Can you Triumph with a TR6?

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plastic penguin
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Hi all...
I've just migrated from the sister forum What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision. I'm looking for advice on a prospective car purchase.
Immensely keen Triumph enthusiast. Over the years I've rebuilt a few engines, mainly Herald and Dolly Sprints, last one about 20 years ago. Now I've got a 'middle age' itch and have rejuvenated the zeal to pick-up the tool box again.

Currently I'm looking at a TR6 but have no experience with a straight 6 PI engine. Could anyone give advice on what to look for and the pitfuls of TR6s.

The car will only be used as a fair weather vehicle... weekends and days off work etc.

Best wishes, Richard.

Valve Bounce
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Richard, The TR Register have got loads of good advice...

http://www.tr-register.co.uk/downloads/buyer_guides/TR6_Buyer_Beware.pdf

GBt
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The metering units on Lucas mechanical petrol injection gave all the PIs and TR5/6 a very bad reputation perely because mechanice used to SU's Solex's and hadnt any clue how to adjust(by one small screw)these new fangled devices. Not being able to give away Triumphs in the 70s  was almost a buy(not) word for then in the 70s.

A friend I go sailing with has had his one from new. One time I was awaiting his non arrival sitting chatting to a Caterham owner on his boat, and rather than go home via the road past the Royal Hospital School, decided to go along the riverside road under the Orwell Bridge across the A14 and after going through a village called Tattingstone, came upon a stricken mustard TR6 and said chum.

Having broken one tow rope, I used a boat one and we managed to get the car back to his home before the flickering Lucas electrics gave up the ghost and rendered the car invisible in the dark. He dined out on how in only 30 odd years, the points had become pitted and he was tempted to write to lucas and complain.

He only had enough air time to ring his wife so had I gone t'other way I wouldnt have known till I got home and listened to messages on my land line.

Conversely going toward Ipswich not long afterwards, my moble rang and I stopped having just passed 3 cars, it was Mr TR6 again-his car had packed up right outside his house, apparantley, and not being funny he had 5 other cars, but "could i come back and pick his sons up and take them down to the boat"-they would go off and explore Tom Sawyer Style so it was hardly an arduous task, but came back at the appointed time I laid down. On the way back we passed the TR6 coming up toward Wolverstone(Suffolk)so stopped and the 3 youngsters werent shy of stating they would prefer a ride home in the TR6 as opposed to my only its a Mondeo attitude, well we are over the water in Essex after all.

I think a conversion to electronic ignition solved most of those glitches-the Triumph however is probably hardly used now as his wife has a ragtop Boxster and he has a GT2 Porsche Turbo-However another tall ship's tale told, was about this TR going over the Suffolk bridge so quickly that his Yacht Club cap took off and frisby style went stratospheric. The 150 BHP engine of course did have a shed load of grunt-

Best of luck with the TR, but a Vitesse Mk2 woud make a viable alternative and arguably more practical, I had a Mk1 with the evil swing axles if you had to brake mid corner or lifted off siddenly but of course they tamed all that with the TR5 headed Mk2, and they seem to stay static price wise whatever the market is doing prices wise.

After my first Mondeo an LXi, did 178,000 but it was getting a tad zerky-injectors?)but still sold on Fleabay, and was still maybe still is running around locally, my second one a Zetec, has reached 145,000 miles and OK no one is currently gonna accept the 16 valve Twink is a modern reliable twin cam in the Lotus idiom, terrible sacraledge maybe but similar thrums to a couple of escorts i co drove back in the day. The single cam Dolly Sprint sounded much different and the one I had was in my top 5 of comfortable driving postions- mondeos improve in that respedt with the miles as i found out going to the first Classic le mans, reliably. Obviously the continentals got their injectors right and it is the norm now, but maybe not with too much thanks to Triumph/Lucas?

Being more into bikes and boats again am happy to let others enjoy the perils and pleasures & view others 4 wheel oldies these days, like at the local Manningtree High School show this coming Sunday.

plastic penguin
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Thank you, gentlemen.

Have to admit that Vitesse, Herald and Dollies are more my bag, and probably more cost effective if any nasties (especially engines) crop up. Then again this is probably the attraction about TR6s: Veering into the unknown, which gives it a bit of an 'edge'.

 

Still pretty much in the 'look and see' stage, so no firm commitment yet.

 

James Elliott
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Richard, I don't see any more reason to be scared of a TR6 than any other Triumph. It's brawny, simple, easy to work on and fun. In the driving, treat it with a little respect in the wet, in the workshop that lovely six will be a lot more accessible than, and far easier to work on, than the slant four in the Dolly Sprint. If you can rebuild one of those, you have nothing to fear from a "six". In essence it is just the Herald's four with a couple of extra cylinders - what's to fear? Especially if you have already had Vitesses with the same engine, even if a different capacity. As for the metering units, they did used to be an issue, but once they are set up right, they go on forever, and they are an off the shelf item nowadays if there is a problem, far better (re)built and set up than in period. The only thing I would say is that a Bosch fuel pump (replacing the Lucas one) is absolutely essential. Again, you can buy one from Prestige Developments for a couple of hundred quid and fit it in an hour.

