Triumph GT6 Project Log: Entry 1

Noting too major has needed to be done on the car and it spent most of its time at shows, meets and being driven at the weekends throughout the summer of 2012 (Pictures at the bottom of this post).

I did however manage to track down why the car got so hot. The thermostat was not fully opening so it needed to be replaced. A simple job I thought. All I need to do is open up the housing an put a new one in. Oh no, nothing is ever that simple on this car :(. When I went to unbolt the housing the bolts has seized. This was not unexpected and just applying some heat should get them out. Nope that didn’t work either and in the end the bolt sheared off. S***!


After various attempts at getting the stud out it was clear it would have to be drilled out. After doing this we had to use a tool called a helicoil as the original thread was destroyed.


This tool works by drilling a hole which is larger than the original and threading it. Then one of the “springs” that you see in the picture above is screwed down this. While it is hard to tell from the pictures the cross section of the spring is a diamond shape so it will screw into the larger hold and create a thread of the original size down its centre. Using this method the old bolt came out and allowed us to fit the new thermostat. While doing this I also replaced the top thermostat house as the metal had become brittle. Annoyingly this small housing cost £45 but I guess that is preferable to it failing.

The MOT came around in the autumn and it got through with only two advisories.

  1. Anti-roll bar bushes on the far side being a bit loose.
  2. Front brakes not being balanced.

Fixing the anti-roll bar was pretty none eventful however pushing rubber bushes down it was a little time consuming. Here is the bar when I took it off and before it was repainted (Obviously the kitchen is the best place to do this sort of work :D).

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Fixing the front brakes turned into quite an annoying job but this time it wasn’t that cars fault. My initial thought was just to change the front brake pads as they were most likely worn out. After jacking the car up and taking the old pads out it was evident that the old calipers were going to need replacing as one of the pistons on each side had seized. So I ordered a set of brand new calipers along with some braided hoses for the front and rear. Swapping over the calipers wasn’t too bad just a little messy. Anyway I got them all fitted




The hand brake was then adjusted as the cable has stretched a little. This is done via this square adjuster on the back of the brake drum.


Bleeding the brakes was a massive pain as there was some air trapped in the tubes so I decided to let the car settle and come back to it the next day. This where things got interesting as when I came back to the car the next morning there were two puddles of brake fluid under each of the front wheels. I initially though it was some left over fluid from the bleeding but I had wiped the calipers clean and after leaving it again for another half day it was obvious that both of the new calipers were leaking!! After some reading around it tuns out that I’m not the first to experience this with these new calipers. Another example of china chucking out poorly made parts :(. So some original re-con Girling calipers were purchased and fitted on. Bleeding this time was quite easy with no trapped air which was a bonus.

The car has had a bit of a tune up as well due to the car running much cooler now. I still haven’t got it quite right but the engine sure does go now. 40 – 70 is suprisingly fast for a 46 year old car. I’ll have to get a video of it at some point.

The next thing to do is to replace the seat with some are are more comfortable. The current ones are period styled bucket seats which not very good over long journeys. I have purchased a set of original reclining seats but these will require recovering as they are knackered.


The seat re-con kit (foams and covers) cost me £260 which I didn’t think was too bad.

The other thing the car needs is some body work doing to it. The paint has seen better days and there is some rust coming though on the front and rear arches. So a respray and body work will be needed, not looking forward to that bill as going to be around £6000.

Anyway, the car will be used over the next few months. It will be at the Silverstone classic on the Triumph Sport Six stand as well as going to some pistonhead events as well.

Pictures :).



My ideal two car garage. I need one of these Ginetta G4s in my life


12 thoughts on “Triumph GT6 Project Log: Entry 1”

  1. Hi!
    I have just bought a Mk1 a month ago. A first owner barnfind from New Jersey.
    I am having trouble choosing the right colour for the restauration. Red is my first option because it is the best colour to accentuate the lines of the car. Darker colours seem to make them fade away.
    I will use the car as a dayly driver.
    By that i truly mean dayly, all year long.
    I’ll drive it summer and winter, as i do now with my ’92 Mini Cooper 1.3i.
    Gorgeous as a red GT6 may be, i am not inclined to drive a “fire engine” to work every day. And that is what’s bugging me.
    I’d go for a signal red one all day long, thus respecting the car’s originality, but i would feel too awkward in it on a rainy tuesday morning crossroads traffic jam in the middle of february.
    So, i am looking for a non-red alternative that would still do the car right.
    I saw your movie on youtube and immediately liked that blue colour that sets off the chrome and rear lights magnificently.

