View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Awakening a Slumbering TR

10-05-2017, 06:41 PM
I have the opportunity to purchase a 1957 TR3 with overdrive, that was the recipient of a frame-off restoration in 1986(!), driven a couple of times and then stored in a garage until a couple of weeks ago. Really. From the pictures I have, the car looks as though the restoration was only last week, with excellent cosmetics, a dry, no-rust underbody (and no dirt or grease), in fact no rust at all according to the intermediary where it is currently stored, which I will verify with a personal inspection next week. The car was started with no problems and ran with no visible or audible issues. Compression test indicates 185-200 across the four cylinders and plugs good.

My question is a two-part one: What should I be looking for when inspecting/driving the car that is beyond the "norm?" That is, what items might be hidden a three-decade slumber, that I should be extra-vigilant about?

Part two: Assuming I purchase the car, and it is in the purported good condition, what beyond normal wear and tear items should I systematically replace? Tires, of course. All rubber hoses? All fluids? Flush the radiator? What about the fuel tank? Suspension? Steering? Again, any hidden gremlins?

Thanks in advance for any comments and answers. See attached photos.

10-05-2017, 07:07 PM
All the stuff you mentioned plus:
a) Depending on condition, either rebuild or replace brake, clutch master cylinders and clutch slave cylinder .
b) Replace all hydraulic hoses (brake front and rear, clutch)
c) Depending on condition, rebuild or replace front calipers and rear brake cylinders.
d) Replace all rubber fuel lines
These items do not do well during long term storage.

Mickey Richaud
10-05-2017, 07:41 PM
Here ya go - specific to MGB, but relevant to all:


Our late moderator, Tony Barnhill put that together.

10-05-2017, 09:00 PM
Very nice looking TR, To bad it sat for so many years. Triumphs were made to be driven..............,then worked on, then driven.....................

10-10-2017, 11:30 AM
This should go without saying, but apparently it sometimes needs to be said: change all the fluids! I can't count the number of times that I've heard of a car being restarted with only fresh fuel.

Also, with both cars I've restored, the differential and transmission oil was low and/or oxidized badly. Those really need to be checked and changed regularly, but often aren't.

10-10-2017, 09:40 PM
The comments so far have to to with the "working systems". My comments are related to the body work. A lot can be hidden under some nice paint. Get yourself a small weak magnet. I have several that are about 1/2" in diameter like come on the backs of refrigerator stick-on souvenirs. These are Weak enough that when you put them on a car body they will stick on over the paint but if there is any more than very thin bondo the magnet will not stick. A Thurough going over of the car will reveal the truth of the body work done. Especially look at the rear of the front fenders low down, the rocker panels, the inner fenders in front of the rear tires. Also visually look at the floors and any areas under the car that you can access. It is very easy to hide a lot of bondo repairs.

10-11-2017, 03:52 PM
Thanks to all for the advice. I particularly enjoyed the checklist, it was very thorough.

I looked the car over thoroughly yesterday, drove it and was impressed, enough to buy the car! It's truly a time warp, the underbody is pristine, not hardly dirty! The PO put 9100 miles on it since 1986, when it was restored F/O. To the body work comments, the PO was an airline mechanic, who did all his own body work, welding and beating. The resto pictures show it to be very good work, no Bondo.

First order of business is to arrange shipping home, I've already asked the garage where it's currently residing to put on all new tires (Michelin XVS and a smaller spare), the current ones date from 2000! When I do get it home, I'm going to replace all the fluids and rubber parts. And also arrange to sell about a dozen body panels, spare trans, rear axle and sundry other items I don't wish to keep.

The car is unusual, as the factory trace shows it delivered with overdrive and a 4.1 rear end. I did not discern whether the rear end on the car currently is the original or not.

10-11-2017, 04:50 PM
All sounds good. Regarding the rear axle ratio, the regular procedure was to use the 4.1 when a overdrive was on the car. With today's higher speeds you will likely find the 3.7 or even a 3.5 ratio more to your liking. But drive the car and see how you like it before changing the axle ratio.

10-11-2017, 05:29 PM
Thanks Charley.

I'm not sure the 4.1 axle is the one on the car, there's an "extra" rear axle with the parts and I didn't have a chance to see if it was the original one or not. When all arrives home, I can determine the rear axle ratio.