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TR2/3/3A Three completely different questions from a TR3B newbie - thanks for any input!


Freshman Member
Country flag
Hello! 1962 TR3B TCF794L - parked in a garage in 1973 and not moved since. This was my uncle's car and it has 59k original miles on it. Originally black with red interior, it was repainted at some point pre-1973 to BRG with the intention of changing the interior trim to black (new reupholstered seats never installed). I looked over the car with a British sportscar mechanic and he suggested it's one of the best (semi) original cars he's seen. There is very very little rust on the frame, rear springs, etc. The rockers are solid. Some pin holes at the front of the driver's floor pan - the rest is very solid. All panels fit nicely, gas tank was emptied and no sign of anything in the tank. Batter box in fine shape. I will be doing a mechanical resto on this car to get it safe and drivable and then worry about cosmetics, etc as time and money allow. I have a couple of questions for anyone who can give me some suggestions . . . .

1. How to outline this project. There are SO many different systems to address and I am very handy but have limited experience on cars. I understand that basic things like rubber, brakes, will need to be addressed. The engine will be rebuilt. Beyond that I am not sure how to prioritize the different projects in order to get it safe and roadworthy - and I don't want to pester my mechanic with too many newbie questions. Any work I can do myself I will attempt with limited time, but not adverse to paying for the important things like maybe the front suspension? Just looking for some linear post-engine rebuild suggestions on timeline/priorities.

2. I purchased a used (very good shape) set of 165/15 Federal VW tires to replace the 50+year old tires - my intension was to use these as rollers to get the car safe, but they are in great shape so I thought I could use them to drive on. The installer said since the original steel wheels are riveted and not welded he wasn't sure tubeless tires would hold properly so we are installing tubes. I researched tires for this car but must have missed the part regarding tubes. Does this car require tubes and if so will any of the typical 165/15s work with tubes or is there something specific I should consider?

3. Paint - I will not be repainting this car. The existing paint isn't terrible, I believe I'll be able to buff it to a reasonable finish while working on all the cosmetics. Howerver there are some deep scratched, 1/4" chips etc exposing bare metal. Wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to best touch up these so as not to make the existing paint worse. I'd prefer not to sand/primer the car in places - I think that would look terrible - but if it's the only way, ok. Or can I touch up?

Thanks for any input I am really looking fwd to getting this car drivable.

PS, I understand there are two camps on pulling/rebuilding the engine vs "firing it up" and I will be pulling and re-building the engine. I'd appreciate not opening a can of worms on that discussion.


Country flag
A great acquisition.

I would consider replacing all the brake lines rubber and solid lines as the brake fluid could have corroded the steel lines on the inside. There are premade line kits that come with the correct connecter but require bending to fit. Not the easiest job with the body on the frame. A lift would be very helpful for that job.
The clutch may be frozen to the flywheel but if you are having the engine rebuilt they should take care of that at the same time. Is the mechanic that is doing the engine work familiar with the TR3B engine not just British cars?

Not heard the riveted rims need tubes before. I have tubeless tires on my TR3A and d not suffer from air loss.

A touch up brush with primer then as close as you can get to the car colour would take care of it. The small bottles from the local Auto parts stores3/4" dia. 3" long bottles with included brush.



Jedi Knight
Country flag
A good car to start with as in simple with access to most anything
# 3 look into Touch up Direct

# 2 Todays tires are dated and over six years old tire shops may not touch them. Look at Tire Zone they will tell if tubes are needed. But I do think so and may need liners also. NOTE When installing tubes some air must be in them as not to pinch tube. Tire guys do not see tubes much and may screw them up.

#1 In some order Brakes, fuel, elect. change all fluids, fuel filter twice, spark plugs.

As for the motor sitting that long try this after it starts with cheap new oil and get to temp never mind the temp gauge look for steam at radiator with cap off. Thermostat may be stuck open or closed with 1/2 tank 5 gal gas add full can of SeaFoam ( any parts store ) this will help to clean your SU carbs.

From there look at rusted brakes and drums wheel bearings fan belt lights replace fuses and clean fuse block.

Not so friendly life may have lived in parts of the car and chewed on some. I pulled seats from a GT 6 and a mouse had lived inside the seat foam



Luke Skywalker
Country flag
TR3B, nice! Does the engine rotate? If so, I would fire it up.

Gas tank: Drain, pull, check for pinholes, GasTank ReNu. All brake and fuel rubber lines, fuel pump, brake wheel cylinders, brake calipers, master cylinders and slave cylinder. Rebuild starter, generator, carbs.

Spark plugs, distributor rebuild, new battery. Fire extinguisher standing by, fire it up! That’s what I did with mine in 2005; it had been slumbering for 20 years.

The Roadster Factory will be your friend, along with your fellow BCFers. Lots of info in the archives here.

have fun and good luck!


Great Pumpkin
There are *many* good tips and suggestions on waking up an old car here, written by a former BCF member. See attached.

Hope this helps!

Tom M.
PS - Welcome to BCF!


  • Tony Barnhill Awaken MGB.pdf
    18 KB · Views: 63


Country flag
Drain the brake/clutch MC of old fluid and check for rust.
I am working on a TR3B for a friend and his clutch MC was frozen up so I gt a new one. Before remving the old MC I sucked all the fluid out of the reservoir. The car has not been driven for a while possibly 10+ years.
brake fluid.jpg

This is what came out.



Jedi Knight
Country flag
Next week I start a restoration on a 1972 TR /GT6. I will also catch all fluids and show and tell. Mine does run and drives and stops gas is not from the gas tank just a can next to the battery. Most all brake parts and tires and wheels have arrived. I had the parts car striped so I have rebuilt trans and a gas tank from that car. Most all parts are from British Parts Northwest, a few parts from Moss came with back orders( the norm )
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