Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



TR parts and Triumph parts, TR bits, Triumph Car Spares and accessories are available for TR2, TR3, TR3A, TR4, TR4A, TR5, TR6, TR7, TR8, Spitfire and Stag and other TR models are available from British car spares and parts company LBCarCo.

Triumph TR3 - tr3a valve adjustment

tr friends,
what is a good method to set the valve-rocker clearances on a tr3a engine?

Chock the tire or pull the e-brake. Put it in neutral. Pull the valve cover (2 nuts).

Do it cold. You can bring each piston to top dead center individually (both valves closed, you can rattle the rocker against the valve with the bit of clearance heard). Check the clearance with a feeler guage (gage? Gauge? where's the spell check?), it may not need adjusting. If it's tight or loose, you loosen the lock nut, maybe leave the clearance a bit loose, the screw may turn in a bit when you tighten the lock nut. Check it again, it might take a few tries to get that feeler gauge to "feel" right when you pull on it. Not too hard, not sloppy. I don't remember if there's a recommended torque for the locknuts. I just grab the fan to turn the motor to the next TDC.

There are 2 times in this rotation of the engine that 4 of the valves are closed all the way, saving some time in the process, I'd hate to tell you wrong about it though. Remember that it's a 4 cycle engine, only fires (valves closed) every other time around.

Do you have a maintenance manual? If not, good Christmas idea.

thanks for your help.
i have a service instruction manual but i didn't understand it completely. on page 22,11b-c it says
"turn the engine over by hand until the valves of any cylinder are on the point of rock.note the number of this cylinder."
i wasn't sure how you could be certain were the point of rock was.
i will use your method.
thanks again,

Point of rock, how descriptive. Did my description give you a good idea of the "point of rock"? I guess I could've said "point of rocker rattle", where the lifters are on the lowest point of the cam (kinda hard to see the cam though, LOL). Top dead center is where you want to be. You could take the plugs out to tell where that is, it's a good opportunity to look at them anyway. And it makes it easy to turn the motor over by hand. Tell us how your first valve adjustment went.

Hi Payne:
The simplest method I have found for setting tappets comes from an MG manual I had when I had my MGA and it is as follows;
adjust #1 with#8 fully open
""""" #3 """"#6 """"""""
#5 #4
#2 #7
#8 #1
#6 #3
#4 #5
#7 #2
Each follows the other in sequence so that you are not turning the engine over for ever searching for the right valve.If you have a starting handle(crank)it is even easier.
I hope this helps.

the valve adjustment completed,thanks for your help.

thanks for the info.i have a '62 volvo p1800s and the factory manuel shows valve adj. similar to this,but i wasn't sure if it would work on the tr eng.

Pretty basic old car. Fun to work on. I don't like to do brakes and starters, but it has to be done. I like p1800's too. They have SU carbs like the TR's? The E has fuel injection? Have you owned many Volvos? I got lotsa questions. They probably have a BB for them, too?

the p1800s i have is the only volvo i have ever owned.
it is a 1962 model.i have owned it for over 30 years.
it is a fun car to engine has su carbs,4 speed tran/od.
the volvo sports america/1800 register,inc. has a web site you might like to look at.

Thanks, Payne. They really are nice cars. I kinda like the sportwagons, too. I remember a guy driving across the country in one that had like a half million miles on it. It was featured in our local newspaper. Another memory is when a friend and I were on a roadrip somewhere. We were stopped at a middle of nowhere tree with a picnic table, just taking a break from the trip, and in pulls this p1800. The driver gets out, opens the hood, checks the oil, and says "I just have a connection with this car, I can always tell when she needs something." He added a quart and was on his way, but that scene comes back to me whenever I see another one.

How long have you had the TR3?

i told you wrong about the year of my is a 1963 model ivory/res interior.i got the year mixed up with my gmc pickup is the '62.i bought the gmc new jan.'63.
i bought my '59 tr3a jan. was a total restoration project.this web site has been a great help to me.
i have just completed installing new liners& piston set (87mm).i hope to have it running this week.
this is my 2nd tr,my first tr i bought new 2 dec 1957.
it was comm.#ts20620L0]small grill with overdrive,wire wheels,heater,white top&tonneau.i sold it years ago but i have always wanted another one.

Bought one new...what a great feeling that must have been! Don still owns his that he bought new. Congrats on your restoration progress. Building your own car probably gives you more pride than just laying down cash, as well as giving you a big advantage with roadside repair/diagnosis.

I have thought at times how cool it would be to have a car that was born on the same day as I was. 2/25/53..maybe an MGTD? Or would that be TC?

The pics on the Volvo site were nice. The ones without front bumpers reminded me of Ferraris I have seen. I used to not like the fins they put on cars like the P1800 and TR4. But I find myself fondling the 4's rear end around the taillights sometimes.

I am watching Simon Templar as the Saint right now. He occasionally drove a car much like yours. The Volvo. Not quite an Aston Martin (Mr. Bond), but quite nice. As shapely as his ladies.

Put your car on webshots or something, I'd love to see it.

Is it legal to talk of other makes here? Or is anyone watching?

Have a Happy New Year, all you TR3 owners!! Now I'm legal. I got an awwesome TR3 and TR4 T-shirt for Xmas. He sells on ebay, has had some yellow ones on lately. If you're searching, I used TR 3 (space in between) to find them. Not just a vendor, he prints them. So have Trevor make you one or a bunch for your club.

Re: TR3 Valve adjustment.
1. Remove all plugs (not needed, but it helps engine
to turn over easier).
2. Install crank (if radiator has a square hole).
3. Remove distributor cap.
4. Crank engine until rotor points to No.1 plug wire.
5. At this point, you should be able to see
the belt pulley hole under the timing bracket.
6. Adjust No. 1 (.010 Intake & .012 exhaust)
7. Rotate crank 180 degrees. It is now No.3 & adjust.
8. Rotate crank 180 degrees. It is now No.4 & adjust. 9. Rotate crank 180 degrees. It is now No.2 & adjust.
10. At this point, valve adjustments are all done.
FYI. Firing order is 1-3-4-2.
FYI. Valve adjustment is done on a COLD engine.
Douglas A. Jack

tom and douglas,
thanks for you reply.
hope to have my tr completed this summer.

This thread was discussed between 10/12/2004 and 08/02/2005

Triumph TR3 index