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The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with the Bee Gees, Night Fever

Have I shared disco before? We can hide it, ignore it, but this was the fabric in the late 70s. The bachelor utopia was distracted by the fact I was recovering from skin surgery. I knew I wouldn’t be bowling, or doing anything strenuous, but the daily impact was a bit prison like. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the R&R, and that is essentially what that was.

I said last week, bear with furniture. Kinda proud of how well I did not animal house this place up. I did manage to turn the living area into a windshield frame restoration center, complete with a grinder. That sounds so wrong, but it was just a few grinds on the post of the frame. An odd spot weld sticking out – figured that would impede it mounting, ignoring the fact it was there when I pulled it. All in all, so far, a decent recovery, girls return tomorrow, and I have a TR6 breakfast this morning. Should be a full weekend, if I can get around to everything.

Whats new
Lovely progress at the shop last week. More cutting in, now the engine bay and trunk area. All that is left is the front valance body work, finish massaging the panels, then in the booth for the whole car, hard top, and extra trunk lid.

I am pulling together all my parts, baggies, and bits that go back on the car. All that is left to order are the bumpers. And my rear tires, but that can wait until the car gets back to my garage. The punch list seems endless. The plan right now is to leave my old rims and tires on the car to roll around, and then, swap them with the new rubber. I am in progress my dash- that may get pushed, not sure. I asked Alex this week if they could shoot the hard top separately – if so, I can pick that up in the tahoe, bring it home, get my glass back in it, sort the seals, snaps, and that rear underside area that needs new rubber, and paint, frankly – on the underside, inside that cavity. Mine still has original primer and not much else in there. Will be nice to have that ready to go, and speed up some of this while they are still prepping and painting that roller.

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

The Wax
I love how we continue to grow and improve. Feels like we are dogging knives sometimes, but we tend to be a resilient group. I trip occasionally and get Debbie Downer, but I do my best to keep my chin up. It hit me this week that we have come a long way in some of the simple stuff. What used to be this chaos of discussion, is today, almost plug and play. Alternators for example. Or starters – much less quirky today to find a unit, and what have today is now tested and approved, so to speak, by the pioneers willing to take the chance for you. When I put my Bastuck flywheel on my car, I had to have been one of the early ones, and just because Rainer said it would be fine, this tin foil looking unit appeared to be moments from shredding and sending aluminum through the bell housing. 12 years later, bulletproof, and cleared for others to bolt on and go.

My car is polluted with dynamat. As in, scattered under the carpet in various areas including my floor pans and firewall. I have smart insulation foam in my b posts, and over my wheel wells behind the panel. Stuff like that. Today, when I replace my carpet, I won’t pull up my dynamat – although I’d like to – I’ll roll over it with lizard skin. This is one of those – if you procrastinate long enough, good stuff comes along. And today, we have that product, in 2 forms, heat and sound, and rather than spray it on, as recommended, pour it in a paint tray, with cheap stub rollers, and roll it on. Done. 100 dollars. Heat on the firewall, and sound on the floor and everything else. Better, stronger, faster, and cheaper than dynamat. This as an example of letting someone test it first and wait and see how it holds up. Oh, and lighter too – you’re adding about 200 pounds to your car with an interior of dynamat. Essentially nothing with lizard skin.

Lou Mujares, well known on 6 pack as lfmTR4, shared this great write up on 6pack on how to convert later cars to early cars with scuttle vents. This flip up vent does 2 things – protects from rain when down, and when up, provides significant air flow thru the dash vents. Its also an attractive mod, as you paint the lid body color, and it blends in, and looks very nice. To mount that lid, you have to have child hands to get nuts on the backside of the mounting plate – 3 nuts and washers. Lou fabbed up a steel strap, drilled, and welded in 3 nuts, and used that for the top bolts. Robert, who is doing this now, used nutzerts, which is a pressed in nut, similar to how you pop a rivet. We have seen this before with BobbyD and using something similar for the snaps on the side of the car.

