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TR6 engine rebuild

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Mail From: (email redacted) (DUHART JOHN)

Hey All,



The TR6 could be up for an engine rebuild while I'm restoring the car
this summer/fall. I have a lot of problems passing NY inspection, and
the #1 cylinder gets a lot of old on the plug.



Anyway, here is my question. Can someone recommend a good book for
doing this type of work on a TR6? I've never rebuilt an engine before.
I just want an idea of how to do it right. I've found two books on
restoring TR6's in general. One from TRF and another from the people who
distribute "Triumph World". If you have any other book recommendations
on the subject I would like to hear it.



Thanks,

JHD IV





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Mail From: Mike Brinker <(email redacted)>

Hello fellow Triumph lovers,

I am in the process of rebuilding a spare TR6 engine I purchased for a
song. It is a 73 block with an earlier head. I have had the necessary
machining done and purchased the necessary parts for reassembly. I was
wondering if there is any thing I should be aware of during the re
assembly process. I am also interested in finding out as much info
about rebuilding a 2.5 straight six triumph engine. Any comments would
be appreciated. I was thinking of documenting each of the major steps
and sharing them on my web page that I am putting together.

Thanks in advance........Mike Brinker, 74' TR6 S.E. Michigan


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Mail From: (email redacted)

In a message dated 96-10-24 22:11:00 EDT, you write:

>
>Hello fellow Triumph lovers,
>
>I am in the process of rebuilding a spare TR6 engine I purchased for a
>song.^^^^^ sure, go ahead, rub it in^^^^^ It is a 73 block with an earlier
head. I have had the necessary
>machining done and purchased the necessary parts for reassembly.

Mike-
Exactely what type of song are you singing ? I'm up to my 4th motor and still
haven't found one that I can rebuild.
Seriously, a few quick thoughts come to mind. Check that you have the correct
push rods as the late motor had longer push rods than the earlier units due
to the thickness of the head. The easiest way to check for proper
geometry/length is to measure lift at either the pushrod or spring end of the
rocker, and at 1/2 of the measured lift, the rocker should be parallel with
the head.
Also, remember that the earlier head needs the earlier intake manifold. (As
an aside to this, the aforementioned 4 motors that I have recently
disassembled, had various types of incorrect intake manifold and gaskets
setups. Of the 4, one motor was all correct. Of the other 3, the first and
second, early motors, had late manifold gaskets on them, and the 4th engine,
a late style, had both an early gasket and manifold on it. All three of these
motors had been running for some extended period of time this way. Please be
aware that when you put the wrong gasket on your motor, the gasket will cover
almost 1/4 of the intake port opening. This is not a good idea for maximum
motoring enjoyment !)

Other than the above immediate thoughts, the motor is pretty much like any
other motor to rebuild. Just find a good machinist and trust in the force

The Car Curmudgeon
Nick in Nor Cal.


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I recently got a cosmetically gorgeous '72 TR6. Bad news is that power seems very low (especially low-end where there's very little torque), plugs are oil fouled, and it smokes a bit. Although there isn't a lot of smoke, I think I'm loosing/burning about a quart of oil in 150-200 miles. I can't find my compression gauge, but I know it's here somewhere and I'll test compression soon.

I'm assuming at this point that I at least need piston rings and probably a valve job.

Questions:
What is the "normal" range for compression?
How difficult would it be for a reasonably competent do-it-yourself mechanic (me) with an ordinary tool collection to do a job like this?
I think that pistons, rings, valves, etc. can be done without pulling the engine, right?
What else can be done in the way of bearings or other rebuild items without pulling the engine?
At what point will I know that I need to pull the engine and do more extensive work?
Can anyone recommend a good TR mechanic and/or machine shop in north Jersey?

Thanks for any and all help or advice.

Keith



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I am plaaning to rebuild and install a TR6 engine in my GT6+ so I would be
very interested in a video about rebuilding one of these engines. Would the
tape cover advanced rebuild techniques like blueprintiing and and balancing?

