TR-4A IRS

Started by MiniDave, April 04, 2018, 02:53:15 PM

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MiniDave

My latest "customer".....if you think you recognize this car, you probably do - he bought it off of BaT.....it didn't sell at the auction, but BaT put him in touch with the seller as he was the high bidder and they worked out a deal that included enclosed shipping from Portland to KC.

As with any old car, even one that looks as nice as this, I have found a number of deferred repairs that need to be done, some are really important (no hand brake, no clutch) and some are minor but annoying ( the driver's door groans when you open it and the passenger door and trunk don't lock with the key - or at all)

So, the list....just a small list on this one  :-)

Replace E-brake cables
Replace front pads with ceramic (so no black dust to clean off the wire wheels)
Replace low tone horn
Fix passenger and trunk locks to work
Check dash illumination is working
Replace clutch master, slave and flex hose
Adjust right rear bumperette - loose and wrong angle
Raise muffler and pipes?
Does it need a tune up? - hard starting at times
Oil change?
Check diff level
Check brake master - replace if needed
Install points eliminator kit, set timing and adjust carbs as needed.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Turns out there was nothing wrong with the ebrake cables - but...........I have never seen an E brake that works like this one...usually you simply pull up on the handle and it ratchets and locks, then you push the button to release the ratchet and lower the handle to release - not this one! On this one you haul up on the handle, then push the button to lock it. To release you simply haul up a little and it releases itself. Weird.

Both the clutch master and slave are leaking, in fact the clutch master ran dry just as he got to my driveway, so we had already planned to replace them both and decided it was a good time to replace the brake master as well. Oh and while we're in there, the leaking fluid has removed or ruined the paint on the support bracket and the pedals them selves, so let's remove them and get them sand blasted and powder coated....

Next, he wanted the front pads changed to something that wouldn't cover his wheels in black dust like on his new MINI ( did Brit cars do that? I don't remember them being that way) so I bought some ceramic pads, but when I went to change them I found the right front caliper's pistons were seized, so I'll run up to the local Brit parts store and buy some new ones - they're only $70 each. And I'll pick up some new hoses too.

I decided to investigate why the rear trunk lock didn't - what I found was an 1/8" of body putty on the deck lid that was preventing the lock mechanism to seat in the notches in the sheet metal - held out too far by the thickness of the body putty. so, he's going to have a new bezel made in stainless that will have longer tangs on it and a slightly larger diameter so he doesn't have to redo the deck lid.

When I went to change the oil I found the drain plug had been replaced by a pipe plug wrapped in teflon tape......<sighs>. why can't people do things right? Why these terrible bodges?

Wonder what else I'll find on this car?


Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MPlayle

The hand brake handle sounds like the "fly-off" kind.  They were an after-market option item at one time.  Used by folks doing hand-brake turns as it allows just pulling up and letting go to release for the hand-brake turn.  Actually setting the hand brake thus requires the deliberate use of the button.


MiniDave

#3
I took the handle all apart to see if maybe it was assembled wrong or something, but it only goes together one way. If this is an aftermarket thing it was done long ago as it looks like its factory, but I've never been in a car that works this way. Your handbrake turn theory makes sense tho as that's exactly how it would work. This guy will want it changed as he is not that kind of driver...wonder if I can buy the stock parts somewhere? I'll have to do some looking around......

Edit: apparently this is the way it works, from the factory. TR250 and TR6 also work this way, FWIW.

I went to change his brake pads on the front wheels and found seized caliper pistons, so this morning I went back to good ol Vicky Brits and picked up a pair of brandy new calipers and rubber hoses. When I got home I got a bit of a surprise, one caliper was painted black the other was bright silver, when I called back to the store they said it was because they came from two different vendors! OK, so I got out the black rattle can paint and now they match.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Work continues.....

Today I got the new front calipers, hoses and pads installed, but of course I can't bleed anything till I install the new master, and I can't do that till the pedal assemblies come back from the powder coaters, which could be as soon as this afternoon, or if not then Monday. I also can't make up the new line to the master till then.....

I also changed the oil and filter - because this car has a spin on conversion, I had to do a little homework to find a filter for it - turns out a Mann filter for a 99-05 VW Beetle is the right one, so it was easy to source at the auto parts store. These cars hold a lot of oil....6 1/2 quarts with filter!

I installed the new slave cylinder while I was under the car, so it's ready too.

I noticed the air filters are filthy, so I have a new set laid out at Vicky Brits, third trip up there in as many days, buying more stuff and taking back what I didn't need.

