Triumph TR3 drawing


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Triumph TR3 FAQ page

TR3 & 4 engine colour|

Engine numbers starting with an R

Triumph TR2 through 4 A engines are almost always black.  At least always black off the UK Triumph assembly line.  An engine number starting with a R means the engine is Triumph factory reconditioned.  The discussion below started with comeone asking what colour to paint their early TR4 engine and someone replying that there used to be a TR with a red engine winning on the councourse circuit. Someone replied that they thought the red might signify a facory econditioned engine.


Engines that failed for whatever reason on the two 'run' dynos after leaving engine assembly and found to be defective were stripped of their ancillaries and scrapped. Simply, the cost of "teardown, investigate and rectify" exceeded the raw material and direct labour cost of producing another new unit. Engines returned to the factory by the global dealer network for reconditioning were rebuilt by a Standard-Triumph subsidiary called Beans Industries. They were always painted a less than attractive blue and took the form of a short or long motor - i.e. with or without a cylinder head and valve cover but devoid of other equipment. The engine number was completely different from normal production numbers and always had an 'R' as the leading prefix to indicate "reconditioned" The famous 'Gold Star' engine was a slightly uprated Standard (Triumph) Ten and used the surplus paint from the Ferguson Grey and Gold units from 1956 onwards - and that's because the Purchasing Dept couldn't get out of its supply contract with Pinchin & Johnson. The red engine referred to by Darren might have come out of Engineering for some obscure reason but I doubt the company ever used red in post-war production, at least in the UK. The twelve other overseas assembly plants might have done something completely different?

John Macarthy


Hi guys, When I worked for a bmc dealer in Texas, I don't think any engines were EVER returned to bmc complete. They would take any good pieces, put them on the warrantied failed assembly, and a factory rep would come through every so often and match ro's to warranty cards and parts. After that, virtually everything was scrapped, or the claim rejected. The only exceptions were items they wished to study. And those were usually electrical. I never heard of complete engines going to a factory reconditioning plant. It would be feasible in the UK, but I can't think how that would be doable world-wide. But, heck, the British manufacturers did all kinds of weird stuff. BTW, the TR 10 engines were gold, and to begin with, so were the Spit engines. Black came to the Spits later.


It *was* feasible for a number of reasons - and not just within the UK. All of Europe as well as the Brit firms did "weird" things for many years after WW2 because none of us had substantial iron or steel reserves. So we all imported scrap from wherever we could find it. The Japs have also been doing the same for decades because Japan has no natural reserves of iron ore at all or, if it has, it's insufficient to meet need.

John Macarthy

The 12 overseas Triumph assembly plants were located in Belgium, Malta, Israel, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Phillipines, Peru, Chile, Malaysia and a short-lived joint venture with Paykan in Iran.


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