View Full Version : TR6 Going to see a TR6 this week...

06-28-2005, 10:56 AM
Okay, some of you may remember that a while ago I was on this board asking whether you thought it was feasible for me to restore a TR6. I read it all withgreat care and somehow managed to ignore all of the parts that warned of huge expense and misery, and focused on the parts where people said it was going to be great! Anyway, as a result of much looking at ebay auctions and various club websites, I am going to look at a car this Friday. I am hoping that you experienced people will help out a newbie with some advice of what to look for. The car I am looking at has been sitting (indoors) for a few years, and so I would have thought that trying to start it right away would be a bad idea. The seller said that it was running "a bit rough" when he put it away and he hasn't started it since. What can I do to check it out without turning the engine? I know about checking the thrust washers, but what else can I look at?

From the pictures I have seen, the only worrying rust (I know, I should worry about all of the rust...) is a line where the inner and outer wings meet (basically right below the side of the hood, inside the engine bay). Is this likely to be the visible part of something much worse? Is this a reasonably straightforward repair?

Given that the car has been sitting for a few years, what am I likely to need to do to get it back into running condition? Obviously I would change all of the fluids and apply lots of grease to the relevant areas, but I am guessing that the carbs need a clean, and I would probably fit new diaphragms, etc. Am I likely to need to replace the brakes, or would a clean up do the job? Will I be looking at rebuilding the calipers with new seals etc? How about the hydraulic cylinders?

Sorry to go on like this. I am very excited to be getting close to owning the car I wanted as a child! I just don't want to rush in and buy a car that will never be back on the road. Any other advice you can offer would be greatfully received!

Mickey Richaud
06-28-2005, 11:05 AM
Bash -

Fantastic! Sounds like you're in for a great time, and it appears that you're armed and ready for the hunt.

Check out member Tony Barnhill's article, "Awakening a Sleeping MG". It'll tell you everything you need to know:


Let us know how you fare.


Geo Hahn
06-28-2005, 11:23 AM
In addition to Tony's start-up list here's an oft-quoted checklist for examining cars:


Lots there... maybe more than you want to pursue but it will give you ideas. I would certainly use a magnet in all the likely spots where bondo may lurk under the paint. That can be one of the nastiest surprises, turning a simple respray into major body work. Just use a small magnet with a tpae wrapped around it to protect the paint. The tape will weaken the magnet which is good as you want it to be sensitive to any layers thicker than a coat of paint.

06-28-2005, 11:50 AM

Great! I hope it's a good one for you.

Tony's article is great. The only thing I would add, is to pull the spark plugs and shoot some oil into the cylinders before hand cranking the engine.

A good thing to know is how many miles are on the engine, and exactly what "a bit Rough" is. That could be like "a bit pregnant".



06-28-2005, 12:44 PM
Read this completely before visiting the car


Check out what they say about visible surface rust at the seams. Make sure you get on the ground and examine the fram and rust areas from UNDER the car. (wear clothes to get dirty in). A new paint job can be hiding misery beneath....

06-28-2005, 03:46 PM
Hi Bash.....
I can sense your excitement in your posting.
You talk a lot about mechanical problems and getting it going.
Believe me when I say that's the easy (and relatively cheap) part. It's MUCH more important to check it out for rust, particularly in the frame, so as Kindofblue say's, plan to get dirty (bring coveralls) get the car up on jackstands (safely) and inspect the frame particularly at the rear suspension trailing arms. There will be surface rust on the frame but you need to figure out if the rust has or will shortly be perforating the frame sections. Feel around the top side of the frame where you can get access.
Geo Hahn explained how to check for body rust under the paint, the car has likely been somewhat restored at some point so expect to find some evidence of filler somewhere, you just need to ascertain how much. Check particularly the top of the fenders front and back, thats where the mud etc builds up inside the wheelwell. It may still be ok even with some filler but then it's a price negotiating issue.

06-28-2005, 04:12 PM
When checking out my TR, I used an ice pick to poke around the mounting bolts just above the lower front lip of the frame member at the swing arm and a refrigerator magnet to check for filler. AltaKnight is right..mechanicals are far easier to deal with dollar wise than sheetmetal or a bad frame.

06-28-2005, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the replies. I know that body and chassis condition is much more important than the mechanical side of things. I had planned to take a magnet for the bodywork and a screwdriver to check the frame condition - at the risk of sounding like a total idiot, how hard should I be pressing? If there is surface rust, should I try scratching it to see if there is "good" metal underneath? I guess that if the screwdriver goes through the frame anywhere I should forget my excitement and walk away from the car! Is there any easy way to see whether the rust inside the frame is getting out of control?

I was planning to go to the local college for a welding course, since I expect to have to do at least some work on the body - new floors seem to be a standard requirement on any TR6 I see in the price range I am looking at. Am I being overly optimistic? Will a few months of evening classes prepare me to put new floors (or whatever) into a TR6?

Thanks again for the help and advice

06-28-2005, 07:04 PM
Just push/tap on the metal portions that are suspect. Don't go too hard. Anything that isn't supportive (i.e. metal) wont hold a screwdriver. You wont be creating any new holes either if you push through the rust.

