Jump to content

Quick guide to buying a Stag?


Recommended Posts

Not totally sure why I have done this as I am enjoying the GT6 again, but I have arranged to view  a manual Stag tomorrow. evening.....
So what should I look for? Where are the nasty rotten bits? What should I check on the engine?
What else should I worry about (apart from telling the wife....)?
The car has been with the same owner for 21 years and has been serviced by a "Triumph Specialist".. has been restored about 10 years ago with lots of new panels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it has been painted ten years then any bodges should have shown through by now, avoid anything recently painted, as I know to my cost.
First places to show rot seem to be wheelarches and the quarter panel to sill joint. After that it is sills and the front chasis outriggers, but check under the carpets as leaky windscreen seals let them rot from the top down.Also check bottom of screen pillars (like most Triumphs)
Mechanically, If the engine is cold when you get there, first remove the radiator cap and make sure there is no residual pressure that may indicate head gasket problems. Ask when the timing chains were last done, any more than 30,000 miles and they will probably need doing again. Check the V of the block for water, it may be water pump seals or leaky inlet manifold gaskets.
Ask if the water pump has been replaced of rebuilt (one or the other has bound to have been done), if it has been replaced in the 1990s be aware some pumps came with unhardened gears which can strip their teeth, sometimes with disasterous consequences (just finished full engine rebuild caused by this problem)
If the engine has an oil pressure gauge you should see about 45psi hot at 2-3000 rpm, tickover should be over 25 on a good engine, less than 15 it is getting tired. If there is no gauge you will just have to listen for knocking when hot at tickover (and the light staying out)
Make sure it doesn't run hot (usually just to the left of vertical, depending on thermostat).
Check the fan viscous coupling, it should only allow the fan to turn a couple of blades if the fan is spun with the engine off, and the fan should not roar if the engine is revved, if it does it has seized.Viscous coupling problems can put the fan through the radiator
Make sure the clutch works quietly and smoothly and doesnt drag. Similar problems to the TRs
Apart from that its just another old car, tread carefully

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions.

Went and had a look tonight. Boiler suit on and crawled all over the car and could not find any rust or filler. Wheel arches are perfect. Has had a lot of body work done in the past but all looks very good. In fact all remarkably good....

OD gearbox fitted last year (replacing auto box), plus new propshaft. Just got an MOT (5 days) ago. Paint good, new hood last year, wheels could do with refurbishing but ok. Complete with spare. New poly bushes last year. Very  large pile of very expensive receipts going back 21 years (mostly from Manvers nr Bury St Edmund) and then a log book from the previous owner going back to when the car was new.
New SS exhaust system, nice sound and not too noisy.

Bad bits were the interior, driver seat a bit sad, speedo stopped working and rev counter slow to start. Interior generally  sad and woodwork a bit rough.

Engine started straight away (its got electronic ign), temp was normal after a blast down the A14, no knocks or other nasty sounds. No leaks, has had one head replaced. Oil correct level and very clean. Brake fluid a bit low and sign of a weep from the switch on the little manifold on the nearside inner wing.

The car has been cherished but has not been driven very much over the last 10 years, everything has been done to it to keep it in good condition but just has not been used much.

BTW the owner has a 2500S estate in another ban ready to be restored, a MKII Jag from his father and a rather nice BSA Bantum in the garage! He mentioned that his father had brought the last PI 2500 estate made and had 4 * 2500 estates over the years.

He wants £5000, there is no rust or body work that needs any attention and the mechanics all look good, it need some TLC on the interior and a few little jobs  done to make it perfect. Its a very honest car, nothing hidden.

So have to decide whether to buy it which would mean the GT6 would have to go... They might both be Triumph but are so different in character...
Dont think I can keep both and the herald....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, only just picked up on this thread - a properly sorted Stag is a joy to drive - mine is not there yet but it is fun and the closest it has ever been in 20 years!

Flying Farmer above is spot on with his advice, the only thing I did not notice at a glance was antifreeze - obligatory all year around whether on the road or in storage - heads corrode internally otherwise.  Reading your list of everything done to the car I would be surprised if this was not the case.

Timing chains changing used to scare me - but not any more. Dont ignore noisy ones though. I can lend you the "how to do it" DVD if reqd. Interiors cost a little bit to sort out - budget £400-500 ish to re-do the front seat foams/covers, new carpet set a couple of hundred (I have a brand new set in chestnut that I not sure if i need to keep or not), wood can be carefully stripped and re-laquered yourself or go for a top pro job as MikeW did (seen it, looks awesome) but don't expect much change from £500.

Or just ignore the interior for now and enjoy driving it for the summer :-)

Oh and the only other thing I can think of is to ensure that the hood folds, stows and unstows properly - The frame should be set up before the hood is fitted - I have seen a couple where the former has not been done.

Is it a nice colour? Looks like a good price for your description - bang in an offer of £4.5K then you have some change to spend on seats    :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions,
I am sure it would a good car to have as a long term project than can be used regularly but slowly improved After chatting with Libby we have decided to keep the GT6 and not buy the Stag.... I spent so much time and money on the GT6 we want some return from it. I expect when we have broken down in the middle of Europe in September I will regret this!
So if anyone is interested let me know and I will give you the contact phone number, the car is Indigo Blue is near Newmarket.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...