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Old School Power: Triumph TR6pi

Old School Power: Triumph TR6pi

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dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Old School Power: Triumph TR6pi - part one



I'm not a very demanding guy right?
When I need to describe the type of car I like best it has to be the down to earth beefy soundtracked and please not to hip lined roadster with enough luggagespace for a Paris weekendtrip. Performance is secondary. Not too quick - I'm average at the wheel wink - but just enough for a bit of drama at the trafficlights and some handfull in the twisties . . . Well isn't that my description of decent transportation for years now. Some wind in the face to discourage 100 mph plus speeds. A Tona Spider I would not say no to, but man, you look at me. A TR6 then . . . Plain and simple, big wheels, big sound, luvely cornering and for years the most no-nonsense sport box around. Untill the Griff came along . . . but that's another story.

Music
Since a boy I love all kinds of sounds. With the radio tuned just off AM-stations, volume up to let those sudden pops explode decently, I sat on my desk for hours, learning, reading, drawing, dreaming. I started to expand my aural horizon and explored: the beauty of my neighbours 2CV fireing up, the raw Simca Rally blasting off, the Beetle, the next blocks big red '67 Stang with the hipo V8 . . . From the age of eleven things were getting serious. A day could get completely golden with the bellowing sound of a TR6's straight six passing our Mk2 Escort. And yes, if I ever had to choose about eyes or ears . . .



Kids from school loved the Raris and Turbo Porkers, but not for me. I now drool over a Dino and an RS but back in the 70s it was all old school stuff for me. And the TR6 fitted in perfectly: it was outdated when it hit the market in '68. Cars were starting to get modern in design, engineering and comfort by then. But not this one. For most it's the last real Triumph. You can argue about that but not about it's sheer succes. In ten years time Triumph made 90.000 TR6s. Most of them were shipped across the Atlantic and it's the dry and sunny Californian climate that kept them healthy. Nice, because we can get 'em all tidy back over here. With a bit of work - remove those ugly rubber safety bumpers and bring back the original 150 horses - they're ready to roll.

Working the engine
After the oil-crisis the musclecars were no more. The big engine's were sadly strangled and moved promising bodies out of performance territory. Once glorious bad 350s now pumped out a mere 175 horses at revs a tad higher than idle. The perfect timing for exciting European wheels to invade the land of the once free. Triumph threw in the TR250 (TR5 with the 2.5 litre straight 6) and TR6. They got equipped with Zenith-Stromberg or SU carbs which dropped the power to 120 or even 105 horses, but met the tight regs.
A funny thing is that TVR used that US specced TR mill - because it was very good available - and they had a big succes with the 2500M (the S had the 150 hp mill). Think about that when considering a TR6 . . .



They came back
So, often US TRs return to homebase Alpha and get a serious work over, especially in the engine departement. There's nuff space for exotic manifold creations on both sides of the slim ohv six. Funny how many overlook the original mechanical Lucas PI (Petrol Injection) as if a scary thought to setup. Without even considering it they bolt on fat Webers within the blink of an eye. But boy, to set those three viscious baskets up in a proper way is a serious jobbie, as is the PI setup. But when that's working you got it all.

The original '68 TR6 was one of the first mass produced cars to have mechanical fuel injection. The far more exclusive '55 Merc 300SL had it and two years later it was Chevrolet who fitted a system on a 289 CID V8. In the 60s Volkswagen (411), Porsche, Saab and Volvo introduced cars with Bosch's D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection. Lucas was liscenced to produce this system for Jaguar. But back to the mechanical bits, how does it work?



Lucas PI (Petrol Injection)
An electric fuelpump leads the high-pressure gas to a distributor: one in and six out. A spinning rotor needly adjusts the amount of mixture for combustion per cilinder. A simple and mechanical device that, once set up, works like a Swiss watch.
To get the same performance with carbs the engine will need a few hours on the rolling road. But still, response will never be that direct. Webers (and all carbs for that matter) have to average, usually over-fueling slightly and running slightly retarded as the fuel/ignition systems are mechanical and need time to respond to your right foot.

If you don't mind fiddling about and ditch the I-want-to-keep-it-all-original feel, why not add on an up-to-date EFi system. Performance and fuel consumption can only get better. With a link to optimized ignition you got all your money's worth. The featured car has the original Lucas Pi and sounded like nothing else.

Edited by dinkel on Tuesday 11th December 20:49

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Old School Power: Triumph TR6pi - part two



Contemporary fellas
A TR is a TR is a TR . . . maybe an MGC 3 litre straight six would come close to match performance and handling. The C is the sweeter car and lacks the feet-on-the-ground-in-yer-face edge this Karmann box bodied roadster has. Marcos offered a more exotic looker, FIAT's Spider and Alfa's Duetto had that sophisticated touch of chique and Datsun brought in the racy Fairlady. With the 240Z and the RX7 the Japs passed competition both left and right, especially in the USA. Today they still set the pace in easy everyday roadsterland with their MX5 - the perfect British sportscar-, 350Z and S2000.



