RenoTR6
RenoTR6
6/26/19 10:44 a.m.

Hey GRM! 

I've been lurking for years and finally decided to post/ask for opinions and or guidance. This is my 74' TR6 that my dad bought in 77. It is THE car that got me addicted to cars and it became mine about 2 years ago. One problem. As a kid in my mind this was a LEGIT performer. Now grownup and having owned some actually fast vehicles/bikes I realize this thing can't even get out of it's own way but dam does she still look good. So my goal:

I'd like to build this into the car I thought she was as a kid. Something that could compete with a 240z as best as possible. I'm keeping the engine as the sound is part of the nostalgia for me but EVERYTHING else is on the table. Short term projects:

-full top end rebuild with bigger valves, hardened seats, roller rockers, Cam, and CR bumped to 10:1

-Suspension is lowered but new shocks in front and see what new synthetic oils can get the most from the lever shocks

-Seats. The tiny vinyl suspension seats can't hold me in a straight line let alone a curve plus a low back seat makes me feel very unsafe. OMP Classic? Intatrim? Will they fit? I know the Corbeau classic does but I want a high back that looks good.

-Roll bar. I'll admit mainly to look the part but hopefully have it tied into the frame in such a way that a frame-off is still possible. 

Long term:

-diff mounts, diff (lsd or r200?), CV axle shafts, and anything else to make sure the wheels don't literally fall off.

-bottom-end: .040" pistons, billet crank? (almost 3k!!) or just treated and balance rotating mass. 

-6 mikuni carbs would be the last thing powerwise.

-Transmission. Can't really make it bulletproof so.... There's a kit that allows for a Toyota 5 speed but the kit alone is 2k.

 

I don't plan on selling this car as it has too much sentimental value to me so I'm not concerned with the resale value aspect. Asking these types of questions around british car guys yields more arguments than constructive opinions so thanks in advance for any and all input. I know there are other people out there with some VERY capable Triumphs but it seems to be difficult to find any info on their builds especially because I'm only 30 and the Heyday of Triumph is LONG over. 

 

Dual Hitachi SUs replaced the Strombergs. Full big bore exhaust.

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy UberDork
6/26/19 10:52 a.m.

In reply to RenoTR6 :

JoeTR6 will probably chime in with some advice, in the mean time, here's his build thread

Lot's of goodies in there and very detail oriented.

 

Edit:  I've got the TR6's older brother in my garage, a 1965 TR4.  I'm going to ruin it with an LS swap though.

tdrrally
tdrrally HalfDork
6/26/19 12:54 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
6/26/19 3:10 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

Awesome! I'll be excited to follow your progress on that! How much weigh will that add to the front end? 

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
6/26/19 8:45 p.m.
Indy-Guy said:

Edit:  I've got the TR6's older brother in my garage, a 1965 TR4.  I'm going to ruin it with an LS swap though.

Ruin?  I think that's a great idea.  Done right, you will have more power than you will ever know what to do with.  In a good way. devil

I also setup a friend's TR6 for autocross.   The build thread is here.  It doesn't go into very much detail, but the list of mods is fairly complete.  The first things to address are the hubs (particularly the rear), the diff mounts, and insuring the frame isn't rusty.  It looks like you have a good starting point, and knowing the previous owner helps.  You will most likely become acquainted with Richard Good's business Good Parts.  He makes some very nice upgraded parts for a TR6.  For instance, don't even consider rebuilding the stock rear hubs.  His are so much better for not much more money.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
6/26/19 8:57 p.m.

In reply to RenoTR6 : If you really want to go faster etc  you need more power.  A serious big chunk of power.  

That Six is a serious handicap  but it’s part of the car.  Don’t screw it up. And especially don’t blow it up trying to make it something it’s not.  Take it out and save it.  If you throw big chunks of money at it it will still be weak and feeble compared to today’s offerings.  

Now what to replace it with?  Obviously it has to be British.  Properly British.  Preferably a inline six about the same dimensions .  One that is  preferably lighter,  stronger, a lot more reliable.  Plus it would be nice if it got decent fuel mileage while making a lot more power. 

