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TR4/4A Tackling the biggest problem with my TR4A.... Frame Damage :[

Djoslyn

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As the title says, My TR4A has frame damage. I've said this before in previous posts but I inherited this car off of my Uncle Mark Joslyn ~10 years ago. I have no history on the car whatsoever. I'm running under the assumption that he bought the car in this condition otherwise it probably would have never gotten fixed in the first place :smile:.

I'm finally at a point where I want and can get this taken care of so I can really enjoy the car.

Regardless at some point and time the frame including the drivers side front suspension tower was severely damaged and cobbled back together. The result is that the drivers side front wheel now sits 3/4" back relative to the passengers side.

The damage:
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Do I attempt to get the damage repaired or do I just find a used frame to replace it with? I'm aware of Rat-Co. frames but those are out of my budget....

With the extent of the damage I'm betting it would be more expensive to have someone attempt a repair this vs finding a used frame and swapping everything over.

It still baffles me that someone would do such a half-assed repair when the rest of the car is in **** good condition...
uynqen8.jpg

oCq6MUY.jpg

sMTLps8.jpg
 

DavidApp

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Hello Djoslyn

The Car does look great.

I presume the damage affects the handling of the car?

A frame exchange would probable be your best bet. You may be able to find a frame that has rear damage and splice them together.

The Rat-Co frame may end up being cheaper in the long run depending on where you had the damage repaired.

David
 

Rut

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That would be an extensive repair to make right and I would use a new frame. Start looking for a good one, once you find one add all the strengthening gussets and brackets, paint it and plan on a winter project. I’ve bought good frames on CL and they are not hard to find and typically run in the $600-1000 range.
Rut
 
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Djoslyn

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Yes the damage does affect the handling of the car. It always pulls to the left, is very unsettled when hitting bumps at decent speeds and wears the inner portion of the passenger front tire quickly due to having to always keep the wheel turned to the right to compensate....

The tires are old enough that they need replaced but I don't want to replace them until I get the frame fixed/swapped for obvious reasons...
 
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Djoslyn

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That would be an extensive repair to make right and I would use a new frame. Start looking for a good one, once you find one add all the strengthening gussets and brackets, paint it and plan on a winter project. I’ve bought good frames on CL and they are not hard to find and typically run in the $600-1000 range.
Rut

That is what I'm leaning towards doing. I may have found a frame for ~$850. I've contacted the owner to get pictures and more details on it. Not sure if it is a live axle version or a IRS frame yet. My car is a live axle version.

Where are the areas that are usually re-inforced on these? I know about the lower control arm mounts needing reinforced but where else?
 

TuffTR250

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Not too long back Ryals Cheek (tirnipgreen on Triumph Experience) had a TR4 frame for sale. I don't recall if it was TR4 or TR4A. You might PM him to see if he still has it.
Bob
 

Rut

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He's actually the one I've contacted :smile:
He’s a great guy and resource and has helped me out. He travels from N GA to Chicago on a pretty regular basis and loves to drive!
Rut
 

Rut

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That is what I'm leaning towards doing. I may have found a frame for ~$850. I've contacted the owner to get pictures and more details on it. Not sure if it is a live axle version or a IRS frame yet. My car is a live axle version.

Where are the areas that are usually re-inforced on these? I know about the lower control arm mounts needing reinforced but where else?
The differential mounts on the IRS cars and the front suspension mounts on both the live axle and IRS. Kits are available from TRF and Moss among others.
Rut
 

CJD

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Swapping frames can quickly become a huge procedure, as you are sure to be surprised when you look under her “skirt”! Another option to consider is to just splice the damaged portion into the old frame. It’ll still take a donor, but may prevent this becoming a frame off restoration.
 
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Djoslyn

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I have absolutely no desire to do a restoration :smile:

The goal is to just be mechanically sound which it currently isn't. I'm fully prepared to replace worn gaskets, bushings and such as I come across them and of course clean up the greasy/dirty parts that are lurking underneath but that is it.
 

malbaby

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First question...is the chassis only damaged on the one side.
You would need to take accurate measurements of the chassis to see if it is still "square" and not twisted.
These chassis frames are poorly made and it is possible that only one side has been bent.
If only one side is damaged, and you say that a restoration is not an option, then I would repair the damaged section without removing the body. This would have to be done by an experienced welder and fabricator so that the integrity of the chassis rail is not compromised.
Measurements first then decide.
 

Frank Canale

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I repaired my TR3A frame that had been hacked on and welded by the PO. I am an experienced welder and custom fabricator. There is no way I could have done the repairs to the frame with the body in place and I don't think a frame shop would have touched it (too far gone). Once I got into it I discovered more rust and damage. I spent weekends and nights for almost a month cutting out bad or damaged parts of the frame, measuring and checking and measuring. I am lucky that I have access to a welding table that the frame could be set up on and checked with gauges, lasers , multiple plumb bobs, and a custom plumb bob to align the shock towers. Did I save any money, yes because my labor is free. Was it the right decision yes for me because if I bought another frame I would still have a lot of time checking that frame to make sure it is right. The basic measurements to see if the frame is straight or twisted is a good start but I learned there is a lot more to getting a frame really good. The lesson I learned is its not what you can see, it is what you can't see that can make the repair to the frame exceed the cost of another frame or a new frame.
 

DavidApp

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Is your plan to get a new frame then check it and paint it. Remove the body from the old frame. Swap all the components from the old frame to the new one. Then replace the body?

It should be possible if the body is as good underneath as it looks on top.
New suspension bushes and engine mounts. New body mounting pads. New break pipes as they are easy to get to with the body off.

With no project creep it should not be too bad a job.

David
 
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Djoslyn

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Is your plan to get a new frame then check it and paint it. Remove the body from the old frame. Swap all the components from the old frame to the new one. Then replace the body?

It should be possible if the body is as good underneath as it looks on top.
New suspension bushes and engine mounts. New body mounting pads. New break pipes as they are easy to get to with the body off.

With no project creep it should not be too bad a job.

David

Those are the plans at this point.
 
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