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#305371 - 03/29/10 2:43 am HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild  
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Petor Offline
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New York
Hi Everyone,

Recently completed top end rebuild (.030 over, new pistons, rings, valves/guides/machined/rebuilt head, AMAL sleeved/rebuilt.

Bad News:I have had this thing running for about 10 mins or so, and MASSIVE smoking out of both cylinders.

The only thing i can think of is upside down piston rings; the piston/ring set was unmarked as to orientation (no markings on rings (JCC Pistons/rings).

Are theyre any telltale signs of this besides engine billowing white/blue smoke?

Is this smoking normal for the first 1/2hr of use?

I find it hard to beleive that after 10 mins of running residual assembly oil has not yet burned off...

The carb has been reset to factory specs by Lund Machine.

Any advice would help.

Thanks!!! (I have a distinct feeling that I will be taking this apart very soon....)

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#305376 - 03/29/10 3:10 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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Nick Offline
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Out There!
Sounds like it was assembled using lots of oil or typical detergent oil, causing the cyl to glaze over. If it doesn't clear up soon, you'll have to take it back apart. You can always try a blast through the gears, and try riding it a while, but that may not do the trick.

For cast iron rings, after carefully washing cylinder in warm, soapy water, wipe dry then clean with WD40, use paper towels to wipe all excess oil from cylinder. Put only a drop or two of non-detergent oil on each piston skirt. After assembly, kick engine over ten or twenty times before starting. Non-detergent oil in engine oil tank as well. Then add fuel and start.
Might also want to check that the proper grade of hone was used for the rings you're using. After break in you can go back to using detergent oil.

Live and learn...


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.
#305379 - 03/29/10 3:57 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Nick]  
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btour Online content
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btour  Online Content
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Hi Petor,

IMHO, No, I do not think it should do that. Is it possible that it is something innocent, like oil got in the pipes?

Are you revving it or just idling it? You should have a fan blowing on it.

You checked return oil is working? Smoke just out the pipes or the breather? Kinda sounds like what happened to Mick2. You might want to read his thread.

I do not think the rings that come wit JCC pistons have a taper, but I may be wrong.

You staggered the ring gaps?

Check that supply side oil is working. Do you hear piston slap? You should probably provide others with the details of tolerannces, ring gap, honing you used. etc.

If things check out, ideally you want to get some compression behind rings as soon as possible. So you will have to make a decision to ride it. Just running it, watching it smoke, and waiting for it to stop, is probably not the best thing to do.

Relax for the night. People can advise you tomorrow. And you will have done a heat cycle so you can re-torque.


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#305382 - 03/29/10 4:15 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: btour]  
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Petor Offline
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New York
Hey guys, Thanks for the help so far more details:

My mechanic set the ring gaps to 6 thousanths (all the same) I know this is tight in comparison to what the book says (10-14 thou) but he said he always makes them tighter than spec (let me know your opinions on this, he has built a few old triumphs.....) The cylinders were bored and honed with a cross-hatch pattern.
I cleaned them throughly before inserting the pistons. I tried to keep oil to a minumum on the bores, but had oil on the rings to ease assembly (my piston ring compressor was too large, so had to compress the rings by hand with another set of hands carefully) This process actually was quite easy and incedent free (im sure you would hear it if you snapped a ring doing this??. )

The rings gaps in the rings were set to 10 2 and 6 o clock respectivley.

After letting things cool down i pulled the plugs and they were totally wet with black oil.

- On the oil supply side, i know the return feed is working via a visual check from the OIF oil tank... I did not check the actual feed to the rockers b/c it did pump oil when kicking over during a previous stage of assembly.

On a side note, when kicking the engine over tonight a few times I noticed that it took more effort than usual..I guess becuase everything is still new.

-Also, i noticed black oil blow out from one of the header flanges, so this is definatley a oil-burning issue (I'm ordering new leak-free headers soon, this was a known issue)

-On the oil type front, I used Harley Davidson brand ( I know very bad luck) non-detergent oil because this was the closest I could find to motorcycle non-hi performance oil around my area....

- I rode the bike around the block a few times, very easy on the throttle, but it wasnt just idling the entire time...

- Other than the damn fog machine effect out of the exhaust, the engine runs ok otherwise, except for some mid-range roughness that needs to be tuned out... (STARTS FIRST KICK!!????)

- No piston slap/valve clatter noticible.

-Valves were adjusted to 4 and 2 thou.....

FIRE AWAY GUYS!!!!!

#305390 - 03/29/10 8:12 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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norton bob Offline
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If oil is returning and compressions fair I would run to see if burning subsides,can also be oil in silencers or pipes burning off.how far did you go? Drain the sump,how much comes out? 2 pints??!!, thats it then.