Ok before we go further, what are your skill levels?  How often do you complete a task?  Do you work on something until it’s done or lose interest and get distracted?  PS there are no wrong answers,  it just shapes how I approach this.  

Can you turn wrench’s successfully?  Weld and fabricate?  If someone walks you through it could you?  If you mess up ( and we all do ) can you toss it away and start over?  Or salvage what you can and start over?  

Finally what do you really want ?  You mentioned a Datsun 240 Z  is that what you want but it should look like a TR6?  

 

 

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
6/26/19 10:30 p.m.

Joe, thanks for the build thread I'll have to carefully read it when I have some more time. 

 

frenchyd:

I should have added a little more to my original post but I had to head to work. 

I spent a good deal of time contemplating an engine swap and researching what engine/tranny I would use. But every time I came home and started her up I just couldn't imagine not having that sound. I don't need to go THAT fast unless I went ahead and put a full cage in to stiffen up the noodle chasis. With that being said I recently read Kastners book and believe a lot more power can be had fairly reliably. 

To answer some of your questions though; I was a mechanic in the Navy and know my way around an engine just fine however I've only built one engine so my tech manuals will be with me every step of the way. Can't weld or fabricate and hope not to throw anything away if I mess up. Your last question is a tough one. I would LOVE a 240z however I don't want to live without my 6. 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
6/27/19 6:14 a.m.

   Have you  seen what can happen to a track car?

     I would suggest something not as special and as nice as that TR6.  Your TR6 is a  very special car.  Maybe not a great track but a very special car.

       To many other  cars that are not so special that could be safer and more fun on the track.

   With the TR6 you might consider some social road rally's.  

     

 

Mike924
Mike924 Reader
6/27/19 7:06 a.m.

RenoTR6.

My thoughts on this as I track an older classic.  Make the car as good as it can be.  Drive it and enjoy it on the track.  No matter what people will be asking questions and pointing and just happy to see it out there being driven like it was meant to be.  Learn to drive it, and learn what your limits are with the TR6.  Then, when you are at it's limits, enjoy it on the road, on the back roads with other Triumphs.  But when that time comes, see if there is another car (240/260/280Z) that you can buy and go faster with.  

Remember we are the curators of these beautiful cars, but that cannot stop us from enjoying them to the fullest.  Yours looks like a great solid car to start with.  

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
6/27/19 10:45 a.m.

In reply to RenoTR6 :

I’ve built too many engines to count and yet my shop manuals are always open and with me.  

One point I’d like to make.  The sound from an exhaust is unique to that engine, exhaust system.  Change the engine a little bit and the sound changes too, change the exhaust system and the sound changes.  

I’m not challenging your choice of engine, if you want to modify that Triumph six. Good for you. Although if there is as much sentiment to that car I’d build a separate engine. Still a TR6  if that’s what you want but I’d wrap up that one for the time in your life when racing is no longer possible or desired.  

As far as building as much power as Kastner’s book, I’m sure every TR6 owner feels the same way.  However look at when that was written and imagine what has changed since then.  The engines I build now are different from back then. Some things have gotten better, much better and some things worse or not even available.   

As far as welding, and fabricating. Not everyone can do it. My first attempts were a disgrace.  With help I got better. With Practice even better still.  Now I pretty well know what to do but still mess up occasionally. Then I just trash it and start over. 

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
6/27/19 10:53 a.m.

In reply to Mike924 :

Thanks Mike! You actually said it better than I could obviously. I'd like to build it/drive it as it was meant to be and the image I always had in my young mind. Once I find that limit I'll turn it down a few clicks and comfortably drive at that level. I know I said track car but I also put it in quotations because I want it to be track "worthy" like buying an SS, STI, Type R. Si etc. 

Anyways the top end stuff can't start until August when we move into our new place so until then I'm shopping for cams and seats. I've heard the stories of dealing with Wishbone Classics but I've also hear their cam has a great profile. Seats: I know that lowback seats were the style but I want to ditch them for something safer! OMP makes a classic but it's 22.1" wide. Inatrim has some very good looking seats but finding pictures of other Triumph seats only yields stock, miata, or full race bucket. None of which I want. Not to mention the idea of spending that much money on seats I've never sat in is a little intimidating. 