So, remember. Procrastination is good. Don’t tell my wife I said that.

Tech: the fan belt
Throwback. The Soft Top

Tech: fan belt and the hood
We often think about anything we see on our car – this has only happened to my car, or it only happens to me. I felt that, when owning this car after a few years. With the hood up, there was this odd damage to the paint. Odd horizontal black mark, somewhat kin to someone with a can of rattle paint, laying down a single pass of tack coat. It also looked like someone took bike chain, and hit the surface a few times. One day, it hit me. The damage is on the plane of the fan belt. My best Columbo – belt came loose, and threw bits all over the car in the orbit. Or, something like a dirty rag got tangled up in there. Who knows.

I’m at a fellow TR6 owners house a few weekends ago, and he had the same thing. So I tell him how it got there. Ah. The only way for me to renew this was to repaint it – which my shop is doing for this collision. But I don’t want this to happen again – so, my plan is to take the hood liner kit, and ask the company for some spare hoodliner material, and form a wide patch over the 2 formers that make the hood frame. These aren’t normally covered in the kit and I’d like to have these pieces covered too. In my mind, this will look odd. I’m hoping for a nice tidy job. I’ll keep you posted on this.

While we are on this subject, I may as well add this bit. Look at your hood over your carbs. If your paint is worn in a long sphere shape, your carb choke cables are sticking up too high, and rubbing on the surface while you drive. You don’t have to shorten them much, but just enough to keep that loop from touching the hood.

Good luck.

Im chatting recently with 2 6pack legends, Elwood and Tush, and I bring up Tush’s header that he has chosen for his 250 project – sure enough, it’s a pacesetter, which is what I have. And we get into the performance, and even problems of this unit. They tend to warp at the cylinder head mount area and leak. Oddly, this unit is still being produced and sold worldwide. I was shocked to find it online at Napa. But what started with, hey, is that a pacesetter, turned into header and exhaust theory. I won’t do that convo any justice with this summary, but I will try to relate my thoughts as best I can cause I don’t think we talk about it much. Let me further say, that some of what you are about to read will most likely be edited or corrected by people smarter than me. I am not a header expert but I play one on TV.

Like anything we have related to this car, we benefit from development over the years, or even within the year. Pick any subject, and what we have today. It is probably better than a few years ago. Over 10 years ago, we had the Nissan r200 differential. Now, we have choices in that diff, including a variant called the r200B. More ratios, and better design around the unit to adapt. Headers, for our car, don’t tend to change much, but we know there are various versions to choose from, depending on engine recipe, and driving conditions. I have upgrades, which I have mentioned and note in my signature. Sadly, I affected my recipe with a change to my exhaust when I replaced my worn out Ansa dual muffler, quad pipes, with the stock appearing bundle of snakes. That solution included dual pipes up to the end of my header. With my ansa’s, I had a long, 3 inch pipe all the way to the back.

Here is what I know from racing. You change just a touch on a pipe length, or shape, and you affect horsepower, torque, or when it comes on – where it peaks. One of the downsides to my pacesetter rig is its welded all the way back to the muffler. I can remove the muffler, but not the header. I’ve discussed this with other motor guys, and its good to put a flange in after the header. That break in the rigid is healthy for the pipes in general. The worst part, and I don’t know this until later, is the long length of 3 inch pipe after the header, helped my motor with less backpressure. By reducing, essentially eliminating this flow, my motor performs differently now. In other words, my motor loved that header, long 3 inch pipe back, to a split. The change essentially became a choke to the backpressure, if that makes sense.

The point here wasn’t to drag you into my drama, but to get you to think about what yours is doing. This chatter may not apply to stock manifolds and stock pipes back, but in any system, there are opportunities to improve, and to my point above, look for racetorations or the like to fab up something that fits a stock manifold, and finds an extra 3 hp.

