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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All, In case there is any question about the in frame or other oil filters, here's my Motao in frame filter after 1500 miles.
Notice the dirty oil around base plate, but not inside.
Notice the dirty tin on filter element bottom end. Notice how clean tin is inside filter.
Keeps oil cleaner looking about twice as long.
I don't know what the black stuff is. Not magnetic, a very fine power. Too fine to measure with my micrometer. Would it end up in sludge trap? I don't know

Spin on filters I've cut apart work same as good.

I have no experience with Triple type filters.
Don


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IMG_3648.JPG
 

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Nothing gives me more peace of mind than the oil filter I added to my Bonnie!

After I installed the filter I continued the 1,000 mile oil change schedule that I followed on the advice of the fellow I bought the bike from (a factory trained Triumph mechanic back in the day).

I have sometimes wondered if I'm wasting oil - although after 1,000 miles it's pretty darn black! Wondering if you had an opinion about that, Don, considering that you are changing at 1,500 miles?
 

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Thanks for sharing, Don! I can't wait to see the results of my oil filter upgrade on my 79 T140E. I hope they are similar to your photos. The weather here in corn country has not been conducive to riding lately. My rejetting of the MK2s to Euro specs has improved performance to a level that makes it hard not to push the Bonne more than I have in the past, so adding the filter certainly gives one peace of mind!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Bruce, I don't really know what is best. I'll give you what I did & some thoughts & observations.

I always changed oil 1000-1500 miles, usually 1000 from new. Always drain motor sump. Always clean frame screen. Used to change primary every other oil change. I did this for 10969 miles. Used Castrol GTX 20-50 from new.

Then put in storage 34 years. Got out of storage about 7 years ago. Getting out of storage I flushed oil system with Pennzoil 10-40 car oil as I had several quarts on hand. This was bad choice as clutched slipped then. I learned about friction modifiers, joined this group. Local Triumph friends recommend Mobil1 V-twin 20-50. I changed to this, changing primary oil a few times. This cured slip without removing primary cover.

From then on I've used Mobil1 v-twin 100% of time. I learned about condensation & started changing primary oil with each oil change. Still cleaning both screens. Changed every 1000 miles without fail.

Bike now has a little over 33383 miles. Original bores, pistons. Did light lap on valves when I did tappet block seals 12416 miles. Still had visible honing in bores. Used no oil. I just put cyl back on. No hone or anything & that worked good. Used .080" head gasket to lower compression. No more oil leaks.

Installed Motoa in frame filter 19968 miles. I changed oil & filter at 1000 mile intervals. I was doing a lot of riding & 1k miles was coming around fast. I did 3 changes at the 1000 interval. I decided to do test to see what happen if I did 1500 mile as factory recommended. Done that ever since.

This bike has never used much oil at all. Even hot summer freeway rides. But it will use some on hot rides 65mph hour after hour. This condition 1/2 cup every 300-400 miles. Easy canyon riding 1 cup every 600-700 miles. Winter in 50-60s or less 1 cup or less every 1000 miles.

However.... I've observed after 1000 miles on oil something seems to change. After a thousand miles on the oil it will use more oil. About 50% more than before a thousand miles. When I get closer to 1500 interval it uses more yet. Still not bad, but more. No smoke or anything like that.

I change oil & filter, clean motor screen, change primary oil. Like magic it's back to how it was at last change.

I can't really explain why. Since I always did oil every 1000 miles before I don't have a control sample without filter to compare with. What is breaking down in oil I don't know.

The black sludge in photo has happened even with old screen. It would build on bottom around lower screen. I put a band of metal around bottom of screen to replicate the new version screen Triumph used on later T140. Now it really showed the black sludge. I have ran a magnet on top of the original screen starting at 250 miles. I still have magnet I put on top of Motao filter fixing stud. The amount of metal on magnet has been consistent from new to this day. A very fine magnetic powder. Never every any flakes or chips. The black sludge has also remained the same.

