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Thread: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

  1. #1

    The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Begins today!

    So, my TR6 needs a new frame. I've got a replacement frame just about ready to go (needs a few things like the differential mounts boxed in, and some other things I'll do to reinforce it since it's by itself right now.)

    Having picked up the new TR7 this Wednesday, and having taken it for a nice long 144 mile round trip foliage tour yesterday with New England Triumphs, I picked today to start dismantling the TR6.

    Here's the TR6 as it was the last day I drove it

    Here's the TR7 yesterday morning while waiting for others to show up for the foliage tour


    Today i removed the seats, most of the carpet, the front bumper and scoop, the two front fenders, the driver side door, and the bonnet all removed. Things are at once both worse than I hoped, but better than I feared.

    The very first sign of trouble was when I was removing the driver side light fixture so that I could get at the interior bolts to remove the fender. The inner-cup part had significant rust holes in it.


    I also had two stubborn bolts, after torches, penetrating oil, and big breaker bars failed to work, I had to drill through the heads and chisel them off



    In order to get the bolt off inside the light housing, due to lack of having a ratchet with an adjustable angle head, I took the bonnet off first


    Once I did get the driver side fender off, this is what greeted me. The yellow thing is a pen that some how got into the wall of the car


    The driver side fender isnt that bad, the rust at the bottom should be repairable.


    When I cleaned out the driver side wall, I was surprised that the rocker panel is solid, and it's just the front panel that's realy rusted out. A little bit of rust has crept to the tub wall, but only at the very bottom corner.


    The top of the tub where the fender bolts down is a bit rusted, but should be repairable alright.
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  2. #2

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I continued with the passenger side front fender, this one has less rust at the bottom over the rocker, but has a bit of rust where it bolts to the front valence. This too should be repairable and recoverable


    The inside of the passenger side, for all that there was no hole into the wheel well, was much worse however, mostly down at the rocker panel.


    The top of the tub panel here is rusty too as with the driver side.


    Here's the passenger side after cleaning out the pine needles and dirt.


    The rocker panel on this side is real bad, and almost non existent for the first 8 inches or so



    The floor pans are both coming out and being replaced. Besides holes up front in both of them, under where the seats were are holes and lots of rust too




    So here's my dismantling job for one afternoon thus far


    I'll keep this thread up to date as I make progress. This should keep me busy for a good long long time !
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  3. #3

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I decided to do something quick to make me feel like I made more progress than just pulling some things apart after I got to that point. Figure I'll post it here since it's directly related.

    Here was some old TR6 factory steel hardtop hardware that was all rusty and with bad chipped black paint



    I took them to my sand blasting cabinet to see how they'd clean up, and I'm very happy with the results. I didnt know if the screens would clean up well at all, but they came out looking great.
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  4. #4
    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Some bad, mostly good!! With a cabinet and some judicious knobblin' it looks like ya have it well under control!!

    Worst bit will be th' sills. Take yer time and it appears ya have it well in hand.

    BTW: LOVE th' pix!!
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

  5. #5
    Great Pumpkin Brosky's Avatar
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Justin, it's looking good so far.

    Please be sure to put braces across the door openings to keep the tub square before you go any further and definitely before you proceed to lift off.
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa &amp; Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

  6. #6

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Your photo's took me back to when I did mine... you will get there! You should run the drain line completely to the outside instead of terminating in the inner fender... get that water out of there! Run it out from the bottom of the wheel well so it drains to the road.
    Elliot
    Central PA
    1976 TR6 White/Biscuit interior SOLD
    1973 TR6 Damson Plum / Biscuit interior, HVDA 5-speed, Good Parts Hubs

  7. #7

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Gliderman8
    Your photo's took me back to when I did mine... you will get there! You should run the drain line completely to the outside instead of terminating in the inner fender... get that water out of there! Run it out from the bottom of the wheel well so it drains to the road.
    I fully intend on doing so. I'm also going to swap the scute vent on the top to the 'old style' vent with the closing top, even though it's not 'correct' for the year of my car. But then again i've got miata seats in my car and a modern stereo and no emissions etc, so I'm not trying for concourse, just for something that I'll enjoy and that is "mine" =)

    I've got a long long ways to go. Tonight I'm going to try to remove the rear quarter pannels and the rest of the carpeting from the interior. Then it's off to some welding practice because I've been told I should replace the floorpans while everything is in place on the frame before touching the rest of the tub for ease of alignment.
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  8. #8
    Jedi Warrior Rhodyspit75's Avatar
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Hi neighbor! Soon this will be you. Good luck.


