Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                                 August 2004

August Meeting, Tuesday Aug. 17th, 2004, 7:00 PM,

at Steve & Sandy Street’s, 2378 England Town Rd.  63129-4349,

Phone, (314) 846-2554


Arrive any time after 6:00 p.m.; meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. The club will provide grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Attendees should bring a dish or dessert to share, your beverage of choice, and lawn chairs.

President’s Epistle, By Dave Massey

There and back again. 

St. Louis was once again represented at the VTR national convention.  As conventions go it was not all that far away.  850 miles by direct route (I 64 all the way).  And much of it was quite scenic driving through the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.  As usual, we spiced up the trip with some sight seeing and tourist stuff.  We took US 50 from O'fallon, IL all the way to Chillicothy Ohio which, although a slower way to go was more interesting and made it easier to find the Mom-and-Pop diners that we so much prefer over the ubiquitous franchise fast food stops that predominate the interstate exits.  At one place in Ohio one of the locals actually recognized the TR8 for what it was.  He turned out to be quite familiar with British cars in general and we had a pleasant conversation over lunch and then headed east again.

So what's it like going to a national convention?  For those who have never been, it is like a pilgrimage where you meet up with a large number of like minded people who are also enthusiastic for Triumphs, some of whom know an awful lot about them, tried many different things with them from bizarre modifications to the most accurate and detailed restoration to factory original you have ever seen.  All this enthusiasm is contagious.  After seeing these cars talking with the owners, sharing experiences such as drives, technical sessions, sharing war stories and just enjoying the camaraderie will stay with you for the coming year.  As always, it is the people that make this hobby fun.

The VTR convention next year will be much closer.  The Illinois Sports Owner's Association (Chicago) is hosting and the convention will be held at the Clock Tower Inn in Rockford, IL.  Just like 10 years ago.  Rockford is only 300 miles (by interstate) so nobody in St. Louis has an excuse for not going.  Block off your calendars for July 26 through 29.  The theme is agricultural in nature (this IS northern Illinois) and, given the genetic link to a certain brand of tractors, most appropriate.  

July 20th 2004 Meeting Notes, By Chris Kresser

First, many thanks to John Lamberg for hosting this event at his home and buying and preparing the burgers and dogs. There was a large turnout and everyone enjoyed the warm evening.  In fact, we had such a good time, the official meeting was very brief. Joe Mueller will follow up on a alternative food source for the September Car Show.

The August meeting will be held at the home of Steve and Sandy Street. The club will provide the burgers and dogs. Bring your beverage of choice, side dish or dessert, and lawn chair.


August 17th, 2004


SLTOA Summer Meeting hosted by Steve & Sandy Street

September 12


British Car Fest in Palos Hills, Illinois

September 18



September 19


Forest Park Great Balloon Race/Car Display (Sat.)

St. Louis All British Car Show (Sun.)

Sponsored by the MG Club

Contact:        Charlie Key

Telephone:        314-428-9335

Email:                britcarguy@aol.com

September 17-19

Indy British Motor Days at Arbuckle Acres

September 19

Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 21

SLTOA Monthly Meeting

Stories About Those Triumph Cars, By Kathy Kresser

You may recall the July story was the drive from hell described by Gail Parentin. Joan Carroll offered the following as a rebuttal:

I just finished reading Gail’s recap of her “dark and stormy drive” in Champaign. While it was true, Roy and I decided not to go on that ill-fated drive, but our time was not without its hardships. We waited and worried all alone at the hotel bar. Just ourselves to talk to, warm drinks to sip (the bar ran out of ice), slow service, and only a few of those twisty pretzels for snacking. It was a very rough day for us.  Roy and I got our comeuppance on the Peoria trip. The rains came and ever since Roy installed the “side curtains from hell,” the inside of the car floods. Have you ever seen the movie, “Oh God”? Well, I made the mistake of reminding Roy of that scene when God makes it rain inside John Denver’s car. Humor does not always work in stressful situations! You don't want to know what Roy said -- as he looked over and saw Mel and Gail waving to us from their very dry car.

Happy trails and remember don't drive like my boyfriend and don't drive like my girlfriend.

Joan Carroll            Roy Matteson               1962 Austin Healey

Triumph Events, By Kathy Kresser

Recently, Chris and I attended two meets. Both were fun and I hope you will enjoy reading about them. 