Scrape away any caked on mud to see underneath. Make sure you check out the upper and lower portions of the important "T-Shirt" pressing where the exhaust runs through it. Swelling in this area is a tell tale sign of problems.

06-29-2005, 02:06 AM
This link https://www.wbclassics.com/tr6bg/bg.html is an excellent source for buying info, with plenty of good pix, and the owner a good source for parts. Pay real close attention to the rear frame. I just went thru the purchase process one year ago....the voice off experience - mine was good anyway.
Good luck, Steve

06-29-2005, 05:07 AM
Hi Bash,

Reading one of Roger William's books recently, I noticed his first suggestion when buying a car. He thinks it's best to not even look at the car right away. Instead spend some time chatting with the seller to become acquainted and decide if you feel they are trustworthy and the sort of person you'd feel comfortable handing a chunk of money to purchase the car. If you don't feel comfortable, he suggests walking away at the first opportunity.

Of course, some sellers are "pros" at making potential customers feel comfortable and ready to part with their hard-earned money. Most of them work on used car lots. So, this suggestion is probably most useful with private parties selling their own cars.

Obviously, this is an opportunity to ask about any accidents or problems the seller is aware of, and to listen to their tales of the car and how it was used and maintained.

Since Triumphs tend to rust from the inside out, *any* sign of rust on the outside is a red flag to look for more severe problems underneath. Look at the fender areas from inside the engine compartment and trunk, as well as up from underneath. If the front ones are rusty, likely the rear ones are too.

Likely a seller will not be pleased if you start poking holes in the car, literally, with a screwdriver.

Take a good flashlight with fresh batteries and one of those small mirrors to peer inside hard to reach places. Maybe a notepad would be useful, too.

On to the car. In addition to the already suggested areas, also look closely at:

1. The bottom of the fenders, where they overlap the rockers.
2. The bottom of the doors.
3. The rockers, inside and out.
4. The floors underneath the carpeting, about where your feet would rest, and in particular the driver's side directly under the clutch and brake master cylinders (which leak when cars sit in storage, often rotting the floor out quickly).
5. The "rear seat" shelf under the carpeting (a common quick fix of broken diffential mounting stud is to cut a hole there and weld from above).
6. The bottom of the B-post, from inside the cockpit, especially try to loosen some of the vinyl cover and see if it's rusted through underneath.
7. The frame rails in the very front and back.
8. The angled strut from the shock tower down to the main frame rail (tends to rust near the base, just above where it's welded to the main rail, also look for any sign of a bend or crimp which means accident damage).
9. The main frame rails just behind the front wheels, as seen from the wheel well (i.e., where spray from the tires will mostly hit it). Look for rust and any dents or wrinkles, signaling accident damage.
10. Pull out the spare tire and examine the bottom of the trunk for rust and for signs of accident damage.

The rust you noted *could* signal severe problems. That seam where the fenders are bolted to the inner fenders is vulnerable to road spray (muck, salt in the winter, moisture all year round) and both fender and inner fender can be ruined once water gets past the original sealant. Further, it's a sign of other things, like the baffles in between the fenders, right behind the front wheel. There are also seals around those and if they have given up, moisture, mud and muck get trapped behind potentially ruining the sides of the footwells and the front of the rocker panels.

Everything is repairable, I'm sure, but at how much cost? Worst case, if the inner and outer front fenders need to be replaced, you are looking at probably $2000 worth of parts and $1000 to $2000 worth of *skilled* body work to make everything fit correctly... then the cost of painting on top of that.

If this is reflected in the asking price, it might be okay with you. If not, it's a negotiating point.

On the other hand, the floor underneath the master cylinders might be patch-repaired for relatively little, maybe a couple hundred dollars.

You are taking a big risk buying a non-running car. Who knows why it was parked and never driven again. If the seller says it was "running rough" that could mean so many things. The price should really reflect that it's not running and can't be inspected for so many things! Assume that much will be needed.

I hope this scares you a little bit, because I'd hate for you to get in too deeply with problems with your first Triumph. On the other hand, I truly hope you look very closely at this car and find it's far better than expected and exactly what you want!

Oh, and another of Roger William's suggestions is to never buy the first car you look at. I'd add to maybe come back to it later, provided it's still available and compares well with several other candidates you've closely examined during your search. On the other hand, I have to admit to having made an impulse buy or two myself.

Hope this helps!

Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif.
'62 TR4 CT17602L (the third car I looked at, back in 1977)

Dave Russell
06-29-2005, 05:22 AM
When checking out my TR, I used an ice pick to poke around the mounting bolts just above the lower front lip of the frame member at the swing arm and a refrigerator magnet to check for filler.

[/ QUOTE ]
A good way to check frame , structural, & suspension sheetmetal for thinness or rust is to use an automatic center punch with the tension set to medium. Sound metal will just leave a shallow, pin ***** sized impression. Rotten or very thin metal will leave a larger dent or go through. It does very little damage to the metal & can be used fairly unobtrusively. Experiment a bit on other metals first to get an idea of what to do & look for.

