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Triumph TR6 - transmission leak, I think

My 71 has a very slow, minor leak that is coming from underneath the engine compartment, toward the left side of the car. I think it is the drain plug for the transmission. I tightened it a little, and it is even slower, but it still leaks a little.

How do I stop this leak? And in terms of getting some new fluid in there, it looks like the filler plug is on the side. Once I get some stands, is it very difficult to get at the filler plug? Finally, do I need to get 4 jack stands so the car is level or can you get by with 2?

Thanks, John.

JL Bryan

Hi John,
If the leak is from the plug you can wrap 4 or 5 inches of teflon tape ( available in plumbing depts )
and make sure it is snug. What I did to make easy access to check fluid level is to pull back the carpet on the transmission hump and cut a recangular hole about 5 X 6 opposite the plug. I then cut a larger size heavy rubber to act like a flap and riveted it to the cardboard hump along the top of the opening. It makes for fast checks and the car stays on the ground.I use mine as a daily driver and have had no problem with it getting wet or anything like that. When the carpet is put back it looks no different. All you need is a funnel with a long flexible neck to add fluid.

Charlie Ballard

My TR3A is an early one and my gearbox has a dip-stick on the top right side where I fill the oil and read the dip-stick. There is an access hole the same size as for the floor jack hole with a round rubber plug. It came like that. I lift the carpet back pull out the round rubber plug from the hole in my pressed steel gearbox tunnel - it came that way.

I cut a similar hole the same size on the left side for easy access to my overdrive solenoid. Takes me under 30 minutes to change the overdrive solenoid.

A Triumph that doesn't leak has already lost all it's oil and is empty.

That's not oil dripping. That's just my TR "marking its territory".

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Charlie, thanks for the good idea. I am pondering whether to get jack stands anyway so I can get under the car to change oil, etc. Is the filler plug easily accessible from underneath, or do you have to get at it some other way?

By the way, I have belonged to the Gold Coast Brit car club for about 6 or 7 months and just recently got a club directory. There are a couple of TR6 owners in my area, so I may have someone with more knowledge, which is pretty much everyone, look at it and give me some advice.
THanks, John.
JL Bryan

JL--All the ideas given will work. What I do is jack stand the car on all fours to ensure a reasonably accurate fill. The fill plug is easily accessed from underneath. What you will need is a press pump that screws into your oil bottle with a hose going into the fill hole. These pumps are available just about everywhere. This is an annual ritual for me, and I do the diff lube change as well. I have a handy suction gun that I use to remove the diff lube through the fill hole. Others have installed a drain plug on the diff case for this.

If your drain plug is leaking (I assume you have a non-O/D gearbox), someone may have tightened the tapered plug too much in the past, causing a leak path that cannot be fixed short of retapping the hole. Tapered plugs are not suppposed to be wrenched too far.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

If you do not go the route of the " hole in the tunnel" ( I do not have one) then it is best to get your 6 up level on jack stands. Like you said, now you can also have a look at the belly.

The drain plug for a tranny is on the bottom of the tranny not at a side of it (TRF catalogue PLATE CL3). like Rick O says, they should not leak...taper not over tighten. If you have OD, its' drain plug is the big round brass one bottom of the OD (TRF Catalogue PLATE CT62). The fill plug is TRF PLATE CL4...this is also your "full" indicator. But only if car is level. Your description of location does not match mine..clarification please.

There are many past threads this subject. Maybe it is a time for refresher safety warnings since there will probably be a few TRs up in the air this winter:
oil change QUESTION SEPT. 2003

The Archives on this BBS is, to say the least, full of information on virtually any TR subject. If you think about it, we all have "wrote the book" on TRs and adding links to posts even futhers this statement. I firmly beleive this is the BEST BBS for us TR owners. My hat is off to all participants (I can do this as the geese have all left and are not flying over head anymore :)

John, (like Rick O says) get the pump that attaches to a one gallon jug or the one that attaches to a quart...I have both. Available any auto supply. Also I changed my drain plug to a brass pipe plug. Same thread but with a socket head (11/16")...much easier....coat with anti-seize.
"think safety"
Rick C
Rick Crawford

John - By all means buy 4 strong jack stands and use them.. I won't go under my TR any other way. After jacking up the car at the front with my hydraulic rolling floor jack (like they use in a garage), I put 2 stands under. Then I do the other end.

Before I crawl under, I rock the car by the bumpers to make sure it won't fall off.

You want to enjoy your hobby - repairing it and driving it. You don't want anything serious to happen. It's not worth it. Buy good ones.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A

Don Elliott

Don--When you raise the rear with your floor jack, what do you use as the lift point? I use the rad skid plate for the front, but have not found a suitable middle location for the rear (I've been told not to use the diff as a lift point, so I don't).

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

My first '73 had an overdrive. In 1975, When I needed to add transmission oil (which was noticed when the OD stopped working), I found it easier to take out the center tunnel and work from the top. Of course, I was a poor, relatively recent, graduate from college, and only had a gravel driveway (no jack stands or even a hydraulic jack).

My second '73, does not have an overdrive, but it does have have oil in the transmission, because as Don said, it's still leaking!

I have to hand it to Don, 45 years with the same car! I just past the 30 year mark of ownership, but with two different '73's.

