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Member's Restoration & Rebuild Projects Details of member's own projects.

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Old 11-04-2012, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 1978 bonneville t140e
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 13
1978 t140e

Hey everyone. Just starting to attempt a rebuild of a 1978 t140e that was in the shed sitting for the past 13 years or so. Needless to say it wasn't in the best of condition. Going to go fairly slow with it all, as I'm new to all this with limited time. Going to have to do lots of reading and question asking as I go along.
(First thing I found out was that the 1978 t140e was the one Triumph that doesn't have a Replacement Parts Catalogue. Just my luck! )
Anyway over the summer I tore it all down, taking pictures of everything I removed. Only things I've done so far is powder coating the frame and most everything else that was black, along with replacing valves, valve guides, and seats. I also had the cylinders bored to +.020.
My first question is with the pistons. The guy who did the cylinder supplied me with JCC +. 020 pistons with compression ratio 8.25: to 8.6:1, but I read an article online that said the 78 t140e compression ratio was dropped to 7.9:1?
Attached Thumbnails
1978 t140e-9before.jpg   1978 t140e-frame.jpg  
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Main Motorcycle: T140 E
 
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If that's an E then it's an early one.

The transition was tricky and a 78V catalogue should do but be aware that E's have differences in the head, pistons and carbs for a start.

My 79 has different speedo and switch clusters and RITA ignition.

My bike now runs 8.5 pistons and different cams.
It's better to add a three piece bearing if you're adding better cams. The E was tweaked down to fit in with the emissions and allegedly to stop the bearings self destructing.

I'd go with a full strip and sort the bearings. If you want, add better exhaust cams to get a bit more power. (I'd aslo add electronic Ignition but that's a moot point
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 1978 bonneville t140e
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cleveland Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE M View Post
If that's an E then it's an early one.
According to the engine number it was made in May of 78.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE M View Post
I'd go with a full strip and sort the bearings. If you want, add better exhaust cams to get a bit more power. (I'd aslo add electronic Ignition but that's a moot point

I wasn't planning on doing new cams or bearings, though its something I could possibly look into.
I did plan on the electronic ignition though. Still need to figure on what pistons to use too.

Where does everyone get their parts from? Im always looking on Ebay, but I'm sure there are some other good places I'm unaware of.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Other Motorcycle: T140V,T140D,T140E,T140J
The bike pictured is a 1978 T140E model. This model was introduced on Jan 1 1978 to comply with US EPA Regulations. All '78s had 7.9 comp ratio. Some of the differences between the T140V and T140E were Cylinder Head, Carbs, Air boxes, Plastic side covers (which this bike is missing) and a polished Taillite housing.
1978 T140V & T140E models shared most other items such as ignition points, positive ground electrics, wiring loom, paint scheme, gauge location, etc. However I did note at the time Gauges on the T140E's were often Veglias.
The bike shown has a 77 or earlier seat, earlier model Trim plate Bonneville decals, after market exhaust system and whats left of a sissy bar in place of the factory lift rail. Regarding the side covers if you replace them you will need to use the ones fron the 79 model and associated trim parts.
Your gas tank hasnt seen much daylight as it looks to be in nice shape. The red faded very fast to gold when new.
There is/was a parts book supplement for the E model that was used with the T140V book. I have misplaced my copy or I would give you the part number.
Hope this helps end some of the confusion.

K
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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http://classicbike.biz/Triumph/Repai...hop-Manual.pdf

I would avoid ebay like the plague unless you know the seller. But that's easier for someone in the UK to say as there is a good postal service from good "bricks and mortar" suppliers, plus a place 20 miles away from me.

Ebay is ok for metal bits and bobs - if they don't fit you can send them back but engine wise, if it fails, it's inside the engine and the first that you know is a big bang.

I'm assuming that yopu're in Cleveland usa, not uk!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The site mentioned by DAVE M (http://classicbike.biz) is an excellect site and if you go to it you can see a '78 parts book with the T140E supplement at the end. However if you go to service manual cited above 2 of the 3 colour pictures are misidentifed as 1978 Triumphs. They are really 1980 models (in the US called 1979 1/2 due to EPA problems) note the over the swing arm caliper. That was first seen on the 79 T140D but not on the 79 T140E.
Also the two bikes shown are UK models note the fork gaiters and License plate area.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 1978 bonneville t140e
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cleveland Ohio
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This forum has a wealth of information that I know I'll need. The site with the parts book should come in pretty handy too.
I also found a place for parts online called "British Cycle Supply Company" that seems to carry quite a few parts. I'll look around here on the forum to see if anyone else uses or knows anything about them.
Maybe find a few other places to check out too. Hopefully order up the pistons I need to get started with. (Or maybe just new rings for the ones I have?)
The gas tank has been painted before though there is a big scratch on the black running through the trim and into the red that I'm not sure what i'll do with yet.
I'd like to get the side covers eventually also. Thanks guys.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the same bike, I think you will really enjoy it once you get it running. They are great riding little bikes with the 5 speed and disc brakes. Most people seem to think the JCC pistons are okay. Hastings cast iron rings probably a good choice and readily available. Hone the bore fairly coarse, like a 250 grit. Most people try to install the pistons with a minimum of oil on the bores to aid in break in. Also, avoid break-in oil with friction reducers like modern car oil. I'm using 15w40 Rotella diesel to break in a Commando I'm rebuilding.
There are lots of opinions on break-in oil. Do a search and you will get the idea. Once broke in use a 20w50 SG rated motorcycle oil for aircooled engines. These bikes share primary and engine oil and the SL and SM rated oil will cause the clutch to slip. Valvoline is what I use, but there are other brands. An add on oil filter is highly recommended. I'm using the one MAP Cycle sells. There is also the Norton Commando style. 90w gear lube in the gear box.
MAP also sells good clutch pack sets and they will really improve the performance of your bike. Plan on rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers. Kits are available. If you have the points sets and advance unit, you might hold off on the EI for a while. The EI units require a good power supply to run reliably where as the points will forgive some dodgy wiring or a low battery. Replace the zener diode and rectifier with a solid state unit like a podtronics.
Reliable parts suppliers I have used include Waldridge Motors, who are having their year end sale right now, British Only, MAP Cycle, Baxters and on ebay Steadfast Cycles.
I'd look for used side covers on ebay. A new set will be pretty costly.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If I had the engine out of the frame, I would definitely split the cases and clean the sludge trap and check the crankshaft and rod bearing and replace if needed. You don't want to spend the time and money fixing up the rest of the bike to have the engine grenade.
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1978 T140E Bonneville, 1974 Trident, 1972 Commando, 1971 Commando
1974 Commando, 1970 BSA Thunderbolt, 2004 XL 1200R Sportster
Everything will be alright in the end.
If its not alright, its not the end.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 1978 bonneville t140e
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 13
Some good advice htown. Thanks. I've seen Steadfast on Ebay. I'll check out the others that you mentioned too.
I'll need to really research splitting the cases. Still pretty green with this rebuilding, but makes sense doing it while i have it apart like this.
My brother had a Norton Commando back in the 70's. I believe it was a 72 though I'm not sure. I do know it was an 850.
Is that the original color of your t140? Looks pretty good in the little avatar. Is there a bigger pic of it on the site anywhere?
I think I have a long way to go before mine comes even close to looking like that.
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