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View Full Version : TR2/3/3A What's a little thing that made a huge difference in your vehicle?



Snowkilts
05-07-2018, 09:39 PM
For me it was cinching up the choke linkage. I have always struggled with starting. Always seemed like I had too much revs and not enough choke.

I realized last fall that the choke had a tiny bit of slack in it and tightened it up. What huge difference in starting the vehicle! Just a joy now. Makes me wonder what other little things I have missed.

Honorable mention: 17 years of sweating and straining to get a grease gun on the drive shaft zerk fittings near the transmission, only to find out that there's a FREAKING ACCESS HOLE inside the vehicle that was carpeted over by a P.O. :livid:

NutmegCT
05-07-2018, 09:42 PM
Best improvement for me? On my 1959 TR3, removing the original (very bent) steel wheels and replacing with Minilites.

Fantastic improvement in ride, control, and elimination of the 45-65mph wobbles!

Tom M.

Geo Hahn
05-07-2018, 09:55 PM
I wasn't particularly interested in s/s braided brake hoses but when TRF was out of the usual rubber ones Albert sent me a set of braided lines at no extra charge (to get me back on the road).

I always thought the TR3 had good brakes but after the work was done the pedal was much firmer (like, rock hard).

Was that because of those lines? I think so (I did rebuild the calipers at the same time but they were not really a problem prior to that).

Gliderman8
05-07-2018, 10:07 PM
For me, the big difference came when I installed the HVDA kit in my TR6. Much smoother shifts, lower revs and and extra gear. Quite an improvement over the stock 4-speed.

Snowkilts
05-07-2018, 10:37 PM
I wasn't particularly interested in s/s braided brake hoses but when TRF was out of the usual rubber ones Albert sent me a set of braided lines at no extra charge (to get me back on the road).

I always thought the TR3 had good brakes but after the work was done the pedal was much firmer (like, rock hard).

Was that because of those lines? I think so (I did rebuild the calipers at the same time but they were not really a problem prior to that).

Wow, that's interesting. Never would have thought of that.

CJD
05-07-2018, 11:25 PM
For me? A full restoration...made the difference between a brick in the back yard and a car! Not a “little” thing, though.

I’m afraid I do things backwards from most, in that I constantly take care of the little things in my cars long before they have a chance to make a big difference. My wife says the cars run fine and I just look for reasons to get greasy.

NutmegCT
05-08-2018, 06:34 AM
This is really interesting. So you replaced all the old rubber hoses with braided lines?

How old were the old rubber hoses?

I'd think that just replacing hoses shouldn't cause brakes to firm up - unless there was something else going on (leak, air in lines, rubber degradation allow "swelling" of a line under pressure, caliper pin(s) sticking, etc.).

Thanks.
Tom M.



I wasn't particularly interested in s/s braided brake hoses but when TRF was out of the usual rubber ones Albert sent me a set of braided lines at no extra charge (to get me back on the road).

I always thought the TR3 had good brakes but after the work was done the pedal was much firmer (like, rock hard).

Was that because of those lines? I think so (I did rebuild the calipers at the same time but they were not really a problem prior to that).

martx-5
05-08-2018, 06:35 AM
When I did the resto on the TR3, I knew that originality was not in the cards, so I went overboard and did a ton of stuff to the car. Included was R&P steering, the HVDA Toyota conversion, engine work...87mm, cam, head shaved 0.085", etc., electric fan, dual braking with Toyota calipers and on and on. However, what impressed me the most were the new, wider wire wheels I bought from Moss, had them sent to Hendrix wire wheel, where he tightened the tolerances on the wires, installed new tires and tubes, shaved the tires and balanced everything. The car drove like it was on a cloud. It wasn't cheap, but worth every penny over the old, skinny wires that were on the car.

Of course, I guess that's not so little. So, another mod that I did while the resto was going on was to address the throttle linkage. I replaced the original bulkhead pivots with self aligning bearings that can be changed out very easily if necessary.

M_Pied_Lourd
05-08-2018, 06:40 AM
Electric Fan.