Go for it!

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plastic penguin
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James Elliott wrote:

Richard, I don't see any more reason to be scared of a TR6 than any other Triumph. It's brawny, simple, easy to work on and fun. In the driving, treat it with a little respect in the wet, in the workshop that lovely six will be a lot more accessible than, and far easier to work on, than the slant four in the Dolly Sprint. If you can rebuild one of those, you have nothing to fear from a "six". In essence it is just the Herald's four with a couple of extra cylinders - what's to fear? Especially if you have already had Vitesses with the same engine, even if a different capacity. As for the metering units, they did used to be an issue, but once they are set up right, they go on forever, and they are an off the shelf item nowadays if there is a problem, far better (re)built and set up than in period. The only thing I would say is that a Bosch fuel pump (replacing the Lucas one) is absolutely essential. Again, you can buy one from Prestige Developments for a couple of hundred quid and fit it in an hour.

Go for it!

In the main you're absolutely right. My problem is (sharp intake of breath) there's been a twenty year or so gap since I last preened a engine of any kind, much less one that could be really costly if I pick up a lemon.

(A pendulated watch swings in front of eyes...big smile)

plastic penguin
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After a lot of deliboration I've decided to ditch the idea of a TR6 and seriously look for a Dolly 1850 (pre HL). There are two main reasons why I've taken the decision: Firstly, I really want a car I can share with Mrs. p and our little'un. As Mrs. p is a wheelchair user a Dolly is more wheelchair and family friendly. Secondly, I know the slant four cylinder engine of old and know exactly what to look for and listen to, and understand their foibles...

I still like the idea of a TR6 but a little apprehensive given my lack of knowledge. Maybe in a couple of years, after I've settled with the Dolly, I'll be more confident.

As always, any opinions welcome.

Thanks again to all, pp.

GBt
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 I found the pic to show you, before I read this last post of yours-I dont remember this pub, albeit I used to pass the Cock of The North regularly when Triumph Six met there on my way to shifts, or home from on Tesco.

I owned a Sprint(but with the 2 litre outed in favour of an 1850)-, my boss at Tesco had a standard 1850 which was nothing but trouble, and finally I let him have my Magentaone, when the  engine in his yellow one, finally bust. That I garned from a car club member, for same.£100, in the mid 80s, mainly because the seller's girlfrienf hated the colour.I dont think the original fwd1500 or later Toledo based 1500HL, with Spit engines were quite as troublesome and the little 1300/TCs were a loverly Motor, in the Vanden Plas 1300 idiom.

your choice, mine in your circumstances would be a 2500S Estate, nice looking comfy and relatively reliable, fairly cheap still too. Also I would have to add towing to my list of considerations(especially when my mates TR6 is involved)

 

plastic penguin
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GBt wrote:

 I found the pic to show you, before I read this last post of yours-I dont remember this pub, albeit I used to pass the Cock of The North regularly when Triumph Six met there on my way to shifts, or home from on Tesco.

I owned a Sprint(but with the 2 litre outed in favour of an 1850)-, my boss at Tesco had a standard 1850 which was nothing but trouble, and finally I let him have my Magentaone, when the  engine in his yellow one, finally bust. That I garned from a car club member, for same.£100, in the mid 80s, mainly because the seller's girlfrienf hated the colour.I dont think the original fwd1500 or later Toledo based 1500HL, with Spit engines were quite as troublesome and the little 1300/TCs were a loverly Motor, in the Vanden Plas 1300 idiom.

your choice, mine in your circumstances would be a 2500S Estate, nice looking comfy and relatively reliable, fairly cheap still too. Also I would have to add towing to my list of considerations(especially when my mates TR6 is involved)

 

Heard so many horror stories about the Dolomite slanting engine. I had a 1973 1850 and a 1980 Sprint and never experienced any [major] engine problems. One of the biggest problems were, allegedly, blowing head gaskets but I have a sound theory - unproven - nevertheless sound housekeeping: Make sure the coolant system is flushed regulary and the other is never use tap water. I always boiled mine and cooled in large containers. I wouldn't say it is a definitve solution, but certainly helps the longevity of the head and (strangely) the hoses too.

I rest my case, sir...

James Elliott
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In my ownership experience the Dolomite slant four is a fine and reliable engine... except in Sprint form with the ingenious but tricky 16 valves operating off a single cam. I always thought an 1850 with manual overdrive box was the most sensible option. A fraction less pep than the Sprint admittedly, but virtually the same performance overall and a fraction if the trauma. Damned sight cheaper, too.

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plastic penguin
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James Elliott wrote:

In my ownership experience the Dolomite slant four is a fine and reliable engine... except in Sprint form with the ingenious but tricky 16 valves operating off a single cam. I always thought an 1850 with manual overdrive box was the most sensible option. A fraction less pep than the Sprint admittedly, but virtually the same performance overall and a fraction if the trauma. Damned sight cheaper, too.

Having owned both I can concur with the performance and reliability angle. The main problem is there are very few orginal 1850s around, so may have to content myself a HL version.

Sacrifices, sacrifices... : )