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View Full Version : TR4/4A looking to purchase 1965 TR4A have a few questions



AK_ED
02-17-2010, 01:38 PM
Hello
New to the forum and hope to be a part of your comunuity

My name is Ed and im looking at purchasing a 65 TR4A, and my background is german cars, i have a couple of classic porsches and looking for a british car.the TR4, its green newer soft top, runs and drives usable interior as stated by the current owner. he tells me he has records from around the late 60s to current. im looking for the knowledge of you guys out there as im not sure where to focus when i go look at this car. i have done restos on old series rovers and know my way around the electrical and the carbs of the britt stuff.

i have seen pics of the car and it looks good in pics but going to look at it this weekend.

questions

1. is there areas of the car to pay attention to that are prone to rust,
2. is there areas on the frame that crack rust etc.
3. door gaps i have read that body mounts worn will make them uneven?
4. is there items known to these cars specific that are troublesome.

thanks guys and hope to be posting here more often with a new car to play with.

cheers ed

tdskip
02-17-2010, 01:59 PM
Hi Ed - welcome!

Body / frame condition is the thing to watch. Mechanical bits and trim are all readily available with a choice of suppliers.

Look at front and rear fender bottoms, especially at the front since if those are iffy there will me rust in the rocker section that cover. Floors are usually at risk, as is the rear deck where the rear fenders met the cockpit area. Battery tray in engine bays typically go. In the engine compartment look at the inner fenders near where the fuses are as well.

Door gap can range from easily adjusted to indicating that the sills / structure is rotten. Gaps should be consistent but body fit on these cars isn't in Mercedes or BMW precision or a tight.

Rear of frames near the rear suspension can be a rust spot, check everything but start there.

A 65 should be a solid axle car.

If you post pictures here, as many as you can, we'll crawl through it visually for you.

These are fun and tough cars - you'll enjoy her.

Mickey Richaud
02-17-2010, 02:06 PM
Welcome, Ed! The TR engine is one of the most reliable, and bullet-proof examples the British ever made. As Tom mentioned, rust is your enemy; check all the nooks and crannies. Adding to Tom's list, check around and under the master cylinders; prime area for rust-through.

Good luck!

Mickey

3798j
02-17-2010, 02:09 PM
A 65 should be a solid axle car.
Careful, 4A's were available with IRS right from the start (1965).

AK_ED
02-17-2010, 02:44 PM
hey tdskip

thanks for the quick reply and the welcome!

i will study these areas when i look at the car, this is exactly the kinda info i was looking for. the owner mentioned that the door gaps where not square and that the body mounts would help to fix this?

but ill get some pics and post them up.

cheers ed

tdskip
02-17-2010, 02:46 PM
A 65 should be a solid axle car.
Careful, 4A's were available with IRS right from the start (1965).

Fair point, maybe I should have said it is "likely" it will be a solid axle car. In any case as you determining the axle type you should look at the section of the frame there.

tdskip
02-17-2010, 02:51 PM
Body mounts might help account for that, but don't bet the farm on it. If the car is otherwise solid then the gaps should be adjustable but don't expect them to be really tight.

AK_ED
02-17-2010, 02:55 PM
A 65 should be a solid axle car.
Careful, 4A's were available with IRS right from the start (1965).

Is the IRS a bad thing something to be carefull of?

thanks ed

AK_ED
02-17-2010, 03:00 PM
Body mounts might help account for that, but don't bet the farm on it. If the car is otherwise solid then the gaps should be adjustable but don't expect them to be really tight.



sound good ill look it over and see what it looks like in person.

i hope its solid as he says it is because if so ill have a cool old triumph! :thumbsup:

ed

sail
02-17-2010, 03:03 PM
4A's were available with IRS right from the start (1965).
:iagree:

Welcome Ed. Only around 7000 of the some 28000 4A's were solid axel (not a bad thing.) Solid axel is a little harsher ride, IRS has more parts to replace. 4A IRS shares much suspension with 250 and 6's. What they said to check. The first place I would look for rust on an IRS car is where the rear trailing arms attach to the frame towards the front or the spring on a solid axel.
Post pictures and be prepaired for a critique.
Cheers to you.

