TR6 work log

Task Date Completed Sort ascending Mileage Notes
Pre-road trip checks 89,740

Planning a longer road trip up to Canada, so went through the car before we head out. Engine oil and coolant ok. Plugs are a bit dark brown, but not a lot of highway miles lately so i think they're fine. The gearbox and diff were a bit low, both topped up. No obvious leaks, so hoping it was just a bit of extra blown out during the time trials and track day.

Followup: trip was almost 900 miles, no problems, car ran great.

oil change 89,253

VR1 oil, Wix filter. 4,428 miles and just over a year since the last change.

new fuel filter 88,274

Replaced fuel filter as part of cleanup/prep for Waumandee hill climb, AC Delco metal can filter.

Car ran great to Alma and back, fastest time up the hill 3:07.

88000 miles 88,000

(maybe 188,000?) No major work recently, just small tuning tweaks and lots of driving, just thought I'd note the milestone. This means I've driven the car over 13,000 miles since getting it back on the road, and almost 10,000 miles since the engine rebuild. 

Road trip to Lanesboro 87,000

Road trip from St. Paul to Lanesboro. No issues, car ran very well, turned over 87,000 miles on the drive home. 24.5 average MPG overall.

Replaced brake flex hosts

Got some Goodridge stainless flex hoses on sale a while back to replace the rubber lines, finally got them installed. Flushed and bled system, again using DOT5 silicone fluid. 

Also rotated tires front to back, the alloy wheels w/16" tires

Replaced rear shock links and front sway bar links

After swapping out the rear axle boots and clean & lube the axles, noticed that the rear shock links were getting really sloppy. Also driver side sway bar link had separated.

Replaced shock links with TRF parts, sway bar links with heavy duty TRW parts.

Replaced axle boots, general maintenance

Rubber boots were cracked and torn. Removed rear axles, cleaned, lubed splines and u-joints, cleaned up rear brakes and greased adjusters. Installed new boots.

Installed windshield washer

Got a washer bottle and pump from local club member Wayne, the car was missing both when I got it. Cleaned and lubed the pump, cleaned up the bottle. Reinstalled with new rawl flex nuts, made a new bottle strap from leftover upholstery dunlop strap.

Oil change 84,825

End of year maintenance before storage. Mileage since last change unknown, probably 3,000  

VR1, 20w-50, Motorcraft oil filter

frame repair 83,900

Lower passenger side a-arm bracket cracked and was separating from the frame. The bracket appeared to have broken and been poorly welded (and gusseted) in a previous repair. Cracks in the frame rails were repaired and reinforced with new steel, new suspension bracket installed along with correct gussets. Alignment measured within spec in garage check.

Replaced differential 83,900

Replaced the diff with a used unit that seems to be in better shape than the original. The replacement diff has unknown miles, but I replaced the pinion seal and at the correct torque has some preload.

new home-made steering wheel

Made a new 13" steering wheel in the same style as the original 15" wheel to fit on the original hub

full steering wheel writeup

Gearbox rebuild #2 82,820

I lost the 2nd gear synchro and had a couple of odd hitches in the drivetrain at stops. Draining the oil showed a couple of slivers of steel and a lot of bronze dust. Pulling the gearbox showed that the 2nd gear top hat bushing had seized on the main shaft and that adjustment spacer had broken into a dozen or so pieces. Second gear also had some color around the central hub showing localize overheating.

The bearings and synchros were good, so rebuilt the box with Greg T's help and deep parts stash. Replaced parts include the mainshaft, 2nd gear, top hat bushing, and 2 adjustment washers to get the minimum 0.003" float.

Gearbox broke on a Saturday, was reinstalled by Wednesday and working well again.

made new sun visors

Made new visors from shop supplies, old convertible top vinyl, and original frame parts.

replaced soft top

Replaced convertible top with a hand-me-down used top in good shape. Writeup: Soft top installation

carb cleanup

Not really a rebuild, but disassembled and thorough ultrasonic cleaning and adjustment for both carbs. Choke/startbox assembly was crusty and partly clogged. Other passages all cleaned out, tested/adjusted temp compensators, replaced needle valves, set correct float height and jet initial spec. Other parts confirmed in good shape, including throttle shaft bushings. Startup and idle much better on restart for the spring, minor timing and mixture adjustment after first few drives.

Replaced windshield gasket

The old windshield gasket was completely dry and hard, and leaking at the bottom when driving in the rain. New rubber gasket installed, with 3M 08509 sealant around the glass and under the outer lip. Windshield glass was ok, but had a small crack, replaced with a better used piece from Greg T's stash.

compression check at 1600 miles 80,430

Adjusted valves and checked compression on the engine, 1600 miles after rebuild.