Greg Wolf
1970 GT6+ "Ian
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Winnipeg MB Canada


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Mail From: "Frank & Carol Bandre" <(email redacted)>


Finally pulled the engine yesterday. Cylinders looked and felt great. No
gouges or obvious signs of excessive wear. Pistons had slight scuffing,
but the rings had a lot of verticle movement. Crankshaft had considerable
wear at he connecting rod bearings, but the main bearings were good. Cam
had worn spots (along with the tappets) on four (possibly five) lobes.
Thrust washers on crank had wear started, but the were no bad . Several
valves were not seating fully. Oil pump had wear, but not too excessive.

After talking with the guy doing the engine work, he suggested the
following:

1) Machine the bad portions of the crank and go with undersized rod
bearings
2) Replace the pistons and rings to prevent a ring from failing in the
near future.
3) Replace the cam and bad tappets.
4) Replace the valve guides and valve seats that are bad. Inspect and
replace the bad valves on an individual basis.
5) Replace the oil pump.

I would like to improve the performance of the engine above stock (but not
to a racing level) and am looking for suggestions on where to place the
emphasis based on what needs to be done to the engine. Also looking for
good sources for the parts needed.

The block and head will be sent out this week for cleaning (dipped at a
local shop the does alot of tractor work) and work will not restart until
after Christmas.

The remainder for the restoration is progressing. Both seats have been
rebuilt and the dash refinished. Body work is about 85% complete with the
only major work needed is ensuring the front valance mates up to the
bumper.

TIA

Frank

'76 TR6 CF57005U


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Mail From: Steve <(email redacted)>



I'm about to embark on the third engine rebuild of my SO's beloved TR6, in
order to, hopefully, not have to do it a fourth time I am seeking any an all
suggestions/advice about rebuilding. I also have some specific questions. I
need to keep the engine fairly stock as it has to pass the Calif emmisions
tests for the next 5 years.

As some may remember, last week I posted that the rear thrust washer had
wornout and fallen into the pan. Found out that a maintenance manual (not
the TR6 Repair and Operation Manual, or else I missed it) says to check the
end float at certain intervals, does anyone know what manual this is and
where I can get a copy?

Also what does one do if the cam journals are worn?
Last time I rebuilt this POS engine I found out there are no cam bearings,
do the journals not wear?

Other than installing a Japanese or American engine is there anything else
I can do, while I have the engine out for a rebuild, to either increase_
reliability_ or performance and still allow me to pass Calif emissions
testing?

I have already contacted Henmann Van Den Ackker about a second thrust washer
half being installed on the rear main bearing cap..

Can the head be milled to increase compression and if so how much needs to
be milled?

Thanks again, I reallly appreciate all the help so far.

Steve Wilkinson





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Mail From: "Dennis N Culligan" <(email redacted)>

With all the tragedy this week, my problem is insignificant, but I'm
looking for some input.
I blew the motor in my TR6 this past Sunday on the return trip
from Watkins Glen (in the words of some anonymous Southern
philosopher, "She blowed up real good"). It appears that I spun a
bearing - the motor started to make a horrendous banging noise
and my oil pressure dropped to almost zero. I shut it off immediately
and had it flat-bedded home, but am sure there is quite a bit of damage
(also note the engine had just over 99,000 miles on it and the bottom
end has never been touched). The car had some head work a few years
ago so the top end is probably OK.
A mechanic friend has suggested that I'll probably need a new cam,
lifters, a new crank, bearings, pistons, etc, etc. I am unable (and at
this
point unwilling) to attempt anything this major myself. Does anyone have
any "educated guesses" on how much this rebuild is going to cost?

Dennis Culligan / 1976 TR6 CF57948U - TR6IUMPH (RIP) /
(email redacted)

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Mail From: Brian Sanborn <(email redacted)>

Does anyone have
>any "educated guesses" on how much this rebuild is going to cost?


