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Installing new starter

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Installing new starter
#1
  This topic is about my 1980 Triumph TR7 Drophead
bcbennett Avatar
bcbennett Silver Member Brad B
Abilene, TX, USA   USA
Hello All (brought this discussion from "What Did You Do..?" board),

I ordered a new (reman) starter and set about trying to remove the old one. The workshop manual says to drop the exhaust down and move it over to access the starter and solenoid. I removed all the bolts from the bracing brackets (two at bell housing and one at gear box), then removed the three nuts from the flange connecting the exhaust downpipe to the manifold. The next hour was spent trying to get the exhaust system to drop away. I pushed, pulled, tugged, and hammered, but although the flange moves a bit, I can't seem to make any progress.

Is there some magical way to free the exhaust system? Am I missing a connector somewhere?

Thanks for any help,

Brad

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nick Avatar
nick nick m
Bend, OR, USA   USA
Without seeing the situation, my guess is the exhaust manifold studs in are rusted to the downpipe flange. Short of wedging something between the two pieces, you could try some Raster Blaster or some other penetrating oil and let it sit overnight. So I think persistence and muscle would be first. If that doesn't work more drastic steps may need to be taken.



nick

marko66 Mark OBrien
Anacortes, WA, USA   USA
-or, why I now have a header on my car... had to dismantle the old setup with a sawzall. That said, I have still not heard back from the folks at British Starters regarding warranty on my new starter.

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Brad,

The answer to your question is no. The solution to your problem will involve PB Blaster, hammers, pry bars, heat, and scrapped knuckles. I've owned my TR-7 since new and anything requiring R&R of the exhaust system was always a pain in the ass. If you get stuck you might consider disconnecting the exhaust manifold.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1500072 by marko66 -or, why I now have a header on my car... had to dismantle the old setup with a sawzall. That said, I have still not heard back from the folks at British Starters regarding warranty on my new starter.

That has been my experience as well, even when things are not rusted. The clamps are so tight that the pipes have been swaged together, and nothing will pull them apart. Used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel on mine. Tsk, Tsk.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Brad,

We feel your pain, the original exhaust system was a rather complex arrangement of pipes, brackets, cat converter, mufflers, covers, fittings, etc.. When you add heat, wet, and age you get a rusty, almost inaccessible nightmare. Due to rarity of original parts I'm running an odd combination of original, fabricated, and universal parts, but it works and seems to keep the smog Nazis happy.

Vance,

Does that angle grinder count as a bigger hammer?

Bergie Bob Berg
Powell, OH, USA   USA
PB Blaster works best-try and get this solvent to sit on the bolt/nut with rag or paper towel 24 hrs...try to tighten then loosen wiggle back and forth.....

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bcbennett Avatar
bcbennett Silver Member Brad B
Abilene, TX, USA   USA
Hello all,

Just a quick follow up: after trying for days to loosen my exhaust system, I finally took it to a shop with friendly people who don't mind putting in parts brought in by the customer. The tech told me that it took HIM quite a while to drop the exhaust, but then the starter went right on.

And, having a new starter installed has confirmed that I had, indeed, installed the fuel pump correctly. The car "skips" and shudders a bit at high revs, but I don't know if that's normal after a new fuel pump is installed, or whether there's crud in the lines/carbs.

Brad

nick Avatar
nick nick m
Bend, OR, USA   USA
In reply to # 1502887 by bcbennett Hello all,

Just a quick follow up: after trying for days to loosen my exhaust system, I finally took it to a shop with friendly people who don't mind putting in parts brought in by the customer. The tech told me that it took HIM quite a while to drop the exhaust, but then the starter went right on.

And, having a new starter installed has confirmed that I had, indeed, installed the fuel pump correctly. The car "skips" and shudders a bit at high revs, but I don't know if that's normal after a new fuel pump is installed, or whether there's crud in the lines/carbs.

Brad

Definitely not normal. Most likely but not definitely electrical. For this one I would start with a basic tune. Plugs, points, timing and see if that does it. Next plug wires.



nick

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Brad,

I agree with Nick on your high speed miss, it's usually electrical. The first thing I'd do is make sure you've got good separation of your sparkplug wires. An old set of sparkplug wires bunched up and laying on one another can cause you to get a crossfire situation where the spark can travel to the wrong cylinder.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1503101 by sliproc Brad,

I agree with Nick on your high speed miss, it's usually electrical. The first thing I'd do is make sure you've got good separation of your sparkplug wires. An old set of sparkplug wires bunched up and laying on one another can cause you to get a crossfire situation where the spark can travel to the wrong cylinder.