Compared to the test right after initial break-in, cylinders 1, 2, & 5 are the same, 3, 4, 6 are up from 175 to 180psi. All are still very even, and it's running well.

compression test results
cylinder compression (psi)
1 175
2 180
3 180
4 180
5 175
6 180


wiper and washer mounts 80,060

Old mounts for the wiper wheelboxes were dry and broken, and not sealed to the weather. Removed, cleaned and lubed the wheelboxes, wiper track and tubes, reinstalled with a new mounting kit. Replaced all washer tubing so that system can work in the future if i get a new bottle and pump.

new wheels and tires 79,893

Bought used set of Koenig Rewind wheels (16x7 size) from fellow club member, replaced worn tires with new Yokohama Avid Ascend GT tires, 205/65-16. 

Tread on this setup is about 1/2" wider than 205 tires on stock steel wheels. The handling with the worn-out tires on those rims was darty and heavy, with new tires it's much closer to the feeling of the stock tires and wheels; not quite as sharp, but smooth and neutral, very grippy in cornering so far.

The Yokohama tires on the original steel wheels have about 5000 miles on them.


Garage alignment, but seems to be within spec now for rear caster and toe-in (had to remove 2 shims) and front toe. Measured with Koenig 16x7 rims, seems to track and handle well with both sets of wheels.

The shimmy i was getting at 60mph with the steel wheels is much diminished, almost gone. 

cleaned up tail lights

Cleaned up tail light housings and lenses, replaced foam seals, replaced missing hardware, fixed left backup light with back ground

Engine break-in service 79,223

Service done 442 miles after engine rebuild. No observed leaks or other issues.

  • Retorqued cylinder head to 80 foot-pounds, per ARP studs
  • Retorqued manifolds, all fasteners were a bit loose
  • Spark plug color good, light tan. Current carb jets are 1/2 turn richer from original 0.10" setting.
  • Checked/set valve clearances, most were a bit loose
  • Oil level slightly down from top of range
  • Added some water to the radiator reservoir 
wheel balancing

Still getting a shimmy at highway speed, so tried rebalancing the wheels with machine at club member Orrin's house. All were off to different degrees, all but 1 of the steel wheels were bent and not true. The good one was probably the previous spare, move it to the front where it would do more good. Shimmy still isn't gone, will start saving for new alloy wheels.

update: rotated the passenger side wheels to match the driver side swap (for the straighter wheel) and the shimmy is dramatically improved. 

new carpeting and sound deadening 78,779

Noico sound deadening panels installed on floor pans, interior firewall, and underside of new 2-piece transmission tunnel, with Thermozite padding on top, hopefully to keep the engine heat out of the passenger compartment and make the car feel more solid. New budget carpet from Carelli, black, with correct snap installation where needed.

New clutch hydraulics & speed bleeder

It was hard to get into forward gears after the engine rebuild and new clutch, looks like the slave cylinder is leaking a bit, so installed new master and slave. Replaced bleeder with a speed bleeder valve.

new seat belts

New 3-point static belts from Moss, with clip mount on original eye bolts.

Oil change 78,826

replaced break-in oil with VR1, 20w-50

Motorcraft oil filter

rebuilt engine, reinstalled 78,779

Full rebuild completed, with 0.040 over pistons, BP270 cam, rebuilt distributor, electric fan.

Engine & gearbox rebuild summary

new exhaust 78,779

Stock-style Bell stainless steel exhaust system from

repainted engine bay 78,779

Fixed dent in inner driver side fender, cleaned up and painted with matching red (NAPA paint, matched to 1980s Mercedes Rouge Metallic, base/clear coat).

repaired floor pans 78,779

Replaced most of driver side with a new floor pan (to back of seat mounts), patched passenger side. New rocker end cap on the driver side. New splash panels both sides. All welds primed and seam sealed, then all floors painted with black Rustoleum.

Replaced battery box

Made new pan and back wall to replace rusted sections

Gearbox rebuilt 78,779

All parts from The Roadster Factory. Syncro rings were measured well within spec, so were re-used.

