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Triumph TR6 - Chassis/Suspension...what to do first

As most are aware, I've had seemingly unending difficulties with the paint/body shop. I've recovered my tub, wings etc and am negotiating for another painter. Meanwhile it occured to me to just get the body off the frame and have at the suspension etc and wait on the painting. In conversation with Rick Crawford he suggested I pose to y'all the question I asked him...In attacking restoration of the undercarriage, what should be done first, second etc. I guess that I could take the tub off set it on saw horses in my driveway and start taking off everything that's bolted on, get the frame bare, address the reinforcements in the risk areas, sand blast, powder coat or paint, then start putting stuff back on, but I strongly suspect that there should be a logical sequence to all this activity and maybe some admonitions as to what not to do or do this in such and such an order. Your comments are gratefully invited:) Thanks.
Doug Baker

Hi Doug

Sounds like a big project.

I decided I would strip down the whole car and start on the frame, then suspension and then tub. I put the tub on a wooden frame and took every thing off the frame. I built an A frame of wood to lift the tub up and down.

I took pictures all the way to help remember.

I repaired the frame and galvanized it.(2002)
Then I did the 4 suspension corners. (2003)
Then the differential and axle shafts.(2003)
Then I did some work on the tub in the warm weather (2003)and saved the cold weather to do the engine (winter 3004-2004)in my basement.

I redid the motor and put it on and the exhaust before putting the tub back on. (2004)In summer 2004 a lot of time was spent on rebuilding the tub. I started at the rear end and worked forward.

Test started the engine in Oct 2004.

Then finished assembling the tub and body, electrical, interior, brakes etc in 2005. All told 3 years and 1120 hours. Paint was done by others.

You may want to see my slide show at

The slide show is a chronological account of the rebuild. I can send any picture you may want to see to look in more detail.

I realy enjoyed the rebuild and was quite obsessed with it. I enjoy driving it now.

As far as recommendation, I liked the order I did things in. I made 2 major mistakes. The first was trying to pull a rear hub off. I bent the hub. Expensive lesson. Ask a professional to do this. Second- I lifted the body without structural cross braces and had a hard time getting the doors and fenders to fit on the final assembly. When lifting the body don't let it sag in the center. Make absolutely sure before you weld the A and B posts (if you replace) that they are positioned right and the doors and fenders will fit when the welding is done
Have fun and if I can be of any other help feel free to drop a line at


Mike Petryschuk
69 TR6
rebuild 2002-2005
Michael S. Petryschuk

Great advice. Regarding supporting the tub, I fashioned plates that I bolted to the B post where the door latch fits and at the door hinge bolt holes on the A post, then welded 1 1/2" tube stock between the plates. I then added a piece of 2" channel iron across those bars and bolted it to them. I don't think the body will sag when I remove it.

My intent was to have the body guy replace the driver's floor pan, or a portion of it in the footwell. Suffered a master cylinder link at some point and pretty well rusted up that area. Also want to replace the inner rocker panels while on the frame. All the rest of the body work can be done with the tub off. While he was continuing to work on the body, I was gonna do the chassis. Problem is can't get a decent painter that's willing to work.

Your advice is sage. Thanks for sharing. I'll look at your photos.
Doug Baker

Hi Doug and Mike,
it looks like Mike had the right idea and that your bracing method is more than ample Doug. I triangulated the door opening bracing using 1.250 tubing bolted from BOTH hinge points to the door latch point. It may make more sense for you to purchase a small MIG welder. What you save in body shop charges will easily pay for it.... learning to use it is a snap. If you do not have to replace the A or B posts and only have the rockers and floors to do, I would recommend cutting out one side at a time with the tub still mounted on the leveled frame.... unless the frame is damaged , sagging or otherwise is suspected to be less than factory true. If the frame is good , use it as a jig. Cutting out the old panels and prepping the surfaces by wire wheeling, straightening and spraying with weld through zinc primer. It is not too difficult and would save you many hours of body shop time. Slipping the floor pan in may require release of some of the body mount bolts on the side opposite being worked on. It slides in from the back towards the front so this method requires the rear suspension to be removed. Have the floor tacked in and then inner and, finally,outer rocker tacked and welded in place. End caps last. At this point the body can be removed from the frame and frame work begun. Further, by welding four ten inch extensions with casters on the ends onto the AB post bracing you can flip the body over, roll it around easily, finish the underside and prep it for paint.... works perfectly.

Cheers, Rob
'76 CF57639UO
Rob Gibbs

What wonderful suggestions. Not sure that I can handle all that, but thanks for some great ideas.
Doug Baker

Mike what a great slideshow! thanks!
Bill Kinney

Thanks Bill. Glad you enjoyed.

Mike Petryschuk
Michael S. Petryschuk

This thread was discussed between 12/04/2007 and 27/04/2007

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