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I have to test the damper on the dyno first then see if there is a way to economically make them. No point if they are only for people who want bragging rights.
If you want a good set of forks you can adapt a modern set but they will not look near stock. I built some prototypes that are rebuildable and the stanchion runs on bushes like a modern fork. The slider tube is honed and hard anodized.and the lower section can be changed for left/right disc or none.
737065

What people say they want and actually buy are two different things.
 

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Hi Andy, My fork cap, as I'm sure yours does, states 190ccc ATF. I've always used 190cc. When they leaked so bad I added extra. Made fork feel different, stiffer. When they leaked low, seem to be more comfortable.

After installing LeakProof I experimented with different weight fork oils. 10w, ATF various types including full synthetic, 7w, 5w. I did a decided road test route that included bumpy freeway, canyon riding with, smooth sweeping curves, bumpy sweeping curves, smooth & bumpy tight curves. Finally ended with city riding, not too bad bumps, very rough city roads worse than cobble stone.

These forks are very sensitive to oil weight. Changing only 2w is very noticeable. I started with ATF, various kinds, all felt very similar.

Then 10w. On bumpy freeway rebound was so slow the I could feel fork packing up & getting deeper in the travel. Was horrible, simply punishing to the rider. Later on bumpy sweeping turn bike was hard to hold line as it bucked so bad. I was very scared on fast sharp curve. I nearly bounced off the road as front wheel chattered & skipped across pavement. Only God kept bike on road!.

7w proved to be better than ATF for sure, but I still felt rebound was too slow, compression felt pretty good. Was tolerable.

5w felt so much different. On the rough freeway was dramatically smoother. Freeways are old & disjointed concrete with raised joints. So bike wants to buck bad. I was simply shocked at how much better 5w was. On the exact same curve where I almost died 5w allow an easy 5-10 mph more speed without feeling out of control. On club rides I realized I could not keep up without feeling scared on curves.

Do this test. Remove wheel, fender, springs. By hand pump fork up/down different speeds & effort. You can feel the damper work. I think you are using ATF. Drain oil & feel it, it moves very freely. Fill with like 5w, feel it. The difference is huge.

I found the LeakProof seals have much less stiction than the black rubber "original" type. About half as much or less. The fork will come back to normal at stop sign most of the time. Coupled with the phenoilic damper rings it will most often come right up to normal at stop sign easily. Do road test & observe what fork does after it compresses coming to stop. What does yours do? Check several times. Note what it does. I'm very curious as to what you find now & after reseal how it is. The special Ariete seal grease & Ariete seals are supposed to be good regarding stiction.
Again in every case I'd not use the normal black seals most places sell or the rubber damper ring. The damper ring is the really huge part of stiction.

You have enough experience now to do this work yourself. Thing is you can take the time to get everything just perfect. Just the way you want. Check inside of leg for rust with torch. I polish it all out, even up where spring is. Use oil or solvent as lubricate/cutting oil during polishing. Clean well with solvent & rags. I don't like to use gas, but it works good as a solvent. We can't buy real solvent in California due to fumes pollute air. Water base solvent just doesn't cut it in these cases. All this can be done with upper in place.

I feel for you on lock down. My wife & I are at risk from age, she has other risks. Seems they are finding Covid can have long term side effects even if it doesn't kill you. I'm nearly 69. I'd like to ride for another 10 years if possible.
We were very active & it's killing us to be so cautious. My feeling is if we make the sacrifices now it will pay off in the future. I hope so. I expect it will be at least a year before things return to normal. I'm really angry about loosing 2 years while we still have our strength!! We just have to suffer through. Sorry for us all.

If you can get the parts, might as well move forwards on reseal.

I'll try to do photo shoot in next few weeks installing phenolic rings on T140 type forks. I'll try to do them from the top with sliders in place.... We'll see how it works out...??
Don
 

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Hi DMadigan, "what they want & what they buy". Isn't that the truth!
You do the coolest stuff with these old bike. I have such respect & admiration for you. I know the hours & hours spent in the shop to do this. Not to mention the way it is on your mind... There is a lot of thought that goes into this stuff! We won't even get into the investment in tooling.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Hi Don, many thx for the info, particularly on the tool dimensions.

