Featured 2001 S3 955i - And So It Begins

Discussion in 'Builds & Projects' started by David Munns, Sep 16, 2020.

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  1. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Howdy y'all,
    As a newcomer to the forum, and Triumph in general, I will be posting updates to my 2001 Speed Triple project.

    I'm by no means a professional bike builder, nor am I a qualified mechanic, so I'm open to all help and discussion here.

    I start my project by resolving issues with idle stability and tapping from the engine when warm.
    This will include Timing Chain, vacuum lines and Fuel Management I'm sure.

    After this, I plan on doing a full service, moving on to refurbishment and making it 'special' although I'm not sure on the extent of this yet.

    Safe riding and thanks for reading.
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  2. dilligaf

    dilligaf Guest

    :cool:Champion I will watch this with interest:cool:
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  3. JtC

    JtC Elite Member

    Apr 20, 2020
    New Mexico
    I admire people who take on such projects, Dave. Good luck with it.
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  4. alfie

    alfie Getting older but still going for it

    Jan 27, 2018
    Bath, Zumerset
    Have you tried listening down the shaft of a screwdriver (handle in ear blade moved around and placed on engine parts) to identify the location of the tapping? I agree with ducky as it sounds valve gear speed related.

    And welcome.

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  5. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Thanks Alfie,
    I haven't yet, was just trying to get an idea using the mic on my camera, but the whole engine will need a good service, so I'll have a look when I open her up.
    At the moment, I'm awaiting a container so I can empty all the crap out of my 'garage' and set up a place to work on it.
    The nights are getting dark and it will soon be down to minus degrees so don't want to be working in the barn... :)
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  6. Rocker

    Rocker Elite Member

    May 1, 2016
    All engines sound like a bag of spanners on video it's probably nothing
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  7. ChrisJHuff

    ChrisJHuff Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2020
    County Durham
    having a sprint RS 2001 I'd say that's a fairly normal sounding triple of the period... they do sound like a bag of spanners in the rocker box... but the tickover and response is good on your engine and it starts no problems

    when you get the rocker box cover off check the tightness of the camchain just in case the chain or tensioner blade are worn or the adjuster is stuck... just ideas that I'm sure you have in mind
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  8. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    So as I said, starting this project also means creating space in which to work. Below are my three areas.
    The double door garage will be the secure workshop for tools and bike, now I can actually see the floor, it looks like the best place.
    The back half of the barn will be for working on the car, plus any spraying or metal work I need to do (welding, bending, etc..).
    The small utility room (currently full of construction crap from the house) will be used for drilling and woodwork.

    As far as the bike goes, I gave it quite a thorough going over this past weekend.
    Other than a major service, I have the following on the list. If you can think of any 'should do' whilst I'm in the area, don't hesitate to comment or leave your story.

    Valve's (inspect, adjust etc.)
    Cam Chain and guides/blades
    Hoses - full (wet & dry) inspect change (dies in idle at intersections/lights)
    SAI - Not sure whether to remove or just make sure it's working properly. Other than the weight and reduced technical nature of the engine, is there any advantage/disadvantage? Is it only for emissions?
    Battery & Cables - charging system, doesn't start when hot - possible heat bleed.
    Fuel Management - HELP - any way to manage/sync this without a Triumph Specialist?​



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  9. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Thanks for the tip.. I refrain from riding it at the moment with all the issues I need to overcome but yes, keeping the revs when warm made me look like a hooligan each time I had to stop.
    You say it's fiddly, is there anything on these bikes that isn't fiddly :D
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  10. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Second base...

    So, I have now started stripping down the beast and am starting to notice a few things.

    Firstly, the VIN number reads a SN of 162320 and so all the parts I have ordered/bought until now have been for the later model 2001 (from VIN 141872).
    Something is off here as the first thing I notice is the airbox uses a flat filter with twin ports into it from the sides at the front as opposed top the radial filter and single front central inlet.
    Also, the spark plus are not the CR9's I expected to see but the DPR8's.

    With this in mind, does anyone know what I should take into consideration or does this just sound like a bit of a mixed bag?