The other day I looked at bores with flash light 60 miles ago. No visible honing pattern remains from what I can see through plug hole. I was working on piston stop for degree wheel. That's why plugs out. Still oil consumption remains consistently the same. Done about 300 miles from last oil change & again it went to good from using more. Very puzzling, I ponder this often.

At work at Mercedes dealer they changed oil changes on gas motors, from 3000 to 7500 miles, conventional oil. We expected big wear. No change. Nothing bad happened. Then factory went to 13000 miles. Some wear on cams/followers mostly. Some bore wear. If owner went farther could be bad bore wear. No rod/main bearing wear.

Factory demanded full synthetic oil. Wear went away. Some they brought oil change back to 10000 miles. This worked good. Without question synthetic oil is the real deal. It totally stopped cam/follower wear on cars that wore with conventional oils. The brand of oil also made a difference. Mobil1 proved the best. Penzoil Euro synthetic was about equal. Factory demanded Mobil1 for all under warranty. They then brought out Mercedes brand oil for diesels. I retired & don't know how it worked out.

In the mean time my friend was into Volkswagon air cooled motors, especially Vangaons. The ones with the fan on crankshaft. Type 4 motor??? Anyway they suffered greatly from heat damage in our hot summers & cam wear. Especially with modern low zinc oils. So they started experimenting with Mobil1 v-twin 20-50. The results were amazing. The motors lasted much longer & cam wear greatly reduced. Some of the guys started using it in old Triumphs with very good results. So that's how it got started in the circle of guys I know. A lot of guys use it.

In the mean time I got involved with Britbike site & some club members that I'm in that ride Vincents for real. They found Mobil1 V-twin reduced cam wear on Vincents. Apparently Vincents are hard on cams also.

One thing I found right away is how much better Mobil1 v-twin made the clutch work. Not including the car oil I put in. But back with Castrol GTX the clutch freed fine with a good kick. But with Mobil1 V-twin it was much easier, yet no slip. Interestingly the Pennzoil car oil didn't free any better cold than the GTX.

When I did valve lap I refinished tip of valves & adjuster screws. I recently took adjusters out & looked at them. They had about half as much wear with the V-twin oil than with GTX. At work we found GTX was very bad for cam/follower wear. Warranty records showed this also with GTX. I don't think oil filter helps valve tip wear, but who knows?

So the most conservative route is changing oil every 1000 miles.

Visually I find filter keeps oil cleaner longer, about twice as long. Before it was pretty black by 500 miles.

But from 1000 to 1500 miles the oil is much blacker. I don't know it's getting blacker faster after 1000. But it's certainly at least 500 miles blacker. At 1000 miles the paper on filter looks really clean. At 1500 it's obviously dirtier. However it's a long way from clogging. Cutting out paper & stretching it out even at 1500 miles a flashlight on back side reveals no clogged areas & light passes through fine. There's no obvious dirt or grit in it either. I've cut apart at both 1000 & 1500 to compare.

The sludge trap does a good job. My Honda 350 had centrifugal filter & I cleaned it every change. Always had powdered sludge in it like it was compressed like in our sludge traps. I don't really know if the paper filter makes motor last longer, but it certainly is cleaner on the clean side of paper, so it's stopping something.

Let us know what you do.
Don
 

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Hi,
I have over a long time realised that once the standard parameters of Jaso and viscosity have been met, the most desirable oil quality I would want in my Triumphs was temperature resilience.
The oil in these bikes exposed to temperature not seen on many other engines. This high temperature will degrade the oil faster than many other engines.
This is more of a problem for the ‘Oil In Frame’ bikes that had the oil capacity reduced from the original design by 1/3, so accelerating the degradation of the oil as it is overheated mote frequently.

Mobil 1 V-twin 20-50, obviously marketed towards the HD owner, has the reputation of being one of the most heat resilient oils retailed. Unfortunately while being freely available in HD’s home market it is difficult to source outside the USA.

regards
Peg.
 

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Hi Peg,

oil in these bikes exposed to temperature not seen on many other engines. This high temperature will degrade the oil faster than many other engines.
This is more of a problem for the ‘Oil In Frame’ bikes that had the oil capacity reduced from the original design by 1/3,
:unsure: These are odd assertions?

