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Driving with a broken....

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Trike4 Avatar
Trike4 Marcus G
Brighton, MI, USA   USA
1963 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "Trike"
Back in about 1981 I had driven over to the next town for something. Got back in the car and had no clutch! The flex line had sprung a leak and all the fluid was gone. I was stuck. So I put the car in second gear and started the car. Drove like that to an auto parts store. I think I would brake and turn the ignition off at red lights, and rolled some stop signs.
In 1980 I had no money and would push start the car because the starter was shot. Did that for a few weeks until my Dad took the starter to work and had a friend rebuild it.
In 1991 i was in Colorado having just passed the 11,000 ft elevation marker. Car never ran so good! Crested the mountain and headed toward the Eisenhower tunnel. I noticed the temp was high and the engine quit. I just pulled it out of gear to see how far we could coast. I didn't tell my wife for a few miles until she noticed we were coasting at 95 mph. I explained what happened and we would see if we could make it to a gas station. We'd just make the next crest and then build up speed pushing 105mph. Traveled 11 miles like this until we pulled into a gas station to find a split radiator hose. My wife had an exercise band, I had a hose clamp in the toolbox. Filled up with water and made it to Boulder.
In 1987 my wife was caught in a heavy thunder storm in Oklahoma. The streets filled with 2' of water til she couldn't see the road. While other cars were swamped and stalled in 3' of water, she drove the TR4 home, at times using the starter to keep the car moving. She mentioned she thought it would be Okay as long as it wasn't over the doors! She pulled into the driveway leaving a wake behind and when she opened the door there was a foot of water in there. That's what those bung plugs are for in the floor!
In 1988 I was driving down the freeway and heard a "Tink, clunk,tink, tink...." 1/2 a mile down the road the engine sputtered and quit. Pulling out the trusty toolbox I found a 1/4" drill bit that worked as the fulcrum pin in the fuel pump. Electrical tape both sides to keep it in. I drove another 20 years with the drill bit.
Then there was the summer drive in the Sierra mountains with my Mom. We drove all over steep roads, curves, gorgeous scenery! The next morning my Dad wanted to move the car and when he turned the wheel one of the rubber flex joints completely broke and the wheel just spun.
A TR4 is magical if you Love it!

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
I know someone that called a tow truck because their Check engine light came on!

Tommys4 Platinum Member Thomas G
Ojai, Calif., USA   USA
Don't we have fun in our cars...........
Some years ago I was driving in SCCA Solo 2. I had a event in Mission Viejo, which is just north of San Diego.Now I live in
Ventura County which is NW of LA.It would take a few hours to drive there. OK, I was on my first run and things didn't feel right. finished and NO clutch.
This was a holiday week end, I did have friends with me which helped.But No one would rent me a trailer. So I drove the car home with no clutch.
Marcus is right on , on how this is done.Your very careful with trans and starter.And now the rest of the story, I pulled the trans and the clutch bits and
found the plate was in 3 pieces.New clutch.

Hope every one is having a great day.......... TMG

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Boy, does that bring back memories! I've done every one of those things in my TR3 (not always in the same context). Driven without a clutch more than once; most memorable was chasing a friend of mine in his MGA through Raleigh (I think it was) NC. I had no idea where we were going, and no way to contact him. Eventually he caught a red light and I was able to flag him down. That time, it was just the slave mount had come apart, easy to fix in a hotel parking lot.

I've also limped home without a water pump on various occasions. Start the engine, accelerate briskly to 45 mph (or whatever the speed limit is), then shut it off and coast as long as you can. Repeat as necessary. If it gets too hot, you have to stop and wait for it to cool; but I've driven 5 miles or so without having to stop.

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

grubscrew Avatar
grubscrew grub screw
The suburbs of, Winfield, Maryland, USA   USA

While cruising home from work at 70 mph on the Washington DC Beltway years ago, all hell suddenly broke loose. The engine dropped in power and was backfiring through the carburetor.

I pushed the shifter into neutral and simultaneously shut off the ignition. I was in the left lane and had to come to a stop on the inside shoulder against the concrete divider.

When I opened the bonnet there was nothing visibly wrong, no connecting rod through the block, no blown hose or busted oil gauge line so I pulled the valve cover off.

