Triumph Thunderbird Sport Air Filter Change — webBikeWorld

7 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Triumph Thunderbird Sport Air Filter Change — webBikeWorld отключены
Triumph Sprint Sport

Triumph Thunderbird Sport Air Change

by Rick K. for


I’ve done a lot of maintenance in my time, but replacing the air on my 1999 Triumph Thunderbird probably ranks as one of the most mechanical experiences ever.

It beats the wacko oil filter on the oil-cooler equipped BMW R100RS, involves radical contortions and tools and took me 4 hours I finally removed the right exhaust.

Something as simple and as an air filter change should not more than, say, 1/2 I can change the air filter on both my BMW in less than half time.

So unless someone me in to the secret of the TBS air filter change, going to rank it as one of the most engineering decisions that Triumph has made on an otherwise nicely designed motorcycle.

If has any tips on making this job or can point out any mistakes I made, feel free to send to me at and I’ll add them to this for the benefit of others.

Changing the Air on the Thunderbird Sport

The problem is by the yellow arrow in the photo the front airbox on the TBS is a one-piece, design that wraps the chassis backbone.

After my head and trying everything I think of, I could not figure out a way to get the out from around the backbone first removing the carburetors.

I Triumph had its reasons for this but it sure seems to this engineer that there have been several ways to locate the air filter would have made job much easier.

For example, the side of the air filter chamber, by the white arrow above, have been designed as a piece with a couple of to unfasten a section of plastic and the filter. Pop the clips, slide out the air slide in a new one and you’re done.

the air filter could have located in the rear airbox arrow, photo left).

area has the snout for the air intake air intake snout is located on the side of the bike, in back of the and not visible in this photo).

airbox is located under the and is easy to access.

Air flows in through the snout and the primary airbox (pink then through the tube and (red arrow) connecting the two

It then flow into the airbox (green arrow), and through the air filter, which at the intersection of the front airbox and the air chamber that attaches to the The tip of the green arrow indicates the of the air filter.

To make things confusing, the routine maintenance of the Haynes manual refers the to chapter 4 for airbox removal. 4, section 16 of the Haynes manual removing the airbox but never that the carbs have to be first.

I suppose an argument be made that Haynes you through removing the carbs in the of chapter 4, so by time you get to section 16 the should already be out. I missed this the first around.

I’m probably here, but I would think since you may have arrived at 16 in chapter 4 from the routine section with only a to replace the air filter and not remove the that at least Haynes have mentioned that need to remove the carbs you can remove the airbox.

I spent a lot of and effort wondering why I couldn’t get the out by following the Haynes instructions, I realized that the carbs to come out first. Maybe a bit slow on the pick-up, but hopefully will save someone a headache.

By the way, besides a set of hex wrenches or hex bits, a long and a 10mm socket or wrench (to the fuel tank bolts), need size T25 and T30 Torx to do this job.

You’ll to really reach in there to the carb hose clamps, so it helps if you have the screwdriver the hex bits and the Torx bits all to use on a long-handled bit driver. See our Wiha bit review. which is an excellent for this job (no connection with other than a satisfied


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the Fuel Tank

Anyway, first have to remove the tank (see the w BW article on Sport coolant changes for on how to do this).

Make sure the carbs are before you start this you can do this by closing the fuel tap and the engine until it’s out of gas you remove the fuel tank.

Be careful during this as you’re likely to spill fuel here or there.

need to remove the chrome air trim on each side of the TBS and the black plastic fluted

Follow the Haynes manual for (Chapter 4) on this and you should be ok.

The (rear) airbox under the has to come out. To do this, have to first remove the side battery cover. rear airbox is attached at the by the same 5mm hex screw that the side cover.

The airbox is on top by a Torx screw that directly into the soft of the airbox (another strange of engineering).

The airbox hangs on a pin that I’m pointing to in the You have to pull the airbox you to get it off this pin. I had a lot of trouble this pin when I was putting back together, as we’ll see

By the way, Haynes suggests the seat lock, which is to this rear airbox, but I find this to be necessary. The shop manual advises the horn and the cables from the I didn’t do either of these and think it’s necessary.

— there are two vent that come out of the carbs; sure you remember how these are over the top of the airbox and chassis I believe these hoses the chambers on top of the carb diaphragms to with external air pressure. I think it’s that where the vent hoses as long as they’re not pinched.


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Once you get the rear airbox off (a easy task), you’ll to loosen all the hose clamps attach: 1) the secondary airbox to the (3mm hex); 2) the hose that attach the rubber to the front of the carbs (screwdriver) 3) the hose clamps that the hose to the engine (screwdriver) tubes

All of these hose are indicated by the yellow arrows in the left.

Hopefully whomever did this the time located the screws for the on the middle carb in a place allows you to reach them!

you get all the hose clamps loosened, fairly easy (or was, at on my bike) to pull the U-shaped back and separate it from the air chamber.

This provides a bit of wiggle room to rock the rack back and forth to the carbs from the short of hose that run between the air chamber and the intake tubes.

a real pain to get the three hose sections out from in the carbs and the engine’s intake. a matter of pulling, pushing, resting and trying it again they come out.

that the hoses that fit the carbs and the engine intake are a one-way fit. The end that to the airbox and the end that attaches to the tube is different. The hoses are at the top than at the bottom to locate the correctly.

