View Full Version : TR2/3/3A new tr3 motor

07-30-2012, 01:44 PM
I put the first hard 200 miles of highway and freeway miles on my new tr3 motor and found some small metal bits in the bottom of the stock oil filter canister. The bits are iron/steel not brass or bearing looking stuff. I cannot say I like that much. I rebuilt this motor and did the bearings and rings ect. Anyways, has anyone had any similar experiences?

07-30-2012, 07:05 PM
That does not sound good. How was the oil pressure, and temp? The new oil pump that I installed in my engine had some metal bits the fell off with a touch of a screwdriver before I installed it. Every new part that you install needs to be inspected for such problems. If the bits you found were in the oil filter canister maybe they did not go thru the engine, only the pump. Did you use new locking tabs on the crank? If you used the old ones the ends may have broke off when you bent them back over. It would be a good idea to drop the pan and inspect the bearings, and see if there is any more metal in the bottom of the pan.

There is a small clip in the filter canister that breaks easily.

07-30-2012, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the note Keith. The pieces are very small and when I strained into a towel they barely made a mark, and perhaps I am making too much out of this. I took the engine to have it cleaned when I first started, and they used some kind of metal bead blast deal. When I took a good look at the small particles, I noticed that a few of the pieces were those cleaning beads. The shop that did the work is now closed and I was surprised that they used something like that to clean out an old engine. I asked them at the time and they said that is how it is done: we washed it out good. Anyway I think i am going to change the oil and see.

07-30-2012, 09:32 PM
That was going to be my suggestion to changed he oil. I would invest in a magnetic oil drain plug too. I have 2 plugs in my TR250 motor. I got a brand new TR6 block from TRF and had it professionally machined and cleaned. I had to come up with some oil gallery plugs and the one large gallery that supplies the cam on the side of the block has a oil drain plug with a magnet that is from a modern car.
After about 1k miles on the new motor I pulled the drain plugs and both had metal shavings on them. I was very concerned like you and after that initial oil change there has been minimal deposits on them. 12k miles later and no problems.

Mickey Richaud
07-31-2012, 07:13 AM
Don't mean to alarm you, but this brings back memories of the TR3 I restored a while back (sold it several years ago). I had someone rebuild the engine for me. The guy has a great reputation, and I have nothing but praise for his skills. However, he sent the block out to be cleaned, and they shot-peened it but didn't tell him. (Shot-peening was not their usual practice.) Some of the media was still lingering in the oil passages, and when I tried to start it, the little "B-B's" had made their way to the journals and bearing surfaces, and it locked up even before firing.

JD was livid - with the shop - but rebuilt everything again at no charge.

Thankfully, it sounds like yours isn't as fatal.

07-31-2012, 08:37 AM
Larger pieces are not good, but likely just garbage left after machining, like said above. If the metal is a fine metalic powder, like metalic paint...it is likely the cam lobes wearing prematurely.

Trash after a new rebuild is common and no need for concern. A cam lobe grinding away is, though. I would put a couple hundred miles on the new oil and change it again to see what's going on. If it comes up clean, you are good. If it has more metal...best to tear it back down before it does it for you.


Oh, rapid lobe wear will likely result in rapid valve clearance increase and will show reduced lift for the affected valve...both of which can be measured with the engine together.

07-31-2012, 09:11 AM
It would be a good idea to drop the pan and inspect the bearings, and see if there is any more metal in the bottom of the pan.

Good advice along with magnetic plugs (although I think most cleaning media is non-magnetic) and frequent oil changes (about every chance you get). Don't know how dirty you want to get with this but it's relatively easy to drop the pan and change the bearings. On the other hand, you'll probably get good service from the engine if you can stop or reduce any further damage.
If you decide to look inside, wait a while so you can get as much debris out as possible and you don't scratch up the new bearings (if it needs them) but don't wait too long or you'll scratch up the crank. A few hundred miles or when the oil filter and magnetic plugs seem adequately clean would be my guess. If you do drop the pan, you may see obvious wear lines on the center of the bearing shells that mach the oil galley holes in the crank. There will perhaps be more damage from the debris in other places but the bearing shells are the most significant and easy to change.

07-31-2012, 10:32 AM
Thanks for your posts gentlemen I truly need the feedback. This has been one of decade + long restorations. I usually have the engine short blocked at the machine shop, but this time I did it myself and I am perhaps being to analytical. At least I am going to stick to that story for a while. Anyway I remember that when I first noticed the shop had used the bead blasting technique, and that they were going out of business, I questioned it, and my buddy suggested I pull the oil galley plugs on the side and hook a hot water hose up to the engine and run hot water through it. I did, and the water perhaps went 3 feet in the air and there were particles coming out and I was livid also. John I appreciate your comment and experience and I am going to take that advise. I visualize what you are saying and there is no metal flaking stuff in the oil. The motor runs very cool and has good oil pressure, so thanks again and I will report back my findings in a couple of hundred miles.