Apr 20, 2009 update to the Triumph Group 44 GT6 project car

Sorting and Testing

Geoff Thompson helps us corner weight and align the GT6+.
Young Tommy Suddard machines out lug nuts on our Smithy machine to get more threads to bite.
When Group 44 Inc. leader Bob Tullius saw our finished GT6+ at Amelia Island, he was very thrilled. His only negative comment was that we hadn’t gotten the numbers right. Fortunately, he still had the original template from which all Group Inc. 44 numbers were cut; he graciously loaned it to us.
The rear control arm bushings are concentric to allow for camber adjustment.

While we wore our game faces at Amelia, our totally unsorted and untested GT6+ had all kinds of teething problems and issues.

As we mentioned last time, we completed the GT6+ in time for Amelia—and we even won a nice award. Now it was time get the car track-ready. While we wore our game faces at Amelia, our totally unsorted and untested GT6+ had all kinds of teething problems and issues.

First, the brakes were locking up every time we tried to move the car across the field. We also had issues with our surge tank that were causing our fresh engine to run very hot—a dangerous problem that was quickly fixed by moving the hose outlets on the tank, allowing us to plumb it correctly.

From there we dealt with a list of minor fixes that included a defective lug nut that had been machined with insufficient thread, an original brake light switch that had disintegrated, and front shocks that needed some different hardware.

We also had to replace the original, ‘70s-era seat belts and harnesses with something a little safer. We went with traditional latch lock belts from G-Force. We felt they were plenty safe, inexpensive, and close in appearance to the belts that originally came with the car.

We decided, at least for now, that we would retain the original seat. Events like Monterey require, or at least request, that the car be as original as possible. While we don’t feel that the original seat is the safest one in the world, we are trying hard to respect the originality and history of this car. We plan on mainly exhibition-type events for this season.

As the seat has a low back, we needed to at least build a head rest to meet vintage racing rules. We were able to fabricate a nice head rest that looks period-correct. It’s also removable in case we add a full-length aluminum seat later on.

Now that the GT6+ would go around the block without issues, it was time to focus on the handling. The original race suspension on this particular Triumph is very trick and very adjustable. Group 44 Inc. got rid of the stock Triumph A-arm bushings and replaced them with concentric bronze pieces. We were able to get 4 to 5 degrees of negative camber just by rotating the bushings.

Obviously this was too much, so we settled on a baseline of about 1.5 degrees of negative camber up front and about 2.5 degrees of negative camber at the rear. Toe was set near zero at the rear and about 1/8-inch total at the front. We made further adjustments once we got to the track and took some tire temps. The total weight of the car was 1805 pounds while featuring all of its original glass.

With all of these jobs taken care of, we set up to run the test day at SVRA’s Roebling Road event.

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KeronBrady
KeronBrady
9/3/09 4:53 p.m.

I am CURRENTLY restoring one of these grand little GT6s. I need to order some parts. Please call me at 1-876-971-3847 or e-,mail me at giveittomeclearly@yahoo.com.

Amir

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