    Now apart from this, so I have worked out I need to take a serrious look at the electrics.
    TuneECU 'read map' not responding, possibly corroded pin in the OBD plug.
    multiple 'repairs' to the wiring (and I thought my auto electrics was bad),
    broken plugs on some sensors,
    I'm thinking I might just replace the whole wiring harness. Easy enough right...?

    I flushed the coolant to see what was going on inside and found rusty water, not even a drop of coolant in the system.
    Sooooooo, I was going to replace the hoses anyway, but will remove the entire lot, see how bad the radiator is and double check the thermostat.

    Plugs were covered in soot, so cleaned them up, they still look pretty good, but ordered the correct ones now for when it's all back together. It's likely just where it's not been used much and only started to warm, if that.

    On the plus side, I tested charging and that's good, nothing wrong with that system.
    Vacuum hoses on the IACV look good, in fact the look almost new...

    As I move down, the next job is to clean up throttle body followed by removal of the valve cover for adjustments and TC.
    I'll also rip apart the fuel system and see about replacing the filter and looking at the pump.

    Temps here are now maxing out at around zero (Celcius) and so roads are icy at best therefore it's a good time to start the work.
    I just need a safe way of heating my garage now.

    Thats all for now, ride safe y'all :)
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  11. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Couple of questions...

    I've got the clutch case off and notice a rippled bubble effect in the finish of the clutch plate retainer.
    Anything I should worry about?

    Also, with the sump off, I've noticed a little sideways play of the conrods, not enough to worry about yet.
    What else should I look for in particular whilst I'm there?



  12. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic

    This weekend was spent mainly cleaning the cases. Now all the old gasket is removed, and the rims of the casing all clean, I can start working on the actual bike again.
    Cold weather and the normal weekend tasks meant only a little got done.

    So, with the top off, I have now managed to measure up all valve clearances.
    I had some trouble getting in there as my offset feeler gauge didn't go small enough and so was using a set of long flexible gauges which then led to bad words and many slices in the creases of my fingers.. I was able to measure down to the nearest 0.01mm with these, so not too bad.

    Whilst the clearances weren't too bad, there are a couple of issues I need to deal with.
    Some of the inlet valves are too tight so will shim them. I just hope it stays above freezing for long enough to get them out. I heard it's a little fiddly and with no feeling in the fingers, could get interesting.
    As I'll be removing the camshafts anyway, I will look at the bearings. Never used plasticgauge before so looking forward to that.

    The timing is also off by a fair amount, so will probably look into that, likely replace the chain, guides and tensioner whilst it's all open.

    And... I must not foget to buy new baskets for throtle body and exhaust (didn't even see any for these when I removed them).

    So, in summarry, poor idle and rough low end throtle could all be resolved with some adjustments to valve clearance, throtle position, timing, and re-mapping of the ECU.

    Good news :)



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  13. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Water pump - More cleaning - 6p

    So, I've always been a firm believer that you can do anything well with 6p.
    Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    So with this in mind, I set about doing as much internal cleaning as possible without ripping apart the block, if I can avoid it.
    So far, so good.
    This weekend I was cleaning the sump, valve cover and water pump.

    So, I'll start with tools, everyone I have spoken to, and to be fair, past experience, told me I should just use brake cleaner and a razor blade to clean the gasket surfaces, however, to really get a good clean around the lips and little nooks I cannot recommend some brass brush attachments on the cordless drill.
    Those little things have done wonders for speeding up the cleaning process. A1 recommendation, even on aluminium!!
    I cleaned the sump and valvle cover to almost perfection in just a few short hours.

    The water pump on the other hand.. WTF were Triumph thinking with that? I mean, there most be a reason they allow the screw holding just the cover to contact the moving liquid, but when you buy a bike and all that was used in it was tap water, you begin to question stuff. The seal was good, but the inside was terrible. I had to wet and dry the cover plate inside and decided to use a little sealant between the plate and cover for future protection.

    Oh and I may have started cleaning the exhaust manifold too. Will have a look at what to use to clean the valves from the back and add it to the next entry.

    I ordered my valve shims and have received my gaskets and clutch plates, however the damn Brexit preparations seem to have put my shipment on hold. Not sure when I'll be getting them now :(

    Have a great Christmas and New Year to all.
    Say safe!!








