Thunderbird 1600 ABS OIL PRESSURE PROBLEM

Dave O

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I have oil pressure problems with my T Bird. It has traveled 71000 Km, with no engine problems or rattles BUT.
I was out on the bike on a 20 degree day. After about 50 Km had to slow down through a town and the oil light came on. Checked oil ect that was OK. No rattles or knocks so thought must be the switch and carried on my way.
Every time I stopped and the bike idled the light came on?
Took it to a Dealer they checked it out and said all OK. A couple day's later it came on again so I replaced the switch. Still the same.
I have now checked my oil pressure with a Gauge at the oil switch port.
Found that when I first start the engine the oil pressure on idle and at 1500 RPM is all good. The hotter the engine got the pressure dropped till the engine was at running temp and the cooling fan is cycling the pressure dropped to 0 to 3 psi "no wonder the oil light came on" Bring the motor up to around 900 to 1000 RPM and it registers around 5 psi. "to low yes"
I have removed the oil pump and it is well within the specs. "so no problem there"
Has anyone suffered with this problem or have any explanations as why? I have changed my oil to 15/50 synthetic still have the problem.
I do not ride at excessive speed or ride at high RPM in other words I don't thrash the life out of it. It's regualy serviced.
I look after my bike even though it has done that many Kilometers it looks like it has just rolled out of the show room.
I have contacted Triumph but you know what they said "----------------------------------------------------------------------" That's it sweet FA? ÖH I got a case No but that is it.
I suppose that will keep me happy for a while "yeah right".
Thanks for reading my post "Ride on and stay young"
 

CarlS

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I cannot help you with this one. But please let us know when you find the cause.
 

Qship

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That is interesting. Was it a fully qualified tech that checked the oil pump and pressures?
 

Dave O

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That is interesting. Was it a fully qualified tech that checked the oil pump and pressures?
yes it was and the bike was fine for the next ride but its doing it again. I am checking along the lines of the pressure release valve now. Ill keep the forum informed of how it goes and really appreciate any advice given.
 

Qship

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Wish I could offer some insight, but this is the first time I have heard of this. I had a T'bird for 4 years. They had their share of engine issues(rattling, compression cams breaking, etc) but never heard of oil pressure issues.
 

Dave O

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Wish I could offer some insight, but this is the first time I have heard of this. I had a T'bird for 4 years. They had their share of engine issues(rattling, compression cams breaking, etc) but never heard of oil pressure issues.
 

Dave O

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Thanks, yes a bit of a mystery ill let you know how I go
 

dazco

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It's been documented by several guys with oil pressure gauges these bikes drop really low like you stated at idle, around 2-3 PSI. So given that my guess is the idle is a hair too low, just enough to trigger the light. First thing i would do is to do the "12 minute tune". If u r not familiar with that, it's a proceedure that triumph recommends to re-calibrate most ECU controlled engine functions including the idle. You start the bike being sure not to touch the throttle, then let it idle till the fan comes on. That will usually take about 15-20 minutes. Once you hear the fan start time it and stop the engine after 12 minutes from that point. This as cured a lot of issues like this for others. It's not a guranteed "fix", but it may well do the trick so it's worth a try. If that doesn't work u can try tuneecu to adjust the idle in the map a bit higher. If u aren't familiar with tuneecu, it;s an app you install on a laptop and you need a particular cable u can get on ebay for about $10-20 to hook it up to the bike. If u knoiw what tune is in it u can download that tune, change the idle in tuneecu and save it. Then load it into the bike. U can also upload the tune thats in the bike to the laptop and then change the idle and then reload it to the bike. The reason I suggested getting the map (u can get them from tuneecu.com along with all info on what cable and all else u need to know) and changing that rather then uploading the map in the bike to the PC is it takes about 20 minutes to get the map from bike to PC. Loading it into the bike takes about 20 seconds. Anyways, i have had limited success changing the idle but i'm not sure why. It is an option u can try tho. Before you do any of this tho i would hold the throttle slightly open to bring the idle to 850 if it isn't already there, or maybe 900 and see if the light goes out. If it does then it may be worth trying to adjust it. But first thing i;d do is the 12 minute tune. Thats fixed tons of issues for people by allowing the bike to fully adapt w/o riding it and i believe it also adapts some things that don't typically adapt while riding like the ISCV which i believe affects idle.
 

