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Sealing Your Friday Afternoon Steamer Cylinder Bases

Started by JetdocX, April 15, 2009, 04:48:04 AM

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If you happen to have a Friday afternoon (before a week off) Steamer like I do, and you happen to pull the cylinder head for some valve work (again), and two of your three cylinders start moving with the piston as you crank the engine over, then you probably need to do this:

Just pull the sump plug and park a drip pan under there for the next few weeks while you wait for Triumph to figure out what Hylomar is.  Dis be da stuff:

Make it easy on yourself by pulling all the cylinders.  They are glued it believe it or not folks!  

Mark which cylinder goes where and etch something on the outside that indicated orientation inside the block.  Interestingly the middle cylinder bore is larger than the lateral ones.  Clean the old hylomar from the cylinder sleeves and the rust, too.  You can also use MEK to remove the carbon from the top and bottom of the cylinder bores.  Then coat with oil and bag to keep corrosion away:

Then carefully remove the snap ring holding the highest piston wrist pin (do not drop this snap ring into the sump, you've been warned), push the pin out far enough to disconnect the piston from the connecting rod.  Then repeat for the other three.  That will leave you with a cleaning project.  Get ahold of some MEK and Scotch Brite for this job.

How do you know when you are done?  It looks like this:

And clean up your pistons and rings:

After carefully removing the rings and a trip to the bead blaster:

Incidentally, the arrow on the top of the piston indicates forward in the bore.

Now you are ready to install the pistons back in reverse order of removal.  I installed the lateral pistons back on to the crank rods. Then remove cylinder #3 from the bag.  Clean the mating surfaces with MEK and use a LIBERAL amount of Hylomar (the magic blue Rolls-Royce Aerospace stuff) on the outer shiny surface of the cylinder sleeve.  Lightly oil the cylinder bore to make the rings move around easier.  

No room for a ring compressor in here, so I tried a tywrap to compress the rings with poor results.  I found it was easier to take your time with firm pressure down on the piston, use your fingers and some slight twisting motions to gently work the two compression rings into the bore without breaking them.  The oil control ring goes right in no problem. and now you can slide the cylinder home in the case.  Notice the LIBERAL amount of Hyllomar:



More later:
From parts unknown.


Quote from: "JetdocX"Interestingly the middle cylinder bore is larger than the lateral ones.

That's because the center cylinder runs hotter than the two outside ones and it prevents the piston from seizing when it expands in the bore !

They learned a lesson from the old three cylinder triumph tridents from the late 60's and early 70's that used to tear center cylinders up because of the extra heat

Dr. Mordo

I freaking hope I never get this far in this engine, but thanks for the pics.
1999 BMW F650

1996 Tiger


Not done yet!  Lets have some head gasket fun, shall we?  I'm getting very good at this part due to repetition. :evil:  

Shiny new head gasket in place:

Before positioning the cylinder head in place, put the four center bolts in their holes because you will not be able to get them by the frame once the head is in place.  I keep them up out of the way with a ty-wrap like so:

Take your time positioning the head.  It takes some body english and lots of patience because the frame is probably pushing the head off center.  It's doable, just tricky the first time around.  Here is the head in place and torqued.  The black marks on the head bolts were so I could gage the 90 degree final torqueing:  Edit:  Head bolts are torqued in three stages.  First 20Nm, second 27 Nm (newer cases w/o alternator cover) or 35 Nm (older cases with alternator cover.)  Final torque is angular 90 degrees of rotation.

Tightening sequence:

Dont forget to install the little spacers for the front bolts prior to torqueing to 12Nm:

Then install and torque the three right side bolts to 12 Nm.  Now the engine frame mounts will have to be lined up and the bolts installed there, too.  Not too hard, but don't expect the holes to line up.  A pry bar through the opposite side hole was enough for me to start one, then the other side was relatively easy.  Don't torque yet because to radiatior uses the bolts for lower end mounts.  Eventually you will torque these bolts to 95 Nm.
From parts unknown.


Great picures & interesting report. Just a couple of points:

I always stuff the crankcase opening with rag or kitchen roll to stop circlips or anything else falling down there.

I would have thought a Terry type ring compressor (as used on classic Brit bikes like my Velo) would have fitted in there.

That looks like a huge amount of Hylomar. I'd worry that the surplus is just waiting for an opportunity to come loose and block an oilway. The previous owner of my Velo tried to stop the rocker box leaking with about a ton of silicon, some of which found its way into the rocker box drain, causing it to smoke furiously. Fortunately it didn't get into a feed line.

1931 Sunbeam Model 10
1999 Honda SLR650


It's not silicone.  And it's not in contact with the oil.  The rather large bead is stiing at the bottom of the coolant chamber around the cylinders.  The flow in that area is almost zero as the pump dups new coolant in about halfway up and it continues on up to exit through the cylinder head.

Edit:  This $30 tube of Hylomar is oil and coolant resitant.  It better be for $30.  :icon_evil:
From parts unknown.


OK, on to the valve train, or "Hold my lumpy shaft while I tug on this chain...."

Once you have succeded with torquing your head down, it's time to put the cams in and find the cam chain that you forgot to fish through the opening whilst positioning the cylinder head.

Also, if you have not already done so, remove the cam chain tensioner from it's hole to the rear of the cam chain guide.  Remove the spring tensioner first which is the bolt in the rear.  Careful because it's spring loaded.  You might put an eye out!  Then pull the two bolts and remove the tensioner ratchet itself.  Here is a pic of a happy chain tensioner:

You need to make the tensioner not so excited.  How?  Push lightly on the release indicated by the screwdriver here:

To get the sad cam chain tensioner:

Don't install it yet.  Leave it alone and limp until after you're satisfied with your cam timing.

