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What I did with my classic Triumph today?

927118 Views 10039 Replies 407 Participants Last post by  Dave UK
As a Hinkley triple owner (don't hate me guys!) I sometimes also read the threads on that section of the Triumph Rat forum and they have a long running thread "what I did to my classic triple today" or something very similar. Posters put up a few lines about what they did with their 'bikes that day..... polished it, rode it, rebuilt it, crashed it, etc etc you get the idea, anything goes really.

Anyway, thought it might be worth starting a similar thread here as I'm selling the "modern" 'bike and concentrating on my classics.
I'll start it off....

Today I got back my speedo which I'd sent to the UK for repair. It was working but had a lot of needle "flutter". Looks like new (still) and can't wait to try it out....

OK who's next?

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Waiting for Parts

The 6T is waiting for guards and tank to come back from the restorer.

Today I cleaned the underside of the bike (again), nipped up the bolts retaining the sump plate (again), looked at the weather (33C fine sunny hot) put on a clean T shirt and went for a ride on the '95.

No prospect of rear guard before the end of Feb.
Finished putting tank sealer in the '59 tank.
Cleaned up the '69 tank ready for painting and resale.
Tried out a drill buffing attachment - just acceptable, not sufficient improvement over hand polishing to justify the cost.

Waiting for parts sucks.
Put about 50 miles on the T120V, ran out of gas after my reserve only lasted for 4 miles (????????) and pushed her a short 2 blocks to a station on flat roads......
Same thing happened to me on my T140V. Turned out it had two reserve taps, because you are supposed to run with both taps open. I fitted a main tap, because I don't do a lot of 'vigorous riding' (aka racing).

There should be license required in order to purchase any tool more complicated than a 1 lb. hammer.

There speaks a man who hasn't seen how much damage I can do with a little hammer! :)

Still I'm improving with age. I just hope I can become competent before I become senile.
How to Post Pictures

Sorry Santa but I have yet to attend "How to post pictures" class.
This is not an official help text. This is just what I have happened to find out. I know of two ways.

1. Upload from your computer. Result: attached clickable thumbnail.
Press Go Advanced, then Manage Attachments. You'll get a pop up window.
On the pop-up window select the Browse button next to 'Upload file from your computer'.
find a jpg picture that is not too big. Click Upload.
Click "Close this window".
2. Upload from another web site. Result: Larger image that may be resized.

Upload your pic to photobucket or similar web site. Display the picture in your browser.
Photobucket gives you a text box labelled "IMG code". Click on that, its contents change to "Copied".
Then just go back to where you are typing your message in this forum, hold the Ctrl button and press V.

Hope this helps.


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Now that I'm comitted to battery coil and distributor, removed the magneto stop button from the handlebars for the last time, and added it to my little pile of stuff I plan to flog off on eBay when I'm finished.
Over the weekend, and tonight, fiddled around with the '59 waiting until next Saturday when I hope to finally have my tank back from the painter.

In response to a discussion on this forum, took the Zener heat sink (finned egg) off and painted it in matt black flame proof paint. The aim (apart from improving heat dissipation) is to make it blend into the black forks, since it belongs to a later model.

Put a current registration label on.

Removed the cover from the seat and reassembled with a top layer of softer foam. Not as flat as before, but a sight more comfortable.
Today I took my "finished" '59 out for a run. Noticed fuel weeping from a mounting point that I thought was fixed. (A PO had put a bolt thru the bottom of the tank). Went down the freeway to my Loctite retailer. Ran well until 60mph at 3/4 throttle, then it starts cutting out and back in. Felt electrical, so it's probably fuel.

Drained the fuel, and resealed the mounting point and both taps with loctite 577 sealant, using primer/ activator.

Fitted a new distributor cap, and a new Podtronics rectifier/ regulator that came in the mail today. When fitting the distributor cap, I noticed that the coil lead on the old cap was not well fitted ( that would be me), so maybe that was my intermittent cutting in and out.

I wonder if there was some crap in the tank. I blew it out with compressed air after I drained it and removed the taps, so that might help. If there was debris, it would be in the carby now. So I'll try cleaning it.
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Checked the coil leads, cleaned the screen on the inlet banjo on the carb, filled the tank with fuel and went for a ride. Bike ran well for half an hour, then cut out dead. Switched the ignition to ignition only, the bike restarted and got me home.

I think the problem was me trying to be too smart with the ignition switch. I was trying to set up three on positions; ign only, ign and pilot, and ign and main beam. That involved using a diode pack, and I think that was the problem. So now I have no diode pack, only ign and pilot or ign and main beam.

Good news is I think the tank is not leaking any more.

The weather report tonight was discouraging; showers on Saturday increasing to rain and storms on Sunday. Have to choose another weekend for a shakedown run.
Still not finished

First thing I smelt when i poked my nose into the garage this morning was leaking fuel. :(

Yes it's still seeping from that bolt.

