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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 22 Jul 2020
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Do the TF185 and TS185 share the same motor?

Hi all, I have recently taken on a Tf185 and was wondering, Does the TF185 and TS185 share the same motor? I can only find TS185 rebuild kits and dont want to buy it then find there are subtle differences between the 2 motors. Please help, I have been reading flat out and cant seem to find a clear answer.

Kind regards, Rhys

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  #2  
Old 22 Jul 2020
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Hi Rhys. I've had many of both and still have two TSs.

The TF & TS 185 motors are almost identical. You probably know the TF (Suzuki called it the MudBug) was for farm work and had some minor tuning and gearing changes to make it more suitable for that. The barrel porting is different, especially the exhaust port, and it has a smaller carb. This have a noticeable increase in low end torque. It has a smaller front sprocket and larger rear sprocket for lower and slower gearing for climbing steep hills, and for dawdling behind walking herds of livestock. Other than that, the motors are the same. The TS185ER was about 18.5hp and the TF was just over 13hp.
I had my TFs for dairy farm work and they were just the best farm bikes. I had a TS barrel that I'd had ported slightly giving about 20hp, with a correctly jetted carb attached. I used to use this for trail riding. When I was going trail riding, I'd undo the exhaust studs, head studs, plug lead, and air filter boot on the TF motor and pull the barrel and carb off. The tuned TS barrel and carb would go on giving a decent increase in power. I could do it in about 10-15 minutes.
Another tip with these motors is NEVER run them on pre-mix fuel, except for the first start after a rebuild. The CCI oil injection system feeds into two points. One is directly to the piston, and the other to the left main crank bearing and the big end bearing directly. They will run for a surprising amount of time on pre-mix but these two bearings WILL fail in time. Also the CCI system automatically varies the oil to fuel ratio according to the load on the motor, from a low of about 110:1 up to about 25:1 under full throttle. You get less carbon and oil residue build-up on the piston, exhaust port and inside the exhaust pipe and silencer.
Hope this helps. Where are you? The TF was sold mainly in New Zealand and Aussie.

Best regards
Nigel in NZ.
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Old 22 Jul 2020
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Cheers Nigel, that's all very helpful . I love how you were swapping between setups for different applications.

I might run with the Ported Ts barrel and carb, sounds like nice little upgrade. What size piston/ring were you running? And how much did you have the barrel ported?

Sorry for all the questions, I might have a few more over the coming weeks.

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Old 23 Jul 2020
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I had a number of these bikes, usually at least two at a time as working bikes, so they would have had various Suzuki pistons and rings. We could only get Std., 0.5mm & 1.0mm oversize in New Zealand.
As far as the porting went, I did it myself. I made sure all the ports in the cast iron barrel matched the alloy, smoothed the alloy in the inlet piston port and reed valve port, knife-edged the transfers and enlarged the exhaust port, with a small T-port.

Always happy to answer questions.

Cheers

Nigel Marx in NZ
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Old 23 Jul 2020
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Having two bikes would definitely be handy, Somday I hope to have a second engine as parts, and also have the confidence to take on such a procedure as you describe. Very impressive

I think I'll go 1mm os, maybe even on the stock TF barrel, if I have no luck finding a Ts donor.

I went ahead and dismantled the entire bike today. I labeled everything as I went and bagged it. I thought I was being careful but as always I had 3 items left over haha. I'm now unsure where they belong.

If I was to send through some pics do you think you could have a guess?

Oh! And I'm is South Australia



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Old 23 Jul 2020
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Yes, post any pictures.
Another point to check is the swingarm bushes. They wear quite quickly.

Cheers mate

Nigel in NZ
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Old 24 Jul 2020
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It's ok, crisis averted. I worked out it was the brake pedal spring, and a couple of other frame bolts. No biggie.

Thanks for the tip, I checked the bushes and they are still in pretty good nick.

I'll attach some pic anyway lol, might aswell

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Old 25 Jul 2020
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TS185 Special

Can't help myself, I love TS185's, so here's a pic of my ISDT Qualifier bike, a 72 TS18J with Wiseco - or was it Webco? high compression head, Wiseco piston, heavily ported, Bassani pipe, extended and braced swingarm with Boge/Mullholland shocks, Preston Petty fenders, fork damper rod extenders for an additional inch travel, alloy handlebars, everything not REQUIRED thrown out, and probably a few things I've forgotten. It's supposed to have a Preston Petty headlight but I think it was off for a repair at this point.
It worked REALLY well, and of course was super light. At one of the Qualifiers got fastest time of the day in a special test through the woods, and finished on Gold. This would have been in 1973.

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Old 25 Jul 2020
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Great reading, and cool photos. Memories of a TS100 I once had..

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Old 29 Jul 2020
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Finaly got around to taking the head apart yesterday. The previous owner said he replaced the piston around 10yrs ago, and is 1.0 oversize, any commentary on the conditionqould be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, Rhys

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Old 31 Jul 2020
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generally looks pretty good, but the blue on the crankshaft is very weird!

I'd either clean it and put it back together, or give it a good clean, a very very light hone and fresh rings. Of course first measure to make SURE it's all within tolerance, but should be fine.
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Old 31 Jul 2020
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Looks pretty good to me too. Not much blow by on the piston which suggests the rings are good but as Grant suggests it would be a good idea to check the end gaps before reusing them - or, if you can get suitable ones, replacing them. If you are replacing them (and they are almost a service item with two strokes) a very light hone would give them the best chance of bedding in but you need to remove almost nothing. Certainly new little ends - and circlips - and have a close look at the gudgeon pin for wear.

The crank looks ok although the bluing on the flywheels does seem odd. Because of that I'd check the con rod side shake to get an idea of the state of the bearing. Check the rocking side to side movement at the little end of the con rod - anything up to about 1.5 / 1.6mm suggests the bearing is ok. Other than that I'd be happy with how that looks.
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Old 14 Aug 2020
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Sorry for the late response, I dont get time very often, but I really appreciate all your help and advice.

I decided to replace the piston and rings, then lightly honed the cylinder. I then stripped the head, and it is now painted and back on the motor. I will post up some pictures soon, but for now I'll show how the bike itself is going.



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Old 15 Aug 2020
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You've got a posher shed than me!

This is one I'm just finishing off -

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Old 15 Aug 2020
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I wish that was my shed, it's my spair room lol.

Really nice bike mate nice work

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