View Full Version : Wedge TR7 Suggestions

01-18-2007, 11:26 PM
I'm going up to Southern Oregon to help our
#2 Kid finish moving back to Eureka.
There's a '77 TR7 for sale on a car lot that
I've been thinking about.I'd like to test drive it,
but was wondering what to look for.
The shift knob has a 5 speed pattern on it,but
I'm not sure if it's been updated.Interior is excellent.
Minor,minor rust.Engine was supposedly rebuilt.They're
asking $1495 for it.
Thoughts & ideas?

- Doug

01-18-2007, 11:43 PM
Have you driven one before? In case you haven't, make sure to spend some time behind the wheel before getting your heart set.

They are very different than the older TRs, much more modern.

I flipp'n LOVE my TR8 (even without first gear), but it almost feels like cheating at times compared to driving an older TR.

Here are a couple links that might be helpful.

https://www.triumphtr7.com/documents/tr7info/buyguide.asp (

01-19-2007, 06:21 AM
I'm going up to Southern Oregon to help our
#2 Kid finish moving back to Eureka.

Perchance, was your Kid at Southern Oregon U.? My oldest son was graduated from SOU in Ashland. Ashland - The Center of the Universe. Cool town, if you can afford it.

Mickey Richaud
01-19-2007, 06:59 AM
Even though you say there's minor rust, be sure and check the front shock towers carefully. Also the area under the master cylinders. If they leak, the fluid drops right down the firewall to a critical joint with the front frame stiffeners.

Also, check the seams between the rear fenders and scuttle (?) panel, near the boot lid - another spot prone to rust. And if you can, pull the carpet up behind the seats and have a look there. Good place for water to collect.

General agreement that four-speeds were troublesome, though some like them. If it shifts sloppily, chances are it's only the shift bushings. Easy fix, and you'll know if they're needed ;).

Otherwise, it's pretty similar to any other 30-year-old car. Let us know what you find!


01-19-2007, 10:23 AM
TR7's can be a troublesome car. Since they are a more modern car, there is more to maintain. Unless you are familiar with the TR7, or are buying a well sorted car from an enthusiast, I would not make that your first British car. Start with something easy like a Spitfire or an MG. The one thing I have found to be true with TR7's is that they don't like to sit. You have to drive them and be in tune with them. There are tons of electrical switches that corrode if not switched regularly. The hydraulic components need to be actuated to prevent corrosion on the cylinder walls, and pushrods. Everything can be rebuilt cheaply, but the less you use it, the more often they will need it. That being said, a well sorted TR7 can become an excellent daily driven car. It just needs more supervision and attention to details.

01-20-2007, 01:58 AM
Just got back from (Brookings),Oregon.
My Son was driving for DHL - too many tickets,
lost job/license (he was going to school in Denver).
So now I'm driving his Saturn SC2.
Anyway,took a short test drive with the TR7.
The "Low Fuel" light was on,so I didn't go far.
The turn signal switch was toast,as well as the air pump.
It did have a 5 speed (ground on the 1-2 shift),seats are
about what's to be expected from a 29 year old car.
Had the TR8 wheels.Engine ran strong,but had a noise-
- (valve adjustment?).Great tread on tires,but the LF
seemed to rub on bumps.
Headlights went up & down properly,switches seemed to
work well.There's supposed to be lots of receipts that came with it.Looks like a good car that needs a lot of detail
I told him that I'd keep it in mind,& would check back.
I'd really like to get it,but need to finish a few projects first.They're asking $1495 - what should I offer when I'm ready?
Thank you all very much for the input!
I'll be going back up to Brookings tomorrow with the Dakota to bring back the rest of his stuff.

- Doug

01-20-2007, 02:00 AM
What are the good parts suppliers for TR7's?

- Doug

Mickey Richaud
01-20-2007, 07:37 AM
Doug -

Sounds like a typical find. Don't be too concerned about the 1st to 2nd gear crunch. Often, it's because of incorrect tranny oil. There's been quite a bit of discussion over the years about ATF vs. gear oil vs. motor oil. Mine crunched when I got it; changed to Pennzoil Synchromesh gear oil, and it cleared up nicely (is a little stiff when cold, but after warmup is fine). TR8 alloys are a plus.

As for parts suppliers, the "Big Three" all offer limited stuff. The rest can be obtained from several specialty folks (one of whom lives here in Clarksville!) And there's always ebay.

Price? The 7's seem to be increasing. Couple of them on ebay in the $3k range - not sure about them, and the auctions are still on. But there are a couple of nice ones on the Vintage Triumph Register website at $4k & $4.5k. Whatever you offer, take cash - it talks!

Good luck!

01-20-2007, 08:17 AM
Pricewise, I'd take cash and try and get it for $1000 or so. From your description I wouldn't be too inclined to go much higher, as their asking price is about what you could pick up a coupe off EBay for. Be nice to get it at a discount.

Suppliers - like Mickey said, the Big three (Moss, TRF, and VB). Also, there's a few parts available at places like NAPA, Autozone, etc. I like the guy in Clarksville (Brad, Wedgeparts) - that's where I always check first.

01-20-2007, 11:51 AM
i use british parts northwest in dayton oregon for a lot of my parts. it's overnight to me in eugene for $10 an order and they have been helpful on the telephone. they supply parts for mg's, tr's, a-h's. they don't have everything but most of the normal parts they have been able to supply. i'll have talk to them about becoming a sponsoring vendor.

