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That was a year that was..

 

This was the year in which Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral took place in London. The same year,  Lyndon Baines Johnson had been sworn in as President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy (an event which had occurred some 14 months earlier). 

Stanley Mathews played in his last 1st division game, and the unmanned lunar space probe Ranger-8 crashed onto the moon.  The USA sent their first 3,500 combat troops to Vietnam and instigates Rolling Thunder (almost 3-years of sustained aerial bombing).  While back home in Alabama - State troops lay mercilessly into a peaceful protest march (known as Bloody Sunday).  Ironically this happened on the Edmund Pettus Bridge which was named after a former Confederate Brigadier General,  and also Grand Wizard of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.  Following graphic television coverage of that event,  Lyndon Johnson implemented a Bill of Rights for American Negroes.

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Russian Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov leaves his spacecraft for 12 minutes to becomes the first man to walk in space.  ‘My Fair Lady’ wins 8 Academy Awards, and ‘Mary Poppins’ takes five Oscars.   Intelsat-1 communications satellite is deployed - marking a turning point in television, telephone, radio, internet, and military technology.  While down on earth - the Pennine Way is officially opened.

Racing driver Jim Clark wins the Indianapolis 500, and then goes on to win the Formula one championships.  Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in a world heavyweight championship rematch, while the Rolling Stones “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is released. The Beatles second movie Help!  premieres and they perform the very first ‘stadium concert’ playing before a 55,600 audience at Shea Stadium in New York City.  

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Cigarette advertising is banned on British television, and Singapore is expelled from the Federation of Malaysia. And then recognised as a sovereign nation.  After almost two years the Auschwitz War Crimes trials in Frankfurt are concluded. 66 former SS personnel receive life sentences and 15 others receive lesser sentences for their doings.  Bob Dylan releases his influential album ‘Highway 61 Revisited’

Incredibly all of the above happened in the first 8 months of that year ..even before Tom & Jerry or the Thunder-Birds were first aired.!  

But then.., around about this same time a small sports car was sold ..to an American working in England.  His name was E. Crawford Morton. And he came from New York State. At that time, he was assigned to work in Britain & Europe for the International Paper Co. of  Ticonderoga, NewYork.  

The year was 1965, and so this particular story starts some 54 years ago.  The car he chose  was British Racing Green with a light tan coloured hood and leather seats. It was the new independent rear suspension Triumph TR4A.  And aside from its Laycock type-A overdrive, and it being a Left hand drive car delivered to a customer in England - it was unexceptional. 

Well that is as ‘unexceptional’ as any gleamingly brand new TR4 sports car might be ..when owned by a wealthy American living in Britain during the swinging sixties.  So, Crawford (as his family liked to call him)  took the car to Standard-Triumph’s authorised specialist tuners ; SAH of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire ..for a few ‘enhancements’.   

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Sid A. Hurrell  (SAH)  had made a name for himself preparing and successfully racing a TR2,  indeed his performance tuning parts were used in Triumph’s work’s cars, with aspects of those carried into subsequent production.  The Triumph TR2 soon made a name for itself in both club and International racing events, in sprints, hill climbs, and in rallying.  SAH had a catalogue of special parts for the Triumph Herald (which made also quite an impact within international rally circles) and Vittesse (competitive in saloon car racing).  Parts were developed for the 1300 and 1500cc Triumphs, the Bond, and for the Triumph 2000 and 2500 models. Naturally each model from TR2 onwards were tuned, tweaked and lightened..  If you're not aware of SAH - they later became Triumph-Tune.     

E. Crawford Morton was a great enthusiast of motor racing and whenever an opportunity arose he would take off to a Grand Prix event ..anywhere across Europe.  Apparently he was not only a spectator but according to his nephew Fletch  “Crawford never raced that TR, but he was a very fast and skilled driver who used all of the cars capabilities on those lovely New York Adirondack roads” 

Clearly a man of discernment who also appreciated the advantages of  lightweight components in racing &/or in a true seat-of-the-pants sport-cars, because one of the things Crawford really wanted of  SAH was a set of their knock-on  JA Pearce magnesium-alloy wheels (Magna alloys).  A set of these make wire wheels, alloys and even the works perforated-steel wheels appear heavyweight and/or fragile.

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This is a TR4,  so not the same car but coincidentally is in the same colours and with magna wheels.

Of course, as the car was to be left with SAH  anyway -  then the engine might also be tuned, an oil temperature gauge, cooler, and filter fitted.  A Girling ‘brake booster’ and addition driving lamps were also fitted.   It is believed the engine received a Stage-1 tune : for fast road use.  In petrol-head terms that’s raising the TR4A's standard 104bhp to a modest 135bhp - without loosing around town low rev’s driveability.  What’s that 30% more power ?

This was achieved mainly through camshaft and cylinder-head re-work, carb jetting and filters, ignition electrics, and the standard exhaust manifold being swapped out for SAH’s four branch extractor pipes.  It is probable that the engine was also balanced for endurance ..to survive his high-speed jaunts to GP events across Europe.

What's certain is that the wheels and tyres selected to transmit this performance potential to the tarmac were of wide profile.  And, for road use throughout Europe, that meant the wheel-arches needed extending.  Remember we’re talking about a brand new car here.  Incredible as it might seem nowadays - Crawford had SAH replace the TR4’s four wings with fibreglass ones.  These not only had extended wheel arch brows but I understand saved about 15lb in weight ..off each panel. 

That weight saving may not seem very much, but from a standing start in a quarter-mile acceleration run ; a 30lb weight saving would equate to 0.1 seconds difference. Again seemingly not worth the effort, but.. with two otherwise identical cars side by side - the lighter one would be 12-foot in front.!  And aside from aiding acceleration - such weight saving at the extremities also help to centralise the car’s mass for crisper handling. 

These Triumphs aren’t a heavy car anyway,  the weight distribution is also pretty good on the 4-cyclinder model,  and then of course the C of G is very low too.   With IRS and a 30%  increase in power, and also factoring considerable weight saving in having magnesium-alloy wheels,  and a little tweaking of the suspension parts, then we’re beginning to talk about a road car that not only performed exceptionally well but also handled better than most any other on the road at that time.   Jaguars and Astons would have had much more power but a lightweight TR  might well take the inside track ..and be whole lot more fun as well.

Anyway, I’m rambling..   not least because much of this SAH special equipment has been lost to the financial needs of the car’s more recent owner. 

 

Unfortunately this car’s history, subsequent to Crawford,  is at present a little vague - except that there were three further owners, and what we might gather from a bumper sticker, believed to be a pass to a military installation - dated 1982.   So let's fast forward to  June 1998  when the present owner - a Mr. Raymond Lucas Hatfield of  Little Rock, Arkansas  bought this very same TR4A.    " I rescued the car from what was basically a junkyard - a garage that had many old cars abandoned behind it.  My wife said the I was giving it a 'second chance' at being used, and the name stuck ".   Apparently it had been there as junk for years. 