06-29-2005, 10:50 AM
Most importantly, after all this discussion, make sure you post and tell us what you found when you looked at it!
Dont disappear after all this.........

06-29-2005, 10:52 AM
Man, you guys are good.But ya missed one. Take a coat hanger, cut a long piece off and bend one end at a 90 degree angle appx 3 in long.Stick it in one of the frame weep holes and scrape it around.Then stick your little finger in the hole and pull out what ever flaked off.Little bity dusty stuff, no problem. Thicker flakes dime size...Hmmmmm.

06-29-2005, 11:32 AM
Wow! What great replies and advice. I am really grateful to you all for your help. DOn't worry - I have no intention of disappearing - if I buy this car I am likely to be on these forums asking for advice about rust repair for many years to come (well, I am bound to miss something, even with all of the grat advice!)

This won't be my first Triumph - I bought a TR7 when I finished University (10 years ago), and that time I spent an hour or so checking that the lights went up and down, but totally missed the large rust holes all over the underside... It took me a few years to actually get it into the sort of condition I believed it was in when I bought it. That was the first TR7 I had looked at, and I made the old mistake of buying the first one I saw. I wonder if I learned my lesson? We will see on Friday, I suppose!

One other thing - I looked back at the details the seller sent, and it seems that the engine will run, but the battery is dead. If it has sat for a few years, am I making more problems trying to start it up with the old oil etc. or would this give me any idea of the engine condition? If he has been starting it up every now and then, is that a bad thing or a good thing?

I don't think I can come back to this car later - the seller is moving house and no longer has space for it, and I think that the price reflects the urgency of the sale, as well as the condition of the car. He is asking $2200, including a set of painted wire wheels. How does that sound? Looking at the stuff that sells on ebay, it seems pretty cheap, but as ever, I would value your advice or comments!

Thanks again - you guys are great!

06-29-2005, 07:47 PM
Bash, a TR6 for $2,200.00 is either a fantastic find or a good parts car. Beware! Sellers more oft than not know what they have and what it is worth. You can part out a TR6 on Ebay and make money on it if you have the time and space. I really think you need to take someone along that can check this car out thoroughly before you drop your hard-earned cash on it. I think a solid, restorable TR6 is worth 4-6 thou and then needs alot to make it something you would be proud to drive. Depending on your budget and knowhow to restore an LBC, be cautious on buying this car. There are plenty of 6-8 thousand dollar TR6's out there that will give you immediate gratification and will allow you to tinker on weekends to improve it. A 2-thousand-dollar-special could cost you 5-10X that initial investment and leave a very bad taste in your mouth. Then, it could be that deal of all deals. Ask an expert to tag along on Friday. You won't regret it. If the seller balks, walk away.


06-29-2005, 08:16 PM
Bash,welcome aboard,as you can see we are all seasoned pros here,the first 1/2 hour was free,paypal from now on.
"Bash"???...living on the wild side driving a TR with that name.

06-29-2005, 08:19 PM
One more thing...Bash..if you must,limit it to MG's

07-01-2005, 08:44 PM
Well, I just got back from my marathon poke-at-the-frame session, and I am pleased to say that the car was so solid that I couldn't refuse, especially at that price. The engine ran, and didn't sound bad at all, (at least to my relatively untrained ear!). I tried very hard to push my screwdriver through the frame in every spot people mentioned, and pretty much everywhere between those points, and all I found was surface rust. I poked the coathanger into the holes and scratched around, and got only very fine dust. I poked the sills (are they called rockers in America?), I poked the inner and outer wings, and although there is surface rust here and there, I couldn't find any "soft" metal. Even the floorpans are pretty sound - the passenger side is very good, and the driver's side has more surface rust, but again I couldn't find anything less than solid (and I spent several hours trying).

It isn't all good news, I suppose - the interior trim is no good - the current owner took most of it out, so at least I could look at the metalwork underneath. Most of the rubber bushes in the suspension need to be replaced, though I knew they would. The back brakes are stuck on, which leaves me with a bit of a problem getting it onto the trailer. Any suggestions? Also, is there a better answer to getting the car home (about 150 miles) than a U-Haul trailer?

I had intended to start the process of getting the car back into use by getting rid of the surface rust underneath and painting with some sort of chassis paint. Then I thought I would sort out the brakes and suspension bushes, but looking at how tight space is to work on things, I am forced to wonder whether it would be easier to do all that with the body off. Out of interest, how much is involved in removing (and then replacing) the body?

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the buying advice! I would not have known where to look without all of your help.

Geo Hahn
07-01-2005, 09:06 PM
Sounds like you got a very good deal.

I'm not a TR6 guy so others may correct this... but I would start by backing off the handbrake adjuster to try to free the rear brakes. You could also crack open the bleed screws though I doubt that residual pressure is the problem in a car that has sat awhile.

You might price having it flatbedded home by a local towing company -- I have only done that for short distances (30 miles or so from a paint shop). Was reasonable foe that, not sure how the miles add up -- may be cheaper and simpler than dealing with U-****.

07-01-2005, 09:41 PM
Excellent! Glad to hear you found a good one at a good price!

