Macy’s Garage
© 2019 - Macy’s Garage, Ltd.

Blog  

   WHAT we’re doing, and HOW we’re doing it!

August 19, 2019

Changing the TR2’s and early TR3’s to front disc brakes is a popular modification, and a smart one too!  It’s almost a “bolt-on” modification, but there are a few minor details that requires someone with extensive knowledge of these cars to pull off quickly, efficiently, and most importantly safely!  Take for instance this bracket for the junction of the front brake hose and the steel brake line.  It’s in a different place on the drum brake cars, and can be seen in the photo just behind the new bracket that we fabricated and welded into the correct position.  We have seen this done before without the bracket being added, and it isn’t pretty.  Leaving the junction between steel and rubber lines dangling in mid-air is a popular but poor option as the steel line will flex and vibrate, causing it to eventually crack with the loss of all normal braking. It’s even worse when the steel line was run through the old Lockheed drum brake bracket to help “keep it located” as the steel line rubbed the inside of the bracket hole and wore through the line at that exact spot!  But what’s to worry about?  You’ve still got a handbrake, right?

August 12, 2019

Brought to you from high atop Pikes Peak in Colorado, somewhere around 13000 feet MSL, you see one of our TR6 restorations following the lengthy climb up the mountain.  This is the point where the TR6 ran out of oxygen, and the owner didn’t feel it was worth the effort to lean out the carbs enough to climb another 1115’ to the top.  The amazing part of this is that he had just picked the car up from us a week earlier, and set out to drive this fresh restoration all the way home to NM!  The car had only about 100 miles on it when we turned it over to him, and after a day of driving around SW Ohio and SE Indiana, he stopped back in to have a couple of small adjustments made before pointing the car west and beginning the big adventure. We build our cars to be driven, and the priority list always begins with making them SAFE.  Making them RELIABLE is item #2 on that list, and once numbers one and two are satisfied, making them PRETTY follows close behind in the #3 spot.  I think this photo demonstrates how successful we are at achieving those goals!  BTW, this is the same car shown below receiving the interior on July 8.  We also build them QUICKLY!

August 5, 2019

Take a look at the inside of this TR4-6 heater bulkhead (firewall) fitting, and you can see that it is pretty well packed full of rust and debris.  The condition shown here is quite normal, and any of these fittings which are clean and clear whenever a hose removed is going to be a real rarity.  You can almost bet that the inside of the heater core is going to be at least half plugged up as well, so a quick “change the hoses” job is liable to expand into an all day (or week) affair!  Any time that you are purchasing replacement hoses (and don’t forget about the 2 small hoses inside the car and under the dash), you might as well go ahead and order this fitting and the rubber mounting pad at the same time.  You’re probably going to need them!  It would also be helpful to plan on pulling the heater assembly out from under the dash and sending the heater core out to your local radiator shop to be cleaned and tested.  And it will also give you a chance to clean those smelly mouse nests out from inside the heater box!

July 29, 2019

This week’s photo was taken in our paint shop.  What is notable here is how clean and organized it is, plus the fact that every car in the shop is a Triumph TR (that’s a TR4 under the cover at the far end).  Those of you who’ve been inside a body shop (or a restoration shop that does their own paint work as we do) will know that they don’t ever look anything like this.  If you’ve ever seen a TR that was restored here and marvelled at the high quality of the paint, this photo demonstrates the attention to detail that allows us to achieve such spectacular results. The bodywork and final paint preparation process generates a large amount of fine dust, and it’s hard to walk into any automotive body shop and not come back out with dusty/dirty clothing.  It’s also difficult to keep all of that dirt and dust out of the final paint, even with a state of the art paint booth such as we have here.  Our painter Jake always wears a new lint free paint suit when painting our clients’ Triumphs, but keeping the shop clean and organized helps him to keep that suit clean when he moves between the paint mixing room and the booth.

July 22, 2019

This week’s photo has two stories with it.  It shows a worn throttle shaft from a TR6 Z-S carburetor, but we see the same wear on SU throttle shafts as well.  This type of wear is the natural result of two metal pieces rubbing together, but British car owners who think they need to “pump” the gas pedal before starting the car only accelerate the wear process.  Unlike carbureted American cars, which have an “accelerator pump” that shoots a small stream of gas into the carburetors, the British carbs do not have this tiny pump, so when you pump the pedal the only thing which gets accomplished is to hasten the wear of this shaft (and the carburetor body as well).  Wear like this will allow extra air to slide into the mixture, causing erratic fuel delivery and idle speeds that can never be stabilized by simple tuning adjustments. The second part of this story is that it demonstrates why simply installing new seals and gaskets from a “carburetor kit” isn’t a complete rebuild, and won’t necessarily solve the problems you were hoping to resolve!