Throwback. New top
I’ve shared this throwback before, and the plan was to just cut and paste it here like a complete lazy fool. Well, I hid it well, I guess, in the journals and posts over the years. All I can do now, is relive this and type it over. I’ve seen a few folk send their car off to get their tops replaced. One horribly. I felt compelled to reshare this story, so, here is a quick summary of a college freshman, pulling an old top, cleaning a frame and webbing, and gluing down a new robbins top, circa 1982.

In our move to Texas, we painted the car back to white from chit blue, which I have shared before. Blue car, white amco top. I looked for a reason to get a black soft top on this car. One of the vivid memories of that white top – stiff. You know how old vinyl gets, stiff, and hard to fold. Plus the plastic windows were cloudy. I remember that new top arriving – Robbins did a nice job then on quality. Clear windows. Nice new zipper rear panel. Seams, snaps – all of it, very nice. And with that, I started dismantling. And remember – 19 year old, with sad tools, in a garage over a few weekends, and I had a tight, clean soft top, with improvements. If that kid can do it, anyone can.

I pulled the whole assembly – rear plate, side mounts, and had the whole thing on the floor. Pulled the vinyl away from the rear lid with pliers, cut the webbing out, kept the hardware for that. Drilled out the rivets that held the webbing to the frame rails. Pulled the vinyl away from the header. What was left was rusted frame, and a lot of hardened top glue front and back. Scrapers, sand paper, and general clean up, and then we took the frame to a shop nearby that dipped stuff for a few days, and after it was pulled, nice, bare metal when done. If I did this again, I’d probably just hand sand most of it, wire brush, and all that. But with a renewed frame, a few coats of primer, and then rattle can gloss black. The back plate is what tends to get the most rust as that is where most of the moisture ends up.

When you take this rig apart, you notice simple things – I assume simple, but seeing Tom’s top recently, maybe not so simple or obvious. One, for example, on the rear plate, on the new top, there is this flap that gets glued underneath the plate. Well, that plate should be pushed all the way back to the inside seam, so that the stitching is butted up against the back of the plate. Also, with tape or something mark the center of the top back, and the center of the plate. The plate is pretty easy as there is a bolt hole in the middle of it. I used epoxy for this and lot of clamps.
Another simple thing, and this happens before you glue the top flap to the rear plate, is to mount the webbing. There was no webbing to buy back then- we bought same size webbing from a fabric store, and made it – I think you have to sew a loop in the ends to hold the webbing in the plate. After that, no top, just frame and webbing, mount the frame on the car and the plate on the back. Stretch and mark the webbing on the frame. And this is the simple part. Mark it so the frame is about 6 inches from the windshield top plate. After the top is mounted, and in decent weather, it should sit about that far from the windshield. The webbing is first, get that marked and mounted, and then, finish with the top. The hardest part, that I remember, was making sure I had the top straight, and glued down in the right place. On a black top, white out or some white marker to note the center of the top leading edge and the center of the vinyl will help later. I think the recommendation for the leading edge is contact cement. Today, with great glues, like a black silicone adhesive you are good with a bunch of those clamps from harbor freight.

My memory share is how I managed the Velcro on the sides for the door windows. The original was this contraption of fabric and Velcro that was designed to stay wet and rust. I took wide Velcro, glued it directly to the side of the frame, and let it dry. Then, trimmed it with an exacto blade. Much stronger, and I could really pull my top down to fit under the window better.

This throwback wandered between throwback and how to, and I apologize. I don’t need a new soft top right now, but when I do, I know I’ll handle this myself. And its rewarding. Ive seen other vintage soft top systems, and this one is easy in comparison.

That’s enough for today. See you on down the road,

Thank you for caring for your Triumph TR6. Lets also thank those considering one. This is a great mark for young and old. This mark is blessed with an amazing network development, parts, owners, experts and car availability. A TR6 helps people everyday, lifting spirits, bringing smiles. A TR6 brings happiness to the father and son at the repair shop. Please start your car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers – they struggle with oiling at start up. 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.

Please join me and the journey here:

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, custom gear knob, and several more bits

My to do list
New carpet, new panels, custom dash.
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.