[TR] TR4 Chassis Issues
jtgayton at icloud.com
Wed Feb 18 14:42:33 MST 2015
Greetings. So after some trouble with the tow company, I did manage to get my ball-dis-jointed TR4 to a good local shop. Sadly, they found significant problems with the frame: Poor welding and alignment of the front suspension supports leading to front wheels with positive and negative camber (the tops of both wheels lean in the same direction – the top part of both front wheels lean toward the passenger side).
On a lift, when pointed out by a pro, the problems are obvious. From one side to the other, things are just not aligned the same way. One looks pretty good and the other looks bodged, with what was colorfully described as “bird shit” welding in some areas. On the ground, the problems are less obvious, but still visible. The shop thinks the camber issue must have been present before my ball-joint failure. I feel I’d have noticed the significant positive camber on the front passenger side, but hindsight is 20-20, so who knows?
Anyway, the shop recommends replacing the frame because of the difficulty finding a place that has the knowledge needed to straighten everything out. I do have a full-size frame diagram from the previous owner, but have no idea how accurate it is. The shop is looking for a new frame, but they’ve not had much luck so far.
I’m curious to know the list’s collective thinking about what I should do: Repair the frame, replace with an old frame, or replace with a Ratco frame. Given my penchant for (in-period) originality, I’m surprised to find myself considering the latter, but I’m still relatively young and would like to keep and drive the car for many years. A new Ratco frame would give me peace of mind for a long time, and has the additional advantage of not needing any work. Presumably, a Triumph replacement frame would.
By the way, a shout-out to Hagerty Insurance for eventually making good with the towing issues. The truck and driver that turned up at my house on the day told me that they were not informed that a wheel was partially off when they accepted the job. I ended up having to pay out of pocket for another truck to come out and tow the car to the shop. Hagerty was not helpful on the phone, but when I emailed them a copy of the receipt and an account of what happened, I received a check covering the full cost in a couple of weeks.
1962 Triumph TR4
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