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Triumph TR7 & TR8

Published: 13th May 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR7 & TR8

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Despite the model’s bold styling, the TR7 retained a traditional rear-wheel drive layout. The use of an in-line engine and gearbox, sat within a reasonably spacious engine bay, greatly aids access around the motor.

How easy are they to work on?

Despite the model’s bold styling, the TR7 retained a traditional rear-wheel drive layout. The use of an in-line engine and gearbox, sat within a reasonably spacious engine bay, greatly aids access around the motor. The transmission and running gear are also relatively simple, again helping to make DIY life easy. In most respects do-it-yourself maintenance is straightforward. There are no real difficulties in servicing the ignition and fuel systems, although correctly setting up the twin carburetors can be challenging, at least the first time you attempt it. If in doubt, seek professional assistance for this. The Rover V8 engine used in the TR8 (and converted TR7s) takes up more room under the bonnet, so access around it is comparatively tight. Even so, routine servicing and repair operations are well within the scope of most enthusiasts working at home.

User-friendliness rating

(out of possible five stars):HHHHH


TR7: Overhead camshaft in-line four-cylinder. 1998cc, 105 bhpTR8: Overhead valve (pushrod) V8. 3528cc, 155 bhp

Valve clearances

The valve clearances on the overhead camshaft four-cylinder TR7 engine do not normallyneed to be re-set unless the cylinder head is removed. The clearances (cold engine) are: Inlet, 0.008in. (0.20mm.), exhaust, 0.018in. (0.46mm.). Rover’s overhead valve V8 engine incorporates hydraulic tappets, which are effectively self-adjusting.

Fuel system

Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first), scrutinise all fuel system pipework and check/top up the carburettor dashpots (engine oil); bring oil level to 1/2in (13mm) above top of hollow piston rod). Inspect carburettor mounts and breather pipes; renew if damaged. Periodically (at least once a year): Check/clean the fuel pump filter (located beneath pump top cover). Check/clean the carburettor suction chambers and pistons. At every service, after all ignition settings have been checked/reset, and with the engine fully warmed up, check/reset the SU carburettor mixture/throttle settings to ‘balance’ them (use proprietary equipment for precisely balancing the carburettors). Renew air filter element(s) every 12,000 miles (or sooner if visibly choked; check every 6000 miles). Note that some cars may have had alternative filters retrospectively installed (these may incorporate reusable ‘gauze’ elements which can be cleaned).


At every service: Check master cylinder and reservoir for leaks (investigate if fluid level is low), also assess condition of fluid. Check brake servo operation and assess hose condition/security. Inspect all fixed and flexible pipework (taking particular note of rust-prone pipes in vicinity of transmission tunnel); renew if damaged/corroded. Inspect the front brake pads, discs and calipers; renew pads if friction material is well worn. Replace brake discs if surfaces are badly worn/pitted/scored or show signs of cracking. Investigate reasons for uneven wear – usually due to caliper piston(s) sticking in housing(s). Remove rear brake drums and inspect linings (renew if worn), also cylinders (fit new if fluid leaks are evident), and rear brake adjuster teeth (which can wear). Ensure that rear hub oil seals are not weeping (or oil will find its way into the brake drums). Ensure that the handbrake operating mechanism moves freely, and re-lubricate (include cable guides). Check compensator rubbers for excessive wear. Check handbrake travel is not excessive; re-adjust as required (consult workshop manual). At least every 18,000 miles/18 months whichever comes first), renew brake fluid.


Every 3000 miles or annually (ideally whichever comes first): Re-lubricate the carburettor/accelerator linkage pivot points/controls, also pivots for accelerator, clutch and brake pedals. Re-lubricate the hinges and lock mechanisms (wipe off excess lubricant afterwards), also bonnet release assembly. Check alternator belt condition and tension. Assess fluid level in clutch system reservoir; investigate if level is low; examine pipework too. Check the cleanliness and security of all electrical connections and inspect all wiring for damage. Check security of propeller shaft bolts/nuts. Check retractable headlamp operating mechanism. Examine engine mounting condition/security. Check security and tightness of road wheel nuts. Every 12,000 miles, check the rear hub bearings for wear, and renew if significantly worn.

Thanks to

Southern Triumph Services, Bournemouth.

Lubrication cooling system

Use high quality anti-freeze mixture containing corrosion inhibitors, and leave in the system all year round to precent internal corrosion. Every 3000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), inspect the radiator, all hoses, the water pump, the fan, also the core plugs. Pay special attention to the water pump, ensuring that it isn’t leaking (replacing the pump can be a long, tedious job). At least every three years, drain the system, remove the thermostat and reverse-flush prior to re-filling the system with fresh anti-freeze solution (observe the dilution recommendations of the anti-freeze manufacturer - these will be printed on the container; usually a 50 per cent mix is recommended for these engines). Capacity (approximately): TR7, 13 pints (7.4 litres); TR8, 19.2 pints (10.9-litres).


