Triumph TR3A brake service Dandy Classics workshop

DOT 5 brake fluid in your classic car? Don’t do it!

Although at Dandy Classics we are always interested in innovative products for classic cars, we have a rather traditional approach in our workshop. Our cars were designed to be serviced in a certain way, and one needs to respect that while also taking into account the many innovations in lubricants, coolants and other fluids. Take DOT 5 brake fluid for example. In theory, this is a perfect product for our classics. It is not agressive to paint and does not attract moisture. This means that in principle the brake fluid will never have to be replaced.

 

A practical story about DOT 5 brake fluid

So far the theory. As often as this is not always 100% consistent with practice. Especially not when a perfectly restored Triumph TR3 rolled into our workshop. As a matter of fact, it didn't roll very well anymore, as the front brake calves were quite tight. The braking system had been completely renewed and / or refurbished by a well-known company during the car's body-off restoration. The hydraulic system had been filled with DOT5.

 

Adhesive rubber brake parts

When removing the brake pads we noticed a lot of black contamination. These small particles had been dissolved rubber parts of the soft parts of the hydraulic brake system: the master cylinder, brake calipers and possibly the brake hoses. Pollution leads to blockages and blockages in the end lead to sticky brakes. Conclusion: The brake fluid had affected the rubber.

 

Triumph TR3A brake service DOT 5 fluid

 

The remedy

In order to switch over to conventional DOT 4 fluid, there is only one solution: Rinse the entire braking system (clean metal pipes inside) and replace all the soft parts. This comes down to a complete rebuild of the braking system. To be on the safe side, we did the same for the clutch circuit.
All in all, a full day's work and big bill for the customer. It's a shame we had to do this on a restored car which already had the hydraulic system completely renewed. In theory, opting for DOT 5 prevented advisable bi-annual replacement of the brake fluid. In any case, replacing the brake fluid every 2 years is a lot more economical than solving these types of problems.

Brake parts for Triumph TR sports cars

We keep a stock of new brake parts for Triumph TR3, which can be ordered in our parts webshop. If you want to rebuild the brake system of your Triumph, please be aware of the harmful and potentially dangerous effects of DOT 5 in your classic car.

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Triumph TR2 better than new after epic restoration

The term barn find, although much used these days, does not completely apply to the 1955 Triumph TR2 featured here. We bought this car 3 years ago in Idaho, USA. It had been parked outside under a tarp, awaiting better days.

Triumph TR2 barn find in need of restoration Triumph TR2 barn find unrestored

The short door TR2 was battered up after a rough life as a track car, and was probably stored with good intentions for decades. Although the history has been lost, one could imagine this car having gone through the hands of generations of car enthusiasts with big dreams and little time or means. Who would have thought that it would one day be pulled onto a trailer and brought to the San Fransisco bay area for a container cruise to Rotterdam?.

Autoweek classics Triumph barn findOnce the TR had arrived at our shop, it was featured in an article in Autoweek Classics in 2015, together with a Triumph TR3A in similar condition. A professional photo shoot captured the raw beauty of a worn and weathered sports car for hairy chested amateur racers. But this was still an automobile, not a museum relic. It deserved to be brought back to former glory. This was certainly not going to be a job for just anyone; it needed the dedicated attention of skilled craftsmen.

Luckily, we sold the car to a man who knew what he was up to. As a marque enthusiast, he already owned several other Triumph sports cars. He brought the car to a restoration shop in Zagreb, Croatia.

A nut and bolt restoration was started. Chassis and body parts were bead blasted, and all eaten away metal was either replaced or repaired.  After seeing the first pictures of the restoration, we were very impressed with the level of quality. Definetely a Triumph for the men who brought this car back to pristine condition!

photoshoot restored Triumph TR2

We let the pictures speak for themselves - enjoy the rebirth of a Triumph TR2 in a nutshell!

body off restoration british sports car bead blasting of a Triumph TR2 Triumph TR2 in body shop Triumph body work restoration welding engine block rebuild Triumph rotisserie restoration Triumph spare parts TR Triumph TR2 chassisrestoration assembly TR2TR valve cover chromeTriumph TR2 engine bayTriumph TR2 finishing touch old english whiteTriumph TR2 post restorationTriumph TR2 restoredTriumph TR2 interior Brooklands screens

Photos courtesy of Auto Partes in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

Triumph TR2 model history

The Triumph TR2 was introduced by the Standard Motor Company in 1953. It was clearly aimed at the lucrative US sports car market, where it quickly became a succes. The TR2 had succeeded the underpowered and conservatively-styled Triumph sports roadster. Developed on a new ladder chassis, using readily available Standard parts, the TR2 offered superior styling and performance for its modest price.

With a production total of 8636, the TR2 is one of the rarer Triumph sports cars. In 1955 it was succeeded by the TR3, which continued to sell very well. Total TR3 and TR3A sales amounted to almost 75.000.

