View Full Version : It started!

11-23-2008, 07:24 PM
After 5 long years of restoring my TR3, my TR3 fired right up with too much hassle. The only real problem I had was the fuel pump that I was unable to prime, until I swapped out the internal valves with different ones. For some reason or another, the valves were defective.

Some quick questions though:
1. I started the engine and, after the carb bowls filled, ran it at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes, as is recommended by many. Also I used ZDDP for added insurance. At start up I had around 70 lbs of oil pressure, and after fully warmed up, about 50 lbs when running at 2000 rpms. At around 1000 rpms it dropped to 30 lbs. Does this sound right?

2. I installed a pertronix ignition system, and due to the increased voltage, gapped the spark plugs at .035 instead of the recommended .032. Too much, too little or just right?

3. I have some coolant leaks that I have to track down. Based on my drips, it looks like one could be emmanating from the side of the block where a stamped steel mounting bracket is bolted and which serves as a mount for the generator, IF, those bolt holes go clear through the block and come in contact with the coolant. Anyone know if the those bolt holes for that mount go all the way through the block?

4. The other coolant drips are my draincocks on the side of the block and the radiator. No, they're not leaking around the threads, but rather the works themselves are leaking. They're brand new and shouldn't be leaking the way they are, but who knows, it could be Taiwanese junk. Anyone have experience with these and know a way to seal them?

5. How long before I should change the start up oil, retorque the head, and adjust the valves?


11-23-2008, 07:56 PM
1. That is sufficient oil pressure for operation but you normally see a bit higher on a new rebuild. What kind of break in oil are you using...it's probably thinner than a 20/50 and may cause the pressure to be in that psi area.
2. I have a MSD6 unit and am not familiar with your unit, someone will know.
3. I've never had an issue in that area, do a very thorough search and see if your not getting leaks from above running down to that area (thermostat area) or even a drip from the rad cap area.
4. Mess with the draincocks as mine leak too if fully closed tightly, I have to back off from fully tight and then mine seal. Try that.
5. I'll let the more experienced engine builders reply here.
Good luck and glad to have your 3 ready to roll....what's the build number?

11-23-2008, 08:32 PM
1. Seems low to me, for a fresh rebuild. Was the oil pump properly serviced?

2. The Pertronix unit does not actually increase output voltage, only shortens the rise time. Increasing the plug gap increases the stress on other components, like the rotor and distributor cap, which IMO increases the chances of them failing. Since my own experiments (with a MSD 6) failed to show any improvement with larger gaps, I would suggest keeping them stock. YMMV

3. The generator mount bolts do penetrate the block, but into the crankcase rather than into the cooling jacket. If they leak, they leak oil.

4. I'd start by stripping and inspecting the stopcocks. Might be burrs around the hole through the plug, for example, that could be removed easily. If not, what I've done is to use rubbing compound (or toothpaste will do), to lap the tapered plug into the body. It's kind of like lapping valves : turn back and forth a few times, then lift to redistribute the abrasive. Repeat until you can see that the entire surface is in contact. Then clean thoroughly, and use a light smear of PTFE (Teflon) pipe dope as stopcock compound when reassembling.

5. 500 miles is the usual first service interval.

11-25-2008, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the input....I'm using 20/50 Castrol.

The number is 61641, which puts it in production on November 9, 1959.

TRF did the rebuild and I highly doubt they reused the oil pump or, god forbid, there is a main bearing clearance problem. I'm thinking it could be the oil pressure gauge or oil pressure relief valve. I did not have the gauge rebuilt, but I suppose this might be the problem, in that it is worn or is not calibrated. Or, the oil pressure relief valve, in the filter head, could be the culprit, according to my service manual for the the TR3. Anyone know how to adjust this? It does seem low, but the manual does state that 40-60 lbs is normal for road speeds. At 2000 rpms I'm getting about 50, which would put it in the range. Maybe its not a problem at all?

What do you think?

As far as the draincocks, I started by putting my finger over the drain, and open and close it numerous times...the seeping seems to have slowed down.

11-25-2008, 06:02 PM
Your gauge might be reading low, but that wouldn't explain the 40 psi variation. Nor would a misadjustment of the oil pressure relief valve, since it only limits the top pressure. Wouldn't hurt to disassemble and clean it, though, as it might have something holding it open. It's that funny looking thing sticking out of the filter head, with what appears to be two nuts and a slotted screw. The outermost 'nut' will unscrew the valve assembly from the head. The inner nut is the locknut for the adjustment, which is the slotted screw.

Even my tired old TR3 engine can muster 70 psi at freeway speeds ...

11-25-2008, 06:04 PM
PS, it might be worth checking your oil to see if it has gotten thinner somehow. I've had trouble in the distant past with Castrol not holding it's viscosity; or you might have a fuel or water leak into the crankcase.