The lobby
Skipped a week due to corona virus positive test. I sat there last Saturday, about 6 days into it, trying to get something down on my laptop. Anything. I keep some canned topics, and even those weren’t jumping up at me. I don’t get sick often. Not that I am a bad patient. But following advice and orders with medicine is just not something I gravitate to. Dallas is in tundra blanket. As is parts of the country. My business clients, who had hoped for a good valentines holiday weekend, are impacted with travel and anything weather related. This shoot show that is the pandemic, just won’t allow for any relief.

Whats new
Being down for literally 2 weeks, I had plans to get in the garage and rig up my new bosch starter relay. Nothing in my body said go to the garage, and start fiddling with that wiring and new starter switch. Fortunately, this Wednesday, I sprang out of bed, started get stuff done, and moved yesterday to this work and some anti freeze top up. But you gotta run the car to get that flushed thru the system. So, with more cold weather coming, I am in the garage today with just that. I’ve ignored the D6 facebook group – left a few messages on the site, and am doing what I can to keep up with all the others. Still my favorite source for the routines of the TR6 owners and what is going on around the world.

Tech tip. Gearbox vent hole
Comfort. Fighting age
Throwback – the next TR6

Breath, Baby
I gravitate to this tip. I stumbled on it around 2011. The legend Dave is at the tech helm at TRF, and I ask the question hundreds have asked – what else can I do to stop the gearbox leaks. I can still hear his answer. “have you checked the vent hole?” I don’t even remember answering him. I probably just sat there like it was the Twilight zone. What in gods green earth did you say, and what are you talking about.

You can have manuals, and with people coming and going, its important to pass on the important bits. Not oil changes or stuff the lube shop can do. But the quirks and why stuff is there in the first place. My gearbox had been out for a variety of things. Clutch, obviously, but the OD internals was my favorite reason. And to make this swap, I trusted my machinist Terry to swap the pieces. I traded him cable for that. Funny how little things come to you - just remembering this. A DirectTV box. But it was Terry who took some red resin and filled in that hole.

The vent hole is forward left on the top cover. The TR6 came with 14 or so different variants of top covers. And it was in TR6 production that the engineers said – we need to bleed off that internal pressure. So they drilled a tiny hole in that top cover. When Dave tells me of this hole, I don’t see it at first. Its that small. And when you do see it, you think – that doesn’t look like it should be there, and mine, filled with red resin, looks even more odd – like maybe a crack or some fix.

With my tunnel cover off, I can get to this inspection, gearbox back in and its then that realize Terry has filled it. I take a tiny drill bit, and with my fingers, start clearing out this debris. I may have dropped some resin debris in there. After that was clear, and the proper compression washers were in place on the top cover, we continued to look for leaks. None. I have front and rear engine seal leaks, but I have a dry gearbox. That should sound odd to anyone with an OD gearbox. That may sound odd for anyone with a gearbox. Imagine looking under your car and not seeing a goopy oily mess of a gearbox. Before all this work, my gearbox looked like someone took a gallon of road grime and gear lube, and sprayed down my gearbox and tunnel cover.

The Timestamp
I surf car shows like anyone, I reckon. I enjoy Dennis Gage most of the time, and its fun to watch him go school girl on these cars. Usually, hes in a field somewhere, or walking down an old downtown street. But he finds a way to get to Leno’s garage every once in a while. I prefer these cause Leno….I mean, that guy has just fun stuff. Steam cars. LS motors in old land yachts. But there is something about Leno, and how he looks at cars that helps me, and I hope others. He doesn’t pamper, and he doesn’t own to impress others. That garage is his zen, best I can tell. He steps into a Top Gear episode a few years back to explain the Honda Clarity. How innovative this new car is – and to help explain it, he talks horses and this path of evolution in transportation. How horses today are revered, and that classic cars will be that as we move to whatever it is we are moving to.

Many of us move to comfort in this mark, the miata seat is maybe the best example of what we can do to find comfort on our butts so close to the floor pan. We knock down noise, we manage cabin heat, and we improve lights and driving conditions as best we can. We – maybe just me – think we can or should continue keep pushing to keep up, but at some point the 2 lines on the graph get further away from each other. At some point, you exhale, and just hang on. I feel like I'm there right now, even with an AC project on my mental bench. I can’t see into the future – near future. More electric and hybrid. More automation. As comfortable as we want or get with this mark, We still drive around in a time capsule from the 70s. You can hate a rattling door, or you can enjoy the reminders of all the senses that are stimulated by this car when you stand next to it, or drive it anywhere.

Finding the School Car
From 85 until 96, I didn’t think about a tr6. Don’t remember thinking about one. And while I have shared this story in the first blog back 10 years ago, it’s a good share, and timely as we see so many loitering around. That’s a funny word. Loitering. As if these people are wandering around a 7-11 parking lot watching you pump gas.

Spring of 1996, or around that, I am in Florida. I am working for a man who is now my mentor and a customer right now, actually. John walks into the office area, asks me if I have a few minutes, and we step out and he asks – do you know anything about MGs? I’m like – I had TR6, and I know a little. And so begins this journey with him looking for an MG like the one he and his friend drove from Kentucky to spring break so many years ago. Early model with the lower bumpers and stance. Red. Had to be red. And we drove all over Orlando as he looked thru classifieds, and britt shops, and get acquainted with a local britt club that met for breakfast on Sunday’s at this Mexican restaurant. But its one of these first trips with him to a shop that did it.

We stand there, talking MG stuff with the owner of this shop – kind of a restoration shop, but as much of a service center as anything. I get distracted, and step away from the conversation, and I walk next to a TR6, look at it, open the door, and poke around. I don’t sit in it, but soon I hear this “hey” – from this shop guy. I turn, and he gives me this – “that’s a customer car” I shut the door – sorry. And while I didn’t leave skidmarks out of there to go dive into TR6 world, That twig became one of the kindling that started this fire.

At this point, I have 2 reasons to journey with John in his search for the MG. I want to see more TR6s. And I do. I test drive 6s around Florida, and even a few back in Dallas when we ventured over for a weekend. But what really told me I had a tr6 problem was when I found this 72 car in Virginia, in the mountains, near Richmond. I use this car as a reason for my wife and I to drive up to Rocky Mount, NC, spend the weekend with my mom and grandmother, and to spring up to Richmond to see this barn find. Yard find actually. It was a 72, and it wasn’t white. It had OD and a hard top. Richmond is 2 hours, and in the country – there are no buildings or anything as we turn down this dirt road and drive into the woods. Literally. Car was in **** condition, but the price was right. No title. I left without the car, still considering it.

Between 96 and 98, I drive over 30 cars, move back and forth on restoration or driver. Then this simple car comes up on the classifieds in a Sunday paper. 10K. hard top, overdrive 76 car. Runs well. I think that’s all the ad said. I call him, linda and I journey to the mid cities. Its summer, warm, and the sun is setting. We chat, he backs the car out, linda and I drive off, get on a major road, and from on ramp to maybe a few miles down, I am near 100, car smooth, and well sorted. I exit, turn around, go back to kens and say, I’ll take it. I don’t even begin to haggle. I don’t look under the car, I don’t pull plugs. Nothing. All the mistakes a new owner could make. I made them. And I wouldn’t change a damn thing on that purchase.

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 with a 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. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

L.O Guvna