Discussion forums

TR2-TR4 Knowledge Base

There are a number of other discussion forums where a lot of good information concerning TR2, 3's and 4's can be had. Amongst them are:

TR Register Bulletin Board - TR Register Australia

The Triumph Enthusiasts' BBS - UK 

The Triumph Owners Mailing List - USA

Here are some threads which I gathered from from the Triumph Owners mailing list dealing specifically with TR2-TR4 items. Click on the category item links below and it will take you to the thread discussions on each subject. Many of the questions and responses dealing with originality have no definitive  answer but the discussion will enable you to hopefully make up your own mind as to what's right. This is a work in progress so it will grow and be updated when I have the time.

** If you are unable to find a particular thread of interest, click on the link Triumph mail list search  for access to the Triumph list search engine and type in your topic under "Keywords". Anything that has ever been posted on the SOL Triumph Mailing list list concerning that particular subject will be displayed. 

Carpets and
Hood stick colors
Removing the motor head
Lower A-Arm Bushings - removal
Gasket Material for Figure Eight Gaskets on TR4 engine
Cleaning Dirty Electrical Connections
Dashpot oil
TR3 Front aprons
TR 3 rack and pinion steering conversion
Bleeder Brake Valves
TR3 Front Suspension
Suspension paint?
Brake bleeding
Installing a modern radio in my 1963 TR4 .
Wrinkle Paint
Front spring compressor for TR2-6
Engine Block numbers & differences
Pointers on disassembly to bare frame
Painting Brake Drums
Scuttle Vent
Windscreen Wiper Wiring
Frame colors
Dash Rail Capping
Weight of TR3 Tub and Sandblasting
Gudgeon Pins
Gas Smell - SU Carbs
Floor Replacement - TR3
Oil Pan Gasket Replacement
Generator / Regulator and voltage shut off verification & Adjustment
Radiator Maintenance 
Flasher Unit Woes

Carpets & Floor Mats
Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:47:04 -0500
I hope to make my own carpet set for the 3a, but it didn't come with carpets when I got it, except for a few old scraps, so I don't know what they originally looked like. I have the famous Piggott book but unfortunately there aren't any definitive pictures in there.
Could anyone advise:
1. Are the floor carpets slightly wider than the floor, such that they extend upwards a bit at the side of the car and the transmission tunnel to cover the unfinished sides of those pieces of carpet? \__________________/ Or are they just the width of the floor, with the side and tunnel pieces having finished edges?
2. Has anyone tried making a pattern from paper templates? Anything to beware of?
Thanks in advance, -Jim Wallace
P.S. I do know that it's possible to buy a set pre-made.

I don't think the TR3 had floor carpets originally. Just a rubber mat. At least, that's the way I remember Dad's '59. - Ken Gano

That's true for the earlier models all right, but I remember reading somewhere that later they did put carpets in. Mine has traces of carpet under the seat tracks which I suspect is original, as it matches my one other original chunk to the left of the driver's left foot. (And I believe that's original because it has a built-in rubber pad beside the dimmer switch, where the left side of your foot would wear at it from operating said switch.) Regards,-  Jim

The original carpets were loop pile. They covered the area behind the seats, under the seats and the tunnel. The floor in front of the seats was covered with a rubber mat which extended up onto the firewall about a foot, and were secured by two clips at the top.. The patterns would be simple enough except for the tunnel which would be a problem. The rubber mat covers the edges of the tunnel carpet.- Sam Haynes

FWIW -- If the TR3 were like the TR4 (and there are many similarities) it would have been configured with carpeting from the front of the seats backward throughout the whole cockpit. But the footwell in front of the seats had no carpet on the floor, only a rubber mat held in place with snaps and a(2maybe clip(s) behind the pedals (the mat went up the inside of the firewall to the clip). The footwell walls were also carpeted, however. I have not been able to find those TR4 mats for sale BUT a TR3 guru told me that the "original" TR3 rubber mats were possibly the same and might fit my TR4. These lends further credence to the possibility that the configuration of the TR3 and TR4 was the same.- Art Kelly

But then why do all of the kits (from basic to wool) include carpet for the area in front of the seats?
Later, - Carl F. Musson

Carl, Probably because that's what sells now!
AND - Just because the "kits" include footwell carpets doesn't mean that the original factory configuration had carpets. And that factory config didn't!!
I wish someone made the original rubber mats. They looked good and were a heck of a lot easier to keep clean etc.  Cheers.- Art Kelly (at the end of a long day- and a little testy)

Yeah, that's kind of where I started, but I think it's probably just that everyone wants front carpets nowadays (including me). - Jim Wallace

Art, It sounds like at least the same setup. The 3 still has the clips; many other listers are telling me it was "rubber mats only" for the 3. Does this imply that the floors themselves were also the same? I don't remember that they were, although they could have been close enough that the same rubber mats would work, I suppose. - Jim

Jim, don't know off-hand about the floor pans. I doubt if they are the same but they could be close enough. I intend to check those TR3 mats for fit to my TR4. (Some day at a car show when I find a TR3 that has them installed).
I know that someone on the list knows where to get the TR3 mats. As I said, I prefer the rubber mats to carpeting - which is what I have now. (Carpeting with after market mats on top! ) Cheers.- Art Kelly

Carl, Because they're wrong and want your money. After the early TR3s there were only rubber mats on the floors-no carpet. The rubber mats used were not the familiar AMCO mats sold by most of the current suppliers.- John T. Nichols

I purchased a TR 4 new in October of 1963, still have the engine and tranny. The car had rubber mats as described, with jute padding underneath. I hated them. The clips at the firewall were designed by Satan. They are very sharp, to better poke holes in the rubber, and standing on ones head to fasten them invariably resulted in a hole in one or more finger. This was my first new car, and I was not yet used to maintenance beyond washing and waxing. The jute trapped every bit of moisture that foun its way into my new car. Within a year the floors were rusty, the car was garaged when at home, I commuted in another car and my new car was only used for pleasure, and when the weather was nice. The jute absorbed the moisture, and the rubber kept it from drying out. The constant moisture soon stripped the paint promoting the rust. I believe this is the reason so many TR's need new floors. When I got my Mustang it had rubber mats on top of carpet, same thing, the rubber mats were always damp underneath, I now use them in front of my workbench. My TR 3A has the same clips, I do not need them. I have carpet, my floors are not rusty, and the backs of my shoes are not rubbed bare, as happened with the rubber mats in my new TR 4.- Cheers, Don J. Howard

Don, If I remember correctly, when I picked up my car at Coventry, there were no "jute mats" under the rubber mats. I wonder if some dealer put the jute undermats in your car. With just the rubber mat water did not collect because the water evaporated rather than soaking in. Therefore rust did not have a chance to build up under the rubber mats.

However, the carpeting in the rest of the cockpit did hold water. The water used to get in through the stitching of the tonneau cover zipper - I constantly tried to get the center of the cover to stay higher than the outer edges so the water would not pool and drip through the stitching. I also remember using wax or sealant in an attempt to waterproof the zipper stitching. Cheers. - Art Kelly

Larn sumtin every day.
I just spent about 45 minutes looking through my bone yard (shed).

FLOOR MATS - I have:
a. a new set from TRF, still in packaging (I purchased in Feb.'95)
b. a new looking set that was in TS25...
c. a very poor condition set that was with the above
d. a new looking set that was with my recent acquisition (TS81...) and
e. an older but decent looking set that was in the trunk of the above.

A & D are very similar but slightly different (width of "stripes" slightly wider on TRF batch).
C & E appear to be the same; are slightly different than B; but don't really resemble A & C at all. (Much heavier material; the raised/recessed areas are more pronounced; emblem is smaller.

Does anyone have an original set that can be photo'd or described in detail. I'd be interested in seeing what is what. I am assuming that A & D are after markets that changed slightly over the years. But B, C, & E... ?

CARPETS - I have:
a. a well worn set of black carpets including front floor boards (ffb) from TS25...
b. a new beige/tan set from TRF for the above
c. a decent black set not including ffb from TS81... and
d. a new black set with ffb from TS81

Item C (carpets) lends support to the "no carpet" discussion as it appears that the PO did not throw anything away. According to notes in the boxes this car had about 45,000 miles on it when it was pulled out of service in early 80's for restoration (Speedo reads 47,281) - Carl

  Hoodstick Colors
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 08:01:21 -0500
Back on 1 January, Jim Wallace asked about the color of the hood sticks on TRs. This generated some responses, along the lines that the sticks should be body colored, and this was confirmed by the TRA judging manual.

I must say that as an Antipodean this came as a bit of a surprise, as I have not seen too many TRs that have body colored sticks as standard. Maybe this was a departure for the left hookers, of which I have seen about two. According to Bill Piggott, the hood sticks were usually red or black, although he had seen silver ones which were claimed to be original.

