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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I was sitting around my house a few days before Christmas when I got a text out of the blue from a buddy, "Yo! Any interest in a '99 Speed Triple?"
I immediately perked up:
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When I got in touch with the owner, he sent these pics - turns out it's a '98, with 56k, but it's all there, all Roulette Green, and definitely in need of some TLC. Nice that it has the flyscreen and the factory carbon hi-flow exhaust!
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But he said he'd take $1500 - which may or may not be too much. I sometimes act from emotion rather than pragmatism. I told him I'd be over to pick it up the next day, and I was.

Now the bike is in my garage. Before it was even on my trailer, I ordered a 520 kit and fork seals, and I grabbed a new battery on my way across town with the trailer.

The fuel tank was full of something that no longer resembled gasoline, so I wouldn't even let him prove to me it cranked. I didn't want the injectors full of anything that would render them useless! First order of business, pull the tank and fuel pump so we can empty the gallon+ of varnish and order a new fuel filter.

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Once started, I found it hard to not go deeper, so I asked dr_gallup about cleaning injectors, and he offered to flow test and renew them if I just sent them down. So I pulled the fuel rail and injectors off. They'll go in the mail tomorrow.

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Then I pulled the air filter to assess its condition, only to find that it already has a K&N filter, and a mouse nest! I cleaned out the mouse nest, and kept the K&N.

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I read a water pump horror story on TRat, so thought it might be a good idea to drain the old coolant & inspect the water pump impeller, plus I want to get the radiator off so I have access to remove the pipes. Coolant looked good until the last few black drops of aluminum corrosion crud, and the water pump looks fine.

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I plan to do a little port matching before reassembly, and I'm searching for ways to delete the IAC, or whatever it's called on this generation. Will it throw a CEL on these if I just remove the whole thing?

Lastly, I have this cam sensor connector that's an orphan - I CANNOT find the corresponding three-pin female plug anywhere in the loom!

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So far, it all looks good. The oil was the color of dark honey, the plugs were definitely gapped out, with a little oil fouling, likely from valve stem seals.

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Tops of the pistons are the color of toast, with no signs of fouling there. The radiator mounts are a little bent, causing the radiator to hang funny, but no signs of impact.
The bike came with K&N and frame sliders, so at some point in the past I can only imagine it was owned by an enthusiast. There are no missing parts aside from two of the tank cowl bolts.

I'll continue to update this thread as I go. The next tasks are:

Roll her outside for a deep clean - simple green and a hi-pressure hose anyway!
Check valve clearances - shim as necessary
Compression check
Refurbish injectors
Fork seals and oil refresh
Rear shock refresh thru Cogent Dynamics , a local guy who's always done my suspension work.
Spindle bearing service
New 520 chain & sprockets

...I'm building a short list of OEM parts I'll need:
Intake trumpet (missing from the left side of the airbox)
Water pump o-ring
Front brake light switch
Exhaust gaskets
Throttle body-to-head gaskets
(2) Fuel tank cowl bolts
Valve stem seals?

My goal is to have her ready to do another 50k before she rolls on the street again.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Got the chance on the day after Christmas to roll the old girl outside into the meager winter sun and have a go with the Simple Green and just-thawed-enough hose. Of course I taped off the open throttle bodies and put the coil packs back in place to minimize water entry!

I spent a couple more hours tinkering and spot-cleaning, armed with a roll of shop wipes and a piece of scotchbrite.

I pulled the header pipe so I could compel my son to polish them up on the fiber wheel while I ran the machine shop. See, he forgot his money for the skatepark at home, which meant he was stuck with me for the day.

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(...and he thought he was going to be bored!)

To his credit, he took pride in his work, and now the pipe is ready to reinstall once the gaskets arrive.

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Meanwhile, parts have begun arriving, so I was able to replace the in-tank filter (Mahle KL-145 is a direct replacement for the Triumph part), and reinstall the fuel pump/sender unit. Now just waiting for the stainless fuel line connectors to show up:

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Last night's task was to check valve clearances, so I pulled the clutch cover (to rotate the crank by hand) and valve cover. The clutch cover was going to have to come off anyway to replace the actuator return spring, which gave up the ghost at some point in the last 50k.

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Utterly stoked that all the clearances were in spec! They generally tighten up over time, and with so many miles I expected them to all be tight or out of spec, but only a couple were on the low, most right in the middle. It seems they've been adjusted fairly recently (in miles, not in time...), which makes me think the bike was well-cared for until it was locked away and forgotten.

I pulled off the kluge IACV valve and hoses, because while somebody was trying to do the right thing in replacing the hoses, it was done badly. The whole mess was just bumming me out. As near as I can reckon, the bike needs this working properly to maintain idle over the range of operating temperatures, so I'm looking into custom silicone hose suppliers to sort this mess out.

