I'm getting close (I hope!) to completing the rebuild of my T140. This has been a complete engine strip and everything has been fully cleaned inc the sludge trap. I'm intending to use cheapo (non detergent) oil for the intial start up and running in. This will be changed after the first run and then again after a few hundred miles. Given that the engine is clean, is there any problem with switching to a detergent oil after running in? Will this keep the sludge trap cleaner or should I stick with non detergent? Thanks.
The detergent oil keeps the crud in suspension, this keeps your sludge trap clear but the crud then circulates and wears the engine out, the get the crud out fit a paper element filter as per the later commando's in the oil return line or one of the paper filters that has been made for the OIF. By using a detergent with a filter you will extend the life of your engine but it only works if both are in place, for your early changes it would also pay to have the filter in place.
The detergent oil keeps the crud in suspension, this keeps your sludge trap clear but the crud then circulates and wears the engine out,
I fully agree with kommando with the need of an external filter on Triumph twins.
As far as modern detergent oil keeping the sludge trap clean it is quite the opposite. The sludge trap is a part of a efficent centrifigal filter.
Where in the past, with non-detergent oil particles of dirt and by-products of combustion would settle out in various parts of the motor, it is now held in suspension until it gets to the sludge trap. Here the centrifigal force pushes it out against the outside of the cavity where it collects.
The sludge trap is configured so the oil is taken from the inside of the sludge trap that faces the center of the motor delivering clean oil to the rod bearings.
Putting detergent oil in a motor than has only run non-detergent for years can cause problems. The detergent oil will pick up the sludge around the motor and deliver it to the sludge trap. This amount of dirt can overwhelm the sludge tube and eventually block the oil flow to the bearings. John
Originally posted by DeejayP999: I'm intending to use cheapo (non detergent) oil for the intial start up and running in.
I'm intrigued - why? Apart from you're going to have trouble locating a non-detergent oil ime, so it's unlikely to be cheap, much more depends on whether or not you've plumbed a proper micropore filter into the oiling system. If you're intending to use a cheap (supermarket?) oil for the first few hundred miles, by all means do so, but it's unlikely to be non-detergent.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: This will be changed after the first run
Again, why? If you've plumbed in the aforementioned micropore filter, it will catch the damaging microscopic bits each time the oil passes through it. Otoh, if you haven't, the oil will have circulated a few hundred/thousand times during that first run and all the microscopic bits will have started doing their damage.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: is there any problem with switching to a detergent oil after running in?
Imho, the only oil worth 'switching to' after running-in is a synthetic: even then, unless you're planning to do do thousands miles per year, any benefits are debatable. Otoh, if you're intending to stick with mineral oil, why are you faffing around with a 'cheap' oil and an 'expensive' one? You've undoubtedly spent hundreds, if not thousands on the rebuild, not to mention the hundreds(?) of hours you've put in, and you're worrying about saving one or two quid running-in with 'cheap' oil?
Originally posted by Biggerfoot: Are there any recommended oil filters for early twins (I have a 1968)?
Fwiw, for my '69 T100R, I bought a kit that uses the filter element fitted as standard to Triumph and BSA triples (but then I've three of those). The filter housing mounts to the frame downtube behind the engine with an alloy clamp and the lines plumb between the scavenge exit from the engine and the entry into the tank - not ideal, I know (the filter should ideally be between pump and main bearings) but the ideal, for a T100R, was considerably more money.
I suppose the question is: What oil should I use in the T140?
My rationale for using cheapo oil initially is to allow the engine to run in - I have read that using an oil that's "Too good" can actually hinder the process. Also the only 20/50 commonly available around here nowadays is the cheapo stuff which, because of it's budget price, I assumed would be non detergent.
When these bikes were new, Castrol GTX was the recommended lube, but I'm told that modern GTX is different and not as suitable for old Brit's.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: I have read that using an oil that's "Too good" can actually hinder the process.
I believe you're thinking of synthetic, the only oil that I know to which this might apply.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: Also the only 20/50 commonly available around here nowadays is the cheapo stuff
This would definitely surprise me in London. My local Sainsbury's sells Duckhams 'Q' 20w/50, which I used in the T160 I bought new in 1977. If you consider that too 'cheapo', contact Fuchs Lubricants in Belper, Derbyshire (a very motorcycle-oriented company) to find out where you can pick up Silkolene 20w/50.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: because of it's budget price, I assumed would be non detergent.