Another possibility is a bad coil. When they die, it is the higher RPMs that act up first. But I would check the wires first. Start the engine with the lights out and in a darkened garage, the look for arcing and halos. That is as good a place to start as any. And yes, crossfiring is a possibility, particularly with aftermarket high performance coils.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

bcbennett Avatar
bcbennett Silver Member Brad B
Abilene, TX, USA   USA
Hello all,

I am thinking your advice about a bad coil may be spot-on. After warming up, the RPMs move up and down, and the engine sometimes dies. It starts up again, but still idles back and forth, sputtering. I've checked the wires, and they seem fine. Do these problems go with a bad coil?

Also, when buying a new coil, does it pay to buy "high performance?"

I know it seems I have nothing but bad luck, but again, this car sat in a barn for ten years, so I know there's work to do.

Cheers,

Brad



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-12-20 06:49 PM by bcbennett.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1503618 by bcbennett Hello all,

I am thinking your advice about a bad coil may be spot-on. After warming up, the RPMs move up and down, and the engine sometimes dies. It starts up again, but still idles back and forth, sputtering. I've checked the wires, and they seem fine. Do these problems go with a bad coil?

Also, when buying a new coil, does it pay to buy "high performance?"

I know it seems I have nothing but bad luck, but again, this car sat in a barn for ten years, so I know there's work to do.

Cheers,

Brad

Brad:

Honestly, this does not sound like a coil. Coils will cause the engine to 'break up' at high rpm as they begin to fail. Lots of missing at high RPMS, but they are typically fine at low RPMs.

Have you checked your timing with a timing light? Is it steady at about 10BTDC while idling? You can check each plug wire using a timing light as well, if you have a bad wire the flashes from the light will not be regular, you will notice missing flashes. But lets assume for now the wires are fine.

Unsteady idle can be caused by vacuum leaks, a hot camshaft, carburetor problems and some other things I am not thinking of.

Have you checked compression on the engine? That will tell you if you have a bad cam lobe, broken rings, a burned valve or some other gross problem. Let's say that you have done that, and no issues were found.

I presume you have checked the oil level in the carbs, and have checked the diaphragms for tears or pinholes. Also, have you verified you have a thermostat and it opens at no less than 180F? If the thermostat is missing, or is set at a low temperature (like 160F) the choke will not shut off.

Fully warm the engine. Put your thumb over the FASD air inlet (between the two carbs inside the air filter housing). Does the idle improve? Your FASD is not shutting off. It needs to be cleaned at a minimum, and may need to be repaired. A few shots of carb cleaner may be enough to get it working.

If the FASD is OK, check your mixture by pulling your plugs and looking at the ceramic insulator at the tip. Are they black? Your mixture is too rich and can be preventing a smooth idle. Check all the plugs. Adjust the carbs until you get a light tan or almost white color on the insulators (these cars were originally set to run lean, so when the engine is warmed up, the plugs should be nearly white.)

All of that OK? Check for vacuum leaks with an unlit propane torch. Spray gas around all the manifold and carburetor joints, as well as both ends of any hoses that connect to the intake manifold. If the idle speeds up / smooths out, you have a leak.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

bcbennett Avatar
bcbennett Silver Member Brad B
Abilene, TX, USA   USA
Vance, this is a very wonderful list of things to check; I have checked, rebuilt or repaired some of them, but will check and double-check.

I really appreciate your taking the time to write it all down. Merry Christmas!

Brad

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Brad,

You're not having bad luck you're just a British car owner. An uneven idle and a high speed miss are two different problems and in my experience usually not related(although it does seem like they would be), that is to say when you solve one of these problems it probably won't solve the other.

An uneven idle usually involves air(or vacuum)leaks. A leak will change the air/fuel mixture ratio, which is why your idle goes up and down. I'd check the easy stuff first, check vacuum lines and fittings, next I'd check the carbs for leaks with a can of WD-40 by spraying around the carbs while idling. If you've got carb leaks there will be a change in the idle. If that's the case you're probably looking at a carb rebuild, it's not as scary as it sounds(or expensive).

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