Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



TR parts and Triumph parts, TR bits, Triumph Car Spares and accessories are available for TR2, TR3, TR3A, TR4, TR4A, TR5, TR6, TR7, TR8, Spitfire and Stag and other TR models are available from British car spares and parts company LBCarCo.

Triumph TR6 - rebuild engine / money grab ??

Good day Triumph enthusiasts !

Need some advice / help please.

I own a 72 tr6 and have noticed that I need to add some engine oil ( 20w / 50 ) every few hundered miles ( maybe about 200 - 300 ml or less ).

I notice a small amount of black smoke when I am warming up the car before driving. I always let the car warm up for about 5 or 10 minutes. After the car is warm and driving I don't notice any black smoke but do smell some fumes. The oil pressure is about 50 when warm and running at 100 - 125 km / per hour.

I have also noticed some small drops of oil under my car after it sits over night. I think this is possibly where I am losing the majority of oil.

The engine runs very strong, smooth and quiet. I called my mechanic and right away he suggested that I need to " rebuild the engine " !! This sounds like a " money grab "?

What is the problem if " top up " the oil when needed ? I do generally check the oil every time I fill up with gas or before a long jouney or if the car is sitting for a long period of time.

Your comments are appreciated

Best regards,


Ira, rebuilding a strong engine seems like a waste of money to me. Black smoke could be overly rich carbs and normal use of the choke at start up. Doesn't sound like you have a bad oil leak maybe some folks here can give you some advice on that...for now you might oughta "keep on keepin' on".

c.a.e. emenhiser

If you smell fumes when you slow down or come to a stop and it smells like fuel / rotten egg type then I'd say it's due to carbs / timing being off. If the engine was burning excess oil you would see it. Have a friend drive behind you for a few miles to see if there is any smoke.These cars all seem to leak oil... mine included and I add about a pint of oil every 400 - 500 miles.

Hi Pete Russell..are you out there ? I sent you and e-mail.
Charlie B.


Did your mechanic give you that recommendation based on you telling him what you told us? Or does he know more about that engine from previous work? Is it a high mileage engine? Has it been rebuilt before? A rebuild could be an option but maybe not a necessity.

To me, if you're not chugging blue smoke and your oil pressure is good and you have only a couple of leaks (don't they all?)and you're not hearing any funny noises from the engine then...probably not much to worry about. But if your mechanic knows more details about the engine then I would ask why he thinks it needs to be rebuilt?....worn bearings, excessive crank end play, low compression, etc...

Good luck

HP Henry Patterson

Hey, Ira. You could be losing oil out the valve cover vent. Bad rings could lead to excessive gases in the crank side which would entrain oil out the vent. Look for evidence of overpressuring - such as oil blowing out around the hold down screws.

It's even worse if you have an alloy valve cover since there is no baffle in most cases. If you do have an alloy cover then make a baffle. A test is to route the valve cover vent to a jar before you take a drive, then see how much oil accumulates in the jar. You might be surprised.

Brent B


I have very solid pressure (runs about 30-35 idle, 70 driving) and did notice very slight oil residue on top of my valve cover (triumphtune alloy), I was wondering how you go about making a baffle..versus buying some of Ricard Good's parts (oil collector and new PCV valve)


Bob Craske

Hi Bob,
I made one for mine out of a bit of metal siding and it works fine..I can send you some pix if you'd like.
e-mail me at tr6bbs@rogersdotcom
Replace the DOT with a .
Charlie B.

You shouldn't be warming your car up, in my humble opinion. Especially if you're running rich. Just drive away, slowly at first if you must.

Ira, get a leakdown test. It will tell you if you are blowing oil out the engine.

I had a similar oil consumption problem and discovered through a leakdown test that oil was getting past the pistons, valves, etc., and getting burned in the engine.
JL Bryan

Thanks for all your great comments and to answer some of your questions;


Maybe my mechanic was a bit fast to say rebuild the engine. He sometimes is a joker. I do recall him telling me that he loves my engine and it's very strong. I have never had any work on it since owning the car ( 3 years ).

Drove the car last night and noticed the following;

When warming up and at slow speeds during traffic there is some black smoke ( not blue ). When the car is moving at a good speed there is very little or no smoke at all. When I speed up very quickly from a stand still( to feel like i'm in a jet plane ) I do see a black puff of smoke. Durning normal driving conditions I do still smell some fumes ( not rotten eggs or gas ).

Maybe the fuel / oil mixture needs to be adjusted ?


There is definitely no oil coming from the valve cover or around the hold down screws.


