Fast Times at Sports Car Services

Final Road Test on A Chilly Day

Final Roadtest on A Chilly Day

Last week after the roads dried out and the snows receded, there was a window of opportunity to get in a final roadtest on this very healthy TR3.  I put it thru its paces on a variety of road surfaces ranging from Bank Run Gravel to Interstate 91.  The fictional New York City Private Detective Nero Wolfe would have summed it up as “Satisfactory”.

Butch check a Rover 3 litre engine for coolant leakage

Butch checks a Rover 3 litre engine for coolant leakage

Another wonderful car from Tom Rymes collection of off-beat (at least over here) british sedans is this 1966 California Rover 3 litre Mk III Sedan.  This is a classic british “L” head engine, which means an overhead intake and side exhaust valve arrangement like a six cylinder Rolls Royce.  Coolant leakage was suspected.  I ran a compression test which simply revealed good compression pressures, but Tom was pretty sure there was a problem, so I asked Steve to pull off a crankcase oil sample we could send out for an oil analysis.  In the event, there was no need for the oil analysis because the first thing that came out was water.

Butch stripped off the aluminum head, checked it for straightness, and we’ve sent it up to River City Machine in WRJ (White River Junction, if you’re not from Vermont) to be pressure tested for leaks.

Jaguar Mk2 sedan at Hurds Upholstering for retrimming

Jaguar Mk2 at Hurds Upholstering for retrimming

In other sedan news, after having received a full paint & sheetmetal restoration at East Coast Collision & Restoration, we delivered this Jaguar Mk2 sedan to Hurd’s upholstery for complete retrimming.  This circa 1962 sedan has a Detroit Gear (Borg Warner) PiNDLR  transmission, same as a Studebaker.  It’s unique among automatics because it’s capable of a rolling start by virtue of it’s unusual rear pump which can lock up the entire TX from back to front.

Picking up Stephan Stefanko's TD in Walpole, N.H.

Picking up a MGTD in Walpole, N.H.

Stephan Stefanko lives about as close to Mecca as an mere mortal can possibly live, he’s less than half a mile from Abingdon Spares.  He called us up because his MG TD was leaking gas out of the rear float chamber.  As soon as we replaced the sunk float in the rear, the front float began misbehaving, too.

A "H" type carb float sinking in the float chamber

This "H" type carb float has taken on fuel. Click to Enlarge

Repalcement float

How it should look: replacement float. Click to Enlarge

It’s worth pointing out that part of the basic physics of SU carburetors is that the float mechanism must maintain the fuel level below the bottom of the throat of the carburetor itself, otherwise fuel is going to flood the carburetor simply by the effect of gravity, and there’s no amount of carb tuning that’s going to offset that condition.

Heading out on a TR3 road test

Opposite lock is applied to counteract engine torque on a loose surface. Steve Reed TR3 photos

The Answer to last week’s trivia question about Indy Race Cars is NOVI.  The NOVI was built in Novi, Michegan, and although it was a definite crowd pleaser with it’s banshee wail and staggering acceleration, it never won a race in its 25 year career.

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