New parts:

  • main bearings (RHP)
  • tailshaft bearing
  • countershaft bearings
  • input shaft bearing
  • layshaft (uprated hardened version)
  • thrust washers
  • 1-2 gear detent spring - weak tension for that selector
  • anti-rattle spring - broken in shifter
Fixed license plate light

Light wasn’t working, sockets and bulbs corroded. Cleaned up, working now with new bulbs. 

replace ignition lock 78,000

The ignition key was a pretty sloppy fit and could be removed while the engine was running. Switch is fine, just replaced the lock cylinder with a new Lucas unit (with new keys, of course).

clean & lube speedometer 78,113

The speedo was sticky; slow to respond and sticking above zero when stopped. I cleaned the internals and added fresh sewing machine oil

Speedometer overhaul

Replaced steering rack mounts 78,000

Replaced worn out rubber mounts with urethane, repainted clamp parts

Painted air filter box and valve cover 78,000

Painted these pieces silver, they were red, but not the same red as the body color. The valve cover might have originally been chrome, according to sources, but I stripped the paint and it was not plated. 

Installed goodparts rear hubs 77,200

Passenger rear hub was getting loose, and increased noise from rear suspension. I installed new rear hubs and did a complete rear suspension lube, including all poly bushings, u-joints, and splines.

New Goodparts rear hubs

fixed convertible top window zipper 77,000

The zipper pull was broken, with no place to pull it through the zipper. I soldered a piece on to make a mount, and now it can by used by hand.

made new kidney pads, installed USB charger

The car was missing the panels that go on either side of the center tunnel, so i made new ones from 1/8" hardboard with foam and vinyl covers. It was fairly easy to make a pattern from cardboard and photos of original versions, trimming them to fit.

Once that was done i installed the cheap 2-port USB charger i got a while back. It's wired to the same circuit as the radio, since it's switched through the ignition and we never really use the radio anyway (though i'm reluctant to remove it completely). It's in the passenger panel, just below where the radio sits, so should be out of the way, and not really visible even with the tiny blue LED screen. 

The panels add a bit of padding for my right leg while driving, and the charger should be nice for music and navigating on longer trips.

Pedal box rebuild 76,000

Installed bushings for the pedal pivots, they were missing. Cleaned and painted all parts.

fixed turn signal switch

Fixed the turn signal switch, which had stopped self-cancelling. The switch was only 3 years old, but falling apart internally. 

Fixing a bad turn signal switch

fixed rattle

Not just any rattle, but one that had been bothering me and getting steadily worse for the last year or so. It would show up only when decelerating from speed, and hard to re-create otherwise. Figured out it was the body mount bolts on the rear shelf. I assume a rubber spacer must have disintegrated over time, and the passenger side washer was loose enough to rattle when that subassembly was de-tensioned during deceleration. 

It probably needs a replacement spacer or pad, but tightening the bolt quieted it down for now, and eliminated a few other rattles too.

fixed horn

I had previously disconnected the horns because they were honking intermittently while driving. I went through the setup and I think i had the horn bush upside down. Grounds confirmed working and bush reinstalled, and the horn seems to be working correctly now.

Wiper motor rebuild

cleaned up the wiper motor and fixed the parking switch, which wasn't working. Full writeup at wiper motor rebuild

new shifter boot

Sewed a new shifter boot from scrap vinyl. No holes in it now!

new brake pads

Front pads had some wear left, but they were rattling in the calipers on my last drive, so i thought i'd install the spring retainers that i picked up a while back. While i had it open anyway, i noticed that the inner face of the disks had a bit of oil from rebuilding the hubs a while back, so i figured i'd install the spare new pads that i had in my stock. It was an easy swap, seemed to fix the rattle problem, and better braking too.

Refinish wood dash 76,300

Wood dash was covered in black vinyl at last rebuild, vinyl piece missing from glove box, coming loose in spots. General wear and tear around the dash and gauges. I'd like to return to a wood finish, not necessarily original, but not overly fancy either.

Re-veneered original dash with bookmatched walnut, finished with marine varnish. Cleaned up gauges and touched up paint, replaced gauge lights with LED bulbs, replaced the oil pressure line with stainless steel, replaced missing warning light fittings. Added thicker o-rings behind the gauges so they sit at a better level with the dash - the small gauges were too low with the standard ring. 

Dashboard veneer

Replaced hazard switch

The original hazard switch was in place and connected but broken internally and seems to be missing pieces. 

The correct replacement switch is around $180, and the alternate version is the wider switch from a '73 model. I didn't want to make the dash hole larger or spend that much money, so I found a DPDT toggle switch with the right rating (10+ amps) at Ax-Man for $2.95. I made a new mounting plate for it and mounted it in the same hole. Hazard lights work again.

Replace oil gauge line

Replace oil gauge line with new stainless steel version from TSI. The current plastic one isn't leaking or cracked, but seems like good insurance while I have the dash out.

driver seat track

Driver seat was wobbly in the track, worn rollers and rust-pitted rails. Replaced with a new track from TRF, gained a bit more rearward adjustment.

