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Discussion Starter #1
Picked this up yesterday, first ‘classic’ bike I’ve owned. It runs well for its age, starts without too much trouble (my kicking muscles could use some training).

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I rode it home from the PO home, about 40 miles. Man my left wrist was a bit tired after that - that is one heavy clutch. Motor didn’t overheat, gasp for air, or **** down unexpectedly (though I anticipated it could despite the PO assurances). Once home, I breathed a sigh of relief and let it cool overnight.

in the morning, I took a few pictures and see a slight oil ‘weep’ from the left side.
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Overnight, just a little oil seems to be leaking from where the gear shift lever enters the case. While looking I saw that the bottom right side of the this case has a ‘flat’ section of case that doesn’t seem to line up with the cover
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You can see the shiny flat surface with a bolt projecting backwards, just above the exhaust pipe at the lower, rear corner of the case. No leaking there, just seems unmatched to the case-cover.

underneath, a little oil gathered on the square plate used to change oil.
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It is very slight and only on the left side of the plate.
The oil fill tube/frame seems to be full - haven’t yet determined how to read oil level, how much is too much or too little.
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The tires are old and need replacement, the tach and speedo are disconnected, and the seat isn’t an original.
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the handlebars are not original and the rear disc brake is inoperable. PO claims he rebuilt the master cylinder but it didn’t work. Front brake works quite well. The bike is shorter than I expected since it’s oil in frame. Why?

as you can see, it’s a running project... wasn’t a lot of money thankfully. My questions for the forum are:

where do I start? The rear brake? The instruments? Certainly new tires (which tires and vendors?) that slight oil weep? Or do you see something else entirely?
 

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Welcome to the Forum

You appear to have gotten one nice machine there. No offense I don't think you realize it yet especially if it wasn't big bucks.

What to do first change ALL the fluids that sets a base line..Leak at shifter is most likely a bad O Ring on the shift shaft When you change oil and drop the sump plate use Hylomar on the new gaskets should stop dribbles.

Next fix the rear brake and make you life easy a good time to replace rear tire/tube since they will be off. Look at the rubber brake hoses front and rear could need to be replaced. Next the front tire/tube. (Check the mfg date on the tires they may not need to be changed)

As far as the gauges you're missing the tach drive box on the engine so even with the Tach on the bike it wont work. Is the Speedo drive on the rear wheel (opposite side of wheel pictured) I never felt comfortable without a Speedo..

Frame oil pretty much as long as you can see oil you are at least at the minimum level. Too much it will come out the top of the frame and you get a nice mess. There should be a dipstick on the cap you removed to look into the frame.

You are missing the chainguard. Two things on a Triumph you NEVER start the bike on the sidestand and you ALWAYS shutoff the petcocks if the engine is not running.

K😷
 

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I agree with K on the important things to check / change first -
The flat section of case is correct - not a miss match
 

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Hi, this seems a nice bike! To mention just one thing, the paint on the frame around the battery area looks much better than it did on the 1979 T140D i bought last year.

The rear brake on my bike didn't work either, even if the master cylinder and caliper looked a lot newer than the rest of the bike. And the fluid level was ok. The reason it didn't work was that the outlet pipe on the fluid reservoir was clogged by some white residue or corrosion.

On dismantling the reservoir I couldn't understand why it was so complicated. I plan to refurbish it, but in the meantime I have replaced it with a cheap universal reservoir.

Regards, Helge.
 

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I have a 77 T140V. I don't think rebuilding the rear brake master cylinder is a good idea. It wasn't designed for that per workshop manual. I bought a new one from the Bonneville Shop after mine seized up.
 

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Welcome to the Forum

You appear to have gotten one nice machine there. No offense I don't think you realize it yet especially if it wasn't big bucks.

What to do first change ALL the fluids that sets a base line..Leak at shifter is most likely a bad O Ring on the shift shaft When you change oil and drop the sump plate use Hylomar on the new gaskets should stop dribbles.

Next fix the rear brake and make you life easy a good time to replace rear tire/tube since they will be off. Look at the rubber brake hoses front and rear could need to be replaced. Next the front tire/tube. (Check the mfg date on the tires they may not need to be changed)

As far as the gauges you're missing the tach drive box on the engine so even with the Tach on the bike it wont work. Is the Speedo drive on the rear wheel (opposite side of wheel pictured) I never felt comfortable without a Speedo..

Frame oil pretty much as long as you can see oil you are at least at the minimum level. Too much it will come out the top of the frame and you get a nice mess. There should be a dipstick on the cap you removed to look into the frame.

You are missing the chainguard. Two things on a Triumph you NEVER start the bike on the sidestand and you ALWAYS shutoff the petcocks if the engine is not running.

