AUTO & MOTO ARTISANS - AUSTRALIA

Triton Build Blog

And we're done...

Almost exactly three years to the day it first rolled into the Deathridge garage the Triton rolled out and onto the back of a truck headed for its new owner.

 

The original plan was to stay true to the original builder's vision, preserve the patina, get it running, get it registered, and see how it rides. So, mission accomplished, and another bucket list item ticked off.

 

Scroll down below to see what it took to make it happen, or click here for some parting thoughts on Triton ownership.

Are we there yet...

After close to 300 shakedown kilometres the Triton is starting to look pretty sorted...but it still had a surprise up its sleeve.

 

After a bit of head scratching, the occasional ‘clatter’ on the over-run turned out to be coming not (thankfully) from the engine but from the chain hitting the crossbrace above the swingarm pivot.

 

Early on in the build correct chain adjustment was established by pulling the shocks off, raising the swingarm, and giving the chain a bit of slack at the ‘tight’ point. Signs that the top run of the chain had been cutting into the crossbrace were put down to poor adjustment...but obviously not so.

 

The countershaft sprocket on the Triton sits well ahead of the swingarm pivot and, with the relatively shallow angle of the swingarm, the chain moves in an arc from loose, to tight, to loose again as the shocks compress. Throttle-off and there’s enough lash for the chain to hit the crossbrace.

 

The original builder made some allowance for this with a skinny ‘period piece’ chain slider mounted off the engine plates and sitting beneath the oil tank - unfortunately all it really seemed to be doing was protect the oil tank if the chain jumped ship.

 

Shocks off, rear wheel jacked up and down to move the swingarm through its full arc, much measuring, filthy fingers from prodding the chain to extremes, considerable pondering, and it was time to break out the welding gear again.

 

Following the ‘shed built’ ethos some square tube was sectioned and welded to accept a cut-down Honda XR chain slider (easily-sourced modern materials) positioned to protect the crossbrace, fabbed-up, installed and taken out for a few test runs.

 

A couple of prototypes, a splash of black enamel and some stainless fasteners, and we had something that worked and looked the piece – clatter gone.

 

That solved, it was time for another bout of oil OCD. Answering any possible wet-sumping issues once and for all the two-into-one pipes were pulled (yes, you can do it within five minutes...with leather gloves and a tolerance to pain) and the crank drain capacity checked after a hard ride – under 100cc as per Triumph specs.

 

Fresh 20/50w added and away we go again...but not before adding the 'finishing touch' – a subtle Triton decal on the tank.

Testing...one...two...

Didn't see that coming...

Some ‘inherited issues’ surfaced when the Triton was fired up after sorting the electrics and cables.

 

The tacho drive boss has a bit missing, but what seemed like a secure blanking bolt was literally jammed in and hanging by a thread. It’s a
left-hand thread, so someone had obviously fallen into that trap and stripped it out.

 

Getting it welded and tapped is the proper fix, but with a strong urge to ride the bike a lead plug was made up and peened into place. It’s a low-tech solution but it’s mechanically sound and holding up without oil seepage.

 

Checking the tappets led to other unexpected jobs, and the discovery that the Triton’s July 1971 T120R engine wears a head with an E3663 casting number dated ’69 and rocker boxes that look to be from a ’74 T140.

 

The six-bolt rocker covers made tappet adjustment easier (once the outer ‘ears’ were repaired) so that was a bonus. An oil weep from the front of the inlet rocker box wasn’t quite as welcome.

 

A look at the gasket showed some sketchy mating surfaces between the ‘new’ rocker box and the ‘old’ head. Nothing that a ‘matched’ gasket wouldn’t fix though, so one was made up, a few orphan bolts replaced, and she was oil-tight again.

 

Fiddling with the rocker boxes also revealed some flaws in the original builder’s head stay design which may, or may not, have contributed to the oil leak.

 

Consisting of a rectangular steel plate (bolted ‘through’ both rocker boxes to the head studs) with a welded strut bolted to the frame, the head stay is undeniably sturdy but its one-piece construction meant no allowance for variation in installation angle or height between the rocker boxes...thereby preventing proper tightening of the four main rocker box bolts.

 

Opting to re-engineer rather than replace, the hole on the strut was slotted for adjustment and copper crush washers ‘shimmed’ between the plate and the rocker boxes and bolts. Now everything torques down evenly, there’s no oil leaks, and vibration seems to have quietened down a bit.

 

Still shakes though...as you’ll see from the “cold start” video.

