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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 11:48 AM
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had the same thing on my harley, could be a harmonic noise caused by a misaligned belt guard, try taking the guard off, go for a ride and see if it goes away.

2010 T100,HD flat track bars,B/C sleeper mufflers,ped slicer,ventura rack,chrome chainguard,avon grips, ,lowered progressive 412 shocks,burtons seat,clutch dresser kit,tank strip,fork clips,billet levers.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 07:16 PM
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I've been fighting with the chirping noise on my 2010 Thunderbird for some time now. I have a bit over 12K miles on the bike and don't ever notice the chirping being a problem until I let the dealership touch the bike.

I've scoured the Internet to find anyone that's had the same problem and to read how they solved it. After spending the better part of all weekend for the past few weekends, I think I have it narrowed down to two things:

1. Belt tension
2. Wheel alignment

With the bike on the side stand, Triumph says that a 10lb force should deflect the belt between .20" and .27". MAN is that TIGHT. But, sure enough, if you don't put it under that tension, the belt chirps. I do wonder about the longevity of the front pulley and output shaft with the belt under that much tension. For what it's worth, setting the belt tension is actually the easy part of the whole process.

I put my bike up on a jack stand and get the bike perpendicular to the garage floor. Following the procedure outlined in the service manual, I loosen the axle nut but DON'T remove it. Then, I put the jack up a couple more pumps to make sure the bike's rear tire is off the floor. (If you ask me, there's no great place to use a jack on the Thunderbird. Sure do wish I had a whole bike lift). Now I loosen and remove the lock nuts from the adjustment slides at the very rear of the swing arm. I can now make the tension adjustment using the adjustment nuts that butt up against the very rear of the swing arm.

BUT, this ain't over just yet. Now you have to make sure that the wheel is aligned as well. There's been mention on several forums of a special tool that Triumph has to adjust the rear tire on the Thunderbird. Evidently it consists of a rod that goes through the axle and then matches up on the swing arm to somehow show the wheel is aligned. I have not been able to find this tool anywhere on the Internet and my dealer says Triumph won't sell it to individuals. As a matter of fact, they didn't want to show me the one they had very badly.

So, the next stop might be to simply measure how much thread is showing on both adjuster bolts and make sure they are even, right? Nope, not on my bike. Those adjuster bolts aren't the same length! As a matter of fact, there's a 3mm difference between them. So, you can't just measure thread left and think your wheel is aligned.

I got crazy with mine. I decided to measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle hole at the back. On the left side of the bike, this isn't too hard. On the right side, I had to remove the pulley cover and the coolant reservoir to see the bolt.

Once I could see both sides of the swing arm bolt, I measure on both sides and got it within about 0.3mm. Should be close enough. Once I confirmed that the wheel was aligned this way, I snugged things up and took it for a test run. No chirp, no noise.

So, I brought it back to the garage to get ready to put the other parts back on. Before I did that, though, I measured from the center of the axle hole to the rear of the swing arm to see if that measurement was the same on both sides. This way I don't ever have to take the damn pulley cover and reservoir loose again just to check wheel alignment. Sure enough (and as you'd expect), those measurements were equal.

So, I think I have the belt tension adjusted correctly and the wheel aligned. I even sprung for one of those little belt tension tools that lets you put exactly 10lbs. of force to the belt and measure it's deflection. Mine comes to just a hair over .25" of deflection. But, like I said before, that belt sure seems damn tight, IMO.

A couple of notes here:

Do NOT use the little "guides" on the sides of the frame to try and align the rear wheel. Those little guides and the groove in the adjuster are about as useful as **** on a bull.

Do NOT count on the bolts from the adjusters to be the same length. I did at first and couldn't get the wheel aligned. So, I finally decided to measure the bolts themselves from where the adjuster touches the axle to the end of the bolt. There were NOT the same length.

Do measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle bolt to get a good idea of whether or not the wheel is aligned. I figured the swing arm bolt and the axle have to be perfectly parallel, so they should be equally distant on both sides of the bike from the axle.

Do NOT trust that the dealership knows how to align the rear wheel of a Thunderbird. They told me that some belts just chirp and that all I need to do was buy louder pipes so I didn't hear it. I'm not against the louder pipes, but I don't want to just cover up a problem; I want it fixed.