    &quot;Age considers; youth ventures.&quot; Rabindranth Tagore
    1975 Spitfire

  9. #9
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    ahh shipfitters disease. Go to replace a bulb and notice the fixture is cracked, while replacing that notice the wiring is frayed, next thing you know the boat ends up in drydock for a complete rebuild because a light bulb burned out. Been there, doing that with my Spitfire that started as a cleanup of the cowl. It was supposed to be done 3 months ago. Still don't have all the body panels welded in yet. Maybe it will be done just in time to get it out in the spring. Just not sure of which year.

  10. #10

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I continued the dismantling of the car tonight.

    First I pulled off the soft top. Thankfully there was no rust on this top panel, the paint was rubbed off all along the bottom of where the back of the soft top frame mounts, but it wasn't rusty.



    After pulling off the interior panels to get at the bolts for the rear fenders I found some more rust on the inside of the car on the tub



    The rest of the rear tub behind the fender looks in fine shape though. We'll see once i knock the undercoating off.



    I noticed however that it looks like the inside layer of the rear inner valence panel is completely rusted out under the top layer. The top is in fantastic shape, and I think it may actually be a replacement panel on the outside, because I see some points that are normally spot welded that are not connected. it doesn't look good in there, and may actually be the worst place on the car from what I can see poking around.



    Both fenders look just fine and without rust.




    The bottom of the rear on the driver side is slightly squished in, so it appears that the car was in a fender bender, explaining the replacement outer rear valence.


    The rest of the panel looks in fine shape as well except right down by the rocker panel


    Here's a close up, and you can see the paint and undercoating bubbled up a bit in the corner


    So after day two of disassembly I've now got all the quarter panels off and the top off, infact there's not a whole lot left to remove from the tub other than the dash area, the trunk and the gas tank.

    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  11. #11
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I will be watching this project since my since my TR is heading for the launch pad for lift off too.

  12. #12
    Jedi Trainee
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I've got a body tub coming in that is supposed to be solid that I will be selling if you want to go that route.

  13. #13
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Justin you seem to be moving along at a fast clip. Make sure you take plenty of notes, and pictures. Mark all the hardware and put in bags. The first car I did I just marked the bags with a marker. but over the years the restoration took the ink was coming of the bags, and hard to read. No I put a piece of cardbord with the discription in the bag. It looks like a restoration that can be done but it is going to require some welding. If you don't have a welder I would get one and learn how to do it. It will cost a fortune to farm it out. You will also find alot more that needs welded as you go. The amount of cracks I found in my current TR3 restoration was surprising. Keep the pictures coming of the restoration.
    Keith D
    1974 TR6 been the owner of this car for 37 years.
    1956 TR3 car is being restored.

  14. #14

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I bought a Lincoln mig welder and need to learn to use it right. Right now i can stick weld thick stuff together with my ancient Lincoln AC buzz-box, but there's nothing thick on a TR6.

    I'm at the point now where It's been recommended to me to replace the floor pans before I do anything else, doing one side at a time and leaving it on the frame to keep everything square, and only then should I continue to dismantle more of the car and get the tub lifted. I have a pair of replacement floor pans from http://www.c2cfabrication.com/ but right now having lain one down next to the TR6... I think I may have wasted my money, while it looks close... it looks like the fit will be very poor. I'll find out when I get one side out and try to fit the replacement, and if all else fails I can probably make them work with some creative welding, but today having been the first day that I've had the transmission tunnel removed and everything else inside the car removed, it's been the first time i've been able to really see how they line up. Next few nights I may not do much more dismantling of the dash area (really all that's left that I can pull off the car at this point without getting into the engine is the windshield, crash pad, and dashboard with gauges.)


    I bought a ton of ziplock bags, and some fine point sharpies and i've been marking everything as I pull it off and bagging everything with masking tape labels inside the bags and sharpie writing on the tags of the bags meant to be written on. Most of the hardware will be replaced though as most of it is pretty grimey and rusty.