From my personal perspective, I bought two TR3As when they were brand new in 1959 and 1960. One was red, and the other was British Racing Green. On both cars, the hood sticks were black. I guess my trivia question to the list would be "Was there a difference between the hood stick colors for cars made for the export market, which was predominantly left hand drive, and those for the home and right hand drive market ??" As an aside, I would have thought that if there were going to be different colors, the color of the sticks would be more likely to match the interior color, rather than the body color. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I don't think I'd like to see green sticks in a gray interior, and I'm sure you could think of some other relatively ghastly combinations. - John Pike

“...From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I don't think I'd like to see green sticks in a gray interior, and I'm sure you could think of some other relatively ghastly combinations.”

I don't know, John. That appeared to be the way TS71909L was equipped *originally*. I stress originally, because the original gray interior is still there. Unfortunately, what's left of it lives under layers of vinyl paint: blue, tan and ultimately black. Apparently, the previous owners couldn't make up their mind WHAT color they wanted the inside! But the hood sticks appear always to have been the green of the body.TS73624L, originally a white car, appears to have had white hood sticks originally. So the body-color theory seems to bear out at least up through mid-April 1960, when 73624 was built. But I have seen (and/or owned) TR3As and TR3Bs in the higher 70000s or 80000s (comm. no.) with the "sandlewood"/beige) hood sticks, notably TS80315L (sold) and TCF1564L (languishing along with all my other cars). - --Andy

I'll have to side with Andy on this one. All of the TR4's that I have owned or parted out (total 7) have had tan painted hood sticks as well as 3 TR3's that I have owned and none of these hood sticks was ever repainted except by me and when I did repaint I tried to find a tan as close as possible to the original paint. - Lenny Seidman

I have scraped the paint off my 62 TR3B (TCF 64L) hood sticks in a small area to see if there are any other colors lurking beneath the black. It does not seem to ever have been any other color. I remember reading in Triumph Buyer's Guide and other books that there were discrepancies between individual cars after Forward Radiator Co. took over production. - Les Landon

Scraping the paint doesn't always tell the complete story. Spit hood props were painted body color and if you scrape my black one, you will find only black beneath. That is because I removed all the Signal Red paint before repainting it Black. - Joe Curry

The hood sticks that came with my car are painted a tan color, which seems out of keeping with everything else on the car. Does anyone know if that's original? Black would seem more likely.

Good question. My 1960 TR3A had them body color (pearl white, in my case). The TRA Judging Standards say most hood sticks and mounts were body color, but some very late cars were buff (semi-gloss tan) or black. Bill Piggot's book, "Original Triumph TR" says that they were usually black or red, and some were silver. Take your pick. - Brent Smith

I went through this about a year ago. Everyone gave me a hard time when I contacted the list for something so "trivial" (since then I've seen all kinds of wacky things on the list, so now NO ONE can tell me that hood sticks are TRIVIAL). Anyway back to hood sticks. According to the TRA's TR3 Judging Guide (you should join TRA and get a copy if you are interested in originality) the hood sticks should be painted BODY COLOR. My car is white and had black hood sticks. When I got the Heritage Certificate I found out that the car was originally BLACK! Since then I have been to a TRA convention. The "correct" cars have body color hood sticks. My car is now being painted Old English White and that includes the hood sticks.  Later -Ken Nachman

There is a discussion going on concerning TR3 hood sticks. My 4A, being
Wedgewood Blue, I believe came with a white hood but it looks like the frame
work is tan. I say "looks like" because when I got it the hood was black and
the framework had been painted black, but it's tan underneath. So is the
white top tan on the inside? - Paul J. Peterson

the hood frame (TR4) was tan ( sandalwood) HAROLD

TR4 hood sticks were painted sandlewood (light beige). According to the Triumph Register of America (TRA), the TR4A hood sticks were painted "a satin black". As far as the top itself - my original TR4 top was black with a tan underside (what you see when sitting in the car and looking up). The TRA judging guide says the same tan color was used for the underside of the TR4A top BUT it says also says that TR4A tops were only offered in black vinyl (over the tan canvas undercover). Maybe the TR4A consultant (whom I have copied) can clarify this. -Art Kelly

The hood sticks on my 4A are black where they aren't white. That is, they were apparently primed in the same off-white primer that was used inside the doors, and then painted black. I've never had an original top; my top is black v -Fred Thomas

on the hood sticks "yes" tan, also the inside of the top was tan, as well as the webbing, doubt if you will find any webbing other than black. Haven't seen any in a long time.- Chris Kantarijiev

TR3A Frame Questions
Ok...I got the body off the frame...the engine and transmission have been removed. Now I have a rolling frame and need to know what all exactly needs to be removed before I take it to get sandblasted? And please some instructions on how to remove it. I greatly appreciate all the help the list has given and look forward to more questions as my restoration continues.. - 

Start by removing everything! There isn't a thing that should be left on your frame for sandblasting (except 40 years of rust of course!) By memory these are the things you should remove :
- place the frame on 4 sturdy jacks and remove wheels
- gas line
- all brake lines (cut them right off as you will want to replace all the pipes, but mark &  save the    pipes so that you can bend the new ones the same way)
- remove radiator : 2 bolts at either side that bolt to frame
- remove transmission: 2 or 4 bolt holes that hold it down at the cruxiframe, 4 bolts that hold the drive shaft
- exhaust system: bracket located in front of cruxiframe, 1 hanger in front of muffler, 1 hanger at rear
- unbolt rear axle: 4 bolts on either side (you might as well cut them off as they will be too rusted to salvage)
- front suspension, remove your brake cylinders (don't destroy these bolts), remove the   brake disks and disk protectors, detach inner & outer tie rods and remove steering box, detach rebound bump stops, disconnect the vertical steering link (before you try this run   out and get 2 plates of steel 1/2" X 3" x 12" and cut out a 3/4" hole at either end, 2 threaded rods of 3/4" with 4 nuts and 4 large washers) You will need all this to fashion a   gizmo to compress your lower A arm so the you can safely remove the coil spring without  killing or maiming someone) once the coil pressure is relieved, remove upper nut of shock  absorber, nut remove large nut at bottom of the trunion then upper tie rod - then slowly unbolt the compression gizmo to relieve the coil spring pressure. you can now safely remove your lower A-arm (6 nuts which hold your spring pan), 2 small bolts and a nut holding lower fulcrum bracket on either side of lower wishbone arms, upper fulcrum pin assembly (4 bolts which you will need to take note of as the inside 2 are of a shorter length so as not to interfere with the operation of the coil spring when reinstalled) and finally your coil spring and aluminum packing piece  - et voila your frame should be basically fully "stripped" and ready for the sandblaster

P.S. After you do blast it, inspect the frame members for perforation of the tubes and repair if necessary and check the alignment of the frame members  I may have left out a few odds and ends as my memory is fading fast once I past 43:} good luck and if you need anything else let me know. (BTW getting a bently manual which explains everything in greater detail would be a good idea as well) - Barry Shefner

H6 Carburetor Q & A
We have just finished restoration on a 1959 TR3a and only have one problem left to deal with. The car will not idle well. Testing indicates to much air leaks at the throttle shaft. People have told me that even if you put in an oversized throttle shaft, the car won't idle. We haven't seen another TR3 in our area to compare carburetion problems. What is your experience? We have use the color-tune, air-flow meter, and just guess work but can't keep it running at stop signs without the choke out. Any advice would be useful. - Jerry Costanzo

Who ever told you that a TR3 will ever idle properly? :} On a more serious note there are a number of issues that you should deal with on the H6 carb. First and foremost is the air leaks which you describe. The rebush kit which is available from any of the parts people contains brass bushings and new throttle shafts. The shaft itself is the same diameter as the old one which you will be replacing. The difference is that you will have to bore out the carb housing to accept the new brass bushings. You will eliminate all air leaks and it will have no adverse effect on performance. In order to do a proper job you will need to have this rebushing done by a machine shop as alignment is critical to proper shaft operation. Apart from the above, critical things to verify would be verifying the free movement of your pistons (too many scratches in one of the suction chambers will allow the piston to drop too rapidly creating uneven acceleration/deceleration), needle and jet size, placement and seating, proper float and choke adjustment.

Rather than explain in detail, if you have a Haynes SU carburetor owners workshop manual  P28-36 explains in detail what to do to adjust and tune all SU carbs to perfection. If you don't have the book just drop me an e-mail and I will scan it or photocopy it and send it off to you. The tools you will need to actually tune are a flowmeter, carb wrench and needle valve tool. - Barry Shefner

As a follow-up, I installed new throttle shafts into both carburetors and it idles beautifully. I could now set the idle at 500 rpm if I wanted to. The car now has about 500 miles on it after restoration and drives very well up to 92mph. I haven't tried over that speed. Also, the speedometer is 8mph fast - Jerry Costanzo

I want to reset the carb linkage geometry on my TR3A.

