Trail Tech TTO temp gauge?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Anybody running a Trail Tech TTO temp gauge?



    I was thinking about going all the way with a Vapor, but honestly all I really need to add is the temp gauge.



    Is there a better choice for an engine temp gauge available that I've been missing?
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    I like the fact that it self resets and records highest event.



    Kinda depends upon which temps you want to read. If you want to read cylinder head temp the ring terminal kit will probably do that just fine. If you want to read oil temps, Trailtech's hardwired sensor is too long for our drain plugs and will puncture the filter screen. It's also continuous (no plug connector) from the gauge to the sensor, so it can't be removed for oil changes.



    I've had pretty good luck getting Trailtech to substitute parts around. Sometimes at extra cost, sometimes not. Their tech staff is generally pretty good about it, so if they have a shorter, removable sensor you could tap your drain plug for a sensor.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizrdbrth View Post
    I like the fact that it self resets and records highest event.



    Kinda depends upon which temps you want to read. If you want to read cylinder hear temp the ring terminal kit will probably do that just fine. If you want to read oil temps, Trailtech's hardwired sensor is too long for our drain plugs and will puncture the filter screen. It's also continuous (no plug connector) from the gauge to the sensor, so it can't be removed for oil changes.



    I've had pretty good luck getting Trailtech to substitute parts around. Sometimes at extra cost, sometimes not. Their tech staff is generally pretty good about it, so if they have a shorter, removable sensor you could tap your drain plug for a sensor.


    So let's say that somebody is too lazy to drill and tap their drain plug, or do their own research. How far off would you say the TTO cylinder head reading would be from the actual oil temp? Would the TTO spark plug rig be a worthwhile venture or a big waste of time and money?



    (Don't worry, I've got the funds for the 49 state Lizrdcooler set aside in reserve no matter what!)
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

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  5. #4
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Tough call. They both have value, but the information isn't totally interchangable. However you can extrapolate one from the other, to a degree.



    Cylinder head temp can be an indicator that your oil temp is rising, but it's more useful in preventing potential engine damage by predetonation or siezing. You just back out of it until the temp comes down and you're good to go. For example your cylinder temps could be as high as 450 degrees on a long hill climb, while your oil temp may only be 250 degrees. If you continue to operate the engine at high cylinder head temps your oil temps will eventually rise to dangerous levels as a result, but just because your cylinder head is temporarily high doesn't necessarily mean that your oil temp will be.



    Sump oil temp is the dilute temp of your oil. It's the sum total of the temperature of the new oil being fed to your cam bearings via the oil passages in the head. At just above 300 degrees ALL oil (dino or synthetic) begins to degrade more rapidly. So if you present already hot oil to the cam bearings it will only get hotter until it passes through the cam bearings, then recombines with the cooler oil in the sump.



    Using either will have a learning curve. You'll have to ride enough to get a feel for what is "normal" vs. what is excessive.



    If you monitor head temp you can reasonably assume that your oil temp will eventually rise if the head temp is rising, but you'll never know for sure your actual oil temp.



    If you monitor sump oil temp you you can reasonably assume that your head temp is rising if your sump temp is climbing, but you'll never know exactly HOW hot your actual cylinder temp.



    More a matter of familiarity and extrapolation. Ideally you'd have both. But trust me you'll get pretty tired of looking at either after the novelty wears off. Once "normal" has been established you'll probably only look at the gauge when you're in situation which might be cause for concern, so don't get big bucks tied up in a gauge.



    Point being that it ain't worth the distraction after awhile. Pick either one and roll widdit.



    The TTO looks to be highly visible and requires a minimum of real estate. The cost seems more than fair for the features offered. I use standard 2" digital gauges which have none of those features and cost far more.



    When I first got into flogging my oil coolers I had 3. One for oil temp, one for cylinder head temp and one for cam bearing oil passage temp.



    I never could get reliable bearing passage temp, cylinder head temp was sacrificed because I just got tired of looking at it and now I have a single gauge which monitors only sump temp.



    I'm not worried that you won't buy a cooler. Having a temp gauge will guaranty that you'll buy one. lol. But if you're planning ahead cylinder head temp is easier to install and with the cooler you'll know that whatever your sump temp is it's as good as it gets, so reading cylinder head temp may be more useful.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Thank you lizrdbrth for the helpful reply, as always. I have a much better understanding of oil and engine temp after reading that.



