Handy Hints

Some Handy Hints From What We’ve Picked Up Over The Past 50 Years

These tips are designed to save you time, money and headaches:


Cooling Systems – If your car is laid up for a long period of time, it is important that you change your radiator inhibitor approximately every 2 or 3 years. Otherwise the inhibitor can congeal and this could happen… image 1, image 2, image 3

Cars Laid Up – It’s important that if you decide to run the engine after your car has been laid up for a considerable time, to run it at approximately 1500-2000 rpm until it reaches operating temperature and then run it for another 15 minutes more. If possible drive the vehicle for approximately 10km’s to keep the brakes and clutch etc moving (they can seize up over time if not used).

Transistorised Ignitions – Will prolong the time between tunes and minimise unleaded fuel contaminating spark plugs

Coils – NEW 45,000 or 60,000 volt output suited to old systems. These new coils extend the spark plug life dramatically and saves you money in the long run

Brake Systems – brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, so we suggest flushing the system every 2 or 3 years to avoid brake failure. We use Penrite Dot4 which has a boiling point of 525 degrees and costs the same as most other standard brake fluids. Brake cylinders that are sleeved with stainless steel usually last a long time but stainless steel is a non-porous metal which means the cup runs dry and does not last.

Brake Improvement – the grade of brake pads is important. Ideal for road and fun = “green stuff”

Four Spot Calipers & Ventilated Brakes – We supply and fit these and are available for most cars (GT6 & Spitfire Installed, TR6 Installed, Stag & Sedan Installed). If, while driving, the modern car in front of you  has ABS, the extra stopping power from these will be very helpful!

Brake Upgrade – use a diesel alternator with vacuum pump as the vacuum stays consistent. This results in at least 25% or more gain in the braking efficiency. We have tried electric vacuum pumps in the past but they are too noisy. With this conversion the brake efficiency is the same every time you apply the brakes, even if pumped in quick succession. That’s because the vacuum is always there! (click here to see a diesel alternator installed)

Engine Oil  – Most older cars we recommend Penrite HPR 30. All Penrite oils have retained zinc in their formula. Zinc is very important! (click here for an example of what can happen when there’s no zinc)

Horsepower – For 6 & 8 cylinders, when looking for more power, if you are doing an engine rebuild do the important internals to perfection. Extractors, fuel injection and ignition systems can always be done at a later time. The following combination is also important:

  • Camshaft
  • Advance curve
  • Head porting
  • Valve springs (too strong = camshaft destruction)
  • Extractors (ideal combo is 2=1, 2=1, 2=1, 3=1) (click here to see some extractors)
  • Fuel pressure – 110 PSI at full throttle will make it pull hard in the higher rpm’s.

Roller Axle – These remove axle backlash, rear end skipping and improves handling and makes it very smooth to drive. This is one of the reasons why most modern cars are smoother (click here)

Exhaust Vibrations – Flexible joint eliminates vibrations into the car body resulting in a very smooth ride. (click here to see where to install the flexible joints)

Metering Unit – Here is an extract from a factory service manual of a metering unit for a TR5-6 & P.I. Sedan.This give’s a good look at how the metering unit works. When people work on these units they really need to be very experienced otherwise the cost of future repairs can get very expensive! We did a job recently on a car which was running ok but bogged down from 2500+ rpm’s. We found the metering had been worked on and initially it looked in really good condition so it looked like a relatively cheap repair. But on dismantling we found so much wrong, even cut springs, the piston was 0.020 Thou too short and because of these earlier, inexperienced repairs it resulted in much higher costs to get it back to peak performance.

Stag Water Pump – Its highly important that there is clearance between the centre nut andv the water pump housing otherwise you can destroy the jockshaft that runs down the centre of the block and the drive gear on the water pump. (See here: photo 1, photo 2

Give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to have a chat and provide you any advice you need from our vast years of knowledge and experience.


When reassembling your classic car it is so important to check that the parts supplied are the right ones for the job. For example, the supplied new boot seal has a blister that is too big and hard so does not compress properly and the boot lid sits too high when closed (see example).

On this Stag a new boot lid was fitted but where the chrome strip fits there was an extra lip that had to be removed before the chrome finisher could be fitted (see example).

With some replacement panels the holes and caged nuts can be misaligned which makes fitting of the auxillary parts difficult.

Rear tail lights are painted white and polished to improve visibility of the rear lights. If the old parts are not refurbished or replaced it will detract from the overall presentation of the car (see example).

The door trims supplied for this car came as a single panel with no holes, no chrome mouldings and no clips which resulted in a time consuming task to what should have been a straight swap (see an example of original part and supplied part).

Spare Parts

When purchasing spare parts it is advisable to have a very close examination before fitting. These pistons came from a reputable supplier and came straight out of the box. These ones are a good quality brand but has been incorrectly handled when being packed (see example here).