The Lobby
I don’t know what I did to appease the gods, but the school car is running really well. Idle is great. I have a rear brake light that needs some love, but other than that, pull the choke, bump the starter, and I mean bump the starter, and I am at full on choke…or extra fuel, right? Car is idling high, until I lower the “choke” in a bit to finish its warm up. I had this crazy good start anomaly a few years ago. Fresh gas helps, as does running it each day, which I have been. So lets be clear. If this car sits a day or so? That fuel in the float bowl is a little stale, so maybe when I’ve cycled that out on some starter rotations, then I get the start. But, regardless, I haven’t had this level of performance for a while. Sorting thru old gas, stuck valve, carb cleanups, and the recent ignition issue… was like working on an old brittish car. Frustrating.

Whats new
Just my well sorted tr6. Let’s say decently sorted. Don’t get cocky. Those gods may change their minds. Finally got all the starter electrics sorted. And I now have a tiny screw to keep the switch in the housing. I lost that screw years ago fiddling with that original switch – that one stayed in place simply from the pressure of the dash stuff behind it – like the heater hose. I could have ordered one from TRF, but instead, I stopped off at a local RC shop, and the owner dug thru a box of tiny bolts and handed me one for free. I am also replacing my rear speakers, and adding 2 front ones to my BobbyD panels. 4 inch up front, 6.5 inch in the rear. That’s gonna be a better weather day when I start digging around the interior for that.

Tech tip
Lost development
Throwback. Kraco

Tip. Fresh fuel
I feel like I’ll run out of tech tips only because I aint really the tech go to for this mark. I might surf the forums as we move forward, but until I run out of stuff to talk about, I’ll use my “hey, don’t do what I did” approach.

While this car is running better, it wasn’t recently. I let this car sit for a year. How does that happen? I could spend some time looking back at my other priorities. Regardless of why, the car sat. Holding fuel that isn’t designed to sit. Frozen floats on their axles. Crusty and frozen needle valves. Gel in the float bowl. That’s just the carb. Tank, plumbing – none of that says – sure, park your car, and it will be fine in 6 months.

Let me recommend this. If the car is going to sit, there are well discussed additives. Consider those. You can also drain the tank, but that is awkward unless you have that rigged up for easy draining. I will say – if your strombergs have the drain plug, pull those, and empty the bowls. In short – don’t let your 6 sit. Don’t do what I did. Getting this car back to running well, which now runs on the original push rods, one of them was straightened back out with a hammer…..due to this fuel. Yeah, the results of this bad fuel when getting this car running again….on this bad fuel….caused one of my valves to stick and freeze, bending the pushrod on the other side of it. And yeah, I replace plugs and wires, checked compression before I pulled 3 nuts on top of that valve cover to inspect the valvetrain. Yeah, bent pushrod just laying there. So, Don’t do what I did.

Recent tech tip on the gearbox vent – an example of lost knowledge. You can ask ten TR6 stewards about the top cover vent, and 8 … least….will say, what? What vent? Their gearboxes looking like a drunk grandma slathered on brown icing all over it like a gearbox shaped cake. But this is an example of what else don’t we know now. As silly as we think those engineers were then – late 60s, thru the 70s, they were vibrant, working on improving issues, even if they responded poorly. As deep as we get into a Haynes or Bentleys manual, there is lost or ignored detail from those days. The further we get away from those days, the more information and knowledge continues to evaporate. Evaporate. That’s a good word for this. Into thin air.

I, we focus on the TR6, like living in a sealed tunnel. Forgive me for not knowing when all the companies merged into BL, but even before, they were stealing from each other. And even with a share from late mechanic Ed of an MG driveshaft flange, we gravitate to our mark, as if it’s the safety bunker. I get this light bulb on a recent 6pack thread from a new member on heavy oil leaks at the rear of the motor, 200 or so miles after a rebuild. Ive posted on this rear seal, others have – its very common. We follow the instructions, work around wear grooves with speedi sleeves or adjust the position of the seal. We use the proper copper washer on the right mounting bolt. Countless threads on this one item alone. And its in this thread that Ed_h throws in a pic of his GT6 rear seal housing, and how it differs from the TR6. After all these years, I would have never considered this at all. I would never guessed, or assumed, that this simple housing part would be different for these 2 motors. Never.

I’m not going to use this section to talk about the details of these 2 housings. What I am going to talk about is how living in a TR6 tunnel can keep you from learning from other developments or ideas. I mean, we upgrade, and swap out bosch relays for the original equipment. Alternators. Wiper switches. Brake cylinders. 4runner calipers. List is growing and feeling endless. But in all these years, I don’t ever consider the “in the moment” history of how a TR6 and a GT6 share development. Or, that they didn’t.

