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Lace Grazier

(1 posts)

12/28/2010 05:26PM

Main British Car:

Lace Grazier's '71 TR6 Ford 302 Conversion
Posted by: lacexnox
Date: December 28, 2010 07:58PM

Owner: Duncan Grazier
City: New York
Car Model: 1971 Triumph TR6
Engine: Ford 302 Cubic Inch Small Block

Engine: 1984 5.0L w/ GT-40P Heads more to come.....

Cooling: ??

Exhaust: ??

Transmission: Ford AOD from 1995 Mustang Cobra

Rear Axle: Stock

Front Susp.: Stock

Rear Susp.: Stock

Brakes: ??

Wheels/Tires: ??

Body Mods: ??

Interior: ??

Electrical: ??

This is a complete frame off restoration I am doing to a family car. I don't have any pictures of the car before I dismantled it but the following link is a video of me unloading the car after bringing it to my shop (garage). There are additional videos of the project in the same YouTube profile as this video.


The original 2.5l motor was already bored to the maximum allowable dimensions and was over the manufacturers' out of round specs. After reading all of the project journals on British V8, I decided the best option was a Ford 5.0L motor swap. Amazingly, the 302 short block is nearly the same weight as the Triumph 2.5L with double, if not more power. A 302 was acquired for $75, and I'm proud to say it was out of the 2008 Southeastern Virginia Demolition Derby Championship car. Don't make that sour face... after disassembling, I completely measured and dye penetrant tested the block. Aside from a bore to 0.30" over (for power), honing, and a quick shave of the deck to remove some pitting, it's in perfect condition. I went to the junkyard and scored GT-40P heads off a '97 Ford Explorer and they will have themselves a deck shave and new valve seats at the machine shop. More on the motor later when I get to actually building it.....




After stripping the car down to the frame I thought it would be a smart, time saving idea to sand blast it myself. I was wrong.
That's about as far as I got on the differential support frame rail before I started calling around to professional blasting businesses. I got it done about 3 miles from my "shop" and it cost me $250... best money I ever spent.


The frame itself had some pretty severe damage I had no idea about, but I was already committed to the restoration and had to repair it.
It looked like someone at some point had either drove her up on a curb or high centered it on something. You can also see just how filthy the frame was before sand blasting.

My friend and I basically cut out the entire bad section of frame and fabricated a new section. We used 16 gauge steel sheet for the actual bent parts of the frame and 1/4" steel plate for the body mounting flange. We welded the appropriate metric nuts to the back of the plate and used the other sides' good bracket to get the proper measurements for hole placement and flange height.

Here are some more pics of the kinds of damage I found on the frame.
I guess these cracks are pretty common and they can be easily fixed by drilling the ends to stop the travel and then TIG welding them up. Be careful if you are a new welder and practice on some thin sheet because the frame might look thick, but it isn't. I used the pulser function on my welder to make it a little less challenging.


The next series of photos is the application of the differential repair kit. The kit is great and it fits up easy. It makes for a good, strong attachment point for the rear end. The only complaint I have about the kit is the galvanization of the parts which adds 30 minutes of grinding to the job because of its interference with the TIG welding process. Being a welder by trade, I nit pick on this alot when doing jobs and might be a little out of line but still, it causes porosity and tungsten contamination if not cleaned properly.
The old bracket.

The area prepped and ready to have the new kit brackets fitted to it.

Old mount assembly, new mount assembly.

I have gathered that the nice British Gent that assembled my TR6 welded left handed, unsupported with his eyes closed, and with his shielding gas turned off just for an extra challenge. At first I was angry, then I decided that I was going to grind out and repair every crappy weld on the car. I realized that the time investment would be ridiculous, then I accepted the bad welding and moved on.

The brand new new kit parts in all of their galvanized glory. I mean seriously, who would not at least prime these brackets? No need for Zinc, I assure you.

One of the brackets tacked up. I took preliminary measurements and used those as well as the differential itself to ensure proper positioning. If you use this kit, don't get stressed out if the brackets aren't exactly perpendicular/parallel to the frame. It's the position of the pins that wins priority here. The kit pieces are 1/8th" steel and the frame is thin to non-existent. Focus your heat at the thickest part and you will be fine.

Three brackets fit up. I did this in a day easily, and from what I understand, you don't have to take the body off to do this upgrade, but man would it be tough with it on the car.

