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TR4/4A Starting TR4A after 30 years

rsanford

Freshman Member
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Hello. My father died in 1988 and had a TR4A that I havegaraged since then (he had stopped driving it a few months before he diedbecause it needed a brake job). It needs a substantial amount of work of coursebut there is very little rust and the body is in great shape. Anyway, I have now moved the car from mydetached garage to my attached garage where it is physically andpsychologically more available and I am committed to getting going with it. Ihave searched the first steps to do in the process of getting ready to try to startan engine after 30 years and have kind of put together a syntheses of what todo. My question to the forum is what would you suggest specific to the Triumph.For example, I have obtained a Workshop Manual and have been studying it andsee an oil pumper filter gauze in the sump. That seems like something thatwould deteriorate and contaminate new oil after changing what is in it. Butthen I don’t really know exactly what that means. Any input from the knowledgeablemembers here would be appreciated. Thanks. Raleigh Sanford.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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The oil pump pickup screen is brass. It might be broken (they do commonly break), but it won't contaminate the oil even if it is broken. The main risk with a broken screen is that it may let a foreign object get sucked up to damage or lock up the pump.

If you want to, you can drop the oil pan with the engine still in the car, and replace the screen. But I've never bothered unless I had the pan off for some other reason.

Here's an old article by the former owner of British Frame and Engine on a way to keep the screen from breaking
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2H2NJt34OffcG9HMFlrYXV0ZjQ

Be sure to replace all of the rubber components in the fuel system, including the soft lines at the carbs and the fuel pump diaphragm. You might also consider replacing all of the brake lines (including the hard lines).
 

Sarastro

Obi Wan
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Some years ago we had a member named Tony Barnhill, who was, to put it mildly, and MG enthusiast. He once wrote and article about waking up a sleeping MG. His site is no longer up, but the article survives. Here is one place you can find it: https://www.mgexp.com/article/awakening-sleeping-mg.html Of course, the same considerations apply to a TR4A.

You probably don't need to do everything on that very extensive list, but at least you have the recommendation and can decide if any particular step is right for you.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
 

Brinkerhoff

Jedi Knight
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The best news is the TR engine is very tough and should be easy to get going. After pulling the plugs and squirting some oil in the cylinders ( Marvel Mystery). Pull the valve cover off and turn the engine over by the hand crank so it turns easily and you can see that the valves open and close like they should. Cranking the engine over with the starter motor should pressure the gauge and even pump oil to the top of the rocker gear. If you have compression then it should run with ignition and fuel. As well as a perfectly clean gas tank there are neoprene lines on the main chassis fuel line that must be replaced . One is near the tank , the other close to the fuel pump. The carbs will need to be taken apart , cleaned and re sealed and the ignition points and condenser should be changed. You could get it running for less than $20.
 

groupdeville

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It's considered quite prudent in Morgan and Triumph circles to re-torque the cylinder head on a long-dormant wet liner engine prior to startup after its "nap". Also check and re-set the valve clearances while you've got the valve cover off (and plan on re-checking them after the engine has run for 50-100 miles).
 
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rsanford

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I cut and pasted my earlier post and apparently there were some fomat issues. Sorry about that. Thanks for all the great info so far. I will have to pick and choose a little as I go along but I have enough to get going. In the words of the Terminator, I'll be back (and probably back and back as I go along).
 
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rsanford

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Hello. I have been following the steps and I am to the changing oil part. The engine seems to be turning over with no problem. I had read about a change a lot of people make to the oil filter set up. I am attaching a couple of photos of my setup. The bracket mounted to the engine (that holds the filter) says Purolator on it, which makes me think it is aftermarket. So can I just use an auto parts store filter of some type. Along the same lines, of course the air filters are greatly deteriorated. Can I get a replacement at auto store or is this something I will have to get from a specialty catalog. Thanks a lot as always. Raleigh Sanford.
 

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Geo Hahn

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PUROLATOR is the original filter head (which takes a naked filter inside that green canister (well it was green). There are conversion kits to enable the use of spin-on filters.

You're not going to find an air filter at your local parts store but again alternatives abound. I cannot get more specific because I recall TR4As differed from earlier TRs in this regard.

Here is an adaptor in place on a TR4 (spin-on has been painted to approximate a more correct look):

Oil%20Filter2_zpsyr4hmhb7.jpg
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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You'll almost certainly have to order air filters from one of the usual suspects. TRF sells a 4 pack that cuts the cost per filter a bit, LUF8277/4 ($34).

However, the filter element for the original Purolator filter (WIX 51302) is shared with some other applications, you might be able to find it locally. According to O'Reillys web site, the store nearest me doesn't carry it, but there is another store some 10 miles away that has them on the shelf.
 
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rsanford

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Waiting for my oil filter conversion kit. Jedi Knight mentioned a perfectly clean gas tank. Since mine has rust, then I assume I have no choice but to remove it. My research shows restorers mentioning a radiator shop boiling and sealing the tank. Is that the best way to go and would that leave me with a perfectly clean tank. Also, after 30 years it seems that my radiator is going to be pretty funky also. I am assuming since a radiator shop does the whole boiling thing that they do that to radiators also. Is that probably the best way to go with it also. It looks from an exterior inspection to be pretty solid (as does the gas tank). Finally, since I am sure I have a TR4A but I am not sure of the year, is there any difference in any parts between the years. Thanks again.
 

Geo Hahn

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If there are part changes during production, parts catalogs will typically present them noting what commission number saw the change implemented.

There are also a very few changes that will be noted by chassis number.

Generally model years are avoided in this context as (unlike American cars) they are not reliable change points and more indicative of when the car was first registered rather than when & how it was built.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Jedi Knight mentioned a perfectly clean gas tank. Since mine has rust, then I assume I have no choice but to remove it.
Opinions will vary. Mine is that a little rust in the tank doesn't seem to hurt anything, as long as it still holds fuel. The sediment bowl and screen in the pump will catch any particles that flake off.
My research shows restorers mentioning a radiator shop boiling and sealing the tank. Is that the best way to go and would that leave me with a perfectly clean tank.
If you go that way, be sure to talk to them about whether the coating will hold up to E10 (or E15). Some of them haven't held up, and the result was a far bigger mess than just a little rust.
Also, after 30 years it seems that my radiator is going to be pretty funky also. I am assuming since a radiator shop does the whole boiling thing that they do that to radiators also. Is that probably the best way to go with it also. It looks from an exterior inspection to be pretty solid (as does the gas tank).
After the hassles I went through with my current TR3, I would insist that they "rod it out". The tanks are removed and long rods are forced through each tube, to break up and remove any deposits. Just "boiling" won't always get them out.
My radiator shop felt that just boiling it was sufficient, and I spent over a year trying to figure out why the engine would persistently overheat (including taking the radiator back to them twice).
 

Brinkerhoff

Jedi Knight
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I mentioned the "perfectly clean" gas tank because nothing will cause you more grief and leave you stranded by the side of the road than crap in the fuel either plugging your filters or migrating into your carbs and keeping your needle valves from closing. Its the driving and sloshing that keeps breaking the rust down inside the tank. I'd at least look inside with a flashlight . A little rust won't hurt much and you'll be able to keep it in check but IF it is scaly rust and not just a surface rusting then it will need commercial stripping at least on the inside. I've used " metal rescue" to completely remove rust ( it takes a week of sitting) then lined with Johnson's tank liner. Or you can pay a shop to "Re Nu" the tank for a few hundred.
 
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