Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The One Off, Finned Rigid Frame Intake Manifold

Made in the mid 1950's or earlier by a old Triumph speed freak. Never completely finished so obviously, never ran. A shame for a piece of speed equipment that is so unique and so nicely made, but how cool! The holes running up the center are for cooling and the two larger holes at the bottom are threaded to carry spare spark plugs. The tube intakes come together nicely and looking inside it does look like it would flow extremely well. Fitting it up to a Triumph 650 cylinder head it seems to me that it was not meant for iron heads as the the rocker oil return tubes hit the manifold, but then again, some of the late 1940's Iron Tigers did not have these lines so maybe it is actually built for a late '40's Triumph? It came from the collection of the guy that is pictured on page #22 of Lindsay Brookes "Triumph Motorcycles In America" that is dated 1948.

It sure fits nicely on a alloy head and the fin spacing matches too. Besides the great finned aspect of the piece, the placement of the carb really makes it. I tried to picture it the best I could with this quick mock up, trying to show the tight fitment that could not be any better in a factory rigid frame with the angle and minimum clearance, tucking into the area that the battery box would normally be. Imagine it finished and detailed with CHROMED intake tubes! A one of a kind show and go piece, up for bid now. *HERE*

Sunday, March 18, 2012

800cc Chantland Triumph Torque Engine

About five or six years ago I bought a NOS Chantland big bore kit from a big time museum/collector seller on ebay. I had been doing my research on the history and specifications of the various period big bore cylinder kits for Triumph engines and recognised this one as something special. The first cylinder the seller sent me looked good at first glance, but upon closer inspection I found that the whole thing had been machined off center, making it a really cool looking and expensive paper weight. Long story short, after some arguing back and forth, I managed to get this one in exchange by coughing up some more money and returning the bad one. He only had the two and I now had the only good one. At that point I had about $900 into it. What we have here is an extremely rare Chantland 800 kit. I had seen ads for them in the AMDRA motorcycle drag racing rule books from the early 1970's, but when I talked to Sid, the son of Bob Chantland, who has an ongoing interest in his Dad's work and vintage Triumphs, he had never even heard of the 800 kit, deepening the mystery.

Sid Chantland gave me the original Chantland instructions which are a treasure trove of good advice written by Bob Chantland and are helpful for any big bore cylinder installation. These original instructions that came with all the 750 kits make no mention of the 800 kit and its anomalies. The 800 cylinder has a 3.060" standard bore that allows a oversizes up to 3.100" and some interesting details of the Chantland 800 kit are that the 3/8" headbolt studs are turned down to 5/16" at the cylinder to allow for sleeve clearance and a ten bolt arrangement that differs at the center two bolts from the Triumph late model pattern and the Routt 10-bolt pattern as well. My problems with the kit as it was were that the special studs were not concentric or straight, the head gasket that came with it was crap, and the pistons were forged 10.5 to 1 compression ratio. Forged pistons for the big bore kits from this era were designed for racing and not street use.

Enter Marino, founder of MAP Cycle in Florida. I've been a follower of MAP products for about the past 20 years, using many of their parts over the years, but never having a chance to build a big bore engine based heavily on MAP parts, until now. After some phone conversations and a lot of emails back and forth with Marino this is what we came up with. Ten specially made studs to replace the originals (with four more coming so I can use a 1971-72 cylinder head), three tailor made head gaskets to fit the unique bolt pattern and the large bore, wire to fit the custom groove he machined around the bore holes, specially fit alloy tappet blocks, and custom made 8.5 to 1 forged 3.070" big bore pistons. MAP also honed the cylinders to fit the new pistons using a torque plate.

Marino recommended the wire grooves for better headgasket sealing.

When I told Marino that I wanted to build a engine with the emphasis on torque and we were talking what kind of pistons to use instead of the 10.5 to 1's that came with it, he came up with the idea to use 8.5 to 1's. After thinking about it for a little bit I really started to like the idea since this top end is going on a 1961 TR6C that is going to be based on period SoCal cross country desert sled parts. When I looked into the stock specs for the TR6 models during the Bud Ekins era I found that the TR6 engines of the time were all running 8.5 to 1 pistons. Since the overall design of the 800 cylinder has everything pushed out to the max, with even the cylinder sleeves breaking out of the casting around the base studs (look closely at the pics, this did bother Marino) I decided it best to go this way. The benefits of using the Chantland 800 cylinder besides super neat looks, will be lighter weight than stock, better cooling, and a big bump in the torque department and additional HP.