I need two measurements from someone who has a completely stock, properly adjusted TR3 carb linkage. Could someone please tell me:- There is a bolt that is used as the bottom stop for the throttle pedal. Could someone please provide me with the length of the exposed part of the bolt (ie: throttle down height)- The distance between the tip of the throttle pedal and the hole in the>floor for the throttle down stop bolt (ie: throttle up height). THANKS!!! - TeriAnn Wakeman

I can't guarantee that my 3a is completely stock, but the carb linkages seem to work relatively well. Unless you consider the toe adjustable idle a bug instead of a feature.

But for what they're worth, here are the measurements I was able to get: From the floor to the top of the bolt, 1 inch. From the top of the bolt to the middle of the strike plate on the accelerator pedal (where it touches) 1 and 1/4 inches. That would make it 2 and 1/4 to the floor.

Hope this helps, if you're headed up to the peninsula, you are more than welcome to come see for yourself. - Bob

- Tuning Your S.U. Carbs (originally found in the VTR pages)

Well, it's not really that hard to set up SU's, just different. Of course it always gets more interesting when you have more than one... There is a very good Haynes SU carb manual available, recommended reading. The basic syncing process also applies to Zenith-Stromberg's, but the adjustment mechanisms are different. Here is a layman’s guide to adjusting SU's (long):

step 1- Tune up the rest of the engine- REALLY! clean or replace, and set the points, set the timing, plugs, valve lash, and remove the air filters. (have new ones ready) All of these things can affect the setting of the carbs, which should be done LAST, (if at all). The carbs rarely need to be adjusted, once set. Also replace/install the gas filter. Of course, it helps if the carbs are in good mechanical condition as well. But you can consider a rebuild once you have gotten things working first!

step 2- clean the carbs! use gum-out or similar stuff, clean all external linkages, shafts, and stuff.

step 3- Remove the float bowl covers, clean the float bowls, remove old  sediment, and check/adjust the float setting. (turn the cover upside down, and get a *1/8" in drill bit, set the drill bit across the cover, the float tab should just touch the bit.) Make sure the needle is moving and seating properly. This is just like *most* floats. Replace the cover. * This is for HS4 SU's- (1/8-3/16") if you are dealing with 1", H's, HS2's HS6's, HIF's, etc.- check the spec for your carb Note: You can check for matching float settings, after setting the mixture, by removing the pistons, and peering down at the jets. The fuel level should be about the same on both carbs, a little below the top surface of the jet. (After car has been run only)

step 3b- Go get a pint of ale, or something close, and set it nearby.

step 4- Remove the piston covers. CAREFULLY remove the piston, DO NOT BEND THE NEEDLE. Set the piston down on a clean wadded rag to prevent  rolling. Clean the inside of the carb. Check operation of the throttle. Check the throttle shaft slop- this is the most common place for wear on an SU, and is often where air/vacuum leaks occur. The bushings and shafts can be replaced, but it requires some machining. A small amount of leakage can be tolerated, the car just won't idle as evenly. Clean the piston. Stare in awe at the odd carburetor design, simple and effective, (constant velocity). Dump the old oil out of the damper if you haven't already spilled it. clean. Reassemble, check piston movement, raise it, then let go, it should fall freely. If not, check assembly again, make sure the piston isn't binding against the carb body, it should  ride only on the damper shaft. Do not stretch the spring. When all is operating properly, fill the damper with Marvel Mystery Oil for light damping, or use motor oil for heavier damping. (I use MMO) If you get "flutter" on, acceleration, you might try the heavier oil.

step 5- Start the car and warm it up, then turn off/disconnect/otherwise disable the choke mechanism. (Loosen the nuts on the clamps so that the choke stuff isn't doing anything) This will get set later. (Later Zenith-Strombergs have a thermostatic choke, not a cable.)

step 6- Check coarse throttle adjustments- make sure the throttle cable pulls on both carbs equally, and returns completely when released. This is adjusted by loosing the set screws on the throttle shaft and matching the two sides. You can also adjust the cable length at this time, using the cable set screw/retainer at the end of the cable. You can check the float adjustments now by removing the piston & cover, and looking at the fuel level in the needle seats. Both carbs should be about even, a little  below the top surface of the jet. If not, readjust one or both floats to match the level.

step 7- Synchronize the throttles- if you have a uni-syn, here's your chance to use it, (or other air flow gauge), if not use a tube and listen to the airflow. The Uni-Syn is much easier to use, and can result in better balance. Alternately adjust the idle screw on each carb, attempt to set the idle as low as possible (~800-1000 RPM). Adjust until the airflow is *close* to the same at each carb. The engine may now be running rough, just keep the idle speed high enough to keep running. Give the throttle a quick snap to make sure everything is settled, then check  sync again. Periodically snap the throttle to make sure everything is seated. Large differences in where you can adjust the two carbs may indicate air/vacuum leaks, or other problems, such as a bad valve) Magic Time- Relax, and shake your voodoo rattle...

step 8- Adjust the mixture- this is done with the spring-loaded hex fitting under the carb, where the fuel supply tube enters from the float. Turning the fitting raises and lowers the needle seat. Pick a carb, and turn the fitting 3 flats (1/2 turn), first in one direction, then back 3, then 3 in the other direction. Note where the engine runs better, idle speed should increase. Turn to the best setting. Repeat this procedure until you get the best operation you can, (highest idle speed), keeping track of flats turned will help you remember where you were. If you get lost, turn all of the way in,  then back out 12 flats and start again. Periodically snap the throttle and push up on the fitting to make sure everything is seated.   Note: Type HIF carbs (With integrated float bowl) no longer have the hex nut to adjust the mixture. Instead, there is a screw to twiddle, on front of the front carb, and behind the rear. The screw is connected to the needle seat through a temperature compensated gizmo, which is said to make the carbs more stable. Adjustment can be done in much the same way, by counting turns/flats of your screwdriver. There is less adjustment range than with the basic models. When you think you're close, stop, uncramp your fingers, breath deep, and do the same to the other carb. Then retune the first carb, and then the second again. This serves to match the mixture of the 2 carbs, and prepare you for the beer sitting over there in the sun. (why do you think the British drink warm beer?)

step 9- repeat step 7, setting the idle speed as low as possible, and  re-syncing the idles. Now go back and readjust the mixtures. After a couple of iterations, the engine should be running smoothly (controlled by mixture) and at a low idle. Repeat as necessary. Set the final idle to 800-1000 RPM, depending on the condition of the rest of the engine. This is a standard mixture test, performed AT IDLE: Under operation, (air filter off) lift the carb piston by 1/16" with the lifting pin or a screwdriver, which leans the mix a tad. If :-RPM's rise and stay up, that carb is rich. -RPM's rise briefly, then drop, mix is about right. - RPM's fall, engine gets rougher- mix is lean.

step 11- Adjusting the choke- I won't get into the temperature compensation in the type HIF, or the Thermostatic choke in the later Strombergs. Check the manual for more info. The choke is supposed to do two things; the first half of travel moves a cam on each carb which opens the throttle, for warm up. The second half pulls down on the needle seat to enrich the mixture, for starting. Start with the choke in the off position (knob in). Adjust the so that the cam only starts moving the throttle after you start pulling out on the cable (adjust with shafts and adjusting screws). Try to get both carbs adjusted the same, so that both screws begin to hit the cam at the same time. This is not real critical, but you can use your Uni-Syn to match air-flow on both sides, with the choke partly engaged. After the cable is about halfway out, it should start engaging the lever which pulls down on the needle seats. Adjust the linkages so both carbs are acted on equally. You can do this by adjusting for even running of the engine. Of course, for a warm engine, the richness of this mixture will cause some roughness. Make sure the needle seats return freely when you release the choke

step 12- Drink that warm beer (only one, no DWI now...) it will taste great at this point!, go wash up, and go for a ride.