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  14. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Sooooooo, it's been a while since I last updated you guys.
    The build was going slow and waiting for parts to arrive over the New Year killed me.
    Living in central Europe and bying parts from the UK now brings a while new basket of fun.


    The clutch is in, all discs and plates were the same size and worked previously, so I've just changed the plates and put them back.

    The water pump
    , I fell like a tit, it's obvious to me now why the third bolt is open to the elements, it's a bleed bolt. Anyway, the new o-ring was fitted, everything is clean and it's all bolted in place. Should work like new.

    Oil breather seal
    on the LHS of the crank case is newly fitted and all put back together.
    A couple of small drilled hols in the edge of it allowed it to bend just enough to pull out by hand with no damage to the case.

    Now... Valve clearances, those are all back to tollerance and cam shalfts refitted..
    Took me a couple of goes to reallign the timing and it's not 100% perfect, but it's as close as it's going to get on a 20 year old bike without replacing the major parts.
    The most difficult part there was trying to get the cover on and keep the seal in place without getting sealent all over the place.

    Changed the fuel filter cleaned the crap out the bottom and changed the couplings.
    There is a hell of a lot of petrol left in that bottom section even after pumping it empty. Anyone doing this be aware it doesn't feel like a lot, but it's near on a litre still rolling around in the bottom. Do it outside and over a bucket.

    Sump and oil pipes fitted, but I need a new torque wrench, anyone who has a good tip on a decent brand please let me know. I already snapped a bolt on my LHS casing putting too much trust in it. I'm going to have to retorque them once I get a new one.

    Exhaust downpipes cleaned. Used a light plastic spinning brush on the drill to clean them, a little brushed pattern appearing on them but I can live with that, it looks quite good. A whole lot better than previously.
    I replaced the old one that came out on the nut, but couldn't get the nut off, so again, I've got to wait and get out to buy some new nuts.

    Throttle body clean and reattached. Swapped the crappy corigated plastic for blue vacuum tubing. Not got them ballanced yet as I can't fill the oil at the moment. Will be using TuneECU and CarbTune gauges for that.

    Instead of replacing one bolt, I'm tempted to take this time to change all the engine bolts for new Pro-Bolt fasteners, maybe gold to match the new chain and sprockets that will be going on. Something to ponder...

    With it being -17 Centegrade and a good foot of snow, I have some time.
    Oh, got over the heat issue, got myself a little 10 fin oil heater from Sencor to keep the garage a little toasty.. Works wonders.

    TTFN and stay safe all.

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  15. jac

    jac Member

    Mar 29, 2021
    Progress report?
  16. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    #16 David Munns, Apr 2, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
    Import//Couriers and Trouble…

    So, I live in the Czech Republic and have been for the last 16 years.

    In all my time here, I have become accustomed, and numb to the horrendously slow bureaucratic movements and complete lack of any type of customer service.

    To get anything done in an official office takes an age and requires a 1950's mentality. Getting pieces of paper stamped only to have to move to another office to get another stamp before anything can be done.

    Any type of service, whether you need an electrician or locksmith.. forget it, the Czech's wouldn't know good service if it tapped them on the shoulder, with a sledgehammer.

    So when I tell you all how much trouble the new exports from the UK into Europe are, I’m not just saying it, it’s honestly terrible.

    Buying anything I need for the bike has become a month long task. Definitely DO NOT buy anything directly from Triumph neither the UK shop, DE shop or CZ shop, the best services I’ve seen so far are from Fowlers (UK) and British Legends (FR). Hats off to these guys and gals.

    I even had my parents send me old tools - keeping in mind these things have been in the family for decades, I am having to pay VAT and admin services just to receive them regardless of how little value they actually have.

    DHL is the worst for charges, making any import double the price because of their handling fees.
    DPD and Chronopost take anywhere between 2-4 months to send anything.
    Royal Mail/Parcelforce are fairly good.

    But NEVER, and I honestly mean never-ever use Parcel2Go. Once you give them money and the parcel is collected, they provide zero service.. nada, nothing, niente. In their words and to quote them directly “It’s not our responsibility”.

