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Triumph TR6 - Best Three Mods

I was curious of what three modifications that you guys have made to your TR6's, that have been the most significant. It doesn't matter if it is performance related or comfort related or what ever. With winter upon us, it is a good time for us to consider maybe doing a little tinkering with the toy before next spring arrives.
Arnold Newton

While I have done much more than this over the intervening years, these are the first three things that I did in the way of modifications and I still tend to think that they made more positive impact on my enjoyment of the car than the later modifications.

1) Getting rid of the redlines and running somwehat more modern rubber.

2) Fitting a larger front anti-roll bar along with a rear bar.

3) Urethane bushings to replace the upper front rubber ones.

The car was brought home and after about 3 or 4 weeks of driving it went up in the air for a complete front and rear suspension and brake rebuild. Items 2 and 3 were done during that suspension rebuild (the first of three I have done over the years, each one brought additional modification). There was no comparison to the car with before and after decent tires, the anti-roll bars, limited urethane bushing installation and suspension rebuild.

1. 5 speed (only because mine didn't have overdrive.)

2. New Z Rated rubber

3. Poly bushings througout the suspension front and rear. My rubbers were badly worn and thus had a bad case of the "TR6 twitch" prior to putting in the hard bushings.

4. Koni's on the front. (The fronts were blown and so almost any new shocks would have made a big improvement but the Koni's are the best you can get. Koni's are original equipment on Ferrari's and Lamborgini's.

John Parfitt
73 5 speed
John Parfitt

Yep - I heartily agree on suspension improvements:

1) Rebuild the front A-arms with polyurethane, nylon or nylotron on the trunnion assembly.

2) Modern tires.

3) Correct excessive rear camber if present, and dlap some polyurethane bushes in the trailing arms when you do that.

In my opinion polyurethane is a great replacement for rubber in most, but not all places. I went back to rubber on all shock bushes and have a rubber/PU mix of bushes on anti-sway bar end links simply because the ride was too harsh when there was nowhere with any "give" in it.


Brent B

Thinking about doing a rear bar. What are the positives and negatives with doing that?
By the way, my three are:
1. overdrive
2. electronic ignition
3. weber carbs.
Mike P.
Mike Parkhill

1. Stiffer supension all-round with rear anti-roll bar and nylatron/steel suspension bushings.
2. Aluminium stering rack mounts
3. Supercharger!!!
P H Cobbold

1. Electric Fan (frees up power and better cooling - cooler car runs with more power)
2. Performance header and exhaust
3. Modern rubber!

A rear anti-sway bar will will give you flatter cornering. Usually one upgrades the front bar when installing a rear bar.

The down side can be increased oversteer; but that can be "tuned" out by other adjustments, however. Some also have complained loss of ground clearance, but that's not been a problem for me.

Just wrapped up a nice 77 deg F day here - pretty good for late November. Florida weather!

Brent B

MX5 seats [Miata to you guys across the pond]
Poly bushes
Motolita steering wheel
R. Algie

Brent, man, it's -25 here in Bragg Creek and the car is frozen solid like an ice cube. Must be nice to cruise all year round.

Have fun

John Parfitt
73 5 speed.
John Parfitt

I think most of you guys know what modification
I like the most so I'll skip to 2,3,4
-New foam and diaphrams in the seats, comfortable
-Brake and suspension overhaul.
-Cool air duct to the feet, in August it makes a real

Christopher Trace

Dito on the -25c John.
1. Safety first - Check over all that stuff. I installed new seat belts, H4 headlamps 55/100 watts, all needed brake components - hoses, cylinders etc, proper 4 wheel alignment, then…..
2. Poly throughout, aluminum rack mounts, and gas shocks on all 4 corners, then …..
3. Electronic points (Pertronics), HD ignition cables, high output coil, then….
4. Everything else that you can afford or just plain want $$$$. I call those catalogs car porn. You just can't get enough!

I guess that our season is over and yours is just really beginning.
Happy Holiday Motoring,
SC (shivering by the fire)
Steve Crosby

If you haven't already got a picture through weight of numbers already, here's mine....

1) New rubbers (eurethane) - everywhere!! + solid steering rack mounts
2) Electronic igntion
3) Headers
Roger H

1. Baywatch gal in the passenger seat.
2. Surfboard tied to the luggage rack.
3. 30 years younger.

Not sure if I have the order right.

Surfer Doug
Doug Campbell

The responses have been pretty much what I expected, however I am somewhat suprised that there was only one supercharger( I would like to know more about this mod ) and no V-8 swaps. Also there was only one seat upgrade and no one mentioned any audio upgrades. I have pretty much gone the route of the majority of you guys, but at present am working toward safety upgrades, mainly brakes (already upgraded the master cylinder) and seat belts, who knows maybe the miata seats also. I probably will change to a 13 inch steering wheel, mainly to give myself a little more knee room. I have already added the roll bar, which was probably a mistake for a six foot driver. You lose about two to three inches of rearward seat movement with the roll bar. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback.
Arnold Newton


There is a V8 conversion in the group - read the post from Mr. Trace a second time; it's the mod he doesn't need to talk about.....poor Chris, he's always suffering from whiplash and his tires don't last long. I'm sure he regrets stuffing that boring little V8 in there.

The reason there are not more supercharger conversions is because there is no kit for the TR6. There was a kit made some years ago by a small company named VIS (vintage induction systems) but the venture did not pay. But man, so many of us would jump at the chance.

John Parfitt
From Sunny Alberta -25
73 5 speed.

