Featured Rickman Triumph Project

Discussion in 'Vintage Classics' started by Sundance, Dec 3, 2022.

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  1. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
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    Arlington, VA
    I recently acquired a Rickman Metisse, MK 3 frame and some other of the parts, bodywork from Rickman. This frame has a 2009 date, and along with the frame I've got a 1967 T120R engine that was recently rebuilt, and a TR6 single carb head that is newly refurbished. I'll soon be getting around to putting this together and appreciate any inmates with experience with this sort of thing to chime in. Thanks!

    The engine I have for my Rickman build was recently rebuilt, well a few years ago - then run briefly - then taken out of a Triumph “Chopper” and sold to the PO from whom I purchased it. It is a 1967 T120R motor. May last build was a 1967 motor but had a few differences I hope some inmates can help me sort before I go too far. I have a single carb head for this, newly refurbished.

    So, first thing is the stator wire comes out of the primary case differently than my other build. Rather than coming out of the top of the case, it comes out centrally and drops down through the area where the drive sprocket is housed. So, I am wondering the best way to route this back up to the top, where I’ll have an electronic ignition.

    Secondly, in the primary inspection hole/oil fill hole, the PO has this interesting device assembled, that is a valve of sorts. I’m wondering the purpose/utility of this device.

    Thank you for your advice and comments.

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  2. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    The pre 1970 engines run with a timed breather on the end of the inlet cam shaft. (the breather pipe connects to a hose also under the engine near the front sprocket). They have separate primary and engine oil - there is a seal between the engine and the primary on the crankshaft.
    Both the stator wires and the breather hose run under the engine towards the rear. It gives a cleaner looking engine but they are close to the front sprocket so some thought must be given to their placement and run.
    Some owners - particularly racers - would have problems with the engine not 'breathing' enough which would allow pressure to build up causing oil seal leaks and oil on the floor through the breather pipe. In some cases a lot of oil pours out of the breather pipe i.e. too much for a simple catch can.
    The solution to this was to convert the engine to a similar layout as the post 1970 engines. Remove the crankshaft seal, drill the three little holes between the primary and the crankcase to maintain oil level in the primary. The primary case could then also be vented like the later engines.

    I can't see the three holes drilled in your primary and you look to have the breather hose connected below the engine so it is probable that your engine has not been converted. Easy to check though as the primary cover is off. Is there an oil seal on the crankshaft? I expect there is one on yours.

    On the pre 1970 bikes that only have short runs there is a tendancy for condensation to build up in the primary leading to rust on clutch parts. So some owners added additional ventilation to the primary. This may be what you have on yours.

    Bloody nice thing you have there :)
     
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  3. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA

    Iron, thank you for the information. This last year I rebuilt another 1967 motor, but the setup for the stator wires came out on top of the engine as you can see in the photo. So I am curious that these motors, both 1967, have different primary side cases. As far as routing the stator wires on this motor with the wires exiting on the bottom of the engine, do you happen to know what most builders do to route them back up to the top? Thanks for your help!

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  4. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    Lots of changes made by Triumph through the years of manufacture. 1967's biggest change was the move over to concentric carbs amongst others. You can see the older cable routing hole casting in the primary crankcase you've already rebuilt.
    Route the stator cables along the line of the breather hose (I cable tie the cables to the breather) until they both get to the frame downtube and then join to the rectifier/regulator connectors in the normal way. Actually a lot neater looking than the later cables across the top of the gearbox, but a lot harder to keep clean.
     
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  5. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA
    Iron, so it looks like this case has been converted as I found the 3 small holes drilled through the primary case. I also find that the breather, that exits from the bottom of the engine, has been blocked off. So I am wondering if the unusual valve on the top of the primary is meant to be the breather for the primary? And if so is this a good idea?

    Not sure if you have any experience with Rickman's OIF, but I am trying to figure out how to route the oil lines. There is the "oil out" fitting which is on the frame under the engine, and 2 "oil in" fittings at the top of the frame. Does one have 2 "oil in" lines, or is one a breather?

    Thanks again for any comments!

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  6. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    Looks like yours is indeed a converted engine.
    Check that there's no oil seal between the primary and the crankcase behind the primary front chain sprocket - just to make sure.
    Strange that the only vent seems to be a very small bore on/off tap in the inspection plug on the primary. Are there any other breathers on the engine?
    You are correct about the oil line connections.
    The bottom frame connection is for the oil feed to the engine.
    Of the two at the top, one is the vent - which you may also want to connect into the breather from the primary although not necessary it's just conveniently done that way on standard machines and run over the back mudguard.
    The remaining one is for oil return from the pump. If you open the oil filler cap you should be able to see which is which - the return line will be restricted so as to give some back pressure to get the oil to flow to the rocker boxes as well as back to the tank.
    The return oil line will therefore require a 'T' connection off to the rocker boxes.
    You may have an oil filter built into the bottom frame tube connection - you will see if you unscrew the connection cap - you may, even is there is a screen in there, want to install an oil filter in the return oil line.
     
  7. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA
    Iron, thanks again. So on the venting, if you look at the photo looking up at the underside of the engine, you will see, next to where the stator wires exit, what I believe is the regular vent hole that has been plugged by the previous owner. I know on my other 67 engine, there is just this one vent hole that exits the bottom of the engine, and in my case I routed this up to a T fitting that connected with the oil return line to the oil tank.

