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EliTR6

Riders on the storm... My 1956 TR3

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Hi all,

15 years after buying my TR6, a spitfire, an abandoned TR6 project and many Land Rovers later, I'm finally back in a TR! A 1956 TR3 with a rather flashy colour scheme.

A huge thanks to Craig at TR Bitz for everything. It's very stressful spending a large amount of money on a piece of old metal but Craig went above and beyond to make sure I was 100% happy with my purchase. Thanks too to Jean-Christophe and Marko for the friendly advice.

Timing is everything, so what better weekend to pick to drive from Manchester to Le Touquet in France than last weekend? My partner gave me grief for leaving her alone on Valentine's Day to pick up a toy (she's not a fan of classic cars) but I had a couple of mates who were game to do seperate legs of the journey with me. I hadn't factored in the weather but the storm warnings were increasingly worrying.

I set off on my own from TR Bitz on Saturday morning just as the rain started to get heavy. The original plan was to take B roads down and enjoy the drive but I opted for the motorway and made it down to Oxford in under 3 hours to pick up my first passenger. Cruising at 50-60mph in the rain was fine, the tyres (Contis) did a great job. Stoped for a great pub lunch before dropping Alex off in NW London. Drove to Hackney to pick up copilot number 2 and 50 yards after he jumped in the windscreen developed a crack and then the car died completely in the middle of Hackney. Fun, fun, fun.

Dead battery, friend took an Uber to Halfords and brought a fresh battery back. Fired up and we continued our attempt to exit London. An hour later, we were still hitting heavy traffic near Dartford and didn't fancy driving at night during a strorm so headed back to London, parked the TR in a shopping centre and went to the pub. Early start the next morning but we ended up waiting for an hour to leave the car park as the weather was terrifying.

I figured our breakdown the previous day was due to the lights, wiper and electric fan draining the battery with stop start London traffic preventing the alternator from charging it back up. So we drove with just the sidelights and no wipers just to be safe. And leaving early on a Sunday morning meant we saw very little traffic and had a full day of daylight to get home. Once we made it through to the other side of the blackwall tunnel, I could finally breathe! The drive down to Folkestone on the M2 was predicatably ghastly and we saw two very nasty accidents along the way. I only switched the wipers on for the last 5 minutes as the heavens really opened up a couple of miles from the junction for the Tunnel. Those last few miles were really scary, we're lucky we were so close.

At the tunnel, had to pay a hefty surcharge as our original booking was void and as it was one of the busiest days of the year, the earliest train they could fit us on was 5 hours later. Needless to say, we were desperate to get home by then so I managed to plead/beg/charm our way onto an earlier train. Spotted a red TR6 a few cars ahead of us, we weren't the only idiots on the roads yestreday!

The motorway from Calais to Le Touquet is very exposed to the wind so the last 50mi contained some further butt clenching moments but I made it the restaurant where my girlfriend and friends were having lunch in time to order a main course. I almost crashed the TR 20 yards from the finish line! A guy came it a bit hot but he had priority and I locked the fronts and continued sliding towards him. Just missed the other car by a whisker. Parked up and ordered a large beer and counted my blessings.

According to its MOTs, the little car barely covered 1000mi a year over the past 10 years but it went through hell and back this weekend and came out the other side still smiling.

I've got to sort our the cracked windscreen, will add some relays and fuses and a battery cut off over the next few weeks. I would like to get rid of the yellow lipstick and eventually swap out the red interior for a used black set and probably convert to LHD. Runs a bit rich too and running on when the ignition is turned off after a long drive. 27mpg on the way home. That's 10mpg more than the Landy!

I'm very, very happy with my car and am looking forward to long drives along the coast here in the sunshine. Maybe then my girlfriend will forgive me!

 

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12 years ago, less hair and less arrogant these days... This was when we were about to set off for Le Mans Classic in the TR6

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Edited by EliTR6

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Well done Eli, bit of an epic trip though very reminiscent of what we used to do back when cars like that were new. Enjoy the experience of 50`s motoring!

Stuart.

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A   very well described Trip, to the point and Exciting too.

The sort of thing we all did when we were boys in similar cars, well done Eli.

Have fun, 

Conrad.

Ps. Did she forgive you ?

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Well done. Use the Tr in the rain and have a good time. It could be that your regulator is not adjusting to the load required correctly. I had similar problems and now have overhauled old stock in my garage. Keep away from any new ones made abroad.( a long way abroad )

You will have even more excitement when the sun comes out.

