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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Hi Guys You All,

I have been browsing the net a bit and I attach below couple of links that I am sure you already know but for any case...
Best regards,
Jiri

owners handbooks



http://www.triumphtr.com/owners_handbook_tr4a.pdf
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1291938/Triumph-Tr4.html

garage manual:

http://tecb.eu/onewebmedia/TR4%20Manual.pdf

this guy has done tremendous work in assembling of Triumph information, just go to Resources section... plus the web itself is super

http://tr4a.weebly.com/

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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
So, I have refitted the contacts to the distributor but she still does not want to work for me, the blame of Crane has probably been unjustified. She gives a spark like a hell when I disconnect the contacts manually but no sparks when I turn on the starter. The contacts gap is setup correctly. I only get sparks when I turn the key on and off what is strange. There must be some misalignment on dashboard/ignition switchbox, Tomorrow, I will disconnect everything on the car, get the ignition key switchbox out and check/reconnect only the primary ignition loop.

Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
In reply to # 1510243 by jkr ...She gives a spark like a hell when I disconnect the contacts manually but no sparks when I turn on the starter...

This makes me suspect that that little 3-layer cake of points mounting is out of sequence.

If the plastic washers, points, condenser and low tension lead are not assembled exactly right the points set will continue to ground the ignition even when the points are open.

Edit:

This is my 6-cylinder but a photo I had handy.



The post where the points are mounted is the same set-up -- all the connections (points, condenser, low tension from cap) must all be isolated under that plastic washer.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-29 09:35 AM by Geo Hahn.

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jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
In reply to # 1510251 by Geo Hahn
In reply to # 1510243 by jkr ...She gives a spark like a hell when I disconnect the contacts manually but no sparks when I turn on the starter...

This makes me suspect that that little 3-layer cake of points mounting is out of sequence.

If the plastic washers, points, condenser and ground lead are not assembled exactly right the points set will continue to ground the ignition even when the points are open.

It gives me sparks when I open the contacts manually with a screw driver with the ignition on. However, no sparks when the starter is engaged. No ignition light on dashboard and no move on the ammeter in any case - the problem might be there...

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
The "ignition" light has little to do with actual ignition; it's more of an indication that the key is on and the generator isn't working. If opening the points manually gives you a spark, then the switch, ammeter etc pretty much have to be working.

My next test would be to turn the engine until the points are fully open, and check the voltage on the wire from coil to points. Should be 12 volts. If not, check the other (white) wire. If it is not 12 volts, only then would I start looking at the ignition switch and wiring to it.

If you do find 12v on the hot terminal and the point side is grounded, then there is either a short in the distributor or the coil is open. Pull the wire off the distributor to find out which it is.

If the point side is hot (as it should be), then turn the engine until the points close and check again.

Occam's Razor doesn't always work ... sometimes it really is more than one problem happening at the same time. Most frustrating (to me) is when I've introduced new problems trying to fix the original one (like changing points and putting the new ones in wrong as Geo outlined).

IOW, get it running first, then worry about why the light on the dash doesn't work.



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

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Randall,

Thanks.I have checked the voltage as you have suggested, it is correct, however only when the starter is idle. The problem is that the spark disappears once the starter is engaged. Tomorrow, I will try to measure voltage again when the starter is on...
There are only few other things in the game such as ignition light, ammeter and starter solenoid and horns (disconnected) and lights switchbox on this loop..I have checked the wiring diagram and the generator control box contact C is connected through the ignition light.to the ignition switchbox while contact D of the relay is the ground. However, I have measured zero ohms between these two contacts C & D. This makes me suspicious that there is some shortcut or bad installation at the dashboard and once the starter is engaged and the generator control box gets power, there is some shortcut that makes the voltage going too low for sparks. I will try to disconnect the ammeter wire, the ignition light wire as well as the wire to the lights switchbox from the ignition and from the starter solenoid and I will see if it is working. If not, I will disconnect literary everything and make new wires to the solenoid, battery and the coil and I will just try to start up by wires, without using the ignition switchbox. If this will not work not sure what else!?????

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Original control box terminals are marked A1, A, D, F, E. I don't have a photo handy that shows the TR4 style terminals, but the markings are the same as earlier TR3 shown here.


With the engine stopped, you should have essentially zero resistance between A1 and A; plus zero between D and F. A1 and A should be at battery voltage; D and F will be very close to ground if the generator is connected (and the field winding is working). If your ohmmeter will read that low, you should find 5 or 6 ohms between F and E; but that is the resistance of the field winding in the generator. The resistance inside the box is substantially higher (I forget the number offhand and don't have my notes handy).

Once the engine is running and the generator output voltage has come up, then the cutout relay inside the control box closes, which links terminal D to terminal A (battery voltage). The warning light on the dash only serves to indicate whether this has happened or not.