Not sure about changing the dampers, unless they are u/s when I get them apart, but I'll take Stuart's advice and talk to the people with the revised damper design here in the UK. I'll go with the phenolic damper rings and the Leak Proof seals, and new springs anyway. I'll talk to LPW and discuss with them too. It's a matter now of how many more miles I can get in before the bad weather arrives. I get very stiff on a bike when its cold!

Glad I'm not the only one frustrated about losing a year or 2 (or maybe more - who knows?) due to the virus. I travelled much of the world for work for 40 years and looked forward to seeing more of the UK when I retired 4 years ago and not having to go through yet another airport and all the attendant hassles and petty bureaucracy. Now with a suddenly-poorly wife we have to sit at home and look out of the window so as not to risk her treatment. Seems unfair, but at least I have my saxophones to keep me company!

Life eh? could do with some of your Californian sunshine and warmth right now. 😕
 

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I never understood the phenolic rings, low stiction seals, not to mention sophisticated damping systems... even though I bought them. At stop, my forks, and all other t140 I've tried, STICK so much! Push on the front end, and it remains compressed by ~1/2", 1". My r80 and my xs650 don't do that, and they've never been refreshed . And no wonder, given the free play between the legs and the tubes on the t140 (even in good shape).
Now, maybe dynamically the forks work differently, the weight distribution is more favorable and they don't stick -- hard to tell. Still, my back terribly hurts on the concrete highways with rough joints between slabs.
Andy, Don, I'm curious to see where you'll eventually end up.
 

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Hi Stressanalysis, Come on now.... It's a Triumph. Of course it's going to have stiction. You don't think this is yet another reason Japanese bikes became more popular, besides oil leaks, poor electrics & short engine life?
The guys I ride with, we laugh about this stuff all the time when we get together. Why do we punish ourselves with these bikes? At the end of the canyon we all know why. They ride like nothing else, even with all their faults.

Regarding the freeway joints what oil are you currently using in forks? How much oil are you putting in? What year is your bike/forks? How much do you weigh ready to ride? I have some thoughts. The freeways here are vicious with the joints. When they grind them, the grooves can really make bike/steering jiggle. Until you get used to it, scares the daylights out of you.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hi Stressanalysis, Come on now.... It's a Triumph. Of course it's going to have stiction.
Why do we punish ourselves with these bikes? At the end of the canyon we all know why. They ride like nothing else, even with all their faults.
:giggle: :giggle: :giggle:
 

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When I got my T140 the forks were 'sticky' and wouldnt fully rebound from compression, at least not when stationary. As the bike was virtually new, I presume they werent set up properly when it was built. There is a procedure for aligning the stanchions / yokes etc in the workshop manual, it is described in section G4. The manual can be downloaded from classicbike.biz. It is a matter of loosening nuts and bolts and tightening them in specific order, plus a bit of bouncing the forks as you go. Setting them up as per the manual got them bouncing nicely.
 

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Hi All, After putting the phenolic damper rings from LP Williams in other's bikes I finally got around to doing my own. I'd prior put metric o-rings in of unknown size from my "oring box" of rings from generic reseal kits for cars. They were slightly smaller than originals so had less stiction.

I did a careful road test prior to observed the forks at stop lights etc., small & large bump sensitivity. Hard to see fork move for slight bumps, but I could see brake hose flex or not even with 1/4" of movement.

I put the o-rings in from the top. Never done it before. A fiddle of sorts but I wanted to specifically not disturb "leakproof" seals. I wanted to just evaluate the Williams rings. Used BelRay 5w fork oil again from same bottle as I used for o-rings.

I'd already aligned crowns when I did the LeakProof seals. So I specifically didn't touch them. I didn't remove fender either. I noted last time how just installing front fender can effect the free movement of sliders. Not a lot, but I could certainly feel it. I attempted to fit/bend fender mounts for best movement. Installing wheel can make a difference also. Obviously the legs are not perfectly parallel. I've observed this on several bikes dry frame & OIF, but the dry frame forks seem to move freer on their bushings. It seems anyway??