Hi Dennis,

I am sorry to hear of your engine troubles. You may not need a new crank.
You have to do the disassembly to find out what's actually broken or worn.
The engine was due anyway with that many miles on it. This an opportunity to
have a brand new engine.

My experience on a TR4 engine was:

~$1300 for parts
~$700 for shop work

I did all the labor myself. You would have to add in labor and I can't put a
number on it. I would like suggest that the engine is not all that hard to
do. The gearbox is more complex. It looks more complex than it really is.
Check out my engine rebuild section on my website for a description of the
process. If you follow the haynes manual step-by-step you can get there.

I have heard many engine rebuild numbers that are much lower and I am baffled
at how they were calculated... but that's my input.

Brian Sanborn
62 TR4 CT16260L(O) - Groton, MA

My TR4 Restoration Web Site
net1plus.com/users/sanborn
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Mail From: "Williams, Bill (Atlanta)" <(email redacted)>

Hi All,

I have a buddy who has pulled his 76 TR6 engine and is doing a rebuild.


He has had 80 thousandths shaved from the cylinder head and is trying to
find a source for 80 thousandths shims to go under the rocker pedestal.

Anyone have good source?

Thanks,

Bill
Atlanta

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Mail From: Erik Quackenbush <(email redacted)>

At 02:16 PM 1/8/2002 -0600, Williams, Bill (Atlanta) wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>I have a buddy who has pulled his 76 TR6 engine and is doing a rebuild.
>
>
>He has had 80 thousandths shaved from the cylinder head and is trying to
>find a source for 80 thousandths shims to go under the rocker pedestal.
>
>Anyone have good source?

These shims haven't been available from the big suppliers for some time
mostly because there's a better solution. At 80 thousands I wouldn't bother
to change anything since you're only off by a couple of turns on the
adjustment screws. If you want the rocker geometry _perfect_ then the
solution is to use shorter pushrods. Tubular pushrods are available in
various lengths from TS Imported Automotive and others. If you already have
a set of these high performance pushrods in the standard length you will
find instructions for shortening them in the official Competition
Preparation Manual.

-Erik

--
Erik Quackenbush, Midwest Filter Corporation
1-847-680-0566 midwestfilter.com

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Mail From: Randall Young <(email redacted)>

> I don't claim to know exactly why this is better,
> nor do I know why shimming up the pedestals would necessarily be a
> BAD way to do it,

Pete, all :

The problem with shimming the pedestals is that it changes the geometry, or
more specifically the angle between the rocker arm and the valve stem. This
increases the side load on the valve stem, thus increasing guide wear.

I agree, for .080" (roughly two turns of the adjuster), it's not really
necessary. However, all the TR performance suppliers (BFE, TSI,
Racetorations, etc.) can supply shorter (and stronger) pushrods. ISTR Kas'
book also talks about a way to shorten the existing pushrods.

Weight really isn't an issue here, without lots of other modifications to
increase useful engine rpm. I'm not certain about the 6-cyl TRs, but
pushrod flex has been shown to be a bigger cause of valve 'float' in the
TRactor motor than valve train weight. As Ken G. put it : "They looked like
spaghetti."

Randall

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Mail From: David Massey <(email redacted)>

Message text written by "Williams, Bill (Atlanta)"
>I have a buddy who has pulled his 76 TR6 engine and is doing a rebuild.


He has had 80 thousandths shaved from the cylinder head and is trying to
find a source for 80 thousandths shims to go under the rocker pedestal.

Anyone have good source?

Thanks,

Bill
Atlanta
<

Bill, if he prefers he can get shortened pushrods from BPNW. But the
alternative is shims. I made shims (for the TR3) out of aluminum flashing
available from the local hardware store. Get a good pair of tin snips and
don't forget the oil feed hole in the rear pedistal.