The ride
After our third cuppa we look at the skies again. We deside to be brave men and have our late March drizzle. And oh yes, that rain didn't keep us from folding down the ragtop. On board of this authentic '72 - one of the last of series one - 6, it's reasonably roomy but a bit tight for my shoulders. There's enough room for legs and cambag though. The Bonneville plains straight bonnet starts to shake when the key turns. A familiar sound followed. In fact I always thought a TR6 sounded bigger than the two point fiver it is. Never mind, shifting gear and off we go.
I spot an orange inner wheelarche. I'm glad the car was descided in Jaguar's British Racing Green. I lower myself in the leather to avoid the stream of cold rainy wind colliding with my head. The blower keeps out most of the cold and, untill we hit 100 mph, most of the wind as well.
The wooden shelf's moisty clocks read just fine. It's the water dripping on my glasses that's annoying me: but we are outdoors! Big steel wheels dribble the Green One firmly across rural tarmac. I can feel all what's happening, but no way it's as direct as the Countach. I think the ladderframe gives enough, and that non-stiffness actually adds a bit of comfort to the ride.
Seats are fine and kept me in position. There's nothing I could grab or hold when shaken or scared. But then, I didn't need to. The car is quick, no doubt about that. It's utterly enjoyable motoring, in a sporty way. The straightforward rumbling exhaustpipes add the drama and the big wheels keep things grippy. But to say it's mental, no way.



Even a hard turn-in won't upset the fat and brandnew 195mm Falkens. They replaced the more original Michelins because they were plain dangerous in the twisties. I know the feeling, choice of tire can make all the difference in handling. The Yanks like their tires wide and pick up to 215. But for performance it won't work, as for looks scratchchin I think it's too bling. Those steel wheels need decent rubber. The TR6 is a straightforward and honest car looking best without the silly accents. Racers are another story. I didn't hear any spinning even when stepping hard on the pedals.
Speaking about accents. The Union Jack just between the front wheels and the doors is not an original feature. The owner choose to put one there and not, like the American cars, behind the rear wheels.

I can stand the rain
It rained all afternoon - bah - but we didn't care. This car is made to drive top down. We had to close the snap fastened ragtop twice because of major monsoon. Within minutes the inside gets claustrophobic, moisty and creepy. Especially when the two gents in there have to keep the windscreen see-thru, steer both with some shifting in between and descide where to go. Every now and then we stopped for a spot to shoot some pics. Click click click and hop back in, there comes the rain again. It's a wonder I managed to get a handfull of decent pics, but bugger: I forgot to de-pola the lens when shooting the engine bay and the interior. So they turned out a bit too dark. The beautifull engine in the dark blue 6 is another one, straight from the archives . . . Who said injection looked boring?



Back home. The funny thing was the sky opened up and turned Tuscan blue for the rest of the day when we parked the car in front of the house. It even got worse, we spend the next two hours drinking coffee in the garden while our coats were drying above the heating. By Jove!

How to turn your TR6 into a racer



PHer Jellison has a full race specced TR6. Let's see what he did to the engine and drivetrain: it has forged pistons on a 0.60" overbore to get 2.6 litres. It has an all steel billet crank and a pinned centre main with a three-bearing crank, crower rods (longer than standard) and forge alloy pistons (one offs - in 5's) with higher gudgeon pin for less rock, alloy water pump and an all alloy sump with Cambridge baffles.
The tricky bit is the head - which took about four years but is now near perfect! There's a lot of trick stuff in there to make it keep a seal. Jon got his in a blank casting with a special cam and breathing through choked down triple 45mm DCOE Weber's with a DFV type filter and a tubular race header exhaust all into one at the back.



With everything sorted out the engine is good for about 250-260 bhp at 6000 rpm at the flywheel and 220 at the rearwheels. The usable rev-range is from 3500 to 7500 rpm, but a gearchange is most welcome at 6750 . . . A 3.9 LSD diff is linked to the MR TR Gearbox by Pete Cox. It is about a four times faster than the TR's standard gearswitch. To get things moving a Tilton twin plate race clutch with co-axial release bearing actuation is at your left foots service. All that's left to do now is loose some pounds to make it even faster. Current weight is about 970 kilos. Jon reckons it'll outgunn a 5 litre Griff easy. Who am I to contradict? Stopping power comes from huge 315 mm non-vented discs with full AP racing calipers. C'mon Jon, post us a soundbyte. Or better, tell us where you race this year wink



Thanx Hans for the drive, thanx Jon for the info and pics.

Cheers, Dink

Edited by dinkel on Tuesday 11th December 20:53

Pigeon

18,535 posts

168 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Great writeup, thanks for that!

Nick J

1,060 posts

146 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
My Dad has a TR6 and the very rare TR5. Nice car by the way

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Thanx!

With a bit of luck I'm doing an all day Rally in a TR4 (instead of something less exotic) the end of this month.

