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 TR6 - Cleaning the engine bay

Hi there! I'm a quite new owner of a 70' TR6, and I have been following this board with big interest for some time now, it's a great source of information!

At the moment I am thinking about how to prepare for spring, and that involves a good cleaning of the engine bay... I really have no idea when it has been done the last time on my car, 2, 5, 10, 30 years, I have no idea, but it needs it!

So how do you guys go about doing it? Are there any particular things you need to watch out for? (except for the obviuos; protect dizzy, alternator, coil, fusebox etc).

First some sort of "engine cleaner" (what??), then a hose and dry it up with a clothe?

What do you use on the valve cover, carbs, inlet mainfold etc to get them looking good? Silicone for the hoses? Air duct & water, is it a good idea? How do you get a finish on the the air duct?

Lots of questions, I know, but I would really appreciate all help and tips!


Mat that you are not a lerker anymore:) Join this forum and you have access to the ARCHIVES. You do NOT see it now on your screen across the top. Where you first found this WEB site there should be a link to "join"...been so long I have forgotten. Then, "bookmark" the page that lists the threads (the one where you posted this thread) for TR6 not the page with the other marques.
First your engine bay clean or has it been sprayed with ugly black tar? If it has been rust-proofed black, well not much you can do with that unless you remove body from frame. Protect the electricals and air intake ( remove the air cleaner assembly and filters..tape over carb air intake..see below for cleaning) then with a good engine bay degreaser, spray her down. Let it sit then pressure wash off. Then with an air hose blow the engine bay out. You mention the valve cover and the air you mean the carb cover. Some '70s had chrome valve covers. Is your valve cover chrome or the grey? Is the carb cover grey? If both grey paint then remove both and sand down a bit and spray paint with high heat paint. You may as well replace the valve cover gasket at this point...probable leaks anyway. If your valve cover is chrome, well how bad is it..rechrome or a good chrome polishing?
If you are talking the rad. air deflector then either replace or wash let dry and apply some wax and polish it. With air cleaners off get that old tooth brush out and go to it. Use small amount of water to rinse carbs off. A nice detail touch is to remove the top cover assembly and take it to the pollishing wheel. If the top cover has the original decals on them either protect them or you can buy these new. If you have the brass ID tags on the carbs, polish them. Remember the screws on the top cover are posidrive not philips so be carefull. You can remove the diaphram, hold it up to a strong light and look for pin holes or tears. Reasemble and check for correct damper amount of fluid. (the brass tags are marked Left and Right).
Intake manifold: The only REAL way of making this look nice is to remove it and spray with high heat paint. This involves a lot of work.
Hoses: Well, as you are cleaning with degreaser get the tooth brush out again. I assume you have the original green hoses. When TOTALLY dry spray with silicone.

Mat, I have basically scratched the surface. I will not get into the detail I do in prep. for a car show. There is so much you can do to clean things up...just let your imagination go wild. There are many parts that can be removed and spray painted. Again, a lot more time and effort. It just depends how far you want to go.
For polishing anything metal under the bonnet, there is only one product I use and stronly endorse. AUTOSOL. It will make a replaced nut, bolt, flat washer, and lock washer (not OE nuts and bolts) look like they are chrome. Be prepared for very black fingers:). Take note I said NOT OE nuts and bolts.
If your engine bay is not rustproofed then get the 3 stage polish out and go to it. This will take a long time but will be easier next spring.

Mat, this is all nice to make our cars look good. The most important thing is to make sure it is safe to drive. This is much more important than making the engine bay perty. You do not say if the car has been through a restoration or not. This subject is a whole other ball game.
Finally, For Henrys' sake, what is your commission number and build month? are you a '70 or'71?
Have fun and again welcome.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Thanks Rick for yor comments!

I'll star from the end; my commission number is CC56292L, built in july '70 according to its "birth certificate".

It should be perfectly safe to drive (or I quess it depends on the driver....), suspension & driveline has been checked (new u-joints, shocks, tube conversion etc).

Thanks for the tips on the engine bay, actually, what I want to do is have a "presentabel" driver, not a show car. And the engine bay is NOT very presentble at the moment in my opinion (and thats the opinion that counts in this case :))

My valve cover is grey, I have twin SU's wirh ugly foam air cleaners (my reward when the engine bay is otherwise clean & nice will be a pair of K&N's)..

It was the radiator air deflector I was referring to, how to get it not looking like a pice of 30 year old cardboard. I quess you'll need a time machine for that...

And one more thing, as I have been following this BBS, it seems that you guys don't use the european/UK suppliers very much. I can understand that, but I really would recommend, among others, the Moss UK website (, and from there the downloadable pdf's. They really are quite a bit more than just parts catalogues.

Oh, and one more thing. My engine bay is black... It seems to me to be just black paint, but maybe it is some kind of rust proofing, I don't know. What can you do to get it look at least a little bit better? Wash-rub-polish-wax???


So you have a '70 TR6
If you look at another current thread "TR6 Paint" you will see that the '70 and'71 model years tended to blend together. Do you know if your car has had a "semi" restore? I would not say full body off as the engine bay is painted black...someones attempt to clean it up? Does the black look brushed on? If it is rust proofing it will be more sticky and can be scratched with a finger nail. There are past threads on removing the rust proofing but with dangerious/flamable chemicals. Not sure I would want to attempt this with the body still on the frame. There really is nothing that can be done about it. If it is a dull black well polishing will just make it a dull black. Unfortunately this stands out like a sore thumb. Because of age the whole area is "dull". So you need to do other things that take the eye away from that and onto your "detailing" For example: I mentioned nuts and bolts. You would be surprised how much of a difference that would make if they where (as many as you can get at and that is a whole bunch) replaced with buffed new ones. This is NOT expensive. The 2 stay rods attached to the wheel arches..remove them. Remove the bracket holding the coil. Remove the dip stick. remove the bonnet latch assembly. The bonnet stay rod. Remove the rods and bracket holding the battery. Go buy yourself (even at Walmart) a can of chrome spray paint..$7.00? spray them all and reassemble.

"My valve cover is grey, I have twin SU's wirh ugly foam air cleaners "

Ok so remove the valve cover and spray paint it(silver not chrome). Do not spray paint the oil fill cap..take it to the polishing wheel.
Cost so far...$14.00 paint and say $70.00 for nuts, bolts, flat washers, and lock washers. 1 tube AUTOSOL $10.00? Finally, your time.

You have SUs not ZS carbs. SUs are not OE but no big deal. Not very familiar with SUs but I am sure top can come off and be polished. I know for sure you can buy a chrome cover for them.

The rad air deflector. Simply..replace it with a new one (yes it is available brand new). OR, never tried this, remove and spray with a semi-gloss black paint. Since the shroud is out of the way, mask off the rad top and spray with high-gloss black spray paint. Again. not the cap though. Since you are there remove the overflow bottle cap and spray it gloss-black.

Your biggest expense is going to be the K&N filters. I have the 3" K&Ns. They fit with ZS carbs. I am not sure if they fit (do not hit wheel arch) with ZS carbs. Only another ZS carb guy can tell you that.

Mat, all this has not been expensive but definitely requires some of your time. You said it.."NOT very presentble" This stuff I suggest will take the eye to the detail not the black. This WILL make it presentable.

"It should be perfectly safe to drive". Should??? That, my friend, is a VERY scary word. There is nobody on this BBS that would disagree with me that safety comes WAY before appearance!
New UJs does not make a safe car. Mat, please do not take me wrong. I do not wish to take any wind out of your sails. I know the feeling of owning and driving a TR6. You will NOT drive it like your grandmother would! If I stopped short and only talked to you about making your new pride and joy "perty", then I should get off this BBS. THE most important thing in any thread on this BBS is making our cars safer to drive. I said safer not safe. Our little toys CAN be made to be safer to drive. Mat, you have a 35 year old car! I do not know where to begin on issues that are know to be "dangeriously deadly" in our cars. The great news is that they are ALL correctable. One example of safety improvement is a switch to poly bushings through out the suspension. Expensive yes but who has more or your TR6?
I am not out to scare you Mat. Remember there is the DPO who did not take care of his 6 or address the safety issues.
Last year I had to lock up the brakes 3 times on seperate occasions to avoid hitting or being hit by some other stupid driver!!! I know my brakes are 100%.

Mat, I am not saying you are not aware of safety. In no way am I pointing a finger at you and please do not take it that way. Being a new owner of a TR6 you DO need to be aware of these issues though. Maybe it is just time to talk about safety a little louder for all to keep in mind as we dream about this summers driving fun.

OK I will jump off the soap box now.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

This thread was discussed between 02/03/2005 and 03/03/2005

Triumph TR6 index