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How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? #251053
04/30/09 5:31 pm
04/30/09 5:31 pm
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Matthew in TO Offline OP
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Having installed new guides and valves in my T100 last year, I'd like to ensure that they're getting sufficent oil for cooling and lubrication.

I've got the standard oil pump, and have read that buying a different pump can help increase the oil flow.

Is there a different, aftermarket fitting for feeding oil to the rockers? The little tin pipe seems a little small for the job.

I'm assuming of course that the oil flow is weak. How do I check that?


1970 Triumph T100S (1969 T100S motor)
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Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Matthew in TO] #251132
05/01/09 12:10 am
05/01/09 12:10 am
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hamilton on. can.
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highway Offline
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Warm the bike up, then put 3 feet of 3/16th clear vinyl hose onto the oil tank T and restart the bike. The oil should climb up the hose to a height about 10 inches higher than the rocker boxes. The head,or height of oil column, is governed by the back pressure developed by the size of the hole near the top of the tank where oil spurts back into the tank. With the clear hose in place and the engine running, put your finger into the tank and block off the return oil. The result, you need a longer hose.
Triumphs do not get or seem to need as much oil to there top end as Bsa and Commando engines. The amount of oil returning to the tank and rockers is governed by the amount of oil entering the engine by way of the feed (pressure) side of the pump. Your 1970 should have the larger dia. feed plunger pump introduced about 1967, Morgo claims more oil flow with their plunger pumps.
I have adjusted rocker feed back pressure by opening a cotter pin and inserting into the the return hole to create a little more back pressue to increase supply to rockers, don't overdo it! Cheers Rick

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Matthew in TO] #251298
05/01/09 11:30 pm
05/01/09 11:30 pm
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Stuart Offline
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Hi Matthew,

Originally Posted By: Matthew in TO
Is there a different, aftermarket fitting for feeding oil to the rockers? The little tin pipe seems a little small for the job.

Even if there is some aftermarket fitting, it probably won't make any difference - when I checked the rocker oil supply path on my '69 T100, the smallest diameter is the passage in the rocker box leading from the oil bolt to the rocker shaft - can't remember the size but it was a very small drill that fitted.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Stuart] #251338
05/02/09 4:08 am
05/02/09 4:08 am
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Tiger Offline
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Rocker geometry will have a much greater effect on guide wear than oil flow [presuming oil flow is std].

Rocker geometry can be buggered up by pocketed/deep valve seats and/or and over-machined head.

Incorrect geometry will have the rocker imparting excessive side thrust to the valve stems.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Tiger] #251680
05/04/09 2:41 am
05/04/09 2:41 am
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I thought the reason rocker oil is supplied from return line was to purposely restrict flow, because exessive oil in rockerboxes burns onto ex. valve stem & causes it to stick ( according to Modern Motorcycle Mechanics ).

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: koob] #251687
05/04/09 4:07 am
05/04/09 4:07 am
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highway Offline
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The original pre war T100's were pressure fed then switched to return by-pass. Norton twins started with return by-pass then switched to pressure feed. Both work when engineered properly, as in the change of rocker spindle shafts on commandos.
With modern guides (I like Rowe cast iron)and black nitrated vales allowing closer tolerances, sticking from too much oil should not be a problem. Much of the early sticking of ex guides was due to burning exhaust gas traveling up the guide and valve stem fitted or worn loose.
I am restoring a 69 T100 for a good customer, he bought the bike in 71 and put about 12000 miles on it before storing it in a greenhouse for 30 years. On examining the head I was surprised to see the intake valves and guides quite good. The exhaust guides were a disaster, terribly worn, valve seats and faces pounded,.WHY???????
In 1969 'Easy Rider' came out and madness ensued. This bike and many others were fitted with 8 inch over forks or slugs,(shudder), tipping the engine way up at the front. Rocker feed oil made it up the tube to the T and ran, as gravity would have it, downward to the intake rockerbox, explaining both conditions.
Cheers Rick

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: highway] #260502
06/22/09 4:06 pm
06/22/09 4:06 pm
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Matthew in TO Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: highway
On examining the head I was surprised to see the intake valves and guides quite good. The exhaust guides were a disaster, terribly worn, valve seats and faces pounded,.WHY???????
In 1969 'Easy Rider' came out and madness ensued. This bike and many others were fitted with 8 inch over forks or slugs,(shudder), tipping the engine way up at the front. Rocker feed oil made it up the tube to the T and ran, as gravity would have it, downward to the intake rockerbox, explaining both conditions.
I saw something like that at the Paris Ontario Rally this weekend, where a BSA-engined chopper had the motor well tipped backward, and I immediately recalled Rick's post on the subject, and wondered if there were some awful valves in that motor.


