Replacement engine options - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Replacement engine options

Hello, last year I bought a ‘98 Thunderbird with a locked up engine. It looks like I can easily swap in any carbureted 3 cylinder engine from other models around the same year. I’m looking for some verification on this because this would be the determining factor for me doing the swap or letting it go to find another one.

air box and secondary air system removed, short tors, Avon tires
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 07:12 PM
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As far as I know (admittedly that is not very far), any 900 3 cylinder will fit. Be nice to slip in the 6 speed 97 h.p. version, if it will work. Anyone know anymore please correct me if I am wrong. ...J.D.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 08:55 AM
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I agree with Wire Wheels a Trophy, Sprint or Trident should work just fine. But then if a Super III engine comes available it will fit also. That's the beauty of our Triumphs using a modular design, lots of the parts interchange with others. Or you could really go crazy and stuff in a 1200 four cylinder Trophy engine. 900 and 1200 Trophy use the same frame, even the same wiring harness. By the way, did you figure out why your engine is locked up? Pistons and liners can be replaced with the engine still in the frame.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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No I haven’t really even had time to look at it this past winter. The guy that I bought it from told me that it lost power while riding and just rode it home. I’m thinking that it probably lost oil pressure in #3. But that may be another option to just re-sleeve it.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 11:47 AM
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If he was able to ride it home, it can't be all that bad. I'd change it's oil and coolant and fire it up. Probably something simple. My Legend was a trade-in at a Kawasaki dealer. They sold it to me cheap. It was a pretty neglected, "sick puppy" when I got it. A good carburetor cleaning, some rejetting, a new airbox, coils and sparkplugs. She runs like a champ ! ...J.D.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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I put it on its center stand and put it in 5th gear and the engine wouldn’t rotate. Pinwall has a few triples available so I’m going to go with a replacement. I’ll remove the cylinders later to see the damage. If the bottom end isn’t damaged then I’ll rebuild the top end and keep it around so if I ever sell the motorcycle it will come with the original engine. The guy said that he rode it home. It sounded like he wasn’t too far away when it lost power and turned around.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Were are some good places to buy performance parts for the Thunderbirds? On my Speedmaster I removed the factory air box and exhaust among other things and would eventually like to do that on this one. Are there performance igniters and coils out there?

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:27 AM
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Green Cams from a Trophy engine are easy to get. A Trophy air box does a good job a breathing. Are you getting another engine? To check out the old engine, I'd take the spark plugs out and take off the right side crankcase cover off and turn the crank with a 15/16 wrench. If it turns easy then put the spark plugs back in and feel for the compression on each cylinder.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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As of now my plan is to replace the engine. I’m still going to remove the head and cylinders soon to see the damage. If the bottom end looks good then I’ll re-sleeve it. The engine block would still have to go to the machine shop to have them re-sleeve it right or are they replaceable like in a heavy duty Diesel engine?

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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So greg96brg, the green cams are the factory cams or are they aftermarket? What gives the other models more power? I’m thinking that it was by cams, carbs and exhaust. I could bump my engine up to the sport model power but still have the 5speed transmission.

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