    I think I might just have to go ahead and try out a TTO.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  7. #6
    Senior Member trailscout's Avatar
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    I have the TTO. Small problem on installation. The spark plug is designed so that the gasket will rotate at the top of the threads when installing. The TTO fitting will rotate there also. But NOT both. I wanted the gasket on the bottom and the sensor between the gasket and the spark plug. I used a 5/32 chainsaw file to remove one more thread from the top of the threads (nearest the spark plug body). Now they will both rotate. Did this to my spare plug also.



    Learned a lot about how the head temps vary on the TW. Much different than water cooled. When the temps get up there, the engine will cool if left idling. On a water cooled without a fan it will just keep getting hotter. Good fins on the TW!
    Ya gotta finish the loop, it's your only way out!

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  8. #7
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailscout View Post
    I have the TTO. Small problem on installation. The spark plug is designed so that the gasket will rotate at the top of the threads when installing. The TTO fitting will rotate there also. But NOT both. I wanted the gasket on the bottom and the sensor between the gasket and the spark plug. I used a 5/32 chainsaw file to remove one more thread from the top of the threads (nearest the spark plug body). Now they will both rotate. Did this to my spare plug also.



    Learned a lot about how the head temps vary on the TW. Much different than water cooled. When the temps get up there, the engine will cool if left idling. On a water cooled without a fan it will just keep getting hotter. Good fins on the TW!


    Wouldn't the sensor give a more accurate reading if it was directly against the engine instead of spaced out by the gasket? Would engine-sensor-gasket-plug have less of a seal than engine-gasket-sensor-plug?



    I'm not presuming to know, I'm just curious.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  9. #8
    Senior Member trailscout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBenito View Post
    Wouldn't the sensor give a more accurate reading if it was directly against the engine instead of spaced out by the gasket? Would engine-sensor-gasket-plug have less of a seal than engine-gasket-sensor-plug?



    I'm not presuming to know, I'm just curious.


    I'm shade tree trained, but here's my opinion. With metal to metal contact, I'm doubting there would be a degree difference in the temperature of the head, gasket, sensor, and plug.



    The plug gasket is designed to fit down into a recess in the head that the flat shoulder of the spark plug presses down against. No, the flat sensor would not provide the same seal. It was not designed to seal the spark plug. It should lie flat against the flat shoulder of the plug.



    The sensor will deform if pressed into the recess in the head that the gasket is supposed to go into.



    I was sitting under the shade of an apple tree when this all came to me.
    Ya gotta finish the loop, it's your only way out!

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  10. #9
    Senior Member silverhead's Avatar
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    I have one of these installed on my Suzuki TS250. I like it. Saved my engine probably last summer when I was riding in river bed sand on a 90 degree day. But you get overly fixated on your numbers sometimes if you keep looking at it (just like I did installing a voltage gauge on another bike.)



    So, on a TW, what are the good and proper temperatures? What's a good normal operating cylinder head temp and what is "seizure is eminent!!"



    I try to keep the Suzuki 2 stroke under 400F.
    1993 TW200

  11. #10
    Senior Member trailscout's Avatar
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    I was "told" by a guy that works at Riddle in Prescott that small airplane engines are considered red line at 440F. I've read about VW being around 350F. That said, I have no idea where the sensors are place or how the placement squares with the plug on the TW.



    After running some I "decided" to turn the fans on at 300F or maybe a little higher and turn them off at 250F or a little lower. I plan to get a thermal switch to do that chore in the future.



    Fans???? Yes, I have two 200 CFM fans mounted on the left and right side of the engine mounted just below the fuel tank blowing into the engine. That way no air coming from the front is blocked or impeded.



    How do they work? Glad you asked. Beyond both my expectations and hopes. They reduce the plug reading by 50-60 degrees F in a couple minutes or so. Pulling long hills on smooth roads in high gear brings the temp up over 300F. I turn them on and keep pulling and the temp drops to 250F or so.



    My plan is to put one on the drain plug and see how that corresponds with the plug temp reading. I'm sure the oil temp change will lag some behind the head temp, I just don't have a clue how much. And one fan is blowing directly on the spark plug. But when the fan is turned off it takes longer for the heat/temp to come back than go away so it's cooling a lot more than just the plug.
    Ya gotta finish the loop, it's your only way out!

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