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It is amazing how well these engine hold up. I took the head off my brother's '95 900 Trophy with 219,000 miles. Crosshatching looked great. The valve seats all looked good but some of the exhaust shims needed to be near the limit. One shim was 2.05 and the smallest shim available is 2.00. I bought a used head for $100 rather than doing all that valve seat work. How does the head surface look, any corrosion pits? I'm guessing that the valve seats will look just fine and no work will be needed. I would suggest you replace the copper crush gaskets on the exhaust ports into the headers. Good to read you are doing the fix.
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Hey Greg,

219000 miles that is 352500 km my word, and still running good? That is true use.

I am hoping the head evaluation/work will not cost me a whole lot more than that, I have a specialist not far from where I work. will go by next week. the engine has only 52000 on the clock, most owners would say it is just run in. if only triumph would have used decent head gaskets.

any idea if aftermarket valve seals are better than the oem ? not sure if I need to change them.

V
 

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Hi Leon, I was looking over your head gasket postings and I didn't see you mentioning the year or engine size. On the 1996 1200 gray engine the head gasket costs about $160. The 1998 1200 black engine the gasket cost is closer to $60. The design between the them is different. Mine has the gray engine. I've read of the 1200 engine leaking when it was parked over night and leaking on the outside before startup. I didn't know if it was the gray engine or black engine doing this leaking. Yes 52,000 km is a decent break-in. The exhaust valves are smaller and changing those shims doesn't happen much. It's the intake valves that need the adjusting for the first 50,000 km, then they hold pretty steady for the next 100,000 km.
Greg
 

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Oh I forgot, if you are taking out all the valves might as well replace the valve guide seals with oem. Your engine doesn't have many miles so I see no reason to take the valves out. But you did say the engine sat for 10 years without being started. No matter where the crankshaft stopped, the cams will have stopped in some position that left a set or two of valves open. Could rust have developed on that open valve or seat? Maybe, it depends on where it sat, near an ocean or in the desert.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Hi Leon, I was looking over your head gasket postings and I didn't see you mentioning the year or engine size. On the 1996 1200 gray engine the head gasket costs about $160. The 1998 1200 black engine the gasket cost is closer to $60. The design between the them is different. Mine has the gray engine. I've read of the 1200 engine leaking when it was parked over night and leaking on the outside before startup. I didn't know if it was the gray engine or black engine doing this leaking. Yes 52,000 km is a decent break-in. The exhaust valves are smaller and changing those shims doesn't happen much. It's the intake valves that need the adjusting for the first 50,000 km, then they hold pretty steady for the next 100,000 km.
Greg
Hey Greg,

It is a 93 trident 900 with a sprint fairing and yes, the head gasket is stupid money.
719941


Leon
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Oh I forgot, if you are taking out all the valves might as well replace the valve guide seals with oem. Your engine doesn't have many miles so I see no reason to take the valves out. But you did say the engine sat for 10 years without being started. No matter where the crankshaft stopped, the cams will have stopped in some position that left a set or two of valves open. Could rust have developed on that open valve or seat? Maybe, it depends on where it sat, near an ocean or in the desert.
I am thinking I do not want to take the head off again with the gasket price what it is. might as well change the seals. I have no idea how long they should last. same reason for giving the valves a decent rub. It sat in a barn in the middle of Germany so humid without salt most of the year:)

Leon
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Took the valves and valve seals out this weekend, cleaned the head ultrasonically and ordered some lapping compound. overall the valve seats and touch areas on the valves look pretty good. Normal carbon deposits on the valves and exhaust ports. The ultrasonic cleaning took care of most if not all of it. cleaned the valves ready for lapping.

Since the head is off and the head gasket price being what it is. I decided I do not want to open it again. So valve seals, gudgeon pin and piston rings are on their way, I'll give the cylinders a quick hohn then bolt it all together.

