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  #1  
Old 03-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Fido666 Fido666 is offline
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Default Reliant Trike - waste of time or not ?

After years of riding chops I recently decided to buy a Reliant trike.
According to one site the Reliant engine is ' prone to blowing the head gasket if thrashed', with this in mind I travelled nearly 250 miles to pick said trike up. On the way back (which was nearly all motorway) I kept the speed to 60 at the most - remembering the advice from the net - and lo and behold after only 60 odd miles .... boom! The head gasket neatly exploded !
I am about to get it replaced but is this something that I'm going to have to be aware of in the future ? Am I really going to be limited to doing 50 mph ?
I have no previous experience with trikes so please let me have as much info as possible - I really like the machine but don't really want to spend all me time pottering around being overtaken by mobility scooters
Cheers..
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:55 AM
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you should have taken it out of first gear
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:57 AM
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I have no real idea, but I would have to think that the engine probably isnt suited to long stints of motorway work??

could it be a cooling issue rather than the engine being fragile? as theres so many of them out there that I find it hard to beleive that they all run around at 50mph??

also check the V5 make sure it doesnt still say reliant van or something equally wrong
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardtailbiker View Post
you should have taken it out of first gear
Bugger ! Didn't think of that !
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:18 PM
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Could be a cooling problem as said eariler. old engine full of crud so cooling water not circulating fully.

Old radiator with similar issue ie full of crude air not flowing through it properly.

engine running leaner than its meant too therefore producing more heat.

origionally they had additional pipework in the cooling system for the radiator heater matrix and around the carb, this if removed may effect the mass balance of the cooling water around the engine.

is the thermostat in or out, if in is it working.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:29 PM
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My old 850 reliant trike carried 4 people towed a camping trailer, and had the nuts thrashed off it. I did 60,000 miles on it, and once saw 90 mph on the speedo ( On a track day of course officer )

Lost a tooth off 2nd gear rode home using remaining gears. Put in 2nd hand box.

Over reved the engine in 1st and the centre plate exploded when I pulled the clutch in. Still had drive so went home doing clutchless changes and the starter for pulling away.

A faulty spark plug took out a piston. Got home on three cylinders. Bought a motor for less than the cost of a gasket set.

Most catastophic head gasket failures are cos of a faulty cooling system.

If buying a reliant engine check for corosion around the head studs as they sometimes weep around there, and then you'll have trouble getting the head off.

However it's a good idea to fit a bigger rad than the reliant cos you'll get less cooling as the bodywork channels air to the rad on the standard car.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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had a rel;ieat robin 850 that i done over 100,000 oni before headgasket blew - was thrashed everywere

also had a rialto that i that thrashed every were and that went on till it used more oil and needed a rebuild at just over 250.000 miles.

The bigest issues on trikes beside those listed in previous replies are too big rear wheels. its so important to get the gear ratio's right - to big a rear wheels means engines over pulling and is slow band will do serious damage to the engine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creature View Post
.

The bigest issues on trikes beside those listed in previous replies are too big rear wheels. its so important to get the gear ratio's right - to big a rear wheels means engines over pulling and is slow band will do serious damage to the engine.
i just though of this and agree with mr creature that this is a possibility........what size rear tyres are on it. mini size rings a bell for a standard reliant
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:57 PM
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For all your Reliant trike info go here.A good source for these trikes.
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2011, 08:18 PM
freedomknight freedomknight is offline
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Default im a reliant nut

over the 15yrs i have had trikes there has always been a reliant in my collection too bigger wheels can be cause but i always found the number one cause for over heating in the ones i had or fixed which would run into at least 50plus would be thermostat not opening. i would advise taking thermost out cutting middle out of it and replacing. (you need to replace because it is also a spacer if you dont put back in you will crack thermostat housing cap) once you have done that you should have no problem i have travelled many a thousand miles and so have the engines cars trikes i have fixed this way without overheating. also hope your v5 read just reliant without body plan on it
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:52 AM
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I thought reliant used the morris minor engine..They would do 70 until the wheels fell off.

John.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:45 PM
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I've heard that before and maybe some very old ones did, but never seen one.

The Regal and Robins used their own motors, a 750 and an 850.

Alloy block wet liners 8 port head. The 750 used a down draught carb and the 850 used a SU. The 750 has a heavier fly wheel which I found made the 850 more tractable. Also the 750 dizzy had no vacuum advance capsule and if used on an 850 tidies things up a bit.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:49 PM
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very very early reliants used a sidevalve motor, but i thought the moris 1000 engine was an iron block whereas the reliant motor, which i think is possibly one of the best engines ever made, is all ally. my reliant trike never blew a gasket and had 15 inch vauxhall rims on the back. it also had a bigger rad on it and an electric fan as in the car the radiator had its air almost funneled to it by the bodywork, where the trikes tend to have it just hung out the front.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:52 PM
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the reliant motors were based on the riley engines
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:00 PM
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The Morris 1000 "A series" lump as used in minis et all certainly was iron.
a similar layout to the reliant, but used a 5 port head making tuning more dificult.

I thought the Riley engines used two cams mounted high in the block, and a hemi head. They were very like the triumph paralel twin but more cylinders and water cooled.

I have in the back of my mind that they were designed by the same chap.

Those were the days........you could talk about designers and not mention clothing.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:21 PM
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The reliant i had ran ok for 1000's of miles. When unleaded fule came along i ran the fule a little ritch to keep the engine cool. My vauxhall engined trike has a larger radiator and runs slightly ritch for the same reason.
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