01-20-2007, 03:10 PM
A TR7 of that vintage was my first British car and in fact my only car for several years. I bought it new in 1976 and it spent the first few months of its life going back and forth to the dealer to work out various problems, but gradually it all came together and after that first year I rarely had anything go wrong. It finally failed a state inspection for something trivial 15 years ago and a lack of funds resulted in it being put in my garage where it's been ever since. It had become pretty rusty by then -- the factory didn't bother to paint anything the customer couldn't see, so there's nothing but bare metal on the insides and undersides of all the body panels. Any minor rust bubbles on the surface are almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg, so I'd proceed with caution.

- Steve Richardson
St Louis MO
76 TR7 (original owner)

01-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Hey All, Tr-7s are(can be) fun LBCs. I love the limerick. But as has been sead aleady, they like to be run often. I take mine out as much as I can. Gets lots of looks, even from drivers of much more modern sports cars!(I love that) They are very simple to maint. but parts are somewhat limited on the market now.(as they are 30 year old cars) They are fun and easy to drive at speed and are very comfy inside. I would say to bid low as well. I got mine for $720 usd. It sat for about 10 years so there was a lot of work to do. About a month later and it was on the road! Robbie(and the limerick) in wyoming

limerick is a `76 fhc tr-7 with 2liter and 4-speed(and gt-6 rear wheels)

01-20-2007, 08:11 PM
mine doesn't like to sit idle. i use it a my daily driver. i have to deal with the "is that a fiat???"" questions regularly.

01-21-2007, 10:26 PM
I'd never driven a TR7 before.
I was impressed!I'd grab it right now,
but we have too many cars,& not enough
I've got to get the B210 going,& put
the engine in the MKII Cortina GT.
We're down to 8 cars,+ my Son's Saturn,which
I'm driving right now.
I'm hoping they have it for awhile,& I can
get it for a good price.
Did '77's come with a 5 speed?

- Doug

Mickey Richaud
01-22-2007, 09:40 AM
Doug -

I believe the five-speed became an option sometime in '76, and may have been standard in the US market in '77.

Oh, and I knew you'd like it ;).


01-22-2007, 02:12 PM
The five speed first became available on the TR8 with the first batch of 8 pre-production coupes in Jan 77. It first appeared on a TR7 in june 77 commencing with VIN ACW30001. These cars were called 78's. There may have been some outfitted before that, but the company was on strike, and very few cars were made in early 77. I am not aware of any with a factory equipped five speed. When production restarted in June 77 the TR7 emerged with alot of changes. It got the 5 speed, a different subframe, driveshaft and the stronger rear end. It also went to the 12 fuse box instead of the four fuses on previous models. I consider this the point where TR7's became a good car. Older models are not as robust. There is a reason why you don't see too many four speed cars anymore. THEY SUCK!

01-22-2007, 04:56 PM
The TR-7 was constructed as a simpler car than the previous TR's; not simple in terms of primitive, but simple in terms of technical complexity. Being British, Triumph substituted less reliable electrics for reliable suspension and engine components.

The '77 model shared a lot of components with the Spitfire 1500 and the Austin Marina. The problem was that it was a heavier, more powerful car than the Spitfire, so some components faced heavier use [and thus less life] on the 7 than on the Spit. The second problem was that some of the shared components from the Austin Marina were based on low cost, not sports car racing potential.

The nice thing is that you have the Rover 5-speed, a strong transmission that uses a stronger, Salisbury rear end. These options eliminate two problems common to early TR-7's. When the engine is cold, the transmission gear oil that usually comes with the car gets very thick and beats up the synchros. Rover and Land Rover specialists that share the same transmission recommend substituting ATF for 80-90W gear oil. You might have a slight graunch from 2-3rd, but that would be it once the car warms up. ATF lubricates well and runs thinner.

The 2.0 liter engine runs very well and for a long time. However, early ones tended to overheat when the cooling system was not cared for. Flush it often and be generous with quality anti-freeze. When they overheated, they blew the head gaskets. Since the engine block and head are different metals, they proved hard to separate to replace the gaskets.

Change the oil and filter often [3,000 miles]. Check the front wheel bearings [they're small for the weight of the car and easy to replace].

Structurally, it's a monocoque body structure so the 3-part sills, front and rear bulkheads, and shock towers must be sound to be safe. Some body parts are still available. Regular maintenance items - filters, brake pads, brake cylinders, shocks, bearings, alternators, starters, are easily available from a variety of speciality [Wedge Shop, WedgeParts, Moss, Victoria British, Roadster Factory] and generic suppliers [NAPA, Autozone].

Since 1989, I've owned and used for daily driving a '78 Spitfire and my current '80 TR-7. On both cars, I put about 75,000 miles each. They've had their share of maintenance repairs and have left me stranded for short times. The TR-7 is vastly superior in ride, handling, speed, control, speed, trunk space [the Spitfire needed a luggage rack, it's superflous on the 7]. I've loved my two Spitfires but it's a budget car compared to the TR-7.

Buy the car. It sounds like a great buy, even at the asking price. I'm looking at a '77 also and I wish it were that inexpensive!


01-22-2007, 05:37 PM
Just wanted to add that the tr-7 is a simple car and that the limerick is my first british car. I don`t get asked the "fiat qwestion" much. People just don`t know what it is and can`t even get that far! I like the looks it gets on the road! It has the 4-speed and the oil is like sludge in cold weather as has been sead. I`ve updated the ing. system and done a few other mods here and there.(the gt-6 rear wheels came with the car) Its java green(puke green) so it gets a LOT of looks and interest. I`ve only met 2 other people who even knew what it was. One guy had one in his youth and the other guy knew a friend that had one. Its always fun showing it off to others!(even car folks) Just watch the brakes(not the best), cooling system, and a few other things and you`ll ahve a fun and very unik little car. Good driving to all, Robbie in wyoming