Triumph Tiger 800 Forum

Tiger 800 / 900 - Main Discussion Section => Electrical, Lighting, and Wiring => Topic started by: Seanocaoimh on April 13, 2018, 04:38:43 PM

Title: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 13, 2018, 04:38:43 PM
Back again for more advice. The oil pressure light comes on at idle, but goes off again when I in crease the rpm to 2000.
 Any advice ( relevant), appreciated.
 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: KildareMan on April 13, 2018, 04:54:53 PM
1. check your oil level (@cause it's easy to do)
2. check your oil pressure sensor.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 13, 2018, 05:35:58 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Any advice ( relevant), appreciated.
3. check oil pressure w/mechanical gauge: 49 psi @ 5K RPM (oil @ 80*C)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 13, 2018, 06:42:26 PM
thanks for the prompt reply lads, would ye think it would be ok to drive if I kept the revs up? why would the revs have a bearing on it and I assume the oil pressure valve is the sensor behind the head, and when removed the pressure  tester would screw in instead. Any idea where I could pick up the appropriate tester
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 13, 2018, 07:54:17 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
I assume the oil pressure valve is the sensor behind the head, and when removed the pressure  tester would screw in instead.

Any idea where I could pick up the appropriate tester
Correct -- on top of the crankcase, behind the cylinders, under the throttle bodies.

An automotive parts store should either have one or can order one -- an adapter may be nec. (diff. threads/etc)?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 13, 2018, 08:16:14 PM
Great stuff! Any ideas about the idle speed illumination of oil light ? Only comes on when engine is warmed up and stopped at traffic lights / slow moving traffic. Should I not ride the bike until I have this problem sorted.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Stevie.P on April 13, 2018, 10:11:05 PM
First, are you sure of the age/condition of the oil, as in, it has definately been changed in line with the service schedule (i.e about 12 months/6k miles). If the oil is old, dirty and worn it will have thinned out which could give low idle oil pressure when hot. If in doubt renew it. :027:

I (personally) would (if happy about oil condition) go straight to eliminating the Oil Pressure Switch for the sake of £25 from Triumph before spending that amount or more on a pressure gauge .... that would be my next step if the new switch didn't clear the 'idle oil light'. :028:

Raising the 'idle speed' definately isn't the answer IMO. :151:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Tiggerton on April 13, 2018, 11:30:41 PM
Was the oil filter changed at your last service?
What is your bikes mileage, although oil pumps don't usually give up the ghost on modern triumphs.

I am just thinking that at low revs the oil circulating system may not be efficient.

I do bemoan the fact that oil and temperature gauges are no longer fitted to vehicles these days. They were a great early warning system.


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 14, 2018, 05:00:13 PM
I have everything stripped back and the low oil pressure sensor wire removed from the sensor. How do I test it to see if it works properly.as I say the oil light comes on at low rpm.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Rtwo on April 14, 2018, 05:41:29 PM
I would think that the resistance @0 psi should be 10 ohms - that's all you can check with it off really.

 Can you clarify what the condition of the oil and filter is?

 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 14, 2018, 05:54:06 PM
Oil and filters all fresh. The manual says to  disconnect the wire from the sensor and run a jumper wire from the sensor to earth,  turn on ignition and if the oil light comes ON , the switch needs to be renewed. Do they not mean if the oil light
does NOT come on the switch is faulty.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 14, 2018, 10:00:23 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
...the low oil pressure sensor wire removed from the sensor. How do I test it to see if it works properly.
*Originally Posted by Rtwo [+]
I would think that the resistance @0 psi should be 10 ohms - that's all you can check with it off really.
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
The manual says to  disconnect the wire from the sensor and run a jumper wire from the sensor to earth,  turn on ignition and if the oil light comes ON, the switch needs to be renewed. Do they not mean if the oil light does NOT come on the switch is faulty.
I think what they're telling you refers to NOT having an oil pressure warning light and checking to see if the oil pressure sensor switch is at fault?
The oil pressure warning light and the oil pressure sensor switch are both checked every time the ignition switch is turned ON.
Oil pressure in the (running) engine's lubrication system supplies pressure to the oil pressure sensor switch to change it from normally closed to open -- thus, shutting off the oil pressure warning light. It usually only takes a few PSI to open the switch (typical oil pressure sw.).
Low oil pressure in an engine can be a serious issue -- the oil pressure warning light is telling you to check (or, have checked) the engine's oil pressure w/mechanical gauge to avoid a serious issue.
You may need to remove the sump for oil pump, pick-up, strainer, etc. inspection/cleaning/repair.
 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 14, 2018, 10:28:28 PM
Could I fit an oil pressure gauge instead of a sensor? Then if the light still came on I could remove the sump and access the pump n strainer, pressure  relief valve.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Stevie.P on April 14, 2018, 10:44:04 PM
*Originally Posted by Stevie.P [+]
I (personally) would (if happy about oil condition) go straight to eliminating the Oil Pressure Switch for the sake of £25 from Triumph before .....

..... I started stripping the engine apart ... just to eventually find it was simply a weak oil pressure switch after all .... always start with the easiest and simplist options first and the pressure switch would still be my no.1 suspect.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Turbo100 on April 14, 2018, 10:51:50 PM
The most likely fault will be a faulty oil pressure switch, for the price of the switch stick one on it or put an oil pressure gauge on it before you start ripping things apart
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 14, 2018, 10:59:15 PM
Thanks I will order a new switch 2morrow and fingers x that will be the end of it .Your were spot on when you said the manual was referring to, NOT having an oil light.  Both tests showed  the sensor good but then it says, if the light comes on when engine is running , ASSUME the switch is faulty and replace it.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Mav on April 15, 2018, 12:32:33 AM
1: change oil & filter

2: change oil pressure sensor

3: start looking at oil pump/ blocked oil galleries etc.g
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Rtwo on April 15, 2018, 06:50:17 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Could I fit an oil pressure gauge instead of a sensor? Then if the light still came on I could remove the sump and access the pump n strainer, pressure  relief valve.

The light either wouldn't come on or it would be constantly on if you remove the sensor
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 16, 2018, 03:52:55 AM
What one T800 rider did (reply #5) -- 2nd sentence / 2nd paragraph:

https://www.tiger800.co.uk/index.php/topic,22597.msg257080.html#msg257080 (https://www.tiger800.co.uk/index.php/topic,22597.msg257080.html#msg257080)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 27, 2018, 04:35:01 PM
 :027:lads , I have replaced the low oil pressure sensor, but when I took the bike out today the oil light came on again after about 10min, only at idle,  My question is !
What do I check next. ?
                                              Regards.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Rtwo on April 27, 2018, 05:30:36 PM
You need to check the oil pressure or get it done

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Captain Crazy on April 27, 2018, 05:43:44 PM
As Rtwo says ... your next step now is to get your hands on an Oil Pressure Tester (you can pick one up cheap with various adaptors for around £16 to £20) and check the actual pressure reading of your engine where the sensor screws in.  If not you run the real risk of screwing your engine up ... big time!

Without knowing the full history of your bike ... not just maintenance wise, it's hard to say what's causing your issue but if it's not the sensor then something internal is (very possibly) up the swanny?

CC

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 28, 2018, 09:14:00 AM
Lads
 I did what ye suggested,  changed the sensor. The light still came on at idle.If I use an oil pressure  tester @ 5000rpm how will that tell me about pressure  at idle.?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 28, 2018, 04:47:43 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
If I use an oil pressure  tester @ 5000rpm how will that tell me about pressure  at idle.?
If the pressure at 5K RPM is significantly lower than 49 PSI it is then out of spec and there may be a problem with oil pump and/or related parts - or engine mechanicals.
Cross the idle pressure bridge when (or if) needed.
It usually only takes a few PSI to set the switch and turn out the light -- so the switch & light are of little use in determining oil pressure. But, can still be valuable for notification of a dangerous situation.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 28, 2018, 05:28:07 PM
Thanks Avgbear.
  As I say I replaced the low oil pressure sensor,  I'm going to change the oil and filter to that  recommended in the manual, even though I changed them last July and did very little milage since. If that dosent work, I will buy a pressure  tester send check the pressure. If everything checks out OK  ,should I then go and remove the sump and get access to the pressure  relief valve. Would that make sense. After that I don't know  what  I  can  do.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 28, 2018, 06:29:37 PM
I'm wondering could I  possably have done somthing when doing the  shims  that would effect the oil pressure . The engine  is  running  fine with no unusual noises.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on April 29, 2018, 05:53:47 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
...could I  possably have done somthing when doing the  shims  that would effect the oil pressure.
It's certainly 'possible'. You might want to check your work.
The camshaft bearings are lubricated by engine oil being pumped through the lubrication system. The bearing to shaft clearances are quite small: 1 1/2 thousandths ~ 3 thousandths -- with a max clearance of .005".
If a bearing cap got fitted wrong or somehow buggered and had excessive clearance? -- you certainly could lose oil pressure there.
If your oil pressure light at idle came right after doing camshaft work? -- checking the camshaft bearing surfaces condition may be advised. Even checking the clearances.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 29, 2018, 11:23:36 AM
When you say , bearing  cap fitted wrong do you mean one of the buckets? . The engine  sounds fine!. I will do a check on the shim clearances again so, before I do anything else.
If everything checks out OK, should I then check out the pressure  relief  valve? or would that have no thing to do with the ( low) pressure light coming on at idle.I could just drive it down to a shop and get them to  sort  it out  , but id'e like to do it myself.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Rtwo on April 29, 2018, 11:50:59 AM
The bearing caps are integral to the camshaft ladder. The top part in the pic below
It's worth lifting it again to check your work, blow through any oil ways and make sure it's spotless
Same with the cams, buckets and cylinder head

(https://images.weserv.nl/?url=ssl:s9.postimg.cc/x1go0rj0f/Capture.png)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 29, 2018, 12:08:33 PM
That's great,  That's what i'll do !
  Thanks very much for the advice I will keep you informed of my results. ☆
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Rtwo on April 30, 2018, 06:50:00 AM
When you reassemble use clean engine oil to lube the cams, bearing surfaces and anything else that moves.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on April 30, 2018, 09:34:48 AM
Thanks again Rtwo, (Avgbear ), the advice is much appreciated.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 07, 2018, 09:21:10 PM
Back again. I removed the  valve cover  and  cams again and made sure everything was spotless., oiled up everything and took the bike out. I thought I had it sorted cause I was out for 20 mins  at least , couple of  stops as well. .Then  when stopped at a reduced light, the low oil light comes back on
 I have now completed an oil preassure test and it seems  to  be  whitin spec.?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on May 08, 2018, 08:09:06 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
...the low oil light comes back on
I have now completed an oil preassure test and it seems  to  be  whitin spec.?
Can you mention what pressures you read at what RPM?
What PSI did the oil pressure gauge read at idle?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 08, 2018, 08:26:53 PM
When I started the test , I started  with  a  cold  engine. The pressure  just after starting was between 20 to 22psi, then by the time the engine reached op temp it had dropped back down to 10psi. I couldn't really get a steady psi when I increased to 5000psi. When I reached about 4000 the needle  just kept rising to over 6000rpm and the pressure read 50ish. ? I took her out again 2day, but after 20 min the light came back on again when at idle.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on May 08, 2018, 08:49:42 PM
10 PSI is quite low oil pressure and oil temperature tends to follow (lag behind) coolant temperature.
The Tiger800 does have an oil cooler and the oil temp should be the same as coolant temp -- but, it may get a bit hotter?
Tri. gives its specs @ 80* C (oil temp).
Mr. Haynes say: Causes for low oil pressure are -- pressure relief valve stuck open (probably not in your case? - but, could be faulty/leaking?); faulty oil pump (maybe, too much internal clearance?); oil pump pick-up strainer is blocked; or, there is other engine damage.
He also say: Begin diagnosis by checking the oil pump pick-up strainer, then the oil pump. If those items check out okay, chances are the bearing oil clearances are excessive and the engine needs to be overhauled.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 08, 2018, 09:12:04 PM
The bike was running well with no obvious problems, until I checked  the  shims and they were all tight. It's only since I put it back together I'm in trouble with that effin light.The bike sounds fine ,nice steady tick over. :087:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on May 08, 2018, 09:32:02 PM
What rpm is it reading at tick-over?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 08, 2018, 09:35:34 PM
1100rpm
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on May 08, 2018, 10:09:07 PM
It's a strange one that it only started after you did valve shims. What were the clearances before & after for all? Just thinking of general engine wear.

Is the filter you fitted a Triumph oem?

I might have missed it, how many miles has the bike done?

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 08, 2018, 10:21:00 PM
The exhaust  were  all 0.300 to 0.310, the inlets were
 0.100. all tight. Now I have them all within spec except no 3 inlet which is 0.200 .
 I have a standard Hi Flow filter fitted and there's 50th klm on the clock.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on May 09, 2018, 10:33:32 AM
Looks like you have exhausted all the simple stuff the boys have suggested. Faulty oil pump is maybe next check, but rarely heard of.

Cut open the last filters you took off & check for metallic bits.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 09, 2018, 12:13:07 PM
Will do ! Thanks.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Turbo100 on May 09, 2018, 12:23:10 PM
Where is the oil pressure relief valve situated? within the oil pump I would suspect. Had the problem many years ago on a pre-unit Bonneville, turned out to be a broken plunger spring, but that's a long shot because you say the oil pressure was ok before you did the tappet, would point in the area of something you have done or not done when you stripped it, but for the life of me can't think what you have eliminated most of them
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 10, 2018, 07:41:45 PM
I have just removed the strainer and the pressure  relief valve  both are good , the strainer was clean and the valve was not stuck. I will put it all back together again  and see how I get on .Oh I will change the oil to fully synthetic  and fit a new filter. Any ideas about removing the old sump gasket ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on May 10, 2018, 11:00:35 PM
Just doing a bit of research and read about sealing plugs at the ends of the cam shafts.Anyone any info on the fitment   of these plugs.I'm thinking maybe they are someway loose and that would cause the low oil light to come on at idle.
I had no idea there was plugs at the ends of the camshafts.Are they screwed in or what ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on May 23, 2018, 12:20:08 PM
I got exactly the same problem as you describe here, with my Tiger 800 (27000 km).
I removed the oil pressure switch and measured the pressure with a gauge.
At 5000 RPM and 80 degrees coolant temp., the pressure is around 3.5 bar, which is according to specification.
When increasing the RPM, the oil pressure is limited to ca. 5 bar (72 PSI) by the oil pressure relief valve that opens. So that also is within specs.
At idle with a hot engine the oil pressure is around 0.5 bar (7 PSI) and the low oil pressure light comes on.
When i increase the RPM from 1200 to about 1400 RPM, the low oil pressure light goes off again.
I replaced the oil filter with a genuine Triumph filter and i replaced the 10W40 oil with 15W50, hoping that the thicker oil would increase the pressure enough to solve the problem.
But even with the thicker oil, the light comes on at idle when the engine is heated up properly after a ride.
I didn't replace the switch (yet), because i tested it with a small compressor and pressure gauge and it seemed to work. The switch opens at about 0.2 bar when cold and at about 0.5 bar when warmed up with a heat gun.
The engine runs fine like before without weird noises or loss of power. Very strange that the oil pressure is fine at 5000 RPM but low enough at idle to trigger the switch.
Next step is to replace the switch, although i don't believe that the switch is bad.
So i'm very curious about your findings and the suggestions in this thread.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 07, 2018, 09:54:20 AM
Did you check the cooling system and the heat-exchanger/oil-cooler yet ?

The Tiger 800 has a heat-exchanger. When following the oil flow, the heat-exchanger is situated before the oil filter, so it is unfiltered oil going through the heat-exchanger.
There might be a build-up of deposits in the oil channels of the heat-exchanger.
The same goes for the narrow water passages in the heat-exchanger. When they get constricted by deposits/rust particles or when the coolant has deteriorated, the effectiveness of the heat-exchanger is compromised, and the oil will not get cooled properly.  The oil will get hotter than it should and gets too thin.
This thin oil will flow through the engine like water and causes a low oil pressure.
When idling, the pressure will become low enough to trigger the low oil pressure switch and the low oil pressure light will come on.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Buckr on June 07, 2018, 11:59:47 AM

I didn't replace the switch (yet), because i tested it with a small compressor and pressure gauge and it seemed to work. The switch opens at about 0.2 bar when cold and at about 0.5 bar when warmed up with a heat gun.

Next step is to replace the switch, although i don't believe that the switch is bad.
So i'm very curious about your findings and the suggestions in this thread.
[/quote]

The oil pressure switch should not change switch pressure points with changes of temperature should it ??
If it does it probably has an internal problem. Grt hold of a cheap oil pressure switch from somewhere and temporarily fix it in place and try it (thats if the triumph one is expensive)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 07, 2018, 01:53:54 PM
*Originally Posted by Buckr [+]
The oil pressure switch should not change switch pressure points with changes of temperature should it ??
If it does it probably has an internal problem. Grt hold of a cheap oil pressure switch from somewhere and temporarily fix it in place and try it (thats if the triumph one is expensive)

Meanwhile i have installed a brand new switch that i ordered from Triumph, but the behaviour was exactly the same.
So i guess the slight shift of the switching pressure from 0,2 to about 0,5 bar with increasing temperature is not the problem. Because the oil temperature of my bike might become too high, this can also influence the switching point of the switch. When the oil gets too hot, it gets too thin and this will also drop the oil pressure.
Now i'm checking/flushing/backflushing the cooling system and the heat exchanger.
Before that, i dropped the sump and checked the oil pickup pipe and screen, oil transfer pipe O-rings, oil pressure relief valve.
I didn't find anything suspicious there. I will replace the oil pressure relief valve just to be sure, in case it would leak oil.
I also opened up the oil filter to check for particles indicating excessive wear, but didn't find anything there either.
Since the oil pressure that i measured at 5000 RPM is fine according to the service manual, i think that the oil pump is OK and that the bearing and journals are not worn out.
My guess is that the oil became too hot, thus too thin because the heat-exchanger did not work properly as a result of deteriorated coolant.
I'm waiting for parts now to put all together again.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 07, 2018, 09:42:23 PM
If the heat exchanger was faulty,, wouldn't  the temperature  gauge  also rise above normal. ? (Just a thought )
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 07, 2018, 09:52:10 PM
I also noticed my idle speed  is at 1050rpm. I recon if I get rpm up to 1100 the oil light will not come on.
I have also done all the jobs you mentioned except checking  the  heat exchanger. Tried the 10w50 also.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 07, 2018, 10:51:37 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
Did you check the cooling system and the heat-exchanger/oil-cooler yet ?
When...the heat-exchanger is compromised, and the oil will not get cooled properly. 
The oil will get hotter than it should and gets too thin.
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
If the heat exchanger was faulty,, wouldn't  the temperature  gauge  also rise above normal. ?
The T800's oil-to-coolant heat exchanger / oil cooler also functions to heat the engine oil faster than would normally happen -- and, keep the oil at good operating temp. on very cold operation.
But, generally, an engine's oil temp. follows behind coolant temp. (when increasing / changing) and often tends to be slightly higher than coolant temp.
The T800's heat exchanger / oil cooler is an attempt to keep oil temp. at coolant temp. -- which is controlled by a coolant thermostat and a radiator / fan.
If oil temp. is in doubt?, it can be checked with a thermometer.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 07, 2018, 11:00:27 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
If the heat exchanger was faulty,, wouldn't  the temperature  gauge  also rise above normal. ? (Just a thought )

The temperature gauge only measures the coolant temperature, not the oil temperature. Of course the 2 are related, but the oil temperature can be much higher than the coolant temperature.
Therefore an oil-cooler or heat-exchanger is used. If the heat-exchanger is not working properly for some reason (clogged water channels, rust..), then the coupling between the oil temperature and the coolant temperature is compromised. This means that the oil temperature can rise much higher, because the oil is not cooled directly by the coolant water anymore.
Both water and oil temperatures are coupled by the heat-exchanger, so they keep each other in balance.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 07, 2018, 11:07:15 PM
If any temp. is in doubt?, check with a thermometer..!
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 01:26:49 AM
Just a wild thought, because i read that you have this problem after checking the valve clearances :
I don't know if you did, but suppose you used liquid gasket (as often is done to help the camshaft cover gasket to seal around the round corners), and you would use too much of that stuff.
Could the superfluous liquid gasket block an oil channel that routes the oil back from the camshaft area to the sump ?
If that stuff ends up in the sump, it would be catched in the oil pickup screen and restrict the oil pickup of the oil pump.
But what if the return path gets blocked by something ? Could that cause a low pressure at idle ?

