The Car Arrives at the Ranch!
Proud and excited owners on the first inspection day!
A view of the engine bay as it looked in the beginning.
Gary was both capable and eager to help with some of the dissassembly work under my supervision of course!
We worked together to slowly take the TR apart, with hundreds of pictures and notes of how things were as we found them. Things that seem so obvious when the car is together, can become uncertain months (years) later on re-assembly
Getting ready to pull the engine out.
A big progress day, to have the engine and transmission out.
Checking the frame and suspension/steering mount points for alignment and possible previous accident damage. The felt pen marks on the floor are transfer points from the steering and suspension critical measuring points.
There were 18 cracked welds, and the frame was pushed to the left by 1/2 inch. None of the steering points were on target, so a front section of a good donor frame was found and I spliced it in, returning all points to proper alignment.
Stripped down and beginning rusted metal replacement. The new battery box unit on the left, the badly rusted original on the right came out of the big hole in the middle of the firewall.
New floor boards are needed. The new is installed in the drivers side, making sure the trans tunnel fits.
All of the passenger side floor is removed, frame cleaned and rust proofed prior to installing new floor metal.New body insulation pads are also put in.
Prior to rust proofing and primer, the old paint is removed and metal straightening work is done
The area behind the left rear fender is typical of the rust and corrosion hidden from view. All of this must be cleaned and treated with rust proofing, with old rusty metal cut out, new pieces fabricated and welded in, primed and undercoated.
A view of the rear end of the car, showing the gold colored studs welded to the damage areas, they will be used to pull out the dents.
More rust damage hiding behind the drivers rocker panel.The carefully removed oe piece is on the ground, the new piece I will weld in is sitting on the floor board. Once again, the rusty looking inner sill will be cleaned up, rust proofed and undercoated before proceeding.
The two original outter rocker panels with rust holes, ( the middle one is upside down for clarity ) and one of the new metal pieces to weld in and repair that damage, and restore structural strength
This is the right rear fender. Sometimes you find excessive bondo under the paint like this! The previous "repairman" (hackman, actually), decided to take the easy way out and fill the dents and damage instead of working them out with hammer and dolly work.
The area around the lower drivers door suffers badly from rust, and most of the metal must be removed and replaced with new, being very careful to keep the door opening exactly the same dimensions.
A progress visit from Owners Gary and Judy. Car is in primer with the one fender painted, so they can give final approval for the color they chose.
Transport day for the TR. Body parts are trailered to Yakima to Steve Tait`s shop for final sanding and paint.
Here is one of the moments every owner dreams of in the restoration process, the realization of paint on the car! Steve Tate and Gary share the moment.
This particular car gets some extensive changes: Rack and pinion steering conversion, rear disc brakes, competition front and rear suspension,with sway bars on front and rear, modern contoll arms and ball joints, front Spax adjustable shocks, uprated rear shocks, polyurethane bushings replacing all.
A view of the modifications on the front steering , brakes and suspension.
A side view of the same modifications in place. The bar clamped to the bottom of the rotor is for rough toe in set up. A complete laser 4 wheel alignment will be done later.
 And the same view of the rear disc brake conversion, rear sway bar and mount and uprated rear shock.
completely rebuilding the transmission and overdrive, this is how the two are mated
After final assembly, each transmission and overdrive gets tested on my custom built test bench.(Thanks Joe!) They are run up under live conditions and checked for smoothness, noise, leaks, proper RPM`s, pressure and operating temperature before ever being installed in the car.
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This page was last updated: February 2, 2018
Created by Jim McDermott
Maintained by Christopher Day
Long Term Projects
Custom and ground up restorations are a part of what I do here at the Ranch. There is at least one going on all the time, and each one gets two hours of attention a day, with the balance of the day available to work on other client`s  jobs

I have created this page to give you an insiders view of what I do and how a complete restoration project starts and what gets done along the way.

