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the model year runs from August so a bike made in August 78 is a 79.

It runs that way because traditionally, the new registration year in the UK used to be in August. Plus maybe because the factories used to shut down for the entire workforce to go on hoilday.

Bearing in mind the year, Triumph were using up bits so a bike of that age can have soem oddities that are "stock" but different to someone's bike a few weeks younger or older. Basically, Triumph were skint and using bits up in order to sell bikes.
 

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I've just looked at the photos again.

It looks like an E engine (amal mk2, parrallel head etc) but what's with the rear wheel?

Is that a drum hub or is the disc just out of shot?
 

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the model year runs from August so a bike made in August 78 is a 79.
It runs that way because traditionally, the new registration year in the UK used to be in August. Plus maybe because the factories used to shut down for the entire workforce to go on holiday.
The August change over date came long before the UK registration year letters came into force. It was purely convenient time to change over at factory shutdown. Also it was not always strictly adhered to, especially in later years.

The T140E was introduced into the US market only in Jan 78. UK did not change over until the 79 model year (Aug 78?).

Regarding electronic ignition, stick to the RITA system if possible. It gives zero trouble. Only downside is that parts are no longer available. Pretty sure that only 79 models and later had RITA ignition.
 

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Is the finned points cover an indication of rita ignition? I realise that anybody can screw one on? But I thought that they came in with rita?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
So it's a 79' model made in Aug 78'. Amal mk2 carbs. Was there much difference with the electrics between these years in case I have some sort of hybrid?!

It appears from many of you I should, for the moment keep the RITA system. I actually want to make the wiring loom myself to get a full understanding of the electrics. Anybody else done this?

If too hard, are there any tips for buying a good loom?

Thanks for all the good gen guys...
 

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I made a wiring loom from scratch for a Commando cafe racer, its not a difficult thing to do. I used 1/4" Lucar connectors instead of 'bullet' connectors, and packed them with Vaseline when assembling it all. Colour codes can be deduced from the wiring diagrams in the manual. Wire and connectors can be obtained from http://www.aoservices.co.uk/ in the UK.

Make sure you leave enough slack around the steering head such that it doesnt get stretched as you turn the bars to the left, but not so much that it bunches up when you turn them to the right.

Worst bit on your bike will be wiring to the ignition switch between the instruments (if your bike has that).

Here is a link to a page with a load of RITA info; http://www.eurospares.com/elec.htm
 

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I agree about the tight wiring in the instrument panel! When I was last in there, I added blobs of paint to the switch body that related to same colour blobs on the spade sheaths. The idea is that if (when?) they become detached, it's easy to shove them back by colour of connector rather than trying to read that stupid diagram.

GAMA is aslo a fan of running earth wires. I've added a couple to my harness (original 79) and if I was you, I'd make the new harness up with earth returns rather than relying on the frame contacts.
add a new car type fuse as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Can anyone identify what type
of coils these are?

The rectifier?

How about the pickup, there is a code
on it : 5PU.
(sorry about the photo) ?

The ignition is an AB11
LUCAS amplifier.

Any info on any of these items would be most
helpful, since I am in the process of
testing and / or renewing them.

I have only 2 wires coming from the alternator
so is single phase. Are these sufficient? or
do I need to invest in a 3 phase?

Comments most welcome..

See photos.
 

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5PU and AB11 are standard Lucas RITA components for your bike. The AB11 amplifier case should be grounded - add a wire from the AB11 case to the battery -ve terminal, dont rely on the mechanical assembly for the ground connection.

HT coils are not correct. You should have two Lucas 17M6 coils. The 17M6 is a 6v coil, and the two of them are wired in series, hence both plugs spark simultaneously.

The rectifier (fourth picture) is not the original part, and looks the worse for wear. Solid state rectifiers are good things though. N.B. your bike should have a negative earth wiring system, if you have to buy a new (original style) rectifier or Zener diode you will need to specify that. If you get another solid state rectifier it wont matter as the rectifier is electrically isolated from it's chassis.

The three phase alternator is 180W, ISTR the single phase alternator is 120W. A good electrical system is required, the electronic ignition system wont work if the voltage is low.

The thing with the three phase alternator is that it has a higher output at lower revs, hence town riding with lights on wont drain the battery.
 
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