“ Mr. Crawford passed away before I bought the car, but apparently he told the second owner that he had rallied the car in England for several years before returning to the United States, bringing the car with him.  There is evidence on the car that it had been driven hard at some point and suffered some damage ; dents to the frame, some holes and dents in the body.

 I spoke to the second owner, who states he only drove it on the road until about 1980 when he started tearing it apart to rebuild it.  The rebuild stalled and he finally sold it to the individual I bought it from in 1991.   There it sat until 1998 when I bought it "

The car was bought and so collected from Birmingham, Alabama  (some 375 miles away from Little Rock, Arkansas).   Unfortunately on the way home, with the car on a tow dolly - it dropped off its rear right wheel.   “While loading the TR on the dolly,  I noticed that the 'spinner' was missing off the right rear wheel, but thought it of no consequence since I  (and the seller)  were under the impression that these were bolt-on wheels.  In all fairness, I do not recall seeing any part of the spindle showing on that rim to clue any of us to the fact that it was a knock off wheel.

…    I'm quite sure that all of you know what happened now. I made it from Birmingham, AL to about 50 miles from my home in Arkansas before that wheel came off. As it came off, it tore the fiberglass rear fender off.  Fortunately, that was the extent of the damage to the TR, but now I am stuck with the car on the side of the freeway in the middle of the night! "

 

Raymond in his forum posts and in correspondence with myself tells us that the "engine was seized up from being parked in a junkyard for 10 years".   In due course the motor was removed from the car and stripped down,  with the offending piston released from its bore ..courtesy of a big hammer smashing the cylinder liner.

On the four banger TR’s these are wet sleeve (dry on the six cylinder), and rather than simply replace the liners, the owner acquired another short-block TR4 motor.  But in his heart of hearts - he hankered for a Triumph TR5 with its smoother and more powerful six cylinder sea anchor.  And so is found investigating, on American brit-car forums, the options of a more powerful engine to drop into Chance.  

V8’s as well as straight-six Toyota and the 2.8 ltr BMW motors were each considered for  “a sleeper Vette killer”.  At the same time he was also considering selling the overdrive transmission in favour of a modern five-speed box.,  but after much deliberation he opted to buy a six-cylinder TR6’s engine.  In the same transaction came a TR6 chassis - which still appears to be in good shape.  The replacement 4-cylinder short-block was sold on, and the original engine remained in bits.

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Over the past, almost 21 years of present ownership, the car’s  Second Chance  hasn’t yet come to realisation.  The front brake callipers have I’m told been swapped out for Toyota four-pot items, and the rear suspension has modern shock absorbers in place of the original Armstrong lever arm types.   Raymond  has his own TR enthusiast website which recall some of this car's history (last updated  c.2005 ).   Unfortunately  there is not one photo of the car nor any part of it.   

Below is a recent photo from the for sale advert to which I replied.  

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The exceptionally lightweight and strong knock-off Magna wheels were sold for $800, to an English guy in 2003.  And bolt-on Mustang Bullitt (c.2001 model) aluminium alloys fitted instead. The Englishman who bought the wheels was a Mr. Roger Butt “who then restarted the company and made new wheels on the same pattern. The company he worked for (Rotex Developments) had a factory/warehouse here in Arkansas” 

Tidbit : Roger Butt was Company Secretary to Osprey Marine Ltd between February ‘94 and March 1998.  He was appointed Director of Rotex Developments Ltd (Present Company status : Dissolved) in August ‘05,  and again appointed Director of J.A. Pearce Engineering Ltd  (Present Company status : Dissolved )  in 2012.   The latter is of course the same name as having originally made racing and sports wheels.

 

 

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The car has been stripped out of its interior.  I’m told the original leather seats didn’t withstand being out in the elements ..so they have gone in favour of a pair of high-back Mazda Maida seats, not yet fitted. The dashboard timber, light-tan door cards and carpet set have been replaced, but again not refitted.  The black steering wheel looks like an SAH one (it’s leather rimmed with slotted aluminium spokes). And little niceties like the SAH embossed ashtray and the engine’s SAH cast-alloy rocker-cover have also gone, as has the car’s oil cooler, temp gauge setup, and quick change filter. Non have been replaced.  

The fuel tank  and under-bonnet space are also stripped out, but most of those parts are with the car,  albeit in unknown condition after having been stored for the past 21 years,  plus another 10 years " parked in a junkyard".

From what I can see in photos and has been discussed in email correspondence with Raymond, around the bulkhead’s battery tray is rusted,  as is the lower forward edge of the boot floor and spare wheel well.  These have in part been patched by one of the interim owners,  as has one sill.  Both sills have holes to their inside rear corners, and the floors show sign of nature’s aeration.  The paintwork is scruffy, apparently looking better in the photos than in life.  And the bumpers, like pretty much everything else, are off the car and have seen brighter days.  Most probably there are numerous minor bits missing or beyond repair,  but as an optimist - I’ll presume 90% of the car is there and might be reusable,  if enough time and money is spent in their recondition. 

Oh btw.,  the car is still in Arkansas, which in case you are unaware is 450 miles sorta north of Huston, Texas and similarly from New Orleans.  This being west across state from Memphis Tennessee  ..so not exactly close to any coastline or shipping port.    So, as a largely dismantled non-runner, the overland transport and shipping freight is going to cost £-thousands.   However, even factoring in the transport cost - this TR4A is as cheap as I could find (..cheap is a relative term !).  And unlike most cars from the States ;  it does has an interesting history.  Although not at this time paper-documented ;  the (three remaining) flared grp wings and other remaining SAH parts, as well as email correspondence from the nephew do confirm the story.   Accordingly,  a week last Friday I put a bid on it.  And then I had a counter offer, which I accepted on condition that he’ll prepare and pack the car (together with the 'spare' chassis)  for transport (my proposal below) .   Last Monday evening I received an affirmative response.  

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No, I promise to NOT paint this TR4 red.!

So there we are,  I have to sell a motorcycle or two and my Ami-super  but.,  despite it being ridiculously too small a car for someone as old, or tall and broad as myself (6’-5” with the accumulative effects of gravity for 60++ years) - it is what I hanker for.  And if I don’t do it now then I don’t suppose I’ll ever have the 'chance'  again.     

I hope my reckless abandonment of any last remnant of common-sense ..and the consequential issues I’ll have to deal with over the next couple of years will of some passing amusement to you all.

Bfg 

 

p.s.  As a pushed-into-early-retirement individual (former design engineer) ..this restoration / recommissioning will be on a very tight budget.   As mentioned - I'm also very tall,  so concessions to those factors override any idea of originality.  This will not be a car for the purist as I have no qualms at all in using seats out of a Triumph Herald or else an MG or Austin 7  if they are suitably period styled, available cheaply,  and better accommodate my freak-sized frame.   If anyone chooses to help me out anywhere along the line - then I'd be incredibly grateful - I'm in Suffolk.  Cheers to all !

