Pat's TR3 "In Process"
"What have I done?"
Intro and Stage one
What have I done was what was going through my head on my way home with this "TR" on a trailer behind our nice new 2000 Honda Odyssey van. When I was 19-20'ish I had a TR3A, TR4 and a Datsun 510 race car (Full out slicks, fire suit, trailer... the works). Then, like a fool I sold all of them and have regretted my decision ever since (20 odd years worth). So five years ago I bought what is now my next to mint 1966 TR4A... then three years ago I got (with my wife's blessing) a 1972 Mini and did that up. Thought I'd be happy with just them ? Nope... I found this TR3A and "Just had to have it". So, have I really changed from a kid who wants everything ?
In June I was at a car show with my TR4 and heard about this TR3A totally over grown by black berries for four years. So out I drove hopping that it was salvageable. As it turned out the guy had a "complete" car, a tub (mine) and two frames both rotten. So, I was fairly pleased with the tub and
decided to take the body off the "complete" car to use the frame and running gear from it. I cut the complete cars body right in half and hacked it off the frame. The body was totally useless, rotten and held together with up to an inch and a half of bondo. The motor is frozen ....What am I in for ??? <G>
The fellow I got it from bought them as parts cars. So I am missing lots of stuff... mostly interior. He bought it from a fellow in Surrey BC who replaced the floor pans (just sheet, not stock pans) and gave up. He bought it from a fellow Eric xxxx in Vancouver who owned it from 1977 to 1981 or so . He bought it from a 16 year old kid who's dad took one look at it after the kid buying it with out parents permission and told him to get rid of it. As Eric was driving it away the dad was all smiles and the kid in tears. As it turned out, I tracked down the Eric (No last name to protect him <G>) who kindly signed over the transfer papers to me this year ! He is taking an active interest in the progress of the car.
So far since June 2000 I have cut out and replaced the rusted out areas (Mostly not seen from the out side), had them welded via a friend as I don't weld. And sanded my brains out... It is due to get painted and stored for the winter in a couple of weeks (Mid Sept 2000). I then will turn my attention to the frame and running gear.
My goal for this car is to build this car back up to be a fun car. Look nice, drive nice and not fall apart. If something in the rebuilding process can be reused for a year or so rather than replacing it then so be it. I need to put what money I have into what should be rebuilt/replaced now at the frame off stage so I don't have to do it down the road.
Here after all the rust has been cut out and getting the tub to the best point that I could it is now time for the pro's ! I found a fellow who "Putters" in his own time in a shop at the back of his house. He only does TR's and MG's and picks his projects as to what is fun for him. Not much to tell at this point. I have the frame home after being sand blasted and painted. Now I get to put back the parts I've been spending hours and hours cleaning and painting. What a joy to bolt on a nice clean, painted part to a clean painted frame ! Is there anything better ? Pat - Nov 1 2000
Well, I now have the tub finish painted in the engine compartment and trunk the stock Triumph "Pale Yellow", the color is darker than what my digital camera could see. The inner fender wells I decided to have "Gravel Guarded" rather than painted as they were fairly ruff and the paint would have shown this. I know it is stock to have them painted rather than Gravel Guarded but hey, I never planned on it being a concourse car ! Heck, I'll be happy if I can just get to the point that I can drive it ! It now sits under cover waiting for the frame to be finished and the motor done up and mounted. I expect (well, hope) that it will be January or so that I can put the two of them together. Pat - Nov 28th 2000
"The Nose Saga"
Probably the biggest problem I have faced yet in this rebuilding is the nose or front apron. When I got my car I had a choice of 4 nose's all in bad to poor shape. I was able to take two of them hoping to build one. When it came time I made a quick trip out to my body man/painter and he took one look at the nose and just shook his head, needless to say my drive home was slow and
I put out a "Call for help" to the Triumph news list I belong to , who have been no end of valuable help in this project... a GREAT bunch of people. Anyway, I did get an offer of a couple of nose's at a VERY reasonable price, but the logistics of getting that big hunk of metal up to Canada from the deep south proved to be just to costly.
So I decided to tackle this rebuilding of the nose myself. A body man I'm not but it is amazing what one can do when faced with a huge bill from a body man !! That was all the push I needed being a "No Budget" budget rebuild.
I must have sat in the basement for hours, just looking and looking at that damn nose. I finally figured out the best thing to do is to build a jig for it to hold it steady up on a table. So I drove out to a friends who is also doing up a TR3 who had a perfect nose ! I up ended it and traced out a pattern on cardboard of the curve. Went home and cut it out some 3/4" plywood to match. Drilled the holes in the correct places and bolted on my nose. I then braced it up front and back and bingo.. one fantastic jig !
I then spend another few hours planning my attack, had a buddy come over to help with the thought process. We then decided to cut off a 1/3 of the spare nose and all the lower apron below the grill. As you can see from the pictures. Some welding from a friend, allot of grinding and bondo'ing and I now have a nose worth taking back to my body/paint guy. He was amazed as to
what he saw... a couple of hundred dollars and I get it back all ready for paint.
My body/paint man is Glen. Who I must pay my most sincere thanks to for his encouragement and great prices. He "putters" in his shop around back of his house, I don't get my stuff back very quickly but I sure get a great product and better price ! Sometimes I feel he has as much interest in this car as I do ! Thanks Glen.
Building up the Frame
Finally, after hours and hours of cleaning, spacing and fixing busted off bolts I can start to BUILD ! As money was so very little I thought about cleaning the frame my self but soon got smart and paid a hundred bucks to have it sand blasted. Money well spent ! I then sprayed it with Tremclad rust resistant paint at home.
Then I proceeded like most of you I'm sure and started to build it back up. All new bearings, trunnions and so on. I was very lucky to find out that the trans was in great shape and did not need a rebuild at all, so at least I can make it for a few years and worry about it then. Having to rebuild it now would have killed my non existent budget. I was able to scoop many parts from the TR list that I belong to and thank every one of those guys for their help, and parts !
Rather than two bolts per outrigger I got some "U" bolts and put two per out rigger going below the outrigger pipe. I also used 4" x 4" 1/8" steel on the surface of the tub that the "U" bolts went through to bolt it all down. This seems to give me a good strong system.
Everything else is pretty much standard, some stuff is painted Grey instead of black.. so what-it's my car !
The self satisfaction of bolting on new parts that fit, no rust and look good... there's nothing like it !
More pictures and restoration comments from Pat's How my "1958 - 1962" Triumph TR3A came to be "Whole" car ! webpages
Got some parts ? Comments ? Give me an email please....