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oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/20/21 7:43 p.m.

 

I've been reading all the great build threads about everyone's cars and figured I oughtta try putting something up about mine. 

I've owned my TR6 since 1990. My family has a long history with Triumphs, going way back to the late 50's when my grandfather ran a dealership and a small TR race team. My father would tag along with the team to races, eating the sandwiches my grandmother and aunt would make for the team and sitting on the parcel shelf in the back to ride there and back. He later bought a 74 when it was a few years old and I loved riding in that car. It already had rusty panels on it when only a few years old, but I was hooked. 

Fast forward to '90. I was in my teens and spotted my car in a barn on the side of the road in the Ozarks while on vacation. The DPO was no where to be found, but his ex mother-in-law wanted that @#$% thing off the property, so my father and I bought it and towed it home after vacation. Fun fact, the DPO was a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, and was a sportscaster on a TV station in KC when I bought the car from him. 

We restored the car cosmetically and somewhat mechanically that year and I had it ready for when I was old enough to drive. 

Dad took me to my first SCCA autocross a year later and again, I was hooked. About that time, my mother bought a red Miata, and Dad was restoring an MGB, so we regularly went to autocrosses with me driving my 6 and dad driving the Miata or the B. 

Fast forward to '96, I got a copy of the Kas Kastner handbook. Anyone who knows Triumphs knows that its a sort of gateway drug or primer on making your Triumph go faster. That year, I rebuilt the motor according to the book, built a custom exhaust for it, rebushed the suspension and put on competition springs with one coil cut out. I could not drive over a speed bump without yanking the exhaust off the collector. 

Fast forward again to the 2000's and I went to work for a major engine manufacturer. Working with a bunch of fellow gearheads, a bunch of us would regularly autocross, and I would get invited to drive my 6 at PCA track day events at the local track. Lotsa fun and regularly got schooled by more modern cars. It was about seat time not elapsed time.

Unfortunately, time moved on as did several of my buddies. The 6 had a transmission failure that I could not solve (I actually had solved it but was sold some incorrect parts which caused the issue to appear not resolved) which resulted in the car sitting for about 8-9 years in the garage. 

Again, fast forwarding to the past few years, I have the car running top notch, have done a large number of conversions of systems in the car to make them more reliable and drive it regularly. I've been driving the car to watch vintage races down at Road Atlanta regularly as well as some TNIA events.

A month ago, I decided to get off my butt and get out and autocross the car again. It was a blast to get out and run the car the way it should be run. It showed me a bunch of things, mostly that the biggest problem is the nut behind the wheel. However, there are somethings that I need to address in the meantime:

-Front suspension has not been re-bushed in 20+ years and the pics from the last event show some bad camber things happening. (I rebuilt the rear suspension with Goodparts suspension pieces a couple years ago). 

-Will likely need to do some minor re-alignment after doing the suspension work above. 

-Tires are well past any usable date code thoughts, so new tires are on the list, however I need to address the above first

-I need to send an extra set of rear lever shocks and have them rebuilt and setup with heavy valving for my rear susp setup. 

-I'm running the engine on triple DCOE's which I've tuned nicely, however I changed the car over to an electric pump last weekend. I found that the pressure left in the system after shutdown is leaking past the needle/seats (yes, brand new Weber parts) and into the engine. I have a plumbing setup that I'll be installing this weekend that will get rid of this issue.  

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/20/21 7:52 p.m.

First pic is myself and my first prom date (now my wife of 23 years as of yesterday)

2nd pic is my father, little sister and my father (gotta love those shorts)

3rd pic is from an autocross in about 99 or 2000

4th pic is myself and Kas Kastner (RIP an awesome guy!!!)

 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/20/21 10:04 p.m.

Pics from last autocross, and even made the online flyer for this month's event.

 

 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/28/21 8:13 p.m.

Started on the front suspension last night. Was pretty crusty to start with. 

The interesting note is that the poly bushings I put in 25 years ago were almost perfect. 

I found 3 bad issues to resolve however.

-1 of the pins on the top fulcrum was solid rust. 

-the main trunion bolt was loose and let the hole in it egg out approx 1/16". It's trash.