 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 01:19:05 PM
Another wild thought :
Suppose fuel is leaking into the oil somewhere, due to a problem with a seal/gasket, this would change the viscosity of the oil and thus lower the oil pressure.
Would that be possible at all ? And if yes, how to detect it ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 01:29:16 PM
First off I used a proper gasket and if fuel got into the oil you would see a creamy colour on or around the dipstick.That's  my take on it. !
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 02:16:41 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
First off I used a proper gasket and if fuel got into the oil you would see a creamy colour on or around the dipstick.That's  my take on it. !

I think you are referring to coolant water mixed with the oil due to a f.e. a blown head-gasket. That would give a milky/creamy colour to the oil.
I'm just brainstorming for possible causes to eliminate, because i'm having the same problem with my bike.
The collective brains here can help eliminating or react when i'm writing complete non-sense.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 03:08:23 PM
It's all info that can be processed and used or disregarded as we try to solve problems. You are on the ball when you say it's coolant.so far I have replace the oil sensor , oil pressure tested,  dropped the sump and checked the relief valve, the strainer,  changed the oil and filter , (10w 50. ? What else is there is can do ! I'm going to get the idle speed up to 1100
rpm and hopefully that will solve the problem.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 08, 2018, 04:37:50 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
Another wild thought: Suppose fuel is leaking into the oil somewhere, due to a problem with a seal/gasket,
this would change the viscosity of the oil and thus lower the oil pressure.
Would that be possible at all ? And if yes, how to detect it ?
Fuel dilution of engine oil is a possibility -- it used to be somewhat more common when carburetors were in use.
Fuel dilution does lower an oil's viscosity.
Leaky fuel injectors can cause fuel dilution of engine oil.
An indication of fuel dilution may be an increased oil level in the sight glass.
An oil's viscosity can be checked by an oil-lab and compared with the specs supplied by the oil manufacturer.
The oil-lab may also determine any fuel contamination in the oil.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 08, 2018, 07:05:56 PM
Sure sounds like a challenging problem we have here...

In all problem diagnosis, it's always good to go back to "OK, when did it start and what was happening then?"  Reading through the whole thread several times, it looks like it happened immediately after a valve clearance check.  Not sure if that valve clearance check also included an oil and filter change too?

You also ask about the plugs in the ends of the camshafts which, IIRC, hasn't been fully answered yet.

(Please note I am pretty new to this Triumph party but have worked on old classic twin cam Hondas for much of my life.  So take what I say below with a grain of salt.  Also haven't yet had the valve cover off my new XRT)

1.  Were these plugs in the end of the camshafts you mention actually removed?  If yes, were the same plugs put back into the same camshafts from whence they came?  I would think a leaking / incorrectly installed plug could reduce oil pressure to the camshaft journals, but accept this would be difficult to track down.

2.  The slight comfort you must have is that your measured engine oil pressure at engine rpms above idle appears to be within spec so the risk of major bottom end engine damage at least is low.  But if the camshaft plugs are not correctly installed, resulting in lower than required oil pressure to the valve train at low engine speeds, then it is entirely possible the risk of damage to the camshaft journal surfaces could still exist, even while oil pressure to the bottom end remains in spec.

3.  That said, I assume the oil pressure switch is located in one of the main engine oil galleries somewhere near the crankshaft, not up at the cylinder head/cam shaft area.  So it is a puzzle how, even if the camshaft end plugs are loose or missing, this would result in the oil pressure switch being triggered to fire the low oil pressure light.  That switch is a very long way from the valve train high up on the engine.

4.  A pretty long shot now.  In the oil filter on twin cam Hondas, there is a flat washer that sits under the oil pressure relief valve spring.  Its job is to protect the rubber oil seal on the oil filter element that goes around the oil filter bolt from being damaged by the end of the oil pressure relief valve spring that it pushes against.  These washers stick onto the bolt sealing ring are usually discarded in error by an unsuspecting DIYer at the first oil change. 

It looks like Triumph filters are cartridge type, but is it worth carefully looking at and understanding how the oil filter pressure relief mechanism works on these engines?  Could there be a part missing there?

5.  I assume no obvious scoring, evidence of overheating or 'unhappy' wear marks in the camshaft journal surfaces on all the camshaft bearing surfaces, the cylinder head itself or the underside of the large cover that holds the camshafts in place?

6.  Assume the cam cover gasket and any other seals were replaced with new and MINIMUM amounts of gasket sealer used?  No obvious leaks anywhere?

7.  Possible bad batch of oil filters?  Maybe get yet another OEM one from elsewhere and try that?  Or got a willing buddy with the same engine and temporarily swap filters and any other parts you can think of?

That's about all I can think of for now, but definitely watching this unfold with interest.

I'm sure we will ultimately prevail with the  :028: moment - sooner or later.  Good luck, keep at it and keep us posted.

 


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 08:32:39 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Fuel dilution of engine oil is a possibility -- it used to be somewhat more common when carburetors were in use.
Fuel dilution does lower an oil's viscosity.
Leaky fuel injectors can cause fuel dilution of engine oil.
An indication of fuel dilution may be an increased oil level in the sight glass.
An oil's viscosity can be checked by an oil-lab and compared with the specs supplied by the oil manufacturer.
The oil-lab may also determine any fuel contamination in the oil.

Thanks for the valuable information. In the last few weeks i learned more about the bike by reading all these posts than in the 2 years that i was riding it !
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 09:51:06 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Sure sounds like a challenging problem we have here...

In all problem diagnosis, it's always good to go back to "OK, when did it start and what was happening then?"  Reading through the whole thread several times, it looks like it happened immediately after a valve clearance check.  Not sure if that valve clearance check also included an oil and filter change too?

You also ask about the plugs in the ends of the camshafts which, IIRC, hasn't been fully answered yet.

(Please note I am pretty new to this Triumph party but have worked on old classic twin cam Hondas for much of my life.  So take what I say below with a grain of salt.  Also haven't yet had the valve cover off my new XRT)

1.  Were these plugs in the end of the camshafts you mention actually removed?  If yes, were the same plugs put back into the same camshafts from whence they came?  I would think a leaking / incorrectly installed plug could reduce oil pressure to the camshaft journals, but accept this would be difficult to track down.

2.  The slight comfort you must have is that your measured engine oil pressure at engine rpms above idle appears to be within spec so the risk of major bottom end engine damage at least is low.  But if the camshaft plugs are not correctly installed, resulting in lower than required oil pressure to the valve train at low engine speeds, then it is entirely possible the risk of damage to the camshaft journal surfaces could still exist, even while oil pressure to the bottom end remains in spec.

3.  That said, I assume the oil pressure switch is located in one of the main engine oil galleries somewhere near the crankshaft, not up at the cylinder head/cam shaft area.  So it is a puzzle how, even if the camshaft end plugs are loose or missing, this would result in the oil pressure switch being triggered to fire the low oil pressure light.  That switch is a very long way from the valve train high up on the engine.

4.  A pretty long shot now.  In the oil filter on twin cam Hondas, there is a flat washer that sits under the oil pressure relief valve spring.  Its job is to protect the rubber oil seal on the oil filter element that goes around the oil filter bolt from being damaged by the end of the oil pressure relief valve spring that it pushes against.  These washers stick onto the bolt sealing ring are usually discarded in error by an unsuspecting DIYer at the first oil change. 

It looks like Triumph filters are cartridge type, but is it worth carefully looking at and understanding how the oil filter pressure relief mechanism works on these engines?  Could there be a part missing there?

5.  I assume no obvious scoring, evidence of overheating or 'unhappy' wear marks in the camshaft journal surfaces on all the camshaft bearing surfaces, the cylinder head itself or the underside of the large cover that holds the camshafts in place?

6.  Assume the cam cover gasket and any other seals were replaced with new and MINIMUM amounts of gasket sealer used?  No obvious leaks anywhere?

7.  Possible bad batch of oil filters?  Maybe get yet another OEM one from elsewhere and try that?  Or got a willing buddy with the same engine and temporarily swap filters and any other parts you can think of?

That's about all I can think of for now, but definitely watching this unfold with interest.

I'm sure we will ultimately prevail with the  :028: moment - sooner or later.  Good luck, keep at it and keep us posted.

Great information !
3) The oil pressure switch of the Tiger 800 is located at the crankshaft and measures the pressure there.
4) I checked the service manual, but no washer is mentioned in relation to the oil filter replacement. So i guess there was none.
7) i tried a genuine Triumph oil filter and a K&N filter, but it did not help or change the pressure.
The other questions i leave to the topic starter, because i didn't check the camshafts yet.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 10:15:53 PM
Certainly is great information.    Regarding  the camshafts, there was no sign of wear or marks/scratches on the cams or journals . I think it was Avgbear suggested that I take the camshafts back out and blow all the oil galleries clear with compressed air, making sure everything was spotless  when reinstalling , which i did. I didn't have this problem before I undertook the valve clearances. Everything sounds fine with the engine, I went out several times last week  with no problem, then I spent 15 mins slow riding , u/turns etc  , and the light came back on at idle.?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 10:30:49 PM
I have the feeling that we are missing a clue regarding the fact that using thicker 10W50 oil did not raise the pressure enough for the pressure light to stay off.
So it seems like the use of thicker oil did not change anything, not even temporarily.
When there is a leak, i would think that thicker oil would have more difficulty to pass through, so the pressure would rise when using thicker oil.
When the pump is out of spec, thicker oil would generate more flow so more pressure at idle. Same with worn bearings i guess.
But if the oil viscosity does not increase the pressure enough or at all, would that point to a leak that is only related to temperature.
So a seal that starts leaking when the oil is hot, no matter if it is thick oil or thin oil ?
Does that make sense ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 10:49:12 PM
It does make sense,  what is find is when I raise the rpm to 1100 ( ,which is the spec according to Mr Haynes) from the 1050 setting  at present  , the light goes out no matter how  hot the engine is. I'm thinking of
Installing a manual adjuster if I can't get the idle speed sorted,I can't adjust it with dealertool and there seems to be a lot of IT envolved with downloading TuneECU.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 10:51:21 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Certainly is great information.    Regarding  the camshafts, there was no sign of wear or marks/scratches on the cams or journals . I think it was Avgbear suggested that I take the camshafts back out and blow all the oil galleries clear with compressed air, making sure everything was spotless  when reinstalling , which i did. I didn't have this problem before I undertook the valve clearances. Everything sounds fine with the engine, I went out several times last week  with no problem, then I spent 15 mins slow riding , u/turns etc  , and the light came back on at idle.?
Also a long shot, but it can't do harm to double-check :
The cam chain tensioner is using oil pressure to keep the cam chain tight. I guess you also removed the cam chain tensioner to reset it.
I don't know if there can be a leak or something wrong at the cam chain tensioner that also affects the oil pressure of the rest of the system ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 10:59:32 PM
Ya I hear what you're saying. I replaced the stock tensioner with a manual tensioner,   mmmmh?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 11:08:02 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
It does make sense,  what is find is when I raise the rpm to 1100 ( ,which is the spec according to Mr Haynes) from the 1050 setting  at present  , the light goes out no matter how  hot the engine is. I'm thinking of
Installing a manual adjuster if I can't get the idle speed sorted,I can't adjust it with dealertool and there seems to be a lot of IT envolved with downloading TuneECU.
TuneECU can be downloaded for free, but i had to buy another OBD2 adapter, besides the ODB2 adapter that comes with the DealerTool, to be able to use TuneECU on the bike.
TuneECU allows you to calibrate the throttle position sensor and the idle control stepper motor to correct the idle speed. A manual adjuster would also prevent problems with dirt
gathering and affecting the idle control. I had some trouble with dirt in there before. I spray silicone spray in that area from time to time so it stays lubricated.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 08, 2018, 11:14:28 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Ya I hear what you're saying. I replaced the stock tensioner with a manual tensioner,   mmmmh?
I guess we need an expert again ! :-)
I still got the original tensioner in and i have exactly the same symptoms as you describe with your bike. But the cause of the disease might be totally different.
It is quite a challenging problem to say it nicely.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 08, 2018, 11:53:47 PM
And when or how did this problem present itself onot your bike
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: chuckxc on June 09, 2018, 12:22:53 AM
Seems to me you may be coming up with a whole bunch of solutions to a problem you don't have.
Until you calibrate the stepper motor and TPS to achieve a correct idle you could be chasing your tail.
TuneECU is the easiest way to reset to a correct idle. Then, if you still have an oil light, you really do have a problem.
(Keep it simple, get back to ground zero.)


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 09, 2018, 12:46:58 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Ya I hear what you're saying. I replaced the stock tensioner with a manual tensioner,   mmmmh?

Mmmmm indeed.  Did you replace the stock tensioner with the manual one at the same time you did the valve clearance check?  If yes, what was the problem you were experiencing with the old OEM one that caused you to make the change?

Is it possible to reset the OEM tensioner and (at least) temporarily reinstall it to see if the problem symptoms change?

Here's The Right Honourable Dr Muddysump's very excellent YT clip on exactly how to do that...

/>
I'm kinda' thinking (well hoping actually for the sake of getting to the bottom of our problem :188:) there may now be an unrestricted oil feed (that provided oil pressure to the now absent  OEM tensioner) going to your new manual cam chain tensioner which you say is manual (and therefore I assume doesn't use oil pressure???).

So, right there, just might be a reduction in low rpm oil pressure, especially if that oil feed to the OEM tensioner comes off the same gallery shared by the oil pressure switch???

Back to you guys....  Keep at it.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: chuckxc on June 09, 2018, 02:20:38 AM
Good suggestion herdygerdy, swapping out that manual tensioner is easily done, and it gets back to ground zero.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 11:32:32 AM
Thanks lads,  I replaced the stock tensioner when I did the clearances because it wasn't holding a steady tension on the chain,  when turning the engine over manually the spring seemed to compress at a particular point in the revolution and the chain was not under an even tension. Put the new tensioner in and everything tension wise is fine. Might be worth putting a new stock tensioner back in and see if that was the problem.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: chuckxc on June 09, 2018, 01:28:38 PM
If you turned over the engine by hand you would not have had oil pressure applied to the OEM tensioner and so the chain wasnt under an even tension as you observed. I think you tried to fix a problem you didn't have.
I'm betting herdygerdy is correct and you will be ok when you put the OEM tensioner back. I would still calibrate the stepper motor and TMS too.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 09, 2018, 01:57:18 PM
+1 My thoughts exactly too. Let’s hope we are on to something!
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 03:42:36 PM
Again,  thats a  very good assessment of the situation. I will definitely reinstall the OEM tensioner  again and hopefully that is the oil light problem  sorted.I will keep ye posted on the results. Thanks again 4 all the help and advice.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 07:02:46 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
And when or how did this problem present itself onot your bike

I can not think of anything that i did prior to getting the low oil pressure light problem. I did check the valve clearances, changed the oil and filter,  but that was half a year before the problem started showing. It started with the oil light coming on sporadic while idling. Over time it started flickering on and off at idle and later the light came on solid at idle. So it gradually got worse over a period of a few months, while doing about 100 km/week. I kept riding the bike and did not hear any strange noise or any extra noise so i thought that it was just the switch that got wet because of washing the bike. Meanwhile i started researching the internet and forums about these symptoms and that got me worried. i started checking the pressure with an oil gauge and found that the pressure slowly dropped while the engine/oil was heating up. The pressured slowly dropped below 0,5 bar and i had the impression that it dropped faster after rev'íng the RPM up. So that made me think it was an oil leak that gets worse when the oil temperature rises, making the oil thinner. But it can also be a restriction in the oil path, that gets passed-by easier when the oil is hot/thinner. I dropped the sump, but only found that the oil pressure relief valve had no thread lock/sealer.  I'm waiting for new O-rings, seals, gasket and a new oil pressure relief valve, just to be sure that it does not leak. I will threadlock it so no oil can leak through the threads either (i don't know if that can cause a lower oil pressure). All O-rings in the oil path were present and in good condition (not flattened, still flexible). I also did not find signs of bearing wear in the oil filter when i opened up the filter and took the filter material out. I did find a small thin piece of liquid gasket and a few small pieces of debris at the oil pickup screen. But the oil pickup screen was still very clean and i don't think those small pieces would cause a lower oil pressure. I will remove and check the O-ring of the oil pickup tube, because if that O-ring leaks, it probably would also change the oil flow.
Then i got the idea from another forum that the heat-exchanger/oil-cooler could be a cause of low oil pressure when it would be restricted due to rust or degrading coolant. When the heat-exchanger does not work well, the oil can get too hot. So i also flushed the coolant, removed, checked and flushed/backflushed the heat-exchanger and radiator. I took out the thermostat to flush the engine water channels and checked the thermostat.
I'm now waiting for new seals, O-rings, gasket, new oil pressure relief valve, threadlock, new oil, new coolant that i ordered, so i can close the sump, put back the heat-exchanger and be able to start and test the engine again.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 07:30:48 PM
That's a fairly comprehensive check list just thinking about the camchain tensioner being replaced withave the manual tensioner. Surely someone else  on the forum, who has fitted  the manual tensioner, would have reported the low oil pressure light coming on.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 07:55:16 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
That's a fairly comprehensive check list just thinking about the camchain tensioner being replaced withave the manual tensioner. Surely someone else  on the forum, who has fitted  the manual tensioner, would have reported the low oil pressure light coming on.

Sometimes it is a add-up of multiple causes.
The oil pressure relief valve spring might have weaken a bit + some O-rings might leak a little bit when they swell up + the oil pump might be a bit worn + the bearings might be a bit worn + the oil seal might be a bit restricted + the coolant might be a bit degraded + the heat-exchanger might have some scaling ..... and then you change something and the problem pops out of the surprise box.
That is the reason why i try to eliminate as much as possible causes that might not be the only cause, but adding to the problem. I think that increases the chance that you solve the problem eventually. Afterwards i probably can't tell you precisely which action cured the problem, but i can live with that, when the bike is happy again. :-)

So you are right that a simple tensioner can not possibly be the only reason. Maybe it is an add-up of things and the tensioner was the straw that broke the camel's back ?