K😷
I thought there was no such thing as Never and Always with Triumph motorcycles.
 

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A typical problem with the rear brake is not setting the pushrod position in the cylinder to the correct depth. When the brake is released the reservoir hole has to be open to the brake line.
You will get better braking if you remove the chrome from the discs. The chrome was to keep them from rusting but also makes a lower coefficient of friction. Yours has some worn off so probably pulses.
The tach drive would go in place of the nut on the left just below the front of the cylinder block. The NVT tach is from a later year.
It appears you still have points. Electronic ignition is more reliable and does not require fiddling.
Download a parts and repair book from someplace like classicbritishspares.com
It would have had long megaphones as stock.
The frame oil cap should have a dipstick.
The o-ring on the shift shaft needs replacing. The rear end of the "flat" is where the primary chain adjuster is located in the main case.
 

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Hi vstevens, Welcome to the group!

So you got a little running project bike. Congratulations! You'll have a lot good times with it.

You rode it home 50 miles. Good! Well, no rear brake & old tires is taking a risk, but you won so that's behind us now. It takes about 50 miles to heat soak bike & it'll show it's problems in about 50 miles. You say it ran well so you are off to a very good start. The wiring has had some modifications & looks messy, but it got you home. So the connections are at least good enough for the moment. You'll want to clean things up later on.

Tires, brakes, speedo, oil leaks. Doesn't matter where you start. But as you already know safety items like tires & brakes are first priority so you can road test with relative safety.

Depends what tires you choose. I use Dunlop K70 because they look original which is important to me. I'm not fast rider & they work fine. Anyway, I get tires & tubes from J&P cycles. So far best price, but more importantly tires & tubes have been very fresh production. Look the web site over for yourself.

T140 750s have very stiff clutch springs. Clutch cable is critical to effort as well. The real cure is a 7 plate kit & 650 springs. Personally I'd start with cable. I have some experience with this. I would recommend only Barnett cable. Sold at many parts sellers in USA, shop around for price. Measure you old cable. I have specs in real life. You have different bars so you can choose length. If your current routing is good, keep the length you have now.
I've found Barnett cable lubed with Mobil1 V-twin 20-50 oil will give the least friction over time, lubed once a year, running oil down it like shop manual shows. Barnett is the only cable that can hold up to 750 springs. Ends are swaged on steel, not soldered. 750 springs are a cable killer!

Should you decide to use 7 plate kit, I got my Aerco brand from Bonneville Shop. I recommend it.

The primary cover at bottom is correct & normal. That's how they are.
There is o-ring seal for gear shift spindle #60-2640. If fits in groove on shaft. They can seep/leak. I've wondered if a X ring o-ring would seal better? I don't know if available. Triumph sometimes uses odd ball size seals not sold elsewhere.
There is bushing in cover for shaft to ride on. Oil can seep around outside of bushing sometimes. If that's the case, you can loctite it in.

The primary gasket on T140 has special shape to accomodate 3 row chain. It is seldom sold. You'll get 650 gasket. No problem, just trim it with scissors. It'll be thin on bottom so be careful. Also gaskets come in standard thickness & heavy duty. This gasket likes to seep. Often heavy duty is better. I'd put thin smear of Hylomar universal blue on both sides. Primary fill is 150cc I use baby bottles, they are marked cc & oz.

Primary oil is self leveling. If overfilled, excess oil will ultimately end up in frame. Possibly overflowing when you remove filler cap.

To be clear & this is very important!! The philips screws are actually pozidrive. A philips bit will deform head. Ebay is often only place to get pozidrive. You'll need sizes 1,2,3. Pozidrive grabs as tight as allen wrench. So don't mess around get pozidrive set. Most fasteners are inch size hex (imperial). But a few are British Standard hex (Whitworth). If you do much work, you'll find you need to 5 piece combination & 3/8 drive socket set. Most parts sellers have them or eBay. Some machine screws are imperial thread, some BA2 (British association). Most threads are imperial (American), some are cycle thread shown in shop manual as CEI. That is different from imperial so you need to pay very close attention. Some are close visually, so don't mess this up. Some threads are British straight pipe. Fuel tank comes to mind. Oil pressure switch is 1/8 NPS straight not tapered. Again pay attention. It's not tapered.

