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Triumph TR3 - Condensation on the Valve Cover

On a newly restored TR3 I have found there seems to be condensation coming from the valve cover cap, which is vented. When I lifted the valve cover off to check the play on the valves stems, I noticed a grey oily/moisture mix on the inside of the valve cover. I checked the oil in the pan and found no signs of water. Is this a normal phenomenon? Is this found only on wet sleeved engines? Should I be worried?

Robert L. Gannon

I have never seen this on my TR3's or my TR4. Now that I think of it, most of my other cars have had this to some degree at times, but not the TR's. Maybe after a good run to heat it all up it would go away.

The vent system is made to work with the air going in the vented cap and out the tube from the block, suction created by road speed on the end of the tube.

I don't see any relationship to a wet sleeve design as your problem. There may not be a problem at all besides never getting hot enough to evaporate the moisture.

A seasonal oil change interval (not mileage) may be all you need.

I used to get this in my TR3A engine after about 45,000 miles till it got to 80,350 miles. I used Castrol oil all that time. It was a gray/white oily emulsion. From 1987 to 1990, I restored my car (total body off) and rebuilt the engine. I used Castrol 10W30 for the next 40,000 miles then switched to Castrol 20W50. During the last 16 summers (94,000 miles) using these oils and running with unleaded gas, I have never seen this problem. I always assumed that the more modern oils available today with better additives prevented it from ocurring.

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

This thread was discussed between 24/09/2006 and 25/09/2006

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