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Triumph TR6 - Help!


I had a second look at a '73 TR6 that is for sale today and need some advice.

I have not been able to drive the car yet due to the weather. However The engine was idling for about ten minutes and the oil pressure was around 75lbs. Tappet noise was obvious but did not appear to be excessive.
A concern was that as the engine got warmer there was a very obvious blow-by coming from the manifold, possibly due to a leaking exhaust manifold. Any other reason for this?
There did not appear to be any increased crankcase pressure. Could this be due to a head gasket leak?
The over all condition of the car is probably a 3 out of 5. The non negotiable price is C$15,000 which I think is a bit too high for a car in this condition.
Any thoughts?

Neil Peniston

Price sounds high unless the car is in very good shape.


Wait for some other comments from the more knowledgeable members of this site, notably Rick, Steve, Charlie, Don(s), Dan (V-8), etc. (Sorry if I've forgotten anybody and for volunteering your time). Fifteen thou CDN is high for a questionable car. Oil pressure sounds very reassuring @ 75 lbs but you don't give other details. Definitely drive it first and listen for bumps, clunks and grinds. This is the world's best site for getting advice on a TR6 so use the expertise on hand free of charge. The only motive these guys have is promoting the TR6 hobby and helping other owners and prospective owners. What is the body like? Specifically, the seams at the top of the rear fenders where they meet the rear deck, and the lower rockers. Are the floors, rockers and inner sills good? What about the differential mounts? For those bucks you should get a very good car. I paid under ten CDN for a very solid car needing mechanical and cosmetic work but no worries about structural integrity. Look at for a bunch of reasonably priced TR6's and they are next door in British Columbia. Check out the fully restored $21,000 CDN '69 TR6 Len has advertised. Good guy - Len Drake - where I bought my car from the internet with only pics and phone conversations for verification.

Bob Evans

Oil pressure can drop very low when the engine gets warm. Be sure to let it get to operating temp. before evaluating the oil pressure.
HP Henry Patterson

Neil. I would insist upon driving it, and others, before you start dealing. I would also want to put it on a hoist and have a really good look around. This better be one sweet car for that price.
In fact I would even drive out to Drakes in Kelowna and have a look at what they have, just to benchmark. Grab your clubs, some of the courses are open already, not to mention everything else the Okanagan has to offer. I agree with Bob, Len is a good guy and having a look at what he has might help put things in a different perspective. I'm in Calgary but mine won't be out of storage for a couple of weeks or you could have a look and a drive as something to compare to.

Sid Turner


Ditto Henry's oil pressure comment. Don't put any faith into the 75PSI until you get about 20 miles down the road. I'd put more of a concern on rust/frame/body vs. mechanical.

The deal you're looking into sounds a bit pricy for being so questionable.

Don from Jersey
D Hasara

You have gotten some good advice already. Can't speak to prices in your area, but there seems to be agreement from other Canadians that the price is too high. Unless you have a reasonable familiarity with these cars, it is best to bring along someone who does or go have it checked out by someone who works on these cars on a regular basis. There are lots of things to look for.

Bob has told mentioned several of the common problem areas, I would also add the rear frame members where the trailing arms mount and the front suspension mounts on the frame to the list from a structural standpoint. I would also look for wrinkling along the front frame rails.

You have got to drive it. Any clunks from the rear under acceleration? How does it shift, what about the brakes, do they feel good, is the fluid in the reservoir full of particulate?

As for the oil pressure, ten minutes at idle is not enough of a test to tell. On the leak, it could be anything from a bad gasket to a warped or cracked manifold. How is the compression, are the valve adjustments right, any of them too tight?

What about records? What has been done to the car and when, can the seller back up the claims? If serviced by a shop, what does the shop have to say about the car?

100% good advice.
I must ditto the oil pressure. Mine (last year) started at 75LBS then about 20 minutes of driving and down to 25LBS. Bottom line...idling tells squat. My engine went back in yesterday after a rebuild.
Tappets (rockers) do make a little noise on TR6s so this is normal...within reason. You can only determine if valves are adjusted properly by measuring valve adjustment when engine is stone cold.
A wet and dry compression test will give you more info on the engine condition. If you can talk the current owner into this. The exhaust leak...Steve says it.
Also Bob E. gives good points on the structural side of the coin.
A test drive is a must.
It would be good to have a TR guy look it over.
Finally, $15, better be in immaculate condition with proof of a body off restoration and a complete engine job. Unless he is the original owner and the car has low mileage and has been garaged every winter.
Steve Ps last comment says it all.

Good hunting Neil. Do not get discouraged by comments. This could be the TR for you. As you can appreciate, you are buying a 35 year old car and you WILL have to do work on it. All you need to know is what that work is and does it come off the selling price.
From the TR guys out West, I would say a call to Drakes is in order.
Rick C
Rick Crawford


Now you've got good advice. By all means drive it! My situation was a little different. It was too far to go to go see the car and there aren't any TR6's around here for sale. I bought the car over the internet but had feedback from a buddy who bought a car from Len and I was over and had a look at his. He got everything he expected from Len and was even more pleasantly surprised when the car arrived here, as I was when mine arrived. Not every seller is as honest as Len so you should beware. Fifteen thou is quite high. You can get a good west coast US car from Len for under $10M and that's a fair price. You can fix anything mechanical but if the rust worms are in the car you've got a problem. happy hunting.

Bob Evans

This thread was discussed between 09/04/2005 and 10/04/2005

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