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Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

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Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #1 by Jeremy Rowland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:43 pm

Triumph Alternator Shaft Replacement (Part One)

Having already once owned a 1996 Hinckley built Triumph Trident I quite fancied another similar motorcycle and set about buying one.
The bike that I ended up buying is a Triumph Sprint Executive that is fitted with the same 885cc engine that has covered around 42,500 miles, at this point I will say that I would never have purchased a Japanese bike with that sort of mileage because you would be looking at a major engine work certainly in the form of replacing the camchain. However the Hinckley built Triumphs have been over engineered and some of these bikes have topped the 100k miles which is superb for a motorcycle, that being said the engine does have a couple of foibles one of which is the dreaded alternator rattle.
The latest bike that I have acquired I was hoping that because it was a later machine then Triumph would have fitted the later modified alternator shaft but as the bike had the dreaded rattle when I got it I quickly found out that this had not been done. The internet is a truly wonderful thing and generally you can find help or advice on many different subjects but as this is now the second time that I have had to tackle this job on two different Triumph motorcycles I decided that I would do a step by step guide on how I tackled the problem of the dreaded alternator rattle.

The Problem
After owning my first Triumph Trident for a short while it was noticed that the engine sounded different than when I had first owned the bike, there was what can be described as a noisy rattle that on acceleration sounded to me more like the engine was ‘pinking’ which it most certainly was not, by chance somebody suggested to me that the alternator drive shaft bolt had likely sheared off which turned out to be the case.
Now the bike I have just purchased also had a nasty rattle from the alternator area of the engine (back left hand side of the motor) that sounded more like what I will describe as a ‘tinkling noise’
Okay noises suggested above indicate failure of the alternator drive shaft bolts so I will now try and cover how to fix this problem for anybody who owns or maybe thinking of buying one of these motorcycles in a step by step fashion. The first thing to note is that there are actually three bolts that can fail one of which I was unaware of until I purchased the bike that I now own.
The three bolts that can fail are;
1. Both of the bolts on the alternator drive shaft itself, one holds the alternator drive coupling onto the shaft and the other holds the drive gear onto the alternator shaft at the clutch side of the bike, both bolts are M8.
2. The other bolt that is prone to failure is the M6 bolt that holds the drive ‘paddle’ onto the alternator, this is what causes the ‘tinkling noise’
Now the crux of the matter is that Triumph very quickly became aware of this problem and offer a redesigned alternator drive shaft, apparently some bikes were repaired under warranty but you know what ‘sods law’ says when you come to own such a bike.

What you will need to carry out the repair
To carry out this repair you will require the very minimum following tools;
1. A set of ‘Torx’ driver bits or keys.
2. A 30mm A/F hexagon socket; usually half inch drive but if you have a three quarter inch drive then all the better (for the clutch basket nut).
3. A suitable knuckle bar and three inch extension to fit on the socket.
4. A decent pry bar or lever.
5. A decent long arm metric hex wrench set (Allen keys).
6. An 8mm hex socket quarter inch drive.
7. A 10mm hex socket quarter inch drive.
8. A 13mm combination wrench.
9. A 13mm socket, extension bar and ratchet (half inch drive).
10. A 17mm socket or combination wrench.
11. A decent hammer.
12. An impact driver with a Torx socket (T40).
13. A torque wrench to hold the 30mm socket that will go up to at least 140Nm.
14. An electric drill with a chuck capacity of up to half an inch.
15. A 6.80mm jobber drill (tapping drill for M8)
16. A 3mm jobber drill.
17. A tap wrench along with an M8 x 1.25p tap, note; ask your tool supplier for an M8 spiral point machine tap this saves the need for a tap set!
18. A pair of grip wrenches (Mole grips)
19. A pair of long nose pliers.
20. Something to drain the old engine oil into.
21. If your flush then a clutch basket tool.
22. Patience! (in abundance)
Note items 14, 15, 16 and 17 will only be required if the bolt has sheared on the alternator itself.

You will also need the following new components;
1. A new oil filter.
2. Four litres of decent semi-synthetic engine oil.
3. The new alternator drive shaft, it comes complete with the new pin and nut, note; DO NOT BUY THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THAT THIS IS THE FAULT FIRST.
4. Gasket sealant that is oil resistant.
5. Stud lock.
6. One M8 x 20 hexagon head set MUST BE H/T (may or may not be required).
7. A clutch cover gasket (only if you feel the need)

HINT
Take advantage of modern technology; most folks own a decent digital camera and a pc so take your own step by step photos then if you are unsure of how something was fixed you can look back at the photos to see for yourself!