1970 Triumph T100S (1969 T100S motor)
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Tiger] #324966
07/27/10 1:38 am
07/27/10 1:38 am
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Matthew in TO Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tiger
Rocker geometry will have a much greater effect on guide wear than oil flow [presuming oil flow is std].

Rocker geometry can be buggered up by pocketed/deep valve seats and/or and over-machined head.

Incorrect geometry will have the rocker imparting excessive side thrust to the valve stems.


How do you check valve geometry? I recently had to replace two worn guides, one exhaust, one inlet, while the other two where fine), after a push rod fell out smashed in its cup (thank goodness for oil filter) this after having all four valves and guides replaced about 5,000 miles ago prior. I always assumed it was due to poor oil flow and my earlier need for speed running at 70+ mph long distance runs.

Now I never exceed 60 mph, and treat her nicely, and she's ran about 1,000 miles now without issue, though the top end has always been noisy, and I'm always check valve clearances, but if the head valve geometry is poorly laid out....


1970 Triumph T100S (1969 T100S motor)
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Matthew in TO] #324994
07/27/10 5:39 am
07/27/10 5:39 am
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matthew in TO


How do you check valve geometry?

I always assumed it was due to poor oil flow and my earlier need for speed running at 70+ mph long distance runs.


I gave the dimensions for gauges to check rocker geometry on a T100R and improve it,not long ago.Maybe a month ago.
Bad geometry will mainly just cause extra wear on stems,guides and valve-tips.Triumphs were made with bad geometry;it usually gets better with sunken valve seats.

If you want more rocker oil,just put a piece of coat-hanger wire in the restrictor hole on the oil-return pipe at the oil tank.Bend the wire over at the top so it won't move.That will only give you about 25% more oil to rockers.
If you restrict the hole size down to about 3/32" you get more than 5 times as much oil to rockers.I did that once and had no problems.

70 mph is not fast enough to be causing problems.
Mile after mile at 100mph-110mph is a different story,but it shouldn't hurt your valves.

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.] #325030
07/27/10 1:48 pm
07/27/10 1:48 pm
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John Healy Offline

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The factory hole should be 3/32"!

Most custom oil tanks have no provision for oil restriction.

If an oil tank has no restriction one must be provided externally.

On 650 and 750 twins people continue to interchange early rocker shafts without thought about the differences. Remember that the rocker shafts have two part numbers that cover three conditions.

People continue fail to observe the proper way of assembling the rocker Thackery springs and washers depending upon which rocker shafts and rocker arms they are using.

While a lot is made about Triumph rocker arm geometry, little is said about the quality of the valve guides themselves. I have seen "experts" remove stock guides which were made from a decent valve guide bronze or cast iron only to be replaced with guides made from "hi-performance" free machining brass.

Free machining brass is cheap, easy to machine (in fact ten times faster to machine than a silicone or nickel bronze) and easy to keep the bore Concentric during machining. Real valve guide bronze is a real pain to machine and the raw stock is more expensive to buy. Real bronze guides are typically mounted on a mandrel and have their o.d. ground due to the problem of efficiently keeping a drill cutting straight when machining the bore. One would be lucky to get 1,000 miles out of a guide made from free machining brass before they were worn out. And they blame rocker geometry!!!

When we were in Holliston we shared space with a lady that did spectrum analyzation and we tested ten odd valve guides (among other things) we purchased from competitors and suppliers. All but three "high performance bronze guides" were made from free machining brass. With the cost of material, and little as 1/10 the machine time required, you make a lot more money using free machining brass. I once asked a UK supplier of free maching brass valve guides why he didn't use real valve guide material. His answer, "Dealers and distributors wouldn't pay the extra cost!"

Then the good guys trying to make "real" parts for these old bikes, instead of payments on the boat, or their vacation home in Spain, discovered nitriding works and they started nitriding valve stems.

So with real bronze, or real high nickel cast iron (niresist), nitrided valve stems and rocker boxes with matched parts assembled properly, we have seen guide wear blamed on geometry pretty much become a thing of the past.

Last edited by John Healy; 07/27/10 9:15 pm.