DanB
02-17-2010, 03:45 PM
Hi Ed, and welcome.

I have owned my 66 TR4AIRS since 1980, when I bought it for $300. The biggest issue with an IRS model that was not mentioned earlier is the tendency of the pumpkin to break loose from the frame. There are 4 studs that come from frame where the diff is attached and the torque stresses them over time, so if you drive it, listen for a "clunk" from behind you. If you hear it, chances are one of the studs has pulled from the frame and will need to be welded. Check the frame for rust like Richard said. Mine had some stress cracks around the motor mounts and also where the front suspension attaches.
These are great cars, alot of fun to drive and really easy to work on. Parts seem to be more available now than they were back when I first got mine, mostly due to the internet.
Have fun and good luck!

Dan B.
South Charleston, WV

TR4nut
02-17-2010, 05:13 PM
Welcome Ed-

Everything has been covered here very well, other minor add is check the frame mounts in the front suspension too. In the 4A, the original lower pivot mounts used 1 stud to mount to the frame, this was found to be a weak point and later TR6's went to 2 studs. Might check for frame issues there, or maybe even a conversion to 2 stud mounts which has been a recommended fix.

My guess is it is the same green 4A I saw on Craigslist about a year or two ago - can't be that many in Anchorage. If so, it did look very nice I think. Hope you get it, I'm heading up there in May on business and would love to see it on the road!

Randy

Geo Hahn
02-17-2010, 06:58 PM
...looking for a british car.the TR4, its green newer soft top, runs and drives...

Ed --

The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for a TR4 in Anchorage is that you probably don't want this one:

https://members.cybertrails.com/~ahwahnee/TR4-Alaska.JPG

Geez, I do wonder what became of that car.

Since rust is an issue anywhere (even in the deserts of Arizona) you've been given good advice to look very hard at that. Floorboards can be replaced but a look at them can be a good indicator of what is going on where it is harder to check.

Both my cars are solid axle examples so I cannot comment specifically on IRS but I believe there are some particular areas in the rear body pressing that are more vulnerable to rust on IRS cars.

Several books and buyers guides are available for these cars, in particular the one by Roger Williams is useful I think.

<span style="font-style: italic">I see no buyers guide on the VTR site for TR4s, but they do have one for TR250s which share the same set-up (other than engine) with the TR4A IRS:</span>

TR250 Buyers Guide (https://www.vtr.org/TR5/TR5-buying.shtml)

AK_ED
02-17-2010, 07:19 PM
Welcome Ed-

Everything has been covered here very well, other minor add is check the frame mounts in the front suspension too. In the 4A, the original lower pivot mounts used 1 stud to mount to the frame, this was found to be a weak point and later TR6's went to 2 studs. Might check for frame issues there, or maybe even a conversion to 2 stud mounts which has been a recommended fix.

My guess is it is the same green 4A I saw on Craigslist about a year or two ago - can't be that many in Anchorage. If so, it did look very nice I think. Hope you get it, I'm heading up there in May on business and would love to see it on the road!

Randy
Randy
it might be the same one but not 100% sure on that. it is available due to the fact im selling him a old single cab vw pickup. i just got off the phone with him and says that it is a rust free california car and car will be available for me to look over on saturday. i asked him about the troubled areas and he said he bought a book on how to buy a triumph, and went down the list and he was very aware of all the areas you guys have mentioned, he says the worst thing about the car is it leaks oil from the rear main seal. but i will post more info when i get it.

ed

AK_ED
02-17-2010, 07:23 PM
...looking for a british car.the TR4, its green newer soft top, runs and drives...

Ed --

The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for a TR4 in Anchorage is that you probably don't want this one:

https://members.cybertrails.com/~ahwahnee/TR4-Alaska.JPG

Geez, I do wonder what became of that car.

Since rust is an issue anywhere (even in the deserts of Arizona) you've been given good advice to look very hard at that. Floorboards can be replaced but a look at them can be a good indicator of what is going on where it is harder to check.

Both my cars are solid axle examples so I cannot comment specifically on IRS but I believe there are some particular areas in the rear body pressing that are more vulnerable to rust on IRS cars.

