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T160 electrics . Tofu up and Tri spark.

Discussion in 'Triumph (Classic)' started by auldblue, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    When I bought this bike I am sure the PO said it had a Boyer , but when I started rooting around came across a Lucas Rita. I am going to fit a new reg rectifier and tidy the wires up as best I can, I've not looked at them for the trident but I am presuming it just a bog standard part.



    [​IMG]


    I don't think it should be too difficult but I always prepare for the nightmare scenario.
     
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  2. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Points were standard on the T160 Jimmy, the Rita has therefore been added by a PO. It's a good and reliable system IMHO and you won't see an huge benefit in fitting a tri-spark other than a slightly smoother idle and slightly better response just off idle.
     
  3. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    In my road experience Rita ignition is reliable, long term.

    Does anyone even claim that TriSpark is?
     
  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    The Rita AB11 is ok (if a bit ancient) but can be power hungry on triples depending on which coils are used and their configuration which can require diodes or ballast resistor.

    As it has EI, the white/blue from relay C4 wire should already have been disconnected at the coils end, however, it's also a good idea to disconnect it from the relay C4 terminal otherwise the WU wire will be 'live'/'hot' when the starter motor is operating.


    The triple system has proved reliable or at least the original Tri-Spark system for triples as the electronics are housed in an external box and not contained in a module inside the points housing like the Classic Twin system or the latest Tri-Spark triple system which hasn't been available for all that long so is still somewhat unproven.
     
  5. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Not trying to stir anything up, but stories about TriSpark failures appear quite frequently. I don't want bike owners to suffer expense and breakdowns.

    If some versions having staying power, I'm glad to hear it. We all want the maximum number of old British wrecks to keep on snoring down the road.
     
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I suppose I could be called a tri spark fan. I certainly saw huge power gains when swapping a Boyer for a tri spark on a big hot triple motor.

    I'm on my fourth tri spark (as in, 4 different bikes) and I've never had a failure yet.

    But on the occasion that I swapped a RITA for a tri spark on a fairly stock T160 I saw little gain.

    Until tri spark came out, RITA was my favourite.

    Now it's tri spark.

    But, unto each his own.
     
  7. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Thanks for the input guys, I did not begin to rewire the bike as I felt that the Rita was plenty good enough for my job. And your comments have made me think it's a pointless excercise to replace it. I'll check out the wires Les and do as you suggested.

    As a matter of interest would hot oil migrating round the cooling fins on to the plug lead weaken the spark? I'm presuming it would.

    The guides are worn and the exhaust valves very pitted taking the head to Keith the Laverda bloke for appraisal,hopefully tomorrow . Whatever it is it'll be expensive but not raving mental I hope.

    Is 17K miles before a head job normal ?
     
  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Sadly Jimmy, on a Triumph, they probably would benefit from replacement, however, it kinda depends on your definition of worn...

    I once stripped a T160 motor with under 7,000 miles on it. Intention was to replace shells and seals etc as it had been stood for so long.

    I was a little disappointed in the sloppy valves and guides. So I procured and fitted genuine NOS valves and guides throughout and... the slop was exactly as it was before !!

    I was more used to the far more precise fit of G&S valves with colsibro guides, and it was a bit of a lesson in the realities of 1970's Birtish motorcycle industry mass production tolerances and standards.

    Anyway, another reason not to replace the RITA... you've plenty other things to sink cash into...

    Sent from my iPad
     
  9. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    I wouldn't have thought so, as oil normally insulates rather than conducts electricity as far as I'm aware. More likely a dud plug cap/plug/coil etc.

    Also, your photo shows a ballast resistor with green wires which suggests it has the 'two 6V coils (right & centre) in series and one 6V coil (LH) in series with the ballast resistor' configuration which means there should also be a diode pack (Marconi PM6, below, or separate diodes?) between the RITA and coils? The ballast and diodes being additional parts which can potentially fail or cause problems. The simplest setup for the triples (and therefore usually the most reliable) is three 4V coils in series as it doesn't require a ballast resistor or diodes.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Again I presumed that there was 4volt coils. Wrong , as you say Les three six volters, ordered a set today, I take it non resistor plug caps and leads or I am I mistaken ? Cheers Les

    Spoke to Phil at LPW and I think he said they sell H&C valves and colsibro guide with groves for stem oil seals. I had a conversation with Len Paterson about a year ago regarding Nucleus valves and guides and how much closer the tolerance as they are honed to size. I will speak to Keith and see what he recommends and the cost before I proceed.

    The booger is I've already bought the tri spark and a set of their 12 volt coils, the 120r is nearly done changed ticklers stay up floats etc but one tappet adjuster is about 2 and a half threads higher than the other three and I can't work out why ,will to investigate further any ideas?
     
  11. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    The RITA isn't digital, so it doesn't actually need resistor caps (or 'R' plugs or leads) therefore it's up to you.
     
  12. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Well, if you've already bought the Tri Spark, you may as well fit it and keep th RITA in the spares box hadn't you?
     
  13. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    I don't want to touch the old Rita I'm just going to leave it on. The Trispark can get put on another bike when I get time Nigel , this new forum is a bit spooky. Is it Halloween already!
     
  14. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
    Yes, a bit different innit?!

    We need lessons from Jerry !!
     
  15. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    image.jpeg

    Getting back to t160 electrics, finally. I have fitted the new 4 volt coils and am about to start to tidy up the rest of the ignition wiring. It has a bridge rectifier diode fitted along with the ballast resistor. I have had a look on various sites and have come up with one of yours Les about wiring a Lucas Rita on a commando so I am going to proceed on those instructions.
     
  16. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Changed the wires on the bike just looking for a heads up if things look correct with the 3x 4 volt coils. White yellow to + black white to -, but I've got a white dangling haven't looked the
    diagram yet but I will. Top is what I started with bottom is what's left after. image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  17. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    I take it you mean; white/yellow to LH coil (+) and black/white (white/black?) to RH coil (-).

    White/yellow should also connect to 'earth' (see RITA diagram).


    :)

    Are you sure it isn't a faded white/yellow (original 'points' ballast-to-coils wire)?
    Marked as WU (white/blue) on the T160 wiring diagram, early T160s can be WY (and on my late T160 it's white/purple :().

    :rolleyes:
     
  18. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Cheers Les, white dangling wire is indeed on closer inspection faded white/yellow.


    Wires connected as stated with black wire to Rita box and then to ground. Should I double up the ground wire on the coil and run it to the pos on the battery?

    I read on the Rita page that resistor caps should be used and have fitted them. Coil reading before caps on 20k ohms was 13.4 across the board ,after fitting the resistor caps two were 19.4 but the centre was 19.8. Is this a problem?

    Cheers Jg
     
  19. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    As long as you mean an additional black wire which is not connected to the RITA box black (negative) wire.
    As it's a positive earth/retun wire it would've been more logical in my opinion to have used red rather than black, but as long as you know what it is.


    Edit: Possibly do one or the other, (going by the overall condition of the rest of the wiring) not both.

    Resistors will reduce RFI 'noise' but unlike digital ignitions the RITA doesn't need them.
    https://www.ngksparkplugs.com/about-ngk/faqs/wire-sets-faqs/what-is-rfi


    It's probably not enough to worry about but see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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