The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with Peter Frampton, Live in Detroit. One of my favorite versions of Do you feel like I do. Complete with Bob Mayo on the keyboards

Except for delta variant, the world seems good and locally, decent except for this hot weather. Family is good, work is good, and its back to school. A bathroom paint and remodel is taking longer than expected. House hunting for the oldest, soccer for the youngest, and we keep the fires burning for Holly, the lost terrier mix missing since March.

Whats new
I should have mentioned this last week. Jeez, this new fuel. The school car sat for a week in the garage. You know me. Sit for a while or drive every day. In that simple week, it took longer to start, expected. cBut I back the car out of the driveway, and I see drips on the concrete. Pull out of the garage, pop the hood. Several of my new clamps on my new fuel line, are spitting gas by the inlets. This pump is stronger, for sure, but this fuel line, and this new fuel – had to have sat there, and did its corrosive work while we all slept. Tightened down, off I went.

Its surface of the sun hot in texas, and like an idiot, I pulled the hard top this summer for the first time in a while. Black vinyl and Texas summer do not do well together. I’ve addressed my snaps, tonneau, and a few other items, but I’ll have that hard top back on shortly. Seems odd, doesn’t it. That anyone would reverse a hard top on/off routine so that its off in the winter. Well, that, my dear TR6 friends, is life on the surface of the sun.

Did you put gas in your car? Please put a little gas in your car.
And if you ain’t following ChefTush on youtube, go catch his paint and bodywork on that 250.

The Wax
My continuing effort to share whats right with this mark. Today - differential

For years, about all we had to look forward to in diff upgrades was the 3.45 ring and pinion. I had this silly hope that some of them would find their way to a junkyard nearby. With a standard gearbox and an inaccurate tach, I wanted to do anything I could to drop the revs – we have all been down that path. Over the years, we see the refurb program from The Roadster Factory, and in their restoration, you can swap ring and pinion, and get a lower diff, and a drain plug – nice feature.

My current original 3.71 diff hums. Its leaks a little – not much. My vent hole is clear – be sure you know where that is on the top, and you have a cotter pin in it to keep the trash out. Other than that, an original diff, doubt it was ever pulled and restored. Does the job. And this diff, like anything else compared to my 72 stunt car, is simply in better condition.

Smarter people than me thought of options other than locking this rig, or finding a way to make it better. My mounts are healthy. Eh. And here we were, all in this Eh land of differential, and then one magical day, the r200 shows up via goodparts as an upgrade. I buzz around it like everyone else – putting hands on it like those apes from 2001 A Space Odyssey and that big Bit O Honey Bar. Soon, people start swapping. And keep swapping. And more variants of the 200 show up. More swapping. At this point, there are a dozen variants of the 200 with various ratios, down as far, at least, to 3.30. Imagine 3.30 and OD or hdva on the highway. I might get near my tahoe rpm at 80.

This diff. Looks stout, but not creature from the black lagoon stout. Quiet. Drip free. Limited slip. Minor machining. Fits, works, and is as affordable as rebuilding your original diff. I think ebay has these units for around 200. Goodparts kit – 1000 maybe. And oddly, with your original out, you can sell it used, in good condition for over half what it would cost to put the r200 or r200b in. Or, you can weld it to chain, and use it in your boat the next time you go fishing.

Here is the number of people that I have met who did not like this upgrade. ZERO. I simply don’t know why I haven’t done this yet. Laziness. Only logical answer. You could give some nervous response to originality as your reason for keeping that other thing in there, but cmon. How many judges lay down and look under a car. About the only thing I can think of as to why you would keep an original TR6 3.71 or 3.45 differential.

Next week. Tires and rimmmmmms

Tech. float bowl upgrade
The kids are alright
Fresh motor circa 1978

Tech Stromberg float mod
I am probably gonna continue to buzz around fuel for a while. I could prey on lucas or the usual suspects, but most of that is history, frankly. And sadly, when we think we have rid ourselves of one demon, another creeps in. And not just us, but anyone with carbs designed for fuel from the 70s.
Our new issue…or one of them….is a sticking metering needle. You might find this hard to believe, but my floats were stuck in position, and would move if you nudged them. And my metering needle was stuck too. I pulled the carbs to find all this. We have this kinda heart paddle fix of pulling the fuel lines into the carb, blasting some wd40 or carb cleaner, or oily substance in the inlet to free up the bits. And – tapping the side of the bowl with a small hammer. The theory here is – loosen it up, and once freed, or partially freed, the new fresher gas will come in, and lubricate, and clean up the bits and make it all smooth again. We don’t pull the bowls, I think, because the bowls are held in place with original flat head bolts. If you never contorted your hand and forearm with a flat blade screwdriver to remove the bowl with the carbs still mounted, then you are still a virgin and need to live a little. Have fun with that, and be sure to film part or all of it. You might become a youtube sensation with cuss words you will probably create.

My solution. Go thru this removal exercise with one carb, take the flat head bolts to the hardware store, and by replacements with cap head for an allen wrench – for 2 carbs. Note they are all different length, and you can shorten each one by ¼ if possible. Store your original bolts, and frame them or something. But with the hex head bolts, you can remove these bowls more often, and quickly. Cause you will find this helpful down the road, especially if you are on the road traveling. Be careful with the metering needle as that will have a tendency to fall out if the floats fall down. And by the way, taking the float axle off its spindle? And polishing it with 2000 grit and car polish to a bright shine? Will help your floats from sticking in the future.
Good luck Mr Phelps.

