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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I would offer up my experience re: Alternator Rattle on my 2002 Thunderbird which is a bit different to the broken bolt syndrome which seems to be common on the Triples.
My Thunderbird has only 6000k on it and I just recently acquired it, there has always been this nagging rattle from 2000rpm to 3000rpm under load and I thought it was primary noise, after reading up on the Rat net about all of the different problems regarding Alternators I decided to investigate, as the noise could be varied by bringing the revs up to the point where it would start to rattle and then put on the hazzard lights and it would play a tune up and down.
On removing the Alternator I noticed that there was a 2mm gap under the head of the 6mm bolt, this allowed the drive spyder to float on the spline with no purchase to hold it, the result was the chatter and wear on the spline the Belleville dished washer had cracked and fallen apart from under the bolt and the pieces were floating around inside the case. Because of the wear on the spline I decided to give it a dose of Loctite 680 Super Retainer after using the special primer, I made a 2mm steel flat washer on the Lathe and put some 680 under it also and fitted the original bolt with the smaller Belleville washer with Loctite 222 Thread Lock, I figure that I will probably be the one to take it apart in the future which won't be easy but it won't rattle again and the horrible noise is gone and my T'Bird is just great.
Cheers,
Rick.
 

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Just thought I would offer up my experience re: Alternator Rattle on my 2002 Thunderbird which is a bit different to the broken bolt syndrome which seems to be common on the Triples.
........ but it won't rattle again and the horrible noise is gone and my T'Bird is just great.
Cheers,
Rick.
Are you saying that now there is no rattling noise when you give it some throttle below about 3000 rpm?

Rick (the other one)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rattle fixed.

Rick,
All of the rattle and chatter are completely gone that were present below 3000 rpm before, it was caused by the loose fit of the drive dog and the spline on the alternator shaft.
Cheers,
Rick
 

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Rick,
All of the rattle and chatter are completely gone that were present below 3000 rpm before, it was caused by the loose fit of the drive dog and the spline on the alternator shaft.
Cheers,
Rick
That is totally amazing! I always thought it was the harmonic balancer and nothing could be done about it.

Thanks very much for determining the problem and working out a solution!

Rick
 

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Alternator Shock Rattle Ring Noise

Very nice to know it fixed your issue Rickardo. I just finished doing the exact same thing on my '98 Sprint Exec with the loctite retainer on the spline (no I didn't make washers on the lathe :). Haven't fired it up yet, and figured I'd look on here in hopes of seeing someone saying something similar had actually worked...didn't expect to so again, very pleasantly surprised to see your post. It sure had a lot of play in it, so I figured that was it.

While mine had the washers intact, there was significant play. Rang like a bell while the rotor stayed stationary. Bolt had been superglued in and seemed pretty tight, but once I broke that free was able to tighten even more to remove the play.

BTW, I think 222 is for little watch or eyeglass screws. 242 blue might be more appropriate for a 6mm, or 262 red (if you feel like using a torch on it later). Could be wrong, and don't mean to detract from your accomplishment.

At any rate, good show Rickardo!!!

***If I find tommorrow after curing that it didn't fix the issue, I'll certainly post some more details here or somewhere appropriate.
 

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Sharing my experience. . .

The alternator rattle finally showed up on my '98 TBS at around 30,000 miles on the clock. Thanks to this forum, I knew immediately where to look for the problem.

An inspection of the hardware revealed no physical failures. I simply re-tightened the bolt and reinstalled the alternator. So far so good after 1,000 miles. If the rattle surfaces again, I'll pull the alternator and apply loc-tite.

One side note: be mindful of the O-ring seal on the alternator. After coming back from test-riding a BMW K1200 GT today, I found a modest oil leak on the left side of the engine on my TBS. There was about an inch section of the seal missing from the alternator. I noticed the seal was a bit loose the last time the alternator was off. It's likely that I pinched it when reinstalling. Just something to watch out for.

I ordered a pair for $1.46 from Bikebandit today.
 

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RARR tool

The alternator rattle finally showed up on my '98 TBS at around 30,000 miles on the clock. Thanks to this forum, I knew immediately where to look for the problem.
I have been trying to do the "Rickardo's Alternator Rattle Repair" too but I'm having quite a time getting the alternator off. Can I assume everyone is using a T35 Torx socket to get at the three alternator mounting bolts? Unfortunately my Torx set goes from T30 to T40 and I cannot find a T35 anywhere locally - where did you get yours?

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Alternator Screw removal.

G'day Rick,
The screws holding the Alternator to the case are super tight to get undone, a combination of corrosion an rust as the screws are not plated just some sort or black Parkerising treatment. My solution was to buy a dedicated Torx and special driver bits set and using various sockets and adaptors I attached them to an impact driver, I went from a 1/4" hex Torx bit to a 1/2" driver, try to keep the length of the extensions to a minumum or you will not get the impact to crack the thread free, use some WD40 or similar penetrating oil to lubricate, I think you can get a 1/2" drive Torx bits in a set which would be a lot simpler than what I had to use and also more efficient because it would have less flexing, check out your local Auto shop they shold have them, you may not even need the Impact driver if you use 1/2" drive tools as it would be more rigid.
Hope this works for you. Cheers,
Rick.
 

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Alternator Screw removal.

G'day Rick,
The screws holding the Alternator to the case are super tight to get undone..... Cheers,
Rick.
Thanks very much Rick - all very good points. The screws are held tight and they are tucked tightly in an area that is not very accessible at all.

Was it indeed a T35 Torx socket that you used? The auto parts/tools people around here don't have one and cannot even order one. :confused:

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used a standard screwdiver Torx bit with a 6mm hex socket to drive it with various adaptors to get it to 1/2" drive, I am not sure what size the Torx size is.
Rick.
 
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