Featured Triumph Bonnie Owner At Last-t140 Project

Discussion in 'Builds & Projects' started by RayV, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
    91
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    I have finally taken the plunge and got this 1977 T140, which I intend to make into a useable motorcycle but not a nut and bolt restoration to standard trim. There is quite a bit of it missing but the major parts are all present and correct. I think it’s a great looking bike, I have never attempted anything like this before and all my tools are metric. This will probably take me a long time but I will post anything interesting as I go along. Don’t hold your breath though! I am looking forward to getting to know this old bike, learning from other knowledgeable owners and getting it back on the road where it belongs. Cheers

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  2. Dawsy

    Dawsy Cumbrian half-wit
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    Aug 24, 2018
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    Good luck with the rebuild Ray. Something special about the lines of the older Triumphs I reckon :grinning:
     
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  3. Iron

    Iron Ranty Has-been
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    Dec 31, 2020
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    Nice, just nice. All to bits, organise everything with clear labels as you take them off. Take photos of spacers, engine washers nuts etc so you can remember where they go. Clean everything and make list of parts needed as you go. I buy bits as I go along rather than waiting till it's all apart otherwise your hat flies off when you see how much it is for the bits.
    Make sure you get a parts catalogue, a paper one is best as it can sit next to you as you go. Otherwise get one here and print it:

    https://partsbooks.britishonly.com/

    Look down the list for 1977 twin. Be prepared to look at parts books from other years as sometimes previous ingenious owners have used parts from other bikes that fit. I found some Trident bits on the last Bonny engine I did.
    I keep a list of problems that I find and their resolution as I go. It makes for interesting reading later on - particularly the swearing that appears sometimes.
    Be prepared to need some specialist tools, they are shown in the back of the parts catalogue. But you do not need them all as some are easily done by other means or by adapting something you already have. You will need a set of imperial spanners and sockets.
    Welcome to the madness and complete enjoyment of the world of proper Triumphs. Good luck.

    And, by the way, ask for help with methods and bits. We've all got stuff stashed away in boxes. I know I've got a couple of headlights somewhere.
     
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  4. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Dec 3, 2018
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    Congrats on your purchase and good for you for bringing this lovely little bike back to the land of the living. :heart: Please consider starting a thread and keeping us up to date on your build. :)
     
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  5. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper First Class Member
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    Jun 12, 2020
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    That looks like a nice find and certainly worthy of rescuing! Rebuilds/resto's like this are always exciting as well as challenging 'cos you can turn it into exactly the bike you want. Good luck with the parts search. :grinning:
     
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  6. speedrattle

    speedrattle Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    149
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    usa
    #6 speedrattle, Apr 20, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    Nice Bike

    how did it end up in that specific condition-- all together but no lighting, carbs, chain, exhaust, etc . . . was it a track bike for someone? or did someone put together a motorcycle out of all his parts boxes?

    anyway, how far down into it do you want to go on a rebuild?

    how original do you want to go as you come back out?

    you need to think about these questions up front. not a big deal, but deciding where you want to end up early can save you a lot of money.

    what do you want to do?
     
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  7. Easy Tiger

    Easy Tiger Elite Member
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    Jan 2, 2020
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    Hi @RayV, I just love the T140v having owned a couple in the late 70’s and 80’s. That looks like a real project you’ve got there. I see you’re in N W England, if you need a Haynes manual for the bike let me know, I have one that you’re welcome to have.
     
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  8. QuadumphUK

    QuadumphUK Noble Member

    Aug 14, 2014
    358
    313
    Boscombe
    When I look at this for me all it would need is headlight, rear light and No holder and tiny front mudguard. That would be it once it`s running. A bar bones bike to ride and enjoy. Look forward to seeing what you make of it. Don`t forget lots of pics, we like pics on here :)
     
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  9. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Thanks very much for the sound advice-especially the buying bits as you go along-it will probably add up to more than I would like to admit!

    I have made a small start but taking it some of it apart. I must say that I am really enjoying working on the Bonnie, it is a lovely bike to work on and I already feel an attachment to it! Definitely a keeper.
     
