View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Triumph tr3a Apron removal

03-23-2013, 05:08 PM
I've got a triumph tr3a apron that I've unbolted all the bolts or killed them with an angle grinder. Still the apron will not budge. Any ideas?

03-23-2013, 05:43 PM
Just to be sure, in addition to the side bolts, there are the bumper brackets and the crank guide, and then the long bolts that hold the rear brace.

03-23-2013, 06:15 PM
Only thing im not sure about is whatever you called the rear brace. I have some pictures. Doesnt look pretty!26478264792648026481

03-23-2013, 06:16 PM
about 2 lbs of dirt and rust came out when i pried with a crowbar. Its still not budging.

03-23-2013, 06:24 PM
You removed the long bolts from the brace...

There are bolts that go from the wing side inward, and others...located up and under the apron...that go from the apron side outward. Your one pic shows a caged nut. It's too blurry to tell for sure, but it looks like there is still a bolt there...

03-23-2013, 06:36 PM
Okay heres a better picture. I thought those two bolts here were part 26482of the apron. According to the manual i got everything, but perhaps its 26483missing things

03-23-2013, 06:39 PM
One more26484

03-23-2013, 06:44 PM
Did you get the ones straight up in the wheel well?

03-23-2013, 06:49 PM
Interesting...Yes i grinded off those cage nuts abut my manual said the verticle bolts are NOT to be touched. I got all 6 though

03-23-2013, 06:50 PM
There are 6 bolts on each side...


And I was wrong, they all go from outside inward, so they lay horizontally. I hope your PO isn't like mine and brazed the body panels on!

Looking at my own pic, I cannot remember, but the bolt on each side of the fwd wheel well...also shown in your pics, may go through the apron too??

03-23-2013, 06:52 PM
IF you mean LH and RH side , then yes i got all 12 of those...

03-23-2013, 06:56 PM
Ah geeze i thought the two side panels would come off as well.....

03-23-2013, 06:58 PM
No...the Brits love bolts!

This is the one I question...


03-23-2013, 07:21 PM
Looking at your picture that shows the Apron and the RH finder it looks to me someone welded or body filler the two together. I don't see the gap the pipping covers

03-23-2013, 07:33 PM
I kinda thought it looked a bit welded. Now how do i fix this? I dont know how to weld...or deweld...ill unbolt that one just to see....It my manual it clearly shoes that the whole thing comes off as one. Very confused.

Geo Hahn
03-23-2013, 07:36 PM
Looks to me like someone bondoed or welded up the seams along each side:


Originally there would have been a removable beading along there revealing a seam where the apron separates from the wing.

It's not going anywhere until that seam can be separated.

Follow-up since you now know what the hang up is. I would remove the paint along that 'seam' and see what has been done to fill it. If you're lucky it is just Bondo and you will be able to score it and break it without doing any more damage to the apron or wing -- but someone closed it for a reason so you'll also be looking for rust or the remains of corrosion once you get whatever was added out of the way.

Geo Hahn
03-23-2013, 07:50 PM
...my manual it clearly shoes that the whole thing comes off as one. Very confused.

This is the seam you appear to be missing (that beading covers the actual seam and is secured by metal tabs captured between the wing and the apron):


Separating along that seam, the apron comes off leaving the wing in place:


03-23-2013, 07:51 PM
26485There should be a seam there. If it's Bondo, no big deal;
If it's lead or brazed, :frown-new:

03-23-2013, 07:57 PM
I think I see the problem. Someone has filled the seams and I'll bet you're going to have to remove at least part of whatever the filler is before it will come apart.


03-23-2013, 07:59 PM
Ahhhh . Any autobody guys near berlin ma. Ill pay!

03-23-2013, 08:21 PM
I dont even know where to start. Do i just dig at the seem with a screw driver?

03-23-2013, 08:26 PM
I dont even know where to start. Do i just dig at the seem with a screw driver?
That's where I would start, to find out what is in there. Next step will depend on what you find.

Geo Hahn
03-23-2013, 08:31 PM
I suppose for a quick check you could offer a small magnet along that seam and see if there is a dead spot possibly indicating the presence of filler. You'll want the magnet to be quite small (one of those 1/4" diameter rare earth ones) and you can weaken it a bit by adding a couple of layer of tape to it.