Anybody see any flaws in my logic or what I did?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 12:38 AM
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It seems that this chirping noise is quite common. My 2010 SE began to chirp at 7K and never under accelaration only under deceleration. I had the belt tightened and haven't heard it since. The complaint seems to be so prevalent I'm wondering if Triumph or Gates messed up in the design.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 02:38 AM
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Belts simply aren't perfect. Harleys have the same issue as do all belt drive bikes to some degree. It seems to be due to either alignment or tension, and possibly other things. Thats the price i think you pay to have belt drive. But boy is it ever worth it IMO....no chain noise, no lubing, much longer lasting, no snatchiness, no grinding when stretched, no lube all over the wheel. Well worth it. And I have found that once you get the hang of where to keep the tension and how to align it, the chirp either disappears altogether or at worse only happens on occasion for a very short time and very low volume. The only downside i see is the install requires swingarm removal and therefore for most of us is a dealer job and costs i think $150-200 for labor. On the other hand the pulleys have a new coating said to last as much as 5 times as long. So you may never have to replace them til after 5 or 6 belts, assuming the bike lasts that long. So a belt every 60-100k isn't really any more expensie than chain which have to be replaced with sprockets at least twice and more likely 3 times in the time we'd wear out one belt. IMO belts are the best final drive solution to date even if they aren't perfect.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 10:11 PM
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I think something else that I am trying to get used to is that this bike is just overall more noisy. Mine is the big bore from the factory and when it's not warmed up, there's a lot of noise from the bike in general. It smooths out as the bike warms up, but never goes completely away. Part of this is due to the bike itself, but I think part of it is also due to the fact that the bikes are made to be so quiet these days. In all honesty, older bikes made a lot more noise, but their exhaust notes were so much louder that we didn't hear it as much.

Riding a motorcycle, for me, is a little bit about being less than perfectly refined. I think part of what I'm forgetting is that piece. There's also times where I just have to say "what the hell" and ride. If she's going to rattle apart, make noise or just plain give up on me, at least I'll be riding with the wind in my face when it happens.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 10:35 PM
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Just to put this out there, has anybody tried simply cleaning the belt? I got my second case of chirps to go away by scrubbing the toothed side with a tooth brush and whitewall tire cleaner. They have the belt guard shielding the outside of the belt, where all the debris comes from the inside off the tire. Seems you would want the guard on both sides...

Just my $.02...

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 12:05 AM
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Well..... If I could just add my situation/findings/beliefs... I have had "The Noise" in mine for most of its 5000k's.. Adjusted rear wheel to try to get the belt to run true in the centre of the pulley.. sometimes this seems to quiet it down...but usually only for a short time.... I haven't ridden it for about 6 weeks, (incapacitated ) but had a mate down form interstate and offered him to ride it for me.... He's thinking of getting off his Rocket3 and onto a Victory.... Anyhows when he came back after about 150km I heard The Noise quite loudly, so we decided to investigate a bit more...

We marked adjacent parts of pulley and axle and S/arm with tape and found it was always in the same spot during rotation that it occurred.... Getting very close to it, I BELIEVE THE NOISE IS FROM THE CUSH DRIVE/PULLEY...

To my amazement, I could actually move the pulley in the cush drive, and this appears to be where "The Noise" is emanating from.. I can move it by holding it with 2 hands opposite and twisting, pushing pulling...sort of thing !!!!!!!

Now I know there is probably a bit of free play here, but with mine, it appears to me that with the belt tight, it is actually twisting the pulley away from its true alignment to the front pulley.... Hard to explain in writing, but its like it is not running parallel to the rim, if u follow what I mean,,,

I think my next move will be to remove the rear wheel and check the cush drive and maybe lube it up with some good rubber grease.....

Question is.... HAs anyone had issues with the cush drive or found this area to be the cause or not the cause... either way??????

Cheers, JD
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 08:54 PM
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What about the previous post that says the belt SHOULD'NT be in the middle but rather touching one side of the flange . Mine touches the r/h side , looking from the rear .

Curious has to whats correct , because , couple of weeks ago , mine was in for a service and a puncture repair , then with the wife on the back , i noticed some noises at slow speed , under say 20 klm more pronounced with the clutch pulled in .