Edited by Bfg

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Well BFG, and wow! just love this, so having sowed this seed, with similar minded folk, you 

have to keep us informed of progress!

A name and  a location would be nice, let us have both and an update when the car is with you.

You will have lots of questions, here is the place, but someone somewhere will have an answer to anything,

stay in touch.

John.

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And cheers to you, that is one heck of a post. You will not be lacking help from this group and we look forward to your future updates.

Stan

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Great post bfg!

i’m sure you’ll find answers to all you questions on here, from both sides of the pond

steve

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.

THANKS  GENTS  for your encouragements,  B)

 

I do indeed have a lot of unanswered 'thoughts'.   So let's say where my thinking is right now  ..and then perhaps you'll be in a better position to guide me with practical advice. 

>              I’m on a low budget and buying the least expensive Tr4 I can find.   It has not been on the road for about 37 years, so many of the components will be un-serviceable and perhaps uneconomical to repair.

>              It is a project-car needing everything restored or else replaced.  I have restored cars (including a TR4 - some 20+ years ago),  motorcycles,  and a boat,  so I'm hands-on.

>              Realistically the driving I do 90% of the time is daily routine / normal living  ( in all weathers) ,  ie., going to the shop and using my car as a cart-horse.  5%  I guess would simply be going out for a drive (fast B-classified country roads)  &/or going out for the day.   Other 5%  - I'd like to tour in this car.  I've never been to Ireland for example, so the car is to be used for traveling, and for the sheer pleasure of driving a TR when sightseeing.  Although my trips do include crossing Europe (I have friends in Slovenia),  I don't need the penultimate in high speed, nor race cornering.  I live down a farm track and I otherwise spend a lot of time in a car - so I do not want any harsher ride than standard,  nor any narrower a power band,  a brash exhaust,  nor something so 'precious' that I dare not drive it on gravel or leave unattended in a car park.  BUT,  as a driver - I do appreciate a car that handles competently and predictably,  a car which starts and stops well,  which is reliable and safe to use,  and which is fun to drive.  

As is apparent in my previous post,

>              this car was modified from the outset.,  but a large part of that heritage has already been lost.   In short ;  it is not a valuable car,  nor is it original,  and nor will it ever be.

>              I’m stuck with being 6’5” tall.  So I’ll need to make some changes to better accommodate me.  NB. I have read and digested < TR6 for a tall person >   so things like cutting into the rear mudguards for longer seat travel is very likely.  I'm also likely to raise the windscreen an inch-and-a half by mounting it on a fibreglass plinth (..it can be done neatly).  

All the above means I’m inclined to feel free to change and ‘update’ certain systems, even where that may devalue the car.  

Where ancillary components are serviceable, then for the time being I'll veer towards reusing them,  however where things are iffy,  costly to recondition,  or if there's good reason to change specification now rather than later then I’m thinking. . .

 

Systems : 

To swap components out for contemporary / lighter-weight and more efficient items.  Things like screen-demist and windscreen wipers,  heater,  battery,  and charging system.  I'm not wanting to make the car feel any more sophisticated or modern, but I do want easy-to-live-with whatever the weather.   Are there suitable substitutes off a modern car that would drop in without major headache or loss of the car being a TR sports car ?  

What might you recommend ? 

 

Motor :

To be honest I did consider dropping an appropriately 1960's era  V8 Daimler 2.5 motor (140bhp / 155ft.lb @ 3600rpm) into this car,  because the car’s original 4-pot has lain dismantled for donkey’s years and so most likely is going to be expensive to restore.   I've previously owned a 2.5  and was impressed by the V8, despite it being overly burdened with the weight of a Jaguar saloon body and all that walnut, leather and chrome.

However, as this particular Tr4 was tuned by SAH ..to perhaps 135bhp / 140ft.lb @3350rpm., it seemed to me that swapping it out would  a.) loose something more of the car’s history,  b.) loose something of the bold TR4 character I very much like,   and c.) not be worth the considerable effort ..for the resulted gain.  

When buying this car,  I also had the option of a TR6 motor (US. Solex carb spec. : 126bhp / 132ft.lb @ 3500rpm). I rejected it because although very tuneable - it would again loose the (desirable to me) feel of the four banger,  it would have added to the expense and complication in transport and shipping, and because the six-cylinder’s additional weight ..and weight distribution, are each counter to the TR4's nimble handling.  Personally I have more fun driving with well-balanced handling than with outright power.

In short :  I’ll go with the original 2.1ltr TR4 four pot motor.  But where practical and within budget,  I’d like to restore the 4-pot's performance potential, its drive-ability,  reliability,  and (improve) oil-tightness.

The 4-pot comes with twin carbs, and there are both SU and Solex with the car.  I don't know their condition,  nor have I any idea which are the better carburettor or easiest to live with  ..as I only have prior experience of SU's.  I do not know what condition the cam-shaft is in,  but if worn or rust-pitted then I'd probably go for a stage-one cam.  Any recommendations ? 

One cylinder sleeve was smashed when the seized / corroded piston was released.  A replacement sleeve is with the car (plus 2 spares)  but I don't know what rebore size they'll be.  Clearly, the pistons and rings will need replacing to suit.  Any recommendations ? ..remembering I after a good driver on normal petrol  rather than out n'  out performance.  Most likely the exhaust valve seats will need replacing to use with unleaded fuels.  Any suggestions on valve guides etc. ?

There's also a relatively crude looking four-branch exhaust manifold with the car  (I don't know if this was SAH made)  and what appears to be a brand new-old-stock (shiny so perhaps stainless ?) twin-pipe exhaust system.  The original four-speed gearbox / overdrive, is to be reused.  At this time I do not know what the diff. ratio is.  There appears to be a new diaphragm clutch with B&B type / sprung centre friction pad with the car. 

 

Power to weight / weight distribution :

SAH’s  GRP panels on this car save weight and centralise its weight distribution. These are the direction I’d like to pursue further.  A lighter-weight modern starter battery (probably AGM) is a no-brainer as the car will not be for show anyway,  but for a TR4A - is it worth moving that weight further rearwards & lower ? 

I don't know the weight distribution of the 4A, but have read the TR6 was a little nose heavy and prone to under-steer (Autocar).  

If the dynamo &/or starter motor are shot then I'll probably change these out for modern types to save weight and improve efficiency.  Without going to the tuning specialist is there an alternator &/or starter motor off a modern car that would drop in without major headache ?