    I've also decided that I will be replacing the whole wiring harness, probably with the AAW harness, the wires were not in that great shape, and rather than putting something not-so-good back in, I'll just do the wiring now and not have to worry about it later.
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  15. #15
    Great Pumpkin Brosky's Avatar
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Don't forget those braces to replace the doors before you lift that tub!!
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa &amp; Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

  16. #16

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Justin,

    Buy the right panels. Working with poorly made panels, that don't fit properly, makes a tough job even more difficult.

  17. #17

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Mark, I may end up doing just that, though I will try to see if they can be salvaged. I wont know really for sure until I drill /chisle out one of the rotted out floor pans and really try to fit the one from c2cfabrication in there.

    If they're not usable, I will certainly be giving them some pointed feedback. I paid 250$ with shipping for the driver and passenger floor pans from them 2 months ago, so i'm out of their "30 day satisfaction garuntee" period.
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

  18. #18
    Jedi Trainee
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    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    I am considering getting some floor pans for a TR6 and TR3 from them. I have the advantage of they are only a few hour drive for me. I'm not too concerned with originality so if they arn't perfect no big deal as long as they fit somewhat decent. Keep us posted with the progress.

  19. #19

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    When I stored my Spitfire's body a couple years ago I replaced floors, sill, a-posts, and a rear inner and out fender. All panels were BMH panels and they went together perfectly. It really made the body restoration...fun.

  20. #20

    Re: The start of something big. Frame off restoration

    Tonight I was able to get back in the garage to continue dismantling. I had no time this weekend between a 14 hour work day on Saturday and the Cape Cod British Car Club show on Sunday with the TR7.

    The first thing I worked on was removing the gas tank, now that I had emptied it out. In pulling apart the rubber connector between the chassis metal fuel sending line and the one attached to the tank, I pretty well mangled the rubber, good thing its' being replaced anyways.

    With the fuel tank removed, I then removed the trunk lid as well. I also took the center section of the rear bumper off finally, I had just not gotten around to it yet.




    Next I went to work on the dash area. This caused me a few problems because I wasn't sure how to get the wiper switch taken off so that i could pull the wooden dash forward. After some looking around online I finally found that there was a pin i had to push in after unscrewing the chrome bezel, and was able to unplug all the wires from the dash and remove it. The dash will need to be re-finished, and I'm thinking of re-veneering it with some nice burl wood. Since I am replacing the whole wiring harness, I was able to save myself some time by not having to label every little wire as I removed it. In addition there were a LOT of wires just sort of hanging and capped off with electrical tape or twist caps under the dash, probably why none of the door lights, heater fans, blowers, etc never worked =D



    I then pulled out all the air ducting and the glove box, so I could get easier access to the bolts holding the windshield in place. It's amazing how much STUFF is crammed under the dash in a TR6, though I'm of the opinion that much of it is unnecessary, but that's just me =) I'm debating how much air ducting / heater stuff I'll be putting back in when I rebuild it. I may just put electric seat heaters in the miata seats that I'm using, and forego the heater core all together. It's another thing in the TR6 which didn't work, and which I really didn't miss either.



    The car's almost just down to the contents of the engine bay left to remove. I need to get the steering wheel off and get some of the old wiring harness out from the dash. Remove the heater core and a few other things, and I think I will almost be ready to lift the body off.

    After talking with some people at the car show this weekend, they said to NOT do my floorpans before lifting the body, because I'm using a new/different frame, and that I should instead just take the body tub off, do all the work on it that needs to be done, then put it on the new frame, and THEN do the floor pans / rocker panels so that I can get the alignment right on the new frame, which could be slightly off from my old frame.

    So until next time, here's how my poor little TR6 looks.



    My garage doesn't have a whole lot of space... but I'm single and I've got a good size room in the basement... so all my bits and pieces are going in the basement for the time being =D
    Justin 'Tharkis' Mercier
    1976 TR6 Hunter Roadster - CF56244U http://www.hathawayhunter.com
    1977 TR7 - ACW15899UA
    Former owner of 1977 TR7 - ACW16812UA
    TR6 parts for sale in Rhode Island http://www.tharkis.com/images/tr6/forsale/thumbs.py

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