VIDEO: Triumph 650 Motorcycle Engine Disassembly & Rebuild Part 9

This is the ninth part (check out part eight here) in our extremely popular video series in which Todd Muller, Head Motorcycle Tech here at Lowbrow Customs, disassembles a unit 650 c.c. Triumph motorcycle engine and rebuilds it.In this installment Todd gives you a step by step guide on how to button up that timing chest on your Triumph 650 rebuild. Giving detailed steps on how to re-install your cam and pinion gears all while making sure they are timed correctly. He will also show you how easy it is to install a new oil pump, pressure relief valve and seals in your timing cover.

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You can read a full transcription of this video below:

Hey, guys, Todd from Lowbrow here again. Welcome back. Today, we're going to continue on with our Triumph 650 engine rebuild series. We're going to button up the timing chest area today. I'm going to show you how to put the cam gears back on, and set your cam timing and all this other good stuff we got going on here.

Generally, first thing I'd like to do is go ahead and put the exhaust and intake cams back on. There's a special tool required for this. It is actually the same tool we use to remove them. You just use it a little bit differently. After I get those two gears on, then we'll go ahead and install the pinion gear on the crank. Once we get that on there, we can set our timing.

Once the timing's set, we can put our new oil pump on. I do like to use new oil pumps. I know there's a little test in the book where it tells you to put your fingers over the hole and pull on the plungers, blah, blah, blah. Well, after I've done all this other work, I don't really want to use the oil pump. We stock this very nicely made, made in England by LF Harris Triumph 650 oil pump. I highly recommend it. I use these all the time.

We're also going to be using this SRM pressure relief valve that's going to go in this hole right here. Once we get everything all done in there, we'll go ahead and put our seals and our cover, and along with our gasket. I got some new screws here and we'll be done with this portion of the program.

All right. On the cam gears, we have these little keys. That little key will be inserted in that key way on the camshaft for both cams. We have two keys. Then you have this nut goes on here to drive your oil pump. This nut goes on here. If you may remember from when we took it apart, see it says LH. No that doesn't stand for my coworker Long Hair, that stands for left hand, left-hand threads. Okay.

I like to put a paint dot on my pinion gears. Notice how the dot on there is the key way which we also have this Woodruff key that will be inserted in this on the crankshaft. That dot is for timing purposes, for the intermediate gear has timing marks on it. I like to put a paint dot on there because you may notice by the time you get this nut on there, wow, you can't see that dot anymore. If this tightens up at a point where one of those is covering it, you can't see it so I just like to put a little paint dot on there.

We also have this washer, this machined washer that will be inserted over the crankshaft before putting this gear on. It has a bevel on it and also a key way. Bevel is going to face in, so once we insert our key, we can put this on and then put our key on like so. It's imperative that you have that washer on your crank before putting this gear on. If you do not put the washer on it, it makes it very difficult to remove this gear with the puller that was shown earlier in the series.

We'll go ahead and get these keys situated in there and this one in there. Then we're going to show you how to use the installer tool. Here's our tool that we also use to remove. When we remove the cam gears, we had this tool set up like this. This threaded onto there and we tighten this down and it popped it off. Well, for putting it back on, we're going to remove this part of the tool and we're going to be using this.

Before I thread it on, this is going to thread onto here just like it did before when we pulled it, but we're going to use this to install it. That's going to thread on there and when you are threading the tool on to the gear, make sure it is engaged as fully as you possibly can all the way down on to those threads on there. That is the reason why we don't want to use a hammer and a socket to pound this on there. That's totally wrong, not going to work right for two reasons.

Number one, see the cam goes in and out until you get that gear on there, that's normal to see that. Once the gear is installed, it won't move in and out like that because the gear will be keeping the cam out.

If you were to use a socket and hammer this on this, guess what's going to happen? You're going to booger up those threads. Then the next guy that goes to take the motor apart in 40 years from now like it is now, 40 years from before, he's going to try to thread this on and guess what, it's not going to thread because someone used a socket and a hammer to install their cam gear. Don't beat your cam gears. Okay.

Along with that piece of the tool, we have this. Now you may notice the threads on there are two different sizes. It has two adapters. Since that's a left hand nut, this is going to thread on there left-handed, like so. This tool is a little bit different than the one we have on the site, where this one has the adapter that threads into that one, so one piece does both cam gears, where our tool has two of this piece so that it has the two different size threads. Just a variation of the same tool.

We'll go ahead and do the exhaust cam first. You see that's the larger of the two threads. I'm just going to need to thread these two together. The other thing that I like to do is always make sure that your tool is going to slide through there nicely, and it does. I've actually sanded this one down a little bit to get it to slide in and out of the other gear. We'll show you when we get to that one.

