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The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with Foghat, Slow Ride

A pretty decent week, I must say. Never get too old to learn something. More on that later. Oldest is now moved into her Urban apartment, close to work, school, all that. My AC is stable – I was cautious to throw that chicken little comment out as I swore it was stable 6 times already.
Its hot, but not shocking hot. Just that back to normal hot. I walked around in May thinking, um, its time for it be 100, and somehow in this climate, we had extended spring temps. In other words, back to normal discomfort in north Texas. We have put off some routine vacation due to work conflicts and other distractions. We will load up and go somewhere, but being June, its getting close to go time.

Whats new
Mostly stuff around the house, garage. I’ve slipped into full tangent on this dash and gearshift knob, and working on my windscreen restoration. Windshield, frame, both in the garage, leaning up against my paint cabinet. Windshield frame needs clean up – rubber debris left over from the old glass rubber, light sanding, primer, and tough epoxy satin. Also, weatherproofing the top aluminum plate? That polished finisher that that rivets to the top. Mine is off, and there is this light layer of plumbers putty under that – or some material. So, prime and paint that, weather proof that top, rivet it back on, and then reinstall that windshield. I know a horror story where you leave windshield out, flat, too long, and it changes shape. Mine is propped up, but you still have that fear, you know? It needs to be reassembled anyway.

Door jams are cut in. I went to the shop this week, sharing some pics here.

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We are down to more cutting in around the trunk area, hood area, hard top, and then, car in the booth, shoot that, then all of it on the tow truck, headed back to the house. Its time to get a car cover……

Did you put gas in your car? Go do that, even if it’s a gallon.

The Wax
In my next installment of what still needs attention. Frames

I am about to wax on stuff I don’t know. Don’t truly understand. We all took geometry, algebra, and all that math and angles earlier in life, and for the most part, suspensions make some sense, but to watch the wizardry of an alignment specialist might as well be watching someone make tapestry, or watch Bob Ross throw paint on some canvas to the point where it appears you can touch the water. Took me some years to realize, I just can’t do some things – like drive boats. I can drive anything with 4 wheels – just don’t offer to let me drive your motor boat, even in open water. Long story – maybe I’ll share this Achilles heel with you some day.

My gentle take on our frames. Even if unmolested or unwrecked, they aren’t straight. That’s a hard pill to swallow. A few chest beaters just smirked at me, and this blog – that level of superiority and arrogance that only the true snob can possess. Love me, hate me – doesn’t matter. Gravity is impossible to ignore or fight, mate. I mean if you, Mr chestbeater, sent your car into outer space for 40 years -sure, it might be straight, but that’s assuming it was straight off the assembly line.

I’ll step off my debby downer box for a second – many, if not most, are close. Or close enough. But sag, any driving and wear and tear tend to take our frames, and bend them like a paper clip. Over time, back and forth, side to side, and in today’s world, the specs are off, regardless. We think we are blessed with this 4 wheel independent contraption, but gimme a Jeep CJ with 2 live axles under it, and ruler. I think I’m good after about 20 minutes.

Here's what sucks. We are running out of support here. Dallas, for example, used to have the go-to frame shop – simply, Dallas Frame and Alignment. Done. Crickets. Why? Well, besides covid, there ain’t many frame cars anymore. Insurance will total a car with unibody damage – best I can tell. So, with DF&A gone, others leave, maybe there is 1 left somewhere. But the pushpins that used to clutter up a map, are disappearing. And for some gasoline on this fire, it’s a challenge to find a Hunter alignment shop that has the specs for our cars in it. My rims and tires are so tight in the wheel well, that the grabber contraption won’t fit around it. Which leaves me with that network of friend of a friend of a friend of Lee Iacocca. Which I find, in Mo, btw, in Garland, but we shouldn’t have to work this hard to get our cars pointed straight.

The light at the end of the tunnel is Ratco, maker of brand new bigger, taller, faster, stronger, smarter TR6 frames. Not cheap, but imagine pulling your tub off your old sagger, and placing it on this new mattress. That solves part of the problem – next should be, somewhere, this genesis of network of alignment or our Dr Seuss contraptions.