In any case for this test I changed nothing but the damper rings & new oil, same type/weight.

With springs removed forks compressed fully & tied up to full compression I unbolted the damper rod. I used 1/4" aluminum rod with end turned smaller to fit through threads, I could feel very decided stiction from the rubber o-rings. Pushing damper rod back down with 2hd rod it has similar stiction as expected.

Installing phenolic rings is easy. Grease well. Spread very gently with thumb nails & slide over piston, into groove.

The difference in stiction is very dramatic. The damper rod assembly nearly falls under its own weight. Pushing up/down with the rods you can basically feel no friction at all. What the ring does under oil pressure is still unknown.

I have stock springs from new. I've experienced the feel of these rings on others bikes, but all bikes feel different. On my bike just going over gutter at end of driveway I could feel the difference. I took a brief 10-15 mile ride, but not on my normal "shock/fork road test route". However I did a bit of the route. Where before I could observe no movement of the brake hose, I now see fairly constant movement. It is decidedly smoother on small bumps. But not so smooth as the steel legged dry frame fork. Large bumps it feels similar as before, which was pretty good. Better on large bumps than dry frame fork. I didn't feel any change in compression or rebound damping over larger bumps. Did not ride on wash board freeway joints, or wash board curves like on road test route.

One thing is very clear, the fork never stays even partly compressed at stop lights now. I come to stop & it comes right up to the up stop. I'm probably a little light for the factory spring. 160# ready to ride. But even with the smaller O-rings fork didn't return 100% of time. With the old fork seals & rubber o-rings it basically never came up stiction was so great. LeakProof seals had much less stiction that factory or Emgo seals. With the Williams rings stiction is dramatically reduced.

I've noticed this with most forks, even my mountain bike. After bike has sat for even a relatively short time the fork feels a little harsh & may have more stiction. After maybe a mile of riding depending on how bumpy the fork frees up, like it's "warmed up". My Fox Fork bicycle manual says it takes some movement of legs to pump oil between slider & leg. Then it works as it should & the oil takes up what seems like too much play. I don't know if that is true for Triumph or not. But I've noticed that before. More obvious with new rings.

If all goes to plan I'll do at least 60 mile road test on the "road test route" & give full report. Stay tuned..
Don
 

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I’ve tried virtually everything on various forks over the last 50 years or so. There are certain things that apply regardless of brand. Learn how to properly set SAG. That is your starting point. Use the lightest oil you can that maintains control. Your bike won’t handle or stop if the tires don’t stay on the ground.
 

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Hi duc96cr, I agree with your statements 100%. Just riding along on level smooth ground I have about 1" sag. 6" travel. I find with 6" travel 2" sag might be more ideal. I don't want to shorten or buy new springs at this time, so I'll live with 1" for now. After experimenting with 10w ATF, 7w, I find 5w is ideal for my conditions.

10w was so harsh I almost skidded off road from wheel hop like it was a full ridged fork. On jointed freeway almost chipped my teeth & my eyeballs actually were shaking at 65 mph. I simply could not believe how harsh the ride was.
Don
 

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Hi All, Did the 70 mile "shock road test" to day. What an eye opener. I got some real surprises. Where does one start?

This is the 4th set of LP Williams damper rings I've been involved with. I only did fairly brief road test on those bikes. I was very impressed with what I found.

Now I have a good handle on what they will do in all conditions. The road test route I'm very familiar with & have ridding it many times. At least 100+.

Remember I'd already put in thinner rubber o-rings & leak proof seals, 5w oil. Aligned legs so forks were greatly improved over stock rings, with Emgo fork seals.

We have many man hole covers where road is repaved. Cover is about 1" deep with slightly feathered edge to pavement. Before I could decidedly feel them, but not very harsh. Now glides over them much more smoothly.

Some of the road is slightly rippled asphalt. 3/8-1/2 tall. Before bike was not harsh or uncomfortable, but I could certainly feel them in my hands. Now glides right over them, if not thinking about it, I wouldn't have even given it a thought. Had to concentrate to feel it in my hands. I rode this section twice to be sure.

