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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 10-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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12000 Mile Service Overview

OK,

I decided to do the 12K service myself, and a few people have asked me to provide my thoughts, which are detailed here.

Things to note:

1) This thread is NOT an alternative to the service manual - if you are going to do this service yourself I strongly recommend getting either the Triumph or Haynes manuals.

2) The bias of the thread is to provide an overview of the task to people who have never done this kind of work, so they can judge whether or not they want to try it. I am nevertheless asuming you know how to use feeler guages, wrenches, calipers and so on. If you don't, it need not preclude you from doing this, but I suggest you get help from someone who knows, or go and get taught how to use those tools. There is no shame in that - in fact it is an utterly sensible approach.

3) There is no third thing.

OK - overview.

The 12K service includes oil change, filter change, spark plug change, balance carbs, and engine valve clearance check. The first few things we all know about, this is really about the valve check and shim change.

The OEM manual basically has you do this:

1) Remove alternator cover (right side engine cover)
2) use alternator nut to rotate crankshaft
3) check clearances
4) remove camshafts to replace any shims
5) reassemble.

My procedure differs only on point 1. There is no need to remove the alternator cover - which would require the compulsory replacement of a gasket, and all the cleaning that ensues. I choose to engage first gear, and turn the engine over using the rear wheel, with the spark plugs out. It works! WARNING - if doing it this way, you must NOT turn the engine over once you have removed a camshaft, or you will end up with valves out of time to the crank - which means you will dive the valves into the pistons upon start up.

So - propforwards method, step by step (more or less).

Tools needed:

1. Thin wall spark plug socket. I used a deep well 18mm socket - but a standard one won't fit, even with the AI removed. I had to machine down the outer diameter of the socket for it to fit - so make sure you get a thin wall spark plug driver.

2. Accurate measuring calipers.

3. Allen headed wrenches

4. Torx Wrenches.

5. Torque wrench (8 to 20 Nm range)

6. Metric feeler guages.

Procedure:

1. Do valve clearances before oil and filter change! Engine must be cold for this check!

2. Remove seat and fuel tank.

3. Use compressed air to blow all the crud out from around the spark plug area. Alternatively, use a good shop vac and a small nozzle to suck all the crap out of there. I found a dead grasshopper hanging out next to one of my plugs!

4. Remove Cam cover

5. Remove spark plugs

6. Engage fifth gear, use rear wheel to rotate engine. Do this in stages, to get each pair of cam lobes to face away from the valves, providing maximum clearance. This is where you check the clearance values, cam lobe looks like this:



7. Do this for all valves. If all your valves are in spec, you are done, you can smear some fresh oil on everything, clean your cam cover gasket, and replace the cam cover, and go on to spark plug replacement, oil and filter change etc (procedures not covered here).

8. If shims have to be changed, you need to pull out the old shims to see what they are.

9. The camshafts are driven by a gear, which is attached to a sprocket that is driven by the cam chain. This means that the camshafts can be removed without disturbing the cam chain, which means no special valve bucket depressors are needed. A pretty good system.

10. Using the rear wheel, rotate the camshafts / drive gear to the position shown below - see how there are marks on each gear that show alignment. In this position, all valves are under a minimum of compression, so that both camshafts can be easily removed without disturbing the crankshaft further.

Alignment - this is looking from the left side of the engine. See an E and I on each camshaft gear, as well as two marks on each camshaft gear that align either side of marks on the center gear.





Note how the marks on the 3 gears are aligned "dot to dot" and "line to line". Also, there is a "T" stamp on the other side of the sprocket which should be at the top of the sprocket when the alignment is correct. It is shown in the following picture, though it is tricky to make out clearly. It is just to the left of the paint mark on the center sprocket.



The critical thing to remember is NOT to turn the engine once you have a cam out. If you do, the alternator cover has to come off and the engine needs to be re timed, which is not that hard either.

When these are aligned this way, the cam lobes are all pretty clear of the buckets and shims, depressing them to a minimum, to make camshaft removal and replacement easy. The lobes look like this typically - this is number 1 exhaust:



Now on to part 2
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Last edited by propforward; 11-14-2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Added a warning comment based on ohioriders later post
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Part 2

Before you start undoing bolts on camshaft caps, be aware of three things:

1) You must not mix up the cam caps, or their orientation.

2) The camshafts are not interchangeable

3) You need to pin the gear on each camshaft. Why? Because the gears consist of two pieces. The main gear, and an "anti backlash gear" which is spring loaded against the main gear.

Cam caps (oil pipe already removed from cap 2):



They are numbered, and have an arrow marked on them to help you in reinstallation, but get a piece of paper, write "in" and "out" on it, and lay all the pieces out on it to make reinstalling easy.

Anti backlash gear:



See that split along the gear teeth? That's the join line of the anti backlash gear - it just keeps the gear drive snug without binding. The gear has a hole in:



This hole is used to put a special tool in - this stops the backlash gear springing out of alignment. You can buy the triumph tool for 60 bucks, make one, or just use an M3 screw and nut, which I reckon would work. I'm not even convinced it matters if the gear slips - it can't come apart - having them pinned just makes it easier to put back together.

