JoeTR6 New Reader
July 14, 2010 10:59 p.m.

This past weekend I bought a new TR6 project. There's only one problem... Some assembly required.

The car is basically complete, although all the rubber is missing/rotted. All the major assemblies (engine, gearbox, diff) are in one piece and in good shape, the rest is in boxes. It also included a factory hardtop with no glass. I'm still wondering what to do with it, but I believe the answer is make it a fun (non-classed) autocross car. This may mean simply megasquirting the stock engine, or possibly a swap. I'd like to keep with the character of the original and use an inline 6, but the options are pretty limited. Most are too heavy (Supra, BMW S52) but a BMW M20 stroker sounds pretty good. I suspect the chassis would be overwhelmed by anything over 200 hp, and even that would require some upgrades to the rear drive train.

I'm still in the dreaming stages and have a lot of digging through boxes/sorting parts before things get rolling. After determining how much is unusable/missing, I'll have a better idea of where things are going.

stan SuperDork
July 15, 2010 8:05 a.m.

I always wanted to get a project like that. Almost bought a SL 450 completely disassembled a few years back, but didn't like the weight of the finished project.

Looks like fun.

How far is this from your workspace?

Stan

4cylndrfury SuperDork
July 15, 2010 8:38 a.m.

Well I might make a suggestion to look at an I4 rather than 6 to power it. A SR20 or 4AG would weigh considerably less than a 6, are boost friendly, have a lot of aftermarket support and are well documented installs in a lot of odd applications. The SR20 is more abundant than the toyota mill, so maybe going that way would make sourcing easy.

You could always buy a ticket to the asylum and try to dump a wankel in there

96DXCivic Dork
July 15, 2010 8:40 a.m.

I love TR6s. Seems like an awesome project. If/when I get I am planning to basically modify it to increase driveability so basically electronic ignition, fuel injection, 5 speed gearbox and upgraded suspension.

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
July 15, 2010 9:51 a.m.

TR-6s are getting worth decent money these days. I wouldn't mess with a swap. One, it would ruin any chances of the car appreciating, and two, the original six sounds glorious, and can make decent power. The engine is a big part of what makes these cars special. I'm in a similar situation with the 72 TR-6 I just bought. (although it requires a bit less assembly) I'm either going with a hotter cam / exhaust/ carbs, or with a Moss Supercharger. ( 6.5 secs to 60! )

oldtin HalfDork
July 15, 2010 10:15 a.m.

A guy just stuffed his turbo TR-6 into a wall at Indy at the british v8 meet. Perhaps some upgrades survived that might be on the market???

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 15, 2010 10:32 a.m.

Do NOT swap the engine. The guys, myself included, who watch, lust after these, want them because of the engine, suspension, ENGLISH combination of driving. (I can hear you guys snickering) The 5-speed and a new wiring harness from a shop in RI (see ads in Classic Motorports), are good, sound upgrades. A swap to triple Webers, while $$ looks great, and adds hp. But keep the stock intake. Polished SUs are good, too. Forget the megasquirt. And remember, eventually you'll sell it, so for monies spent versus return, the stock or close to stock ones are bringing much more money than the highly modified ones. They are getting harder and harder to find without major rust problems. Look at what the ones on ebay are actually selling for, auction results, and there's some good money starting to exchange hands for rust-free, unmolested ones. If you want a track car, buy a used race car that needs attention. Back off the soap box.

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 15, 2010 10:34 a.m.

In reply to triumph5: P.S. You will LOVE Petronix ignition and Crane ignitor ignition.

96DXCivic Dork
July 15, 2010 11:08 a.m.

They have Weber DCOE style throttle bodies. Couldn't use those to do a fuel injection system which could be switched out easily?

oldtin HalfDork
July 15, 2010 11:13 a.m.

An alternate view...There were about 94,000 Tr6s built. No doubt they'll appreciate, but it will be a very long time before they hit major collectability - it's not like TVR or lotus numbers or even healey or jags. They won't hit old jag, healey, porsche 356 territory even though they may appreciate. Good conversions will hold their value if the quality is there. With MGs, the conversions are worth more than the restored - but there were 5x more MGBs than TR6s.

wlkelley3 HalfDork
July 15, 2010 11:19 a.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: TR-6s are getting worth decent money these days. I wouldn't mess with a swap. One, it would ruin any chances of the car appreciating, and two, the original six sounds glorious, and can make decent power. The engine is a big part of what makes these cars special. I'm in a similar situation with the 72 TR-6 I just bought. (although it requires a bit less assembly) I'm either going with a hotter cam / exhaust/ carbs, or with a Moss Supercharger. ( 6.5 secs to 60! )

Second this. The sound a TR6 engine with triple Webers and a free flow exhaust is stuff dreams are made from.