Several books and buyers guides are available for these cars, in particular the one by Roger Williams is useful I think.

<span style="font-style: italic">I see no buyers guide on the VTR site for TR4s, but they do have one for TR250s which share the same set-up (other than engine) with the TR4A IRS:</span>

TR250 Buyers Guide (https://www.vtr.org/TR5/TR5-buying.shtml)

i would love to have this car even if crushed as man if it could only talk.

ed

TR4nut
02-17-2010, 08:02 PM
he says the worst thing about the car is it leaks oil from the rear main seal.


Sounds like you found a very authentic Triumph then - that's not a defect, that's a quaint feature.

TRDejaVu
02-17-2010, 08:05 PM
Welcome. All of the above, plus the rear fender top edge joints, especially where they are next to the center saddle panel (the one with the gas gap in the middle). If paint is bubbling in that gap then the saddle may need some work due to hidden rust.

I have a solid axle car and it is a blast to drive - power nothing; the most high tech part is my garage door opener. Power brakes are for weenies :smirk:

DanB
02-18-2010, 09:15 AM
Ed,

It is not leaking. It's marking its territory.

But seriously, the rear main seal leaking is almost always caused by too much pressure in the crankcase, and this has been addressed on this very forum recently under a thread with PVC in it. Many folks go back to the earlier crankcase venting and road draft tube, but I put a catch can in mine that is doing the job pretty well so far.

Dan B
South Charleston, WV
66 TR4AIRS EFI
80 TR7 DHC

AK_ED
02-18-2010, 02:21 PM
Ed,

It is not leaking. It's marking its territory.

But seriously, the rear main seal leaking is almost always caused by too much pressure in the crankcase, and this has been addressed on this very forum recently under a thread with PVC in it. Many folks go back to the earlier crankcase venting and road draft tube, but I put a catch can in mine that is doing the job pretty well so far.

Dan B
South Charleston, WV
66 TR4AIRS EFI
80 TR7 DHC

Dan

i read that thread and it makes sense ill inspect this when i get the car. i have talked with the owner again and mentioned that the seal was more of a wiper type seal and not the typical rubber. he mentioned it resembles an old vw seal? anyways im getting excited about looking at her and if the condition the owner says bringing it home.

cheers ed

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:20 AM
pics

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:25 AM
here is a few more pics

ed

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:26 AM
and another

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:28 AM
and another

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:29 AM
another

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:32 AM
interior

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:34 AM
and another

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:37 AM
another pic sorry if im doing this wrong

ed

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:39 AM
real oily under carriage due to pucking rear main seal

ed

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:43 AM
kinda the trunk

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:45 AM
its IRS

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 01:49 AM
hello guys this is all the pics i could get as it was very tight to get to the car. i did crawl around the car and it is very rust free, some surface rust in the floor boards but that was it. no signs of a accident and it started up and ran ok. it will need some tune work and a rear main before any long trips.

ed

HerronScott
02-22-2010, 07:37 AM
Ed,

It looks to be in decent and pretty original condition. There is one odd addition in the first picture which is a cylinder mounted to the body below the rear carb which appears to be connected to the heater hoses with a tee. Any idea what that is and where the other hose goes?

Scott

LBCs_since_1988
02-22-2010, 08:08 AM
Nice! Buy it!

tdskip
02-22-2010, 08:19 AM
Looks reasonably solid Ed, and an IRS car too just to prove me wrong. LOL.

How are the fender bottoms and floors?

billspit
02-22-2010, 08:36 AM
I sure several key boards of members of this boad are now covered in drool.

Welcome! Car looks nice. The leaked oil is a very good rust preventive.

Geo Hahn
02-22-2010, 10:29 AM
You don't want this one... send me the name and address of the seller and I'll straighten him out.

Seriously, this looks very promising. There will be surprises to be sure but from what I see in the photos it is good candidate for a very nice driver or a restoration. If that is original paint my preference would to clean it up and drive.

TR4nut
02-22-2010, 11:23 AM
It does look unmolested in the engine compartment which is a very good sign - but it has had a partial or full respray as there is a little overspray on the front grill. One good confirmation in that case is to feel under the front fenders at the very front by the lights - that is a common corrosion area fir these fenders.