    I have spent many an evening wondering how to make my way back home to the UK and start over, which at 40 years young and settled here, isn’t an easy task.

    So, trouble with imports aside, what have I been up to?

    The valves were done, no major issues there, I put in the required shims, fitted the cams, did the timing or as close as I could get it.. think I will need to do the chain at some point later. And fitted the cover.
    The whole process was very straight forward and the hardest bit by far was getting the cover on and keeping the rubber seal in place whilst I did it. A little wiggling and lining up with some gasket sealant and slowly pressing it all down and it seems to be ok, no leaks as far as I can tell.

    Although I cleaned the exhaust, I decided to wrap it whilst it was all apart.
    I also fitted the missing stud and had to reorder some new nuts.
    I sprayed the pipes first with UHT paint, gave a nice good wrap on the centre pipe to reduce heat from either side, sprayed that, then wrapped the outer two with the Titanium DEI wrap.
    I stopped trying to use the metal cable ties as they didn’t keep the wrap tight and ended up fitting some tube clamps. It’s a little more obvious than I wanted, but it is a far better hold on the wrap. Wear gloves, this stuff made my arms itch for weeks.

    When putting the Throttle Body back on, I noticed the stepper motor piston was detached, could easily be why I was seeing rough idle and stalling at junctions. However I also changed the plastic tubes that were on there for some more suitable rubber hose.
    I am currently waiting for Chronopost to deliver my vacuum gauges and the new stepper motor so I can finish the job.

    I am yet to get TuneECU to stay connected to the ECU, it connects then instantly disconnects. Alain has had much trouble with this over the last couple of months and so I haven’t played with it too much due to licensing issues…
    Think I will have to link a car battery up to the bike to see if voltage is an issue, although I’m currently running two bike batteries and it’s on a charger…
    Will have to see what’s going on here later. There's nothing wrong with the power to the plug, I checked already and the fuses have been removed for lights, although I am seeing a steady drop in voltage when the ignition is on.. Something else to check later.

    The cooling system has all gone back together nicely, still need to burp it properly and I’m a little annoyed by all the new ASE logos being up-side-down on the hoses. Maybe just my OCD kicking in.
    A little damage to the fins I will comb out and a new BeoWolf radiator guard to fit when running properly.

    Cleaned the air filter, changed the oil - note to future self, ignore the torque settings in the manual when using a K&N oil filter, nip-it-up so it’s doesn’t piss all over the floor.

    Because I’ve been waiting for parts, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and some minor cosmetics.

    I moved the front indicators to the forks, changed for LED's and added the resistors. Looking at them now though, I’m not sure now if they will catch the headlights when at full lock.. Will test that when off the blocks.
    Denali Sound Bomb fitted, but again, it’s quite fat and I’m not sure if I’ll leave it in the original location or move it.

    Still looking for an undertray and seat cowl so I can do the rear end.

    Added a Trident GP Stubby carbon can too. This however is not stubby and not GP style, I will have to contact them back and see what happened.. because of waiting for parts, it’s now been quite some time since I received it. Should have had a quick measure up a long time ago.

    So right now, I’m still waiting.

    I fired her up, started straight up, awesome, and sounds much better, I’ll have to wait until I balance the throttle before I can put the air filter back on, refit the tank properly and let her warm up.
    I hope this has solved the ticking issue.

    So for now, with the last freeze of the year expected this weekend, I’m still waiting for tools and parts before I can test my work properly.

    After this, new chain and sprockets (will be running on 18 front and 46 rear), a distribution FuzeBlocks unit to go in so I can run additional accessories (yes, I’ll be getting some grips) and I can move onto the suspension at some point after that.






    Vacuum G.jpg

    Beowolf Oil.jpg

    Beowolf Rad.jpg

    Inline resisters.jpg
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  17. DanielB

    DanielB Noble Member

    Jan 13, 2019
    Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    I like your story - and sympathize with your agony - although you're far more technical than I am, it's still inspiring to read others works on similar/same bike to me.

    I have never liked the seemingly 'hidden' nature of my front indicators - barely poking out from the radiator fairing. I like that yours are on the fork.
  18. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Thanks Daniel,
    I'm just trying a few bits and pieces, learning from my mistakes. I grew up around mechanics with my father and have a good 'understanding'. I also have an interest in getting my own business going here largely due to the lack of good services here.

