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Triumph TR6 - Everything is good!

After about 4 months of having my 71 TR6, everything is good. Thanks to everyone here, the electrics are working (except for a couple of missing bulbs behind the dash), the carbs are balanced and the mixture is good. It runs so nice right now, I hope I am not jinxing myself!

Next projects: the pressboard on the back of the driver's seat is in horrible shape, is off, and I plan to take the material off and cut a new board, and replace it. The foam is shot, but for now, I can live with it. Certainly not an urgent project. I fear that the valves need some serious work as I am still burning too much oil. The compression is around 120 in all cylinders, which I gather isn't too bad, but the oil consumption is high. I think that means new valve guides, which is not a task I believe I am up to at this point.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to find a local guy who can do it competently and any ideas as to what it should cost? Thanks, John.
JL Bryan

A quick question on the oil consumption - do you have a stock or big aluminum valve cover? Where does the breather vent "go"?

If you want to pay big bucks for a valve job, drive the car to an Imports Shop and say "Gimme a valve job". But, if you pull the head yourself and buy the guides & springs you want, most plain Jane "automotive machine shops" will do it for under $200. At least where I live. Then you pick it up and put it back on. You buy gaskets, and now you own a torque wrench!

I am very biased to Goodparts for valve train accesories. Have the shop tell you if you need new valves or seats for the exhaust valves. You might even consider a head skim to get the compression ratio up; it may already be around 8.5:1 for a '71 (don't feel like looking it up right now).

While the head's out you'll probably look at the rocker shaft under the rockers and see big gouges in it. Then what are you prepared to do?

I could go on, but if you want to bring the engine up to snuff count on some time and some $$, but nowhere near as much as if you drop the car off. You provide most of the grunt labor, see the insides of your engine while saving money, and realize how easy it really is to work on a TR6. And you get honorary membership in the dirty fingernail club.

Brent B

John when you go down the road when you shift have someone follow you to watch or startup the engine 10 minutes after a hot run do you get "blue smoke" ?

Think you mentioned plugs were nice brown grey?

The older cars did require oil top ups when new. Thats why every corner garage checked your oil when you stopped for gas..:)
Bill Brayford

I'm not too familiar with the TR6, but if your head is made of cast iron, you will want to have them bore the head around the exhaust valves and have the shop put in new seat inserts to let you run without any problems of valve seat recession you can get if you still only have the original cast iron head.

I had my TR3A done 35,000 miles ago and I've never had to re-gap the valve clearances since. During the 43,000 miles before that, I ran my cast iron head on lead-free gas and the seat recession was OK for about 30,000 miles then I had to re-gap all the exhaust valves by about 0.008" every 3,000 miles because the head and the valves were burning thinner because I was running on un-leaded petrol (as they say in jolly olde ....). When I took it into the shop he wanted new exhaust valves for the un-leaded as well as new intake valves. Most were razor sharp all around from the recession because of the lead-free gas.

I took my head to an auto engine re-build shop after discussing it all with him. He supplied the inserts because his tooling to bore the head was the right diameter for the inserts he had in stock. This way he was able to make sure the interference fit of the diameter would ensure that the inserts stay up in the head where they should be. One thing you don't want to happen to your TR6 is to have one of these inserts come loose and fall down and smash the head and the valve all arount that zone where the insert becomes like a loose collar. It has happened !!!

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Had I known what I know now, I would have got an exchange head from TRF - bronze guides, hardened seats, ready to go. By the time I had bought all the parts and had the work done, not only did it cost more, it took time, where with an exchange head you can switch them in a day, return old head at your leisure and have your car back up in a heartbeat. Peter.
Peter Gooch


wasn't the freight a killer on that head?

Jim Deatsch

Jim, it may have been, but I did'nt get it from TRF. I'm embarrassed to say what it cost me here. The freight from Australia would have been cheaper. Depends where you live. Was just a suggestion to look into. 'Costs' are variable - not just money, but time w/o ones car. One of the costs of living here is shipping, the price of paradise, Ha! Peter
Peter Gooch

This thread was discussed between 05/11/2003 and 11/11/2003

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