Last edited by norton bob; 03/31/10 4:07 pm.
#305396 - 03/29/10 9:14 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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RetroRod Offline
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Originally Posted By: Petor
(I have a distinct feeling that I will be taking this apart very soon....)


And I'm half inclined to agree with you. RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
#305406 - 03/29/10 12:25 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: RetroRod]  
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Dick Harris Online content
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I agree with you RR, with .006 ring gap you will be taking it apart. Dick

#305412 - 03/29/10 12:58 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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Pete R - R.I.P.  Offline
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What bike have you got?The solutions will vary.
A good rule to go by is "NEVER USE LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED",when it comes to clearances,ring gaps etc.Sometimes even the minimum is not necessarily the ideal.
There is very little,if anything,to be gained by using less.The consequences of being "a wee bit tighter" can be devastating.I prefer to use 0.003" more ring gap on the second compression ring than the gap on the top ring.

I wouldn't run this engine again before checking the ring gaps;and even the piston clearance in case that's a wee bit tight too.It may be easier than you think,depending what model.It may be a good idea to ask your engine builder what the valve stem clearances are too.

Use minimum oil on the bore (some recommend ATF),then try like the devil to wipe it off (there will always be some remaining).Fit rings dry,then a couple of drops of oil on the piston skirts.My advice is ,as soon as it fires,put it in gear and load it hard.Don't use excessive revs,back off and load it hard again.I would never try this with tight ring gaps,but its good to seat the rings before you cook them with blow-by.
I try to wear out the throttle cables until rings are seated,without using excessive revs (below 4000).

Get the clearances right,then you can look for any other problems.

#305417 - 03/29/10 1:11 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.]  
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Bodger Offline
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Quote:
"On a side note, when kicking the engine over tonight a few times I noticed that it took more effort than usual..I guess because everything is still new."


Wet sumping?
You checked?

Good luck, I hate that feeling...all that effort, you'll get it right.

Last edited by Bodger; 03/29/10 1:13 pm. Reason: doh!
#305421 - 03/29/10 1:47 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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btour Online content
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btour  Online Content
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Originally Posted By: Petor
The cylinders were bored and honed with a cross-hatch pattern.


But what grit was used? It makes a difference. An are we alll just assuming that he used the rings that came with the JCC's. What clearances did he use for pisston to bore? These are some of the things you should ask him.

Originally Posted By: Petor
-Also, i noticed black oil blow out from one of the header flanges, so this is definatley a oil-burning issue (I'm ordering new leak-free headers soon, this was a known issue)


I do not understand this. Do you mean the bike had doing this before? So, as pointed out your pipes may have lots of oil in them from before?

Nevertheless, it seems the experts are very concerned with the ring gap.

This must be very upsetting. I hope you can get some answers from him, and work things out to get it right.


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#305424 - 03/29/10 2:10 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: btour]  
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Jack Adams Offline
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Petor,I'm with Dick and Pete.You should take off the top end today. .006 ring end gap is just wrong, the only good thing that it does is give some mechanic and parts supplier more business. Jack

#305427 - 03/29/10 2:34 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Jack Adams]  
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btour Online content
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btour  Online Content
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Guys, at this point, doesn't he need to know the piston to bore clearance? What made the ring gap too small? In other words he cannot just file the ring ends, right?
So, will he be able to have cylinders just re-honed to get proper clearance, if that is the problem?

What was the bore before the bore to 30 over? If it were bored, just 10 more over, and these are the correct rings, how could the ring gap be so far off? In other words, is it possible the guy did not bore it, but just honed it, the bj's out of it? I have heard that expressed "on the street" as the way to do it. To "just let it all wear in".


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#305449 - 03/29/10 4:55 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: btour]  
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Jack Adams Offline
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Bob,After Petor gets the barrels off,he can then measure the pistons and bores and see what he has. Rings usually come where they need to be filed to get they gap you desire. you can always file some off to fit but you can't add any, so they come large for that reason. Remember, just because someone owns some tools,it doesn't make him a Mechanic. Jack

#305452 - 03/29/10 5:17 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Jack Adams]  
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Petor Offline
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New York
Hey guys, I cant pull this apart till Friday, but I already ordered a new set of rings (nearly positive they were not inserted with the correct orientation/taper)On the new set of rings, I will NOT make them at 6 thou, I too feel that is too tight.

On taking the bores out i will advise to any damage to the bores. (hopefully not since the rings were swimming in oil, and the engine was only run briefly... do not want to drop another $200 for a re-hone)

Checked for wet sumping via the breather tube, which was bone dry....

#305453 - 03/29/10 5:19 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Jack Adams]  
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btour Online content
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btour  Online Content
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Yes Jack,

But he probably going to have to go back to the same guy to get specs. And that guy is invested in the tight ring gaps.

