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TR2/3/3A "TR3" painted on the engine block

Joel Lester

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Hey guys!
In doing my body off restoration... I began taking off what seemed like 60+ years of old oil, grease and dirt off the side of my engine block. What reviled its self is the lettering "TR3" in orange. Looks hand painted to me. I doubt that the factory in England would do such a thing but wondering if you guys have any idea why this might be on there? These cars are like time capsules with a lot of history. I bought the car from the son of the owner (who died 16 years ago from a brain tumor and the car sat in a garage the whole time and has not been running for over 16 years).

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Joel Lester

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Really? That's kinda cool. I guess I've never heard or seen anything like that. Maybe I'll re-paint that as I'm doing my restoration?
 

Sarastro

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Yes, I was surprised by this too, first time I encountered it. that was the second TR engine I rebuilt, shown below. At first, I assumed it was done in a salvage yard, but you can see from this link (3rd pic from the top), it was done at the factory.

I can't imagine why it was done--it's not like they didn't know what kind of cars they were building. It must have been painted over at some point before installation of the engine. I had a new TR4A back in the mid 60s, and if it were there, I think I would have noticed and remembered it.

tr4_0907.jpg
 

charlie74

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Maybe there were concurrent assembly lines running at the same time…an overlap or preproduction of a subsequent model, either 2 to 3 or 3 to 4 (?)
 

Andrew Mace

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Standard Vanguards used essentially the same engine, as did the Standard Ensign, Atlas Major van and possibly other vehicles. I'm guessing that the "TR3" or other designation was painted on the assembled short- or long-block before manifolds and other accessories were installed, so it wouldn't have been a matter of telling at a glance whether a given complete engine would go into a TR3 (dual SU carbs, etc.) or a Vanguard (usually single Solex carb)?
 

Sarastro

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Yeah, after writing that posting, I started imagining several assembly lines and engines being produced elsewhere, and it might have been a simple matter just to paint the engine type on the side to be sure they got where they were going. After all, it ain't like they could use RFID tags (google it!)
 

DavidApp

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They also supplied engines to Morgan and others so they probable had to keep up with where the completed engine had to go.

Can you mask it off when you paint your block so you keep the original hand painted TR3?

David
 

Frank Canale

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I still get a kick out of seeing the assembly workers sliding the frame on those rails. Down the line it goes. Frank
 

Geo Hahn

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I wonder... did they use a brush for that lettering? It always looks to me like someone dipped their forefinger in a pot of Glyptal Red and wrote the script.
 

M_Pied_Lourd

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I took a tracing of what was left of my original marking and painted it back on once I had cleaned and painted the block.
Cheers,
Tush
 

groupdeville

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The "TR3" paint identification also appears on engines which were supplied to Morgan. I used to own a '60 4-Pass Plus Four with its original engine, which has the reddish TR3 lettering on it. I've always presumed that the lettering was used on the engine production line to differentiate the TR motors from Vanguard (etc.) engines where the engine itself was in a lower state of tune than the TR3-sspec motors used in TR3/Morgan +4/Peerless cars.
 
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