Kids and the Future
There are people you gravitate in this TR6 world – Craig Kenyon is one of them. Arizona based, and is very up to speed on upgrades for this mark. I find Craig and his work thru 6pack maybe 7 years ago. He gets with this fab shop, they weld up this unbelievable intake bundle of snakes, borrowing cross flow, and rig up this throttle body, and when they are done, Craigs car, with decent engine upgrade, but not crazy – is getting 150 at the rear wheel. Think about how hard that is.

Craig doesn’t post much, but when he does its succinct. Like the opposite of me. Smart, direct. He comes on this past week about a trip to the friendly local auto parts store. He parks outside, goes in for a few things, comes out, and on one side, a miata, and the other? A 280z. Kids driving them, and they are hovering all over his red tr6. Now these kids could have moseyed up to you or me, but here they are next to the closest thing to a track car that I can think of. I can run with a modified miata, but I doubt I could keep up with a 280z in good tune. Maybe – but the best part is – this is the car they want to be around. Kids, teenagers. All this noise about the future, and here are some examples of future demand, and where we hand the keys in a few years.
This thread gets a lot of attention, and its great to see how everyone is embracing this kid discussion. I’ve been singing for years – take a kid driving. Literally. I found a previous blog surfing this week – the segment was called Model T, and it speaks to this next generation. I think we all see it, or think about the next steward. But its interesting to be in a first gen group, thinking of down the road. I guess – compare to 55 chevy owners, or those Model T owners – rare that either would be alive today, or driving them if so, so look at those generations who are embracing them now. We get a little selfish with this car, almost childish. For me, knowing there is some interest, and wide eyed enthusiasm, is very comforting.

Throwback. Overhaul
I know I have dropped this throwback before, but given the recent chatter about engine work, I thought, why not share…or reshare…the 72 car and its engine overhaul. Some what to do, and a lot of what not to do.

Its 1978 or something, and I am around 15, with a permit, trying to find time to drag a parent with me to go anywhere. Car gets very little mileage since purchase since the parents have their own cars, and I can’t drive alone for a year. Well, I did at 14, got a ticket, and that was another blog. But to remind everyone, this car, at this point, is 6 years old, 3rd owner, with 50K miles on it. Just sharing that bit to remind you what sand storm we are dealing with here. I don’t know much about engines then. I pulled a briggs mini bike engine apart and put it back together – crank, rod, piston, cam dot lining up….so maybe a little. Yes, it ran after I put it back together. But in this 6 motor, we hear some odd noises in this motor as it ran, or even idled. I remember that we tried some STP in the oil – foolish mistake. I could not tell you what the oil pressure was – I think the only gauge I cared about back then was that hypnotizing tach, which I had never seen on a car until then.

At some point, concerned, we take this car to what would be our regular shop – the one that I’ve mentioned before, and today, I can’t tell you the name of this place – Ingrams, maybe. One of the few places that mentioned foreign car repair. And in this small town, this shop is maybe a mile from the triumph dealership. I’ve said before, I didn’t know anyone that would use a dealership service department unless your car was under warranty. I kinda feel that way today, frankly. Many do too. But here we are, outside the shop, engine off, and Dad rounds up a mechanic. We fire the car, let it idle – I assume rev it some, and he says – shut it off. And shakes his head. Now this thing isn’t throwing rods, or burning oil, best I can remember. But it sounds like its about to fall out of the car, and in pieces. I do remember this part.

This begins the decision to leave the car there, and have the engine rebuilt. This rebuild goes on for a few weeks. The first few days, the car just sits outside, in a row of cars waiting for service. Teenager, about to get an engine rebuild in his british sports car. I mean the only thing I thought about was – wow, new motor, and it will be a rocket ship. So this multi week Christmas of waiting – driving by for no reason to see of there was progress, and one day, the car sitting there, now the nose is up. And the hood is missing. Sad blue paint job, now exposed as the original white engine bay, dirty, is missing a motor. And in the service bay is this motor, now in parts, the block on its end, with all 6 cylinders exposed. I don’t remember the head or crank anywhere. I remember this country store looking shop, with parts laying all over the place. I would find a reason to stop by – for progress. And like those shops, they come in spurts. Nothing for a week, and then all of a sudden, freshly painted block, and at some point, its back together. And then, back in the car. And ready to go home. All I remember when we left was how pretty that motor was. They even painted the valve cover. I was sure it was all great cause it was pretty.

For the next 7 years, I drive a decent motor, with nothing special in performance that I was hoping for. Ran ok, but had a tendency to blow smoke at high RPMs. Like 4K. Seriously. So, part of that engine work missed on one of the cylinder hone or ring gap. This throwback for me – and others, is about what resources we had back in the day. There was no CNC machine shop – no parts bath. Just a bench, with probably new main and rod bearings, same pistons, and new rings. Did I miss anything? I am sure they did nothing to that head, and just bolted it back on. Ring and bearing job. And probably front and rear seals.

Think about that for what, 1000 dollars? To get into stuff today, that we feel required, was blueprint stuff back in the day. I can’t imagine getting into my motor without having everything straight and balanced. Add decking that head, new valves, roller rockers, cam, cam bearings, inline bore, torque plate bore to .010 over, and a few other things, including that lightened WBC crank. I get drunk thinking about putting a motor together that I really want to do. To have this memory of a kid watching an engine come out, come apart, and go back together in a pretty way is a great memory on several levels – that appreciation for it to happen, for those around you that helped make it happen, and while not a rocketship, and not perfect, 7 years of decent motoring.

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 kids at the auto parts store. You are a trusted TR6 owner, sharing and helping others. 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

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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, 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