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Old 07-27-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
TrumpNY
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Default One more Triumph Build

Okay, this is going to wordy to start off. I inherited a box of Triumph from my father-in-law a couple years back. He's a Harley guy, so he didn't want it, but he bought it cause the guy was only asking $150 for it. Hence, I ended up with it for $0 (to start).

The bike was somebody else's chopper, which had been disassembled and never reassembled. Whoever built it to begin with wasn't much of a fabricator, so a lot needs replaced, and I'm going a different direction with it anyhow. As for what I received: The motor is a 1971 650 from a TR6C from what I can tell, but it has a Bonneville head with a pair of Amal 930 carbs. The frame is pre OIF, and somebody with some knowledge might be able to give me better info than that. Whoever put the rake in the frame (not sure how raked it was) cut the down tube, bent the neck out, and welded a couple inches into into. It had what looks to be a home built springer on it with hex front legs and round rears. Its about 4 feet long, and has a permanent bend in it that I doubt was there when it was new. It had a 19" front wheel with no brake. Out back is a bolt on hardtail. The rear wheel is a Triumph hub laced to a Harley 16" rim. There's a trident sissy bar that was bolted to a trailer fender. The seat is a narrow king and queen setup. Lord knows what the tank is off, but it's huge, and ugly. There is a lot of chrome on the bike, including stuff like the rear drum, all of which is in terrible shape.

Where I'm at now: My wife's old man had someone bring the frame back to close to stock rake before I got it, which is fine by me. I had a local older guy who does British stuff (He had a 40's Ariel in the shop when I showed up) go through the motor. New pistons, big end bearings, a clean up, some of the kicker assembly, pushrods, valves, etc. got replaced. I had the chrome stripped off the rear wheel and had the hub and rim powdercoated black. Last week I re-laced it with stainless spokes. I also bought a Sportster front end for it on c-list, a long with a handful of other parts I've gathered in the last two years.

I bought some new tapered roller bearings from Lowbrow to mount the Sportster front end, then realized the stem on the front end is small. Turns out its a Showa unit from a 74-77 Sporty. I still want to run it, so I bought a stock wheel for it on eray, which came yesterday.

So, on to my first question: I'm gonna have one of the guys at work turn up a new stem for it (the stock is too short) and then press and weld it into the lower tree, like the stock one is. The thing I'm stuck on is, how long should it be? Bearing race to Bearing race in the neck, I'm measuring 7 1/8". Should the stem be long enough that with it all tightened up, there is a little play, or should I be setting pre-load with the top nut, thereby meaning that the non-threaded portion should be slightly under this value?
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build










Attemped photo upload. Fingers crossed.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Your off to a good start, and you can't beat the price!

That first picture with the springer . . . it looks like there is enough front end for two bikes .

Looks like it might be one of the old Columbus springers with the adjustable pinch-bolt type of trees.

Geo.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

That's the most info I've gotten on that Springer. It is enough for at least two bikes. Whoever was running it, the stem was more than an 1/8" smaller than the ID of the bearings, so it had a ton of slop. For now, the Springer will go on the wall for another day. The seat is going on the wall as well, next to the sissy bar.

This bike will be low, lean, and clean, and then I might build a chopper with the leftovers from this bike. To replace that, I'd like to fab up some fender struts for the Model A spare tire ring I've got, I'll run the Sportster front, and I'll have to figure out a solo seat.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Back after all these weeks. The wife and I just moved into our new house. This is good because I now have a dedicated shop. Its bad because I'm currently re-painting bedrooms, hanging gutters, fixing toilets, and the like. Either way I'm digging out all the bike parts. I have a new stem drawn up for the Sportster front end, and a guy at work is going to turn it up for me. I just cut the weld out of the lower tree and hacked off the stem. I tried pressing it out once I cut through the weld, but wasn't successful. I'm now going to put it on the Bridgeport and machine it out.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Sounds like you're gonna do 'er up right! Congrats, those things are a blast to tinker with.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

HA! Had forgotten I started this thread so many years ago. Still got the bike, still making SLOW progress on it. COVID has actually helped me move along more than anything else. Once I remember how to post pictures, I'll get some updated stuff on here.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

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Got a side shot as she currently sits, and a shot of the headlight mount which I've prepped but need to weld up. The tank, as it sits now, is mocked up but needs tabs welded on. I'm maybe 1/2 way through making a sissy bar, and I'll get pictures of that uploaded once it starts to come together a bit more.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Looks great man!
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

from the initial description it sounded horrendous (apart from the price), from the initial photos it looked like you had a fight on your hands , and now with the latest pictures you have proved the old adage wrong and yes, you can polish a turd. Good work, persistence is paying off.

ps what's this COVID?, first mention I've seen on this site.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

To be honest, from watching the news for 3 months, despite them mentioning it daily, I'm not sure I could tell you what the COVID is except that everyone is afraid of it, I have to stay home, and I end up in the garage more often than I used to, so the projects are finally moving again. It's really been great, because my 4 year old son is taking an interest and I've been able to start getting him involved a bit.