Here is what I know about our motors. Or, here is what I believe based on what I heard, read, and what I comprehended. I put that disclaimer in cause I am the champion of misunderstanding anything. To get a 2.0L GT6 motor, the Triumph engineers took the TR6 block, and shaved an inch off the top, shortened the rods, and designed a shorter crank. That sounded very sexy and intelligent, right? Even I’m snickering. But what I think I know is the 2.0 is the 2.5, just with less displacement. Now, the GT6 team…which was the spitfire team? I assume were told one day – hey, form a hard top for this car, and shove this motor in it. My foolish brain has these guys with a motor on hoist, walking around the engine bay of this modified spitfire, lowering that motor, rigging some mounts, and putting the hood on. And its hitting the valve cover.

My point with all this is – regardless of if they were thrown this development, or they worked with the TR6 team – there is lost knowledge, or hard to find knowledge, on how these 2 blocks, identical? Except for the deck, rods and crank –can have 2 different designs on the rear engine seal housing. Should be the same housing. Why are they different? And its this light bulb that tells me – what the hell else did the GT6 team do? What else did they find? Did they look at this TR6 rear housing, and say “what the hell did the TR6 do? Why did they design it like this? If this is true, what else did they find? This lather that I have created with this thread, in my head, just makes me want to know more about what was missed, or lost, and it is in the nature of the busy forums out there that this stuff comes to the surface. It may mean nothing to performance, but as we knock down fences and fear that keeps our mark from continuing, its these little things that will smooth the water for future stewards

8 Track
Right now, I am in the middle of swapping out dying blaupunkt speakers, which I have noted in previous threads on audio for this mark. When I bought the school car, the upright had been recovered, professionally, but with the radio section covered up. No speakers anywhere, and the car was intended to live on the sound of that motor, which at that time, had Ansa exhaust in the rear, and in decent shape. Ansa, the poor man’s version of Monza. For a few years, I drove the car that way, and at some point, got the itch to relive my audio recipe that I had for the butt ride, the 72 stunt car. I began this search to find a good system. My first system, Alpine cassette indash, with two 6.5 pioneer 4way speakers. At some point, I get distracted with ebay and some vintage radios. And in that search, glorious lights came down from the heavens, and shown on this one listing. The Kraco 8 Track player with equalizer. New Old Stock. I bought this radio for 70 dollars, which was a steal if you go look at in dash 8 track players today. I mean, boxed, plastic sleeves, nuts, bolts, the whole thing as if it has been on a shelf in a shop for 40 years.

With new, at the time, 6.5 inch blaupunkt now installed in the rear, wired up to this 8 track deck, I now have am/fm. And now, I need to find 8 tracks. And this is where it gets so fun. Not sure if they are nationwide, but Dallas and Texas has a chain of stores – Half Priced Books. Buy and sell old books and magazines. One of the stores, literally down the road from me. And there, in their album section, is cassettes, CDs, and a rack of 8 tracks. 10 cents each. I buy 10 the first time, but eventually, I realize, I need parts. So, I buy whatever they have. Soon, the price goes to 25 cents. I single handedly drive up the price of used 8 tracks. 8 tracks, at this point, have 2 issues. The foam behind the tape in the opening, and the connector metal that joins to 2 pieces of tape together. So for those interested, if you buy a used 8 track, before listening to it, take the tape and pull gently on it, so that you are cycling the tape. Cycle it until you get to the joiner metal. When you find it, take HVAC tape, cut a piece the size of that metal, cut off the existing tape and metal, and rejoin it with this new hvac tape. And with a donor 8 track tape, replace the foam, if necessary.

For years I drove with this 8 track. Even to a VTR event in Dallas in 2006. Everywhere I went. And I mean everywhere. People ogled over the 8 track, ignoring the car. Once friends and family found out I had an 8 track player, people literally showed up on my doorstep with their old 8 tracks. We bought a case at a vintage store, that had 8 tracks in it. Drove around, top down, eyes burning, until we realized the case had old weed in it. Fun times. I got tired of this deck after a while as the volume was so poor. Sound quality really bad. 8 watts. And in the later 2000s, listening to friend Andy’s new indash HD radio, with thumb drive, and Bluetooth – I knew I wanted to upgrade. So, I did. And that is what is in my car now, sans HD. But 8 track. How fitting for this car. To push the volume button and change channels. While people watched – like the apes in 2001.

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