3DogNate's 1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R Resoration

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
So, I just sold off my XS Bobber build to kick start the funding of my dream restoration of a 1969 Triumph Bonneville (my birth year)... I have friend that has several Triumphs and I've been lusting after one for a good while now and certainly don't want to spring the $$$ for a turn key restoration, at least not with my burning DIY fire in my belly. So remarkably the day after the XS left the house, I started coming the Illinois Craig's List ads for a T120R carcass in need of some TLC. I found exactly the year model i was looking for just north of Chicago... Of course not a complete bike but a torn down one with I'd say 85% of it's parts there. Most importantly a title with matching frame and Engine #s... I didn't steal it or get screwed... but paid fairly for what i brought home... Aside from the Powdercoated frame (Bonus) everything will need refurbishing or replaced, The engiine is siezed but is complete. No big deal it's getting a complete rebuild Anyway here's what I brought home... time to start planning and buying parts and sanding sandblasting and painting and cussing. This is the stuff I enjoy. :)




I did check and the original burnt orange is underneath the blue paint. The guy I got it from bought it used in '84 and it was blue when he got it.. and he quickly painted it a maroonish color and did extended forks and a king queen seat... which would have been popular at the time. I'm going shoot for a "real" restoration (maybe a resto-mod to some as I will do an electronic ignition)
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
travgusmc said:
Looks like lots of fun and lots of headaches are in your future.

Im in.
I am lucky to have local Triumph aficionados local to me that are very helpful and resourceful... So I'm not flying completely blind. So hopefully the headaches will be limited to paying for stuff I can't refurbish myself... The Re-Chroming bill is bound to be an ouch moment... Tach/speedo restoration will be sent off for restoration as there is a good fairly priced restoration service and mine are in good mechanical order and are just cosmetically in need of restoration so that'll not be a big hit. The powder coating can mostly be done at home though a few parts are a bit larger than my toaster oven or home oven will allow (Fork lowers, battery box, seat pan) so the hand full of parts I need to outsource will be a pretty small bill since my frame/swing arm/center stand are already nicely powder coated. Paint I can do myself (except the pinstriping I suck at that)...My paint mixes will be bought from Don Hutchinson as he's doing very accurate paint matches, Though I could get close on my own I think... the Hutchinson reference will be worth the $ alone (Met him at Barber a couple of years ago... nice guy... helped my buddy troubleshoot his '67 Bonnie in the hotel parking lot, he complimented on George's paint work , turned out that he painted George's a few years earlier :) ) from Most of the expense will be in time and a handful of parts, mostly rubber and controls, paint... (And fasteners.... pisses me off sourcing the correct fasteners for stuff like this... it's just tedious. I'll come out a LOT cheaper than average Joe since I can do most of the refurb work at home.

This is what I'm shooting for in the end.
 

trek97

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
That my friend is just plain ole AWESOME!!!

Ive had a few parts chromed by Quality Chrome Plating, in Sterling Illinois, north of peoria. Highly recommend them...http://www.qualitychromeplating.com/

They have done a great service for me. And the price seems fair. Always being just a little cheaper than I imagine. I had a bit flake off my fork spring on the 360. They asked no questions. Re-did them both free. No issues since. Springs are difficult to do, the nickel layer needs to be very thin otherwise its prone to flaking. I have no issues w them since. 3 years now maybe???

I will keep an eye out to make sure the new owner is taking good care of the XS!

Now go get busy.
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
trek97 said:
That my friend is just plain ole AWESOME!!!

Ive had a few parts chromed by Quality Chrome Plating, in Sterling Illinois, north of peoria. Highly recommend them...http://www.qualitychromeplating.com/

They have done a great service for me. And the price seems fair. Always being just a little cheaper than I imagine. I had a bit flake off my fork spring on the 360. They asked no questions. Re-did them both free. No issues since. Springs are difficult to do, the nickel layer needs to be very thin otherwise its prone to flaking. I have no issues w them since. 3 years now maybe???

I will keep an eye out to make sure the new owner is taking good care of the XS!

Now go get busy.
Yes that is who I used for some chrome parts on my Honda and who my friend George has been using for years for Truimph and Indian parts. They indeed do a good job... I'll be collecting up a batch of stuff to send them for plating for sure. My buddy's parents live in Sterling... so he does a drop off to them. (Convenient)
 

grandpaul

Author, "Old Bikes"
DTT BOTM WINNER
There are VERY FEW parts on a Bonneville that should be chromed.