Regarding the stuck brakes, it's not uncommon for them to stick when the car sits for a long time, if the parking brake is left on. The shoes rust to the inside of the drums. Just release the parking brake and rock the car. It may take a few tries but eventually the shoes should release. If that fails, get to the adjuster from behind and turn it counterclockwise, back off the shoes as much as possible and try rocking the car front to rear again. Eventually the shoe lining will break free from the drum.

I'd trailer the car, or hire a car hauler that can load it on a flat bed. Don't trust any of the wheels to roll 150 miles, until you've had a chance to go over the car and check fluids, brakes, nuts & bolts, etc. I.e., don't use one of those 2 wheel dolly contraptions, or, god forbid, a tow rope!

As to lifting the body off the frame, it's not nearly so big a deal as you might think, especially if the interior is alread removed from the car. Get hold of a manual and it will likely give you a step-by-step of what to remove (the TR4 & 4A manual does, I haven't looked in the TR6 manual). Most of it is obvious, though.

Next is something to lift with. I bought two 1000 lb chain hoists from Harbor Freight or Norhern Tool. Cheap ($40 apiece) and nothing fancy, but one will also work to pull and install a TR engine/gearbox, instead of renting or buying an engine hoist.

Securely fasten the chain hoists to the ceiling, roll the car under and lift away. The best/factory recommended lifting points are the hood hinge mounting points (I made a pair of heavy brackets to bolt up there and connect an "engine leveler" between them, to which the chain hoist attached... this allowed me to adjust the car's level, side to side) and the seatbelt mounts inside the cockpit (I just used a heavy tow strap wrapped numerous times around the roll bar that's in my car, instead).

This was the first time for me and I definitely will do a TR "body off" again. I did all the work by myself, with no assistance. The chassis and running gear is *all so much easier to work on*!

An alternative is to completely strip the body to the bare center section and feed a bunch of friends pizza and beer after they help lift it off. The stripped body doesn't weigh alot... maybe 400-500 lbs. 4 to 6 people can lift it.

But, you are then faced with what to do with the body, the car suddenly takes up double the space. (I left my TR4's body hanging from the ceiling for several days... Oh, and I did put some extra vertical support posts from the garage floor to the ceiling, supporting the 6 joists to which the chain hoists were attached.)

It's really easy to work on the chassis once the body is out of the way. This is especially true when replacing fuel lines, brake line and front and rear suspension components.

I lifted the body with many parts still in place. Just the hood, front and rear bumper were removed. And, the windshield, to avoid any cracking. (The frame was still on my car, but the glass was removed.

The door openings should be cross-braced to keep the body from "folding" in the middle. Many weld in a brace, in such a way that the doors can still be installed and test fitted. I think it would also be possible to brace from the hoodstick mounting bolts to the windshield bracket mounting bolts (if the dash is removed), rather than welding. I *did not* brace the doors on my car at this time, since this was just a "lift, out with the old, in with the new, and lower" job. The doors were left in place, not opened during the entire time, and served to brace the door frames. I will tell you the gap at the top of the doors securely closed up while the body was lifted, so I really don't think there would have been a way to open and close them.

I *really* lucked out when lifting the body, didn't even think about it until the last minute. I failed to consider how much space would be necessary to roll the rebuilt chassis under the car. Turns out that the new chassis was 34" tall, at its highest point. The lifting rig I set up with the chain hoists etc. reached its limit with the car body 35" off the ground! One inch to spare! Too close for comfort! (Pulling the old, stripped chassis out was no big deal, just a matter of removing the jackstands, letting it drop to the floor and sliding it out from under the car.)

I *highly* recommend you get Roger William's "Improving Triumph..." and "Restoring Triumph..." books and read them thoroughly first. They provide a number of important frame reinforcement ideas that alone are worth the cost of the books. For example, the differential mounting bolts on all the IRS cars should *always* be reinforced, while you have easy access.

Attached is a photo of the TR4 hoisted partways to the ceiling.

Glad to hear you got the car and I hope it continues to delight.


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif.
'62 TR4 CT17602L

07-01-2005, 09:58 PM
Congrats on finding a good TR6. If, indeed, the body is as solid as you say, I would suggest that you not try and take the body off the frame, seeing as how you say that you have a limited work space. If you are **** bent on doing some dismantling, then I would suggest that you limit yourself to taking off the wings (fenders) and leaving the body on the frame. Of course you can remove the trunk, hood and doors without too much hastle. Taking the body off requires bracing the unit and then having some place to put it to work on. You have now doubled your need for work space. You can get to everything on the body for rustproofing from this point. With the interior out, I would go ahead and pull the dash to consider rewiring, changing windshield rubber, new pads, etc. A good paint man can take a rust-free car and spray it, inside and out, for the long haul. Of course you will be pulling the engine/tranny and might even drop the whole suspension with good jack stands. I rolled my chassis to the paint shop for a two-stage paint job - interior, trunk and engine bay, outside last. Rolling it back to your garage will allow you to hand-paint the frame with chassis black, replumb, etc. I don't know if you want to go this far, but get it home and up on jack stands and mull it all over. If you are married, your wife will never understand.


