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68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. #316009
05/30/10 10:16 am
05/30/10 10:16 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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I have recently had the cylinder head refurbed on my '68 T120, but before fitting it permanently, I decided to try and get to the bottom of an annoying noise that has come from the engine for many years!
I'm certain it's cam/follower related, and coming from that area.
It's a click/clack that happens in time with valve actuation.
It does it on both inlet and exhaust cams.(Each checked while other rocker box removed)
Followers & tappet blocks have been replaced previously, and are in good condition.
Cams are in good condition.
Very little backlash from timing gears.

Could wear in the camshaft bushes cause this sort of noise?
Is camshaft bush wear common?
I've owned the bike since 1974, and the cam bushes have not been replaced during that time.
(Maybe I need to record the noise somehow!

Thanks in advance.

Douglas

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Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316012
05/30/10 10:28 am
05/30/10 10:28 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,676
Scotland
kommando Online content
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Sometimes its just perception, have you compared it to another T120, my B44 sounds clackity until I hear another Unit single, but 6 months later it sounds noisy again until I hear another one again wink .

If the noise is not getting worse then its not critical but it is good to find out the cause, my 850 Commando makes virtually no tappet noises at tickover but I have learnt never to compare how quiet it is to other designs or I would be going mad tracking down causes.

If it is wearing cam bushes it should be getting worse as time goes on.

You can try to trace noise origins by putting an ear on the end of a large screwdriver with the blade end on various parts of the engine, but it can also make you think your engine is about to destroy itself when all that noise is amplified.

Last edited by kommando; 05/30/10 10:30 am.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: kommando] #316015
05/30/10 10:41 am
05/30/10 10:41 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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Ta for the response.
No, I've not compared to another T120. Might need to find one.
It's just one of these noises that just doesn't sound right.
Done the screwdriver trick, but as the engine is still part dismantled, I'm trying to listen while turning it over on the kickstart! Certain its from the follower area, and related to the rocker position. (Rocker caps removed, so adjusters visible)
Bike is a long-term project, and rarely used, so difficult to determine if it's getting worse or not.
While it's still part dismantled, I'm tempted to strip it all down to check, but I've got a horrible feeling everything will seem ok, and it'll still do it when reassembled!

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316019
05/30/10 11:04 am
05/30/10 11:04 am
Joined: Dec 2004
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Scotland
kommando Online content
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If its partially dismantled then you could remove the timing gear from the crank, release the valve spring pressure fron the pushrods and try to gauge the clearance in the cam bushes by moving the cams up/down and left/right. By touch you should be just be able to feel 3 thou of movement, be careful as you can easily confuse endfloat as up/down. If you feel a lot of wear then confirm by using a DTI to see how much it is. Then compare to the specs in the manual, or post what you find here as the manual may only refer to how it left the factory and not what the service limit is.

Last edited by kommando; 05/30/10 11:07 am.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: kommando] #316027
05/30/10 11:49 am
05/30/10 11:49 am
Joined: Oct 2003
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Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
D
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D

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My 650 is quite "clackety" from the timing cover area but I think it is normal. I wonder if it could be the oil pump or drive block? I had some new cam bushes fitted, not because of any noise, but because the drive side ones had come loose. Didn't change any sound
Dave

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: dave jones] #316034
05/30/10 12:23 pm
05/30/10 12:23 pm
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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I'll be taking the pump off next to eliminate that as a source.
I've assumed that the cam bearings adjacent to the lobes would wear most as they have to put up with more of a battering than the ones at the gear end.
I'll try and check for play in the gear side bearings at the same time.

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316052
05/30/10 1:29 pm
05/30/10 1:29 pm
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 509
melbourne, australia
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76degree-triumph Offline
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melbourne, australia
I would check the LH nuts on the end of the cams. These control cam end float and it is possible for the cam lobes to just touch the wrong follower causing the click you hear and leading to more damage.
Check for wear on the edges of the cam lobes, a sure givaway.
Chris.


1950 Speed Twin outfit
1951 Thunderbird outfit (76 degree racebike, or is it 90 deg now?)
1955 BSA D3 minibike outfit
Triumph solo's
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316069
05/30/10 2:33 pm
05/30/10 2:33 pm
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 133
Victorville
48 dingalinger Offline
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Folks;

Douglas, I hope you post what you find as the trouble.