Notes: These procedures assume that your engine/carbs are in reasonable operating condition. If something is malfunctioning/leaking, etc., this should still help, but the results may vary. For instance, if you have leaky carbs, worn needles, engine modifications, etc., you may find things work better if you tune for optimum performance at open throttle rather than idle. The first time through carb adjustments can be confusing, once you've done it, all of the stuff in the manuals makes sense. Go back and read them again- As always, I recommend Bentleys, which is a repro of the original factory manuals, and then Haynes, and throw out the Chiltons. (original factory manuals are to be read in a clean environment, repros are for smearing grease all over, except, if that's all you got, use it!) Haynes has an excellent manual just for SU carbs, it covers operation, theory, rebuild of all models, and has needle charts for hundreds of car/engine/carb setups. They also have a manual for Zenith-Strombergs, which, while similar, are a whole 'nother beast.   -Roger Garnett Rev. 12/5/91  

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 1997 7:34 PM

I was wondering if anybody out there in Triumph Land knows anything about   the engine block numbers and how (or if) they correspond to the TS number  of the car. I'm in the process of my first ground up restoration on a 1959  TR3A. My TS number is TS41861L and the "original block" that came with the car is TS55086E. Is there any way to tell if this is the original block?

I also have a TR4 engine CT52591E, which is complete. I was planning on > using some of the parts from the TR4 motor on the TR3A motor. One on the  pieces missing on the TR3A motor is the Block Plate. The moss catalog  states that the plates are different widths, the TR3A being narrower  between engine mounting points by 1 inch. Is it possible to use this TR4 block plate or do I have to go "in search   of". My guess...." Anybody body know where a guy could buy a TR3A block plate?" Any answers would greatly ease my mind....if it's good news, if I'm *%^$#@   I can handle that also. Thanks.- Mark Grafsrtom

Mark th**++ number and engine block numbers are generally about 500-1000 numbers apart so I would think that yours is not the original engine that came with the car. If you want to obtain the correct number and re-punch the block you can get the build record info from British heritage trust in England .( cost is about $50 or $60)
Yup you need to search for a mounting plate as it is entirely different from the TR3 one. I know someone up here in Montreal who would have one but the cost of shipping might be prohibitive. If you can't find one locally I can give you the guys number. Just e-mail me back if you need it BTW the only difference between the TR3A motor block and the TR4 one is the mounting plate, the breather pipe (the TR4 engine will have a plug in the breather pipe hole) and the 87 MM pistons. Otherwise it is identical - Barry Shefner

Dash Rail Capping
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 12:07:50 -0800 Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 12:07:50 -0800
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 12:07:50 -0800

I've been messing around with trying to add a dash rail capping to my '58 TR3A. Since the piece was missing when I bought the car, I don't really know if the hole left at either end of the rail where it meets the door capping is supposed to be filled with something or whether it's just left open to make a nice home for spiders and such.

Can someone please take a look at their car and let me know what it's supposed to be like? I would also like to know if the ends of the dash rail extends past the body a little bit into the door opening or whether they are flush with the body.  - Drew Rogge

Hole??? there is no such thing at either end of the dash rail capping on my car. Only holes are the ones along the underside of the rail to attach it to the car, for the grab bar or the ones for the lift a dot studs along the top of the rail. Essentially they finish flush with the body if looking at it from the exterior horizontally . There is however a substantial gap between the tip of the body and the very edge of the center of the rail into which you would stuff your door "fuzzy" weather strip that would normally run upward along the edge of the door starting at the bottom all the way up along the curve to the rail. Hope I have explained it enough, however if you are still confused I could scan a picture for you. Let me know if you need one. - Barry Shefner

Scuttle Vent & Drain Tube
I'm getting around to installing the scuttle vent drain tube on my TR3A and although the TRF catalogue says that the hose goes from the vent to a hole in the bulkhead (firewall) they don't say which hole. Since the drain tube was long gone before I ever bought the car I was wondering if someone could let me know which is the correct hole. - Drew

I thought it connected to the top of the tranny cover. Didn't like the idea of it raining on the tranny so I directed it along the side of the tranny cover and out a hole in the footwell on the driver's side. Although I ended up using a battery box insert, I put a y connector in the long drain tube and connect the battery box drain tube to it also. My plan was to make a hole on the passenger side at the firewall but never got around to it. My reasoning was to get it all the way out of the car. Did the same for the tubes from the trunk area. Added about a 15" piece so that the end of the tube is right at the bottom edge of the rear wings. Understand that this is not a concurs resto; so if that is your intention you may want to do more research... Since I am now working toward that goal on #2, let me know what you find out. - Carl F. Musson

Just wanting to make sure to install the spring that is under the vent on the TR3A correctly. I know the two ends go into the lid itself, but the other side I'm unsure of.  - Mike Thompson

 Although I am not at the car - you want to create the tension to hold the vent open. That will also make it easier to pull the knob. I think that the little clamp that holds the wire is positioned so that the wire is closer to the opening than the screw. (Hope this makes sense) I'll look tonight and confirm.  Carl F. Musson

Painting of Brake Drums
Date: Thursday, February 05, 1998 7:21 PM
What kind of paint do you use to paint the exterior of the rear brake drums? I have considered a flat black or gloss black engine paint but can only get it in spray. The drums are on the car (TR3A) and I'd rather brush than spray. Would something like Rustoleum work? Do the drums get that hot as to need a high temperature paint? Thanks for all your inputs - Robert Van

My vote is cast for high-temp paint. Normally your drums don't get too hot (discs run hotter)- but I notice that after braking heavily on a rainy day driving home, when I get up the driveway my tires are dry in the middle, even if the rest of the car is wet. So there's enough heat to quickly evaporate water... and you'll feel bad if your wheels start to smoke going down a hill. If you can't find a brush on paint, then it shouldn't be much bother to take the drum off, find a flat surface, plug the 7 holes (corks and pencils come to mind) and spray away. This is assuming, of course, that you have the outdoor space to use spray paints...! -Malcolm

Yup, my engines are brush painted with this Rustoleum's Barbecue paint. It is good stuff. - Larry

Bob, if all you can get is the spray can, get a margarine dish and spray some
paint into it. Then brush the paint on. Cheers.  - Art Kelly

I have been told not to paint the drums because it will cause them to retain
more heat. This will in time causes them to warp. - Gary Campbell

I don't think so. They were painted black at the factory. Use semi-gloss black engine spray paint on the drums. Works fine and holds up - Brent Smith

Frame Colors
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 10:18:54 -0400

Early cars in the TR range the frames were painted what ever color was in the gun from the car being painted prior to the frame. So you could get a black frame, or any other color in the line. I have seen "racing green" body with a Powder Blue, I guess Wedgewood, frame, weird looking. Triumph works didn't care what color the frame was, they were just producing cars. Later, I do not know when, they standardized on black. Cheers, -Don J. Howard

Windscreen Wiper Wiring
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 09:04:38 -0600

I have a 1958 TR3A (28182) that is being restored after sitting in a garage for 20 years. It had a wiring meltdown at one time which we straightened out for the most part but....We have questions concerning the windshield wiper wiring. We've got the reprint of the TR2 Shop manual with the TR3 supplement. The wiring diagram in it shows a black with green wire going between the motor and the wiper switch and a second wire (of the same color) going to ground. On my car We have a post numbered 1 and a post number 2 along with one labeled 'E' on the motor and a red wire going from the motor to the top of the gear box (which is hot when number 1 is hot - 12 volts) and appears to be insulated from the gearbox cover. We're assuming that 'E' is earth or ground. If so what should be hooked up to the 1 and 2 spades? The green wire from #2 spade is short and goes nowhere that we can determine. The wires for 1 & 2 cannot be reversed due to different connectors. Would a positive ground to negative ground be significant? None is mentioned in the FAQ on converting on the VTR Maintenance page. Help??? - Jeff Raymond

Jeff I have a 58 TR3A (TS26762) . The Green/Black wire goes to the No. 1 terminal on the wiper motor. A thin black wire hooks to E terminal which I  believe is ground. The No. 2 terminal receives 2 green wires that disappear  into the wiring bundle. I don't know where they lead to, however, l will try to  trace them as soon as I get a chance. Hopefully someone on the list can give  you a more definitive answer sooner. -Barry

Thanks - We've opened up the wire harness and have two green wires going into one connector that was not hooked up to anything (DPO). When we do put power to the motor the ammeter slams to -MAX and the black/green wire gets very very hot (smokes if you leave it on too long). I'm beginning to think the armature is stuck, burned or whatever. Looks like it's time to open it up and take a look -Jeff

Our wiring had 3 potential wires to connect and that green one blows the fuse every time I try to connect it. I gave up and disconnected the other end by the fuse box. The motor works great with just two wires. The bad news is that in the rain, they don't work all that great anyway. - Jerry Costanzo

Removing the motor head
I just went through the same exercise on my TR3. The biggest lesson for me was that persistence and patience are THE key. After lots of help from the list I managed to get head off. I did not want to try the rope trick for fear of disturbing the wet liners (and the figure 8 seal). So the way I did it was: After removing all the nuts (the studs stayed in the block), I soaked the studs in liquid wrench once a day; after about a week I was able to lift the front of the head about 2 mm (I did this
with a wooden wedge between the water pump and the part of the head that sticks out the front to attach the thermostat housing, this way I did not touch the mating surfaces of the head/block); with the head up like this I used folded paper as a spacer and inserted then between the block and head as far back as I could; with the wooden wedge removed and using VERY little torque I put the nuts back on the front studs and lower the head rocking on the folded paper; more folded paper at the back now; remove the nuts from the studs; wooden wedge again; more folded paper in the middle; and repeat for 3-4 hours gaining .5 to 1 mm at a time. It is long tedious work but the head does come off. I think one of the best things you can do to get a head off is to remove as many as the  studs as you can... on my 4A I removed the nuts and soaked the studs with liquid wrench  for 3 days. It would just soak right down. After this treatment 8 of 10 of the suds backed right out with two nuts backed up against each other. I used a 4' pipe in the  intake port and she popped right off. (Don't know if those wimpy 6cyl castings can handle that, but I'm sure the steady pressure is better than WHACKING it with a hammer.) I  think the bottom line is to remove as many as the studs as possible, then they can be  cleaned and checked for stretching. It makes it easier to use a nice solid copper head   gasket.