Cheers
Tush

TomMull
05-08-2018, 07:26 AM
Since you did say little thing, mine was curing a massive pinion seal leak on the Herald by simply cleaning out the vent. Took some research to find it and then an hour or so to access the thing and clean it but it cost only my time, at zero dollars per hour.
Tom

glemon
05-08-2018, 09:28 AM
Different series and steering, but replacing the inner steering wheel bushes and the rubber coupler. The steering just felt so much firmer and connected, I had a 4a before the 250 (which I never did the replacement on) so between the two cars I drove for many many years not knowing the steering could feel that good.

Snowkilts
05-08-2018, 09:50 AM
So, another mod that I did while the resto was going on was to address the throttle linkage. I replaced the original bulkhead pivots with self aligning bearings that can be changed out very easily if necessary.

Those are nice. Mind sharing where you got them?

martx-5
05-08-2018, 08:06 PM
Those are nice. Mind sharing where you got them?

I got them from McMaster-Carr. The link below shows the type bearings I used. You have to go to the "Oil-embedded mounted sleeve bearings with two bolt flange". I used the 3/8" shaft diameter for the right (passenger) side, which is the diameter of the actuating rod, and 1/2" for the left (driver) side. The reason for the larger size on the driver's side is for the coupler that I made. You can see that in the second pic of the previous post. It's 5/8" with a step down to 1/2" where it goes into the bearing. You can also see where the pin holding it together in that coupler. Also, here's another pic of the left side without the coupler.

EDIT: Please see post #22 if you are considering this modification.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-mounted-bearings/=1crawp7

sp53
05-09-2018, 08:53 AM
Tropical fan

CJD
05-09-2018, 09:57 AM
Tropical fan



That’s another part I have been stalking on Ebay for over 5 years!

billspit
05-09-2018, 10:02 AM
Putting an OD trans in my Spitfire.

sp53
05-09-2018, 03:12 PM
John try looking at the Triumph GT6 eBay page(Geo showed me that one). I just got real nice one for 80.00. I have an original I got in 1972 and they are the same.
steve

macilona
05-09-2018, 09:13 PM
As many contributors have stated, many of the suggested modifications are not “small”! I had many of them installed on my TR3......r&p steering, toyota 5 speed, etc. But the ones i found most beneficial were the wizard aluminum radiator and upgraded lighting, front and rear, with the alternator conversion. Good luck and enjoy...happy motoring! Mac

Snowkilts
05-09-2018, 10:07 PM
Of course, I guess that's not so little. So, another mod that I did while the resto was going on was to address the throttle linkage. I replaced the original bulkhead pivots with self aligning bearings that can be changed out very easily if necessary.

I just ordered both bearings. Thanks! Were you able to mount them in the existing mounting holes?

Snowkilts
05-09-2018, 10:10 PM
As many contributors have stated, many of the suggested modifications are not “small”! I had many of them installed on my TR3......r&p steering, toyota 5 speed, etc. But the ones i found most beneficial were the wizard aluminum radiator and upgraded lighting, front and rear, with the alternator conversion. Good luck and enjoy...happy motoring! Mac

Could you be more specific on the upgraded lighting? I've been looking at that but it seems like there are a lot of different opinions on it. Anything I can upgrade without the alternator?

macilona
05-09-2018, 11:15 PM
Re the lighting....i used the hella headlights and fog lights from moss, along with led bulbs for the taillights....got them from another vendor, but i see moss carries them now. I dont think the alternator is necessary, but i thought it was a good upgrade.

martx-5
05-10-2018, 06:40 AM
I'm replying to my own post, as I gave some incorrect info regarding the size of the bearings mentioned above. I actually used bearing one size larger. What I did use were McMaster part numbers 5912K16 & 5912K17. One is for a 1/2" shaft--the passenger's side, and the other is a for a 5/8" shaft to accommodate the coupler I made for the throttle shafts, which are 3/8".

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. Snowkilts has been informed by private message.

PeterK
05-10-2018, 08:10 AM
Hands down HVDA. Having that 5th gear to lower the revs on the highways is worth all the $$ and more.

