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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys... need some advice...

I've had the TBS out a few times this year so far - no issues whatsoever.

Then, on Saturday, I went to go riding, and thought I was running out of gas - stumble and spitting, like the engine was starved for fuel, right at about 3500-3700 RPM. Over 4K, and everything smoothed out.

I remember reading about these symptoms on numerous "coil failure" threads, but it seems like in those threads other solutions were proposed and some seemed to actually work (jet changes, tune-ups, etc.). I'm wondering, though, given that it was just running well, like, 4 days ago, if I should just bite the bullet and buy new coils?

Also, I remember seeing other issues with Nology coils (seems to be the preferred replacement unit if it's necessary) with issues like no tachometer, some sort of "grounding" issue (IIRC) and other weird electrical issues... Can anyone link to a single, best thread for the replacement process as well as a troubleshooting guide for weird issues like the "no tach" issue? It's such a ubiquitous problem, it seems, to these bikes that Searching forums gets a ton of hits. :(

Thanks in advance!
 

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Make sure your fuses are pushed right in, I've had the same symptoms before and it was a loose fuse - so too did Gump I believe.
 

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Check your vent line and run some fuel cleaner.

If it's electrical the symptoms point to pickup coil not ignition coils. About $75 from the dealer. If it continues like that for a while and then starts cutting out completely while hot, and then starts up like nothing happened, runs for a while and then does it again, it's probably a pickup coil.
 

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When mine wouldn't go past 3000 rpm, it turned out to be the carbs.
Dealer didn't see anything wrong with them, but then he replaced them it the bike was better than ever.

Had a couple coils go on separate occasions too and that was a constant skip at all rpms. It was pretty evident as one of the head pipes was not hot like the other two.
 

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It's worth going over connections etc & checking fuel supply/tank venting, but coils are often at fault.

Just been thru' this with a friend's 97 Sprint (identical coils, near identical engine etc).

1st off we had the classic symptoms of bad misfiring below 3k rpm (fine above) & we isolated that to one coil using a simple ignition timing strobe light. It was easy to see the very uneven firing on one compared to the other two.

I had a spare Gill coil, believed ok, from when I changed all to Nology. We fitted that & instantly the bike ran ok. (Money was tight, a set of new Nologys not affordable just now.)

However, out on the road, & more noticeable in the higher gears, it had a certain hesitancy to accelerate between 2.5k & 3.5k rpm. Quite subtle at first, hard to say if it was a misfire or not. I had already fitted a (cleaned) set of Keihins to this bike so we doubted any carburation faults. Well, my friend spotted a set of 3 PVL coils from a 96 Daytona at a local breaker, so snapped em up.

Low and behold, changing out the Gill cured the 'hesitation' - the bike now pulls well in 6th gear from 2.5k rpm. So another confirmation here that there's a whole spectrum of misfiring possible with a bad coil. And non of this will show up in a test meter resistance check.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Check your vent line and run some fuel cleaner.

If it's electrical the symptoms point to pickup coil not ignition coils. About $75 from the dealer. If it continues like that for a while and then starts cutting out completely while hot, and then starts up like nothing happened, runs for a while and then does it again, it's probably a pickup coil.
Re: pixk-up coil - is this what you mean?

http://stanware.digoxy.com/images/WorkshopIgnitionSensorPickupCoil/connector.html

Symptoms-wise, it started right out of the gates when I took off from warm-up (let the bike idle for 4 or 5 min. just to warm up then experienced the stumble in all gears right at 3,500 RPM or so). It did NOT go away or get any worse as the bike got warmer.

If this is the prime suspect the replacement looks fairly easy. I'll call my dealer and see if he has one or can order it. I need a new throttle cable anyway, so I may just mail-order.

I'll also check the lines etc. but I'm afraid diagnosing carb issues is beyond my skillset and tool chest. Electrical, however, makes sense to me (go figure). :) Sounds like I should start with the pickup-coil and go from there to the full coil replacement if that doesn't help, yes?

Re: fuel cleaner - never used anything like this before - what's recommended? Is that the "sea Foam" thing I hear about, or something else? I *am* running the same Premium gas in the tank that's been in there since about November (so, about 5 months old), but again I drove the bike on a few other occasions (about 25-40 miles at a stretch) with the exact same gas and it worked great. I topped off the last time I rode, so the tank's approx. 3/4 full of week-old Premium.

Thanks, guys!

-M
 

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:) Sounds like I should start with the pickup-coil and go from there to the full coil replacement if that doesn't help, yes?
Other way round imo. Ignition coils 1st, it's more typical of that than the pick up coil/crankshaft sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Other way round imo. Ignition coils 1st, it's more typical of that than the pick up coil/crankshaft sensor.
Oh, OK, sorry.

So the Nology coils are more recommended than the OEM Triumph units? Is this for performance reasons, or do they last longer, or what? I've never replaced coils in a vehicle.

Also, what about the ground wire issue and other problems running Nologys such as the tach failure issue?

I remember seeing a replacement How-to around here someplace.. Will I require any special tools, or is this a basic snip-replace-and solder type job?

