As many of you know with Thunderbirds drive belt alignment is critical to prevent the dreaded chirp or squeak although it’s also worth checking the needle bearing inside the rear pulley as this can squeak too, it can run dry as its not sealed to the elements such as rain or power washers, so every time you take the wheel off get it packed with a high quality grease.
This is how I tension the belt and align the wheel….
Tools needed, 13mm, 12mm sockets to remove exhaust, Hex sockets to remove exhaust heat shields and to adjust wheel depending on type of adjusters fitted, 27mm socket to loosen axle, also..
- Remove exhausts and loosen axle nut.
2.Jack the bike up so the rear wheel is off the ground, you can do this without jacking up the bike but I find it more accurate.
3. Check the tension of the drive belt, with the bike off the ground it should be 7.5-9.0mm on the side stand it should be 5.5-7.0mm, I always have mine a little slacker, about 10-15mm seems to work best for me. Screw the adjusters in or out until you get the correct tension. I use Matts adjusters available from the Thunderbird1600 forum as these are adjustable both in and out and are machined to very tight tolerances..
4. Insert the wheel alignment tool, Triumph part No. T3880148 and measure the distance between the edge of the flange on the tool and the cut out on the swinging arm and note the measurement.
5. Now adjust the brake side so you get as near as possible to the same measurement, the tolerance on this measurment between the 2 sides is only 0.3 mm, so you may have to go from one side to another and then back again making tiny adjustments each time to get it right, it’s worth taking your time.
6. Once happy it’s as close as you can get it lock the adjusters off, then check the measurements again, then tighten up the axle nut to 110Nm. Re fit the exhausts and go for a test ride, you should be chirp free !