It's funny - we had not really planned on owning a TR6.
It was one of those sorts of things that seemed to have it's own inertia, and happen all by itself.
It really started in early October 2001, when we went to a Triumph event,
a joint venture of the Red River
Triumph Club and the Oklahoma Triumph Club.
It is an annual gig, put on in 2001 by the RRTC.
There was a great rally that my son and I participated in, running the
93 Mercury Capri. We did an excellent job of following the directions, hitting the mileage number dead on, earning us an honorable mention. We missed a number of questions, though, so we did not win any prizes.
What we did get, however, was a hunger to investigate a brown TR6 sitting on four flat tires in a car port. We went and talked to the guy, and mistakenly made an offer on it. This guy, however, had a higher number in mind. We continued to talk to him over the next few weeks, but he would not back down.
In fact, I even sent a friend of mine up with cash to see if we could dissuade him from his stand. Our little ruse was unsuccessful. I'll never forget the comment of my friend when he came back from Muenster. "What an idiot!" he exclaimed. "Imagine, being offered the cash, right then and there, but saying 'No, I have a certain price in mind.' A difference of $500. The cash now, or the cash never!"
So we did not buy the car. But, it set us off in search of the perfect TR6. I began scanning the Sunday papers. I found an interesting one a week before Christmas. I called him, and it sounded real. Supposedly 37K miles on the odometer, always been garaged, good interior, excellent exterior. But, Christmas was a week or so away, and I did not think I could get up there. Then I found another one, a red one, did not seem so promising, plus it was a 75 with the big rubber bumpers that I don't particularly like.
Meanwhile, I was communicating with a man in Rome, Italy, who had a brown PI, in excellent shape. Plus a friend of mine recommended car in Houston that had been completely redone top to bottom, with performance in mind. All interesting possibilities.
Then I called a friend of mine in the shipping business, and found out that cross-Atlantic shipping would be $4,000 to $6,000. Then there was the issue of customs. I had done some research, but I was not sure without actually applying that I could bring in a car that was not designed for the crash and emissions of its day. And I was not so sure I really wanted a car that had been redone with performance options.
So in late November or early December of 2001, (between Thanksgiving and Christmas)
we made a date to go see the two local TR6's. Leaving our kids at friends
houses, Sue and I drove up to Lewisville to look at the first one.
We turned the corner into his street, and there it was, red, sitting out.
It was a little rough cosmetically, and I had a little trouble driving it -
never having driven a TR6 before. It had a few more miles on it than the
other one, but it drove nicely. It did not feel right, and definitely had
to be repainted. And I really did not like those rubber bumpers. So we
thanked the man and drove off to Euless where the other one awaited.
We found the house, the owner, and waited as he went inside to open the
garage door. When the door cranked up, we saw it. We were immediately
It was gorgeous. Freshly waxed mallard green paint sitting on an incredibly
clean frame. The engine, too, was spotless. There were bits of rust here
and there, but all just surface. No caking or flaking. It was an amazing
car. He started it up, and there was definitely something loose with or
in the exhaust system. But other than that, the car was amazing. The
interior has probably been redone. The underside is surprisingly clean,
except for the engine and drivetrain, and probably transmission oil,
that has leaked down over the years.
I made the guy an offer, and he said he would rather keep it than take that.
I told him I had the cash with me. He was incredulous. I asked him what
it would take. He asked me again if I really had the cash. I told him I
did; that I was planning on driving the car home. Then he gave me a
number that I thought was reasonable. I reached out and shook his hand.
We had a deal. He also had a hardtop out back that he had never put on
the car. I had to come back for that in the van!
Note the very un-British floor mats. We now have black rubber Triumph ones!
Once home, we began to work on the car. Probably every gasket in the
needs to be replaced! So we had some work ahead of us!
The air filters were filthy, and we went about a top to bottom tune up. New plugs, points, plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor. We also set the valve clearances, which were way out. This made a big improvement in the engine. Then we started advancing the timing. The first 1/4" made a noticable difference. The second 1/4" made a huge difference. The third 1/4" made a noticable difference. I'm thinking about advancing even more.
I am still having trouble getting the engine up to 5000 rpm, and with
occasional stalling at idle. This could well be the carbs; I think I am
going to have to rebuild them. (see below!)
We took the rear wheel off and found the lever shock bleeding all over
everything. I am assuming this is true on both sides. A heavier hydraulic
fluid may solve the problem, but more likely replacing both of them will be
I had considered putting in a shock conversion kit to use standard shocks,
decided against it. See TR6 Shocks discussion
I have been having problems with a steady idle. Did some research;
found several people who had solved this by fixing gas line problems.
Took the filters off and found the second carb was leaking gas!!!
Right at the connection of that last little hose. So I will be replacing
ALL the gas line hoses after the filter!
Also see TR6 Idle Postings. And I will let
you know if the hoses (now replaced) fixed the problem!
After we put the seats back in!!!
We also decided to check the tranny fluid. To do that (and to clean things up) we had to pull the tunnel cover. To do that, we had to remove a lot of carpet.
To do that, we had to remove the seats. Anyone see a pattern here?
We wanted to oil the seat mechanisms anyway! Someday we'll replace the vinyl with leather!
Here are shots from the underside of the car. Note the original red primer from the factory! And all the grease! Someone please clean this car!
Seems like we got a radiator leak!! How did it end up on the underside of the hood???
Also fixed the idle problem - replacing the gas line hoses did the trick.
I was warned, however, that once it gets hot I will have problems because the original metal gas line
has mostly been replaced with hose. Apparently this causes vapor lock. Guess I'll find some steel gas line!
Still one major problem - the car still does not want to go much over 4000 RPM. A mechanic today suggested that
the springs inside the distributor are the problem. Hmm. Actually, I think I am going to take it to him
anyway and have some rear end work done (like replace the lever shocks, install the kit to prevent the
differential mounts from breaking, new u-joints, seals, etc.
This past weekend we flushed the radiator!!! Here is a picture of me right
before I started getting soaked! A bunch of ugly brown sludge came out!!!
