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TR3 Overheating

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Subject: TR3 Overheating
From: "Sumner Weisman" <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 09:33:20 -0400
Cc: "Triumphs" <>
Organization: S. Weisman Associatescharset="iso-8859-1"

I will probably get flamed for this statement, but after owning 3 LBCs, my
experience has been that all British cars overhear at some time.  I had the
same scary experience that you did, where my TR3 overheated so badly once or
twice that I was afraid of permanent engine damage.  (There wasn't any as
far as I could tell!)

There have been many cooling tricks discussed in the past.  Some people put
in a 4-bladed fan (from a TR4?) instead of the 3-blade TR3 fan.  Some people
use "water wetter", sold by the big 3.  My solution was to add an electric
fan and adjustable thermostat.  Who cares about authenticity -- my car is a
great driver but will never be concourse quality!  The fan is mounted to the
front of the radiator as a pusher, and the original fan was left in place.
The thermostat was adjusted so that the electric fan never comes on unless
the water temperature exceeds the center position, 185 degrees F.  It only
turns on in hot weather, or in heavy traffic.

Adrian, this totally solved the problem.  It's as if the meter needle is
painted on -- it goes to 185 and just stays there.  I'm happy.

There have been some long threads on overheating on this list.  It's a very
controversial subject.  I have no desire to restart the controversy,
especially since I'm going to be away from the computer for a week.

By the way,  my car also only keeps water that is below about 1/4 or 3/8
inch from the bottom of the radiator neck.  Anything over that is boiled off
through the 4 psi radiator cap.

Sumner Weisman
62 TR3B  (Out every weekend now that the weather is good)

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian Jones []
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 1999 3:49 PM
To: triumphs
Subject: TR3 Overheating?

Hi Folks,
Well, I'm in another quandary (other projects will have to wait -
replacement, valve noise, distributor springs, bikini top)
Seems the old thing is overheating.  Read on:
While I was putting in one of those new Moss Motors skirted
thermostats, I
took the opportunity to "calibrate" the temp gauge.
The needle half way is 70C (158F), three-quarters is 90C (194F) and
below the red zone is 98C (208F).  The last point was with the pan
of water
boiling.  The Moss Motors sleeved thermostat started opening at 75C
Both Haynes and Ball say the temp should not exceed 85C (185F)
OK, today with an ambient temp of 80F, we went on a 10 mile trip
"round the
block" - country roads, zero traffic and I'm getting 90C.
coming home from work, again an ambient of 80F, with moderate
stopping at traffic lights and such, it actually went into the red
until I could get to the open road.  Needless to say I was very
about doing some horrendous damage.
The question is: is this sort of normal for a TR3?
BTW, no matter how much coolant I put in, whenever I check  the
level after
a run, it has always dropped to 1/4" from the bottom of the "long
Let me tell you what I've done so far:
Replaced and properly tensioned the fan belt (Remember that!)
New coolant.
New rad cap.
New Castrol 20-50W.
New sleeved Moss thermostat.
Checked ignition timing.
Plugs - they look wonderful, with a nice tan brown color.
Installed two 12 oz overflow reservoirs for radiator (No, not beer
The PO says the radiator was checked out.
There's zero sign of oil in the water and vice versa.
The cardboard deflector for the radiator is in place and looks in
Rad hoses feel good.

According to Bob Schalers wonderful booklet (from TRF) I should be
at getting an oil cooler.  I'm assuming the front apron has to come
off for
that installation. That seems major - anything easy I"ve missed?

Anyhows, any comments would be appreciated, as always,   Adrian

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