But, the engine should run fine with the generator completely non-functional (I've driven home that way more than once). So again, I think you should get it running first (using an external charger on the battery if necessary) and worry about the generator later.

If all those tests at the coil prove out, I would be looking for a bad connection somewhere (especially the ground straps for the battery and engine); or perhaps a defective battery (in other words, a bad connection inside the battery case). If you have an auto parts store nearby, they may be willing to run a load test on the battery for you.

Another (remote) possibility is that the starter is shorted internally and is pulling the battery voltage way down while cranking. When it happened to me, one of the brush leads had gotten tangled with the commutator. At first, I just thought the battery was low; but then the battery cables started smoking! That same store may be able to check your starter current draw (but of course getting the car to them could be a problem).



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 Randall & All,

Many thanks for valuable information. I have measured the control box and everything seems to be as you have described, for the generator 4 ohms. My box is a bit different, it does have multiple contacts for every letter position instead of screws, however, technically is the same.

So first, I have connected all the wires back to the control box and to the generator.
Second, I have removed both fuses from fuse/connector terminal on the right fender so that to disconnect all lights and unnecessary systems.
Third, I have measured the distributor voltage again and I have got correct 12V.
Fourth, I have disassembled that part of the dashboard with control knobs and ignition switchbox. I have disconnected all wires from the switch box and it took me a while to measure the switching logic of various contacts for various key positions as the contacts are not marked/numbered. After a while I have connected the cables back my way. I had engaged the starter and guess what happened: I HAVE GOT SPARKS! So, I have assembled the distributor, I have mounted the two disassembled plugs back to the engine, I have connected distributor cables to plugs hesitating for a while about a proper firing order.
I applied easy start spray to the carburetor, turned the starter on and SHE STARTED UP!!! ...just for a while only, repeatedly, I could not keep her alive. I have checked for the fuel in carburetors, seemed to be OK. So, I have got back to the distributor and I have found out that it fires almost an inch after the timing pointer. I have readjusted this so that the contacts would open 3/8" before the hole in pulley reaches the timing pointer (Is this correct? The manual that I have says the hole in the pulley should be left to the pointer, but the left can be both ways, depends if one is looking from the front or from the rear part of the car) and since than SHE RUNS! I took her for a short ride around the garage, my first move with her. The clutch and brakes seems to be working well.
Now, I have to go through all electrical installation as it is in terrible condition. Nevertheless, the work will be more joyful when I know that she drives.

Guys, thank you all for a great help on this forum.

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Her photograph from today attached

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
3/8" is a bit more than the book specifies (works out to about 8 degrees), but seems to work OK in most circumstances and will certainly do while you get the rest of the car roadworthy.

Once you can take a drive, get it warmed up thoroughly then floor the throttle while doing around 30 mph in 4th gear. Listen for any sign of ignition knock (or ping, etc). The book says a small amount is OK, but my preference is to back off the timing until no trace of knock can be heard.



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

Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
As Randall notes - in the end a road test will tell you how much advance you can get away with. Engines differ in this regard and it will also be affected by what gasoline is available where you live. I even find a difference between brand name gas (Shell, Chevron) and non-brand sources.

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
Shell still sells its racing brand 100 octanes here so I will try to use that one and add the lead to it. All others just sell the 95 octanes leadless fuel.

Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
Both those fuel options sound much better than what is available in the U.S.

Some add lead, some don't. Eventually the valves will recede and you will add hardened seats -- but (in my opinion) that is almost inevitable, not a huge deal and the task is no worse whether done sooner or later.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Inevitable perhaps; but sometimes takes much much longer than others. I've had some heads that ran for literally over 100,000 miles with no noticeable wear or recession to the valve seats, and others that showed noticeable wear in just a few thousand miles. Here in California it is strictly forbidden to run leaded fuel on the street, and the penalties can be severe if you get caught; for both you and whoever sold you the leaded fuel. So most places are pretty careful to make sure you aren't putting Av gas (or whatever) into your street-driven car.

The theory I've heard is that running with lead will actually impart some lead to the surface of the seat, which will protect it until the thin surface layer is worn away. How fast that happens may depend on things like how your mixture is set and how high your EGT goes during your style of driving.



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

jkr Jiri Krch
Tabor, Czech Republic   CZE
I will have her on classic car license plates so she will have an exception on leaded fuel... and I will not drive her probably more than couple of thousand miles a year so I will not do a big harm to the nature anyhow:-) I will take her to a professional garage to check on engine condition and brakes once I make her doing everything she should do, for now it looks good, she does not make much smoke and the engine sounds pretty well. The classics plates have to be renewed in May every year here in Czech, so it gives me couple of months to finalize the work on wiring, dashboard upgrade, bonnet alignment, missing keys for the doors and some cosmetics on paint and chromes.

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