View Full Version : TR2/3/3A 1960 TR3 cooling???? problem

08-04-2003, 07:43 PM
Am part owner of a 60 TR3. I used to own my own 60 TR3 back in 1960 when I brought it from Europe. I consider myself somewhat of a mechanic, but this problem has me in a quandry, and perhaps someone can shed some insight. Car runs great on a hot day (90+ high humidity) until you come to a stop light or stop sign. The engine quits, and nothing short of letting it cool down will allow it to start again. There is a brand new radiator; water pump; thermostat; distributor; etc. on this car. When it stops, I can trouble shoot, and find that it has good spark; and the fuel lines appear to be charged OK. I even tried spraying "ether" in the SU's, but still to no avail. Has anyone come across anything similar to this. I am wondering if it is fuel related, because back in "those days 1960" we had good leaded fuel in the range of 100+ octane. Today you gain octane, by additives, and perhaps it vaporizes too quickly under the heat! Thanks.

08-04-2003, 09:56 PM
Aloha Jack,

Sorry to hear about the over heating problem. My TR3 get hot very quickly after a run at highway speed and it enters stop and go traffic. Does the temperature gauge give an accurate reading and is it the original capillary tube type? If it has been replaced by an electric gauge, a voltage stabilizer (TR4 part) needs to be installed in the circuit for an accurate reading. I have installed an electric cooling fan in my car and it really helps keep it from getting hot (over 200 deg F).

Regarding difficulty starting the engine when hot, I had a similar problem with my MG. The culprit was a clogged float bowl overflow pipe, those small lines off the top of the float bowl cover. These tubes vent the float bowl and and releive pressure build up that may occur from fuel vaporization due to heat. If one or both are blocked it is almost impossible to start the engine until the car cools down. Good luck.

Safety Fast,

08-04-2003, 10:20 PM

I have heard of some people having a similar problem and it turned out to be electrical after they chased every fuel gremlin out of their car. What would happen is either the coil overheats but seems "normal" most of the time or the condenser is faulty (apparently a lot of the "brand new" ones are junk).

Hope this helps.

[ 08-04-2003: Message edited by: UltimateQuestion ]</p>

08-04-2003, 11:36 PM
Many thanks to the suggestions, it gives me something to look into, and tomorrow brings a "new day". Mahalo to Dave on those float tubes. Never gave thought to that, and will look for blockage.

Jack graemlins/cheers.gif

08-04-2003, 11:51 PM
Aloha Jack,

A way to test the condenser is to remove the distributor cap and rotor. With the ignition on crank the engine over while you observe the spark between the points. If it is white or bluish in color the condenser is fine, if it is orange or reddish replace the condenser.

Safety Fast,

Larry Kronemeyer
08-04-2003, 11:51 PM
Dave: You might be getting vapor lock. Try insulating the fuel line from pump along engine.
Something overlooked , but, simple. The Triumphs had the pumps so far from the tank, this occurs mostly in the heat and with the alcohol mix fuels can occur frequently. An electric pump close to the tank helps drastically.

08-05-2003, 05:10 PM
I'm prone to agree with Larry sounds like classic vapor lock.I don't know TR3's fueling method but have you checked to make sure you have a good tight fit at the gas cap.

Winston 67TR4A IRS

08-05-2003, 05:29 PM
I am with Larry sound like vapor lock. Lots of time the fuel lines have been rerouted to area they should not be in. When it stops just check the fuel line to carbs to make sure your have pressure. Also check the needle valve in the float chamber. These are very prone to sticking and you get no fuel to that carb. Won't run on just one carb you know. Also could be the coil so if you have a spare give it a try. Had this problem with an Opel GT and it was the coil. Tested fine but replacement solved the problem.
Good luck and let us know your results.

08-05-2003, 06:24 PM
Had a similar situation with a 69 XKE. The fuel pump located under one of the rear wings in the boot was going bad and overheating the fuel. Of course this caused vapor lock and all it took was a bit of time to cool and all was back to normal. Check to see that your fuel lines are clear of any contact with the block or anything hot.

08-10-2003, 06:46 PM
Jack,you did not mention fuel filters.....check and see if someone went nuts and put one up stream of the pump. My guess is that weak fuel pressure is letting it vapor lock when it normally would not. A bad pump, or one starved for fuel could cause this.Never pre-filter the gas going to the pump.The old AC can easily deal with a litle dirt, filter it after the pump.
If the pump is bad re-build it!! Never let a good AC get away,they are easy to build and the replacements are not quite the same.
MD(mad dog)