The dry-frame (triples and twins oil) capacity is five British pints, the OIF is four, that's only a 1/5th reduction?

In previous threads about fitting an oil cooler to an OIF, it's been repeatedly posted (e.g. @rambo and @TR7RVMan) the large surface area of the OIF oil-carrying tube is an excellent cooler on its own, a separate cooler over-cools the oil.

If you read past TOL posts by Richard Beard, or he's "Tridentman" on BritBike, he actually did the work on both the triples' cooler for BSA/Triumph and Norman Hyde's 'bog brush' OIF cooler. Richard told Norman a cooler wasn't necessary on the OIF but Norman went ahead anyway because owners who believed the old wives' tale would buy one. :(

Hth.

Regards,
 

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I added an NOS Norton filter housing to my 69 TR6R by U-bolting it to the frame below the swingarm, for good proximity to the stock oil lines. The (commonly available) element sits between the legs of the center stand and couldn't be less obvious (esp. on a bike without the side covers.) I also have a cooler for the oil but only plan to use it on the slipstream to the rocker boxes. The oil is the hottest at this point and I figure there's no danger of overcooling the head on these bikes.
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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Streetiger, Nice job! That indeed makes a good mounting. The spin on filter here is super easy to change also. Another nice feature is most all elements have by pass incase oil cannot flow through element. Depending on brand of filter between 9 & about 17 psi the by pass opens, so oil flow cannot be blocked by the filter element.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi All, Next time I ride with John I'll take my thermometer. I'll compare oil feed & return pipe temp to oil pump & feed pipe to rockers. Try to measure head near top of PRT. My '73 Tiger, John's '69 Bonnie.

A fun experiment is remove valve cover & start motor. Watch how much oil comes out rocker shaft.... Easy to see with my bike. Not a lot of oil to cool head...
Don
 

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My rocker oil feed has quite a lot of oil supply. Maybe why the valve gear and guides are still original.
It will be interesting to see how hot the oil is in the frame tube after a long ride. 53C is as high as i can get it. I might measure again now i have removed the oil cooler to see if it will get higher. Judging by todays ride with a pillion, it is still cool running.
The head and cylinders get very hot.
 

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Hi Peg,


:unsure: These are odd assertions?

The dry-frame (triples and twins oil) capacity is five British pints, the OIF is four, that's only a 1/5th reduction?

In previous threads about fitting an oil cooler to an OIF, it's been repeatedly posted (e.g. @rambo and @TR7RVMan) the large surface area of the OIF oil-carrying tube is an excellent cooler on its own, a separate cooler over-cools the oil.

If you read past TOL posts by Richard Beard, or he's "Tridentman" on BritBike, he actually did the work on both the triples' cooler for BSA/Triumph and Norman Hyde's 'bog brush' OIF cooler. Richard told Norman a cooler wasn't necessary on the OIF but Norman went ahead anyway because owners who believed the old wives' tale would buy one. :(

Hth.

Regards,
Hi Stuart,
Yes these seem like odd assertions, but I have found it useful to approach this holistically rather than directly.

I might be mistaken about the oil capacity on the 650 twins, it’s a long time since I had one. I thought the pre unit had 5 pints and the unit had 6. So I thought it would have been 1/5 drop in capacity for pre unit and a 1/3 drop in capacity for the unit. I did check all of the 650 twin service manuals from 61 to 70, they do all say 6 pints, but we all know that the service manuals often can be wrong. I did not consider the triples or 500/350 twins as they never went OIF.
Somewhere between 20 and 30%seems like a reasonable guess.
The % drop in capacity does not really matter, more importantly, the oil level was reduced from the original design when the oil filler was repositioned from behind the steering head to just in front of the seat.

I did not mention an oil cooler, quite deliberately, I am not sure why you believe that I was promoting the idea of fitting one.
Also, again quite deliberately did not mention the cooling efficiency of the OIF tank, just the reduced capacity.

-
I can’t think how to explain holistic modelling of this enhanced oil degradation directly while keeping it simple and clear.
But I think I can try with an analogy that might work, or might not. Might be weird.