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  10. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Thank you, I will do. I have lots to learn but I am already enjoying myself and it’s great to have an old Triumph and one that I can actually work on rather than just the usual maintenance stuff.
     
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  11. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Thanks, I this is my first attempt but I want it to be functional rather than cosmetically perfect because I want to enjoy riding it and not get too precious about it and just polish it in the garage.
     
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  12. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    No idea how it got to this state but it has come back from the USA on a Nova. It’s been poorly hand painted and almost all the wiring and electrics are missing but there’s not that much to start with! The carbs are missing and so is the front master cylinder etc. It looks as though it was thrown together because most of the bolts are loose, although on the plus side the engine and frame numbers match as do the crankcase halves, so unless someone has gone to a lot of trouble forging the numbers (for not much gain in a US auction) then hopefully the basics are ok. No idea what I will find inside but as Iron has said it’s all part of the fun!
     
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  13. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Thanks you very much for your kind offer, much appreciated, however the seller gave me a Haynes manual for it. Advice is always welcome though so please come back and see how it’s going!
     
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  14. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
    91
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    Yes I agree, I do like the standard Bonnie but I also like the way it looks as it is- if it was done to a rideable standard! I am going to keep it to a level where I don’t get precious about it so it will be mechanically sound but not a nut and bolt restoration as I know I won’t ride it much if I do that, and I do want to ride it a lot, maintain it a lot and modify adapt it as I go along. With luck I can keep it for a long time and enjoy owning a British Classic
     
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  15. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Firstly I must apologise for not responding to all of the positive comments from everyone earlier, I didn’t see the posts until last night ‍♂️ Here are a couple of pictures of the progress so far, and there are even signs of some tlc from the previous owner as there are new guides in the exhaust valves and +040 pistons. Some other bits look a bit worse for wear but all in all I am very happy with it!

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  16. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Bonnie clutch looks surprised to be back in the UK

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  17. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
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    Ok a few more bits removed, I have found that the inlet valves are a bit wobbly in the guides, exhaust guides had been replaced already and are fine. Also, I have had a look at the bores and pistons but it has occurred to me that I don’t have a clue what I am looking at! Can anyone recommend an engineering shop in/near Manchester who can replace the inlet valve guides (I believe they need reaming to match the valves?) and inspect the barrel/ bores and pistons to see if they are serviceable or not? If anyone knows a trustworthy engineering company I would be most grateful

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  18. joe mc donald

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    RayV
    Boy you got a job there. Good luck and keep us all in the loop.
    Joe.
     
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  19. Iron

    Iron Ranty Has-been
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    Dec 31, 2020
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    Ray, I'm afraid I can't help in the Manchester area. But some dealers and Mr Google should be able to help you.
    The bores don't look too bad to me, although it's hard to see in the photos, doesn't look like it's been standing too long or seized (normally a band of rust around the bore if that's the case).
    As you've said you want a trusty steed for booming about on rather than a prize draw so you wouldn't go far wrong watching John sort his Bonny on youtube:
    He sorts guides, bores, sludge traps (all the usual stuff) in his shed with only essential tools. You won't go far wrong watching and taking tips from him. He's done a lot more miles than most on his Triumphs.



    Don't worry about him working on a T120 (it's an oil in frame one anyway), it's much the same as a T140. You'll see any differences if you check those parts manuals. You're gonna want to get that engine out to get the cases apart and clean out the sludge trap. Access all areas, even the gearbox.

    There's also Todd of Lowbrow who tears into and rebuilds a T120 engine - well worth watching but he does get engineering stuff done by others



    Fun ,fun, fun, laters :)
     
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  20. RayV

    RayV Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2019
    91
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    NW England
    Will do Joe, it was the top of my budget at the time, amazing how much they are going up in value! I got it to rebuild to a rideable condition and enjoy without going too far down the showroom condition route, because I know that if I do that I will get all precious about it and not ride it. I love the sound of the proper old Triumph twins and hopefully I will be able to kick it back into life later this year.
     
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