    I'd like to get better at telling you all what's going on as I'm sure there are many things I do that can be learning oportunities for others, mistakes I've made that don't need to be experiecnced by someone else.

    This forum has helped me so much already, I'd like to give a little back :)
  19. David Munns

    David Munns Mad-Dawg

    Sep 7, 2020
    Czech Republic
    Putting the band back together....

    So, over the last week, I have pottered a bit in the garage and the bike finally went back together, oh what a joy it was.

    That being said, it didn't all go quite according to plan.
    I had forgotten I'd left the battery tender off for a while whilst I did all the electrics.

    I fitted the 'Fuzeblocks' distribution block whilst I had it all apart. A nice tidy and solid looking box, easy install and will make future installations much easier. Added it under the rear seat next to the battery tender plug, behind the relays.
    I tried to use an inline splitter at the fuse however they didn't fit as the connector was too wide, so soldered in a separate wire off the light for the numberplate.

    I tired to comb the damage out of the radiator without success, I kept asking myself if it's just too far gone to comb or if these things actually work.
    I cheated and used the BeoWolf rad protector to cover it all up..

    Throttle balancing is very, very easy, although a little fiddly. Plugged the Carbtune in, started her up, waited for the temp to rise and adjusted at idle, reving in between to find a stead pulse then checking at around 4-5k rpm.

    The three heat cycles did worry me slightly.
    The first one, was spluttering and wanted to constantly stall,
    The second started at 3k rpm and moved slowly up to 5k rpm after 10 minutes,
    The third one went well and was doing ok until it ran out of juice at just over 12 minutes.​

    The worrying part was I'd put the engine back together and wrapped the exhaust, so with the high revs, smoke coming off the wrap and the smell of it all, I was constantly checking for leaks and oil... but it all went well.

    The main ticking noise I was hearing when warm has gone. A mixture of timing and valve clearances I think.
    I do still have what sounds like tappets however I have put that down to a mixture of Tripumph engine features and the need to completely replace the TC and guides at some point in the not so distant future. For the time being this is the least of my worries...

    I went for an awesome burn through the hills in the north of the Czech Republic this past weekend (no-one here likes or calls it by the European crappy Czechia name). 25C and gorgeous roads, out with a couple of mates. 7 hours on the road did certainly show me the work I still need to do and what I messed up.

    I'll find some time to write a bit on the trip and add a link to it here when done.

    1) Clutch cable adjustment.
    The new one stretched, much faster than I thought and the clunk getting it into first was terrible. reminded me of a 1980's bike.
    2) Throttle Cable.
    I routed the throttle cable incorrectly and now when on full right lock, it revs my bike to 3k rpm.
    3) Brakes.
    They need looking at. Coming to a stand still it sounds like metal on metal and I get an almost electric style hum from them when trailing them.
    4) Rear bearings, possibly chain.
    I'm getting a knock through my pegs in time with the wheel revolutions. Already have new chain and sprockets. Will look at the bearings whilst the wheel is off.
    5) Suspension.
    I had the back step out a couple of times mid turn. Not sure if it's just setup, but whils the back is apart, I might as well look into it. Anyone got any advice on new rear/front springs?
    6) Mapping the ECU.
    There is a fair amount of spluttering around the 2k rpm mark which whilst isn't a big deal, has caught me out a comple of times when accelerating out of village areas. The K&N filter and new Trident exhaust will almost definitely mean a trip to the dyno to sort that out, or am I just being too hard on the lower revs?
    7) Rattle.
    I find now I have a rattle coming from the engine during overrun. it sounds like a loose clip or maybe the rad cover. It may be there all the time and I just can't hear it during acceleration due to the engine tune (which is awesome!!).
    All in all, I'm fairly happy with the work so far, just a pain in the bum I still have so much to do as I wanted to get out as much as possible this year. Maybe I'll end up getting a newer bike just to keep me on the road whilst I work on the old girl.

    More to come.
    Ride safe all!!

    Inline Live.jpg



    Radiator comb.jpg

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