Some other MAP parts collected so far for this build are billet connecting rods, alloy four spring clutch pressure plate, alloy pushrod tubes and pushrods, oversize black diamond valves and alloy collars/keepers.

Megacycle 510-05 cams for low to mid range power and a Morgo oil pump to keep the pressure up. Now to get a crankshaft balanced to 85% with these parts.

For the best high performance Triumph parts made from knowledge gained through experience by people who live modified Triumph's you need to go to MAP.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Post 1962 8-Bolt Pre-unit Cylinder Heads

So I made a quick trip over to the Jackass Journal recently, as I do a few times per year to check the few things worth seeing that might have popped up, and found a little discussion on 8-bolt pre-unit heads that are made from the post 1962 9-bolt casting. I was feeling generous and decided I would chime in, only to find out that I had been "Banned for Life" from a previous post made many moons ago that had rubbed the now deceased Jackass in cheif the wrong way. I wasn't even trying, but take great pleasure in the banned for life status now.

Anyhoo, before you guys scour your partsbooks and bug the old timers that have now forgotton more than most bobber jockey's will ever know, let's accept that sometimes the most obvious answer can expain sufficeintly, without a need to over think it.

The cylinder head above is listed on ebay now, and I have to agree with the jj poster that said for the price they're trying to get for it, a couple more 15 cent pictures would have been nice. I already knew that Triumph had made replacement heads for the 650 pre-units from the new 1963 model head casting, but the above mentioned listing was news to me that late model casting replacement heads were also made for the pre-unit 500's. Being that the pre-unit 500 models had not been made for about 5 years at that point it's pretty cool that Triumph offered these for owners of those used bikes. These 8-bolt heads with the 9-bolt casting were sold as replacement parts needed for repair or upgrade to dual or single carb arrangements and would have been ordered through your local parts dealer.

Here's one from my stash for a 650 engine with Webco collars/keepers. The date casting looks like '64. When I owned the original cylinder head from the dragbike Kepaloa, it had of these 9-bolt casting heads as well. As the story goes, when Al Brown wanted to convert his 1957 street/custom TR6 to full blown drag racer, he bought one of these replacement heads new and had the works done to it. I believe these heads were made available at least into the mid 1960's

My opinion is that these heads are more desireable than the originals since they must be stronger, and for anything but the earliest of period correct builds, will be period correct too. The two of theses I've had did not have cracks in the combustion chambers as almost all of the original aluminum 8-bolt 650 heads do.

Cylinder heads weren't the only late model casting part made for pre-unit engines. Here we have a std. bore 8-bolt cylinder that has the 9-bolt casting with the enlarged area for the tappet oiling junction that was introduced in 1966. It was on a pre-unit engine that had unstamped cases, another part made available through the 1960's, leading me to think that the builder had bought the cases and cylinder new in the mid '60s for a rebuild.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The GOOD STUFF ebay parts sale

Some of the really good stuff from my parts vault is listed for sale this week HERE.

Regrettfully parting with some of the best to pay for family needs and keep projects going...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Latest info for M&H Dragslicks

For All who have bought and are wanting to buy 18x4 slicks, We have sold enough for M&H tire to include them in their inventory.
So if there is a M&H distributor near you, you can buy direct from them. I ask that you do so to support M&H for reproducing them,
and keeping tires available for the future. This is a big part of bringing back vintage drag racing.
Stay in touch if you need my help securing one,and let us know how you do with it.
Stay tuned for the results of the 4" Challenge on the NVMDRA Blog, Fast mph,quickest time and best burnout.
Wayne Skinner
Founder NVMDRA

NVMDRA Website

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John Woody's Big D Triumph 500 at Bonneville

Big D using the late triple trees on a factory rigid frame bike for Bonneville circa 1988.

If you havn't been there you NEED to check the Big D Cycle Website & Blog.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Standard - Deraked - or Raked ???

Original factory triple trees

1960 & later triple trees

Raked neck or stretched and lowered rear?

In the top two pictures you can see that there is a BIG difference in rake angle and looks between using the original pre-1960 fork lugs and post-1960 trees. I am trying to decide what parts to keep to build one killer rigid frame pre-unit showbike, and then sell the extra parts I have. One of the things I doing some chin scratching about, is the decision to use early or late trees. I'm leaning towards the latter...

Kustomhut is clearing out some parts again to fund projects and make room. Gonna have some really good stuff coming up for sale. Keep track of it all HERE.