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#839583 02/10/21 5:39 am
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DavidP Offline OP
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I started my Trident for the first time after installing a new OPRV from Harris.
90-95psi on startup, which is an improvement from what I used to see with the old valve.
However, after a few minutes the pressure was above 120psi. I didn't rev the engine past about 2500rpm and I didn't ride it. Oil was returning to the tank, ambient temperature was 48 degrees.
I guess I'll ride it tomorrow and see what happens, but I've never seen pressure this high before.
Ideas?


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Piston sticking or your gauge isn’t calibrated to working at that pressure?


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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It takes more than a few minutes to warm the oil on a triple especially at that temp. Mine does that, reads 120 at 3500 rpm or so until the bike has been ridden for about ten miles then drops to 80-90 at running rpm and 30 ish at idle which is in line with what the Manual says. Mine is a new rebuilt bottom end with about a thousand miles on it. Are you using 20w/50.

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Strange things happen when the oil is cold and the engine is revved.
Among which is that the OPRV rating goes out of the window.
The OPRV can't handle the high flow of cold oil which exceeds the capability of the OPRV to handle it within the supposed OPRV rating.
Side story---in the late 1960s/early 1970s I worked for a heat exchanger manufacturer in Coventry , UK.
As well as Trident oil coolers we made big oil coolers for big diesel engines (5000 - 15000 hp each engine).
A set of large French diesel engines providing power for an ammunition factory in the western Egyptian desert had leaking oil coolers.
I was sent out there to try to figure out what was going on.
I used a pressure transducer and an oscilloscope to measure the oil pressure peak on start up in the morning..
Although deserts are hot in the day they can get very cold overnight--in this case down to about 30F.
The oil cooler was rated at 100 psi working pressure and 150 psi test pressure.
The failure mode I knew meant that it had been subjected to much higher pressures than this.
On start up the peak pressure measured was 300 psi!
The OPRV was as big as a bucket and had such a large inertia that it could not follow the initial peak of pressure with cold oil at start up.
Interestingly it was 1973 and just after the Arab/Israeli war.
Saudi Arabia was giving Egypt as much oil as it wanted so the Egyptians just kept topping up the oil tanks of the engines, ignoring the oil leaking from the coolers.
The leaking oil made a puddle in the desert about 5 miles in diameter!
As an aside--before I flew out there I had a visit from a guy from MI6 --they had noticed the oil lake from a reconnaissance flight and couldn't figure out what was going on---but that is another story.

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DavidP Offline OP
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I rode the bike today. 120+psi at startup. I let it warm up for a few minutes and took off slowly, down to 100psi after a mile, 80 after a couple of miles, 60 after another 3 miles at 4000rpm, 40 through the school zone at 15mph. So far so good.
However, by the time I returned home it's down to 40psi at 3500rpm and about 10 at idle before I shut it off. Oil temperature 180 degrees, Valvoline VR 20/50. Total distance about 15 miles.
Hard to believe that the bottom end is shot with only 17K on the clock, but it must come apart.


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I'd be inclined to check the relief valve is shutting before 'engine out'
It wouldn't be the first one i've heard of to stick.
Just my 2c.

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May not be optimum, but it doesn't sound shot to me. That is about what I would expect for an engine with a few miles on it. I wouldn't worry about it until the oil light starts flickering at idle,

Ed from NJ

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Originally Posted by edunham
I wouldn't worry about it until the oil light starts flickering at idle,
You mean don't worry about it until it acts like my BSA? laughing
FWIW: The first time I rode any distance after I bought the bike was about 60 miles in the mountains at a rally. I had no OP gauge at the time, but by the time I got back into town the oil light was on at every traffic light.
Last year the oil light flickered at idle after every ride. I replaced the sender with another of the same type. The light no longer flickers, but the gauge indicates 10psi or less after a ride of maybe 20 miles.
The oil pump was cleaned and checked when I rebuilt the clutch last year, new gasket and O rings.
Call me paranoid, but I want to feel confident packing the bike up and riding 200+ miles to a rally. I've seen what happens when the left rod lets go.


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"You mean don't worry about it until it acts like my BSA? laughing"

It is a BSA!

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Originally Posted by NickL
"You mean don't worry about it until it acts like my BSA? laughing"

It is a BSA!
Yeah, right, and it has a TS bush instead of a proper bearing, and the oil pump is made out of the same garbage as the carbs.
Sorry, but the BSA version was an afterthought created because BSA owned the company and couldn't be bothered to design anything new because they spent all their money on shareholder dividends and gold plated Daimlers for CEO.


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What size socket goes on the oprv. I am going to try and take mine out from my T160. I've read it can be a real PIA but doable.