Cable capers...

The Triton's original builder had skimped a bit with the cables. The throttle cable was too long, the clutch cable too short, and the flat bottom of the Dresda-style tank meant severe bends at the business ends of both.

 

The clutch cable was a relatively easy fix. A Yamaha R1 clutch lever and perch were installed to match the trick Nissin front brake master cylinder  and a slightly longer cable (with matching lever-end nipple) made up. Only downside was that the headlight had to be dropped down slightly for cable clearance with the clip-ons.

 

The throttle cable was a bit more problematic. A pair of 90-degree adjusters were dragged out of the parts drawer, bent to a more appropriate angle, re-threaded to provide greater adjustment length, and coerced into fitting the Amals by drilling out a spare set of top caps, wrapping the thread in teflon tape, and using epoxy to create a new threaded hole. Along the way the choke cable adjusters (plugged with black silicon, yech!) were ditched in favour of stainless button heads.

 

That was the easy part. Using the angled adjusters meant working out the correct inner versus outer cable lengths, checking routing and cable lengths to match up parallel at the two-into-one adaptor, and factoring in the range of adjustment needed for cable slack and carb tuning – literally hours of meticulous measurement and planning.

 

'Measure twice, cut once' always pays off though...when the new cables arrived everything slotted right into place and throttle and clutch were back in (smooth) action.

Totally wired...

Running the Acewell speedo meant changing from positive earth to negative earth. The existing wiring was a bit sketchy, so with plans for indicators, and day-time running lights a new loom was built from scratch.

 

Blinkers and running lights aren’t strictly needed to register a bike this age here in Australia, but safety and convenience probably outweigh ‘purity’ in today's traffic...besides which, those black aluminium indicators really look the goods.

 

Whether Joe Lucas' charging system can handle the ‘full time’ power draw is open to question though. Theoretically the stock alternator puts out enough amps to cope with ignition, low beam and tail light...but that’s dependent on rpm and, of course, how it's holding up after 40-odd years.

 

With that in mind the new loom was drawn up with provision for easy parts swapping and modification with the option of LEDs (polarity sensitive). For the time being  an LED globe in the tail helps lessen the load, but if maintaining charge is an issue an LED ‘halo’ headlight is a fairly simple drop-in, the indicators can go LED, and an uprated stator can be fitted.

 

With a bit planning twin fuse/power blocks were set up to run lighting and ignition circuits independently (pulling a fuse cuts power to lighting) and allow multiple connections to a single main ground wire, push-on locking connectors were tucked inside the headlight to hook up to the main loom, speedo and switchgear, and a smattering of bullet connectors used to sort out the rest.

 

For some reason the original builder had cut away part of the headlamp, so a new back was formed from sheet steel with mounts for the power blocks, flasher relay and a tie-off ‘tang’ for the wiring and connectors. Not everything goes according to plan though – the massive Honda headlight wasn’t massive enough to accommodate the flasher relay, so it ended up living under the tank near the forward earthing point.

 

Not quite as tidy as it should have been, but the horn makes up for that by ditching extraneous brackets with a one-bolt mount direct to the frame.

 

But perhaps we get ahead of ourselves. The Triton’s existing Boyer MkIV ignition system works with positive or negative earth, but a replacement had to be found for the old positive earth regulator/rectifier. Arion Pacific makes a reg/rec with positive or negative earth which slotted in nicely alongside the Boyer unit atop the combo coil pack (see previous post) and looks good to boot.

 

So, joining up the dots. Using a combination of 3mm and 2.5mm wires the loom and connections were mocked up for length, cut, crimped, spliced and soldered, shrink-wrapped and finally clad in braid for that authentic old-school wiring look – a pleasantly OCD pastime apart from repeatedly having to fit bits up, pop the tank and seat on and off, and waggle the bars around to make sure clearances and routing are right.

 

Connecting the Acewell’s rpm sensor wire caused a bit of head scratching. Acewell’s wiring diagram shows it hooked up to the positive terminal on the coil, but the Boyer ignition needs power to the positive coil terminal in a negative earth application. Flow-following logic dictates hooking the Acewell to coil negative...and that’s what works here.

 

The oil pressure switch was another potential trap. The spade connector had broken off the existing unit and there was no easy fix. Triumph used two different switch threads – 1/8”NPS (straight) and 1/8”NPT (tapered). Screwing a straight thread into a tapered hole can crack the timing case, so it pays to make sure you’ve got the right one. Tapered threads were apparently only used from 1968 to 1973, so a new NPT switch slipped right into this bike’s 1972 T120R engine...along with a cute rubber boot.