 

Style :

Formative years or what ?  In 1964, my Dad was a competitor in the East African Safari Rally. I was an 8-year old kid.  Perhaps because of my age and these mind's eye images - I now prefer the early Tr4 style as a fun-spirited rally car,  more so than the glitzy look of the Tr4A.  So I’d like to retro back to basic and remove its superfluous chrome trim and side lights.  I’m also inclined towards quarter bumpers rather than the original TR4’s.  And an almost upright looking car in contrast to the low look of a TR6.   Likewise I like the airiness of the white painted dashboard rather than the 4A’s wooden facia.  For me personally, such timber finishes work great in a comfortable saloon car or boat,  but less so in a seat-of-the-pants sports car.  This period excludes Mazda and most other modern and kit-car seats.

In short : I’d like an almost spartan early 1960’s look,  but I do like door pockets (most excellent on the original Mini ) and a parcel shelf. 

 

Wheels

I have bought four standard TR4 steel wheels, and plan to use as near standard sized, narrow but high-profile tyres as I can find.  I'll be selling the Mustang Bullitt wheels presently fitted.  Can anyone tell me what space saver wheel suits the rolling diameter and pcd of the TR4 ?

 

Brakes, Suspension and Chassis :

From what I understand,  this car's front brakes have been up-rated to twin-pot Toyota calipers.  At the rear are the original 9” drums.   I don't know about the front shock absorbers, but the rear suspension dampers have been changed.. from the original Armstrong lever arms to  Moss  bolt-on conversion brackets and modern upright slider shockers (..I don't know what brand).  I’m not sure about this conversion - Is it really any better ?  It sorta seems like just added weight, when the original dampers work well and their rating could be changed just by going for a different weight of oil.   Am I missing something here ?

I don't know what the 4A has in terms of anti-roll bars, or what it would really benefit from - anyone ?

- - -

So, what would you do ?   with a basic criteria of ;  low budget and its four banger motor, and lightweight GRP wings - to achieve a nimble handling and easy to live TR4 road car, and a wish for the car to reflect basic but fun early 1960’s ?

I invite your constructive and perhaps imaginative suggestions.!  

Thank you.

Pete.

Edited by Bfg

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Wow, what a topic Pete!

i think i’d ‘keep it simple’

so that would be rebuilding the 4 pot motor, check the electrics/brakes/suspension over and maybe polybush for better control.

get it roadworthy and see how you like it.

when i bought my 6, with moderately tuned engine,suspension but not-great bodywork, i enjoyed driving and ‘improving’ it over a 5 year period 

fyi i have the Toyota 4 pot front caliper conversion, its quite good but not significantly better than standard and does limit brake pad material selection.

These are great old cars, i look forward to hearing your stories!

steve

Edited by Steves_TR6

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A couple of thoughts..

There is not a lot wrong with the TR4 brakes or suspension as it left the factory although there are some areas on the chassis that benefit from reinforcing or other mods to make some tasks easier. I'm not personally a fan of  telescopic rear shock conversions but my experience is based on the IRS cars. The suspension can be rebuilt using all poly bushes including the rear end and the rear axle supports. In my experience with a TR6 and TR3 going all poly does not make a big different to ride comfort. My TR6 has stiffer but standard height springs with all poly bushes and a 13 inch steering wheel. It drives like a go cart. Historically the quality of rubber has been iffy, not sure what the situation is today but I avoid anything rubber unless I have no choice or it is an obvious consumable.

New liners and pistons are not expensive if the block and crank are otherwise good. I'm not familiar with the SAH mods but perhaps they were mostly focused on the head, cam and induction but maybe you will be surprised when you take it all apart. There is a lot of expertise here with rebuilding the 4 cylinder wet liner engine.

Gearboxes are good for about 60k miles before they start to eat bearings and layshafts, it is pretty easy to pull the top cover and check for broken gears, fractured top hat bush, synchro condition etc. The debris in the bottom of the box will tell the story of what is disintegrating.

Stan

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I'd tend to agree with you  Steve,

I've spent a few thousand hours trying to make my old sailing boat simple !  :wacko:   Mind you I see others spending that same amount of time, and a fortune on giving their boats 'better' systems ..which to my thinking just over-complicates things.  Funny thing is that for some of us - leaving 'as was' never seems an option.  I don't have a lot of experience in changing things on a car so I'm here asking. 

I did read of a chap who bought a project Triumph Spitfire,  put it all together into running condition before taking it apart again to 'restore'  it.  In principle I agree with that, but I guess my concern is that I'll spend valuable time and money on getting something to work  ..only for someone to then suggest "you know.,  it would have been much quicker, cheaper, and with better results  if you'd have just swapped it out for one off a 1990's  X......x".     For example ;  Do I have the dynamo and voltage regulator reconditioned or would I be better off just switching to an alternator.?  Likewise the ancient starter motor ?  And what about the wipers and screen demist ?   With a total  restoration there are a thousand decisions like that, and in part I don't know what specific question to ask. 

This forum is a font of knowledge, where owners have restored cars and thereafter decided to change them.  or has  "If only I had known about that beforehand"  never been heard around here ?   There are (I'm sure) many others who have lived with and been quite happy with their car  ..but then they discovered  x, y, or z  which "transformed it" !   Often these experiences are positive, but sometimes they are negative ..so have quietly been changed back again.  

On my old Daimler I had every suspension rubber renewed (professionally). Thereafter the car looked the same but it felt and handled as if it had been jacked up three foot in the air and was wobbling around on top.!  I drove it another 4000 miles hoping things would 'settle down' but it didn't.  To me it was (relatively) awful.  I don't know if the independent Jag specialist had used poly-bushes but I really fear using them because of this experience. 

Your experience with the four pot Toyota caliper is useful.  The car comes with the standard calipers, but I don't know what condition they're in now.   Did you do anything to the Rear brakes to balance things up ?

Thanks, Pete.

Edited by Bfg

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Thanks Stan,  mine is TR4A with IRS  and so your experience with Moss' telescopic rear shock conversions would be good to know. 

I've read and seen photos of the IRS chassis rot and failures, especially of the front suspension's wishbone mounts and the diff's mounting bolts.  Why they should fail is beyond me, but I guess a lot of it comes down to the differential's torque being transmitted through poor condition bushes causing hard-edge loads. 

The forums reads as if the TR4 live-sprung chassis used lighter frame sections but fares better.   Might that be because the 4A, 5 and 6 chassis was stiffened up by design ..and that has focused stress-loads to certain places,  whereas the early chassis just flexed (..in a non-alarming way).? 

Your description of gearbox woes is frightening.  Is such break-up / damage avoidable or does one have to pull it apart every 60k miles and swap every bearing and lay-shaft  ..just to be safe ? 

Pete

 

Edited by Bfg

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I did change the rear wheel cylinders to a slightly larger piston diameter Pete.