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The base hex is 1" but is only 0.15" deep. You need a socket with the face milled flat with no chamfer. If you cannot get on the base hex you can try removing it by the 15/16" hex of the cap.

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Thank you Dave.

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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by NickL
"You mean don't worry about it until it acts like my BSA? laughing"

It is a BSA!
Yeah, right, and it has a TS bush instead of a proper bearing, and the oil pump is made out of the same garbage as the carbs.
Sorry, but the BSA version was an afterthought created because BSA owned the company and couldn't be bothered to design anything new because they spent all their money on shareholder dividends and gold plated Daimlers for CEO.


How many trident engines did triumph build? = none. Their lovely machine shop would have made an even worse job of it.
Plus the unions would probably have wanted another $400 week to build a different engine at triumphs eh? or 'All out lads'

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Originally Posted by DavidP
I rode the bike today. 120+psi at startup. I let it warm up for a few minutes and took off slowly, down to 100psi after a mile, 80 after a couple of miles, 60 after another 3 miles at 4000rpm, 40 through the school zone at 15mph. So far so good.
However, by the time I returned home it's down to 40psi at 3500rpm and about 10 at idle before I shut it off. Oil temperature 180 degrees, Valvoline VR 20/50. Total distance about 15 miles.
Hard to believe that the bottom end is shot with only 17K on the clock, but it must come apart.
To get this thread back on track: Those are close to the numbers I see on my engine after a re-build. I have 95 psi cold though, but the rest of the numbers corresponds somewhat, if a little lower. The advice I get from Tridentman (after going through everything), is to ignore the gage or chuck it! I'm coming to realize that all pumps weren't created equal, or may have deteriorated somewhat with use. Hence the wide range of oil pressure observations we see reported on the forums. In my case I tore the engine down due to low oil pressures when hot. The bearings were worn as were the journals, so I figured the reason was found. Imagine my surprise when the freshly rebuilt engine showed very little improvement in oil pressure! I even went as far as tearing it down again, but nothing found, with one exception. Sealing the nose of the OPRV brought about an improvement of 12-14 psi when cold.
Whatever the reason for the low pressure when hot, I persist with the thermostat in the loop, and live with what I have. Changing the oil pump is no trivial matter on these engines, so we're going to build a test rig for them so we know what they're good for beforehand. A friend has tested A65 oil pumps for years, and they vary greatly in performance. I suspect our pumps vary a bit too, although there's been little discussion around it.

SR

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I had the pump out for cleaning and inspection when I rebuilt the clutch. There was no excessive backlash, but without special feeler gauges I don't have a clue as to how to check clearances. It does wet sump quite a bit though.
On my last ride I saw under 40psi at 4500rpm.
I plan to swap gauges with the one on my Bonneville, which reads 70psi all day long. I'll have to do it once the Trident is warm as that gauge only goes to 100. We'll see what each gauge reads on the other bike as a test.


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I have 3 pumps to choose from. I measured the all the gears and they varied up to 0,02 mm or .0008". Then I measured the depth of the bores using the same digital calipers and found a free play of 0,06 mm or .0024" using the "best" body. Phil Pick wrote in an article 20 years ago that he aimed for a play of .0008" to .0012", which translates to 0,02-0,03 mm. I arrived at my numbers after a lot of measuring, but with hand held calipers there's plenty of room for errors. I still think they give a reasonable picture of the sizes involved, and that my pump may well have 2 to 3 times the clearances he advised. Radial clearances are beyond either my measuring tools or my capabilities, so I couldn't say. They "look good" is all I can say, but I know radial clearances are more important.

40 psi at 4500 isn't very bad, with the thermostat in the loop I get less, even in ambient temps below 50F or 10C. I know the bottom end is sound, as I just rebuilt it, and I've looked at every other component at least thrice, so I've come to the conclusion that my pump is slightly tired.
I can't say this is the case with yours, but with the pressures you're reading I wouldn't panic, just ride it and see if it deteriorates.

Tridentman says they don't call them "worry gages" for nothing. His advise to me is to keep the thermostat in the loop, and if I can't bear to look at my gage, chuck it! I'm inclined to listen when he speaks, his experience with triples, and with their lubrication issues in particular, is second to none.

SR

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I guess the gauge is accurate. I just put it on my Bonnie and started up. Reads 70psi, just like the Marshall gauge which is normally in that spot.
The Triples Unlimited gauge does seem to be a bit cheap, though. And, it's not liquid filled. In my experience dry gauges don't last very long with the vibration.


