Part 3, Resurection of the Once And Future T3...or Oops!
Whenever you do something as complicated as building a car, especially for
the first time, you should not expect everything to work properly the first
Though it would have been nice ...
The first system I tested was the hydrolics. The Once and Future TR3 has
new brake lines, new hoses, new master cylinders and freshly rebuilt front
calipers. I added brake fluid and bled the system to have fluid leak out
the rear wheel cylinders. I had rebuilt them within a year of taking the
car off the road and thought they would be OK. Oops. The car now has new
rear cylinders and a fully operational brake system.
Next I went after the electrical system with the new harness, new relay,
newly rebuilt generator, new horns new tail light assemblies and new
parking light sockets and headlight connectors.
Ignition on. Instrument lights come on. The Amp meter doesn't show a
short. So far so good. Press the horn..BEEP. Good. Right turn signal.
Left turn signal. Put a mirror behind the car. Brake lights OK. Turn on
parking lights. They work. Headlights, the PL700s are lit. Brights,
dimms. OK. whats this smoke?????. I quickly turned off the ignition.
After some tracing I discover that I shorted the wire going to the front
right parking light. I did not have the grill installed so the lamps were
hanging. The connector came into contact with ground.
I opened up that section of the new wiring harness, removed the burned red
wire and checked the insulation systems of the adjacent wires. They are
OK. I replaced the red wire and closed the harness.
All the non-running electrics check out Ok after this.
Next it was time to check out the fuel system. I placed a gallon of petrol
into the fuel tank and pumped the mechanical lever on the pump to bring
fuel to the front and up to the carbs. Fuel leaked out of all the
connectors and the hose junctions. I had lost the original fuel line
connectors 7 or 8 years earlier and could not remember what they looked
like. I went to my auto parts store and made my best guess. The wrong
guess. I had a friend in the UK pick up the proper connectors for me. I
was originally sold a braided fuel line that was just slightly too large to
clamp down tightly. I took a section of tubing to another store and was
sold braided hose that was slightly smaller in diameter. I can't see the
difference but one slides on loose and one slides on tight.
I try to pump up the fuel again. Still a leak at the fuel pump. I put
another quarter turn twist on the connector and it stops.
I now had brakes, electrics and fuel. I guess I had to start th engine. I
made the initial adjustments on the DCOEs and pressed the started
button...Nothing. I ran a wire directly from the battery to key connected
lead of the solinoid. Nothing. I bypassed the solinoid with a jumper
cable. The engine turned but there were sparks at the connection to the
starter motor. I tightened down the lose nut holding the wire to the
starter motor and ordered a new solinoid.
Next time I tried to start the car, I shot a spray of ether down the carbs
and she fired right up. Idle was poor, but the engine seemed OK above
idle. Oil pressure was good. Hmmm. The water temperature guage was not
working. Part of the linkage vibrated off. I guess I forgot to tighten it
down. I pulled the radiator cap to try to find out when the engine got
warm. I did not want it to overheat. The electric fan came on. It lasted
about a minute and smoked. I turned the engine off.
The electric fan had been storred for nine years in a semi-covered area. I
guess the sealed motor wasn't. I removed the water temperature guage and
sent it off to be rebuilt. I replaced the electric fan. When the guage
returned, I tried it again. The rebuilt guage worked properly as did the
fan. I drove the car on the loop of driveway that goes around my house.
Everything seemed OK. I topped up the oil in the transmission after the
internal pump filled the overdive section.
It was time for her first road test. I took her for a run to the local
muffler shop to have the muffler connected to the four tube headers, the
front wheels aligned and the front end lubed.
I quickly discovered that the speedomotor read a maximum of 19 MPH. I
stopped for petrol. The fuel guage read a little under half full when the
tank is full. The Overdrive was working correctly, and the steering is
much better than it was. The work done, I decided to take the Once and
Future TR3 on a Triumph Traveler's club run near my house scheduled for the
In early June 1997, the Once and Future TR3 went on her first club run
since January 1988. I thought the gas pedal felt awkward while driving it.
A comparison with the other TR3s on the run, showed that I got the
geometry wrong and the pedal should be a lot closer to the floor. Shortly
after starting the run, the operation of the starter motor became eratic.
About half way through the motor stopped engaging at all. It spun but did
not try to engage. Luckally, there were a lot of people willing to help
push at the stops. The idle was still poor, but everything worked fine off
idle. The engine, suspension, and steering all worked fine. The car
climbed a mountain range during a warm day with no sign of overheating.
After I got home, I removed all the rest of the guages and sent them off to
be rebuilt. Early during the restoration process the rear of the guages
were indirectly exposed to sand from sand blasting. I suspect grit got
into the guages.
So now the Once and Future TR3 sits waiting for her guages to return home
and for me to remove the starter motor. Since it is a newly rebuilt late
style motor, I suspect the problems is a dirty shaft. Unfortunatly, I have
been busy replacing the springs on the Land Rover. But thats a different
TeriAnn Wakeman For personal mail, please start subject line
Santa Cruz California with TW. I belong to 4 high volume mail lists
email@example.com and do not read a lot of threads..Thanks