Some new plugs, valve adjustment and a little carb work and I'll be done with the engine end of things. Last thing I need to do is fix the right door to lock with the key and this list will be done. I'm sure he'll find more for me to d
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#5
Today I ran up to Vicky Brits to get some new air filters - only $6.50 ea and they fit 1 3/4 carbs - I should have gotten three so I'd have one for my engine stand carb!

I also got the master cylinder bracket back from the powder coaters and it looks pretty good - they were in the middle of a run of light grey parts so they just added this into the middle of the run, looks fine. I did have to tap all the threads on the captive nuts as they didn't bother to plug them before they coated it, but that was no biggy, only 7 nuts!

So I got the masters installed, I did the clutch slave yesterday along with the oil change - these TR's hold a lot of oil for a 4 cylinder - 6 1/2 qts with the filter change! Of course, my Jag takes a full case.....

Next I have to bend up a new line for the brake master, that line nut was rusted to the m/c and I could not get it loose with a line wrench or any other wrenches I had, so I cut it and used a socket, but that meant a new line.....

About all that's left are some little bits, but I can't bleed anything out till I get the pedal assembly back from paint, that won't come till Monday. He also made some 1/4" spacers to put under the seat runners, they used so much padding under the carpets that the seats drag on it and he can't slide them....some spacers should fix that.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#6
Today is pretty much the finish day on the TR4A, I still have a few jobs to do that will have to wait for another time, while bleeding the brakes I heard a lot of movement in the rears but both adjusters were frozen tight. I don't have time to tear into it today so it will have to wait. I also wasn't able to get the right door panel off to repair the outside lock to work, the inside does- I needed an extra set of hands so that also will wait.

I did get the pedals reassembled and clutch and brakes bled, the clutch feels good now but I haven't had a chance to drive it to see where it releases - he complained that it was just up off the floor, but I think that's because the system didn't have any fluid in it. I'll know more this afternoon when I take it around the block.

I adjusted the valves and replaced the valve cover gasket - the engine is leaking quite a bit of oil and I haven't pinpointed from where just yet as there's oil all over....there's nothing obvious and I replaced the VC gasket jic.

I already changed the oil and filter, about all that's left that could be leaking is the oil pressure switch or the rear main seal. Hard to know if the engine's been worked on recently or just well cared for, there are no telltale signs of recent work.

Next I'm going to set the timing - the car already has a points eliminator kit in it - as the engine turns over hard when starting. I bought a new starter in case it turns out the timing is correct, but it spun over just fine when I was checking compression so that's what led me to timing. Compression was good, 170, 170, 165, 160 before I adjusted the valves, although none were tight.

Edit: timing was spot on, carbs were incredibly rich tho...I'm still messing with them. It starts so easily I hate to spend the time/money changing the starter only to find it's something else.

He made up some 1/4 X 1" x 15" strips for spacers for under the seat rails, they have so much padding under the carpets that the seats wouldn't move because they were dragging on it, the spacers worked perfectly and now the seats slide easily as they should, He did a masterful job on the spacers, the holes were in exactly the right place, chamfered and fit perfectly. Of course you can't see them, but I know they're there......

More as it happens.......it's a real joy to work on this car compared to the Minis, there's so much room to reach everything!  ;D
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

gr8kornholio

Pretty ingenious battery location for weight distribution.  Probably fun to get it in and out though.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Willie_B

It looks like there are 3 fuel filters on there.

MiniDave

Two, a regular plastic one, and a metal one attached to the electric fuel pump.

Just took it for a drive and it now runs pretty good....it takes a pretty good leg to work the clutch and the brakes but it drives pretty nicely now. The carbs were really rich but now I have them dialed in pretty good and the engine runs sweet.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Just drove the TR4 back from his place to mine, about 30 miles on the highway - top down, exhaust blatting away - and it was a fun drive. The car rides so much nicer than any Mini I've been in - including my own - that it was just a really pleasant run. The engine ran sweet, temp stayed right where it should, oil pressure good etc.

It's back for some new rear springs as it sits a couple inches lower in the back than the front. He also had an issue with the steering ujoint catching on the speedo and tach cables and pulling the tach cable right out of the back of the generator. We have new cables to install too.

The instruments for the Bugeye came back from Nisonger and they look like new, I don't know what they charged but they sure do nice work. I'll put them and the re-shafted carbs on later in the week after I finish up with the TR4.