Very happy with the braking from speed, but ‘bite’ around town isnt great.

i really would try to the car on the road, don’t worry about wipers, demisters, radio, other unnecessary stuff !

i have the racetorations telescopic rear conversion and like it, but many people prefer to keep lever arms.

steve

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5 hours ago, Bfg said:

Thanks Stan,  mine is TR4A with IRS  and so your experience with Moss' telescopic rear shock conversions would be good to know. 

I've read and seen photos of the IRS chassis rot and failures, especially of the front suspension's wishbone mounts and the diff's mounting bolts.  Why they should fail is beyond me, but I guess a lot of it comes down to torque being transmitted through poor condition bushes causing hard-edge loads. 

The forums reads as if the TR4 live-sprung chassis used lighter frame sections but fares better.   Might that be because the 4A, 5 and 6 chassis was stiffened up by design ..and that has focused stress-loads to certain places,  whereas the early chassis just flexed (..in a non-alarming way).? 

Your description of gearbox woes is frightening.  Is such break-up / damage avoidable or does one have to pull it apart every 60k miles and swap every bearing and lay-shaft  ..just to be safe ? 

Pete

 

There are several variants of the telescopic shock conversion, the least expensive is a simple bracket that bolts to the original shock mounting  on the rear crossmember. That cross member is barely adequate for the job it was designed for and cannot take the forces exerted on it by the simple shock conversion bracket. In my case it ripped the crossmember off the frame (and that crossmember is also holding up the diff). There are other conversion brackets that bolt to the rear crossmember and also the tub sheet metal and they seem to fare better. Personally I would stick with the lever arm shocks.

 

The main weakness in the gearbox is the layshaft and its bearings. The box can be modified to take the Stag layshaft and bearings which are much stronger.

If you did not get an overdrive I would add one. I know it wont be cheap but these cars are miserable to drive at speeds above 50mph without the overdrive. There are Toyota and Ford 5 speed gearboxes than can be made to fit but you lose a lot of the TR driving experience which gets very interactive with the 4 speed box and overdrive.

Stan

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Pete -  great post!

You are almost certainly not far away from me in Colchester - I have a roadworthy TR4 and several TR4a's I'm restoring - I think you might find it helpful to see a lot of the issues you are talking about in the flesh - more than  happy to spend some time with you if you would like to pop over to Colchester - if so, send me a PM ( private message - click on the round circle to the left of this post with my initial R in it, and you will get some options to send me a message) with your contact details - I've sent you mine

Cheers

Rich

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On 5/22/2019 at 11:20 PM, foster461 said:

There are several variants of the telescopic shock conversion, the least expensive is a simple bracket that bolts to the original shock mounting  on the rear crossmember. That cross member is barely adequate for the job it was designed for and cannot take the forces exerted on it by the simple shock conversion bracket. In my case it ripped the crossmember off the frame (and that crossmember is also holding up the diff). There are other conversion brackets that bolt to the rear crossmember and also the tub sheet metal and they seem to fare better. Personally I would stick with the lever arm shocks.

 

The main weakness in the gearbox is the layshaft and its bearings. The box can be modified to take the Stag layshaft and bearings which are much stronger.

If you did not get an overdrive I would add one. I know it wont be cheap but these cars are miserable to drive at speeds above 50mph without the overdrive. There are Toyota and Ford 5 speed gearboxes than can be made to fit but you lose a lot of the TR driving experience which gets very interactive with the 4 speed box and overdrive.

Stan

The link which the seller sent me re. the rear shock conversion was to Moss < here >  which at $199 uses adjustable Spax dampers.  It looks to me that they are the least expensive type conversion bracket you describe,  bolting only to the cross member ..but offering such leverage as to break it.  Although it would be easy enough to modify with an additional mounting to the body tub -  I think I'll go back to the lever arm.     I really do appreciate such warnings.  B)

670-115_1.jpg.d7657f5c9833c7624988639f1620a4fa.jpg

Gearbox & Overdrive One of the deciding factors in buying this particular project was that it has an overdrive (A-Type). The seller says he had a 'Triumph specialist' check the gearbox, overdrive and diff out ..who said they were good.   How competent that Arkansas 'specialist' was I don't know.  Perhaps he took the various covers off and had a look inside to see if there were debris inside or any chipped teeth. Who knows if he even measured end float clearance.  Personally speaking I wouldn't know how to test or assess these components off the car (without being able to feel and listen).  And in any case.. all seals would need replacing by now. 

Five years ago I had a gearbox and overdrive rebuilt for my Jag. It cost about £2500.  Is there any chance having the Triumph parts rebuilt would cost less ?   Any recommendations ? 

I wouldn't want a five speed, I want to retain the TR4 driving experience. 

Any conversation like this is really helpful to me as I attempt to plan the restoration and foreseeable costs.  THANKS.

Edited by Bfg

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2 hours ago, rcreweread said:

Pete -  great post!

You are almost certainly not far away from me in Colchester - I have a roadworthy TR4 and several TR4a's I'm restoring - I think you might find it helpful to see a lot of the issues you are talking about in the flesh - more than  happy to spend some time with you if you would like to pop over to Colchester - if so, send me a PM ( private message - click on the round circle to the left of this post with my initial R in it, and you will get some options to send me a message) with your contact details - I've sent you mine

Cheers

Rich

Excellent Thanks Rich, that is very kind ..and would be incredibly useful to me. 

I'll drop you a PM and hope to get across to you whenever might be convenient.

Pete

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My only experience is with the TR6 where the rear cross member is flimsy and may be just tack welded to the frame. People have tried to mitigate this by boxing in the cross member and checking the welds. I would probably do that anyway but in general I would just avoid this style of rear shock conversion.

I'll leave the gearbox refurb question to our UK friends but there are excellent rebuilders for gearboxes and overdrives in the UK. I doubt the cost will be that different from your Jaguar experience though.

Stan

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Overdrive Repair Services in Sheffield were quoting £900 + VAT.

Pete

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On 5/22/2019 at 2:09 PM, Bfg said:

Brakes, Suspension and Chassis :

... the rear suspension dampers have been changed.. from the original Armstrong lever arms to  Moss  bolt-on conversion brackets and modern upright slider shockers (..I don't know what brand).  I’m not sure about this conversion - Is it really any better ?  It sorta seems like just added weight, when the original dampers work well and their rating could be changed just by going for a different weight of oil.   Am I missing something here ?

 

On 5/22/2019 at 5:24 PM, Steves_TR6 said:

i have the racetorations telescopic rear conversion and like it, but many people prefer to keep lever arms.

Seems to me,  so far,  that Steve likes the racetoration's tele conversion (which looks to be much the same as the Moss design but is made out of aluminium), but other opinions are that the risk is not worth it, so stick with the lever arm.  Perhaps with a disclaimer that other conversions which offer extra bracing via the body tub / inner wheel arches appear to fare better.    Thanks, all I appreciate the feedback and in due course (ie., when I get the car and have a good look at it ! )  will let you know which way I go.      

