Installation Tips:TR3 Grille Moulding Joint Covers
NOTICE: Fitting adjustments may be required.
At the time we started the production process for the TR3 grille reveal moulding joint covers (Triumph p/n 604340, Moss USA p/n 870-035), we had 2 cars, 3 sets of mouldings, and 5 smallmouth front aprons available for reference, and none of them were the same! Unfortunately, over the past 50+ years, almost every one of these have suffered some kind of abuse which slightly altered the fit and shape of aprons and mouldings, not to mention the huge assumption that each was 100% identical when they left the Standard-Triumph works in 1956-1957! So before you start to install these little bits, let me explain how they were made, and the fitting adjustments you might have to make to get them onto your car. I also need to mention that Moss now has these joint covers available under the above mentioned part number, they are more than twice as long as the originals, and are priced each at almost as much as we get for a pair of the correct length covers that we make here.
The profile for this part was selected as the best average profile from all of the mouldings we had on hand, and by comparison with a single joint cover that still remained on one of my own cars. In many cases, the mouldings were found to be “flattened” on the ends, which lowered the profile and widened the end of the moulding. It is our belief that this has occurred through collisions and rough handling over the years, and so a profile that resembled an average of the center sections was selected.
The company who produced the dies and stamped the stainless pieces for the joint covers is in the business of reproducing stainless steel trim for 1950’s and 1960’s American cars, and it was their recommendation to make the new joint covers to be a snug fit so that the mouldings would not rattle beneath the clips, and also to make the sides a bit “short” so that they wouldn’t dig into the paint when tightened. We accepted their recommendations, and so you will find that the joint covers will require a bit of force to install, but heavy thumb pressure should be adequate. If you are unable to get the joint cover to pop over the mouldings, your mouldings may have been flattened too much, and you will need to squeeze the sides of your mouldings slightly to narrow them back to a more original profile. Just be careful to not squeeze them enough that the joint cover will become a loose fit over the moulding. Under no circumstances should you try to drive the joint cover into place with a hammer or similar device. Swearing is allowed though!
The second issue which may appear depending on how many times your front apron has been “re-shaped” through the years and how well the mouldings fit in the opening, is that there might not be enough space between the mouldings for the screw head on the back side of the joint cover to pull down fully into place. Apparently, from looking at my own mouldings, this is nothing new. I have mouldings with square cut ends, and others with a half circle of metal removed on one end or the other. Sometimes this circular relief is on the upper moulding, some times on the lower moulding, and sometimes on both upper and lower. I even have one moulding where the stud to attach the joint cover passes through a complete hole in the moulding, in from the end by 1/8 inch! The good news is that these are chrome plated brass mouldings, and if you need to grind or file a semi-circular relief in the end of a moulding, it’s not going to rust because you broke the chrome plating. But in an ideal world, you would have test fit everything before painting the car or sending the mouldings out for plating!
If you feel that the fitting process is something that you’d rather not get into, then we’ll be happy to accept your return and refund your money before you start. But just as with the reproduction sheet metal that’s available for these cars, once you begin to modify the part to achieve a better fit, the return option will no longer be available.
One last thing…..If anyone can figure a way to get the mouldings and joint covers installed without pulling the apron off of the car, please let me know!