The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with El Tres Hombres, Waitin on the Bus. RIP Dusty Hill.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnXSzgNe4xE&list=OLAK5uy_m21kJIPRTeEQkYjxR kPELl3euTKGCmaX0

Did you put gas in your car? Put gas in your car.
So much for not running my sprinklers. Until a week ago, God had mercy and poured water all over my lawn, house and cars. Youngest is back in soccer, which is nice given this solitude she has been in for over a year. Gearing up for big in person conference next week, downtown Dallas. Masks, santitizers, chaos. My hotel industry is very sensitive to covid confidence, simplest way to describe it. Fear means no travel. So, we will see what happens next week as we set up our booth and wander around the trade floor.


Whats new
D6, the 6pack chapter that grew into this brand, had its first drive and gathering to Blue Ridge, Texas on Saturday. Event ended up lovely, but the coordination was a train wreck. We will solve this before we pull that trigger again, and until then, bi weekly gatherings. Folks are gearing up for VTR, and the Texas All British Car show in Round Rock Tx. For the Dallas crowd, a coin toss – about the same drive in opposite directions. I can’t believe flushing 30wND oil out of my J overdrive would have my OD working so well. I still haven’t flushed the sump filter or the filter behind that plug rig. I’ve been using some deoxit on my column switch, but thought – while not a fan – spray some wd40 on it. Let it dry, wiped, and reinstalled. I can’t tell you how smooth and easy that switch is now. You can almost look at the switch and it goes into OD. And everyone reading, wondering, dude, why do you gravitate to this so much. I can’t help it. Not common problems with this OD. But if you swap internals, these little things can happen.

The heat has the school car in the garage, and I’m thinking that while I had my hardtop off for a while, its about to go back on. I tried to impress how cool the car is with a hard top (cool as in temperature, not style). Its easier to demonstrate than to explain on a thread. No one can believe that sheet metal, over the cabin of a TR6, would keep it cool. But it does.


The Wax
My continuing effort to share whats right with this mark. This week – lights and lighting.

I’m old enough to remember what my lights looked like during production. I had a 72 car then, and my dash was a shade of light blue. And like everything else with a 73 post car, I envied the light green that emitted from those dashes. I started fumbling with my dash lights a few years back. Broke my speedo needle in that process, which is odd cause you don’t need to touch that needle. The original lights shine blue or green because of a colored dome, and at this point, due to the heat of those bulbs, many are burnt, or broken, and rarely in decent shape. I went so far as to remove them, and paint the inside of my tach housing white, to reflect better. Anything to get more out of the dinosaur bulb rigs.

I haven’t moved to LED yet. But lets face it. The teething issues we had a few years ago, are gone. Fitment, bulb holders, flashers…..all of it, are now almost standard equipment, but like a dummy, I keep waiting for it to get even better. I am with the D6 crew last weekend, and Steve pulls his rear brake bulb out – all LED, and fits our bulb holder. Like, dang.

Know this. All lighting for this car is better than original. Lets start from the front and work back. Our headlights were chit. I have halogen silverstar headlights, and I remember installing them, and turning them on. I was parked facing the garage door, and all I could say was – jeez, gimme some sunglasses. So much brighter than original, I thought I’d get a ticket. But today, LED is even brighter, and covers better – sprays the light wider, and gives better visibility. My halogens get hot, and suck power. LEDs stay cool, and don’t suck anything. I think LED’s can somehow work without any electricity. The beauty of this major component of electrical is with this single upgrade, you relieve stress and potential amp draw thru the tired wiring and give yourself some insurance against fire or other damage.

Side and turn signals, now LED. Brighter, and the only thing that is hanging here, and already sorted, is the pulse to create the blink. And that’s handled under the hood, as I understand it. On the dash? Bulbs that fit the holders, and are now colored so you don’t have that need in the gauge. I haven’t done this yet, but I presume that you remove the bulb color bits, and let the bulb spray the colored light through the gauge.

I have a solid state rheostat. Most don't. I hope it becomes available again. The modifier has retired, and no longer doing this work, but essentially, my rheostat works with legacy or LEDs. I did this anticipating this swap. Most at this point, simply bypass the rheostat, and have a solid dash lighting system. Regardless, soon, someone is going to give us some options on interior lighting adjustments. At the rear of the car? Same as the front side and turn markers with bulbs that fit the holders, and function as legacy, with better brightness. When you pull your tail light assemblies – you don’t have to, but why not pull them and clean them – focus on the reflective areas. I’ve used chrome paint and even aluminum foil to help brighten and spread light around. And work the grounding - the biggest culprit of functioning lights.