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 12:27 PM
Ed,

It looks to be in decent and pretty original condition. There is one odd addition in the first picture which is a cylinder mounted to the body below the rear carb which appears to be connected to the heater hoses with a tee. Any idea what that is and where the other hose goes?

Scott

that was some sort of engine heater to help warm the car in cold weather, the cord was cut off so it took a bit to figure out.

ed

AK_ED
02-22-2010, 12:37 PM
Looks reasonably solid Ed, and an IRS car too just to prove me wrong. LOL.

How are the fender bottoms and floors?



floor and fenders are great i looked around for rust but just couldnt find any.

ed


You don't want this one... send me the name and address of the seller and I'll straighten him out.

Seriously, this looks very promising. There will be surprises to be sure but from what I see in the photos it is good candidate for a very nice driver or a restoration. If that is original paint my preference would to clean it up and drive.

the paint is a really a poor respray of the wrong color but at least its original paint under the hood and in the jams. the looks better in pics but is a very solid car and has just been neglected of basic up keep. but the foundtion i feel is a good one to build on.

ed


It does look unmolested in the engine compartment which is a very good sign - but it has had a partial or full respray as there is a little overspray on the front grill. One good confirmation in that case is to feel under the front fenders at the very front by the lights - that is a common corrosion area fir these fenders.

yes i checked under the fenders and i could not feel anything that felt like rust was repaired in these areas. and the engine bay was suprisingly original and that was a major bonus.

ed

sail
02-22-2010, 06:53 PM
:banana: That car looks solid! You could be :driving: soon. Good luck with the deal.

glemon
02-22-2010, 09:11 PM
That looks great, I had a 66 4A solid axle for many years probably my favorite British or any other car for that matter, looks very solid, if you can drive it listen for clunks in the driveline (probably u joints in the rear IRS, not super expensive to fix if you do it yourself) or rattle up front (timing chain).

Basically like other cars shouldn;t make strange noises (though it will overall be rather loud) steering should be fairly light and track straight (if it doesn't you might have a cracked or poorly repaired front engine mount).

As stated all these things can be fixed, and prices are not too terrible, lookks to be pretty rust free, but there is maybe some surface rust in the rocker panel area, take a weak magnet and see if it sticks, if not there may be a lot of bondo down there.

Overall based on the pics looks very promising, good luck.

MichaelG
02-23-2010, 10:35 AM
Nice find. Looks quite original under the hood and in the cockpit. If you want to restore a TR4 this should be an excellent candidate. Even if you find a rusty spot or two on the frame once you get stated, all of the repair bits are readily available.

AK_ED
03-06-2010, 02:28 AM
hey guys

i pick the car up on sunday deal went through!

thanks for the help i will be here more now.

cheers ed

tdskip
03-06-2010, 09:32 AM
Well how cool is that!

Great to hear Ed - can't wait to get the scoop.

Send some pictures along when you get a chance - I think we all know that "holy cow it is mine!" feeling.

AK_ED
03-11-2010, 03:35 PM
well you wont believe this,

on saturday night before i went to pick up the car the owner called and said it was no longer fore sale due to the fact his wife had sentamental atachments to the car. it was a long story but i am still on the top of the list if they change there minds.

anyways im now working on a 69 mk3 spitfire for my father inlaw ill start a new thread on that.

the positive thing is the owner of the car and i get along good and we have exchanged a few parts to help each other out, he realy is finished with the car and thinks in few months he wife will be thinking differently.

we will see but anyways on to new things


cheers ed

tdskip
03-11-2010, 04:19 PM
Bugger!

mrv8q
03-11-2010, 04:55 PM
At least, have them roll the windows up!

TR4nut
03-11-2010, 05:02 PM
Sorry to hear that Ed - it sounds like you are in good shape to get it, but I bet it will take some Chugach termination dust to show up before his wife changes her mind!

LBCs_since_1988
03-11-2010, 07:25 PM
That blows! A similar thing happened to me a few months ago. A guy agreed to sell me his MGA and he sold it out from under me.