Lower A-Arm Bushings - removal
A second question for you most learned folk. In the rebuild kit that I received from TRF it included metal bushings which, I suppose, fit into the nylon bushings on the rear portion of the lower A arms. This attaches to the mounting bracket on the frame. My problem is that I can't get the old metal bushing off of the mounting bracket. all four of them (on each  lower A arm) are on solid and appear to be a permanent fixture. I even took a cold chisel to the joint between the metal bushing and bracket with no luck. Any ideas?

I had the same problem with Sonja (TR-4, but same parts, I think). I just calipered the ones that were there, checked for basic roundness and parallelism and had the bushes bored out (which you have to do anyway) to match them. The new ones are in the box still. No problems yet (3 years, 15Kmiles later). There was plenty of meat left on what was there and they weren't pitted or (very) OOR, so it worked for me. YMMV.

Remember, the bracket is a relatively permanent fixture on the frame. Don't wreck the bracket, as replacing it with the body on the frame looks pretty impossible to me.

Gasket Material for Figure Eight Gaskets on TR4 engine
I have a new lower gasket set from TRF and the figure of 8 gaskets are copper looking  metal. They seem to be solid copper or aluminum. I didn't use 'em as I was only doing a  top end rebuild...

The FO8 gaskets maintain the liners at the correct height above the deck (.004" or so).  This is a VERY important spec! I can imagine it would be very bad if the non metallic  material slowly compressed over time... you'd loose the seal at the head....

Two gasket sources that were super helpful for me were Mordy Dunst of Gasketworks and the list's very own Justin Wagner. Mordy makes awesome reusable solid copper head gaskets - -- you'll need 'em if you unshroud the valves by milling or other head work. Ya' can’t modify the flame rings of the original composite gasket (and BTW the steel "shim"  gaskets are $130 now). If you just need a figure of eight gasket, I'd call him first. I  don't recommend using a cork or rubber like material in that application! I used Permatex No. 2, the semi-hardening stuff. I wiped it around the whole of both sides of the gasket and let it dry as much as possible. BTW, the figure 8's come in steel and copper. I found that the steel ones from Victoria British were only 14 thou thick, while the steel ones from Moss and BFE (Payen brand) and the copper ones from TRF (OE style) were all about 17 thou. This is handy info if you use the new HD liners from BFE (they are a tad tall) or want to take 3 thou off the block with stock liners. Although decking isn't recommended, I see no
reason not to if it's all matched. There is a potential problem with reducing the thickness of the block material in the area around the studs, which is already prone to cracking, but 3 thou?. Also, some say that the steel liners will rust over time and ruin the surface that the figure 8 sets upon. I have no doubt that this would occur to some degree, so if you choose steel, use anti-rust additives.

Cleaning Dirty Electrical Connections
- There is a company called 'Caig Laboratories' that makes a product called 'D5 De-Oxit'. It works wonders on dirty and oxidized connectors.  - Just spoke to the electronics chaps upstairs, they say Copper grease, if your going to grease the contact then it's is good to use this. Well fitting new spade connectors pushed together then greased is probably best.

Don't use it when your crimping, it stops the micro weld you get when the metal is pressed together.

To stop corrosion, crimp your contacts, then solder, and let the solder be taken into the wire, and crimp. This stops corrosion spreading up the wire, and keeps the crimp good. Watch out though because the wire where the solder has been soaked up will be stiff, and at the end of that bit is the
part most likely to snap, if there is a lot of movement.

On my '3A, they are bullet and round receptacle type. I found that spraying a q-tip end with carb and choke cleaner, not sure what that is, probably ether, works very well on the female as well as the mail side. The q-tip is just the right size, and the cleaner takes off years of dirt buildup. Lighter fluid also is a great cleaner on many things, would probably also work.

Dashpot oil
There was a thread not too long ago (initiated by me I think!) and I found that "the current grade engine oil" was the best solution (5-30 for me.) It really seemed to make a difference in smoother acceleration and no more "flat" spots for me. Dashpot oil
There was a thread not too long ago (initiated by me I think!) and I found that "the current grade engine oil" was the best solution (5-30 for me.) It really seemed to make a difference in smoother acceleration and no more "flat" spots for me. Dashpot oil
There was a thread not too long ago (initiated by me I think!) and I found that "the current grade engine oil" was the best solution (5-30 for me.) It really seemed to make a difference in smoother acceleration and no more "flat" spots for me.

I am a convert to ATF it works very fine and I always seem to have an open liter around the shop. I purchased one of those $1 plastic 150cc oil cans  and it works perfectly. Yep, ATF all the way!! and I like the bright red color too. - Larry Q.

TR3 Front aprons
Around '93 or '94 this list had a long string on TR3A front aprons and holes for lettering. During that time I ran a questionnaire through the  list asking nose shape, hole info and TS number.

Here are the conclusions from the poll: The first TR3A tools had the smoothly rounded front above the mouth.  This tool was replaced by a newer tool that had the double curve, or lip around TS74??? & before TS75???. Evidently, a large number of the early  rounded front valances were stamped and stocked as repair stock. These  did not have holes punched for the lettering.

So cars that received factory replacement parts from an accident, got one of the round nose valences. Some body shops drilled holes & replaced the  lettering & some didn't. This accounts for early 3As with no holes in the  valance for lettering. Also, it looks like this repair stock was used to
build the TR3Bs as the polled 3Bs all had the earlier round front  valences. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any records left to  prove this so it remains only a theory based upon a poll of around 50 TR3A&Bs.

There are sealers made specifically for freeze plugs. Also, a socket may not be the correct tool for inserting the plugs. This, because the nature of the plug is that it is convex in its shape. If it is inserted properly, tapping in the center of the dome will expand the outside of the plug and ensure a tight fit. If one uses a socket around the perimeter, it may not be enough to form a lasting seal.

TR 3 rack and pinion steering conversion
There is an ingenious conversion of the odd steering system of the TR 3 series on the market, which is a simple bolt on solution which really works and makes all the difference!

you can get a TR3 rack and pinion steering conversion also from  Protek Classics Unit 13, Bushells Business Estate Wallingford, Oxford, UK Tel ++44-1491-832372  ask for Glen. As far as I know, these guys in Germany get their kit actually from Protek.  The kit is available through CAR TRIM, 65527 Idstein, Germany. Contact Harald  through phone 0049 6128 735 13 or fax 0049 6128 735 12.

Even better than body schutz is 'Rocker Shutz'. It goes on tan and it made to be paint able. It sprays from the same type of gun and everything. I think you can get the guns easily from Harbor Freight and no a regular spray gun will not do it. It is way too thick. I have had no problem with it in cold climate. - DougB.

I've used the stuff made by the 3M corp. I've found it's what the local Mercedes Dealership and most high end body shops use on their undercoating  applications. You can vary the texture and it's paint able. When the TR3A brake lines go together, they are definitely getting anti-seize.> Another interesting observation is that the bleeder screws from a 1989 > Plymouth Voyager fits the TR4A calipers and rear slave cylinders.

A word of caution: I was advised against using Nevr-Seez (the aluminum-based stuff) on my brake line fittings. It is rumored to react with brake fluid and cause corrosion. However I think it should be fine if you use DOT5... (here we go again..)

Bleeder Brake Valves
Can anyone else support or rebuke this? I put some heavy grease over the fittings after they were tight, but maybe that's not a good idea either. It also helps if you bleed your brakes once in a while (ie every 2 years)-- when the screws haven't been touched in 30 years they tend to get stuck. It's also a good idea to visually check them now and again and make sure the little rubber dust boot hasn't come off the bleeders. 

