The Lost Von Dutch, Pt. 2

Bad news from the Triumph's engine bay.

The Lost Von Dutch, Part 2

The Lost Von Dutch, Part 2

What to do with the Von Dutch Triumph now that it's in my possession? Well, if the paint was worse than it appeared in the eBay photos—and it was—the engine turned out to be a full-blown (emphasis on that last bit) disaster.

I had taken the bike to my friend Denny Berg for the engine's post-mortem, more than a little troubled by the curled and snapped connecting rod that had been included in the T110's box of bits-n-pieces. Denny, of course, is responsible for Cobra USA's custom showbikes but has lots of old Triumphs in his past.

"I pulled the motor apart early this morning," Denny's e-mail began. "Found out that the broken roddidcome from this motor. The bad news is that almost everything in the engine is trashed, sorry.

"The right crankcase was cracked when the rod let go. Someone disassembled the motor and even cleaned the left case, then removed the broken rod and reassembled the parts. As you can see, the engine was under water at one time. The crank might be savable by welding up the throw and grinding (it needs to be checked to see if it's bent). The cylinder flanges are both broken, and the cams are junk. The 8-bolt head looks okay, needs valves/guides/springs/retainers. I found a mud-dauber wasp nest in the intake... The magneto drive gear was damaged (teeth missing), coulda happened before or after the rod snapped, who knows?

"I'd be nice to keep these cases; either replace the right side and match/linebore the next one, or weld this one up and hope for the best. The cam idler-gear spindle is loose in the right case, too. The crank is a one-piece (later model) part with light flywheels. Both rods gotta be replaced and matched, and both pistons...

"The 8-bolt cylinder might be hard to find, maybe we can bore in a couple of new liners. The 8-bolt heads were famous for cracking between the bores, but this on hasn't cracked yet. Both cams are 'stepped,' showing a lot of wear from too-heavy valve springs. The breather valve at the end of the intake cam was missing, probably under the bench of the guy that tore it down last time. All the cam bushings are worn out, gotta be replaced. The rockers and rocker boxes look okay, one was chromed and one polished(?).

"I'll pull the trans apart next, I know that's got problems, too...

"Sorry to give ya the bad news. I was hoping it would just be a rebuild, not an archeological dig..."

Me, too, Denny, me too.

Also see

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph

1957 Von Dutch Triumph