    In the case of this engine, I am wondering if the way it is now vented is adequate, or do I need to unblock the regular venting hole and run a line there from underneath, alongside my stator wires? I know from experience that fitting a line to this vent under the engine is a bit difficult when assembled. I attached the line to my other engine before it was assembled so that I could reach it.
     
  8. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    You won't know if the timing butterfly valve and spring were inserted correctly on the end of the inlet cam when rebuilding. If you can easily unplug the breather under the engine and connect a line you should be able to feel timed puffs out of the breather as the engine is turned over.

    You say that the engine has already run "briefly" so it may be ok as is. It just looks to be a small diameter vent connection and why it has a tap on it is anybody's guess. Maybe it's just what someone had 'close at hand' but I'd expect a larger diameter and threaded into the cases, rockers or timing access hole etc. Have a look here:

    https://www.vintagebikebuilder.com/...ing-a-vintage-triumph-crankcase-breather.html

    I've seen reeds on vents to stop engines 'breathing in' to alleviate a small amount of pressure build up but taps are only on oil feed pipes to stop wet sumping (mainly on other less well designed British bikes such as BSAs, Nortons and Royal Oilfields with their useless oil pumps).

    May be worth having a chat with the engine rebuilder (if you know him or can find him). If you are not certain then I would be climbing into the engine to have a look.

    If you run the engine as is then nothing too horrible is going to happen. You can run with a pressure gauge, the PRV may bypass dropping the oil into the sump and oil will certainly appear if it's not venting enough.

    Let's ask @darkman and @speedrattle - they're good with these pre '70 engines
     
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  9. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
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    Arlington, VA
    These are the piston tops on my T120R engine. Is it possible to identify them from these top markings? Thanks.

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  10. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
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    Standard bore piston for TR6 or T120, as for venting engine i would use a 7/16th minimum pipe from primary case and fit 2 1/4 breather pipes to front and rear rocker cover caps, join the 2 pipes from rockers with a 3 way connector into the 7/16th breather pipe with another 3 way connector and add a one way valve in the pipe going to the rear mudguard.
     
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  11. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

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    Here's how the front (exhaust) rocker box is vented on a T140E

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    this was connected into the top tube of the frame (therefore vented to the breather and then into the airbox). Just to pass the emmission requirements in the US.
    We obviously just leave the breather open these days :eek:
     
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  12. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA
    Thanks darkman. I should consider this. I was thinking of just putting it back to original, with the rotary breather and seal between crankcase and primary as I have on my other 67 T120R.
    Thanks iron for the photos. Not sure what I'll end up doing, but seems like there are a lot of options.
     
  13. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA
    Splitting the cases: So this 67 engine I have has a few problems. One, the 3 small holes drilled in the primary side case are in the wrong position, too low to do what they are supposed to do. Two, the original breather tube, which exits at the bottom of the engine has been plugged, and it looks like the PO put some substance in the pipe so it will need to be drilled out probably. Three, I'm not sure if there is a rotary breather disc on the inlet cam, that is the original breather system. I think the PO thought he could plug this, drill his 3 holes and then have the primary breath out of a vent on the primary oil fill hole.

    When I got this engine I didn't think I needed
    to take it apart but I think I do now, at least some bits. So the primary cover is off and I just took off the cylinder. So everything inside looks pretty decent, new even. There are barely any wear marks on the cams, followers, and the cylinders and pistons are clean.

    My big question is this, Can I take off the primary side of the cases, that is by removing the stator, clutch, duplex chain, etc, and pull the cases apart, without needing to do the same to the timing side? Can I keep the pistons, cams and all in place in order for me to see if the rotary breather is installed? Then I would be able to plug the 3 holes drilled in the sase incorrectly, drill out the original drain pipe tube, and reassemble the cases (all without disturbing the timing side and keeping the cams in place, etc?

    This is the second engine I have worked on so I know I am missing something here. If this can't be accomplished correctly then I'll take the whole thing apart.


    Thank you for any advice!

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  14. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

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    As you are that far into it why not check the rest :) and yes you can separate the halves with cams still in the timing side.
     
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  15. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
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    Yes, I probably should because then I'll always wonder about the "rest." I suppose if I do, then replacing all the bearings is what I should do also.
     
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  16. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

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    I always replace when building an engine for myself as its piece of mind.
     
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  17. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
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    Arlington, VA
    Well, on another forum from a photo of my cylinder an inmate noticed the tappet block was off just a bit. So with this and the other issues it is a no-brainer for me now to take it all apart. Thanks for your advice!
     
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  18. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    Each tappet guide block has a set bolt inserted through the barrel base to locate it correctly. Take the little bolt out, see if it's mashed and if the tappet block's guide hole is skew.
    The oil holes on the exhaust tappets face out.
     
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  19. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
    93
    Arlington, VA
    Disassembling the engine. So I started to take this engine apart. It looks like some of the parts are good/ok and some are not. Lots of bunged up screws and bolts and some curious stuff too.

    First off I’m wondering if I can re-use the pistons. They are clean and seem relatively new and apparently are standard. I don’t have a lot of experience evaluating this. I see on the piston skirts there is some wear and don’t know if this is normal or what. Here are some photos.

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  20. Sundance

    Sundance Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2021
    208
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    Arlington, VA
    Now onto the cylinder. It actually looks relatively new. I measured it with a caliper (I know this is not the most accurate) and it both cam to just over 70mm, which I believe is a standard bore? Also, it looks like the motor wasn’t run much because the cylinder cross hatching is still a bit visible. So I am wondering if this is good to go as is or if I changed rings I suppose I’d need to cross hatch it again?

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