07-02-2005, 09:06 AM
I am realy surprised. A rust free frame in the NJ area. Congrats......

I have no comment on lifting the body off to do the work. I strongly recommend a tow service to transport your vehicle. A guy I worked with bough a classic 20s Chevy coupe and was towing it home 50 miles with his pickup and a flatbed. He ran in a surprise stoppage of cars on the highway. His rear brakes locked up and he nearly lost his prize on the flatbed. Dont let it happen to you....Hire a professional.

Also, have them look at you driveway before they take the car. My driveway has a small but steep incline at the very bottom. The 250 was easy to extract from its barn, but the flatbed got stuck on my driveway. The Triumph was wedged between the driveway and the car, and the truck was stuck with its rear wheels off the ground, blocking off the street in front of my house.....Not an easy morning...

07-02-2005, 01:51 PM
Good find. I am sure you are happy. As to removing the body from the frame, I recoment it. I have done it with both my TR3 and TR4 and would (will) do it again. With the TR4 I was able to lift and flip the body over with about 5 people doing the lifing (check my website for pictures of this). One time I even got out the scales and weighed the thing. It turns out the body with no doors or fenders (but with the braces and external frame I had to keep it from flexing) came it at only 410 pounds.

BTW I used an engine hoist to remount the body. It was great because you need to get the correct spacers for the body to fram joints. This took a few on and off interations. The engine hoist let me do that without having five guys look over my shoulder. Besides you will want the engine hoist some day for the engine rebuilt (since the body is off!).

07-02-2005, 02:18 PM
I must admit that I expected it to be harder to find a solid car in this area, but fortunately the car isn't originally from the north - it lived in Texas until about 5 years ago, and it hasn't been driven in the winter.

If I decide to lift the body to allow me to properly treat the frame, is it possible to do this without dismantling the body at all? I know that removing doors, bonnet fenders etc. would make it lighter, but wouldn't leaving the doors on act as a brace instead of welding one in? Maybe I am being naive - it just seems like this would allow me to retain the reasonably good panel gaps?

I had a look for transport companies and there seem to be a lot of them. Any recommendations?

07-02-2005, 02:49 PM

I had a look for transport companies and there seem to be a lot of them. Any recommendations?

[/ QUOTE ]

My 250 was a Texas car as well. Only lived in PA for 5 years before its layup.

I would call local garages that specialize in foreign cars and see who they use. I called a guy Ragtops & Roadsters from Perkasie recommended. The morning of the move, his truck broke down. He gave me a number for a more generic place. I had no choice, the car had to move that morning, no other window existed. I think that caused some problems.

07-02-2005, 08:36 PM
If I decide to lift the body to allow me to properly treat the frame, is it possible to do this without dismantling the body at all? I know that removing doors, bonnet fenders etc. would make it lighter, but wouldn't leaving the doors on act as a brace instead of welding one in? Maybe I am being naive - it just seems like this would allow me to retain the reasonably good panel gaps?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, you can.

Please reread my response from yesterday and view the attached photo. That's a substantailly complete TR4 body being lifted off its original frame (which is on the floor in the photo) in preparation to roll a refurbished frame/drivetrain underneath (photo of the frame/drivetrain attached here).

There are some detail differences between TR6 and TR4, but the basics are the same.

Lifting like this makes working on the frame/suspension/drivetrain very easy.

This procedure is *not* recommended for body work/paint.

In my case, the original frame had some accident damage that I intended to repair. However, I had the opportunity to buy a very solid, straight, almost stripped frame. Using that, I built up the car from the ground up, alongside the old frame. This made the process so easy I'd seriously consider buying a second frame before starting any future restoration project!

Think about it. This is essentially what the factory did originally. They married a largely assembled body to a mostly completed frame/drivetrain.

Biggest concern is that you'll be lifting approx. 1000 lbs and some safety measures should be taken. It's not recommended to get under the hanging body and work on it in any way. The doors don't absolutely need to be braced, but won't be possible to open, either. I'd not leave them "jammed" like this for too long, either. It is possible to brace the doors with a bolted up brace, rather than welding, too.

Be very sure to unbolt and remove the windshield/frame, or any flex might crack the glass. This also gives you more clearance for lifting. The hood (bonnet) will have to come off. The carpet will need to come out to get access to many bolts, so the seats will need to come out temporarily, too. Fuel lines, wiring, brake lines will need to be disconnected, some removed. The radiator shroud and carburetors/manifold will need to be removed. Heater hoses need to be disconnected/removed. Bumpers and their brackets will have to come off. There's more, hopefully you can find a book. The removal and lifting process could probably be done in one day. It took me a full day to install the body onto the different frame and bolt it up... mostly time spent fooling with all the mounting shims to get a good fit. (Re-fitting a body to it's original frame would take less time, so long as careful notes are kept regarding how many shims were originally used at each mounting point.)

I am doing this work in a two car garage, wish I had a three car garage or larger! But, I know someone doing similar work in a one car garage.

