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Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? #334425
09/20/10 5:34 pm
09/20/10 5:34 pm
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Toronto, Canada
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Bola Offline OP
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Have any of you achieved the impossible? Stopping a British bike from leaking. I've owned my Bonnie for a year less 6 weeks now, and I've become attached to the old girl, and I use her as a daily ride. In that time I've done a few things to cure some ills, but one constant source of frustration has been trying to get this blasted motor to stop leaking. It seems the faster I go (higher the revs) the more it leaks. I pretty much decided that most Brit bikes do this. I've replaced gaskets in various areas (not all), and "gently" glassed flat some of the cases, yet it continues to seep, weep and drip.

Any tips for an oil tight 72 T120R? Most of my seepage is the primary / rocker box / cyl. head / gearbox / all drain bolts. Needless to say, I have a few drops on the garage floor. Thanks guys.


Last edited by Bola; 09/20/10 5:37 pm.
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Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334427
09/20/10 5:47 pm
09/20/10 5:47 pm
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2,610
London United Kingdom
meriden4ever Offline
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It can be done- all mine are although every so often something has to be doen, like replace a seal or re-site a pushrod. This is infrequent to say the least but it isn't nor wil it ever be Japanese oil tight although my TR7T and TR65 come closest


1983 TR65T Tiger Trail
1983 TSSAV
1983 TSX
1983 TR65 Thunderbird
1982 TR7T Tiger Trail
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334431
09/20/10 6:15 pm
09/20/10 6:15 pm
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,712
Bishop, Calif.
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desco Online content
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Proper assembly with quality parts goes a long way to insure leak free operation.
My 72 sat for five months in a storage unit while I worked out of town with no marks on the floor.
My 68 lived in my dinning room when I worked in Santa Barbara with no complaints from the landlord.
Most people are too lazy or uninterested to spend the time to do the maintenance. It is far easier to bitch.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334438
09/20/10 7:34 pm
09/20/10 7:34 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,026
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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The drain bolts shouldn't leak. Put new annealed copper washers on.

if geabox oil is coming out of the kickstart and gearchange shafts, are you sure you're not overfilling it?

I doubt that any quantity woth worrying about is coming from the head joint.

Rocker box- make sure it's flat. New gaskets with sealant both sides or no gaskets just silicone or good sealant such as Hylomar.

And recheck tightness of everything after a few miles and then again after a few more.

You didn't mention the pushrod tubes.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334440
09/20/10 7:44 pm
09/20/10 7:44 pm
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,524
Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
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Bola's point about leaking more when using high revs could indicate a breather problem. My bike definitely leaks more if the breather pipe is blocked with gunge. The breather system is different on my 67, of course. The breathing on these bikes is often complained about although I would have thought that a 72 would breathe better than my machine.
Dave

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334451
09/20/10 10:18 pm
09/20/10 10:18 pm
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 64
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Queen's Horseman Offline
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My Bonnie has been oil tight many times! It is the intervals in between that sometimes frustrate me.

As has been said before, quality gaskets, o-rings, and careful assembley go along way to keeping the oil in. I've had good results with MAP gaskets and I usually skim with Hylomar. Good o-rings that can with stand the heat are needed, not just something from Walmart/Home Depot. Getting everything flat and clean is a must.

If your leaks are from extended high rpm use then do a search for mods that the racers do to increase engine breathing. Might help but if run hard, eventually something will give.

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: triton thrasher] #334485
09/21/10 1:23 am
09/21/10 1:23 am
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Toronto, Canada
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Bola Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: triton thrasher
New gaskets with sealant both sides or no gaskets just silicone or good sealant such as Hylomar.

You didn't mention the pushrod tubes.


What type of Hylomar do you recommend? There are a few types. And yes, push rod tubes leak a tad also.

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Queen's Horseman] #334501
09/21/10 6:45 am
09/21/10 6:45 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,026
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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Originally Posted By: Queen's Horseman
My Bonnie has been oil tight many times!


That's a good one!

These late bike are supposed to have adequate breathers.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334502
09/21/10 6:47 am
09/21/10 6:47 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,026
scotland
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scotland
Originally Posted By: Bola
Originally Posted By: triton thrasher
New gaskets with sealant both sides or no gaskets just silicone or good sealant such as Hylomar.