-the lower shock mounts were loose. Just a matter of tightening it. 

In the meantime, I've stripped and painted all the parts I have, pressed in new bushings and ordered replacements for those I was not expecting. 

 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/28/21 8:21 p.m.

One more fix. To deal with my fuel/Weber over pressure issue, I made a bleed valve. 

I have a 3.5lbs pump pumping to the carbs through a regulator set at 3lbs. This works well, but even after shutdown, the pressure would bleeddown through the carbs into the engine in spite of brand new needles/seats. 

I made the bleed circuit by running a loop from the pressure side of the circuit to the non-pressure side. I used brass T's for connection. In one of the T's, I soldered in a brass plug with a .010" hole drilled in it.

On shutdown, It takes about 1 mine for the pressure to bleed off.

Pic is before I soldered the hole shut and drilled it.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
7/28/21 9:22 p.m.

One of the pics shows a Tennessee tag.  If you are anywhere near Knoxville, my brother lives there and has my old TR6.  He's the one that got me started down this road.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/28/21 10:38 p.m.

I’m on the ‘Elvis’ end of the state, but have spent a lot of time on the other end. I know your brother has some great driving roads to run in his 6.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
7/29/21 11:17 a.m.

I grew up in Bristol myself, but have never driven an autocross at the NASCAR track.  Yes, it's a good area for driving, hiking, fishing, and boating.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/8/21 9:02 p.m.

Finished my suspension rebuild.

Gotta love the quality of the Goodparts kits. Did the Nylatron bushing kit in this case. So with new bushings, new balljoints, new trunnions, and the uprated axles and new tie-rod ends I added earlier, the suspension is now very tight.

My redneck front end alignment did not take long, and I was able to get camber within .1 degree on each side. 

I also took a moment to adjust the Konis up approx 30%. They are 25+ years old and a bit worn. Last time I spoke with the Koni guys about this, they said since I was running them at full soft, I should just adjust them firmer and keep running them. Koni classic oranges are unfortunately not rebuildable.

Next autocross is this Saturday, so if I can arrange to get my daughter to her practice, I’ll get to see how my car goes.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/14/21 6:24 p.m.

Got the 6 out today for the month's autocross. 

We did a morning run and an afternoon run. I'm just getting back to this after many years away, but I still have a clue what to do. That does not mean I follow that clue...

So I get there and instead of spending as much time walking the course as I should, I spent too much time flapping my jaw. I did do a course walk, but instead of walking with one of the FTD guys, I walked by myself and misunderstood one section completely- Stupid me. That resulted in my first 3 runs being DNF's. Thankfully the course worker on that section was cool enough to radio the starter and tell him what I was doing after I did it twice in a row. 4th run was clean but slow so I could get the course right. 

Next set of runs, I had the course down and could finally actually run the thing. Put down 4 good runs. I know I was finally getting tight on the cones because I did clip one. My runs finally put me in touch with the rest of the group running. Not bad for a car that is 20+ years older than anything out there and a driver that stinks. 

As for the car, the rebuilt front end is great. The adjustment to the Koni's seems just right and the front end is tight. I'll look for the pics from the Photog that is always out there to see what she sees to verify if front camber is staying correct in the turns. 

Rear end still needs some adjustment, or maybe the driver needs an adjustment. 

Obligatory youtub vid of my best two runs. 

https://youtu.be/yQyU0r_ddoU

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/14/21 6:30 p.m.

I love car stories like this.  

NermalSnert (Forum Supporter)
NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/14/21 8:10 p.m.

In reply to oppositelocksmith :

Saw you in Millington at a track day. That car is purty! I've got the Triumph itch again bad and you ain't helping! TR6's  are much $$$ now so looking for a Spitfire.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/14/21 8:42 p.m.

In reply to NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) :

NermalSnert, I know where one is local that someone asked me help to sell if you’re interested ;)

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/26/21 5:30 p.m.

Did some maintenance this past weekend, just checking over things. 

Found one thing that bothered me. 