Next week. Better gearboxes. I’m drooling already…….


Tech. Tach and Speedo
Why are you here?
Throwback. Hillbilly Eau Rouge


Tech. Remove and replace the tach and speedo.
Promised Lee Brown I would write up removing these 2 gauges. I am blessed with some knowledge on this mark that came simply from youthful curiosity. I look back at some of the stuff I did in my teens, like adding a front spoiler, to restoring my dash at 19, carpet and top at 20. Zero help. Except for the hardware store guy suggesting I use Varathane for the dash after I put my new veneer on.

I’ll only focus on these 2 gauges as I’m sure others are interested in it as well. Lots going on with these gauges – bulbs in the back for signal, oil pressure, ignition, and high beam – think I got that right. And those heavy mechanical cables screwing into the back of the gauge. But none of what I am about to share is easy – but its not that hard either. You will be on your knees, and your arms will contort into shapes you haven’t done in a while. One thing that will help is to remove the driver seat. Don’t have to, but it takes 5 minutes to remove those 2 bolts.

These 2 gauges are held in with 2 finger nuts on each gauge. If you haven’t gone to TRF to look at the exploded diagram, do that cause it helps you visualize what you are dealing with. Back of the gauge, long, like 3 inch long, skinny bolt, with this j hook – what I call it anyway, and this finger nut. That j hook is designed to fit on the outside of the gauge, against the metal part of the dash. The other gauges tighten into the back of the wood dash – not the speedo or tach. So, you have to contort under the dash, feel for these 2 finger nuts. Find them, remove them completely, and the j hook, and put them down. I have a trick to get them back on, so hang on.

Once you get the 4 finger nuts off, the gauges fall out of the front. You’ll have some tethering from the cables and wirings for the bulbs. Later speedos have that voltage stabilizer wiring on the top of the gauge. Use whatever management you need to keep up with bulbs and wires. I would leave the bulbs in the holders for now, but honestly, you can figure all this out later if you mess this up by turning the signal with ignition on, for example, to figure out which one blinks when grounded – up against that metal gauge area. With the gauge out? Lots of reasons to pull it, but consider removing the front, digging out the old, tired, black crackly caulk, recaulk, and clean the glass. New dead bulb replacement, and you’ll probably find the big bulb color….whatever that is….is cracked, or even melted. Replace, fix, or ignore – up to you.

Ok. Replacing the gauge. You’re thinking – how do I get those finger nuts back on when I push the gauge back in? I figured this out the hard way. Those j hooks? Look at how long the are. Put the j hook back on the gauge out of the car. Spin the finger nut just on the long bolt. Pull the j hook up the end, and notice how close the fat part of the j hook is to fitting behind the gauge. In other words, grind off part of that fat part of the j – making the long j part just a little shorter. Won’t take much. And soon, that j hook will spin inside the gauge on the bolt with the finger nut on the end. Push the gauge in, reach behind, spin the j hook down and tighten the finger nut. Done.


Purpose
Gonna rant a little about why we are here. I’ve had this stereotype of the stewards over the years. Back when my jalopy was rolling during production, and while oogling over those nicer cars, I started to blend these people into this one type of person. Seems odd, as that means taking chuck Norris, the autoparts owner with a scraggly beard, the bully, and so forth and CGI blending them into 1 dude. Somehow, after gene pooling all that, I got college professor. That fit type, soft spoken. Organized. Educated, mid 40s. And then me, high school guy, chasing girls, drinking beer, somewhat organized. As if we all got together in a parking lot or some impromptu car show, this crowd would be hanging together, looking over their shoulder at me, smirking.

I reference 6pack a lot here – and will continue as that place was, and still is, this safe place, and home for me. I don’t fee snubbed. And I don’t feel odd, although now many years later, I walk and talk differently. While I would love for all to be these fit, healthy, no medicine men and women, we aren’t, and we enjoy our cockpits regardless of how well we fill out that seat back. I think where I am going with this is, today’s stewards are a little different from original owner stewards.

The next generation of stewards will be even further from home base. I know a few original owners, and they all have some great traits, and some similar. But they really are nothing like I imagined back in those teenage years. Tom Bell, local D6 member, bought his 71 new in Fort Worth, and ran out of gas blocks away from the dealership. And has thrown that car around for years, and has no problem, without OD, getting on the highway, and getting on down the road. Elwood? Where hasn’t he driven that red car to. The next generation will have new agendas, new reasons to own the car. But they will get their knuckles dirty, and they will repeat some history, which should fill their souls. My hope, anyway.


