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Discussion Starter #1
no number on OIF frame, how to ID?

Just bought what is sold as a 71 Bonneville. The engine # is KG 3**** which would be a 9/72 manufacture date if I am reading things correctly. I am at work so I had my wife run to the garage to look for the frame number on the flat plate on the left AND right side up at the steering head. She found nothing. it does have a thick coat of paint but I can't think it would completely make the number disappear. I did read that replacement frames came to dealers with no numbers stamped on the (obviously). The dealer was "supposed" to stamp the engine number onto the warranty replacement frame but apparently many did not.

Are there any other ways to determine which frame I have (71 with max ride height or something later)?? I am at work and will not be home until tomorrow morning. Any advantages/disadvantages to having a 9/72 (I assume 73 model year) engine?
 

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Your engine is a 1972. It is a 1972 model. There should be a T120R or a T120V stamped on the engine where you got the KG**** number if it is indeed a Bonneville and if it is a factory 5 speed or 4 speed.

The number may still be under the paint or bondo of the left hand downtube of the frame. Take a close look. Your wife may have been looking for a number that was obvious and overlooked a paint or bondo covered number.

They still stamped "high frames" as 72's because they had left over frames at the plant. To determine if you have a high or low frame, download the 72 repair manual from from here: http://classicbike.biz/
and look on page E18 for a drawing of the two types of frames. You will be able to tell which one you have if you look at the distance between the oil fill spout and the seat bars. The seat bars are lower on the low frames.

Some advantages of having a 72 engine as opposed to a 71 is you can torque the head with the rocker covers on, a finned plate for better access to tappets and there is a good chance you have a 5 speed gearbox instead of 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. This will be a fun project but right now my head is spinning.

It does indeed say T120R The full number is KG35314.
It did not come with a seat. The seller was open about that but did give me another seat of unknown background to have something while mocking it up.

I am anxious to get home in the morning and start trying to figure that part out. I have some pictures of the bike on my laptop. Maybe one of them will allow me to ID it here. I am not a tall person so anything short will help.
 

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It does indeed say T120R The full number is KG35314.
That number means the engine is a 1972 four speed Bonneville.

It did not come with a seat. The seller was open about that but did give me another seat of unknown background to have something while mocking it up.
Read my post over again. The seat frame bars is what I mean. look at the repair manual from the link I posted and then look at your bike and you will be able to tell whether or not you have a high frame, low frame or non stock (possibly hard tail?) frame. Don't worry too much about height. You will get used to whatever you have.

I have some pictures of the bike on my laptop. Maybe one of them will allow me to ID it here.
"Pictures tell a 1000 words"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am going to blow up what I have and see if that sheds any light for me. I am going to post 2-3 pictures here and maybe they may help you.
This was one I took and emailed to the seller. I think the engine side plates are for another bike but unk on the others



Not sure if the pipes were stock or not. he was going to convert this to a single carb setup hence the two differentheads





Far away shot I know but it is the only one I currently have showing the frame without a seat.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I blew up the one with the mounted tank and it appears pretty clear it is an earlier frame. I assume it got a replacement motor. or the frame got replaced?Almost a 'chicken or egg" question. I will have to look at more parts I guess. Not a 71 tank color but paint(or used tanks) was cheap.
 

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The first picture has a torque stay bar (second item from top) that goes across the top of your rocker covers. Other items may not be from your bike or not stock for a 72.

The frame looks like a "high frame", a 71 or less likely an early 72.

Chain guard is from a 71 or 72.

P.S. Edit: looks like you have almost everything there (no front fender?). Looks good!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your tip about the PDF Owner's Manual and Workshop Manual were great btw! The owner's manual answered a few questions I had. It seems pretty clear from the picture with the tank on the frame that it was a '71 frame. Being 5'9" +/- hope fully wont make too big of an issue. I figure if is too big for me. Once fixed up I will just sell it and buy a different year Triumph. We used the replacement parts catalog to do an inventory of missing things and there is about a box of stuff probably still in the sellers shop (filled with dusty Triumphs, BSAs, BMW's and Indians. I am confident he ill find the majority of the stuff. I have to get a seat and a seat will allow me to buy myself some height on the frame. I figure a narrower, trimmed down seat foam on an OEM pan or maybe some aftermarket item.
I clicked on your Youtube link and was excited to see you are the person with the HD camera driving around. I had watched most of the videos to get an idea of sound and general ride. I sent them to my wife who wants to ride with me. This bike in a box project has some interesting stuff like the choice of single or dual carb intake. A new set of .10 over pistons/rings and the cylinders freshly bored (will need a quick hone due to light surface rust in areas.I will need front and rear fenders and tires and a seat. Very happy to see that Dunlop still has the Gold Seal tire pattern. Getting harder to find good vintage tread tires for my MG's
 

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Being 5'9" +/- hope fully wont make too big of an issue. I figure if is too big for me. Once fixed up I will just sell it and buy a different year Triumph.
The bike will be fine. The frame height is a personal preference thing.

