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View Full Version : The dreaded Sludge Trap



Torch
08-27-2009, 11:14 AM
This is a sample of a full sludge trap that grenaded a perfectly good motor...

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/8-25-09001.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/8-25-09002.jpg

billybiltit
08-27-2009, 1:17 PM
oh man,sorry to hear about that.so the sludge trap is actually in the rod pin?how does crap get in there?does the oil pass through this pin to oil it.i have always wondered about the sludge trap but don't know anything,i have a 1968 t120r that i am slowly bringing back to road worthyness.

leon holmes

KT
08-27-2009, 5:04 PM
yeppers oils the rod bearings in the bottom end here ya go this will show ya

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I hear all the time that the trap is one of the most over looked things on a triumph rebuild people do the top end and shit but never break the crank down ..

BlueCollarMoto
08-27-2009, 7:25 PM
Wow! That didn't look so full!

Torch
08-27-2009, 8:11 PM
Wow! That didn't look so full!

Yes it was only 1/2 full but that was the half that had the oil passages in it.
the second pic of the screwdriver was after i gouged out a bunch of sludge,
The sludge trap is a centrifugal filter located in the center of the crank shaft as it spins all the dirt will stick to the outside of the tube, in this case the dirt was enough to cover both of the oil passage holes. when that happens the left hand rod gets no more oil, it heats up and breaks in half and then most of the time it destroys the cases, as did this one.
I will try and post a pic of the cases for you guys to see.
this bike was an all original 1965 TR6 SC. and we got it running for the owner and advised him that it was a well used motor and he would be well advised to split the cases and clean everything up, he opted to ride it for a while and took it home the next day he called and said the engine exploded.
Even being the asshole I am, I could not say " I told you so" to this poor guy.

BlueCollarMoto
08-27-2009, 8:53 PM
Even being the asshole I am, I could not say " I told you so" to this poor guy.

MAYBE YOU SHOULD. Wouldn't be the first time someone tried to sue someone for not telling them something needs to be done. Ya, I know you told him, but that's the way it plays out in court.

Always cover your ass.

Torch
08-27-2009, 10:50 PM
MAYBE YOU SHOULD. Wouldn't be the first time someone tried to sue someone for not telling them something needs to be done. Ya, I know you told him, but that's the way it plays out in court.

Always cover your ass.

Yes, The customer was informed about the sludge trap and we are currently building him another motor, we have B.A.R. leagal invoices with that recommendation noted on there, we also have two other examples of engine damage that we showed him before his engine blew.

ClassicCycles
08-28-2009, 9:27 AM
Yup....We always recommend a motor rebuild for anything that's been sitting as long as this motor had, luckily when it blew we were not the ones riding it ;)... Anyways, we are working with the customer to ensure a fair priced rebuild and helped locate cases to replace the blown up ones.

Andy

fouraceswes
08-28-2009, 11:00 AM
He should try to keep or repair the cases, a TR6SC is a valuable motorcycle, but only with matching numbers.

Torch
08-28-2009, 1:51 PM
He should try to keep or repair the cases, a TR6SC is a valuable motorcycle, but only with matching numbers.

I have given some thought to re-adjusting the numbers on the new cases to appear as a sympathetic imprersonation of the SC numbers, for show purposes only...of course!
Besides there is a 6 square inch chunk if case that is missing on the orig. cases.

BlueCollarMoto
08-28-2009, 9:39 PM
we also have two other examples of engine damage that we showed him before his engine blew.

I remember seeing one of em last time I was at the shop. Big hole! Ouch!

Torch
08-29-2009, 8:06 PM
here is the picture of the cases. I really don't think I can fix this...

<a href="http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/?action=view&current=DSC01797.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/DSC01797.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

TroyFab
08-29-2009, 9:31 PM
Looks like something from Iraq.

KT
08-29-2009, 10:34 PM
WoW I guess that did blow that is pretty much pop cans now ...I have fixed unit cases in the back were the gear box blew and tore small hole but no way have seen any like that

Choppedtriumphs
08-30-2009, 3:25 AM
here is the picture of the cases. I really don't think i can fix this...

<a href="http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/?action=view&current=dsc01797.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e288/ziovan/dsc01797.jpg" border="0" alt="photobucket"></a>

ouch !!

NickHaints
08-30-2009, 9:20 AM
I watched a buddy of mine get the sludge trap out of his motor yesterday.........talk about a process.

camoback
08-30-2009, 4:22 PM
JB WELD fixes all!!!

Torch
08-30-2009, 8:13 PM
JB WELD fixes all!!!

Wow Thanks man, i never thought of that, I'm on my way down to get a 5 gal drum of JB weld........
joke...

