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Randall is correct. This has been a nightmare!

bnw

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Actually, it hasn't been that bad, it's just taking too long. 7 years ago I bought someone's abandoned project. My dream car, the ticket back to my youth, only better. A 1957 small mouth with overdrive, TS19909LO. There were thousands of new parts, including a big bore kit, rack and pinion conversion, voltage regulators, wiring harness, fender mount kits, factory radio, etc, etc, etc. Also, all the sheet metal from VB bought sometime in the 1970's. That's right, new wings, bonnet, boot deck, front apron. A blessing, or a curse? I'm at the sheet metal fitting stage. NOTHING lines up properly without some major modification. The rear wings aren't to bad, but the front wings have to line up with the doors so the gaps are right. NIGHTMARE! I'm not too far off with the left front, but the right front is giving me fits. HOWEVER, the problem today is the hand crank mount and the front apron. The apron is only pre drilled for the grill, nothing else. I'm not sure how the starter crank guide mounts to the apron. There is no way, at this time that the guide is even close to the radiator slot for the hand crank, I'm way too high. Can anyone tell me how
the guide mounts to the apron? BTW,I scrapped th e rack and pinion for a standard steering box so I could start the car with the hand crank. Just like I used to 45 years ago!
 

TexasKnucklehead

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Here is a picture of my hand crank guide installed -without the apron. Note the long threaded rods to the frame (and they are sort of bent at the ends). There is one bolt not installed at this point, that also goes through the apron. To get the proper height/alignment through the radiator hole, you can add shims under the motor mounts.

Good luck. I know where you are at with your project, because I'm almost there too.

Jer
 

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bnw

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Ah, but come to think of it, the crank bolt and the radiator line up. So, shim the radiator mounts as well?
 

AEW

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don't forget the TR3 apron has a center stamped sheet metal tab that sets the forward location of the bottom edge under the mouth. Randall will probably have a picture.
 

Andrew Mace

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Over the years, some aftermarket sheet metal has been better than others. On the whole, though, about the only aftermarket sheet metal that might ever have fit easily without "fettling" might have been the Tasker Metal Products 3A front aprons that used to be available through places such as


(wait for it!)


J.C. Whitney!

When new, these cars were not far away from being "coach built" with body panels more or less hand-jigged together, with all those panels having been stamped from what we'd now consider almost primitive panel dies. Furthermore, the original dies were never intended to last under the volume of cars that were ultimately produced; that's as likely as any other reason for the TS60001 and future body redesign (new tooling needed)! Heck, even NOS panels might or might not fit an original body without some minor working. Nothing like modern Civics and Corollas precision stamped, precision/computer aligned, robot-welded, etc.!
 
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bnw

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(wait for it!)


J.C. Whitney!

That doesn't surprise me in the least! Growing up in Chicago, I bought literally everything
for my TR3s from Warshawsky and Sons which was the retail outlet for J C Whitney located at 1900 South State Street. Voltage regulators, tail light lenses, tune up stuff, and at least twice, the piston / liner kits for under $75.00 as I recall!

I have a 1969 Warshawsky catalog in front of me right now. Check this out! All TR3 stuff: Steel front fenders $44.95, 3A grill $11.95, 3A apron $99.95, complete used engine TR2 $140.00, TR3 $$150.00, 87mm liner set, 69.95, crankshaft with rod and main bearings $52.50 with $7.50 core. WOW!
 

TR3driver

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Sorry gents, I've never used a crank and don't have the crank support installed (nor the hole in the radiator, nor the dog the crank engages, etc).

The support casting sits down through a rectangular hole in the "shelf" behind the grille opening. There is a single bolt that holds the casting to the sheet metal, then the two funny-shaped adjustable rods that run down to tabs on the frame. I was hoping to get a photo of the hole last night, but had to work late and it didn't happen. Probably won't happen today either. But here's a blowup from the SPC, with the holes circled.
 

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bnw

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Look like I'll have to cut that hole as there is nothing pre drilled except the four holes for the grill. I'll hold off and wait to see if someone can shoot me a picture or template. Thanks everyone.
 

TR3driver

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FWIW I also have fond memories of Warshawsky's. My first engine rebuild was done with parts from them, including a reground crankshaft. And the best running TR3 engine I've ever built was done with a set of 87mm liners that they sold to me for half price after someone else had returned them because the "grading" letters didn't match. I just couldn't see any point in worrying about .0002" extra clearance, and sure enough, that engine ran great! (It also had a tubular exhaust header from JCW, and a "3/4 race" cam from Bap-Geon.)

The store front had a wooden floor, that was literally worn down from all the people that had walked on it! You could see and feel that the floor was lower in the middle of the aisles and especially in front of the parts counter.

Here is one of their less-popular accessories:
 

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TexasKnucklehead

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I don't know why that would not be popular.

Here's a few pictures of the square and round holes in the small mouth. If you need a template, I suppose I could trace something on some paper and send it to you?
 

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bnw

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Thanks for the offer. I'm going to pull my apron off to see how different mine is. Great pictures. Thanks!
 

Mickey Richaud

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bnw said:
Thanks for the offer. I'm going to pull my apron off to see how different mine is. Great pictures. Thanks!

You know, somehow this post, coupled with the turn signal flasher, just ain't right... :devilgrin:
 

AEW

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If it is any help, here is a photo of the bottom brace, or rather "stay", that is referenced in the TR3 parts book for the early cars. So if mine is an original, it is 7 5/8" long and 1 1/2" wide with 7" on center for the bolt holes. I think if the apron is aligned properly the holes for the crank will maybe also line up.
 

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bnw

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That's a great shot! Thanks. I've got that stay but had no idea where it went. The square hole should be easy to cut in. I don't have the semi funnel, but that should be easy to fabricate as well.
 

mallard

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I don't know if I have that stay for my 56 TR3, I'll have to look around. I'm glad this topic came up. Would the stay be painted body color?
 
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