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TR2/3/3A What is best tool, and best method, for widening gaps on TR3A grille?

TuffTR250

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In a recent thread on TR3A overheating it was noted that some grilles may have smaller gaps between the "bars" of the grille and widening them would provide more air flow through the grille. I would like to widen the gaps on my TR3A grille even though I believe it may be a factory grille. I was wondering if anyone had widened theirs, and if there is some tool that would work the best. I'm leery of just using a plier with a narrow blade since that could make the metal quite wavy. Also, what is the best method for widening the gaps? I assume it would be best to do the work from the back side of the grille, is that correct? What method should I use to keep the corners of the gaps rounded, etc.? Are there any hints for how to do this and not make a mess of the grille? Thanks!
Regards,
Bob
 

Lbp

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I too have been thinking about this since reading the thread (and since I recently installed the Macy's fan, an electric pusher in front, and the fiber board air duct in front, this is the next logical step to insure lower temps). I went to the British Sports Car show in Dixon, CA yesterday. I saw several TR3s side to side, some with the original grille and some with the replacement. The difference in the hole sizes was readily apparent. One thought I had was to widen the holes using a dremel tool with a grinding wheel. I don't know if the reproduction grilles are chromed or otherwise plated and if grinding open the holes would expose the interior metal and bring on rust. Any thoughts? Would this work?

Bill
 

Geo Hahn

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I haven't done this (instead bought an old grille and straightened and polished it) but wonder if this might prove useful:

image_13705.jpg


https://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-flat-jaw-welding-pliers-93062.html

On mine the aluminum is neither plated nor highly polished though there may be some surface treatment (anodizing?).
 

doc50

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I think I would make a male wood plug that would be the desired size of the biggest holes and leave the smaller holes alone (as they are to the side). A 'female' counterpart would need to be placed around the hole being worked on, to keep the grille from imploding. My feeling is that the female part could be nothing more than a molded wooden support that surrounds the hole from the back. The big holes, I recall, are the same size and since they are in the center, opening them would be the most effective.

Now I'm heading out to the barn to see what my grille looks like!

Thom
Triumph TR3
#TS34909L(O)
 

TomMull

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Although I don't recall the previous thread that Bob refers to, before I'd start modifying a rather overly expensive grille, I'd remove the thing and see if the absence of the grille would make a noticeable difference in temperature.
Even if you find little effect on cooling, those grille's were a step down from previous smallmouth versions, in my opinion, and not the best of British engineering. Any talk of re-creating the old AMCO tubular grilles?
Tom
 

M_Pied_Lourd

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Although I don't recall the previous thread that Bob refers to, before I'd start modifying a rather overly expensive grille, I'd remove the thing and see if the absence of the grille would make a noticeable difference in temperature.
Even if you find little effect on cooling, those grille's were a step down from previous smallmouth versions, in my opinion, and not the best of British engineering. Any talk of re-creating the old AMCO tubular grilles?
Tom
Someone is still making a version of them....just wish I could remember the vendor that sells them. I will do some surfing...

Cheers
Tush
 

karls59tr

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The main problem with getting airflow to the rad is not so much the grille openings but the fact that the front of the cowl below the grille blocks 1/3 of the radiator. The fibreboard air duct below the cowl would direct more air to that part of the rad. I just have an electric fan in front of the rad attached to a toggle switch on the dash in case I get caught in traffic on a 90 degree day. I'm also running a TR6 yellow fan but might switch to the 2002 BMW red fan that has 5 blades and similar bolt holes.
I haven't had any issues with overheating but I should point out that I have the bumper removed and four 2&1/2" holes drilled in the lower cowl with a screen inside.
It also helps to run 37% antifreeze,13% water wetter and 50% distilled water.
I would really like to get one of those Amco grills or a reproduction of same if anyone knows of a source?:encouragement:
 

Geo Hahn

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The main problem with getting airflow to the rad is not so much the grille openings but the fact that the front of the cowl below the grille blocks 1/3 of the radiator...

To try to improve that I use a crude but possibly helpful air dam to throw some air against the lower radiator when at speed:

TR3-Dam2_zps3d61c84d.jpg


Mounted with a couple of simple brackets - also serves as a 'curb feeler' for parking place stops:

TR3-Dam3_zps784f2618.jpg
 
OP
T

TuffTR250

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Geo, I think that tool may work good. I see from the specs that the jaws are 3-3/8 wide. Since the gaps in the grille are only just a little over 3 inches long, might have to grind off the ends of the tool to shorten the jaws. Thanks for the idea.
Regards,
Bob
 

NutmegCT

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Last edited:
OP
T

TuffTR250

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Thanks Tom! I'm glad to see that the tool has been used for this purpose, and putting leather on the faces of the tool is a good idea! Did you have to shorten the width of the tool? It appeared to me that the tool is wider than the length of the grille gaps. Or how did you work around that? Thanks!
Regards,
Bob
 

NutmegCT

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Thanks Tom! I'm glad to see that the tool has been used for this purpose, and putting leather on the faces of the tool is a good idea! Did you have to shorten the width of the tool? It appeared to me that the tool is wider than the length of the grille gaps. Or how did you work around that? Thanks!
Regards,
Bob

Bob - just turn the tool 90 degrees, and use the "side" of the head (not the full width). I think in one or two very small slots, I used a simple pair of pliers, again padded with leather.
 

CJD

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I'm usually a patient, meticulous guy...but this is a job I would not want to tackle! I'll stick with my ACME grill...

 

TRWisco

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this is the first time I've ever seen this grille and I am blown away!!! That looks so good! I wouldn't even want to put the bumper on. would like to see how that looks with a little more of the car in a shot.
 

HerronScott

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I'm usually a patient, meticulous guy...but this is a job I would not want to tackle! I'll stick with my ACME grill...

Wasn't that Amco?

ACME was the company used by Wile E. Coyote. :smile:

Scott
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Definitely AMCO
 
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