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: John Healy] #325104
07/28/10 12:44 am
07/28/10 12:44 am
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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I think you mean 7/32" for the hole in the return pipe at the oil tank.I've seen you quote that figure before.
A 2.5 mm wire would not fit into a 3/32" hole,and I've fitted the wire to get more oil several times.The 3/32" hole I used was on a central oil tank on a featherbed frame,because it didn't have any restrictor.We planned on drilling it bigger if it gave too much oil flow to the rockers,but it was working OK.

I agree completely about guides being made from "cheese".For a long time I made my own guides from aluminium-bronze because I knew what I was getting.As soon as you try to put a drill into it,you know its tough.Drill bits hate it,and don't last long.

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.] #325115
07/28/10 2:31 am
07/28/10 2:31 am
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I quoted 7/32" several times, but Don Hutchinson has been doing some measuring on tanks he has been cutting up to remove dents and now claims 3/32". I recently said 7/32" at the Seminars we gave at mid-Ohio and he corrected me with 3/32" I will call him tomorrow to confirm this "new" number. It is hard to measure these holes as they are on the back side of the pipe as viewed from the cover... More on this later.


Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: John Healy] #325137
07/28/10 10:00 am
07/28/10 10:00 am
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If most of the guides you can purchase are made of standard brass, who are the suppliers of decent guides? In the UK I know SRM advertise their own 'colisbro' guides but ones that I have purchased (not from SRM) some time ago and not fitted have that 'brassy' look as opposed to the ones I removed which looked more coppery/bronze looking. Is it also worth putting seals on the inlets or is that asking for trouble? I didn't want to hijack the thread but it is sort of related.

Last edited by twinspin; 07/28/10 10:00 am.

1971 T100R
1970 T120
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: twinspin] #325139
07/28/10 10:37 am
07/28/10 10:37 am
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If you don't know who the manufacturer is and they don't state what material the guides are made of,you have to be suspicious.

Guide seals will cause more guide wear.I'd rather use a fraction more oil.Easier to put in oil than valve guides.

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.] #325150
07/28/10 12:34 pm
07/28/10 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted By: Pete R
Guide seals will cause more guide wear.I'd rather use a fraction more oil.Easier to put in oil than valve guides.


Thanks Peter,
I was coming with the viewpoint of achieving better slow running as some air will be sucked in through the guides at slow running speeds if the guides are a bit worn.


1971 T100R
1970 T120
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Stuart] #325344
07/29/10 2:11 pm
07/29/10 2:11 pm
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Matthew in TO Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Stuart
..when I checked the rocker oil supply path on my '69 T100, the smallest diameter is the passage in the rocker box leading from the oil bolt to the rocker shaft - can't remember the size but it was a very small drill that fitted.


I hadn't thought of that. Doesn't the oil simply drip through the hole in the top of the rocker box and then get splashed about by the valve action? Or does the oil first have to get through a hole in the rocker spindle?


1970 Triumph T100S (1969 T100S motor)
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: John Healy] #325441
07/29/10 10:20 pm
07/29/10 10:20 pm
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Related one for John Healy,

My V4 project has the heads (both 1968 T110) at approx 45 degrees to the horizontal with the exhausts lower than the inlets in both cases (the rear head runs backwards).

What size oil return restriction could I sensisbly go down to in order adequately to feed both sets of rockers. I'm using a morgo rotary BTW.

I thought Highway's method of checking the feed pressure using the clear plastic tube an excellent idea and I would use that to check I have sufficient head of pressure to the exhaust rockers. However, that method is sort of "after-the-event", so to speak, and will also depend a lot on RPM.

Any thoughts?


mike
Member #: 147
1960 T120 Bonneville
1999 H*%^a VFR 800 FI
V4 Triton Project (still keeping me sane (Ha-Ha!))
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: t120mike] #325461
07/30/10 12:12 am
07/30/10 12:12 am
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John Healy Offline

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This is one of those subjects that drive anyone interested in these mundane details nuts.
As far as the size of the return hole I was correct in that the factory typically drilled a 7/32" hole in the return pipe for a restriction. The confusion came when at the AMA Mid-Ohio seminar Don corrected me and introduced a new (to me) 3/32" dimension.

This smaller dimension came about through experiments he did on stock motorcycles and is the diameter where a stock pump will not blow the oil line off the oil tank. Anything smaller and it blows the oil line off, anything larger and you get incrementally get less and less oil to the top end. I guess the factory thought 7/32" was good. You can be the judge of that.