Up next week. Fuel lines and rubber

Tech: Thermostats
Throwback. A teenagers TR6

Tech: Thermostat
Feeling like we have discussed this already, but I didn’t see it in the recent history of this blog. Just wanted to share some options as we all chase the right thermostat.

A few years back, we got into a discussion on the forums regarding the right engine temperature. Personally, I chase a thermostat that puts my needle in the middle. From what I can tell, that’s 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The discussion focused on the optimal cylinder head temp, which some argued was 195. 15 more degrees, it seems, makes a motor act better. Better efficiency. This debate goes back and forth. My regular mechanic, Chris, told me to run cooler – that the motor would run better, and last longer, so to speak. I’ve played with thermostats that range from 160 to 195, and I’ve settled on 180. I’ve even run my car without a thermostat, thinking that the constant flow would be better for coolant health. Kinda like flushing, but without an exit for the coolant. In the summer, in Texas, that isn’t an issue, as I get to temp quickly and stay there. I should say that I have some thermostat built into my system with an electric fan. So that kicks on or off depending on what I have the system set to.

Here is a suggestion on sourcing these thermostats. Rather than source these through our regular parts sources, go to your parts store, and tell them you need a thermostat for a 1980 Jeep CJ5, 6 cylinder. They have 4 choices, each around 5 dollars. Our thermostat design was in that period where all cars used the same Stant design.

Good luck.

Festival of Speed
I wish I could remember when this started for me. I assume it was cable TV, and stumbling on this vintage car race on a sprawling English countryside. At first, you see some nice jags and sedans lapping, racing, but at some point you realize, they aren’t just lapping. They are racing. This surreal event, with priceless automobiles, driven at a limit, rubbing fenders. And to make it more surreal, they throw these cars into this right, left barriered half chicane before getting on the straight in front of the stands. You see this segment of the track, and you think – this is disaster waiting to happen. The covered, which is very well done, shows racing from cameras all over the track, even in the pits. Getting out of one car is Mr Bean, Rowan Atkinson. I follow racing, had no idea this guy could drive. And very well. More celebrities appear, more cars, different classes. This is my memory of getting involved. This vintage car celebration, in England, with apparently very little rules.

On my bucket list are 2 things in Europe. Goodwood and the Nürburgring. The ring is simple a standard, and sure that gets better each year. But Goodwood – I mean, this seems to have exploded. Of course, this is me, and my limited impression of this place. The more you learn, the more you realize, this isn’t just a guy with a bunch of money and real estate, who invited folk to come race in his backyard. Launched in 1993 by Lord March, Goodwood exploded, and is now a massive automotive tribute. Here is a link to the Festival of Speed, this month, this weekend. The Revival, which is what I first experienced, is in September.

I’ll leave with this fun tip. One of my favorite youtube videos is an engine shop, parts laid out on a table, german mechanics in the background, chatting away in german. Camera moving around, watching them assemble this motor, measuring, methodical. And then you watch them take this assembled motor, and bolt it to the back of the Brabham BT52, Nelson Piquet’s F1 1983 championship car. These old mechanics who just assembled this motor were his BMW engine guys back in the day. Car is sorted, Marc Surer shakes it down, and the video ends with Piquet, slipping into the cockpit at the start of the Festival of Speed. And Piquet, typical, doesn’t just parade this car up the hill. He lights up the tires, and stands on it in various parts. Chills typing this. I hope as a car person, you embrace this place, or something like it.

Throwback. Take a trip with me
A quick edit- from last week, I said I didn’t know Bottie May’s last name. its May – I figured that was part of his name, or middle name, or something. Had to get that clarity from mom.

So, using this week to throwback simply a day in the life of a teenager driving a TR6 in the 70s. A cluster of memories of stewarding a TR6 when they had dealerships and parts available. While in production, not feeling like you had any support. Forced to trust a foreign car shop that said they could service a TR6. Sure, the dealership had service, but no one used a dealership for service. Hell, I barely do now.

