[TR] panel lights on TR3

Randall tr3driver at ca.rr.com
Tue Apr 2 12:25:15 MDT 2013

---- Carl TR <cfmtr3a at verizon.net> wrote: 
> I am now thoroughly flummoxed ...  found two relatively new lamp holders and
> re-did all of the wiring - making sure solder and fittings were tight.  Same
> thing happens.  When 5 are in the panel or instruments - all is ok.  Plug in
> the sixth and it flickers.

Can you describe the "flicker" a bit more?  It almost sounds like you have a mis-wire somewhere that is powering the dash lights through the turn signal flasher or something.

>  o make sure I
> had a good ground I added a ground line from the center panel to both the
> speedo & tach. 

FWIW, I believe there is supposed to be a ground wire there.  Single black wire from the clamp on the instrument panel, to ring terminals on the mounting posts for both tach and speedo.

> Re-checked all of the holders and none
> have any broken insulation; the bulbs sit squarely on the connections;

The "arm" that supports the bulb bends slightly when the holder is inserted into the hole.  I've had problems several times with it deflecting enough so that the bulb no longer securely contacts the base contact when the holder is inserted in the hole.  But that would affect only one lamp, so not likely to be your problem.

> The other issue now is that the starter just whirs.   I took it out sometime
> ago and got the bendix working but now it seems to be stuck again.  Any
> suggestions so that I don't have to pull that *&^%(*)^ out again. 

Sometimes the starter doesn't get enough current to move the Bendix.  A low battery (run down perhaps from all the light testing?), poor connection (don't forget the ground strap at the LH motor mount) or bad solenoid.

I finally got disgusted with all the starter problems I was having, and upgraded to a gear-drive starter in 2001.  (Got mine from TRF but lots of sources offer essentially the same unit.)  Still works great.

> 1961 Triumph TR3A - TS81802LO

With that commission number, your starter should not have the bonded rubber drive that Dave M. mentioned.  If you have an early starter installed, that might be the problem.  The early starter used a smaller pinion gear that will just barely engage with the later (smaller) ring gear.  After just a little bit of wear, it slips.

One of the things I did to make the starter easier to change was install a Heli-coil in the transmission flange for the upper starter bolt.  Not having to mess with that nut makes the job a whole lot easier!  I just ran the tap in through the engine flange (where it cut threads that won't hurt anything) and then turned the insert in until it was entirely in the gearbox flange.  I'm not sure it would work every time (I run a TR6 gearbox with a thicker flange) but it sure worked a treat for me.


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