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Jonez69 Offline OP
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I bought this bike about a month ago. It's my first triple and I am anticipating a steep learning curve and am looking forward to receiving good advice here!
I have some experience with Triumph twins, having owned a T140E and a few T120s and a TR6R. I bought the bike in barely running condition. I have rebuilt the carbs, set the valve clearances, added a Boyer Bransden, along with of course an oil and filter change, plus a whole bunch of cleaning.
Reading along here on the forum, I realize I've already made a few mistakes such as a dry oil filter start, but the bike runs much better than when I bought it. What little I rode this bike has told me that there are other issues that need addressed. This bike hasn't been on the road in 30 years and a complete teardown is in order, IMO. Wish me luck!

Last edited by Jonez69; 11/19/22 9:21 pm.

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Hi , I have recently bought a T160 so am learning as well , mine has been tidied cosmetically and has original frame paint goes well , carbs good can idle at 500rpm , , I have just fitted a new rear tyre as I picked up a pin nail ,PO had done rocker box pushrod seals and elephants foot rocker adjusters , and is fairly leak free , The previous owner had changed the oiI but im glad i decided to change it myself , i took the oil tank out and found screen had a lot of paint chips (from painter painting down the neck and they were slightly dissolved and was restricteing oil flow, my comp wasnt too bad and even , am not a thrasher on these old girls so will see how it goes its got an oil gauge so I will monitor , no smoke on accel or decell mates followed me for 80kms Cheers .

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I wouldnt have it ticking over so slow . 500 rpm will hardly have any oil flow . 900 better .

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Personally, I usually set the idle at between 1200 and 1500 rpm.

Ed from NJ

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Cobra427--- welcome to the forum--hope that you will find it useful.
I agree with Ducati 2242--- if you can get the motor idling at 500 rpm then that is great in signifying good carb balance.
However it is really too slow for adequate oil flow rate.
It also leaves the idle sensitive to changes in operating conditions.
For example after a spirited burst of riding you get into heavy traffic with stop/go situations you could well find your motor stalling out when you least want it to..
Personally I always aim for 900-1000 rpm idle with the motor fully warm.
HTH

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Jonez69 Offline OP
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I rode the T150 about 6 or 7 miles today around my small town, never going faster than 45 mph or pushing past 5500 rpm. Keep in mind I live in the upper midwest of the USA, so riding in November is a treat, not normal. I have never checked the compression on any of the cylinders and the center carb is suspect because it doesn't tickle like the two outside carbs do. I could have a fuel delivery issue with the center carb because the tank is rusty or I could have a worn out set of carbs. My biggest concern is the oil pressure, followed by a major oil leak from the drive sprocket seal. I really just wanted to get this bike on the road for an "evaluation" test ride and having done so, I can say that there are issues that cannot be overlooked.
1. Strange sounds from gear box area- I'm old and hard of hearing but I suspect the clutch needs TLC/service
2. Gear oil leak from drive sprocket seal- this will be taken care of with clutch inspection/service/repair.
3. The oil pump needs to be serviced or upgraded- looking for any advice from forum members.
4. Carbs are likely junk- I rolled the dice here and spent the small money in hopes of avoiding spending the big money.
5. Fuel tank is too rusty and needs TLC- I am the guy that goes to the ends of the earth to save original paint, so probably a tank liner treatment will happen.
Bottom line- The bike is unique enough wearing the "beauty kit" and does not blow smoke while idling or under a moment of hard acceleration.This bike is worthy of refurb/refresh, even if I wind up a bit upside down money wise. It wants to run but even the new ignition system and carb overhaul didn't address all the running issues, so I plan to take it down to the bare bones and learn to speak "Trident"!!
PS- In the moments it wanted to wake up and run told me why these 3 cylinder bikes can be addictive!!!

Last edited by Jonez69; 11/25/22 11:04 pm. Reason: better wording

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There are nylon mesh filters in the banjos of the carbs. These can clog from rust in the tank. Check before assuming a carb problem.
Tank cap is vented. If that is clogged the engine will starve for fuel after a couple minutes depending upon how full the tank is.
Use a long handle screw driver and put the handle end to your ear and the tip to various parts of the motor to hear where noises are coming from.
Knocking in the primary could be the chainwheel or clutch. knocking in the timing is usually the generator rotor.
Cast iron pump only has problems if the filter is not looked after. With the filter cap off and primary drain out, let sit a couple days and see if oil comes out either place. Common for the anti-drain valve between pump and filter does not seal. If the pump body is worn you might get oil out the primary drain, leaking from the pump shaft.