The exhaust valve push rod on number 3 cylinder had snapped in two pieces. One piece was visible down the opening so I fished it out with a magnet. I removed the spark plug, tied the lead aside and grounded it.

Drove the rest of the way home on 3 cylinders, with unburned fuel stinking up the cockpit.

I picked up a new pushrod from the Triumph dealer the next day and was back in service that evening.

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

1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF 575L
Signal Red/Red interior

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
Dave, that began to sound like my story.

50 miles from home on a 3 month (since rebuild) engine, I turn onto a side road doing 25 mph and all of a sudden the engine is sounding like heck!

No visible signs under the hood, but I pull the valve cover and there are bits of valve spring everywhere.

Fortunately #3 valvestem is still in in it's guide, it seemed to be stuck there, but I wired it in place with some copper wire anyway.

I picked out all the metal bits I could see, pulled #3 spark plug and grounded it on the end of a stud, and set off home sounding like Harley Davidson (I even got upto 70 mph on 3 cyls!)

Fortunately there was no damage to the piston, I just needed a new valve, valve guide, gaskets and a set of DUEL valve springs!

Dan B Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV, USA   USA
I drove the 200 or so miles from Mid-Ohio back to So.Charleston WV with no clutch and an iffy starter. I was very careful to time traffic lights so I would not have to kill the engine.
I had an electric fuel pump that quit working at night in the middle of nowhere, near where the Mothman stories are based...but smacking it a few times got it working and I made it home.
I did the water pump trick Randall was talking about too, in the middle of a hot summer. That was fun.
After taking a brisk drive on a local country road in WV, topping a hill at about 80mph, when I got home the steering felt funny. I turns out the frame mounts for the control arms had broken and the arms were loose on one side.
Driving on US60, hit a bump and the right front tire locked up. Got it off the road and the body was resting on the tire. It had popped out of the trunnion.

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Tommys4 Platinum Member Thomas G
Ojai, Calif., USA   USA
The story's we all have to tell
One more to share , this was in the mid 80s, I was driving to my Grandmothers, she lived in the high desert ,90 mile trip
for me. I live just off the coast, I'm on this wonderful canyon road ,at night I run Cibie Z beams with 90/100w bulbs, I don't know how fast
I was going when my lamps failed......Thank God I was on a straight away , as I was slamming down gears and brakes and trying to my to
lamps to come back on...........Plus this was a moonless night.......finally, on came my lamps and needless to say I slowed down.

PS Thanks for all the great storys

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1489154 by Tommys4 I run Cibie Z beams with 90/100w bulbs, I don't know how fast
I was going when my lamps failed......
Exactly the reason I now have two separate circuit breakers (not fuses) and separate relays. If one opens, the other headlight is still on.

Took me awhile, but by the time it happened the third time, I figured someone was trying to tell me something!

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

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Tommys4 Platinum Member Thomas G
Ojai, Calif., USA   USA
Thanks Randall
I forgot to mention , when I returned home , I installed relays............I was young. Live and learn.............


twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
I drove around for a month with a bad generator. It needed brushes and dad and I were both working opposite schedules. His advice to me was don’t listen to the radio, don’t use the heater or lights unless you need to. And charge the battery at least every other night. Never left me stranded. Fuel pump died once on the way home... pin backed out. Had it fixed the next day. Kyle.

Tr34250stag Avatar
Tr34250stag Michael S
San Antonio, FL, USA   USA
January 1971. Bought a '60 TR3 a week after I got back from 'Nam. Got married a week later. Tried to start after wedding. Completely dead. In literally 20 minutes with the Practical Hints wiring diagram I traced it to the control box. Removed the box and one of the copper straps had burnt through. Slipped a penny under burnt spot and headed off for honeymoon. Only made it about 50 miles because of massive snowstorm but that is a different story....

titanic Berry P
Albany, OR, USA   USA
I was 18 when I got my first TR3 and while driving on 1-5, the ign light shown bright red and the temp gauge shot up, about 20 miles from home. Being mechanically naive, I thought, what a coincidence and continued to drive. Made it home and of course found the fan belt was broken. I replaced the fan belt and there didn't seem to be any damage to the engine. Try that in an MGB.

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