V
 

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Hi Leon, I was looking over your head gasket postings and I didn't see you mentioning the year or engine size. On the 1996 1200 gray engine the head gasket costs about $160. The 1998 1200 black engine the gasket cost is closer to $60. The design between the them is different.
The engine cases and head of the 1200 were significantly revised 99/2000, engine numbers around 100,000. Yes, it is referred to as the black engine in the Trophy parts fiche. The head and "barrels" looks a bit like the T595. The cheaper gasket is for this later engine and is totally incompatible with the earlier design:Cylinder Head and Valves 4 Cylinder Black

It's a bit confusing because the 1200 Daytona engine cases were always black but are of the same earlier design as the Trophy grey cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Update:
Received the dowels, pistonrings, clutch pushrod (worn on both ends), valve stem seal, shims and some other odds and ends. coming weekend I will be putting it all back together. valves have been lapped, barrels deglazed. It is cold in the shop though.

Hylomar on the barrels then torque the head down without gasket so they seat and set,
On recommendation I will torque down in twice as many stages as the manual states Anything else i need to watch for?

I do hope the oem gasket is ok these days.

V
 

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I'm confused, why would you torque the head down without the head gasket? You would then have to take the head off again and run the risk of disturbing the Hylomar seal. Be sure to put the forward (exhaust side) cam chain slider in before putting on the head. Also remember to place in the little horse shoe looking spacers on the exhaust side of the head. Part # 25
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I would use the head without gasket to make sure the barrels are seated correctly and let the hylomar set. then take the head off,"gasket on and torque it down to spec. I do not think it is essential but to my thinking, I will "feel" any "error" much better and quicker this way. taking the head off would not disturb the barrels since everything is clean and the head has nothing to hold on to (I suppose). talk me out of it if the risk is too big.

Do not forget cam chain slider, yes indeed.
horseshoe spacers , check

Thanks for the reminders/pointers Greg.

V
 

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I'm going to try to talk you out of it. Torquing down the head without the gasket will put the head closer to the engine case than ever and squishing the Hylomar sealant too thin. Then when putting on the head with the gasket the cylinder barrels won't be as tight as the first attempt. Maybe my thinking on this is wrong, but why go thru the hassle of putting on the head twice and maybe disturbing the Hylomar seals. My brother's Super III was leaking at base of the cylinders and antifreeze was getting into the oil. We had to replace the connecting rod bearings and the crankshaft.
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Right, did as recommended and put the whole thing back together in one go. I just did the tightning sequence of the headbolts in 4 instead of 3 steps. Note to self, buy new shims AFTER lapping the valves. need to get 4 shims.

What do the two horseshoe joints do? they keep falling out until you torque the two small bolts in the front to spec but they do not seem to be in there very tightly.
 

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Hi Leon, Good to read the engine is getting put back together. Could the engine do without the little horse spacers? Maybe, but I just figure the engineers put them there for a reason, so I put them back in. I haven't read of a 900 engine head gasket going bad. Lapping the valves was a good idea. It makes the valves and seats all shiny and clean. I did that the 1200 engine I rebuilt and yes the shims needed readjusting after that. No big deal. You will probably need to do another valve adjust after a 1000 miles. You can swap the shims around to get them in the right clearance.
Sometimes the local Triumph shop will trade shims with you. As time and mileage goes on, the shims need to be smaller and smaller. I have no need for the bigger shims 2.70 and above. I'm using a bunch of 2.55 and 2.60's.
What size shims are you using? and you did get the front cam chain slider in? Oops that a mistake I once did.
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Hi Greg,

Yes, your reminder made me think of it a few times. so yup put the slider in place in time. had a bit of a fiddle to get the cams and chain lined up so I am not really looking forward to taking it apart again to change the shims (not going to buy a tool though)

I need to get some 2.55 to 2.59 shims. I have found a man in Germany who will grind your old ones down to the new size you want. I am waiting for his reply. sound very good for the price and reputation. As you say, no need to keep the thicker ones.

Leon
 

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Here in the States the shims cost about $6.00 each. I think there are some Suzuki's that use the same shims and the price is cheaper. I would think the just the postage to Germany and back would be more than $6.00. I don't have the tool either. I've probably done the valve adjustment job 10 times or more and only goofed if up once. I missed the alignment on one of the cam markings by one tooth. The bike ran good but it just didn't want to rev above 7 grand. I didn't notice the problem that Winter in Kansas City until the weather got warmer and tried some wide open throttle blasts on the freeway. No damage was done.
Greg
 
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