TR5T running poorly

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Davidg44
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TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Been road testing my TR5T.
It seemed to be running ok with a nice idle, so I decided to take it to the petrol station 3 miles away. Ran smooth for about a couple of miles but stalled at traffic lights. Started ok, but I was fighting to keep it running as if the revs were dropping too low.
Filled up and returned home. The journey back was very lumpy and I had to fight to keep it running. It seemed to be misfiring and popping.
Engine seemed very hot- is that normal?
Had a look at plugs- right and left as images below.
Any ideas what I should look at?
Timing? Fuel?
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by eebtr7 »

You are having an ignition failure. If on points & condensor, replace the condensor. If on a new-fangled electronic gizmo, replace the whole thing with the original points & new condensor.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Thanks for the response.
Condensers we’re both brand new following a previous lumpy test drive. I drove it around the block a few times after new condensers were fitted. It seemed to solve the problem.

I have realised on the trip to the petrol station that the choke was on the whole trip. Could this be the issue?
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Points, leads and plugs are also new.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by beat »

it looks lean to me.
air screw half a tourn in - and try again.

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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Davidg44 wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 5:44 pm Thanks for the response.
Condensers we’re both brand new following a previous lumpy test drive. I drove it around the block a few times after new condensers were fitted. It seemed to solve the problem.

I have realised on the trip to the petrol station that the choke was on the whole trip. Could this be the issue?
Yes. The choke on while running when warm will cause problems. Take another ride with it off and see if it makes a difference and then recheck the plug colors---
Bad ignition or timing tends to show up as hard starting.
Choke on should have run rich.
The separate choke slide blocks the air flow from the main slide and in the process makes it run richer.
If the gas is suspect, drop the float bowl and pour it into a glass and look for dirt or water separating on the bottom.
Gas good-- then pull the plugs out and kick over, look for a nice fat blue spark if you have a battery and points.
The plugs look dry so I would rule out oil fouling.
Compression good? then you are down to ignition and carburetor . Do not trust that the condensers are good just because they are new. I do not know if they make them any more or when the last time they were made. Many years back the better quality ones were made in Japan. Only trusted way to check them is to swap them out with a know good set. Also remember that the TR5T is a single carb bike so if you have problems with one side only, it is probably not the carburetor.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Tried to do the runout without choke today. It was not easy to start but did eventually. When started the revs were high and very lumpy. Is seemed to be misfiring and popping. I couldn’t get it running smooth enough to ride out.
So frustrating after the first two miles yesterday were perfect.
I mention this in case it’s important. I said yesterday that the bike seemed hot. It took 6 or 7 pumps of the kickstart to free the clutch. When it freed, the kickstart lever was hesitant to return. I hope I am not doing any damage.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Does the primary cover by the clutch get real hot. That could be the sign of a very tight primary chain. You need to step back and start over. You need to check and rule out items.
1st recheck and if needed reset , plug gap, timing and --- Did you use the stepped washer to hold the auto advance unit is full advance when setting -- And did you remove it afterwards, many forget to remove it.
2nd pull plugs , lay them on the head. remove points cover, turn key on and use a small screw driver to flick the points open. No need to keep kicking it. you want a nice blue spark. If one set of points are open, then short the contact tips with the screw drive and flick it off, it will spark.
Once you have ruled out timing and ignition you move on to the single carburetor.
I never used the choke on a Amal. I just tickle it until the gas drips out and fire it up. Long time back the local Triumph Dealer, Sam from Saginaw Cycles used to remove all of the chokes from the new bikes. He said that caused too much trouble. if the lever loosens up, then the choke is on.
Running better with the choke on is a sign of running lean.
If the carburetor has been cleaned and all of the passages are spay tested so you know that they are nor plugged. Then Adjust the idle speed screw , the one the lifts the slide and adjust for a steady idle. Next, bike off, gently screw in the idle mixture screw until it lightly bottoms out-- count how many turns in. I like to count the turns by 1/2 because I use the screw driver slot to count. Typical is in the 3/4 to 1.5 turns out. These are just starting points. If you are way outside these counts then you have problems. Now screw the idle mixture screw out back to where it was and start the bike up. Slowly turn the screw out until it starts to run rough. Stop, now slowly turn the screw in while counting the turns. until it starts to run rough. Then back the screw out to the mid point. So if you had to turn it in 1 turn, you would then back it out 1/2 turn and that would be the best spot. If the idle speeds up the adjust then idle speed screw back down. This should be done while the bike is warm.
Some links to the Amal site
amal_tuning_guide.pdf

http://amalcarb.co.uk/downloadfiles/ama ... d_Tips.pdf
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by minetymenace »

