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Triumph TR6 - Doh! I can't believe I did that

While just reading the No oil pressure thread I was
reminded of one of the many stupid things I have done
while "repairing" my cars and thought it might make a
good thread subject.
Here goes, a few years back after overhauling the oil
pump and reinstalling it I decided to prime the pump
with the electric drill through the dist. hole.
Rigged everything up and squeezed the trigger,
the pump was spining but no oil. I thought the oil must be cold and doesn't want to flow so I sat a heat lamp under the oil pan overnight. Next morning I tried
it again, no oil. I reversed the drill, no oil.
I held that drill on for five solid minutes, no oil.
I got some masking tape and wound the drill trigger
to stay on and left for lunch when I came back,
you guessed it no oil and my drill had burned out.
Now I was pissed, maybe the drill didn't have enough
power so I reached for my router. Now there's some
RPM I thought! If it doesn't suck up the oil then nothing will. Well the torque from the router almost ripped it out of my hands but I held on like the old man and the sea hung onto to his shark, that pump was singing!
But no oil. Finally defeated I dropped the pan dismantled the pump and pick up tube and found that
I had neglected make an opening in the home made gasket
that went between the pick up and pump. I stood there
shaking my head. There's a whole day of my life I'll never get back.Luckily the pump was coated with prelube
so the only real damage was to the drill and my ego.

How about it guys, I hope I'm not the only one to have
done something dumb. Lets hear about it
Christopher Trace

My worst was on my old MGB about 25 years ago. On the drive from Louisville to the plant I was co-oping at there was a LONG uphill grade. The first time I drove it the car sputtered, then stopped at the top. Pushed it over to the Sunoco station. Called a buddy and got a ride back home, got my trusty VW and picked up some parts.

I figured it was a plugged fuel filter (it was), but went ahead and did a tune-up myself while there. New points, condenser, & plugs. The guys at the station were great - no hassle, and they didn't know anything about MG's anyway.

Well, the damn thing wouldn't start. I mean nothing - no hit on a cylinder, nothing. So I gave up and went home, which involved calling a buddy and asking him to come pick me up. I think promises of beer was involved.

Anyway, it dawned on me later that the little plastic piece on the points that I took off was really to insulate the points from ground, and that maybe I shouldn't have taken it off.

Went back to the station the next day, found the plastic piece for the points that I luckily hadn't thrown completely away, put it in, and it fired right up. Had to drive the VW home and get the now grumbling buddy to drive me the 15 miles back, and all was well.

Other than that, the pencil lead in the carb inlet I wrote of 6 months or so ago was the only other big screw-up.


Brent B

Thanks Brent for not let me hang out there by myself.

Because of the engine swap when I did drop the oil pan on the last story I couldn't really drop it. I had about 3 inches for it to drop and I had to work through that opening while working on the oil pump.
Taking it off wasn't so bad but putting it back on
wasn't so easy. I had to wire it up into place through the dist. hole in the block and then bolt it in place.
I then got so caught up learning to use a sneeky pete,
(a home made tool for lineing up a one piece gasket)
that I forgot about the wire I used to hold up the
pump. It was still sitting there in the dist. hole
with no way of pulling it out.
So after swearing myself up and down for a few minutes
decided snip the wire off at the top of the hole and shove the rest of it down into the oil pan low enough so the crankshaft wouldn't catch it and really screw things up. Another six hours life that is gone forever.

Christopher Trace

Intermittent stalling GM 350. New everything.

Stalled only under highload uphill or hard acceleration. Leave for a few minutes and it would start. Don't you hate looking like an idiot blocking traffic?

5 guys 3 are A class mechanics spent a week trying to figure out dropping in with new theorys daily. Changed fuel pump/remade lines/pulled gas tank all to no avail?

Decided to change out the carb. Thats when the idiot me who has replaced the in carb fuel filter in a Rochester at least 100 times discovered he had put it in backwards. Single direction only restricted reverse flow.

That costed me a lot of brews and shots at my ego.

Bill Brayford

Well I guess I had better join the "club".
When doing the restore/reassembly it was time for the windscreen wiper assembly to be put back in. Anyone who has pulled the wheelbox assembly knows that virtually the entire dash needs to be out. So the boxes needed to go back in before the heater and dash and air ducts. So smart me puts them in with the wiper blade shaft facing the front of the car...all cars have them facing forward right? Put the windshield frame back in, heater and ducts installed polished the wiper arms, went to put them on and...well....the air went blue.
Steps 1 to 100 had to be reversed.

I have only one excuse. They where off the tub when I started the restore...does that work?
Rick C

Maybe these little mistakes will stop others from doing the same:)
Rick Crawford

Brent's error is a very common one, even done it myself. When I was a teenager working in the parts department, it was not uncommon for someone to come in on Friday and get all the stuff for a tune up/service for their BL car and then to see them again Monday morning at the service desk after having their car brought in on the hook. You guessed it, they had done the same thing, but hadn't figured it out. A quick look by one of the mechanics and a couple of minutes later the car was running. The dwell and timing would then be checked and adjusted as needed. A bit of embarassment and paying the towing/shop bill (min charge was 1 hr) later, they were on their way.

