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TR3 running great (long)

Subject: TR3 running great (long)
From: Jesse Bregman <>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 11:42:51 -0700
I wanted to thank all of those who responded with suggestions for what 
might be wrong with my TR3.  I thought I would mention the problem I 
had in case others have a similar problem.  I have had this TR3 for 20 
years and have driven it occasionally, and always wanted to really fix 
it up.  When I got to be 50, I decided that it was now or never, so I 
sent it ofdf to get painted last June.  After getting my car back from 
the painter (end of Feb) and installing lights and chrome (boy it looks 
good), I took it out for a ride to get some gas.  On the way back, it 
was missing a bit.  So, I decided that the carbs needed to be adjusted, 
but I couldn't get the car to start since the starter motor was having 
trouble.  To get the starter out, I had to remove the exhaust manifold 
since the PO had installed a free-flow header that doesn't have enough 
clearance to get the motor out.  Once repaired (rear oilite bearing had 
fallen out), I tried to start the car (starter working great), but it 
wouldn't start.  I couldn't get it to fire with stater fluid sprayed 
into the front of the carbs (lesson #1, open the butterfly valves and 
lift the pistons before spraying for a better test).  So, it must be an 
electrical problem.  Replacing the plugs did nothing.  I had read great 
things about electronic ignitions, so this seemed like a good time to 
install one (Pertronix).  No improvement.  Timing was right on (thanks 
for the tip about rotating the distributor clockwise to static time).  
Installed a Lucas sport coil--big blue spark from the plugs, but 
wouldn't start.  Now I tried spraying stater fluid directly into the 
intake manifold and it fired.  One nice thing about these cars is that 
when there is a problem, it can only be spark, fuel, or air/fuel 
mixture (I knew the timing was good and valves were moving properly).  
At this point the stater quit again--it was turning over but not 
engaging.  Pulled it again (I am getting pretty fast at this), and took 
it apart.  Found the drive ears on the center piece in the sleeve 
assembly were worn half off--filed them flat and pushed the center 
piece (which rides in a rubber bushing) out so the remaining ears 
engaged.  Put back together and my son says "will it start now?"  My 
answer was "I don't see why it should" as I pushed the starter button 
and it fired right up!  Now that it was running I thought I should 
check everything before it quit again--timing perfect, but I couldn't 
seem to get the air/fuel mixture set.  While I was pondering this, the 
engine started to run rough, then gas started pouring out of the rear 
carb.  Ah--the needle valve in the float chamber wasn't working.  That 
would make sense since it is the fuel level in the float chamber that 
sets the fuel level in the jet.  Opened up Moss Motors catalog and 
found the valves, then I noticed one line below a listing for an 
improved version.  Three days later the improved models arrived, I 
installed them, readjusted the floats, and the engine started on the 
third crank.  ( I also installed an in-line fuel filter).  The air/fuel 
mix was easy to adjust, took the car for a ride, and it runs stronger 
than ever.  Now I can get back to putting the car back together, which 
I did get started on earlier this week by installing the interior 
panels.  I also put on new wire wheels and tires, and that fixed the 
front end vibration--I expect to have a lot of fun in this car this 
summer, more than in any of the previous 20 years that I have owned it.


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