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Old 02-18-2015, 10:20 PM   #1
reverb
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Default silly question about the trap

...but I need to ask it.
This Triumph is running, I do not know how many kms on the engine, the oil returns right and the valves have their portion; the oil in the tank do not have any different residue than the usual used oil.
With this type of condition how some one know when to tear it apart and clean the sludge trap?

Alright, always good to play in the safe side, but is not this condition that most of working bikes have?
If the bike is in service and all looks normal, why not ride a few thousand kms more?

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

Think when you rebuild is when you clean it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

IMO... If you know the motors history and can account for the Kms/miles (low in number) and how well it was maintained.... I see no reason to tear into the motor.
BUT....Having said that, do a search, look ant photos taken of some of the sludge traps along with the owners stories....your motor may run for another 40 years without a hickup. It also may also just spin a bearing or worse case grenade between your legs the next time you hit the road..
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

...I do not know about the kms, but a lot.
The owner still stubborn regarding the sell.

-In my pre unit 500 I think never ever the previous owners dismantled the crank (they are different than the Bonnie ones)
Was me several years ago that did it.
What I noticed was better top end lubrication, but never ever had a shell bearing problem or a main bearing problem. May be was luck
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

The oil will return regardless of the sludge trap via the pressure release valve, and if the oil is returning the top end will get oil. Its a time bomb and up to you, there is no way to ascertain the condition inside the tube without looking.
If it was as simple as a rebuild upon failure I wouldn't sweat it so much, but the huge risk of saying goodbye to cases leaves me to be damn sure whats inside the tube.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

show me all the engines blown from full sludge traps
no one talked about this 15 years ago if bottom end was sweet you did a top end rebuild
or bottom end worn you did a full rebuild (including crank shaft shells etc.)
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

Quote:
Originally Posted by richbob View Post
show me all the engines blown from full sludge traps
no one talked about this 15 years ago if bottom end was sweet you did a top end rebuild
or bottom end worn you did a full rebuild (including crank shaft shells etc.)
I don't have any pictures but there is trusty ol google. People weren't sitting around on the internet talking about it 15+ years ago, but, I've heard stories of it that date back further than that.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

No one talked about it thirty years ago either. I've stripped motors that had a tiny bore through the sludge, that were still ok on the journals.
If you are going to strip the motor, it would be stupid not to inspect it though.

If you really want to keep the bike running nice, change the oil on a regular basis and run air filters, not bellmouths.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

...well I never see cases broken due to the sludge trap too; I mean, if failure with the oil do you seize the engine or normally (not track riding) you first grip or almost so the motor gives an advice.

--so what s the exact problem? the oil quantity, the flow?
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

Quote:
Originally Posted by richbob View Post
show me all the engines blown from full sludge traps
no one talked about this 15 years ago if bottom end was sweet you did a top end rebuild
or bottom end worn you did a full rebuild (including crank shaft shells etc.)
really !.....I've got a large pile of both 650 and 500 cases (probably 8-10) at the shop with big chunks of cases missing on the left side and they usually have half of the left side rod still attached to the crankshafts hanging out of the hole. it usually breaks off the skirts on the cylinders and often bends the exhaust cam. most times the head, transmissions and side cover are the only salvageable parts. I've got several other cases with large Frankenstein welded in patches on the left side,..... all because of poor maintenance.

when the sludge trap get plugged the first thing it does is cut off oil to the left side rod bearing, that super heats the aluminum rod causing it to wobble and break off at high RPM.

Clean the sludge trap out every 40k miles like it says in the owners manual. If you aren't sure how many miles are on that motor....clean the sludge trap.

they are not making these motors any longer, every time one explodes there is just one less in the world.
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Last edited by Tony the torch; 02-22-2015 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

If you were presented with 2 identical 650s...one, there was no background or information regarding maintenance....the other, has documentation and photos that the sludge trap had been cleaned....NOT a rebuild, just cleaned.....
What one would you purchase, and why?
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

That won't work, as unless your a muppet who would clean the trap then assemble without Rebuilding/full/topend whatever required.
id buy the unmolested one (a jobs not done right unless you do it yourself!)
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

I have to agree with Tony. And Samhain; "If it was as simple as a rebuild upon failure I wouldn't sweat it so much, but the huge risk of saying goodbye to cases leaves me to be damn sure whats inside the tube."
It's the very reason I'm tearing down a good running 650. Just so I know.
When your engine, frame and title all match, it's worth protecting those cases.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

...c mon guys, be on the safe side and do not ride anymore until you tear it all your bikes down...
Thousands of oldies around the globe so imagine that...
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

I've disassembled 6 or 7 triumph 650's in the last two years.These were well used engine,some not run in years.They all some signs of oil starvation on the rod bearings. Some showed signs of past piston seizure, overheated wrist pins and broken rings probably from detonation.
All of them had seriously messy sludge traps. I see a pattern perhaps...lack of oil flow to carry away heat from the rod bearings may also lead to detonation...
If I paid money for a bike or engine with an unknown or "liars" history...I wouldn't ride it until tearing down the engine...
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

I have done three 650's and all three had very full sludge traps. The 1967 engine under the work bench runs great but I am going to tear it down before it goes in a bike. My experience is limited in relationship to others on this list but I will tear down all engines before I run them.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

...may a good method for a running bike not a motor on a bench (to those clean the sludge trap is an obvious thing), could be to check the oil pressure by the book...
You know, the fact that oil is returning is not proof that it is passing through the crankshaft...
That seems a safety way to see if you need to dismantle now or you can still ride a few thousands more...or that s not enough?
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

I guess it just depends on if your in to the wrenchin or the ridin
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

Low oil pressure can be a sign of a loose bottom end, but you can't measure it specifically at the left rod which will tell you anything about the trap. Warmed up at 3k it should be 60-80psi, I believe, lower than that your bearings may be showing wear.
In my mind a clogged trap could cause the pressure to read higher though.... If zero oil was making it to your left rod, you could still get a fine reading.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: silly question about the trap

Run a used motor without inspecting it? Maybe it's my drag race experience but I don't see the big deal on breaking a motor down for inspection and putting it back together in an afternoon.
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