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Thread: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
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    205

    Default Re: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

    The twistgrip was another ebay item and also quite rare. I had been looking for one for a while but they are not common. They have a spring loaded plunger (see bottom of second picture) that presses against a knurl inside the throttle to give a cruise control effect although mine is a bit worn so tends to slip off which is actually fine by me.






    The Amal levers are also a rare item but there is a company in Czechoslovakia who make fantastic replicas so i went for those after 2 years of looking for originals.




    By now its starting to look like a bike and these pictures were taken when I was wiring it.

    The original looms were all black wires with coloured metal loops crimped to the ends to denote different circuits. I didnít have metal loops so i used coloured heat shrink and put a small loop at each end of a wire in similar colours to that described on a period wiring diagram.






    Here is a detail that is a subtle difference between 1938 models and 1939 models. If you remember the rocker feed and oil pressure gauge feed that I mentioned above, you can see the oil pressure feed in this picture.




    For 1938 models the oil pressure gauge feed went straight to the gauge with no breaks in it. The only way to disconnect it was at the gauge which made taking the tank or instrument panel off very awkward. For 1939 they added a union just below the tank so you could disconnect it easily.

    John

  2. #12
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    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
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    205

    Default Re: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

    The tank was one of the last pieces I sourced. Before I got this one I was sold another one that turned out to be the wrong one for my bike. I then tried an Indian (the country) reproduction but the quality was awful so I looked for an original one.

    I got this one which looked better than it turned out to be. I found it to have 2 issues. First the mounting holes should be threaded but were stripped to the point that they looked like they had been drilled out at a clearance fit. I didnít want to weld it because of the chrome and paint so I made threaded inserts. You can see one in the last of these 3 pictures.








    The second issue was that when I put petrol into it it had pin holes. So I had to line it with POR15.






    With a tank sorted out it was just a few last bits to do.







    Here is a stop on the first ride in late May 2012.






    More to come

    John

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    58

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    John: What is the brand of clamp that you used for your oil hoses? They look to be kind in not bunching the hose. Thanks

    Mike Love
    AMCA # 19097

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    58

    Default

    John: Looks like the Triumph branding is missing on the restored oil gauge? So you got a new needle as well.

    Mike Love

    AMCA #19097

  5. #15
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    Dec 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ihrescue View Post
    John: What is the brand of clamp that you used for your oil hoses? They look to be kind in not bunching the hose. Thanks

    Mike Love
    AMCA # 19097
    Mike, I have no idea what brand they are I am afraid, they were just an online purchase from, I think, here. I am pretty sure that you could find similar i the USA at a general workshop supplies place. Beal is more of a trade place rather than a big box store so not too many "general public" buy from them.



    Quote Originally Posted by ihrescue View Post
    John: Looks like the Triumph branding is missing on the restored oil gauge? So you got a new needle as well.

    Mike Love

    AMCA #19097

    The Triumph branding was missing from the gauge when it returned the first time but Ian Bartrum was very apologetic and fixed it straight away. See the picture of the gauge in place complete with Triumph branding . I am pretty sure that the needle was just repainted. Edit, you might be right, I was sure that the crescent "tail" on the needle was intact but I just looked at the picture again and you might be right perhaps I did get a new needle.


    John
    Last edited by TechNoir; 10-22-2016 at 11:41 AM.

  6. #16
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    Blighty
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    Default Re: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

    Here is one for the oil pressure gauge nerds.

    This is the "post war" oil gauge, you can see it is a different instrument altogether.





    John

  7. #17
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    Default Re: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

    The reason I took those pictures above on the first ride was because I had a breakdown. As I mentioned previously I entrusted some of the engine work to a "specialist" Unfortunately he put too little clearance on the valves/valve guides and I got a stuck valve. It was easily remedied by reaming out the guides to the correct clearance but it was a bit annoying.


    After that I still had a couple of minor items to do like putting numbers on the front plate but for all practical purposes it was done.

    I put a 500 hundred miles on it through the next few weeks. I would do a few miles and then iron out some issues then do some more miles then iron out some more minor issues etc. In August I took it to a VMCC ride out. The ride out started about 35 miles from where I live although I went there along the long scenic route and had done about 50 miles and had nearly got there when the bike stopped.