My money is still on the condenser, despite it being new, or could be the coil.....
There is no evidence to support the notion that life is serious.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

minetymenace wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:12 pm My money is still on the condenser, despite it being new, or could be the coil.....
:ok :ok :ok :ok :ok
Had the same problem on a B40 project a couple for years ago. Brand new Condenser. Hard starting etc. Put the old one back in and most of the issues cleared up.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Not sure if this will work but it’s a video of the bike running, trying to let you hear it. It started third kick but sounds awful. You may be able to hear me revving it three times.
I have changed the carb since last runout
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

I can hear a miss. Run it for a bit and take a wet rags and lightly touch it to each exhaust pipe to see which one is missing, it should be colder. You have a single carburetor feeding both cylinder, so I would be looking at ignition problems. The fact that it started up with a couple of kicks makes me think that the timing is ok. That would point to a intermittent problem. you are back to bad condenser, coil, points and their wiring. Check all wire connections. Bad Coils will normally show up after they have run for a while and warm up.
I like the old style timing lights for trouble shooting. one lead to the+ and one to the -, then they clamp on the outside of the plug wire. Look at the light and you can see if it miss fires.
Next you need to plug the plugs and post a photo again.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

I just listened to it again. Sounds like you are running on one cylinder. I can hear one side smooth and the other stuttering, now you need to find one which one it is.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by mlb50 »

Pull the HT leads from the coils, make sure the terminals are dry and bright.
Is the auto advance intact and the springs on the bob weights retracting?
Are the rocker to valve clearances OK? If a valve is even a poofteenth off its seat it can cause rough running.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

This first video is the right side or timing side
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

This is the left hand side or non timing side
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

I proceeded to have a fiddle and eventually pulled the plug cap off the right hand side of my engine. The engine smoothed right out. It was only running on 1 cylinder ( left) but all the lumpiness was gone.
So if the engine runs ok on LHS, can I eliminate points or are these still a contender?
I have ordered a coil and another condenser, and will check my connections.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by BasilF »

Doesn't the TR5 have two contact breaker points and two condensers? So you can only eliminate the left hand ones.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Noted, thanks
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

BasilF wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:56 pm Doesn't the TR5 have two contact breaker points and two condensers? So you can only eliminate the left hand ones.
The TR5T used the same engine as the T100R Daytona. The only differences were the Standard radius lifters, Single Carburetor and the special sleeve nuts/studs to get the head off while the motor was in the BSA frame.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Davidg44 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:48 pm I proceeded to have a fiddle and eventually pulled the plug cap off the right hand side of my engine. The engine smoothed right out. It was only running on 1 cylinder ( left) but all the lumpiness was gone.
So if the engine runs ok on LHS, can I eliminate points or are these still a contender?
I have ordered a coil and another condenser, and will check my connections.
You can switch the coil wires and spark plug wires between the left and right side. Then if the right side starts to run good and left side stumbles-- the reverse of what you have now---then it is a bad coil. But if it does not make a difference, then the problems is something else. Points, timing or internal engine problem.
You can do the same with the condensers. Just swap the two wires and see what happens, no change, they they are good. Simple process of elimination.
The coils ground through the points. when the points are closed they charge the coil and create a magnetic field. It is when the points open, that the magnetic field collapses and the coil "sparks". That is why you set the timing the moment they open. You can simply swap the wires from the points to the coils and also swap the spark plug wires. You are in effect still using the same points and timing to the same cylinder, but you are using the other coil. So you are seeing if the problem moves to the other cylinder, if it does, then you rule out the points and timing because that has not changed. all that is left is a problem with the coil.
The White/blue power wire comes from the kill switch and powers both coils, it is negative. Check to see that it is clean on both coil terminals. the coil positive terminals go to each of the points they are the Black/White and the Black/ Yellow wires. So you can swap the Black/white with he Black /Yellow and then swap the two spark plug wires. start it up, problem changes sides, then it is the coil, problem still on the same side, then it it points/timing or engine. Swap with the two condensers wires, swap them and see what happens. No change and they are OK, problem moves to the other cylinder and then you have a bad condenser.
so--
Swap the White/blue wire on the two coils--- No change-- put back the way it was. change in bad cylinder-- it is the problem
Swap the two wires going to the condensers -- No change-- put back the way it was. change in bad cylinder-- it is the problem
Swap the point to coil wires and the spark plug wires ---- No change-- put back the way it was. change in bad cylinder-- it is the problem
If none of this moves the problem to the other side then it is mechanical.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Hi all,
I swapped yellow/ black wire at coil with white / back of coil, and spark plug wires. No change.
I then realised I was still going through original condensers so swapped those over too- no change
So I am tending towards points or mechanical.
I have taken a video of points. Both sparking but black/white side is feinted at normal speed.
Points are new
Bike now starts first or second kick
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