We have some large ripples 1-2". This defiantly gave the bike the shakes before. Now bike glides over them easily. That really surprised me. Rear shocks could certainly use improving. That's another subject.

35 mph speed limit sections of very rough broken/patched pavement before was really harsh. I often wouldn't go 35. Now even 40 doesn't feel that bad. 35 was no problem at all. I rode this section twice as well just to be sure.

Getting to freeway 680 Dublin CA. Speed limit 65. Rough cracked concrete with wash board joints. As I said before with 10w was horrendous. After the first round of "improvements" was tolerable. This section even makes the cars buck. Now is was dramatically better. Shockingly better really.

Then back to the canyons. Fast sharp curves very wash board where I almost died with 10w, was decent before, now it is so much more improved it surprised me again how much more control it has.

I also have a few brief sections of dirt road & 3 dirt/gravel large parking lots with 4-8" deep pot holes of different diameters, some want to stop the front wheel dead. Plus all sorts of ruts. I rode off road bikes for years, even my TR6C. This was utterly jaw dropping shocking!! Before it certainly was no problem, but I had to pay very close attention. If not paying close attention, deep holes could throw you. Now it's like my mountain bike. The wheel just follows the holes going up/down several inches keeping bike very stable. I've ridden this parking lot many times, never saw the wheel work like this, the way it should. I always wondered how they could have used this fork on BSA off road racers. I was simply shocked at how well the fork worked on the dirt lots & dirt roads. I've ridden this bike after the prior improvements many miles on dirt roads. It is now so much fun. I rode all 3 dirt parking lots several times to be sure it was really happening. Super fun to say the least.

Moving on some higher speed undulating roads 55-62mph. Where the soil isn't stable so the road has these dips & humps. Going faster it could be dangerous. Not much change on these. Watching forks here before & after they pretty much nearly bottom & fully extend. I think this is too much change for the fork no matter what. However with original factory parts, I couldn't safely exceed 50mph.

There is a pretty good size pot hole in road we always avoid. I decide to try it at 35 mph. Mistake. If I didn't have enough air in tires would have torn tube & bent rim. Bike bottomed quite hard. Didn't seem to change from prior, or at least not at this speed. Too much for the fork in general.

Where the road has been repaved & you go onto new section is a lip. Before quite a jolt. Now that was just bump, not discomfort to wrists or hands. An decided improvement, but before wasn't that bad.

There are a few places that have nearly invisible hard jolts in pavement. You know the kind, it comes so fast, you don't see it & not ready. You feel it decidedly in your hands, then instantly the rear end hits it & sends a shock wave up your spine. Sometimes it takes a while for the shock to leave spine/back. I hit 2 of these. Not on purpose! I didn't feel either in hands so I was 100% surprised when it got my back.

Observing fork dive during braking, I don't see or feel a difference. When rolling on throttle quickly the fork would extend as expected. Now even moderate roll on extends forks so the stiction was even much greater than I realized.

Watching forks in wash board curves before with the improvements the wheel moved very quickly. Now it appears to move much more quickly & farther. The feel to hands is very different. I can still certainly feel the wash board, but no harshness to hands or bars now. I was getting braver. It allows more speed with control.

Doing some experiments with wiping leg & seeing where wiper boot would leave a line' comparing this to the brake hose motion, I estimated how much travel I was getting. Very much seat of the pants. Not trying to be hopeful, but realistic it looks like where fork as not moving before it has constant movement of at least a 1/4" & often 1/2-3/4" with no perception of rode irregularities. In the bars or seat. Substantially improving ride quality & comfort.

Funny though by the end of the ride, I still wanted more smooth, more travel, more something. I think this is pretty much as good as I'm going to get with this fork. Very acceptable. I'm very pleased.

Interesting with the front so smooth, now I realize how harsh the rear is. Original from new Girlings & springs. Rear will have to wait. I want to do motor overhaul first.

Recap, "Original LeakProof " fork seals, LP Williams phenolic damper rings, BelRay 5w fork oil. Aligned forks as described in shop manual. That's it. I recommend it. You may want to experiment with fork oil.

I'm still quite surprised at how much the minor stiction of the damper rings truly effected the fork.