I do plan to take the body back off the frame. This is just a trial fit, to make sure all the new and refurbished bits and pieces are playing well together. Next time it's lifted, the body will be stripped for final body work and painting. But, the frame/suspension/drivetrain is now pretty much done. The "new" frame needed to be under the car before certain body replacement panels could be properly fitted, anyway.

The TR4/4A factory manual shows procedure for lifting the body as a unit and gives a list of minimum items needing to be removed or disconnected. I just looked in my Bentley manual for TR260-TR6 and don't see a similar guideline. Perhaps one of the other manuals or restoration books give those details.

Hope this helps!

Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif.
'62 TR4 CT17602L

07-06-2005, 09:11 AM
I believe Roger Williams guide to Restoring TR250/6 Has a chapter on removing the body from the frame.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/19012959...j=0#reader-page (https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1901295923/ref=sib_rdr_toc/002-7694993-3488822?%5Fencoding=UTF8&p=S005&j=0#reader-page)

07-06-2005, 03:29 PM
I have the Bentley Manual and that Roger Williams restoring TR250/TR6 book ordered - I am eagerly awaiting their emergence from the magical postal system as I write this!

I am having a terrible time finding people to trailer the car back - I only have a small amount of time when the car can be picked up, and at short notice nobody seems able to help. At the moment I am planning to get a tow hitch installed on my wife's SUV and hire a trailer from UHaul. Other than engine to the front, any tips? Also, does anyone know if the UHaul trailers have a winch? If I can't free the back brakes fairly easily I might have to drag it up (I doubt the tires can be used for long anyway!)

I still have over a week until I pick the car up, but I have to go to Houston on business next week, so not much time to sort things out!

So far I have resisted the temptation to buy a load of parts - my plan is to get the car home and have a really good poke around to decide what needs to be done first. Any suggestions? Should I sort out the surface rust issues first, or get the mechanicals sorted?

07-06-2005, 03:46 PM
At the moment I am planning to get a tow hitch installed on my wife's SUV and hire a trailer from UHaul. Other than engine to the front, any tips? Also, does anyone know if the UHaul trailers have a winch?

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No winches on Uhaul trailers.

As far as rust vs. mechanicals...hmmmm for the most part, rust doesn't prevent the car from being driven; mechanicals will. I'd vote for getting the mechanicals sorted and fixed, and then work on the rust.

07-06-2005, 03:59 PM
UHaul also won't let you rent a trailer if you will be pulling it with a small SUV. It must be a full size SUV like a Tahoe or Suburban. If your wife drives an Explorer or smaller they will not give you the trailer.

07-06-2005, 05:23 PM
Hi Bash,

Glad to hear you have the books on order. They will help with much more detail than we ever could ever provide here.

I would strongly suggest tracking down the correct factory parts (spares) catalog, too.

Vicky Brit and Moss catalogs are fine, as far as they go. But both of these use their own parts numbering systems (Moss numbers *are* used by some other vendors). But, you will need to know the correct original Triumph part number to most accurately order replacement parts from many sources (The Roadster Factory, Rimmers).

If you haven't done so already, get as many vendors as possible to send you their current, free catalogs. They are good resources with lots of illustrations, but question their accuracy. These vendors often supercede a part without telling you, or might send "something close/something that will work", and sometimes are just plain wrong. I've found numerous errors in every single vendor's catalog. Heck, the factory catalog probably isn't perfect, either, but makes a good effort.

You might also add "Restoring British Sports Cars" to the reading list... it's a good overview and has a lot of general pointers (Roger's book is much more specific to the car, of course).

If you ever get an urge to do some performance tuning on your car, Roger has a companion book "Improving TR..." that has a lot of suggestions.

I also would vote to sort out the mechanicals first, with an initial focus on safety. Don't rely on the car's brakes to work properly, or the tires, until you've looked everything over and are sure they are safe. Check the steering carefully too.

Maybe just stop any active rust you find with a quick shot of a good quality primer such as Rustoleum red, but don't worry too much about it until you get the car running right. Some rust repairs are best done with the body on the frame (floors, see Roger's book) and others need the body off.

I have promised myself the next restoration project will get professionally steam cleaned before I touch it! At the very least, take it by a car wash on the way home, maybe while it's on the trailer. A half hour back on the highway afterward will pretty thoroughly dry everything, too.

Another thing I plan prior to any more restorations is to build lots and lots of nice, deep shelves for parts as the old ones are removed or the new ones are deliverd by UPS. An important rule is to keep everything until the project is done, don't throw away the old parts until replacements are installed, have been compared for accuracy and known to be working 100%. But, that takes up a lot of space. Lots of shelving would be great. I've resorted to cardboard boxes, but hhave spent way too much time digging through them for a specific item, no matter how carefully the boxes are labelled and organized.

If you don't already have one, a digital camera is a real help. Take pictures of things before disassembly, to help put them back together correctly. Heck, start taking pictures as soon as you pick up the car if you wish to document it. This also provides a good record of work, if you keep before and after photos, that can really be valuable if and when you ever decide to sell the car.