Cheers

Dave

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Mail From: "Ed Lancaster" <(email redacted)>

After owning my '74 TR6 for the past 4 years, I finally got around to a
compression check with the following results:110-115-115-110-75-120. Then did
a wet test on #4 and #5. 4 came up to 150 and 5 came up to 120. The car has
75,000 miles and as far as I know this is the original engine. Time for a
rebuild and this is the crux of my question. I have done all the work on this
car since I purchased it.... routine maintenance,tune-up, front and rear
suspension, exhaust. However, I am far from being a mechanic and this would
definitely be a challenge. On the positive side I have a garage/workshop, a
good set of standard tools, and time to do the work. I could have the rebuild
done by a mechanic (I'm not rich, but the cost of the rebuild would not be a
stretch), however I take pride in the fact that I have done all the work on
this car so far. I would like to preserve this record if possible. To those on
the list who have tackled this project: What do you think? Is this doable by
an amateur mechanic or is it a job best left to professionals.

Thanks,
Ed Lancaster
'74 TR6

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Mail From: James V Laviana III <(email redacted)>

Give it a shot! Make sure that you have the manuals to check clearences
and such, as well as the tools, 2-3 mike, dial bore for the cylinders
etc. Take your time, its not rocket science. Read the manuals before you
begin, you'll see.
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Ed Lancaster writes:

> stretch), however I take pride in the fact that I have done all the work on
> this car so far. I would like to preserve this record if possible. To those on
> the list who have tackled this project: What do you think? Is this doable by
> an amateur mechanic or is it a job best left to professionals.

The most notable problem any decent amateur mechanic has in doing a first
rebuild is determining what can be done at home, and what needs to go to
the machine shop, or be replaced.

Sometimes, only experience helps. But, here's a few good rules of thumb:

Head--send it off to the machine shop. Have it degreased, beadblasted, if
necessary, checked for straightness, and make sure the shop checks the
valve guides, the core plugs, etc. Let them do the work necessary for valve
grinding, etc.

Crank--same goes as above. Have it cleaned, checked for cracks, journals
resized or polished, as is necessary. Have them check for grooving at the
rear main seal area, and install a Speedi-Sleeve, if necessary.

Connecting rods--take them to the machine shop, too. Have them checked for
straightness and big-end roundness. I've run into a couple of six-cylinders
which had a stretched big end on the #1 rod.

Pistons--clean and inspect. Are all the ring lands straight and true?
Piston pin fit still good?

Block--off to the machine shop. Let them hot-tank it (check for any
attached aluminum doo-dads first--they'll melt away), check the saddles for
straightness, check the bores for size and roundness and any tapering, and
let them advise about need for boring oversize.

The rest is a matter of _careful_ inspection. Pocketing on the lifter
running surfaces? Replace. Scoring on the camshaft journals or lobes?
Replace, or find a good regrind. Oil pump beyond spec? Replace. It's a good
idea to replace the valve springs, anyway, even if they look okay. Springs
do get tired after long usage. Are all the pushrods straight? Check them.
Etc., etc. Look at everything. If it looks worn, it probably is.

The rockers and shaft are probably worn to some degree, but the advice
there is to send them out for rebuilding, rather than replace all the
components. There's at least one rebuilder in CA which does a good job
(actually improves on the original) for the price of about six new rockers.

The remainder, then, is thorough cleaning, degreasing, and careful
reassembly. Most of the assembly work is detailed decently in any of the
reprints of the factory manuals, but, just in case you don't remember what
went where, keep a camera on hand during disassembly, and take a picture
any time you think order of assembly might not be apparent to you later.

New timing chain and tensioner, etc.

While everything is at the machine shop, give the neglected parts a good
looking-over. Most of us could care less about what the condition is of the
distributor and its drive, for example, as long as it works, but having it
rebuilt will go a ways toward smoother running.

And, as you've probably realized already--there's lot of advice here.
<smile>

Cheers.