What you're hoping for is a strip of non (or weak) magnetic attraction along the route of the seam (those brazing was mentioned and I think that is also non-magnetic.

03-23-2013, 08:43 PM
Heat. A body mans best friend! Turns bondo to clay. Just not too much.

03-23-2013, 08:58 PM
I would use paint stripper to see what is under the paint.

03-23-2013, 09:15 PM
Heat makes the best stripper too.

By the way, excellent catch, Don...I was so busy looking for bolts I missed the elephant in the pic!

Aaron, I would bet its just filler holding it together. If it needed to be welded, there would likely have been missing bolts and obvious damage, making the weld necessary. If you use a propane torch you can quickly soften the paint and filler so it will easily scrape off with a chisel or putty knife. Only heat enough to soften the plastic, but not do much to discolor the metal, or it will warp. It only takes 170 degrees Fahrenheit to soften the filler. It's also the only way I know of to unglue a close fitting panel like this.

Learned this from many years of restoring plastic cars...

03-23-2013, 09:46 PM
OKay , just to make sure, i do this on the actually painted part, not in the wheel well under the car?

03-23-2013, 09:53 PM
Yes that is were I would start first.

03-24-2013, 06:52 AM
Just to be clear, the entire front of the car would need to be repainted at least once you start applying heat or the grinding wheel. Please consider the costs and time of getting the car back to even a reasonable level of fit and finish...

It may be easier/cheaper to try and remove the entire front sheet metal as a unit, including the fenders???

May I ask why the front apron must come off?

03-24-2013, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the warning. I do plan on having the whole car repainted, I want to take the apron off just so I can get everything out of the engine bay to have it repainted. Really my concern here is I really wanted the body work done by someone else while I took everything else out, not attempt these things myself. Taking both fenders off is actually what I was trying to do. I think I've got most the bolts off for that as well.....do I need to get the ones behind the door hinges???

03-24-2013, 08:29 AM
I would just take 80 grit sand paper and sand though the paint along where the seam is supposed to be. 80 grit will cut pretty quickly through the paint. You should then be able to see if the seam was just filled with bondo. If bondo, I would run masking tape down the imaginary line and use a box knife to "V" out the seam. Then take a block of wood,put it next to the fender where it meets the front apron and give it a whack.(not so hard to bend the wing). The bondo should be thin enough to crack. It was pretty common for people to just fill seams on these cars and especially on TR4 rear wings rather than take a fender off to remove the fender bead. In the 1970's "restoration" just meant a paint job. If it's welded together then....hmmm....maybe a week or so with a drimmel cut off wheel? Definitely need to see what's there first.

03-24-2013, 08:36 AM
There is a bolt under the dash at the rear of the fender. It is located thru a hole with a rubber plug.. good luck on that one.

03-24-2013, 08:52 AM
Haven't looked at your photos, but. Bumper bolts OUT. All bolts thru inner wing from bottom OUT. All bolts thru outer wing (fender) flange into inner wing very loose or out. all bolts thru outer wing into apron OUT Spread fenders enough to drop a screwdriver thru a bolt hole in the inner wing so as to hold them apart. 4 bolts thru the aluminum spreader bar at rear of apron OUT. All tabs on chrome molding straight. Lift spreader bar out of brackets on inner wing. Should do it. Bob

03-24-2013, 10:17 AM
Taking both fenders off is actually what I was trying to do. I think I've got most the bolts off for that as well.....do I need to get the ones behind the door hinges???
Yes, just take the doors off to get to them. Probably best to remove the sealer plate at the back of the wheel well first, so you can soak all the threads with PB Blaster.
And don't forget the bolt that is only accessible through the hole from the inside.
https://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh260/TR3driver/TS13571L/th_DSCF0012-2.jpg (https://s258.photobucket.com/user/TR3driver/media/TS13571L/DSCF0012-2.jpg.html)

The workshop manual actually covers this reasonably well; you might want to get a copy if you don't have one already.
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2H2NJt34OffYWZiN2VlZGMtNTkxMi00NGUzLWE4NzMtMGRkO DRkYzU3MDU1/edit?usp=sharing