Firing order: TR7: 1-3-4-2 (No. 1 cylinder at front of engine) TR8: 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (right hand bank 2-4-6-8; left hand bank 1-3-5-7, in each case the cylinders are numbered from the front of the car)Spark plugs: TR7: Champion N12Y or equivalent. Gap 0.024 to 0.026in. (0.61 to 0.66mm.). TR8/V8: Champion N12Y or equivalent. Gap: With carburetors, 0.030in. (0.76mm.); with fuel injection, 0.035in. (0.88mm.) In each case, check/clean the plugs every 6000 miles or annually (whichever comes first); renew every 12,000 miles. TR7: Contact points gap: 0.014in. to 0.016in. (0.35 to 0.40mm.) Check/clean the contact points every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first); fit new points regardless every 6000 miles. Distributor - mechanical aspects: Every 3000 miles, apply a few drops of engine oil to the moving components of the distributor (through aperture in base plate, to lubricate top bearing, and to pivot points of mechanical advance mechanism). SPARINGLY apply grease to the distributor cam. Note: A cam lubrication sponge is fitted to some distributors; remove the sponge, re-grease and re-fit. TR8: Distributor pick-up air gap: 0.014 to 0.016in. (0.35 to 0.40mm.) All models: Distributor cap, rotor arm and high tension leads: Every 3000 miles, clean and check condition, ensuring that all components are in excellent condition, and that all connections are sound.Timing: TR7: 10 degrees BTDC static, and at 650 to 850 rpm (with vacuum hose disconnected); marks on timing case and pulley. TR8/V8: With carburettors: Static, 7 degrees BTDC; or 5 degrees ATDC with engine idling (750 to 900 rpm). With fuel injection: Static, TDC, and also TDC at with engine idling (750 to 900 rpm) and vacuum hose disconnected.
Note: In each case minor re-adjustments may be required following a road test. Engine oil: Ideally change the oil and renew the filter at least every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first). On completion, ensure that there are no oil leaks. Always use high quality, ‘full-bodied’ lubricant – SAE15W50, 20W50 or 20W60. Please dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly manner - local councils provide waste oil collection points. Sump capacity: TR7: Approx. 8 pints (4.5 litres), including filter. TR8/V8: Approx. 9 pints (5.1 litres), including filter. Gearbox oil: Manual: Every 3000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), check/top up gearbox (with the car horizontal); filler/level plug on right hand side of gearbox. Automatic: Check level weekly and top up as required. Gearbox oil grades: TR7: For four speed manual gearbox the original Triumph-recommended oil was SAE 90 EP; capacity is approximately 2.0 pints (1.1-litres). For five speed manual gearbox the original Triumph-recommended lubricant was SAE 80 EP; capacity is approximately 2.7 pints (1.5 litres). N.B. For both four and five speed manual TR7 gearboxes, if the gearbox is completely drained, Triumph recommended that it MUST be refilled with Hypoid 75W gear oil (or Hypoid 80W if 75W is unavailable), and that future top-ups be made using this oil. For automatics, Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is required; capacity is approximately 9.5 pints, including the cooler. TR8: The manual five-speed gearbox needs Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF); capacity is approximately 2.7 pints (1.5-litres).The automatic transmission requires Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF); capacity is approximately 12.25 pints (6.96 litres), including cooler. Rear axle oil: Approximately every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first), with the vehicle horizontal, remove the differential filler/level plug and ensure that the oil is up to the base of the plug aperture.TR7: Use SAE 90 EP oil; capacity approx. 2.25 pints (1.3-litres) for four-speed manual gearbox cars; 1.6 pints (0.9 litres) for five speed manual gearbox cars. TR8: Use EP 90 EP oil; capacity approx. 2.0 pints (1.1-litres). Every 12,000 miles (approximately), drain the axle oil after a long run, and re-fill with fresh oil. Running gear: At least every 3000 miles or once a year (whichever comes first): Examine all suspension mountings (renew if worn) and ensure that all components (including the link arms) are sound. Rear suspension bushes require especially close scrutiny. Check for leaking/inefficient dampers and weak/broken coil springs. Inspect steering column universal joints and bushes; check for free movement. Ensure that steering rack gaiters are not split (if they are damaged, renew). Re-grease steering rack (if necessary, remove blanking plug and insert grease nipple). Check for excessive free play in front wheel bearings (taper type bearings can be adjusted; don’t over-tighten – consult workshop manual for details).

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