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Triumph TR6 - This last weekend's questions from a newbie!

Every time I play under the hood, I find new wonders! This weekend, the rear taillight assemblies came apart, as the brake light works, but not the rear lamp or side markers--cleaned everything up, put it back together, and it still didn't work. So, I know that is in the wiring or headlight switch (my guess!).

Then I decided to look at my choke. The robber baron local british car guy, who won't get to see my car again, did a bunch of stuff for me when I first got it, including adjust carbs, timing, etc. One of the choke cables was cut and not attached, which he told me didn't matter since everything is linked together--I got the new cable and decided to check to make sure the choke wasn't sticking or something because it runs too rich and seems to get lower than expected gas mileage.

Two things immediately showed up-#1, one of the 2 gaskets between the air filter and the carbs was totally missing and #2, the linkage between the 2 carbs was set so that I was basically just running on the front carb. The rear carb didn't move when I increased the RPMs until I got up; to around 3,000 or so, and then only slightly; but after I fixed it, they both work together again and appear to be balanced from the movement, sound and air flow. It wasn't a question of the bolt having worked loose as it was quite tight. That was a quick fix and I put the air filters back on with just the one gasket until I can order the new ones. Not surprisingly,it runs really nice again.

Also, and I know Jim will tell me I shouldn't have, I hooked the vacuum retard back up from the rear carb to the distributor.

What effect would those 2 issues (missing gasket and screwed up linkaage) have Would it contribute to the low gas mileage? ( I guess that will be easy to determine over the next few weeks). And how can any reasonably honest human being who works on Brit cars put something back together so wrong?

Thanks, John.
JL Bryan

"but not the rear lamp or side markers--cleaned everything up, put it back together, and it still didn't work. So, I know that is in the wiring or headlight switch (my guess!)"


Go to and download the wiring diagram for your year. Read the note at the top of the page, and then click on the electrical button.

You'll see that the parking lights, tail lights, license plate lights, marker lights, and gauge lights all get power from the same fuse. If ANY one of these items works, then everything up to and including the fuse if OK, including the headlight switch. All of these items are fed by red wires. Using the wiring diagram as a guide, trace out the red wires, looking for bad connections.

It's also possible that you have bad gorund connections on the items that don't work, so check these as well. The rear lights on a TR6 are notorious for bad ground connections. If you have power on the red wires at these lights, then you have a ground problem. If not, then you have a wiring problem.
Dan Masters

Flipped on the lights at mom's recently and only had headlights. Went back inside, brought up the wiring diagram mentioned by Dan. This told be to remove the fuse, clean it, put it back, flip on the lights and drive home. Thanks Dan!
D Hasara

Thanks, Dan. The headlights do work, and the gauge lights work intermittently. With the gauge light dimmer control on, the gauge lights work, but only when the brake pedal is depressed; I'm guessing that means there is a short, although I haven't checked to see if pressing the brake makes the tail lights or markers work. Interestingly, the lights that don't work are tail, rear marker, license plate, front parking and marker lights. Basically everything coming off that fuse except the gauge lights! It may not be tonight, but I will dutifully try to trace all the red wires coming off that fuse! John.
JL Bryan


The first thing to do is look at the lamp wiring in the trunk. Look for a green/purple wire erroneously connected to a red wire.
Dan Masters

To put in my .50 cents (US) worth of abuse on John:

75% of electrical issues are ground related (I'd wager Dan will agree with that) ESPECIALLY when one is speaking of the southbound end of our cars.

John. Clean, clean, clean. Make a jumper wire with an alligator (you know that critter, right?) clip on each end.

It makes a GREAT troubleshooting tool.

Oh, and by the way, remember, 70% of all electrical problems are carburetion related, or is it the other way around?

You're doing DANDY John. I remember when you were hesitant to lift the bonnet. Remember? Pretty soon we'll be asking YOU how to fix things. You done good buddy.

Jim (insert huge grin here)

Jim Deatsch

Second edition,


You push the brake pedal and the dash lights come on?

I wouldn't think it's a 'short'. Rather a feedback via ground.

There's that pesky ground issue again.