Imagine you are in front of your cooker hob,

You have a 4 pint saucepan, a frying pan (skillet), a teaspoon, a jug of water and 4 pints of melted butter.

Put the pan with the melted butter in on the back burner, this represents your oil and oil tank.
Because we get little flow from the Triumph oil pump, we do not remove much heat from the engine through the oil, so it does not get that hot.

Turn the back burner on low heat so the butter temperature is about 53 degrees C, this represents a running engine oil tank and oil.

Now place the frying pan on the front burner - this represent the cylinder head.
We know there is very little oil flow to the rocker shafts and the head receives very little oil cooling, and limited air cooling from the relatively small fin area. We know the head runs hot.

Turn up the burner under the frying pan to very hot, this now represents the cylinder head on a running engine.

Take the teaspoon - this represents the rocker feed.

Scoop up a teaspoon of melted butter and drop it into the frying pan, it will burn under the intense heat.
Scrape up the burnt butter and put it back in the pan—this represents the oil return system.
keep doing this every 30 seconds until all the butter has been in the frying pan, and returned to the saucepan.

To represent blow by gas condensation every now and then add a teaspoon of water to the saucepan.
With the butter being at 53 degrees, the water will not easily evaporate, so remains in the oil.

several hours later you will have a burnt nasty mess in the saucepan, even though the saucepan temperature always remained low.

If you have followed this, then you can see how the oil will be burnt and degraded, even though the temperature in the oil tank is low.

Hopefully you can now see why I believe that temperature resilience is an important property to consider when purchasing oil.

The black powder that Don mentioned, if it is not magnetic particles from the cylinder bores, can then only be either carbon particles from ring blow by, or, burnt oil residue.

Regards

Peg.
 

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Hi Peg,

Thanks for your explanation, very clear. Apologies for incorrectly linking your post #5 with oil coolers.

I did check all of the 650 twin service manuals from 61 to 70, they do all say 6 pints, but we all know that the service manuals often can be wrong.
Mmmm ... ime, from looking up fuel tank capacities in the past, while sometimes the printed figures are actually "wrong", more often it's simple lack of clarity allowing different interpretations - which pint (or gallon for fuel tanks)? Bear in mind six US pints is five British pints ... and I've learned that Meriden manual compilers very, very often simply failed to include the "U.S.". Sometimes that can be picked up by converting the litres, but sometimes Meriden got that conversion wrong too ... :rolleyes:

Fwiw and hopefully to clarify, the same oil tank cap with a dipstick was fitted to every dry-frame oil tank from '70 to the last T160 and, when I fill any of my Triumphs' oil tanks with five Imperial pints of oil, the level reaches the "FULL" mark on an original dipstick.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Don - thanks for the detailed descriptions of oil change interval and results. Based on your comments I think I'll stick with the 1000 mile intervals. Your comments also bring me around more to trying out Mobil1 v-twin oil. I've got a fresh 5-gallon pail of Rotella 10w-40 but I could also use that in my GMC pick-up, so when the first oil change comes up for the Bonnie I think I'll give the Mobil product a try.

I'm still hemming and hawing over what model to get, but I'm also looking forward to having a vacuum pump oil remover by the time I pull that first oil change. Wondering if I'll be able to get a tube right down to the sump, but even if it only saves the mess of draining the oil tank it'll be worth it!.

I won't be on the road anytime soon - one section of my municipal gravel road was so bad last week that the municipality brought in a load of crushed stone only to have the dump truck get totally mired down. Last year they had to abandon a road-grader that got stuck in the same spot for almost two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Bruce, Shell Rotella comes in many versions & specifications. Exactly which are you using?

At work we used to use Shell Rotella Long Life 15-40 fleet oil. It was good for both diesel & gas motors. Was an excellent oil for both. When factory demanded full synthetic oils we removed it from our tanks & sold it only by the gallon for old Mercedes diesels. Newer diesels required genuine Mercedes oils.