Now - remove the oil feed pipe from on top of the middle cam caps, and put it aside. You can see it in the above picture.

Here is the gear with my home made locking tool in place



Now on to part 3.
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Last edited by propforward; 10-07-2008 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Part 3

No more pics!

All the serious stuff is done anyway.

Now your camshaft anti backlash gear is locked, go around the 3 cam caps, gently removing each screw a bit at a time, to release pressure evenly. I only had to do two valves on my exhaust - and the screws were F tight, which surprised me a bit.

There is only light pressure on the cam lobes, and it is now very easy to lift the camshaft out. Leave your antibacklash locking tool in place. Again - now the camshaft is out do NOT under any circumstances turn the engine over.

Now - lift out the shims on the valves that need correction. I found it easier to lift the whole bucket out, and then get the shim out.

The shim is marked with its thickness, but on all 4 of my exhaust shims, the number had worn off, even though the shim was correctly installed with number down against the bucket. So I had to use vernier calipers to measure the thickness. I would have used my micrometer, but I had left it at work.

Anyway - I measured all 4 shims so that I have a record of them all for next time. I then calculated the required thickness for new shims (If I need to tell you how to do that, you should not be attempting this job), and then drove to the dealer to get new ones.

It is now a matter of reversing the disassembly steps. New shims go in, camshaft goes back, oil pipe goes back, camshaft caps are tightened to appropriate torque (only 10Nm), and clearances rechecked.

Everything is spot on - a dose of fresh oil is smeared on cam lobes, cam bearing caps, and then the engine is turned over several times by hand with the rear wheel for satisfaction.

Cam cover goes back on (only 10 Nm on the cam cover screws please!).

Now gap and install your nice new spark plugs, and proceed with starting the engine, and proceed to oil and filter change, and carb balance.

And voila! 12K valve check and adjust all done!

It's straight forward, but requires patience. Take your time. It took me all day, because I had to fashion tools, and do an hour and 3/4 drive to the dealer to get shims, plus I was extra cautious. Next time, I think I can do valve check and change, plus all the other bits in 4 hours, even taking my time, but that does not include drive time to the dealer.

And after............the bikes sounds exactly as it did before! But that's the point with maintenance - you are supposed to sort things out before they go awry!
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Last edited by propforward; 10-07-2008 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Added warning about turning engine over
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well that's pretty doggone cool!

What a post! Great photos. I may just have to try this myself. Was figuring that I'd have to pay the dealer for the 12,000 mile service next year... Would really rather do it myself if I can. This makes it look quite possible...

Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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12000 k - good time to swap out cams??

Propforward,

Great thread and thanks for going to the effort of documenting the 12000 k service! Sounds like the perfect time to replace the OEM cams with a hot cam.

It seems not many triumph owners just replace the cams. In the HD world, one of the common stand alone "performance" upgrades is to replace the cams. However, with our Triumphs, a cam swap seems to be always part of a suite of upgrades (high comp, 904cc, carb swap etc).

Any reasons why people don't just replace the cams ?? seems a easy way to increase performance

Thx
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What a fantastic write up.

When I had my 07 T100 at the dealers to have the cam cover gasket replaced for the usual leak that they seem to suffer from, the mechanic also checked and adjusted the valve clearances while he had it all apart, which was great, but when I suggested that it needed to be cold for that he said they don't worry about letting cool right down.
Just an hour or two cooling should be sufficient to to allow for checking of clearances - does this sound right?
I always assumed cold means cold, not luke warm.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would think a couple of hours cooldown would be OK - but I have always thought it was critical that the engine is cold to obtain accurate measurements, which is why I made the valve part of the job the first part of the service. Using the rear wheel to turn the engine over means you don't have to drain the oil out before starting, because you don't disturb the engine side cover.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M700R View Post
This makes it look quite possible...
It is indeed perfectly straightforward. Make sure you have all the required tools before starting, and get a manual. If you are comfortable doing basic mechanics, there is no reason you can't do this job.

If you don't have good calipers or a micrometer, and you can't borrow one, check with your bike dealer - they should have one and should be able to measure your shims for you if you need it. Don't mix your shims up when taking them to the dealer!

Other than that, and a home made locking tool for the gear (nut and bolt should do it) it's really not hard. Just take your time.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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superb write up and excellent photos. I'm going to do this over the winter and the description is invaluable to compare with the manual (for a learner mechanic like me)
Does anyone have the dimensions for the stepped locking pin ? I'd make that up before opening up the engine. And just how tight are those torqx bolts ? Would an impact driver be necesary to break the seals ?
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'll add a sketch of the locking pin tonight. I didn't even measure it as I was making it - it just allows you to keep the teeth on the backlash gear in line with the teeth on the main gear, so that installing the camshaft is easy. That's whay I reckon a bolt would work, but in any case I'll post the tool I made.

You do not need an impact driver to undo the TORX screws holding the cam caps. They are just tight. The manual says tighten them to 10Nm, which is not that much really.
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