How to restore and what not to do - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Minitwins
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How to restore and what not to do

New to the forum. Recently purchased 1970 Bonneville from second owner, who started taking it apart, then decided the project not for him. Story seems legit, stored inside for last 49 years, not run for 20-25, odometer shows 8000 miles. Everything looks original, and in very good condition, though of course it needs a lot of things by now. It will arrive later this week.

I intend to restore it to make it regularly drivable around the city. I do not intend to show it. I have lots of questions about how to best do that, beginning with is there a manual or youtube series anyone would recommend? I saw one for a 1972, and at present that is my best option. I have the 1970 Triumph Workshop Manual.

Second, this bike is in great condition, but it is 49 years old. Obviously, I am going to replace all replaceables, rubber, bearings, etc. Weird (Triumph after market) high rise handlebars on it - I have already bought an OEM replacement for. But are there things people would not do? For example, the paint is good, but a little faded. Would you replace or rebuild the Amals? Electronic ignition? Re-chrome the wheels or just live with a little rust?

Picture below. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 12:56 PM
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Welcome, what a great find we are going to need more pictures. That thing looks great from the picture. I personally would minimal updates s far as new carbs and ignition till you see what you have after a few test drives. I run points still and have no problems so far and I ride mine almost daily. So I’d see what you have and draw up a plan then but no way new paint by the looks of it, but that’s me it’s yours enjoy it. Don’t hide um, ride um like they say. Road dirt washes off, just sayin.

Steven
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:05 PM
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1) Shop manuals are readily available on ebay. Also, get a parts book as it shows blown up assemblies. Lowbrow Customs have Youtube videos and DVD's on servicing and rebuilding Triumphs
https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/accessories/dvds.html
2) I would keep it as stock as possible including replacing the handle bars. I would not repaint it or rechome the rims. OOO Brass wool and WD40 will remove a lot of surface rust. Mostly stock bikes hold their value the best.
3) I would clean the Amals and try to get it running. Cleaning the pilot jet is paramount. I use a #78 drill bit I get from Micromark.
http://www.jba.bc.ca/Bushmans%20Carb%20Tuning.html
https://www.micromark.com/No-78-Drill-Bits-Pkg-of-6
4) I would start out with the points to get it running. EI is a mostly hidden upgrade. I like Pazon Surefires with 6 volt coils. Also, replace the rectifier and zener diode with a Podtronics.
5) Highly recommend a aftermarket oil filter. I like the ones from MAP Cycle that use a Trident filter.
6) Replace the rubber bits, especially tires, tubes and rim straps. Even if the tread looks good don't take a chance on old tires.
7) Before you try to start the engine remove the pushrod covers and squirt engine oil into the valve spring pockets to prelube the cam. Also, check the valve lash at the same time.
8) Get a modern sealed AGM battery. I like Motobatts

Htown16, Houston, Texas
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.

Last edited by htown16; 06-16-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Minitwins
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Thanks, I realized after I posted that the other question I had was what to do before I try to start it for the first time in 20 years. This is really helpful. I should not derail my earlier question, but anything else before I start it?
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:20 PM
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Before you start it have a gas can full of high test on hand and have the rest of the afternoon free to ride.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:21 PM
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Iíd change all the fluids before trying to start it. Make sure the brakes work. Make sure all the cables are lubed and moving free. Check what is inside the fuel tank. You may want to change fuel lines. Clean and gap the points. Make sure the auto advance cam unit moves freely. Drain the float bowls and with the float bowl drains out, turn on the fuel and run it into a jar to rinse out contaminants. Make sure the throttle is moving the slides freely. Air in the tires. Lube the chain, make sure you donít have frozen links. Fully charged battery. Make sure the air filters arenít falling apart, you wouldnít want your engine to swallow the bits. Drain the sump, just in case it is wet sumped from sitting. You could rebuild the carbs in advance or just give it a go and see what transpires. Put a little carb cleaner in it. You will need new tires, but Iíd get it running first.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:24 PM
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If something electrical doesnít work, the first thing I do is examine wires, then unplug connectors, clean and lube them, and plug them together a few times to improve the contact. Check fuses, clean fuse holder contacts.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:24 PM
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Jimmy Cricket

Welcome to the Forum.

Remember they are ORIGINAL ONLY ONCE. From what I can see looks to be a Canadian 70 T120 rather than a US T120.

Would love to see more pictures clear close up shots.

If you are rich replace everything. Me I would just clean it up and do a bit of detailing.

Have you ever owned a pre Hinckley Triumph before

K

TRIUMPH
"THE WORLDS PRE-EMINENT MOTORCYCLE"
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:26 PM
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Iíd leave the paint alone, original. I never do anything to a collectible vehicle that canít be undone. I save all the original stock stuff, even if I donít plan to re use it.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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I think it is Canadian, but how can you tell?

Never owner a Triumph before. First bike was Kawasaki 400, I think 1976 or 1978. Now ride an 2014 RT1200, which I love on the highway but is a little too much around the City, especially when it is hot outside.

Agree that I would keep stock parts, and probably do as little as reasonably possible. But I have not had a vehicle leave me by the side of the road in 35 years, about when electronic ignition came in, so that is something I have to think about.

I am prepared to spend some money on this bike. I assumed I would need a new top and bottom end, but I am picking up that may not be necessary. I will definitely replace the chain, probably moving parts on the brakes, tires and anything else safety related.

It does sound like people think the more original the better.

Will post good resolution pics when I get the bike. Thanks
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