Make note of how the are located before you rip them

Once you have the carb loose, you can then remove the rack out the left side of the I asked my wife to help out by the carbs off to the side while I removed the breather hose the bottom of the air filter chamber and slipped the air filter chamber and the airbox out from the chassis.

you have the airboxes out you can lay the carb roughly back where it from. Be careful not to bend or the choke or accelerator cables.

the Haynes manual does a job of explaining everything in chapter 4. I it would be a good practice to the carbs after they’re put in; I didn’t do it this time and the seems to run fine, but I will them during the winter and write it up.

Airbox and Air Filter

a photo of the U-shaped airbox and the air filter. The yellow arrow to the barely visible engine tubes where the hose and the pink arrow shows the rack laying in the chassis.

are 10 Torx screws that the air filter chamber on to this airbox.

Triumph claims the air filter is not available separately and the entire airbox assembly be purchased.

This is strange, and I bet it’s they don’t want you to that you can probably get away cleaning the existing foam thus depriving them of revenue.

Obviously, I was able to the Torx screws and access the without having to purchase the airbox assembly.

The previous told me he installed a KN air filter, but air filter isn’t a KN, so I don’t what he meant. TBS riders me this is the Triumph stock

It’s a foam filter, not and although Triumph recommends it and the entire airbox chamber sure why), by time I got far the Triumph dealer wouldn’t be for a couple of days, so I washed the with dishwashing liquid and it a light coat of oil and put it back in.

than some grass and it was in pretty good shape, so I I’d be ok.

Triumph Sprint Sport
Triumph Sprint Sport

You probably think nuts to go through all this and put the old filter back in, but I honestly this would be a 1/2 hour job and I could see how everything came and then put it back together and over to the dealer to get a new filter, come back and do it again and it for posterity.

I’m not sure the white stuff is — it to be some silicone sealant was only placed on the bottom lip of the I don’t know why it’s or who put it there. I didn’t replace it, and the box to seal up fine.

After I got back together (reverse I started up the bike and gave it the old cleaner test.

I sprayed contact cleaner around all the cracks in the box and the around where the meet the airbox and engine to see if the changed or if there was any smoke the exhaust. If so, it’s a good that there’s a leak. is a dangerous test, so be careful and do it in a area.

There’s a chance of so do it at your own risk. Don’t use any sprays or anything that harm plastic, paint or I didn’t notice any leakage.


Arai — HJC — — Joe Rocket — — Shoei —

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Reassembling the

Putting everything back was just as much of a pain (or as getting it apart. I struggled for a amount of time to get the hoses and and carburetors located in the correct and to get everything buttoned back up. it’s a matter of brute and patience.

I strongly recommend several long breaks this job, as your will be severely tested, and it to come at it with a fresh now and then.

Why it should be so difficult to replace an air filter is beyond me.

sure the hoses and clamps are correctly; that the hoses pinched; and that the hose will do their job of sealing up.

After I got the carbs back in and the airbox buttoned up, I had a lot of trouble the rear airbox correctly up in the frame. It had obviously been in place at the factory, and now I couldn’t use the same force to get everything together.

There’s a tab that’s on to the TBS’s frame up top that the Torx screw mentioned that screws directly the top of the plastic airbox.

That tab was welded out of location on my bike, it was impossible to line up the screw goes through that the pin that holds the airbox earlier), the hex screw on the bottom of the that also holds the side battery cover and the two (shown in the out-of-focus photo sorry!).

These two snouts too long and interfered with other and were causing the problem. I ended up trimming back with a Dremel to get to fit correctly. Before I put the hose and back on I took this to show that they are out of alignment, but they are now much than before.

I bet there’s a for a loss of horsepower on my bike the air can’t get cleanly through one airbox to another. If I didn’t any better, I’d bet that found out late in the design of the TBS the airboxes had to be re-engineered, possibly to noise regulations. The entire of the airbox assemblies and the air filter to be not very well thought

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Addendum: Right Cover Interference Solution

I took off the right side at the beginning of this project, I that it rubbed against the plastic fluted trim (photo left).

It was starting to the paint, and this cover off much more frequently the left side cover, so I was that it would eventually rub off all the yellow paint.

The photo shows the scratches in the paint photo). I had a few pieces of 3M Scotchcal so I installed a piece at the rub point to protect the cover from any damage.

Scotchcal is great to have around. It’s a plastic sheet that is to protect paint from It’s used a lot in the automotive

Scotchcal is very easy to once you get the hang of it — spray on a mixture of water and a of dishwashing liquid and slide the on like a decal.

Locate it in the spot and squeegee out the water and let it

The photo on the right below the side cover now protected by the sheet. Scotchcal dries and you usually don’t know there unless you look for it. It right off if necessary and doesn’t the paint, but it protects it from

I use it on all my bikes in areas where may be stone chips or frequent from pants, jackets, etc. Here is a webBikeWorld for Scotchcal with reviews describe this material.

(L) cover before; note the along the corner. (R) Side after the Scotchcal has been note the scratches are now covered by the 3M (too late!).

Publication 2005 (?)

Triumph Sprint Sport
Triumph Sprint Sport
Triumph Sprint Sport
Triumph Sprint Sport

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