The lobby
You wouldn’t think of Dallas as cold winter place, but we have our moments. Rain, and even a little snow this past week, and now sunshine and probably a 55 degree day. We have our 3rd group meeting today – beer sports bar in north dallas, with indoor/outdoor seating, and good parking. My mom turned 80 this week – and still works, in healthcare. She will outlive us all.

Whats new
I am firing up the school car this morning with a new ignition switch. Rewiring was …fun. Poor Dan at TRF. I don’t even have to say my name anymore when I call the tech line. Switch works in the 2 base positions – accessory, run, but… starter. Battery is good, and I am sure it will run – but now I gotta pop the clutch on cold carbs and old gas in the bowls. Filters off, a few squirts of gumout, and friend steve to gimme a push. Wash, sort, and fiddle and go over my laminated wiring diagram. Who taught me that? That’s a nice feature, if you haven’t done it. And its blown up – 11x17. Other than this small electrical setback, car is healthy, gauges are good. Hoping for some decent weather today.

Throwback. My gauge lights work

The 5speed gremlin killer
Gearbox swaps have been around, and they ebb and flow with demand over time. For me, they seem to have had more demand when gas is 4 dollars a gallon. Seems to be when I was looking at options, along with Patton EFI. Talked off the ledge by poolboy with better carbs, I still wanted a better drivetrain, if only to have better mileage. So, I go thru this exhausting effort to convert my J OD to Volvo from Leyland, getting a few more percentage points in RPM savings. But from bell housing to rear u joint, our gearbox is still on the list of nervous reasons why people shake before they sign a check for a tr6

HDVA – the popular conversion kit, has been a hot topic for years, with great followers. As non-stock as the school car is, you’d think I would already move here. I can’t even explain it now – that lure, or hypnosis. Like my original redlines that fell off my steel wheels. Fell off. Paralyzing how some of the aspects of the mark are. But I discuss this, and continue to embrace it, cause one day, I might make this change. Certainly, if I were ground up with a bare frame, like John Herman.

I am in the mentor program, and supporting John in his frame off. He reaches out, asks me about overdrive, and what do I think about a 5 speed conversion. I instantly go into this oratory about the J OD, and move quickly to John at Quantum, and how simple his full gearbox program is – even if you swap to dolomite gears with a different output for a different clutch assembly. I can’t help myself but try to talk him off the ledge of 5 speed. I have put in 3 clutches and a flywheel since 1998, yet somehow I think the original setup is the way to go. As if there is some pro and con balance discussion. We try to speak with clarity, but even as the words come out of my mouth, I act as if, who the hell is talking? Or writing, in this aspect.

At this point, I realize how frozen in time Quantum is for me. As if John is still testing lubes for our gearbox. I have no idea he has taken on the HDVA program, and even enhanced it. Supra gearbox now. Better linkage, including improvements to the slave cylinder. And John E has convinced John H that this is an option – stay original, or better driveability. John H goes HDVA, and a complete kit. And with a frame off, he can work around the roller to get the fitment. Gone are leaks. Solenoids. Special lubes. Clutch and pedal pressure. Noise. Shifting. There must be another 10 gremlin checks that we can mark off too, if this is the case. I can’t stop thinking about this upgrade. Imagining this waiting list of owners ready for this swap. I mean, one of the deterrents to driving this mark is the stiff clutch, the thin friction area, and how exact you have to be to keep it from bucking the first time you drive it. If I had this gearbox in my 72, Charlie Pride would have been able to find reverse and get to the store. Sorry. One of my obscure, still very memorable throwbacks of this family friend clown stuck in our driveway cause he couldn’t find reverse. Another blog.