His experimentation came about because nearly all after market custom oil tanks have no restriction at all. When one of these tanks was mounted to a Triumph the top end suffered. So to answer the question once and for all: at what size restriction will the oil line stay on the fitting and deliver the most oil to the top end.

Now T120mike, Don was using a stock pump, not a Morgo rotary. From my experience with the rotary I would be surprised if it didn't blow the oil line clear off with 3/32" restriction. If you are making a V4 a small adaptor with a replaceable jet you could play with in the return line would be an easy job to undertake.

Stuart is right, the 500 is the stand out when it comes to getting oil to the top end. That said we have used stock over head oil line set-ups on these motors since 1959 and never had problems with rocker shaft wear, adjuster/valve tip wear or valve guide wear even when we ran them up in the 10,000 rpm range. Mind you we are anal about using good assembly lube which prevents a lot of problems before they start.

The 650 - 750 twins are a different story. To understand some of my thinking one would have to appreciate the the animosity that existed between BSA and Triumph. When BSA, in this case Umberslade Hall, made engineering decisions the guys at Triumph often suffered from the "Not Invented Here" syndrome.

In the design of the triple, the hole in the rocker arms that fed oil to the push rod tubes was eliminated in favor to two cuts on the end of the rocker. These took the form of narrow slits or small half-moon cuts. These cuts were located in a way that they would feed oil to the valve adjuster and push rod cup. This was adapted the 650 rocker arms, and later on the 750 twins with some modification. More about that later.

One problem, the guys at Triumph did it their own way when given these bits. Instead of putting the flat washer against the rocker arm as the engineering required and as BSA did with both the Triumph (BSA assembled the Triumph triples at Birmingham) and BSA Triple, they continued as they had for the previous 30 years: Washers against the rocker box and springs against the rocker arms. This included the 3/8" washer on the feed side.

Now if one looks into a bit of rocker arm history you will see the original engineering in the Triumph and BSA Triple Workshop manual where it clearly states, "Spring washers are always fitted next to the shaft pillars, they must never be fitted next to the rockers." The guys at Triumph never got that memo, or choose to ignore it.

But that is not the end of the story. The original rockers with the holes through the arm had a clear passage way to allow for the copious flow of oil. It exited the rocker shaft into a recess formed by a turning on the rocker shaft and fed directly into the rocker arm who's hole is located adjacent to the recess. Brilliant as far as it goes.

The new system has no such direct oil path, but relies on the 0.001" or so clearance the rocker arm has on the shaft for the oil to flow out either end. So in fact it hardly mattered that the springs were assembled against the rocker and did not provide the seal to direct the flow to the cutouts. There was very little oil flowing anywhere. A little made its way down the shafts, but you wouldn't call it flowing. Thus when you look at the clear oil line it appears little if anything is happening. Loosen the dome nuts and oil would flow out the fittings on the over head oil line, but tighten the nuts and the oil would appear to stop flowing or burbling a little bit of oil at best.

Eventually the "light bulb when on" and so now look at a late T140 rocker shaft. There are spiral oil grooves down the length of the rocker shaft providing an oil path to each end of the rocker. Brilliant, but for most of us many years too late. Now put your clear over head oil line on and you will see oil flowing to the head.

So now the location of the washers adjacent to the rocker shafts start to make a lot of sense. Oil is flowing down the shaft and the flat washer, sitting against the end of the rocker, makes sure the oil is diverted to the two cut-outs and to the valve adjuster and guide on one side and the push rod cup on the other.

I have a headache, and if you read this far your as crazy as I am.
HTH
John





Last edited by John Healy; 07/30/10 12:16 am.

Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: John Healy] #325463
07/30/10 12:37 am
07/30/10 12:37 am
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Originally Posted By: John Healy

I have a headache, and if you read this far your as crazy as I am.


John, once again, thanks for sharing the history and details...I could read this stuff all day....guess that makes ME crazy !!

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: JubeePrince] #325520
07/30/10 11:52 am
07/30/10 11:52 am
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John,

Many thanks for that enlightening "Brain Dump". I read to the end and did not get a headache! I have cut and pasted that post into my "data" folder to refresh my memory as I get near that point in my build.

Funnily enough I had thought of putting my own restrictor in line before the return oil pipe gets to the tank. I'll play tunes on that!