Hope the wife (love her dearly) forgives me for the rust stain on the driveway.
Could not completely get all the brown yuck out. Put some water and fresh antifreeze
in it, and will run it for a few weeks, then remove the thermostat and do it again.
This time I'm replacing all the hoses and the thermostat.
Monday (3/25/02)I took the car to a mechanic in
in Carrollton, Texas, who came well recommended!!! Big Mistake!!!!!
Found out Tuesday that the differential mount had indeed broken, and been badly fixed. Hmmm.
Got the car back the following Monday. A definite clanking in the back. He adjusted the
exhaust, but it did not help. He thinks it's the tranny mount, which has detached. I'll
find out, but I still think he's wrong. Am ordering the part today (4/4/02); will put in
this weekend. Bet I take it back to him next week!
walked me through some
carb work, then pointed me in the right direction for fine tuning. One carb diaphram was
ripped, and the needle in that carb was covered with yuck! Took the diaphrams, floats,
and needles out of another pair of carbs I had picked up and stuck them in. Added a bit
of oil, and the car runs like
a scalded dog!!!! So much for the low engine rev problem, but I still get some stalling
up around 4000 RPM. Next week I'm going to simply replace these carbs with the
(hopefully) well rebuilt ones.
For the engine to run, you need spark, compression, and fuel. I know
I have the first two - got to work on the third.
Still having that rattle/banging problem. Replaced the transmission
mount (the old one had pretty much disintegrated), but that did not help. I am going
to remove the hangar mount from the tranny mount and try to balance it that way.
Am also having to replace the passenger seat belt holder; the cover came off and
then everything else did, too. Got a great deal from
Obviously that's now over; back to work on the car!
I had also purchased a set of recently rebuilt carbs. Since I was still
having that stalling problem around 4000 RPM I decided an easy way to fix it
*might* be to swap them out. This is the "new" set on the car. They look
pretty, don't they???? Anyway, that did solve that problem, but the car seemed
to be running just a little rough, and the grinding/rattling noise was getting worse.
Tweaked the timing, which helped, and the grinding/rattling noise was getting
even worse. On Tuesday, April 23rd, just a few days before the RRTC Regional,
I drove the car to work. Or, should I say, part way. The tow truck brought it
to a mechanic we trust after it refused to run. Which made me notice the battery
is a little weak and over 4 years old. Bottom line it's an engine bottom
problem - it needs, at a minimum, new bearings. So now it sits in the garage,
awaiting some time.
This summer we did a bunch of little things, like replace the rear
shock absorber links and bushings, and the windshield wiper motor. It was interesting -
I took the top off the motor, which you have to do to replace it, and then
it makes perfect sense how it works! We were unable to fix the
windshield wipers (was it the switch?), and we did not get around to
replacing the fuel line between the fuel filter and the carbs. We replaced the fuel
filter (what a mess!) and we have a replacement tranny cover to go in!
It wouldn't be a Triumph if it still did not need more work! Here is the
distributor, removed to replace the tachometer gear!
This is the infamous tachometer gear! A little plastic piece which fits
inside the distributor, and if the tach cable or the tach binds, well, this
is the weakest link. Although I have not verified this, I have been told
that they are no longer made, and you have to find one in another TR6!!!
Running just a bit rich! See the deposits on the fourth, fifth, and
sixth? Had to adjust the back carb, I think about 180 degrees. Took it
out for a while, came back, and all six had that nice powder look!
Here is an interesting tool! This has an adjustable head, kind of like
a channel lock, except it functions like a socket! It also has a built in
ratchet, so it's a great tool for those non-sae, not metric bolts you
occasionally run into on British cars! I highly recommend it - I don't
use it often, but every now and then it's been a life saver!
Had some interesting affairs with this car lately. One of the most
exciting (or dramatic) was in late December; I got in the car to do some last
minute Christmas shopping; it was about 45 degrees out. The car starts fine
(always does), but the oil pressure does not kick up. I'm a little cold and
tired, so I'm thinking slowly. It's cold, the engine is cold, low oil pressure.
Right. Check the oil. Dipstick comes up clean- not a drop. Yipes!!! Turn
off the engine!!!Take another car, go Christmas shopping . . .
A few days later it is warmer, so I empty the oil pan, change out the filter,
and add 6 quarts. Needle flicks right over to the right. Very cool. Hmmm.
So. Where did the oil go??? I'm watching the oil on this car VERY
carefully for a while! We took the car on a 150 mile trip last weekend (here
is the car is some tiny Texas town). Oil seemed OK then . . .
This is my sweet young bride at the wheel - she likes to drive
the car, too! Just don't expect her to do anything like check the oil!!
This is the old, frazzled one - it may have been the original one.
Plus - we know the car was "kerbed" and there was some fan damage, etc. Plus -
when I was draining it, nice, brown sludge came out! Did I forget and make
coffee in this???
Hey! Is this kewl or what??? Brand new radiator I got on
I am so impressed with myself - put this in, ran the car, no problems!!!
One interesting side note - the bolts on this one are metric (the side bracket
bolts). By pure, dumb luck (that's me) I actually had a couple
that fit!!! They took a 13 mm wrench.
You have to read this one. Go
here to read about our fabulous
adventure on the way to the British Car Show in New Orleans.
Next we plan to go the the VTR Regional in Fredericksburg
the last weekend of April. Expect pictures and story!!!!
Sorry - I did take pictures, but I guess I didn't do a web site.
Here will soon be a link to the British Car meet over Memorial Day Weekend!
Everyone's favorite was the Amphicar!
I was planning to make it to the TRials in Bowling Green, so I started
spiffing up a few things. These are the sun visor brackets. Definitely
need to be redone!
Here is what the ashtray and brackets look like AFTER! Nice, huh? I really
like the improvement. I also redid the spike holders that the tonneau
It was a long morning the day I was supposed to leave for Bowling Green.
Then it rained just cats and dogs. Unbelievable long, hard rain. And this
was 1,000 miles from Isabelle! The car did get wet, but seemed ready to go.