I'm most interested in the experiences of others that installed the Williams damper rings.
Don
 

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Hi Stressanalysis, I don't know what to tell you about your forks. My experience is very different from yours.

What year is your T140? I would recommend the Classic LeakProof seals. Very easy to install on later bikes with snap ring retaining seal. Only a little harder on earlier years with the drive in fit retainer "washer". I found stiction of original type fork seals of various brands just horrible.

Did you use LP Williams damper rings like in my photos? Or something else?

What fork oil did you use. I've swapped bikes with big men over 200# & they like the feel with my old "improved rubber damper rings" & 5w.

With fender & wheel installed how does your fork slide with springs removed? If it has oil in it, cover top of tubes with rags as oil can squirt out. For testing I drain forks so the damper doesn't come into effect. Even moving forks by hand with springs out the damper is activating. You can feel different oil weights like this. Very surprising how much difference even 2w difference on oil makes. The damper is very sensitive.

Cycle Gear or Ebay sells BeyRay 5w for about $16 a quart. Not cheap, but the racers at work say it's good. I've not tired anything else. If you are a military veteran you get 10% off at cycle gear & many other places.

I found the difference on the concrete freeway very noticeable now. Truth be told, it didn't even feel like the same freeway.
Don
 

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I have LP Williams damper rings, but am not thrilled with my front end. Perhaps my expectations are too high because of my second bike K75S which front fork however old its so much more sophisticated. Still can feel small and bigger bumps in my hands and the feel is quite harsh, makes me much more tired after a ride than my BMW.
Last Thursday riding my Trident through town managed to hit a big pothole exactly the same like Don wrote about in his post, perhaps with lower speed, but during braking ahead of a road crossing. I hit it with such a force I thought my front wheel got destroyed. Front fork was already compressed and all the force was taken by a wheel and tire, luckilly nothing happened. My feeling is my sag is too big and my front end doesn't always comes back to it's regular length after braking, so some stiction is still there. Perhaps my springs are little tired.
Also my question is how much of fork fluid do you guys use? I use 5w as well but not Bell Ray.
However I'm really happy with my NJB rear shocks, sold by Walridge in Canada for very reasonable price - they really transferred a rear end of the bike and the pothole didn't do anything to disturb them.
 

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Hi Adam, Thanks for the input.

What seals are you using in forks up top? What year is your Trident?

I found the LeakProof seals made a huge difference in reducing sticktion.

I agree 100% these forks are not nearly as good as many of the other brands.

T140 says 190cc in the manual & on sticker on top of fork cap nut. I don't know how much oil Trident uses in fork.

Wife & I took a nice afternoon ride today. She was on back. I was thinking how nice it felt now. I was observing the front fork at stop lights. It comes back up 100% of time now. I mean 100%. It's never done that before.

Would be interesting to see how forks slide with springs removed, wheel & fender in place. Maybe the legs are being pulled out of parallel or not parallel? Or as I said, maybe the top slider seals are the problem? Or both?

Personally I feel BMW is one of the nicest riding bikes in the world. My neighbor had a 70 or 71 BMW. He loved my Triumph so we swapped bikes all the time. I loved the BMW. Way more comfortable. I remember going over Kirker Pass from Pittsburg CA. Was 110f. At the top my boots were so hot I couldn't wiggle my feet without burning my ankles from the hot leather. The cyl right in front or your feet could put out some heat. Really a nice riding bike though..
Don
 

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Hi Adam,
how much of fork fluid do you guys use?
Any '71-on triples should use 230 cc. in each leg. To clarify for '71 and '72 triples that started out with the same 190 cc. as the twins, there are '72 Service Bulletins kicking around the www detailing the change.

Ime, wa-aa-ay too thin on a triple - ATF as advised originally is around 7.5w~10w aiui?

not Bell Ray.
Mmmm ... afaik, there isn't any SAE standard for measuring fork oil; there's a chart kicking around the www comparing different brands' printed viscosities with their actual using a standard rig; some brands have ... errr ... more variation ... than others; all Bel-Ray were either spot-on or very close.

Hth.

Regards,
 
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