There is another type offered by Revington < here > which uses  telescopic damper within the rear coil springs. That was the one I would have opted for had budget not been an issue.  Or is that unpopular or perhaps mostly ever used by the racing lads ?   

No-one has mentioned anti-roll bars for a road car  - Anyone ? 

- - -

My thoughts at this moment are to follow Steve's further advice to just get it on the road, and don't worry about non-essentials and inclement weather necessities.  Doing things this way will inevitably mean some extra cost and doing jobs twice,  but from the motivation point of view there's nothing quite like the carrot of taking the car out on the road for the first time. :D  Thereafter, a rolling restoration being the way to go, to sort out the niggles,  have a bit of fun,  and to better choose the right time to rip it apart further for the indepth restoration tasks. 

I assume most sane persons  buy a car which drives and is roadworthy.  But does anyone have experience of this sort of approach ?  or did you extensively restore your project before ever driving it on the road. ? 

Thanks

Edited by Bfg

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We bought our TR6 in 1981 and although at this point it has been mostly rebuilt and somewhat modified it has not missed a driving season. We have long winters.. We bought the TR3A in 2010, I drove it 4 miles from the park and ride lot where the truck dropped it off to home and then took it apart for a complete restoration. I next drove it in 2016. I was in way over my head with that project and could not have done it without the help from this forum. I think both approaches are good, it is just a matter of what state is the car in when you get it, what do you want to end up with and what resources do you have. If the TR3 was going to be my only TR I would probably have adopted the rolling restoration approach.

Front anti-roll bar I assume will improve the handling although if you plan to drive sedately that may not be an issue. The TR6 came with one, people do fit them to the sidescreen cars. Moss seems to indicate that the TR6 bar will fit the TR4 after drilling  some holes. I have yet to feel that my TR3 needs a sway bar but I dont drive it aggressively. The TR6 I push a lot harder.

There are quite a few people that have done rear coil-over conversions, I never felt the need to do it but I dont have any issues with the concept.

Stan

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On the roll bar , yes front is standard on the 6

my 6 has a ,thinner, rear arb additionally and handles really well ( for a 1970s car with a separate chassis!)

getting the handling balance right will be a challenge, i did not build my car’s suspension it was done by racetorations

i’d recommend keeping it as standard until you know what it’s like Pete, and IF/HOW you’d lime to change it.

many people have fitted ‘uprated’ suspension and hated the results.....

steve

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:57 AM, Steves_TR6 said:

i’d recommend keeping it as standard until you know what it’s like Pete, and IF/HOW you’d like to change it. 

^ valid point again Steve.  I've driven the Tr3 a lot ..but that was years ago on and on American roads, and also a Tr4 for a much shorter period of time,  but I've not yet driven the IRS Triumph sports.  I was reading an article last week warning to be careful in fitting a roll-over bar which can stiffen the body / chassis more than is good for the best in handling  (I though it was in the ' TR4 Competition Manual '  but I've just looked an cannot see where I read that).  Nevertheless the point is valid - to try it first, as this particular car is set up, and on the type of roads it'll be used on, and then make the decision if anything needs to be changed.. 

Thanks again.

In the meantime, I had an afternoon of admin (now looking for transport and shipping)  < here >.  No fun in it but it has to be dealt with.

.

 

Edited by Bfg

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History 101

.  .  .         it's not about things, it is all about the people.

In correspondence with this  Tr4A's  seller Raymond,  I felt he was reluctant to tell me straight what the car's condition was,  where things got lost along the way,  and how things never worked out.    Personally speaking I was disappointed that important aspects of the SAH 'enhancements' which made Chance  a bit special - had been lost to the ravages of time or sold on (recycled-up !)  but I came to accept that.  It's all part of this particular car's history.  

I wrote to Raymond,  to try and explain this and also to explain that he himself ; Raymond L. Hatfield was now an inseparable part of that car's history.  And how their story is of great interest to the car's new owner (..right now that'll be me,  but in due course it will be someone else).   I reasoned that times change,  and that what we once had was worth almost nothing., and in line with the culture of the day we start to play around with our old cars.   In his case, some 15 or 20 years ago - he hankered for a Tr5.  So when the original engine needed too much time and money spent on it - he decided to go with the straight-six lump.  Thereafter the four-pot engine was kept, but dumped in a back corner of the garage. 

Now me being me,  I love the background story - so practically pleaded with him to pass on what he has.  A week or so ago  I received the first of several email correspondences.  I thought you might enjoy reading it too.. 

The following  ..appears to be in response to particulars posted on Raymond's own website.  They are from July 2006.  

- - -

First Contact   .. 

 

-----Original Message-----

< F. Veitch >   wrote:

I know your SAH tuned TR4A - In fact I drove it The day I was married.!

The car belonged to my uncle, E. Crawford Morten And he purchased it new in England tuned by SAH.  The car was not raced in England, nor while he was the owner. It was a real screamer, I had a stock TR4A-IRS and his ran circles around it.  Original color was BRG, and it had Laycock OD.

I do have some original photos of the vehicle, Both exterior and under the hood.  If you finish the beast and wish to sell it to someone who will care for it as it deserves, please let me know  before putting it on the market.

Additionally if you know the whereabouts of a TR3-A S/N TS53537-LO or know how to see if it still exists, I would love to know where it is. That was my first TR, also owned by Crawford.  I did autocross that one, and it was a world beater!  The fastest damned TR I ever drove, and I have had 5.

Crawford also had  Peerless GT (TR engined) and Herald 1200 (POS).  His daughter Christine Morten Smith also had a Spitfire.  A real TR family!

Regards, Fletch.

> Fletcher P. Veitch III

- - -

-----Original Message-----

From: Raymond

Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 08:23

To: Fletcher Veitch

Subject: Re: SAH tuned TR4A

 

Hello Fletch,

Thank you for writing me,

I'm glad to find out additional information on my car, do you have any other details that you could share with me?  The stories about it being raced came from the person I bought the car from, and I must admit it bears signs of having been driven hard.  Would it be possible to scan any of the pictures you have of the car and send them to me?

It would be a great bit of history to add to my website.

The car is still BRG at this time, though I am thinking of painting it blue once the restoration is finished.  Still has the Laycock OD.  The interior is being redone in light tan, which should make it much more comfortable during the Arkansas summers.  I did sell the wheels that it had, because I didn't feel I could trust 40 year old mageseium wheels on a daily driver, which is what I plan for the car when it's complete.

I don't know anything about the TR3-A, but you could check the TR registry website (www.trregistry.com), they may have it listed if someone owns it.  Also, you might join the Vintage Triumph Registry's mailing list and make inquires.

