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Triumph TR3 - Oil Pressure/ Temperatures

First Question: When your car starts and warms up what is your oil pressure at idle. After a long run in hot temperatures what is your oil pressure at idle. mine sits at 50 but is in the 30 range when its really hot!

Second question. When in traffic on a real hot day, your temp needle will rise. What is the danger zone. My temp gauge has 90- 185-230 markings.

I was out on a long trip today. Temperatures in the 85+ areas. My car ran at about 190-195 while in motion on the highway at 60mph. Came to heavy traffic, sitting at a light for a long time, the needle went up to the 230 mark. Once I got moving it came down again. I am concerned that I might have a problem. Any help would be appreciated..

Not knowing the exact amount of time you spent without moving much air through the radiator, it's hard to say of it's out of the ordinary. But I drove the 3 in a parade once and it pegged the temp gauge. Never again. They like to run. Didn't have any problems, but I just don't like abusing it.

You probably should put an electric fan on it if you're going to run into this kind of traffic thing again. Not a real easy job, you probably have to take the front apron off.

Your oil pressure is probably fine, 30 at idle when it's hot is good. What weight of oil? How hot? At 230 degrees, I'd think it would be pretty watery, and lower than that.

Any more questions? We are here to help.


It might have been tops 4 minutes, maybe 6. Seemed like 20, but that's the way it is when you are anxious about a situation like this. A pusher fan is on order and should be here any day now. I will not make it thermostically controld. I will put a switch in a good location so I can manually overide.

I will remove the grille and the air flow boards and see if I can insert it that way. If not I will look at my options from underneath before removing the front apron. That would be a chore.

Oil is 20/50. The water temp gauge showed 230, so I can't say how hot the oil got. Two dayss later I drove the car again in somewhat cooler temps and the oil held steady at 50 at idle.

Thanks for your help Tom.

Working around the apron may be harder than removing it.

4 minutes to 230 is pretty fast, but you were probably pushing it before you came to a stop. Before you jump to conclusions, you should check your gauge against another thermometer, though.

I like the idea of just a switch for the fan. I put one with a sensor on a Toyota truck and it would come on driving on the interstate in hot weather. It was adjustable, so I adjusted it not to do that, then just used the switch if in traffic.

Your oil pressure seems great!

Tell us how the fan install went.

Bingo! However, not without a small glitch for a short while. Much learnt from this experience. I purchased a Hayden 12" fan from a local Auto Parts Store. I read the instructions. I had already removed the badge bar, spot lights grill and cardboard air dam. The fan went on perfectly through the front opening with no interference. Using the mounting kit, I installed the unit as per the directions. Next, I wired up the fan to fuse box so it runs when the ignition is turned on. I set it up this way as the shroud, fan and motor blocks the air flow to the radiator that once it comes up to temp, it would immediately switch on any way. I saved a buck or two by not setting it up with a thermostat. Black is ground and blue is hot. Right? I replaced the entire front grill etc. and checked all my lights. Well I am not sure if someone already had this unit and returned it because as per the instructions it is set up as a pusher. Well the fan blades had been reversed. So on my test drive it overheated. I got home and once it had cooled down I reversed the wires and Bingo it works like a champ. Tomorrow I am going for a drive through the main town. It promises to be a hot day, so it is a great opportunity to test it out.

Tom, thanks for your thoughts. I will let you know how it works out.

I was going to mention that the directions may be backwards, as the TR may be positive ground. Not sure if that's what happened to you, but it sounds like you have it all under control.

Mine was mounted as a pusher when I bought the car, also with a black and blue and wired ... you guessed it .. as a puller. Blades on this one are not reverseable but the manual states to just swap the blue and black wire to change direction. Don't know how long the DPO ran it like this but he mentioned slight overheating. d'oh!

Ran like a champ. I sat in a church parking lot for 20 minutes with the engine running. The needle climbed to what I would guess to be 190. What a sight to see: A 53yr old Englishman, doing the Irish Jig in a Methodist Parking Lot with no one else in sight!
Now I need to reslove my non functioning over drive.

Reversing the fan will not reverse the direction of the air flow. turning the fan over will leave the pitch or incline angle of the blades just the same - no difference.

Robert - Start a new thread about your overdrive. But first, check the archives. For this you will have to sign in and become a member. It's free. What do you have to lose ?

Click on the above - This is what I found on "Overdrive"

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A with overdrive - (That's right - 49 years, I've owned TRusty.'str3.jpg Photo from VTR 2001

Don Elliott

This thread was discussed between 27/05/2007 and 05/06/2007

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