Here it is again, parked. Won't start. Two blocks from home. I had just
run out to do an errand before I left. Never made it. Spent about 30 minutes
on the phone with a very good friend (thank you again, Mark) who puts up with
my lack of knowledge of LBC's. Seemed the plugs were fouled, but there did
not seem a very logical reason. So we towed it home behind my wife's van!
Basics. Always the basics. We knew it was related to spark, compression,
or fuel, the three basics of engines. So I went through the components,
looking for something. Anything. And I found it. Big Time! Apparently, the
last time I added oil to the carbs there was water mixed in.
Water + Oil + Heat = Sludge
Pretty simple, really. After cleaning both carbs, thoroughly, the car once
again purrs like a kitten and runs like a scalded dog!
HEY!!! Who stole the bumpers??? Oh, yeah - since I'm having the TR3
stuff rechromed, I figured I would do the TR6 bumpers as well. Looks kind
of funny, huh? Looks like a good time to clean the front valence and a few
Time to replace the bushings on the front sway bar. Kind of tough, actually.
Do these need replacing or what??? Actually, after fighting with this
for several days, and being unable to get the washers from a local supplier
after practically begging, I ended up buying the whole assembly for both
sides. And guess what? It went in easy as pie!
Thought I needed to rebuild the speedo. Wrong! The needle was
flivering. Was told by several sources to replace the cable first. That
did the trick. Now it works just fine, except it's quite optimistic! It
reads a good 10 to 15 mph over the actual speed.
Next picture: rechromed bumpers!!!!! I'll supply that as soon
as I get the car moving again!
Just a quick recap here. In the last few months I did indeed get
the bumpers rechromed, as well as the lug nuts and the metal part of the
hub caps. I also reconditioned the black metal plastic hub caps - I will
do a quick note on that - and stripped the air cleaner.
I also drove to the VTR regional in Oklahoma, without headlights, turn
signals, or wipers. I'm still recovering from that.
Right now the speedo and tach are out while I replace the headlight
switch. I have been told that the problem with the turn signals may be
in the emergency flashers switch.
I have cleaned, painted, sanded, filled, sanded, painted,
filled, painted, filled, sanded, painted, filled, sanded, painted, filled,
sanded, painted, for about a week per switch to get them nice. And, they
And then there's the new flasher switch I am putting in - had to bypass the
old one to get stuff to work!
My next venture is to go three carbs! Courtesy of Good Parts.
Here is a picture of the manifold. Then we are going to go with the stock
looking air cleaner cover. Special thanks to Richard Seaton for his treatise
on the subject.
We had had an odor problem with the exhaust - this at least partially
explains it! New pipes are here and ready to install. And since the exhaust
had to come out anyway to replace the U joints, well . . .
Could it look any worse? Could it cause vibration at speed??? Duh!!!
Here's the drive shaft out, on the ground, ready for U joint work.
I'm thinking this needs to be replaced! Notice the gouge in it????
U Joint replacement. There's definitely a trick to it. I'm no expert; I'm
not saying this is the only way. But - for any of you looking for some advice,
here it is. Don't use a vice. Don't get carried away hammering.
Put a daub of grease in each cup, enough that it will hold the needle bearings in.
Take the first cup and place it in the first hole.
Holding it in your hand, tap it lightly with a hammer until the top is flush with the yoke.
Angle the u joint in, then place the next cup in, with the u joint placed up in it.
Again, holding the whole thing with your hand, tap the cup in, carefully angling it by hitting it on the edges, working it in and the u joint until it is seating into the other cup.
Place it on a solid surface, like concrete, and using a small enough socket, carefully tap it in until you can see the seating ridge for the circlip.
Turn it over and repeat.
Set in the circlips.
Repeat for the other yoke.
Note: if you cannot tap it down below the circlip line, a needle bearing (or two) has fallen into the cup and you must remove it.
Well, I managed to get the driveshaft (or prop shaft) back in, and had
the new exhaust system installed. It seems to run fine, except there is a
vibration in the car, and in the passenger side, when decelerating from
about 50 to 80. Am stilling trying to nail that one down!
The vibration was fixed by replacing the prop (drive) shaft. That simple!
Many, many things have happened since the last entry about the prop shaft.
We've upgraded the suspension to lowered, stiffer springs, added the goodparts
mild cam and three carbs, lightened flywheel, and electric fan.
March 2006 The old tires, although the tread was perfectly fine, had cracks
down inside the tread. No telling how old they were. So - good news!
- I get to call tirerack.com, and asked for the fattest, stickiest
tires that would fit on the stock wheels. Now I'm running Yokohama
215/60 R15 94V ES100 tires. No problem on fit, even on the lowered
suspension. They stop, corner, etc. I'm happy!
The guy who put the electric fan switch was really an idiot. He put it
at the bottom of the radiator, where the water is the coolest. Which means
I'm going to have to pull the radiator shroud, and maybe the radiator, and
put it in the right place. I tried just hard wiring it is it was on all the time,
and although that kept the temperature quite cool, it was too much of a drain on the
electrical system. I'm also putting in an override switch.
Then I realized that he found a DC fan that no matter how you connect the
power and ground it still blows the same direction. And, the way he mounted
it, that direction would be forward, as in towards the front of the car. In
other words, the air flow was from the engine compartment forward into the
radiator and then out the grille towards the front of the car. Unbelievable!
I replaced the fan.
Right now I'm having a small problem: I drove the car a bit here and there on
a Saturday morning, and it ran, and started, just fine. Then, while I was at
a friend's house, I had a problem. When I try to start the car, I get nothing,
just a single hard click. At first I thought it was the battery, so I took it to
Sears (its a die hard). They said it was in good shape and fully charged. They also
noted that it was purchased in February of 2003, so its right at four years old. Given
that it sat pretty much unused for over a year (long sad story - to be covered elsewhere),
its pretty amazing that its still in such good shape.