Good luck Richard & B.

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What a great description of the 'Joys' of sidescreen ownership, really well done, almost been there and got the tee shirt!

So lets have a name, and if you do decide to switch to LHD, ask here,

lots car sgoing the other way, so you should be able to do the job at zero cost?

Once again welcome and well done.

John.

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That sounds like a fun trip!

on saturday i suggested we take a drive down to the coast to check out the sea in the stormy weather, but not jn the TR !

steve

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9 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

What a great description of the 'Joys' of sidescreen ownership, really well done, almost been there and got the tee shirt!

So lets have a name, and if you do decide to switch to LHD, ask here,

lots car sgoing the other way, so you should be able to do the job at zero cost?

Once again welcome and well done.

John.

It's got to be Dennis hasn't it? 

This is how I would like the TR to end up looking 

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Good first trip and concisely written, nice photos too - I would tell your future passengers (and yourself) not to use the windscreen as a support to lower themselves into the car - a classic cause of a cracked windscreen and distorted frame.

Enjoy sidescreen motoring the way is should be.

Cheers, Andrew 

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Thanks for the great story and pictures. Andrew is probably correct about why the windscreen cracked.

Stan

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Excellent post Eli, great to see you're stretching its legs, and in all weathers too! The sidescreen's a fantastic little TR : nimble, surefooted and ruggedly adventurous with an illustrious rally career in its back pocket. Enjoy it all year round, on road and off. Venture, explore, and drive it like you stole it! ;)

Cheers, Deggers

Edited by Deggers

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I'm pleased you guys enjoyed reading abut our first adventure!

 

I have a few questions for the electricity boffins:

My car is negative earth, I figure installing a battery cutoff on the - terminal would be more useful than the +

It looks like the old voltage regulator has been completely bypassed, am I right?

The disconnected bullet on the brown wire is from the former dynamo?

There's a green wire lose from the mini fusebox. Could be why my fuel gauge is reading funny. Reconnect?

I think I'll eventually put a small new fusebox in and relays for the headlamps and electric fan. 

Bonus question: Has anyone found black painted wire wheels in 4.5J or 5J?

Thank you!

 

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Edited by EliTR6

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I think you need somebody competent to take a look at the wiring as a matter of urgency. You don't want to risk a fire.

That 'floating' bullet connector with a brown wire in the third picture is especially troubling as it might be at 12v and un-fused. Too many other loose wires too, any of which may be live and which should at least be insulated before you use the car again.  

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if you do decide to go from RHD to LHD i will do a straight swap of parts with you.

Roy

 

looking at your wiring it looks as though you might have one of the small all in one alternator fitted which have there own inbuilt control box . Not shown in your photos

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12 hours ago, RobH said:

I think you need somebody competent to take a look at the wiring as a matter of urgency. You don't want to risk a fire.

That 'floating' bullet connector with a brown wire in the third picture is especially troubling as it might be at 12v and un-fused. Too many other loose wires too, any of which may be live and which should at least be insulated before you use the car again.  

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I taped up all the loose ends after taking the photo. I also always remove the - battery connection when the car isnt being used. 

When I finally get around to converting to LHD, I'll fit a new loom. In the meantime, I just want to make the current one a bit safer with relays and a cut-off switch under the dash. 

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10 hours ago, roy53 said:

if you do decide to go from RHD to LHD i will do a straight swap of parts with you.

Roy

 

looking at your wiring it looks as though you might have one of the small all in one alternator fitted which have there own inbuilt control box . Not shown in your photos

Hi Roy 

Thanks for the offer. Good to know! I need to find a 2nd hand interior set before I start on the conversion. 

What's your time frame? 

Eli 

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No time frame here . Just stored for now.

Roy

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I need to renew my membership and put an advert in the classifieds section but if anyone reading this has a used (even tatty) black interior set (door cards, carpets, tonneau, hood...) going cheap, I'm your man! Thanks 

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Hi Eli,  there is a set on EBay at the moment. Not sure where , but it's there.

Cheers Conrad. 

 

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7 hours ago, openroad said:

Hi Eli,  there is a set on EBay at the moment. Not sure where , but it's there.

Cheers Conrad. 

 

Thanks ! 

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Question : how many fingers can you fit between the top of the rear tyre and the bottom of the arch?

The car rides great and doesn't bottom out on corners but seems to sit a little low at the rear. 

I've searched the forum but can't find much about ride height. And the photos I've pored over haven't given me much in the way of answers. 

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