The oil leak on bottom of frame is very common. Both frame bottom may not be flat, common for alloy cover to warp. Frame is hard to flatten, cover just sand flat, with emery paper on flat surface. The gasket you have doesn't look right. All the parts sellers sell gaskets. Takes 2 with strainer screen sandwiched between. Get several.
Even in best of conditions these like to leak. Hylomar universal blue smeared on both side of both gaskets is good plan. Using Hylomar smear it on. Let gasket set 10 minutes or so to flash off solvent. Will be easy to remove later. Residual will wipe off with carb spray/brake clean.
I got Hylomar here:
Valco Hylomar 71283 RTC3347 Universal Blue Gasket Sealer with Nozzle - 100g Tube | eBay

Full oil level with heat soaked motor & oil is to bottom of rear of filler neck. Depending on temperature the oil expands about 1/2-1". After sitting over night set cold oil 1/2-1" lower.

Remember this is wet clutch. Very sensitive to oil type. Most car oil will result in clutch slip! Use only oils designed for wet clutch use. Meaning real motorcycle oil. Some car oils can work, but you must know exactly which ones. Don't chance it.

Rear brake is a fiddle to work on, not a problem, just take your time & take all the stuff apart to not fight it.
the master cylinder is not like car ones. You have to adjust how deep it is compared to push rod. Once you have clear understanding of what you want it to be, no problem. If not right brake won't work right.

The hoses fail from old age. Always replace them. Very easy to get all brake parts & hoses. I like the stainless masters as the normal like to rust. You can buy just stainless master & transfer it to old casting. Get reseal kit for the extra O-ings & boot as they are only sold it kits. You'll see. caliper parts easy to come by. Nothings cheap for a Triumph.

Making it home doesn't surprise me at all. You'll find once sorted these bikes usually start on first kick & can be ridden where every you want to go with out breaking down. They really can. My weekly coffee run is 55-100 miles. I've done lots of 300 mile days. No support truck & far from cell service. We don't give it a thought. But the bikes are well sorted & regularly serviced. T140s are runners & great riding bikes. They work really well & the brakes can skid either wheel at will. The 5 speed works & shifts really nice. You have early mufflers of some sort. Retro side covers & air filters gives the classic early look. Should you get retro air filters only get the genuine wire/gauze filter elements. They work good, washable, don't mess with mixture.

Keep us posted on how refurb goes. Fun stuff!
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Welcome to the Forum

You appear to have gotten one nice machine there. No offense I don't think you realize it yet especially if it wasn't big bucks.

What to do first change ALL the fluids that sets a base line..Leak at shifter is most likely a bad O Ring on the shift shaft When you change oil and drop the sump plate use Hylomar on the new gaskets should stop dribbles.

Next fix the rear brake and make you life easy a good time to replace rear tire/tube since they will be off. Look at the rubber brake hoses front and rear could need to be replaced. Next the front tire/tube. (Check the mfg date on the tires they may not need to be changed)

As far as the gauges you're missing the tach drive box on the engine so even with the Tach on the bike it wont work. Is the Speedo drive on the rear wheel (opposite side of wheel pictured) I never felt comfortable without a Speedo..

Frame oil pretty much as long as you can see oil you are at least at the minimum level. Too much it will come out the top of the frame and you get a nice mess. There should be a dipstick on the cap you removed to look into the frame.

You are missing the chainguard. Two things on a Triumph you NEVER start the bike on the sidestand and you ALWAYS shutoff the petcocks if the engine is not running.

K😷
Thank you Kadutz for your thoughtful reply. I didn’t even think about the chain guard, and the dipstick is missing from the filler cap. I’ll have to look for a chain guard replacement. Oil is easy to see, however, si I’m not sure I should worry about the dipstick.

I’ll check for a speedo drive box, don’t know if there is one already. I can live without a tach for now.

I read on this forum about never kickstarting on the side or center stand, thanks for the heads up.

Likely the first thing I’ll tackle are the tires and rear brake. PO state’s he rebuilt the master cylinder but it still wouldn’t work. Perhaps your advice about new hoses plus a new master cylinder is the best way to go?

I’ve done some reading here about the heavy clutch and many folks tend to recommend a 7 plate clutch (I had to look that one up and found it at Low Brow Customs online for a good price), clutch springs from the 650 T120, and perhaps a ‘featherlight’ cable. Its either that or short rides until my aging left wrist gains enough stamina for it.
I researched that ‘flat section’ on the left case cover and now understand that it’s for the primary chain adjustment screw.

Thank you again for the observation and advice. I’ll keep posting as I continue to learn about the care, maintenance, and restoration of this lovely motorcycle.

vince

oh, what is Hylomar and where can I find it? Do you recommend any particular vendor?
 

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Vince

TR7RVMan gave details above where to buy the Hylomar. It's a non drying gasket sealant.

Regarding the dipstick it may have fallen down the frame tube. If so it'll fall out when the sump plate/strainer is removed.

Your two fisted clutch may just be an adjustment problem. Before I go any farther you can see a factory Service Manual at www.classicbike.biz Before you go spending money on a clutch package you may not need try adjusting what you have. Do this by first disconecting the cable. Then start doing adjustments and reconnect the cable continue and lastly do the adjustor at the bars. If that doesn't work pull the primary cover and check the 3 pressure plate nuts. The threaded end going through the nut should be even with the top of the nut. If you have to adjust the clutch nuts go back to disconnecting the cable and repeat what you have done adjustment wise.
Leastwise that's what I do to my bikes when I get one with a two fisted clutch.

As far as the rear master yes get a new one. They can be rebuilt as easily as the front. BUT the problem is most guys can't seem to get the rear one reassembled properly. As the mechanical ability of the PO is an unknown factor a new one would appear to be prudent. Removing the master assembly from the bike is the biggest PIA job on the machine. To disconnect the spring you will need a mini meat hook. You can buy one or make one. One time I used a pair of channel locks and a bent metal coat hanger. You use what is at hand.

K 😷
 

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I have a 77 T140V. I don't think rebuilding the rear brake master cylinder is a good idea. It wasn't designed for that per workshop manual. I bought a new one from the Bonneville Shop after mine seized up.
Rear master can be rebuilt just as the front. Rear master kit has a couple of extra parts not needed in the front. Most shops will want to R& R the masters rather than rebuild as it's cheaper for the customer.

I thought there was no such thing as Never and Always with Triumph motorcycles.
The Never and Always you refer to are ALWAYS start the bike on the sidestand and NEVER turn off the petcocks You ALWAYS NEVER say that.

K😷😁
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow - lots of great feedback guys. You have answered questions I haven’t even known to ask. Thank you! I’ll continue to share my progress as I learn from you and my own experiences. Many questions to come. My appreciation of this old motorcycle grows with your guidance and support.

vince
 

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Try just pulling the clutch lever in about half an inch to change gear. There is no need to pull the lever to the handlebars. Make sure the clutch cable runs loose and not attached to the frame or any other point. Run some light lubricating oil down the cable. It might improve with no other work needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Try just pulling the clutch lever in about half an inch to change gear. There is no need to pull the lever to the handlebars. Make sure the clutch cable runs loose and not attached to the frame or any other point. Run some light lubricating oil down the cable. It might improve with no other work needed.
Rambo
I’ll give it a go. Currently, I have to pull the clutch lever all the way to the handlebar.
 

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If you have a nylon lined clutch cable, oiling it will make it stick. Most modern cables, like Venhill, are nylon lined.
You should not start the engine with the bike on either stand, they were not designed for that. If you have to jump on the kickstart you have a problem somewhere. Learn how to balance the bike on its wheels and kick the lever through.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rambo - did as you suggested. Simply checked for play in the clutch lever/cable. It was very tight. My hands a smallish, so I played with the lever until only about 1/8 or so slack was in the cable and my fingers could grip the lever without 'reaching'. Took it for a short ride and took a photo atop a local hill.


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Bike ran great. The clutch pull was definitely better. I only had to pull the lever about halfway to change gears/disengage the clutch. It is tolerable now, and I had a nice, albeit short, ride. I'd still like it to be lighter, but for now it will do.
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lots of smoke and dust particles hanging in the air from the recent fires (about 20 miles east of me). Between the heat and the bad air, I picked a lousy weekend to buy a motorcycle.

I haven't really had it faster than posted speeds, but I have noticed that I'm only counting 4 gears... 1 down, 3 up. Something seems to have happened to 5th.... not that I need it presently... but it's something else to put on my list. The other gears are shifting smoothly without any groaning or grinding.

Thanks again, Rambo and Kadutz! One more stupid question...

I've discovered 'Lunmad' on youtube - think I found him here as well - and his videos are priceless (I do have a workshop manual, as well). I've watched his whole series on replacing a t140 clutch. He makes it all look easy. I don't recall him draining any oil from the primary case but when he pulls it off, a little oil does pour out of the bottom of the case... not a lot; and he puts in about 100 - 150 ml oil once he buttons it all up (with a homemade gasket, no less).
Is that all there is to oil in the primary case or did I miss something?

Thanks again, folks. I'm enjoying the 'getting to know' the t140v... I've had several Suzuki, a BMW, most recently a Moto Guzzi and a '73 sportster (back in 1980 when it wasn't a classic/vintage bike). Certainly, I thought about getting a newer bike, mostly another moto guzzi (really like the bike and the Wild Guzzi forum equals this one in expertise and friendly helpfulness). But the idea of 'getting to know' a bike well.. a mechanical bike... charmed me enough to choose the t140.
 
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