Regarding the raising the car - I did indeed show my wife the thread of how to raise the car & safety issues. I am please to report that I received a 4 post automotice lift for my garage last week - Now I have to find time to put the lift together and really start to work on the TR6!
R.C. Blair

Rick O - My TR3A is so low that I have double 2" by 6" planks with a slope for all four wheels to drive up onto. These let me get the rolling jack under the car. For the front, I use a piece of 3" wide steel channel, about 4" long which I had milled out a little wider on the inside and a center cylindrical stub vertically welded so it fits the rolling jack and it lifts the cross support that runs under the rad. The inside of the channel is padded with leather, contact cemented into place so it won't scratch the paintwork on or under the rad cross support. Remember, it's flawless under there - even after 14 summers. Before I had this made, I had the rolling jack slip off the rad cross support twice because it was so shiny. Both times I put a nasty dent in the lower part of my valance under the front bumper and had to remove it both times to do bodywork and re-spray. I don't want that to happen again.

As for the back, remember I have a TR3A and the solid rear axle/diff body is where I lift the rear end. I don't know if you want to do that with the TR6 rear end.

R.C. Blair - You have the ideal solution. You'll never have to worry about lift points or jack stands that might shift or fall. It sounds like Mrs. Blair bought you your Christmas gift a little early because she wants to keep you around.

OK Guys - No jokes about getting 4 geese with ropes to hover over your TR as a 4 point lifting device.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

We should all have wives like Mrs. Blair!! Nice Bob.

OK so if you do not lift a TR6 from the Dif then where do you? That is what I have been doing. I do not have 2 floor jacks and do not feel like torqueing the body.
Remember always lift the front of a TR6 first up onto jack stands if you jack stand all 4 corners.

No way Don would I suggest that...the darn birds would take my car south with them!
Rick C
Rick Crawford

If you have the front lifted. Diff. with a good garage type cup jacks the way to go both Ricks. With the leaverage arc your not lifting much weight.

I use the 6 ton ratchet type tractor stands. Better height and stance. Mount them under the outside frame body mounts front and back of wheel wells. I like to keep one under the crossmember as well if reefing. Not much more money and you have better height and safety than the cheap stuff. Cars stable.

Fooling around with all types of cars for years I have whacks of lift and hold gizmos that work best for the job. No lift though Bob? Wifes just not that fond of me. Grandkids come first.

Bill Brayford

Thanks Bill. I thought it would be ok especially considering the dif is bolted directly to frame and is a good solid mounting thanks to you Dr Bill:)

Rick O, what are the concerns you have heard about lifing using the Dif?..cracking the case???
How do you lift if you do not use the dif...2 floor jacks??
John, adding my $CDN.02 worth, buy the bigger jack stands. Heavier, taller, and best of, larger stance.
Even with jack stands, I have 8"x8" blocks of wood I put under her as back up. I also leave the floor jack under her..just touching. Overkill? Nope..not while I am underneith.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

About diff lifts . . . my LBC mechanic said that it was inadvisable due to stresses on the diff mounts, particularly the rear ones which have only a thin piece of steel sandwiched between the rubber halves to mount to the diff case. No concern with diff case cracking. But it seems a lot of folks do it anyway with no apparent problems. When I jack stand all corners, I stand side to side, not front to back. I can raise a side by lifting at the chassis about midway between the door, insert the stands, and repeat on the other side.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Once I get the nose up(I drive it up on ramps 1st easier to get the jack under the nose.) I use a 4x4 piece of pressure treated wood about 2 1/2ft. long and stradle the frame Y member near the diff it does the same as jacking on the diff itself but it puts no stress on the diff mounts at all. 2 jackstands at the nose 2 about mid way door and 2 in the muffler area.
Regards, Keith
Keith Dixon

All of the above work fine. Be carefull RickO and all make sure to use a solid chunk of plywood at least 5/8ths thick to disperse the jack force anywhere on the frame. The frame is only 16 gage tin about .0598ths of an inch. The fenders on an old Ford are thicker? The actual jackpoints are the body mounts.

The rear saddle that the diff is attached to is a 16 gage channel. Its not boxed and is flimsy at best. If you take the shock mounts off most would be leary of using it to support a baby swing or your Barbecue. Gives the hotrodder types that see it a real hoot when I tell them what it does. Well engineered though to get us this far.

Bill Brayford

Now you guys have me scared. I thought I could just jack it up using the frame and stick some stands under there. Maybe there is more to it!
JL Bryan

Thanks Keith. I'll use some of that treated lumber lying aroung to straddle the rear Y-channels. Will save some hoisting effort and won't stress the diff.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Don't get the wrong idea John. Just different idea's to make sure your safe. All probably learned by a bit of trial and error by each of the guys.

There are so many different ways of supporting a car and getting it to that point depending on your floor surface dirt/gravel/cement. Condition of frame. Plain bit rusty dry/sometype of cover/paint/ sealer/you may not want to damage/oily and slippery?

Put blocks behind the backwheels jack up the front. Determine where to put the front stands on frame depending on what job your doing/use plywood not wood that splits/ thats best for you.

Give it a shove around a bit. If it falls it won't likely hurt the car. But unless you can benchpress 2300 LBs. try the shove test first? Get rid of any wobble.

Trouble light John if you don't have one its dark under there. If you can find it in your budjet buy the fluorescent one not regular bulb. The reg. bulb gets super hot. Burns you and one drop of gas will give you new meaning to the 100 yard dash?

Bill Brayford

Hi Guys,
If putting the car up on four stands place them as close to the wheels as possible which allows the doors to open and close freely ( avoids frame twisting.)
Charlie Ballard

This thread was discussed between 30/10/2003 and 02/11/2003

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