I tried bypassing the starter switch, and that didn't help. Next step
is to clean all the contacts and see if maybe its just a ground. Then I'm going
to pull the starter and take it in and have it tested. Oh, yeah. Just to
placate my total paranoia, I'm going to turn the engine over by hand just to
make sure its not some freak thing that's keeping the engine from turning.
Turns out it was the starter, so I went with a gear reduction unit. This
required a spacer, which I found out after I put it in the first time.
When the engine started, you could hear the engine still turning the starter;
it was quite a whine! So I had to pull it again, and reinstall it. Was a
bitch! But now its in! Here's what the two look like side by side; the
gear reduction is smaller and lighter, and supposedly more reliable. Guess
I'll find out!
See the entries on my rear wind blocker! My first iteration worked OK,
but I want to perfect it, so I'm doing another one.
Heat shrink rubber tubing to protect the fender when the prop rod goes
up and down.
Electronic igniter. No more points!
As you can see, the radiator shroud was looking pretty pathetic. I had ordered
a new stainless steel one, which was supposed to be engraved with "TR6."
Given that this has never happened, I did this in the interim. After
gluing another piece of cardboard to the bottom (came from one of the kids
old science projects), I spray painted it with a plastic spray paint thinking
that it might be more flexible and water resistant. I rather like it!
7/24/07 Took half a day off from work today to play in the garage!
Here we are getting ready to pull the engine
Consider it pulled!!!
Looks pretty empty in here.
One engine, to go!
Just needed to mention here - the block had a crack in it. Yeah. Sucks.
Found a used one (on second try) that didn't, bored it out to match the
30 over pistons, which turned out to be bad (worn), so had to buy new
pistons. so, lots of work.
November 4, 2007
Here is the engine, after all the work that's been done, being repainted
and about to be reassembled. Can't WAIT!!!!
This shows the oil scraper. Supposedly it stabilizes the movement of the oil in
the pan and prevents it from sloshing against the crank, or having the crank
move against it. Supposedly worth 2 or 3 horsepower. I dunno but there it is.
I should back up a minute here. Since this is a replacement block, we had
to do a bunch of work to it, and since the head was shaved, ported, and polished,
we had to now match the old head to the new block. This required a little bit
of shimming to get the geometry just right. Can't wait to start it up!!!!
This just shows the base for the rocker arms.
And the 6 shims, nicely machined and read to go in.
This shows the final assembly, all ready to just fire up!
Got the gasket on. I could be wrong here, but I think we need to connect
that big old silver colored thing as well (Note: that's an A Type overdrive).
Don't you just love the fan - all
painted and pretty? Won't that look nice in the car????
OK!!! All we have to do now is put the engine back in the car, attach
the carbs and exhaust, connect like a million wires, hoses, and doodads, then
we can fire her up!!!!! Woohoo!!!
Here it is, bare engine compartment, just waiting to receive the very
cool redone engine!!!!!
And here is the engine, with tranny attached, ready to go!!!!! SOON!!!
Heat shield for the 3 carb setup. Custom made. Very kewl!
This will be totally awesome when it goes in. I can almost hear the roar
of the engine!
This is the newly refurbished engine. Sweet!!! Should be
running any day now.
Such a beautiful car. So ready to drive this thing!! I have been through
so, so much with this. Also can't wait for all the mechanical issues to
finally be taken care of.
You can't really tell, but that's a new windshield! Very pretty! The speedo
and tach are out because that's also a new crash pad! The bottom pieces are
on order; they should be here this week. Soooooo close!!!!!
Here's the engine. Back in, up and running. Last step is to add the heat
shield, and the air cleaner. Then its done. Can't see the new headers in
this picture - silver ceramic coated and ready to rumble!
Sitting on the carpet you don't get the same feel, but I thought it was
good to show the setup before it went on.
Here we go! Mounted on the carbs. Note the alignment bolts.
I highly recommend this installation sequence. I'd be happy to hear
suggestions; I'm no expert. I thought long and hard before installation because
I did not want to do this multiple times!
I recommend gaskets on each side of the heat shield. I went a little
overboard and cut my own out of cork. Didn't take long and I think adds a little
panache, even though you can't see it unless you look really closely.
I used disposable gloves to put these on. Chrome spots if you just look at it!
These are ready to go on!
This car is truly ferocious! It purrs like a kitten and runs like
a scalded dog! And really stops, too! If you are going to go this route,
remember you have to stop!
So here was a small problem; notice the 4th spark plug - no gap! It was
causing the car essentially to run on 5 cylinders. And what is interesting is
that it did not run that badly. But now, it runs REALLY well.
So here we are at Regionals, and I'm getting ready to autocross.
Track pictures. Look at that car go! This must be me out there.
Pretty car, don't you think?
This is the 18 year old, focusing. My son, Carlton.
Still pensive, but ready to go.
Out on the track. This is him. See how settled the car looks? Everything
Yeah. He won the award, not me. But then I get to be the proud parent!
Here is the car, up in the air, ready for me to go to work on it. As a word of explanation, I had a fuel
pump fail on the trip back from 6-Pack. Or so I thought. After replacing it with another fuel pump, and,
unfortunately taking it apart to rebuild, I had a second fuel pump failure. Or so I thought. The car actually
ran a few days later. So I figured it was something in the gas lines or the gas tank. Since a lot
of this stuff is under the car, so I got it up nice and high. Wish I had a lift!
This is the stuff I keep on top of the spare tire. Lots of little parts
plus a full coverall set.
Here is the spare dizzy and coil I keep in one corner by the spare tire.
Here is the spare alternator I keep in another corner.
This is an extra water pump and silicone brake fluid.
Here is the jack and a spare hose or two.
This is what the carpet looks like under the spare tire. Not sure how this
happened, or even if it was that way when I got the car.
This is what it looks like behind the rear cover up over the gas tank. Lots
Here is the original green paint!
This is the back of the passenger compartment. I ended up putting some
sound insulation on this board. Not sure if it will do much, but it can't hurt!
