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Recommendation - Shop for frame off restoration in the North East

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  • Recommendation - Shop for frame off restoration in the North East


    I have a well kept daily driver 1973 TR6 in CT with 74,000 mile on the clock that I would love to get put in for a frame-off restoration next winter.

    Any recommendation for a good team to do the job? I would be open to trailoring the car to somewhere further afield to work with the right crew.


  • #2
    Hi Mark-

    Welcome to 6-Pack. Can you tell us about yor and your car and what you would like to achieve in a restoration?


    • #3
      I bought the car on a whim for $11k two years ago knowing nothing about Triumphs for me and son to get around on the weekends in Connecticut. I initially kept it in Manhattan but that didn't work so well so it lives in Stamford, CT now. I have no mechanical skills and am unlikely to learn them in New York City.

      Turns out I LOVE owning a Triumph and in hindsite I should have spent $20k - $30k on a minty example.

      In the past 2 years, I have had a local shop install:
      - wiring harness
      - replace the clutch
      - install a new exhaust
      - complete basic bodywork
      - overhaul brakes
      - new tires

      I would love to get the engine rebuilt by a good shop (it's runs fine but burns oil) but I if I am going down that route then it's time to get the engine bay restored and the frame prepped for the long term ownership. A couple of shops have looked at the frame and it's rock solid but everything is little orange in the undercarriage (typical north eastern car that has been garaged...)

      The accountant's choice would be to sell it and buy one someone has already put the money into but these things are never rationale.

      I want to land at a car I can hold onto for the next 10 year and put 10,000 miles on with minimal of headaches.

      Ideally I would spend $5k each winter with a mechanic upgrading it over the next 5 winters but logically a lot of jobs need to be done together.

      Being a single Dad, the car has become a symbol of life my son and i have built together on the weekends.



      • #4
        Mark, it looks very nice. Does it have overdrive?

        Oil is cheap, what $6. a quart? Engine rebuilds are $6,000. a rebuild.
        I would get help with a dry & wet compression checks- try to find out if the piston rings are worn/not seated, or if it just needs a valve job.
        You could pour a container of Chevron Techron into the gas tank at fill-up, and/or pour some SeaFoam into the carbs at a fast idle- might reduce oil consumption.

        If you can use a camera, you could list it on for $99. for auction. Then buy a minty one, not a bad idea.

        Good pictures of your son, smart to get him interested at that age.
        CC80954U '72 TR6 original condition/sold 16.500.
        poolboy rebuilt the Z-S Carbs. Philstr6 rebuilt both rear hubs.


        • #5
          ... the car has become a symbol of life my son and i have built together on the weekends.

          Great pictures of your son and the TR6. If your long-term experiences with the boy, as he grows up with the car, are similar to mine, he should develop a treasure trove of cherished memories -- first riding in the car, then puttering around with it, and ultimately driving it, all with his dad. What an opportunity you have!

          1972 TR6, CC83395U, Sienna Brown / New Tan.
          2d owner; purchased in 1974; daily driver until 1980.
          Original US dealer: Continental Motors, Inc., Wichita, KS.
          Original sale to 1st owner occurred Oct. 16, 1972.


          • #6
            Great car. Great story. Great kid. And welcome.

            The car looks to have great paint and interior already from the one color photo.

            I think your are saying you want a reliable car that you are not afraid to drive anywhere or at anytime. Is that right? Not an award winner. Correct? You have a new wiring harness which should have put the electrical gremlins to rest. Is there something wrong other than it burns oil? How much oil?

            INMHO an engine and transmission rebuild is all you need, not a "frame-off" restoration.

            Do you mean a frame off where they literally take the car completely apart and put it back together? That gets spendy real fast.

            Or, do nothing and have fun. The car looks great.
            1972 Sapphire TR6 #CC84,something

            1959 Red TR3 (Wife's)


            • #7
              The car looks very pristine already. What I have done is to upgrade the mechanicals a bit every year. New starter, carbs rebuilt (by Poolboy one of our members), smaller things like braided ss line to the oil gauge, lower bearings and thrust bearing, new coil, Pertronix, new repro fuel pump, new alternator. new vent line tank to canister, replaced all rubber fuel lines with ethanol tolerant modern rubber, new kidney panels, you get the idea.

              In the meantime, drive it! A bunch of TR6 owners in western Connecticut go to the Caffeine and Carburetors get togethers monthly in your part of the state.They are a real resource as that group has a wealth of Triumph knowledge and will be glad to answer your questions.

              Any other problems that arise can be answered by the people of 6-Pack who have "been there done that", so even with limited knowledge, you and your son can enjoy together time on a modest budget.