I thought it was a good idea to warm up the car before driving ? I know I need a warm up in the morning before I start working.


oil pressure when cold and idle @ 80 aprox
oil pressure when warm and idle @ 25-30 "
oil pressure when warm and crusing @ 50-60 aprox

Is this good ???????


Your oil pressure is good at those readings...I would have your shop of choice do it or rent or borrow the stuff you need to do a compression / leakdown test..that will tell you the overall condition of the engine
Charlie B.

Thanks Charlie,

Any idea where to rent this equipment in the g.t.a ?

I am not very mechanically inclined but would like to start learning.


Ira Sounds like you have a pretty good motor! Get the carbs sorted before you do anything else, Black smoke is an easy fix! Blue can mean $$$. but get someone who understands them to look at them first, Also It wouldnt be a Triumph if it didnt leave a little patch of oil overnight.
Clive P

Besides wasting a little precious fuel, warming for 10 or 15 minutes can wash down the cylinder walls and, with your rich condition, carbon up your combustion chambers. A little wait to make sure everything's lubed is not a bad idea, but I wouldn't just let her sit idling while you had another cup of coffee.

Like previous posters, I think it sounds like a carb adjustment (the black smoke).

If it does not leak, check the oil. There probably isn't any in it.


Based on what you've mentioned so far I think leaning out your carb's might be all you need. If it's running too rich (black smoke) then the electrodes of the spark plugs will look all black and sooty. They should look kind of brownish when running properly.

I adjusted my carbs with some help from Charlie B. He gave me a great description on how to adjust the mixture needles. You need a special tool for this so I don't know how much you want to do. If you take it to a mechanic and he doesn't know these carbs then be sure to give him Charlies description. The adjustment is backwards from NA cars. Your local mechanic may not have the tool either if he doesn't work on Triumphs.

HP Henry Patterson

Thanks Henry, Clive, Charlie and Tom .....

I really don't think I want to mess with the carbs myself. I might take the car to my mechanic to deal with ? He did rebuild them last year and the car ran like new, much more power and very smooth.

But if someome knows how to adjust them and can help me first hand I would be great. I am trying to learn to do things myself.

How about a trade off for some seafood ( in the business ) Great weather for a bbq !! L@BSTER TAILS :)

All the best



Your problem sounds similar to something I am having a problem with.

I just rebuilt my 69 engine and it is using about the same amount of oil. I suspect a leak but have not isolated it yet. There is no strong spot that would lead me to be sure about it.

I have thightened around the oil pan and will see if that is the source. As well I have noticed an accumulation of oil around the base of the dip stick tube. (not on the tube). I haven't determined how to fix this yet.

I am also running rich as evidenced by black smoke and plugs and will need to adjust the carbs some more.

If you are near Georgetown Ontario, I can help you a bit but I am a novice as well on the carbs. Still feeling my way but I did all the engine and carb work myself on the rebuild I just finished and other than the rich mix and oil, the engine is running well.

I have a compression tester but don't have any idea on how to do a leakdown test.

I plan on fooling around with the carbs a little more later this month or early September. I don't think I will be doing anything with it this weekend or the 20th and 21st.

Drop me a line at if interested in getting together.


Mike Petryschuk
Michael S. Petryschuk

I check my carbs regularly. It is easy enough and only takes a few minutes after you get the hang of it. One of the things I have figured out is that after I adjust balance at idle I run the engine up to 3000rpm and check them again. After all I do not drive at an idle. The other thing I did was readjust the throttle linkage from the accelerator. I noticed a bit of play at the end of the linkage on the body. I suspect a worn bushing. In anycase I was not getting the full throw. After adjusting I am getting the full throttle again with out excess pressure from my foot. Guess I should replace the time maybe. I run a bit rich all the time and my needles are bottomed out. I remember reading someone suggested readjusting the floats....
S.M. Stephano

Where do you live and who is the mechanic you are taking the car to? We all in Ontario know the TR mechanics.
You sound like a candidate for the TR6 CD. If you live near a TR owner on this BBS he can give you a copy. The CD will teach you how to adjust your carbs and this sounds like what you need to do. Yes a leak down will tell the whole story but you say you are not blowing blue smoke.
"have noticed that I need to add some engine oil ( 20w / 50 ) every few hundered miles " how much is "some"? I would think everyone on this BBS needs to top up the engine oil once in a while. They all leak/mark their spots:)
You are doing the correct thing in wanting to learn to do it yourself. Adjusting the carbs is an education and is a lot of fun. Also you might want to check the oil level of the carb damper...could be low. Then there is adjusting the valves which you are probably in need of. Again not that difficult after the first time.
The source for special tools to do the above work you will not find at crappy tire. There are several TR6 parts suppliers in S Ontario who carry the necessary stuff.
Have fun and let us know where you live to see who gets a lobster dinner (I prefer King Crab myself:)
Rick C
Rick Crawford

If you suspect engine problems, do as the fellas above suggested. Have someone perform a leakdown test for you, not just a compression test, altho this should be done first.
A leakdown tester has two gauges, one measuring the compressed air going in and one measuring the percentage being lost.
It will pinpoint exactly where your losing pressure and how much.
The Eastwood Company ( has them on sale now for around $90
or try this site for more info on testing

Dennis Silance

You can buy a compression tester at any Canadian Tire. If you are in the East end Toronto, let me know and you can borrow mine.

