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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Hello Everybody,

I am a newcomer to this forum as my dream TR4 1962 has juat arrived from Texas to the Czech Republic. She looks great but she does not want start up for me. The original battery was dead (completely, less than 6volts after charging), so I have replaced it using the same polarity as the old one was connected, negative earth. Now, the engine turns on but no ignition sparks and everything in the car dead, gauges, indicators, lights, complete blackout. The main fuse is burned out and I get fireworks when trying to replace. I would tend to believe that I have received the car with the battery poles missplaced as the TR4's used to have positive earth but not sure if the polarity has not been changed as there is some electronic spark booster or ignition added on the distributor.I would appreciate any good advise so that to avoid any damage to the car. I would bekieve that there is a low chance to damage anything as there is no electronics on these cars (one reason why we love them so much) but I am not an expert. What if I disconnect the generator and try to change battery poles? Many Thanks.

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Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
Welcome to TR ownership and the Forum.

My TR4 came to me with the battery installed backwards by the prior owner (who was a nice guy, but not strong on electrics). It started and ran w/o any problems.

My only clue was that the radio did not work. When I corrected the polarity I was pleasantly surprised to find that even the radio was okay (thought for sure he had fried it).

So -- I doubt that incorrect polarity would account for all the problems you are dealing with unless someone has put an electronic ignition on it (removing the distributor cap and confirming there are points in there would rule this out).

Sparks at the fuse may mean a short somewhere in the wiring. One way to chase this is to replace the fuse with a headlamp. You connect wires from the headlamp (either high or low beam + the ground connection) in place of the fuse. This puts the lamp's draw in series with everything powered through that fuse location (which is just about everything). With everything off the lamp should be out but if not then something is drawing current. A gentle glow is a small draw, a bright light is a dead short.

This is probably going to take some methodical circuit checking to track down - I would resist the urge to just start replacing parts until you have more clues. At least once you have solved this you will have a more complete understanding of the TR4 electrics.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
I agree with Geo.

In addition, it sounds like there has been some rewiring, as originally there was no fuse for the headlights (no "master" fuse). If so, you might want to start by identifying the changes.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Hello All,

Thanks a lot for valuable advises. The trick with the lamp is perfect.

I have bought the car from Streetside Classics, Fort Worth, Texas. The car was advertized as a driver but I have some doubts it could have never been driven in this condition. It is more like a semi-finiahed project, at least for wiring which is simply terrible - many cables disconnected, clouds of unorganized cables under the bonnet, etc. The dasboard has woken to the life when I have reconnected losen cable to generators control box. The shortcut is still there some place but on the lights loop, not on ignition one, so I will fix that later ( probably rewiring is the best.

Nevertheless, the body and the frame is very good condition, new paint, original but nice interrior, engine seems to be OK, just not giving any sparks. There is the FireBall XR700 electronic ignition which seems to be bad. It gives some sparks only in certain position of the distributor against the contacts and when switching the kwys on and off. I will try to rebuilt Lucas distributor back to mechanical or buy a new one.

Tommys4 Platinum Member Thomas G
Ojai, Calif., USA   USA
Hello Jiri
Welcome to the forum, good luck with your car...............I spent a week or so in your beautiful country in the summer of 1992................

TM German

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Thanks, nice to hear that.

Does anybody have an experience with XR700 ignition? The diod is infrared or should it be visible light?

Is there any easy way how to identify what engine my car has, whether the basic 2.1 litre or optional 2.0 or 2.2?

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
It's not visible, probably infrared.

No easy way to verify displacement AFAIK. It's not likely to have the smallest liners, but for a time the 87mm liners were cheaper than the rest. So there is a fair chance it's been taken up to 2.2.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
What about the distributor, does the FD25 fit to both?

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
In reply to # 1507344 by jkr What about the distributor, does the FD25 fit to both?

...sorry, I have had in mind Lucas 25D, if I would order one for 2.1 engine and it is not that one would it fit?

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Reddragon Avatar
Reddragon Dale M
Chesapeake, VA, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4 "Road Runner"
1974 Triumph TR6 "Tweety"
Jim

Why not try just buying a set of points and a condenser for now to replace the Crane unit. Start simple before you go pulling out the distributor.

Crane units are famous for going bad. Back to original may be an easy fix.

Red

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Hi Red,

Thanks for a good advise, jusr have been thinking about the same. So, if I remove the Crane box and all wires and if I buy/ install back the contacts and the condenser, the distributor should work for me again, correct? Or, anything else needed?

How shoul I set up the contacts so that it would fire at the right time?

Jiri

volleyball Ray C
Albany, NY, USA   USA
Sounds like you blew the electronics by installing the battery backwards. TR-4's will run either way in original configuration but not once you introduce electronics. This can be verified by seeing how the electronic module was wired. You also may find if it was possible to wire them positive earth. You may even get lucky by finding they fused the unit and it is repairable.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
The standard 25D distributor fitted to TR4 (*) should fit and work fine, regardless of which liners are installed. The timing curve will not be the best possible for current engine condition and fuel available; but not enough off to even notice (unless you are going racing where every horsepower counts).

Here is a short write-up on one way to set initial timing. https://drive.google.com/open?id=10hLIlaf0mHf5E9X9I4xQNMluv1G9WjCU
(Although the text says TR3, the TR4 is the same.)
There is a similar procedure written up in the owner's manual that uses the vernier adjustment to get the 4 degrees initial advance.

I definitely suggest getting a copy of the owner's manual, it has a lot of good information, some of which is not in the service manual. There are probably better sources in Europe, but if all else fails you can order from The Roadster Factory in the USA. P/N 510326
http://the-roadster-factory.com/indexmain.php

After you have it running, get it warmed up thoroughly and then try to make it knock by flooring the throttle at about 30 mph in 4th gear (no OD if you have it). A very slight "pinking" (as the book calls it) is acceptable, but my preference is to back off on the timing (using the vernier adjustment on the distributor) until no knock is audible. Sustained heavy knock can severely damage the engine; while having the timing slightly retarded will only reduce power output by a small amount and not damage anything.


(*) 25D is a model number, there were a great many different distributors made under that general model number. The 5 digit part number (often with an additional letter at the end) is what identifies the advance curves installed.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-14 11:32 AM by TR3driver.

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Thank you all, sounds like I should be able to deal with that now. It will take me a while to get the parts and put it on the car, I will let you know about the results in a week or two.
Jiri

ducbsa Bruce Metcalf
Berryville, VA, USA   USA
A UK source Click here

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