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TR3 leaf springs - feedback \ advice

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JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
Paul,

I know exactly what you mean about the cart before the horse... I have the engine, trans, and differential, and chassis blasted and powder coated before having all the front suspension parts cleaned and painted..

Oh yeah.. very nice.. really liking those carbs... I'm thinking at this rate I might have it done in 2 years... But I'm ok with that...


Cheers

Joe Otero

In reply to # 1505210 by Trusty Joe,

Thanks for compliment on the chassis. I can’t find a picture of the car when it arrived here but it was a rusty pile of metal held together by a bolt or two and a lot of duct tape. I wasn’t a bit disappointed, it was exactly as the PO described. I got an extra trans with “A” overdrive and I think four extra SU carbs plus extra wheels and other stuff I’m still trying to figure out and organize. That chassis and everything underneath was covered with layers of mud, undercoating, more mud and more undercoating and every available hole had been used by squirrels to nest in. The motor ran for about a minute after I arranged gas line, etc. but then never would start again. Exhaust pipe was completely stuffed with squirrel nesting material.

Anyway, after a lot of scraping and cleaning and measuring I had chassis sand blasted and powder coated. Most other parts I’ve cleaned, primed and can-sprayed.

My 3A is in winter storage so I can’t look at the rear springs now but what Randall mentioned about quality changes over the years might apply to my car. I would have bought the springs about seven years ago.

Here is a pic of the carbs I’ll be using. Another example of getting the cart before the horse. There are cardboard piece between the carbs and tubes so no dirt can get in for next few years. By then I’ll have to re-do some of the cork washers, etc. but having those shiny carbs hanging on the wall keeps me motivated.

Happy New Year.

Paul



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

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JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
In reply to # 1506093 by johnstydo Scott Harper, owner of Team Triumph in Warren, OH would likely have sets of factory TR3 leaf springs from take-offs.

Hi John,

thanks for the lead... Very much appreciated... I queued up an email to them...


Cheers
Joe Otero



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
In reply to # 1506097 by tonytr3 You might talk to Eaton Springs in Detroit, https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/. They made me a set for a '60 TR3 many years ago. I gave them one old spring and they reproduced a set. They are located right in Detroit, across the street from where the old Tiger Stadium stood.

tony

Hi Tony,

Thanks for posting. I'll give them a call Monday... Wonder if they can take the one good one I have to replicate... Only concern is if what I think as one good one is really tired..

Cheers
Joe Otero



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

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JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
Thanks for the info Randall... Much appreciated... I called TRF and they conveyed they are currently testing springs from a supplier... Not sure when they will be done... I probably should have asked them to put me on a waiting list in the event I haven't sourced a set by the time they have found a good supplier..

I also check back with BPN and they're out of stock..


Cheers
Joe Otero


In reply to # 1505141 by TR3driver
In reply to # 1505134 by Trusty Randall, It will be a few years before I can drive the TR3 but I believe I have the same springs on my 3A

Perhaps I'm belaboring the point here; but it's entirely possible that the springs Moss sold a few years back didn't come from the same place as ones bought more recently. All the major vendors used to carry good springs once upon a time; I rather suspect they all came (perhaps indirectly) from the same supplier. I know Albert told me a few years back that their supplier (in the UK) had become sick and was no longer able to supply the good springs; and that they were looking around at other sources. The ones I got were (I believe) from the first source they tried after that. I'm guessing they tried another source after that, who also got it wrong; and now have them listed NLA until they can find someone who can get it right at a reasonable price.

FWIW, I found a website with a leaf spring calculator (sorry, I've lost the link) and entered all the TR3 spring data into it. The results agreed quite well, both with the factory specs (using factory dimensions), and with the observed rate of the slightly thicker springs I got. My conclusion is that it's the extra thickness that makes the difference, even though the thickness difference seems small. This is somewhat borne out by the specs in the TR4 workshop manual, where it only takes .015" difference in the smaller leaves to go from 128 lb/in to 155 lb/in. That's a 20% increase in rate, for only 8% thickness (and only in the smaller leaves).

Strictly a WAG, but my guess is that spring steel comes in a certain list of thicknesses; and the original TR3 thickness is not on the list. To work spring steel, you have to first anneal it, make any changes, then harden and temper it. Takes a lot of special equipment (mostly a BIG oven for hardening and tempering) and a lot of time. Probably anyone who actually puts that much time into them, would not be willing to sell for a price we want to pay.

There is a company on the net (again I don't have the link handy) that will make custom leaf springs to your drawing, and guarantee the results. Their price for a TR3 spring was about (IIRC) about three times what TRF (used to) charge!