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 15, 2010 11:42 a.m.

In reply to oldtin: 10 years ago who thought big Healys would sell for 40K and up. I'm just saying of those 94,0000 TR6s built, how many aren't crushed or rotting apart. Not a lot.

WilberM3 Reader
July 15, 2010 11:43 a.m.

i'd like one someday with a nice 7k rpm 289/302 variant with 4 weber downdrafts or velocity stacked ITB efi. originality be damned (unless perhaps its a museum peice), i want a sexy v8 TR6.

but if your stock i6 works well still i'm not sure how much advantage a bmw swap would offer, though i still like the idea. 24v bmw powered tr6 would be neat too and from what ive read isnt that much heavier than an m20 and still likely a good bit lighter than the stocker.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
July 15, 2010 12:00 p.m.

That is pretty cool. Makes me wonder how I'm hearing nothing but crickets trying to get $2k for mine, though!

For what it's worth, if you're going to do a swap, look into a Toyota 5M/7M inline-6. Goodparts.com already sells kits to adapt the Toyota W58 transmission to the stock TR6 motor with a bellhousing adapter...so why not skip the adapter, lop off the old engine mounts, bolt up the Supra motor, and tack on some new ones?

As far as rear drivetrain strength goes, Goodparts sells a Nissan R200 LSD conversion along with some beefier CV axles/hubs and a couple of driveshaft options. Pricey, but it's high quality stuff.

JoeTR6 New Reader
July 15, 2010 12:05 p.m.
stan said: How far is this from your workspace?

It's in the same shop. When I'm ready to start wrenching, I just need to roll it to the other side.

I already have a nice, mostly stock TR6. I also co-drive a friends stripped down TR6 with webers. This car is meant to be something in between and more reliable. One requirement for a potential swap is that no surgery is required on the body/frame. In other words, I want the swap to be reversible without leaving scars. I'm definitely leaning towards fuel injection, although the Moss supercharger is another option (I'd prefer normal aspiration).

Looking at pictures of the BMW M20 motor, the oil pan looks to be right where the front frame crossmember wants to be. I'm liking the stock engine better now. I realize modern 4 cylinder engines have plenty of power and lightness, but the inline 6 just has such nice torque and smoothness.

oldtin HalfDork
July 15, 2010 12:30 p.m.

In reply to triumph5:

Agreed, but there were less than half as many big healeys built (still wish I had the 3000 I bought for $2,500). Most parts are available for TR6s - even new frames. If the values are there, it's not all that hard to put one right. I'm just saying they're not particularly rare, so doing some mods isn't a major crime to automobiledom. Build the car for yourself not the next guy.

WilberM3 Reader
July 15, 2010 12:54 p.m.
JoeTR6 wrote:
stan said: How far is this from your workspace?
Looking at pictures of the BMW M20 motor, the oil pan looks to be right where the front frame crossmember wants to be. I'm liking the stock engine better now. I realize modern 4 cylinder engines have plenty of power and lightness, but the inline 6 just has such nice torque and smoothness.

the e36 m50 engines have the pan at the back unlike the e30/e34 engines.

July 15, 2010 4:26 p.m.

The BMW has been done. I bet it wasn't easy or cheap.

NYG95GA SuperDork
July 15, 2010 4:58 p.m.
wlkelley3 wrote: ...The sound a TR6 engine with triple Webers and a free flow exhaust is stuff dreams are made from.

What he said + a gazillion.

Jensenman SuperDork
July 15, 2010 6:25 p.m.

I loves me some TR6 and as noted particularly its sound, but damn the motor is heavy for its power output. I'd look very carefully at a Nissan VG30T or a GM L67 3800 SC, both with some flavor of 5 speed box. The Nissan would probably be easier to source.

The TR6 diff would be rather fragile at those power levels, dig through the BMW 325is boxes for a diff.

JoeTR6 New Reader
July 15, 2010 8:59 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: I loves me some TR6 and as noted particularly its sound, but damn the motor is heavy for its power output.

I'd really miss the sound too. I had an M Coupe for several years and loved the way it sounded, but the TR6 just has character. We're running around 160-170 HP in the autocross car with Webers, but from what I understand you can't rev it past 6000 rpm without a forged crank. Maybe a harmonic damper would help that. Plus, I want this TR6 to be a little more streetable, idle better, and not leave the odor of dead dinosaur wherever it goes.

I've seen one BMW S52 project and know that can be done. The passenger side footwell needed to be notched, and access looked tight. I'll have months to think about it, and may just decide to drop the original engine in and see how far it can be pushed.

Thanks for all the input.

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