View Full Version : Wedge TR7 goods and bads

Bob Claffie
12-23-2003, 01:26 AM
Thinking about changing my Mgb roadster for a TR7 coupe. (I need a summer "bad weather" car). In a thumbnail, what are the pluses and minuses of the "7" regarding mechanical problems and parts availability. Also, is any year better or worse than any other? Thanks, Bob

12-23-2003, 07:18 AM
I have an early and a late one [76 coupe and 81 convertible fuel injection]

In general later is better and if you want a soft top -- later is a must. I'd stay away from a 76 unless you absolutely know what you're getting.

The very early coupes with 4 speed are available cheap and if you happen to find one that has not been neglected -- a very good buy. You will want to replace the struts, shocks and bushes. A well sorted TR7 will out handle an MGB any day [I had them too].

The bads on the early cars. 4 speeds are buzzy and noisy. The slightly out accelerate the later 5 speed and when tuned have a few more HP.

Build quality is terrible and the biggie is the warped head overheating cycle. Anything dripping from the engine or if the needle runs at 3/4 hot then you likely have a few dollars ahead of you.

If someone else has already done the head gasket [properly] and perhap uprated the rad -- you are OK.

With some looking you can buy a very good coupe for 1500-2000. Try that with a B.

Later cars with the 5 speed are better all around. Build quality is noticeably better. The same issues apply for suspension.

Well cared for engines go 90K+ miles. The 5 speed transmission and rear end are all but indestructible unless grossly abused.

Rust, as always is the big one. Look around the wheel arches and at the bottom of the area between the door and rear wheel well. These are pricey to repair.

Interiors are likely to be shot on any car. Replacements are reasonable. They are several measures more comfortable than any earlier TR or MG.

The strombergs go out of tuned constantly but are fine to adjust as long as you like to fiddle.

All in all -- I think the TR7 is the best bang for buck in British cars. Most marques are going to want $10K for a good car. The same level of quality would half that in a wedge.

Take a little care with modifications a PO may have done. TR7 owners seem to suffer more tha usual with "camaro syndome" [def: attraction to bolt on dorky performance doodads]. You're better off with well cared original than 'tarted'. Bolt on your own doodads images/icons/wink.gif

Parts are a bit more expensive than those for an MGB becuase of the sheer number of Bs under repair. Availability is quite good and hundred dollar parts cars are easy to find.

The cars are *under* valued because they were maligned as the 'end' of mass produced british sportscars. They seem to be more appreciated lately and are 'appreciating' as well. They are rarer on the road now than the ubiquitous B or spitfires. They still turn heads.

Hey - what more can I say? I think you'd love a good TR7. Let us know how it turns out!

[ 12-23-2003: Message edited by: MichaelF ]</p>

12-23-2003, 10:39 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> The strombergs go out of tuned constantly but are fine to adjust as long as you like to fiddle. <hr></blockquote>

Starting in 1980, they also came in a fuel injected model. Overall, when the f/i is working it is a much better solution than carbs, and even eaks out a couple exra horses. My f/i model runs great, and passes emissions with flying colors. And no tinkering with the f/i...it either works or it doesn't. Most parts are still readily available.

12-23-2003, 05:53 PM
I'm not sure he's going to find a FI coupe. I know by the end, dropheads outsold fixed heads 9:1 so any late coupe is fairly rare in the great scheme of things. He's likely to end up with a 78/9 model and I still would caution him against one of the early Speke built cars -- even though I own and love one!

Bob Claffie
12-24-2003, 01:40 AM
My question was originally inspired by finding two 76's listed on E-bay for cheap. Logistics of carting them from Pa to Ma has proven too formidable an obstacle. Shipping would be greater than the purchase price. The object was to come up with sometype of LBC iron roofed car to drive when it rains as I already have more than enough roadsters. Maybe a MGB GT would be better from a parts point of view as I have lots of spares and am familiar with working on them. Thanks for the input it has certainly increased my knowledge of the "7". Bob

tony adams
12-24-2003, 02:01 AM
A good roof on a DHC does not leak at all & then one can enjoy both climates
are great & the one that I own has had ots problems but mow that they are sorted it is a good enjoyable car to get about in
For my part it was the best buy for many a day
Have a good one
Tony A graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/driving.gif

Langelo DeMysterioso
12-27-2003, 05:03 PM
I used to own a 76 TR7. A very educational experience. The most fun you can have with your clothes on! The later models are supposed to be much better. Please view my post "Please Allow me to Introduce Myself" 12/27/03

01-03-2004, 01:14 AM
I apologise for getting in so late on this one, but as a very satisfied TR7 owner I must confirm the excellent info in the previous posts. The coupes, though more of them were built, are getting rarer as they are pirated to keep the DHCs going and IMHO will soon be appreciating at a comparable rate especially if the AC can be made to work. graemlins/thumbsup.gif