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Triumph TR6 - Rear shock replacement

I have a 70 TR6 with 58M miles and it has decided to take a "lean" over the winter. The shocks are original, and I refilled the oil last fall, but it looks like the LR shock has given out even though there is no oil leakage. I have replaced the shocks on a 68MGB which I wanted to keep original, but in the TR6 I am more interested in performance and driveability. What is the preferred replacement shocks for the TR6. I have seen the SPAX conversion kits, but is there a better one out there? Thanks!
Bill Kinney

By the way, I have signed up for membership, at least I thought I filled out the form but it comes up as non-member?
Bill Kinney

Bill, I am a member but I am not logged in now. You maybe having the same problem that I have. If you are running a firewall ( ZoneAlarm), you may have to deactivate it until you get logged in. Apparently the server is set up such that it will not let you log in from behind a firewall. Once you are logged in you can again activate your firewall. As far as the shock conversion, sorry I can't help much there, as I am still running the original rear shocks.
Arnold Newton

Bill-If the car is leaning,I would think the culprit would probably be sagging rear springs, trailing arm bushings, or even a broken trailing arm mount. Sounds like the original shocks are defintely ready for replacement, maybe with a proper burial ceremony.

I agree with Berry - you can take a shock completely off and it won't make the car lean. Time for a good check-out.

I opted for a set of "heavy duty" rebuilt lever shocks from Apple Hydraulics. They work very well!

Brent B

Hi Bill
I agree with Berry... a sad shock won't stop the bouncing when you push down on the fender a couple of times and a sad spring or something broken will let the car sag on that side. My guess is a tired spring.

As for the BBS ...after you sign in it takes you to the 'RED' homepage where it welcomes you by your click on the BBS link on the left side and then pick your car which is TR6 in this case now that opens up the BBS thread page where we read and comment now click on FAVORITES and ADD TO FAVORITES..
If you go to your favorites folder and right click and send to desktop in future all you have to do is click on it and it take you to the threads and you are always logged in
Charlie Ballard

Time to check springs, trailing arm bushings, brackets and (rare, but possible) the upper spring pan. Like Brent, I also have the heavy duty rebuilds from Apple. They do work rather well.

Hi Bill from Lebanon
I agree with everything said above. Two years I went through the whole rear end. I had cracked differential mounts - have you checked yours yet? Now rear wheels are straight up and down. Glad to see that silly squat gone.
Dick Porter

Dick - I hadn't thought of the broken diff. mount. Was one collapsed? How does that pull/push to effect a lean?
Brent B

Hi Bill
If you decide to replace the original shockers with tubular ones make sure you buy a kit that utilises the chassis mounted brackets and not one that mounts on the wheel arch as these eventually cause cracking of the thin wheel arch metal.
I also agree with the previous posters, if the car is leaning the problem is not the shock absorbers.
R. Algie

Ron, and all,
Just to interject a note here, and not that I am a fan of any of the shock conversions, but it is a myth that the shock conversion you refer to as the "wheel arch" variety is supported by the actual wheel arch.
The "brackets" of the "system" transfer the forces of the shock load to exactly the same shock "mounts" as the original lever shock.
None of the "load" is carried by the sheet metal, the bracket-mounted on either side of the arch-transfer all of the loading through the intersecting metal, and to the shock mount on the frame.
Again, as said before, I care not to cnovert to any of the offerings of shock conversions out there, just want to dispell a common misconception regarding the "wheel arch" variety conversion.

My opinion on any of the conversions, with the exception of the "coil over" variety, is that none of them transmit the forces close to the "plane" of the shock mount, and therefore introduce some twist to the frame elements at the mount, and as some have pointed out, can cause cracks to develop there.
The coil over type does not use the mounting location, and does not cause damage to the crossmember at the original shock mount. But in general, the entire frame is not the most sturdy frame there is, and therefore requires a lot of thought, before putting additional "forces" where they can cause more problems than they eliminate.

Whatever type of modification is made to improve the handling,(rear shocks, or any other for that matter), should always be undertaken with as "much" information as you can find, including other owners experiences.