Step one put your little tiny key in your groove there. Pull your cam out. Okay. Normally these keys just slip right in there. These are giving me a hard time here, so what I'm going to do is I'm just going to use a punch and tap it down into the key way there. What I'm doing now is making sure that it's orientated correctly. See that, and it's going in with the other side is nut. Okay.

I'm just going to use this punch and I'm going to carefully tap that key. See how it's sticking up more on this side. I want to roll it down a little bit so that when this is meeting up with the key way on here, this can go on, it doesn't push that key out and go around to the backside which is no bueno.

Okay, I got my key in there. Now I want to put this on the timing dot key way, this key way, because there's my timing dot. Okay?

We'll kind of take a look there. Yes, that looks good. Now we'll go ahead and we'll install our tool on the end of the cam. Now you'll see why it's important that the cam gear-- See how I'm putting my finger in the hole here to keep the cam from moving in.

Okay. Before I slide my gear on, I'm going to go ahead and use a sharpie. I'm going to draw a line on the tool where the middle of the key way is because I won't be able to see the key once I slide this home. There's our dot. There's our key. There's our line. You get this on here and slide that all the way up to the key. Feels like it's right. Okay. Now that we've got this portion of the tool attached to the end of the cam, key way in the slot, key way with the dot lined up, we'll put this piece of the tool on over this and thread it down being careful not to turn it. Okay.

We're going to take our hardened washer and our left-handed thread nut. Now, as we tighten this nut, it's going to force that gear onto that key. You may notice how my tool has got all those marks on it. You'll see why in just a sec. This is why.

That's a tight one. Feels like it's going pretty good. If you're concerned that it doesn't, if it's really, really, really hard, when you're going on, you could take this off and look and make sure that everything's lined up, but it feels like it's going okay. Okay. Since it was real hard going, I just wanted to double check and make sure everything was all lined up and the key was still in the groove, because like I said, sometimes the key will slip out and go behind the gear.

It was very hard going so I went ahead and took the nut, the washer, and this piece off. Now, you see I've still got that much to go before it's tight. What I'm doing here is I'm just looking with my flashlight. I can see that everything's lined up. There's the line I made with the marker and the key way is in the groove. It's just going hard, that's all, so we're going to keep going. Okay. We'll go ahead and got it all the way on there. We'll take this off.

Check to make sure it's fully home. We're done with that one. Go ahead and do the intake. Once again, the key seems to be having a hard time getting in the groove. You want to make sure that the front of the key is flush with this right here. It doesn't hurt if you make the front of the key just slightly down. You don't want it like this in the groove. Because then as this goes on, if it hits it, it'll push it out. Let's have a look here and make sure we liked where it's at. Yes, that looks pretty good right there.

Looks like it could be down just a little tiny bit more. There she goes. I just saw it move. Okay. If it's down a little in the front, that helps it go on, and once this key way starts going on, it will center itself, not center but it'll orientate itself correctly. Okay. Once again, key with the dot, there's our dot. Now, since this is smaller than that, we're going to take this piece off and put this one on. Same thing goes for this as the other tool. Make sure you have it threaded as far as you can. Okay. We're going to mark it, center of the key.

All right. We've sent this one home. Loosen our nut, remove our tool, check the engagement. Take your time when doing this portion of the job, no hurry. There we go. Look at that. Beautiful. You will see that's that breather gear in there, that little bit of play. That's perfectly normal. It's a beautiful thing. Both gears installed, dots lined up with the key way. Bada bing. Okay.

Next put our pinion gear on, washer on, bevel in. I always like to have this facing straight up and down for when I'm getting ready at a time because that's the position this is going to be in when you put the middle gear on, the intermediate gear. Let's see how this key fits. That one went right in there, no problem. Once again if it doesn't go right in, check to make sure it's the sides, something that's not making it go in. If it's buggered up real bad, you might want to replace it.

It's not a problem if it goes right in. If it looks like it's in good shape and it's not going right in, a little tap with your punch. Bottom it out. Okay. Get that one started evenly like so and we're going to use this socket to drive it home. Not a problem. It really isn't a tool for putting this on. There we go. Boom. Done. Make sure you choose the socket that will fit over that, because if it hits that it won't go on. Okay. Piece of cake.

Now, we'll go ahead and put our nuts on and get them torqued. This nut, you may notice how the shoulder, obviously that's going to face in. I think we talked about this on disassembly but Oldham Fist Harry decided he wanted to punch the damn thing. Put a punch mark on the threads and it coincides with a punch mark on there. Not a good idea. We're just going to put a little drop of red Loctite on there. Okay.

The next thing we're going to talk about is setting the cam timing. This is a gear that came out of the motors, it's called the intermediate gear. I'm just going to have some marks on it. It's going to have two long dashes. Those are going to face down to my dot there. It's going to have a dot here,that's going to face the exhaust cam to that dot. Then it's going to have two dashes. Normally is you're going to see a long and a short dash. This particular gear happens have do two long dashes, don't be concerned about that.

