I must really like this bike - 06 refurb - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Tiger's 885i & 955i - Mods & Workshop Workshop and technical talk for the 885i & 955i Tigers

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I must really like this bike - 06 refurb

By overwhelming demand, this thread will be a write up about my 06 955i Tiger.
I'll start with a little background while my camera battery recharges.

The first time I saw one I had to run over and take a look at what that weird looking thing was. That's a TRIUMPH? They reminded me of a cross between the old 1950s/1960s Italian race bikes and Richard Nixon's jowls.

I had put on around 105,000 miles on my Buell Ulysses and knew that sooner or later I'd have to park it and replace it with something else. How about one of those giant, weird looking Triumph Tigers?
I read a Buyer's Guide and they said 05 was the year to get and I saw an 06 on eBay with 8,000 miles which didn't sell.
I contacted the owner and we struck up a deal so off to NYC on Christmas Eve, 2016 to pick it up.

Traffic, of course, was murder. Shoulda gone on Christmas Day.
The guy I got it from had two Tigers, one he kept in NYC and one he stashed at a friend's place in Florida and he'd use it when he'd go down there on vacation.
I got the Florida bike. Shoulda gotten the NYC bike.

I stopped by to show it off to some friends on the way back to PA and discovered that the first thing I needed to do was buy a new battery!
I got it home and on Christmas Day (after swiping a battery from another bike) I immediately got it stuck getting it off of the truck but a Good Samaritan type was passing by and gave me a hand. I told him that there really is a Santa Claus and he laughed and said he used to do hill climbs so he knows the feeling I had with a bike halfway down a ramp, ha, ha.

I gave it a bath and off to the gas station for a fill up and to bomb around for a bit and then give it a check over.
The first thing I discovered was that the oil was a quart low.

The fellow I bought it from admittedly knew zilch about mechanical things so I called him an unflattering name and dumped in a quart of oil.

Fuel mileage was in the mid 30s so I pulled the air filter and it was FULL of red Florida sand. Uh oh, this fellow was using it as a trail bike so I popped in a K&N and the mileage went up to high 40s.

I got rid of the giant dirt bike bars and stuck on Buell Lightning bars, a Corbin seat which makes the big WAY too tall for me but doesn't give me a welt like the stock seat does, bar end mirrors, a Staintune canister and then a Trident canister, experimented with around 6 different wind shields, new chain and sprockets and went up one tooth on the counter shaft sprocket, Super Mosfet Kit from roadstercycle.com, replaced the IACV lines, put on a real horn, replaced the fuel filter, brake pads, all fluids, spark plugs, discovered that the rear pads have a tendency to drag if you don't clean and lube the pistons and mounts frequently, wrote to Ferodo and got them to list the correct rear brake pad set in their online catalog, that kind of stuff.

Sometimes the oil level would hold steady, sometimes it would vanish at an alarming rate.
Different brands, viscosities, types of oil - same thing.
Exhaust canister outlet is sooty, no oil in the air box. It's being blown out the back, different length dipsticks did not matter a bit.

I poked around on this site and asked the fellows on tigertriple.com what they thought and the suggestions were valve guide seals and one fellow brought up the subject of cracked pistons.
That will make your heart sink!

At around 31,000 it started to sound like it was full of marbles when it was hot and finally, at around 32,500 miles the idle at start up dropped down to around 750 and then one morning it just conked out and didn't want to restart.

I can take a hint, time to smack it with a hammer.

First pic shows Christmas Day when I first got it, second pic shows last Winter with around 30,000 on the clock.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 01:18 PM
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That's exactly like the bike I sold last year. 62500 miles on the clock, and a broken clutch cable was the only non servicing money I had to spend
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Several hours of greasy merriment later, the bike's all in giant chunks.

Here's two things that might make things easier for other people:
get a large brass drift and a stout hammer and give each of the T47 head bolts a good smack to help loosen them up (you only want to shock the bolt, not try and drive it through the center of the Earth) and
the head can come off in the frame if you lift up the front right hand corner first, it will clear the fixed chain tensioner blade. If you just try and lift the head straight up it won't happen.

Here's some gearhead porn.
Everybody's garage always looks like you can eat off of the floor, mine looks like it's packed full of crap because it's packed full of crap.

The first two photos shows the old girl as it currently sits with two straps holding the motor up firm. one has a hook stuck in the front casting where there's an unused hole up in the front left. I don't know what the purpose of that is but it came in handy. You'll notice the stylish Hefty bag to keep crap out of the engine while it's awaiting parts.