This is what a dirty old gas tank looks like, out of the car. Off to
This was in the tank! How about that!
After doing all that, and putting the tank back in, I still had a problem.
Finally traced it down to the vapor recovery system, which is also how the tank
breathes, or, how air goes in when the gas goes out! What really tipped me off was when a 6-Pack
lister suggested I look at the vapor recovery system. Then I realized that for the last several
months every time I opened the gas cap I heard a woosh sound, like the release of a vacuum. So
I figured that since the vapor recovery system is also the way air goes in when the gas goes out,
that was the problem. This section was along side
the exhaust where it goes through the frame. Ended up replacing that section
with steel pipe. After all that, the problem appears to be solved and there is no more
woosh when you open the gas tank!
Here is where the gas line, and the vapor recovery line come down from
the trunk/tank. I'm so impressed - I bent the lines myself! Someday I'll
be a real mechanic!
Just to the left is the rear sway bar. A little bit of Goodparts!
And here is where that new steel line, along with the gas line, head down
through the frame by the exhaust. No more melted plastic!
As of 12/06/2008, no more issues with the car stalling out. I've driven it
a ton, so I think I'm good!
Just an update here. No more fuel line issues! Of course I am still having
problems with the overdrive, the radio doesn't work, and sometimes the interior
light stays on. Just more minor issues to take car of!
Found a nice winery in North Texas . . .
Regionals in Marble Falls, Texas!
Lining up for the breakfast run.
Driving the breakfast run.
Regionals was fun, but there is still a problem with the tranny and the windshield. 3rd gear pops out, and
the windshield. Hopefully these are both warranty issues and can be taken care of at no cost. We'll
be heading up to Oklahoma in June to the European Car Show - they
have an autocross on Sunday which we are really looking forward to!
Tulsa, via Talimena - see the pictures here!
Replaced the float (full of gas!!! with this Mustang float. Seems to work,and
it snaps right in.
Here is the receipt with the part number and price.
The fix is relatively simple, and you don’t have to fully remove the tank:
Drive it or siphon it down to as low as you can (for me, this was the hardest part!) I
drove it up onto the ramps, then attached a gas line first into an empty gas container, then
using the filter as a link, to the gas line. It immediately started emptying into the
container. I did not need to disconnect the gas line from the tank.
Take out the boot (trunk) fiber lining adjacent to the tank. I pretty much emptied
the trunk. This really helped since I had to crawl into the trunk to remove the bolts
and attachment points. I think you could do it by leaning over. But I think that's asking
for back problems!
Disconnect the gas tank fuel filler cap. There are two hose clamps.
You should be able to just undo the clamp at the top and remove the cap. You
will not need to undo the bottom clamp or remove the hose. Set the cap
and grease it where it connects to the hose so that it will come off easily the next
time. If the hose is in bad shape this is a good time to replace it.
Disconnect the gas gage. Take note of which wire goes where. Mine had two
completely different spade connections so that was a non issue.
Unbolt the tank from its mounts. Two at the top, one each side, and two
at the bottom. Leave the two side bolts for last or it will tip over making it
hard to get the bottom ones out. They are 7/16" bolts. An extension makes it
Then tip the top of the tank towards you until you have access to the sending unit. I
was able to turn the tank a bit and get the sending unit out without much trouble. Inspect
the float (it’s a small milky-white plastic barrel clipped to the float arm).
If it has any liquid in it, replace it. This is the same
part for a 73 MGB, or a 67-72? Mustang. The Ford part is brass and may well last longer.
The plastic part only lasted a couple years for me.
It’s important to replace the sending unit mounting gasket before reattaching the sending unit.
I stock gasket "cardboard" and made my own. It was pretty easy.
Installation is pretty much the reverse of the steps above. The correct
way to install the fuel cap is with the latch on the passenger side. I purposely set it
facing the driver side because I like it there.
Thanks to a lister who wished to remain anonymous for helping me with these steps!
8/14/2009 - Here is the car, heading out on another adventure!
2/17/2010 Just got it back after a little tranny work (again), fix the heater, and the dented panel. Sitting with
its soul mate!
replacing the slave clutch cylinder. my assistant is keeping close tabs on the operation!
here is what it looked like when I was done. I also had to replace the hose. Had a lot of issues with this one - the first
one I put in was bad, and of course it took me a while to figure that out, plus I pulled it out to look at it, then put it
back in. Way too much work and silicon brake fluid happened here!
April 2010 washing the car, getting ready for the trip to Florida.
Trip to Florida. Here's the first stop. Somewhere east of Dallas and west of Tuscaloosa.
Arrival at the host hotel.
Can you say beach???
Best breakfast at the beach! This was really a fabulous place, and we got to sit right up front at the counter.
It was a treat to watch this lady cook. She was in the zone!!!!!
Carlton. At the wheel. At the beach. In his favorite car. With his Dad. Does it get any better than this?????
This is the car show. Everyone stopped to get a picture taken. Their web site.
All too soon it was time to go . . .
Just ordered a new coil - PerTronix 40511 Flame-Thrower 40,000 Volt 3.0 ohm Coil
PROBLEM WITH THE RING GEAR
Here are a list of suggestions for R&R the tranny, reproduced for your convenience. If you have any to add, please let me
Run a soft wire from the clutch (three holed) operating shaft to one of the bell housing bolt holes. This would keep the fork from pushing the throwout bearing off the front cover, during lining up the input shaft to the clutch disc splines. Another would be to secure the inside of the clutch slave cylinder so its piston won't drift out and spill its contents.
"Gorilla glue" the rubber seals to the cover the last time I had the cover off. This aids in keeping the seals in place, as you wiggle the cover on.
Put a scissor jack under the oil pan, removed the starter, clutch slave, and all the bell housing bolts, then undid the drive line, rear tranny mounts and the wires and speedo cable. It pulled right out.