The TRA National Meeting was held in Springfield, Ohio, on June 24-27, 2004. TRA is the national association of Triumph TR 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s.  The meet started with a breakfast run on Thursday. As expected with a Thursday morning start, not all attendees had arrived, so the turnout was lower. It was a lovely drive with 30 cars on back roads to a small, local restaurant. A wonderful opportunity to meet new people and talk with old or recent acquaintances. Nothing like an early morning drive in a British sports car -- we should plan a breakfast run for SLTOA members.  The remainder of the day was open to explore the area with preplanned daytrips. In the evening, the social hour included beverages and pizza followed by the Annual Membership Meeting.  

Friday was the Concours d’Elegance car show for TR2, 3, 3A, 3B, 4 and 4A.  The participant‘s choice car show was open to all British marques. The cars were cleaned, buffed, and polished -- the same as other shows. Owners and lookers discussed the cars at great lengths. A popular event was the mid afternoon ice cream social. The infamous auction was held in the evening. Attendees are encouraged to bring car parts, memorabilia, etc. for the auction. Some real bargains can be had. 

Paul Schuessler, First Place  --  Lou Metelko, Second Place  --  Chris Kresser, Third Place
Cincinnati British Car Day 

Saturday included a breakfast run and the fun/poker rally. The rally was about three hours in duration. Participants had their work cut out for them. In addition to finding the five checkpoints to collect their poker playing cards, they also had to count the number of ponds they passed and find answers to twenty odd questions. Everyone had fun. It was a great drive, even if one didn't participate in the games. The evening banquet presented good food and the awards. Chris Kresser was pleased to accept first place for the TR3A/B class on behalf of “Collin.” A farewell breakfast on Sunday sent everyone home happy with wonderful memories of the great drives and new and old friends.

The London to Brighton Rally was an adventure on July 17th. A 125-mile trek was mapped with a start point in London, Indiana, and a final point in Bright, Indiana. Approximately 40 cars participated. The rally coordinator suggested keeping our eyes open as we needed some information to complete the twenty rally questions -- the big surprise was that the questions were provided at the end of the rally with a thirty minute window to submit your answers. No one had all the answers, but a few answered better than 60% -- these are diehard rally participants. The drive was leisurely with time for a prolonged lunch, if desired, and time to get lost for some. The evening banquet had good food and conversation -- what else would you expect from terrific car folk?

This year, the rally ended 15 miles from the Cincinnati British Car Day show site. Many of the rally cars were on display the next day. The show was well attended with over 300 cars. The drag strip adjacent to this site provided fast entertainment for the day. Many cars took the opportunity to race. 

Good news -- the St. Louis boys brought home two of the three awards in the TR2/3 class. Congrats to Paul Schuessler on first place -- just can't beat that Winchester Blue on Blue combo. And, Chris Kresser brought in third place with rave reviews on Collin’s green and tan combo.

SLTOA members should consider these two events in 2005 for a two weekends of fun and car driving.

The mighty adventures of Speedi-Sleeve®, By Dave Massey

Back in 1996 I undertook a general refurbishment of my TR6 including an attempt to eliminate the oil leaks.  "British cars always leak" it is oft said as if it were a character flaw.  But why do they leak?  Well, consider that there are three metal housings filled with oil, containing rotating pieces that stir up the oil with shafts that protrude from these housings and you have to wonder why they don't leak more than they do.  But modern cars don't leak (usually), why is that?  The answer to that is "careful attention to detail.  It is not a trivial matter that cars don't leak.

Consider my differential.  It has a shaft to which is attached the drive shaft.  In order to keep oil in the seal must make contact with the flange and not let it sneak out where they make contact.   For each mile my car travels down the road this shaft rotates 3,000 times.  This means that after 100, 000 miles it has turned three hundred million times.  This means the rubber (or leather) seal has had plenty of opportunity to wear on the flange.  And the little crevices will allow oil to sneak in but the rubber can't reach down there to block the oil so it escapes!

I replaced the seal on my differential (and I used a new fangled rubber seal instead of the original leather one) but it still leaked.  It left quite a nice little puddle each time I stopped and parked the car.  It was frustrating considering the effort I had made to stem the tide.

Then I heard of a device called Speedi-Sleeve ®.  Made by bearing and seal manufacturer Chicago Rawhide, it is a stainless steel sleeve with a very thin wall thickness that is designed to press onto the shaft that has been worn by the seal over the past 100,000 miles.  The interference fit to the flange will block oil seepage through that path and the highly polished outer surface gives the seal a surface that it can seal up against.