Ventilation control wire

Original wire was broken, so vent control knob didn't do anything. Had to replace wire and trunnion clamp, but was able to just clean/lube the control knob. Bike derailleur cable is a good fit to replace the original solid wire, and stiff enough to function the same.

front spindle spacers

The brake pads get pushed back with sharp turns, making the brake pedal go to the floor until it's pumped once. This spacer kit should stiffen the front spindles to avoid that.

On the passenger side the outer bearing shell was loose. Replaced with a different hub, replaced all front bearings and seals, and did a general front suspension lube.

Front hub rebuild

trunk lining panels

All trunk trim was missing, need to buy or make new panels and install new carpet. Get and install new trunk light (make sure wiring works).

Made new spare tire cover from hardboard and wood, and a floor carpet piece from Ax-Man upholstery fabric. New original style panels from BPNW, trimmed slightly to fit and reinforced with some aluminum angle stock.

courtesy lights

The wiring seems to be intact for this, just the fixture was missing. Found a LED light strip and switch, designed and 3D printed a mount to fit on the gearbox tunnel. Trunk light replaced with the same LED strip.

New courtesy light

convertible top cover

Was missing, bought on sale from TRF

replace glove box

The original one was warped and falling apart, used  plastic replacement from TRF

rubber steering coupler

Coupler was cracked and obviously old, had red paint from respray years ago

Had to replace bolts with newer allen style because new coupler had all recessed bolt holes - old one had 2 recessed and 2 standard hex bolts.

revert to lever shocks

The rear suspension felt like a brick, wanted to see if lever shocks would give a more compliant ride

Got rebuilt shocks from World Wide Auto Parts in Madison, new shock links and limit bumpers. The ride is a lot nicer, way softer over small bumps but not springy. It feels like the rear suspension is finally doing something.

A return to lever shocks


Installed halogen lights,  got halogen light kit on sale at TRF. Much brighter now. Added a backing plate for passenger side where hole too large for screw. 

radiator shroud

Was missing, installed the fiberboard version from TRF

Door panels

Panels were warped and didn't fit well. New panels from John Skinner, ordered at the same time as the seat covers. Installed with velcro instead of metal clips.

Door panels

Reupholster seats

Both seats need a complete rebuild: foam is crumbling, covers need to be replaced

Winter-spring 2018 project, finished both and reinstalled July 2018. Foam and covers from John Skinner, new dunlop straps from TRF, all new stainless fasteners.

Seat Rebuild

convertible top repair

Vinyl top needs patching or replacement, some snaps pulled out, missing some sealing pieces, straps gone.

Patched and reinforced holes where snaps had pulled out, replaced missing snaps polished windows, replaced edge velcro strips. Added the wavy washers missing from front bow levers

Bent pushrod

Adjusting valves because of extra tapping noise and found #11 pushrod bent. This is on the same valve where the rocker broke a while back. Assuming a persistently sticky valve.

Replaced pushrod with new, readjusted valves. Will recheck after some miles.

new tires 75,100

Yokohama Avid Ascend 205/70-15 from Discount Tire.

Headlight relay

Added headlight relay kit from Moss, headlights seem a bit brighter.

replace manifold gasket

Popping/slapping sound on acceleration, testing showed leaks around cylinders 2-3.

Used 2 standard manifold gaskets. Had intake vapor blasted, used slip plate on exhaust. Installed all new manifold studs, new lock washers and brass nuts. Much quieter, better idle at all temperatures now.

Replaced intake manifold water return line with new stainless version, was corroded and leaking.

manifold gasket replacement

repaint wheels

Wheels are a little ratty, clean and repaint in prep for new tires

Used standard silver wheel paint from parts store, pretty close match to original

steering wheel cover 75,047

Wheel rim is partially wrapped in electrical tape, original foam is splitting and missing a chunk

Installed leather Wheelskins custom cover, 15"x2.5", with strip of foam bike bar tap on the inside for a little extra cushion and size.

Steering wheel cover

replace turn signal switch

End of lever missing, replaced with new Lucas unit from BPNW

steering column bushings

wheel is sloppy, turns hard

Installed standard bushing kit, adjusted steering column location for proper fit. Much smoother.

horn doesn't work

Horns were corroded beyond fixing, replaced with new ones. Installed new steering wheel contacts, horn operation is still somewhat sporadic.

gearbox oil

On further research, changed gearbox to Redline MT90, and it's shifting much smoother now

engine hesitation

Engine periodically hesitates when cruising at 3500 rpm or above. Fuel pump? Distributor? Coil? Vacuum lines? Try blowing out fuel line between tank and pump.

