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CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/19/21 2:12 p.m.

I've been reading through a couple ongoing build threads of some other TVRs being maintained on this site so now that I've acquired my own 2500M I figure I'll document the progress on here as well. The TVR has always been a favorite of mine since going to British car shows with my dad as a kid. We traveled around to a lot of shows in his TR-6 in the few years after he finished it. I restored a Midget throughout high school then took a decade or so break from the British classics while I focused on racing and learning the ins and outs of suspension setup. For a variety of reasons it feels like time for a break from racing. Fortunately I just happened to get lucky and score this TVR I've been wishing I could buy for almost 20 years. 

The car is a 1972 TVR 2500M that has been parked for at least 25 years or so. It has been stored in a couple different barns for most of that time so in some ways it's in relatively good condition though in other ways it's pretty rough. There has been critter activity inside. The interior is partially removed though it appears all the parts are there. The body is pretty solid and I've found minimal rust on the frame, though there is definitely some and I am sure more yet to be found. It's definitely a frame that can be worked with. The rear glass is unbroken though it has fallen down into the car. The windshield is broken but fortunately those can be had even if they do have to come from across the water. 

The plan is to do a complete restoration. The body needs to come off, the frame needs a lot of attention, the body needs to be stripped and painted, ect. I haven't decided what to do with the drivetrain yet. I have several ideas that are all options. Plenty of time to decide. I definitely plan to do a t5 transmission and r200 differential. End goal is to decrease engine weight while increasing power, though I have no particular number in mind. Among the engine options are an aggressively built original 2.5, a rover v8 (there appear to be difficulties in getting this to work with a manual? crank needs to be shortened and flywheels are rather pricey? sounds like the 4.0 and 4.4l versions might be most appealing), an aluminum GM v8 (lm4, l33, or ls1), or a bmw 2.8-3l inline-6 with the bmw transmission. Each option has plenty of pros and cons to consider. I'll figure these out as I go. Lots of other work to do before then. I'm open to suggestions on this matter. Is the car just too special to put a different engine in? Are there other good options I'm not considering? I definitely prefer something that in some way meshes with the history of the car to an extent. Any which way, I'm a fuel injection fan so unless it's a GM engine I will likely end up running it on megasquirt. 

Aside from drivetrain improvements, a color change and some minimal suspension improvements, the rest of the project will stay pretty close to how the car originally was. 

First step is to get the rear glass out of the car and safely stowed somewhere at home. I don't want to move the car with the rear glass loose in the back like it is. Obviously I can't risk that. Once the glass is somewhere safe I can go ahead and get the car moved into my garage and get some round tires on it to be able to roll it. 

The next step is to set my garage up for a project like this; since I built the garage I've only really used it for street-touring racecar setup and odd jobs. I need to run more power out there to run a welder and more substantial compressor. Then I plan to build a structure outside to use to lift the body. Unfortunately my best plan so far is to set the body on stands outside where it is removed and wrap it up as well as possible in a tarp with some ventilation while I spend a year or two working on the frame. No rush here. This car is worth taking the time for. I'm estimating 6-7 years considering I anticipate being slowed down by a wedding and a promotion before I can finish it. 

I haven't even picked the car up yet but here's a picture of it as it sits. It's about 30 minutes from my house for now. 

 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/19/21 2:33 p.m.

Where are yall finding these!? 

 

I want one so bad

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/19/21 2:45 p.m.

You really just have to get a little lucky to find one I think! I happened to know about this one for a long time but only recently found out the guy was willing to sell. He got old enough to give up hope of restoring it I guess. Would have bought it years ago otherwise. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/19/21 5:07 p.m.

May i suggest a gm 3900 v6 mated to a t5? Or an lfx? Seems like a high revving, compact, torquey v6 is what this car needs. Fits the bill for an everyman's supercar vibe.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/19/21 8:09 p.m.

The thought had actually crossed my mind but didn't jump out as particularly appealing. Maybe I'll have to look in to that more. 

The more I read Scott's thread the more appealing the Ford Ecoboost looks though. 

damarble
damarble Reader
7/19/21 8:56 p.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

I know just the guy to help keep the control pack cost down. This is his own harness, sent to me for beta testing. His website isn't up yet but it's getting close.

 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/19/21 11:58 p.m.

This gentleman makes harnesses to order? Or he makes a specific harness? Pm me with some details. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/20/21 6:04 a.m.

Yes. More TVR! 

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell Reader
7/20/21 7:58 a.m.

   Well, I'm glad you're starting your own build thread... and can stop hijacking ours!  No really, I look forward to seeing which direction you choose.  What is your intended purpose for this car?  Tourer, hot rod, autocross or track car? At least TVRs are all so different and not well known, so there aren't many knowledgeable purists around to tell you to conform and not go your own way!  Can't wait! 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/20/21 12:02 p.m.

Someone find me one lol

damarble
damarble Reader
7/20/21 6:29 p.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

PM sent, but I don't get how the PM system works here.

 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/20/21 7:03 p.m.

Onward!

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/21/21 8:33 p.m.
Stu Lasswell said:

   Well, I'm glad you're starting your own build thread... and can stop hijacking ours!  No really, I look forward to seeing which direction you choose.  What is your intended purpose for this car?  Tourer, hot rod, autocross or track car? At least TVRs are all so different and not well known, so there aren't many knowledgeable purists around to tell you to conform and not go your own way!  Can't wait! 