Finding out what the problem is
Okay so there are three bolts that can break so how do you know what has broken? The symptoms listed above by me are a general guide plus the fact that this is a well-known fault. The best and simplest way to find out what has failed is to remove the alternator; this will tell you instantly what you are facing.
WORDS OF WARNING PLEASE HEED!!!
It is possible to remove the alternator drive shaft if the bolt has broken on the clutch side of the bike by accident as you physically pull out the alternator, or by pulling the shaft out yourself. Do NOT under any circumstances allow the shaft to be pulled out; the reason for this is that it also supports a drive gear, bearing and spacer inside the engine that will fall into the engine if the shaft is removed. It goes without saying that if those components do fall inside of the engine then this means complete engine strip down so be very careful!
For all the work listed here I made sure that the bike was placed on its main centre stand.
Alternator removal; firstly unscrew the two 10mm hexagon pins that hold the coolant hose cover on the left hand side of the bike, this allows you to access two of the three Torx screws that fasten the alternator into position. The Torx screws that hold the alternator into position can be very tight and I sheared my Torx key attempting to release the most awkward pin to access; the best way around this is to use an impact driver to ‘shock’ release the pins. Once the pins are removed the alternator can be removed from the bike, it may need a gentle tap with a hammer and a bar to initially free it, please heed what has been stated above. When the alternator is in your hand you will be able to access the cable attachment that you simply press down the securing lug to free the wire connector, don’t let the alternator hang by its wires! (See Photo No1a)
With the alternator removed you will certainly know the state of play; if the bolt has sheared on either the alternator drive paddle or the drive on the shaft you will visibly see this. When I removed the alternator from the bike that I have just bought the head of the M6 bolt was missing from the alternator drive paddle altogether so there was the first problem for me, the second was that the drive shaft had partly followed the alternator and partially come out of its position. I realised with horror that there was a chance of parts dropping inside the engine so I gently eased it back into place; this also told me that the bolt was sheared on the clutch side of the drive shaft so at that point I knew that I needed to buy the upgraded drive shaft from Triumph and fit it.

Dealing with a broken Alternator drive bolt
I will deal with the alternator broken pin problem first; this was an issue that I had not come across before but a bit of research revealed that the problem can be overcome by drilling out the broken M6 bolt and replacing it with an M8 bolt. You will need a high tensile strength bolt to fit and you can identify the strength of the bolt by looking at the head which will have some markings on it, you need a minimum H/T strength of class 10.9 preferably 12.9 if your fastener supplier has one in stock, those are the markings to look for on the bolts head, don’t bother with 8.8 it will not be strong enough you only want to have to do this job once!
I used an M8 x 20 Hex bolt with an H/T strength of class 10.9; the first issue is to drill out the broken M6 stud and then to tap the hole to take the M8 bolt, here are the steps that I took to do this;
1. Turn the alternator upright so that you have the splined paddle drive facing you; remove the paddle from the splined shaft it will simply slide off.
2. Put some rag or other medium around the alternator drive shaft and body; you don’t want bits of steel swarf entering the alternator as you drill the broken pin out.
3. The M6 pin had not sheared evenly on the job that I was about to do so I first used a larger drill that would just fit in the end of the splined shaft, the 6.8mm tapping drill was ideal for this. Carefully drill just enough so that you get an accurate centre.
4. Using the 3mm jobber drill carefully drill down to over 20mm in depth; this drill is acting as your pilot so you must get this drilled straight, I managed with the alternator stuck between my legs and drilled down but you may feel more comfortable with it secured carefully in a bench vice. I cannot over emphasise that you MUST be dead central with this drill and straight, so get some help if you are not confident about doing this.
5. Now drill the hole once more with the 6.8mm tapping drill; once again make sure that you go down deep enough so that the new bolt does not bottom out in the new thread, the tapping drill should follow the pilot hole.
6. Now the hole is drilled you need to tap it; a good quality tap is a ‘must’ here, if you use a spiral point machine tap then you don’t need to have a full tap set, likewise a spiral flute tap will do the same job but I prefer the spiral point tap myself just remember to make sure you tap the thread deeper than the bolts thread length of 20mm. Rest the paddle back onto its splined drive shaft; then use your Mole grip pliers to hold the paddle while you turn the tap wrench; I used a little grease to lubricate the tap, to be fair it cut like a dream so I had no issues, the lube also helps to hold the swarf onto the tap so cleaning up afterwards is easier. (See Photo No1)
7. Once the thread is cut carefully remove the paddle from off the splined drive shaft and remove the rag ensuring that no metal swarf enters the alternator body, check that your bolt easily screws into the new thread then refit the paddle to the drive shaft.
8. Use a smear of stud locking agent on the new M8 bolt and fit a flat washer underneath it before securing the paddle by tightening the bolt; the alternator itself is now repaired ready for e-installation onto the engine. (See Photo No2)
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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #2 by Jeremy Rowland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:23 pm

