View Full Version : Wish me luck

05-27-2005, 04:28 PM
Well, folks after 15 years of sitting in the garage with her engine out, this weekend my sons and I are going to put the engine back in my 61TR3A. We've located all necessary hardware. Engine turns freely by hand, changed oil, got all varnish out of gas tank, gas line, filter bowl, carb bowls, and ran new gas lines from pump to bowls. Will put new points, condensor, rotor, coil, plugs in tonight. Change oil in tranny. Then in she goes. Some new gas, prime pump and carb bowls. Then lite the fires. Gawd help us.

Geo Hahn
05-27-2005, 04:41 PM
Good luck to ya. Expect a few fuel leaks... I know I never seem to get dry fuel line connections first time around, always have to tighten them more than I initially thought prudent.

05-27-2005, 05:21 PM
Good luck and enjoy the experience. Have a few extra eyes to look for leaks, smoke, etc. should be helpful.

Safety Fast,

05-27-2005, 08:25 PM
Good luck on the 3. Hope you have it on the road soon, give us some pictures of it once you do.

06-02-2005, 02:49 PM
Well, all I can say is THE BEAST IS ALIVE, IT's ALIVE I TELL YOU. At 12:05 AM on May 31st, to the delight of my neighboors my mufferless TR3 fired and ran. What a weekend. But it's over and now on to the tough part. My SUs are junk, mutliple rebuilds, don't have $1200 for new ones, other than ebay, anyone got an idea on how to re-carb this beast? The chokes are not functioning due to the small flanges that support the top of the choke leverage mechanism being broken on both carbs. When it runs I get black smoke. Any suggestions? Does anyone know of a different carb system for the cars, other than $1500 Webers?
Thanks, this is a great site and I really appreciate your advice.

Mickey Richaud
06-02-2005, 03:22 PM
Earl -

SU's are hard to beat. I'd look for another pair and use both sets to rebuild.


06-02-2005, 03:37 PM
$1200.00 seems steep, why don't you tell us the size and model and I am sure someone here will help you do way better than that.

06-02-2005, 04:41 PM
yeah. you can't beat SU's. With what you have and a couple used bodies you could get off fairly cheap even if you have to re-bush the shafts.

The broken flanges that you are talking about... are they the ones that the fast idle screws hit from the throttle linkage or you talking about the part that the actual choke levers pivot on to raise and lower the jets?

If it is the fast idle I'd personally rebuild them as-is - you can always just stick your foot in it a little until it warms up.

06-02-2005, 04:42 PM
Hi RL,

Congratulations on bringing the beast back to life! I'm jealous. I'm quite a ways from that point with my '62 TR4, which also languished in the garage for far too long! I can only dream about waking the neighbors at this point. But, at least it's much farther along than it was 6 months ago.

I'd also recommend sticking with the SU's as the best solution. Set up properly, they are hard to beat for a fun, daily driver.

An alternative is Hitachi SUs, which were used on Datsun 240Z (and some other cars). However, these can be pricier and more in demand than British SUs. Also, while they are essentially the same design and function, I would imagine there would be some tweaking and adapting to make them work. I can tell you my TR4 had a set of Hitachi SUs installed when I first bought it and I didn't even realize until recently what they were and that they weren't original to the car. It ran fine, but has since been modified a wee bit and now uses a pair of Weber DCOEs.

Speaking of Webers, there are two major types: downdraft and sidedraft. Sounds like the pricier, high performance oriented sidedraft (DCOE) aren't what you are looking for. They really demand a lot of other engine work and tuning to make them work as best possible (increased compression, porting & valve work, headers, free flow exhaust) so the cost of the carbs is just the proverbial "tip of the iceberg".

Many of the downdraft variety Webers are more reliability/economy oriented (although there are performance downdraft versions, too). These tend to be less expensive and might be a solution, if you don't mind a non-original setup.

But, I still think the SUs are hard to beat and pretty easy to work with. If you do decide to stick with SUs, there are rebuilders/reconditioners out there, and parts are pretty easy to come by if you want to do the work yourself. The only concern is getting a "correct" set. There are a great many different models of SUs, sometimes with very subtle differences. You might find a metal tab on the float bowl of your carbs with the model numbers, for reference, or a shop manual would tell you the correct models.

All sorts of SUs show up on eBay all the time, so that might be a good source. Only the later HS6 SUs (TR4A) seem to be available new and are pretty pricey.

A final consideration, if you stick with SUs you will likely be enhancing your car's value, while any non-original change will likely devalue it to some degree.



06-02-2005, 07:29 PM
Congradulations. My 250 started for the first time in 13 years after sitting in a barn last month. Now I am removing service items to hopefully get it on the road soon. Good luck with the carbs. Why can't you have them rebuilt?

06-02-2005, 08:56 PM
Congratulations. Your carbs may still be rebuild-able and you might want to investigate that. Here is a source that several clubs recommend:


the standard advertised price for TR3 carbs is $350 (the sight describes what is done), but if additional parts are needed in might cost more. In any case should be less than the price of new ones.

Safety Fast,

06-02-2005, 09:37 PM
RL, as a carburetor rebuilder, Joe Curto is one of the best. Another option is Gary Martin in South Dakota. His number is (605) 484-8081. Gary rebuilt me 3 ZS carbs to concours quality (he supplied the carbs) and the price was very, very favorable. No complaints with the quality. Give him a call. (Actually, Richard Good from GoodParts recommended him to me.)


06-03-2005, 12:12 PM
I can rebuild the carbs, but with the broken choke hindge point flanges, I'm not sure of the value of a rebuild. I think I need to get the chokes to work. While I'm only planning on summer driving, maybe I can get along without the chokes, I'm not sure.
After reading everyone's comments about keeping the SUs I'm wondering if I am the only person who's had trouble with them. Not having worked on them for years if the consensis of this board is to try a rebuild, I've got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain by trying.
Radford, the $1200 price tag was from MOSS. I assume I'll get the same range price from Victoria and The Roadster Factory. If there is a lower cost supplier I can sure use it.
Thanks all for the help