TR3 Front Suspension
I'm reinstalling the front suspension on my TR3A. Both Haynes and the Service Instruction Manual state that , "It is essential to have .004"to .012" end float for the outer boss of each lower wishbone arm.

... Equal tightening should be applied to the two castellated nuts and continued until the assembly is solid.". This is where I have a problem. What do they mean by "solid"? There were no torque wrench settings listed in either manual. Do they mean tighten by hand until solid? Maybe I'm too literal but "solid" could mean different things to different people. Solid for the Incredible Hulk would be different than solid for a 160 lb. weakling like me.

When they say "solid" they mean that the gap is completely closed. As you tighten down on the bolts you'll be able to feel when this happens. Even if you really lean on it, you won't get the nut to turn much after that. The key is in turning the nuts back 1 1/2 - 2 flats and tapping out the wishbone arms to ensure the proper end float. - Bill Babbitt

4 thou isn't much. I'd say they probably want you to give it full inward pressure (tap it with a brass drift and 2lb hammer) and then check the end float between the washer and castellated nut with feeler gauges, remembering that the process of matching up the cotter pin locating hole is not going to allow a full seating of the nut against the washer. Therefore we get some end float, but we can't have too much, i.e.; the .004 thou range allowed. Thicker washers, swapping nuts is the cure. - Bob Kramer

I usually do the lower assembly prior to installing the spring or the upper links. That way I can move the lower arms and spring pan through the expected range of motion. I can then tell that point at which there is no play, but little or no binding. Then I install the cotters or lock nuts, depending on mood." - J Harkness

We call it two grunts. Tighten the nuts until the last two tugs on the wrench elicit a grunt, what you are trying to do is upset the serrations so that the shoulder washers do not turn, when you back off the 1/2 to 2 flats specified to line up the castellated nut.-  Don Howard

Just a note of thanks to Bob Kramer, W Babbitt, Don Howard, and J. Harkness for their wisdom and experience. I asked for assistance on reassembling the front suspension on my TR3 and received great advice. Where else but on a list like this could you get input like this, at your fingertips. Thanks again, - Bob Van

Suspension paint?
I know I am going to be flamed, but FWIW, I am a mildly dissatisfied POR 15 user. I used it on a kit car and my 65 Mustang, It really didn't stick too well, and I am not sure that I did not have rust continue underneath it the second try on the floor of the kit car, because the first try failed. I purchased a new custom chassis for a Speedster replica, it was finished with "Black Paint". Since the car was not always inside with the top up, rust soon developed on the floors, I stripped the interior and painted Por 15 on the rust, after a year the rust was back, I repeated the operation, but this time I top coated the POR 15 with enamel while it was still tacky, sold the car before rust returned. What i have learned to do is get rid of the rust, epoxy prime and paint. Oxysolv and an acid brush will get rid of more rust than you will believe, Ditzler DP primer is made to be sprayed, but I have successfully brushed it on, likewise for DAR epoxy enamel. This stuff is not cheap, 4 years I accidentally got a drop on the Chromed surface of an "unprepared" Craftsman wrench sitting on my work bench, when I noticed it the paint had cured, it is still on the wrench, I have been
unable to scrape it off with my fingernail. The POR 15 I painted around the convertible top well of my Stag can be easily removed with my fingernail, and this was applied to "prepared" surfaces. Living in subtropical Florida you learn to deal with rust. As far as the inside of your frame Ospho is a rust killer that requires no further operations, once you manage to get it through any available opening. As far as the powdery rust situation spray it with OXYSOLV wipe down with thinner and paint with a rattle can, this is an easy operation you can perform every few years if necessary, and you will never have invisible rust working under your protective coating.

Brake bleeding
Try this procedure for 2-man bleeding.

1. Pump until there is as much pedal resistance as possible and hold.
2. Open the bleeder valve until the pedal bottoms out and close.
3. Repeat the process until the pedal is firm on the first push after no air is detected in the bleed stream. (constantly monitoring reservoir fluid level)

This method forces the air bubbles toward the wheels and makes the process much faster.


For the past year, I've been wrestling with spongy brakes on my TR6. I've put enough DOT 4 fluid through the brake system to have put a significant dent in my finances had it been DOT 5. I then looked through my message archives, and found the following suggestion: - William Davies

This won't exactly answer your question (I have no fixed routine for bleeding the brakes, I just do it as it comes), but it's a good brake bleeding tip: If you've bled the brakes thoroughly, but still have some air in the system (slight sponginess, need to pump the pedal before full pressure),
try removing the filler cap on the master cylinder, then pumping the pedal until it is firm. Now brace the pedal with a plank of wood (or whatever comes to hand) against the seat or any fixed point in the car. Leave for several hours (overnight in my case), and the air miraculously finds its own way back to the master cylinder and out. This really does work. - Bill

I'll be darned if this doesn't work! I did this to the car last night, tried the brakes this evening, and their perfect! Not that I'm trying to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but does anyone have an explanation as to why something like this works?? - Bruce

Installing a modern radio in my 1963 TR4 .
Can I purchase positive ground radios, or do I have to "mess" with Dr. Lucas ?

You need to operate on Dr Lucas. Its not that bad of a job.
#1 Remove battery (clean out battery box, repaint, clean both connections to battery cables and engine to frame ground strap, or replace if in poor  condition.
#2 Remove connectors to coil. Loosen screw that holds coil tight in it's holder. Rotate coil 180 degrees so it looks like it did but the little  tab electrical connectors are on the opposite sides. Retighten the clamp  screw. Replace the wires.
#3 Reverse the wires on the back of the Ammeter
#4 replace the battery back into the battery box in the opposite direction so the cables will reach. Connect the ground to the Neg terminal on the battery.
#5 Re polarize the generator. Remove the small wire connected to the post labeled 'F' or field. Run a temporary wire from the Positive side of the  battery and momentarily touch it against the 'F' terminal. You will  probably see a spark. Remove the temp wire.
#6 Connect the wire from the solenoid to the positive battery terminal then go for a nice relaxing drive up a curvy mountain road.

Wrinkle Paint
I got my wrinkle paint from Moss, it is definitely a matte finish, and is manufactured by Plasticote. I found the same paint at my local Pep Boys, in Plasticote's own label, for half the price of what Moss charged.

Front spring compressor for TR2-6
My DIY compressor works all right after the 2nd try. The secret is the steel   quality. Make sure its a heavy duty industrial quality. Do not use V2A steel,   because it is too inflexible and tends to break. Second: Measure the diameter of the top end hole for the shock and distract 2-3  mm for clearance. The result is your required diameter for the threaded rod!  Don't use smaller and cheaper rods! Third: For the top end of the rod add two big size washers and a fitting roller bearing in between. They come as a set, and the washers have a groove for the roller bearing on the inside.
The 2by4 steel at the lower end is ok, the professional solution I saw has a spacer of a solid aluminum block with the 4 holes for the bolts on the spring  pan.

Weight of TR3 Tub and Sandblasting
Does anyone know the approximate weight of the body tub of a TR3? All removable pieces are off the car and hanging on the wall in the garage. The tub is just sitting on the frame (not-fastened). Trying to figure out how to move it for sandblasting, etc. Is there someway to support the door opening to release the stress on the rockers without welding a brace in? A friend has a sandblaster that he'll let me use, so - how   big of a task is it? I have a quote of $550 to do the entire car  (inside and out). Time factor is a consideration as I am scheduled for  powder coating (as primer) the week of March 23rd. I am off work next week so that time is mostly available for the project. -  Carl F. Musson

The tub minus the fenders, hood and truck lid weigh approximately 450 pounds and you can lift and move it easily with 3 people. To brace the passenger compartment, you can take a wood 2x4 block and wedge it into the top of the door openings and wedge a 4x4 block of wood down the center between the dash and rear deck. You'll probably want to fasten them to the tub somehow it as when you will lift it the tub will sag. The inner front fenders will flop around a bit too when you lift so attach them with a block going across the front lower body mounting and another across the top. Something a bit better would be to weld a frame made of steel angles say 3/16" x 1- 1/2" x 1- 1/2" that parallels the cruciframe and bolt everything down properly to it. If you attach dolly wheels you can roll the tub anywhere you want using just one person! As for the actual sandblasting, don't try it yourself unless you have access to decent equipment and an appropriate place to do it. It's very messy - sand will get everywhere in your garage and if it's not powerful equipment it will take you forever. I had my tub sandblasted by a professional who did the entire thing in under 2 hours Total cost was about $350 Canadian (about $275US) Just one last word, remember to give the sandblasted tub a coat of primer within 24 hours of sandblasting or it will begin to rust. If your scheduled to be primed on March 23rd then have it blasted the day before. - Barry Shefner

