Removing the Exhaust Decompression cam - Page 5 - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Thunderbird Twin - Technical Talk Technical talk for the big Thunderbird twin

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post #41 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 06:11 PM
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 2010 Triumph T-Bird 1600
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New guy here...

I just picked up a 2010 T-Bird 1600 this past week from a friend of mine...It's got 13K miles on it so I'm trying to decide if I want to attempt the valve clearance check myself or let the local dealer open up the valve cover and do it, at least for the first time. That way, if this cam is knackered, they will be the first to see it.

Does anyone have a rough idea what a dealer charges for the valve clearance check here in the States?

I love the bike so far but it sounds so different from my old 1982 Goldwing Interstate which I have kept running for all these years, doing 95% of the repairs myself. At this point, I'm not sure which noises are normal and those that are not.

I'll keep an eye on this thread.

Last edited by NHnative; 06-01-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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post #42 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 11:21 PM
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Hi New Guy. Welcome!

Expect about $800 if you don't need any adjustments; that should include a coolant flush and new plugs. Just getting the cam cover off takes about 3 hours; besides all the wiring to move, the coolant has to be drained and a metal coolant tube that runs from the radiator (front) to the thermostat (back) has to be removed. The actual checking of clearances takes like 15 minutes. If adjustments have to be made, they've got to pull the camshaft[s] for any cams that need new shims so you can add another $200 in that case.

I've got a 2013 and Triumph didn't have enough of a conscience to cover a fix. I don't think you've got anything to gain by letting a dealer discover a broken decompressor. I took a gamble by turning my bike over to my dealer that they'd be able to convince Triumph to cover repairs. They tried and I tried and we both got nowhere. I could have finished the job myself and cost me no more than a gallon of coolant but I gambled and lost. I delivered it with the cam cover already accessible and they charged me $400 to check clearances, button it back up and refill with coolant. I don't think that was out of line.

It's a great bike. Don't let all our grumbling about Triumph put you off. We just like to complain.

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Last edited by PapaSmurfMC; 06-01-2019 at 11:23 PM.
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post #43 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PapaSmurfMC View Post
Hi New Guy. Welcome!

Expect about $800 if you don't need any adjustments; that should include a coolant flush and new plugs. Just getting the cam cover off takes about 3 hours; besides all the wiring to move, the coolant has to be drained and a metal coolant tube that runs from the radiator (front) to the thermostat (back) has to be removed. The actual checking of clearances takes like 15 minutes. If adjustments have to be made, they've got to pull the camshaft[s] for any cams that need new shims so you can add another $200 in that case.

I've got a 2013 and Triumph didn't have enough of a conscience to cover a fix. I don't think you've got anything to gain by letting a dealer discover a broken decompressor. I took a gamble by turning my bike over to my dealer that they'd be able to convince Triumph to cover repairs. They tried and I tried and we both got nowhere. I could have finished the job myself and cost me no more than a gallon of coolant but I gambled and lost. I delivered it with the cam cover already accessible and they charged me $400 to check clearances, button it back up and refill with coolant. I don't think that was out of line.

It's a great bike. Don't let all our grumbling about Triumph put you off. We just like to complain.
Thanks for the info! I will probably do this myself then during some downtime. I have no problems wrenching on just about anything. Over the years, YouTube has become more and more my go to for doing more involved mechanical work.

There is a 5 part tutorial on YouTube on how to check and if need be, shim the clearances. I'm sure I can get shims from my local dealer if necessary.

I love the bike so far. My Goldwing never had the low end torque this bike has, but then again, it's set up for touring, plus it's 37 years old. I bought the 'wing when it was 5 years old and even then, it was a pretty placid ride.

Last edited by NHnative; 06-02-2019 at 12:06 PM.
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post #44 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:36 PM
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With a little searching, you can find a 2009 Service Manual you can download. It's mostly right and indispensable.

2013 Blue Marble Haze Thunderbird 1600 ABS
2009 Black Bonneville A1 ("Mag")
Buncha farkles
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post #45 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PapaSmurfMC View Post
With a little searching, you can find a 2009 Service Manual you can download. It's mostly right and indispensable.
Bought a manual for my '14 LT and was worth it to me. Flipping through a printed manual in hand vs a PC is much better for me....old school perhaps. One toner cartridge and a ream of paper probably came close to the price I bought the thing for.

Just wondering sir if you've had any issues since the dealer buttoned up your bird leaving the broken decomp cam in place. Hopefully not!
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Last edited by slingshot60; 08-19-2019 at 08:14 AM.
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post #46 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 12:38 AM
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......Just wondering sir if you've had any issues since the dealer buttoned up you bird leaving the broken decomp cam in place. Hopefully not!
Not a bit, never ran better.
Thanks for asking!
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2013 Blue Marble Haze Thunderbird 1600 ABS
2009 Black Bonneville A1 ("Mag")
Buncha farkles

Last edited by PapaSmurfMC; 08-18-2019 at 12:46 AM.
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post #47 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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When i have my valves adjusted it was $400. Maybe it;s because the guy who did it is triumph's demo fleet mechanic and knows how to do it quicker and easier than most dealers, most of whom likely never did one. But whatever the reason $800 for valve adjustment is crazy. I'd never buy a bike if i knew i'd be paying that kind of $ for valves. Om the other hand, Davetac1 at the 1600 forum sold his with 125,000 miles on it and never did a single valve adjustment.
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post #48 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 07:04 PM
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NHnative
I have had my 2010 for 9 years and it has been a learning experience. Hope you don't mind some advice.
While you have the tank off checking your valves you should get rid of the original Triumph MAP tubes and install equal length single piece tubes.
When you turn the engine over to measure the exhaust clearance you have to move the decompressor flyweights. Don't turn the engine backwards.
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post #49 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 02:28 AM
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There is a 5 part tutorial on YouTube on how to check and if need be, shim the clearances. I'm sure I can get shims from my local dealer if necessary.

Yes the chap you refer to is quite thorough.....I learned a lot from that series. Timely but worth the watch
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post #50 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jaknife View Post
NHnative
I have had my 2010 for 9 years and it has been a learning experience. Hope you don't mind some advice.
While you have the tank off checking your valves you should get rid of the original Triumph MAP tubes and install equal length single piece tubes.
When you turn the engine over to measure the exhaust clearance you have to move the decompressor flyweights. Don't turn the engine backwards.
Thanks for the hints. I have watched that 5 part series on YouTube on checking the clearances. It's fairly labor intensive but doesn't look all that difficult. It'll be a good winter project. I also plan on replacing the MAP tubes when the tank is off...
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