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Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/1/20 11:05 p.m.

Well, I'm going to start a build thread about the TVR 2500M I dragged home a  couple of years ago.  I wasn't really looking for one. I have enough projects. This is a car that just sort of found me.

   I've had my Triumph TR3 for 26 years now, and it's a great do-everything car in many ways. My wife and I have crossed the country a couple of times in it, it shows well, and its autocrossed (SCCA HCS class) pretty regularly.  I've noticed, after moving from Arizona to North Carolina, that TR3s aren't very water tight. Not a revelation to most, I imagine, but between Arizona and my former home of San Diego, it really had not been apparent to me. Going from 4" to 45" of rain a year has brought that fact home to me.

    But I digress. As I started out saying, I wasn't looking for another British car project, but I just stumbled onto this TVR.  Apparently it had been sitting there, a block off Main Street, outside in the yard for over 15 years. I recognized what it was immediately, and asked the young lady what the plan was for the car. She said she would like to sell it, that it had been dragged home by her mother and as far as she knew she had never gotten it running. It seems her mothers "boyfriend" had tried to sell it for her, but couldn't. Her mother had passed away, and she really needed some cash, like now. I worked a deal, $800, plus another $100 If she could get it to my house. So, I had a fairly complete TVR for the princely sum of $900. I've since found that I could probably sell the back glass and make back my whole investment thus far!Here's what I'm starting with, after a quick clean-up.

It looks better in photos than it actually is.

They are really pretty cool cars.

Holy crap! Albemarle!!

When you said local,  you weren't joking!

We need to get together at some point. Especially since we autocross together, restore cars, and can't live more than 10 miles apart. 

Love it!

Man, you stole that thing.  Such a great deal.  I mean, you still need to do EVERYTHING, but I'm much in the same boat.

I already see the underside of the roof, and will have questions.  I've not removed my ruined headliner yet, so I'm curious to see what's there.

Onward!

PS, super cool you're nearly neighbors with Duster.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
6/2/20 11:25 a.m.

I love the little extra roof braces they added on the sunroof carscheeky

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/2/20 1:04 p.m.

WOW, as rare as these are, we have two of them being build on the forum.

So what do the underbits that rust look like?

 

Plans and timeline?

 

Pete

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/2/20 1:24 p.m.

Well this will be fun to watch another TVR come together. These are definitely on my "list", have a friend in Alabama with several, they are really cool cars. I'll be curious if the rust that TVR Scott found in his frame is normal or if your experience will be different. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/2/20 5:06 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Oh yeah! I want you to come by. I got it back from the blaster (Mike Smith, nice guy!) and I could use your expertise in evaluating how extensive the damage is. Call or text me anytime.

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/2/20 5:11 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Roof braces! Hah... little chunks of wood glassed in (barely). they fall off with a firm tug, as did the visor "mounts". I'm thinking of just thick-painting the whole interior and going with "race-car chic".

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/2/20 5:15 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I'll be revealing more of what's underneath very soon. I just wanted to start at the beginning, and fill in what's happened up to now in bits.  Good to see there are fans of TVR out there... or fans of the weird, obsolete and unusual, like me!

Yes! Another TVR. I've loved these since I knew what they were.

JoeTR6 (Forum Supporter)
JoeTR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/2/20 6:41 p.m.

Count me in too.  Partly because TVR was crazy enough to use TR6 parts in these cars.  But also just because they are cool.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/2/20 6:51 p.m.

Makes me want to go knock on the door of the TVR I've been stalking for the last 15 years.  Berkers gotta answer someday.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/2/20 6:59 p.m.
Stu Lasswell said:

In reply to NOHOME :

. or fans of the weird, obsolete and unusual, like me!

Dude, you have no idea! yes

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/2/20 7:09 p.m.

New installment!  Well, really more back-story, but I'll get into more details.  I finally got a 25' x 30' garage built, with 12'ceilings, finished last fall.  Building a structure, any structure, in a designated flood zone (in city limits) is a major pain, but that's another story.  12' ceilings allowed for the planned 2-post lift, which by the way has already paid for itself in my book! After some suspension work on the TR3 and power steering pump hoses and reservoir on the Mini Cooper, I could finally start delving in to the TVR.

  First off, when I said I brought home a complete TVR, that's not entirely true.  When I found it, the interior was completely gutted, other than dash and door panels. No windshield or back glass, either. When I got home and looked into TVRs a bit, before closing the deal, I almost backed out when I saw rear glass going for over $1,000 online!  When I asked the seller about it, she said "Oh yeah, the glass is back in the shed." Unfortunately, the windshield is cracked across one layer of the laminate, so is useless. Good news: windshield are from a common '60s Ford sedan. Bad news: "common" meaning an English Ford Consul "saloon"... not so common on this side of the Pond! So bottom line, available, but not cheap. Still, that back glass panel  is rare as rocking-horse doo-doo, so no deal breaker there.