I have a similar "noise" on my '68, but only noticeable at shut down, like the intake tappets are loose.

If I kick the motor over without the plugs installed,(cold)
I can't make the "noise". And it started after my top end rebore last season.

I've owned mine since '78 when the bottom was done.
The top has been off twice in five years for other problems.




'68 T120R
'66 A65L
Bob
it really doesn't matter to anyone, BUT ME
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: 48 dingalinger] #316078
05/30/10 4:35 pm
05/30/10 4:35 pm
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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Camshaft end float measurements are:
Ex .25mm (10 thou)
In .18mm (7 thou)
Can't feel any radial play in the timing side cam bushes.
Some more dismantling required, I think!

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316111
05/30/10 8:10 pm
05/30/10 8:10 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
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scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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Don't forget a Triumph Bonneville is a noisy engine, even by Brit twin standards.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: triton thrasher] #316200
05/31/10 11:26 am
05/31/10 11:26 am
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,667
East Bethany New York
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As the cams pass over the lobes,if there is any appreciable play in the timing gears,they go from loaded on one side to loaded on the other,creating the noise that you are possible hearing. Some times if you have a selection of timing gears you can find a set that has much less lash. Dick

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: Dick Harris] #316272
05/31/10 9:57 pm
05/31/10 9:57 pm
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 11,273
North Georgia, USA
RF Whatley Offline
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I don't think it's camshaft bush looseness. Although it's easy enough to check with the rocker boxes already off. When the bush gets loose, the camshaft is pushed downward. This tightens the slack in the timing gears. I believe this is the major cause of intermediate wheel post spinning free.

However, worn timing gears will make an atrocious noise. The tooth is pushed one way as the tappet rides up the cam. Then once over the top of the lobe, the tappet forces the gear to the opposite tooth and there is a slapping noise that resonates throughout the timing chest.

There is a spec on the tooth-to-tooth play you can check.

:bigt


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

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: RF Whatley] #316336
06/01/10 8:01 am
06/01/10 8:01 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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Update:
Oil pump off, and noise still there.
Negligible backlash on timing gears, but I'll track down the spec and check against that.
No play apparent on the timing side cam bushes.
With rocker boxes off, and using an old pushrod, I put downward pressure on each cam follower in turm while rotating the engine.
Ther is a distinct click heard/felt through the pushrod as the follower comes off the high point of the cam lobe.
Does it on all four followers.
I'm going to pull the barrels and check the followers & tappet blocks for play, but the followers feel ok from the top)
I'll also check that the follower profile matches the cam shape.

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #316386
06/01/10 2:38 pm
06/01/10 2:38 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,676
Scotland
kommando Online content
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This will be of use then, does sound like a cam follower/cam mismatch could be the issue.

Triumph Cam info

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: kommando] #317347
06/07/10 9:07 am
06/07/10 9:07 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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Further update:
Engine dismantled, Some wear on drive side camshaft bushes, but the main problem was worn cams. Now need to track down a pair of nitrided ones for a '68 with the breather hole through the inlet one.

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #317512
06/08/10 5:01 am
06/08/10 5:01 am
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 133
Victorville
48 dingalinger Offline
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Victorville



Folks;

Hello DC, Thank You for keeping us up to date. I reread your original post and noticed that you said the tappet follower noise has been apparent for years.

While I don't plan to tear into the bottom end soon, your update has put me at ease, and know I have time to collect parts.


Thanks again.


'68 T120R
'66 A65L
Bob
it really doesn't matter to anyone, BUT ME
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: 48 dingalinger] #317527
06/08/10 7:26 am
06/08/10 7:26 am
Joined: Oct 2004
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Melbourne Australia
Tiger Offline
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Melbourne Australia
Excellent thread DC and gents.

DC, you no doubt know about having the cam followers re-ground for new cams, and moly on cams and followers at start up, so please do not be offended that I mention such, some who read this may not have that knowledge.

Please advise when rebuild complete, I for one like the late 650 engines especially.

Cheers T





1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: 48 dingalinger] #317536
06/08/10 8:56 am
06/08/10 8:56 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 48 dingalinger



I reread your original post and noticed that you said the tappet follower noise has been apparent for years.