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
7/9/19 12:12 p.m.

Well I keep going back and forth between low-back and high-back seats. I love the safety aspect of a high-back and the fact I likely would not have to pad the roll-bar however seeing a Cobra at Cars & Coffee this weekend reminded me just how good low-backs look in these old convertibles.

This is mostly a street cruiser that I want capable for the track. Any opinions are welcome. 

bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin SuperDork
7/9/19 2:16 p.m.

I happen to have a billet crank leaning up in the corner of my officelaugh

Aside from that, they are still quick if built correctly. Look at some SCCA results. You can make a nice quick car without loosing the soul of it.

Sideways technologies used to be the place for fast Triumphs. Haven't been there for a while.

http://sideways-technologies.co.uk/forums/

Get all Kastner books because they are great. He also has a Q and A forum on his website that has some good info.

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
9/3/19 9:33 p.m.

In reply to RenoTR6 :

I didn’t see this thread when you started it, so I’m a little late to the party. Since you mention that you’d be interested in putting the car on track, you don’t really have much choice. Low-back sears look cool and allow you to run a half-tonneau (which is badass), but no one is going to let you turn a wheel on the track with that setup.

At minimum, you’ll need a rollbar (with bracing to meet FIA/SCCA standards), high-back seats, 5+ point harnesses, and arm restraints.

I don’t know if you’ve come across my build thread, but we’re kind of in the same boat. I’m building a weekend/fun car that I hope I take to the occasional HPDE here and there: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/triumph-tr6-low-budget-weekend-toy-build/133179/page1/

I’ve gotten bogged down in other project cars, buying/restoring an old (pre-WW1) house, work obligations, etc. so the project has been on hold for a while. But the plan is to install a bolt-in FIA rollbar from Safety Devices UK and a pair of Kirkey seats. Because I’m 6’2” and need all the room I can get, I’ll be bottom-mounting them directly to the floor I think.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
9/4/19 7:33 a.m.

See if you can find any information about JK Jackson, from Tallahassee Florida, building Triumphs.  I autocrossed with him a bit 20 years ago and his TR6s were amazing.  I've learned he was kind of a master of Triumphs.  I know his wife's car was easily one of the best sounding cars I'd ever heard.  Triple weber carbs, long tube header, straight pipe, and torque for days - I think I remember him saying 238 ft/lbs at the wheels.  She was a hell of a driver, too.  On his personal race car he had the O/D transmission and he said he had mixed and matched gear ratios from different years and basically created a close ratio transmission.  At redline he said he had about 1200RPM between shifts.  I'm trying to remember everything I can about his cars.  He used a lot of spacers, at least an inch total, on the front wheels of his wife's car.   Hoosiers, 225 or 245 wide.  This is what his wife's car looked like.  I have so many great memories of being 18, just learning how to autocross and seeing/hearing him and his wife flog these gorgeous cars.  Always loved TR6s since then.

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
9/4/19 11:38 p.m.
LanEvo said:

In reply to RenoTR6 :

I didn’t see this thread when you started it, so I’m a little late to the party. Since you mention that you’d be interested in putting the car on track, you don’t really have much choice. Low-back sears look cool and allow you to run a half-tonneau (which is badass), but no one is going to let you turn a wheel on the track with that setup.

At minimum, you’ll need a rollbar (with bracing to meet FIA/SCCA standards), high-back seats, 5+ point harnesses, and arm restraints.

I don’t know if you’ve come across my build thread, but we’re kind of in the same boat. I’m building a weekend/fun car that I hope I take to the occasional HPDE here and there: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/triumph-tr6-low-budget-weekend-toy-build/133179/page1/

I’ve gotten bogged down in other project cars, buying/restoring an old (pre-WW1) house, work obligations, etc. so the project has been on hold for a while. But the plan is to install a bolt-in FIA rollbar from Safety Devices UK and a pair of Kirkey seats. Because I’m 6’2” and need all the room I can get, I’ll be bottom-mounting them directly to the floor I think.