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 08:12:05 PM
Ya you're right.. i'll change the tensioner back to the original and see how I get on.would I have to remove the tank and cam cover to replace the tensioner. Couldn't I just time the bottom end and wedge the chain! Then swop the tensioners?
Come to think of it , how would I engage the tensioner and be sure the camchain didn't  jump a tooth !!!!!.Guess I will have to take the valve cover  off
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 08:21:25 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Ya you're right.. i'll change the tensioner back to the original and see how I get on.would I have to remove the tank and cam cover to replace the tensioner. Couldn't I just time the bottom end and wedge the chain! Then swop the tensioners?
Come to think of it , how would I engage the tensioner and be sure the camchain didn't  jump a tooth !!!!!.Guess I will have to take the valve cover  off

It can be done when only opening the right crankshaft cover, where you can get access to the cam chain. When you wedge the cam chain blades that push against the chain, so the chain is kept tight, then you can remove the cam chain tensioner.
Here is a video that shows the process with a Street triple, but it is the same as with the Tiger :
/>
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 08:33:56 PM
Very good. I can set the hydraulic tensioner to the same position  ( clicks out) as the manual tensioner. Then reinstall and take out the wedge. You wouldn't happen to know the service  limit of the camchain tensioner spring,  a new spring measures 35mm,  I'm reading 34.50
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 09:28:11 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Very good. I can set the hydraulic tensioner to the same position  ( clicks out) as the manual tensioner. Then reinstall and take out the wedge. You wouldn't happen to know the service  limit of the camchain tensioner spring,  a new spring measures 35mm,  I'm reading 34.50

You can reset the hydraulic tensioner so it is fully retracted. When installing it will be automatically pushed out by the spring. I think that is better than setting it on a position beforehand and then putting it in, because you might put too much stress on the chain when the tensioner was too far out.

I don't find information about the spring in the service manual. The tensioner is sold as a unit and it seems like the spring can not be ordered separately (at least from Triumph directly).
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 09:32:55 PM
If i remember well from what i read, you also opened the sump and checked the oil pressure relief valve ?
1) Did you replace the oil pressure relief valve with a new one ?
2) Do you remember if you found thread-lock/sealer on the threads of the oil pressure relief valve ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 09:45:43 PM
Here is a video that i shot showing the oil pressure dropping down to 0,5 bar while the engine is getting warm :
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 09, 2018, 10:08:00 PM
No I didn't replace the pressure relief valve,  I inspected it an tested the function of the piston, all seemed good.I didn't  find any trace of threadlock on the valve threads, but put some on when reinstalling. I think I will remove the valve cover when changing the chain tensioner after all. That way I can set the tensioner  according to the manual. I will also check out the layout for fitting a manual idle speed adjuster.
Lots of work still to be done!.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 09, 2018, 10:16:30 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
I will also check out the layout for fitting a manual idle speed adjuster. Lots of work still to be done!.

A simple one :
http://www.tiger800rtw.com/failed-stepper-motor/
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 10, 2018, 10:12:25 AM
I may be completely wrong, but IIRC an oil pressure relief valve is all about letting oil pressure OFF if the oil pressure gets too high for any reason?  eg; super cold (therefore thick) oil.  So it may not have any impact at all on a perceived low oil pressure being erroneously reported at idle situation?

Separately, your query about whether or not others, having replaced the OEM camchain tensioner with a manual one, will also have experienced the oil light flickering at idle disease, is in indeed a very fair and reasonable point.  Agree that if this is in fact 'a thing' with these manual jobbies, then surely you could not be the first on this big rock to experience this.

While we are 'fingers crossed' this will solve Sean(thingy)'s issue, we must be prepared to accept this line of enquiry may turn out to be yet another dead end 'fox hole. along our journey to enlightenment.

And then of course, we'll still have Roel's similar, but somewhat different road to the same symptoms, to also exercise our collective grey matter/hair   :033:

Finally +1 to both of you for doing all the hard yards to carefully diagnose, test and report back so frequently, eloquently, accurately and without pre-conceived bias. 

Lesser men would have simply said "Oh sod this for a game of soldiers, it's just too effen hard, I'll just go buy something else"  :017:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 10, 2018, 11:20:12 AM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
I may be completely wrong, but IIRC an oil pressure relief valve is all about letting oil pressure OFF if the oil pressure gets too high for any reason?  eg; super cold (therefore thick) oil.  So it may not have any impact at all on a perceived low oil pressure being erroneously reported at idle situation?

Separately, your query about whether or not others, having replaced the OEM camchain tensioner with a manual one, will also have experienced the oil light flickering at idle disease, is in indeed a very fair and reasonable point.  Agree that if this is in fact 'a thing' with these manual jobbies, then surely you could not be the first on this big rock to experience this.

While we are 'fingers crossed' this will solve Sean(thingy)'s issue, we must be prepared to accept this line of enquiry may turn out to be yet another dead end 'fox hole. along our journey to enlightenment.

And then of course, we'll still have Roel's similar, but somewhat different road to the same symptoms, to also exercise our collective grey matter/hair   :033:

Finally +1 to both of you for doing all the hard yards to carefully diagnose, test and report back so frequently, eloquently, accurately and without pre-conceived bias. 

Lesser men would have simply said "Oh sod this for a game of soldiers, it's just too effen hard, I'll just go buy something else"  :017:

Thanks for your kind words and support !
I really appreciate all the good advice, information, thoughts, ideas of all you guys here. You are not only helping Sean and me, but also every other that might be struggling with similar issues now and in the future. The only way to get good advice is to give as much information as possible.

About the oil pressure relief valve : It is meant to limit the oil pressure when rev'ing up the engine. It opens at about 5.1 bar/75 PSi pressure. When it opens, oil is returned to the sump. I've read stories about the valve being stuck open due to contamination in the oil that is settling there. When i removed the oil pressure relief valve in my bike, i found a small brown/orange ring of stuff around the circumference of the relief valve at the surface where the valve was seated against. I'm not sure what it is, but it might be threadlock/sealer that was pushed out of the threads, because there was no threadlock/sealer on the pressure relief valve that i removed (though the service manual and common sense says it should be threadlocked). At first i thought it would be caused by oil foaming and then drying up. But whatever it was, it shouldn't be there and it was pretty hard to remove.
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1030221.jpg)

I've also read other stories about the relief valve spring that lost it's strength or a wrong type of spring was installed from the factory. For the spring to lose strength, i guess you need a higher mileage than i or Sean have or maybe a very high oil temperature. If i've read well, in Sean's and also my case, the pressure does not raise over 5 bars when rev'íng up, so the pressure relief valve opens at the pressure specified in the service manual.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 10, 2018, 03:22:24 PM
Just to throw the cat among the pigeons
I went out this morning, did some slow maneuvers, u/turns etc , drove about 50 klm, back doing u/turns again
All in all about 1 hour 30 min. No light came on at all . Last week I did the same thing and the light did come on . :087:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 10, 2018, 08:35:54 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Just to throw the cat among the pigeons
I went out this morning, did some slow maneuvers, u/turns etc , drove about 50 klm, back doing u/turns again
All in all about 1 hour 30 min. No light came on at all . Last week I did the same thing and the light did come on . :087:

Can you think of anything that you changed inbetween the 2 rides ?
Was the outside temperature much lower than during the ride of last week ?


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 10, 2018, 09:11:39 PM
Hi Roel, tks for your insights re the oil pressure relief valve and spring. 

So what you are suggesting/thinking is that IF, for whatever reason, the valve happens to get held in the open position (due to aforementioned gunk/goop around the valve), then oil will go via the bypass route straight into the sump and the pump won't be able to build up full pressure.  And at idle, if the valve is STILL open, then lowered oil pressure would be the result.

Does the brown goop in your pic (I assume now completely removed) suggest an extended period of time when this engine was not run or was run and stored with dirty old oil in it?

BTW, what year and mileage on your engine?

As a test only, and in an effort to isolate the spring / valve as the root cause, would it be possible to install a small THIN shim under the suspected weakened spring?  But certainly understand you would not suddenly want to be putting 10 bar of pressure through your engine when ~5 bar is the factory spec!

Sean, I assume you've still got the manual tensioner installed?  All I can say is, (and as they say in the classics)...."the plot thickens..."   :084:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 10, 2018, 09:32:43 PM
Roel, as a matter of fact there was a big difference in temperature,  last week it was mid to high 20s 2day it was down to 15- 18 degrees. Went out again over the last hour , no problems. I didn't change anything on the bike at all.! My thanks to Hurdy Gurdy  also for the welcomed input. Will keep ye posted.I'm not going to change over the tensioners just yet !!!!!
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 10, 2018, 10:00:21 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Hi Roel, tks for your insights re the oil pressure relief valve and spring. 

So what you are suggesting/thinking is that IF, for whatever reason, the valve happens to get held in the open position (due to aforementioned gunk/goop around the valve), then oil will go via the bypass route straight into the sump and the pump won't be able to build up full pressure.  And at idle, if the valve is STILL open, then lowered oil pressure would be the result.

Does the brown goop in your pic (I assume now completely removed) suggest an extended period of time when this engine was not run or was run and stored with dirty old oil in it?

BTW, what year and mileage on your engine?

As a test only, and in an effort to isolate the spring / valve as the root cause, would it be possible to install a small THIN shim under the suspected weakened spring?  But certainly understand you would not suddenly want to be putting 10 bar of pressure through your engine when ~5 bar is the factory spec!

Sean, I assume you've still got the manual tensioner installed?  All I can say is, (and as they say in the classics)...."the plot thickens..."   :084:

When i talk about a valve stuck open due to contamination, i'm talking about openings that are so small that it does not affect the oil pressure as long as the oil is thick (cold engine), but it will affect the oil pressure when the oil is thin (warm/hot engine). It will also have a bigger percentual effect at low RPM (low pressure and lower flow) then at higher RPM (higher pressure and high flow). I compare it with a tiny hole in a garden hose. When only little water is flowing through the hose, the percentage of water that leaks away through the hole is bigger than with a higher water flow, where the water leaking away is small compared with the water flow through the hose.
When you talk about a spring that is too weak, then i think the oil pressure will also be too low at high RPM because the valve opens too soon. Both Sean and i checked and found that the pressure at 5000 RPM was fine, so i believe the spring must be fine. This is a different situation than with the valve stuck open a tiny bit.
So the test with the shim that you propose would sure be valid in case the oil pressure would also be too low at higher RPM, but it is only too low at low RPM (idle).
Correct me if i'm wrong, because i'm not an oil-sheik at all. ;-)
I ordered a new pressure relief valve and was planning to replace it, just to eliminate the fact that the original might have stuck open a tiny bit due to contamination.
Yes, i removed the brown stuff so the surface is clean when i install the new relief valve.

I'm not the first owner of the bike, so it could have been stored for a while before i bought it. It is a Tiger 800 from 2011 and has about 27000 km (17000 miles), so not all that much.
I have used the bike for about 13000 km (8000 miles) in 3 years without problems.
Why you ask about storage time ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 10, 2018, 10:26:10 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Roel, as a matter of fact there was a big difference in temperature,  last week it was mid to high 20s 2day it was down to 15- 18 degrees. Went out again over the last hour , no problems. I didn't change anything on the bike at all.! My thanks to Hurdy Gurdy  also for the welcomed input. Will keep ye posted.I'm not going to change over the tensioners just yet !!!!!

Hmm, i also noticed that in hot days, the pressure drops faster than on colder days, while the coolant temperature bar on the instrument panel was sitting right in the middle all the time, no matter if it is a warm day or cold day.
That is why i started suspecting the heat-exchanger, because that one tries to regulate the oil temperature. The coolant temperature is regulated by the thermostat and the cooling fan and will always be between 70 and 100 degrees celsius. But the oil temperature can run further away from the coolant temperature when the engine is loaded and the heat-exchanger does not work properly. In that case it will take much longer for the oil to cool down again after loading the engine for a while. Thicker oil (10W50) will take even longer to cool down when the heat-exchanger is not working properly.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 11, 2018, 08:23:35 AM
When you cleaned /flushed out the heat exchanger did you find anything wrong. If you did, then that would be (part of) the problem  solved.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 11, 2018, 08:30:33 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
When you cleaned /flushed out the heat exchanger did you find anything wrong. If you did, then that would be (part of) the problem  solved.

I still put my bets on a small oil leak either through a seal, O-ring or the relief valve with both your bike and mine.
The thinner/hotter the oil, the easier it can escape through a leak. On a hot day, the oil can become thinner/hotter than on a cold day. So i guess that makes sense somehow.

I'm not sure about the contribution of the heat-exchanger to all this. I don't think it is a major contributor, except when coolant would leak into the oil due to corrosion or damage.
I inspected the heat-exchanger on my bike but couldn't find anything suspicious. I flushed the water channels with water and rinsed the oil channels with WD40 and petrol just to be sure that there is nothing blocking/restricting it. I will flush the complete cooling system with 50% water / 50% vinegar when i have the new parts and can put the bike together again, so i can run the engine. I will do that because the coolant was never replaced and i don't know if the previous owner has used distilled water or not. There might be calcium scaling.
That way i can rule out the cooling system as a possible contributor,

I have the idea that when the oil pressure is OK at 5000 RPM, the bearings are not badly worn. But that is also an hypothesis that i'm not absolutely sure of.
So now i still have the sump open, i did a visual check on the crankshaft. I removed the spark plugs and put the bike in 5th gear so i could move the wheel to rotate the crankshaft. I checked the crankshaft around the bearings (where the cylinder rods are connected to the crankshaft). I didn't see any discoloration indicating overheating (due to lack of oil pressure).
Next check i will do is a test i've read in a car forum : use 2 long screwdrivers and try to push against the cylinder rods to see if i can feel or see any play caused by (severely) worn bearings. I don't have the courage to open the engine further and actually inspect the bearing clearances, but at least i can try to rule out the very worst case scenarios.

By the way Sean, do you have thicker oil (10W50) in the bike now, or still 10W40 ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 11, 2018, 09:41:48 AM
Roel, 10w 50 + new oil filter was the last thing I did to the bike. Of the last 3 rides I've taken on the bike, the light only came on,  on the first one. :187: If I can't determine why this is ? the light could come back on anytime. I'm going to leave things as they are,  for the
time being and see how things develop. I will let you know how I get on. Keep me posted on your situation.
                                                                      :062:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 11, 2018, 10:25:08 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Roel, 10w 50 + new oil filter was the last thing I did to the bike. Of the last 3 rides I've taken on the bike, the light only came on,  on the first one. :187: If I can't determine why this is ? the light could come back on anytime. I'm going to leave things as they are,  for the
time being and see how things develop. I will let you know how I get on. Keep me posted on your situation.
                                                                      :062:

That is interesting indeed. When the light comes on again when you take out the bike on a hot day, then there is still some kind of logic to it.
I can imagine that thicker oil (10W50) maintains it's temperature longer than thinner oil, so it takes longer for the oil to heat up and also to cool down again.
What happens when you let the bike run at idle for 15 minutes in your garage, meaning it will not get any riding wind ?
My bike only needed about 10 to 15 minutes of idling for the oil light to come on. The video that is posted is about 10 minutes long and in that time the oil pressure dropped down to where the oil light would come on. (The mechanical oil gauge was placed where the pressure switch was mounted, so the switch was removed. That is why you don't see an oil light coming on in the video).

I'm curious how things develop with your bike now. Keep posting. I'll do the same.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 11, 2018, 04:05:19 PM
Will do :028:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 11, 2018, 06:25:31 PM
The oil pickup screen revisited :
At first i only wiped the screen and the pickup entry with kitchen paper while the pipe was still mounted. I found some small grains of debris and a little piece of fluid gasket (silicone). The screen looked fine for what i could see, laying on my back on the floor and shining with a flash light.
But because i didn't want to leave anything to chance (and because i becoming paranoid by now), i removed the tube with the screen and sprayed some brake fluid upstream into the pipe to "back-flush" the screen thoroughly. I put a piece of kitchen paper under the screen to catch any stuff that would come out.
Well, i was surprised about the amount of stuff that i found in the kitchen paper. It looks like tiny pieces of paper that got kind of transparent because being drained and boiled in the hot oil and it must have wrapped around the "wires" of the screen. I'm positive that it must be gasket material, because it can't be anything else that would look similar.
It might have clogged the screen just enough to bring the oil pressure down. Who knows.

Interesting enough, the last thing that i opened half a year before the oil light problem started, was the right crankcase cover which has a paper gasket.
With removing the remaining gasket material, some of it must have dropped into the crankcase opening and was transported by the oil back to the sump, where it was caught by the pickup screen.
By the end of the week i hope i can tell you if it helped or not.  :157:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 11, 2018, 06:58:33 PM
Another source of paper-like debris in the engine oil can be clutch friction disc material. If the clutch is abused.
Since oil viscosity has been discussed, I'll tell a little story related to me by a friend who had an air-cooled Porsche back-in-the-day. He thought the recco'd oil may not be thick enough / heavy enough viscosity so he devised a test. The car had a factory-fitted oil pressure gauge and he added an oil temperature gauge. With heavier / thicker oil, once fully warmed-up, the oil pressure was the same as the lighter oil but the oil temp. was higher. IOW, thinner oil = cooler temp. / pressure ultimately the same.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 11, 2018, 08:36:56 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Another source of paper-like debris in the engine oil can be clutch friction disc material. If the clutch is abused.
Since oil viscosity has been discussed, I'll tell a little story related to me by a friend who had an air-cooled Porsche back-in-the-day. He thought the recco'd oil may not be thick enough / heavy enough viscosity so he devised a test. The car had a factory-fitted oil pressure gauge and he added an oil temperature gauge. With heavier / thicker oil, once fully warmed-up, the oil pressure was the same as the lighter oil but the oil temp. was higher. IOW, thinner oil = cooler temp. / pressure ultimately the same.

That seems to be what we see with my bike and probably also Sean's bike : the thicker oil does not solve the low pressure problem, but it just delays the problem. So there must be some kind of balance between viscosity and temperature that is reached after a certain time. The time needed to reach the balance depends on the oil viscosity and the oil temperature (influenced by some degree by the ambient temperature).

Strange enough you read many stories about successfully using thicker oil to raise the pressure in engines that have worn bearings.
Maybe the play in the bearings don't heat up the oil that much, so the temperature stays lower than when using thicker oil in bearings that are not worn ?
Einstein is turning around in his grave now i guess.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 13, 2018, 11:57:53 AM
Here is a comprehensive list of possible causes for low oil pressure in general that i collected here and from different sources (books, internet) :


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 13, 2018, 11:06:19 PM
Your list is comprehensive, sure enough -- Mr. Haynes breaks it down to 4 bulleted items:
My experience has offered a little insight into a couple issues:
Whilst, sadly, none of this may bear - directly - on solving your problem -- it may help focus on where to look (next)..?

Can there be an oil pressure leak from a removable part -- a component that required removal for service and is also part of the oil pressure system (and may've gotten refitted improperly or damaged?)..?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 14, 2018, 12:12:58 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Can there be an oil pressure leak from a removable part -- a component that required removal for service and is also part of the oil pressure system (and may've gotten refitted improperly or damaged?)..?
Thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge !

The only things i can think of that were serviced (recently) in my and Sean's bike and are related to the lubrication system, are :

I received most of the new seals, O-rings, sump gasket and a new pressure relief valve by now, so in the next few days i will put my bike together again and do some testing.
If the pressure is still too low, then the next step will be to open the camshaft cover and check for wear in the camshaft bearings/journals, because this can be checked easily.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 16, 2018, 06:38:54 PM
Lads, if I was offered a million euros I couldn't pinpoint the exact cause of the low oil light.I have already mentioned all the checks and changes in have made to the bike. At this stage I feel that it has settled down and sorted itself out.
That might sound strange, but , 2 weeks ago  (as I already posted) I went out doing u-turns etc, the light came on.
Since then I have covered about 350/400 klm,  no problems
What so ever.
slow riding,  u-turns,  everything! !!!!!!! I'm stumped.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 16, 2018, 09:22:54 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Lads, if I was offered a million euros I couldn't pinpoint the exact cause of the low oil light.I have already mentioned all the checks and changes in have made to the bike. At this stage I feel that it has settled down and sorted itself out.
That might sound strange, but , 2 weeks ago  (as I already posted) I went out doing u-turns etc, the light came on.
Since then I have covered about 350/400 klm,  no problems
What so ever.
slow riding,  u-turns,  everything! !!!!!!! I'm stumped.

Sean, you won't believe it, but i saw the same happening today, all in 1 ride of about 50 km.
I had the bike running in the garage at least 4 times for 15 minutes to flush the cooling system before i put in new coolant, and to check for oil leaks around the sump. While i was doing this, the oil light came on after about 15 minutes of idling and only at idle RPM. Raising RPM a bit above 1200 RPM and it went out again. I checked with a pressure gauge and i saw the oil pressure slowly dropping down to 0,5 bar while the bike was warming up. So still the same behaviour, nothing changed.
But i still went out for a ride of about 50 km with fresh 10W40 oil and fresh coolant, just to check if i everything feels OK.
After about 15 km, the oil light flickered on and off while idling at a stop. Then i drove another 10km, but i rev'd it up to 8000 RPM for a few kilometer. After that, the light came on solid at a stop. I guess because the oil was hot by now. After that i kept on riding and pulled the clutch and closed the throttle from time to time to check if the light would come on at idle RPM. During this last 25 km, the light did come on, but not solid and gradually it seem to disappear and only went on shortly now and then. So things seemed to get better.
The only explanation i can come up with is there might have been an air-pocket in the cooling system since it was freshly refilled or there was some kind of restriction in the cooling system that is being cleaned out ? I don't know what to think about it yet, so i will do a new ride tomorrow to see how this develops.

Sean, did you change the coolant in your bike recently ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 16, 2018, 09:37:22 PM
Yes I did Roel , but I didn't flush out the rad or anything.
I certainly can't explain it,  but I'm not complaining ither.
HAPPY DAZE  :087:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 16, 2018, 09:49:14 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Yes I did Roel , but I didn't flush out the rad or anything.
I certainly can't explain it,  but I'm not complaining ither.
HAPPY DAZE  :087:

So now we got 2 things we don't understand : Women AND motorcycles ! It shouldn't get any crazier. ;-)

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 16, 2018, 10:34:23 PM
Question to the more experienced guys :
Can the use of wrong coolant or mixing incompatible coolants cause a problem in the cooling system, so one, more or all cylinders are not properly cooled.
The reasoning behind this is that the coolant temperature stays within normal values (minimum 70 to maximum 100 degrees), but the oil gets hotter than normal due to insufficient cooling of a/more cylinder(s). The oil gets too hot so the viscosity becomes too low, causing low pressure at idle only when the engine is really hot ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 16, 2018, 11:43:34 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
The oil gets too hot so the viscosity becomes too low, causing low pressure at idle only when the engine is really hot ?
Engine oils can withstand quite hot temps -- hotter than coolant -- with little to no ill effects.
The design construct of multi-vis oils is that they desire to approach "the perfect oil" in that the viscosity doesn't change with temperature change. A 10 / 40 tries to not get any thicker than a 10 at cold temps and no thinner than a 40 would get at hot temps.
Mostly done with additives.
Thus, an engine can be designed with clearances ideally suited for power, longevity, etc. without worrying about fluctuations/variations in oil viscosity.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 17, 2018, 08:26:21 AM
Thanks AvgBear.
So that means that the oil-cooler/heat-exchanger is not there to keep the oil within spec, but to warm up the oil faster and to avoid overheating of the engine.
The oil is not the weak link in the chain, but the engine. So that is another misconception of mine tackled.

The low oil pressure at idle when the engine is hot, still has all the characteristics of a temperature related issue.
First i thought that it was the oil getting too hot and becoming too thin, but that seems to be a misconception. Thicker oil did not seem to have any effect, so we
can eliminate oil viscosity as a possible cause and as a possible solution.

Sean and i both noticed that ambient temperature is a factor in how fast/how often the oil light comes on during a ride at a stop when the engine is idling while hot.
We both drained the coolant and put new coolant in the bike and we both see that the oil light seems to stay off completely or for longer periods of time at idle with a
hot engine. Lets see if this trend continuous in both our bikes.
Maybe i have to do a test by covering up the radiator and see if the oil light comes on faster again during a ride.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 17, 2018, 12:37:24 PM
As they say in the classics..."If it's got tyres, tits or a tiller, it's gonna be trouble!"

Something from way out of left field, would it be fair to say the only thing you have BOTH done is change the coolant? 

The reason I am touching on this, is that on the Suzuki DL650/1000 VStrom 'Stromtrooper' forum , there were (IIRC) a couple who bought TWO spanking new Wee Stroms here in Oz and proceed to do a lap of this wide brown land.

During a service on one of them, the dealer changed the coolant for one that was incompatible with the OEM stuff.  Very soon after leaving the workshop, the coolant turned to some kind of sludge which caused major overheating engine issues and even more cost to  fix.

Not wanting to be 'alarmist' in any way whatsoever, but how confident are you that the new coolant really is compatible with whatever may have been put in there by a PO before you changed it? 

Is it even possible that the two may be incompatible and have turned to an even slightly thicker consistency than the design intended, which makes the heat exchanger not work so good and therefore slow to carry the heat away, giving rise to higher oil temperatures and become thinner?  Could that even be a 'thing'?

Not saying for one nanosecond it IS the issue, but just putting it out there in case it may provide a clue.

Keep up the great work gentlemen.

Cheers...Tony
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 17, 2018, 02:40:48 PM
Haha, good one Tony. You know your classics. ;-)
And i dare to turn your nanosecond into a full microsecond now:
Well, i just got back from a ride of about 60 km and ridiculous/lucky enough, the oil light did not come on at all, not even once.
And i think i checked at least 30 times during the ride by pulling the clutch and closing the throttle to see if the light would come on at the idle RPM.
Most of the ride was on small roads, but i also did about 10 km on the highway, where i've let the bike use all of it's horses.
Ambient temperature was about 20 degrees celsius, which is about 4 degrees celsius cooler than during the ride yesterday.
So no dramatic difference with yesterday, where i still saw the oil light coming on, but less and less during the last 20 km.

Of course i had to come up with a new hypothesis around this issue, since there are strong indications that it has to do with engine temperature.
Sean and i both put in fresh coolant and the problem seems to disappear completely now. I also had cleaned out the heat-exchanger and the radiator inside and outside.
The radiator had become a mass grave for all kind of flying insects and also some mud got trapped in it. I wanted to make sure that i had the full cooling capacity, because i
had a dark brown feeling that it might be a problem with the cooling system.
I also checked the throttle balance regularly, because when the cylinders are severly out of balance, this can also cause over-heating of cylinders.

What if i state that the low oil pressure at idle is caused by overheating the engine (as Tony aka herdygerdy mentions), not causing the oil to become too thin (see the previous post of AvgBear), but causing some kind of warping of the cylinder head or mechanical stress on other parts, so the oil escapes or leaks internally and the pressure goes down just enough to trigger the oil light.
Maybe we were close to blowing the head gasket when over-heating of the engine was causing the problem. I didn't see any change in oil or coolant level during the whole time that the problem was showing, so there were no leaks between the coolant and oil. The thicker oil that i tried, looked like new when i drained it again.
I don't have the faintest idea where the oil could leak internally or what could warp to cause an oil leak, but the difference between theory and practice is always a lot bigger in practice. :-)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 17, 2018, 03:34:40 PM
Lads, we might be over thinkin this a little bit. I just got back from another 80 klm jaunt,  fast and slow riding, not a bother.
The engine performed flawlessly at all speeds and sounds good, if there was something complicated or technical  wrong with the engine i would surely have detected it.
Whatever  the F*** it was it seems to have righted itself.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 17, 2018, 03:40:16 PM
Maybe it's just time to take them both out and give 'em both a damn good thrashing up and down some motorways for extended periods of time - ie; ride it like you stole it?

Or simply just ignore the pesky flickery oil light thing entirely and accept it as one of life's little gifts of mystery, made just for you two.   :033:

It is a curious problem your two Tigers share for sure.  And as you say, it's not as if there is anything wrong with the way both engines sound and run.

Got me stumped.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 17, 2018, 03:43:32 PM
Way2go!!!!!!! :0461:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 17, 2018, 05:43:27 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Maybe it's just time to take them both out and give 'em both a damn good thrashing up and down some motorways for extended periods of time - ie; ride it like you stole it?

Or simply just ignore the pesky flickery oil light thing entirely and accept it as one of life's little gifts of mystery, made just for you two.   :033:

It is a curious problem your two Tigers share for sure.  And as you say, it's not as if there is anything wrong with the way both engines sound and run.

Got me stumped.

You have an enjoyable way of expressing things. You'd be a good writer, if you aren't one already.

I've had an Honda Africa Twin and a Suzuki V-Strom 650 before i went for the Triumph Tiger. The first 2 sounded very clean when i compare it with the Tiger.
Especially the V-Strom 650 sounded like a well oiled sewing machine. I had to get used to the sound of the Tiger, because it had a different orchestra playing in
it, with some ticking, sometimes rattling. With all the aluminium covers, you hear more what's going on inside. But when it comes to fun, agility and performance,
the Tiger still is my favourite bike.
It took a while to find out that the ticking were not the valves, but the exhaust seals leaking a bit. The rattling was probably the cam chain waiting for the tensioner
to jump an extra click. Due to the lower oil pressure at idle, the chain might have rattled more when the engine was hot and idling.
So i can only compare the sound to what i was used to.
It actually sounds better now, because the ticking is gone, since i had to take off the exhaust to remove the sump
and have put new exhaust seals before i put the exhaust back. It sounds more "clean" now.

I would never have guessed that coolant would have anything to do with low oil pressure before i got stuck in this problem like a tick in his host.
It will take some time riding before i'm totally convinced that this really was the problem.
Meanwhile i have put a sign above my garage, saying : "the red oil light district".
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 17, 2018, 06:41:24 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Lads, we might be over thinkin this a little bit. I just got back from another 80 klm jaunt,  fast and slow riding, not a bother.
The engine performed flawlessly at all speeds and sounds good, if there was something complicated or technical  wrong with the engine i would surely have detected it.
Whatever  the F*** it was it seems to have righted itself.

Thumbs up for you Sean.
I hope the problem is tackled once and forever now ! Enjoy and keep it safe !
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 17, 2018, 10:01:38 PM
There are some other examples of low oil pressure at idle due to overheating (with cars) :

https://ls1tech.com/forums/generation-iii-internal-engine/866772-low-oil-pressure-after-overheat-thoughts.html (https://ls1tech.com/forums/generation-iii-internal-engine/866772-low-oil-pressure-after-overheat-thoughts.html)
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/tech-general-engine/490954-overheating-low-oil-pressure.html (https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/tech-general-engine/490954-overheating-low-oil-pressure.html)
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-engines-system-technical-discussion/79119-overheating-low-oil-pressure.html (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-engines-system-technical-discussion/79119-overheating-low-oil-pressure.html)

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 18, 2018, 09:07:28 AM
Thanks Roel  :028:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 19, 2018, 10:09:11 PM
After a few days of riding without any oil light, the low oil pressure light started to appear again at idle when the bike was hot.
To verify that the problem is caused by overheating of the engine, i drained the fresh coolant that i had put in last weekend. Then i poured the coolant through a fine-woven cloth that i used as a filter to filter out the particles in the coolant. Beneath is a picture of what i found in the cloth :
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1030281.jpg)
And remember that i had previously flushed and backflushed the radiator and the engine (after removing the thermostat) with a garden hose. That kind of flushing does not remove calcium scaling and rust in the engine.
So i made a mix of 50% vinegar/50% water and filled the cooling system with it. I let the engine idle for at least 15 minutes and left it sitting in the bike for 24 hours.
Then i drained it and poured it through a cloth to filter out the crap. Beneath is a picture of what i found in the cloth after using the vinegar mix :
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1030280.jpg)
I've now again put in a 50% vinegar/50% water mix and did a short ride of about 25 km. Tomorrow i will do an extra ride before i drain it again.
While i did the 25 km ride with the vinegar, the oil light did not come on at all even after accelerating like crazy and letting the bike work.

So i guess, when looking at the crap that came out, that the inside of the engine has/had some bad calcium scaling and rust. This calcium scaling and rust form an isolator,
so the heat of the cylinders is not properly transferred to the coolant water. This means that the coolant temperature does not rise outside of the normal range, while the engine gets really hot. Why the overheating results in low oil pressure is still not fully clear to me. Could be seals that swell and start leaking, warping,....

At the moment that the oil light was starting to come on again, i did a test to verify/prove that the low oil pressure was caused by overheating the engine :
I first ran the engine with the radiator cap removed until it was hot and the oil light started to come on. Then i disconnected the top hose of the radiator, bent the hose downward and put a bucket under the hose to catch the hot water coming out of the engine. With the radiator cap removed, i used a garden hose to keep the radiator filled with cold water. I let the engine run and adjusted the water flow of the garden hose so that radiator stays filled with cold water while the engine spits out the hot water into the bucket. i kept adding cold water to the radiator for about 15 minutes while the engine was hot and as long as i did that, the oil light did not come on at all.
So when exorbitantly cooling the engine the low oil pressure light did not come on at all. When riding the bike, the temperature of the water coming out of the radiator will be a lot higher than the 18 degrees celsius temperature of the garden hose water. But still it proves that cooling has a major role in this problem of low oil pressure at idle when the engine is hot.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 19, 2018, 10:39:32 PM
Fair play to you Roel, you are certainly putting a lot of effort into solving this problem we both share. I'm going to continue riding and enjoying my bike, hoping the light doesn't
come back on  over the next few weeks.Unfortunately for you the light came back on after a very short time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed all goes well for you.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 19, 2018, 11:04:34 PM
Thank you Sean for being such a good sport, because i just jumped into your thread and flooded it with all kinds of information and hypothesis about the problem.
it helped at lot to share the problem and get some insights in it. I learned a lot, but of course i want to ride the damn bike instead of disassembling it.
I'm still convinced that when i get all the rust and crap out of the engine/radiator, that the oil light will not come on anymore.

Have fun riding Sean !
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on June 20, 2018, 07:19:29 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
the low oil pressure light started to appear again at idle when the bike was hot.
To verify that the problem is caused by overheating of the engine, i drained the fresh coolant that i had put in last weekend.
... inside of the engine has/had some bad calcium scaling and rust. This calcium scaling and rust form an isolator, so the heat of the cylinders is not properly transferred to the coolant water. This means that the coolant temperature does not rise outside of the normal range, while the engine gets really hot.
A thermometer is your friend.
Measure the temps. you may worry about. Oil temp. usually runs near engine coolant temp. -- but, can run higher.
Coolant temp. = 150 F ~ 170 F.
Coolant temp. can increase to 218 F. (when fan comes on).
I suspect a "normal" oil temp. could be in arange from 170 F ~ 200 F ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 20, 2018, 09:31:53 PM
Yes, you're right. That is indeed the only way to really see what is going on.
I have a portable digital thermometer that can read 2 K-type thermocouples. I'll try to find some good places on the bike to fix the thermocouples, so i can both measure the oil and water temperature simultaneous during a ride or when running the engine in the garage. When the oil temperature runs away from the coolant temperature, then that is a good indication that there is a cooling problem.

P.S. : I drained the water/vinegar mix again that i had put in yesterday. The mix was in the bike for 24 hours and several short rides. There was again a lot of rust in it, about the same as in the last picture that i posted. I put in fresh coolant now and we'll see what happens.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 20, 2018, 09:50:01 PM
Gentlemen,  I have to say I (and I'm sure many others on here) am MORE than impressed by the tenacity and perseverance you have both shown to get to the bottom of this problem.  The scientific approach to diagnosing and trouble shooting this problem on both your bikes is nothing short of exemplary!

Your steeds are indeed very lucky to have you guys as their owners able to bring to bear your 'tender, yet scientific ministrations' when they begin to exhibit symptoms of unhappiness!

It certainly looks like you really are on to something regarding the 'un-seeable' build up of rust and corrosion in the water jackets and galleries.  Right there in your coolant filter rag is undeniable evidence of the importance of doing regular coolant changes. 

Given the age of your bikes (7 years old now?) this would suggest the interval between coolant changes has been, ahem', 'stretched somewhat' by previous owners?  Or someone before you used replacement coolant incompatible with what was already in there perhaps?

Lets hope that seeing your oil light on when it shouldn't be will soon be just a distant memory.

And thanks for your kind words re writing, I do enjoy it I have to say, but as you have seen, I do tend to 'bang on a bit' at times.

Happy properly cooled oil riding lads and thanks for having us tag along on that journey of enlightenment.

Cheers...Tony
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 20, 2018, 10:51:02 PM
Thanks Tony.
Well, i want to get to the bottom of this problem or at least as deep as i can get, because low oil pressure is an alarm signal that shouldn't be ignored. And i've read quite a lot of stories of people that paid a lot of money to have parts in the sump replaced, but still have the same problem. Of course similar symptoms do not mean it's the same disease, but it calls for a a careful diagnosis to find the disease.
The alternative to replacing parts, which often is faster but more costly, is to gather data and to try to eliminate as much as possible problem-causes hoping you end up with the actual cause. The more "scientific" approach takes more time to research, gather information, measure, find methods to eliminate, test, but gives more insight and knowledge along the way.
The thing is that you're looking at a black box with a problem inside, but you can't look inside of the box. So you have to check/measure everything around the box to find out what is going on inside. And that's always a challenge.


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 22, 2018, 09:25:23 AM
I did a temperature test with thermocouples. The upper temperature is the coolant temperature in degrees celsius measured at the water pump inlet and the lower temperature is the temperature of the cylinder measured at the outside of the leftmost cylinder.
At the moment the bike is not showing the low oil pressure light anymore since i flushed the cooling system thoroughly several times now.
In the video you can see that the coolant temperature and the cylinder temperature stay close together as it should be and both the cylinder and coolant temperature do not rise above 100 degrees celsius. The engine is not loaded and the measuring points are not perfect, but at least i can easily repeat the test when the low oil pressure light would come on again to check if the temperatures run away further from each other than in this video.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 22, 2018, 09:38:14 AM
Ya, I agree with Hurdy ,  well done Roel.Hope you have it sorted.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 22, 2018, 10:55:37 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Ya, I agree with Hurdy ,  well done Roel.Hope you have it sorted.