Don't forget to support the engine before you take the tranny out. Otherwise it will hang on the front to mounts. I use a floor jack, with a board or piece of 2x4, long enough to span the entire width of the oil pan and beyond. Otherwise, you'll cave the bottom of the pan in. Also, this job gets a lot easier (at least to me) if you remove the entire rear mount and bracket from the frame once the engine/tranny assembly is supported. Placing a jack under the engine pan before taking off the tranny should keep the vertical alignment between the two units. This helps a lot when trying to stab the pilot shaft into the clutch and pilot bushing.
Using tapered pins or phillips screwdriver (shafts) to align the tranny cover to the captive nuts helps in getting these umpteen bolts started. Some guys have mentioned putting the tranny cover bolts in from under the car, and using the protrusion of the bolts to line up the cover. I used that method when I installed a new plastic cover, and it was quite helpful.
All the bell housing bolt heads point forward, with the threaded end of the bolts pointing towards the rear. This is factory correct, and makes the finished job look like you knew what you were doing.
Don't omit the two 3/8" dowels or bolts used to align the tranny to the engine.
Pack as much grease into the throw out bearing as you can. A lot of folks switched to Gunst bearings a while back because of bad service from original types. You can eliminate a lot of those troubles by adding grease to the original style bearing.
Center the transmission to the bell housing using two 3/8 shank bolts, one up on the right, the other 180 degrees in the lower left area. This is a tight press fit. Then put the rest of the 5/16 shank bolts the rest of the way around, with the exception of the starter bolts of course. This will true up the transmission to the crank shaft and reduce the wear on the pilot bushing and front transmission bearing.
Getting the tranny re-mated to the engine is difficult. I use some 4" bolts, get the tranny close to the engine and then install the bolts at approximately 11 and 5 o'clock. I use these bolts to guide me as I wiggle the tranny closer and closer to the engine. I pause occasionally to tighten them so that the tranny cannot slip backwards. Makes mating the two together much easier.
Cut heads off a couple of 4" long 5/16 bolts to make studs [think that is the size] and put them in the engine block at the top where there are threaded holes. Hang the tranny on these bolts and then guide it in. When it gets to where the end of the tranny is almost touching the pilot bearing, put another couple of the long 5/16 bolts in from the front of the engine plate and through the tranny housing to then slowly tighten as you move the shaft manually back and forth to get the splines to align. Push it home, remove the top "Studs"
We discovered that when the lightened flywheel was put in, it came with a preinstalled ring gear. The ring gear had been put in
backwards. So every time we started the car it pushed it out a little bit. Eventually it was out of
reach of the starter!!!!
The tranny got put back in, the front tow hoods were redone/reinforced, and then I entered distributor hell. I had a rebuilt
dizzy from a local guy, and could not get it to run. In the process of trying to make it work, and swapping dizzy's in and out,
the coil quit working, I fried the points on the existing, working coil, and broke the little wire that connects the points to the
plate. I ended up with two non-working distributors. The rebuilt one was 180 degrees out. Net result I sent them both to Jeff
at Advanced Distributors and told him to put electronic ignition on the other one and to make them identical. They should be back
next week. Then, hopefully, I will have a running car!!!!!
9/5/10 - Labor Day Weekend
Clumsy me - knocked the rear view mirror right off. Fortunately, that's not a big deal. I asked around
on the 6 Pack mailing list, and got some great replies. The instructions below worked great; something
like 5 minutes to get it back on. Yay!!!!!The stem of the mirror is dovetailed into the bracket that is screwed into the windshield frame. Remove one of the end screws and slide off the end piece. Slip the mirror stem into the open end, and replace the end piece and it's screw. If the mirror wobbles even when the screw(s) are snug, add some thin strips of metal to make things tighter. (Cut up a beer/soda can, if you don't have shim stock).
9/5/10 - But I do have a small electrical problem - last night when i turned on the electric fan
(it's strictly a manual switch - no thermostat) the car just died.
No power, no nothing. Undid the power shutoff, put it back, car started right up. Have to fix that!
12/21/10 - Lots has happened in the last few months. The electrical problem was due to a short from the positive
battery cabel to the hood latch. hopefully I'll get that picture in here that shows the little bit of steel that was
arc welded away!
Somewhere along the way I replaced a lot of the lights with a product from Litezupp
I had to switch out the mechanical blinker with a digital one. This one from NAPA works great.
Had a serious vibration problem. Was actually due to the prop shaft being out of whack and a bad U joint in
the back part of the prop shaft. Likely the latter caused the former! Took it to
Inland Truck Parts & Service
in Irving (Texas) 972-438-1406, although they are a national firm.
They fixed it right up, including a new pair of U joints.
The real key was to remove the exhaust. Problem is a number of years ago a well meaning? exhaust shop welded up all
the pieces. Since then we added a header, so at least the first joint was removable. We had to cut the
exhaust using a sawzall.
Nothing else would do it. Then we had to reassemble it, which is a little tricky. I tried some
exhaust patching kits but they really didn't work out, so I'm going to replace the whole system
from the end of the header back (not including the header).
Here is interior, except the speaker panels, all back together. And, the car IS driving!!!!!
Since we had to tear out the interior, I have always wanted to replace these speaker panels. So I am going to replace those
flimsy cardboard things with larger, solid wood panels.
1/2/2011 I'm tired of the chrome flaking off on the lug nuts, so after some exchanges on the 6-Pack
mail list, I was advised to get these. There are several choices;
you want Cragar style centered (non-offset) washers.
I would have preferred a black
finish but they don't seem to be available, so I settled for Chrome. Moss wants $16 per lug nut; these
are about $2.
Here's that webpage in case some day its not there anymore.
1/15/2011 Seems I had a small altercation with a fixed object.
As you can see, the damage was strictly cosmetic
and included the lights, plus notice how old and ugly the backup lights are.
And here it is, back from the shop, looking just gorgeous!!!! Love that tail now. The painter used a clear coat,
but toned it down somehow so its not as glossy. I think its a perfect look. Of course, it would have been helpful if he
had put the luggage rack on correctly! I had to take it off and turn it around.
5/14/2011 Just took a road trip to Oklahoma!!! Check out this bridge!!!