So, the differential is the easiest of the three rotating devices to remove from the car so I dropped it, removed the flange and paid a visit to the local bearing supply and said "Gimme a Speedi-Sleeve ® to fit this."  After taking a few measurements he said "I'll have it here tomorrow." and the next day I picked up my very own item number 99149 Speedi-Sleeve ® for a mere $32.38.  I pressed it on (it comes with its very own tool for pressing it on), reinstalled the flange and the differential and guess what?  The leak has virtually stopped all together.  And get this: I still have the eight year old seal in there!

So I am one step closer to a leak-free Triumph.  Now to fix the Transmission…


The MG Club of St. Louis and The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

Invites You To Attend A Very Unique


In St. Louis, Missouri

Saturday, September 18th & Sunday, September 19th ,2004


FRIDAY EVENING, Sept. 17th : Join us at the Host Hotel, The Red Roof Inn**,  Page and Concourse-WestPort, for a complimentary snacks and beverage  Welcome Reception from 7PM -11PM.

SATURDAY, Sept. 18th :  Hospitality and Registration at the Host Hotel from 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM.

At 11:30 Cars & Cycles will CARAVAN from the Red Roof Inn to Forest Park and our reserved display area at  The Great Forest Park Balloon Race,  from NOON- 5PM, in front of 130,000 spectators who have come to see the 70 Hot Air Balloons.  Pre-race activities include an entertainment stage; an amateur photo contest on the launch field; sky diving demonstration; plus food and beverage concessions. The first balloon, the 40 foot high ENERGIZER BUNNY, will lift off around 4:30.  Afterwards our cars may  “CHASE” a balloon – or attend an optional WWII-Style “Big Band Hangar Dance”* at Smartt Field in St. Charles, MO. From 6 PM - ????

SUNDAY, Sept, 19th :  Registration for the 23rd Annual Midwest Regional All British Car & Cycle Show

opens at 9AM at the show venue - Creve Coeur Lake Park @ Marine Ave –across from beautiful Creve Coeur Lake, in Maryland Heights, MO. (Dorsett Road-West off I-270, then north on Marine to the show venue). Popular voting will take place from 11 AM to 1 PM.  Awards will include trophies for classes (three or more cars/cycles will constitute a class and less then three registrants per class will be assigned to the closest Marque.  In addition there will be awards for BEST OF SHOW; CHAIRMENS’ CHOICE; DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH;  and NEW FOR THIS YEAR – A PHOTO CONTESTso we encourage all to bring their favourite  photo of their British Car!

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: www.stlousmgclub.com or call the HOTLINE at 314-995 TO MG


REGISTRATION FORM: Complete and Return To Registrar Ron Birke, 415 Oakmont Circle,

Ballwin MO 63011 ∙ E-mail Questions and Concerns to <rbirke@irco.com>

Please Print Name: ______________________________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________ City State Zip________________________

E-mail Address:_____________________ @ ________________Phone: (        )­­______________________

Marque:_________________ Model: ______________Colour: ____________ Year: ___________________

Please enclose your cheque with registration made payable to THE MG CLUB OF ST. LOUIS

EARLY REGISTRATION For Sunday‘s Show (Prior to  Sept 13th)

 $22/car and $10/additional vehicle.  After Sept. 13th – and at gate Registration will be $25             $__________

GREAT FOREST PARK BALLROON RACE DISPLAY (Saturday) $5/Car                                                    $_________


T-SHIRTS – SPECIAL AT $10 each when ordered before August 15th, and $15 each afterwards-please indicate qty & size  M_____L_____ XL _______ XXL (+$1 more/shirt)_______                                                 $_________

*Please cheque here if you would like to attend the COMMERATIVE AIR FORCE HANGAR DANCE on Saturday Eve -

Tickets will be available for purchase on Saturday AM at Host Hotel from 8-10:30  AM                         _________

**Host Hotel: RED ROOF INN 11837 Lackland Road, St. Louis.  SPECIAL RATES AVAILABLE BY CALLING 1-800-773-7663

and requesting block B12600073 prior to 8/18/04


The following was contributed by Don Huber


TR6 Tune-Up Challenge, By Creig Houghtaling

Fellow SLTOA member Mike Mason has had a hard time getting his TR6 to run properly.  He has done a lot to his car in the past couple of years but is still having problems.  I asked him to write something about what his problem is.  Below is his response:


It was running fine (but always very rich) before the teardown of the body. While everything was out I had the valves redone, since there was a bit lower compression on one cylinder with a burned valve.