Torch
10-29-2009, 10:15 PM
This just in...........We have sent the contents of a really baddly plugged sludge trap to a chemist for analization.
we have some quesses of our own, I'm thinking lead and zink, but we will see when we get the results back.......any of you college edumicated dudes care to make a guess?

Gepetto
10-30-2009, 9:58 PM
Wait a second ass hole I said I thought it was zinc in the old type oil. You still owe me lunch at Scottie's when you are proven wrong.

WolfHunter
12-31-2009, 10:34 PM
Hundred Thousand Dollar Question:

My 73 Tiger TR7V has 10,000 miles on it. (w regular oil changes)
At what point would a teardown to clean the sludge trap be recommended?

Are there any " signifiers" to determine a clogged sludge trap without doing a full tear down?

Torch
12-31-2009, 11:47 PM
These questions are tough to answer,

In my opinion

1st- 10k miles is not an awful lot of miles,
2nd- oils changed in the 1970's, many of the oils manufactures went to detergent oils, these oils kept the dirt suspended in the oil and may not did not sludge up according to their commercials. (who knows if that works in the sludge trap).
3rd- regular oil changes do make a difference in the engine life.
and as for the outside indicators of a plugged sludge trap there is none that I am aware of. The oil pressure is measured before the sludge trap. when the trap is plugging up it turns the rods blue/black from heat but you won't see that unless you pull the jugs.

Usually the only indicator of a plugged sludge is the engine explodes.

WolfHunter
01-01-2010, 12:24 AM
Thanx for the info Torch,
For a neophyte like myself, your knowledge is invaluable.

My plan then is to install an after market oil filter
because I regard the lack of one as a weak link in the design and engineering of the the Triumph motor.

Torch
01-01-2010, 12:52 AM
Thanx for the info Torch.
For a neophyte like myself, your knowledge is invaluable.

My plan is to install an after market oil filter and an inline oil pressure gauge
(to determine what oil pressure i have -according to the Triumph Workshop Manual specs.)

Question: where is the best place to install the oil pressure gauge? I'm guessing somewhere before the rocker boxes?
The line going to the rockerboxes in part of the return oil system and does not have anything with the oil pressure to the internal parts of the engine. The best place for an oil pressure gauge is to "T" off the oil pressure indicator light switch on the cam cover, but beware the oil pressure often times goes to 80psi and above, that is more than normal over the counter oil gauges can handle. and the vibrations are killers of gauges too.
If you oil pressure indicator light on your headlight is working you are more likely see that.
and if you spend time looking down at a gauge you may miss the car doing and emergency stop in front of you .
I am not a big believer in oil pressure gauges or oil filters ether. the filters interfere with the oil return flow and cause too much pressure to go to the rocker feed line and that oil never sees the filter anyway.
in my opinion if you just do regular oil changes and you will be fine.

Jethro
01-01-2010, 8:15 PM
I can not overemphasize the need to run an external oil filter in the RETURN line only. It will absolutely reduce the chance of sludge forming in the first place in the sludge trap and will not interfere at all in return flow if it is a motorcycle filter, and changed every 1-2000 miles.

..."Be sure that you plumb the filter into the oil line that returns engine oil back to the oil tank.
The Triumph oil pump cannot be counted on to create enough vacuum to suction highly
viscous motor oil through a very fine filter during cool temperatures. Trying to place the
filter on the oil line feeding the engine will quickly result in massive engine damage. It is
always better to have the oil pump pushing oil through the filter, and the only way to have
that is to use the return oil line. On all ”unit-construction” Triumph engines, the rear-most
oil port is the engine oil return."

Reprinted from RF WHATLEY at www.GABMA.us

Torch
01-02-2010, 10:34 AM
I can not overemphasize the need to run an external oil filter in the RETURN line only. It will absolutely reduce the chance of sludge forming in the first place in the sludge trap and will not interfere at all in return flow if it is a motorcycle filter, and changed every 1-2000 miles.

..."Be sure that you plumb the filter into the oil line that returns engine oil back to the oil tank.
The Triumph oil pump cannot be counted on to create enough vacuum to suction highly
viscous motor oil through a very fine filter during cool temperatures. Trying to place the
filter on the oil line feeding the engine will quickly result in massive engine damage. It is
always better to have the oil pump pushing oil through the filter, and the only way to have
that is to use the return oil line. On all ”unit-construction” Triumph engines, the rear-most
oil port is the engine oil return."

Reprinted from RF WHATLEY at www.GABMA.us
We all have different opinions on what works well and what looks good , that's all good.
But I would rather split the cases and clean the trap every 2 months than hang an oil filter on my bike, and I hate to see Mikuni carbs on a Brit bike even worse.
That's just me.