Here's the single most valuable Youtube site on the internet for your bike: http://www.youtube.com/user/lunmad

He is a member here (Plewsy) and really nice man.
 

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There are a few other prts there that are to an earlier bike or bikes. Like the dogbone head steadies, reap peg/pipe mounts, battery tray brackets and others. What you got is an oily frame project, and a small box of various spares. That's not a bad thing, you can sell the spares on e-bay to finance other parts purchases. In some cases, people will trade you for stuff you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I took 38 pictures of the frame from several angles, major components and spares not shown in detail before. I started by sanding down each side plate at the steering head and found no numbers (pictures shown)


Sorry about the flash in this one but I think you get the idea;

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is the album of the shots I took today. Please comment away on anything you do not like or whatever. There are two intakes that come with it. The clean one I believe is the one that came with the 72 engine. The other is a single carb version the past owner was going to use. Thoughts??

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/leylandauto/Triumph Bonneville/
 

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I'm not 100% sure if it was the case on all of them but the VIN on my
'71 Bonneville frame is to the left of the spot you've bared in this second picture. It reads bottom-to-top, parallel to the neck tube, not on the gusset.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Photo album of my project as recieved

I will probably set up a restoration thread in the other section but wanted to get thoughts and/or concerns ref anything in these pictures. It is a 71 frame and 72 engine T120R. There are two intakes because the previous owner inherited this stalled project and was going to convert it to a single carb. He is letting me choose what direction to go in and return the other. He believes he has another box or so of parts and I should hear soon from him on that. The seat is wrong but I do not know what it goes to.
http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/leylandauto/Triumph Bonneville/#!cpZZ4QQtppZZ16
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ohh Thanks! I grab some sandpaper and head out again!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
FOUND IT!!!




Ok, This probably not the original frame number. If you look at the pics in my entire album you will see all sanding marks on the left side gusset plate and more like casting marks on the right side. Maybe I am wrong BUT, I have a late 72 engine number stamped on a 71 frame. I have to assume that whoever put the replacement engine in (dealer on warranty, previous owner etc) wanted to make sure the numbers still matched so they may have ground down the original number on the left side gusset plate and restamped it with the new engine number. Whatever...would have been nice to know the actual date period on the frame in case there any difference in parts or layout and I need to know that. Oh Well... :)
 

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hi, i dont know anything about Maines motorvehicle laws but those numbers would throw a red flag in calif. even with a title.
 

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was going to say the same thing. those look like someone scrubbed the old numbers of a maybe-hot frame because they had a motor that was clean.
you could always grind these off as well, and just stamp them into the correct spot in a straighter line.
Isn't Maine where the rest of the country gets their titles, though? That might suggest the rules are less stringent there.
 

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That is neither the original serial number, nor a re-stamped serial number. That is a manufacturer reference number stamp similar to a casting number.

The serial number on an oily frame should be on the LEFT downtube at the top where it's welded to the headstock tube. My '79 T140D is stamped there, my '75 Trident has a raised section that's stamped there, and a '74 Trident in my garage has the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nothing found yet but I can sand some more using some 180 on a foam pad. The KG 35314 is what is cast on the engine in what appears to be a totally legit stamping. I was under the impression that the frame number was the Engine number that was added to the frame in the factory when the two were mated up.
For the others, Maine is a laid back state and I have bought, registered and sold a couple of MGs and four wheeled Triumphs for a couple of friends so they could get their cars registered in their State.
Thanks very much for the input
Carl

That is neither the original serial number, nor a re-stamped serial number. That is a manufacturer reference number stamp similar to a casting number.

The serial number on an oily frame should be on the LEFT downtube at the top where it's welded to the headstock tube. My '79 T140D is stamped there, my '75 Trident has a raised section that's stamped there, and a '74 Trident in my garage has the same.
 
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