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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bonneville Mystery Leak

I have a 2007 Bonneville with a mystery leak that I just can't pinpoint. I'm hoping someone here has had a similar problem and can point me in the right direction. First, I bought this bike a few months ago with 72.3 original miles. It has about 4500 now, so we are right at the threshold of what I would call broken in. The only other issue to date is it not wanting to shift into neutral, or any gear, while stopped on occasion. But I digress.

I have developed an oil leak somewhere on the front side of the bike. The oil cooler is wet front and back. Everthing behind it is wet too. The leak is not bad in volume, but tends to spread out majorly under speed. A wee bit of oil will make a big mess running highway speeds.

The front of the block is wet too, and it tends to hit the bottom of my pipes, as well pool near the engine mounts. It's a smoker when the engine warms up.

I've tightened everything on the oil cooler, nothing changed. I checked the head, no signs of anything afoul. Even if it were coming from the head, how would it get to the front of the oil cooler?

I've washed and observed countless times, never being able to find a drip or isolate a source. It really only seems to happen at speed. I'm running out of ideas...and clean pants.

Here is a short video of the problem.



http://s39.beta.photobucket.com/user...06378.mp4.html
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be a pin prick hole in the oil cooler caused by a high speed road chip.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
The oil cooler is wet front and back.
Oil is not going to blow forward so it's pretty obvious that the cooler is the source of the problem. Check oil cooler connections are tight and/or replace copper washers on all banjo connections. If that doesn't fix the problem look at replacing the oil cooler, you can pick them up fairly cheaply from Pinwall on eBay.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i would wager its the oil cooler.

the only real way to tell is to remove it.

bypass the oil cooler by getting a banjo bolt long enough to go thru both fittings and then put a banjo nut on the end to seal it off.

take it for a ride, if the problem goes away, its the cooler.

if you are the same ridingdonkeys as on adv rider, take a look at the upper front sidecar mount and check to see if it chaffed your oil cooler.

oil doesnt blow forwards, or up, so look for the forward most highest sign of wetness, and thats probably the culprit
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, same Donkeys. No sidecar mount even close to the cooler. At $49 for a replacement, it's just as easy to replace the cooler than banjo it off. I'll probably go that route. Although, I used to think oil couldn't blow forward....until I got the Ural. The Viterbi effect will move fluids forward on occasion, but I don't think that is the case here.

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah, id swap it out, make sure you use new copper washers.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Got a new (new take-off part) oil cooler for less than $50 delivered. Finally get around to installing it this afternoon, and I was kind of rushing because I was running out of daylight. I take off the oil lines, grab the washers, and head to my hardware cabinet. A stream of profanities escapes my mouth as I realize that I don't have any M18 ID copper washers. No problem, I've got time to hit up the autoparts stores, they'll have them. Wrong. Not a soul has one in town, and they look at me all stupidly when I ask about ordering them.

I call it quits and head in, as it was dark by the time I cleared every store in town. Looks like I'm self-annealing washers tomorrow. Let's hope this works. I'd hate to trade one leak for another.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about your area, but here in socal we have a few good industrial hardware stores that carry a lot more in the "oddball" metric bolts, fittings, washers etc, than any auto parts store. You might check to see if you have something similar. Or you could order them from McMaster-Carr

HTH,
Jason
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So this install was fun (not). I annealed the washers myself, and went about physically removing the old cooler. Found out that it won't come out with our removing an exhaust header. No biggie, right? Wrong! What ensued was a two hour battle laced with profanity. Even my dog was scared to come close. I have never had more difficulty removing an exhaust in my life. At one point I found myself tracing the headers with a flashlight and sliding paper in crevices convinced that there was a bracket I hadn't seen. Nope. All stock. That thing just didn't want to come off. I never got it fully off either, but got it just far enough away from the engine to squeeze the oil coolers by. Why Triumph put that cross pipe there I will never understand.

Swapped the oil coolers, did a little engine cleaning, and changed the oil. Ran it for a bit, but seeing as how the exhaust drove me to drinking, I did not test drive it. No sign of leaks as of yet. Let's hope those washers do their job.

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'07 Bonnie with Cargo Hack (Fanny)
'11 Ural Gear-Up (Boris)
'13 Husqvarna TR650 (Ginger)
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you find yourself needing those washers, let me know, I've got em at work we use them on all sorts of old Benz stuff, and I know I've got. 18mm in aluminum and copper
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