Thanks!

EDIT: Found the How-to... Is this still accurate re: the size and configuration of the Nology coils (requiring wiring connection modification, etc.)?

http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motorcycle-ignition-coils/

Also, where have people obtained their coils and do you recommend the vendor? I'd like to order them from a source where I can order a few other parts as well (new throttle cable, replacement air filter since I'm pretty sure it's never been maintenanced, new plugs of they're recommended to go with the new coils, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The webbikeworld article is out of date, the Nology fit identically to stock coils now.

part # 152-001-060T

from http://store.newlevelmotorsports.com/noprigcofort.html

You'll need a Triumph dealer for most of the other bits you mention.
So the existing contacts and boots are just plug-and-play now? Awesome!

Has the change in configuration helped with the other issues like the dropped tach? Also, do people recommend new (or different) plugs for use specifically with the Nologys?

Appreciate the link - thanks.

-M
 

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When switching to Nology coils, I don't have to change all three at once do I? I think I may have one failing.

My Legend started popping and sputtering between idle and 2.5 K. Yesterday I felt the airbox expand during a pop.

Kem
 

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@ ImagoX

Most have not had any tach issues wth the Nologys, I didn't either. Stock plugs are fine, some of us like the Iridiums too & they last at least twice as long.

@ Kem

Sounds very suspicious...yes you can change one at a time. The PVL brand (stock) coils seem much better than the Gills by all accounts. If you can find some of them at good price, might be worth a go rather than new Nologys if money's tight. (My friend just bought 3 PVLs off a 96 bike, with plug leads, $30 ea. - all work fine)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll definitely be swapping out all 3 of the Gill coils all at once - might as well, seeing how easy the swap is. I've also heard nothing but good things about the Irridium plugs - is it a fairly easy job to get them out once the tank's off, or do you also need to pull off the carb rack? I've never had the tank off yet, sorry...

Thanks!
 

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Imago,

No need to remove the tank when changing out the plugs. Check out Greaser's excellent photo essay in the Maintenance section.

For my '02 Bird, I wound up replacing all 3 coils w/ Nology's (kind of the old Fram commercial - you can pay me now or pay me later) over a period of several months - good news for my wallet.

I've replaced my plugs with the Iridiums. Seems like (and this may be the placebo effect) that the bike starts easier with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I was going to replace (or at least clean) the air filter and swap out a half-busted throttle cable while I have the tank off for the coil swap, as well as replace the coolant. This would have all been *great* stuff to do in the winter, if the ^%$#@! coils had started crapping out in, say, October. Oh, well...

Thanks!

EDIT: Are these the Irridium plugs people like in combination with the Nologys? What is the gap setting with the Nologys?

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/1/5/86/18644/21106/PITEM/NGK-DPR8EIX-9---Iridium-Spark-Plug-2003-Triumph-Thunderbird-Sport-Parts.aspx

Oh, and in case it helps someone, here's Greaser's excelent spark plug swap tutorial from the Maintenance section:

http://www.triumphrat.net/maintenance-tips-and-tricks-for-the-t3-classics/92295-center-spark-plug-removal-photo-essay.html


Again... many thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Coils and plugs ordered (finally)... Now the waiting begins. I should probably order my replacement throttle cable and clean the air filter while I have everything apart...

-M

PS - The link I posted above to the Irridium plugs - are those the right ones? Those are the ones I ordered. Still wondering on the ideal gap setting for these when used in combination with the Nology coils - do I just use the stock gap?
 

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Yep, plugs are correct & same gap range with Nology coils. IIRC the plugs will have the right gap out of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well... I FINALLY got around to this. The new Nology coils were, as promised, a straight swap - no modifications needed. I'm not sure why I was all worried about pulling off the gas tank, as it slid right off with no issues. My overflow/expansion hose had broken at some point in the past which I'd never noticed as it was beneath the tank but a new length of fuel line hose sorted that right out... Bike started on the first crank and I can't wait to take her out.

QUESTION: I didn't swap the plugs for the Irridiums as my spark plug socket did not fit. :( Is this still the tool of choice for getting the plugs in and out?

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00943330000P?keyword=43330&sLevel=0&sid=I0084400010000100600&aff=Y

Also, it looks VERY tight above the center plug - the frame's right there. Any trick to getting that plug out with the tank off? Is it one of those cases where the wrench has to come off the socket to get it in and out of the plug hole?

Thanks as always... :)
 

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Greaser's Plug Removal Method

Matt,

Check out Greaser's plug removal photo essay on p. 2 of the Triples Maintenance Tips. Excellent way to make the job very easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Matt,

Check out Greaser's plug removal photo essay on p. 2 of the Triples Maintenance Tips. Excellent way to make the job very easy.
Yeah, but his tut relies on the OEM tool, doesn't it? I went out and snagged the Craftsman 18mm deep socket at lunch but haven't had the chance to try it out yet. I can always order the OEM toolkit from Bike Bandit if that's the only way, I suppose... Bike ran fine with the new coils on the old plugs, BTW, but I'd like to swap them if I can.

Thanks!
 
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