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The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with Elton John, Someone saved my life tonight.
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupSomeone Saved My Life Tonight · Elton JohnCaptain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy℗ 1975 This Record Company L...

A return to my weekly zen. Not writers block, but just low energy. Since January, I have been in and out of hospitals, chasing fevers and personal health. Since that time, open heart surgery to replace a valve, a pacemaker, some dialysis, and most recently, aneurisms in my lower left leg. My mind and body focused on a medical recovery, and a life after that will bring some change. I’ll do my best not to drag everyone into my health rabbit hole, but I don’t want to ignore a calling of sorts that speaks to the elephant in our room. A room that this demographic – the age window that gets tagged with vintage cars. Our room being our typical age, our common fitness, our faculties, and so on. Me, a man of 60, cruising thru life overweight, but with good energy and strength, decent lifestyle, and an effort to clean up the intake, so to speak. But for us – we can’t just sit in that drivers seat, and motor on. At least I can’t. I have had a wake up call, and I hope that I am over the worst of it.

Its been an interesting last 2 years. A vintage car wreck. Soon after, an instant decision to work on my weight and health. Taught myself to use a wood lathe. Pieces of the puzzle coming together to remind me, don’t get comfortable. Be ready for anything. I wasn’t.

Whats new
Nothing, except me and my life and body. These first 4 months, and most of December, a TR6 left alone at the paint and body shop. My hard top in my garage in a partial restoration. Parts everywhere. I don’t drive right now, so my expectation of getting in a garage, and turning even the simplest wrench, is a reach in my mind. The good news is, there are no setbacks. And doing what I can to help others, even in this fuzzy state. I have given the paint shop, where the car still sits, to paint the rear valance. I had planned on wrapping that with flat black wrap, or having it done. But why not – use this personal down time to get Alex to do this with his crew.

As always, the diary of the The School Car Wreck Blog is here
Stewards, I regret to inform but I ran a red light, and tagged a VW Passat. No injuries, and we are already working on getting the school car back together and pointed straight. cheers #guvnal

Did you put gas in your car? Go do that, even if it’s a gallon. And please drive with your lights on – we need all the visibility we can get with the distracted motorists.

Lets have a pint

I can really get lost here this week. I haven’t sat at a bar in months. So much bar chat bundled up inside. While this is my usual spot for less organized ramble, this week I’ll bounce around like a pinball.

I had this vision of the cycle of life that this mark is going thru. You take a 1950s or 60s collectible, and today, its ebbed and flowed from its assembly line state. A TR6 has experienced some of that, but more of that is coming. My opinion is, we will still have the purist group, and we will have the mod group, which has been bundled together into resto mod. Resto mod may be our saving sector, as it tickles the younger generation with its modern comforts. A young adult at 25-30, never saw this car in production, just like I never saw a 55 chevy. But some of that generation is blessed with a parent that loved this car, and that inspiration pushes them into that car.

I had this memory of me with my first TR6, headed to high school. I was a good 160 then, wanting to add weight for varsity football. Little things that I remember then was being fit, good strength and good endurance. And particularly how I entered and exited a TR6. I was reminded of this when I lost some weight a few years ago. This will sound odd, but to get out of the car in high school, after opening the driver door, I would place my left hand flat on the ground, and use that for leverage to push myself up to walking position. Kinda peeling myself out of the car. It was fast, compared to my current day wiggle, B post, and door jam sequence I go thru now.

What are your car show plans this year? If I show up to any of them, it will either be vintage carless, or in a version of my car without major parts on it, like tops or even a windshield. So much left to do to get it back in trim. But to bump that starter, and make my way to some event is something I am looking forward to. Locally of course. Which means VTR in GA and Trials in PA are out. Sucks. But 2024 will bring more opportunity. I need to resign myself that my journey now is putting the school car back together. Literally force my mind into restoration mode. As bad as that sad white 19 was on this car, it ran like raped ape. I enjoyed having some patina on the rear wing. That my paint didn’t shine too much. That my interior wasn’t pristine. And I just chuckled cause on my trip back from NC in 2016, I bottomed out on the highway somewhere, and a paint chip popped off my left front fender. By the time the shop got it, that was full on rust. That fender is gone now, replaced with heritage.

Ok – on the rest of this ramble.

Tech: Spark Plugs
Louder snakes
Throwback. The original fuel pump

Tech: The Champion 404
I’ll get back to the carb tech series soon. I just don’t have the energy right now to audit all that and add a number 4 to the next round. So this week, pulling up some old chatter, I thought I would reshare some commentary on plugs. I speak from the US spec on stuff like this, in case there was any confusion.

I have fallen into the trap of chasing tune by swapping plugs – particularly brand. I love NGK, and I never really cared for Champion. But doing my best to not think, and listen to those works folk who give good advice, I am a complete advocate for the brand and model number that is in the bentley’s. I call it the 404, but it’s the RN12YC as listed in the book. I share the 404 for you, and those listening often, to insure those reading aren’t being missed. 404 is what the counter guy will find faster in his computer. Printed on the plug box now. This old school plug has served me since getting on the Poolboy program in 2013. I learned that if my car is off tune, it ain’t the plug. And if I change those plugs, its simply because they are tired, like 5-7K in miles.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve slipped into the dark side a few times, like a few years ago, when I bent a push rod from a frozen valve in the guide – bad gas. I don’t know I have a floppy push rod until I have replaced all 6 plugs, wires, checked compression and so forth. If I had just pulled that valve cover – I would have noticed that pushrod, just laying there. So, today, I pull my valve cover on a regular basis. And I usually do a quick valve adjustment while in there.