   So, I'm all in. Had to air up the rotted tires so it could move. One was hopeless, but fortunately my TR3 spare fit. Oh, and someone had pulled out the front coil-overs, but not to worry, they had substituted pieces of 2x4 lumber. Still, I got it to roll (sort of) on its own 4 wheels. The tow truck operator managed to pull it out, and with the tail end in the air, towed it to my yard a couple miles away. The back brake were frozen solid, so it sat where he dropped for a couple of months. I cleaned out the thick layer of leave turning to mulch in the interior and hosed it out. Found 2 screwdrivers, some needle-nose pliers, and other assorted items inside. Then took a drill and added a few drain holes... it filled up like a kiddie pool when it rained. Again, this was all B.G.  "Before Garage". Enough... now for more pictures.

A bit crowded. Anyone looking for an '06 Mini Cooper JCW? Great auto-X car. Anyway, you can see the front sits high... on the 2x4 "suspension" 

Under hood view of the front.

I caught hell for this photo from a TVR group when I introduced myself there. It seems one never allows the bonnet to hang like this, without support. I was castigated forthwith, mercilessly. Haven't posted since.

Next installment, the body comes off the chassis.

Stu Lasswell said:

I caught hell for this photo from a TVR group when I introduced myself there. It seems one never allows the bonnet to hang like this, without support. I was castigated forthwith, mercilessly. Haven't posted since.

Was that on the TVRCCNA website?  I joined the club, though I've not really tried to involve myself at all.  Never joined that forum.  I've tried a few other forums where people seem to go into attack-mode from the get-go, and it's such a turn-off.  GRM is quite nice that way.

BTW, I'm planning to redesign the hood mounts so that it'll open to a full 90 deg.  I've seen a few pics where people have done similar, and it seems like a no-brainer for someone doing an in-depth restoration.  Stay tuned as I get to that point.

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/4/20 8:08 p.m.

   Ugh! Last night I wrote several paragraphs, added a couple of photos, and our new kitten (I'm calling her Grendel, after the monster in Beowolf) walked on the laptop  and deleted all I'd done. So, I'll recap, but maybe she spared you from excess verbosity. 

   Brakes (rear) were frozen solid, as was one of the adjusters. basically hosed them with WD40, then pried the drums off. Now it rolls.  The body is held on by 8 large nuts/bolts through the floor. 2 snapped off. 3 came apart as designed. 3 nuts had to be cut off with a Dremel. The body then has to be lifted in the back at least 30 degrees to clear the rear frame,  then pulled back (or the chassis pulled forward) a foot or so to get the flaired foot wells clear of the tube frame, then straight up. This after disconnecting the wiring, brake lines, throttle linkage and the steering column. Still, everything so far I've been able to do single-handedly.  I strapped the body to the lift and used it to pull the body clear, then brought the chassis forward and out... easy peasy! 

   With the body off, pulling the motor and gearbox was easy. Then the brake lines, fuel line, diff, front and rear suspension,etc. Took the suspension off in chunks... they could be separated later. It's interesting to note that everything,,, the wiring, brake lines, fuel lines, everything... is attached either to the frame or the body with zip ties. They snapped off with no effort, but then again they held together for over 45 years... no doubt well beyond their expected best-used-by date!  So... more photos!

Lifting the back up to clear the diff cage... had to go higher still.

And... she's clear!

Just a portion of the broken zip ties off the frame.

Engine and gearbox out. Had to hacksaw the exhaust...bolts rusted solid.

Just to show you the "suspension". Ride's a little wooden...stiff as a board!

How about that gasket/port matching there. Typical British quality control? I can improve on that.

Next we'll take a look at the frame after sand blasting!

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/4/20 8:14 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

IIRC it was the Facebook group for pre'80s TVRs. I've gotten mostly useful, positive comments from TVRCCNA.

Titan4
Titan4 New Reader
6/5/20 6:13 a.m.
Stu Lasswell said:

   

How about that gasket/port matching there. Typical British quality control? I can improve on that.

 

TR6 engines were either 'early' or 'late' with different intake port spacing.  You probably have an early gasket on a late head. 

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/5/20 7:38 a.m.

In reply to Titan4 :

Yup. I'm aware. I suspect DPO was not. However, when I posted this photo on a Triumph site I got a dozen replies either supporting or contradicting that theory. Some said they had seen worse, others were sure it was the wrong gasket. I suspect the latter as well. 

JoeTR6 (Forum Supporter)
JoeTR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/5/20 10:49 a.m.