I also have to address the rear brakes on the TR4, the adjusters are stuck tight so I'll pull the drums and see what's up with that too. The new pads I put in last time have bedded in nicely, but with no power assist it takes a firm leg to get it to slow down. Once this stuff is done I think he'll have a really nice, drivable car. He says he intends for this to be his summer car, and the 73 Mini will be a fall/spring cold weather car. He never drives any of his collection in winter, or in the rain, or when salt is on the roads so they stay pretty clean and rust free - in fact he doesn't even wash them with water!

I'll post some pics when I start in on it Tuesday.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Replaced the speedo and tacho cables, they were routed right over the steering shaft, and there is a rubber flex coupling that caught the cables, and when he turned left they were grabbed and trapped between the coupler and the body, as he muscled the wheel around it tore the tach cable out of the back of the generator and mangled the speedo cable.

The new cables were longer so I had plenty of length to work with and routed them up and over the brake master cylinder, then zip tied them to the brake line, they won't get caught again.

Next I replaced the two rear springs. The forums said all you have to do is jack up the control arm and disconnect the shock link, then let the control arm down and the spring will fall right out - Ha! I used my spring compressors to get them out, but the new springs are made differently, the coils are bigger in diameter and closer together so I couldn't use the compressors to put them back in. I rigged up a long bar to push down on the control arm and used my 4 ft long pry bar to lever them into place - it was not fun, or easy but I got them in at last. Then I jacked up the control arms and put the shock links back in, job done!

Next I need to pull the rear drums and see if I can free off the brake adjusters, once that's done and the brakes adjusted then I'm done with the back. All I have left are a few odds and ends and it can roll back home. I'll be interested to see if/how high the back end sits now, the springs weren't any taller, but they appear stiffer.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

94touring

Yeah those springs are indeed different. 

MiniDave

#13
I removed the rear drums and shot some lube on the adjusters, the left one freed up immediately and worked fine, so I put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. The right side was a whole nother ballgame, and I wound up removing it and taking it apart to clean up the threads on the wire wheel, the little pieces that ride on the adjuster were stuck too, so I cleaned and lubed everything and adjusted the brakes - I have a good firm pedal now where before it was pretty low.

Next up, he complained that the fresh air flap didn't do anything. turns out the flap works fine, but the cable is sorta not so fine, I can get a new one from Victoria British for only ...........gasp, snort, cough..........$45!!!!!! Funny, in the pics in the parts book they show the cable coming from the other side of the dash, but as short as it is I don't think that would work....I'll see what the new one looks like tomorrow.

Next on the list, the right side door lock didn't lock from the outside. On first inspection I thought a piece of linkage was missing, but after taking the left door panel off to remove said linkage so I could copy it, turns out the mechanism to lock the door is in the handle/button itself. Tomorrow I'll take the left one apart (because it works) and see if I can figure out why the right one doesn't, and fix it. I'll also pick up some new escutcheon plates as these are scratched and rough looking, and some gaskets for the outer handle as these are broken and torn.

Last thing on the list is the light in the ammeter isn't working, it looks like I'll have to remove all the screws holding the wood dash panel in and pull it forward to get to the light bulb, don't know if it's a bad bulb or what at this point. Everything I have to do seems to require major disassembly on this car!

Oh, does anyone know if I could swap in a TR6 E-brake handle for this one? He hates this fly off handle and I don't blame him, it's a PITA to use and goes against every natural instinct you have trying to set it.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

ve9aa

Nice Triumph.  Very rare here in the rust belt. Might have seen a couple in my lifetime here in NB.  A great vintage.

Now the "Wedge" we still have a few around.  Only a Mother could love those...LOL!

Good job.  Keep posting the pix and updates.  I'll live vicariously through you fellas for rust free cars.
The only rust free cars here are the old rotted ones which come with free rust.
Mike in NB

30 minutes in a Mini is more therapeutic than 3 sessions at the shrink.

MiniDave

Where in the rust belt are you located? I'm in KC, we have plenty of salt eaten rusty cars here too.....

This car came from the Pacific Northwest, which seems to be  a haven for rust free cars.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

ve9aa

Hey Dave,

NB= New Brunswick, Canada (not New Jersey, LOL) up just East of Maine, USA.

I've seen (many) days where they'll salt, sand, then plow the roads.  It's crazy. 
Most lower end cars last around 8-10 years here then they're trashed.  Completely eaten away from the salt and other chems
they put on the roads here.  Even the roads are complete garbage (wish I was kidding!)

I still have a little snow in my yard, though most of it has vanished just in the last 7-8 days.

Once we get a tad more rain to clear off the sand and salt remnants it'll be driving weather.
Mike in NB

30 minutes in a Mini is more therapeutic than 3 sessions at the shrink.

