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#698761 - 06/17/17 1:28 am Re-torquing the head after a rebuild  
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Bola Offline
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Toronto, Canada
How many of you actually do this? And what are the benifits if any? And if I re-torque do I do it cold or when the engine is hot?

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#698762 - 06/17/17 1:33 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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htown Online content
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htown  Online Content
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Magnolia, TX
Depends on the gasket type, copper I would do after first start up and heat cycle, the composite type with the metal band around the cylinder(flame ring) type first heat cycle, 100 miles and 500 miles. Always do on a cold engine be sure to check the valve clearances as they will change with the retorque.


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
2-1974 Norton Commandos
2004 XL 1200R Sportster

Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
#698768 - 06/17/17 2:22 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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reverb Online content
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South cone
...is not about benefits is about to not blow out the gasket.

#698957 - 06/18/17 9:23 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: reverb]  
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Originally Posted by reverb
...is not about benefits is about to not blow out the gasket.


Exactly! Not blowing the head gasket is the major benefit.


If anything other than a blank space is visible here, something's wrong.
#698970 - 06/19/17 12:54 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
Think of the physics involved. The bolts are not going to loosen. No, the things that are bolted will compress. If there isn't anything to compress the torque remains the same.
So, solid copper head gasket, solid copper rocker box gasket or no gasket and there really isn't anything to compress.
I never once re-torqued any pre unit motor I built because I refused to put in squishy guaranteed to fail rocker box gaskets. I should say, I did try to re torque the head bolts. Part of just checking out your work, but they never moved even a fraction. Carefully prepared gaskets surfaces and no gaskets, just like on race bikes. That's the ticket.

Whoever heard of taking your new bike back to the dealer have the head bolts re-torqued? Well, anyway in the last 40 years?

Or new car? So, what are they doing that we can do to avoid having to take the tank off and the head steadies?

Curious minds want to know....

Cheers,
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.
#698973 - 06/19/17 1:24 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: htown]  
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Great Southern Land
Originally Posted by htown
Depends on the gasket type, copper I would do after first start up and heat cycle, the composite type with the metal band around the cylinder(flame ring) type first heat cycle, 100 miles and 500 miles. Always do on a cold engine be sure to check the valve clearances as they will change with the retorque.


This!!! I also check the base nuts as well, before I re torque the head. I actually back the head bolts off 1/2 a turn or so then re torque, this way you avoid stiction.

#699005 - 06/19/17 8:49 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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Stein Roger Online content
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Skudeneshavn Norway
Long thin bolts is the answer. A bolt is a spring. A short fat spring needs more force to stretch, twist or compress than a long thin one. Triumph head bolts are in my opinion too strong for the job they're meant to do. Commando head bolts are the same size but quite a bit shorter, and they give a lot of trouble with head leaks and a need for frequent re-torquing. Waisted head bolts are becoming popular there, with people like Jim Comstock and Jim Schmidt leading the development. The results are said to be encouraging.
On Triumphs I've seen heads with spacers for the outer 4 head bolts, enabling the use of the longer head bolts there too. You'd need to do like Bill and omit the R/B gasket or use copper or Covseal ones to make this work right I think. A good idea, though unsightly.
With care, the standard hardware works well but needs careful setting up and in the case of the T140 composite gasket, it needs a minimum of two re-torque sessions.
How the factory did it I couldn't say.

#699009 - 06/19/17 10:49 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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Hillbilly bike Online content
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Running from demons in WNY
HT Bill is correct, copper head gaskets do not compress.....From what I have read, Triumph engines were started after manufacture and in the past were road tested. later on they used "a rolling road" to test the engine at the factory...Did the factory retorque ??? Or was it left to the dealer pre sale maintenance? Or not at all....?


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#699017 - 06/19/17 1:02 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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UK Berks
It is pointless to say that "nobody these days retorques a head " when modern engines are different materials and CNC manufactured

The T140 is basically a 30's engine and you need to follow the design expectations

#699031 - 06/19/17 3:36 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Bola Offline
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Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by HawaiianTiger
Think of the physics involved. The bolts are not going to loosen. No, the things that are bolted will compress. If there isn't anything to compress the torque remains the same.

I tend to agree, and precisely why I asked the question. I've rebuilt two motors and did a top end on another and never re-torqued. No leaks, no issues. There is a significant amount of tension there that has already completed a proper seal. Even after initial heat cycling and break in. The one time I did try to re-torque the bolts wouldn't budge from the initial factory spec torque. I'm not a believer in releasing or relieving the initial torque to re-torque as this may be the cause for leaks. Especially if you use a copper coat sealant on the gasket. In worst case scenarios... stripped threads on the smaller rocker fastening areas.

#699038 - 06/19/17 4:46 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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htown Online content
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Magnolia, TX
You've still not said what type of head gasket you are using. Copper you can get by without retorquing, the composite type you should because it will definitely compress more as time goes by leaving the bolts loose.

Last edited by htown; 06/19/17 4:49 pm.

1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
2-1974 Norton Commandos
2004 XL 1200R Sportster

Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
#699042 - 06/19/17 4:59 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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reverb Online content
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South cone
...the other day a guy here that rebuilt a 70 T120R engine told me that he saw oil coming from couple of the head (or may be the rockers boxes ones?) bolts and he never re torqued anything. The rebuild has around 1000kms or so.

-Other things that I saw frequently with older machines are:
The hardware is the original or done by a machinist and the pieces are worn out so NOT ideal. In ALL these cases I saw that the engine blow out the gasket or near...
The hardware are so stretched over decades that need re torque or come loose and blow the gasket.
So if you have a perfect scenario may be you do not need to do it but.

#699052 - 06/19/17 7:05 pm Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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Maui Hawaii
I've advocated the use of waisted outer head bolts myself in the past. I was sure some talented individual would make them and market them eventually. So, the design is a 30's design. All the more reason to correct things if possible, not continue with the same old failings.

Obviously we can't correct all the design shortcomings on our bikes and preserve the character of them. But this is an area where if we can, we should. So many posts on this site refer to problems associated with inadequacies of the top end design, such as blown head gaskets and repeated leaks and such that it has become obvious to me that this is one of the single most disruptive aspects of Triumph ownership and should be dealt with.

I've resorted to building and owning a bike with an iron head and no longer have these kinds of problems. However, it is hard to imagine anyone will ever retrofit an iron head on, say, a '69 Bonneville.

Cheers,
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.
#699087 - 06/20/17 12:42 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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kevin roberts Online content
fefsa
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ohio, usa
bill, you're talking about torque-to-yield, one-use bolts? i'm sure something is around with the right length and torque limit, but i'd be surprised if they had the right threads. engineering a torque-to-yield bolt with brit threads is probably not profitable for a manufacturer.

possibly a good machinist could buy un-threaded bolts from the manufacturer and cut or roll the brit threads.


Into the distance a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast how
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?
#699089 - 06/20/17 12:47 am Re: Re-torquing the head after a rebuild [Re: Bola]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
Torque to yield is a bit over the top for an old bike, perhaps. Just something with a larger elastic range, especially for the outer short head bolts, just to even up the torque all around the head.
I've given this a lot of thought over the years, but quite frankly, I'm not willing to do the math, and the other hard work to see it through.
I'd be happy to see others more talented get involved, though. So, that's why I'm a bit of a squeaky wheel about it.

Cheers,
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.

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