97 Thunderbird 900 Just Purchased

Discussion in 'Thunderbird' started by Robe, May 4, 2021.

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  1. Robe

    Robe New Member

    Apr 24, 2021
    Pembroke, Pembrokeshire
    Apologies if I am in wrong place with this as new to forum and triumph motorcycles.
    Just took delivery of bike sold by po as a project but mechanically solid.
    Started ok first press but will only run on choke even when warm and any blip of throttle engine bogs and will stall unless quick on the choke. When running engine is smooth and no misfire at all. Figured this meant a carb jet clean so they are out and ready to dismantle.
    Whilst doing this found the coolant tank empty. Difficult to see from outside but looked dry as far as I could tell inside. Worried about head gasket now but wanted a bit of advice on best way forward to test before going straight in with taking head off etc . Lots of other things on bike will need advice on but this is the major issue and only 4 days into ownership !
    Any help greatly appreciated. Bw. Rob
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow

    Oct 3, 2018
    Three Counties
    Hi Rob :cool: Not my forte I'm afraid but there are plenty of 900 owners on here. If you get no joy in this section you could always ask in the Technical section ;)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. sprintdave

    sprintdave Nurse,he's out of bed again

    May 25, 2014
    As above you will get more answers in there.
    I know it doesn't always show but do you have cross contaminated oil , ie mayonnaise on dipstick, or oil in the water, take the cap off to look. Is the rad full and does the cap fit tightly . If the rad is full and looks oil free I would just top the overflow bottle up and try running the engine first gently, I wouldn't start stripping until I knew what the cause was. My t509 just needed a new cap to stop her burping coolant out and the level in tank is always lower than the low mark.
    I'm sure you will get more info in tech thread, I am far from an expert.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. curlywurly

    curlywurly Member

    Mar 9, 2021
    I have 98Thundbird Sport with 47k on it, and is going well.
    If you don't know the history, my advice would be to do some testing, especially if it hasn't been used for a while, at least you will then have a baseline.

    I'm in the US, but I'm assuming you can get an oil/coolant head gasket chemical test kit over there? That might be worth doing, and then of course, a compression test.

    I've had the carbs re-built, I had flat spots, it turned out to be a split in the diaphragm, and worn slides, sort of expected as this age.
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  5. Stu9000

    Stu9000 Member

    Nov 4, 2021
    My carbs were pretty gunged when i bought my T Bird last year. Liquid carb cleaner in with the fuel worked wonders.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. joe mc donald


    Dec 26, 2014
    slough / burnham
    Lots of people just don't fill the overflow bottle and i hope you are sorted there without the extra work. Can you fire the bike up you would tell better and is the Rad full

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