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#344090 - 11/19/10 1:11 pm Sludge trap plug removal  
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peter berry Offline
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Im sure its been covered but Im unable to find any reference to techniques for removing very stubborn slotted sludge trap plugs in the archives. Any key search tips . I ve removed the plugs before but this one on my 66 TR6 project wont budge and I dont want to chew up the slot too badly .
Any help greatly appreciated.
Peter Berry
76 T140
66 TR6

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#344093 - 11/19/10 1:34 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content



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Removing the Sludge Tube

Often due to the plug being Loctited, the slot being damaged or just a real stubborn sludge tube plug one often has to destroy the plug to get it out. A new hex drive one should not cost you more than $10.00.


#344101 - 11/19/10 3:47 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: John Healy]  
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peter berry Offline
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Thanks John , my problem is not saving its worrying about buggering it up so much I cant get it out . Is there any magic to getting the really tough ones out , I dont want to ruin the crankshaft .

#344106 - 11/19/10 4:48 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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btour Online content
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Hi Peter,

At this point I am still waiting for John's link to load. But I am sure it will have all you need to know. Still for a long time, I have thought it would be a good idea to have a FAQ in this forum, with just the most complete answers included, which could be determined by members ratings. For example, there could be a "rate this post" button. Posts with the highest numbers, would be saved as a copy to a different location, then sorted into what would then be a FAQ's page. This would be so that these answers do not get lost to the database's search engine.

The search is hard to get to work properly. At least I have had problems with it. You have to change the default time ranges. And it only goes back three years. It is a shame that all this knowledge is getting lost in the database, or at least effectively lost, if we can not find it. And at some point, some will get tired of answering the same questions.

But John has given very detailed instructions on this topic, including the snap on tool which helps, and the tool to remove the sludge trap itself.

Try changing the time ranges, then include the subject, and search by John Healy.

I see John's page is of course, very complete, as to what he has said before, except for one small thing. He does not include the snap on tool's part number, which he has done in the past.

Last edited by btour; 11/19/10 5:05 pm.

Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#344107 - 11/19/10 4:50 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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KC in S.B. Online content
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Assuming you did drill out the stake punches, heat can make a HUGE difference in removal. Myself, I don't even try anymore. I just drill a big hole in the plug and use a big easy out.... but I heat the plug with a propane torch 1st!! Then, quick easy out, and then dip the tool in water to save tool temper.
BTW,..... a 9/16 tap will fit into the sludge trap just tight enough to remove it. When you get that far.... good luck!


Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 2 '56 Chevys
#344181 - 11/19/10 11:58 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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MikeinBiddeford Offline
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I ended up drilling a 3/8" hole into the plug and then taking a triangular file and making the hole 6 sided so I could fit an allen wrench in it. Not just any allen wrench. I used the biggest one I have that is a 3/8" socket drive. Another guy filed his out so he could fit the 3/8" socket wrench into the plug. You are looking at 50-75ft lbs of torque to move that sucker. You want to go at it with the "Lawrence of Arabia" attitude where he yells "No survivors!"

I looked for link to the article, but they are not a site sponsor, so I'm not going to post it.

Last edited by MikeinBiddeford; 11/20/10 12:03 am.

Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#344187 - 11/20/10 12:49 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: MikeinBiddeford]  
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peter berry Offline
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Thanks for the tips guys , by limiting my search to only John Healy articles I was able to find the link John had posted on the crankshaft plug . Surprisingly he was responding to another question I had asked a year ago , regarding my T140 . I will use a little more drill and force. Peter Berry

#344204 - 11/20/10 2:44 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John Healy Online content
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Peter Dd you catch the blue print in my first post will link you to that article.


#344206 - 11/20/10 2:59 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: John Healy]  
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peter berry Offline
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No Like everything else in life I prefer to do things the hard way . Thanks John .
When I was riding a commando the Norton owners group published a Tech Digest with all sorts of useful info It would be great to assemble information into something like that either electronically or in written format .

#344217 - 11/20/10 4:34 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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Al J Offline
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Here's a how-to posted on the Jockey Journal forum, from the Lowbrow folks:
http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66100


'66 TR6C Chopper
'02 Bonneville America
#344253 - 11/20/10 1:08 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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Tiger Offline
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Set the crank up on the table of a drill press and bore a series of 1/32" holes along the slot starting as close to the beginning of the slot as possible and spacing the holes as closely as possible.

The above will collapse radial integrity of the plug and it will come out.

