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Triumph TR3 - Valve Cover 'Ear'

The chrome valve cover that came on my '60 TR3A has a bracket "ear" on the rear corner, driver's side. It's about an inch square with one hole in the center, and it stands off diagonally to the sides of the cover.

I don't believe this is original to the car, but I'm wondering what the bracket was meant to hold, and for what car. Any ideas?


Bill Stagg
1960 TR3A
Bill Stagg

Hi Bill,

I'll have to look for sure, but it seems like my 58 has one of those. Don't know what it's for, tho.

Hi Bill:
It seems to me that is a TR4 cover but I don't know what the bracket is for

The bracket was there to ground the valve cover when they were chrome plating them by the rack-ful in production. If it's not there and you run into a knowledgable judge at TRA, he'll take off a point.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Hi Don:
We learn something new every day.I once turned down a valve cover with a tab on it when I was doing my restoration and wanted to replace the original rusty cover which did not have one.


That tab on the left rear of the valve cover could not have been for the grounding while plating because the black painted cover on my TR2 has that tab. Engine number in the 2 is TS1297E.

The chrome plated cover for the 4 & 4A does not have the tab.

Possibly, Morgan had a need for it.

Lou Metelko
Auburn, Indiana
Louis Metelko

Hi Guys: I always thought that tab was there to tie the coils of the temp gauge tube to. Thats what I've always used it for! Brian
B. Towne

No - Incorrect. The thermostat coils 2 to 3 loops in free air above the fuel pump.

I have heard all this debated several times with no conclusion. I suggested it was there for chrome plating. But it was also there before the valve covers started being plated. It may have been there to hang it for painting the early valve covers for the TR2s. Maybe it has a use when it was used in the Vanguard (or perhaps on the Ferguson tractor engine).

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Hi All Not to stir the pot or anything but......
I think that Don is right about the later TR's and certainly Mr. Triumph ( Bill Piggott)indicates that the temp sensor line should loosely coil above the fuel pump even on the early cars. Perhaps the coils were originally attached to that darn little tab and maybe the tight coils and closeness to the engine caused inaccurate temp readings so they went to the loose coils. I don't have much to back this theory up other than an original picture in Graham Robson's TRIUMPH TRs The Complete Story page 66 of a 55 TR3
with a clear plastic body shell. It is difficult to see but it apears that the coils are attached to the now famous "ear". Lets face it guys when they were "throwing" these cars together in the early fifties, lots of weird STUFF happened but in the case of the ear, I think it had to have a purpose or as Steve Martin would say, "a special purpose". I do respect Bill Piggott as Mr. Triumph but he has missed the mark on a very few occasions. Anyway I am on a quest to find any "original" photos of early TR2/3 engine compartments tht might confirm my theory. Don, I think your idea about the Vanguard also has merrit.
B. Towne

Would have been handy to hang it from while painting, too. I dont think they were powder coating back then, were they?

This thread was discussed between 07/04/2004 and 10/06/2004

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