A note of caution.
Although there has been a noise for years, the bike hasn't done very many miles during that time. I've had a couple of BMW's that have been in use, and the Triumph moved to the back of the garage!


Yes, the followers will be getting reground.
The moly grease tip is a good one. In the past, I've always made sure there was some oil in the sump, and poured some down the pushrod tubes after assembly.

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #317540
06/08/10 10:04 am
06/08/10 10:04 am
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Melbourne Australia
Tiger Offline
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http://www.cranecams.com.au/pdfs/cam%20run%20in%20procedure.pdf

Once the parts get to know each other there is no problem, maybe look at the WWW and search "ZDDP and flat tappet engines" or whatever.

http://www.penriteoil.com.au/tech_pdfs/149%20LATEST%20ZINC%20LEVELS.pdf

Cam and cam follower wear is not an acceptable price to pay when:

A] Nobody seems sure if ZDDP actually does poison catalytic converters.

B] Your bike does not have a CatCon !

I buy lots of oil and look at what I buy.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #317839
06/10/10 4:12 am
06/10/10 4:12 am
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 133
Victorville
48 dingalinger Offline
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Folks;

Douglas, Once again, thank you for you words of caution. I under stand. The cam surfaces that ride in the bushes, and the bushes themselves may be worn, and are likely the cause of "the noise".(are there such things as under size cam bushings?)

Most of my weekend pleasure riding are of constant 3-4000rpm runs of thirty miles or better, with no tappet noise at shut down.

I do get the tappet noise when I just run down the street and around the corner for a fist full of nails, nuts and bolts, or a quart of beer......I know,,,ride thirty miles for the beer. grin

EHHH I'm hijacking this thing, sorry.

Your experience is much appreciated.
THANK YOU!


'68 T120R
'66 A65L
Bob
it really doesn't matter to anyone, BUT ME
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: 48 dingalinger] #317860
06/10/10 8:08 am
06/10/10 8:08 am
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,707
Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
D
dave jones Offline
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Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
When you fit the cam bushes they are always too small so you would just ream them to the size of your cam journals.

My camshafts didn't make any clicking noises even though the bushes had worked their way out of the case and stopped against the sides of the cam lobes.

Dave

Last edited by dave jones; 06/10/10 8:11 am.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: dave jones] #317863
06/10/10 9:19 am
06/10/10 9:19 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 24
Scotland
DC Offline OP
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I've taken the easy way out......
Crankcases with SRM for new bushes, and some welding where the final drive chain tried to escape many years ago.
Got most of the parts now to reassemble, and have spent an interesting hour or two reading posts on oil! I've never tried ATF in the primary before, but I'll give it a go this time.(Castrol Classic Oils seem to do all the right stuff at sensible prices, in the UK)
http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/b...ds/c/Castrol_Classic_Ret_PL_Jan_2010.pdf

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #317920
06/10/10 8:09 pm
06/10/10 8:09 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
San Francisco Bay Area
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MarksterTT Offline
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San Francisco Bay Area
Misaligned tappet guide blocks could possibly cause such a noise as tappet goes over nose of cam, may be evident visually or from accelerated wear on guide surfaces where inboard vertical follower edges contact fore and aft surfaces of guide block.

ATF type F has always worked well in primary in non shared pri./eng. oil versions...

Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: DC] #317926
06/10/10 9:18 pm
06/10/10 9:18 pm
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Melbourne Australia
Tiger Offline
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Originally Posted by DC
I've taken the easy way out......
Crankcases with SRM for new bushes, and some welding where the final drive chain tried to escape many years ago.
Got most of the parts now to reassemble, and have spent an interesting hour or two reading posts on oil! I've never tried ATF in the primary before, but I'll give it a go this time.(Castrol Classic Oils seem to do all the right stuff at sensible prices, in the UK)
http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/b...ds/c/Castrol_Classic_Ret_PL_Jan_2010.pdf


Excellent !

The genesis of another oil zealot LOL.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: 68 T120 Camshaft/follower noise. [Re: Tiger] #321454
07/03/10 7:48 pm
07/03/10 7:48 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 108
Quebec, Canada
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Listen to the noise of my Triumph T120R 1967 to the idle
I have heard this noise for now 35 years crazy

0:00 at 0:50 and 7:28 at 7:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fYj3khJ8vA


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