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  • Suspension Rebuild?

    So I'm "mainly finished" with the cosmetic restoration of my '73TR6. Vehicle was purchased as a roller that had been completely disassembled (except for the chassis) and the body media blasted. I wanted to learn to paint and I thought this was an ideal candidate. Engine had been gone through and had a new clutch. Car was last on the road on the road in 2004 The car left the road to due to a thrown rod out the side of the block. So fast forward after my last three years, and I'm driving it now. I've since replaced the front and rear shocks. The ride seams pretty bad. I can feel just about every bump in the road. Quite a lot of cowl shake. Rubber bushings, front and rear, look OK, not a lot of cracks, but do not know how hard they are. So my question is, have other people experienced the same sort of poor quality ride, and then replaced all the bushing front and rear, and what was the result? I haven't fallen in love with the TR yet, but would like to. Sort of like after a so-so first date, but would like more fun!
    Cheers, Scott in CA
    1973 TR6

  • #2
    Originally posted by smaceng View Post
    So I'm "mainly finished" with the cosmetic restoration of my '73TR6. Vehicle was purchased as a roller that had been completely disassembled (except for the chassis) and the body media blasted. I wanted to learn to paint and I thought this was an ideal candidate. Engine had been gone through and had a new clutch. Car was last on the road on the road in 2004 The car left the road to due to a thrown rod out the side of the block. So fast forward after my last three years, and I'm driving it now. I've since replaced the front and rear shocks. The ride seams pretty bad. I can feel just about every bump in the road. Quite a lot of cowl shake. Rubber bushings, front and rear, look OK, not a lot of cracks, but do not know how hard they are. So my question is, have other people experienced the same sort of poor quality ride, and then replaced all the bushing front and rear, and what was the result? I haven't fallen in love with the TR yet, but would like to. Sort of like after a so-so first date, but would like more fun!
    Cheers, Scott in CA
    Scott --- I remember my original ride comfort back in 1973 being on the soft side, as opposed to what my TR4 felt like. I think the '73 ride may have been due to the tall tire sidewalls, soft springs and rubber bushings all around. Replacing these items with the modern 205's (meant for cars much heavier, I believe) along with poly/nylon bushings, tube shocks and stiffer rack and pinion bushings add up to a ride-feel with a lot less compliance. More sporty, perhaps, but not the boulevard ride that you may be seeking.

    Dick

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    • #3
      I like the way my TR6 rides...I like it even better since I removed the rear tube shocks and put the kind of shocks the rear suspension was designed for.
      From what you describe as your ride as being 'pretty bad' and 'cowl shake', I'd say you have some work to do.
      Tunable with shocks, springs, bushings and with tight panels, etc, I'm sure you'll find an acceptable (improved) ride considering it's a short wheel base, archaic sports car with a tubular frame.
      Driving a 1973 TR6
      Doing ZS carb repairs
      email kencorsaw"at"aol.com

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      • #4
        The Roadster Factory sells what I think they call the Magic Suspension kit that made a huge difference in tightening up and overall improving the front end responsiveness and ride

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        • #5
          Just finished a complete front and rear suspension rebuild on my ‘76. TRF poly front suspension magic kit, TSI updated 1” lower springs, Koni shocks on front, 30 wt fork oil in rear leaver shocks, TRF updated hardened rubber rear TA bushings. I think the ride is phenomenal. Not nearly as harsh as I expected from all I had read. There’s nothing harsh about it. Handles like a different car. So well in fact, that I’ve decided to keep my 185 Coker Classic tires...
          Pete, Collierville TN
          1976 CF54385 U
          Mechanically restored
          Head 9.5:1(ish) + GP2 Cam

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          • #6
            Have rebuilt the suspension on mine.. standard springs and polyurethane bushes with tube shocks front and rear. Importantly the tube shocks are on the softest setting front and rear.
            It rides really well at speed and isn't bad on the twisties. It doesn't deal with the pot holes at low speed like a modern and can feel a little harsh on rough surfaces at low speeds.. but not bad. With regard cowl shake, I take it that you have bolted in the centre consul? When I bought mine the upper bolts that attach it to the dash were not installed and it wobbled a fair bit..

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            • #7
              Hi Scott,

              Every bump is always felt in any TR. The 5/'250/6 cars have the softest suspensions due to the introduction of Metalastik rubber bushings in lieu of nylon in the earlier cars. These with the flotation type tires most American owners fit to them make for as gentle a ride as can be had. They are best enjoyed on smooth roads; even the motoring journalists of the day lamented their shortcomings on rough ones. There is no way they will ever compare to a modern unibody car on rough surfaces.

              That said, the " Blue Highways " can offer very smooth surfaces; in 2009 my wife and I took a 3800 mile trip out West in a '250 and found less bumps than are found on one loop around Cincinnati on the circle freeway.

              What can be done is to eliminate the rattles, clunks, squeaks, creaking and popping noises which plague them after 50K plus miles on fresh bushings. After achieving this you can apply for a Doctorate in TR Noise Suppression. You can also fit a hardtop.

              Tom

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