This actually was a railroad bridge. At some point, the railroad abandoned the
bridge and gave it to the local authorities, who made a car bridge out of it. And if
you look to the left, you can see that there is also a walkway along it.
Took a little road trip to Paris, Texas. On the way back my temp gauge pinned right. But the car was anything but
hot. Apparently we lost the gauge. So I've replaced it, and the speedo while I was at it. The needle was flivering.
No longer, even though the speedo now reads about 8% too high. But it is steady and working! Someday I'll get all the
gauges restored, and then I'll have it fixed.
These two wires were connected together, until I replaced the speedo and the temp gauge. This little bypass skips the
blinker switch, which had gone south on me. Without it, no blinkers. I taped them together this time, although I was
tempted to do something more permanent.
This is what the car looks like when I'm tearing into the dashboard. I love it that the seats come out so easily.
And, as you can see, I have a problem with the PDWA. It started leaking! Fortunately, this is DOT 5 (silicone), so no
damage to the paint.
This is what you do when the PDWA goes bad on you and you still need to drive the car. This bolt keeps fluid from
leaking out of the car. It is 3/8" fine thread. This bolt is a little long. So I went out and got a much
shorter one to carry with me just in case! And some thick washers.
picture of pdwa
It has now been rebuilt and is back in the car. Meanwhile, I am in the process of getting a spare rebuilt. I will be
carrying it along with the other stuff I carry.
Small problem here - this is one of the trailing arm brackets. Its the worst of the four. Replaced them all!
Oct 3, 2011 NEW TIRES
And it's been about 5 1/2 years since I bought the last set.
Those were fun miles, let me tell you! No regrets. So I called tirerack.com and asked for another set of those
Yokohama 215/60 R15 94V ES100 tires. We're headed up to Wichita Falls (TX) this weekend - should be great!
The old tires were pretty worn. I've had people telling me for months to replace them. But I wanted to take
care of a few things first - like the trailing arm brackets. And to actually install the new lug nuts.
Which of course don't fit my lug wrench,
so I had to get a breaker bar and a deep socket to carry with me. Plus a wrench extender. I'm thinking about learning
how to sew so I can make a little carry bag for these.
10/7/2011 Starter motor quit working. You can hear it spinning out, but it obviously doesn't engage.
This is waht it looked like, without the filters and heat shield, as I was getting ready to pull it.
Here is the ring gear; you can see its a little damaged on the outside, and the bevel is on the inside. From what
I can tell after numerous emails and conversations, is that even though it is installed this way, its probably better
to flip it, which is not standard.
Here you can see the high torque starter. Clearly its missing some of its bite, but I don't think it should completely
fail. When we first got the starter, it didn't seem to fully disengage, so we put in a spacer. The first spacer was too
thick so it didn't engage at all. Looking at this I believe the spacer is still too big. Of course, now that the first
1/4" is missing, it probably won't need any spacer at all! I'm going to keep this as a spare and put in the original
Comparison of the original and the high torque starter.
Here it is, installed and working. I hesitated - I really wanted to stop and clean this up, repaint it, etc., but I
also didn't want to spend that time and money if it didn't work. And, now that I've got the install figured out, I bet
I could swap starters pretty quickly! Maybe this winter when its cold out . . . .
10/24/2011 - finally solved this problem
I had some carb issues, took all the deceleration bypass valves off and replaced
the gaskets. The diaphrams seemed ok, ahd all the springs were there.
After dealing with that, I still had the popping.
Thanks to the 6 Pack list and suggestions, the fix here was pretty simple! New
After replacing the differential with a Q45 limited slip, we went to Road Atlanta for the Mitty!!!!
9/15/12 We went to the Fort Worth Car Show. It was a club event. Lots of cars, mostly American Muscle. Good day. But even better was later in the day watching both Alabama and Baylor Football wins!!!!
And, unfortunately, lost a U joint. but a week later that's fixed and we're off to the next event!
3/22/13 Went through a long, traumatic issue that turned out to be the carbs, throttle shafts, and correct gaskets.
The car would not idle down to 1100 to 1500 where it should. And I couldn't balance all three. Finally, that is fixed
and the car once again purrs like a kitten and runs like a scalded dog!!!!
4/29/2013 Just got back from SVTR Regional Meet. Had an issue with
the starter motor.
And I am getting
ready to change the oil. Here is a
list of oil filters
for the spin on adapter. I believe they also work for
the sidescreen cars and spitfires.
7/1/13 Slight problem with the top
The thing just sheared off. Hopefully I can get it out and rewelded.
8/3/13 I need a new shock!
So I ordered a pair from these people, and got the heavy duty upgrade! They came in less
than a week!
Here they are, fresh out of the box.
Note that the car is safely on jack stands. Do that first. BE SAFE!!!!!
Then move the jack over and put a little pressure on the wheel so that the rear shock absorber
link is loose. Note the arm of the lever shock is sitting up above the bump stop. If you are going to
reuse the old links, which I don't recommend, this is the time to undo that bolt and try to
bang them out.
Remove the two bolts holding the link to the trailing arm.
With the link pushed up out of the way you can easily get to the two bolts holding the shock in. Get those out and the shock is out!
Compare the old with the new. Since I am really good at getting things in reversed, I like
to lay them side by side and make sure they are right.
Now I'm placing the new shock in, also with the link up and out of the way.
Tighten up the shock link connection to the trailing arm. I recommend putting in new
poly urethane bushes. I did. They come with plain rubber.
This whole process took me a little over an hour. And the difference in the ride is very noticable!!!
I"ve tightened everything else; now its time for the shock to link bolt to be tightened
down.I'm glad I caught this. I think the car feels better, more stable now.
Even though there is a remnant of a bolt there, it was actually welded. Which meant,
over time, it would break.
Something is missing here! The spring came undone.
That spring has a lot of tension in it. Being a techie, I always have lots of
tie wraps, and lots of places to use them!
Heater control valve - this started leaking in the middle of Arkansas on a rainy
Friday afternoon. I took my channel locks, and clamped down on each of the
little clamps. It held up for the next several days. But now its leaving!