Hex plugs are excellent.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
#344266 - 11/20/10 3:18 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John Healy Online content
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Perry, for the past 25 years I have published Vintage Bike (newsletter of the Triumph International Owners Club). The article on the sludge tube is one of 100, or more articles, or tech tips, on servicing your Triumph that has appeared on its pages. Been trying to spread the word long before there was an internet.

I am not so sure I would secure the crankshaft in the vice by holding it by the bearing journal. Beside the possibilities of damaging it when it most surely will spin (even if it is covered with gaffer's tape), the force required to remove the sludge tube plug is more than the grip can handle. The crankshaft could easily spin right out of the vice and bounce across the floor (seen that and they do bounce on the concrete floor). It is better to grasp the sides of the flywheel with the two "pork chops" resting on the vice. Even then, on occasions you can overcome the clamping power of the vise.

Heat is a wonderful thing when used properly, but we live in a, "if a little is good, more must be better" society. To a point heat, heating the crankshaft will not do any damage. So on another Brit list it was recommended that one heat the area around the plug. Fair enough.

So the thought of one member after reading, "He should heat his crankshaft" concluded: If the Blue Propane bottles are OK, but slow, and Yellow MAP Gas bottles are good, then oxycetylene must be better. This is true... just ask Zint at Linsdkog Balancing about the purple Triumph crankshaft. "But they told me on the internet to heat the crankshaft!"

While Triumph did recommend (it's right in the parts books) using Red Loctite on the flywheel bolt, I am here to tell you that modern Red Loctite is not the same product Triumph used or recommended some 40 years ago. The Red they used had the holding power much closer to what is sold as Blue today.

You could service hardware secured with that old Red stuff, like the hardened steel bolt used to secure the flywheel that has to be removed to gain access to the sludge tube. You could service this bolt without heating and didn't risk breaking it when you tried to remove it during service. I stopped using modern Red Loctite on this bolt, in favor of Blue many, many years ago. And if you are under any illusions that you will be the last person servicing this crankshaft get over it. We are struggling with these today that were assembled by "mechanics" (and I use the term loosely) who thought just that and used modern Red Loctite on everything.

While the flywheel bolt and the threads in the crankshaft should be cleaned to expose bare metal required for Loctite (Blue) to work you should NEVER use Loctite on the Sludge tube plug! NEVER!!!!!!! EVER!!!!! If your paranoid that something that has not leaked in 40 years will now start gushing oil put a bit of gasket or thread sealer on the CLEAN-DRY threads.

In over 50 years of working on Triumph's I have never seen a sludge tube plug, that had a single divot left by a center punch, work its way loose. EVER!!! Multiple divots are just more stress riser waiting to start a crack.

I have seen threads stripped out when someone tried to remove a sludge tube that was secured using Modern Red Loctite without properly releasing it. I also have seen a lot of broken crankshafts where the "mechanic" drilled into the face of the flywheel, instead on the face of the plug, to release the metal from the center punch divot. Triumph crankshafts flex. They flex a lot, and the mark (stress riser) left by drilling on the crankshaft is a perfect place for a crack to start!

When faced with a crankshaft that has been assembled using Red Loctite one needs to step back and get the proper tools. One tool necessary is a way of measuring the crankshaft temperature. When I grew up all we had was crayons that you rubbed on the metal. They would melt when a specific temperature was reached. Today you have heat sensing guns. What ever you use, you should know just how hot you are getting the metal and stop heating it before you do any damage. You can also use the color of a polished part of the metal as a heat indicator. This can be problematic, because the first color you see - light straw - is often above the point where the Loctite will release.

There is a video done by the same people above on how to install the sludge tube, sludge tube plug and flywheel bolt. IMHO, except for the part where he explains how to line up the "tit" on the flywheel bolt with the hole in the sludge tube, it is all utter rubbish! It could be the best example of what not to do with Loctite that I have ever seen. I don't hate Loctite, really! It is people who abuse the product and use it in places where it was never designed to be used.

AND IF THERE IS ONE BOLT THAT SHOULD BE TIGHTENED USING A TORQUE WRENCH, IT IS THE HARDENED FLY WHEEL BOLT. EXPLETIVE TIGHT (#!@#*&$&) JUST DOESN'T CUT IT! A couple of tugs on a 3/8" ratchet and some "rapper trash talk" doesn't make a mechanic.

Last edited by John Healy; 11/20/10 3:23 pm.