Welding up the brackets, I used a stitch pattern and rotated from bracket to bracket to keep the heat input into the frame low. Wouldn't want to warp it!

The kit comes out nice. It's a little bit of work, but well worth it for serious power upgrades. You can see how much "galvy" you have to grind off here.


Ok, so with the frame sand blasted and all of the known issues fixed, it was time to fit the drive train to the frame. I haven't painted the frame yet because I wasn't sure if I would have to modify the existing transmission and motor mount with cutting and welding. Wouldn't want to have to grind and burn off our nice finish later, would we?

I just used some ply wood and a couple jack stands to support the drive line where I wanted it.

This is basically the rolling chassis. I just used all the old suspension components to get an idea of where I want the motor weight. I'm not too worried about alignment and camber right now.


I didn't go super crazy, over-complicated with the engine mounts. I went to the junkyard, climbed up under an '84 Mustang, took a gander and a picture and made some mounts. The thing to remember here is the motor would rather spin around the drive shaft than move the heavy car. You are fighting that rotational force.

I used 1/4" plate and standard (not metric) grade 8 hardware for this assembly. Every time I go to FASTENAL the guy there makes fun of me for wanting metric stuff, so I crumbled like a cookie when I got the motor mount hardware.

I can't really explain these or give you a drawing or probably even ever re-create them, so I'm not going to go into too much detail. If anything, maybe some good ideas will form from the pictures.


The motors weight seems happy on them and I used a breaker bar to jerk it around to test the resistance to torsion, and it made me happy. I plan on fully boxing the brackets and painting them before the final assembly. The mounts use the original frame mounting location as the 2.5L, so hopefully they won't break or worst case, start a black hole.


Drum roll................. here is the frame with 3 coats of PPG epoxy primer. I sprayed it with a HVLP gun and it went very well. Very good product, pretty brutal fumes. I was trying to man my way through, but had to throw on my 3M organic vapor mask pretty quickly.

Here is my buddy shooting some primer. The nature of the frame and all the nooks and crannies make it pretty exacting work. I'm glad he was there to help and it went a lot faster. Pay a lot of attention to the tight spots and work in a methodical manner or at your first car show you will get docked points for mysterious rust drips on the frame.

There she is with 2 coats of Eastwood high solids ceramic paint. There isn't much to say here, great product, same rules as primer.


Just got back a butt ton of parts from the sand blaster. I brought in all of the suspension parts as well as the rear shock absorbers and the differential. The bad news is the guy wanted $250 for it all. The good news is I told him I would do the differential myself and he knocked off $70. It was a pain is the rear to blast the differential but the money saved can be spent on all that hardware I broke taking it apart.

All the clean parts ready for primer.

First coat of color. I used the same Eastwood paint for all the under body components. I word of caution on this later...

A majority of the suspension components finishing thier cure time on a clean surface. The paint looks good but is surprisingly temperamental the first 48.

I went a different route with the differential, they get warm by the very nature of their duty. Just like a motor or tranny, a diff has moving parts and is full of hot oil. That's why I coated it in ceramic engine enamel. I don't feel like giving a fast road a run and finding the paint flaking off the rear end. It's expensive, but worth it in the end.

Just a box holding some A-Arm stuff.

One of many poly bushings to be installed. A word of CAUTION on the ceramic frame paint: It takes a long time to get hard. The frame was painted 8 days ago and it is hard. I grabbed a trailing arm, perhaps over zealous, and put in a bushing. It was resting on a towel on my steel target table. When I flipped it over to admire my days of attention to detail I saw that the towel itself had rubbed the top coat off the trailing arm. This is 24 hours after painting. Still a great product, just make sure you keep it free of any type of molestation for at least 2 days.

The differential all chocked up and ready to be raised on to the body.

I can understand why the television shows all show the assembly part of restoration projects. It's the most gratifying part that's for sure. To see all those parts you disassembled with the greatest care, cleaned, examined, repaired and loved come together in one unifying declaration of your mechanical prowess! Well anyway, its fun. Don't get discouraged by the little bolt that broke and costs $6 and won't be delivered for a fortnight.

That's the passenger side rear end assembled.


Taking the motor and heads in for machining within the next 2 weeks. Please check back for updates within the next couple months!! Thanks for your support!!!

-Lace Grazier

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2010 09:56PM by lacexnox.

Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4577 posts)

10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Lace Grazier's '71 TR6 Ford 302 Conversion
Posted by: Moderator
Date: March 14, 2011 09:07PM


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