Dave O

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It's been documented by several guys with oil pressure gauges these bikes drop really low like you stated at idle, around 2-3 PSI. So given that my guess is the idle is a hair too low, just enough to trigger the light. First thing i would do is to do the "12 minute tune". If u r not familiar with that, it's a proceedure that triumph recommends to re-calibrate most ECU controlled engine functions including the idle. You start the bike being sure not to touch the throttle, then let it idle till the fan comes on. That will usually take about 15-20 minutes. Once you hear the fan start time it and stop the engine after 12 minutes from that point. This as cured a lot of issues like this for others. It's not a guranteed "fix", but it may well do the trick so it's worth a try. If that doesn't work u can try tuneecu to adjust the idle in the map a bit higher. If u aren't familiar with tuneecu, it;s an app you install on a laptop and you need a particular cable u can get on ebay for about $10-20 to hook it up to the bike. If u knoiw what tune is in it u can download that tune, change the idle in tuneecu and save it. Then load it into the bike. U can also upload the tune thats in the bike to the laptop and then change the idle and then reload it to the bike. The reason I suggested getting the map (u can get them from tuneecu.com along with all info on what cable and all else u need to know) and changing that rather then uploading the map in the bike to the PC is it takes about 20 minutes to get the map from bike to PC. Loading it into the bike takes about 20 seconds. Anyways, i have had limited success changing the idle but i'm not sure why. It is an option u can try tho. Before you do any of this tho i would hold the throttle slightly open to bring the idle to 850 if it isn't already there, or maybe 900 and see if the light goes out. If it does then it may be worth trying to adjust it. But first thing i;d do is the 12 minute tune. Thats fixed tons of issues for people by allowing the bike to fully adapt w/o riding it and i believe it also adapts some things that don't typically adapt while riding like the ISCV which i believe affects idle.
 

Dave O

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Hi All
Thanks for all the replies to my oil pressure problem.
I have cured it in the end I dropped the sump to change the pressure release valve and as I was pouring out the excess oil remaining in the sump. I was not really thinking at the time I was pouring into an old oil drain tray with a lot of crap in it. As I poured it in I suddenly saw a bit of something flat and soft about 1 inch round drop into the oil from the part of the sump where the oil pick up is. It was not hard so it probably broke up so I would never find it through all the other :shit: in the tray.
I should of looked before I poured? When I saw that lump of gunk go in the tray I stopped and looked at what was left and that's when I saw strips of gasket goo.
some of it was in the pick up as well.
The puzzling thing is the engine has never been down except for valve adjustments done by 2 different dealers. There is no sign of gasket goo on that's been used on the engine 'but who knows'
So how that all got into the sump is a mystery.
One thing I did not say in my first post was even at speed the oil light came on a couple of times for a second or two, but at idle was the worse and on most of the time.
I replace the oil filter, pressure relief valve and checked the oil pump tolerances "what was all OK"
But since I have done it got the engine hot with the fan cycling and all's good.
Once again thanks to your input. Safe ridding to you all.
 

dazco

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Wow, thats strange but great u found it. But i have a question for u now....i have partially stripped my sump's drain hole so i can't tighten the plug enough to keep it oil tight and it leaks a few drops per day. I know there are several fixes but none seem very reliable and some not easy or can go wrong easily. So i think i will need to find a sump (if even possible with the bike discontinued and parts already hard to find) and change it. But in my current living situation this will not be something i can do if it;s a big job which it seems to be. So how much work was it? I know u have to drain the coola=nt and probably remove brake lines and such. But what can you tell me as far as gotcha's, time and how tedious it is?
 

CarlS

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Hi All
Thanks for all the replies to my oil pressure problem.
I have cured it in the end I dropped the sump to change the pressure release valve and as I was pouring out the excess oil remaining in the sump. I was not really thinking at the time I was pouring into an old oil drain tray with a lot of crap in it. As I poured it in I suddenly saw a bit of something flat and soft about 1 inch round drop into the oil from the part of the sump where the oil pick up is. It was not hard so it probably broke up so I would never find it through all the other ::shit:: in the tray.
I should of looked before I poured? When I saw that lump of gunk go in the tray I stopped and looked at what was left and that's when I saw strips of gasket goo.
some of it was in the pick up as well.
The puzzling thing is the engine has never been down except for valve adjustments done by 2 different dealers. There is no sign of gasket goo on that's been used on the engine 'but who knows'
So how that all got into the sump is a mystery.
One thing I did not say in my first post was even at speed the oil light came on a couple of times for a second or two, but at idle was the worse and on most of the time.
I replace the oil filter, pressure relief valve and checked the oil pump tolerances "what was all OK"
But since I have done it got the engine hot with the fan cycling and all's good.
Once again thanks to your input. Safe ridding to you all.
Glad you found the trouble and solved it. Thanks for letting us know. TUP
 