 

Triumph TR sports cars for sale at Dandy Classics

Dandy Classics buys and sells classic british sports cars. We have a continuously changing stock of unrestored project cars. The TR2 featured in this article was acquired together with a TR3A in similar condition. The latter car is still in the process of being restored, and we hope to publish pictures of the end result in the near future.

 

Triumph TR3 barn finds for sale

 

Interested in a similar project? Go to our collection page for an overview of Triumph TR sports cars for sale.

 

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10 winter storage tips for your classic car

Most of us treat their classic car(s) with care, like a member of the family. When autumn sets in, many classic car enthusiasts start preparations for winter storage of their vehicles. However, stagnation is deterioration. After a long uninterupted period of storage, problems may occur when spring time comes. With these tips your classic car can be taken out of storage with the least amount of problems.

 

1 - Get your hands dirty

When did you last service your car? If you choose to do this in autumn, the car will be ready to drive on the first day of spring. Old engine oil contains harmful acids that can affect the engine's internals during long periods of standstill. Brake fluid attracts moisture - old fluid causes brake parts to get stuck. Did we mention that those long and dark winter evenings are perfect for carrying out minor repairs or rebuilds?

 

2 - Get your car clean

Wash your car the old-fashioned way, with a bucket and sponge. This will help you to see minor damage or other details that require attention. Pay attention to areas where dirt and moisture accumulate, especially wheel wells and fender edges. Finish off with a good quality wax. Do not forget about the interior. Clean and treat leather upholstery with a good quality maintenance product. We prefer saddle soap and leather grease, from the equestrian shop.

 

3 - One last drive

This way you allow the water from washing the car to evaporate. Also, it is better to bring the engine to operating temperature, leaving as little condensation as possible in the engine and exhaust.

 

4 - Anti-rust treatment

Do you have the possibility to conserve your car's hollow spaces? Do it! There are all kinds of specialised rust prevention products available. Tip: a mixture of boiled linseed oil and old engine oil works perfectly well. Use an air gun with flexible hose. It's a dirty job, but well worth the effort in the long run.

 

5 - The storage location

Not everybody has the luxury of a heated garage at home. Alternatively, when you store your car in a namp shed without insulation, you classic will have a hard time. In less than ideal conditions, do as much as you can to prevent deterioration: place moisture absorbers in your car and spray some thin oil on zinc, chrome and aluminium parts. Also consider preventive measures against mice and bugs. In humid areas it may be advisable to pour some clean engine oil through the spark plug holes on the pistons. To remove excess oil after winter storage, start the car with the spark plugs removed.

6 - Petrol

The additives in modern gasoline can cause clogging in the fuel system. Also, soft parts in the carburettor or fuel pump can get affected. For a few months of storage this usually is not so bad. Modern fuels will severely drop in quality after about 6 months. To take preventive meassures, fill your car up completely with high-octane petrol with the lowest possible ethanol content. This prevents rust build up on the inside of your tank (ethanol attracts moist). If the car is put in long-term storage, more preventive measures must be taken. Aspen fuel (for chain saw engines) is much less aggressive and does not evaporate in the carburettors. If in doubt, we wrote an article about selecting the best petrol for your classic car. Read it here...

7 - The battery

Unplug the battery leads and apply some vaseline. Check the water / acid level for a non-maintenance-free battery before and after the storage period. Use a good quality slow-charger to keep the battery healthy. With a timer in your power outlet, the battery will not be continuously charged. This saves electricity and prolongs battery life. Unplug the battery and store it frost free if your car is in an unheated, uninsulated space.

 

8 - Tyres

Inflate the tyres 0.5-1 bar harder than usual. This will prevent your tyres from becoming "square". It's even better to put the axes on blocks, so that the tyres are relieved.

 

9 - Don't apply the parking brake

Put your car in gear, off the handbrake. This will prevent the brakes from getting stuck.

 

10 - Step on the clutch and brake pedal occasionally

Paying a visit to your car? Then pump your brake and clutch pedal a couple of times. This keeps everything moving and prevents the soft parts from drying out or sticking in the cylinders.

 

Still looking for storage space? At Dandy Classics, we offer year-round or seasonal storage for your classic car. Read more about our car storage options in the Netherlands...

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Triump TR6 parts: what are the TR6’s weaknesses?

With today's spare parts availability, mechanical problems on a Triumph TR6 are relatively easy to repair. We at Dandy Classics have many Triumph TR6 parts in stock. Thanks to workshop manuals and various internet forums, even unexperienced mechanics can already perform many basic repairs themselves. But what are the most common weaknesses you should pay attention to when purchasing or servicing a Triumph TR6?

The Triumph TR6 was built from 1968 to 1976. These sports cars are now over 40 years old. Of the cars still on the road today, most will have been restored and rebuilt at least once. In the case of a good restoration, attention will have been paid to all the details of a car. But under a shiny new coat of paint, it is sometimes hard to see if a car is really healthy and solid. During the inspection of the body, be suspicious of poor repair work around typical weak areas: sills, floors, lower front and rear fenders and the  edges around headlights and tail lights. Here, years of mud collection have often led to rust damage.