 

Continuity testing at every step along the way paid off when the battery was hooked up and the lighting and ancillaries all worked according to plan. Fresh oil and an ignition-off check of oil feed to the rocker box and it was time for the moment of truth. Carbs tickled, ignition switch on, three kicks and she burst into life. Wiring job done!

 

Speedo mount and more...

The Triton arrived without a speedometer, or the requisite drive gear on the Honda front end, so an electronic speedo was the obvious solution.

 

Acewell has a good reputation, and its 2853 model has the right look, but taking full advantage of its features means swapping to negative earth. The 'original' home-brewed wiring was due for replacement anyway, but before that could happen all the new bits had to be given a proper home.

 

The Acewell's diameter nicely matches the curve of the top triple clamp and the original instrument mounting points so, rather than go with a slab of alloy, a bracket was fabbed up to mount it in a complimentary position.

 

And to keep the front end really tidy the existing headlight 'ears' were cut down and reworked to tuck the light in closer to the forks.

 

Mounting the speedo sender required a bit of prototyping to achieve the right clearance and alignment but the end result is hardly  visible and, as a bonus, the wire runs right alongside the brake line.

 

Moving to positive earth means ditching the stock regulator/rectifier for an electronic unit, but planning for the swap showed up some 'original' electrical bracketry that was less than pretty.

 

The crusty individual coil mounts were replaced with a compact 'coil pack' that drops in (hopefully not off) with just two Allen heads, the previously loose Boyer ignition box held down with a padded '50s-look cover made from sheet metal, regulator/rectifier mounts incorporated, and the whole lot tied together with brazed-in 'blind' nuts so all you need is an Allen key.

 

And yes, the last photo shows part of the wiring completed...more later!

Sorting the seat and tank

The Triton's fibreglass Dresda-style seat and tank are period gems, but the original builder's installation was a little lacking.  The tank sported rubber-isolated mounts up front but was left sitting on strips of rubber at the rear. The seat was more firmly secured, but removing the front bolts (tucked up against the oil tank) was a laborious quarter-turn-at-a-time job. Something had to be done...preferably without messing around with the fibreglass.

 

The solution for the seat was fabricating some quick-release R-clip pins that screwed onto the 'original' front bolt stubs, and switching to button-head Allen screws at the rear.

 

The tank was more involved. Rubber grommets solved some slop at the front, but there was no easy way to tie down the back of the tank. After great deliberation a brace was fabbed up, gently brazed to the frame, and the tank secured using Allen heads with spacers and rubber washers to cushion the fibreglass.

 

Playing with the tank revealed other issues – the petcock was frozen solid and the trick flip-up alloy filler cap was leaking.

 

Cutting a new seal to pattern sorted the filler cap's problems, and fixing the fuel tap (an old school brass-on-brass unit with no gaskets or O-rings) was simply down to stripping it and soaking off years of residue.

 

Removing the tap revealed a disaster waiting to happen though. It was only screwed a couple of turns into its fitting and had been installed with a copper washer that bore directly on the fiberglass base of the tank.

 

Cleaning up the internal thread on the fitting (blobs of resin, no doubt from its original installation) gave the fuel tap better purchase, while some extremely careful grinding allowed an O-ring to be slipped in between the tap and the fitting to take the pressure off the fibreglass.

Time to make a stand!

Shortly after arriving in the Deathridge garage the Triton had a fainting fit and slowly started keeling over on its sidestand. Apparently this is a fairly common problem: Featherbed frames have relatively thin-walled tubing and welding a sidestand mount directly to the frame (let alone running a long stand like the Triton's original builder did) is an invitation for disaster.

 

The 'original' stand had to go, but what to replace it with. A centrestand would have been good, but the two-into-one exhaust was going to cause problems. The only real option was a 'universal' clamp-on stand.

 

Most repro parts require a bit of re-engineering to make them work and the 'universal' stand was no exception.

 

The supplied bolts were too short, but with longer bolts and a bit of filing, the clamp-on fit was good and the length and angle just about right.

 

The leg, however, sat at almost 90 degrees to the ground but a bit of judicious grinding took it successfully over centre in the 'down' position. So far, so good...it wasn't about to roll forward off the stand.