You can see the rusty water around it. It still doesn't leak, so it will now take
up residence in my trunk as a spare. I've put a new one in.
Yesterday the car wouldn't start. Had power everywhere, so I thought it would be the starter motor. Posted it to the
6-Pack list, and someone recommended pushing and wiggling around the switch from the front and back. Car started
right up! But then a little while later it didn't. So I'm still having intermittant problems. Put in a rebuilt
stock starter I have, but it only spun; did not engage the car. So I'm not sure where the problem is. I do know,
however, that it is not the switch. There is a starter bypass switch in the engine compartment, and I get the
same result from it.
Took the starter to a starter place, and they said it tested fine. Could be that intermittant thing, or it could
be something else. I also swapped batteries. Plus I ordered a new starter; will be here monday.
New starter arrived. It, like the stock starter, just spun. The problem appears to be the ring gear, which seems
to have moved some time ago. I removed the spacer which was in there, and it worked fine. Until recently.
Which I took to a starter repair shop, it worked when they tested it.
Then I brought it home, and it worked. Then went silent. So its back at the shop to be repaired.
And the ring gear has moved. So once again I have to pull the tranny and fix the ring gear. This time to
have it pinned so it doesn't move again.
I am thinking of replacing these with new, digital ones. The top one is the overdrive relay (it has an extra
wire that goes to a warning light on the dash); the bottome one is the horn relay.
Christmas Day, 2013. That's my son's car on the right.
Gas Gage Troubleshooting
When troubleshooting these, keep in mind that they are *current* devices, not *voltage*.
The 10V reference voltage is produced by the regulator. The 'sender' is a variable resistor that
changes in response to the float arm position The gage reading reflects the amount of current that
flows based on the resistance of the sender. The gage itself contains an internal resistance that
limits current if the wire gets grounded. So finding a voltage (or not) at different points can be
useful, but the actual voltage does not really tell you much. More productive to directly measure
the resistance of the sender disconnected, and to measure the current flowing through the circuit
when it's connected. In both cases, move the float arm up and down to see the results (a coat hanger
wire through the tank filler can help with this).
5/30/2014 Having some issues with the tranny. even though it was rebuilt several times, it
still sometimes grinds between gears. So I'm going to have the overdrive moved to this. It came
out of a friend's parts car.
8/15/14 sent the tranny to John Esposito, at Quantum Mechanics Here is what he said about this transmission, which was supposedly rebuilt when I got it, and
then supposedly rebuilt 3 times by a local mechanic:
The transmission needs about $850 parts and labor to repair.
It had a cracked adapter plate, bad bearings, layshaft, synchros, 3rd gear,
mismatched bushings and teOverdrive switches failed the continuity test.
The overdrive will also need about $900 parts and labor to repair.
It will need a clutch, all bearings, orings, seals and gaskets, accumulator
housing and piston ringset. The oil pressure was very low due to the accumulator
Tips on Replacing a Transmission
My one man method which has always worked pretty good is to align and
support everything eyeballed to be as straight as possible, then put on a
pair of old jeans or overalls, sit on the tunnel behind the tranny and push
forward with your feet on the lip of the bell housing on both sides while
gently wiggling the tail shaft with your hands, works like a charm, but
still sometimes they go home very quickly, and sometimes the seem to be a
little, or a lot more stubborn. That happy moment where it lines up and
slides on the last inch or whatever is one of the more satisfying feelings
Another tip - put the tranny in 4th gear and rotate the output shaft a bit
when you get close. That helps align the splines into the clutch disk.
That's always the hardest part.
There are two holes that should have tight-fitting dowels in them.
Scroll to the bottom of this page
and look for the
While I'm in this down period, I'm putting insulation in.
Here is the flywheel, with the pilot bearing already in (it goes in from the front of the car)
Putting the clutch in. ready for the pressure plate.
The pressure plate is in. Ready for the tranny.
The throwout bearing, or something, is not right. See how it hangs?
Here is the tranny without the throwout bearing sitting in it.
11/6/14 Got all that straightened out; a piece was missing. So we put
the tranny back in, and it pops out of 3rd gear. Trying to get that worked out.
12/28/14 - Went to Decatur for some Chicken Fried Ribeye!
5/6/15 Went to VTR South Central Regionals the weekend of April 24 - 26th. It was in
Kerrville, TX. We had a great time, stayed at the Inn of The Hills. I wouldn't
recommend it. They have a lousy continental breakfast; you have to pay to get a real breakfast. and as far as I can
tell, there is no reason to pay their price when you can stay somewhere and get free breakfast.
Some thoughts on what to put in the boot before you head out!
this is under the lid
these are my tools
This is my electrical kit
Here's an oddity - the little metal thingee that connects to the rotor just broke off!!!
This deserves a long discourse. I first noticed the whole issue of air coming in through the charcoal
cannister when I removed it to remove the heat shield to balance the carbs. I had also been having an odd
sort of idle problem. Plugging this tube really made a difference. I'm thinking that properly, there should
be a one way valve in it. Of course, you have to plug it to balance the carbs. This solved the idle
problem. I had been thinking of relocating the carbon cannsiter because I have to remove it every time
I want to remove the heat shield. So now its permanently relocated to a box on the shelf.
This is after some surgery. No carbon cannister. Car runs 1000% better! Just love it. For now, the
tube for the gas tank is just tie wrapped to the support. Not sure where it will end up.
8/28/15 Made the cover of 6-Pack magazine again! This is the 7th time I've been published and the
4th time i've been on the cover.
9/20/15 Had it on the lift. checking the brakes.
2/5/16 New pads and stainles steel hoses on the front.
New brake shoes and stainles steel hoses on the rear.
here is a really interesting page on how to swap out the stock starter for a more powerful
one click here
I was getting paid to be part of a focus group, and they wanted pictures of me, my family, and a video about technology and me. I guess I could have taken it more seriously . . . .
Here’s the video we made (7 takes)