That looks like they used the early gasket with the late head but didn't even trim it to fit.  I've never seen the factory do *that* bad of a job.  But I have removed 1/16" or so matching ports on a Triumph.

68TR250
68TR250 Reader
6/5/20 11:15 a.m.

You can tell by looking at the head casting number.

 

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell New Reader
6/6/20 10:03 p.m.

   OK, I had the frame blasted. Now it's all uniform silver. I'd like to say smooth, but the tops of many tubes, particularly those that were "padded" under the glass tub with some kind of fiber matting are rough. I'm sure TVR did that to prevent rubbing or squeaking or something, but they seem rather to have acted like sponges, retaining moisture up against the frame. Anyway, It all looks pretty good, if not perfect. After seeing what TVR Scott found, I have every reason the be happy!

   The pitting throughout doesn't seem to be of any structural concern, but the blasting did penetrate in three areas. There's one small hole in the rear upper central frame which I think can just be filled, but more concerning are rust through at the front of one "outrigger" and at one welded joint, again in an outrigger. As I have yet to develop any real welding skills, I'm planning to run it over to a local shop for repair and more expert evaluation.

   Then again, using TVR Scott as a baseline, I can say that there seems to be none of the "wear and tear" damage he found. No warped or bent mounts, no oval holes that need correcting, no ground off sway bar mounts. I think I'll be rattle-canning some primer on it tomorrow (other than the repair areas) since this is the South (humid!)  and then see about that shop. 

   On another note, I did get the frame stripped, but I haven't gotten all of it apart.  The differential is still mostly bolted into it's mounting cage, as the 15/16"bolts are refusing to budge, even with butane torching and impact wrench. Also need to have the bolts through the rear alloy uprights removed to get the remainder of the suspension apart. I'm planning to get a Harbor Fright blast cabinet to clean all the smaller bits once it's all apart.

The frame after blasting You can see one area in the far right where it's rotted through where the inner fender liner attaches.

A closer shot of the damage. I don't think it's structural to the point of cutting and replacing tubing.

This is the rear framework behind the diff. That black spot to the right of middle it the only perforation.

OK, so this isn't good. Passenger side outrigger, the welded joint is pretty eaten through. The top looks a bit rough too, but appears solid. It will be corrected .

   I did meet up with Duster yesterday! Checked out his Neon project (Ooh, so blurple!) and he came by my place and got to see a TVR in person, albeit an exploded one. Turns out he lives literally just up the street, maybe 3/4 mile away! 

TVRs2Lotus
TVRs2Lotus New Reader
6/7/20 10:47 a.m.
dherr (Forum Supporter) said:

Well this will be fun to watch another TVR come together. These are definitely on my "list", have a friend in Alabama with several, they are really cool cars. I'll be curious if the rust that TVR Scott found in his frame is normal or if your experience will be different. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

So, I meant to point out when I saw over on Scotts TVR thread that the top of the frame rails at the rear was a common rust point. IIRC It has been traced to the Jute padding for the body they placed there.and when driven in the rain, it gets wet and stays wet. The common replacement now is a pad of rubber.

 

 

Edit. Sorry I typed as I started reading here, I see you realized the Jute padding as source of issue.

Some of that frame damage looks pretty iffy to me. Try to punch an awl through it, or a punch and light hammering. It will collapse pretty easily if it is too rusty.

 

TVRs2Lotus
TVRs2Lotus New Reader
6/7/20 11:40 a.m.
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) said:
Stu Lasswell said:

I caught hell for this photo from a TVR group when I introduced myself there. It seems one never allows the bonnet to hang like this, without support. I was castigated forthwith, mercilessly. Haven't posted since.

Was that on the TVRCCNA website?  I joined the club, though I've not really tried to involve myself at all.  Never joined that forum.  I've tried a few other forums where people seem to go into attack-mode from the get-go, and it's such a turn-off.  GRM is quite nice that way.

BTW, I'm planning to redesign the hood mounts so that it'll open to a full 90 deg.  I've seen a few pics where people have done similar, and it seems like a no-brainer for someone doing an in-depth restoration.  Stay tuned as I get to that point.

There has always been this feeling with some. I think it is more present when there are fewer examples of a vehicle to start with. I kinda fit in the middle. I am NOT a fan of basically nice, running examples cut up to change as those are getting more rare each day. BECAUSE, sadly, there are plenty of abandoned projects out there (for TVR) if you look. The further it is from stock or running it is when you get it, the less I care about what direction it goes. At that point I like to see good work and another back on the road.

I started a separate Yahoo group for people that were doing various swaps.. active at times and a decent database... sadly, when Yahoo was phasing out the groups and archives.. I did nothing. :(

 

Oh yeah, Thanks Stu for the heads up and keep at it!

 

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