I diagnosed three problems with the carbs (Joe Curto said not to buy a lottery ticket, since the probability of all three things going wrong was astronomically low!) and fixed them.  I didn't redo the bottom of the engine or change the timing.

I haven't done a compression check since putting it back together, but the dwell and timing seem to right on.  (I say "seem to be" a lot lately, since I am beginning to doubt my diagnostic abilities.  I have always been able to get everything else to run.)  Not it acts like it is running on about four or five cylinders.  It is very hard to start and it doesn't want to pull itself up a hill.

I put in a Pertronix electronic ignition a couple of years ago and it only lasted about six months.  When I tried to put a new one in, I got no spark at all.  So it is back to points.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.


I think this is a great challenge.  I am planning to go over to Michael’s house Saturday, 21 August 2004.  I don’t have any idea what the problem might be.  But I think it would be fun to see if we can figure it out.  If you have an idea, plan to join in.  If you can’t make it, but you have an idea of how to diagnose it, let Michael or myself know.

Michael Mason, 2912 Wheatfield Farms Dr., O'Fallon, MO 63366-7848, (636) 240-0757, katemike@charter.net  -  Creig Houghtaling, (636) 305-1143 oldtoys@brick.net


St. Louis Triumph Owners Association Roster August 2004

Roster not displayed on this web version of the newsletter.




By Justin Wagner

As rare and hard to find as the endangered California condor, I looked high and low for a replacement chrome trafficator (turn signal) for my Triumph.  I finally found a new “old stock” switch on Ebay, jumped on it, won the auction, and paid a ridiculous amount of money for it.  Afterward, I had major buyer’s remorse.  The switches in my Triumph TR 4A worked fine.  The lighting switch was an original switch, but with flaking chrome, the trafficator was a replacement switch, that was black.  Did I really need to be spending so much money, not to mention the ridiculous labor of installing the new switch, just to restore a little chrome to the dash?   The answer was “NO!”.   I had a brainstorm: Thanks to now Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar, I had the answer all along.

Actually, the answer came from working on “Batman”, starring Arnold, where I used a product called “Bare-Metal Foil” on one of the props in the movie.  Basically, it’s a metal foil with a sticky back.  It’s marketed to model makers for making chrome parts on models look much more “real” than any silver paint job.

It’s actually very simple to use and it can all be done on the car, without removing the switch, but it does help to remove the plastic steering column covers.  If you goof up, it’s easy to strip it off with your fingernails and try again (as long as you don’t wait a long time).  The first order of business is to prepare the switch.  The foil is very thin:  the positive is that seams aren’t very visible and there’s no material resistance trying to undue your efforts; the negative is that it will transfer any underlying details to the surface!  This is great for modelers, as details cast into the plastic models are not lost, but in this application, you certainly don’t want pits to be seen on the “new” surface.

On my car, I decided to just fly through it so I did not go overboard on preparing the stems.  I did sand them, but I did not fill the rust pits.   I suggest you take the time to fill pits and sand them smooth.  You can use body working techniques, filling imperfections with Evercoat™ “Polyester Glazing Putty” or any other automotive 2-part body filler like “Bondo”.  Sand the surface smooth, eventually finishing up with 600 grit or finer.

You will find some switches are chrome, some are painted black over unchromed metal, and some are covered with a black rubber tube over unchromed metal.   If you find you have the rubber tube type, you should cut it away and prep the metal underneath.  If you’re lucky, the rubber tube protected the metal and there won’t be any rust pits underneath.  I used an X-acto knife to carefully cut it away.  Besides being careful not to cut yourself, try not to scratch the metal either, as a scratch could transfer to the foil covering.  After prepping the switches, it’s time to measure out the foil.

First, you need to measure a length, from the beginning of the switch out to the black knob.  Secondly, you need to measure the diameter.  I simply twisted a small strip of paper around the rod and marked the overlap with a pencil and then unravel it to measure the diameter.   You will want to cut the foil at the exact length, but with a little more width (diameter) to allow the foil to overlap at the seam.  I went for ¾” wide, and this turned out to provide much more overlap than I would have liked.  You might go for a little less, but check your switch, the diameter could be different.  Just shoot for about a 1/16” overlap.