On the road again….
Just can’t wait to get on the road again. The fishbowl that this mark lives in, gets bigger with taller tires and lower rpms. Evolution of travel comes in cycles – I mean, 5 years ago? People flew 45 minutes on what would be a 4 hour flight. Now that barrier is like 8 hours – why? Lane change controls, cruise controls that work with traffic. I mentioned a few years ago about my friend Steve – who worked for a big tech company – mostly known for telecom, but this crew – was all about analytics, data, intelligence, and all the stuff tied into automobiles. Soon, he said, we won’t have side mirrors because of wind drag. You’ll have video on your window simulating the rear view. Cameras under the car, monitoring the road, telling the car behind to adjust for an upcoming pothole. He says all this, and your mind takes off on all sorts of directions.

I don’t mind a long drive in my 6, even without AC. In summer, and that was less uncomfortable than you think, but still a throwback with the windows down at speed. But at the end of the day, our driving environments are getting taller, fatter, and more comfy. Sport utility, over SUV. Sure, Id rather be in a Suburban if I’m driving 3K miles, but I will find a way to improve my journey in this car. My hard top helps. As does my overdrive. But, we are somewhat like motorcycles or cyclist in that its hard to see us. the 6 gets smaller each year – in my eyes. But as I journey, or have journeyed to Austin, east texas, NC, Oxford….etc – I learn little things about my car – some of which is good to share. Like rpm for example. We forget or ignore the resonance issue. The block design problem that doesn’t like the rpms go hit or go over 3500, or something in that range. I did that for a while, and I have a tired motor with blow by. So, I lose oil on a drive back from NC.

Road worthy and comfort. 2 pieces of this puzzle. I got pulled into an AC discussion on facebook, which did nothing more than pull me back in on that discussion. That is an entirely different blog, and now I gotta go back and find my threads on that. In just a few short years, Vintage Air has come up with compact hvac units, which, if the measurements work, will replace the heater box – and you can even swap without AC, plumbed for later if you decide to fatten up your engine bay. What a distraction. I’m like a dog spotting a squirrel.

Run Like Hell
That youth of sponge – where clarity is good, and even if you aren’t trained to install carpet, a soft top, or refinish a dash, you have the focus and determination to do that stuff. Like a general contractor, gathering contractors to do stuff for you, or to ask questions cause pride isn’t a problem. This piece of throwback goes to my dash restore, as best as I can remember. I don’t know why else I’d have a speedometer out of the car, wiring, cable and bulbs hanging. But its around this time that I had the dash off, gauges out, and these wires and bulbs hanging through their holes. I was smart enough to tape these wires, mark them, and carry on.

It was a Friday. Late afternoon, sun was setting. I was driving to Turner Hardware, which is another throwback. I think I was driving there, cause I rarely drove on this road unless I was going there. In the dash restore, and the bulbs and wires handing thru, there were bulb holders with no bulbs. And some of the bulbs were dead. The 72 car had blue bulb shades…or whatever you call those filters that change white light to a color. After those were cleaned, bulbs installed, and testing with grounding on some metal, I had figured out which ones went where. My turn signals worked, but I had never seen the flicker on the big gauge. Nor my high beams. On this Friday afternoon, there were no lucas gremlins. My 72 car worked flawlessly in that setting sun driving down Josey Lane. My eyes were younger, the gauges were in focus. I could see really well with low light.

As a reminder, I had a great sound system in the car. An Alpine cassette deck with 2 pioneer 4-way 6 inch speakers mounted in the rear panel. In the cassette deck was Pink Floyd, The Wall. I wan’t a big Pink Floyd fan, but I must have had this cassette. I know this, because this drive, down Josey, at sunset, Run Like Hell was on, and all my electrical stuff worked. It was warm, my top was down, and it was a very comfortable drive, on this road, which, by the way, twisted and turned, rose and fell, from home to Turner Hardware.

I don’t know how many miles I’ve driven in a TR6. That 5 miles of city driving was one of the most memorable of my life. And that song is burnt into that memory, and all I think about when I hear it.

That’s enough for today
Your Triumph TR6 is a great diplomat. You help people around you with this car without even knowing it. You bring happiness, and thumbs up, leaving a memory in guy in a truck on his way to work. You are a steward, responsible for it, and to it. Please start the car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch. This helps save your thrust washers, which have poor oiling at startup. So, smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

L.O Guvna

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