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Triumph TR6 - TR6 Sabotage

I had a problem with my 74 1/2 TR6 which stumped a very experienced Triumph mechanic. If you experience these symptoms this post may spare you from the nightmare I went through. I could hardly ask for my TR6 to run better on city streets but on the interstate after a few miles the engine would shut down just like it ran out of gas. After sitting for a few minutes it would start easily and idle perfectly but would shut down again in a mile or less. I took it to a local British car dealer that has been selling these cars since they were new. The mechanic got the car running better than ever at idle and between stop lights but after two weeks in their garage and three attempts to get it home on the interstate with the same "out of gas" result, he gave up. His advice was to drive on city streets only. I got the car home by driving through town. Trying to determine what to do next, I knew the problem had to be either electrical or fuel related and I chose to work on the fuel system first. Luckily I had a new fuel filter on the work bench and decided now was a good time to install it. During the installation I noticed the fuel line was packed with some type of small fibers. I went to the back of the car where the fuel line attached to the gas tank, disconnected it and the line was packed with the same type of fibers. I removed the entire fuel line and cleaned out the fibers with compressed air and a stiff length of wire. Next I drained and removed the gas tank and I could see something inside. With a friend and his wife standing next to me I used a clothes hanger to snag and pull out what was in the tank. As it came out my friends wife said "That's a tampon." My best guess is about three years earlier a disgruntled former lady friend, who hated the TR6, had dropped a tampon in the gas tank. For three years it disintegrated and eventually plugged the fuel line from gas tank to fuel filter. When the demand for fuel was intermittent, like driving on city streets with frequent stops, the fuel pump could pull enough fuel through the fibers for the car to run beautifully. When the demand for fuel was continuous, like sustained high speed interstate driving, the fuel pump couldn't supply enough fuel and my TR6 would actually run out of gas with a full tank.
M.F. Hofbauer

Now that's a car on the rag. I know we tend to call our cars a she, but isn't that pushing the metaphor?

Sorry M.F., it was a fat fastball waiting to be hit!

This thread was discussed on 03/04/2002

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