Triumph Alternator Shaft Replacement (Part Two)

Fitting the Updated Alternator splined drive shaft

Because the bolts can break at either end of the drive shaft Triumph modified the shaft by simply boring through the shaft a clearance hole for an M8 bolt to pass through and then securing the whole drive assembly by one long M8 bolt as opposed to the two bolts. This is available from your Triumph dealer as a kit that costs around the £100 mark; not cheap but well worth the cure. (See Photo’s No2a & No2b)
Okay so you have your alternator removed and you’ve established that the bolt has sheared on the clutch side of the engine so here are the steps that I took to fit the modified shaft;
1. Drain the engine oil into a suitable container.
2. Unscrew the twelve hexagon pins that hold the clutch cover in place; once the pins are removed the clutch cover can be taken off, this will need a very gentle tap with a hammer and screwdriver to release it. Note do not go mad with the hammer and don’t hammer the face of the clutch cover; I managed to use a small hammer to hit behind where part of the cover protrudes from the mating face.
3. Once the clutch cover seal has broken there should be two dowels that align the cover; these were missing from the bike that I have just acquired so perhaps somebody knew what was wrong but did not fancy tackling the job! Try not to break the gasket as you remove the clutch cover altogether.
4. The next step is to remove the clutch plates; there are five 10mm hexagon headed bolts that secure the clutch pressure plate and springs. Carefully release these pins evenly they should not be that tight; once they have all been removed the clutch cover plate will come off straight into your hands. I then started to remove the clutch plates together with their intermediate plates; the best way to keep them in order is to place them straight onto the clutch cover pressure plate. (See Photo No3)
5. With the clutch plates removed pull out the clutch push rod that is in the centre of the main clutch drive shaft. (See Photo No4)
6. Now comes the awkward part which I make no secret that I struggled with this and also put my left shoulder out by badly pulling a muscle so get help with the next part. Put the bike in gear because you need to release the 30mm hexagon nut that secures the clutch together with its centre basket. If you possess a Haynes manual they recommend that you can make a clutch basket tool; having done this job twice now I have not bothered with this so I cannot say if it makes removal of the nut any easier, if you’re lucky enough to own a decent compressor and an air ratchet then you may just be able to release the nut without the bother that I had. Okay so you need to hold the bikes rear brake on very firmly and jamb the clutch basket with a pry bar (or basket tool) whilst at the same time attempting to release the nut. The problem arises that because you are trying to remove the nut from a shaft that will still slightly move you need to apply loads of pressure to the 30mm socket and bar to release it. The first time I managed this fete all by myself but this time the nut would not budge for love nor money and I put my shoulder out trying so I had to call on a good friend for help who kindly applied lots of pressure to jamb the clutch mechanism while I held the bikes back brake on and struggled with the nut, finally it did come off much to my relief. NOTE: be very careful not to damage the clutch basket or the drive splines or you will end up with a dragging clutch or clutch judder! (See Photo No5)
7. When you have removed the 30mm nut there is a flat washer behind it that is marked ‘out’ so that you know which way to put it back on; the clutch basket will now come off its shaft into your hand, behind it there is another washer and behind that a small shim so don’t lose it. (See Photo’s No6 & No7)
8. The next step can also be a bit awkward; you need to remove the main clutch basket drive wheel, this is retained by a splined bearing mounted spacer. The best way to do this is to carefully move the loose assembly backwards and forwards until part of the splined spacer moves partially out of the centre of the clutch drive, then use a very small pair of long nose pliers to grip the spacer and pull it off the bearing and out of the splined centre of the clutch drive. (See Photo No8)
9. With the splined drive spacer removed the clutch drive wheel basket will come out of the housing very easily. IMPORTANT: don’t let the broken half of the bolt from the alternator drive shaft drop into the bottom of the engine, gently place a bit of pressure on it with a screwdriver or similar implement while you remove the clutch drive wheel.
10. You will find that the alternator drive gear will also fall into the bottom of the housing so carefully remove it along with the broken bolt head rather than chance it falling forwards into the bottom of the crankcase. (See Photo’s No9 & No10)
11. Now you are at the heart of the job the next task is to remove the old alternator drive shaft and replace it with the new one; as stated earlier in these notes do not simply push the old shaft out. The secret to changing the shaft is to slide the new one into position and let it push the old shaft out, the best way to accomplish this is to very carefully push the old shaft just enough to expose the start of the drive splines then start the new shaft on the splines (from the clutch side of the engine) I was lucky here because the bolt had snapped off deep enough in the old shaft to permit me to fit the new bolt right through the new shaft and into the end of the old one thus giving it more support. I then eased the new shaft in while making sure that the old one did not suddenly ‘fly out’ This was accomplished by 'feel' so take it easy, also be careful not to push the new shaft right through. (See Photo’s No11, 12 & 13)
12. With the old shaft in my hand and the new one now in position I simply slid the alternator drive paddle from off the old shaft and carefully placed it onto the new shaft. Likewise I carefully rested the drive gear on the other end of the new splined shaft then finally I inserted the single bolt through the whole assembly and fitted the nut on the other end, don’t forget to fit the two washers one at each end of the bolt, the bolt fits with the head to the clutch side. (See Photo’s No14, 15 & 16)
13. When you have tightened the new alternator drive shaft bolt the back of the job is well and truly broken with assembly in the reverse order; the only things to be wary of here is that inserting the clutch basket drive wheel splined drive spacer can be awkward, I found it best to carefully align the intermediate gear resting it in position between the oil pump drive gear (bottom) and the alternator drive gear, then insert the clutch basket drive back into the housing and then finally insert the splined drive spacer. Once again get help with torqueing the clutch basket M30 nut the correct torque is 105Nm. (See Photo No17)
14. The last item that you may find awkward is re-fitting the alternator itself; the secret here is to put some grease onto the three rubber cushion-mounts to keep them in position in the drive paddle on the engine while you insert the alternator back into its housing, don’t forget to lube the O-ring on the alternators outside diameter where it locates inside the engine cover. If you are using the old Torx mounting screws for the alternator then I recommend you cover them in copper grease before re-fitting, should you ever have to remove then again this will make life a lot easier for you.
15. Once all assembly is finally complete along with fresh engine oil and a new oil filter you can enjoy your quieter Triumph.
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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #3 by Jeremy Rowland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:38 pm

