View Full Version : TR4/4A TR4A door noise and road pop

01-23-2010, 03:23 PM
Hi all . . . a couple of questions regarding a potential TR4A purchase. The car had a frame off restoration about 7-8 yrs ago. This would be my first British car purchase, so I'm a little cautious.

1. When I opened both the driver and passenger doors, there was a metallic "pop" sound about mid-way through opening the door. I was told it is a metal spring that holds the door open. Is this correct? Just want to make sure this is not symptomatic of structural issue. I believe the "pop" occurred when we both opened and closed the door.

2. I had a vehicle inspection done on the car by a British car shop. They noted a pop coming from the passenger rear area of the car during a road test. He said it occurred occasionally when driving over uneven pavement. They didn't think it was related to the suspension (they could not recreate the sound in the shop). They suspect it could be a body mount and the sound was caused by flexing of the body, but no way to tell.

3. No signs of rust underneath, but the drain holes in the rocker panels are occluded along the LH side of the car. Apparently the panels were not aligned just right during the restoration. There were some indications that plates (4X) had been welded to the frame b/w the control arm mounts during the restoration. Panel gaps were OK. I was told that it had been a competent but not top end restoration.

Any thoughts/comments are appreciated. The car shop gave it a generally good bill of health and stated that it would cost 2X the asking price (asking = $26K) to bring an average TR4 to the same level of cosmetic/mechanical restoration.


01-23-2010, 04:23 PM

For question 1, yes it is normal - on the door check strap in the front there is a spring that clicks and yes I believe it is to keep the door open.

For question 2, only caution I'd add was to make sure the shop inspected the differential mounts to the frame - the front passenger one typically breaks first, at least it did on my TR6. I doubt this is your issue though, as the shop would have picked that up I think, and the symptom is typically a clunk noise when coming off the clutch or when decelerating.

I think you are saying the shop estimates it would take $50K plus for the quality they see, in which case don't worry about my comment on #2 as I doubt very much you have a problem there!

Good luck

01-23-2010, 04:44 PM
Wait a minute. The asking price is 26K.
I would think it better be a very good resto if done that long ago and they are still asking that much.
These aren't Jags.

Geo Hahn
01-23-2010, 06:46 PM
I agree -- for that money it should be a very nice example, hopefully with overdrive.

The NADA guide is not the last word on value but is sometimes a useful benchmark:

https://www.nadaguides.com/default.aspx?L...85749&da=-1 (https://www.nadaguides.com/default.aspx?LI=1-22-1-5013-0-0-0&l=1&w=22&p=1&f=5014&y=1965&m=1338&d=5702&c=13&vi =87827&z=85749&da=-1)

<span style="font-style: italic">BTW -- I have had suspension noises that I could not duplicate by just bouncing the car in the garage nor could I find anything loose. For me it was a shock mounting bolt that needed tightening (found it by trial &amp; error).</span>

01-23-2010, 06:55 PM
I'd strongly suggest you take loads of pictures and post them here so we can crawl through them and give you some input of you are going to spend that sort of change. I'm not saying that particular car isn't worth, or that a nice TR4 isn't worth it, but as mentioned above you should be getting a very nice car for that sort of money.

We're here to help, and they are wonderful cars.

01-23-2010, 11:29 PM
For $26K you can get an awfully nice TR4. You can get a perfectly respectable one for $16K, for that matter.

Do a search on eBay of completed auctions to get a sense of what things really are going for. There isn't much right now, I know, but it will give you some idea. I've been watching them for some time, and some absolutely beautiful cars didn't sell with ~$20K buy-it-now prices.

01-24-2010, 12:19 AM
Hi All . . well, here's some more info on the car. Interested in any feedback regarding quality of the restoration v. price or any watchouts. Below is a link to the some pics by the owner. I've also attached a link to pics from the inspection.

What I know is that an alternator was added, high torque starter added, electronic ignition added, new Dayton SS wheels and tires, new exhaust + coated header, front sway bar added, brakes + master cylinder rebuilt, newer gas tube shocks added front and rear, poly bushings, transmission is a Toyota 5 speed HDVA, Sunbrella top, SU carbs, engine was rebuilt (but no details other than 87mm liners and hardened valve seats added since this was by a prior owner), recent carpet + heat/sound deadening material added beneath it in the cabin, drive tunnel in cabin replaced with fiberglass, alpine stereo added.

Restoration was frame off about 7 yrs/7000 mi ago by a prior owner. Restoration was characterized as competent, but not top flight as indicated by panel gaps, quality of paint, etc., which has held up well but does contain flaws upon close inspection. No indication of rust. Frame looked good, but there were some plates welded to it. No indication of distortion or frame bulging. Current owner, who's had it for about 5 yrs, has put 5,000 mi on the car. Odo reads ~61K.

Notes from the inspection: belts new but tight, radiator cap 7 psi rating/release at 4 psi so replace, brake and clutch fluids need to be replaced, plug wires good, fuel pump good, trunion bushes good, control arm bushings good, battery needs to be replaced, air filter needs oiled, hoses good, electrics good, compression good (180, 175, 175, 175), plugs clean, shocks (newer), front discs newer, rear drums turned to limit, exhaust leak at collector flange, transmission mounts OK, universal joint tight, floor pans OK, differential oil OK, wheel bearings good, differential seals minor seeping, tie rods tight, steering rack tight, rack boots good, vacuum hoses good, fuel filter good (no signs of debris) slight play in right rear axle, engine mounts good, fuel tank and hoses good, spare tire dated at 1983, diff frame mounts OK but not original, axle U joint good, rear control arm bushings good, windshield washer would not pump, minor oil leak at engine front seal, lights and gauges OK, rear tire leans slightly at top (due to spring settling). Nothing noted in test drive other than frame pop coming from rear.