I have two plans. Plan A: Use some of the string plumbers used to use before PTFE tape, in conjunction with Loctite 577 and primer/ activator. Plan B: Remove the tank and reseal the bolt from the inside. I have a tank camera, that should help to apply sealer in the right place. I'll have to buy a complete sealing kit, of which I will use about a tablespoon. Most of the time will be cleaning the area.

Rode the 59 to a friend's place to get a metre of plumber's string, returned the long way down the D'Aguilar highway to Wamuran then home the back way down Old North Road. About half an hour. That made me a bit happier. The electrical problem is solved. The bike runs well up to about 70mph, smooth and sweet. When I got home the oil was barely luke warm.
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After the shakedown ride to Allora to see RR, needed a new throttle cable. Picked up a generic one for $11.95 before work yesterday, and fitted it last night. I find that a thin cutting blade on an angle grinder is the best way to shorten cables. Just make sure the right amount of inner is protruding from the other end, measure and mark the outer, and zip. Easy, no damage, then transfer a ferrule onto the cut end. Solder the end on, all done.

Wiped the worst of the road grime off with a rag soaked in degreaser, spray lube on the chain, now we're good to go again.
Modified my repop seat base to lower it from this

to this

and went for a spirited ride around the back blocks of Caboolture.
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Yeah!! and with removable pilot jets and hard anodised throttle valves. No more carby problems for me!! RR
Congratulations Rod.

Get a few miles on the carbs, then we can go for a ride. I will be planning a route today, I'll PM you with more details.

Completed the swap from 7/8 bars to 1" bars. The standard control levers for a '59 6T are a different shape with no ball ends; I was curious to see how they would feel.

I can report that they are very nice to use. The distance from the pivot point to the cable attachment point is less than on the levers I had up to now, and the reduction in finger effort is very noticeable. (24mm as against 30mm)

Even with the increased mechanical advantage, the shape of the lever means that it has more travel, so the cable is pulled further too. That means improved braking and easier clutch adjustment.

I think the bars look better, but 99% of observers would not notice.

Hi guys,

On this '72 I have used the lower yoke to mount a home made bracket to which I then added indicator lamps.
I like that look Rod. I think maybe I'll be going for indicators on my '59 soon. Cage drivers don't seem to notice or care about hand signals.

I would encourage you to consider something. Goffy has a good selection of the things needed to make this happen.
Well Rod I am always willing to take your advice on board.

Today I ordered an indicator kit from Paul Goff. The whole kit (4 indicators, flasher unit, handlebar control, telltale and wiring diagram) less than AUD60.00 including postage and handling.

I'll let you know how it goes with pics in a couple of weeks.

This is the next segment of the last ride video 1/2 mile further on. It is the narrows of the Big Thompson river. Bob: when I came back out of the mouth of the canyon, I hit a wall of warm air. Bob
Coming from a place where it has never snowed in recorded history, I have great admiration for a guy who rides boldly when there's snow beside the road. Makes me cold just looking.

Well I'll just put on my T shirt and summer jacket and go for a blast on the 6T.

Having successfully sold 23 of 24 parts on eBay, I now have enough funds to proceed with moving to a nacelle front end for the '59. Ordered a whole pile of parts. Funds all gone again.
You'll spend the next 5 years trying to buy back those 24 parts. just wait 6 months and you'll go looking for that "spare' that you'd kept for a decade
I hope not. They were things like my magneto (replaced with a distributor), 7/8" handlebars (replaced with 1"), throttle twist grip (replaced with a 15/16" one), 69 triple trees (replaced with '59 parts), Zener diode (replaced with Podtronics rec/reg).

I still have three tanks, two seats, six fork sliders, four fork lugs, six stanchions. I am a bit slow to discard.

hmmmm, advised last week that I'd be redundant by April......knew it was coming, almost a relief in a strange way. At 58 my useful working life is probably over. Spring/summer is coming. Let's see where the road takes me now??
Looked at the Tiger in the garage today and thought should I sell........
Like the man says, we can't always control what happens to us. How we respond is up to us. I hope you find a way to proceed that doesn't involve letting go of your favourite toy.

I got my nacelle parts today. More parts to come, so I have a box of goodies on my workbench. I am not going to take the 59 off the road until every part is in the box.

Took my second hand nacelle top to the powder coater to discuss how to deal with some rust pitting and tiny dings. He is going to apply some thick coats of powder primer, then sand back; sort of like spray putty. When he's ready to apply the final coat I am to bring in my instruments and fittings so we can see what is hidden and what shows.

I won't be ready for that until after I complete the trial fitting of the whole nacelle and front end; can't tweak parts around with powder coat on them. I'll have to allow for the thickness of the powder coat when trial fitting.

Hope all goes well for you Rathlindri.

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