The “404” is a great plug for the car. Durable, responsive, and long lasting. Simple to gap, affordable – in the 2 dollar range most of the time, and is always on the shelf at a local parts store.

Good luck, McGiver

Extra Purrrr
I try to look back on my blogs to make sure I didn’t just post content recently. An important habit cause I have done this more than once, shared the same thing within weeks. This week, I don’t really care – its me, back at a keyboard, funneling thoughts stored, knocking off some rust. In this downtime, I’ve surfed some tr6 stuff, mostly on facebook. I catch a few threads that speak to something I have an interest in. One of them was a muffler dissection. To peel back the top of that long oval is intriguing to me. But I know that even though they have maintained the general shape, the internal designs have changed over time, maybe from copyright. I mean, even if it’s the same shape, it can have different guts and be a different muffler. And not pay royalties, but at this point, that might be a few hundred dollars, who knows, but the point here is that, some, me included, would like a little more purr out of it. More purrrrr.

When I bought my current car, it had Ansa exhaust. The system was in good shape, frankly. It started to rust out over time, and the more it rusted, the louder it got. Part of me loved it. And when I finally replaced that with an original style muffler, I thought, where’s the note? Over time, you get used to it, but at some point, you miss the music. Today, I want to cut into my healthy muffler, and open up some pipes in there to let some flow thru. But I know that might end up trashing the whole rig. The suppliers should know this, maybe they already do. If they do, they already have the math on whether or not its profitable to offer 2 versions of sidewinder muffler. From what I can tell, the stainless Moss upgrade version has more flow, and is louder, so this may be a mute segment, but still – more competition, right?

Throwback. The fender buzzer fuel pump
Shared often, my efforts to undo the Buddy Hub that was my 72 car when I first got it. I may start using that reference more often. Buddy Hub. Buddy was this retailer who ran The Hub in downtown Kinston. A cross between a yard sale and a Kmart. Buddy Hub was a token we, as kids, would describe something, like a jalopy slot car. A Buddy Hub Special. And so on.

So, in my effort back in the late 70s to undo this buddy hub special, I looked for anything that had been changed from stock. It wasn’t truly Buddy Hub, but as I add years and look back, probably more of that than I realized at the time. I do know this. Everyone’s TR6 was nicer than mine. I chased cosmetic back then – the grille, union jacks, the spoiler, muffler, etc. Blending 72 and 73 to fit in with the crowd. Cleaning up this ride to at least look more stock and factory than what it was.

I have this conversation recently with D6 member Jack, who is upgrading a 71 car. He has big plans for this car – heavy upgrades, including a Ratco frame. It will also have the sexy Ramin EFI rig, which includes swapping out a mechanical fuel pump for whatever Ramin’s recipe calls for. And I tell him the story of my 72 car, undoing a borg warner pump that came with the car, and me, removing that, and hooking up my original pump. My borg warner was mounted under the hood, on the inner fender by the fuse box. A piece of cut rubber tire to mount between the pump and the fender. This pump would vibrate on that mounting, wobbling almost, and while driving, you could hear that rig pumping at stop lights. I’m sure the pressure was wrong, memory telling me that the car ran better once I moved to mechanical. For all the things I hated about it, there was one saving grace. I never ran out of gas with that rig. I might get to E, and my car might stop on the road. But if I sat there, with that pump vibrating, I could start and run another mile before it shut down again. As if it has some magic extra fuel somewhere.

We were in Texas when I pulled that pump, and I don’t remember how we found fittings for the original pump but I do know all we did was plump up that pump, prime it, and then motor on with this original pump. I can remember how lovely and quiet this car was with that mechanical pump back in service.

That’s enough for today. See you on down the road. Remember. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

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 of development, parts, owners, experts and car availability. A TR6 helps people everyday, lifting spirits, bringing smiles. A TR6 brings happiness to the kids anywhere. 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 annually. And please drive your 6 defensively, as if it was a 4 wheeled Harley, and keep your driving lights in good condition.

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I am the 3rd steward of CF50460UO, born September 1975 with paint code 19 and 11 black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, with new Cayman Blue Mica 2 stage paint, and 11 interior. Car was delivered with original hard top and factory overdrive. Current upgrades include Volvo overdrive internals, König Rewind 16x7 rims, Michelin Pilot Sport 205.55.16s, 4Runner calipers and 7/8 rear wheel cylinders. Poolboy carbs, FlexAlite electric fan, Patton Fan Eliminator, Pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, solid state Rheostat, Silverstar Halogen headlights, Wishbone 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, high torque starter, JVC Bluetooth audio with front and rear USB, 4 speakers, stainless steel bumpers, flip up scuttle vent, hidden antenna, window tint, custom gear knob, and other concours frustrations.

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 square motor with lightened crank, cam bearings,
Hard top inside insulation, and dome light.
Oh, and AC