If you sand blast it yourself - and I recommend that you give it a try, because it is so much fun - make sure you put a water trap somewhere between the compressor and your blasting wand. If you do your blasting in a low place in the yard, you can tell your wife that you are finally filling in the holes she has been complaining about, and don't have to worry about recovering your
medium Cheers, - Les Landon

But then how do you explain to your wife why the grass doesn't grow in that "low" spot anymore, after all the old oily gunk was deposited with that old used sand!!!!- Joe Curry

The romance of a full moon glistening on an oil sheen? - Les Landon

Gudgeon Pins

It pays to maintain your gudgeon pins in tip-top condition, for otherwise your gudgeon pins may fail to operate smoothly or could become 'un-pinned. This could lead to 'flasking'. The pins are easily located beside the wet-pinioned flange's journal-piece and should be inspected at regular intervals. Apply a few droplets of proprietary lustralising agent or anticoagulant flux, ensuring that it is well bedded in between the splines. Do NOT over-tighten the crux bolt. Check periodically for signs of seepage where the gaiters rub against the main rostrum on the 'up' stroke. Wipe BOTH end with a swatch of lint-free scrim, then use a strobe and callipered (or nib-ended) pargeting tool to check the inner tension. If EITHER the bezel OR variable arm is thwarted or 'tram-lining', switch OFF and replace the grommets without delay. - Bruce Krobusek

Gas Smell - SU Carbs

Carb problems seem to indicate high float levels (Actually, the smell after you turn it off may not be something you can deal with easily. The float bowls on these cars are getting a little "long in the tooth" and may have become porous enough to allow the gas to seep through the metal itself. If this is the case you can have the float chambers "sealed" so that they no longer seep. To test this easily, just lightly paint the outside of the chambers with most any type of paint. After a few days, if it appears to be "running" off the chamber sides, then suspect porous chamber walls). The float levels themselves should be checked visually down thru the top into the jet itself. Run the car, pull the pistons out and look down into the jet for the fuel level. Use a flashlight to see the level (blowing in easy "puffs" will help, as the level will "bounce" to your blowing). This is an accurate "in situ" test to see where the fuel level really is, as opposed to the setting of the lever stops with a steel bar. The fuel level should be the same in both carbs, and approx 1/4" below the jet head (all cars vary so this is just a starting place). If the level is higher than this, and I think it will be, you must remove some fuel from the float chambers, then crank the motor (or use your hand pump) to refill the float chambers. Multiple readings are usually needed, but this method gives you a "true" float level reading.

Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Some of the most common problems with a leaky oil pan gasket stem from not using sufficient care when re-attaching the pan and replacing the gasket. When an oil pan is over tightened, it causes the holes to bend upward toward the block. A gasket will seldom fill in the "new" gaps so it leaks.

Sealants will work and fill in these new spaces, but we are all guilty of being in too much of a hurry so we don't allow them to cure properly and when you put oil or any kind of pressure behind it, it blows out the sealants ability to seal. Two gaskets of the "rubberized" material variety may help by providing the cushion necessary to fill the uneven surface created by over tightening. I have used everything from a 1x4 board to a 500 lb. anvil to straighten out oil pan holes. If you use a 1x4, place the even sawed, smooth end under the lip (outside bottom) of the pan and with a hammer, lightly tap the area of each oil pan hole until it is visibly even with the rest of the sealing surface of the pan. Spread a thin bead of sealant on the sealing surface of the pan, and apply the gasket, pressing down all the way around the pan and sort of wiggling the gasket a bit to spread the sealant. Turn the pan over and place it on a smooth even surface and press down in the center of the pan lightly and let it SIT OVERNIGHT. When you are ready to put the pan back on, clean each bolt hole in the bottom of the block with a good parts cleaner such as carburetor cleaner. Run a bead of sealant on top of yesterdays gasket and smear it as evenly as possible. Hold the pan close enough to the block to get the bolts started without actually touching the pan to the block until you have several bolts in to hold the pan up.

Apply some sealant to the bolts before you thread them in. (This is why you cleaned the holes in the block) Once all the bolts are in place finger tight, snug them down in a Chris- cross fashion until they are all just snug. When they are all snug, go back and torque them in the same Chris-cross fashion to I would guess 7-10 ft. lbs. No more or you'll bend the holes out of shape again. Now, let it sit overnight again to let the sealant cure. Hopefully, we have stopped your leaky pan.

I have found that LBCs are not too expensive to maintain, they just take a lot of TLC. - Tony Robinson,

Floor Replacement - TR3

I am part way through replacing the floor and inner/outer sills on my 60 TR3A. I decided to replace first, then have the tub sand blasted. I'm glad I progressed in this way because when I got all the tar and rivets removed there was very little left holding the two halves of the car together. There was no way I could have lifted the body off without it folding up. I've got one side done, plug and seam welding everything together with a Mig welder. I bought my replacement panels from TRF. They were on sale in June. The floor panel fit very well and came primed with all of the fixed nuts attached in the proper cages. The inner sill required minor modification . I had to move the front mounting "tab" forward one half inch to line up the mounting holes on the frame. This was simple to do.

You need to remove the front fenders, and thus the front cowl and the door. A major pain if the mounting nuts are rusted solid especially the bolt at the bottom of the windshield frame. There is a little rubber grommet to remove inside the footwell to get at this bolt. The door needs to go back on for adjusting the fit of the outer sill .

Cut the outer sill out first to expose the welds to the inner sill at the bottom of the A and B posts. The B post weld closest to the back of the car is under the rear dogleg. There is no way to cut this weld out without either removing the dogleg (and rear fender) , or cutting 6 inches off the bottom of the rear dogleg . I cut off 6 inches as it was a little punky anyways. Don't forget the bolt inside the front fender well that threads into the front of the inner sill. I did , and ripped a hole in the inner fender/splash panel when I whacked the sill out with a sledge. I first attempted to drill out all of the spot welds but soon gave this up as the factory put plenty of them in, sometimes even overlapping them! The spot welds tend to be located at the bottom edge of the flanges so I ended up cutting everything with a grinder leaving enough of the original flange (about 3/8 ") to allow proper location of the new piece.

Also I forgot to mention to either support the car with jack stands at the suspension mounting points or better yet leave it on the wheels. This is crucial for door fit as the car will settle if supported any other way. I learned this the hard way several years ago when I replaced the floors on my TR4A. I had the car supported on concrete blocks randomly placed under the frame, fit the floors/sills, then re-hung the doors. The door gap closed up at the top nearly 3/8 " when I lowered the car back onto the wheels. Had to start all over again!

Generator, Voltage Regulator and Cut-out Adjustment
A little history.  I have over the years "renovated" a number of cars > and have fallen hopelessly into the abyss.  I'm about to get a '58 TR3A  that's very restorable from it's original owner.  As I sought out info to  qualify this car I found your site.  This led me to my question. My last renovation was/is a '63 Morgan Plus 4.  The reason that's  germain is that it has a TR3 motor and electrics.  The issue is that I have  no output from the generator/regulator so the battery just runs down over  few days, (no gen light lit).  The gen seems to be in spec from an  opens/shorts perspective, but I don't have very much in the way of > literature to troubleshoot beyond that.  Do you know of any clever ways to  isolate the gen from the regulator, and/or adjustments to the regulator? -Steve DeLisle

To check for a short in your wiring, detach the battery cables and attach a continuity tester between the cable leads. (Most voltmeters have this
feature built in) With everything shut off (ie lights, ignition switch wipers etc), if you register a completed circuit meter reading then you have a short somewhere that is draining your battery and you will need to
trace your wiring to find the faulty ground
If no reading is registered, reattach the battery leads and proceed to testing your generator.

