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Triumph TR6 - Getting ready to start-up...

It has been a busy time lately - suspension done, new exhaust done, manifolds back on, new water hoses, carb rebuild in progress... I am starting to think about getting the engine going again after 6 months, and thought I would ask for some advice.

I have no water in the engine at the moment (well, as close to no water as I could manage). I poked the crud out of the drain plug above the starter (it was totally blocked before I attacked it with a coat hanger - probably not a good sign), and got a good flow out of it eventually. I then put on new water and heater hoses. I will be doing some carb tuning when I get them back on the car, and as I understand it, I need to get the engine warmed up for that. I expect quite a bit of cranking before it even fires up. If I just put water in at the top of the radiator am I getting any water in to the block? Does it matter? Should I take off the thermostat (new about 20 miles (and 9 months!) ago) and pour water in there as well?

As for fuel, I replaced the hoses and filter, so I reckon I have air pockets in the line at the moment (with a clamp close to the carb feed line). I assume that when I hook up the carbs the fuel will flow into the float chambers okay - they are vented after all. Should I use the little lever on the pump to prime the line first?

I didn't change my oil and filter before the winter, so that is on my to-do list. I was planning to do it before starting up, but I remember reading somewhere that I should drain the oil warm. Any idea which is best?

Thanks as always.


If you pour water (although I would recommend a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water if this is a going to be it for the season) in the rad opening, the block will fill through the bottom hose and the level in the engine will be the same level in your rad. Fill until the rad is full. There is no need to fill through the thermostat housing.

I would prime the carbs with the lever on the fuel pump if only to save cranking time. If you do that you may be surprised how fast it may start. After a winter season mine starts up after 2-3 cranks. Air in the lines will be purged out.

If you didn't put oil in the combustion chambers you may want to put a couple of squirts in before cranking. Helps reduce wear until the oil gets pumped up there. Take out the plugs an put some in.

I wouldn't hesitate to run it then change the oil.

Mike Petryschuk
69 TR6
Georgetown ON
Michael S. Petryschuk

If I may add to Mike's good comments... When you pull the plugs to squirt a few drops of oil in the cylinders you can crank the engine for a few secs..this will spread the oil you just squirted in and pump fuel to the carbs..It will turn over faster due to the plugs being out. Fill the rad till full,
put the plugs back in..choke out ..pedal down half way and away you go...she should start up assuming all is well in Triumph land. Check your oil pressure gauge to make sure you have pressure! and watch the temp gauge as the car warms up
When running open the heater control on the dash to make sure the coolant circulates through the heater...let the car run till operating temp as the level in the rad may burp and drop once or twice as the coolant travels through the'll add coolant slowly till it won't take any more..leave the rad cap off till your sure it's full.

Good Luck

Charlie B.

Thanks for the advice. I will heed all of it! I have only had a few projects going on and I am nervous about starting up - I don't know how you frame off restorers handle starting up after the car has been totally taken apart!


It is real simple. Just turn the key. Do not worry ...every thing will be fine. Keep an eye on the oil pressure gauge and make sure it starts to climb.

Enjoy it lad.
Rick Crawford

Alistair, I had some of your same concerns.I filled the rad let it set for several mins. and did this till the level did not drop. As Rick C. says, just turn the key and do not worry it will be fine.
Enjoy the sound.
Joe S.

This thread was discussed between 18/04/2007 and 19/04/2007

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