Tri­umph TR6

TR6’S ooz­ing gear­box and clonky ex­haust made to be­have

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS - Nigel Clark CON­TRIB­U­TOR prac­ti­cal­clas­sics@bauer­me­

In my pre­vi­ous Staff Car Saga, I de­scribed how the TR6 was suf­fer­ing from a flick­er­ing speedo nee­dle and a rat­tling ex­haust sys­tem. The di­ag­no­sis was a sticky speedo ca­ble and a bro­ken ex­haust bracket that mounts from the back of the over­drive/gear­box. While I had the gear­box tun­nel cover out, I also de­cided to try and stem the mul­ti­ple oil leaks from the gear­box and over­drive that have plagued the TR ever since I bought it around 12 years ago. It was ob­vi­ous EP90 was ooz­ing from pretty much ev­ery place it could on the gear­box and over­drive. Rea­son­ing that it’s un­likely ev­ery gas­ket and oil seal would fail si­mul­ta­ne­ously, I started won­der­ing if the breather was blocked. Re­mov­ing the filler plug re­sulted in a gen­tle whoosh of es­cap­ing air, again sug­gest­ing a breath­ing prob­lem.

I looked for a breather to un­block, but found noth­ing. The ever-help­ful chaps on the TR Reg­is­ter fo­rum ex­plained that TR gear­boxes have two pos­si­ble breather lo­ca­tions, ei­ther a tiny hole on top of the gear­box cover, or a cylin­dri­cal breather on the over­drive. My TR had no breather hole on the top cover and a blank­ing plug screwed into the over­drive cas­ing where the breather should fit. With no breather at all, it was lit­tle won­der the gear­box was pres­surised and leak­ing.

Feel­ing op­ti­mistic that I might have found the cause of the long-term leak­age, I pur­chased a breather and fit­ted it to the over­drive in place of the blank­ing plug, then topped with fresh EP90. Since then, the gear­box has barely lost a drop of oil and the drip tray on the garage floor is now re­dun­dant. A small vic­tory perhaps, but af­ter so long it felt good to fi­nally nail this prob­lem – and not a sin­gle gas­ket or oil seal needed re­plac­ing!

Up the bracket

My next port of call was the ex­haust, which had been rat­tling at tick­over due to a bro­ken bracket that con­nects it to the over­drive mount­ing and cross­mem­ber. I ex­pected I’d have to weld up the old bracket, but found that Rim­mer Broth­ers had new ones on the shelf at a rea­son­able price. The bracket was or­dered and bolted in, then I re­placed the ex­haust, hang­ing it care­fully to avoid pipes knock­ing on the chas­sis rails.

Time to move on to the speedo ca­ble. Speedy Ca­bles lived up to their name and quickly sup­plied

a re­place­ment. In the past, I’ve dis­cov­ered to my cost that not all speedo ca­bles are the same and that cheap pur­chases made on­line don’t al­ways fit prop­erly. Speedy Ca­bles pro­duce re­place­ments to the orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion and qual­ity – and, sure enough, their new ca­ble fit­ted the TR6 per­fectly.

The fi­nal task was to refit the glass­fi­bre gear­box tun­nel cover. I’ve found that Tri­umph cab­ins can be hot and noisy places, with much of the heat and sound en­ter­ing the car through the gear­box cover. I or­dered a few sheets of self-ad­he­sive un­der-bon­net in­su­la­tion and lined the in­side of the cover, with heat-re­flec­tive foil fac­ing to­wards the gear­box. The seal be­tween the cover and the floor was still in good con­di­tion so I bolted it back in place se­curely, fol­lowed by the car­pets and fi­nally the cen­tre con­sole. With the TR back to­gether and stand­ing on its wheels for the first time in sev­eral weeks, I ven­tured out for a test drive. And guess what? The ex­haust didn’t rat­tle, it sim­ply purred. The gear­box seemed qui­eter with its new in­su­la­tion, though the speedo nee­dle is still a lit­tle twitchy. I got home, parked, then left the car to stand and… next morn­ing, the cus­tom­ary pool of EP90 on the floor un­der the car was miss­ing. An­other bonus is that the un­pleas­ant stench of hot gear­box oil cook­ing on the ex­haust has gone. As for the wa­ver­ing speedo, I sus­pect the head unit must need a drop of oil. I prom­ise to get to it soon. Mean­while, I’m very happy. Three out of four ain’t bad in my book!

Blank­ing plug was re­placed with cor­rect breather.

Ex­haust no longer rat­tles.

New bracket now braces over­drive and cross­mem­ber.

New ca­ble fits fine, but the speedome­ter nee­dle is still a bit flut­tery.

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