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Discussion Starter #1
Ouch! I went to start my 2005 Bonni T100 this morning and heard a pop like a backfire when I first turned it over and then pulled the choke and hit the starter again only to hear a BZZzzzz.... Like a car starter with a bad bendix, or more like a bad flywheel. Several attempts yielded the same results so I pushed it back in the garage and the photos show what I found when I pulled it apart.
It seems the intermediary gear shaft broke out of the case on both the engine side and the cover side. I called the dealer and they said the bike is out of warrantee and the clutch case is $350 and the lower engine case is $4,150 and not available. Basically said the bike is TOTALED!
What is strange is there is no explanation for the failure. The bike only has 24 thousand miles on it and is 3 1/2 years old. I ride it on a good mix of daily commutes 13 miles and three to four hour weekend rides. I'm the original owner, serviced regularly, only use Mobil 1. The starter has never been removed nor the clutch cover. There is no damage to the case or the engine. Just a puzzle to me.

I think it might be repairable but would like some advice if anyone has seen this before. I am willing to buy the new clutch cover so that side is fixed, but the lower engine case is the problem. I was thinking it could be welded but that would no-doubt require pulling the engine completely apart. There seems to be space enough around the bushing so that if it was put back together with some form of adhesive that would hold up, like JB Weld, that I might be able to make a steel sleeve that could be pressed on to ad strength. Perhaps even a piece of copper tubing.

Thoughts? Am I crazy? Or just screwed?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Used Case anyone?

By-the-way, does anyone have a used case for sale? mine was crome but I'm willing to take a plain one if I can get a good deal.:sad:
 

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It's happened to a few other people. You might want to try leaning on Triumph to warranty it.
 

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Well, this sucks.

First off, Baltobonneville is right, create merry hell with Triumph. It's worth doing - I know folks personally who have managed to get the factory to stand behind bike problems. Start with Triumph USA, but escalate it very quickly, and document everything.

Clutch covers - I saw two black ones on ebay for around the 50 buck mark, and as it happens I have a black one with a scratch on it that's mechanically sound.

Now - engine casings are trickier. You can't just replace the lower one - you have to replace upper and lower because they are a matched and machined pair. I don't believe for a moment that you can't buy those - won't be cheap.

The repair though - that's a possibility.

If it were me - JB weld would not be on the table - not my kind of thing.

I would strip the engine, and machine (or have machined) a replacement tube, which would be welded to the casing after machining off the broken stub.

There are ins and outs to it, you have to machine off the existing broken stub in such a way as to leave an accurate location for the replacement, then you need a welder who knows his stuff to get the replacement in there.

I reckon it could be done.

That's my intial 2 penn'orth, but you're not done yet. Hassle Triumph first. Threaten legal action, lemon laws, unsuitability for purpose and so on. Document EVERYTHING.

I just re read your post, and the steel sleeve pressed on might work - good idea.

Engines come up from time to time - consider that. Call some breakers?
 

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you might find a good welder to tig weld the peaces together.Others have had the same thing happen triumph should make it right and replace them but truth be known i dont think they will and that sucks.If you cant weld it watch ebay for a used motor.
 

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Sure, things break .... but what would cause this to happen, other than poor design, or a defective casting? When I first saw your post, I thought it was going to be about the high cost of starter motor replacement. But when I saw the amount of damage, and what would be involved to repair it, I had to ask myself what I'd do under similar circumstances.

Much as I like my 2003 T100, if I was faced with $4000 in replacement parts, plus labor (mine or some elses), I think I'd consider parting my bike out.

That is, of course, unless Triumph did the right thing and covered the repair outside of the normal warranty.

Several years ago, the slave cylinder on my BMW K1200RS blew, not only disabling the clutch mechanism, but also saturating the dry clutch plate with DOT4 fluid, causing the clutch to slip. I wrote them. Since I was out of warranty by several months and several thousand miles, they agreed to pay for 100% of the parts and 50% of the labor. Much better than a sharp stick in the eye! Maybe you'll be able to negotiate a similar or better arrangement with Triumph.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Guys

I think I'll load it in the truck and drag it to my favorite dealer and see if they are willing to fight Triumph with me for the warrantee claim. If not I'll try the sleave and a used cover and if it fails break the cases and send it to a welder. The more I think about it a good welder might be able to tack the pieces back on with a tig without heating up the cases too much. Then machine it round enough to take a sleave and tack that in place. The shaft does not have to rotate as the gear rotates on the shaft. Thanks Looks like I have alot of work before I ride the Bonni again.
 

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This is a known problem with earlier engines and has happened to a few owners, later engines have meatier castings to stop this happening. The problem seems to be a backfire when starting causing the crank to be pushed backwards with the starter gears taking the strain. Lean on Triumph heavily, it shouldn't matter that your bike is out of warranty, the fact that later engine casings have been modified means Triumph know there was a problem with the earlier casings.

Have a look at this thread http://forums.delphiforums.com/New_Bonneville/messages?msg=21718.1

Good luck.
 

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When did Triumph start using updated crankcases? I have a 2006 and this thread has me worried.

Any thoughts on preventative measures an owner could take to strengthen the old design?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Russian Roulette

Wow, this really is scary. Backfireing during the initial startup is not a rare occurance with this bike. It might be the Triumph off road pipes or the fact that the dealer who installed them over jetted the carbs (I only average 36 MPG).

I'll never hit the starter button again without thinking I'm playing Russian roulette. If my engine was still whole I would seriously consider taking the case off and driving a copper sleeve around that part of the casing as an insurance policy.:eek:
 

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Repair

Just read your post while shutting down. Man that REALLY sucks!! I as said would lean on Triumph for "BAd Casting"! It almost looks pourous in the pics.! That shouldnt happen! Id be pissed @ eating a side cover/ let a new engine for a starter issue? I think if it happenned to me & Triumph WOULDNT take care of it- I would burn the bike on the evening news in ephigy!! GOOD LUCK!!
 

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I've been thnking about this some more and maybe a repair that puts a steel ring around the outside of the reassembled cast parts might work. Think hose clamp from hell. A true hose clamp wouldn't be strong enough but a steel band open on one side with a place to put a bolt to tighten it down. You'd probably still want to weld the broken parts but just putting it back together so it's as strong as it was before isn't good enough.

Also, nobody answered my question on when exactly stronger cases came into service.
 
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