For a long time on this bike I told myself I was going to make most of the stuff. Then I realized I'm not much more of a fabricator than the last guy that owned it. Thanks to Lowbrow and some other places, I've gotten some of the major components lined up. I'll be making the stuff that won't kill me or destroy the motor if (when?) it fails.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrumpNY View Post
For a long time on this bike I told myself I was going to make most of the stuff. Then I realized I'm not much more of a fabricator than the last guy that owned it. Thanks to Lowbrow and some other places, I've gotten some of the major components lined up. I'll be making the stuff that won't kill me or destroy the motor if (when?) it fails.
Wisdom, IMO.

I think a lot of dudes forget the history of choppers: make the bike a little lighter and a little faster and get it back together ASAP to keep chasing pussy, booze, and dope.

A lot of this shit didn't exist in catalogs way back when, but now that it does it's silly not to use it. Can most of us make a bung? Sure. But we can also buy one and move along on another part of the bike.

I think it's neat when I see what some guys can do, but there's also this shame that comes along with buying something out of a catalog. (I'm reminded of Jesse James' "skateboarder with a bolt-together Panhead" remark.) Not to take away from his skill, it's also perfectly acceptable to buy a thing and have your bike rideable sooner.

Sorry for the OT rant, I just think you espoused an "uncool" opinion that is actually pretty intelligent. Maybe some of the younger guys are taking notes.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

is jesse james respected?(boning the bullock women i give him a 10) i thought it was all tv along with those orange county arguing family?
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Thanks Govmule84. It took me a long while to get to that point. I bought the oil bag and mounts, which I'll tack weld on and let a real welder properly attach for me. I made my headlight bracket (got it done, aside from some sanding, last night) with a hacksaw, a mig welder, and a lot of time with some hand files.

Been jamming on the sissy bar the last couple nights, and am getting close to what I envisioned. Need to figure out how to get Jesus to stay up there, and I'll need to tie in some fender struts (making me nervous because I don't have a solid plan yet) but I"m getting there. I haven't welded in a while, which is why I had so much filing to do on the headlight bracket. The welds on the sissy bar have thus far been better, but I still have some quality Nicholson time ahead of me there as well.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Creeping forward. Got the oil bag welded in, FINALLY got the tabs welded on the tank (they'd been ready to weld for over a year), and I got the fender bungs tacked to the fender, and the mounts welded to the tail.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:19 PM   #16
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Might just be the way I am seeing the picture, but that sissy looks slender... like 7/16" or so?

I think at that height that's gonna crack fast.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:12 AM   #17
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I wondered about that. It is in fact 3/8". That's the heaviest I could bend accurately with the stuff I had on hand at the time. Gussets in the corners? Or do I just need to scrap it and start over?
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

I think that will vibrate like a tuning fork
go heavier like govmule says.
use that one as a template?
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:27 AM   #19
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Yeah, I guess I'll be headed that way. Honestly, I was really happy with the look of the sissy bar when I finished it, but in the last week or two I've been starting to question my judgement anyway, so it's probably not terrible to start clean.

I need to find a way to bend 1/2" round stock accurately. Anybody got suggestions on that? The 3/8 I bent up using an Eastwood supplied bender for exhaust hangers. It's nice because I could afford it and it clamped up in my bench vise. I tried 1/2 in it once, and that was not going to happen.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:30 AM   #20
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Default

JP did one on here recently
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:07 PM   #21
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Default Re: One more Triumph Build

Was going to keep my mouth shut for a change, but that sissy looks oddly fancy to be on such an admirably simple, stripped and basic Bonnie. I sure like the rest of the bike.
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:37 PM   #22
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Similarly, I helped a friend do one in 9/16". Always looked too "fat" to me, and the tight bends didn't ever look right to my eye in that diameter stock.

If you were to fashion a more conventional sissy stick or fender struts, you could weld up some pegs onto a flat steel bench, starting at the point of the sissy. Heat your sissy at the bend location, bend by hand around the peg (easy when it's hot).

Add pegs as you make each bend to a piece of steel to bend it symmetrically.

Or you could use heavier material but perhaps use brass or something that will bend at a lower temp if you don't have 'cety torch. Probably want to make it much shorter so each piece is more rigid, no skyscraper sissys.

And totally editorializing, but I agree with Ratso. That sissy looks like it doesn't belong on that bike. Doesn't do it for me visually at all.
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:34 PM   #23
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+1 for sissy being too fancy.

I find less is more when it comes to sissy's unelss you're really going for all show no go. My last 1 was 9/16 on my UL and that fucker still vibrated!!
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Old 08-13-2020, 05:25 AM   #24
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See I'd been pretty pleased with myself when I first got it done. Then after spending more time around it while working on all the little stuff that still needs done, I could tell something was off. It is in fact too fancy. I need something above the fender to run the tail light I have the way that I want to run it, but I think I'm going to start fresh with some 1/2" bar and come up with something a lot cleaner. Thanks for the tips on bending it up. I've had a torch kit on the shopping list for a while, but the wife's been looking at me sideways when boxes from Dennis Kirk, Lowbrow, etc keep showing up at the door full of seals and brake pads and all the other little stuff that seems cheap until you need to buy it all.
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:58 AM   #25
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A low, dragster-type pushbar with a straightforward hemicircular bend up top would look the hound's bollocks, or the pig's mickey (or whatever it is that the British say), on that stripper of a motorcycle. I think I'll shut up now.
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