July 15, 2019

Yesterday, Mark and shop manager Austin took Tonda’s early TR4, CT288L to the Cincinnatti British Car Day (BCD) at Harbin Park in Fairfield, OH.  Here is a photo of Mark, taken right after the awards ceremony, holding the hardware that gets added to the Macy’s Garage collection.  The smaller trophy is for first place in the TR4-4A-250 class, and the larger trophy on the right is for “People’s Choice”, the Cincinnati equivalent of “Best of Show”.  The big trophy was awarded by popular vote via a special ballot given to not only all show participants, but also to all spectators who passed through the gate.  While we kind-of expect other British car owners to recognize the “over the top” quality of this TR4, you never know what non-car folks are thinking and we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Jaguar or an Aston Martin win this award.  What is surprising is to now look back at the three British car shows where we’ve shown this car (Triumph Register of America (TRA) plus Dayton and Cincinnati BCD’s) and we’ve won Best of Show at each and every one of them!  While every car we repair and restore here receives the benefit of our passion, experience, and attention to detail, most of the full restorations will be serious contenders for Best of Show honors wherever they go.  But a three- peat is practically unheard of, so we’ll have to keep our expectations in check going forward from here!

July 8, 2019

When installing rear wheel arch covers, it all starts with a smooth metal surface, to which the correct (thin) padding is firmly glued.  On the sidescreen cars, the narrow strip on the top surface is all that they receive, and the larger side pad shown here on the side is not used.  This is why the metal must be smooth, because without padding, every speck of dirt or rust will look like a small mountain through the thin vinyl covers. When padding a TR4-TR6 rear wheel arch, you will achieve a more professional result if you leave a small channel between the two pieces of pad, as shown here on this TR6.  The channel allows the bulky seam allowance and piping of the cover to sink down below the surface, resulting in a nice smooth wheel arch cover without a huge ridge sticking up under the seam.  The only trick is placing the channel directly under where the seam will lay!   Pay attention to different cars the next time you are at a gathering of TR’s, and you’ll be able to spot the ones that should have had this relief groove in the padding!

July 1, 2019

We see these rear brake wheel cylinders installed all kinds of different ways, but very rarely are they installed the one and only CORRECT way!  This one is “close”, in that all of the pieces are there and stacked in the proper order, but the center lock plate isn’t in all the way, and it’s not “locked”. The installation of these rear wheel cylinders hasn’t changed since Triumph went to the Girling systems with the addition of disc brakes in the fall of 1956 (‘57 models starting with TS13046), and carried on through the very last TR6 in 1976.  You’d think that with all that time to figure it out, TR owners and mechanics wouldn’t keep making the same mistakes!  To help you get it right the next time, see our WHEEL CYLINDER INSTALL page.
  BLOG 2019-Q3
America’s BEST Triumph Shop
Macy’s Garage
© 2019 - Macy’s Garage, Ltd.

Blog  

   WHAT we’re doing, and HOW we’re doing it!

August 19, 2019

Changing the TR2’s and early TR3’s to front disc brakes is a popular modification, and a smart one too!  It’s almost a “bolt-on” modification, but there are a few minor details that requires someone with extensive knowledge of these cars to pull off quickly, efficiently, and most importantly safely!  Take for instance this bracket for the junction of the front brake hose and the steel brake line.  It’s in a different place on the drum brake cars, and can be seen in the photo just behind the new bracket that we fabricated and welded into the correct position.  We have seen this done before without the bracket being added, and it isn’t pretty.  Leaving the junction between steel and rubber lines dangling in mid-air is a popular but poor option as the steel line will flex and vibrate, causing it to eventually crack with the loss of all normal braking. It’s even worse when the steel line was run through the old Lockheed drum brake bracket to help “keep it located” as the steel line rubbed the inside of the bracket hole and wore through the line at that exact spot!  But what’s to worry about?  You’ve still got a handbrake, right?

August 12, 2019

Brought to you from high atop Pikes Peak in Colorado, somewhere around 13000 feet MSL, you see one of our TR6 restorations following the lengthy climb up the mountain.  This is the point where the TR6 ran out of oxygen, and the owner didn’t feel it was worth the effort to lean out the carbs enough to climb another 1115’ to the top.  The amazing part of this is that he had just picked the car up from us a week earlier, and set out to drive this fresh restoration all the way home to NM!  The car had only about 100 miles on it when we turned it over to him, and after a day of driving around SW Ohio and SE Indiana, he stopped back in to have a couple of small adjustments made before pointing the car west and beginning the big adventure. We build our cars to be driven, and the priority list always begins with making them SAFE.  Making them RELIABLE is item #2 on that list, and once numbers one and two are satisfied, making them PRETTY follows close behind in the #3 spot.  I think this photo demonstrates how successful we are at achieving those goals!  BTW, this is the same car shown below receiving the interior on July 8.  We also build them QUICKLY!