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Mail From: "Sloan, Jim" <(email redacted)>

Haven't been to the List regularly in a while. Do I understand correctly
that there is no way to access Archives now?

I would welcome input on a TR6 engine re-build. Although it runs strong my
1974 TR6 has always run through oil at about 500-600 miles/quart and the
last couple years has had a bit of a miss that I attribute to a fouled #3
cylinder sparkplug - except now I need to clean/replace it every few
hundred miles instead of once or twice/yr. It's too bad as the rest of the
plugs are dry and a nice light brown color. I also have a thrust washer that
I know is worn out of spec.

So I'm thinking time for a re-build. I do most of the work on my car but
have not been inside an engine before so I think I will get this done at a
shop.

I'd welcome any advice/experience on:
- what exactly should I get done - do I have any options to a rebuuild,
- are there suggested upgrades or operations that are common sense to do
when the engine is opened up,
- are there any simple mild performance enhancers I should consider that
are efficient in terms of cost, don't require a chain of other upgrades and
don't compromise something else (ie. smooth idle, overheating, etc.)
- are there things I should watch for, avoid, insist on, or have them check
- including cautions to the shop doing the work.
- what should be new, what can be rebuilt.
- what should I expect to pay.

Basically I want to know now what I will know after all the work is done and
it's back in the car. I've found with this car that I often become an
expert in some aspect of it after it's too late.

My gearbox and clutch were done a couple years ago so that is not an issue
(although the flywheel wasn't touched).

Thanks Jim Sloan - Calgary
(email redacted)

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Mail From: (email redacted) (Jim Barker)

Hi Guys, I have been a list "reader" for a couple of months now and I just wanted to say thanks for those who are giving advice to Steve about what parts might need replacing on an engine rebuild. Like Steve I am about to embark on a tear down as well. My motor got a head job this spring and then immediately started to burn oil - lots of it. Club members want to put me at the end of the line on tours as with each shift there is another puff of smoke - in fact these days there is smoke most of the time. One question - where does one get the "speedy sleeve" mentioned for the fan hub?

Jim Barker
1973 TR6

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In a message dated 9/30/2004 7:48:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, (email redacted) (Jim Barker) writes:

>...Like Steve I am about to embark on a tear down as well. My motor got a head job this spring and then immediately started to burn oil - lots of it. Club members want to put me at the end of the line on tours as with each shift there is another puff of smoke - in fact these days there is smoke most of the time.

=====
Jim, at risk of stating the obvious, it almost sounds as if your oil burning problem was CAUSED by the head work!? What exactly was done?

--Andy Mace

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Mail From: "Randall" <(email redacted)>

> In a message dated 9/30/2004 7:48:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> (email redacted) (Jim Barker) writes:
>
> >...Like Steve I am about to embark on a tear down as well. My
> motor got a head job this spring and then immediately started to
> burn oil - lots of it. Club members want to put me at the end of
> the line on tours as with each shift there is another puff of
> smoke - in fact these days there is smoke most of the time.

Andy Mace replied :
> Jim, at risk of stating the obvious, it almost sounds as if your
> oil burning problem was CAUSED by the head work!? What exactly was done?

I'll bet it included the infamous external oil feed ...

Randall

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Mail From: "Randall" <(email redacted)>

> One
> question - where does one get the "speedy sleeve" mentioned for
> the fan hub?

NAPA auto parts is one source ...

Randall

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Mail From: "Dave Connitt" <(email redacted)>

Jim,

I have heard of this happening before. Something to do with the fact that
the engine is wearing out in general,, piston rings, leaky valves, etc. When
you rebuilt the head, compression was raised by the new valves which forced
more blowby around the old piston rings. This created the smoke you have
noticed. I am kind of surprised your machine shop guy didn't warn you of
this when he rebuilt your head.
My bet is that you need new rings. While you have the engine torn down that
far, you might as well check the rod and main bearings too.