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Could you describe in more detail your complaints about a bike riding or really engine working during a ride? Why are you concern about oil pressure?
Gear oil leak from a sprocket area is not connected to any engine oil problem, middle carb not tickling doesn't tell anything about this carb quality, it could be simply too short tickling pin ( they are adjustable ). My T150V has a beauty kit exhaust and looks like it, however it's a 73 model. I like this look and like the sound of beauty kit mufflers which are really BSA A65 mufflers with different attachment points.

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Originally Posted by DMadigan
There are nylon mesh filters in the banjos of the carbs. These can clog from rust in the tank. Check before assuming a carb problem.
Tank cap is vented. If that is clogged the engine will starve for fuel after a couple minutes depending upon how full the tank is.
Use a long handle screw driver and put the handle end to your ear and the tip to various parts of the motor to hear where noises are coming from.
Knocking in the primary could be the chainwheel or clutch. knocking in the timing is usually the generator rotor.
Cast iron pump only has problems if the filter is not looked after. With the filter cap off and primary drain out, let sit a couple days and see if oil comes out either place. Common for the anti-drain valve between pump and filter does not seal. If the pump body is worn you might get oil out the primary drain, leaking from the pump shaft.

Thanks DMadigan! As I stated, I rebuilt the carbs but I have not revisited the banjo filters. I plan to do so soon. It is interesting that the two outer carbs tickle quickly but the middle carb just barely dribbles. Tank Cap appears to be working fine, bike will idle in the shop (with a fan blowing) for as long as you like and riding yesterday around town with stop lights etc was no problem. I have one of those mechanics stethoscopes and have listened to most every area of the bike while it is in the shop idling. Obviously that cannot be done while riding! I made the clutch adjustment as per my BSA workshop manual. The "gearbox noise I hear tends to come and go. When I hear it, it is while riding a constant speed like 25mph and on a basically flat street. Shifting and clutch operation seemed to improve some as I rode yesterday. Weather and fear of bike failure kept me from getting the engine truly "heat soaked". The clutch is very heavy to operate and would tend to stick like when pulling up to a stop sign. A blip of the throttle and the clutch would then release. Finding neutral and general upshift and down shift don't seem to be a problem. I visited the anti-drain valve already, I opened it up and cleaned all components, it appears to be in good order. Overall, the engine seems to be clean and not abused. The reason I am concerned with oil pressure is I have seen my oil pressure light flicker at warm idle. I have an automotive OP gauge set up to check OP on bikes, but I haven't checked it yet. When reading about triples, especially early ones, it seems that oil pressure concerns often come up, so I was a bit concerned with mine and wondering what owners do to remedy OP issues. Lastly, when riding down a street at a constant speed, and also when letting off the throttle after a bit of higher revving acceleration, I get a back fire that could be described as consistently inconsistent. Again, this backfire comes and goes, could be a loose wire from in recent EI installation. To me, the bike isn't firing on all 3 cylinders at constant rpms but seems to kick in and want to go when you crank open the throttle.
I will post some pictures once I get familiar with photo bucket, Thanks for all your input so far, looking forward to hearing more!


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Note the oil pressure switch on these is NPS, not NPT. Your auto OP gauge setup is likely NPT.
Backfire is from getting raw fuel in the exhaust. Sounds as though you have an intermittent misfire. Have you checked the plugs for colour?
Most people here have dumped photobucket and use free sites such as Flickr or others.

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If you have the bike idling at 500 rpm I am not surprised that the oil light comes on. Turn your idle up to at least 1000 rpm. If the light is coming on then, you may have an issue. Regarding the center carb taking longer to tickle: 1) check your float height- is it the same as the other two. If its low adjust it. You will find the specs on this site. If it is at the same height as the other two, take a pair of sidecutters and carefully pull the tickler rod out a little further.
Ed from NJ