    Could you tell me exactly what colour that is?

    Many greets and congratulations with that beautiful car!


    1. Hi Manu,

      A GT6 as a daily driver, brave man haha. I’d be inclined to keep the original colour, the car is going to stand out anyway, and it’s always nice to keep the cars original.

      As for my car, it is Royal Blue, paint code 56. You can get all of the info for the Triuph paint colours here



    2. Hi there could you tell me ,your Mk 1 was it born with front drum breaks ?!, as i am trying to get 8″or 9″ break (Drums)
      complete sets for my Triumph 1300cc spitfire (NOT DISCS)
      may be you could let me know . Thanks Terry T

      1. Hi Terry, All gt6 came with front disc breaks. I think all spitfires did as well which may be why you are having trouble getting front drum breaks. Cheers, Andy

  2. Thanks for the comment Andy!
    The colour issue is one of the hardest things to get through at this stage.
    As Gt6 owners are so rare, and as i’m looking for input from people who know a thing or two on this particular subject, any chance we could continue about some things via mail?

  3. Hi Andy – Do you still have the GT6?

    Sad to hear the work is in need of attention again. Stiry of that cars life Im afraid. in owning it 20+ years I think it was painted twice (mid ninieties and around 2001-2, but always on a small budget so I suspect the prep work was not up to modern standards.

    The bonnet I found in the states to replace the horrible GRP one it had when I bought it in 88.

    I just bought a MKIII here in the states that is a former SCCA race car. Its about 1 foot wider than it should be.!

    Alex – LOC owner ’88-when you bought it!

    1. Hi Alex,

      Yes, I still have the car. It has been repainted and is just waiting for a new gearbox to go in ready for the summer. Here is what it looked like after the respray.


      The letters on the front have been re-added now so it looks quite good now (when it is clean haha).

      How are you finding the GT6 you have purchased?


      1. Car looks Absolutely stunning after the repaint!

        Glad you are still enjoying it. I miss that car.

        The MKIII is being put back closer to stock configuration, It came to us about 12 inches wider than normal. Hope to get it out to some vintage events next year. Currently finishing up a MKII spitfire.

  4. Hey man,
    I’m considering buying a GT6 MK1 next year. My question is whether you think it will need overdrive and also whether the exhaust you use is stock? It wouldn’t come with overdrive and the sound your’s made on the YouTube video is amazing- exactly what I’m looking for! Best regards.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Overdrive is a big help for these cars when doing long journeys, it keeps the revs lower getting better fuel economy and saving your ears from the sports exhaust drone (more on that in a bit). It’s also nice when coming out of a 30mph limit in 3rdOD, flick OD off and your instantly in the power sweet spot for acceleration. However, converting a non-overdrive car to take an overdrive box is quite a task. The prop shaft lengths are different and the differential gearing is also different so you’d have to factor those parts into the cost. Plus you’ll have to wire it all in (mk1 and 2 it is controlled with a stork on the steering column, mk3 has it on the gear knob).

      The exhaust on mine is a sports exhaust, I think this is the modern version of it–i-GRID008014 . It sounds awesome when going out for a afternoon drive but becomes very tiresome on long journeys. So depending on how you would use the car it may or may not be worth it.



      1. Hi,
        I also inquired about overdrive in the Triumph club over here in Belgium and unanimously they said: No-brainer, go for it, but good luck finding one!!!
        My Mk1 will be assembeled and ready just after summer as a daily driver so OD is mandatory.
        My car didn’t have OD but by sheer determination and luck i managed to find one that had been refurbished, with gearbox (also refurbished.) Pricewise, that came to about 1000 Euros+ old gearbox.
        So start looking around and keep sending reminders to the people who might find you one. That’s how i came about mine.
        Hope it’ll turn out fine for you!

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