I like to drive a car hard. Once I got started racing I can't hardly look at a car the same. So this car will be ready to at least see some track day time, maybe a local autocross event here and there. Even though I don't plan to drive it 'much' per say, reliability is a priority. Aside from any improvements necessary to prepare it for a little hard driving it will be restored as closely to original as possible. Or as closely as I can stand in some cases, because the original interior on this car is hideous. That said, there are a lot of unanswered questions that I'll have to figure out along the way. I'll probably have the body off and the frame mostly cleaned up and reinforced as necessary before I even decide on an engine. I'll document the thought process as I go even if only because thinking outloud is more effective than internal thought for me, at least. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/24/21 5:55 a.m.

Some progress this week, though not on the actual car. I've been getting my garage ready to take on a project like this. I had to move a lot around to make space for all the parts that will come off and clean up remnants of previous projects. I forgot how big the garage actually is. Vacation this week, the buyer is picking up my last racecar on August 1st, then I plan to get the car brought home on August 3rd or 4th. 

Meanwhile, does anyone know if standard size TR-6 wheels and tires will fit under the TVR body? I know they will bolt up, but if I recall correctly we are talking 16" wheels vs. the OEM TVR 14" wheels. I'm thinking they should fit just to move the car around the garage. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/24/21 9:13 a.m.

You should be fine.  I've only ever put the factory wheels on mine, but Stu has stuck a stock MINI 17" wheel under his rear fender and it was fine.  There's a lot of room for wheel+tire under there.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/24/21 9:51 a.m.

TR6 wheels are 15x5.5 4x114.3 and zero offset.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/24/21 3:26 p.m.

Oh that's excellent to hear you describe it as spacious for wheel fitment. I was under the impression it was rather limited width wise at least. Thanks. 

Stu Lasswell
Stu Lasswell Reader
7/24/21 6:25 p.m.

The stock TVR wheels are 14" (small) but 6" wide.  As stated above, the stock TR6 wheels are taller but a bit narrower.  From what I've read you can go up to a 205 width up front and 225 in back without a problem, with the caveat that the bodies aren't always symmetrical or truly centered on the frame. Scott's had 215s all the way around when he got it (I believe) and no fitment issues.  Larger diameter rims actually help a bit in that wide, short rims seem to result in contact with the front A-arms at full lock.  I'm planning on 16"x7" rims, 205/50-16s front 225/45-16 rear... at least that's my thinking this week! 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/25/21 1:50 p.m.

I ultimately want to either stick with the 14's or, if they will fit, go up to 15x8's to run 225 tires. Tire selection isn't very good compared to 15" but I expect the 16" wheels will allow better clearance on the uprights. I am hoping I can do good things with 15's though. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/25/21 5:13 p.m.

Yeah, I do have 215's under my car right now and they fit fine.  Those are just on the stock 14" rims that came with the car.  Ultimately I'll be going for 15 or 16" rims, in as wide as I can fit.

I believe some people have flattened and boxed the inside of the rear fender wells in order to run a bigger tire.  Flares are certainly not uncommon either.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith New Reader
7/25/21 5:24 p.m.

Moss, I cant remember if the 2500m uses a TR6 front suspension or not(think it does). 

If it does, widest you can go in a 15” rim is 7”. Even at that width, you’ll likely contact the upper ball joint edges when reversing at full lock (you never realize how much you do that until do so and hear/feel scraping). 

FWIW, a 16” wheel on a TR6 clears the upper ball joint easily at 7” width and possibly wider. 

Hope that is helpful.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/26/21 8:03 a.m.
oppositelocksmith said:

Moss, I cant remember if the 2500m uses a TR6 front suspension or not(think it does).

The steering knuckle and brake caliper mount are TR6.  The upper ball joint and the lower trunnion are as well.  None of the A-arms are Triumph based, nor is the sway bar.

Steering rack is from a Triumph 2000 sedan, and is largely unobtainium in LHD form.

I have the Good Parts big brakes with Wilwood calipers on mine, and had to add a 1/4" spacer on the fronts to clear the stock rims.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/26/21 10:10 a.m.

This conversation has now overlapped with another thought process I've been having. The TVR suspension is just awesome in many ways but the worst part is the tr6 upright. It's weak and limits wheel fitment. It also appears, in my limited examination though I have not tested this, to have a rather small window of camber adjustment. So changing the front uprights and hubs over to something a little more modern is on my list of changes to consider. Miata front uprights would be great but the lug spacing is different. If I could get Goodparts to make me rear hubs with the Miata lug pattern I might just make that change and fab lower control arms with turnbuckles. All the adjustment, strength, and wheel fitment I could want. Of course that has the consequence of prohibiting me from running the original wheels. All way down the road though. But 16" wheels are not an option for me. Tire selection is too important. 

 

In other news, the original owner of my car sent me a picture today of him standing with the car shortly after he bought it in 1972. I don't want to post his likeness on the internet but once I get on a computer and can crop his face out I'll post it. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
7/27/21 8:47 a.m.

Leaning strongly toward a 4.0 or 4.6l rover engine lately. There are some struggles involved but it's lighter than an iron block option and I feel it's more appropriate than the aluminum gm l33/lm4 options being English made. Having trouble finding many appealing options that weigh much less. Output potential is not fantastic and tuning options are limited but I don't have huge power goals. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/27/21 10:38 a.m.

I considered the Rover V8 too.

I thought real hard about the 3.7L Ford Cyclone V6 (aka Mustang V6).  This to me fits the TVR spirit - a Ford V6 just seems right.

Lightweight aluminum block.  Pretty compact.  Lots of torque!

I believe you could send off the ECU for the PATS delete.

Maybe I'll put one of those in my next TVR...

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