I have a book open here to the page that also shows this. You can see this in your workshop manual, whether it be a Triumph book or this is a Haynes, and it's going to show you how they all line up and there's a notation in here about the long dash, short dash. It says, long dash for T120 TR6, short dash for 6T. Well this is a T120, we're going to line it up to long dash. Long dash is on the bottom. For this gear that has two long dashes, I'm going to go to the bottom one here.

We'll go ahead and put it on here. When you're putting this home here, you're going to want to-- There's my dash, dash to that one. Then you're going to want to turn this gear until that dot is going to line up with that dot. Would you look at that? That one's almost there. We want the long dash which would traditionally be on the bottom. That should be it right there. You're just going to kind of get it all on there like so. Sometimes you got to-- Once that everything gets lined up just right, it'll slide right in there.

I can see this one's not lined up good. There it goes. Now once you've got it slid home, you can double check your work. There's your two long dashes for that dot, dot to the bottom

line on here because that would be the long dash if it had a short and long dot-to-dot. That's it, it's timed.

Okay, as mentioned previously, I'm going to put a bit a little bit of red Loctite on this, a couple of drops. Don't need to be excessive with your red Loctite. This is standard thread, not left. Normally, this should thread on very nicely but it's a little tight because of the punch mark that was on there, so we'll just use our ratchet to bring it on down. That's pretty good there.

We are going to use the same way when we remove the nuts, we're going to use this to torque that. Is that going to be in the right place or not? Yes, that's going to be good. Now, since I've only been able to find one torque spec for this in any book and it's an actual Triumph book, and it does say 80-foot pounds, I think that might be a little excessive. Let's run her up to 50 and see how that's feeling and then we'll go from there.

There’s 50. Let's just see, let's go up to 75. There she is. I'm pretty happy with that. Look, the flat of our nut is actually showing the dot, that's a miracle. Okay. I don't really think red Loctite is necessary on these because they are left-handed. They can't turn themselves off. We're going to have to switch our torque wrench to off because once again left-hand thread. This would be easier if I was using the leverage on this side, rather than trying to go up with it, I'm going to go down.

There she goes. This is a different size. It's again left in threads, and that was set at 75. I'm pretty happy with that. There we go. Next thing we can do, just go ahead and put our oil pump on. Cut these two odd lock washers and use that Whitworth wrench on those nuts. Probably not a bad idea to pull your plungers out and take a look down in there make sure it looks good, there's nothing from the machining process of making a pump in there. I'm going to clean that gasket surface off.

We're going to replace with a new gasket. You'll see there's a series of holes on here and it's going to need to go like this because you've got these two holes and that long slot's going to go to those two like so. Okay. Verifying that everything is lined up there, this piece is going to go here just maybe just a tad bit of some lubrication on there. All right. Just going to slide it home, line up that like so. Press it on there, put your odd little washers back on there.

You'll see the nut has a bevel to it, that's obviously going to face in to match the bevel on the pump. It's probably very difficult to get a socket over this. The torque spec is very low so it is okay to tighten these by hand. Nice and even. Don't overdo it. There you go. Gasket dry, a little bit of lube there, all pumps on. Okay.

Now next thing we're going to do is we're going to put the seals in the cover. Now there's two seals in the cover, one on the top, that seal goes against the end of the cam and seals if you have contact breakers or points in there, that keeps the oil from the engine from getting in there and fouling on those. The other seal goes in the bottom right here and that coincides with your crankshaft which is pressurized feed.

Here's the picture right here, and this is a Triumph book. Timing cover oil seal locations and you'll see that the seal that goes in the bottom is going to face with the closed end out.

The seal on the other side is going to face with the spring side in. Once we get them installed, I'll let you take a look at that. Make sure everything's nice and clean here. You also have these two dowels on here, make sure those are on there. Sometimes they get stuck in the cover, that's fine if they're in the cover but make sure those two locating dowels are there. We'll get our seals here installed.

All right. I got this very inexpensive little driver kit here. You want to pick one that will closely match the outside diameter of the seal, but since the snap ring has to go in that groove, the seal goes below that, you want to make sure that it's not going to hit the cover and the diameter is not too big. This one looks just about right. We don't want to put this retainer on here because that would foul the seal. If you were to thread this on here to hold that piece on there, that piece would screw up the seal.

We're just going to set the seal on there. Whoa, look at her she's all trying to go the wrong direction already. Come on, hey, come on out of there. Get it started nice and square. Then we'll just send it on home with this. Since this is rounded, it doesn't really want to sit too good so we'll just do it like this. She's going just a little bit cockeyed so we'll take that driver off and use just this part. There she is. Looks pretty good. All right.