Thanks Sean.
Well, everyone has the right to have at least 1 abnormality. One of mine is that i see these kind of fuzzy problems as a challenge (like Don Quichot de la Mancha fighting windmills).
If it helps me and maybe others (who like to read a lot) as well, then it's worth the effort.  :028:
I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on June 22, 2018, 10:59:01 AM
Viva la Don !
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on June 22, 2018, 02:29:17 PM
Interesting vid Roel. Nice job to show proper data gathering. I have to say that for a minute there it looked like you had balanced the thermocouple gauge on the back of your (maybe?) VERY bald shiny head!  Sorry, the Devil made me do it! 
Good job & excellent diagnosis. Ain’t no shop going to do that kind of analysis 👍😎🏍
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on June 22, 2018, 10:52:00 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
I have to say that for a minute there it looked like you had balanced the thermocouple gauge on the back of your (maybe?) VERY bald shiny head!  Sorry, the Devil made me do it!
i had to watch the video again to get the "bald head", but now i can't watch the video anymore without seeing a bald head all the time !  :156:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on September 05, 2018, 11:05:33 AM
 :232:
 Just for that are those interested, that low oil pressure light has reappeared again. I had a buyer for the bike , but when the light came back on I couldn't let him have it without informing him of the situation first. Needless to say he walked away. The annoying thing about it is the bike is going and sounding fine.Don't know what else I can do.???
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 18, 2018, 11:58:50 PM
I'm contacting Triumph dealers in the Netherlands now to see if they can give some advise or diagnosis options for this low oil pressure issue.
In my Tiger the issue improved by flushing and cleaning the cooling system.  But when ambient temperature is above 30 degrees (which does not happen often) ) , the low oil pressure light appears again.
Meanwhile I even replaced the oil pump,  but it did not help. It seems like anything I do only helps temporarily.  The issue keeps reappearing after some time when riding in hot weather or with long rides on motorway speeds.




Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on September 19, 2018, 07:27:14 PM
I hope your Triumph dealers can help you.
I've been watching this topic (even contributed) -- all 14 pages -- and there's been little positive result.
Mr. Haynes offers sad news: "If those items (most of the things discussed) check out okay, chances are the bearing oil clearances are excessive and the engine needs to be overhauled."
Triumph provide clearance measurements in the FSM and plastigauge is often the preferred method for checking.
It's a hard thing to contemplate -- but, if you want to get to the bottom of the problem...
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 19, 2018, 09:00:19 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
I hope your Triumph dealers can help you.
I've been watching this topic (even contributed) -- all 14 pages -- and there's been little positive result.
Mr. Haynes offers sad news: "If those items (most of the things discussed) check out okay, chances are the bearing oil clearances are excessive and the engine needs to be overhauled."
Triumph provide clearance measurements in the FSM and plastigauge is often the preferred method for checking.
It's a hard thing to contemplate -- but, if you want to get to the bottom of the problem...

Your input is appreciated AvgBear.
The problem is indeed narrowed down to main crank bearings, or a crack in the block,  or anything else that could cause oil to leak back to the sump.
One of the dealers remembered a similar problem with a Bonneville.  The owner lived in a big city and only rode in the city. This caused the engine to not get properly cooled with long rides or the oil to not reach operating temperature with short rides.
He checked the frame-nr of my bike and found that the previous owner lived in a big city. That's where the Bonneville story fits in.
I don't know if Sean knows the history of his bike.
The dealer suggests to check the main crankshaft bearings and if these are OK, to open the engine to check for other causes.
If I or the dealer opens up the engine,  it will cost a lot of money and might cost more when the problem is worse than expected.
If I sell the bike with the problem,  I will loose a lot of money too.
Not sure what to do next.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on September 23, 2018, 04:10:21 PM
read this whole thread with interest, just a thought off the top of my head....

 just suppose that the tolerance on the pressure switch is quite fine, the fact that it only takes a difference of 1-200 rpm and a few degrees of temp difference to make the light go out suggests it is , it could be quite feasible that in a production run of a thousand engine casings, maybe the odd one isn't cast exactly identical (regarding internal oilways etc,) some oilways could be a tiny amount larger, this possibly causes a small difference in pressure, which is enough to flip the (overly sensitive) low pressure sensor …however, the necessary amount of oil is still flowing, .the fact that both bikes affected are running faultlessly suggests that there is no further serious issue....so possibly the tolerance of the switch and oilways and ambient temp could just tip it over to showing the oil light on in the odd engine ….in a nutshell,  its possible that the switch could have a slightly lower threshold without doing any harm, ie, its operating on the lowest edge of its parameters

 

although i fully apreciate having the light flickering on would worry me too...

I would be tempted to email this whole thread link to Triumph, see if they reply....


anyway, just a few thoughts, I could be well off the mark,  hope you get it sorted :028:


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 23, 2018, 09:03:22 PM
*Originally Posted by walt [+]
read this whole thread with interest, just a thought off the top of my head....

 just suppose that the tolerance on the pressure switch is quite fine, the fact that it only takes a difference of 1-200 rpm and a few degrees of temp difference to make the light go out suggests it is , it could be quite feasible that in a production run of a thousand engine casings, maybe the odd one isn't cast exactly identical (regarding internal oilways etc,) some oilways could be a tiny amount larger, this possibly causes a small difference in pressure, which is enough to flip the (overly sensitive) low pressure sensor …however, the necessary amount of oil is still flowing, .the fact that both bikes affected are running faultlessly suggests that there is no further serious issue....so possibly the tolerance of the switch and oilways and ambient temp could just tip it over to showing the oil light on in the odd engine ….in a nutshell,  its possible that the switch could have a slightly lower threshold without doing any harm, ie, its operating on the lowest edge of its parameters

 

although i fully appreciate having the light flickering on would worry me too...

I would be tempted to email this whole thread link to Triumph, see if they reply....


anyway, just a few thoughts, I could be well off the mark,  hope you get it sorted :028:

Thanks for the thoughts Walter.
I was already happy that 1 Triumph dealer made the effort of reading half a page of text that i send to explain the problem and the things i already replaced without solace.
As long as it is a rare problem and you didn't buy the bike from the dealer and you do the maintenance yourself and you don't know the history of the bike, then the odds are against you,
which i can't blame them for.

The general rule of thumb that i found for oil pressure : it should be about 10 psi per 1000 RPM.
The service manual states that the oil pressure of the Tiger 800 should be 49 psi (3.4 bar) at 5000 RPM, so the rule of thumb is indeed applicable.
The oil pressure at idle is not specified, but following the rule of thumb with the specified idle of 1200 RPM, the oil pressure at idle should be 12 psi (0.8 bar).
The oil pressure sensor triggers somewhere around 0.3 bar. So when the oil light comes on, the pressure is already about 0.5 bar lower than what it should be.
Because i have been riding the bike for 13000 km without any oil light showing, that makes me think that oil pressure meanwhile has been decreasing over time
and now has reached the point where it triggers the sensor. This means that the oil pressure really arrived at the lower limit.
Because the oil pressure is at at the lower limit, any change to the cooling, new oil, new oil filter, new oil pump....  sets the pressure a bit above the lower limit again,
so everything looks fine again, but only temporarily and after a while the oil light is triggered again, as i saw with my bike and unfortunately Sean also with his bike.

If we suppose that the problem actually is caused by worn out crankshaft main/connection rod journals/bearings (what i ruled out because i thought it was impossible
with a mileage of only 27000 km) then the returning of the oil light is not that weird. I guess that worn crankshaft main/connection rod journals/bearings will get worse faster
and faster in a kind of chain reaction because the worse the bearing gets, the lower the oil pressure and the lower the oil pressure, the more the bearings (also camshaft bearings)
will wear. That would also explain why the problem returns rather quickly after f.e. improving the cooling or replacing the oil pump.
If the problem is caused by worn plain bearings, then that also means that keeping on riding the bike, that now still feels and sounds normal, will eventually cause problems
that will make it feel or sound "different".
I'm reading the service manual and meanwhile making cost calculations to convince myself that i should remove the engine and open it up to check crankshaft main and connection
rod bearings/journals, because i think that that is the next thing to check.
If it turns out that the bearings and journals are still within spec, then i guess the next thing is to remove the head and check for warping, head gasket problems, cracks or as Walter suggests : casting problems.
Another thing that i don't know is if the crankshaft also has the same kind of pressed-in end-caps at both sides like the camshafts to keep the oil inside the shaft. If such a cap is not
properly installed, the oil might start leaking out. But that is also in the category : "incredible-small-chance".
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on September 23, 2018, 09:32:06 PM
I just replied off the top of my head, but of course if my idea was right it would have been doing this from new.....and as it hasn't, obviously i'm wrong :015:

anyway, you have been as thorough as possible in your diagnosis, i probably would have gone the same route, i was maybe clutching at straws to avoid the conclusion you have come to

i agree, if it is wear on crank bearings it'll wear exponentially, then you'd know for sure, it just seems hard to believe at such a low mileage


good luck if you strip it down....or another option

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Triumph-Tiger-800xc-Running-Engine-2016-With-6000-Miles-on-The-Clock/153190891211?hash=item23aae37ecb:g:YxoAAOSwxT9a4MTZ



Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 23, 2018, 10:32:49 PM
*Originally Posted by walt [+]
I just replied off the top of my head, but of course if my idea was right it would have been doing this from new.....and as it hasn't, obviously i'm wrong :015:

anyway, you have been as thorough as possible in your diagnosis, i probably would have gone the same route, i was maybe clutching at straws to avoid the conclusion you have come to

i agree, if it is wear on crank bearings it'll wear exponentially, then you'd know for sure, it just seems hard to believe at such a low mileage


good luck if you strip it down....or another option

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Triumph-Tiger-800xc-Running-Engine-2016-With-6000-Miles-on-The-Clock/153190891211?hash=item23aae37ecb:g:YxoAAOSwxT9a4MTZ

Don't worry, it is only good that people here think along. I filled a lot of pages in this thread with thoughts that turned out to be wrong.  :033: I guess that is inevitable when learning something new.
Thanks for the link, but 600 British pounds is suspiciously cheap for a running engine of 2016 with 6000 miles ! A new crankshaft only costs about 700 British Pounds.

About the low mileage : I'm not the first owner, so i don't know the history of the bike. Who knows how it was treated before. Maybe the oil was not changed regularly/at all,
maybe a wrong type/low quality oil was used, maybe it was overheated, maybe it was only used in city traffic as a dealer suggested ...
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on September 23, 2018, 11:11:03 PM
It is such a bugger that this really is still a thing for you (Roel & Sean).  We feel your pain and frustration, esp. as you are now ready to move the bikes on.

If that replacement eBay engine truly is 'as advertised', then perhaps it may be worth a closer look...?

A days fettling in the garage and the new engine could be fitted and have you back on the road with no oil light issues.

Then, in your own time, you could strip the troublesome engine and truly get to the bottom of it. 

Once sorted, your original engine  could then be either sold (recovering some of the expenditure of solving the problem), swapped back into it's original home (and the spare sold), or simply kept as a spare engine?  You may also pull it apart and find it needs much more than a new crankshaft, thereby adding more on top of the 700 Euro for just the crank.

Worth doing the sums to see what the worst outcome could be.

(and thanks for having the moral fortitude to not try and fudge up the problem and foist it on to the next unwitting buyer.)

Keep at it lads, standing by for the next installment.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on September 23, 2018, 11:15:20 PM
Just one more thought...

I recall somewhere early in this thread, you have replaced the oil pressure switches on these bikes with OEM Triumph replacements.

Given that you have both now had this issue for many '000s of kms/miles, clearly the engines are happy and not affected by this at all.

So...could it be possible to source another replacement oil pressure switch from another bike/vehicle etc, but this time with an even lower trigger point?

Just puttin' it out there....
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on September 23, 2018, 11:31:28 PM
I know a guy who bought a Tracer 900 engine for £800, low miles, it was fine, I think salvage people these days are not crooks, its big business in UK, nothing in it for them to lie, its probably come out of a CAT D bike with a rear end/or frame damage, written off as too expensive to repair at dealer prices, many people here in UK buy CAT D bikes back off insurance company and repair them (legally)

however your decision...... :028:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on September 23, 2018, 11:36:37 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Just one more thought...

I recall somewhere early in this thread, you have replaced the oil pressure switches on these bikes with OEM Triumph replacements.

Given that you have both now had this issue for many '000s of kms/miles, clearly the engines are happy and not affected by this at all.

So...could it be possible to source another replacement oil pressure switch from another bike/vehicle etc, but this time with an even lower trigger point?

Just puttin' it out there....


this was part of my thinking, as I said above, if the problem was there from new it carries some weight, but seeing as the problem has just occurred, its unlikely to be the switch threshold, although if theres a 10% tolerance on the switch it could be enough at the lower end to make the light flicker..but, as Roel says, if there is a wear problem changing the switch tolerance/parameters will only mask further troubles, even if the bike is running ok now.... could try with a known good switch out of a bike that is ok though, to rule out 1 more possibility, but you'd think a new switch would be fine, which he's tried...
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 24, 2018, 06:34:01 AM
*Originally Posted by walt [+]

this was part of my thinking, as I said above, if the problem was there from new it carries some weight, but seeing as the problem has just occurred, its unlikely to be the switch threshold, although if theres a 10% tolerance on the switch it could be enough at the lower end to make the light flicker..but, as Roel says, if there is a wear problem changing the switch tolerance/parameters will only mask further troubles, even if the bike is running ok now.... could try with a known good switch out of a bike that is ok though, to rule out 1 more possibility, but you'd think a new switch would be fine, which he's tried...

In my opinion, changing the switch is kind of curing the symptoms while the disease still has the chance to spread over the engine.
I'm not sure what disease it is yet, but the only way to find out is to strip the engine and to start with measuring the crankshaft bearing clearances to check if they are still within limits.
Meanwhile i can not ride the bike, but during the winter time i did not ride the bike anyway, so i might as well take my time to remove the engine and strip it with my thumbs crossed. :-)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 24, 2018, 11:33:51 AM
I ruled out the oil pressure switch by testing the oil pressure with a mechanical oil pressure gauge.
The gauge showed an idle oil pressure that was slowly sinking down to 0,3 bar while the bike was warming up.
So the oil switch was definitely doing it's job properly. I replaced the switch anyway, but the new switch had exact the same threshold of about 0,3 bar and showed the same behaviour.

Before i thoroughly flushed the cooling system, the oil pressure dropped down to 0,3 bar in about 15 minutes of idling (so without doing any riding, engine not loaded at all).
After flushing, replacing the oil pressure relief valve, replacing al O-rings in the oil path, cleaning the oil pickup screen, putting in new 10W40 oil, replacing the oil filter (genuine Triumph filter)  and replacing the oil/water pump, the oil pressure dropped a lot slower and some decent riding or some hot weather (above 30 degrees Celsius) is needed for the oil pressure to drop to 0,3 bar.
So we don't have to doubt that the oil pressure switch is telling the truth.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on September 24, 2018, 07:41:31 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
I ruled out the oil pressure switch by testing the oil pressure with a mechanical oil pressure gauge.
The gauge showed an idle oil pressure that was slowly sinking down to 0,3 bar while the bike was warming up.
So the oil switch was definitely doing it's job properly. I replaced the switch anyway, but the new switch had exact the same threshold of about 0,3 bar and showed the same behaviour.

Before i thoroughly flushed the cooling system, the oil pressure dropped down to 0,3 bar in about 15 minutes of idling (so without doing any riding, engine not loaded at all).
After flushing, replacing the oil pressure relief valve, replacing al O-rings in the oil path, cleaning the oil pickup screen, putting in new 10W40 oil, replacing the oil filter (genuine Triumph filter)  and replacing the oil/water pump, the oil pressure dropped a lot slower and some decent riding or some hot weather (above 30 degrees Celsius) is needed for the oil pressure to drop to 0,3 bar.
So we don't have to doubt that the oil pressure switch is telling the truth.


 :028: :028:

well, it will make a nice winter project....hope you post up plenty of pictures..... :002:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on September 24, 2018, 09:42:15 PM
Here is an interesting Youtube playlist of 9 videos shot while disassembling a Triumph Daytona 675 triple engine that is very similar to the Tiger 800 engine :

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA7E3823B62B47167 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA7E3823B62B47167)

I watched the 9 videos to see what i will be dealing with ...
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on October 08, 2018, 06:29:45 PM
See this:

https://www.tiger800.co.uk/index.php/topic,24328.msg277838.html#new

about oil-cooled alternator oil-feed bolt (might be..?).
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on October 08, 2018, 08:06:57 PM
Thanks for the tip AvgBear ! Good point.

I forgot to mention that i checked the alternator area and only realized that it is also part of the oil circulation after it saw the long oil feed pipe sticking out from the alternator cover and connected to the oil spray bar that is fitted around the stator coils.
I blew out the oil feed pipe and spray bar with compressed air to make sure that everything was open and free.
Now that i check the assembly drawing again, i have to admit that i did not check the O-ring between the oil feed pipe of the alternator and the engine block.
I'm also not sure how much a problem in that area would contribute to the main oil pressure, so i will put that on my double-check list just to make sure.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on October 08, 2018, 08:46:42 PM
I ordered some tools (micrometer, plastigauge...) for the big engine disassembling adventure i'm going to throw myself into in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile i'm still riding the bike to and back from work (total 45km) as long as it is not too cold in the morning and not too dark in the evenings.
I'm not an engine-whisperer, but i still don't feel or hear anything abnormal with the engine.
But then again, my wife complains that i don't hear her, while she talks quite a lot. So i became a bit insecure about my ability to detect strange noises.  :034:

What i notice is, that in the morning, when the temperature is around or below 10 degrees Celsius, the oil light stays does not come on at idle at all. Not once.
But in the evening when the temperature is above 24 degrees Celsius, the low oil pressure light either flickers or comes on solid at idle (depending on if i had to
ride in a traffic jam at low speed for many kilometers or not). So a change of 14 degrees Celsius in the outside temperature is enough to make the oil light come on.
That means the oil pressure is really balancing on the edge.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Londonglide on October 08, 2018, 09:20:53 PM
Had a worn oil pump on a water cooled VWT25 that did exactly the same. Replacement pump cured it, and no damage found in engine during checkout.
I think the tolerances for the pump are very tight on modern vehicles, so a bit of end play or something can make a huge difference.
Good luck.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on October 09, 2018, 07:38:29 AM
*Originally Posted by Londonglide [+]
Had a worn oil pump on a water cooled VWT25 that did exactly the same. Replacement pump cured it, and no damage found in engine during checkout.
I think the tolerances for the pump are very tight on modern vehicles, so a bit of end play or something can make a huge difference.
Good luck.

Very interesting point Londonglide. 

So it now begs the question...can the pump be accessed without pulling the motor (maybe from the bottom?) and would it be possible to find a known 'good' one to swap in and test.  I'm a wee bit far away in Sydney Australia, so I'm out.

