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royaloilfield
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Originally Posted by Adam M.
I wouldn't start it because there was a reason it got out of commission in a past,
Here's another approach that works for me.
I bought a relatively ugly 13K mile survivor '73 trident about a year ago. Not nearly as clean as Steve's R3. It had suffered some outside storage near the ocean. I rough cleaned the carbs and points, drained the sump and poured the oil back in the tank. Then I pulled the plugs and, listening for noises, kicked it over until the oil idiot light went out. It didn't take long. Put in some fresh plugs and fired it up, lowish compression and all. It sounded like a rock crusher when idling due to loose tappets, unhappy carbs and what sounded like a loose primary chain. But, I now had a running bike and better knew what it needed.

Off came the carbs for a complete cleaning and synchronization, and the tappets and primary chain got adjusted. It then ran good enough to venture out of my driveway and up the block just far enough to discover that the clutch was almost completely unusable. It barely released at all. So, it got a new Surflex clutch and all associated seals, bearings, thrusts, cush rubbers, chain, the fixed release ramp and a new Venhill cable. (Buffed the primary too.) The clutch is now sweet other than being a bit grunty when cold, and the primary is now pretty quiet.

I removed and buffed the other engine covers and did a proper AA unit service and set the ignition timing, changed the oil and filter, and now this sucker starts, idles and runs great. 1100 miles, a tire and a chain later, I now know that I really like this bike. (Actually, I had no doubts having worked on and ridden them back in the early seventies.) But, I also know it uses and/or leaks a quart of oil every 200 miles and has some piston noise. I am about to put a OP gauge on it to get an idea of how it is in that regard.

So, what am I trying to say with all this windbaggery? I personally like to get an old machine running to better diagnose what it needs. If it's healthy enough to be used, I then use it which helps me identify problems and, to decide if I like it enough to commit to a deeper relationship. If it really is sick, that becomes clear along the way so by that point, there is a very good idea of what it needs. Very often, people stop using their bikes for minor problems. This one had clutch problems and that is probably the big reason why the PO stopped using it. Like I say, just another point of view.

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"Intakes appear stock" - really? From carbs forward it appears to be. The stock air cleaner was an oval with perforations all around covering all three carbs. The side panel appears to have been trimmed on top where it would go around the air cleaner. The carburetor couplings likely have cracks. People usually cut them from radiator hose. There are alternatives.
Sitting for years unused will cause the rings in one cylinder to rust. Rust never sleeps.
Seals will have dried out. They do not last forever.
The "burrs" are probably a worn kickstart ratchet. Usually from people jumping on the kickstart lever.
Where do you have 80 MPH speed limits? The most around here is 70 MPH out by Mojave.

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Agreed Stuart with every other bike, but Trident. They very often need hart surgery because of low oil pressure, so this should be first check on their engines. If the engine needs it why do it twice working for example on primary and coming back to it to take it apart again?

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Originally Posted by Adam M.
Agreed Stuart with every other bike, but Trident. They very often need hart surgery because of low oil pressure, so this should be first check on their engines. If the engine needs it why do it twice working for example on primary and coming back to it to take it apart again?
I absolutely agree that OP concerns are vital. BSA twins share the same problem due to several weak areas but BSA twins don't all have a threaded port to make checking easy so.......riders often just ignore it. I do not suggest ignoring it. When doing the clutch, the oil pump also was disassembled, inspected, detailed and reinstalled with new gaskets and o-rings.I wouldn't have done it any other way. Interestingly, the pump itself is very much like a super size Gold Star pump.

And actually, the idea of "doing it twice" isn't that bad. There's plenty I have had to do more than once before I got good at it. This should be balanced against the possibility of avoiding doing lots more unnecessary work. Admittedly, this is a more professional opinion and sidesteps the sense of satisfaction we enthusiasts get when doing our own work, but it also helps you really get to know your bike. Getting a rough old thing up and running can be a smart and satisfying move. It needs to run to check oil pressure and it needs to be rideable to get it hot enough to check hot oil pressure. And if it runs and drives, you learn about all the other things it needs. Plus......you get to ride it!! Too cool, not to mention the awesome before and after comparisons in the future!

But what if it causes more damage? Maybe it will, something relatively minor like ring wear from a rusty bore. But as long as it doesn't throw a rod through the case, it won't matter much since it was probably going to need a rebore and a crank grind anyway. At this stage you will be riding it carefully, won't you? Listening for bad noises and such? Like I said, this approach works for me but may not be for everyone. All the best.

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Q for Stein Roger, where did you install the temp gauge, what brand? wld like to see a photo of it installed. On my T160 it seems to get very hot if stuck in traffic and even regular riding it starts to smoke so I'd like to check the temp. I have installed one grade hotter plugs and oil thickener and seems to help and I avoid big city traffic.
re the oil pressure issue I installed little hoses to the rocker boxes (a kit I bought) to supposedly bleed off excess top end oil (apparently an issue on T160's) but they seem to do nothing, and a friend said they would only work if has a valve in them like a PCV valve, but they ar only about 1/8" diameter.

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"bleed off excess top end oil"? there is no excess top end oil, there is very little sent there because the oil cooler back pressure is the only source.
You can install a temperature sender in an aftermarket oil filter cap that has a 1/8NPT port.

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Originally Posted by Randy M
I installed little hoses to the rocker boxes (a kit I bought) to supposedly bleed off excess top end oil


If it's anything like the kit in the link below, then it is intended to reduce internal air pressure, not bleed off oil.

https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/bulletin-board/rocker-box-vent-kit-zmmz15jfzbla

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For decades did not know that was a problem. Learn something new every day.

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I have never come across "excess oil" at the top end.
If this device is supposed to cope with excess breathing then the triple with its crankshaft throw configuration has a very small problem compared with the twins.
Added to which the primary chaincase plenum chamber for the breather is pretty efficient.
So IMHO such a device is only useful if the bores and rings are so worn with such a large amount of bypass gas that the money would be better spent on sorting out the bore/rings problem rather than on a palliative to conceal the symptoms.
Truly IMHO a solution in search of a problem.
HTH

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Born To Run
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Now that COVID is “over” 😒 and I have a lift, I’m going to start tearing into the R3.

Going to tear down and rebuild the engine/gearbox.

As for the rest, I hope to get away with just replacing some bearings (wheels, triple tree), cables (clutch, front brake, speedo and tach), rebuild front forks, tires/tubes, shocks and rubber bits.

Again not looking to resto, just clean up and have a bike with patina but mechanically sound.

With that in mind, a few questions:

Which first? Wheels/frame/triple tree/forks or engine?

I suspect using the frame for support while I dismantle the engine will be helpful. How much of engine can I get down before I can/have to remove it from the frame?

Enquiring mind,

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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If the engine is out the frame is easier to work on. You can tear down the motor to the cases, rods and crank in the frame.

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+1 with Dave.
The engine/gearbox is a heavy old lump so using the frame as an "engine stand" makes a lot of sense.
I would strip the engine down to cases, crank and rods as DM says and then remove the cases from the frame.
I would then restore/refurb/tidy up the frame and then the wheels.
That gives you a rolling chassis that you can move around.
Then the engine cases/crank/rods and install that into the refurbed frame and use the frame again as an "engine build" stand
Just my two cents worth of course.
Best of luck1

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Thanks Dave and Richard for confirming my suspicions. There will be more posts to come, I’m sure!

Cheers,

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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