You didn't mention the pushrod tubes.


What type of Hylomar do you recommend? There are a few types. And yes, push rod tubes leak a tad also.


I thought there was only blue Hylomar.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334512
09/21/10 9:25 am
09/21/10 9:25 am
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 863
QLD, Australia
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RetroRod Offline
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QLD, Australia
[quote=Bola]
Any tips for an oil tight 72 T120R? Most of my seepage is the primary / rocker box / cyl. head / gearbox / all drain bolts. Needless to say, I have a few drops on the garage floor. Thanks guys. [quote/]

Have a read here for some opinions.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=334338#Post334338

I agree with Desco.

A PCV will do more to stop leaks than most anything else. The original breather is plain hopeless and just simply contributes to pressuring oil from the inside out. I'll stick my neck out and say that this is the main contributing factor in the difference between our bikes and rice burners. RR


Last edited by RetroRod; 09/21/10 9:26 am.

'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334515
09/21/10 9:46 am
09/21/10 9:46 am
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Melbourne Australia
Tiger Offline
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IME oil leaks are quite preventable but weepage is not if you use the bike at 60/70 MPH for fair mileages.

Been doing this with one engine for 7 yrs and 32K miles and whilst they will not weep if paraded around town they will at 4000/4500 sustained RPM in the bush.

What you see is rockerbox gasket leakage and that can be fixed with copper gaskets very lightly coated with silicone.

Last edited by Tiger; 09/21/10 9:56 am.

1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334579
09/21/10 8:00 pm
09/21/10 8:00 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,557
Maui Hawaii
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Very much depends on the year of manufacture as well. I've seen late 750's with corroded fasteners that snap off when trying to disassemble the engine. Very oil tight. Everyone knows that pre units leak like a sieve. I've got two pre units. One only leaks from the breather pipe and that does not qualify as a leak in my book. A leak is a flow of oil that needs repair. My other pre unit is leak free except that awful primary cover. It really takes patience, money and skill to make these leak free. Tiger's suggestion of copper rocker box gaskets with a light coating of a silicone compound is very similar to my technique. I use Permatex Ultra Blue but there are lots of others out there that do a decent job. Ultra Blue is a silicone sealer but it has a texture that is quite different from the clear foul smelling stuff that backyard hacks used to ruin many a engine.
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334587
09/21/10 8:50 pm
09/21/10 8:50 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,866
Asheville, NC
Mike Baker Offline
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Asheville, NC
After stating (bragging?) in a post re: oil usage a couple of weeks ago that neither of my triumphs leaked, I need to eat those words.
My boys came to visit/ help move house and we took the bikes out for an all day thrash in the world's best motorcycle playground, Western North Carolina. The rented BMW came back clean. The Triumphs, not so much. Both needed a piece of cardboard under them to keep the new garage floor from getting stained. I hate new concrete...
Primary cover leaks, it appears. 200+ miles of high rpm 2nd and 3rd gear riding is the apparent cause?
I'll take the leaks anytime if it's the price one pays for a sh*t eating grin.

Mike

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Mike Baker] #334598
09/21/10 9:50 pm
09/21/10 9:50 pm
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Toronto, Canada
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Bola Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: mblab
I'll take the leaks anytime if it's the price one pays for a sh*t eating grin.

Mike


Tend to agree with you Mike, but would be nice to have both the grin and a clean floor. smirk Thanks all for your suggestions. Will try a few.

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334624
09/22/10 12:31 am
09/22/10 12:31 am
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Posts: 274
Angus, Scotland
mick2 Offline
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my t120 was oil tight for a while but noe the damn primary is leaking, through the seal at the back of the clutch i think. its a new seal and gasket 1000 miles ago. gearbox is also starting to weep when on the sidestand. not elved into it yet but can only be the either the seal on the shaft or at back of the layshaft roller bearing which was filled with silicone, im hoping its just that, an easy fix.
but i wouldnt swap it for anything, i still get butterflies in my stomach as i wheel her out the garage smile

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: mick2] #334627
09/22/10 1:07 am
09/22/10 1:07 am
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Posts: 1,346
spfld vt
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phantom309 Offline
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spfld vt
A triumph should not leak a drop of oil.Thats the bottom line. even my race bike is oil free.