Opening that door a little further...perhaps oil pump pressure relief springs have weakened and are saggy-baggy?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: stevedo on October 14, 2018, 03:27:39 PM
*Originally Posted by Londonglide [+]
Had a worn oil pump on a water cooled VWT25 that did exactly the same. Replacement pump cured it, and no damage found in engine during checkout.
I think the tolerances for the pump are very tight on modern vehicles, so a bit of end play or something can make a huge difference.
Good luck.


The oil/water pump has already been replaced. See Roel1964 reply #151 above.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 10, 2018, 09:50:55 AM
Meanwhile start with the preparation to remove the engine :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040693.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040690.jpg)

I can tell you that it is not easy to remove the engine all by yourself, because you first have to raise the frame at the rear and lower the frame at the front to "free" the rear engine mounts, before you can lift the frame over the engine or lower the engine from under the frame with a motorcycle jack.
I will make pictures when i managed to find a way to remove the engine on my own.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 10, 2018, 09:33:20 PM
After some hours of experimenting, i managed to remove the engine on my own, using a motorcycle jack to support and lower the engine.
First i raised the rear of the bike by putting thick wooden blocks under the centerstand.
I also raised the front by removing the front wheel and using a simple wooden construction to support the raised up front. This way the engine was located high enough from the floor, so i could use a motorcycle jack to lower the engine from under the frame and pull it away.
I'm glad i only put one tiny scratch on the engine while messing around to get it removed, because it took quite some experimenting before i could lower the engine vertically without scratching the engine against the engine mounts or without touching other parts at the back (the gear box.
The engine is standing on the sump guard and i used a strap to keep the engine upright. The engine has a tendency to fall to the right, because of the empty space where the exhaust was, where the sump guard is not supported and connected to the engine.

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040768-removed.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040770.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040771.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040779.jpg)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on November 10, 2018, 09:47:00 PM
Great job Roel, you must be well chuffed to finally get your engine separated, and especially doing it on your "Pat Malone". 

Now the real detective work can begin in earnest!  Will be watching along with great interest.  (But I think you might need a bigger bench...)

Isn't it amazing how much garage 'real estate' gets swallowed up by all the 'gubbins' removed when you pull a motor out.

Good luck and we'll be looking over your shoulder on this journey.  Keep at it and thanks for sharing so eloquently.   :037:



Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 10, 2018, 10:43:37 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Great job Roel, you must be well chuffed to finally get your engine separated, and especially doing it on your "Pat Malone". 

Now the real detective work can begin in earnest!  Will be watching along with great interest.  (But I think you might need a bigger bench...)

Isn't it amazing how much garage 'real estate' gets swallowed up by all the 'gubbins' removed when you pull a motor out.

Good luck and we'll be looking over your shoulder on this journey.  Keep at it and thanks for sharing so eloquently.   :037:

Thank you Gerdy. Your moral support is appreciated. I'm glad i got this far without getting into more problems.
Yes, i will try to get the engine up on a wooden table/bench, so i can work while standing upright.
I'm also very curious if i will find an obvious reason for the low oil pressure inside the engine. I will keep posting.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on November 10, 2018, 10:51:31 PM
plenty of ingenuity so far......  :028: :028:

watching with interest.....
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 18, 2018, 11:00:03 AM
Covers removed to prepare for separation of the crankcase :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040789.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040791.jpg)

Alternator cover still has to be removed in order to separate the crankcase :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040794.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040796.jpg)

Separated crankcase parts :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040801.jpg)

Close-up of the crankshaft. Right is the alternator magnet. Left is the balancer sprocket and far left the camshaft chain sprocket with the cam chain.
The gray stuff in the middle of the journals probably is the left-over of the molybdenum disulphide grease that was used in the factory when the crankshaft was installed.
I don't know what else it could be :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040804.jpg)

Crankshaft removed. At the top you see the balancer shaft :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040814.jpg)

Close-up of the big end and the main crankshaft bearing shells. cylinder 1 is right, cylinder 3 is left.
There is a scratch on the big end bearing of cylinder 1 and also on the big end bearing of cylinder 3.
The main bearing shells have dark spots, not in the middle of the shell but at the sides :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040821.jpg)

Close up of the main bearing shells at the lower crankcase part :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040831.jpg)

Close up of the big end bearing shells seated in the big end caps. Left is the cap of cylinder 3, right is the cap of cylinder 1.
There is a scratch on the bearing shell of the cylinder1 big end cap and a less deep one on the bearing shell of the cylinder 3 big end cap :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040820.jpg)

Close-up of the crankshaft.
I found a scratch, that can be felt when rubbing a fingernail over it, on the main crankshaft bearing between cylinder 2 and 3.
But i'm not sure if the scratch was there, or if i caused it while putting the crankshaft in and out.

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040842.jpg)

I did a plastigauge (the green one) check on all the crankshaft bearings (main and big end).
The big end bearing clearance spec is : 0.035 to 0.065 mm. The plastigauge test (which is very coarse, rough) gave me a result around 0.038 mm
The main bearing clearance spec is : 0.022 to 0.044 mm. The plastigauge test gave me a result also around 0.038 mm. The service limit is 0.070 mm, but it seems that the
main bearing clearance is already at the wide side. I'm not sure if that would result in an oil pressure that is 0,5 to 1 bar lower than normal.
On top of that, i see some darker area's at the sides of the main bearing shells. I'm not sure, but maybe that indicates that the shell has worn more at the sides than in the middle,
while i measured the clearance in the middle of the shell with the plastigauge. I'm not an expert at all, so i might be talking non-sense here.
To be sure, i'm going to do measurements using a micrometer on all the main and big end bearings and crankshaft journals.
And not only in the middle of the bearing shell, but also at the sides, to see if there is an oval wearing pattern (if that is possible at all. I'm thinking of imbalance of the crankshaft).

At the end i will replace the crankshaft and all the bearings anyway, because i hope to fix the problem once and for all.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on November 18, 2018, 05:46:11 PM
Good job.
I see you plan to replace the crankshaft -- will you put it on v-blocks or within centers and check for run-out?
Will you be checking the camshaft bearing clearances?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 19, 2018, 09:55:28 AM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Good job.
I see you plan to replace the crankshaft -- will you put it on v-blocks or within centers and check for run-out?
Will you be checking the camshaft bearing clearances?

i can remove the 2 inner main bearing shells and just use the 2 outer main bearing shells to support the crankshaft. So the outer 2 bearing shells function as
"V-blocks" (in fact U-blocks). Maybe that way i'm able to measure the run-out, because i don't have V-blocks or a lathe with centers to hold the crankshaft.

I will try to measure the journal diameter at different points across the journal (left, middle, right) and also the inner (bore) diameter with the crankshaft removed
and the bearing shells installed. I will measure the inner shell diameter left, middle and right in the middle of the shell but also perpendicular to that (side of the shell).
This will give me the clearance and also any deformation will show.
Maybe i can also measure the thickness of the shell to find deformations.

I guess i have to watch some more youtube video's to get some more idea's/tricks on how to measure the clearances.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on November 19, 2018, 10:23:49 AM
Good progress for sure Roel.  Many years ago on my first time at the plasti-guage rodeo, I munged it up big time and thought the clearances were spot on.  They weren't.  Nothing against plastiguage - I'm sure they are good in the right hands - just not mine.  The clearances were too large and although it brought up oil pressure when cold, unbeknown to me, the crank was flapping around big time. 

A decade or more later I had the measurements taken by an engine builder on a different example of the same engine (a '78 6 cyl. Honda CBX) because I wanted hard data I could really trust.  All good this time.

A few thoughts...

IMHO, it's a bit too much of a coincidence your big end and mains measurements are EXACTLY the same, down too 100th of mm?  Not sayin' it can't happen, but what are the chances?

Not sure if Triumph do this, but on Hondas they have diffferent size (thickness) bearing shells.  May be worth exploring.  Is there a chance the crank on yours could have been changed already and just 'dropped' in on  top of the original bearings.

Whatever crankshaft goes in, be surgically clean and vigilant about cleaning out the oil galleries within the crankshaft.  Some blind galleries may have a ball bearing or similar plugging mechanism to block them off.  Think about extracting them and tapping in a threaded blanking plug, red loctite would be your friend.  The amount of sludge that builds up in them is a real eye opener!

Good luck and keep fighting the good fight - you WILL prevail!



Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 19, 2018, 11:33:25 AM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
Good progress for sure Roel.  Many years ago on my first time at the plasti-guage rodeo, I munged it up big time and thought the clearances were spot on.  They weren't.  Nothing against plastiguage - I'm sure they are good in the right hands - just not mine.  The clearances were too large and although it brought up oil pressure when cold, unbeknown to me, the crank was flapping around big time. 

A decade or more later I had the measurements taken by an engine builder on a different example of the same engine (a '78 6 cyl. Honda CBX) because I wanted hard data I could really trust.  All good this time.

A few thoughts...

IMHO, it's a bit too much of a coincidence your big end and mains measurements are EXACTLY the same, down too 100th of mm?  Not sayin' it can't happen, but what are the chances?

Not sure if Triumph do this, but on Hondas they have diffferent size (thickness) bearing shells.  May be worth exploring.  Is there a chance the crank on yours could have been changed already and just 'dropped' in on  top of the original bearings.

Whatever crankshaft goes in, be surgically clean and vigilant about cleaning out the oil galleries within the crankshaft.  Some blind galleries may have a ball bearing or similar plugging mechanism to block them off.  Think about extracting them and tapping in a threaded blanking plug, red loctite would be your friend.  The amount of sludge that builds up in them is a real eye opener!

Good luck and keep fighting the good fight - you WILL prevail!

Thanks for the tips.
The plastigage measurements are exactly the same because the plastigage test only gives you 4 clearance marks : 0.025, 0.038, 0.051 and 0.076 mm.
All clearances were closer to the 0.038 mm mark than to the 0.025 mark. It is a very coarse test and no gurantee. I think it tells you : don't worry, worry, panic, cry.
i will do proper measurements with a micrometer anyway, because that is the most precise way.
Triumph also has different sizes of bearing shells to get the correct clearance depending on the crankcase/connecting rod bore diameter and the crankshaft journal diameter.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on November 21, 2018, 11:50:15 PM
Roel, just jumping back into the thread again,I've been off the road for some months now , nothing serious  just  :019: You certainly get ten out of ten for your outstanding tenacity and you willingness to  strip the engine to solve our common problem ,leaves me just gob smacked. I'm watching this thread with great interest.I'm sure everyone is wishing and hoping you will be successful. This is PREMIER LEAGUE stuff, best of luck my friend .       :046: 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 22, 2018, 02:42:51 PM
Hey Sean, good to see you again ! I hope you are alright.
Thanks for your kind words. I'm just a curious and persevering guy when it comes to mysterious technical problems. :001:
Did you eventually manage to sell your bike ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on November 22, 2018, 04:05:57 PM
Hi Roel,  I thought I had the light problem sorted.I as it stayed off for a few weeks, (regular driving).I advertised the bike for sale and it sold almost immediately. However  :157: the night before the collection,  the light reappeared! !!!!  I had to inform the buyer of this and he consequently pulled out of the deal. Since then I have re installed the original chain tensioner,  so the bike is back to the spec I bought it at.
Will see how I get on over the next few weeks.
 By the way , did you ever get in touch with  Triumph?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 22, 2018, 08:55:10 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Hi Roel,  I thought I had the light problem sorted.I as it stayed off for a few weeks, (regular driving).I advertised the bike for sale and it sold almost immediately. However  :157: the night before the collection,  the light reappeared! !!!!  I had to inform the buyer of this and he consequently pulled out of the deal. Since then I have re installed the original chain tensioner,  so the bike is back to the spec I bought it at.
Will see how I get on over the next few weeks.
 By the way , did you ever get in touch with  Triumph?
Yes, i remember that you cancelled a deal because the light came back on again after several weeks without any oil light showing up. Very annoying and frustrating. It is no fun to ride a bike knowing that something is not quite right.
I did contact a few Triumph dealers with my story, but only one dealer replied with useful information : He remembered that he once repaired a bike with a low oil pressure problem. The bike was owned by a guy who lived in a big city and who only ride the bike in the city. So a lot of short trips at low speed, so the bike does not get the chance to cool down (no riding wind). The result was that the crankshaft bearings were worn down even though the bike had a rather low mileage. And when the crankshaft bearings are worn, the oil pressure become too low.
He looked up where my bike was first used and found that the previous owner lived in a big city in Germany. So he said that i should check the crankshaft and main bearings to see if they were worn down, even though my bike only has about 27500 km.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on November 22, 2018, 09:31:02 PM
That's a coincidence!  My bike also came in from Germany,
 I bought it privately in Ireland  and when I went to the local bike shop  here to order some parts they were able to tell me
the bike originated in Germany! I'm eagerly awaiting your discoveries with the stripdown.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 22, 2018, 10:25:13 PM
Well Sean, this is what i found after 3 evenings of measuring, re-measuring and double-checking :

I measured all crankshaft journal diameters, crankshaft bore diameters with and without the bearing shells, the bearing shell thickness. I repeated every measurement multiple times at different points to rule out mistakes.
I used professional micrometers (inside and outside micrometers) that i was lucky i could borrow from work, so i'm confident that the measurements are correct.
I also did a double check to confirm the clearance measurements :

i can definitely confirm that :

The crankshaft journals don't show deep scratches but normal wear patterns. Nothing abnormal or extreme.
The crankshaft bearing shells all show normal wear, no discoloration, no extreme situations, no deep scratches. So no disasters but normal wear.
The camshaft journals are all within standard range and the clearances are also all within standard range. I see normal wear on the camshaft journals, so no problems there.

Conclusion :
I'm sure that the low oil pressure in my bike is mainly caused by worn down crankshaft big end bearings (the ones that connect the piston rods to the crankshaft)
and one worn crankshaft main bearing (the one furthest from the oil supply).
I can only guess why the bearings are worn down at only 27500 km. I didn't find anything that indicates real extreme wear or abnormal situations.
So the wear of the bearings must have been accelerated by some issue that has been going on for a long time. A few months ago i found that the coolant was deteriorated
and probably has been for quite a few years. Possibly this has caused a higher temperature (not overheating) within the engine, so also of the bearings. When bearings get
hotter than normal, they wear faster. If that has been going on for years, then that might be an explanation.
But that is just a theory that i can not prove ....
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on November 22, 2018, 10:46:37 PM
F××× me! What do you intend to do now ?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 22, 2018, 11:00:08 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
F××× me! What do you intend to do now ?

Well, the crankshaft itself is still OK, but all the bearing shells (14 pieces of about 10 Euro each) need to be replaced.
First i have to check which size of shells i need to get the right clearance between the journal and the bearing shell.
With all the measurements i did, i can calculate what shell size i need for each crankshaft journal to get the clearance right
Triumph provides 4 shell sizes for the main bearings and 2 for the big end bearings.
In the service manual is a selection chart for the bearing shell sizes. So that is the next step before i can order new bearings.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: SOHUTAA on November 23, 2018, 05:41:22 AM
 :028:!
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Turbotom on November 23, 2018, 08:19:25 AM
Compliments  :062:

Tom
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 23, 2018, 08:51:04 AM
I first did a plastigage test on all the bearings and falsely concluded that all clearances were OK.
HerdyGerdy brought this problem to my attention and he was right that the test can give you false results easily.
Only afterwards i realised why the result was not reliable at all :
The crankshaft is held in place by the bearing shells. The main bearing shells are located in the upper and lower crankcase halves and don't have individual caps.
This means that you can not remove 1 cap of 1 bearing and leave the others bolted down to do a plastigage test. This also means that your crankshaft should be tightly
located in the upper crankcase halve before you do a plastigage test on one of the main bearings and bolt down the lower crankcase halve, thereby pressing all bearing
shells together.
I first removed the crankshaft before i did the plastigage test. So i put back the crankshaft in the upper crankcase halve, then put plastigage on 1 of the journals, and
then bolted down the lower crankcase halve. The plastigage should only get squeezed by the clearance between the crankshaft journal and the crankcase bearing shells.
But what happened was that the plastigage did not only got squeezed by the clearance, but also because the crankshaft was first pushed down tightly into the bearing
shell while bolting down the crankcase halve.
Because the plastigage is squeezed more than only from the clearance, it looks like the clearance is fine.
The same happened, though in less degree, when i was plastigaging the big end bearings, which do have bearing caps, that can be removed individually.
The journal really has to sit tight in the upper bearing shell before plastigaging the journal and bolting down the bearing cap with the lower bearing shell in it.

In my opinion the only really reliable way is to measure the clearance with the right measuring tools, because we are talking about clearances in the range of the height
of a fly-sh*t here. That is why i didn't want to do this in the summer.  :001:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on November 23, 2018, 09:32:58 AM
Hi Roal,
Awful lot of wear for such a low mileage motor, you said earlier that you put it down to getting hot, was that showing on the temp gauge? Mine runs at 5 bars, that is I bar more than my 1050. Most seem to be similar.

Anything else that could have caused this? I am not aware of any high mile T8's amongst my chums but one is pushing 40k miles with no probs. Very interesting thread.

Good luck with it.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on November 23, 2018, 11:01:17 AM
*Originally Posted by Paulhere [+]
Hi Roal,
Awful lot of wear for such a low mileage motor, you said earlier that you put it down to getting hot, was that showing on the temp gauge? Mine runs at 5 bars, that is I bar more than my 1050. Most seem to be similar.

Anything else that could have caused this? I am not aware of any high mile T8's amongst my chums but one is pushing 40k miles with no probs. Very interesting thread.

Good luck with it.

I totally agree Paul. The bearings are meant to last over the full lifetime of the bike, when it is maintained and treated normal.
Of course people here don't know my riding style and my maintenance-schedule, but i treat the bike as a baby. I don't sleep when it cries. :001:

I guess there is also a self-destructive and self-accelerating effect once there is some wear : the wear causes lower oil pressure and the lower oil pressure accelerates the wear.
Strange enough i never saw the coolant temperature rise above the normal value. The coolant temperature and oil temperature are related to eachother, but are not the same at all times
during a ride. The heat exchanger couples the oil temperature to the coolant temperature so the bike warms up faster at a cold start and so the oil is cooled down by the coolant when the bike is hot. But what if the cooling system is not working properly and the acidic coolant has caused rust in the water galleries, radiator and rust particles have gathered in the small heat exchanger channels ? I'm not sure if the coolant temperature is a good indication for oil temperature in that situation, because the rust deposits can act as an isolator between water temperature and cylinder temperature.
Besides that : what happens with the oil that escapes the bearings, that get hotter due to less lubrication and extra friction ? This hot oil drops back to the sump and will rise the
overall oil temperature. But will it rise the overall oil temperature as much as when it would circulate all the way through the engine ?

