During March of 2001, a TR6 owner contacted me with a thrust washer problem that was very similar to what had occurred with my engine as described in the Thrust Washers Blues story. Like the many customers I have worked with, he was unaware of the situation, and the original style thrust washer had worn thin enough to drop out of place. Since the owner was unaware of the problem, he continued driving the car. The spinning crankshaft continued grinding its way into the side of the end cap, and then eventually continued its way into the engine block side of the journal. The damage at this point was beyond the scope of my thrust washer repair shown above, and his engine would need to be pulled out of the car to effectively survey the damage.
Once he removed his engine from of the car, he was able to work with a local machinist who helped him modify the block to enable the installation of two opposing solid alloy thrust washers to form a 360 degree bearing surface. His only other alternative would be to scrap the engine block.
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Replacing Original Style Thrust Washers with Solid Alloy
If you own an older model car with the original style plated steel thrust washers, we urge you to replace them with solid alloy thrust washers to avoid problems. For Triumph engines, you'll want to continue using standard thickness for the front position, and adjust your end-float by adjusting the thickness of the rear thrust washer.
We manufacture replacement thrust washers for most Triumph models, including special orders. Please let us know your needs, and we will do our best to help you out.
Modifying the End Cap for a 360 Degree Thrust Washer Setup
Below is a photo of a Triumph Spitfire 1500 end cap that has been modified to allow for a thrust washer to be attached to the bearing journal end cap using brass countersunk screws. The rear side of this end cap had been damaged due to failure caused by an original style thrust washer. This allowed the crankshaft to wear into the side of the cap.
Since the side portion of the end cap had worn, it could no longer contain the thrust washer in the engine block. Therefore, it needed some kind of modification to be useful again. A new thrust washer attached to the end cap would not only serve as additional thrust washer bearing surface (360 degree), but would also contain the thrust washer in the engine block.
We milled the damaged area just deep enough to remove the damage and also to the correct radius of the new thrust washer's outside diameter. Three tapped holes were added to match the countersunk holes in the modified thrust washer. The thrust washers shown below will be cut in half, and then polished to the desired thickness.
It is important to note that in all cases with wear to the end cap, the crankshaft needs to be carefully inspected to assure it is still usable.