Loading the car on a trailer means getting it close to balanced, with a little more weight on the front than the back. Most trailer hitches accomodate 300 lb tongue weight. The U-Haul folks will help with suggestions, I'm sure.

Watch the undercarriage loading the car, too. My TR4 got some damage on the front and rear lower valances from careless loading/unloading, when it was shipped to me some years ago. TRs sit low!

Don't buy a ton of parts! See what's needed first.

Things you *might* buy in advance are those you know for certain you'll need. These might be tools and supplies such as jacks and jackstands, latex gloves... consumables such as brake fluid, engine and gear oils.... any parts that should be changed before running the car such as rubber hoses, fuel lines & belts... air, fuel & oil filters... gaskets, too, so the sump can be pulled to clean inside, valve cover, possibly the front engine cover. But, who knows, it's not uncommon for a seller to have some spares of these items and throw them in the trunk at the last minute.

Not to worry. There will be plenty of opportunity to spend your hard earned cash later!

Have fun!

Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif.
'62 TR4 CT17602L

07-06-2005, 11:30 PM
Alan's suggestion for getting the car steam cleaned is an excellent one. Way back when, I purchased a rather sad looking TR3 and fortunately had access to a real steam cleaner (not to be mistaken for a good high pressure washer). I rolled the car to the cleaning area (was in the military back then and they had a great automotive shop) and got it up on a lift. Three hours of ultra-hot live steam cleaning got every speck of grease, dirt, undercoat, etc. from every nook and cranny in the car. Surprisingly did very little damage to the car and it's components. Made working on the car a pleasure. There is no substitute for live steam.


Mark Jones
07-08-2005, 09:31 AM

I'd use a come-a-long to winch the car onto the U-Haul trailer. By winching the car it may also free the frozen rear brakes.

Also, I've always had good luck with U-Haul equipment. I trailered my Spitfire from Halifax, NS, to Sarnia, ON, a distance of 1,300 miles without a problem.

Good luck!

07-18-2005, 11:07 AM
I am not sure whether anyone is really interested, but I thought I would keep you all up to date! After two weeks of worrying about how I would get the frozen brakes free and how I would tow it home, I finally have a TR6 in my garage. I was very pleased to get the brakes freed in less than 20 minutes with a little "careful" hammering. I was less pleased with the UHaul truck which apparently had the front wheels connected to the steering wheel by a series of rubber bands, but after 4 hours of constant sawing at the wheel to stay in a straight line, we got the old girl to her new home.

I have spent much of the weekend being nice to my wife, who is still a bit unsure why I would bring home a car which I can't drive straight away, but I did manage to find time to get underneath and have another good look around, and I am still amazed at how solid things look. I am also pretty shocked at how filthy the suspension is. I like the idea of the steam cleaning, but can't find anything locally - am I looking in the wrong place? Also, has anyone tried the home steam cleaners? Brake cleaner seems to cut through the grime pretty well, but I don't really want to be spraying that stuff around all day!

I have decided to start out sorting out the suspension and brakes to make sure I can stop it when I get the engine running nicely, and so I have a list of parts building up already, but mainly things I was expecting, like bushes, brake hoses, ball joints. Any other parts of the suspension and brakes that I should be swapping now?

My car is a 75, which means it has pretty much any emissions equipment they could dream up - I noticed that I have a couple of the small hoses missing and some rust on the pipe out of the EGR valve. Is it possible to remove the emissions stuff relatively easily? We have no emissions test for collector cars here in NJ, though there may be some other law that tells me to keep it all in place, I suppose.

Sorry to go on like this - I am still very excited! Thanks again for all the help and advice.

Mickey Richaud
07-18-2005, 11:14 AM
Let the games begin!

Congratulations - we look forward to hearing about your progress. If you can remove the emissions stuff legally, do so. But keep all the parts, both for originality's sake, and in the event the laws change.


07-18-2005, 12:04 PM
Congratulations, I know just how excited you must be. To the first of many with you new car. Cheers! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thirsty.gif

07-18-2005, 12:09 PM

I have spent much of the weekend being nice to my wife, who is still a bit unsure why I would bring home a car which I can't drive straight away, but I did manage to find time to get underneath and have another good look around, and I am still amazed at how solid things look. I am also pretty shocked at how filthy the suspension is. I like the idea of the steam cleaning, but can't find anything locally - am I looking in the wrong place? Also, has anyone tried the home steam cleaners? Brake cleaner seems to cut through the grime pretty well, but I don't really want to be spraying that stuff around all day!

I have decided to start out sorting out the suspension and brakes to make sure I can stop it when I get the engine running nicely, and so I have a list of parts building up already, but mainly things I was expecting, like bushes, brake hoses, ball joints. Any other parts of the suspension and brakes that I should be swapping now?

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Thanfully, my wife is very supportive. Especially when I tell her that working on the car is probably the most satisfying hobby I have ever done in my life. Nothing like gettting the Triumph grease under my nails.

As far as the crud on the suspension, leave it. My frame is rust free under the undercoating and caked on mud. Some members of my club said they cleaned all the crud off, and it began to rot. Until you restore the whole thing, leave it as a "dirt coat".