The rest of the photos.
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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #4 by Neversweat » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:13 pm

Item 22 - Patience in abundance - I should think so :dizzy: :thumbup:

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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #5 by Mrsmackpaul » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:02 pm

It confirms what I have always thought about motor bikes to BLOODY hard to work on more patience than me thats for sure

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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #6 by 68a » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:43 pm

Well done Jeremy.I imagine this would be priceless to anybody with this bike.
Did it take longer to write this than actually fix the bike? :D


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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #7 by Jeremy Rowland » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:04 pm

68a wrote:Well done Jeremy.I imagine this would be priceless to anybody with this bike.
Did it take longer to write this than actually fix the bike? :D


No Nicky it took longer mate :lol: even though I had done exactly the same job once before, the only benefit I had was that at least I had a fair idea of what was wrong and how to resolve the problem.
All I have left to do now is fix the only other two problems that these machines suffer from; a weak side stand (which I have now replaced with one from a Trophy model that is much stronger) and the fork seals one of which has blown and covered the one brake disc with oil :( the chap who sold it had somebody valet it and they cleverly waxed all of the brake discs in the process ruining the brake pads. :x
Oh well I wanted a 'doer upper' so that's what I have got; I don't particularly mind doing the work so what the heck it's keeping me busy for a while anyway.

Jeremy


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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #8 by Vepp » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:12 pm

Happy I found this Topic :bow: . I just bought a 1997 Trophy with this problem :arrrrgh: . Can i still drive the bike or is it best to fix this problem immidiatly?


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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #9 by Jeremy Rowland » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:16 am

Vepp wrote:Happy I found this Topic :bow: . I just bought a 1997 Trophy with this problem :arrrrgh: . Can i still drive the bike or is it best to fix this problem immidiatly?



Hi Pascal welcome to CMN :wave: yes you can still ride the bike with the problem I was riding my first Triumph Trident with this issue for some months before I discovered what the real problem was; that was what enabled me to identify the fault on the bike that I now own. :thumbup:

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Re: Triumph Alternator Drive Shaft Replacement

Post #10 by Vepp » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:48 pm

Thank you Jeremy :thumbup:


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