First up – the hair cut. For years, I used my TR6 to dry my hair after getting it cut. Wet cut, and they would always want to dry it for me, and I would be, no thanks. In the TR6, top down, at city speed, sit up, over the windshield, and about 10 seconds of air rushing, and I’m dry, and styled by that hot rushing air. Mostly summer, obviously, but after the move to Texas, almost year round.

Gas was 81 cents a gallon then. I used to buy my gas at Amoco – don’t remember why, but remember the station. Leaded then, with that lovely smell. I am ashamed to say how much I loved the smell of leaded gas. I’m sure my brain is damaged from it.

I threw back once about getting Michelin red lines for the 72 car. I was so excited to put those new tires on that car – only to find out they were kin to fred flinstone’s rock wheels. I had what I thought was some horrible goodyear tire – turns out, those low profile tires were very sticky, and great handling tires. Even then, I was already drunk on the image – the koolaid of what this car should look like, including a red line Michelin on those original rims. And tube tires. Wow. The world had already moved to radial, and way from tubes.

I had the car aligned once – I mean, back to the wax above, this very old school guy and equipment, moving shims around. I guess he changed it – I don’t remember a lot changing, but he spent time on it, and I drove it off with a receipt. This car, early car, with the early trailing arm supports, soft original springs, and thin Armstrong fluid in those shocks – just a little push on the throttle from a light, and you felt like the rear wheels were laid out like chitty chitty bang bang, wheels and tires flat on the ground, trying to spin and push the car forward. And to see a friend try to drive this thing with that sensitive clutch – rear end bobbing up and down as they drove off. Funny, and a bit cringe worthy.

I drove this car in the rain – wipers were somewhat effective. Even then, the dash vents did little to knock down the fogged windows. The top was good – dry inside. I broke my radiator fan once by driving thru a puddle, apparently too deep, sheering the fan blades. That was fun. My drain holes in the floor pans did not have those proper plugs, but even open, I never had bad wet carpet issues – sure, it got somewhat wet, but it didn’t flood the floorpans.

This car was fun on the highway, even to this day, I believe adding my spoiler helped the car at speed. The steering was light – lighter than my current 76 car, and I don’t know if that is the steering box, or bigger tires. Tires, most likely. And when it wasn’t raining, I remember washing this car a lot – using some store brand polish. That paint was bad, but fun to polish.

I’ll compile more of these ramblings for a later date. These memories pop in from time to time. The haircut one is a good example – would have never been able to recall that if I sat here and focused on stuff like that. I know we all have old memories on your current car, or one you had during production, or even a friend and his TR6. I’m sure I could ask Richard what he remembers about this car, and he would remember something I had forgotten. I may do that for next time.

That’s enough for today
Thank you for caring for your Triumph TR6, and a special thanks to those considering one. Owning this car isn’t scary and you have an amazing network around to help you. Your TR6 helps people around you, without even knowing it. You bring happiness to the father and son at breakfast. Please start your car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers. Please pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Please put fresh gas in your car each week, even if just 1 gallon. Please have good insurance, and review your policy regularly. And please drive your 6 defensively, as if it was a 4 wheeled Harley.

And remember. 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 current paint code 19 and 11 black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, in the paint shop, moving to Cayman Blue Mica 2 stage paint. I am the 3rd steward. Car was delivered with original hard top and factory overdrive. Current upgrades include Volvo overdrive gearing, König Rewind 16x7 rims, Falken 205s, 4Runner calipers and 7/8 rear wheel cylinders. Poolboy carbs, FlexAlite electric fan, Patton Machine Fan Eliminator, Pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, Silverstar Halogen headlights, WBC blueprinted oil pump, Bastuck 9LB 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. Adding Vietnam bumpers, flip up scuttle vent, hidden antenna, window tint, and several more bits

The to do list
New carpet, new panels, dash almost done.
r200B diff with goodparts cv joints and hubs
fresh head with roller rockers.
At some point, a fresh motor with lightened crank, cam bearings,
Hard top inside insulation, and dome light.
Oh, and AC.