I had '83 300SD then. About that time Rotella Long Life turned into Rotella T4 triple protection15-40. It lost is gas certification at that time so far as I can tell. About that time the line of Rotella full synthetics came also. At work the Rotella line gave outstanding good results on 5000 mile oil changes, however when changes went to 10000+ it showed break down & some wear that full synthetic Mobil1 euro & Pennzoil euro cured. Again this was the older Long Life. T4 claims improved heat resistance. There are a handful that use Rotella T4 15-40 in the club on bikes that don't have primary breather. Truthfully I don't know how long the motors last. I'm not that close to them. I know some don't put many miles on bike. Under 500 a year.

On an aside Mobil1 Euro 0-40 has more zinc than normal Mobil1, but a fraction of the zinc of Mobil1 V-twin.

Is it worth even worrying about oil?? My observation over the last 50 years is it most certainly does if you want longest motor life. A big difference! Will V-twin make motor last longer than Rotella is anyone's guess. I'll probably be dead before we can answer that! The only thing we can really track right now is rocker adjuster wear & oil consumption. Would be interesting to see if your oil consumption changes? I know you'll track that.

Having shared primary of course limits what oil we can use. Speaking of primary, many use ATF F, With Hyde 7 plate that can be a little harsh on take up. AFT Dexron III tends to calm it some & feel a little smoother at the friction point. Both free perfectly & neither tend to promote slip.

Very enjoyable conversation! Don
 

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Don, in the last 20 years with 1000 mile changes and good quality oil of various makes, i have had no need to adjust tappets unless taking the head off for other work. I put this down to the superior oils we have now compared with the 20th Century oils. Certainly made life easier on the engine. With the low cost of oil compared to replacing parts, i also change oil on my new bikes at shorter than the 9000 mile they recommend. Those get changed at around 1500 to 2000 miles but the oil comes out still looking new so put it into the Grandchildrens Chinese scooters.
No Mobil one 4t oil over here but there are a few V-twin oils i have used. The thing i noticed most with any synthetic version is the ability for the bike to settle into a tickover within 20 seconds of start up. The mineral oils take a couple of miles riding to settle down.
I look forward to how the oil temperatures go. I will do a temperature check in the year but we have just been told not to go out for now.
 

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Shell Rotella comes in many versions & specifications. Exactly which are you using?
Good question, Don. I've been using Rotella exclusively for about the past three, maybe four years and sometimes I have a nagging question in the back of my head as to whether I'm always using the same Rotella product. I went over to the shop this morning and found that my 50-gallon pail is Rotella T4 15W-40, and I believe that's the Rotella product I began with. But I also have a couple of Rotella T1 gallon containers kicking around. I probably saw 'Rotella', '40W', and 'On Sale' in the store.

From various Shell web pages I slurped up the following (these are just summaries and T5 and T6 each have sub-categories of products beneath them).

T1 - Mono-grade, conventional (non-synthetic) 10W, 20W, 30W, 40W, or 50W
  • Turbo- and non-turbocharged light/medium-duty diesel-powered trucks and transport operations, including city operations and long-distance service.
  • Small-to-medium-agricultural equipment, such as tractors.
  • Not recommended for high-speed engines.
T3 - Multigrade 15W-40
  • Fleet and off-highway equipment, offering the convenience of a single oil suitable for a wide range of vehicle manufacturers.
  • Designed to help minimize cost of operation and lubricant ownership, and maximize equipment utilization.
T4 - Multi-grade non-synthetic. Example: 15W-40

T5 - Multi-grade synthetic/convential blend. Example: 10W-30, 15W-40

T6 - Multi-grade full synthetic

Note T1s designation "Not recommended for high-speed engines." Not sure that would apply to Triumph motors or not.

When my season finally gets underway I think I'll do a couple of oil changes with Rotella T4 and then change over to Mobil1 v-twin and then compare oil consumption and perhaps running temperatures. It may be hard to generate temperature data that's meaningful because the ambient temperatures here vary so widely from day to day.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Bruce, Looking forward to your results.

I think T1 low speed motor is like a Briggs & Stratton flat head rotor tiller motor or the like. Even then I've found they last longer with better oils.
Don
 
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