Thanks for dropping in! I've come across your thread many times before I joined when I was convinced I was going to swap the engine. Funny how project car plans change.

Speaking of change I'm not sure this will be a racer anymore but I want her to be more than capable and DE's are probably all she'll do. I'm still undecided on the which roll bar and seats are required if I'm just looking to participate in driver experiences. The safety devices bar is probably my top choice though finding a distributor has proved troublesome. 

Seats I'm almost decided on the Cobra Interlagos. Classic styling with a headrest that should safely protect my head/neck. I too would be mounting them to the floor so I could sit lower. Are arm restraints and a 5 point required for DE? 

 

Car updates without pictures: 

123 electronic distributor installed and semi-tuned. WOW what a difference! 

Catch can replaced the temporary breather filter and allows the CC to have negative pressure again. Revs much better. 

Alloy front hubs on order and CV rear axles soon to follow. These two additions should keep the wheels from literally falling off. 

 

Moving soon and once we get settled in I'm hoping to get the seats ordered. 

Torkel
Torkel Reader
9/5/19 7:56 a.m.

Don't kick me. I know the GRM forum is suppose to be the Holly Union of Enablement, but seriously...

You are going to sink a ton of time and money into this car just to make it not very fast and not very reliable. You are also going to have a much too pretty and much to special car to track full out, balls to the wall, 10/10, all the way, "she will stick or die", "Just send it"! Once you have achieved that, you will realize that it isn't very good on the street any longer, so you'll stop driving it altogether. 

I'd strongly advice you to keep the car as is, drive it on the road and enjoy it. A reasonably modified Miata will be faster, more reliable, safer, cheaper AND when you eventually stick it in a guard rail you can shrug it off, hammer it our and keep going. You can drive your track rat Miata home, stick it in the garage and drive your beautiful TR6 to work the next day.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
9/5/19 8:23 a.m.

In reply to Torkel : I agree with your assessment. Newer would be faster, probably cheaper.  But likely not as much fun.  

Those old vintage cars are fun precisely because they aren’t as fast.  They start sliding long before  they are out of control.  With that wide of a period where you are sliding but before you loose control you develop confidence in your own ability.  

That all happens at significantly slower speeds. When you add the penalty of wrecking your nicely restored car holding you from shoving yourself into a condition  or situation you lack the experience  to successfully pull off.  Then realize everyone on the track feels the same way  racing becomes more friendly,  less cut throat. 

 

RenoTR6
RenoTR6 New Reader
9/5/19 9:04 a.m.

Torkel: Don't worry I'm not afraid of someone with an opinion that challenges mine. I feel the world is in shortage of that nowadays. I put the word track in quotes for this thread because I'm trying to blur the lines. Realistically I'm trying to build an "S" model if you will. As I'd like to think they would have built from the factory with some bits of modern tech sprinkled in. A "track" car or vintage racer but not something that could compete with current cars I know that wouldn't make sense at all. 

 

LanEVO: hsttps://www.stableenergies.com/Autopower-Race-Roll-Bar-Triumph-TR4_-TR5_-TR6_-250/productinfo/APW60570/   This is the bar I'm leaning towards, I mis spoke. 

Torkel
Torkel Reader
9/5/19 9:14 a.m.
frenchyd said:
But likely not as much fun.  

That all happens at significantly slower speeds. When you add the penalty of wrecking your nicely restored car holding you from shoving yourself into a condition  or situation you lack the experience  to successfully pull off.  Then realize everyone on the track feels the same way  racing becomes more friendly,  less cut throat. 

Just to be clear: I don't think (hope!) RenoTR6 intended to race this car, but rather run track days with it. There is no specific racing class he is fitting this car to, it's just a track day car. 

Sure, "driving a slow car fast" is a lot of fun, no matter the age of the car. But the key to the fun is to drive that slow car as fast as you and it can go. Not at 85% because you are worried about crashing it.

A few key things stand out on RenoTR6s post: The car not fast enough and the car is of great sentimental value.