Photo 3 shows what evil lurks beneath the Hefty bag. Cylinder number 1 (ATDC) is the one with the low compression. It would do around 100 dry, 140 with some oil squirted down the plug hole. The other ones were around 180-190. Numero Uno no es bueno!

Picture 4 shows the oily mung inside of the exhaust ports. The oil consumption isn't confined to the evil Number One cylinder.

Picture 5 shows that the misbehavior isn't confined to just the exhaust side, either.

And finally, picture 6 shows that the valves look pretty much as expected. I see that someone at Triumph puts an X on the exhaust valves so they don't get mixed up at the factory.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me.
The plan of attack is to clean up and refresh the cylinder head first and then turn my attention to the pistons and see just what horrible thing is going on down there. I have my suspicions on that one.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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Nice write up!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I always enjoy reading the member's rebuild and restoration threads so here's something on what's now an older triple. Seems kind of new to me but time marches on.

I'm really curious as to what's up with that piston so will take some pics when it's out on the bench.
That should be in another week or so as I have to make the liner pulling tool.

Oh yeah, someone said (somewhere or other) that Buell Ulysses turn signals work on this bike.
Not exactly a change connectors and bolt them on for the rear as you also have to cut down the threaded shank.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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A little more progress is being made.
My plumbing doohickeys showed up so I could make a liner puller and as it was 95 degrees in the garage and near 100% humidity I figured this would be the perfect time to work on the bike.
And you think I'm having fun. Nope.

Initially I was just going to do liner and piston number one but, of course, on order to remove piston number one you have to pull liner number 2 and get that piston to BDC so I pulled all 3 liners just to get it over with.

The longitudinal scratches seen in the pictures can be caught with a finger nail so it's what I thought, this motor sucked in sand as the previous owner was playing trail rider.
For all of the K&N detractors I should mention that this bike was running the stock air filter and had around 8,000 on it when I got it (and it was burning oil).

I'm happy to say that the piston did not start to disintegrate like what happened on some of the 1050s.
Over the years I've had a few cylinders off and this is only the second one I've seen where the ring end gaps were lined up. Some say not to worry as they rotate under use but I suspect this contributed to the low compression reading.

The head gasket was fine and when my breaker bike's pistons and liners show up from England I'm going to run a FlexHone through all three liners, new rings on all three pistons and new circlips for piston number one.

I'm only going to replace piston/liner number one, the other two look okay and had high compression readings.

The black, slanted line in the last photo is a 1 put on with a Sharpie, it's not a gouge.
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Last edited by Steve Ford; 07-06-2019 at 02:45 PM.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Progress is being made.
I bought this bike a few years ago to replace my aging Buell Ulysses. At around 127,000 miles it's just too decrepit to be trusted.

When I took the photo of the Tiger valves in the egg container I couldn't help but think of a neighbor who asked my mother to put a fence up and when it was done, he came over and said,
"Hey, that's not what I had in mind!"

Oh well, head is cleaned up, valves are lapped, new valve guide seals and it's all back together.
7mm silicone IACV line worked just great for spinning the valves around to lap them and I used an automotive fuse puller to press the valve guide seals on, it worked great.
That's the piece sitting in the middle of the head.
Best part was the manual saying to lightly coat the valve stems with molybdenum disulfide grease.
Slob some grease around? You don't have to tell me twice, I'm on it!
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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While I'm waiting for my criminally overpriced OEM piston rings and circlips to show up I got the liners ready.
Show me a man who doesn't enjoy reaming out a liner with a set of lubed dingleberries on a stick and I'll show you a Liberace fan who lives with this mommy.
British liner reamed out with American FlexHone held in a Japanese drill and then cleaned with an old Moto Guzzi tee-shirt and lightly oiled with Harley Davidson 20W50 oil.
It's a wonderful thing.

Correction to the previous post: I used 6mm silicone line on the valve stems to spin them around, not 7mm.
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Last edited by Steve Ford; 07-17-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 03:22 PM
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I didn't know you could self ream ??

I thought you would have had to get it done professionally, and used oversized piston rings ??

Safe riding.
Regards,
Graeme.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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You're thinking of using a boring bar for oversized pistons which Triumph does not offer.
This is just for seating new rings, it doesn't remove much material.
New rings should be here today so tomorrow I can start getting it back into smaller chunks.
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