 

Rolling sideways (fainting again) was another issue. Early Nortons used a similar 'clamp on' set-up and solved rotational problems with tabs bearing on the engine plates. With the unit Triumph engine, the Triton didn't have any handy engine plates to lean the sidestand on...but it did have an 'unused' engine mount on the lower crankcase.

 

A bit of prototyping in sheet steel showed that not only could it work but it sat the stand in a functionally effective and aesthetically pleasing position.

 

And so, after considerable measuring, cutting and grinding to make tabs and spreader plates, brazing (mild steel to cast iron), reworking the clamp mounts, fitting, refitting and closing up clearances, the 'universal' stand was transformed into something purpose-made for the Triton.

 

Looks (and works) pretty damn good with a suitable period 'factory' appearance that's just right for this bike

Pegs, patina, and unexpected problems

With the brakes sorted and electrical parts on the way, it was time to look at a some cosmetic issues. Patina is good, and rust is not necessarily a crime, but flaking chrome and orange oxide on a sweet set of old-school rearsets is not the patina you're looking for.

 

Careful use of a Dremel wire brush, Rust Blast, and WD40, gave excellent results on the fork caps – nice black neutralised oxide against chrome and steel – so that was the plan for a happy few hours work on the pedals.

 

The original builder went to the trouble of welding in mounts and getting parts machined, but attention to detail seems to have stopped there.

 

The swingarm had to be dropped to remove the left-hand footpeg, and the bolt retaining it turned out to be a countersunk Allen screw – without its corresponding countersink. A new stainless hex head and locking washers, a quick chase of the internal threads, some spanner 'slots' cut into the peg so it could be tightened without Mulgrips, and it all went back together with ample access and clearance.

 

Over on the right footpeg, a little alloy spacer was causing clearance issues of its own. The shift lever was sitting perilously close to the swing of the kickstarter (it was way too easy to imagine kicking her over straight into gear) and the width of the spacer meant the threads on the footpeg were getting pounded against the frame. A few mill were taken off the spacer, the thread recut, the bolt trimmed to clear the swingarm, and the issues were solved.

 

All apart from the shift-rod. Getting the chromed steel clevises off the stainless shaft took some effort, but why weren't there any lock nuts. Why, because nothing would fit! No imperial fasteners would fit. An M8 bolt would fit the clevises, but an M8 nut wouldn't run onto the shaft. Metric thread seemed counterintuitive but that's what they were, so assuming the rod was threaded slightly oversize (old die?) it was re-threaded and it all went back together perfectly with new stainless locking nuts.

 

So much for 'a few hours work'. From some angles it was a lot of effort and aggravation for little reward. It still looks like it was just laid up after a harsh winter scampering around the North Circular (Ace Cafe reference there folks), but corrosion has been held in check, patina preserved, and mechanical integrity restored or enhanced...and that's emerging as very much the point of this whole build.

Give me a brake! Part Two

With no action from the front brakes, and only a vague – it's Honda – idea of the front-end's origins, it was time to go parts fiche-ing.

 

Cutting a very long story short, the Triton wears '65 Norton triple clamps with Honda CB750F2 Super Sport forks and brakes and a CB750F1 hub.

 

Kudos to the original builder. With the Norton clamps 35mm diameter forks slide right in, and the 1977/78 F2 Super Sport front end with twin discs and the sexy new ribbed sliders was the latest and greatest fit.

 

The F2 Super Sport had Honda's Comstar wheels and twin discs with six mounting bolts. This bike has a spoked five-bolt hub, as per the F1 and numerous other Hondas, drilled out to accept six-bolt twin discs. Looks factory so it could be an 'Australian-spec' thing...or maybe the original builder deserves still more credit.

 

With everything identified it was time to get together a parts list and start fixing the stoppers. The original brake lines had deteriorated, there was an HKA 12mm master cylinder in place of the 'stock' jam jar unit, and the pistons and seals were...err...tired.

 

New pistons, new seals, new shims, new caliper retaining bolt rubbers, custom braided lines with stainless fittings, a nice new angled 5/8" Nissin Daytona Retro Brake Master Cylinder, a not-so-quick back fill and bleed, and we have pressure and feel.

 

Oh yeah, and along the way the forks were drained, cleaned and refilled, wheel bearings checked and a butchered retainer replaced.

It's the little things...

Sitting around doesn't get bikes built, so a hold-up with the front brake lines was an opportunity to rectify one of the bike's little design niggles.

