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1981 Triumph TR8: Maintenance Catch-up

Today we're going to get caught up on vehicle maintenance for the TR8. Since we don't necessarily know when work was done in the past, it's generally easiest to assume the work has not been done, and go ahead and do it. I always start with fluids and work my way out from there. Here's the shopping list:

  • Engine Oil Change
    • 4.65 Quarts - 20W 50 motor oil
    • Oil Filter
  • Transmission Oil Change
    • 1.65 Quarts - Hypoid 75W - API GL4
  • Differential Oil Change
    • 1 Quart - Hypoid 90 - API GL5
  • (8) Champion RN12YC Spark Plugs (Gap to .025)
  • Spark Plug Wire Set
  • Distributor (Mallory #2564301)
    • Cap
    • Rotor
    • (2) Points
    • Condenser
  • Ignition Coil
  • Air Filter
  • Valve Cover Breather

Before you start working

I highly recommend you securely get the car up on four jackstands at a level height. If your car falls on you and squashes you it's your own danged fault, so once the body casts are off don't send me emails whining about getting squished. There's simply not much room underneath the TR8 and it's much better to drain systems when the vehicle is level instead of pitched. Also make sure you have the right pans and containers to capture the old oil so that you can take it in for recycling.

Engine Oil Change

As oil changes go this one's straightforward. Line up the oil drain pan undernead the oil drain. Loosen the bolt with a XXmm spanner. Once loose, unscrew by hand applying upward pressure on the bolt to minimize oil drain before you're ready. Allow it to drain fully. Watch the oil for contaminants, goo, and metal shavings while draining.

One fully drained clean the oil drain bolt and reinsert it. Be careful not to over torque the bolt. Realign the drain pan underneath the oil filter. Using your hand dandy oil wrench loosen the oil filter, remove it and allow oil to drain into pan. Wipe some fresh oil around the gasket on the new oil filter and sipn into place. You want it hand tight. Fom there, put the 4.65 quarts of fresh oil into the vehicle. Pour off the used oil into your transport container. Watch it very carefully for any contaminants or metal shavings that may indicate greater issues inside the engine.

Tranmission Oil Change

Locate the transmission drain plug. Put your oil drain pan underneath it and loosen the plug with a XXmm spanner. Once loose remove by hand. Allow tranmission oil to drain completely out of the vehicle. I normally take the wait time as an opportunity to remove the tranmission oil fill plug. This also helps speed the tranmission drain time. Once completely drained, clean the drain plug and reinsert it into the vehicle.

The angle for the transmission fill is funky. You need one of these fill assistants to fill the tranmission.

Fill the tranmission to fill (~1.65 Quarts). The easy way to see if it's full is that the oil level should be flush with the bottom of the transmission oil fill plug. Stick your finger in there and feel for oil. Do not over fill. If you do, just allow it to drain out the fill hole. Wipe up any mess you made (and you will make a mess, the size of which is completely up to you. :).

Differential Oil Change

Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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