In the Garage - Autumn 2018
In The Garage – Autumn ’18 Issue 6 Andrew Willmott – TR3a and TR4
The summer has seen the Willmott Man Cave busy with house renovation work but there was still time to squeeze in a few TR mods.
The TR3 has always suffered with a rattle from the bonnet at tick-over so after hearing a similarly afflicted TR3 at the IWE this year I resolved to track down the source.
I had always assumed that the stowed bonnet stay was the culprit but as the rattle persisted with the stay sitting on the bench closer scrutiny was required. T cut a long story short the rattle was eventually traced to the bonnet lift spring box. Close examination revealed fret marks where the lift pin passed through the sheet metal bracket. Some sort of bushing looked to be in order.
The hole in the bracket and spring seat were opened out to give a good clearance on the pin and a nylon bush was turned on the lathe to sit under the spring and locate in the spring seat and the previously unrestrained spring seat was drilled and pop riveted to the bracket. Holes were drilled in the bush for clearance on the exposed ends of the pop rivets.
With the new bush in place the rattle has been eradicated completely.
TR3 Rear View Mirror
Since fitting the four point harnesses it has been difficult to turn my head sufficiently to get a view of the offside blind spot and it became obvious that fitting at least one additional mirror would be prudent. I scoured the internet and the car parks at events for some time in search of a suitable solution to plagiarise but all of the solutions seen on other side screen TRs were compromised in some way, either fouling the side screen, providing insufficient view or just being plain ugly.
In the end the simplest solution seemed the best and a suction cup mounted mirror sold in Halfords to keep an eye on children in the rear seat was purchased and positioned inside the windscreen providing a view out through the side screen window.
On the recent trip to Le Mans the mirror was quickly repositioned to the nearside for continental motoring.
Subsequent to my misfueling episode earlier in the year it became apparent that a towing eye was required on the TR4 as it had been difficult to attach a strap to the car in order to winch it on to a recovery truck without damaging the front valance. I’ve even heard that some recovery operators wont attempt to recover cars not fitted with suitable towing points in fear of claims for damage caused by winching on a part of the structure which was not up to the job.
Chris Musselwhite pointed me in the right direction with an Ebay link and the suitably chunky eye was sandwiched between the front bumper iron and the chassis in 10 minutes. The eye wasn’t quite long enough to span both bumper iron bolts so a third hole was drilled through the bumper iron, towing eye and chassis to take a 3/8” high tensile bolt.
It wont be long before the offside rear sees a similar item bolted flat against the underside of the chassis peeking out from under the rear valance in order that other stricken TRs can be towed out of trouble.
Martin Lovell – TR6
Towards the end of our Le Mans adventure earlier in the year Martin noticed a disconcerting clonk from the rear of his TR6 when coming on and off the throttle. A few of us drove his car to assimilate our opinions on the source and the resulting different opinions confirmed that diagnosis would not be easy without good clear access to the underside of the car and that repair was not going to be practical in the hotel car park regardless of the cause.
Martin resolved to drive gently on the trip back and sort it out in the comfort of his garage at home.
The trip home was uneventful for Martin and once up on stands in the garage the problem was soon spotted.
The front mounting bracket on the differential had cracked and the diff was hanging from only three of the four mountings.
Once the differential had been removed inspection revealed that the problem had been long standing and that the bracket had cracked and been poorly welded by a previous owner some years ago.
New brackets are available from the usual suspects so a quick online order saw a replacement winging its way to south Devon for what turned out to be an easy fix.
Paul Gibson – TR
Paul is always looking to build refinement and reliability into his TR6 and always uses the mantra “ if it needs attention build it better, stronger, faster”
With that in mind he had been looking to improve the drive shafts and rear wheel bearings on his car. Research completed Paul decided that Classic Driving Developments drive shafts fitted the bill and with the price negotiated the new assemblies were soon delivered to North Devon.
Old and new assemblies side by side.
Paul decided to fit the shafts on the following Saturday morning and arranged the use of a four-post ramp to make the job easier. The old shafts were quickly removed and the extra long wheel studs were transferred to the new hubs. It was then a quick job to fit the new assembly being careful not to over torque the notoriously fragile bearing housing to swinging arm studs
On the ramp with the finned brake drums and telescopic rear dampers on view
A morning of easy work saw both sides replaced and a big half time breakfast consumed by Paul and the crew at the local restaurant.
A quick test drive revealed that the drive train is now much smoother than it previously been and loaded direction changes such as accelerating out of a roundabout exhibited none of the previous notchy suspension action caused by spline stiction.
Steve Williams has since replaced the drive shafts on his TR5 with similar items and also reports big improvements in the quality of the ride and smoothness of the power delivery.
Charles Marten - TR4 V8
Unfortunately Charles saw the return of his recent illness and despite his best efforts he found that he was unable to work on the car himself as he had planned to do.
Paul and myself had followed the project closely since the start so we resolved to do what we could to get the car on the road so that Charles could see his dream fulfilled.
Temporary seats were installed and the car was driven on trade plates from North Devon Metalcraft to a local garage where it was given the all clear by the MOT inspector. This allowed it to be registered with an age related plate for use on the road.
The car was then driven back to Charles garage where Paul and I set to work fitting the hood, seats interior trim and carpets among all the other minor fettling jobs we found along the way.
Charles was able to see the car coming together and was visibly buoyed by the results of our labours unfortunately he was never to ride in the completed car as he was transferred to a hospice before the newly re-covered Mazda seats were fitted and sadly he succumbed to his illness only a week later.
As the car was so close to completion, work has continued and although there are still a few teething problems to be sorted I have now driven the car a few times and have racked up 30 miles or so on the odometer. I will continue to run it (on dry days) and when it has accumulated a few miles I plan to change the running in oil currently in the sump for new oil of the correct grade and fit a new filter.
The newly rebuilt 2.5 litre engine fires up immediately ticks over evenly. It runs extremely smoothly pulling well through the gears. It’s a revelation compared with my four cylinder cars and even make the sixes in the group feel a bit rough in comparison...and then of course there is the sublime soundtrack from the twin exhausts which is the only external clue that this car is a bit special.
Anne, Charles’ widow, and myself will be sorry to see the car go but it really needs a new owner who can drive and maintain it as it deserves. With that in mind the car will be advertised for sale shortly. Meanwhile any offers will of course be considered. Please contact me for further details if you are interested.
You – Your Car
Thanks to all our contributors to this issue.
Contributions and feedback (positive or negative) are always welcome.
What’s happening in your garage?
Please make a few notes about your garage exploits and email them to me for the next issue. Contributions are best managed by sending in plain text with attached photos or in Word format.
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I am happy to hone rough notes (or even quite eloquent submissions) prior to publication. Andrew W