Dave O

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Wow, thats strange but great u found it. But i have a question for u now....i have partially stripped my su
mp's drain hole so i can't tighten the plug enough to keep it oil tight and it leaks a few drops per day. I know there are several fixes but none seem very reliable and some not easy or can go wrong easily. So i think i will need to find a sump (if even possible with the bike discontinued and parts already hard to find) and change it. But in my current living situation this will not be something i can do if it;s a big job which it seems to be. So how much work was it? I know u have to drain the coola=nt and probably remove brake lines and such. But what can you tell me as far as gotcha's, time and how tedious it is?
It's not as hard as you think to remove the sump!
I found it easier to remove the Radiator. 1x bolt on the cover,2xhose clamps, 1xbolt holding the radiator and disconnect the cooling fan wire. Remove the water pipe 1xbolt + brake line clamp. Now if you remove the 2x bolts that hold the brake lines brackets at each end of the sump you can pull the brake lines over enough to clear the sump. Remove the water pipe this is quite tight so you probably have to give it a helping hand. Don't be afraid of bending the brake lines a little it will not brake them and you can bend them back after They don't need a lot. Remove the bolts retaining the sump ( there is a pipe clamp on the left side that may need loosening so as to allow the sump to clear to remove. The sump may need a bit of help to come down it is quite tight. That is it it's off.
There is one way to do your sump plug is find a larger threaded plug have the thread taken out to that size and that's it done. Save you buying a sump. Have the tapping of the thread done by a machine shop so it is smack bang in line cause if the thread is not inline it will still leak.
The parts you need are: Sump Gasket and 2x O/rings for the water pipe that fits into the sump.
Have you a bike jack? If you have jack the bike up and make up 3x stable platforms for the front, back wheels and the stand. Then you are up enough to work at ease under the bike. Or you can lay it on it's side! But I did not like that idea. this just makes life a bit easier working on the underside of the bike as long as you get a little bit of height that is good so you could run it up on blocks! What ever you think is best, but make sure the bike cannot fall Especially on you! "IT WILL BLOODY HURT"
So all in all it is quite easy and you will think what was all the fuss about.
Let me know how you go.
Ride on.
 

Linkdog

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Can you tell us the oil pressure you have now with the new parts?
 

VABird

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I have an oil pressure gauge, and as Dazco says, the OP is eerily low at idle. Check it at 3500 RPM
Shop manual states Oil Pressure (in main gallery) 3.00 - 3.60 Bar at 3,500 rpm
 

VABird

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Daz... they make oversized oil plugs. Check in any chain auto parts house.
 

Dave O

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Fred Flynn

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My experience. I bought my ‘14 LT used from a dealer. Of course he changed the oil As part of his dealer prep and he put a Fram oil filter on. After I got about 1000 miles on the oil, and just past dealer used warranty, the light came on at idle. Checked the pressure and it was 1-3 psi until 1200 rpm. First thing I did was change the oil to Castrol Power 1 10w50 4T full synthetic and a K&N filter (I like the nut on the filter). The pressure was now 5-6 at idle and it seems to run quieter, smoother. I don’t know what oil the dealer used but if the filter was any indication, it was junk. Fram filters are all cardboard inside and have a real problem with collapsing bypass valves, which can reduce oil flow and put junk in the sump.

PS. My LT1700 is a “rattler”. It’s very obvious at shift points and almost constant @ 60mph in 5th gear. Like most of the research shows, this is an issue of short piston skirts and too much of cylinder bore clearance, but long-term is not destructive, just a nuisance. I normally don’t subscribe to oil additives, as I think of them as shot-term solutions that mask the real problem. BUT, I started running Z-Max in the oil and it has reduced the rattle by at least 50%. It has not affected oil pressure at all.

Just my humble opinion.

Flynstone
 

Arrowbear rider

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Thanks for the recommendation Fred, I may try that, my 14 Commander has the rattles too. I found out about the rattle problem and other issues after I bought the bike, all reviews and write ups of the bike are all positive and none mention any of the negatives.

I only found out after joining the boards, after, while at the dealer signing new paperwork for a lower interest rate I was able to add a 2 year warranty for about half of what the dealer originally quoted for 3 years. I am thinking of at the end of next summer (about 1 1/2 years of warranty) having the dealer check out the fix, am I correct that they have fixed the rattle with new pistons and sleeves? But, do I want them to open a good engine if the rattle doesn't cause long term damage?
 

Qship

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@dazco Have you thought about having a helicoil installed in the sump drain plug hole? Will retain the existing thread size and plug then.
 
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