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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If it has been left for a long time, there`s a few things to check.
1) lubrication.
Engine oil level.
Gearbox oil level.
Remove the plugs, ignition and fuel off.
Remove the oil-tank cap, kick it over a few times and watch the return for spurts of oil.
Lubricate the cables.

2) Fuel.
Drain the tank and carbs and replace with new fuel.
Check and clean the jets.
Set the float heights.
Clean the air filters.

3) Electrics.
Battery voltage...charge the battery.
Clean the plugs.
Earth them and check the sparks. [fuel off]
Check the ignition timing.

4) Engine
Check the tappet gaps.
Do a compression test.

This is only a few things to begin with.
More info required...year? Points or EI?
If it didn`t show any sign of life after a tow, there`s something very wrong.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It would be tough to disparage me, Birdo. I have definitely not confirmed compression, spark, and timing. They're up next. I was just hoping to burn through some bad fuel.

I have replaced oil, fuel, and fuel line components.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You shouldn't mess with the ignition timing until the bike is running and you check it with a timing light.It will be close enough that the bike should run.

You should check that there is spark at the plugs.If not,it could be something simple like the kill-switch on the handlebar in the off position,or even bad contacts in that switch or the wiring connectors that feed it;or even just dirty/corroded points that need a clean with emery paper.You should have battery voltage at the -VE coil terminals whenever the ignition is on (provided you still have points ignition).You could test that with a meter or test light.You should have battery voltage at the moving points terminal when the points are open,and zero voltage when they close.

You need oil flow into the engine.If the oil light goes out after 1 or 2 kicks,that's a good sign.Don't even concern yourself with return oil,until a minute or 2 after the engine starts.More harm than good can be done trying to get oil return before the engine has started.

The carbs will need a clean.At a very minimum,you should remove the drain plug and check fuel flow.Then check that the main jet is clear;the jet orifice is a little over 0.045" diameter.You could clear it with a piece of small copper wire.
While the drain plug is out,you should check that the pilot jets are clear.Remove the mixture screws and squirt WD-40 into the hole;it should come out of the float bowl if the jet is not blocked.A 0.016" diameter wire should go at least 1-1/2" into that hole for the mixture screw.Put the screw back to its original setting,or set it 1-1/2 turns from bottomed;you can adjust it better when the engine is hot.

The compression will be down a little if the engine hasn't run for a long time.It will quickly improve when the engine starts.Check the valve clearances,and leave them slightly loose rather than too tight.That will change too when the engine starts,and need re-checking.It's more than likely the head bolts will need re-torquing,especialy those inside the rocker boxes.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Whoa... kill switch? That's the first I've heard of that. Does my bike have one? If so, where? Here's the information on my bike (1973 T-140) http://www.triumphrat.net/classic-vi...ml#post2425550
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdoPrey View Post
One of the buttons, I think the bottom one, is a kill switch and the other does nothing.

Art.
Kill switch is a button on your left-hand handlebar switch. All the kill switch does is open the circuit temporarily between your ignition switch and coils. If you have voltage at your coils with the ignition switch turned on then you can assume either a) it works fine or b) it's been bypassed.
Spark at the plugs, per Mr. Pete's advice, is also an easy way to verify.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So my bike, shown above, if properly configured has a kill switch on the left handlebars. Which button would it be, top or bottom?
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlybroke View Post
So my bike, shown above, if properly configured has a kill switch on the left handlebars. Which button would it be, top or bottom?
On mine the white/yellow wire from the switch is connected to the top button for the kill engine, normally closed.
The white/red is spare and connects with the lower button.

The feed [white] is internally connected to both of the buttons.
TOP LEFT:

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