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 Even with the aerodynamics of a brick it is still my favourite TR

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My tips on buying and what to look out for in the TR6 pi.


My tips on buying and what to look out for in the TR6 pi. When buying a TR6 for the first time, there is a term commonly used when buying anything, "Caveat Emptor" or loosely translated "buyer beware"!  Do your home work before you buy, better still take someone with you who has some knowledge of the marque. If you are not a member of the TR Register (which caters for all TRs' including derivatives such as the Dorretti, Italia and Peerless. I suggest you join the club before you decide to buy, then go along to your local group meeting and ask questions, there is a wealth of information available from knowledgeable TR6 people, all for free! There is also a forum on the club site which is open to everyone, advice and tips are readily available from members of the TR Register who own TR6 models.


As we all know cars rust. The TR6 is no exception, The TR6 is now more than 40 years old, so inevitably an un-restored example will have some rust or rot especially UK TR6s'. Depending on what your capabilities are and what you are looking for, my advice would be, if it is for a restoration project, buy as cheaply as possible, otherwise go for a TR6 that no work is required or has been restored to a reasonably high standard, buy for the most that you can afford. Be wary of buying anything in the middle because at the end of the day it will still require some form of restoration, probably sooner rather than later! Hopefully my pictures in the photo galleries will show some of the areas to look out for.  Fortunately the availability of parts for the TR6 is very good. Most of the TR specialists’ parts suppliers in the UK will stock most, if not, all parts from a nut to a complete body shell. As original equipment factory parts are quite scarce now, most parts will probably be reproduction. The quality and fit can vary from very good to not so good or even poor. Although this guide is for the TR6 problem areas, it can also apply to earlier models such as the TR4a and 5, which share the same chassis and floor panel as the 6.      


TR6 Body-shell:


One of the most important things to lookout for on the TR6, as with all Triumphs, is rust. Usually, rust will start from the inside and result in bubbles and holes on the outside.


Starting from the front of the TR6, check the areas around the headlights; muck and road dirt gets trapped around the headlight bowl, allowing water to penetrate through the outer wing, causing rust bubbles. Also, the areas near the seams on the scuttle top where the wings bolt on.


The tops of the rear deck, again, near the seams. Rust bubbling here is indicative of more serious rust underneath.


Check the upright on the floor panel area behind the sills if the panel feels “soft” a lot of work will be required. Though if the floors are sound a repair panel can be let in.


The rear wings are prone to rust where they bolt on to the “B” post also the areas at the rear of the wings, again road dirt and muck is thrown up and trapped.


Bottom of the rear valance is an area for rust due to water getting trapped between it and the closing panel.


The rear lip of the boot lid can also rust. Run you fingers along the back of the lip, any roughness will probably be rust or even filler.In the engine bay check for brake/clutch fluid spillage/leakage from the master cylinders, as well as the area around where the battery is located as the acid and fluids take away the paint finish exposing the areas to rust and eventually holes.


Looking from the side of the TR6 do the gaps between the front doors and rear wings alongside the look equal? Is the gap at the top of the door and rear wing wider at the top than the bottom? If so, it could be due to a "tired chassis", this can be corrected to a certain extent by removing the rear body mountings and packing them up a little more. If, however the gap is wider at the bottom than the top, beware! Nothing can be done other than restoration on the chassis. Check the doors open and close reasonably easy, the striker plate can be adjusted slightly.





 Chassis:   TR6s’ do have a sturdy chassis, comprising of 16 swg mild steel manufactured in box section form with inner baffles, for strength. Most of the rust will be from the chassis underneath the ”breastplate" or “T” shirt as it sometimes called, because of its’ shape.  Another weak area through corrosion is where the trailing arm brackets bolt to the chassis. Due to the excessive torque from the wheels on acceleration, if severe rust is present, the force can rip the trailing arms away from the chassis, ending with dire consequences. The rest will be reasonably protected by oil escaping from the engine, as nearly all Triumph engines leak oil to some extent! Water ingress rots the chassis from the inside out.


    The chassis, looking from underneath the car, should be reasonably flat, other than where someone has, in the past jacked the TR up, causing dents. Problem areas are usually where two pieces of metal overlap i.e. box section corners and under the “breast plate” or sometimes called the “T” shirt, because of its’ shape, rust forces the metal apart forming a bulge. If this is evident on your potential TR purchase, avoid it!   A lot of work is required to correct it properly. Also look out for accident damage, usually caused by "curbing", especially on USA TRs' does the chassis look the same on both sides? If not forget it! An unseen area is where the differential is bolted onto pins which are welded on to brackets on the rear chassis cross members. Again, because of the torque generated from the rear wheels to the differential, tends to pull the pins thus splitting the front cross member. It is nearly impossible to see (or repair) in situ, this potential problem, other than to take the body-shell off the chassis. Allowing for worn Universal Joints on the propshaft and drive shafts, the give away would be a really excessive "clunk" especially on acceleration. I HOPE THIS INFORMATION HELPS YOU, GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PURCHASE!!

The TR Register have a buyers' guide with other information on it, , you will need adobe reader to view it. Click this link to see:     Buyer Beware

This Schematic diagram for rust areas gives a more definitive description.