I got the point the point where I started explaining this to people that I did not recognize when they bought their parts. Even then you would still see the occasional car come in on the hook for this "problem."


Hommer would be proud of me...DOH!
The story is true except that they where first put on facing the windscreen.
Still getting it wrong
A humble Rick C

Well at least I caught my mistake this time:)
Rick Crawford

I bought a Porsche. 'nuff said.
R.C. Blair

Bob- I'll take an early 70's 911

I still have the Porsche (even though the putchase of the car has long been paid off, I'm still paying for this mistake in expensive maintenance costs - it's hard to believe, but a simple engine rebuild can cost more than a decent TR6 - even a water pump and timing belt replacement can be over $1000 in parts and labor).
R.C. Blair

Reply to a post. Twice no less regarding hydraulic lifters clacking. Even explaining how they work.

TRs of course have solid lifters. I knew that. But just continued to row along with both oars out of the water.

No light coming on in my head! Not even glimmering till pointed out.

Stick around folks I should be able to put this thread into triple digits all by myself at the rate I'm going?


Bill Brayford


Water pump on an early 911??


Aaron Greenberg
owner- MB Classic, LLC
Service and REstoration for Vintage Mercedes-Benz Automobiles (and sometimes old Porsches, too)
'67 BGT
'76 TR6

You know...I have enough fuel to carry this thread farther than any of us wanna go....but here's my latest: I built another engine over the winter, and installed it late in February. When we were dropping the block in, apparently the throttle (cross) shaft got bumped and changed the angle of the lever, giving me less than full throttle when the pedal was on the floor. I thought the engine was a little anemic, maybe just needing some tweeking, but the further I went the last two weeks, the worse it got. (the lever was slipping even more!) I have HS6 SU's that I went completely through, replaced the Pertronix Ignitor with points, replaced the distributor, put the Ignitor back in, replaced plugs, cap and rotor, went through the carbs two more times, and last Saturday night, as I was driving along in the TR6, realized the gas pedal had no throw left. Took a half mile to get to 60 mph, and it suddenly came to me! ADJUST THE LINKAGE!!! Sunday AM found me under the hood, loosened the bolt that clamps the lever down, repositioned the pedal, and went for a drive. Scared me to death that it went that fast!!!!! Lotsa power (maybe not like some of you...but good for me...!) and accelerates strong! Happy Ending....and happy moToRing!!!!!!!

Rod Nichols

Didn't early 911's have dual H2o pumps?

Yes, Don, and they were intercooled

Rod Nichols

Early 911s as I think of them did not have waterpumps. The first of the street 911 variants to carry water were the intercooled 930 turbo models in the mid to late 70s, by then the 901 (marketed as the 911) had been out and about for over a decade. Even then the engine was air cooled, the water was purely for the intercooler. I haven't played with any of the late ones, but seem to recall the first 911 to go full water cooling is the 996 model in the 90s.

Just a few days after getting my 6 I was as proud and excited as can be...tinkering left and right..taking lots of stuff apart and cleaning adjusting with the Bentley and Haynes books in hand. After a few days of this and driving everyday I complained to a close mechanic friend that it had a miss and poor power range problem that I can't find...he said leave with him for the day. He called me in half an hour to come and pick up the car,It ran great but he would not tell me what he did just told me I was stupid. I went home car ran great.I went to pop the hood and it opened up only about 1"..he had cable tyed the latch shut haha and the next day told me I had crossed 2 spark plug wires.
DUH ..since that day I have never forgotten 153624
Charlie Ballard

Sorry guys - I never claimed to have a 911. Some of you must infered that from Don's request.

I have a 944. And it definitely does have a water pump. (AND I DON'T WANT TO HEAR NO CRAP ABOUT A 944 NOT BEING A PORSHCHE EITHER!!!!!!!)

Bob (gone to cool off with a beverage! a couple of them!!!!)
R.C. Blair


Does it really take 8 hours to replace the 944's water pump? How unpleasant.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

It depends on your experience and equipment level - but you do have to take off the cam and balance belts and the belt covers to get to it. And the cam belt requires a $500 tool to properly tension it. The last time I had the water pump replaced, cam seals, cam gear, balance shaft bearings, etc. I spend $2600 at a P-car shop. It required too many tools that I didn't own at that time.

Changing the clutch is even more fun - you have to take out the exhaust system, shifting mechanism, disconnect the rear axle shafts, remove the transmission(which is in the back), torque tube, starter, and the infamously-difficult-to-set speed and reference sensors. It's at least a 12 to 16 hour job, maybe a little faster if you have a helper. And don't ever put back in the standard clutch disk with the rubber hub - you'll be replacing it sooner than you would like to think about - use the spring-centered clutch disk from the turbo model. (And if you have to get a 944, get the 300 hp sixteen valve Turbo S model (actually, its, called the 951, but it looks like a 944 N/A (normally aspirated))

The Porsche is the primary reason I bought the 4-post lift for my backyard garage. Of couse, it is also handy for the TR6.

But I can't get back to the TR6 until after I get the 944 off of the lift (still trying to find the time to replace the speed and reference sensors and finish the insulation and drywalling of the garage) This is a classic example of too many projects at once and not enought time for any of them!
R.C. Blair

This thread was discussed between 20/03/2004 and 01/04/2004

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