This project was for Gary and Judy Wilson and their 1963 Triumph TR3B. We started the project on July 27, 2009. The project was originally scheduled for 3 years, but as the project came to life and Gary started to see the possibilities available, the scope grew and we added multiple modern upgrades. Like front and rear competition suspension, front big disc brakes, rear disc brakes, 89 mm engine pistons and cam, alternator upgrade, electric fuel pump and leak proof gas tank vent system, aluminum radiator and Spal electric fan, rack and pinion steering, seat heaters, and a 12 gang fuse box with 7 relays and  power outlets. 

We finished the work and the thorough vetting process in the fall of 2014.

There was one more upgrade on his mind, and after  9,000 miles of fun driving, and numerous first places across the country, we are now set to install a supercharger on the beauty. Stay tuned for pix of that project!                          

Part One
Click on a picture to enlarge it and navigate from picture to picture!
Part Three
Click on a picture to enlarge it and navigate from picture to picture!
Part Two
Click on a picture to enlarge it and navigate from picture to picture!
After a thorough cleaning, the engine is dissassembled, to be sent to my machine shop for hot tanking,boring, crank grinding, polishing,and complete balancing. The head gets new valves and seats, giudes, and surfacing.
The new pistons and liner assemblies, and in the background, some of the wire for the new additional circuits that will go into the car as it is assembled.
The original 83 mm piston and liner, compared to the new 89mm piston and liner we will use, a very nice upgrade in performance!
After all of the machining ans subassembly is done, the head is ready to go on. The sleeves on the block studs are to hold the liners in place until the last second. High performance porting and polishing is also available for the head.
Even the differential/rear axle gets inspected and refurbished
Aluminum gas tank is in, brake and clutch hydraulics are done, wiring is going in, but nothing says British Sports car like chrome 72 spoke wire wheels and new Vredesteins on a drop dead red body!
New Aluminum fuel tank.
. Under the bonnet, this is a view of the original fuse box (that tiny black cover partially hiding behind the battery cable).
This is a view of the same spot, with the new fuse and relay center I created. Gary wanted to make sure every circuit was fused, switches protected by relays, and 13 new circuits for comfort and safety items, like: elctric fuel pump with safety inertial switch, driving lights, anti-theft device.
An additional switch panel I made for some of the new circuit controlls, it will be mounted just below the dash below the battery box. A new custom wiring diagram goes to the owner after the car is complete.
Boot lid with hardware, stainless steel bumperetts, lights and spare tire cover done.
? The assembled engine ready for paint with catylizeed acrylic enamel.
The assembled engine ready for paint with catylizeed acrylic enamel.
New oversize cylinder liners andd pistons installed.
The start of recovering of the dash panel.
Restored gauge cluster, new switches and lock sets, ready to install.
Engine bolted to the trans. but no engine mounts yet.
Gary and Judy are more than ready for a test drive
Engine compartment is beginning to come along.
Wiring is starting to come together under the dash.
Wiring is almost done under the dash
The front Suspension is all high quality upgrades
Old radiator alongside the new aluminium one.
Part Four
Click on a picture to enlarge it and navigate from picture to picture!
More and more of the wiring and accessories are in place.
After cleaning, painting and rebuilding, the door hardware is installed; new parts are modified and made to fit.
Custom radiator overflow, fuel line and filter heater tube and overhead oil line.
In full swing of installing, fitting and connecting all the dash items.
It`s finally all come together!
Yellow tape protection while I line up holes and fit pieces, air deflector in.
Showing the conversion to LED dash light bulbs.
Gary at the sandblast cabinet.
Gary painting the top bows.
There is something special about the first time you start the car up
Preparing to restore the Seats.
Finnished front seat>
Side curtain fitted and installed.
Fitting the rear seat and side panels.
Apeek inside the driver side door
Putting finishing touches on the interior.
Front Seat in ready for a test drive.
Door panels in place.
At the appolsterers getting the top fited.
Another view from underneath the frame.
. And further down the frame.
This is the picture that I have worked 4 years for.  Test driving at length with a pause for beauty..
This is the picture Gary & Judy waited for, ready to go out for a day of test driving.