August 5, 2019

Take a look at the inside of this TR4-6 heater bulkhead (firewall) fitting, and you can see that it is pretty well packed full of rust and debris.  The condition shown here is quite normal, and any of these fittings which are clean and clear whenever a hose removed is going to be a real rarity.  You can almost bet that the inside of the heater core is going to be at least half plugged up as well, so a quick “change the hoses” job is liable to expand into an all day (or week) affair!  Any time that you are purchasing replacement hoses (and don’t forget about the 2 small hoses inside the car and under the dash), you might as well go ahead and order this fitting and the rubber mounting pad at the same time.  You’re probably going to need them!  It would also be helpful to plan on pulling the heater assembly out from under the dash and sending the heater core out to your local radiator shop to be cleaned and tested.  And it will also give you a chance to clean those smelly mouse nests out from inside the heater box!

July 29, 2019

This week’s photo was taken in our paint shop.  What is notable here is how clean and organized it is, plus the fact that every car in the shop is a Triumph TR (that’s a TR4 under the cover at the far end).  Those of you who’ve been inside a body shop (or a restoration shop that does their own paint work as we do) will know that they don’t ever look anything like this.  If you’ve ever seen a TR that was restored here and marvelled at the high quality of the paint, this photo demonstrates the attention to detail that allows us to achieve such spectacular results. The bodywork and final paint preparation process generates a large amount of fine dust, and it’s hard to walk into any automotive body shop and not come back out with dusty/dirty clothing.  It’s also difficult to keep all of that dirt and dust out of the final paint, even with a state of the art paint booth such as we have here.  Our painter Jake always wears a new lint free paint suit when painting our clients’ Triumphs, but keeping the shop clean and organized helps him to keep that suit clean when he moves between the paint mixing room and the booth.

July 22, 2019

This week’s photo has two stories with it.  It shows a worn throttle shaft from a TR6 Z-S carburetor, but we see the same wear on SU throttle shafts as well.  This type of wear is the natural result of two metal pieces rubbing together, but British car owners who think they need to “pump” the gas pedal before starting the car only accelerate the wear process.  Unlike carbureted American cars, which have an “accelerator pump” that shoots a small stream of gas into the carburetors, the British carbs do not have this tiny pump, so when you pump the pedal the only thing which gets accomplished is to hasten the wear of this shaft (and the carburetor body as well).  Wear like this will allow extra air to slide into the mixture, causing erratic fuel delivery and idle speeds that can never be stabilized by simple tuning adjustments. The second part of this story is that it demonstrates why simply installing new seals and gaskets from a “carburetor kit” isn’t a complete rebuild, and won’t necessarily solve the problems you were hoping to resolve!

July 15, 2019

Yesterday, Mark and shop manager Austin took Tonda’s early TR4, CT288L to the Cincinnatti British Car Day (BCD) at Harbin Park in Fairfield, OH.  Here is a photo of Mark, taken right after the awards ceremony, holding the hardware that gets added to the Macy’s Garage collection.  The smaller trophy is for first place in the TR4-4A-250 class, and the larger trophy on the right is for “People’s Choice”, the Cincinnati equivalent of “Best of Show”.  The big trophy was awarded by popular vote via a special ballot given to not only all show participants, but also to all spectators who passed through the gate.  While we kind-of expect other British car owners to recognize the “over the top” quality of this TR4, you never know what non-car folks are thinking and we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Jaguar or an Aston Martin win this award.  What is surprising is to now look back at the three British car shows where we’ve shown this car (Triumph Register of America (TRA) plus Dayton and Cincinnati BCD’s) and we’ve won Best of Show at each and every one of them!  While every car we repair and restore here receives the benefit of our passion, experience, and attention to detail, most of the full restorations will be serious contenders for Best of Show honors wherever they go.  But a three-peat is practically unheard of, so we’ll have to keep our expectations in check going forward from here!

July 8, 2019

When installing rear wheel arch covers, it all starts with a smooth metal surface, to which the correct (thin) padding is firmly glued.  On the sidescreen cars, the narrow strip on the top surface is all that they receive, and the larger side pad shown here on the side is not used.  This is why the metal must be smooth, because without padding, every speck of dirt or rust will look like a small mountain through the thin vinyl covers. When padding a TR4-TR6 rear wheel arch, you will achieve a more professional result if you leave a small channel between the two pieces of pad, as shown here on this TR6.  The channel allows the bulky seam allowance and piping of the cover to sink down below the surface, resulting in a nice smooth wheel arch cover without a huge ridge sticking up under the seam.  The only trick is placing the channel directly under where the seam will lay!   Pay attention to different cars the next time you are at a gathering of TR’s, and you’ll be able to spot the ones that should have had this relief groove in the padding!

July 1, 2019

We see these rear brake wheel cylinders installed all kinds of different ways, but very rarely are they installed the one and only CORRECT way!  This one is “close”, in that all of the pieces are there and stacked in the proper order, but the center lock plate isn’t in all the way, and it’s not “locked”. The installation of these rear wheel cylinders hasn’t changed since Triumph went to the Girling systems with the addition of disc brakes in the fall of 1956 (‘57 models starting with TS13046), and carried on through the very last TR6 in 1976.  You’d think that with all that time to figure it out, TR owners and mechanics wouldn’t keep making the same mistakes!  To help you get it right the next time, see our WHEEL CYLINDER INSTALL page.
America’s BEST Triumph Shop