DavidApp
05-10-2018, 08:50 AM
So you cut the shaft to make removal a lot easier.

I have just replaced the plastic bushes. Pity I did not see this idea a few weeks ago as I may well have used it on my car.

David


I'm replying to my own post, as I gave some incorrect info regarding the size of the bearings mentioned above. I actually used bearing one size larger. What I did use were McMaster part numbers 5912K16 & 5912K17. One is for a 1/2" shaft--the passenger's side, and the other is a for a 5/8" shaft to accommodate the coupler I made for the throttle shafts, which are 3/8".

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. Snowkilts has been informed by private message.

martx-5
05-10-2018, 09:33 AM
So you cut the shaft to make removal a lot easier.



No, the earlier cars (up to TS28920) were already two piece with a connector. I didn't have to cut anything. I just made a different connector to fit the bearings I got. I did all this while the engine was out, with the idea I would never have to replace them again. As it turns out, it's now easier to change in situ than the original.

Jerry
05-10-2018, 10:05 AM
I am going to add a weird one. My first TR3 used to bottom out in the rear a lot so the second TR3 got adjustable tube shocks in the rear. They work great for the rear ride, but did bring in another problem to the car which I have not fixed yet. Around town, no problem, but when you get on a freeway the higher speeds make you notice a little wave in the rear end. So I need to tie the springs and differential to stop side to side movement and the issue will be fixed.

Jerry

Snowkilts
05-10-2018, 10:40 AM
I'm replying to my own post, as I gave some incorrect info regarding the size of the bearings mentioned above. I actually used bearing one size larger. What I did use were McMaster part numbers 5912K16 & 5912K17. One is for a 1/2" shaft--the passenger's side, and the other is a for a 5/8" shaft to accommodate the coupler I made for the throttle shafts, which are 3/8".

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. Snowkilts has been informed by private message.

I replied to your PM before looking at this. The factory setup for later cars like mine is a 1/2" bushing, so the 1/2" bearing I bought should work fine I think. I got the 5912K15, which is for a 1/2" shaft like the 5912K16 you used, just a little smaller overall. I can't imagine this being any kind of a heavy load situation so I would think either bearing would work just fine and be a vast improvement over that little plastic doodad that's in there now.

Geo Hahn
05-10-2018, 10:52 AM
...Anything (lighting) I can upgrade without the alternator?

A great thing about LEDs is they draw much less current (e.g. my TR4 headlamps draw about the same current as stock brake lamps). So if you are retaining a generator (out of sentiment, purist attitude or laziness) the LEDs may be a good choice.

RJS
05-15-2018, 09:07 PM
OK, on the theme of small things with the biggest impact I would have to say new motor mounts. Totally unexpected but the reduction in NVH was unbelievable. Like a new car.

I've done a lot to the car over 18 years (some of which had a bigger impact)but this takes the cake for return on investment.

Bob

TR3driver
05-15-2018, 10:26 PM
I'd think that just replacing hoses shouldn't cause brakes to firm up - unless there was something else going on (leak, air in lines, rubber degradation allow "swelling" of a line under pressure, caliper pin(s) sticking, etc.).

The stock hose construction does swell slightly under pressure, even when new. Think about what happens to a tire with only 40 psi or so, then multiply that by a factor of 30 (very roughly of course). Not much, but it doesn't take much.

The "SS" lines (which are actually teflon inside the SS braid) actually do swell a bit as well, but lots less than the reinforced rubber.

TR3driver
05-15-2018, 10:38 PM
Hard for me to pick just one, there have been so many "Aha!" moments over the decades. But I'd have to say that rebuilding the steering box in my previous TR3A (around 1990 IIRC) still stands out for sheer "Why the heck didn't I do this sooner!?"

CJD
05-16-2018, 09:31 AM
OK...I thought of just one. Balancing the engine and flywheel. My TR3 was factory balanced and the key chain rattled...along with almost everything else on the car...at highway speed. I had to keep my hand on the shifter in the highway so I wouldn't go deaf from it rattling over the wind noise. The TR2 is fully balanced. No more rattles. You can barely feel a vibration when you touch the shifter on the highway. In theory an inline engine can never be fully balanced, so I was pensive about how much difference balancing it would make. It's like night and day.

