View Full Version : TR2/3/3A New Member 1960 TR3

10-22-2006, 08:59 AM

I purchase a 1960 TR3A almost a year ago and I really enjoy driving it. I do not have a manual for it. If you can answer a few questions, I would appreciate it.

1) How do you turn on the heating system? Will I have to add more fluid to the radiator?

2) How do I winterize this car? It will be in a heated garage. Should I run it every month?

3) I have a brake fluid leak, and I almost ran it dry. Now the front wheels stick a little. Do I need to bleed the brakes, or are these unrelated?

Thanks all

Looking forward to hear response,


10-22-2006, 09:31 AM
Wellcome to a great forum, and congrats on having a tr3!
I would suggest you start with a complete and through inspection of the brakes. Often the PO will have used cheap and Wrong brake fluid to fill this critical system. Dont risk your life on the PO's lack of brains, get Castrol LMA (or dot 5 silicone in a fresh re-built) and drain and re-fill the system. Other fluids ruin the seals in a british car and have no doubt lead to the wreck of many cars.
Winter storeage means a full tank with fuel stabalizer, and some rat poison placed around the car.
The little valve at the rear of the cyl head opens the heater,but sometimes it is stuck or clogged. Good luck
MD(mad dog)

Don Elliott
10-22-2006, 09:35 AM
I suggest you buy a couple of manuals. These are available from any of the major parts suppliers. Notally you turn on the heater by opening the valve for the heater to the fear of the engine. See attachment. If it will be inside, you only need to remove the battery, put on your workbench or on a block of wood on the concrete floor and charge it for 24 hours every month. Wash the car and cover it with a car cover or old blankets. This is mainly to prevent scatches from others who walk by the car in the dark with a bag of groceries, etc. I never run mine during 5 months of winter storage. Most engine wear occurs when you have no oil during start-up. Starting it once in the spring is less damaging than starting it every moth. Also during the winter, I change the oil and in the spring, I remove the sparkplugs and turn the engine 50 times with my hand-crank, then about 50 cranks with the starter. This gets the oil flowing and once I put the plugs back in, it starts right away with good oil pressure. This is all I have done in the last 16 years with mine since I did a full restoration from 1987 to 1990. During that time I have driven it 94,000 miles.

As for the brakes, it may be that you have a leak somewhere. It may only drip when you apply pressure to the brake pedal. Find the answer to the brake problem and fix it before the spring - before you have an accident. Make sure your hand-brake is in good working order too.

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A


Geo Hahn
10-22-2006, 03:46 PM
Yes, best to not start the engine at all unless you plan to get it hot (like driving the car). Disconnect the battery or better yet remove it and store it some place warmish until spring. Use a battery tender or charger if necessary but do not over-do it.

Once you have found where the brake fluid is leaving from you will want to repair that component and bleed the whole system.

A sticking disc(s) is probably something else -- since both are sticking it could be a gooped-up restrictor valve (the little hex shaped cylinder on top of the connector where the brake lines and brake switch are)... look in the engine compartment sort of behind the right front wheel. If that thing gets clogged it can cause the front brakes to drag. It's just a little check-valve. Some remove the innards -- that may cause a bit more pedal travel but nothing alarming. Can also just disassemble & clean and see if the problem recurs.

Sticking discs can also be calipers/pistons that need new seals & boots. Crud can get into the groove in the brake piston where the seal is and limit its ability to back off. In addition, pistons can become rusty. If you replace the pistons there are now stainless steel versions that are a good choice.

10-22-2006, 08:28 PM

Can't add anything that hasn't already been said so I thought I'd just say welcome to the forum!

10-22-2006, 09:42 PM
I don't drive my TR in the winter, at least after it has snowed and salt is on the road, but it is a little too early to put her to bed. I have a heaterbut decided to keep the valve closed. It is just one more thing to leak and ruin the carpet I installed. I also do not start it until spring when I am ready to start running again. Winter is for the repair jobs you can put off and would keep you from driving. Enjoy your car, get the brakes fixed and hope to hear more from you in the future.

10-23-2006, 12:19 PM
Welcome to the forum! I've learned a great deal here. I've been on a 2+ year replacement binge on my '60 after buying it. It had been mostly sitting a Garage for about 20 years. While you are in winter mode, I'd recommend you do now what I've been doing in bits and pieces in between general clean up, body work, paint prep and being stranded. Eg, as others have said, go ahead and get brakes completely restored. You'll feel a lot better about the safety of the car. Wheel cylinders, master, lines. I'd also recommend replacing/rebuilding hydralic clutch bits to reduce the chance you be stranded somewhere with no clutch.
I'd also recommend you clean/replace as needed, all electrical connectors-- at least having to do with starting, spark, headlights and horn. Check all fluids-- shocks, dampers, rear end, tranny especially for the last 2 check for contamination, bits of stuff in the drained fluid.

10-23-2006, 01:36 PM
remove the battery, put on your workbench or on a block of wood on the concrete floor and charge it for 24 hours every month

[/ QUOTE ]

I have always heard this 'don't put the battery on a concrete floor' and I have always followed that advice. However, I have never heard why that is. Does anyone have the explanation behind it?

10-23-2006, 02:48 PM
The only thing to the concrete floor tale is that the temperature of the floor might be cooler and have some small temperature effect, or, the battery is so dirty that it can conduct some electricity over the outside. And then the concrete would have to conduct electricity and additionally in a circut with the battery. In the "old" days the case material was poor and could be porus enough to have leakage, then it might have had some benifit. Unless you are trying to protect the battery case from a possible puncture by a small stone or other hard object on the floor the board has no function.

All else would be the same as if it were on a bench. If a concrete floor discharged a battery how much faster would it discharge sitting on the metal shelf in a car?

Oh, welcome to the forum. It is a great place with a lot of great people willing to share.

Russ Austin
10-23-2006, 05:42 PM
Hey Jim; Glad you found us, this is Russ from the Newburgh show with the Red TR3. As you see ask a question and get a rash of great anwsers.

10-23-2006, 07:48 PM
Welcome Jim! Happy to see you here.

Luckily we're all far enough apart so as to not get any other rashes from each other.

10-23-2006, 09:14 PM
In-addition to the other suggestions, try opening the heater doors for heat, close them for defrost with the white knobs. Make sure the Heater Reostat is functioning.
if the heater core has been off for a long time sluge may have built up in the core which displaces the water. Be very careful if you pressurize the system to flush it out with a garden hose as 40-50 psi will inflate the core and it will create a mess inside the car. Apple Hydraulics had to rebuild my calipers after using DOT 5 becasue the seals would not hold the fluid. I had them previously rebuilt by them. This is a neat Forum that is exactly what every British Car Guy needs to be a Member of. Thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/savewave.gif