Best Regards,
Dave Connitt
'67 TR4A

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In a message dated 9/30/04 7:50:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time, (email redacted)
writes:

<< My motor got a head job this spring and then immediately started to burn
oil - lots of it. >>


Common on high mileage motors. When the valves are ground you get better
manifold vacuum, this pulls oil past the rings on closed throttle.

No easy way to predict what motor will smoke with a valve grind.


Harold

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Mail From: "Wayne" <(email redacted)>

I'm on vacation this week and I am determined to get the engine together and
in the car (73 TR6).

Can someone tell me what goes in the tapped hole directly above the oil
filter?
It's a tapped hole about 3/4" dia..
I'm not sure if it's a tapered thread or straight?

What I removed from this hole was a smashed looking mess, I think it was
aluminum. The machine shop cleaned
it out when they cleaned the block.

TRF shows a plug but no size (Item AH11: Part # PU1404).

I need the plug ASAP and was thinking of buying a plug at the local hardware
store so I could install it this week.

What is the break-in procedure for the engine to properly break-in the cam and
piston rings?
I intend to add straight 30 wt "non-detergent" oil with a bottle of Lucas
engine break-in oil additive.
This additive has TB Zinc-plus on the bottle and protects flat tappet camshaft
and valve train during break-in period.

The directions on the bottle say to drain the oil after 1000 miles and refill
engine with normal oil.
I intend to refill it with Castrol GTX 20-50 like I have always used in the
past on my TR6.

Assembly lube?
Cam lobe lube?
Break-in oil?

Any suggestions on what you guys have used are welcome.


Wayne
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Mail From: Bob <(email redacted)>

On Monday 17 August 2009 10:40:31 am Wayne wrote:
> I'm on vacation this week and I am determined to get the engine together
> and in the car (73 TR6).
>
> Can someone tell me what goes in the tapped hole directly above the oil
> filter?
> It's a tapped hole about 3/4" dia..
> I'm not sure if it's a tapered thread or straight?
>
> What I removed from this hole was a smashed looking mess, I think it was
> aluminum. The machine shop cleaned
> it out when they cleaned the block.
>
> TRF shows a plug but no size (Item AH11: Part # PU1404).

Wayne,

That plug is an oil galley plug and is lead.

I would order the TRF part and have your machine shop install it.

>
> I need the plug ASAP and was thinking of buying a plug at the local
> hardware store so I could install it this week.
>
> What is the break-in procedure for the engine to properly break-in the cam
> and piston rings?

Must be the same as any other engine. Make sure you use assembly lube on the
cam and lifters, bearings and I also put some on the front and rear seals on
my 6 project.

I used Brad Penn 30w break in oil on my recent TR3 rebuild. Just took it easy
for a few 100 miles (not over 3000).
> I intend to add straight 30 wt "non-detergent" oil with a bottle of Lucas
> engine break-in oil additive.
> This additive has TB Zinc-plus on the bottle and protects flat tappet
> camshaft and valve train during break-in period.

The Lucas stuff cannot hurt!
>
> The directions on the bottle say to drain the oil after 1000 miles and
> refill engine with normal oil.

I ran the 30w brad penn oil for about 750 miles. Now use 20/50 Brad Penn
racing oil. Lots of that zinc stuff.
> I intend to refill it with Castrol GTX 20-50 like I have always used in the
> past on my TR6.

I plan to do the same with my 72 6 project as I did with the 3.

The 3 and my 4 (which uses the same oil) run just great with great oil
pressure.
>
> Assembly lube?
Used the stuff Moss sells.
> Cam lobe lube?
Used the Moss assembly lube.
> Break-in oil?
BP 30W
>
> Any suggestions on what you guys have used are welcome.
>
>
> Wayne
> _______________________________________________
>
> Support Team.Net team.net/donate.html
>
> This list supported in part by the Vintage Triumph Register
> vtr.org
>
>
> (email redacted)
> autox.team.net/mailman/listinfo/triumphs
>
>
> team.net/archive
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