In the case of a supermarket 20w/50, highly unlikely. They're all blended by one or other of the oil companies, the cheapness comes from using other than the latest additives.
Originally posted by DeejayP999: When these bikes were new, Castrol GTX was the recommended lube, but I'm told that modern GTX is different and not as suitable for old Brit's.
True. GTX used to be 20w/50, is now 15w/40 (in GB at least).
I awoke at 4 am thinking about Stuart's post on oil. I agree that in moderete climates 20/50 is the correct oil for Triumph motorcycles. But there are climates around the world like Southern California, or parts of Texas where in the summer 20/50 would not be the grade of choice. Especially oil in frame models with their limited oil capacity. With the heat radiating off of the road the ambient air temperatures can exceed 130 to 140 degrees F. It is hot enough to give you a third degree burn on the botom of your feet.
Break-in and break-in oil, or lack there of, has been a problem here in the US since late seventies when our oil was changed. The goverment and car makers, in an effort to increase gas mileage, mandated a change in oil formulation. In order to run this oil, and insure that the rings would seat, thus preventing high oil consumption and ring and piston failure, they changed the way they did a lot of things.
Dimensions are held to much closer tollerences. Where once cylinder bores were kept straight, round and to size measured in thousandths, todays motors are held to tens of thousandths. Cylinder finishes, once widely ignored, are held to specific patterns. Special jigs are bolted to the motor during the machining process to insure that when the head is bolted on or the main bearing caps are tightened, the bore remains perfectly round.
To start to duplicate this on your triumph you would have to start with your rods and make sure the wrist pin is parallel with the big end eye; check the crank bearings are square to the crankcase cylinder mouth; the face of the crankcase mouth is flat (a lot of T140s there is a step between the two crankcase halves which twists the cylinder as it is tightend - oil leak anyone), that the bore in the cylinder is square to the crankshaft center line; and that the cylinder was bored and honed using torque plates on the top and bottom of the cylinder; and be sure that the person doing the boring gets the surface finish to the proper RMA, the honing pattern is correct, and that the width of the planar honing is proper. You would have to pay closer attention to the cylinder studs, being sure to get them into the cylinder the right way to prevent bore distortion. Then you would have to follow strict torquing procedures. Now you can start thinking about using your pre-honed round rings and have no break-in problems with modern oil. Did I get it all?
Some people have gone to the trouble to learn how to use modern ductile iron and steel rings in Triumphs. Jay Strait of Brit-Tech is one. It has taken him a lot of time and money to get it right, and it isn't cheap. Most of you will be using the old fashion grey cast iron rings. These rings are not lapped round and true at the factory. They are designed so that the final finishing is in the cylinder. Thus they require a coarser cylinder finish than a modern ring. This actually requires that during break-in the ring come in contact with the cylinder wall.
Modern oil, and I am not talking about pure sytnthetics, do not allow this to happen and can hold the ring's face off the cylinder wall preventing break-in. To make a long story short, many have gone to alternative oils and break-in procedures. lacking break-in oil many of us have resorted to what is comonnly called dry assembly.
I like to call it drier assembly. That is where we wash the cylinder in hot soapy water, let it dry and run a lint free cloth that has a little bit of oil on it thru the bore. We then lube every thing else: camshaft, tappets, and a drop or so on the faces of the pisotns leaving the rings dry. Once assembled we verify oil pressure turning the motor over with the plugs out, and once oil is circulating we start the motor and drive the bike through the gears using at least half throttle. We stop let the bike cool.
If I have access to break-in oil, it isn't cheap, I assemble the motor, including the rings like I learned to do 50 years ago. Mind you I don't pour oil down the spark plug like I did then. The cylinder must be prepared using the manufacturer's insructions. Most grey cast iron rings specify a 150 to 220 grit, with 220 being the most common.
Break-in oil, it isn't cheap, is readily available in the UK. I have used Aerco brand (it's a private label from one of the UK oil companies) with good success. Once broken-in modern oil, which is often a synthetic blend, and synthetic oils work perfectly in these old motors.