Fork seal dust cups
Grab rail
Handlebars
Exhaust
Front hub knave plate
Shifter
Levers
Tank top trim
Headlight shell
Rear shock springs
Air cleaner covers

That's all folks. I don't think the front fender braces are supposed to be chrome, but it is a POSSIBILITY.

Looks like you have a great project to start from, I see all the important bits there.
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
So I started ordering some obvious parts. (Grab rail, known missing brackets...)
I also ordred the stuff i can't get local to build a zinc plating tank. I'll try to use as many original fasteners as I have available to me. So prepping and playing my own will help out a ton.

Here's a before shot of my gauges. I just sent them off to Bob Carter in Portland for refurbishing.. He's supposed to be the man for for that.




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3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
grandpaul said:
That's all folks. I don't think the front fender braces are supposed to be chrome, but it is a POSSIBILITY.
I've seen both chrome and painted examples on '69 models... A quick google image search certainly turns up both. The Don Hutchinson restoration example above certainly has chrome front braces... And mine were not chromed by the guy that modded this thing out in the early 80s. As they were chrome in his before picture.

Since this one dates June of '69 and the model year ended in July... It's possible that early '69 models used up the black ones from '68 and picked up chroming when stock was depleted...


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goldy

Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Looks like you've got yourself a good restoration project there! The end result ought to be awesome...too many of these historically significant machines are being hacked to pieces. Tons of new replacement parts are available out there for these bikes...something I learned about restorations a long time ago is that new stuff is always less costly than new chrome. Best of luck and please keep us posted on your progress.
 

grubble

New Member
It was not easy parting with this bike, after owning it for 31 years, it was given tome by my father in-law with the condition that I could never get rid of it! :(
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
He'll be pleased that it's not gonna have an angle grinder taken to it and turned into an eye sore.

Update: I got the rear wheel completely broken down and ready to rebuild... It's gonna get a new rim, stainless spokes, powder coated hub and drum, new sprocket and I'll replate all the hardware... Should be good as a new one. Now gotta break down the front wheel... Gonna need to score a proper socket or wrench to get that apart... My sockets aren't deep enough.



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Hurco550

Keep er' Between the ditches
DTT BOTM WINNER
3DogNate said:
He'll be pleased that it's not gonna have an angle grinder taken to it and turned into an eye sore.

Update: I got the rear wheel completely broken down and ready to rebuild... It's gonna get a new rim, stainless spokes, powder coated hub and drum, new sprocket and I'll replate all the hardware... Should be good as a new one. Now gotta break down the front wheel... Gonna need to score a proper socket or wrench to get that apart... My sockets aren't deep enough.



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Looks like a great project man.

Though I did have to chuckle about the "it will not have an angle grinder taken to it..." with a picture in the same post of the spokes cut presumably by an angle grinder haha I know it's just cuz your replacing them though =) good luck man

Edit: nevermind, upon closer inspection it looks like bolt cutters were the culprit, not an angle grinder. I shall now wallow in my shame =p
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
I had to make a little spanner tool to get the bearing retainer out... That worked well.. The bearings are pressed in quite well though and I am not having good luck getting them out.



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grandpaul

Author, "Old Bikes"
DTT BOTM WINNER
One of the trickiest jobs in overhauling Triumph wheels is removong the hub guts and keeping everything in proper order.
 

3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
Omg... I fought and fought to remove the bearings in this hub... I finally had to weld a washer to the inner race to give me something to whack from the back side.


I was then able to blast and powder-coat the hub.




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3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
So I was able to get a bit of time tonight to blast a good # of small parts and get them powder coated... There's surprisingly not that many more parts to powder since my frame parts are already done. A few larger ones I can do in the big oven (when the wife isn't looking) and a few I'll have to take to have done (fork lowers).




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3DogNate

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda"
More parts powder coated... (I LOVE my Eastwood Powder coating kit... It has more than paid for itself in powder coating savings...) these were some parts that were too big for my little toaster oven these went in the kitchen stove. Wife didn't complain about it being a little stinky... :)



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trek97

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Hang on to her. Shes one of the few good wives. ;) Rachel no longer thinks anything when finding me pulling bike parts out of the oven or dishwasher.
Or, rifle barrels soaking in the bath tub.
 

trek97

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
grubble said:
It was not easy parting with this bike, after owning it for 31 years, it was given tome by my father in-law with the condition that I could never get rid of it! :(
No idea how long you've known Nate. I been watching his work since the beginning...you wont be disappointed.
 

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