Bruno the TR6 has been put away until the next driving season now that I'm
off at school. However, apparently in a last ditch effort to avoid being
put into hibernation, Bruno decided to give me a handful of incidents last
Earlier last week I attempted to put on a new sway bar, well that wouldn't
have been any problem at all if I could have gotten my floor jack under the
front cross member. The fact that I couldn't boggled my mind, as just days
previous I had used the same jack at the same location without trouble.
It's like the car decided to lower itself and give no reasons why.
Solution: put some 2x4s infront of the wheels, drive up on those, then jack
it up and secure properly with jackstands after removing 2x4s.
All fine and dandy. So later in the week, as I'm getting ready to leave, I
need to do shopping... lots of it. Three malls within 20minutes of home,
and I made numerous trips to each. During one of my stops back home I
notice a large egg shaped (at least 6" wide and 12" long) oil stain in the
driveway where I had the car parked, and another in another location where I
parked a different day. Hmmm. Start the car, let it idle and I watch for
any drips... none. But I'm down a quart or so, so I throw one in... and
check agian, nothing. I later determine that the oil is leaking out after
the car is shutoff, as I find an oil spot in the mall parking lot which
wasn't their before my arrival.
Friday comes, the last day I have to drive the TR6. Forecast calls for
rain - lots of it - but for the last few hours it has just been gray sky and
drizzle. Make a run to the mall (again), and on the way back it starts to
rain a bit heavier (top down of course, but not raining hard enough to get
me too wet). Flip the wipers on, and the lights had already been on. I
watch as the voltage meter dives below 12V. Hmmm... Make it home from that
mall without incident. It stops raining by the time I reach home.
In the meantime, I grab my multimeter and while the car is idling I check to
see if the alternator is putting out any thing. It sure is, ~13.6 volts...
rev the motor a bit, and it goes up slightly. Battery checks out at 12.55
or so volts when the car is off (new battery, 2 months old).
It is afternoon now, about four and a half hours before I leave, so I run
over to my girlfriend's; pick her up and make one last trip to a different
mall to purchase a few last minute items. As I arrive at her house, the
drizzle turns a bit heavier and I decide to put the top up. Janine wanders
out, and says "it's okay, it isn't that heavy... leave it down" (this is why
I like her!). I realize that I have left my wallet at home, run back
there... as I drive up the street and downshift into 2nd gear about 10
meters from my drive way, the car dies, as if someone shut it off. I have
enough momentum to pull the car into the driveway. I turn the key, it
starts right up... I let it idle. (perhaps just dampness in the wires?)...
Fine, so I'm back on the road now... wondering about all these little
incidents that have happened this week (after the car being trouble free for
so long). About half way to the mall, we get stopped at a long stoplight
with at least 10 cars ahead of us, and it decides to POUR. We get soaked,
light turns green... pull into a parking lot under a tree and put the top
up. Janine survives without much waterlogging, but I, on the other hand, am
now completely wet. Top up, lights on, wipers on, and now the heat and
blower on also... in an attempt to at least dry out my pants (I carry an
extra shirt and sweater in the car at all times, so I just took the wet ones
off). Voltage meter dips even more. However, I do make it to the mall and
end up parking a good 50yards from the entrance and I end up walking that
distance in the pouring rain (I let Janine off before I parked), so now the
dry clothes are wet also.
Few hours later, and it is time to head home. Bruno starts willingly, flip
on lights, heater / blower, and wipers... and hope to make it home. On the
way back to Janines, as I turn into her street, Bruno dies once again. I
realize I'm still moving so I throw it into 2nd and let up on the clutch
pedal, and Bruno roars back to life... and I make it the 1/4 mile to her
house. We say our goodbyes until we see each other again on break, and I
head for home. I'm now just using the lights, the heater/blower is off, and
I use the wipers only when I can't see anything in an effort to conserve
what little energy I'm producing. I do make it home, and I'm 20 minutes
late. I throw the car cover on Bruno, say good bye to him, and pray that he
gets better magically.
I am just so frustrated with the sudden problems that came up in those few
days, and now I have to wait until I go back home before I can remedy them.
I didn't even have enough time to find the oil leak properly. I also don't
understand the issue with the voltage, as I replaced the regulator in the
alternator in early June. Perhaps it is the guage, as all the electrical
items I had running did run fine. As for the sudden dying while in transit,
I have yet to figure that one out... I may chalk it up as weather related or
perhaps (if my voltage was that low) the electronic ignition was
Sigh, life with a Triumph...
Kai M. Radicke -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Not the only misbehaving '74 TR6 on earth