 

The Triton has a gorgeous alloy oil tank, but it was held in place by a much less gorgeous piece of threaded rod with bolts that were hard to get to. Initial thoughts were to machine up something in alloy but, after working on the battery box and deciding to stick to a shed-built feel, a more period solution was called for. A bit of lateral thinking, a length of 10mm steel bar, the cut off head of a clevis pin, an 'R' clip, a bit of drilling, grinding and brazing, and an old-school 'quick detach' unit emerged.

 

Works like a charm, and definitely has the right look for the rest of the bike.

Give me a brake! Part One

Firing up the Triton for the first time was a win, but with no action from the brake levers test rides were still a way off. New fluid and a bleed gave no results, so it was time for a tear-down.

 

This bike didn't come with a parts manual, but a bit of parts sleuthing determined a 1976/77 RD400C as the most likely source of the rear caliper, disc and hub – all good so far.

 

Disassembly revealed pitted pistons and some very crusty brake fluid, but with a clean up and new pistons and seals thing were good as new.

 

Identifying the rear master cylinder wasn't as easy. A variety of late '70s Kawasakis had the same basic shape and piston/seal set-up...but some were 5/8" and some 14mm diameter.

 

This one is 14mm (most likely off a '77 KZ650 C1) and parts are hard to get. Fortunately the cylinder polished out well and the seals are in good order.

 

Occasional cursing of the original builder gave way to real respect. Things have to be assembled in a certain order, but he'd obviously thought long and hard about selecting and modifying 'the latest' components to work.

 

Back in the day getting a custom brake line wasn't easy, so let's forgive him the looping hard-to-bleed unit he used and take full credit for the new smoke-finish braided line, Adel clamps and stainless fittings – tasty!

Battery box – a defining moment

Back in the day most Tritons were shed-built hot rods. Save for a few trick parts builders worked with what they had...and it wasn't always pretty.

 

This one's battery box was a big, heavy steel unit loosely fixed without a top to cover the battery and connections.

 

What to do? Ditch the whole deal and fab up something new (lightweight battery behind the seat maybe) or make the original set-up work?

 

That question solved the whole future build ethos. Original Tritons weren't like today's show ponies, they were rough and ready...and born to run.

 

So, in the spirit of old-school builds a rummage around the shed turned up the necessary bits. A spot of epoxy, a bit of drilling, a few new bolts, a splash of gloss black enamel, and a suitable period-look piece emerged.

 

From here on it'll be kept pretty much true to 'as built' form. Things will be tidied and upgraded as required, but that's about it. A resto rat rod Triton?

The Triton is alive!

With the kickstarter actually turning things over it was time to see if she would fire and run.

 

Rusty alligator clips in place of battery connectors raised some concerns, as did a number of 'stray' wires and connections. Continuity testing revealed all was good – at least after tracing circuits, pulling apart and cleaning a few connections, and tracking down and mating/eliminating a few orphans.

 

The big concern was whether the Boyer ignition system had been blown, but after hooking up a jump start battery (positive earth kids!) and cleaning the plugs we had a massive quantity of sparks – good stuff! Equally good news from the carbs – no nasty leaks, and the ticklers working in traditional you'll-burn-if-you-do-it-again fashion.

 

A squirt of ether (hey, it's a medical back-from-the-dead procedure) and she fired second kick.

 

Still a few issues with the kickstarter return spring though.

The kickstarter campaign

Early Triumphs use a cotter pin to secure the kickstart lever. It's notorious for loosening, wearing and shearing...so it seemed a given that the Triton's pin was missing. No problem, order one online, wait for it to arrive, break out the imperial spanners, insert tab A into slot B, and away we go. But...

 

The kickstart shaft on this particular bike has two slots – one flat, one round. The round one was positioned to the top where you'd generally expect things to fit, so the flat-sided cotter was an instant fail.

 

Swapping the kickstart quadrant 180º to bring the flat cotter groove into position worked, but after a dry assembly and a couple of kicks the old return spring failed. A new spring restored kicky goodness.

 

Not sure what the deal is with the round groove on the shaft, but someone had obviously been inside the kickstart cover before – the wrong gasket was fitted, the gap bodged with silicone, and it was low on oil...hmmmn!

 

Still, back together now and turning over fine.

Triton in the house!

Owning a Triton has to be on the bucket list of any cafe racer fan, but this bike's owner had more serious fish to fry so he let this one go.

 

It'd been shelved part way through  refurbishment. Living in a cold, damp climate hadn't helped its cosmetics but the engine turned over freely and everything was 'original' and straight.