But maybe the bike has run with the wrong oil type (too thin oil) or with a too low oil level, maybe the previous owner did never change the oil/oil filter, maybe there has been water leaking into the oil, maybe there was gasoline leaking into the oil (leaking injectors as AvgBear mentioned before), maybe ....
I have more questions than answers, because i'm not an expert. And even an expert will not live long enough to see all possible fault situations in a life-time.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on November 23, 2018, 06:22:12 PM
*Originally Posted by Paulhere [+]
Awful lot of wear for such a low mileage motor
Anything else that could have caused this? I am not aware of any high mile T8's amongst my chums but one is pushing 40k miles with no probs.
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
I totally agree Paul. The bearings are meant to last over the full lifetime of the bike, when it is maintained and treated normal.
I guess there is also a self-destructive and self-accelerating effect once there is some wear : the wear causes lower oil pressure and the lower oil pressure accelerates the wear.
Strange enough i never saw the coolant temperature rise above the normal value. The coolant temperature and oil temperature are related to eachother, but are not the same at all times
during a ride. The heat exchanger couples the oil temperature to the coolant temperature so the bike warms up faster at a cold start and so the oil is cooled down by the coolant when the bike is hot.
But maybe the bike has run with the wrong oil type (too thin oil) or with a too low oil level, maybe the previous owner did never change the oil/oil filter, maybe ....
I have more questions than answers, because i'm not an expert. And even an expert will not live long enough to see all possible fault situations in a life-time.
I doubt that an answer isn't possible -- this the 21st century and ICEs have been around for over 100 years (much is known).
I personally think the temperature considerations are a red-herring (altho, I'll accept being proven wrong).
Oil viscosity (and type) are important factors -- and may be unknown due to the bike's unknown history. Oil viscosity depends upon / works in harness with bearing clearances for oil film dynamics. The greater the clearances the lower/thinner the effective oil viscosity (along with loss of pump pressure).
The plain-metal bearings do not rub on one another -- but, ride on a hydrodynamic wedge of oil caused by differences in relative motion of the two parts (brg. journal & housing/case). There are plain-metal bearing designs that operate well and long with very low (almost no) oil pressure -- the oil just needs to be supplied there to form its wedge.
But, one thing that affects bearing life is the smoothness (or, lack thereof) of the surfaces -- especially the crankshaft journals. Automotive machine shops know this and can determine the crankshaft's "finish" condition. Since you plan on keeping the original crankshaft, having it checked for proper smooth finish may be a good idea?
 
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on November 25, 2018, 12:05:48 AM
Very interesting analysis Roel, thank you for taking us along on your journey to enlightenment.

To summarise...

1.  it sounds like your original crank is OK and can be confidently be put back into service.  If correct, that must be a huge relief.

2.  Ditto for con rods and cap and camshafts

3.  A fresh set of OEM big end and main bearings carefully selected to bring the calculated clearances down to the lower end of the acceptable limits sounds like the order of the day?

4.  You may like to consider getting the crankshaft 'super finished' (doesn't change external sizing at all).  My friend in NZ uses this on ALL engine components for his Honda 1100 classic Superbike and they are all noticeably smoother and slipperier than untreated parts.

Given the unknown service & usage history of your engine, the hard data you have unearthed during tear down seems consistent with an engine that has not been treated with the tender ministrations it should have been.

Methinks just clean EVERTHING scrupulously, consider the super-finishing process on the crankshaft (and anything else you can get done for not a lot of incremental cost) and replace the bearings and just put it back together.

Be confident you have discovered the root cause (it can't be anything else?) and enjoy the journey.

Keep at it and again, thanks for sharing - 10/10 for both your tenacity and the scientific approach taken.


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on November 25, 2018, 09:05:31 AM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Hi Roel,  I thought I had the light problem sorted.I as it stayed off for a few weeks, (regular driving).I advertised the bike for sale and it sold almost immediately. However  :157: the night before the collection,  the light reappeared! !!!!  I had to inform the buyer of this and he consequently pulled out of the deal. Since then I have re installed the original chain tensioner,  so the bike is back to the spec I bought it at.
Will see how I get on over the next few weeks.
 By the way , did you ever get in touch with  Triumph?

Hi Sean,
Mulling over this problem with a pal who'd had it on a Sprint. Traced the oil pressure sensor wiring back, turned out connecter had been switched with eml, likely during servicing. Different bike, different wiring, need a diagram to check if possible on T8. Worth a check.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on January 19, 2019, 04:29:31 PM
Meanwhile polished the crankshaft journals and camshaft journals so they have a a very smooth "mirror" finish again.
I will clean all the engine parts in warm soapy water, right before i am going to put everything together again. Because now all parts are still covered with oil, so dust/dirt easily sticks everywhere when handling the parts.

I was so curious about the situation in the water channels of the engine, because i was surprised of all the rust i found when i first flushed the cooling system/heat exchanger. So eventually i also removed the head to get a view on the water channels and head gasket.
This is what i found :

The head looks pretty normal to me.
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040914.jpg)

The top of the head gasket shows some rust around the water holes, where there is no black sealing.
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040915.jpg)

The bottom side of the head gasket, that is in contact with the water, shows the effect of cooling water that has become acidic and has been eating away the black gasket sealing material. I remember that i found a black flake
in the cooling water when i flushed it the first time. At that time i had no clue what it was, but now i know it is
a piece of gasket sealing material. The sealing material around the cylinders i could rub away with my finger easily, because it was almost completely dissolved. Only a very thin bubbly skin of sealing was left.
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040922.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040923.jpg)

In the pictures below you can see that the walls of the cylinder liners are rusty. So i think that is where all the rust came from the first time i flushed the cooling system.
(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040926.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040928.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040929.jpg)

I guess that proves that there actually was a problem with the cooling system as i expected, namely cooling water that has become acidic (maybe due to mixing different types of coolant..)., causing not only rust on the cylinder liners, but also eating away the head gasket sealing where it was in contact with the cooling water.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on January 20, 2019, 12:11:46 AM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
I was so curious about the situation in the water channels of the engine, because i was surprised of all the rust i found when i first flushed the cooling system/heat exchanger. So eventually i also removed the head to get a view on the water channels and head gasket.
This is what i found :
...there actually was a problem with the cooling system as i expected, namely cooling water that has become acidic (maybe due to mixing different types of coolant..)., causing not only rust on the cylinder liners, but also eating away the head gasket sealing where it was in contact with the cooling water.
Triumph specs: HD4X Hybrid OAT (Organic Acid Technology) pre-mixed coolant/antifreeze which is a hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) chemistry that combines the best of conventional and organic acid-based chemistry to provide protection against rust and corrosion. Using ethylene glycol for freeze and boilover protection and a hybrid organic acid corrosion inhibitor package to protect engines (and system metals - including aluminum) from liner pitting and corrosion.
Whilst modern engine coolants are engineered for long life - typically 5 years / 100K miles - Triumph reccos changing the T800's coolant every 2 years / 12K miles.
It looks like you may've dodged a bullet head-gasket-wise? -- failure looks imminent?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: SOHUTAA on January 20, 2019, 05:10:35 AM
I am afraid to misunderstand !!
All these worries would have been generated only because of the non-replacement of the coolant?
Is it this ?
The Tiger seems to be from 2011, and this liquid would be original?
Can we replace this HD4X Hybrid OAT with a coolant for cars, compatible with aluminum alloys?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on January 20, 2019, 12:18:22 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Triumph specs: HD4X Hybrid OAT (Organic Acid Technology) pre-mixed coolant/antifreeze which is a hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) chemistry that combines the best of conventional and organic acid-based chemistry to provide protection against rust and corrosion. Using ethylene glycol for freeze and boilover protection and a hybrid organic acid corrosion inhibitor package to protect engines (and system metals - including aluminum) from liner pitting and corrosion.
Whilst modern engine coolants are engineered for long life - typically 5 years / 100K miles - Triumph reccos changing the T800's coolant every 2 years / 12K miles.
It looks like you may've dodged a bullet head-gasket-wise? -- failure looks imminent?

Well, i'm sure that it does not look like a healthy head gasket. I'm surprised that it didn't already leak.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on January 20, 2019, 12:20:14 PM
*Originally Posted by SOHUTAA [+]
I am afraid to misunderstand !!
All these worries would have been generated only because of the non-replacement of the coolant?
Is it this ?

I'm not 100% sure that (1) the prematurely worn bearings and (2) the deteriorated coolant causing rust/gasket seal flake, that might have clogged up the radiator/heat exchanger, are related. If the bearings wear faster when they run at a higher temperature then normal for years and years, then maybe the cooling problem caused the higher temperatures.
The big end journals had suffered the most, as i can see in my measurements. They come closest to the hot cylinders. On top of that : there are 3 oil sprayers that spray the oil from 3 of the main bearings against the bottom of the 3 cylinders, to cool them down. If the oil pressure is already suffering, i can imagine that the sprayers also lose some effectiveness, because they spray less hard ? So then the cylinders also become hotter.
Can the temperature of the bearings raise enough to cause premature wear, without raising the temperature of the coolant into an overheating-situation ?
I don't know.

*Originally Posted by SOHUTAA [+]
The Tiger seems to be from 2011, and this liquid would be original?
Can we replace this HD4X Hybrid OAT with a coolant for cars, compatible with aluminum alloys?

Maybe the original liquid was mixed with a non-OAT coolant with the same or similar color. When i started investigating the problem, i flushed the coolant and the color was greenish. I'm not sure what the color of the original OAT coolant from the Triumph factory is. I replaced it with OAT coolant from Castrol (Radicool) which was orange/red. All i know is that the last time that i let the coolant out to disassemble the engine, there was no rust and no other particles in the coolant at all. The coolant had been in there for a few 1000 km. So it sure stopped the rust.

There are several types of metal and non-metal that the coolant comes in contact with : aluminium (water galleries), steel (cylinder liners, head gasket), copper (heat exchanger)...,
so you need coolant that is is friendly to all these metal types. I will stick to what the service manual says : Hybrid OAT.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: SOHUTAA on January 20, 2019, 08:00:49 PM
Thank you for these précisions.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on January 21, 2019, 10:23:51 AM
Seems like you are making steady progress Roel, thanks again for having us along on such a PITA journey, none of which has been your doing.

What are your plans from here?  New big end and main bearings, clean out all the rust etc, new head gasket then put it back together?  If yes, on a scale of 1-10, (1 = no chance, 10 = hell yeah!), how confident are you that you will have solved the low oil pressure light issue?

Is there a way to ensure ALL oil galleries, not to mention the big end 'squirters' and oil pump (IIRC you've done that one already?) are all surgically clean and all rust removed before putting it back into one piece?  It would be a real heart breaker if you did all this excellent, well thought out and very methodical analysis, diagnosis and problem resolution only to find the low oil pressure light is still "a thing".

With you in spirit Roel, even if only from upside down on the other side of this big ass rock...

Cheers....herdygerdy
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on January 21, 2019, 08:33:39 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
Well, i'm sure that it does not look like a healthy head gasket.
I'm surprised that it didn't already leak.
If it had been leaking?, it could've caused higher than normal temps and ethylene glycol anti-freeze has been a known corrupter of plain metal bearings when mixed with (contaminated) engine oil.
Reportedly, antifreeze ruins motor oil's lubricating abilities - when mixed - and affects the crankshaft bearings notably.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 05, 2019, 10:34:37 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
If it had been leaking?, it could've caused higher than normal temps and ethylene glycol anti-freeze has been a known corrupter of plain metal bearings when mixed with (contaminated) engine oil.
Reportedly, antifreeze ruins motor oil's lubricating abilities - when mixed - and affects the crankshaft bearings notably.

Thanks AvgBear, that is a very good one !  :020:
Considering the corrosion of the head gasket and the pressures involved, that is a possible and more obvious cause of the premature bearing wear. Even a small leak can
cause damage over 1000's of miles.

For some time i suspected the sealing of the cylinder liners, because the silicone sealer (Threebond 1215) of the cylinder liners comes in direct contact with the cooling water.
When the cooling water becomes acidic, i thought it might have been eating away the silicone sealer, so water could enter the crankcase via the cylinder liners. But i guess the
sealer can withstand acids.
Considering the corrosion of the head gasket, the idea of AvgBear is much more relevant.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 05, 2019, 10:52:51 PM
Meanwhile i replaced the main and big end bearings, polished the crankshaft journals and also the camshaft journals and re-assembled the engine.
I checked the oil pressure with an oil pressure gauge and was surprised that the oil pressure at idle was not a hell lot more with the new bearings.
The pressure still goes below 1 bar at idle and comes close to 0.3 bar when the engine is warmed up (15 minutes of idling), but it does not sink below 0.2 bar as
before the whole rebuild adventure. So i was a little disappointed, but maybe this little change is enough to keep the oil pressure sensor from tripping in hot weather
or when riding in a traffic jam so the bike gets no riding wind.

I hope that the oil light will stay off when the ambient temperature is above 25 degrees in the summer.

I did a test-ride of about half an hour today and everything feels and sounds good. The engine feels smooth as before and sounds the same as before.
The oil light did not come on, but at low speed or cold weather, the problem did not show anyway.
When the weather is a bit better, i will start using the bike for commuting to work and get some extra test-miles.
So i cross my fingers and hope i will not see the oil light ever again....or i will cut the sensor wire ! ;-)

This is a picture of all the parts (seals, fixings, bolts, lock nuts, head bolts, big end bearing bolts....) that i replaced while re-assembling the engine :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040965.jpg)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Turbotom on March 06, 2019, 06:14:16 AM
Top Job :152: I hope the problem is gone.

Tom
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: SOHUTAA on March 06, 2019, 04:57:45 PM
Congratulations on this wonderful job !!
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: herdygerdy on March 06, 2019, 05:21:42 PM
So very pleased you are now back on the road and fingers & legs crossed that pesky oil light issue is now resigned permanently to your past. 

Thank you for sharing your very scientific, methodical and logical approach to diagnosing and solving this problem.  Your tenacity and and ability to get to grips with, and learn from this experience has been exemplary and is a fine example to us all.

Great job so now time to get out there and enjoy. 

Of course, it begs the question, what's next on your radar? - are you keeping it or do you now feel you can move it on to it's next owner with confidence?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 06, 2019, 05:38:18 PM
Thank you all for the hints, tips, ideas and moral support !
This forum has been very helpful in trying to figure out what could have caused this strange and rare problem.
It took a lot of time and effort, but i learned quite a lot about engines in all these months.
With sharing all this, i hope it might help others that have similar problems or just to get some insight in oil pressure problems, but then they sure have a damn lot to read !!  :001:


Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 06, 2019, 06:49:07 PM
*Originally Posted by herdygerdy [+]
So very pleased you are now back on the road and fingers & legs crossed that pesky oil light issue is now resigned permanently to your past. 

Thank you for sharing your very scientific, methodical and logical approach to diagnosing and solving this problem.  Your tenacity and and ability to get to grips with, and learn from this experience has been exemplary and is a fine example to us all.

Great job so now time to get out there and enjoy. 

Of course, it begs the question, what's next on your radar? - are you keeping it or do you now feel you can move it on to it's next owner with confidence?

The question what is next on my radar is a very relevant question. I have mixed feelings because my ratio says : it will take time to get convinced that the problem
is solved and that i did not cause any new trouble, and my heart says : i love that triple engine and it always puts a smile on my face when riding it.
After all the work and money i put in it, i guess it deserves a last chance.
When it gives me oil pressure trouble again, then i need to wave the white flag and apply for a divorce (from the bike that is). It already did cost enough money and energy.
Besides that, there is the no-deal Brexit, so i wonder what will happen with the prices of the Triumph motorcycles here in Europe, the service-parts, service prices once
Great Britain has left the European Union.
As an alternative, i have been checking the Yamaha Tracer 900 (MT-09) because it has a very similar triple engine, a similar weight and a good 2nd hand price.
The suspension of the Yamaha will probably not be as good as the Triumph, but i guess it will be good enough for my purposes.

For the time being, i will keep on riding the Tiger as long as it purrs and does not grab me by the throat.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on March 06, 2019, 09:06:35 PM
Fair play to  you Roel, that was a hell of a job you've  done .Best of luck with it now. :062:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 06, 2019, 09:52:17 PM
*Originally Posted by Seanocaoimh [+]
Fair play to  you Roel, that was a hell of a job you've  done .Best of luck with it now. :062:

Hey, thank you Sean !
One of the dealers that i contacted before, said that replacing the bearings + crankshaft (when necessary) would cost between 1500 and 2000 Euro when i let the dealer
do the job. Now i've done all the work myself, i saved about half that money, but it really is an awful lot of work and there is always a risk of creating new problems.
Still i can only hope that the problem is gone now, but only time will tell if it actually is solved. I need another hot summer to be sure. :-)

So no one can blame you if you want to get rid of the bike, because it really is no fun to see an oil light come on. Surely when there is a whole list of possible causes instead
of just one definite or simple cure.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: walt on March 06, 2019, 11:14:59 PM
great job...hope it turns out ok for you.... :028:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on March 07, 2019, 08:50:18 AM
Did you get to the bottom of what caused this wear? Can't be mileage when we read of boys doing 140k miles on same engine eg FazerPhil.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: grizzlybear on March 07, 2019, 10:26:59 AM
I think he blaming the head gasket🤔
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on March 07, 2019, 10:43:15 AM
*Originally Posted by grizzlybear [+]
I think he blaming the head gasket🤔

Thanks, saved me trawling through. Root cause can be the trickiest bit to solve. Let's hope it's all good.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 07, 2019, 08:26:58 PM
*Originally Posted by Paulhere [+]
Did you get to the bottom of what caused this wear? Can't be mileage when we read of boys doing 140k miles on same engine eg FazerPhil.

The most probable cause is a chain of events, starting with a problem with the coolant  :
When i first drained the coolant and flushed the cooling system, i noticed that there was a lot of rust in the water. So that indicated that the coolant was not OK
(either too old or mixed with a non-(H)OAT type of coolant). When the coolant is too old or mixed, it becomes acidic, thus corrosive.
The coolant comes in contact with the head gasket. When i removed the head gasket, it showed quite some corrosion and the sealing material that covers the
steel gasket was attacked by the acidic coolant.
As AvgBear suggested, the head gasket might have been leaking, so water gets mixed with the oil. When that happens, the oil loses its lubricating ability and the
main and big end bearings wear out fast. When the bearings wear, the oil pressure gradually drops.
The first thing you notice is that the oil light comes on, but only when the engine is idling, because then the oil pressure is at its lowest.
When rev'ing, the oil pressure builds up proportional with the RPM and the oil light goes out again.
That was the symptom of the disease.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 07, 2019, 09:06:51 PM
Here is a picture again of the head gasket with the signs of corrosion and the sealing material bladdering off due to a problem with the coolant :
The sealing material bladdering off of the head gasket could also have (partially) clogged up the heat-exchanger/radiator, causing higher water and oil temperatures.