I was also wondering if the boring could be employed to take off such a small amount without getting wobble, thus the questions on honing it to specs. Hopefully, as you say, specs are OK and ring gaps just need to be filed. Someone would know about the rings that come with the JCC's/


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#305460 - 03/29/10 5:58 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: btour]  
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mick2 Offline
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going from my own experiences with worn/broken rings its the usual to see oil coming out the breather if you are getting blow by. just had this on my t120, had it on my t140 when it broke a ring and had it on my gsx1100 when its rings were worn. guides are ok?
i had abnormally high compression on mine with all the oil that was in the bores.
good luck.

#305461 - 03/29/10 5:58 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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Stein Roger Online content
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Here's an article that may make some of us re-think what we "know" about ring gaps size, and staggering them:

http://www.diagnosticengineers.org/journal_%20articles/Ring%20Gaps%20vs%20Knowledge%20Gaps.php

#305488 - 03/29/10 9:22 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Petor]  
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Pete R - R.I.P.  Offline
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Vic. Australia
What bike have you got?

#305495 - 03/29/10 9:47 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: btour]  
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triton thrasher Online content
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Originally Posted By: btour
he cannot just file the ring ends,


Why? If you don't know just say so.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#305502 - 03/29/10 10:26 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: triton thrasher]  
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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He shouldn't file the ring gaps until he knows how much the bore needs honing out.Get the piston clearance right,and there may be a lot less (or nothing) to file off.I think that was the message.

#305503 - 03/29/10 10:32 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.]  
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hh Offline
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On the other hand, the rings may have already bound and chewed the $hit out of everything.


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
#305504 - 03/29/10 10:43 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.]  
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btour Online content
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Thank you, Pete R. for confirming that.
IMHO, the mechanic, and I am assuming he was also repsonsible for the boring, who suggested the over tight ring gap is suspect now, and that it would be a Pete R says, prudent to double check the clearances.

Triton,

Man you quote me and you leave off the end of the sentence with the big question mark at the end????? Here is a more direct question. What is your problem?


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#305509 - 03/29/10 11:11 pm Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: triton thrasher]  
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Jethro Offline
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Wow... been following this through the day. Held off commenting because there are so many more knowledgeable people here... but, just some things to think about. VERY smart to not run it again. On a top end job as you have had done, these are some of the things I think about. I want to make sure that my cylinder MATCHES my pistons and rings, both in SIZE, and in my honing. For instance, with grey, cast iron rings (which I like, although that means nothing here), I want a rough hone, maybe 150. I believe in the "dry" method of ring installation. VERY good advice posted earlier on cleaning your cylinders with a white, lint free rag after washing out with warm, slightly soapy water. Nothing should come out on that rag at the last wipe down. Ring gaps are in the manual for a reason. As is piston to skirt measurement. I used .005 on my rebuild. I think 4 thousandths is kind of tight, but again, there are lots of personal opinions out there. Use the manual. Also, I use a 30 wt. non detergent oil... this is a good one, imho if you are in a bind:

http://www.bradpennracing.com/Products/High-Performance/Break-In-Oil.aspx

Also, someone mentioned on break in about using a fan. I did that last time. Good advice. In fact, I'm sure on the start up, you had already set static timing, then strobed the bike immediately. Plus, I would imagine you had already cleaned up your oil pump in conjunction with the top end work... here is another great article I reference:

http://www.gabma.us/docs/triumph_oil_pumps.pdf

Now, I know this whole seems kind of rudimentary. In fact, I can tell from your posting that you know much of what I'm saying. The REASON I'm saying it is that I believe that a top end job involves so many variables, and so many things that have to be done right, that to be successful, meaning an engine that puts out good compression, starts right up, doesn't blue pipes, doesnt ping, doesn't smoke, takes a LOT of work.

There is another link here that has some great pointers on rings...

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=131535&page=1

Also, I would venture to say that your engine is hard to kick over because of excess oil in the top end, and small ring gaps, but that is speculation.

I have a feeling this will work out with a tear down, and reinstallation following the service manual's recommendations, and not cost you too much money, to boot.

Good luck! Keep us posted. smile

#305528 - 03/30/10 1:32 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: Jethro]  
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rick e. Offline
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Earth
If not wet sump'd, something is not round.

my wild guess, based on the above; cheap +.040 rings gapped @.006 in a +.030 hole...(Not the first time I have heard of this being done)

kinda what Jethro said in regard to everything needs to MATCH...


"Back in the garage with my bullshit detector
Carbon monoxide making sure it's effective...
----THE CLASH-----

#305530 - 03/30/10 1:42 am Re: HELP! Smoking after Top End rebuild [Re: rick e.]  
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rick e. Offline
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Earth
oh, and if you do tear it down and the bore and such look good...pitch the 'un-marked' rings and get a new (good)set. Just my opinion.


"Back in the garage with my bullshit detector
Carbon monoxide making sure it's effective...
----THE CLASH-----

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