The engine now has almost 4k miles on it since my rebuild. When I built the engine, I built with a new cam, tappets and fully rebuilt valvetrain (new hardened shaft, rebushed rockers with reground tips, etc). New valves and springs as well. Springs are fast road from a UK company, but not ridiculously heavy. 

Broke the engine in with all the right lubes for a flat tappet engine, and I use an oil with ZDDP in it as well to protect the cam. So, I'm doing all the right things. (3rd time I've rebuilt this particular engine, and I've built plenty others in my lifetime)

However, during my maintenance check, I elected to check the valve lash and found several of them to be fairly out of spec. More than I expected for under 4k miles (really should have still been in spec). Additionally, the lash discrepancy was not even across the range. Some were in spec, some were out enough to take 1/4 adjuster turn, and some were only off a little. The variation bothers me almost as much as the fact that the gaps were wrong period. 

You can see the cam lobe if you pull off the pan, so I'm going to run it another 500 miles to 1k and then check and see. If I get another set of valves with incorrect lash, I believe I'm eating my brand new cam. 

(Pic from last summer during assembly)

 

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
8/26/21 9:16 p.m.

I'd retorque the head bolts, reset the valve lash and see what it does.  If you are running stock rockers, there shouldn't be too much pressure on the cam.  Do you have the bypass oil line going to the head?  That provides more oiling to the rockers and tappets, but the cam is primarily oiled by splash in the block.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/27/21 4:30 p.m.

Thanks Joe. Thats a good suggestion. 

Yes, I actually do have the bypass oil line on the head. Stock rockers as well. 

Will get out the torque wrench this weekend and see what I find. 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/27/21 7:45 p.m.

In reply to NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) :

NermalSnert, I looked for a PM, but never found it. Sent one your way with my phone# that evening. See if you got it.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/27/21 8:13 p.m.

In reply to NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) :

Hope I decoded that right! Lol

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
8/28/21 8:20 a.m.

Something that I considered was notching the con rods in order to sling oil at the cam (a poor man's oil squirter).  Not knowing where to put the notch and fear of weakening the rod put a stop to it.  About 10+ years ago we had a TR6 used exclusively for autocross eat a cam, but this may have been lack of ZDDP in the oil and starvation issues.  A crank scraper and windage tray was added during the rebuild, but in hindsight the scraper may be reducing splash that lubricates the cam.  It certainly improved the oil pressure in a turn.

NermalSnert (Forum Supporter)
NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/28/21 8:49 a.m.
oppositelocksmith said:

In reply to NermalSnert (Forum Supporter) :

Hope I decoded that right! Lol

I didn't get anything but thanks anyway. I always get a link to my PM's in my email. FWIW.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/28/21 10:21 a.m.

In reply to oppositelocksmith :

Fuel pressure on Weber's is about what SU's like. Most aftermarket fuel pumps put out too high of pressure which is likely what's causing you carb leakage.  
   Yes a regulator can dial it down but the real solution is SU carbs.   I know the myths. What few people know is that SU's are wonderfully reliable if you do the required maintenance. ( I'm going on 50 years with mine). 
  Maintenance is clean the points. The first time will take you 5 minutes. After that depending on where it's mounted I can do mine in under a minute. 
    Buy a sheet of 600 wet or dry sand paper.  Now tear off a piece that's 2" long and 1/2inch wide.  Fold it back to back ( grit exposed on both sides) now you have a piece 2" long and 1/4" wide.     Take the plastic cap off. See the points? Open them up and pinching about 1 inch of the paper, slide it in. Let the points close and pull the paper through. Put the plastic cap and wire back  on. Tighten the plastic thumb screw and you're done.  Next oil change repeat. I keep my piece  of sandpaper in my owners manual on the page marking the tune up specs. That keeps it clean and prevents contamination from transferring to the points. 
 50 years and counting. 
    About once a decade I remove the fuel line coming from the gas tank and make sure the filtering screen isn't loaded up with gum and debris from gasoline. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/28/21 10:30 a.m.

In reply to oppositelocksmith :

I've found that new cams and reground cams just aren't holding up and even with ZDDP  my next rebuild on my MGTD I'm going with a roller cam assembly. And roller rockers. Expensive I know. But durability is worth it to me. 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/28/21 3:56 p.m.