Sentimental value: I've done track days and wheel to wheel racing for 10 years and I have seen far too many people who brought the wrong car to the track in tears (yes,literally) in the paddock due to some mishap that ended badly. E36 M3 happens at the track and the fun stops really fast when you can look out thru the ambulance windows and see the car you inherited from your dad, soaked with childhood memories and sentimental value, bent up and mangled.

The car not fast enough: Of course it isn't. Track cars never are! There will come a day when there is a banged up old mustang, some punk in a Miata, or a gentleman in a 240Z, running just the same laptimes as RenoTR6, slightly in front of him. At that point, RenoTR6 will push a little harder, brake a little later and take a bit more risk. Why else would he be on a race track?

Each to his own, I'll stop being the boring guy at the party now. I am sincerly only trying to help.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
9/5/19 9:55 a.m.
Torkel said:

Don't kick me. I know the GRM forum is suppose to be the Holly Union of Enablement, but seriously...

You are going to sink a ton of time and money into this car just to make it not very fast and not very reliable. You are also going to have a much too pretty and much to special car to track full out, balls to the wall, 10/10, all the way, "she will stick or die", "Just send it"! Once you have achieved that, you will realize that it isn't very good on the street any longer, so you'll stop driving it altogether. 

I'd strongly advice you to keep the car as is, drive it on the road and enjoy it. A reasonably modified Miata will be faster, more reliable, safer, cheaper AND when you eventually stick it in a guard rail you can shrug it off, hammer it our and keep going. You can drive your track rat Miata home, stick it in the garage and drive your beautiful TR6 to work the next day.

This pretty much echoes what I was going to say.

The Brit cars have had their day as sports cars. They are style statements and a nostalgic hobby. Trying to get a classic Brit to play with the new kids is a lot like giving Grandma a boob-job; you need to do a lot of re-engineering and work to pull it off without making things worse.

The nicest Brit rides are the ones that are stock, well maintained and driven as they were meant to be driven as a consumer car. Don't underestimate how much we take the performance of new cars for granted.  The cars from the 60's will keep up with most traffic, just not be real relaxing while doing it.

 

Regardless of what you decide, looking forward to the project post.

 

Pete

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
9/5/19 10:09 a.m.

A few year back I watched someone back a (formerly) beautiful Sunbeam Tiger into the wall at Pocono. It was an untimed track day. A lot of people cried, not just the car owner. The car was shortened enough that the doors would not open. I agree with the "don't" crowd if there is sentiment involved. Otherwise I consider a TR6 just as disposable as a Miata.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
9/5/19 11:01 a.m.

There are some good points made here.  As an example, consider this car.

This car was bought by a friend around 20 years ago for $500.  The floors needed replacing, some rust on all four fenders, but otherwise good chassis.  The engine had a rod knock and needed rebuilding.  Body repairs were made, all of the bolt-on panels replaced with fiberglass, and the body painted in a parking lot during a wind storm.  A fresh motor was installed with triple Webers and its life as a "race" car began.  It's used almost exclusively for autocross.  The one track day it went to, it exited the track backwards in the rain and bent the rear on a tire wall.  Some work with a come-along and replacement fender had it back in action, but the rear is still misaligned.  About 10 years ago, the engine was losing oil pressure due to a wiped cam resulting in debris entering the oil pump.  After rebuilding the engine again, we fuel injected it and spent another several thousand dollars.

Has it been worth it?  Definitely.  I've seen S2000s and Miatas blow motors at autocross and cost just as much to repair.  It's a fast car.  20 years ago, it could hang with many newer cars.  Not as much today, but it's still fun.  Driving it is more of a challenge than a Miata, but very entertaining.  It also rewards good driving technique and punishes mistakes, so can be very instructive.

The thing is, there isn't much emotional attachment to this car beyond fond memories of driving it.  That was its purpose.  I would swallow hard before considering autocrossing/tracking a nice TR6.  Even starting with a pile of junk (which I have done twice now), the money adds up and you could lose it all very quickly, so it hurts to really flog it.  I agree with what Torkel is saying, but it's your decision.  You know what you want to get out of the car.  Just make sure it puts a smile on your face.

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