I was burning oil a few years back and had a valve job done on the head. New seats and .001 off the head. Car runs great now but timing is still a bit of an issue.


You out there?
Rick Crawford

Ira--Do you have the external oil feed line (to the rockers) installed? If so, remove it and I wager your oil consumption will drop dramatically. Your valve guides may have excessive clearance and a bit of the extra top end oiling is going out your exhaust. Post up with your results.

Rick O.
72 TR6
Rick Orthen

Me thinks Ira got lost under the bonnet of his 6.
Rick Crawford

Im back. Sorry for the late reply. I was out enjoying my tr !

Thanks guys for all your great points is very much appreciated.

I have ZERO knowledge of mechanics. I have decided to wait until April 2006 and will deal with my mechanic then

I am still enjoying my car to the last few days before old man ugly winter arrives.

I have learned lot's and will have a much better idea when i visit my mechanic.


Ira- Why the wait until spring. If you wait until then there is a good chance you won't have your car back until mid summer.

Good point Don

I guess i'm just scared to spend more cash !! Maybe i'll deal with it in November b4 the snow.



Wish I had your problem! Mine leaks too but as Rick & Henry observed, don't they all? That's what keeps 'em from rusting out underneath - a typically ingenious Brit solution. Anyway, my engine is very tired and takes a litre (quart) every 100 - 150 miles or less and does blow "blue" when stressed. But.... my carbs were really rich and she blew loads of black til I leaned them out, which cured that problem. Your oil pressure sounds too good to have a bad engine. Mine is 70 lb at cold start with 20W50 and only about 15 lb warm & does not ever get above 25 lb max even at highway speeds, less in city driving. I have a spare low-mileage engine so my problem will be rectified over the winter but with your specs I would not be doing a rebuild - look at your carbs, your oil pressure relief valve and your oil filter (see some good threads on the oil pressure relief valve and the correct filter if you have a spin-on adaptor - Fram PH3600 with built-in press relief valve). Good luck!

Bob Evans


car is now in the shop getting a full assessment. stay tuned for more details


You did not answer the question I asked. Who is the mechanic? Does he know LBCs?
I agree, do not wait for spring.
Rick Crawford


It's Joe at J.D Auto.

I belive he's straight up

Good choice.
Rick C
Rick C

Greetings all,

I would like to add my 2 cents re engine rebuilds.
The LBC is a very basic and simple engine, but I realize for anyone who has not pulled one apart of put one together, it is intimidating.

If your motor is blowing blue smoke, there are basically 2 places its coming from. Oil is being splashed around in the bottom area lubbing the crank rods and pistons. If your oil seal rings are shot, then oil is getting up past and being burned, and making blue. A compression test will tell you that. That is a little more difficult for the average O/O to fix. If your valve seals are gone, then the oil that lubes the valve gear is leaking down into the combustion chamber and being burned. Removing the head and having it sent in for work is more in the realm of many shade tree mechanics.

As far as rebuilds go, not all build jobs or mechanics are created equally as Im sure many here will attest to. Some shops will simply pull the pistons, give the cylinders a quick hone with a drill mounted set of stones and throw in a new set of standard pistons and bearings. And this they call a rebuild.

Check out many shops to determine who is going to give you the best job for the money. There is no reason why you cant have different parts of the job done at different locations who specialize. Make a list and ask lots of questions. This is not rocket Science or some black art with hidden mysteries and secrets. If they dont want to talk to you, go somewhere else. Best thing anyone can do is get a copy of Kas Kasner preparation booklet. Although much of it is based on prepping a motor for competion use, it uses the same fundamentals that we all should use when getting a motor done. For that matter, any decent speed shop book on how to rebuild any engine will follow the same basics for any brand.

I do have a little check list I use when doing a motor the help ensure I havent missed anything. Will be happy to pass it on to anyone interested.

ken jackson

This thread was discussed between 05/08/2005 and 04/11/2005

Triumph TR6 index