              Be sure to visit Paul Rego's website and Bob Danielson's website for a lot of Triumph knowledge.
              1976 TR-6 BRG - CF57239U
              Carbs by Poolboy
              Rear Camber Kit, Rear Hubs by Goodparts
              Gear Reduction Starter by TSI
              Distributor by British Vacuum


              • #8
                Super advise - I quite like having the car upgraded piece by piece but was concerned about doing the engine and transmission on anything less than a perfect body.

                Engine this coming winter.

                Transmission 2019


                • #9
                  Wow - there is hope for humanity in an internet world.

                  Thank you gents for all your kind words, you've made my day.

                  I'll definitely have to track down that group in CT... As someone with no mechanical experience I have been hitting up Mike at Stonebridge Sports and Classics who has the patient of a saint for dealing with all my queries. Once the snow clears, we're upgrading the suspension.

                  Word of advice - never take a classic car anywhere near a garage in Manhattan - $600 to replace the brake master cylinder.

                  It's awesome you gents get what a thrill it is driving these cars - especially when you have a six year old passenger.

                  Pete and I had a nightmare of a first year:

                  - radiator hose blew off in Manhattan giving an exciting smoke show to someone used to driving Hertz rental cars for the past 5 years
                  - red line Cokers blew out on the high way at 60 mph which was TERRIFYING with my son in the car
                  - the clutch burned out in the middle of CT leaving me and my son waiting with a state trooper for a tow

                  So $10k later fingers crossed I have a solid daily driver but, wow it was one initiation of fire into the world of classic car ownership. Basically anything that can go wrong did go wrong.



                  • #10
                    You said something about 'orange' undersides, Mark.
                    If that was the bottom of the floor board, that's the way it came from the factory...orangish primer.
                    Driving a 1973 TR6
                    Doing ZS carb repairs
                    email kencorsaw"at"


                    • #11
                      I would be thrilled to have an undercarriage like that.

                      Unfortunately mine is a little more "authentically aged"


                      • #12

                        Your son is a very handsome young man. I can see that the car is important to both of you.

                        I am glad I asked about your motivations. I must agree with the other posters that a frame off restoration is very expensive and time consuming. Your son could be nearly ready for college before you get the car back and sorted. I am not joking.

                        If it has to be this car (and it sounds like it does), let me urge you to think about a "rolling restoration" where you drive it, enjoy it and plan for certain things to be done over time that will enhance and improve your driving experience with the car for you and your son.

                        The hierarchy of things would be:

                        1.) Safety Systems (Brakes/Drums/Rotars, seatbelts, tires etc.) These are mission critical systems that should be tackled first. Not glamourous, but this will improve the car and its service to you. These are usually pretty quick jobs.

                        2.) Rust. Rust gets worse with time. It is also the most expensive things to fix right. If you think the frame is solid but just orange, then this might be okay for a long time yet. Some pokes with a screwdriver should tell you. Befriend a good mechanic. Put the car on a lift and have him poke the frame with a screw driver especially the part of the frame where the aluminum trailing arms are attached and around the tee-shirt pressing (center piece on the frame looks like a tee-shirt). If the frame is bad, then you need to think about how much more money you want to spend on this car. New frames from Ratco are available for about $6k.

                        3.) The engine. This is the sexy part but probably the least urgent. These engines are tough and can burn/leak oil for years without ill effect. Total engine rebuilds are expensive even for a stock rebuild. These is also the temptation to add "go fast" options while we are "in there". Depending on the shop and mechanic you use, losing an entire driving season is likely. This is also something where you will really want to do a lot of homework. Choosing an en


                        • #13
                          That's awesome to hear. Sincerely.

                          The mechanic I have found in Danbury, CT has been superb but it took a lot of hunting around. I got totally taken for a ride in Manhattan.

                          I guess I have just missed the crucial experience of hanging out with other Triumph enthusiasts who will give a bit of advice on what minor rattles are normal and what is cause for concern. I never actually driven in another TR6 so I'm comparing it with a 2018 Honda civic picked up at the airport rental car counter.

                          I was convinced my radiator was leaking into the engine this winter when cold starting until I saw this mint TR6 doing a cold start in sub zero temperatures:

                          Knowing someone in person would have been great to clarify "yeah.... you get a bit of condensation on a cold day."


                          • #14
                            The piece that bothers me the most is the undercarriage has surface rust.

                            Structurally it's sound (3 mechanics have checked it out) but sure isn't as pretty as those powder coated frames on the frame up restorations.

                            You can see some screen grabs from the original seller when I bought it in 2016


                            • #15
                              Might check with Al at Trick6.


                              Recommendation - Shop for frame off restoration in the North East




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