Snowkilts
05-16-2018, 01:08 PM
OK...I thought of just one. Balancing the engine and flywheel. My TR3 was factory balanced and the key chain rattled...along with almost everything else on the car...at highway speed. I had to keep my hand on the shifter in the highway so I wouldn't go deaf from it rattling over the wind noise. The TR2 is fully balanced. No more rattles. You can barely feel a vibration when you touch the shifter on the highway. In theory an inline engine can never be fully balanced, so I was pensive about how much difference balancing it would make. It's like night and day.

How exactly did this work? Did you just have the flywheel and crank balanced separately, or was there more to it? Thinking about an engine rebuild in the next couple years and I want to do it right. (Although honestly it's running better than it ever has right now.)

Geo Hahn
05-16-2018, 05:09 PM
Another thing that made a big difference for me was the addition of luggage racks. TR3/4 owners are fortunate that there are removable no-drill luggage racks available for these cars.

Just an affectation on cars that never leave town but I do quite a few long tours and take enough parts and tools that a rack for a suitcase is very useful.

https://i.imgur.com/DSb1ElK.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/dTy12ql.jpg

TexasKnucklehead
05-16-2018, 05:59 PM
After having completed a complete body off restoration I found that I was a little too tall for my TR3. A sun-visor would not stay on my head over 35mph. When I eventually installed the top, I had to slide down in the seat and tilt my head sharply to either side and still caused a bump in the soft top.


Luckily I had foam instead of springs for seat support. I removed the bottom seat cover, cut off about 4" of foam, and reinstalled the seat bottom. The top of my head is now below the top of the windshield and below the top when installed. Seated in the TR3, my wife and I see eye to eye, but I know who is taller. This was, by far, the most cost effective provision I made to the car.


-although the 5-speed, curved fender mirrors, aux cooling fan, 4-way flashers, cruise control, third brake light, stow-able side curtains, luggage rack, and toy spare tire are all nice too.

CJD
05-16-2018, 10:33 PM
How exactly did this work? Did you just have the flywheel and crank balanced separately, or was there more to it? Thinking about an engine rebuild in the next couple years and I want to do it right. (Although honestly it's running better than it ever has right now.)

First, I bought a high school science scale for cheap. I could then balance each piston/ringset, rod small ends, rod large ends/bolts/bearing sets to within 1/10th of a gram. (Factory balance is closer to within an ounce). I also take the time to balance all flywheel, clutch, and front extension bolts to the same weight.

Next, I found a reputable speed shop which would take the time to spin the crank and balance it alone...then add the front pulley/fan extension and balance the assembly...then add the flywheel and balance that assembly...and then add the clutch and balance that assembly. All spinning parts are marked to retain their balanced orientation. That should not matter, as each part is, in theory, balanced with itself, but keeping them in the same orientation ensures everything is spot on.

A cheaper balance job would assemble all the parts and spin them one time to balance. The advantage of my process is that if I have to replace a clutch or flywheel between engine rebuilds, the new parts can be balanced individually and the engine will still stay in balance. If the parts were only spun once, as a matched set, then changing any part unbalances the whole engine.

Until you’ve driven a balanced engine you absolutely cannot believe how smooth it makes an engine run.

Snowkilts
05-17-2018, 04:35 PM
Until you’ve driven a balanced engine you absolutely cannot believe how smooth it makes an engine run.

Thanks! I'm definitely putting this on my list for when I do my engine.

SASSAMON
05-17-2018, 05:40 PM
I'll second that a well balanced engine is a great thing to have. When I rebuilt my engine, in 2001, I asked the machine shop to balance the engine and lighten the flywheel at the same time.

It was not cheap but not too much as an extra charge for the complete engine machining.

The shop I used was recommended by a TR3 racer who also said that many Morgan racers used the same shop.

The shop is: Precision Automotive of Simsbury Connecticut, https://www.thechromehorn.com/graphics/precisionauto/

Roger