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Old 11-20-2014, 03:57 PM   #1
Banzaibob OP
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'59 Triumph TR6 Oil coming out of the breather tube....


I just recently got my '59 TR6 running after a complete "sludge trap out, new main bearings" rebuild. It seems to run fine, starts on the first kick, etc. I took it for it's first ride yesterday, up and down my street, probably 2 miles at the most. Absolutely NO problems!

This afternoon I go to start it basically just to hear it run (sweet music to my ears). It fires up, I let it warm up reasonably and shut it off. I later come back out to the garage to find a puddle of oil about 10-12 inches across. Realistically, not a lot of oil. I search around and find that it came out of the breather tube that comes out of the left side of the engine, where the rotary breather is in back of the intake cam. I'm not terribly worried so I fire it up again to watch. Sure enough it pukes out a small to modest amount of oil and after about 15 seconds of running it is mostly clear, spitting a few drops here and there.

The bike is still not finished. Obviously I don't have all of the hoses ran properly. Right now the bike still has many issues to button up and I'm not terribly concerned. But....I am wondering where does the breather hose normally route to? I can't imagine it being more than 200cc's of oil that was spit out but does anybody see a problem with that quantity?

I guessing that you route a hose up to the oil tank, correct? Does anybody have any "hot setup" advice for breather issues?
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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Actually, after going out and giving it a second glance, it is far less than 200cc's...maybe about half of that.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:34 PM   #3
England-Kev
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just run the breather back to the oil tank
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #4
What?
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britbike.com is where you should go.
My breather tube is 5/8" rubber hose that is routed up to the frame under the seat and ends just aft of the shock. I'm told this is correct for a 1971 TR6C.
If you put on a hose and it still pukes out oil then you have a condition called wet sumping. The oil pump, pumps oil into the crankshaft and sucks it out of the crankcase. If the return is plugged then the only way out for the oil is through the breather.
Like I say, britbike.com will have all of your answers.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What? View Post
britbike.com is where you should go.
My breather tube is 5/8" rubber hose that is routed up to the frame under the seat and ends just aft of the shock. I'm told this is correct for a 1971 TR6C.
If you put on a hose and it still pukes out oil then you have a condition called wet sumping. The oil pump, pumps oil into the crankshaft and sucks it out of the crankcase. If the return is plugged then the only way out for the oil is through the breather.
Like I say, britbike.com will have all of your answers.
Beat me to it.
Sweet.
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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Oil level in the tank is good. I am using the cheapest, non-synth oil that Carquest has, 20w50. I started it up today, it spewed just enough to make a 6" diameter puddle. Since I don't have the hose routed or even hooked up, I'm not terribly concerned about the quantity.

After a 5 minute warm up I took it out for a spin. I flogged it pretty hard, up to or at least close to redline, pulling a 1/2 mile hill. I discover another problem which will probably be a new thread pretty soon; the clutch is slipping.

After about 10 minutes of this treatment I shut it off and let it sit. There was drool that left a little oil on the ground.

Questions: Is there a reliable breather setup that people use on these old Triumphs. Were these things engineered before the use of PVC valves?

Does this sound like either a ring seating issue OR a check ball in the oil pump issue?

Is there an aftermarket bolt-on oil pump that the "Old Triumph Guys" like and use?

Is getting the check ball to seat in these old Triumphs just a matter of lapping it in (and making sure it's clean)?
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
What?
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Yes these engines were invented long before the PCV valves. Like 36 years before.
There are some guys that know everything about these bikes over at britbike.com
Pay special attention to the proper way to break in the engine or you will be doing it again. I ignored some of their advise and ended up reboaring and buying oversized pistons. Some of the advise sounds like "take and eye of a newt and some stumpwater from a fallen oak during a full moon". But if you follow their instruction, you will seat the rings within 10 miles. Among the things that can't be ignored is the use of 30 weigth non detergent oil in the first running. Another thing that must not be ignored is the piping of the hoses to the oil pump. It is too easy to get them backward.
Clutch slipping is a very common problem and there are threads dedicated to that subject.
Also check out the resource page at GABMA.com ( I think i said that right. The greater Atlanta British motorcycle association)
If you are on the britbike board and a guy named John Healy or RF Whatley gives you some advise you should treat it like you heard it from the burning bush!

What? screwed with this post 11-21-2014 at 08:13 PM
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:10 PM   #8
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Have you got oil returning to the tank, a good flow when you pull the cap? It must be wet sumping when left to sit. I don't think the breather ever had a hose on it....and not much came out even when the engine was worn.

Late model unit Triumphs did away with the timed breather, had no drive side oil seal and had holes in the left case for primary case oil level. They breathed into the primary case, and then a hose came out of the top and over the rear guard. You can convert any unit to do that, you just need solid cams. With a preunit you are stuck with the timed breather and hollow cams.

Pull the oil pump apart and check the ball valves.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:28 PM   #9
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Yes, 100% certain that hoses are hooked up correctly. I'm going to assume for the time being that I have some gunk in the check ball, etc. Before I dig into it though, is there an aftermarket setup that is foolproof, better performance, more reliable, and so on?
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:31 AM   #10
What?
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go to google and type in "morgo oil pump triumph"
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:38 AM   #11
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Don't just buy a new oil pump and install it. Diagnose the problem and find the root cause. From your description it sounds like a worn oil pump but don't take my word for it. You have a good manual? Use it or get one.

Whatever you do installing an "anti-drain back valve" in the return line is a bad idea. Just don't even consider it for a variety of reasons. Find and fix the problem correctly and ride w/o worry.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:11 AM   #12
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Absolutely. One of the first things I learned about hunting is that you NEVER shoot into a thicket hoping to hit a trophy buck.

I can actually see the oil being ejected upon start up. It's actually got a few other small leaks that need to be attended to, but this is the big one.

One of my ancillary concerns is the rings bedding in properly. When I started it up for the first time I followed the same regimen that I do on most non-nikasil rebuilds; vary the rpms from approximately 4000 rpm to just above idle but being careful not to overheat. I did this for about 10 minutes or so with a fan blowing on the engine the entire time. Later I took it for a spin in my neighborhood for about 10 minutes, climbing modest hills and shifting through all 4 gears. The day after I first found the oil I took it out again, this time riding it a bit more aggressively.

I would have a hard time believing that my break in routine is seriously flawed. There's nothing that I can see that makes these old Triumphs any more unique than the dozens of Honda's, BMW's, Kawasaki's, etc. that I've done the top end on.

Upon start up, it actually looks as if the thing is "clearing its throat" more than anything. I'm going to start by focusing on the oil pump and check ball. The only questions that I would have would be if anyone saw a problem with simply lapping in the ball (and vigorous cleaning) OR if there is a good, super reliable aftermarket setup that the "old timers" and "hot-rod" guys now use?
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:25 AM   #13
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I have a assortment of old pushrods I use to lap check ball seats. Be sure to clean up to OCD standards when finished. Check the ball surface for pits flaking and such. Or just replace it.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:50 AM   #14
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I let it sit overnight. I removed the sump plate and right about 200mL of oil came out. To me, this MAY have check ball written all over it. Your opinions?
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:47 AM   #15
mike in idaho
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My three unit twins(a 500 and two 650s) have the breather hose running up to a tube on the froth tower on the oil tank. there is a metal "T" fitting in the hose,near the upper end, with a hose on the third branch that goes down behind the transmission. Maybe the pre-unit bikes would use a similar setup. My Norton uses a slightly different setup, a hose from the breather to the tank and a second hose to vent the pressure from the tank.
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