07-18-2005, 01:52 PM
We have no emissions test for collector cars here in NJ, though there may be some other law that tells me to keep it all in place, I suppose.

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Hi Bash, great to see another New Jersian with a TR6, where are you from in Jersey?

If you register your car as a classic, with QQ plates, there is no inspection required. This is not to say that it isn't illegal to remove the smog gear, but if they never inspect it then who will know. The only time it might be an issue is if you got caught in one of those spot roadside inspection things, then they might nail you. However, I haven't seen cops do one of those in this state in many years. The registration fee is a one time only affair. You will get an application in the mail every year for a renewal of the registration, but there is no fee associated with it. You just fill out the form, sign it, and send it back. They then mail you a new card. I would say, as others suggested, get the smog gear off the car where ever possible but keep the parts in case you ever decide to do a full, correct restoration. Some of that stuff is very hard to find and expensive should you decide to just toss it out and then need it again for a restoration years later.

07-18-2005, 02:11 PM
Hi Bash, great to see another New Jersian with a TR6, where are you from in Jersey?

I am actually from England, but I moved to NJ about 18 months ago - I am located in Somerset, which I don't think is too far from Hillsborough (though I won't pretend to be an expert on the geography of NJ!!)

If I do take off the emissions stuff, what should I remove, and what should I leave on the car?

I should just clarify (in case she ever reads this...) that when I say that my wife doesn't understand, I mean that she isn't sure what the appeal of messing about with an old car is - she is very supportive. I think she is pleased to see me get a hobby as well, which gives her some time without me hanging around! Time she will no doubt spend watching reality TV... Which I don't understand!

07-18-2005, 03:04 PM
Hi Bash....
When I got my TR6 the first things I did for safety reasons was to replace the wear components on the front end including the upper ball joints, lower trunnions, lower outer bushings, front shocks, tie rod ends. On the rear I didn't have to do much other than refill the lever arm shocks.
Certainly the front end is the most safety sensitive part of the car although I also checked out the brakes all round, I was lucky that the DPO had replaced the brake cylinders already.
After that it was more or less fix the targets of opportunity, I kept copious lists of things/parts needed and just worked at it slowly.
Good luck and enjoy the car, when you finally get it going (and stopping/steering)right it's a joy to drive.

07-18-2005, 04:20 PM
Congratulations on the new homecoming. Hope you enjoy many grease-filled evenings!

07-18-2005, 04:27 PM
Bash, if you're in Somerset then you're about 10 minutes from me, Hillsborough is the town right next door. Small world, I'd love to see your car sometime.

OK, I'm not real familiar with the emisions controls on the TR6. My car is a 73 so it doesn't have any of that crap, but on other cars I've owned from the era of the dawn of US emissions controls I would ditch the following. Catalytic convert (if any), remove this sucker ASAP, it is a notorious horsepower robber, especially if you are trying to set up a free flow exhaust system. If the guilt of destroying our high quality NJ air is keeping you up at night you can get a high flow universal racing cat from some high performance shops like Summit Racing and the like, but they are not cheap. Unfortunately, if you ever do get stopped at a roadside inspection, or ever have to have the car inspected at a state inspection station this is the first thing they will look for. It is also the easiest thing to see missing, they slide a mirror under the car and see if the thing is in place or not, if they don't see it then you're in trouble. I've had friends that have taken cats and gutted them, then ran a straight piece of pipe through the middle of it and welded the cat shell to the pipe. This way when they look under the car they will see the cat in place, but it's basically just a shell and doesn't effect flow. This works as long as you're not required to actually test the emissions on the car on an analyzer. EGR valves and related plumbing. I had removed these on some of my Chevy's and Fords, had to fashion a small blockoff plate for the port on the intake manifold. Air injection system and pump. Pulled this crap out of my 76 Cobra II, had to plug the ports in the exhaust manifolds until I was able to get a set of headers on the car. You may have to go to a shorter V-belt once the air pump is gone, since the pathway will be shorter (not sure on the TR6). Again, these are just the things I've done on other non-LBC's. I'm sure someone else here can give specifics as they apply to the TR6.

07-18-2005, 05:06 PM
A friend related how the CAT on his '78 MGB was a real hazzard when he pulled off the high way and set some dry grass on fire under his car! He was wondering what the smell was when he saw some smoke and looked under the car, he saw some flames. I did not realize the TR6 ever got a converter.

07-18-2005, 08:58 PM
I don't know if any TR6's got cats or not, I was speaking more in general. The first year that US cars were required to have cats was 1975 I believe. If 1976 TR6's didn't get them I would wonder why not. Was there some loophole for imported cars that they slipped through?

Friend of mine had a 78 Camaro, we were going down the road one day and the car starts running really poor, almost to the point of dying and theres a funky burning smell. We pull over and start looking around in the engine bay and whatnot. He looks under the car and the cat is glowing cherry red, turned out some of the reaction matrix inside had broken apart and clogged the **** thing up almost completely. That one got the gutting. The burning smell was actually coming from inside the car, it was the insulation and carpeting that was cooking from the heat coming up through the floorpan.