I booked it in to be looked at, and would'nt you know it , its not done it again , with or without the wife
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:07 PM
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It's supposed to be on the RH side but not hard against the flange....you should be able to see a slight gap. Thats where it will be when the wheel alignment is correct. This according the triumph's #1 mechanic who does all thier press bikes. He adjusted mine using a alignment tool and explained it all to me.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k12techman View Post
I've been fighting with the chirping noise on my 2010 Thunderbird for some time now. I have a bit over 12K miles on the bike and don't ever notice the chirping being a problem until I let the dealership touch the bike.

I've scoured the Internet to find anyone that's had the same problem and to read how they solved it. After spending the better part of all weekend for the past few weekends, I think I have it narrowed down to two things:

1. Belt tension
2. Wheel alignment

With the bike on the side stand, Triumph says that a 10lb force should deflect the belt between .20" and .27". MAN is that TIGHT. But, sure enough, if you don't put it under that tension, the belt chirps. I do wonder about the longevity of the front pulley and output shaft with the belt under that much tension. For what it's worth, setting the belt tension is actually the easy part of the whole process.

I put my bike up on a jack stand and get the bike perpendicular to the garage floor. Following the procedure outlined in the service manual, I loosen the axle nut but DON'T remove it. Then, I put the jack up a couple more pumps to make sure the bike's rear tire is off the floor. (If you ask me, there's no great place to use a jack on the Thunderbird. Sure do wish I had a whole bike lift). Now I loosen and remove the lock nuts from the adjustment slides at the very rear of the swing arm. I can now make the tension adjustment using the adjustment nuts that butt up against the very rear of the swing arm.

BUT, this ain't over just yet. Now you have to make sure that the wheel is aligned as well. There's been mention on several forums of a special tool that Triumph has to adjust the rear tire on the Thunderbird. Evidently it consists of a rod that goes through the axle and then matches up on the swing arm to somehow show the wheel is aligned. I have not been able to find this tool anywhere on the Internet and my dealer says Triumph won't sell it to individuals. As a matter of fact, they didn't want to show me the one they had very badly.

So, the next stop might be to simply measure how much thread is showing on both adjuster bolts and make sure they are even, right? Nope, not on my bike. Those adjuster bolts aren't the same length! As a matter of fact, there's a 3mm difference between them. So, you can't just measure thread left and think your wheel is aligned.

I got crazy with mine. I decided to measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle hole at the back. On the left side of the bike, this isn't too hard. On the right side, I had to remove the pulley cover and the coolant reservoir to see the bolt.

Once I could see both sides of the swing arm bolt, I measure on both sides and got it within about 0.3mm. Should be close enough. Once I confirmed that the wheel was aligned this way, I snugged things up and took it for a test run. No chirp, no noise.

So, I brought it back to the garage to get ready to put the other parts back on. Before I did that, though, I measured from the center of the axle hole to the rear of the swing arm to see if that measurement was the same on both sides. This way I don't ever have to take the damn pulley cover and reservoir loose again just to check wheel alignment. Sure enough (and as you'd expect), those measurements were equal.

So, I think I have the belt tension adjusted correctly and the wheel aligned. I even sprung for one of those little belt tension tools that lets you put exactly 10lbs. of force to the belt and measure it's deflection. Mine comes to just a hair over .25" of deflection. But, like I said before, that belt sure seems damn tight, IMO.

A couple of notes here:

Do NOT use the little "guides" on the sides of the frame to try and align the rear wheel. Those little guides and the groove in the adjuster are about as useful as **** on a bull.

Do NOT count on the bolts from the adjusters to be the same length. I did at first and couldn't get the wheel aligned. So, I finally decided to measure the bolts themselves from where the adjuster touches the axle to the end of the bolt. There were NOT the same length.

Do measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle bolt to get a good idea of whether or not the wheel is aligned. I figured the swing arm bolt and the axle have to be perfectly parallel, so they should be equally distant on both sides of the bike from the axle.

Do NOT trust that the dealership knows how to align the rear wheel of a Thunderbird. They told me that some belts just chirp and that all I need to do was buy louder pipes so I didn't hear it. I'm not against the louder pipes, but I don't want to just cover up a problem; I want it fixed.

Anybody see any flaws in my logic or what I did?
No not at all. You can actually make your own alignment tool with a steel or copper rod and some spacers. You bend 4" of one end of the rod at a 90 degree angle and touch it to the center of the swingarm bolt. Then slide the spacer (washer) down the rod to the location of the center of the axle nut. Then just flip the rod with the spacer in that position over to the other side of the wheel and see if the spacer is in the same location.
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