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I then decided to remove the throttle bodies so they can get thoroughly degunked, and I think I'll do something about the split screw ends sticking up into the airflow path - maybe grind them down and put the screws in with red Loctite instead. Of course, I just put in the OEM parts order on Thursday with Bike Bandit! With the holiday, there's a chance I can catch it before it's sent to Triumph and add a throttle body gasket :-\

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So now I wait for some more parts to filter in. Today I'm going to build a stand to support the front of the bike by the sliders, whilst the forks are removed for new bushings, seals, and oil.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More Progress

Built the stand (God bless my wife, who never, ever throws anything away!) out of some random lumber I found around the side of the house. The idea came from old TST member DeCosse, who first photographed this type of thing when he put K6 GSXR forks on his T595. I did have to chop it down three times before it would fit under the slider spacers :violent1:

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Once the bike was supported, it only took about ten minutes to drop the calipers & front wheel, and remove the fork legs for service. The left leg was clearly leaking pretty badly, soaking the dropout, caliper, and even the lower left front of the engine case.

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There's a tiny bit of pitting on the chrome which I'll remove with some fine steel wool, and once the new parts are installed they should be good as new. The Showa RSU forks have huge 45mm stanchions and above average damping circuits, so fresh oil should make them feel like buttah 8)

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Here she sits - I'll go ahead and service the headstock bearings before putting the fork legs back in.

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The 520 kit came today, so I can replace this horrible disgrace of a drivetrain!

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lad did nice work on that header. You might want to think about ceramic coating it before it goes back on.
I'm going to send it to Jet-Hot for hi polish coating on Tuesday. $125

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Deeper and deeper

It's been absolutely FREEZING outside, and my garage has no inherent heat source, so it's been really hard to motivate down there.

I did get the new bushings and seals installed in the forks, along with fresh 5wt Spectro filled to 75mm from the top. No pictures of the process, but it ain't my first fork rodeo, and the RSU forks are much simpler to service than any USD units. In order to get enough damping adjustment range, I turned the rebound needles in four full turns and lightly seated them before installing & tightening the locknut above the spring. I also removed and cleaned the compression damper cartridges prior to reassembly.

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My eBay luck continues - not only did I score a Corbin saddle for $125, but also a set of rotors within the wear limit for $50! The ones on the bike are so worn I had trouble getting the calipers off.

The chain and sprockets have been removed, revealing a horrible neglected mess! Once the garage warms up, I'll spend the time to clean the swingarm and guards. I'll be doing some modifications to the guards so the chain & sprockets will be more visible.

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Getting the rear wheel off required wedging a two-by-four between the wheel and the swingarm because the rear brake doesn't seem to be functioning. I anticipated this and ordered rebuild kits for both front and rear master cylinders with my big OEM parts order...which should be shipping any day now? I did not, however, think about rebuilding calipers! I'm going to pull this one apart and clean the bejeezus out of it first. There's no evidence of leakage, but the pistons did not want to retract at all...

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I'm debating taking this thing all the way down and having the frame powdercoated black. I have these unsightly rust stains around the left-side swingarm pivot (maybe from being ridden with the godawful rusty chain? idk), and none of the solvents I have seem to touch it. Perhaps muriatic acid?

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Regardless, I think it would look absolutely fantastic done black, and it would hide grime a whole lot better. I just know that if I don't do it now, while I have the thing torn down this far, that it'll be super hard to convince myself to tear it down this far again at any point after it's running. What do you guys think?

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dr_gallup got my injectors and tested them for me, reporting that two of three were still good. I found a brand new replacement (also on eBay) for $65, so that'll be ready to go back in when the other two show back up.

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My header pipe is at Jet-Hot getting the high-polish ceramic coating, so they'll look super sharp going back on.

Meanwhile, the new stainless fuel line connectors are installed, never to shatter in my hands again.

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And there's a fresh set of sticky black Conti's waiting to be shoehorned on! But alas, only 10 attachments per post, so I'll post those pics once they're ready for the street :afro:

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Nice work. I'll get your injectors in the mail back to you if I ever remember to bring them home. No luck finding any old engineering prototypes in storage. Not surprising since it's been twenty years and at least two changes in ownership (I loose track). Hard to believe I've been employed in the same place for 34 years this month. I gave it a year when I hired on. 20 years ago I was working in France but still employed in SC if that makes any sense. Never had a work visa in France so they had to send me home every 90 days.