And yes, full report and pics off course For a Dutch mag.
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GOM

1,649 posts

150 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Oh that does bring back memories. Had mine 34 years ago. Bought it second hand 6 months old with 2k on the clock. 1972 150bhp spec. Cost me £1500 when my house only cost £2200. Based on that ratio I should be driving a Veyron now. What fun it was going up the road backwards at 60mph

Great article and pics

Fruitcake

3,850 posts

148 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
GOM said:
Oh that does bring back memories. Had mine 34 years ago. Bought it second hand 6 months old with 2k on the clock. 1972 150bhp spec. Cost me £1500 when my house only cost £2200. Based on that ratio I should be driving a Veyron now. What fun it was going up the road backwards at 60mph

Great article and pics


Ahh yes, the daddy of sportscars. The full fat TR6.

What colour was your's?

Great write up Dinkel by the way

GOM

1,649 posts

150 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Fruitcake said:
GOM said:
Oh that does bring back memories. Had mine 34 years ago. Bought it second hand 6 months old with 2k on the clock. 1972 150bhp spec. Cost me £1500 when my house only cost £2200. Based on that ratio I should be driving a Veyron now. What fun it was going up the road backwards at 60mph

Great article and pics


Ahh yes, the daddy of sportscars. The full fat TR6.

What colour was your's?

Great write up Dinkel by the way



Dark blue

sideways mostly

2,681 posts

163 months

Friday 19th May 2006
quotequote all
Sweet post dinkel!

About four years ago I had a meeting with a bloke who drove a TR6.It had been 'breathed' on and he was a better driver than me.We went to a local pub for lunch and even though I was in my old Elise I had to drive the wheels of just to keep up.The TR6 barked and crackled all the way over the Wiltshire coutryside-great to watch and hear.

GOM

1,649 posts

150 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
sideways mostly said:
Sweet post dinkel!

About four years ago I had a meeting with a bloke who drove a TR6.It had been 'breathed' on and he was a better driver than me.We went to a local pub for lunch and even though I was in my old Elise I had to drive the wheels of just to keep up.The TR6 barked and crackled all the way over the Wiltshire coutryside-great to watch and hear.



Bit different to mine then - handled like a barge.

Nick J

1,060 posts

146 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
Dinkel,

Whats the name of the Colour of the car?

I'm sure my Dad's was that colour before he did the restoration and turned it to red

Nick

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
Nick J said:
Dinkel,

Whats the name of the Colour of the car?

I'm sure my Dad's was that colour before he did the restoration and turned it to red

Nick


Jaguar's British Racing Green . . . luvly innit? Swissol all over BTW

Nick J

1,060 posts

146 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
dinkel said:
Nick J said:
Dinkel,

Whats the name of the Colour of the car?

I'm sure my Dad's was that colour before he did the restoration and turned it to red

Nick


Jaguar's British Racing Green . . . luvly innit? Swissol all over BTW


They are great cars, very over engineered, the gear boxes are massive on them, the clutch requires some strength to use and the straight six is an absolute gem.

My dads was off the road for about 18 years and had never been started since it was backed into the garage in the mid 80's, then when its restoration started a couple of years ago he connected a battery, put some fuel in, spun it over and it started almost straight away.

He was going to do a full engine rebuild on it, but when he started it said there is no point, runs just as sweet now as the day it left the factory in 1968. and the noise.........

Nick J

1,060 posts

146 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
dinkel said:




small world, just shown this to my Dad and he said that it used to be his car!!! He recognised the registration plate.

Nick J's Dad said:
I owned it when the car was about 2 years old and sold it to a guy in warrington who sold it to someone down south


Ive got a picture of it here from the 70's if you are interested I could scan it and post it up here

Nick

>> Edited by Nick J on Saturday 20th May 19:21

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Saturday 20th May 2006
quotequote all
Please

Cheers, Dink.

Fruitcake

3,850 posts

148 months

Sunday 21st May 2006
quotequote all
Nick J said:
Dinkel,

Whats the name of the Colour of the car?

I'm sure my Dad's was that colour before he did the restoration and turned it to red

Nick


The one you're thinking of is Valencia blue. I quite like it.

Touching Cloth

11,706 posts

161 months

Monday 22nd May 2006
quotequote all
Nice write up Dink. I won't even levy the hairdressers line, this is certainly one convertible that avoids that tag hands down - lovely car.

Fruitcake

3,850 posts

148 months

Monday 22nd May 2006
quotequote all
Here it is. I don't know if you can see it, but the reg plate is the same as the yellow racer.

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Monday 22nd May 2006
quotequote all
Touching Cloth said:
Nice write up Dink. I won't even levy the hairdressers line, this is certainly one convertible that avoids that tag hands down - lovely car.



Thanx Sinc, nothing subtle about the TR6, that's for sure. That's why I like it I guess. TVR's also not that subtle innit? Same with Lambo's . . . I guess that's my destiny then. All I need are the right lottery numbers . . . :tap tap tap:

Fruitcake said:
Here it is. I don't know if you can see it, but the reg plate is the same as the yellow racer.


I thought the yellow one belonged to Jons Dad . . .

combover

3,009 posts

149 months

Monday 22nd May 2006
quotequote all
Nick J's Dad said:
I owned it when the car was about 2 years old and sold it to a guy in warrington who sold it to someone down south.


C