#344268 - 11/20/10 3:21 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John Healy Online content
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And when faced with a stubborn plug Tiger's idea of collapsing the the plug works. But one must be careful drilling the holes to stay away from the threads in the flywheel. The job is better done in a Bridgeport, but when you don't have one and have some skill a steady drill press will work.


#344304 - 11/20/10 7:04 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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MikeinBiddeford Offline
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And when they say "drill a hole in the plug" They also mean that you should be very careful that you don't snap off the drill bit by forcing it to quickly into the screw slot.

I still think that people that have cleaned out a sludge trap should get some kind of award, metal or patch. Maybe a medallion that fits on the timing case. It would make it easier for the brotherhood to recognize one another.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#344312 - 11/20/10 8:05 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John Healy Online content
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Mike: I am sorry to break-it to you, but It is a 5 minute job, at best. It takes longer to get out the tools than it does to remove the plug and draw out the tube. What does take time is cleaning out the crankshaft.


#344327 - 11/20/10 9:57 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: John Healy]  
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Hello John
The sludge trap link is excellent. Have you ever thought of publishing all of your technicial articles in a book. I would buy one! Thanks for your wisdom and input. Jeff

#344351 - 11/20/10 11:53 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John,
I agree. Cleaning out the sludge trap is a five minute job. It's getting the engine out of the bike and on the bench and taken completely apart that is worthy of merit.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#344358 - 11/21/10 1:37 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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I too would would buy such a book and it would be handy right next to my MMM by Bernie Nicholson and would probably let me get rid of most of the others. Cheers, Wilf.


"It's about the ride..."
#344388 - 11/21/10 12:23 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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MikeinBiddeford Offline
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One other thing that is handy to have when you are working on the crankshaft; Drill a 1 3/4" hole in your work bench. That way you can stand the crank on end while you fight with the plug. You won't be clamping it in a vise. It won't roll off and bounce on the floor.
I didn't drill the hole in my work bench. I drilled it in the table that my chop saw usually lives on.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#344444 - 11/21/10 7:08 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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John, I know you are a busy man, but if you ever did put all your tech tips and how to's in book form, you'd have a best seller. My Christmas shopping would be so easy, everybody would get a copy, Kevin Cameron helped out with his books...I know your articles are in VB but I'm wearing them out. Luckily the address blank on the back is a great area for notes and page numbers...Mark

#344480 - 11/21/10 10:17 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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Sorry for the thread jack, but I wanted to suggest, rather then take on the monumental task of publishing a book, maybe just drag and drop all the files into a CD and have somebody index and edit them. With a little banner ad on this site, I'll bet they would sell like hot cakes.

Now back to sludge trap plugs.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#344640 - 11/22/10 11:35 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: MikeinBiddeford]  
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I just spent $150.00 on all the Vintage Bike back issues back to 1986 mainly because of the tech articles by John and Leo Goff and others. They have a prominant place in my Triumph library.

#344649 - 11/23/10 12:13 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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66triumph Offline
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just had a brutal battle with the plug in my 66 the last person to change ,15 years ago. center punched it real hard and in 3 place plus the crank had been sitting for 5 years. after stripping the shit out of the slot and i drilled it first(doesnt work)and made a tool that fit it perfect, i had to drill a hole al the way tru and started with 3/8 easy out many hours later and one 1/2 inch plus hole largest easy out i ever saw and a very large 12in cresent wrench it came loose, had already started looking for a new crank, then it was on to the sludge tube witch must have trained the plug finally with a 5/8 tap and bolt it let go. hope i dont have to do this again anytime soon. hardest thing ive done in 30 years of triumph ownership bar none. you tube has a video on it where the guy take it out with of course no problem lol


66 bonne 800cc routt barrel 750 inlet and ex.twin 34 mikuni p&m valve train and springs. dual disk suzuki water cooler ftr end with a 1/4 turn throttle, fast is fun:))))
#344652 - 11/23/10 12:15 am Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: peter berry]  
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66triumph Offline
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for cleaning i use brake cleaner and a 3/4 ball hone cleans it super and then flush with brake cleaner.


66 bonne 800cc routt barrel 750 inlet and ex.twin 34 mikuni p&m valve train and springs. dual disk suzuki water cooler ftr end with a 1/4 turn throttle, fast is fun:))))
#344725 - 11/23/10 12:43 pm Re: Sludge trap plug removal [Re: MikeinBiddeford]  
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Back on the mainland!
Originally Posted By: MikeinBiddeford
...and have somebody index and edit them.


Mike -

John, Tom et al have already done something like that on the TIOC.org website.

Steve


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

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...

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