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Wedge Looking at a '80 TR7 ......

AC Orange

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Going to look at an '80 TR7 convertible in a couple days and have an engine question. It's a 2 owner car in very excellent original condition. However, it has 98k miles on it and the owner says the engine has never had anything major overhauled on it. He believes the head has never been off and it's the original head gasket and even the timing chain may be original. I'm not as concerned about something like a timing chain as that's something I have done on several engines of various manufacture in the past. But I'm concerned about the head. I've heard of quite a few warped heads on these engines as well as blown head gaskets. I've also heard that the heads can be real buggers to get off the block ?
Should I be concerned about head issues and repairs to them ? How about the rest of the engine ? The owner said that proper maintenance has been done on it through the years and has service records. Even so, can you guys give me advice on stuff I could expect on an engine with that mileage ? Thanks in advance......
 

trglory

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The head is aluminum and if you service it properly it will be just fine. But if you abuse it, it will warp. The rest of the story is that the head studs are not mounted perpendicular to the mounting surface so it can sometimes be difficult to remove the head; recall that steel and aluminum do not play well together so corrosion around the studs can compound the problem. The Triumph Wedge Owners Association designed and built a head removal tool that makes the job much easier and they loan it out to club members. There are many good reasons to join the association but that one perk alone is worth the price of admission.
 
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AC Orange

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The head is aluminum and if you service it properly it will be just fine. But if you abuse it, it will warp. The rest of the story is that the head studs are not mounted perpendicular to the mounting surface so it can sometimes be difficult to remove the head; recall that steel and aluminum do not play well together so corrosion around the studs can compound the problem. The Triumph Wedge Owners Association designed and built a head removal tool that makes the job much easier and they loan it out to club members. There are many good reasons to join the association but that one perk alone is worth the price of admission.
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Thanks for your reply. So it sounds like it would not be too bad with the head removal tool. I feel a little better knowing about that.

Any thoughts regarding the longevity of the engines used in the TR7's ? If the engine has had proper maintenance, how many miles could one typically expect to log before a major rebuild ?
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Got_All_4

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I wouldn't worry unless you notice a problem. Maybe there is a such thing as a good one but if it's not broke don't fix it. Soon after I bought mine I took it for a good drive, let it idle a bit to get it hot and torqued the head. Did it again about 5k later. So far so good. Mine had over 100k on it when I bought it but I know the engine was out and some kind of overhaul was done to it. I've talked to owners that told me they re-torqued the head at every oil change. A bit extreme if you ask me but I do remember the second time I did it a couple of studs needed a slight tightening.
 

trglory

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Hard to say.....all I can tell you is that I sold my TR7 about 5 years ago to a fellow club member when it had 128K miles. He is still driving it regularly to club events and has never had a problem. That car is a late '81 with fuel injection so I don't know if that is representative of the breed.
 
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