Thanks much Frenchy. I've got a pump rated at 4lbs with a good regulator dialing it down to 3.25lbs. My pressure relief system appears to be working fine. No more issues with gas in the oil since I installed that. A fellow TR6 racer (a road racer) suggested an SU pump and I may replace what I have with one at some point - sounds like a good option. There is a bit of a shortage right now at most of the suppliers.

As for putting SU carbs on it - not gonna happen. I have no issue with SU carbs. But on this car, carbs is not really the issue. From a pure volumetric standpoint, the stock ZS's have more than enough flow capacity to make the power I want. On a TR6, the intake manifold is the issue. 3 things allowed the UK spec TR6 make substantially more horsepower- Higher Comp, different cam, and fuel injection with individual runners and injectors per runner. Its the last thing that makes some of the biggest difference, and what triple Webers mimics. There are Triple ZS/SU kits available for the TR6, but they don't have individual intake runners, and therefore, they miss handling the intake pulse correctly. 

Frenchy, That stinks to hear on the cams. This is the first new cam I've done in a number of years now. As for roller rockers, I know that roller rockers with higher ratio put more stress on the cam lobes- Would roller rockers with std ratio put less stress on the cam lobes (I'm thinking not)? I've not heard of any roller cam assemblies for the Triumph straight six. :(

Joe, I popped off the valve cover and valve train this morn and had a go at re-torquing the head. I did get a little change there, and sure enough, when I reinstalled the valve train, I had to completely reset all valves as they were all off again. So good call- thanks! Will watch for the next 1k miles and see what she does. 

While I had the valvetrain off, I also took a moment to look over the shoes of the rockers and the ends of the valvestems to look at the wearpattern and look for any issues. Nothing wrong in looking at each. 

Since I was greasy anyway this morning, I went ahead and rotated the tires on the 6 and my truck. And since I had the front wheels off the 6, I repacked the front bearings again- did a better job than when I rebuilt the front suspension a few weeks ago. 

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/28/21 11:35 p.m.

 I've lost stock camshafts with stock rocker arms. In as little as 20,000 miles. When I rebuilt everything I worked very hard to ensure everything lined up and there were nice matches at parting lines plus all exit holes had proper radius ensuring an even oil flow .  I'm using springs with proper, original rates. Plus both the lifters  and the camshaft were Parkerized. A hardening treatment for rubbing surfaces. 
     Long before  they removed ZDDP from the oil I was regularly losing camshafts and lifters. I assumed the wear was due to Vintage racing. Supplementing   ZDDP with each oil  change didn't improve things.  Even friends and club members who gently drive their cars are experiencing it. Or you can hear lifters clattering because they just don't bother.  

 If you've got your Weber's dialed in I'd keep them. I've owned several sets and my fight is the steady requirement of jet changes. But 3.25 pounds is too high most Weber's work around 2.5 psi  SU's are happier under 2 PSI 
       I'm OCD about getting the fuel/air exactly right. To the point I usually attend races with air density gauge/ Barometer  / and humidistat. 
    Prior to the race I'm looking at the sky trying to gauge  when the next change will hit and what it's likely to be.  I know that it makes an actual measurable difference.  Gas wants 14.7 and deviations cost power.   Weber's require constant adjustment if you want to optimize  power output. 

     SU's are so much easier,  depending on which carb you have it's at most one or two flats or 1/4 or 1/2 turn of a screw.  That floating piston does 98% of the adjustment for you.  
    Now that I'm running E85.  I don't even need to do that. Alcohol is so tolerant that there is no adjustment required. I mean a big air density change the mixture is still close enough. 
     

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
8/29/21 12:12 p.m.

No doubt, the learning curve with the Webers was tough. I installed an AFR which made tuning and monitoring so much easier. The complexity of the carbs definitely made me miss the simplicity of the ZS's that I removed from the car (and had 30 years experience tuning, along with other simple brands from when I turned wrenches for a living). 

Interesting thing you mention about ethanol content and tuning- I need to go learn more.

This particular engine rebuild was necessitated by a dead cam, but it had 100k on it- I got my money's worth from that build!

 

 

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