    Here it is parked up waiting for the tow truck. I had tools with me and a few minor spares but not what I needed to fix this (minor) issue.






    Here is a close up of the problem, if you look closely you will see petrol running down.





    Its hard to see whats broken in the above picture but in this next picture its obvious.





    The problem was caused by 2 things. First, the rear tank attaches to a flat mounting bar bolted to the frame. The bolts between the bar and frame had worked loose and so the tank had started vibrating badly causing the tap to fracture. This was easily remedied using Locite.

    The second problem was my laziness. I had bought a new pattern tap for the bike from an autojumble/swap meet and it was made of some crappy metal. Also it is a later type of tap and so it is different to the one originally fitted to my bike. ( In hindsight I have no idea why I bought the pattern part but it has been a useful lesson)

    I say laziness because I have this box in my shop.




    I had an original one made from brass of the right type but it needed some work. It needed new cork, it needed a gauze filter adding and it needed the thread that screws into the tank reducing from 3/8" BSP to 1/4" BSP. An hour or so later had it sorted out.

    The one on the right in the next picture is the correct tap and the one on the left is the correct thread for those not familiar with British Standard Pipe (BSP) thread.












    John

  8. #18
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    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
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    Default Re: My 1938/39 Triumph. A Retrospective Review.

    Other than those 2 breakdowns the bike has been good apart from one more issue. That issue is that I vibrated too much. I entrusted some of the engine work to a specialist but I only had the crank statically balanced and it was un-rideable above 55mph. This bad vibration led, at least in part, to the broken petrol tap.

    2013 & 2014 was spent building an extension on my house so working on bikes took a bit of a back seat so it wasnít until 2015 that i got around to pulling the motor apart and getting the crank dynamically balanced.

    What a huge difference that made to riding it. I recommend to everyone that if you are building a motor you need to dynamically balance it.

    This brings us up to date on this bike except for that oil leak I mentioned a few weeks ago which i had lived with since last year (when I rebuilt the motor after balancing the crank) because I was so engrossed with the HD.

    In hindsight I like to remember it as being an easier project than it actually was but in reality some of it was really hard work. Some parts were easy to find because they were used on bikes up to 1949 or even beyond but some were very difficult to locate.

    Also it was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle without a picture so some of the small details were hard to get right and I would end up spending hours and hours getting some small part like say a bracket right. I am sure a lot of people on here have had similar experiences.

    Something that I would do differently is the fasteners, remember I mentioned above that there were none with the bike. They are mostly Cycle Thread with some Whitworth. There a few firms that do fasteners to order in Cycle Thread but only in stainless steel. I opted for these stainless fasteners because this was much easier than making the hundreds of nuts and bolts and screws that I needed myself especially because lots of them are unique to this bike with domed heads or other unique features. I donít like how the stainless items look and also they like to gall which obviously I donít like either. Along the way I did collect a few original fasteners so at some point in the future I might start changing them out for steel ones and making the missing ones myself.

    This point alone made the 20F so much easier to do. It came with most of the fasteners and I have probably only had to make 30 to 40 items myself and at least half of those were because the ones with the bike were too rusted but at least I had a pattern to work to.

    Here is that picture of the 5T from my introduction again, its not a recent picture but its a good one. (since then I have put numbers on the front plate)



    And thatís it. (well almost, I have vinyl letters on the number plates but having had the 20F painted by a sign writer I think I will do the same on my 5T at some point in the not too distant future because it looks so much better)

    It starts mostly on first kick and compared to the 20F it is quite a modern bike. It does still have the odd oil leak so I can see why old British iron had such a reputation for oil leaks. I keep sorting them out but I donít think it will ever be 100% leak free. But it is a good bike and because I had it for so long before I managed to get it together and because it was so hard to find all of the bits I am quite attached to it so I think it will be a keeper.


    John

  9. #19
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    Oct 2013
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    Maryland
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    225

    Default

    I enjoyed reading this, John. Beautiful bike! Dale

  10. #20
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    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
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    Default

    Thanks Dale. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, finding my old pictures and writing the posts.

    John

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