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Powder Blue Hardtop '62

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Trike4 Avatar
Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Yes, raw steel will rust. Maybe I'll clear coat them. I guess I want this to be as much a time capsule as possible. The car has lasted 55 years so far and maybe it will be around for another 60-100 yrs.

Very busy of late:
Restored the original spare tire cover, new snaps, felt and paint
Revived all the lock tumblers with correct two keys
Polished chrome bits
Rebuilt the slave cylinder
Installed new clutch plate, throw out bearing and pressure plate, resurfaced flywheel, installed new hardened set screw
Prepped Hardtop for new seals
Steering column done, re-bushed, painted
Two weeks til the car comes back from the paint shop!

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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
The spare tire cover was a bit tatty but intact enough to preserve. New snaps and straps, felts and black paint. The steering wheel went together well, more polishing once it's in the car. Don't forget to align the signal canceling cam when installing the column to the rack!


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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Rebuilding Early TR4 seats is different from TR4a and a little different than TR3. The bottom cushions were built up from springs, then wrapped with burlap, a formed horse hair layer about 3/4" - 1" thick, then cotton battng to smooth it out.
Sometimes the springs are not to bad and you can cure broken springs by making new loops to adjacent springs. Derust the frame with a wire brush on a drill. You don't have to get it to bare metal. Duplicolor makes a rust treatment/preventative that is flexible.
Burlap covers the springs and tucks into the first outer frame. This keeps the horsehair from pushing down through the springs.
The horsehair, if in good enough condition can be placed over the burlap and it wraps around the frame and down.
I respray the horsehair with a rubberized undercoating spray to clean it up and give it some cush.
Over the horsehair you will stretch and smooth new batting that will also wrap down and tuck where you tucked the burlap. Stretch the batting so you smooth out wrinkles and overlaps.

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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
You can buy new springs and hrosehair pads from suppliers. The important thing is to reproduce as closely as possible the original fit and feel of the under-padding. There are materials that may closely act like horsehair. I have used a woven airfilter fabric from home depot that isn't as dense but is close if you need to top up. The new synthetic battings come in various thicknesses and are better than the cotton because they stretch without tearing. Using foam if done wrong can lead to the final upholstery looking pudgy and not feeling right.

The horsehair wraps smoothly around the steel spring frame and tapers down.


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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
I found this piece of original blue vinyl still attached by a clip to the bottom cushion spring rail. It's nice to confirm the original color upholstery matches the TR Registry. The clips used for the bottom cushion is the same type clip used to secure the crash pad vinyl under the dash.
The cotton batting on top of the horse hair has a TR4 marking visible. I can also confirm having owned several TR4s that it was the passenger seat (right side seat) that had the folding back rest. In England they would have called this the driver's seat.
This car is a CT15325 LO


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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
The frame got a good cleaning and blast. Painted with POR15 Chassis black. Engine and Trans back in with new mounts. Getting the Powder Blue paint was a difficult task. Research turned up nothing useful. The paint shop tried cross referencing and mixing formulas but they weren't right. Finally the most obvious and best thing was to take the windscreen in and have them color match. Under the capping strip and protected all these years was original shiny powder blue paint.


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ducbsa Bruce Metcalf
Berryville, Virginia, USA   USA
"I respray the horsehair with a rubberized undercoating spray to clean it up and give it some cush. "

Can you give the product details?

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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Any rubberized undercoating will work. I use this 3M product. I rebuilt a '58 VW that had heavy horsehair sound deadoning over the engine compartment. I used a fiber air filter and hit with this undercoating. For the TR4, if the horsehair is intact enough, you can revive it with this undercoating. The original was treated with something similar.


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Britnut Randy DeRuiter
Nacogdoches, Texas, USA   USA
Nice project -

In the pic showing you mounting the engine to the frame, my guess is you haven't attached the heater pipe to the water pump housing yet? If you have, the back of the pipe looks a little too rearward to me, I think it might foul the bulkhead when you get the body back on. Just a thought, and maybe a trick of the angle of the photo. I love these early metal dash 4's!

Randy

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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Wow! Good eye, good catch. I can see it in the picture but haven't noticed otherwise. It's a new pipe because the PO had deleted it in favor of the Prestone backflush rubber hose. I bet that pipe needs to be cut because I know I pushed it home as far as it would go.

Painting is supposed to be done Monday so the re-assembly will begin.

Thank you!

Trike4 Avatar
Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Got the body tub back on. Two people can do it. Three is better. Two at the back and me at the front. Cleared the parking brake into the hole in the pan and settled down on. The dif and trans got topped up and all brake lines cleaned and clear coated. All steel screws got a mist of clear. I preserved original spot welds, stamping stretch marks and original look to the seam sealer. It was fun putting new plastic over the wire harness tabs. All the door latches were covered in prior owner paints, first metallic blue and then white. These were cleaned and then clear coated to protect. Just about everything can be reinstalled before putting body panels on. Tail lights, fender beading, mirror, door handles, bumpers wait.


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Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
The bottom was cleaned and primed with a zinc primer prior to getting its powder blue paint. I'll use the putty when reinstalling the pan to frame bolts. That was a lifesaver! The trunk latch and catch were cleaned and put back to original with a clear coat on the steel. The door drains and the scuttle get a coat of protector before zipping things up.
Now on to the cleaner work of re-installing assemblies and trim.


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BL50 Silver Member Brian Leslie
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA   USA
Nice work Marcus. Is that undercoating in the wheel wells? My body has been at the painter for months ... I'm about ready to lose it!

Keep those pics coming!

Brian

grubscrew Avatar
grubscrew grub screw
The suburbs of, Winfield, Maryland, USA   USA
Beautiful...my favorite TR4 color (and TR3 and TR6 and Spitfire and GT6...) smiling smiley



Dave
1970 Spitfire Mk3
FDU 78359L
34/11 (Jasmine yellow/Black interior)

1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF 575L
Signal Red/Red interior

Trike4 Avatar
Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, Michigan, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Yes, that's undercoating. I left the factory undercoating in place and just touched it up because it was dirty and had overspray. Whatever the factory put on was tough and thick. Unfortunately they weren't very thorough. It would have saved countless TRs if they had applied it everywhere mud and water gets flung. So where they skimped, I applied a heavier coat. It is apparent it was a last step in manufacturing as the workman sprayed from the open fender and didn't bother with getting it well back to the tail lights or much on the fender sheet metal.

Just a note on the strength of the body tubs. In the past I went to great lengths to brace the tub across the cockpit when lifting. This time I used two strong steel cables from the dash to the rear coaming. At no time did they become taut, not on the saw horses and not while carrying. The tub is quite strong and light. The designers and engineers did a good job of building strength into the shell.

Below is a picture of the original Powder Blue under the windshield capping. It polished up like new and I was able to have PPG mix the right formula. I'll save this original paint under the capping for the next guy restoring the car in 60 years.


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