The down side to improper break-in is seized pistons. I have to go to work. There has been a lot written in Vintage Bike over the years about the problems Triumph owners have had with modern oils. I wrote this with only casual editing, please feel free to suggest changes or make comments. John
I think if you do some research you will find that modern 10 wXX oil would not be recommended in your Triumph. There are other issue to consider. It's not the synthetic part, but the 10 weights effect on camshafts and lifters. The lifter situation on non-nitrited Triumph camshafts is marginal at best. If you try it please let me know how it turns out.
As far as break-in oil, there are numerous brands available in the UK. Even Castrol, who sells it in the UK, does not stock it on this side of the pond. It is very rare to find it here in the US, thus the hunt for non-detergent SAE SB or SC oils. Often refered to in posts as "cheap" oil. Good luck, let me know how it turns out. John
TomT: Back in the old days that is all we had. Remember the days when we listened to folk music, read On the Road and had our Lucky's rolled up in our t shirt-sleeve.
From an old tatered, oil stained Triumph 650 shop manual of the period: United Kingdom Summer SAE 30 Winter SAE 20 Overseas: Above 90 dgerees F SAE 40 32 to 90 degrees F SAE 30 Below 32 degrees F SAE 20
I might add that in areas of the US, where the road temperature can exceed 120 to 140 degrees, many dealers recommend using SAE 50. Especially on the oil in frame models with their limited oil capacity.
Personally I have absolutely no problem breaking in the bike on 30 non-detergent and switching to 40 for the Florida summer. While we would normally use SAE 30 to race in the cool mountains of New Hampshire, when we went to Daytona we always switched to SAE 40. A Florida Winter day is often warmer than a New Hampshire spring day. But even this old bodger has changed his ways and switched to 20/50 Valvoline Racing oil as oil of choice.
My music is another story. I am stuck in the past, except for Van Morrison I considered poplular music dead when the beatles landed on our shores. john
Thanks John, Let me get this straight. Are you saying don't use det. 30 for break in? What is the down side to using detergent 30w for breakin? Can Amsoil synthetic trans fluid be used in the primary, or do I need to hunt for det. 20w? Can synthetic gear oil be used in the tranny? What I'm looking for is a definitive list of what I should use for the break in. Any help is appreciated. And yes, only music from the 60's & 70's is on here.
Are you saying don't use detergent 30 for break in?
Yes, I would follow the advice the guy who built your motor and use 30 weight non-detergent oil.
I suspect it would have an SAE rating of SB. You only need to use it for 300-500 miles and then I would drain it and put in your 40 weight detergent (although I would use 20/50 Valvoline racing).
What is the down side to using detergent 30w for breakin?
Simply put, getting the rings to seat with today's oil can be tricky. The additives found in modern oil can prevent rings from seating in the cylinder.
Although it is possible to use a modern oil, like Castrol 20/50 to break-in a motor, it is not straight forward. Ring selection, cylinder surface preparation, and paying close attention to details such as squareness of the cylinder bore to the cenerline of the crankshaft and many other details.
Modern oil's film strength can be soo strong that it can keep the rings from ever contacting the cylinder. Although this is a good feature once the rings are seated, some contact has to occour with grey cast iron rings during break-in, as they are not honed round at the factory.
I assume your engine builder has recommended oils that have worked for him in the past. Not knowing how he prepared the cylinder or the motor iself, I would stick with his recommendations.
Modern oils are terrific, even in our old bikes. It is just getting the rings to seat that is the concern. John
Tom, Try your local small airport, most FBOs(fixed base operators) or engine shops will carry a non-detergent 40 or 50wt. break-in oil for Lycoming and Continental engines. I haven't been doing any aircraft engine work in the last 5 yrs. but when I was replacing cylinders or installing overhauled or new engines we'd use Phillips non-compounded 40 wt. for the small engines and 50 wt. for the larger. Good break-in was still predicated on not ground running the engine to long and once airborn keeping the manifold pressure up and the climb out shallow to aid in cylinder cooling. Usually after about an hour of 75% min. power output on a naturally aspirated engine one could see a noticeable decrease in oil temp. as the rings started to seat. Mark
MarksterTT wrote: Try your local small airport, most FBOs(fixed base operators) or engine shops will carry a non-detergent 40 or 50wt. break-in oil for Lycoming and Continental engines. I haven't been doing any aircraft engine work in the last 5 yrs. but when I was replacing cylinders or installing overhauled or new engines we'd use Phillips non-compounded 40 wt. for the small engines and 50 wt. for the larger.
It's okay to use non detergent 40w for break in if 30w isn't available?