MiniDave

Been thru NB on my way to PEI and a tour of Cape Breton, following the Cabot trail around to Halifax and so on.......left from Bangor, Maine.

We still have a little salt on the roads left over from the last go around a few weeks ago, once we get a good thunderstorm it should all wash away till late in the year. We had some warm dry weather, but now we're into muggy humidity and rain almost every day - and pollen! Went out and the wife's burgundy Audi Allroad was yellow green yesterday!

Today's job on the TR4 - since it's rainy and the roads are damp - is to get the right outside door lock working correctly - the left one does so I took it out of the door to see what I could learn...I understand how it's supposed to work, but I can't seem to get the right one to do what the left one does. I took them both apart and laid them out carefully on the bench to make sure I didn't intermingle any parts, but so far I can't find anything worn or different between them. Tis a puzzler......
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

ve9aa

Awesome ! Yeah, I can't wait for a good rain or two, then I can drive my Mini !

Just pulled the Harley out into the sunshine (first time outside since late October) about 15mins ago, but no riding til some of the sand that remains on the turns of the roads is washed away.
The Mini will continue its sleep in dark storage another few days.

Keepm' comin'.  Really enjoy your builds and stories.

Tnx !
Mike in NB

30 minutes in a Mini is more therapeutic than 3 sessions at the shrink.

MiniDave

#19
Got the TR4A ready to go home by reinstalling the door panels, I mentioned that these weren't in the best shape, the cardboard backing felt limp, quite a few of the holes that the clips fit into were torn and so on. I had to go up to Vicky Brits to get a few bits, return an air cleaner I bought that did not fit my HIF44 and so on, he said if they had new door panels to buy them. They did, and now I'm taking them off yet again......these don't have the holes for the door handles in them, so I get to make all those too.........oh joy, can't wait till I drill one of those in the wrong spot and get to buy yet another set of $150 door panels.

The car seems to sit a lot better since I changed the springs, I hope he's happy with it now.....the new springs didn't change the ride quality, it's still smooth as butta.....80* today and low humidity....perfect day for a cruise top down in a convertible!
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

He's really been enjoying the TR4, he lives about 20 miles from his office so it's a nice drive on B roads to and from home. While I was in West Carolina for my grandson's wedding, he texted this pic.....all the text said  said was "uhoh"

He had it towed to his little bat cave garage in his huge cave complex and I tried to troubleshoot it via text, with a guy who has about as much mechanical ability as my dog Neo.  ;D

So he said he could hear the fuel pump running so I eliminated that right off. He said it just quit while doing 70 on the highway so I assumed an electrical failure, told him to get a screwdriver, pull a plug wire off, insert the screwdriver into the end of the wire and hold it close to the head studs and have someone crank it. He reported no spark.


So, he pulled the dist cap to look for a broken rotor and sent me a pic, I spied a Pertronix unit and told him to order one. He found one on Amazon for about $40 less than the local Brit parts place wanted and bought it. Two days later he put it in (requiring 20 more texts back and forth) and viola, fired right up!  77.gif

I think it's rare for one of these Pertronix points eliminators to fail, anyone else ever have a bad one?
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MPlayle

It is indeed rare for one to fail, but not unheard of.

Usually, it is the gen-1 style that are sensitive to the ignition being left on but not running for more than a couple of minutes.

The gen-2 style are supposed to have that problem fixed.


MiniDave

#22
The TR-4 has been running sweet since he changed out the failed Pertronix, but it had a weird thing when you would start the car - the first time you'd crank it the starter would turn the engine over but it would lug badly, the second time it would spin right over and start easily. When I did the first round of repairs I bought a starter from Vicky Brits as it has been doing this from the beginning but we didn't install it - the owner decided to buy a new battery instead as he had no idea how old the one in the car was, but it still did it.

Today I dropped in the rebuilt starter we bought a few months ago and now it cranks perfectly from the first turn of the key, and just like the Bugeye it fires immediately. Another box ticked!

Yesterday when he brought the car over I noticed a loud exhaust rattle, turns out the pipe is broken out of the front of the muffler - I'll send him to an exhaust shop for that as the entire system is welded together, but he may end up replacing the entire exhaust system except the downpipe, which looks like a new stainless pipe.

I have just a few other small things to do then it can go home. Next up, the '73 Mini comes back with it's list - topmost being that it won't start!

Once that car is on the road again I have only to fix a small leak in the Hydo suspension on his 71 Mini and an oil leak and that car is pretty much done too. It's been a long road with these 4 cars but I think I've finally gotten them all sorted.....just in time for nice fall weather so he can get some miles on all of them,
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

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