Throwback. The Airport Curve
I have alluded to this corner before in other blogs, but only while describing failed or failing parts such as trailing arm mounts and trunions. I never mentioned that I am probably luck to be here, cause those failures happened either at the shop that we took the 72 car too, or on the way there. The Airport Curve, which is still there, was this litmus of sorts to the kids in the area. Everyone knew about it, and everyone thought they were the king of the hill.

Kinston Regional – airport code ISO, is a former WWII military training base. One of the longest runways in the world. Was involved in CIA black ops training after 9/11, and today, is mostly FBO corporate jet stuff on one end, and on the other, a Spirit Aviation manufacturing warehouse, dedicated to A340 Airbus fuselage components. Kinston, 40 miles from New Bern, a decent port town, that can handle big ships. Nice economic boom for Kinston, but over the years, ISO has been in the background for much of the industry there, except farming. Well, maybe some farming.

2 ways to get to this airport – Rouse Road and Airport Road. The curve I am speaking to here is Rouse Road, and I just google earthed this thing, and it still looks the same. I had never seen it from birdseye, and its more symmetrical than I would have described or imagined. This lovely 10 plus degree bank built into it. Smooth black asphault. You have these nice straights into this curve, which gives you time to get your speed right, and then, if no traffic, you can pinch down to that apex, hold that wheel, and drift out. I loved that corner, and getting some goosebumps thinking about it now.

I’m, what – 16 at the time? In a tired, conventional 72 car, with original, decent suspension at the time. And this corner was made for this mark. I had little expertise – I mean, I knew roughly what I was doing throwing that car thru it, but if memory serves, I got around 75 thru that corner in that car. And when I got my Michelins, I swore I’d get another 10. It was about then that I realized, as sexy as Michelin redlines are, they might as well have been flintstone mobile wheels. Speed didn’t change, and so we are clear, there wasn’t some friend on the side of the road clocking entry and exit points on a stop watch, much less a radar gun. It was me, looking at my speedo, in the corner, then back up, hoping I wasn't headed for the cornfield. It became a ritual, if you had time, you would go out to airport, and throw your car thru that corner.

Even with tobacco or corn, the farm field area on the inside was pushed back far enough so that you could see oncoming traffic, and get out of it if so. This road rarely had any traffic on it – never remember lifting in that corner for anything. The best part of this story, is that with this car, I was sure it handled better than the muscle cars and other stuff in the city. There was no way anything could go thru that corner as fast as me. 16 year old brain, and its logic. It’s a few years later, I’m talking to some girl, and she tells me she went thru that corner with her bf at the time. He had a trans am – 1980 or so. At 100. My first thought was probably your first thought – wow, a girl thinking that big sled went thru that corner at 100. But the more I thought about it, and stuff I learned later about the difference in trans am and camaro suspension, the more that made sense and probably happened.

Dick Motts and I went thru that corner a few times together, laughing, holding our breath, and then, after we got tired of it, cruised back over to the service shop from a noise or something. We park, go inside to talk to the regular mechanic. Mechanic comes out, with us, we roll the car forward – maybe 10 feet, and the left corner of the car collapses onto the pavement. Trunion, as best I can remember, failed, and that part, during production was around 200 dollars for the part. And both were replaced at some point. To my point when I started, this is how close I got to probably being thrown out of the car at 70 or so, in that corner. Each time I get back to Kinston, I drive thru that corner, just to get to the airport, see the neighborhoods, and so forth.


That’s enough for today
You and your Triumph TR6 are lovely diplomats. You help people around you with this car without even knowing it. You bring happiness to Interstate Battery guy delivering batteries. You are a steward, responsible for it, and to it. Please start the car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers. Pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Please put fresh gas in your car each week. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.


See you on down the road,

L.O Guvna

You can find more of the blogs here:
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I am the steward of CF50460UO, born September 1975 with paint code 19 and black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, with the original paint. I am the 3rd steward. Car was delivered with original hard top and factory overdrive. Current upgrades include Volvo overdrive gearing, Konig Rewind 16x7 rims, Falken 205s, 4Runner calipers and 7/8 rear wheel cylinders. Carbs by poolboy carbs, with a FlexAlite electric fan, pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, Silverstar Halogen headlights, WBC blueprinted oil pump, Bastuck 9 pound flywheel, Goodparts suspension on all 4 corners, Goodparts sway bar, Goodparts trailing arm brackets, Uprated Armstrong lever shocks with cycle fork oil, JVC audio with 4 speakers, high torque starter, solid state Rheostat, pending LED dash gauges. My wish list: r200B diff, a quantum mechanics Supra gearbox, new interior, and new paint at some point, a fresh motor down the road with lightened crank, cam bearings, improved compression and roller rocker valve train. Oh, and AC.