• To Replace with Period Correct or Upgrade?

    Some Thoughts on LBC Originality vs. Reliability
    by DrEntropy

    The discussions of originality as in contrast to reliability is an old one. For the most part they seem mutually exclusive. Purists want to enter concourse events and win awards for their examples, as near to original in appearance and equipment as possible. Function is important as well, but these vehicles are largely owned as pieces of Automotive Art. Not meant to be pressed into service as normal transport. Others own them to drive, whether to occasional club gatherings or as the fair or foul weather daily transport.

    While I can appreciate the purists’ intent, their attention to detail and devotion to preserving a car in its original factory condition, I’m one who wants to drive the cars. Sometimes to compete in group or racing events, sometimes to simply make a beer run. Having owned LBC’s my entire adult life, mainly as the only cars to count on to get to a job or the grocery store, the reliability factor outweighs whether or not the original pieces and bits are part of the machine. Most of our LBC’s were mass-produced, designed and built with profit in mind. The balance between reliability of components and profit seems to have tipped in favor of profit in about 1968. A perfect storm of sorts; British labour issues, changes in United States automotive “safety standards” import cars had to meet and a changing attitude by many U.S. consumers that Japanese sedans were more economical to purchase and operate than American or British products. By 1976, Japanese car sales were nearly 15% of all car sales in the U.S. and growing.

    I’ve personally maintained the LBC’s I’ve owned, as many as three MGB’s at one time, three Lotus examples a few years later. All were improved in reliability with “upgraded” components at various times, the current MGB being a good example; converted to negative ground, an alternator replaced the generator. An aluminum radiator with an electric “pusher” fan to thwart the Florida summers while in traffic, and most recently a torque-reduction starter fitted. Relays added to several of the switched components. All good improvements to reliability. It could never win a concourse ribbon but I’d wager it would make a run from Tampa to Cleveland and back, likely only stopping for fuel and rest. When that trip was made in the late 90’s, largely with the original period parts, the ignition light began glowing twenty miles short of the northern end of the trip. We had to locate a BMC parts vendor to get replacement generator brushes. For a few years after that there was a set of spare brushes in the “traveling kit”. With the alternator conversion it’s doubtful any electrical system charging issue will arise for a long time to come. In July Florida traffic the overheat issue was always a concern, Britain rarely sees the same conditions so designers and engineers there didn’t consider climate to be of overriding concern. But the engine will now sit at an intersection here, at idle for extended periods and stay at thermostat temp.

    In short, if the intent is to drive an LBC with regularity, improved components to make it more a driver makes good sense. If ribbons are the goal, use a trailer!
  • Recent Articles

  • Recent Forum Posts


    Had to buy it

    Couldn't not buy a 63 tr3b that a customer decided to part with last month. I still
    need to finish the 59tr3a I have been doing for too long. But

    mctriumph Today, 11:11 AM Go to last post

    Re: Sending out SU's for throttle shaft rebushing........

    Why would you do this when there is a great DIY fix. The wear on the shafts can be repaired
    with metal bonding epoxy and sanded back to proper

    mctriumph Today, 10:56 AM Go to last post

    Re: Electrical question

    On fusing headlights, it's a matter of design philosophy, and there seems to be two camps on this question. Even the range of aftermarket fuse/relay modules

    ed_h Today, 10:50 AM Go to last post

    Re: Floor pan replacement

    Watch out for the replacements being for a tr6 ,NOT a tr4. The mount holes are different and must be modified
    for use. If your shop has not done

    mctriumph Today, 10:47 AM Go to last post

    Re: Surrey top question

    A fun fact on the hard center panel, Triumph engineers were able to make it leak water
    worse than the surrey(soft) top!! The drip rail on the hardtop

    mctriumph Today, 10:36 AM Go to last post
  • Recent Blog Posts

  • Twitter