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Originally Posted by Stein Roger
Tridentman says they don't call them "worry gages" for nothing. His advise to me is to keep the thermostat in the loop, and if I can't bear to look at my gage, chuck it! I'm inclined to listen when he speaks, his experience with triples, and with their lubrication issues in particular, is second to none.
Must be why all those racers have an OP gauge, they like to worry about an engine which was meticulously assembled and inspected.
Or maybe why Ford decided to include one in the panel on my van so I can tell when I'm a quart low.
The last time I removed an OP gauge from a Trident because the reading worried me the engine exploded about a month later.


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I am not sure how an oil pressure gauge will tell that you are a quart low unless it is like my Europa. If you make a hard right turn with low oil the pickup sucks air and it looses pressure. But then the rattling noise is a giveaway.
Daughter had a cheap Chevy (Neon?) that had an "oil pressure gauge" that was actually a ON/OFF gauge. There was no sensor, just a switch and it either read LOW or HIGH. Maybe that is the type of gauge that you want.

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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by Stein Roger
Tridentman says they don't call them "worry gages" for nothing. His advise to me is to keep the thermostat in the loop, and if I can't bear to look at my gage, chuck it! I'm inclined to listen when he speaks, his experience with triples, and with their lubrication issues in particular, is second to none.
Must be why all those racers have an OP gauge, they like to worry about an engine which was meticulously assembled and inspected.
Or maybe why Ford decided to include one in the panel on my van so I can tell when I'm a quart low.
The last time I removed an OP gauge from a Trident because the reading worried me the engine exploded about a month later.
A bit of sarcasm is welcome, but I really don't get your message. My gage says nothing about the oil level, there's a stick in the tank for that. I rarely see a race bike with an oil pressure gage. A racer won't have time to look at it, and when the pressure drops on a race bike, it's already gone bang. Besides, I'm confident enough about the state of my engine to leave the gage on the bike and see how it goes. I've come to the conclusion that all triple pumps aren't created equal. Yours may be good and your bearings may be shot, but then again the pump may be below par and the bottom end sound. To establish that you need to look for the pressure to be stable or dropping over time. As your pressures seem to be better than on my rebuilt engine, I'm not so sure your bearings are wiped, though they could be. That's all I'm saying.
We're about to build a test rig for triples oil pumps. We'll know a bit more when we've tested a few and measured them up internally.

SR

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Stein, take my advice and change your oil to full synthetic 10W60, like I did. Perhaps my oil pump wasn't the best as well and I used to cringe looking at my OP gauge after my engine rebuild. Now it's OK. I did some mileage on it and in lower temperatures its holding great pressure ( between 60 to 80 psi ) during my town rides, so with 3500 - 4500 rpm max and even with 30+ C weather in town, waiting at lights my pressure on idle is between 15 - 20 psi.
As full synthetic this oil is relatively thin when cold, what should protect you during really cold temperatures. I don't have this problem because I don't ride in cold weather.

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Originally Posted by DMadigan
I am not sure how an oil pressure gauge will tell that you are a quart low unless it is like my Europa. If you make a hard right turn with low oil the pickup sucks air and it looses pressure.
I know where the gauge in the Ford reads most of the time, when it reads a bit low I know I need to add a quart. But, that's a wet sump engine, the gauge is probably 50psi full scale.
Old VW's suffered from the same oil starvation during hard cornering. They used to sell over-sized sump pans to deal with this.


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Originally Posted by Adam M.
Stein, take my advice and change your oil to full synthetic 10W60, like I did. Perhaps my oil pump wasn't the best as well and I used to cringe looking at my OP gauge after my engine rebuild. Now it's OK. I did some mileage on it and in lower temperatures its holding great pressure ( between 60 to 80 psi ) during my town rides, so with 3500 - 4500 rpm max and even with 30+ C weather in town, waiting at lights my pressure on idle is between 15 - 20 psi.
As full synthetic this oil is relatively thin when cold, what should protect you during really cold temperatures. I don't have this problem because I don't ride in cold weather.
Hi Adam, thanks for the tip. I did in fact use a 10w60 synth before the rebuild, and the pressure was better than with 20w50 mineral I used before. It may just try it out again.
It's interesting that you had the same experience as me after a rebuild. Another indication that our oil pumps vary a bit, I'd say.
The plan now is to build a test rig for these pumps and map the differences. My friend The Chief has a precision grinding table, and we're going to test what closer tolerances may give us.
I ride in cold weather some times, and do like the protection a synthetic oil in the cold gives, in my case Castrol Power 1 Racing 10w50. I've used Castrol 10w50 in my Daytona 900 since I bought it new and after 183.000 km it still feels fresh as new. Some don't like Castrol after it was bought by BP, or after they won the Synthetic base oil lawsuit Mobil filed against them. I can understand that, but I still believe their products are good enough and they're available everywhere.

SR

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