Then you must decide which shaft is in your hand:

A quick trip to the shop manual tells us I'm gently, yet gracefully fondling the intake shaft:

Now hopefully when you removed your cams, you marked which bearing blocks go to which cam journal and how it's supposed to be oriented.  I marked mine with a center punch, but the Factory has marked yours already, just not with regard to orientation.  Starting at cylinder 1 first exhaust cam journal  is marked 1 and on down that cam to the gear which is marked "A".  The intake cam is marked 5 through 8 and "B" on the other side of the gear.  This is illustrated in the shop manual, but I'm currently 250 miles away from my shop manual, so I'll add the photo later.  Edit:  Photo of four cylinder camshaft caps:

Now we get to the part that had me actually losing sleep for weeks and had Mustang in a froth. :lol:   Cam timing!  

To turn the engine over easily, I removed the crankshaft timing cover to reveal something like this (pic borrowed from Mustang):

Yours will look something like this except that Mustang showoff has a shiny gold Factory timing advance plate on his.  Yours will likely be anodized black like mine because Factory no longer makes said timing advance plate like the cool kids have :lol: .

Take the 22mm nut and turn the engine over until the T1 is aligned with the position sensor as shown in the picture.  Then make sure that all of the engine monkey motion up to this point has not let your cam chain slip off the drive gear inboard to the smooth part of the shaft.  DAmHIK!

Put your cams in the cam bearing journals as close to arrows pointing at each other as you can get, but don't sweat it if they want to wander off away from each other.  There is a spot on both cams where no valves are being lifted and this is what you want when you install the bearing journals on your cams.

Once your cam journals are torqued down,(Edit:  12 Nm torque.) it's time to install the cam chain and time the cams.  This is the important part, boys and girls.  Please get this right.  Otherwise you are going to be very sad because your tiger either won't start or has no top end.

To be continued......
From parts unknown.



excellent report so far ........................


Linking this thread to 'Steamer Wisdom'.


And I'll finish it once the Shiver goes away and I have time to do something besides ride that beautiful little rocket around.  Honest! :lol:
From parts unknown.


Great post...  and I don't even have a Steamer.  
Interesting looking at your Cam pix, it's actually possible to undo the sprocket from the cam, rotate it about 30degrees and remount it. So I'm guessing the other cam uses the other hole set to reduce manufacturing costs.  Or is there a another reason...
Enjoy the shiver
  If it ain't Farkled...  don't fix it....


The cam gears are identical   They just bolt to the shafts in different locations.  I see no reason for removing a cam gear unless something really let loose in the head. :shock:
From parts unknown.


Edited some of the prior posts to add torque numbers and pirated illustrations from the Service Manual.  :icon_wink:

Fitting the cam chain.  Make sure the cam chain is properly engaged with the lower sprocket on the crankshaft behind the ignition trigger disc.  There is enough room for the cahin to slide inboard and just be tensioned against the shaft.  You may not notice this until you go to check your cam timing by rotating the 20mm lower nut on the crankshaft which will turn and the cams do not move.  :icon_rolleyes:   Moving on.....

Make sure the ignition trigger disc and pickup are aligned at the T1 position.  There is no trigger finger there, it's just a mark on the disc:

Pull the forward side of the cam chain tight and position it over the exhaust cam with the arrow pointed at the arrow on the intake cam side.  This is way easier said than done.  You will have to use a wrench on the exhaust cam on the hex portion right under my thumb in the picture to rotate the cam around to the right position and hold it there while you do the same with the intake cam.  A second set of hands makes this easier but not required.

It looks like this when correct:

You want no chain slack on the forward side of the engine or between the camshafts.  The slck will be taken up on the aft side with the chain tensioner.

Now is the time to install your cam chain tensioner.  Tighten the retaining bolts to 9 Nm.  Then install the spring, washer and center nut:

The spring will push the plunger forward to engage the chain guide and automatically tension the cahin once the cap nut is installed.  Easy, right?

Now slowly rotate the engine by using the crankshaft nut turning clockwise at least four full rotations to make sure there is no valve interference and to check your work.  Then position the arrows on the cams pointing at each other.   Look down at the ignition trigger disc.  The T1 mark should be aligned closest to the pickup.  If it's not, remove the cam chain tensioner and slip the chain as required to align the chain and gears correctly (basically, you probably missed some slack and you're going to have to adjust accordingly).

If you're sure you got everything right, replace the cover for the ignition trigger disc/crankshaft with the new gasket you purchased when you bought the cylinder head gasket kit from your friendly local Triumph dealer. :icon_wink:

More later....
From parts unknown.


It's coming up on the anniversary of this thread... and you haven't finished it! :D
There\'s no place like

2007 1050 Tiger, Jet Black
SOLD - 2005 955i Tiger, Lucifer Orange - SOLD


Sorry, I think the rest has been covered in detail in one or more of Mustang's deft valve adjustment threads.

Results so far have been OK.  Still losing a bit of coolant, but the loss is so slow it might be normal evaporation.  No carmel in the oil and no exhaust in the coolant.

The valve recession has stopped since Metric Motorcycles of Houston has removed and replaced the valve seats with softer material.  

Now to deal with the wiring.... :roll:
From parts unknown.