Mark Riddle


There are indeed some rear shock conversion kits that are to the wheel arch sheet metal only. The ones that Ron cautions on are two piece per side kits plus shock. The "outer" piece and the "inner" piece sandwich the wheel arch sheet metal. The shock is then run from the trailing arm up to the "outer' piece. That's it, nothing more to it and all load is transfered in shear to the wheel arch by the bolts on the sandwich plate. I just happen to have a set of these that came with my car. They were offered up as an "extra" when I purchased it. I kindly thanked them and went on my merry way, knowing that as long as I had them at least one more TR6's wheel archs were safe.

The ones that you reference are the three piece per side plus shock, i.e. 1) shock to external wheel arch, 2) inner wheel arch to boot floor and then 3) underside of boot floor to chassis mount. The load path is convoluted to say the least, but at least the sheet metal is not asked to do yeomans duty and take the entire load.

The only rear conversion that I have seen that I am interested in is the one from Revington TR. It is a rear coil over set up to be used in conjunction with their adjustable, top mounted rear anti-roll bar. Well thought out and ultra trick looking set up. There are two things in the way of me doing that anytime soon. First, it is major work and not something that I want to do at this time in light of the other things I have going. Second we are talking about parting with some serious brass. I haven't priced it at the current exchange rate, but seem to recall it was in the neighborhood of about $800~900 when the exchange rate was favorable.

Get a Pro to look at the car on a wheel lift not frame lift!

If the car is stored on an uneven floor give it a few bounces. May be all you need. Or a bit of a drive. Whole frame is 16 gauge boxed and will torque over time sitting uneven. Yes the whole car will sag over to equalise weight if not moved time to time as I suggested in other posts.

I know your a bit south but I just looked at a frame from Kentucky. And for the boys looking at mine same rot same places. Body sills floorboards and prop shaft are holding up most TR rear ends on the road in my opinion?

SteveP dismantling they told me prop shaft required a lot of force to get out? No visable frame damage. When I went to look did the measure on that frame and came up short as well over an inch? Did have a 3/8 difference push out on the passengers side and about 1/4 differance at front X measure. Again passenger torque side. Most interesting?

Mark as far as the shocks go and lots of playing with the frame 3/16 boxing will still move impact to inner wheel wells. If you notice original design was to create push inside of frame perimeter pushing in and down. That design has proven to be not bad junk if all the tin is in good shape. Moss and other outboards straight up force are asking for trouble in my opinion. That original shock mount is a 1/4 plate welded to 16 gauge formed channel flimsey as hell plus you lose the mass of the original shock and force plane as you mention..

Trying to fix and redesign mine after 30+ years of time. Frame was designed to flex. If I change it or beef up in any area I risk damage in others. Quite a puzzle.

Bill Brayford

Hi Mark
There are three different rear conversions available in this country;
First type mounts to the inner wheel arch and is a no no due to well documented damage it does.
The second is probably the best compromise, it uses a bracket from the original lever arm mounting and the bump stop.
The third is the more complicated version described by SteveP above, this is probably the best but can give problems fitting if the chassis to body alignment isn't good.
All three are available with Spax, Koni or Gaz shock absorbers.
I was actually quite surprised to find someone who doesn't like the rear tubular conversion because most people who have done it think it is the single best improvement you can make to a TR6's handling.
R. Algie

I haven't done the conversion, but I doubt it would improve the handling of my car much. It originally didn't start out as an "improvement", just a way to use a pair of $20 shocks instead of $200 lever arms.
Brent B

Hi Brent
Don't knock it till you've tried it!! anyway are all the roads in the USA not dead straight so you don't need them anyway
R. Algie

I agree with Ron Algie on this topic, have done the conversion with very strong steel plate using original mounting points of the old lever shocks; on my irs TR4a.

I have done many other things to the suspension too, so cannot say how much improvement is due to this change, but I do like Spax adjustable gas shocks with this conversion. The softer KYB shocks I got at first were too soft for my "fast road" springs.

But definitely, its the springs that hold up the car, and of course, the air in the tyres, but I'm sure you checked a low tyre wasn't causing the lean?


Simon Rasmussen

This thread was discussed between 06/02/2004 and 11/02/2004

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