The original AMCO luggage rack for the TR 4 through 5 was a great design. It mounts through the boot’s hinges and license plate mounting points, thereby avoiding the need to drill any holes in the boot lid. On the downside, I don’t believe the rack was ever intended for a heavy load. Its greatest shortcoming is that the hinges themselves do not provide much support. I believe that a mild load, tossed and turned by wind and road conditions, might actually bend and/or slightly collapse the upper body.
I decided support brackets were in order for the AMCO or any luggage rack for this particular TR. I discovered that very substantial support brackets could be added without any permanent modifications to the car.
To understand how the bracket works look at the schematic on the following page and imagine that side “A” of the bracket rests underneath the short end of the boot hinge… under the body steel. (The shape is important, because the body actually has a raised area that this bracket will fit into. After installing my brackets, I found that they actually helped to re-establish this shape in the panel as it had collapsed a little over time.)
Side “B” then rests against the flange on the side of the fuel tank, lining up with one of the mounting bolts. Further observation will show that that area between bends 1 and 2 fall right behind the trough of metal that forms the upper edge of the boot. Before you install the bracket, give these areas a little pressure test with your hands… and then do the same test afterward. You’ll find the area becomes absolutely solid with the installation of the brackets.
Take the provided schematic and scale on a Xerox machine so that squares are 1″ x 1″. Alternatively, draw a grid that is 1″ x 1″, and transfer the drawing visually.
Start with approx. 9 1/4″ of strap steel ( 1/8″ x 1″ ).
Shape the pointed end “A” and drill with a 3/8″ drill. This hole size is oversize, and allows for some play. I used a band saw and large apex sander to shape the end. You can utilize whatever tools you have at hand. (Note, this end closely matches the shape of the hinge base. If you are comparing it to your hinge, remember it should be slightly larger than the hinge and not quite as sharp as the hinge.)
Do not shape nor drill side “B” yet.
Bend the steel in a vise to match the drawing:
Mark the steel for bend number 1 with a marker and lightly clamp in vise. Use a square to make sure the steel is square to the vise and adjust if necessary, then tighten. Then bend the steel with brute force and with the aid of a small sledge or heavy hammer.
I made the second bend by clamping the bracket to a scrap piece of 1″ x 1″ box steel (utilizing a vise and clamps) and bending with a hammer/brute force. Just be creative and keep the bends square so that the bracket remains in line.
The third bend is made in the vice, once again.
Empty your boot and remove panel covering the petrol tank
(This is a good time to inspect for petrol leaks. Use proper precautions when working around the tank.) Remove the nut and washer retaining the hinge. Remove the bolt on the side of the petrol tank. Put brackets in place and mark the holes for the B side of the brackets.
Remove brackets and drill 3/8″ holes. Remove excess steel and round end as shown in drawing. It is important not to leave extra steel here. In the event of a collision or rollover, excess steel here could be forced to rotate and thus gouge a hole in the side of the fuel tank!
Refit the brackets and install nuts and bolts. If upon tightening, it is found that the bracket binds, remove and use a round file to elongate the appropriate hole. (I did not find this necessary, but maybe I had been lucky.)
You may further strengthen the bracket by tack welding a length of 1/2″ box, tubular, or flat steel (in a T-pattern) along the upper edge. I did this on mine, but I do think it was overkill. The bracket alone is all that is necessary considering the limitations of the luggage rack itself.
You could bolster the license plate end of the luggage rack simply by adding a strip of strap steel or aluminum (flat or angle) between the two license plate bolts. And you could get creative and support these two bolts down to the bottom edge of the boot lid, but I think this too would be overkill.
These plans are also available on my website. In addition, you will find other Triumph related products and one of the most extensive Triumph links pages! –Justin