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

tonytr3 Avatar
tonytr3 Gold Member Tony M
Grosse Ile, MI, USA   USA
1959 Triumph TR3 "TR"
That is what they did for me. I took the one that was good and they made me a set. They have been in business for decades.

tony

templebuchanan Silver Member Temple Buchanan
Crescent City, CA, USA   USA
1961 Triumph TR3A "Buck"
Joe

Think I'm going to be in Lexington first week of June at the Big Red Mile with my father for the flat track races, going way back in time for me. Originally from just across the KY line in Wise county, VA. I'm in the middle of a rear suspension fix on my 61 TR3A, having similar dilemma with new vs rebuilding my leaf springs. Be interested to see which way you go with it. Lot of valued opinions from the guys here, I'm on the fence right now.

Have you ever talked or done business with the owner of I think sports car classics in Knoxville? He shows an address out on Alcoa highway, found it last trip in last fall. Old shop with a bunch of old British Roadsters laying around. Have fun

Temple

JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
Hey Temple,

Cool.. feel free to look me up when in Lexington... Always open to chatting up cars with fellow forum members... On the rear springs, I decided to buy new.. I still have the original units of which one would need to be repaired for sure (one leaf is broken)..

The Red mile has gone through some very extensive upgrades... I'm not familiar with sports car classics in Knoxville... but for sure imagine would be awesome to check it out.. esp if there's any roadsters on premise.

Cheers
Joe O



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

johnstydo Avatar
johnstydo John Styduhar
Hermitage, PA, USA   USA
You never know what you are getting with aftermarket springs (i.e ride height). Team Triumph in Warren, OH has used original TR3 springs in useable condition.

templebuchanan Silver Member Temple Buchanan
Crescent City, CA, USA   USA
1961 Triumph TR3A "Buck"
Joe

Haven't been to the Bid Red Mile since the early 70's, used to go to the Tattersall (?) horse auctions when my father was into gaited horses, remember going to the harness races there. Used to go to Lexington quite a bit growing up and before I moved out here in '94. Spent the night there about 8 years ago on the final leg of x-country motorcycle trip. Didn't recognize the place, grown a lot.

Which springs did you go with and what was the country of origin? Do they look right? Thanks.

Temple

JoeOtero Avatar
JoeOtero Joe Otero
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR3B "Beatrice"
1971 TVR Vixen
1972 TVR Vixen
2011 BMW Z4 3.0si
Hey Temple,

I decided to go with a set from British parts Northwest... Made in UK

https://www.bpnorthwest.com/leaf-spring-triumph-tr2-tr3a.html

Honestly, I have no experience to compare... never owned or driven a TR3...

For all I know, after all I may even end up with a ride where I end up all twisted up with my underwear up around my neck... LOL

Cheers
Joe O



Cheers
Joe Otero
1963 TR3B TCF 1227 - Beatrice

johnstydo Avatar
johnstydo John Styduhar
Hermitage, PA, USA   USA
Reading a little about TR2 and 3 rear leaf springs in Roger Williams restoration literature. Early cars had softer passenger spring to offset for driver weight when touring solo. My TR3B had a shim between the rear axle mounting tab and passenger leaf spring to level the rear of the car.

Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
In reply to # 1593535 by johnstydo ...My TR3B had a shim between the rear axle mounting tab and passenger leaf spring to level the rear of the car.

Same on the 3A. I liked the idea so much I added a shim to the p/s spring on my TR4 (don't know why it did not have one).

Somewhat counter-intuitive that adding a shim lowers the body on that side. Possibly helps to think of it as raising the frame rather than lowering the body.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1593535 by johnstydo Reading a little about TR2 and 3 rear leaf springs in Roger Williams restoration literature. Early cars had softer passenger spring to offset for driver weight when touring solo.
I believe Mr Williams (and others) are incorrect on that point. The listing in the SPC makes it appear that the spring rate was different (two different part numbers are listed for the main leaf); but in fact it was just the shim being added to the spring. The shim does not affect the rate (so not "softer"winking smiley, it just changes the ride height a little. And, that was on later cars, after TS26903 (according to the SPC and Bill Piggott).

Joe, you might want to check those springs sooner rather than later. They may be fine, but there were a lot of them made a few years back that were much too stiff. I got mine from TRF, but a lot of people said the same about springs from Moss. The free height was OK, but the spring rate was almost twice what it should be. The result was that the weight of the car did not compress the springs enough, and the axle sat against the frame (or very close to it). The resulting handling was so evil as to be dangerous IMO, not to mention the hideous ride quality.



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

johnstydo Avatar
johnstydo John Styduhar
Hermitage, PA, USA   USA
I guess if you find out the rear springs are stiffer and the ride height not acceptable, you could lengthen the shackles a bit to compensate.

zedsn Ed Schaefer
Westlake, OH, USA   USA
I have a good pair of tr3 springs if you don't mind going the used route. If you are interested let me know at zedsn@hotmail.com

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