Carbs rebuilt by Mike winter of 2017, Bill rebuilt distributor. Idle and power much better.

heater control switch

Valve leaking coolant, replaced with upgraded Everco valve

door seals

doors rattle even though latches adjusted tight, especially passenger side

installed new furflex seal (from BPNW) around doors

Headlight wiring

Headlights only work when high beams are on. Installed new headlight adjusters, high/low beams working after cleaning contacts in floor switch.


replaced 4 u-joints in axles as part of rear suspension project

differential leak

Pinion seal leaking. Mike replaced seal, cleaned out disgusting goo from diff, painted, new cover gasket

front suspension

Shimmy at highway speeds, metallic clunking over bumps, vague steering

New bushings, new front shocks and springs, tie rod ends, sway bar mounts. Lower a-arms done 9/2015, remaining front done 5/2016

Rear suspension

Rear tires rub the tube shocks with 2-people in the car. Check swingarm bushings, replace springs and find a replacement for the shocks; either original levers or new tube shock kit.

Installed new heavy duty springs, swing arm bushings, adjustable camber brackets, new shock mount kit and new tube shocks

rear hubs

Hubs have play, internal condition unknown. Rebuilt by MN Triumphs member Larry Berg.

Front brakes

Car pulling to one side, left caliper dragging

Rebuilt calipers, new pistons and seals, painted black, new hoses for installation. Parts from BP Northwest.

Door waist seals

To help with rattling windows, reduce rattling. Used new seals from TRF.

change gearbox and diff oil

Old gearbox oil looked hazy and green. Diff oil just topped up.

front suspension shimmy

Bad shimmy at highway speed, upper control arm bushings totally shot, rattling over bumps.

Installed new upper control arm poly bushings, new ball joints, new front shocks with poly bushings. Other bushings purchased, not yet installed; knocks are much better, but still shimmies around 55-65.

rattling door windows

Original felt is shot, missing outer door seals

Relined the window channels with velcro, oiled mechanisms

brake light switch

Brake lights are always on. Bought a new switch, but cleaned and greased existing switch and it worked fine. Kept the new one as a spare.

Diff mount bushings

It had a slight clunk when switching between forward and reverse. Confirmed that diff mounts were previously repaired and boxed in, and currently in good shape.

Rear diff bushings replaced with poly, greatly reduced clunk from rear-end. Will replace front mounts when diff is dropped for other service.

engine tuning

Valves adjusted, carbs cleaned up after stuck needle valve, rebalanced, timing adjusted by vacuum. Vacuum reading good, but a little bouncy, added seafoam to clean up potential valve buildup.

passenger seat

Doesn't latch in position, clean & grease. Both seats a little loose on the rails.

Cleaned and re-greased passenger rails, latch a little sloppy but holds fine

Brakes sticky

Left rear cylinder was frozen, overall evaluation.

Installed new right rear wheel cylinder, new rear adjusters, replaced all fluid with DOT5 silicone. Master cylinder rebuilt and new servo installed.

Fuel system

Check system for issues relating to old gas, fuel gauge is unreliable.

Cleaned and patched fuel tank, replaced fuel pump, new sending unit, flushed remaining fuel lines, new filter, cleaned carbs.

thrust washer

Crank showed excessive clearance.

Washer had dropped in to pan at some point. Installed .015 washer, slightly reduced to .013, had .004 clearance at installation. Some deformation on crank journal face, really needs a 360° bearing and cap in the future for better fix.

change oil & all filters

Replaced air filter, installed spin-on oil filter kit

Uses Fram PH3600 filter

radiator hoses

lower hose leaking, installed  all new black hoses & clamp kit, new thermostat + gasket

engine tune up

new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, condenser, points, fan belt, new breather hoses, new vacuum line for brake booster

test and record cylinder compression, crank thrust bearing clearance

clutch hydraulics

Pedal drops to the floor, testing showed hydraulic failure. Rebuilt on both master & slave units, hydraulic flush & bleed. Installed all new hydraulics & hoses, used DOT 5 silicone fluid.

Clutch disc seems fine, just a little chatter, needs a firm foot.

flash to pass switch

The main lights were working fine, but the flash to pass feature (pulling back on the light switch) wasn't functioning - instead of turning on the high beams, it would shut off all lights.

The problem was that the small contact board inside of the light switch had come loose, so the body of the switch was shorting out before the high beam contact. I epoxied the contact board to the switch with jb weld to fix it in place, and cleaned up the switch with contact cleaner. Now high beams work with flash to pass on all light switch settings, as it should.