This is a slowed down video of points. Sparking seems fairly regular but see what you think.
If you look close at the black/ yellow sparks I cannot say for certain that there is a spark every time. Maybe 3 or 4 missing throughout the 7 second video. This is the side with the problem. The white/black side has a spark every time

If this is all tending towards points or mechanical, where do I start. Not sure where to go now?
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Those points are working enough to fire the spark plugs.
You are making progress, you can now rule out the coils and the condensers.
You are left with proper timing and mechanical. Have you done a compression check? Pull the rocker covers on the bad side and kick the motor over and check to be sure that the push rods are going up and down and that the rocker arms have not jumped out of the pushrod cup. And check the rocker to valve gap.
Still possible to have a bad connection from the point to the coil. Are the connectors clean and solid?
Is the exhaust pipe on the bad side getting hot?
Looking at the points on the right side, the Black/wire wire one. That looks like arcing/splash on the adjuster screw and area. That is not normal.
I would replace that side's points. Or if you do not have new points, then swap the points around, retime. If the problem moves, you have found it. if it does not then it is time to look at the motor.
Jeff
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

With regards to arcing splash, I noticed this myself.
It is oil from a little over application to the sponges. I wiped it off and cleaned the points. The spark was then a lot brighter. However this is on my good side!
I will try swapping my points over.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

You are doing good, it is a simple matter of a process of elimination. Plus look at all of the hands on learning that you are getting.
" Triumph, turning boys into Mechanics" :thumb :thumb
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Any Progress?
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Jeff, progress of sorts. Thanks for asking.
I bit the bullet and took off the head. I reseated the valves, changed seals, tempered the copper gasket and re assembled. Compression was 120-130. I reset the valve clearances.
Re-started the bike and the misfire had changed sides. I then changed the points on the new bad side for a new one. The bike now starts 2nd kick.
First mile was smooth, second mile was a little rough but not as bad as before. If I coast along then all seems relatively smooth. But if I am heavy on the throttle then it starts to miss and jerk
Enclosed are left and right plugs after 2 mile journey.
Bike still seems to be getting very hot to me. I couldn’t touch the plugs five minutes after stopping due to the heat. Not sure if that is normal or excessive heat.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Air leak can cause a lean mixture. Good seal at the intake manifold to head is needed, check for warp . Do you have the choke still on it. You can try using the choke quickly on-off after it has warmed up . see what happens, smooths out then you are lean. Bottom plugs electrode has more residue on it then the top one? You want a nice tan color, not white or whitish tan. At what rpm/throttle opening does it start to miss when warmed up. Use this to pin point what part of the carburetor is in use and then go back and try a richer setting or jet.
Start out 1/4 throttle, 1/2 throttle, 3/4 throttle, full throttle and see where the problem starts.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by eebtr7 »

