.

Now my experience is quite limited here. I bought my T140E from my brother who owned it for 11 years and i knew exactly what i was getting into. I also bought the '58 Cub from my uncle who had it stashed in his garage for 30 years. The T'Bird is a bit of a different kettle of fish, my friend is obviously after every penny he can get - but i know that he is in a bit of a state and he needs to get rid of it.

My questions are - what should i look out for on this particular model (any known problems - for example - the frame cracking in places when they bought the twin downtube in etc). Plus what are the sort of costs involved if the tin work is not in a good shape and how can i ID a dodgy gearbox/top end/bottom end when its in boxes?

Any help would be great

beerchug

Parko


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
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#120830 - 08/02/07 9:18 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 714
Nick Offline
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Nick  Offline
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Posts: 714
Out There!
Assume the worst and pay accordingly, then be happily surprised in the very unlikely event that things are not as bad as you thought.


When people who should have known better cautioned me about the dangers of motorcycle racing, I always told them that a fear of death is nothing more than a fear of life in disguise.
#120831 - 08/02/07 5:27 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 11,108
RF Whatley Online content
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RF Whatley  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 11,108
North Georgia, USA
Parko -
The major cost BY FAR is the sheet metal. And there's a lot of sheet metal to find and repair. Remember a '57 T-bird has a tank, 2 fenders, oil tank, battery box, L & R lower nacelle and nacelle top. Oddly enough, the nacelle parts (due to Canada dumping scores of TRW parts on the market) are not the hard parts to find... it's the other stuff. So as far as pricing, believe me, count on fixing the tin parts you get with the bike as the least expensive way to go. That will give you an idea of costs.

Probably the only weak spot is the mounting of the bottom gear box. The shaft wallows out the gearbox hole, so be sure any have that checked for fit. It's an easy fix... while the gearbox is still out of the frame.

The big "gotcha" is the center stand spring mount. You cannot install the centerstand spring until you first install the spring clip... which is installed before the gearbox housing is offered to the frame. So whether you intend to attach a centerstand or not, you MUST install the spring clip during resto or live to disassemble 7/10 of your bike again. Not a fun thing. eek

Remember too that unleaded fuel are going to cause your valves to recess... so count on installation of valve seats sometime in the next 5 years.

You can fit the latest alternator, but you'll have to find the adapter ring offered by Triumph.

Other than that, engine and gearbox parts are easy to come by. I highly suggest a later style 3-spring clutch over the early 4-spring type.

bigt


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#120832 - 08/02/07 7:29 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 128
gibgo12 Offline
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gibgo12  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 128
Evergeen, CO
If you are looking at a twin downtube frame it may not be a matching number '58. These were new in 1960. It's better if the twin downtube frame is the later version with a horizontal support through the tank well area.

Gib

#120833 - 08/02/07 7:42 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,883
kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,883
Scotland
A basket case is like buying a new bike on the never never, a small desposit secures but the repayments add up to more than the original total with the final payment eek And you don't get to ride it until its finished :rolleyes:

#120834 - 08/02/07 10:40 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
AussieOn81Bonne Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
Sydney
Thanks for the quick reply's

I am out of town at the moment but have set up a meeting to view the T'Bird next weekend. I will take a few pics and post to let you see what im getting myself into.

Cheers

Parko

PS: pics of other T"Birds around the same year would be good - just to see what i should be shooting towards.


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
#120835 - 08/02/07 10:57 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
BrianFromOz Offline
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BrianFromOz  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
NSW Australia
here Parko...u might have to hunt around for the hat....



laugh


"What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?"

77 T140V

Is Your Bike Here?
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#120836 - 08/02/07 11:28 pm Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
BrianFromOz Offline
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BrianFromOz  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
NSW Australia
1955


heres a 58 for sale...
fleabay


"What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?"

77 T140V

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#120837 - 08/03/07 9:20 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
AussieOn81Bonne Offline
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AussieOn81Bonne  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
Sydney
Ever the Joker eh? Brian???

I think the Fuzz will have something to say if I rip down the street wearing that hate mate. Not only that i don't think the trophy on the headlight was original from Meriden beerchug

Parko


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
#120838 - 08/03/07 9:32 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Tiger Offline
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Tiger  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Melbourne Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by AussieOn81Bonne:
Thanks for the quick reply's

I am out of town at the moment but have set up a meeting to view the T'Bird next weekend. I will take a few pics and post to let you see what im getting myself into.

Cheers

Parko

PS: pics of other T"Birds around the same year would be good - just to see what i should be shooting towards.
PM me with his contact details and I will wander up and check it out for you, no whiteanting, honest bigt


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
#120839 - 08/03/07 9:47 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
AussieOn81Bonne Offline
BritBike Forum member
AussieOn81Bonne  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
Sydney
Hey there Tiger,

Contact details below

Ignatius Michael Gay
02 9009 6969
Darlinghurst
NSW 1212

Just call up and ask for Mr I.M.Gay and give your details and im sure you will have a few callers straight away. laughing

Parko


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
#120840 - 08/03/07 10:07 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
BrianFromOz Offline
BritBike Forum member
BrianFromOz  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
NSW Australia
beerchug


"What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?"

77 T140V

Is Your Bike Here?
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#120841 - 08/03/07 10:45 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
AussieOn81Bonne Offline
BritBike Forum member
AussieOn81Bonne  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 180
Sydney
Hey Brian,

Im Guessing Inverell or Tamworth; as Grafton is about 150km, Coffs is about 140km, and Kempsey is about 130Km. Not much else to crow about that close to Armidale or at least 100k's close to Armidale anyway.

Parko

PS: I think that bloke in Armidale is dreaming if he thinks anyone is going to pay 10G for a "Slikshift"


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
#120842 - 08/03/07 10:50 am Re: Buying a Basket Case - Help Needed  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
BrianFromOz Offline
BritBike Forum member
BrianFromOz  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 706
NSW Australia
good guess....home of the aussie hillbilly(country music stinks).....unfortunately a million miles from anything associated with british motorcycles... :rolleyes: laughing


"What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?"

77 T140V

Is Your Bike Here?
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