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1040923.jpg)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 07, 2019, 10:33:50 PM
For those interested in pictures of the sump, the opened up oil/water pump, heat exchanger parts and of the engine rebuild, i have uploaded some videos
to youtube with pictures of all that stuff :



Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Paulhere on March 08, 2019, 08:44:13 AM
Kinell, to say shoite happens is putting it lightly. Good luck with the rebuild, hope it all goes well.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on March 17, 2019, 05:53:00 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
When it gives me oil pressure trouble again, then i need to wave the white flag and apply for a divorce (from the bike that is).
For the time being, i will keep on riding the Tiger as long as it purrs and does not grab me by the throat.
Whichever choice, you've given it your all.
May I suggest, tho: the mechanic's bodge (from time immemorial) of stretching - or replacing/shimming - the spring in the oil pressure relief valve to achieve a higher oil pressure.
Mind, there's no free lunch re. the pressure/volume equation (more pressure/less volume, etc) -- but, more pressure may silence that warning light (if it becomes necessary).
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 18, 2019, 10:52:59 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Whichever choice, you've given it your all.
May I suggest, tho: the mechanic's bodge (from time immemorial) of stretching - or replacing/shimming - the spring in the oil pressure relief valve to achieve a higher oil pressure.
Mind, there's no free lunch re. the pressure/volume equation (more pressure/less volume, etc) -- but, more pressure may silence that warning light (if it becomes necessary).
That would surely help increasing the pressure at higher RPM when the oil pressure becomes high enough to open the relief valve, so oil is bypassed directly to the sump.
By weakening the spring or shimming the relief valve, you can increase or decrease the maximum oil pressure, which is reached at lets say 5000 to 6000 RPM.
But when the bike is idling, which is about 1200 RPM, the oil pressure relief valve is always closed and shimming or weakening the spring has no influence.
It is at the idle RPM that the bike had a bit too low oil pressure, especially when the engine was hot (in hot weather, or after riding a low speed in hot weather) and the oil light came on.

When the problem is not solved with the new bearings, a last trick i could do, is to increase the idle RPM from 1200 to 1350 or 1400. The RPM is set by the ECU via a stepper motor that moves a mechanical lever, that again offsets the minimum opening of the throttle, so to increase/decrease the idle RPM. By removing the mechanical lever or by disconnecting it from the stepper motor, it is possible to set a fixed idle, simply by adjusting a set screw on the throttle. The engine then will always have the same fixed idle RPM, whether the engine is cold or hot, whether at high altitude or low. Most people that use this trick on the Tiger report that there are no issues when using a fixed idle RPM in any circumstances.
The higher idle RPM will result is a slightly higher oil pressure at idle, just enough to keep the oil light off..... hopefully....
In a few months i know if i need the trick or not.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 19, 2019, 07:19:09 PM
*Originally Posted by Roel1964 [+]
simply by adjusting a set screw on the throttle.
I'm referring to the throttle stop screw that can be used to set the idle RPM after disconnecting the stepper motor lever from the stepper motor, so the stepper can not adjust the idle throttle position anymore.

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/Stepper-motor-idle-control.jpg)

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/Manual-idle-adjust.jpg)

It is quite difficult to adjust this stop screw while the throttle body is installed, so i will try to find a way to do this.

Another way is to keep the lever, move the stepper out of the way (it has to stay connected because otherwise an error will be flagged) and make a construction to adjust the lever using a bolt.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on March 23, 2019, 03:55:07 PM
I decided to attack the problem from 2 sides simultaneous. 1 side is the new bearings and the other side is increasing the idle RPM from 1200 to 1400, because it seems
to be easier than i first thought and it will give some extra oil pressure at idle and me some extra faith and less red-(oil)-light-paranoia.

So today i investigated how the idle stepper motor mechanism and the throttle stop screw at the bottom of the throttle body work.
I discovered that i only need to adjust the throttle stop screw at the bottom of the throttle body to set the minimum idle RPM, which is used when the engine is warmed up.
So i don't need to do move the stepper motor out of the way and i don't need to remove the stepper motor lever at all. The stepper motor mechanism is only able to raise
the RPM above the minimum that is set by the throttle stop screw. The stepper motor can not move the idle RPM below that minimum. So the throttle stop screw is the one
that determines the idle RPM when the engine is warmed up.

The stepper motor increases the idle RPM at a cold start and does this via a lever that moves the throttle valve further open.
When the engine is warmed up, the stepper decreases the RPM again to the minimum idle RPM, which is set by the throttle stop screw.

So to increase the "warm engine" idle RPM, all you have to do is adjusting the throttle stop screw.
Additionally, you can use tuneECU to re-calibrate the ICS (idle control stepper) by re-adjusting the TPS (throttle position sensor) and the screw on top of the stepper motor axis,
so the cold start idle is also higher.
But this re-calibration is not necessary when the cold start idle is high enough and you only want to have a higher idle RPM when the engine is warm.

Original throttle stop screw (M5 thread=0.8 metric) :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1050035.jpg)

New throttle stop screw so you can adjust the idle RPM with the throttle body installed.
The head of the allen bolt (M5x30 or M5 x 25) is pressed into a 3D-printed part that allows to adjust the screw with 1 finger.
The screw is hard to reach, so the shape of the part is designed so you can push against it to rotate the screw in either direction.
This part can also be made out of wood, plexiglas/perspex ... :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1050014.jpg)

New adjustable throttle stop screw assembled :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1050020.jpg)

New throttle stop screw installed at the bottom of the throttle body :

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1050022.jpg)

New throttle stop screw can be reached while the throttle body is installed.
I don't have small hands, but i can adjust the screw with 1 finger without touching any hot parts of the engine.
The screw has to be adjusted when the engine is hot, so the stepper motor is not pushing the throttle valve open and the throttle is resting against the throttle stop screw.

(https://photos-cdn.tiger800.co.uk/P1050025.jpg)
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on May 16, 2019, 10:34:59 PM
I'm using the bike almost every day now with the new crankshaft bearings and i also increased the idle RPM slightly to 1350 RPM (instead of 1200 RPM) by adjusting
the idle stop screw located at the bottom of the throttle body. (see posts above)
I didn't remove the stepper motor or the lever connected to the stepper motor. This way, the stepper can still increase RPM temporarily when cold starting the bike.
i didn't see the low oil pressure light coming on anymore when the engine is idling after it has been driven hot.

What i learned by fiddling with the idle RPM is that the oil pressure does not decrease linearly with decreasing RPM all the way, but that it drops off fast when RPM is decreased below
about 1100 RPM (at least with my bike). By raising the idle RPM to 1350 RPM, this raises oil pressure enough to stay out of the "low oil pressure zone" even when the engine
is really hot (riding in a traffic jam on a hot day).

So i'm enjoying the smoothness and power of the triple again, without too much worries !

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: KildareMan on May 17, 2019, 09:33:51 AM
Nice photos and description.  Well done on the repair.   :028:
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: RJVieira on July 24, 2020, 02:24:13 PM
After some search over the forum I've found this topic...

I have the exact same problem... in hot days and at idle the low pressure oil light turns on.

Coincidence or not, this problem appeared the first day after I've flushed and putted new cooling liquid. Of course, changing oil and oil filter, because I was going to do a trip.
That same night, the low pressure light turned on for a glance. I didn't bother at the time, because it was one time and just for a glance so I assumed it was some bobbles in the cooling circuit. Days after I went from Portugal to Poland, and the light never showed up again during the entire trip, so I assumed it was nothing.

Arriving to Portugal, the light turned on again. Not all the time, but sometimes after long period of riding. I thought "Ok, this is probably because of the oil filter and oil", because I did a 9000km trip.

Changed the oil and the oil filter. The problem never showed up again. But now this topic put me thinking, summer was ending by that time, so colder weather. Never turned on the light in the winter.

Next summer, light show its signs of something wrong, again, sometimes. Now I see why, because I had the idle a bit high, because I adjusted the stepper motor, and the idle stayed a little higher.

Winter arrived, again never showed up... This summer I adjusted the stepper motor to 12000rpm, and now the light it's a constant in hot days and in traffic. By this time I assumed it was only in hot days, from what I read from you, same thing with you.

I already bought new cooling liquid, oil and oil filter for changing... I'll try to clean as much as I can the cooling circuit and the oil circuit... I'll adjust the shims and the throttle bodies... but for what I see, probably it wont work.

Did you solved the problem for good? Or only because it's on higher RPM?

I admire your work, I try to do the most that I can in my motorcycle, but your work it's a different league... congratulations.

See you.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on July 30, 2020, 09:11:38 AM
*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
After some search over the forum I've found this topic...

I have the exact same problem... in hot days and at idle the low pressure oil light turns on.

Coincidence or not, this problem appeared the first day after I've flushed and putted new cooling liquid. Of course, changing oil and oil filter, because I was going to do a trip.
That same night, the low pressure light turned on for a glance. I didn't bother at the time, because it was one time and just for a glance so I assumed it was some bobbles in the cooling circuit. Days after I went from Portugal to Poland, and the light never showed up again during the entire trip, so I assumed it was nothing.

Arriving to Portugal, the light turned on again. Not all the time, but sometimes after long period of riding. I thought "Ok, this is probably because of the oil filter and oil", because I did a 9000km trip.

Changed the oil and the oil filter. The problem never showed up again. But now this topic put me thinking, summer was ending by that time, so colder weather. Never turned on the light in the winter.

Next summer, light show its signs of something wrong, again, sometimes. Now I see why, because I had the idle a bit high, because I adjusted the stepper motor, and the idle stayed a little higher.

Winter arrived, again never showed up... This summer I adjusted the stepper motor to 12000rpm, and now the light it's a constant in hot days and in traffic. By this time I assumed it was only in hot days, from what I read from you, same thing with you.

I already bought new cooling liquid, oil and oil filter for changing... I'll try to clean as much as I can the cooling circuit and the oil circuit... I'll adjust the shims and the throttle bodies... but for what I see, probably it wont work.

Did you solved the problem for good? Or only because it's on higher RPM?

I admire your work, I try to do the most that I can in my motorcycle, but your work it's a different league... congratulations.

See you.

To be absolutely sure that the oil pressure sensor is not fooling you, the only way to know if the oil pressure actually gets too low is measuring it with a pressure gauge and check how far the oil pressure drops when the engine is hot.
But there is no specification of what the oil pressure should be at an idle RPM of 1200. I only know that the oil pressure sensor triggers when the pressure gets below something around
0.3 bar. The trigger value moves somewhat with temperature. When cold, it triggers when the pressure goes below 0.3 bar and when hot it triggers when the pressure goes below 0.5 bar.
So when the engine is hot, the sensor will sooner complain about low oil pressure.
So the oil pressure should stay well above 0.5bar when the engine is hot in order to keep the sensor from triggering.
What i also saw is that the oil pressure drops linear with decreasing RPM as long as the pressure is above this 0.5 bar.  When decreasing the RPM so the pressure becomes lower than 0.5 bar, the pressure drops very quickly.
Both effects (oil pressure sensor drift with high temperatures and fast drop off of the oil pressure at idle) add up and the oil pressure sensor will trigger the low oil pressure light to come on.

It can be a coincidence that you seem to have this problem after flushing and changing to new coolant, but maybe check that the cooling system pressurizes properly when the engine is hot. When squeezing the hoses with the engine heated up, the hoses going to the radiator should be under pressure. Keep an eye on the coolant level to see if there is a small leak that might cause air to get into the cooling system.
Make sure the thermostat is working and that the cooling fans are working.

I never managed to solve the root cause of the problem. All i could do is cure the symptoms by adjusting the idle to around 1350 RPM to keep the oil light off no matter how hot the engine is. And i can say that i turned the engine inside out hoping to find a problem. But i didn't find anything really bad.
My only worry was that the pressure would become too low to lubricate the camshafts and valves properly because they are they are the most far away from the oil pump, so that is why i wanted to increase the idle, not just to keep the light off but to make sure the oil pressure is high enough so the camshafts and valves are lubricated enough.
The Tigers runs pretty hot compared with other bikes that i had. I don't know if it is because the fuel injection is set pretty lean nowadays to meet the strict environmental regulations or that the cooling system of the Tiger is just not designed well enough to do the job. Most other bikes i had, had an oil cooler instead of a small heat exchanger.

Keep us informed when you found something.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: RJVieira on August 01, 2020, 08:54:52 AM
Thank you for the reply.

I'll check the cooling system for leaks and measure the oil pressure as you advice. I'm no mechanic, but I don't wont to pay a gigantic amount of money to reach the end without a solution.

I already bought new coolant and new oil, I'll try to change it next week and check all of that.

One of the things I've noticed, in those hot days when the oil pressure triggers, the RPM of the engine it's at 800/900... on the RPM dash, it's written that the minimal RPM is 1000... I saw the post that you changed the stop screw to raise the RPM, I'll try to do the same, because when I turn the throttle and raise RPM to 1100, the light goes out... So I assumed the RPM is dropping to much causing oil pressure to drop to much also. Probably the stepper motor needs again some cleaning and adjusting...

Thank you,
I'll let you know if raising the RPM to 1100/1200 worked.   
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Roel1964 on August 01, 2020, 09:28:27 AM
*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
Thank you for the reply.

I'll check the cooling system for leaks and measure the oil pressure as you advice. I'm no mechanic, but I don't wont to pay a gigantic amount of money to reach the end without a solution.

I already bought new coolant and new oil, I'll try to change it next week and check all of that.

One of the things I've noticed, in those hot days when the oil pressure triggers, the RPM of the engine it's at 800/900... on the RPM dash, it's written that the minimal RPM is 1000... I saw the post that you changed the stop screw to raise the RPM, I'll try to do the same, because when I turn the throttle and raise RPM to 1100, the light goes out... So I assumed the RPM is dropping to much causing oil pressure to drop to much also. Probably the stepper motor needs again some cleaning and adjusting...

Thank you,
I'll let you know if raising the RPM to 1100/1200 worked.   

800/900 RPM sounds pretty low to me.
If you have the dealer tool software, i would suggest to first check the throttle body synchronisation. When the throttles are out of balance/synchronisation, this can also affect the idling of the engine.
When the throttle body synchronisation is OK and the idle is still low, then maybe also reset the learned values to force the ECU to start all over again with trimming the fuel injection based
on the TPS, coolant temperature and intake air pressure. When you reset the ECU by letting the bike idle for 15 minutes, then maybe put a fan close to the radiator and the regulator/rectifier when doing this in hot weather. I blew the regulator/rectifier once doing this in hot weather. The rectifier/regulator is positioned directly above the radiator/exhausts, so it gets pretty hot there when the bike does not get any riding wind. A fan will help to keep the temperature from rising too high.
Also check that your battery is still OK. When the alternator is working hard to keep the battery charged, this can also lower the idle speed.
If all that is OK, i guess you ruled out most of the other obvious causes of a low RPM, before you start adjusting the idle stop screw or checking the stepper motor.

Success. Keep us informed. Maybe we can learn something new.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: Seanocaoimh on September 17, 2020, 01:45:37 PM
 :187:
  Hi all,
    Just to inform those interested in how I faired out with the manual adjuster cable I fitted to the  tiger.
I removed the throttle bodies, which gave me access to
The set screw. I removed the screw and installed a cbr 600 cable adjuster, which threaded straight in/on. Took the bike for a ride, it idled at 1300rpm  ,but the oil light came back on. I then replaced the cable with the original set screw and found I had a flat spot at 2800rpm . I then performed the 12min re - programming which sorted out the flat spot. Six minutes into the re-program the low pressure light came on and for the remaining time  it stayed on with no effect on the engine. I didn't have to touch /remove the stepper motor.

Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: RJVieira on September 20, 2020, 11:38:38 AM
Hi there again,

The problem continues, I've changed the oil, oil filter and coolant. Send the bike to the mechanic to check valve clearance. After the valve clearance, the bike looks smoother and more responsive. As I've said, when the weather was to hot, the RPM used to drop to 800/900rmp. After the checking the valves the RPM is where is supposed to be 1100/1200rpm...

Same as you, the problem was "solved" for a few days. Now the light turns on at 1100rpm... same thing, push the throttle a little bit, and the light turn off. I've noticed the oil pressure light turns on when the engine is more or less at 100ºC... the fan quicks in at 103º.

I was thinking on changing the fan to turn on at 100ºC, is there a problem to make the fan to turn sooner?

Next step I'll do the throttle body balance.

By the way, checking valve clearance the mechanic noticed the tensioner was done and need to be changed, but he said tha cam chain was ok... Is it normal the tensioner to last only 87000km?
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on September 20, 2020, 06:04:41 PM
*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
The problem continues, the problem was "solved" for a few days. Now the light turns on at 1100rpm... same thing, push the throttle a little bit, and the light turn off.
Oil pressure can be a function of temperature and the oil's viscosity -- along with clearances within the engine. The easiest to change of those three would be the oil's viscosity -- IOW, heavier/thicker oil.

*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
By the way, checking valve clearance the mechanic noticed the tensioner was done and need to be changed, but he said tha cam chain was ok...
The FSM outlines a procedure for checking accumulated cam-chain wear (stretch) which is measuring a certain distance between pins (while stretched) and comparing to the factory's service limit. The plastic tensioner and guide blades may also be worn and need replacing.
If the automatic cam-chain tensioner is at the extended limit of its travel?, replacing it (without replacing worn cam-chain and/or parts) will only let the replacement extend to its limit as well.

*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
Is it normal the tensioner to last only 87000km?
Engines wear -- the generally accepted view is that of an ordinary bathtub where, when looking from a side view, engine wear is high - initially - and quickly falls to a relatively low level for most of the engine's life. This low level is analogous to the bottom/floor of the bathtub and is of an undetermined length (engine's normal life). Then, nearing the end of the engines life the wear begins to gradually increase (the tapered end of the bathtub) due mainly to increasing clearances / worn parts.
No one knows how long a T800 engine will last -- (to my knowledge) we haven't seen 200K miles yet.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: RJVieira on September 28, 2020, 03:51:07 PM
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
Oil pressure can be a function of temperature and the oil's viscosity -- along with clearances within the engine. The easiest to change of those three would be the oil's viscosity -- IOW, heavier/thicker oil.

Thank you for the reply.
I've tried 10w50 from castrol, also tried fully synthetic and semi-synthetic. The light turns on as using 10w40 from castrol fully synthetic. I'll try to see if the pressure is inside de limits when rising the rpm.

*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
The FSM outlines a procedure for checking accumulated cam-chain wear (stretch) which is measuring a certain distance between pins (while stretched) and comparing to the factory's service limit. The plastic tensioner and guide blades may also be worn and need replacing.
If the automatic cam-chain tensioner is at the extended limit of its travel?, replacing it (without replacing worn cam-chain and/or parts) will only let the replacement extend to its limit as well.

I thought the same, I've never heard of people complaining with Triumph tensioner. I ask him if it was the blades or the cam chain... but he continued to say it's the tensioner, the blades and chain were perfect, only in low rpm was noticeable the tensioner problem, when rpm rises the chain gets tension... I used to had a Honda, it's normal the tensioner to last more or less 50.000km... but in Triumph never heard... I'll ask another dealer for a second opinion.

Thank you for your reply.
Title: Re: Low oil pressure light
Post by: AvgBear on September 28, 2020, 04:20:03 PM
*Originally Posted by RJVieira [+]
I've never heard of people complaining with Triumph tensioner.
Thank you for your reply.
You're welcome.
The cam-chain tensioner can be a problem (it is a mechanical part...). It's operated by both light spring pressure and oil pressure -- so, if the oil pressure is low - so is the pressure to move the tensioner's plunger.
But the real problem that often affects the automatic cam-chain tensioner is a failure of plunger's non-return system. The plunger has circumferential detent grooves along its length and an internal (snap-ring-like) register ring that's designed to hold the plunger in-place once exended and not allow it to be pushed back by irregular cam-chain forces. If these parts are worn/broken/improperly assembled the tensioner may not work as designed.
IOW, the cam chain tensioner can be faulty.