Jim (purveyor of all that is groundless)
Jim Deatsch

"75% of electrical issues are ground related (I'd wager Dan will agree with that) ESPECIALLY when one is speaking of the southbound end of our cars."

For a good fix for the ground problems at the rear of these cars, see Nelson Riedel's "how-to" at:
Dan Masters

Dan, and Zen Master Jim, it is fixed, at least for tonight. I took all the leads off the fuse box, cleaned everything with a wire brush on my Dremmel tool, slathered a healthy coat of DG on all the connections, and it worked! I have tail lights, parking lights and marker lights now! We are having a bit of a rainy spell here, so I didn't drive the car tonight, but it appears that the gauge lights are working independently of the brake lights! Life is good! I still haven't figured out what to do about the British car mechanic who charged me an arm and a leg and then put my air filters back on without the right gaskets AND failed to set the carb linkage right.

And to think, just 3 or 4 months ago, I didn't even know what any of that stuff under the front hoody thing is. Now I know to pop the bonnet and actually fix some things! Oddly enough, it is very relaxing and satisfying to do this.

Thanks a lot, Dan. John.
JL Bryan

Yes Grasshopper John, you're now in with the Zen crowd. I half joke that I originally bought my TR6 as therapy. It's cheaper than a shrink and it has the added benefit of not showing up on your permanent record. Nothing like a good wrench turning session after a stress filled day.

I must agree with Steve (member that he is <G>)...

In the front of a book entitled "How to Keep Your Volkswagon Alive" "A manual of step by step instructions for the complete idiot" the author decries...

(I'm paraphrasing here)

"When things get hairy, when you're frustrated, sit down, grab a cold one and fondle your favorite (14mm) wrench. Rub it, feel the smooth chrome, you will become one with the machine".

Pretty good advice I think.

Now, about that cold one.

Oh, and John? Good job buddy! VERY well done working under that hood thingy!

Jim Deatsch


I completed the socket fix a few weeks ago. I don't think my wife believed me when I told her the car actually is supposed to have TWO functioning brake lights! Of all the sockets, the backup lights were in the worst condition - probably due to the PO's not caring whether they worked or not since they're not required to pass inspection. It took about 45 minutes to complete all six sockets (side markers were fine). It's nice to have reliable rear lights.

Buckeye has some good tips!

Don from NJ
D Hasara

We're not going to have the discussion of my adventure this spring when I worked for hours to go over all my lights, got them all working nicely, installed superlights in the headlights (with relays of course), drove to the local inspection store and the



Jim (honk)
Jim Deatsch


When I got my six, the horns sounded like there was a cat in heat under the hood.

D Hasara

Do Tr6's have horns?

Doug Campbell

Yep Doug, the American versions do.

The Canadian version comes with a goose. <G>

Jim (has two lovely hooters)
Jim Deatsch

Doug, even I know where the horn is! Not that it works all the time, but I know where it is. Actually, I think it does work all the time since I cleaned all of its connections a short while ago.

I'm actually surprised the car ran as well as it did with just the one carb working correctly. It is much better now. Does anyone know what that little problem would have been doing to my gas mileage? Thanks, John.
JL Bryan

Is that why I get a good feeling every time I press that button in the center of my steering wheel?

Doug Campbell


Not THAT kind of goose. Jeesh man, this is a FAMILY site. <G>

Just going to toss out an idea here. Since it was running only on 'one carb' is it possible you had to push down further on the loud pedal to get it to go so you drank more fuel?

Course, the opposite is, with that air leak I assume you had it must have been running quite lean.

Hard to say Bud, but you're fixxing it, that's the main thing.

I just realized that every single motorized device I own is a 6 cylinder.

Jim (running on both most of the time, certainly on all 6)

Jim Deatsch

One thing at a time, one thing at a time. Thinking about it, I don't see that the lack of a gasket between the air filter and the carb would affect much of anything-it's just getting unclean air, much like those savoir faire folks in California. But yes, I do suspect the one carb deal might have been a major contributor to the high fuel consumption. And, I have another question for Dan, that I will post seperately, as I doubt he would read this far down. John.
JL Bryan

This thread was discussed between 20/10/2003 and 22/10/2003

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