October 31, 2009
After looking for months for a TR3 to purchase I heard about a TR3 sitting in a neighbor's garage from Cathy's boss. He got me a phone number and lo and behold there is a car. Called the owner (Lary) and setup an appointment for the next day.
November 1, 2009
I went with my son to Lary's house to see the TR3. It has be sitting in the garage for years. There was dust and trash on, under, around and in the car. It looks pretty good things considered. The commission number is TS71779L. We don't see much rust but hard to tell with all the dirt. The owner, Lary, is looking to sell but doesn't have a price in mind. What we do know is that this TR3A has a TR2 front apron (don't know why), the bonnet has the wrong lock down connections, and that it has been sitting for years and was not prepped for storage.
November 6, 2009
The How to Restore a TR3 book arrived today. We could not wait for an actual deal before getting more reference material. We now have five books and a few catalogs. I am sure more will be needed.
November 15, 2009
Lary has arrived at a price for the TR3, $4,500; I said we have a deal. Now I need a shed to keep all the things I must remove from my garage to fit the TR3 in.
November 17, 2009
The shed arrived early, had to leave work to accept the pallets. I have to put it together myself. I moved the shed parts into the backyard by hand so that there was some way to get the car into the garage. Lary had an original TR2 spare parts book. What a find.
I went to Lary's and gave him a check. A friend had a tilt bed trailer and we loaded the TR3 on and brought it home. We now have a better chance to see what we bought. The car is still dirty but a better review shows that there is little rust. I took off the spare tire lid to see if any rust in there, looks great. While reviewing the car with my son, Brendan, we decided that much of the car is in great shape.
The convertible top frame and associated canvas straps look great. Much of the cockpit capping is in good shape and all of the body and top fasteners are there and in good shape. The fender bead sets are either missing or painted and will need to be replaced. The dash looks good but the oil pressure gauge dome glass is broken (maybe the gauge itself), the ammeter is not original. The heater has been removed (but there are two spares with the car).
The car needs a paint job but the body looks really good. We don't know the original color but we will find out. The engine was replaced with a factory rebuild and is currently not running. The breaks are also un-operable. The tires hold air but we will probably replace them, in the mean time we will clean them up to make pretty.
The doors are not hung right but the interior door panels are great and will not need to be replaced.
November 18, 2009
I got a hydraulic floor jack and four jack stands from BJ. I also borrowed a power washer that I plan to use to take the initial crud off the car, bottom, top and engine compartment. Hopefully we will get a better look at the overall effort we are undertaking.
November 19, 2009
We got some more pictures of the car in the light. I have a hook on a compressor and pneumatic power accessories to use. This will save time and money. Thanks Rudy. My initial plan is the following:
December 5, 2009
We have used the power washer and made some progress. Found more problems. The battery case well is missing half the bottom; which explains the poor state of the floor pans. Pulled out the seats and brackets, this took a while, the original box nuts that hold down the seat braces must have rusted tight since there are new holes in the floor pans to attach the seats.
December 12, 2009
We pulled up all the carpet and jute that was on the floor pans. Then we took the leopard print covers off the seats. The seat frames seem to be in good condition, albeit missing the seat springs. This is a project for later.
December 23, 2009
Back to making some notes. From the pictures you can see that we have the car on jack stands and have removed the hood, truck, windshield and doors. We have discovered that the floor pans are toast. I really don't think we will be able to salvage them. I still plan to work on the brakes before the engine. Not because this makes the most sense logistically but because it is cold in the garage and with short hours to work I want to have B accomplish things. Neither he nor I is experienced in rebuilding cars. So I am picking something I believe is simpler to start with.
We have purchased some new tools and equipment to start. We still need a parts cleaner but I don't think we need that today, maybe next month. It looks like a welder is in our future. I hope that B learns to use it at school before we practice at home.
December 26, 2009
Well soon we need to make a decision, "Do we work on the body or on the frame"? It really looks like we must replace the floor pans so the books recommend that we take the body off the frame (TWICE). I just don't know. Lack of experience here really shows. In any case we decided that we should at least remove the front apron (it is a TR2 front and we really want a TR3 front). We started with the headlights and then the bolts for the apron and the fenders. Sounded good to me too until we started and had stripped bolts, box nuts that were replaced with normal nuts and general unknowns. In the end we got the front end and fenders off. Still have same stubborn bolts/nuts but we figure we can work on them in the yard. I have pictures of the results.