John Parfitt

Modifications - do options qualify? If so, #1 for me was overdrive; A-type operational in 2nd. #2 was a toss-up between Surrey Top and TR5 spec head/cam/headers/triple Webers. #3 was the loser of the toss-up! ( Yes, I've got the Michelotti 6. ) Amen to the suspension items ( alloys fit this slot too, right?) but they place after 3rd place for me. Supercharging sounds interesting but I'd want to try someone else's first. Warning: once you go down the mods road you may never turn back!
Tom Fremont

Arnold, John,
Your quite right to drool over supercharging. Its by far the best way to get large torque increases throughout the rev range, and no more expensive in parts than the normal tuning routes. I reckon 200bhp at (5500rpm!) would cost around £2000-2500 on a DIY basis. You do need to get bits machined, and that means making sketches and fettling and so forth. So its not the weekend job that fitting a kit entails, more like year of weekends. But I found it very rewarding to get something I'd designed myself making such a transformation to the car. It now feels like there's a 3.5 Litre V8 under the bonnet- yes,really. And that's with just 160bhp, I expcect to get to that 200bhp in the srping
P H Cobbold

I'm happy to keep the damn thing running. Replace front stub axel after it sheared off, replace rear hubs after bearings failed, replace crossmembers after trailing arm fell off. Modifications, ha, thats a laugh.


Would you be willing to share (or sell) your supercharging parts patterns with the members. A set of patterns that could be given to a machinist would be ideal.


John Parfitt
Bragg Creek
73 5 speed.
John Parfitt

I would happily send you any drawings etc if I thought they'd be useful. But I used a big old Wade blower and I would not recommend that to anyone starting out now. Also my TR is right hand drive so I don't have room for the blower on the engine inlet side.

The VIS kit was patented in USA under the name IIRC of Boucher, but I've lost the URL: there were some drawings of the manifold. It bolted onto a standard carb manifold, I think the earlier 'thin' type.
There are snaps of a VIS kit here:

And details of the Eaton blower on:

I am happy to help with general advice, like what boost to go for while avoiding detonation and so on.

email (correct spelling before sending)
P H Cobbold

I would like to say thanks to Peter for assisting me with my attempt at supercharging my 6. I am in the process of using a roots type s/c off of a Toyota Previa van with a 2.4 liter. Also would think all should consider turbocharging as a simpler? less costly alternative. There is a fellow in California by the name of Dick Taylor that has a carburated/turbo TR6. He told me that he has well over 100,000 miles on his engine with the turbo and no problems. He has over 200k miles on a '73 that he bought new.
Gene Holtzclaw


Understood - thanks. I'm going to spend a little time trying to get the pattent information. I'd like to be able to go to a local aluminum fabrication shop and have one or a few kits made up. Then all you'd need is the SC, ignition modules, HD8 carb and away you go.

Thanks again

John Parfitt
Bragg Creek, Alberta
73 5 speed.
John Parfitt

There's a few important details to check out as well as the machining and fitting the blower.
The first two are: what is the compression ratio of the engine, and what is the octane of the best fuel available to you (if its rubbish , are you prepared to add octane booster?). Those two parameters will determine the max boost the engine will take without detonating. And that will tell you the crank pulley size that will give the desired boost. The VIS kit used rather conservative boost- 6psi IIRC- and IMHO it should be possible to go higher.

If you plan selling on those extra parts be warned it is very very easy to melt pistons when detonation occurs, and as it occurs when the engine is on wide open throttle and at around 3000-4000rpm its difficult to hear it. So a 'one size fits all' set of parts could lead you into comeback from someone who fitted them to a 10:1 CR egine then ran 9psi on 90 octane!! At full throttle I'g give those pistons around 10 seconds before the cockpit fills with smoke.

One thing I have not used, but plan to do when others have shown the way, is electronic ignition. One with boost-retard and ideally a knock-sensor would be good, plus if possible some re-advance at higher rpm. Gene has this sorted.
Dick Taylor in CA should have a fund of relevant info. Arkay - also in CA- made a turbo kit for TR6s (in early 80s probably)- there's a photo in Allard's book.
P H Cobbold


Agreed - I'v read Corky Bells book on turbo charging and studied some thermodynamics.

In pressurized engines the effective compression ratio is a design issue and the two main problems to be solved are air/fuel ratio and ignition timing.

The amount of fuel supplied must increase as a function of boost otherwise the engine leans out as boost pressure rises. In applications were the effective compression ratio is designed within tollerance, the lean condition can still cause major damage such as melted pistons etc.

The second problem to be solved is that the ignition timing must be retarded as a function of boost. At high boost the ignition should fire later.

But yes- pressurized engines are a whole nother world.

John Parfitt
Bragg Creek, Alberta
73 5speed.
John Parfitt

Arnold--Add longer duration/higher lift cam in conjunction with a 9.5 CR head shave to the mods list. That's my project this winter.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Thanks for the advise Rick O, but been there and done that already. Make sure if you add the higher lift cam, that you also add competition valve springs. The stock valve springs just won't hold up, or give you the snap shut you need at higher RPM. If you are increasing the compression ratio, I hope you guys are getting better gas up there than what we have here, other wise you will be adding octane booster or mixing your own. I went that way with a small block chevy and regretted it. For the small increase you get, it is not worth it with the poor quality gas you get nowadays. Anyway, sounds like you've got a good winter project.
Arnold Newton

Thanks Arnold. I've already considered spring issues and am concerned with the tradeoff associated with higher spring rates. The increased wear in the valve train is my chief concern. Perhaps improving the rocker geometry with a set of 1:1.55 rollers will help mitigate the increased loads on the rocker gear and valve stems. Isky does not recommend uprated/competition springs for my application. Valve float is not a concern since I don't plan to regularly be in the upper rpm band.

As I have a spare stock thickness head, problems with the shaved head can be easily fixed. I'm still undecided on the ultimate CR; all I know is 9.5 is the upper limit.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

This thread was discussed between 22/11/2003 and 04/12/2003

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