As anyone yet suggested replacing an ignition coil, or two? I'm too lazy to go back thru the thread.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Yes earlier, switched the wires to see if the miss would switch to the other side and confirm bad coil. Miss stayed on the one side.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Looking at your photos again.
The very 1st photo in your 1st posting the top plug looks good, nice tan color. The last two photos look a little lighter in color. That could just be the lighting or the photo. But the lighter color normally would indicate lean. I think that you have it down now to a couple of areas. Lean or timing. Timing would be too far advanced. Some bike run better due to the typical gas that we now have with a little less advance.
The other area is running lean. I use old car 'Exhaust gas analyzer'", A big 12v powered O2 meter. I warm the bike up and then slower open the throttle and pause at all of the opening ranges in the Amal Chart and see what it says. I know right now if I am rich or lean.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

My old meter is 40+ years old and still working, as a side note a long gone friends dad used to be a WWII mechanic and worked on B24 bombers. They used a similar gauge to what I have, old solid technology.
I can not find anything on line to what I have, but there are a lot of leads to DIY newer versions of it. This one seemed like one of the better ones. note that it uses a heated O2 sensor and will require a 12v power source. With this you can shove the probe in the warmed up the bike and then as you open up the throttle you will see right now how the carburetor is working.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpk6aY1inK8&t=402s
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by eebtr7 »

Again...I am too lazy to dig deep into the thread, but... have you replaced one or both of the ignition condensors? I ask because I have just fought a similar battle with poor running that included misfires. After replacing the condensor, it seems to be running far stronger. In a little bit I will fire up the Dragon's Breath for yet another carburetion adjustment and ignition recheck. Like you, this misfire condition came out of the clear blue sky.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Both condensers are new. From where I was on the first test ride. I.e limping home, pretty much on one cylinder, I am in a far better position now. The miss is just a noticeable blip in power as you are riding. If I get off the bike and pull each plug cap off one by one, the bike continues to run on individual cylinders. You could not do this before.
A couple of things to mention.
The new wiring harness fitted did not have a red lead to the engine brace that bolts to the head. The old one had a triple red wire attached here!!
Also, my timing method is with a cigarette paper as I don’t understand the light method. I am unsure of where I need to connect wires. When setting the timing, I find the points back plate has to be hard anti clockwise to allow me to set the points. If it is more central, I run out of adjustment on one of the points. Both points are new.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Jeff K »

Cheap fail safe timing tester. Go to a hardware store, I like Menards and buy a cheap continuity tester. Remove small timing cover from primary, Use the small washer to lock the auto advance in full advance. Now unplug one of the two wires that go from the pointe to the coil. Clip one of the continuity lights leads to it and ground the other one out to the engine. Remove spark plugs, put bike in top gear and bump the rear tire around until the light goes on. gently bump the tire forward until the light goes out and you have the exact point that the points are firing the spark plug. Check to see where that point is on the rotor and pin. Adjust as needed, repeat for the other side. Works best on the center stand, something that the TR5T does not have, so you will have to improvise. Late model triumph 650 Oil in frame Center stand with about 2" added to the middle can be made to fit the TR5T. Can you post a photo of you points?
Gardner Bender® Heavy-Duty Continuity Tester.
Model Number: GCT-3304 Menards ® SKU: 3642692
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by eebtr7 »

Okay, here we go with the SUPER-DOOPER El Cheapo BSA tools.

Many years ago, I purloined the seat belt buzzer from a 1980 Chevy Malibu. With two pieces of scrap wire, four female electrical connectors and two clothespins the Official BSA Factory Ignition Points tester was assembled and attached to the points arm with one lead and the other lead clipped to ground.

As the engine was rotated, the buzzer merrily stopped sounding off when the points opened. This indicated where the timing was set on the rotor.

I tried to write BSA R&D with this amazing discovery, but the factory had been scraped clean down to the dirt by then. The realization occurred that I was now the Official BSA warranty department for any and all repairs.

Total cost for this wonderous new tool? $0.00US.
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Here is a photo of my points. As you can see, the back plate is fairly hard counter clockwise
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by beat »

Davidg44 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:48 pm still seems to be getting very hot to me.
plug seems to be still very dry to me.....

beat <017
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Re: TR5T running poorly

Post by Davidg44 »

Jeff K wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:13 pm Now unplug one of the two wires that go from the pointe to the coil.
Is this at the coil end?
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