Tim Joyce
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Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334631
09/22/10 2:05 am
09/22/10 2:05 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,258
Back on the mainland!
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Back on the mainland!
Mine's been oil free/tight since I re-did the top end in the spring '10, but it took awhile to get there.

To wit: spring '09, I replaced the seals and O-rings in the primary and mainshaft of the transmission, spring '08, I replaced all the original oil lines, spring '07, I replaced......you get the idea...

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: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334663
09/22/10 10:47 am
09/22/10 10:47 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,866
Asheville, NC
Mike Baker Offline
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Asheville, NC
Tim-
Not taking anything away from you or your skills as a rider and builder.
But how many actual miles do you put on a racebike in a season? And is the engine ever taken apart and reassembled (new gaskets, etc) during the season?

Going to try to get to Barber this year, will stop by your pit to say hi.

Mike

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334664
09/22/10 10:54 am
09/22/10 10:54 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,026
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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I don't think I've ever seen a running dynamo-equipped Pre-unit Triumph that didn't leak a little from where the dynamo meets the back of the timing case and I've looked at a great many of them.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334676
09/22/10 12:27 pm
09/22/10 12:27 pm
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2,610
London United Kingdom
meriden4ever Offline
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It is said that if a Triumph ain't leakin' oil , it's cos there ain't any in there !


1983 TR65T Tiger Trail
1983 TSSAV
1983 TSX
1983 TR65 Thunderbird
1982 TR7T Tiger Trail
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Mike Baker] #334682
09/22/10 12:50 pm
09/22/10 12:50 pm
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spfld vt
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phantom309 Offline
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Mike,I would guess it gets about 1200 wfo miles in a season.The head has been off twice this yr and the gear box several times. Run no gaskets in the gear box and copper on the topend, map pushrod seals.The head has come off only to inspect but the trans main shaft has been a problem this season.Trying a outrigger bearing at Barber to help suport it and only hope it doesn't cause another problem.


Tim Joyce
sponsors
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Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334687
09/22/10 1:32 pm
09/22/10 1:32 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 253
Charlotte NC
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Charlotte NC
Tims bike is a testament to the reliability of a triumph. It gets run to death race after race and keeps going. But Tim also takes very good care of his bike and does the right things.


ROB HALL
HCV MOTORSPORTS
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334705
09/22/10 3:56 pm
09/22/10 3:56 pm
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Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA
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Rob Harper Offline
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Reminds me of the old saw about the two types of skylights: those that leak and those that don't leak yet. I've fought the primary on my '71 for 27 years with only periodic success.

Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: Bola] #334706
09/22/10 4:44 pm
09/22/10 4:44 pm
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Posts: 144
Deltona, FL
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lrutt Offline
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My 71 has not leaked a drop for 10 years. It has some wetness around a few places, very minor, but no outright leaks or drops. I think I have my 70 at the same point. Had a problem on the top but that seems to have been corrected. I actually had a crack in the primary case on the 70. Got that welded and fixed the stripped plug, some RTV on the gasket and no leaks.


1970 Tiger
1971 Trophy
1973 Commando
1976 CB750k
1965 CA77
1978 CB750k
1970 T250II
1971 RT1B
1977 Lemans
2001 M900
2001 XR650L
1994 FLSTC
2006 XL1200C
1984 XV1000
1981 C70
1973 Z50
1989 Hawk GT
2006 Scrambler
1970 CT90
1965 CT200
1977 R75/7
Re: Oil tight Triumph... myth or reality? [Re: RetroRod] #334723
09/22/10 5:29 pm
09/22/10 5:29 pm
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Orleans Massachusetts
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Skeet Offline
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Orleans Massachusetts
My Brits don't leak. Not a bit. They're just porous thats all. laugh
Skeet


Skeet Enjoy life....it has an expiration date..
1964 Hornet
1970 TR6R
1971 Norton
1972 XLH
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