First step is to make sure your fan belt is tight. There should be about 1/2" play on the belt midway between the Generator and the fan pulley

To check the generator
1) Check that all leads are properly screwed to the regulator control box
2) check that the Lead of the large spade terminal ("D") on the generator should be connected to the "D" terminal of the regulator
3) Check that the smaller "F" spade terminal of the generator is connected to the "F" terminal of the regulator
4) Terminal "E" of the regulator should be attached to a good ground
5) remove the spade terminal leads of terminal "D" and "F" on the generator
6) attach a bare copper jumper wire between terminals "D" and "F" on the regulator
7) Attach the negative lead of your voltmeter to the center of the bare wire jumper and attach the positive to the earth on the generator.
8) Start the engine and allow to idle at about 750RPM.
9) you should have a reading of about 15VDC
10) If the reading is between 4-6 volts your generator winding is faulty
11) If there is no reading then check your brushes
12) If the reading is correct, reattach the spade terminals of the generator
13) Detach the "D" terminal wire on the regulator (leaving the bare copper jumper in place) and attach the lead of your voltmeter to the detached wire and the other end of the voltmeter to earth
14) Start the engine and at the same 750RPM idle you should get identical
voltage reading. If no voltage is recorded then there is a break in the wire
15) reattach the disconnected lead to the "D" terminal and disconnect the "F" terminal lead, (leaving the bare copper jumper in place) and attach the lead of your voltmeter to the detached wire and the other end of the voltmeter to earth.
16) Start the engine and at the same 750RPM idle you should get identical voltage reading. If no voltage is recorded then there is a break in the wire
17) If both readings off the wires are the same  as that from the generator then proceed to testing the control box
18) detach the copper jumper wire and reattach the leads on "D' and "F" to the regulator

To test & adjust the regulator do the following
1) clean the contacts by passing fine glass paper through the contacts several times
2) Remove and join together the wires from terminals A1 and A.
3) connect the neg lead of a voltmeter to the "D" terminal of your generator and the positive lead to a good earth.
4) start the engine and increase speed until the voltmeter needle flicks and then steadies. This should occur at about 2000 RPM
5) The voltage at which the needle steadies should be 15.9-16.5VDC at 86 degrees F or 15.8 to 16.4VDC at 104 degrees F.
6) If the voltage is outside these limits then remove the regulator cover and turn the Regulator adjusting screw clockwise 1/4 turn at a time to raise the setting (counterclockwise to lower it) - the adjustment screw is on the
back plate of the coil above the A1 terminal not the one at the top of the coil
7) Note readings must be taken within 30 seconds of engine startup or heat from the coil will affect the readings.
8) once adjusted properly, reattach the wires to A1 and A

To adjust the cut out coil
1) clean the contacts by passing fine glass paper through the contacts several times
2) attach the voltmeter to terminal "D" and terminal "E"
3) Start engine and increase speed until the cutout coil (the one directly above the D & E terminals) closes.
4) The voltage reading should be between 12.7-13.3VDC.
5) If it's outside this reading, turn the cutout adjusting screw (again the one on the back plate of the coil a fraction at a time. Clockwise to raise voltage, anticlockwise to lower it.

If the cut out or regulator doesn't adjust then you will have to change the entire unit. -Barry Shefner

Radiator Maintenance

Had the mechanic put in a new thermostat.  Dad had it available and was going to put in anyway.  There was no thermostat in the engine when mechanic went to install.  Now engine is running at about 200+...seems too hot.

TR3's are nutorious for overheating problems which are caused by restricted airflow through the rad and that cute but extremely inappropriate crankhole. The hole makes the rad lose about 30% of it's efficiency so if you are ever thinking of having the rad re-cored, get rid of the hole. Since taking the Rad out is not an easy task, unless it leaks, there are a couple of things that you can do to improve it's performance.
1) Go out and buy 2 cans of a strong radiator flush liquid and flush the radiator to remove accumulated deposits in the tubes.To do this, drain the coolant from the radiator by detaching the bottom hose and allowing the coolant out.
2) Block the bottom of the rad opening and pour in one can of the flushing liquid with water and let stand for the indicated time.
3) Drain it out and run cold water through the rad for a few minutes
4) Repeat step 2 & 3 over again using the second can.
5) Open the engine block drain tap (Brass turn valve located above the starter ) to drain out the coolant from the engine block. This will take 10 or 15 minutes to fully drain
6)  Close the drain tap and reattach the bottom hose 
7 Fill the rad with 50% coolant and 50% water mix (best to mix in a pail before pouring in radiator) 

Flasher Unit Woes

I have had problems with my Turn signals for the past couple of years
on my TR4. The signals will work ok for a couple of months and then the
signal lamp will just stay on but not flash. In the past I have fixed  this by replacing the flasher every couple of months. But for some reason the replacement of the flasher no longer works. Has anyone else had this type of problem and if so how was it corrected?  Walt

I'm actually suprised that replacing the flasher unit made them  work! .........What you likely are dealing with is a poor electrical  connection  not a bad flasher unit. When one of the bullet connectors is not making proper contact you get the type of thing that you describe (ie one of the flasher lights stay on continuously) What you need to do is check  all of  your connections at your flasher sockets and at the bullet connections in the engine compartment to find the faulty connection. The most likely culprit are the bullets in the engine compartment  (the wires  to check are green with a red stripe and green with a white stripe, usually you can find the problem just by jiggling these wires and suddenly you will have your flashers back). You will find such a bullet connection on either side of the engine compartment in the wiring harness located just to the rear of your radiator. The best thing is to pull apart both sides of the bullet connector and clean the bullets with steel wool to take off corrosion and then reconnect them. If the wire has desoldered from the bullet then you will need to resolder it.  If you don't find the fault there, then remove the lenses from your turn signal flashers and clean the all the bullet connections located therein. The third thing to do is to remove the bulbs from the sockets and scrape off any corrosion on the base of the bulb and on the copper tabs where they contact with the bulb. - Barry

Thanks for the info.  I cleaned all the connections by the radiator and at the light sockets but I wasn't sure how the flasher socket came apart to remove the wires and I didn't want to pull too hard on the wires for fear of breaking something. After this procedure the flashers would flash about 5 times and then stop. I still think it might be in the flasher unit itself as I have 3 flashers and with one it won't work at all, with an other it will flash 5 times and quit, and with the last it flashes perfectly except the green indicator light stays on all the time. When the green light is on with the signal lever in the off position the signal light is not on. None of the flasher units that I have are original TR4 flashers and they are just off the shelf units. It is almost like the current is too strong for the flasher and after 5 flashes it heats up and just stays on. I guess I will go through and clean the connectors again or get a heavy duty truck flasher unit and try that. A real mystery thanks -Walt

Yep it does sound mysterious Walt.....I am doubtful that all three flasher units are defective but the only other thing I can think of is that perhaps you have the wiring of the flasher unit mixed up or perhaps the unit is not well grounded. I'm not versed on the TR4 wiring as it is somewhat different from the TR3 wiring. According to the electrical diagram, you should have a Green, a green with brown and a light green with purple as leads. The purpose of these wires is as follows - Green comes from the fuse box via the voltage stabilizer (power)  - Light Green with Purple runs to the green flasher indicator light  - Green with Brown runs to the signal lever switch and then on to the Green with Red (LH signal light) and Green with White (RH signal light) Donno if this helps but see if the flasher units have anything marked on the terminals (usually letters)  or a wiring diagram of the terminal operations for the flasher units would be even better. See if it corresponds to the way you have the terminals wired up. -Barry

Thanks for all your help.  I'm going to keep working on the problem. The strange thing is that this worked  fine for several years, unless I mixed the wires up while cleaning them; but I don't think so as I only cleaned one connection at a time -Walt

It's funny that you should be having this particular problem just as I am re-wiring a TR3A for a local fellow.... today I reached the flashing circuit and low and behold I also have a problem. The guy purchased an off the shelf flasher unit to install as his old one no longer worked. When I wired it up I had flashers but the indicator light which flashes normally when the turn signal lever is pressed,  also stays on all the time.  I suspect that the problem stems from the Positive grounding of the car and perhaps the car requires a special flashing unit wired for positive ground. It's too coincidental that we should both be having the same problem. Is your car positive ground? -Barry

Yes it is a Positive ground car. What puzzled me was that with all my messing around with the flasher problem I have purchased 3 different types of flasher units and I get different results from each of them. With one I get exactly the same results as you did with the indicator light staying on all the time,  one of the others doesn't work at all, and the 3rd one flashes 4 or 5 times then quits. I think the one that doesn't work at all is faulty as this problem arose when I  replaced that flasher unit with an off the shelf model. -Walt

I have run across this before. It happened to me when I tried to wire up an after market flasher to the TR3. It seems that the turn signal indicator lamp is wired to a separate pin on the flasher unit,
which is actuated separately from the main lamps. The bottom line is  that you need the original style flasher. Nothing else will work correctly. The correct style has 3 pins, instead of 2 -George.

Good news!  I took my lucas flasher, part # FL5 12V 42W , 35010A  (It's the original one I got the car with before I did my restoration) and tried it on the other car and everything worked fine. As I suspected, the flasher unit must be a special one for positive grounded cars or alternatively the modern day ones work differently than the old style ones. Either way our problems stem from the flasher itself and not from a loose wire or misconnection.  That's the good news:} The bad news is that you and the guy I'm re-wiring the TR3A for, will have to get the correct type from Roadster, Moss or Victoria British .....all of about 8 bucks......Seems a small price to pay for not having to use hand signals when you wanna turn the corner:} -Barry

e-mail  Jacad@videotron.ca