I noticed some switches are nearly straight, and others have a bend in them.   It is difficult to get the foil to lay down cleanly on a sharp bend.  On the switches with a bend, I recommend two steps:  wrap a shorter piece from the column side out to just beyond the center of the bend.  Then cut your next piece to reach from the end of the knob to just beyond the same center point to allow for a small overlap when it’s installed.   You will end up with a visible line, but it is much cleaner than wrinkled or torn foil.  (The photo here shows the smaller section already laid down and the longer section ready to lay down.)  Theoretically, you can work the foil around curves and not have wrinkles, but it may be beyond most people’s skill level.  You can certainly try using the directions that come with the product.  If it doesn’t work for you, scratch it off and try again!

When you have your pieces ready to go, wipe off the stems with something like alcohol and peal back the paper backing on the piece you are working with.  In the case of a stem with a bend, install the little piece first, and then follow with the longer.   As shown in the pictures, what you want to do is carefully put the foil in place along a straight edge in such an orientation that when you fold it around, the resulting seam will be out of sight.  Attach it parallel to the stem, square and flush against the knob.  When you have it positioned, rub your finger lightly across the center so it looks roughly as it does in the picture.   Then slowly lay down the bottom part by rubbing it down from the center out (to keep out wrinkles and air).  Then work the other half back over the top of the rod and smooth it down along the bottom rear where it will overlap the other end.

You then burnish the foil down with your finger or a very soft cloth like a diaper or flannel gun cleaning patch, etc.   (You don’t want to scratch the foil surface.)  The final touch is to polish the foil with a fine metal polish.  Once again, only use an applicator that will not scratch and lightly buff it down with the cloth.

If you make a mistake, as mentioned, you can scrape it off with your fingernail.  However, the adhesive will grow stronger in time, subsequently, if you wait, it will become increasingly difficult to get off.  In time it can result in a struggle to get off even a little at a time and having to clean off the dry adhesive before you can try again.  The adhesive makes a very tight bond and I doubt you will ever find that it comes loose.  The surface will not look as good as real chrome, but it will be quite an improvement over “incorrect” later type black or badly pitted chrome stems.   If, down the road, it becomes damaged, you can just do the process again! 

Factoid:  Condors, the largest flying birds in North America, are now on the endangered species list.  In 1982, there were fewer than 25 left in the wild. Today, their numbers have increased to approximately 200.  Exactly how many new, “old stock” Lucas chrome trafficators still exist, lying on dusty shelves, all over the world, is unknown; hopefully their numbers will recover when someone like Moss or RF convinces Lucas to make a run of them.

To find the product near you, contact:
Bare Metal Foil Company
P.O. Box 82
Farmington, Michigan   48332
(248) 476-4366  (248) 477-0813

Let me know if you were pleased with the results!  --Justin

Please visit my website and check out the new T6 gasket!  jmwagnersales.com

© Justin Wagner 1/04

Available for reprint by

permission only…just ask!



Classified Ads:  Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or oldtoys@brick.net or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

SLTOA Shirts, $25, Call Bonnie David for delivery to out next meeting.  (636) 949-0825

1967 Austin Healey Sprite - red convertible, rebuilt engine, new gas tank, fuel pump, tires, timing chain, battery, and lots more!  Professionally done.  A great car.  Call 314-713-9327 anytime and leave a message.  Asking $4200.  Thanks - Jeff Weintrop ('72 blue/white spit driver)

For sale, 1974 Red Triumph TR6, in Peoria, Illinois  Purchased in 1998, Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Completely rebuilt and restored.  It has a 1973 block, a new engine, transmission, oil, water and fuel pumps, 4 new tires and a new top. Needs very minor chipped paint touch up.  All records of what has been done are available with it. We're asking $17,500, OBO.  (309-674-8688 or email 4edmonds@ameritech.net)

76 Triumph Spitfire 1500 Green w/black top 71,927 miles  Not running at present time - needs work      $1500  Peggy Shores  636-527-8320

TR6 in KC - For Sale.  A 1976 in great condition.  Carmine red w/biscuit interior and top.  Not ORIGINAL, but complete and mechanically/ cosmetically sound.  Asking $6850.  Have numer- ous pics I can send by internet.  Contact:  Bernie at  bchseh1@juno.com. or  Ph: 816. 942-6474.

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling, Editor

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026