My speedometer was acting up; needle jumping around, making a clicking noise when i backed up, sometimes even staying at 30mph after i'd stopped. One common reason for a twitchy mechanical speedo is a cable that needs fresh grease, but there was no change after a good cleaning and regrease, so it was time to pull it apart.
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 rear hubs on the TR6 are a known weak point - maybe not always in normal use, but definitely in the racing world, where they commonly used alternate hubs for race-prepped cars. I'll probably never race my car, but the issue has also come up with aging parts, and as i contemplate taking the car on longer weekend trips, and as one of my previously-rebuilt hubs has been loosening up, i opted for the insurance of an uprated set of hubs.
First step: dismantle the rear axles:
Original TR6 glove boxes were made of pressed fiberboard, and like many mine was warped and crumbling. I replaced it last year with the modern ABS plastic version, and it's a good improvement in all ways but one: the new version doesn't include a mount for the interior light.
The original glove box had a pressed steel mount riveted on the side wall so the light socket could snap on. Stupidly, i forgot to save the light mount when i threw out my old glove box. I decided to just make my own, and upgrade to an LED light in the process.
I don't know much about other convertibles, but the convertible top on the TR6 has a pretty handy feature: the rear window zips out, which makes for a nice breezy option for staying out of the sun with plenty of fresh air.
The top on mine is an aftermarket part from AMCO, a common replacement version. It must be at least 30 years old, the straps have disintegrated, and i've had to sew up both tears and rotted seams. I'll replace it eventually, but it's pretty far down the work list and it'll holding together for a while yet.
With a weekend trip planned with the car next month, i thought it would helpful to have a way to charge our phones along the way. I picked up a cheap dual USB charger on Amazon, and figured out i could wire it to the same power circuit as the radio, since it's switched power and i rarely use the radio anyway.
After looking at different options, i thought the easiest location for the port would be on the center panels of the car, where i could easily hide the wiring and it would be out of the way. Mine were missing, so i decided to make a set.
When i first started plating parts at home, i assembled the cheapest, simplest setup i could: a plastic solution bucket and a variety of cheap and re-used wall wart power supplies. I still use a plastic bucket for the zinc solution, but i recently upgraded to a variable power supply:
I'm still working down a list of smaller projects while waiting to start the engine rebuild. Since the wiper motor debacle (and subsequent fix), i fixed a non-working speaker in the crappy stereo (disconnected wire), fixed a long-time rattle that only showed up when i would coast or decelerate at speed and was driving me crazy.
The work on small projects continues, most of which don't need much of a writeup: fixed horns (had the steering rack ground in the wrong place), replaced the driver side window regulator (much easier than expected, partially thanks to using velcro for the inner panel), front-end alignment (string method, tedious), and now, the turn signal that wouldn't cancel.
This isn't the project update i was hoping to be writing.
I was supposed to be just wrapping up a full engine and gearbox rebuild about now, but it seemed best to put that on hold while we stay at home for the pandemic. Instead, i went back to my list of small jobs as a way to keep busy: sew a new shifter boot, a couple of drops of oil to quiet down the noisy tach, and next on the list: the wipers won't park on their own.
There aren't many places outside of California where folks drive an old convertible year-round. In the south, they're often stored through the summer when it's too hot, and here in Minnesota they're put away in the winter when it's too cold. Or just as often, when the streets are too salty.