It was great hearing from you, and if you have any interesting stories or information concerning Mr. Morten or my TR, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for writing,

Raymond

- - -

 

< F. Veitch >   wrote:

Ray, I forwarded your email to Chris Smith who is Crawfords daughter.  She may have more information including original purchase stuff.  Crawford never raced it, but he was a very fast and skilled driver who used all of the cars capabilities on those lovely New York Adirondack roads.  He was a fanatic about car care, so if it was damaged or not maintained it was by someone other than him.  When I say fanatic, I mean just that - you had to see it to believe it.  My TR3 which I got from him when it was 7 years of age looked and drove like a new car.

I probably have 2 pictures which I will try and find and scan for you.  The SAH was what the TR4A should have been - My 3 ran circles around my TR4A-IRS untill I ripped out the polution control **** and rejetted the carbs properly.  Milage went back up to 27-28 MPG from about 23.  Performance greatly enhanced.  The 3 still kicked it's ass in an autocross, but that was an exceptional car and it didn't beat it by much.

Best regards - good luck with the restoration.  It doesn't seem like that car has been around over 40 years....

Fletch

- - -

Edited by Bfg

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.

a little more of this car's history ..

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Raymond

Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 15:20

To: F. Veitch

Subject: RE: SAH tuned TR4A

 

Hi Fletch,

Thanks for forwarding my email, one of the things I find fascinating about the car is the history - even with all the missing pieces.  I really appreciate you helping to fill in the blanks.

One thing I am very curious about the story about how Mr. Morten went to England  and purchased the car, including getting the tuning from SAH.  My guess was that he was in the service at the time, but it would be great to know what actually happened.

 

I guess it's my turn to fill in the history after that, according to what I've been able to find out :

Mr Morten sold the car to Ronnie Van Zuphen (sp?) sometime in the '70s.  Ronnie drove it in New York for a number of years (and from your comments apparently abused it quite a bit), Then moved to Tupelo, MS.  He continued to drive it, finally taking it off the road around 1980, disassembling it to restore it.  That restoration effort never took off. 

The car was eventually sold to Russ Hepp of Birmingham, AL about 1995.  Russ stored the car uncovered behind his restoration shop and never touched it, where it deteriorated quite a bit.  I came along in 1999 and bought all the bits and pieces and brought them home.

It's been a slow, agonizing process trying to resurrect the car, but I'm getting closer all the time to the day when it'll run again.  At least now it's stored out of the weather and not deteriorating any more.  I hope to have it running again by this coming spring.

Thanks again for writing

Raymond

- - -

 

- - - - - Message - - - - -

From: F. Veitch

To: Raymond

Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 2:22:46 PM PDT

Subject: RE: SAH tuned TR4A

 

Ray, the SAH was a follow up to my TR3.  Let me put things in sequence.

Crawford was in the service - he was a Marine on Tinian during WW2 with the first Marine radar fielded.  C came from a long line of military officers and West Point grads, his G/father being the longest continuously serving combat officer in the AUSA when he retired. 

He fought in every war from the opening skirmished of the Civil war through the end, was appointed to West Point, served in Texas and the Arizona territory and the indian wars under Gen Crooke and later in China, the Phillipeans and San Juan PR (Puerto Rico) .  He was the combat officer (Br.Gen) who actually led the troops up San Juan hill after their CO was wounded and was unable to continue. (Note, there is no mention of TR there - we have the original transfer of command signed by all parties including TR. (Theodore Roosevelt  )

His son retired a Col in the quartermaster corps.  With this for a recent military history, you know Crawford was pushed into the Point where he ended flunking out to marry Christine's Mom.  He ended up at Parris Island (South Carolina)  as a DI (Drill Instructor)  and then in the Pacific. 

He always loved performance cars and the Triumph string began with a Peerless GT, TR-3, Herald (side car) TR4A (SAH) and then a string of Mercedes.  He worked for International Paper Co in Ticonderoga NY.  He followed racing avidly, used to go to Europe to watch the GPs, and on one of these trips he picked the TR up, having ordered it prior to leaving.

Keep me posted

Fletch

- - -

 

So there we have it.  First Contact,  where the car was ordered,  Chance's  First owner and even an obtuse link to the American Presidency..   plus second & third owners,  and then Raymond..  the present custodian and now seller.  The pieces of its history are coming together !  And is possibly more complete than the car is itself !

Bfg  B)

Edited by Bfg

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On 5/22/2019 at 2:09 PM, Bfg said:

.

THANKS  GENTS  for your encouragements,  B)

 

I do indeed have a lot of unanswered 'thoughts'.   So let's say where my thinking is right now  ..and then perhaps you'll be in a better position to guide me with practical advice. 

>              I’m on a low budget and buying the least expensive Tr4 I can find.   It has not been on the road for about 37 years, so many of the components will be un-serviceable and perhaps uneconomical to repair.

>              It is a project-car needing everything restored or else replaced.  I have restored cars (including a TR4 - some 20+ years ago),  motorcycles,  and a boat,  so I'm hands-on.

>              Realistically the driving I do 90% of the time is daily routine / normal living  ( in all weathers) ,  ie., going to the shop and using my car as a cart-horse.  5%  I guess would simply be going out for a drive (fast B-classified country roads)  &/or going out for the day.   Other 5%  - I'd like to tour in this car.  I've never been to Ireland for example, so the car is to be used for traveling, and for the sheer pleasure of driving a TR when sightseeing.  Although my trips do include crossing Europe (I have friends in Slovenia),  I don't need the penultimate in high speed, nor race cornering.  I live down a farm track and I otherwise spend a lot of time in a car - so I do not want any harsher ride than standard,  nor any narrower a power band,  a brash exhaust,  nor something so 'precious' that I dare not drive it on gravel or leave unattended in a car park.  BUT,  as a driver - I do appreciate a car that handles competently and predictably,  a car which starts and stops well,  which is reliable and safe to use,  and which is fun to drive.  

As is apparent in my previous post,

>              this car was modified from the outset.,  but a large part of that heritage has already been lost.   In short ;  it is not a valuable car,  nor is it original,  and nor will it ever be.

>              I’m stuck with being 6’5” tall.  So I’ll need to make some changes to better accommodate me.  NB. I have read and digested < TR6 for a tall person >   so things like cutting into the rear mudguards for longer seat travel is very likely.  I'm also likely to raise the windscreen an inch-and-a half by mounting it on a fibreglass plinth (..it can be done neatly).  

All the above means I’m inclined to feel free to change and ‘update’ certain systems, even where that may devalue the car.  

Where ancillary components are serviceable, then for the time being I'll veer towards reusing them,  however where things are iffy,  costly to recondition,  or if there's good reason to change specification now rather than later then I’m thinking. . .

 

Systems : 

To swap components out for contemporary / lighter-weight and more efficient items.  Things like screen-demist and windscreen wipers,  heater,  battery,  and charging system.  I'm not wanting to make the car feel any more sophisticated or modern, but I do want easy-to-live-with whatever the weather.   Are there suitable substitutes off a modern car that would drop in without major headache or loss of the car being a TR sports car ?  

What might you recommend ? 

 

Motor :

To be honest I did consider dropping an appropriately 1960's era  V8 Daimler 2.5 motor (140bhp / 155ft.lb @ 3600rpm) into this car,  because the car’s original 4-pot has lain dismantled for donkey’s years and so most likely is going to be expensive to restore.   I've previously owned a 2.5  and was impressed by the V8, despite it being overly burdened with the weight of a Jaguar saloon body and all that walnut, leather and chrome.

However, as this particular Tr4 was tuned by SAH ..to perhaps 135bhp / 140ft.lb @3350rpm., it seemed to me that swapping it out would  a.) loose something more of the car’s history,  b.) loose something of the bold TR4 character I very much like,   and c.) not be worth the considerable effort ..for the resulted gain.  

When buying this car,  I also had the option of a TR6 motor (US. Solex carb spec. : 126bhp / 132ft.lb @ 3500rpm). I rejected it because although very tuneable - it would again loose the (desirable to me) feel of the four banger,  it would have added to the expense and complication in transport and shipping, and because the six-cylinder’s additional weight ..and weight distribution, are each counter to the TR4's nimble handling.  Personally I have more fun driving with well-balanced handling than with outright power.

In short :  I’ll go with the original 2.1ltr TR4 four pot motor.  But where practical and within budget,  I’d like to restore the 4-pot's performance potential, its drive-ability,  reliability,  and (improve) oil-tightness.

The 4-pot comes with twin carbs, and there are both SU and Solex with the car.  I don't know their condition,  nor have I any idea which are the better carburettor or easiest to live with  ..as I only have prior experience of SU's.  I do not know what condition the cam-shaft is in,  but if worn or rust-pitted then I'd probably go for a stage-one cam.  Any recommendations ? 

One cylinder sleeve was smashed when the seized / corroded piston was released.  A replacement sleeve is with the car (plus 2 spares)  but I don't know what rebore size they'll be.  Clearly, the pistons and rings will need replacing to suit.  Any recommendations ? ..remembering I after a good driver on normal petrol  rather than out n'  out performance.  Most likely the exhaust valve seats will need replacing to use with unleaded fuels.  Any suggestions on valve guides etc. ?

There's also a relatively crude looking four-branch exhaust manifold with the car  (I don't know if this was SAH made)  and what appears to be a brand new-old-stock (shiny so perhaps stainless ?) twin-pipe exhaust system.  The original four-speed gearbox / overdrive, is to be reused.  At this time I do not know what the diff. ratio is.  There appears to be a new diaphragm clutch with B&B type / sprung centre friction pad with the car. 

 

Power to weight / weight distribution :

SAH’s  GRP panels on this car save weight and centralise its weight distribution. These are the direction I’d like to pursue further.  A lighter-weight modern starter battery (probably AGM) is a no-brainer as the car will not be for show anyway,  but for a TR4A - is it worth moving that weight further rearwards & lower ? 

I don't know the weight distribution of the 4A, but have read the TR6 was a little nose heavy and prone to under-steer (Autocar).  

If the dynamo &/or starter motor are shot then I'll probably change these out for modern types to save weight and improve efficiency.  Without going to the tuning specialist is there an alternator &/or starter motor off a modern car that would drop in without major headache ?

 

Style :

Formative years or what ?  In 1964, my Dad was a competitor in the East African Safari Rally. I was an 8-year old kid.  Perhaps because of my age and these mind's eye images - I now prefer the early Tr4 style as a fun-spirited rally car,  more so than the glitzy look of the Tr4A.  So I’d like to retro back to basic and remove its superfluous chrome trim and side lights.  I’m also inclined towards quarter bumpers rather than the original TR4’s.  And an almost upright looking car in contrast to the low look of a TR6.   Likewise I like the airiness of the white painted dashboard rather than the 4A’s wooden facia.  For me personally, such timber finishes work great in a comfortable saloon car or boat,  but less so in a seat-of-the-pants sports car.  This period excludes Mazda and most other modern and kit-car seats.

In short : I’d like an almost spartan early 1960’s look,  but I do like door pockets (most excellent on the original Mini ) and a parcel shelf. 

 

Wheels

I have bought four standard TR4 steel wheels, and plan to use as near standard sized, narrow but high-profile tyres as I can find.  I'll be selling the Mustang Bullitt wheels presently fitted.  Can anyone tell me what space saver wheel suits the rolling diameter and pcd of the TR4 ?

 

Brakes, Suspension and Chassis :

From what I understand,  this car's front brakes have been up-rated to twin-pot Toyota calipers.  At the rear are the original 9” drums.   I don't know about the front shock absorbers, but the rear suspension dampers have been changed.. from the original Armstrong lever arms to  Moss  bolt-on conversion brackets and modern upright slider shockers (..I don't know what brand).  I’m not sure about this conversion - Is it really any better ?  It sorta seems like just added weight, when the original dampers work well and their rating could be changed just by going for a different weight of oil.   Am I missing something here ?

I don't know what the 4A has in terms of anti-roll bars, or what it would really benefit from - anyone ?

- - -

So, what would you do ?   with a basic criteria of ;  low budget and its four banger motor, and lightweight GRP wings - to achieve a nimble handling and easy to live TR4 road car, and a wish for the car to reflect basic but fun early 1960’s ?

I invite your constructive and perhaps imaginative suggestions.!  

Thank you.

Pete.

Hi Pete, great post so much history. Re the rear shock conversion, others are right in saying the brackets which bolt only to the original lever arm mountings are not good but these can be modified by adding a small bracket either welded or bolted to the existing bracket and extending down to bolt to the lower bump stop mounting on the main chassis rail.  This triangulates the bridge to the chassis and the whole assembly is then much stronger and will work with the telescopics. I have done this mod to two TR 6s in our group and there have been no problems since. Alternatively buy the 3 point mounting brackets and sell the existing ones on.

Chris

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Thanks Chris, 

What you say seems good to me,  but without having a car in front of me I couldn't see where best to triangulate from.  Bump stop brackets makes a lot of sense because they ought to be suitable strong.  Good suggestion. B)   But I couldn't do as your last sentence suggests as would be passing on a known problem to some other unsuspecting soul.  

You don't say whether in your and your fellow TR6 group's experience - the telescopic dampers work that much better than the original lever arm and piston types.?  

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4 hours ago, Bfg said:

Thanks Chris, 

What you say seems good to me,  but without having a car in front of me I couldn't see where best to triangulate from.  Bump stop brackets makes a lot of sense because they ought to be suitable strong.  Good suggestion. B)   But I couldn't do as your last sentence suggests as would be passing on a known problem to some other unsuspecting soul.  

You don't say whether in your and your fellow TR6 group's experience - the telescopic dampers work that much better than the original lever arm and piston types.?  

Original lever arms slightly uprated work very well.

Stuart.

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