 

Known issues at time of purchase: no rego, no kickstart cotter pin, no braking at either end, no battery, unsecured battery box, no speedo, and pitted chrome and white-spotted alloy.

 

On the plus side were new carbs, new tyres, Boyer electronic ignition and a box of bits with original rego papers and some faded photos of its build-up and glory days  – gold!

 

First job on the menu: chuck on the kickstarter and see if she fires up!

With original registration papers (albeit from a different state and expired for over a decade) getting the Triton pit-passed and plated was fairly straightforward. Time to hit the road for a shakedown.

 

Good news after a few short, gentle rides was that the Triton was making more electricity than it was using despite the full-time running lights, the Acewell speedo was doing its km/h and rpm jobs, brakes were braking, and (after repositioning the gearshift crank and adjusting the clutch) gears were shifting smoothly.

 

Bad news was that the ‘renovated’ factory petcock was refusing to close again. Positioned between the carbs it was hard to operate at the best of times, so the decision was made to modernise with a teflon ball valve (1/4” BSP fitting). Much better, although it does require an inline filter.

 

Checking the bike after the first ‘long’ test ride it appeared to have more oil in the tank than it started with. Three possible scenarios: overfilling, wet sumping, or fuel in the oil.

 

Overfilling was a possibility (around 3.5 litres went in the tank on top of refilling the chaincase), but pulling the plugs showed the right-hand cylinder was running rich...very rich. This was no time to take chances on diluted oil.

 

With plenty of oil coming through the return pipe and none out of the crankcase breather wet sumping didn’t appear to be an issue but, just to be sure, the crankcase drain plug was pulled and the bike left to sit overnight to see if there was any leakdown.

 

The Triton’s two-into-one system sits close to the drain plug, so that meant the exhaust system had to be removed. Pulling the plug with the engine cold revealed a nice clean gauze filter...but a quick inspection with a torch showed something just peeking out of the crankcase plug hole.

 

That something turned out to be a gudgeon pin circlip. The Triton was purchased with the assurance that the top end had been rebuilt. Finding a circlip in the crankcase wasn’t very reassuring. Time to bite the bullet, pull off the head and lift the barrels.

 

Disgruntled changed to gruntled after finding all four circlips in-situ on new pistons with recently honed bores. And, as a reward for effort, burn patterns and carbon on the right-hand piston indicated that cylinder was, indeed, running way too rich. So, what’s the betting the circlip jumped ship when the old pistons were removed...or had been living in there since the engine left the factory back in 1971.

 

Bolting things back up revealed other ‘mysteries’.

 

Whoever rebuilt the engine had sandwiched two new head gaskets together – the old-school alternative to buying a ‘thick’ head gasket to compensate for low-octane fuel or a skimmed head. A ‘dry’ assembly with one head gasket didn’t show any clearance issues, so both head gaskets were annealed and one went back on the shelf for next time.

 

Interestingly, the pushrod tubes didn’t have bottom ‘cushions’ installed. According to some sources ’69/’70 was the changeover to the ‘new style’ pushrod tubes/seals and Triumph didn’t initially install the bottom cushion until leaks started showing up. After a few hours internet research a rummage through the O-ring collection turned up a pair that gave the correct fit and head crush, so in they went.

 

Next thing to address was the rich condition. New Amal Concentrics had been installed during the rebuild, so aside from a quick cleanout when the Triton was first fired up they hadn’t been touched. Triumph recommends setting the float level at 0.080” (2mm) below the bowl: the Triton’s left-hand carb had the float parallel with the bowl while the right-hand carb’s float was sitting well above the bowl...there’s your problem.

 

Those jokes about fixing old Triumphs with a hammer have an element of truth. To set the float height on an Amal you need to heat the float bowl up and use a drift to gently tap the brass valve seat up or down to get the right position. It’s tricky, so making up some jigs to keep the float pivot in place and measure the required 2mm means you can check height relatively easily by flipping the float bowl over...and keep heating and tapping until you get it right.

 

Back together and torqued up tight the Triton fired up first go but, learning from the Amal experience, the timing was checked with a strobe and found not to be getting full advance. Playing with the Boyer stator plate got all the marks to line up right, so we were ready to ride again.

 

Setting the float bowl levels and correcting the timing certainly perked the old girl up. The plugs look good, and she’s running smoother and revving out far more cleanly. Save for the gudgeon pin circlip (non)scare, that’s gotta be a pretty good preliminary shakedown.

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