My rockerbox assemblies were prepped by Hughie Hancox. His view is that (assuming normal road use) very little oil is actually needed in the rockers. He did advise to top up the rocker boxes with a few fl oz before first starting and to apply the finger to the return pipe after start-up during running in.

As for the rotary pump blowing off the oil return line if the restrictor is too narrow: I'd love to be at that stage already!

Many thanks again


mike
Member #: 147
1960 T120 Bonneville
1999 H*%^a VFR 800 FI
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Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: t120mike] #325542
07/30/10 1:24 pm
07/30/10 1:24 pm
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My has the world changed since Hughie started his apprenticeship program at Triumph under the guidance of A. St. J. Masters. I once heard the quote that Turner's goal at Triumph was to be able to design and manufacture a motorcycle that would go a whole 20,000 miles with out the need for any major repair.

The thought of buying a decoke gasket set annually and spending a Sunday afternoon scraping carbon from the tops of ones pistons is all but a fading memory to the few real old timers left with us. But often that's what it took to get to the magic 20,000 miles. To quote from Hughie's book, "There is the right way, the wrong way and the Triumph way." While Triumph boasted that it was, "The Best Motorcycle In The World" in the 1950's John Bloor has had to do a lot to meet the expectations of today's market place where 200,000 miles isn't that uncommon. And dare I say that a modern consumer isn't going to get oil on his finger to block an oil line to get oil to his rockers. I think I can say that Triumph is once again in contention for the title as, "The Best Motorcycle in the World."

And for those who continue reminisce and live and wrench as if the customer is still living in the middle of the last generation struggling with shortages and rationing, and if the old man Masters didn't say it was true... Well you get the point.

Toward the end a lot of the "holy Cows" were slaughtered and the likes of Brian Jones and John Rosamond tried to drag Triumph toward a brighter future. But change was difficult, investment money for research wholly inadequate and the heavily unionized labor force and paternalistic culture that ran these post war factories was pervasive.

Thus in the mid-seventies we finally got the spiral grooves along the rocker shaft and the design was almost finished. Triumph didn't survive long enough to finally sort out the Thackeray and flat washer. "There is the right way, the wrong way and the Triumph way," but never the BSA (Umberslade Hall) way...

John


Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: John Healy] #325641
07/31/10 1:34 am
07/31/10 1:34 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,457
Back on the mainland!
JubeePrince Offline

Life member
JubeePrince  Offline

Life member

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,457
Back on the mainland!
Originally Posted By: John Healy
I once heard the quote that Turner's goal at Triumph was to be able to design and manufacture a motorcycle that would go a whole 20,000 miles with out the need for any major repair.
John


I think I was fortunate enough to experience that(due, in no small part, to my father's vigilance with maintenance).

This winter/spring past, thirty-three years and somewhere around 26,000 - 27,000 miles (odometer reads ~14,000, but was disconnected for awhile in the late 70's) I had to open the engine for the first time and replaced head gasket, guides and valves.

Other than that, it was strictly oil and various fluids, tires, brake pads, cables and bits of rubber/O-rings...Turner'd be proud!!!

Steve Not-so-modern-consumer Prince

p.s. John, I know I still owe you a story, I haven't forgotten!


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: t120mike] #325852
08/01/10 11:42 am
08/01/10 11:42 am
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,097
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Matthew in TO Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Matthew in TO  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,097
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If I run the bike with the rocker caps removed, should I be able to see the oil dripping or splashing about? Of course I'm not sitting on or riding the bike at the time!

The caps generally have oil in their underside, so I know there is some oil in there, but one of my spindles was a little dry if I recall.


1970 Triumph T100S (1969 T100S motor)
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: Matthew in TO] #325861
08/01/10 12:06 pm
08/01/10 12:06 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,549
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
BritBike Forum member
triton thrasher  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,549
scotland
If a spindle was really dry, you'd hear it squeaking.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: How to improve oil flow to T100 rocker boxes? [Re: triton thrasher] #325955
08/01/10 10:02 pm
08/01/10 10:02 pm
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 398
hamilton on. can.
H
highway Offline
BritBike Forum member
highway  Offline
BritBike Forum member
H

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 398
hamilton on. can.
If I recall they were so dry that the spindle and the rocker arm bores were badly worn they needed replacement. Little if any oil escapes from the cap holes. To set your mind at ease do the clear line test first then take the acorn nuts from the spindle shafts and see that and how much oil is coming out. Rick

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