Using our snap ring pliers once again on any snap ring, if you have a sharp edge and a rounded edge, you want the sharp edge facing down.

There we go. Snap ring installed in the groove, I can see that it's all the way around. Okay. That one faces up. Now we're going to go ahead and get this one installed. This one's going to be installed with the closed side facing up, if the cover is in this position. I'm going to start it from this side, we're going to get our little driver tool in there. Start it as square as you can. Get it, shave a little rubber. It's okay, not to worry. That means it's going to be forming a good seal against the-- Don't be alarmed.

I'll have you take a look at this. Then it looks like it's just needs to come down, just a skosh right there, you want to be even. There. Let's take a look. I want to be even all the way around.

All right. We've got the other seal installed and there's the rubber that's shaved off the edge of it. Nothing to be alarmed about, sometimes that happens, it's not a problem, doesn't mean the seal's not going to work.

That means that the seal is probably sealing on this inside of this because it did shave that rubber and there's metal in the seal along with the rubber on that kind of type of seal so there we go. Seals installed, ready to put our cover on.

Now one other thing I've got here that I'm going to do, is I'm also going to replace the patent plate, we do have a separate video for just doing this job so I'm not going to go over the entire procedure but I'm going to go ahead and pop it on there before I put my cover on.

Check out the other video, Triumph patent plate installation on our YouTube channel. We've got our oil pump on all tightened up. All we got left to do here is put our gasket and cover on. We might as well just pop this new part on real quick here, our pressure relief valve. I think maybe a wrench is in order. Okay. Got the pressure relief valve installed. Tighten her up with my crescent wrench because I couldn't find the correct wrench for that.

Now one last time, we'll just take a quick look at our timing marks, everything looks good there. Now one other thing I'd like to do at this stage of the game is I would like to prime the crankshaft with oil. Pretty simple to do, I'm going to grab a couple blocks of wood, we're going to flip the engine so that this is facing up. I'm going to use this oil can here, I'm going to pump some oil in that hole because that goes directly into the crank.

If you look at your oil diagram in the book, we'll show you, let's grab the book we'll show you that real quick. Now if you look at this diagram in the book, you'll see that me putting oil in this right here is going to send it into there, which in turn-- I just like doing that so that then on initial startup, there's at least some oil in there and then the pump starts working. Even though I've used assembly lube on the rods, I still like to prime the crank. It's not that difficult, I'll show you how to get it done.

One other thing I'm going to do real quick here, this is a special tool that helps the seal go over this so it doesn't get buggered up and it just threads into the end of the cam like so. We'll just put a dab of oil on that tool to help it. Maybe a dab of oil on this. Something's going to come out any second, watch this. Okay, so I'm just going to take my old can, I'm going to stick it in that hole. See that? You missed it gang. It went bloop. That tells me there's oil in there now.

I cranked it, I pumped it in that hole until it blooped and sent it back out and I just saw a little go back in, it's fine, it's all good. She's primed up. Always use a new gasket.

Look at that, goes right on that way. Get that over those two dowels, pop your cover on. There we go. Put your screws in, longer screws in those two holes right there. Next, I’ll get the short screws. I just look down the holes make sure your gasket’s in a good position. You did check all your screw holes before we put the cover on, all right? We did that a long time ago. Always check all threaded holes before any final assembly is done.

Right now, I'm just putting them all in and running them down until they hit the cover, I'm not tightening anything up, I want to have them all in there. Okay. Then we're going to go around and give them the first tighten. Once again, steel fasteners, aluminum holes, don't overdo it. That's why I liked my T-handle for this job, I can kind of feel it how much it's tightening. I'm just going to go back around one last time ever so slightly.

Make sure they're all nice and even. A couple of them I'm not even really turning, I'm just making sure that I'm applying the same amount of pressure to each screw with my T-handle just to verify that I've tightened them all evenly. Bam, beautiful thing.

You have a loose nut behind the wheel, I mean right here. See how helpful that there are Lowbrow engine stands doing these jobs. This nut here, I noticed when I was messing with the cover is loose so we want to tighten that up.

Traditionally, this would be where your oil pressure sending unit would be, or you'd have a wire going up to your headlight or a red light. When you turn the key on, it comes on, when you kick the motor and it starts the light goes off, tells you have pressure. Now since this is going in a barber, I'm not going to have any silly red light on my headlight. I just put a plug in there. Our early motors had that plug if you need that part number, you can look in your book.

Then the tool that we used to put this, help guide the seal so it doesn't get buggered, it has a slot there just to unthread it, take that out. Timing chess, timing gear is all pumped, all buttoned up, good to go.

Next time we get together, we're going to be putting our cylinder and pistons on and getting our top end going here. Then after that, then once all the top ends on, then we'll transmission will go in, primary will go in, and we'll be ready to go for a ride. Wooo.

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