TR6 Chassis

The main area of attention is the chassis. If there is any rust damage that needs repair, it is best to separate body and chassis. This encloses hidden areas and allows the complete chassis to be bead blasted and properly repaired. Are there any traces of welding? Take note of whether this has been done properly. An important weakness are the rear traverse beams (where the rear suspension's swivel arms are mounted). Good quality replacement sections are available, but they must be well aligned before insertion. Incorrect allignment will have consequences for trailing of the rear axle, which affects handling and tyre wear.

The mounting points of the TR6's differential can suffer from tearing, especially on cars driven fast. In this case it is also easier to separate the body from the chassis, but it can also be repaired from below by removing the differential.

Drive train

As with many british sports cars, TR6 gearboxes and differentials do not have eternal life. Gearshift problems and whining noises are indicators of work ahead. Our workshop performs rebuilds for both gearboxes and differentials of the Triumph TR6.

 

Wear parts

Parts that wear out relatively often on the Triumph TR6 are:
clutch (and release bearing),
fuel pump (this is a mechanical membrane pump that can dry out)
rear IRS suspension parts (bearings, drive shaft, U-joints).

Triumph TR6 service

Need help with the work on your Triumph TR6? We are happy to assist you in our workshop. Do you prefer to do the work by yourself? The most common parts for TR6 and other Triumphs can be ordered in our webshop.

 

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What petrol to use in a classic car?

Which petrol should I use in my classic car? Customers regularly ask us for advise on the best fuel for their classic car. Because the answer is longer than the question, we wanted to share this information with other classic car enthusiasts.

Many older gasoline engines have been developed to run on leaded petrol with a high octane content. Fortunately (for environmental reasons and public health) this fuel is no longer available. Classic car owners should therefore look for alternatives. In this post we treat the most common fuels: Euro 95, Super 98 and E10 gasoline. We also deal with the use of lead replacements, high octane petrol and driving on LPG.

 

Euro 95 or Super 98?

As a rule of thumb, engines with higher compression need a higher octane gasoline than engines with lower compression. The higher the octane content, the lower the chance of pinging or detonation. Pinging is the spontaneous ignition of the air-fuel mixture, beyond the time of ignition. This creates opposing forces in the combustion chamber, which translate into an irregular course and a beating or pounding sound. That this is not good for the engine may be clear; It can cause serious engine damage.

The choice for Euro 95 or Super 98 is open for discussion. Many classic british cars run well on 95, provided the ignition is well adjusted. Generally, this should be somewhat later for E95, so that no spontaneous combustion occurs (too close to the top dead center). Especially for engines with a little lower compression, Euro 95 is perfectly suitable. This includes sedans, but also sports cars that were delivered to the American market in the 1970s with a somewhat lower compression (MGB, TR6). The sportier driver will benefit more from the highest possible octane content. Tuned engines with faster camshafts run better and last longer with 98.

 

E10 gasoline (ethanol)

For many classic cars, ordinary Euro 95 is more than sufficient. It is important however, to ensure that not too much ethanol has been added. For example, E10 gasoline (with 10% ethanol) is absolutely out of the question. Many soft parts in the fuel system (rubber hoses, diaphragms in fuel pump or carburettor, cork, zinc) are affected. Also, old petrol residue can dissolve in E10, resulting in concentration of pollution elsewhere. Also, ethanol (a type of alcohol) attracts water. This can lead to moisture and thus corrosion in the tank, especially during a longer period of storage. For example, Euro 95 often contains 5% ethanol. Therefore, if your classic is not used for a while, it is advisable to refuel a premium gasoline with the lowest possible alcohol content (Super 98, V-Power, Excellium, etc.).

(many types of wear parts for the fuel system of Triumph and MG sports cars can be ordered in our webshop)

Some suppliers are offering additives for E10, specially designed to counteract the harmful effects on our classics. We have no experience with these products and cannot say what the long-term effects are.

Lead substitute

Adding a lead substitute only makes sense if the cylinder head has not yet been rebuilt to unleaded specification. The lead substitute ensures protection of softer valve seats. Without the additive, they will wear faster, which can lead to compression and power loss. We supply a Castrol lead substitute, available in our webshop.

 

High octane petrol

Some filling stations in Germany offer 102 grade petrol. In the Netherlands, this grade is offered by Firestone, under the brand name Competition 102. Although for most cars the benefits will be hard to notice, it is good to know that no ethanol has been added to this high octane petrol.

 

LPG

Personally, I think gas is great for cooking, but I would never want it in my car. Typically, our classics are not driven enough to compensate for the higher costs of installation and maintenance. In addition, I'm an originality freak that does not like to drill holes where they do not belong. Treat your car with respect and leave the LPG installation out.

 

Always store with a full tank

This prevents condensation and rust on the inside of the tank. Is the car being stored for a long time? Keep in mind that the average Euro 95 petrol is outdated after about 6 months. In that case, it is better to refuel a premium petrol. After prolonged storage, always check the petrol hoses under the car and in the engine compartment and replace the fuel filter regularly.

 

 

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