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
halfway to hell in a handbasket

The wife was out of town this weekend, and the weather was once again shyte, so I brought the tiny heater to the garage and spent some QT with the T509. She needs a name - a proper British gentle-lady's name, methinks. But so far nothing has come to me.

When I have the time and inclination, I truly enjoy deep-cleaning the bike. Throughout my life, cleaning parts has been one of the most gratifying experiences. It can be incredibly Zen, touching every single part of the machine while restoring old finishes to the light. Machines create grime by nature, and it's always easier to keep a thing clean than to get a thing clean.

Saturday morning I was struck with both inclination and time, so I sat down to this:

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I've been curious about the alternator, which is a weird thing to see on a bike. Since I wanted to clean under there, I decided to remove and inspect it. It's located well by a machined boss, and has an o-ring to keep the oil in the transmission, because the alternator is driven off the sprag clutch! I'm glad to do this now, because it would piss me off to "drain the coolant ... then remove water elbow from rear of the upper crankcase" to do it later!

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...somehow I didn't get a photo of the miniature cush rubbers that go in between, but trust me - they're adorable.

I also knew I was going to have to get the countershaft sprocket off. Long story, but first I fixed the compressor, then I fixed at the big impact wrench I haven't used in a few years, then I gave up and pulled some shadetree sh#t right out of my...well you know.
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I used a 6mm bolt thru the old chain into the swingarm where the guide rubber mounts, and then said a short prayer that it wouldn't break, then unscrewed that big nut just like that. :wrench::twofinger:

With breaks for meals, and Supercross, and a mountain bike ride, I had the old girl looking nearly ready for the ball on Sunday evening.

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...yeah, going to have to make a second OEM order around a new swingarm chain buffer :/
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UGH. The rust stains are harshing my mellow. I don't know what I'm going to do about that. Spray it silver?
You might notice the rear cover missing from the alternator - I have big plans for that piece!

...of course there's an upskirt, you sickos :jerkoff:

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(I've always loved the brutish simplicity of the vertical linkage forging on these SSSA bikes)

BikeBandit says my first OEM parts order is going to be here tomorrow, so I'll be able to begin reassembly this week! But first, a little work to do on the intake system.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
butterfly effect

Somewhere up in this thread, there may be a photo of the throttle body assembly when I took it off:

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ahh - there it is. Covered in dust and grime from 56-thousand-someodd miles.

I don't like how the split screw ends are sticking into the flow area. Not a big deal at all - probably not even noticeable from a horsepower standpoint. But every little bit helps!

Throttle bodies got some love this weekend also. I spent a little time with Scotch-Brite and WD-40 (two of my favorite things), just getting them looking fresh

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I love the Triumph logos visible on the side of each venturi.

Then upon closer inspection, decided that it would be easy to break the little split tabs off with needle-nose pliers. Then removing and filing the end of the screws would be plenty of improvement. Red loctite on the threads will be more than sufficient to keep them tight.

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here you can clearly see the left screw in place with the factory split threads to lock it in. The right screw has been removed for filing & threadlocker.

Among the tools left in dad's big Snap-On box is this tiny screw starting tool. To use it, you twist the head until the center piece is lined up, then a spring "cocks" it in place. Engage it in the screw and it tries to pop back diagonal, but instead wedges in the screw slot. Super handy :)

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Once reassembled, the bore is clear of the extraneous interruption

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I've ordered some hi-temp silicone hose and aluminum tubing to connect the Intake Air Control Valve to the individual throttle bodies in a way that doesn't offend me. Stay tuned.

Next will see some reassembly, as soon as parts arrive and headers come back from Jet-Hot and tires get mounted...

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Looks like it's really coming along. I know from experience with mine how gratifying it is to see the potential of a diamond in the rough come to be. I'd strongly vote for going with a gloss black powder coated frame. The previous owner of mine did that and it's one of my favorite aspects of the bike. Organic lines of the frame really lend themselves to that look. I personally think they should have done it like that from the factory. You sure don't see many with that, really sets the bike apart from the rest.
Plus, gloss black would look bitchin' with the roulette green, eventually the look I want on mine.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
... I'd strongly vote for going with a gloss black powder coated frame. The previous owner of mine did that and it's one of my favorite aspects of the bike. Organic lines of the frame really lend themselves to that look. I personally think they should have done it like that from the factory. You sure don't see many with that, really sets the bike apart from the rest.
You are absolutely right, but honestly I've blown most of my budget at this point, so it's going back together with the silver frame for now. I think a crinkle-finish black would look really cool rather than gloss, so perhaps next winter I can pull her back down for that. If you knew my history, you'd know we can all bet on me wrecking this thing if I take it to the track even once this summer, so she may be coming back apart anyway! :horse:
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