Now or later? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Now or later?

My plan was to tear the engine apart this winter to at least replace all the leaking gaskets. Today I noticed the leaks around the base of the cylinders have gotten worse. The right side is lightly spraying my boot and that side of the bike. I also noticed some light wisps of smoke around the right cylinder base when idling, although I couldn't see exactly where it's coming from. It could be oil burning off the outside. I revved it up good but didn't actually see oil or smoke spurting out.

I'm inclined to go with my original plan and wait until this winter, making sure to keep the oil topped off and not flogging her hard. Is this a bad idea? Should I bite the bullet and lose part of this riding season in order to avoid some unforeseen but possible catastrophe? I mean, if it gets much worse I'm sure I'd give in and do it now.

I will be doing the work myself, although I don't know everything that's involved with this engine. I've got manuals and tools. I tore down dirt bike engines a long time ago and managed to get them running again, so I think I'm competent to figure it out, although it may take me a while longer than some of the experts on this board.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 04:58 PM
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Keep riding till the weather shuts you down.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 06:40 PM
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I would check the cylinder base nuts before riding again. The leak is likely to be the O rings on the tappet block. The pushrod tube bottom seals, or the base gasket. When you do look into this, be prepared to change the piston rings as worn rings will help to increase crankcase pressure and this forces oil past seals.
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Now,where did that bit fall off ?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:58 PM
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A quick top end job should be a weekends work. Take it apart with a view to fixing leaks only, whilst it's apart you can assess condition of bores, valve guides, seats etc and make a list for your winter strip down. A vintage Triumph should not have to suffer the indignity of oil leaks!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Miller View Post
I'm inclined to go with my original plan and wait until this winter, making sure to keep the oil topped off and not flogging her hard. Is this a bad idea? Should I bite the bullet and lose part of this riding season in order to avoid some unforeseen but possible catastrophe? I mean, if it gets much worse I'm sure I'd give in and do it now
Difficult to say really, depends how bad the leaks are I think. My bike developed oil seeps from the cylinder base and rocker boxes once I started using it properly. They're not bad and they're not getting worse so I'm happy to wait until winter, that's why I recently bought the gasket set. I think if your boot and other parts of the bike are being oiled it sounds bad enough to do now, you might not damage the engine if you keep riding but it'll always be in the back of your mind.

Yes, I think I'd do it now.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 05:09 AM
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just nip up all the nuts and bolts - keep it topped up with oil and keep riding it --( treat the leak as an oil change)

time to stop is when your feet slide off the footrests
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I'm on the fence but I think I'm just going to tighten everything up and keep an eye on it. If it keeps getting worse I'll do a quick top end job.

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...but it'll always be in the back of your mind.
I hear you. I'm probably more anxious than I need be just because I don't know enough yet. So even a "quick top end job" is somewhat off putting. But I've managed to do a lot of work I didn't know how to do before so I bet I can figure it out. I just don't like the idea of an unknown quantity of down time because I ride just about every day and enjoy it so much.

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When you do look into this, be prepared to change the piston rings as worn rings will help to increase crankcase pressure and this forces oil past seals.
That makes sense to me.

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A vintage Triumph should not have to suffer the indignity of oil leaks!
Good one!

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...time to stop is when your feet slide off the footrests
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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I would check the cylinder base nuts before riding again.
They were all loose. A couple on the right very much so. I’ll keep an eye on ‘em from now on. Thanks!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 06:17 AM
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I have had success with a base gasket leak using a silastic and a feeler gauge to push it in. If you do this use something like brake cleaner or carbie cleaner and get the area as oil free as you can then smear some silastic in the area and push it into the gap with a feeler gauge [find one the right size]. Allow it to cure then ride a check. I've done this a few times on peoples bikes where they really didn't want to disassemble [till later] and it has worked every time so far.
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Last edited by tridentt150v; 08-18-2019 at 11:23 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentt150v View Post
I have had susses with a base gasket leak using a silastic and a feeler gauge to push it in. If you do this use something like brake cleaner or carbie cleaner and get the area as oil free as you can then smear some silastic in the area and push it into the gap with a feeler gauge [find one the right size]. Allow it to cure then ride a check. I've done this a few times on peoples bikes where they really didn't want to disassemble [till later] and it has worked every time so far.
Yes, maybe...Just loosen the cylinder base nuts slightly to raise the cylinder up maybe .020" so you dont have the pushrods getting out place...Of course an old paper gasket may break up and the cylinder may not seat down squarely. So maybe better to treat it like a sore dick, don't screw with it..
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