Once the machine shop had a chance to evaluate my replacement engine block and crank, i was finally able to make the last big parts order. Because of the surface rust in a couple of cylinders and crank journals, the block was bored out to .040 over and the crank ground to .020 under. I was hoping for a bit less crank grinding, but it's fine, and the bores are at the limit for most available pistons, but should be plenty good for my lifetime with the car.
This is my early '69 TR6. In 2018 it has about 75,000 miles on it and running well. It has an unknown early history, bouncing around different members of my family in Oregon and California before ending up with me in Minnesota. It was rebuilt at some point maybe in the '80s with a paint change from yellow to red, seats recovered and door panels replaced with home-made versions, and other fixes that were more shade-tree than original. I've been gradually fixing mechanical systems and doing a sort of rolling restoration as I go.
Log of work done so far.
The previous Battery box repair was just the first step of rust repair i wanted to tackle while the engine was out, and it was a good way to practice some skills forming and welding metal. Since most of the interior is also out of the car, i wanted to tackle the floor pans as well.
I saw some rough metal from under the car, but the top side had been covered up by some galvanized sheet, screwed in at the edges:
While i'm waiting to hear back from the machine shop on my engine work, i'm going to try to fix a few areas of the body tub while i have so much of the car stripped down anyway. Since i'm still learning about patching things with sheet metal, i decided to start with the battery box area.
The main problem with this area is that traditional batteries leak, and even if they don't leak they make corrosive vapor at the vent caps. This generally leads to eating away the surrounding metal, and mine was no exception.
The engine rebuild is moving along: the cylinder head is still at the machine shop, and the block has joined it there, but we may not continue with the same block.
I knew that the block had previous issues with a dropped thrust washer; the rear washer had dropped before i started working on the car, and after taking it apart it was obvious that it had also happened at least once before. The thrust washer is a known weak point of these engines, because it only covers 180° of the crank face, and is prone to accelerated wear if the clutch is pushed in when the engine is started.
Since we were still in the middle of the coldest part of winter, i did most of the assembly work in my basement shop. My workbench there is an old drafting table, with a shopmate bench as secondary table and vise.
One of the justifications for pulling and rebuilding the gearbox was that it would sometimes jump out of 2nd gear when decelerating. There are typical reasons that would happen: the "top hat" bushing for 2nd gear is broken, because of excessive wear in that cluster, or a weak detent spring for the shifting rod assembly for the 1-2 gear.
For this gearbox, the 2nd gear top hat bushing was in perfect shape, and the 2-3 cluster of bushings was still in spec, which is good news because that top hat bush alone is about $50.
Well that wasn't so bad, the guts are now out of the gearbox.
The cylinder head for the TR6 engine is off to the machine shop and i've just about finished cleaning & repainting or plating everything else i can take off the engine: starter, alternator, water pump. The distributor is back from Advanced Distributors for a full rebuild and recurving, and it looks great. The radiator is out, but i'm waiting until i can give it a proper flush outside.
It's zero degrees outside with many cold weeks of nothing to do. What's next? Take out the gearbox, of course.
Or, at least the prep work for the rebuild. I had planned to do this early in 2020 with a local club member and be done with it all by now, but COVID happened, etc. etc.
After reorganizing the garage a couple of times and evaluating the space, i've decided to tackle the rebuild myself, with the help of our local Triumph club to pull the engine and borrow an engine stand. Since the garage isn't heated, i'm planning to pull the engine and gearbox probably in March, but i'm trying to get as much of a head start as i can.
This is where the engine started: