The Breakfast Club: Carl's Triumph [page 2]

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Carl says (Jan 5, 2002):

More progress. The cases have been opened, the transmission disassembled, and all is right with world … more or less. New bushings needed here and there, but things generally look quite good. The cases, crank, cylinders, rods and head went to Raber’s in San Jose for rebuild and cleanup. While there, we picked up a refurbished centerstand, lower fender stay, new rear shocks, and two NOS small reflectors which owners would commonly throw away shortly after they bought their bike. Guess which cost the most.

Carl says (Jan 13, 2002):

Fred stripped the seat. The foam still looks quite serviceable, so we’ll probably use it again. The pan is in good shape too, despite the rust. Fred straightened a bend in the side of the pan. The bend was due to rolling over onto the top shock mount, resulting from the lack of a seat retaining strap.

I learned a lesson about bringing tired aluminum surfaces back to a chrome-like shine. It’s a lot of work! I spent about an hour wet-sanding the cam cover, a disc about three inches across. It still doesn’t meet Fred’s high standard for quality. I took a look at a very nice 1970 Bonneville at Alice’s today. It’s aluminum had been professionally polished. I noticed some flaws which Fred would not have tolerated. Fred’s given me a real appreciation of high quality workmanship. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience to do it myself.

Additional pictures are from George Mann’s collection … completed bikes are in a back bedroom; project bikes are in the shop. George has made the transition from restoration to one-off special construction. Note the Norton with the Honda front end. Another project sports a Triton (a Triumph/Norton hybrid) with a Honda single sided swingarn. All the projects are in various stages of completion … George likes to tinker. Glad he was able to find the time to hog-out a badly worn brake peddle pivot hole and install a bushing for a fit that is better than the day the Bonneville came from the factory. Thanks George!

Carl says (Feb 10, 2002):

Some more progress, and an unexpected “surprise” …

We got the head back with a nice fresh valve job. Being properly thorough, Fred promptly disassembled things to inspect the workmanship. Turns out a small part had fractured during the seating process for one of the valves. They actually use a hammer to do this. Anyway, Fred found it, got the part replaced and now all is well. The carbs have also been rebuilt. Now the action feels like silk as the slides move up and down. Many small bits were sent out to be zinc plated to restore their original luster. Now they’re very shiny.

And now for the surprise … At some point during the life of the Triumph, the left intake port was fractured and re-welded. Years of caked-on grime disguised it during disassembly (a careful look at some old photos shows it was there), but it’s quite obvious now that the head is clean.

So, now what do we do? Even though there is an obvious crack in the threaded area of the port, the welded external area is solid. And it has run in this condition in the past. AND I just paid for a valve job! So, the consensus is that we use the head as is… welded intake port and all.

Up next: powder-coating for the frame and assorted bits, paint for the gas tank, oil tank, side cover and fork ears. Also chrome for the rims, headlight bucket and other odd items.

Things are starting to come together.


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