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Jonez69 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by edunham
If you have the bike idling at 500 rpm I am not surprised that the oil light comes on. Turn your idle up to at least 1000 rpm. If the light is coming on then, you may have an issue. Regarding the center carb taking longer to tickle: 1) check your float height- is it the same as the other two. If its low adjust it. You will find the specs on this site. If it is at the same height as the other two, take a pair of sidecutters and carefully pull the tickler rod out a little further.
Ed from NJ
Thank Ed! No, I do not have the bike idling at 500rpm. That was Cobra427 who chimed in on this post earlier. My Idle is more in the 1200 range. As far as float height, I intentionally used the original tan plastic floats when I rebuilt the carbs in an effort to save some money with the hope that they would be set correctly the old fashioned way. I did add new needles and I have the new floats here in front of me that I decided to install now that the bike is running. Yes, there is more to do on this bike to make it run somewhat normal and I may very well continue to pursue some of these smaller issues before going deeper.
Asking questions on this forum has already been a great help.
Originally Posted by DMadigan
Note the oil pressure switch on these is NPS, not NPT. Your auto OP gauge setup is likely NPT.
Backfire is from getting raw fuel in the exhaust. Sounds as though you have an intermittent misfire. Have you checked the plugs for colour?
Most people here have dumped photobucket and use free sites such as Flickr or others.
Thanks DMadigan! I have not pulled the plugs since riding yesterday, so that is definitely a starting point. I installed new plugs, plug wires, new battery and a new Boyer Bransden with new coils and associated wiring. Set the timing according to BB instructions. I set plug gaps to .020 as per workshop manual. Where would an intermittent misfire be occurring ? Thanks for the advice and tip for photo posting!


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And then, sometimes on decel, a backfire can come from a lean condition. More evident on newer machines as manufactures tried to satisfy emission regulators.

I added an oil pressure gauge to my T150V by rethreading a 1/8"NPT to 1/8"brass compression adapter to fit the right front galley port by using my mini lathe. 1/8" SS tubing from there to the headstock, then 1/8" union to nylon tubing to the gauge.


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Tridentman , Yes , 500 is too slow , just ment that the carbs can't be too bad if it will Idle low, my idle is at about 1000 rpm , Cheers .

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Originally Posted by pidjones
I added an oil pressure gauge to my T150V by rethreading a 1/8"NPT to 1/8"brass compression adapter to fit the right front galley port by using my mini lathe. 1/8" SS tubing from there to the headstock, then 1/8" union to nylon tubing to the gauge.

WHAT?!
The front galley port holes are 5/16"! They are NOT a pipe thread. Better to buy the gauge kit from Triples Unlimited.
One can check pressure with a pipe thread fitting at the switch port, but it's a bit of a pain since the switch lives under the back of the engine.

Originally Posted by Cobra427
Tridentman , Yes , 500 is too slow , just ment that the carbs can't be too bad if it will Idle low, my idle is at about 1000 rpm , Cheers .
Yes, mine will idle at 500, especially with the Premier carbs. But, I tend to set it just under 1000. No oil light at either speed.


"Gosh, it's not a 1/4 20, must be metric."

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"

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Jonez69 Offline OP
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Here's my bike!

IMG_1219.jpeg IMG_1215.jpeg

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Very nice!

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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by pidjones
I added an oil pressure gauge to my T150V by rethreading a 1/8"NPT to 1/8"brass compression adapter to fit the right front galley port by using my mini lathe. 1/8" SS tubing from there to the headstock, then 1/8" union to nylon tubing to the gauge.

WHAT?!
The front galley port holes are 5/16"! They are NOT a pipe thread. Better to buy the gauge kit from Triples Unlimited.
One can check pressure with a pipe thread fitting at the switch port, but it's a bit of a pain since the switch lives under the back of the engine.
Read mine again, David. I retreaded it in my lathe to fit the oil galley hole. A 1/8 NPT is plenty big enought to skim and rethread to fit.


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I've been talking to some friends who own triples and have decided to do a complete overhaul rather than trying to patch up this bike to ride and wind up with a major disaster like a thrown rod. I presently have a numbers matching bike and would hate to lose it. This bike will be a nice rider with the overhaul and a new set of carbs, tires etc. I plan to do all the assembly myself, with the needed machine work and head rebuild done professionally. I don't own a micrometer and other measuring tools, so all components will be inspected by a machine shop. I might consider a few performance upgrades if the cost isn't prohibitive, but really I am aiming for a mostly stock rebuild. I want to make the needed upgrades to the crank and engine lubrication system to avoid the problems encountered by the early triples. I've looked at weight reduction ideas for the clutch and the crankshaft as performance upgrades, but not sure of the cost/benefit aspect. I'm almost 63 years old and while I'm physically fit, I don't plan on track racing or thrashing this machine, other than the occasional 100mph on the lonely highway. I just want a smooth running Trident. My plan is a general clean up of the entire machine and getting all systems in tip top shape but keeping the original paint on the frame and tin work. A "Barn Find Sleeper" if you will.
Any suggestions from forum members are welcome!


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I suggest a good start would be to read through the sticky thread at the top of this board "T150 Common Sense Engine Mods".
HTH

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