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CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
4/17/22 9:39 p.m.

Yeah I got the email about that from the TVRCCNA. I was hoping to go but I cannot get the day off work unfortunately. And it looks like I do have a buyer for the engine. He's coming from Wisconsin. The gentleman from Charlotte got concerned after hearing some history from me and decided against it. 

 

Do enjoy the show and I hope to see some pictures! 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
5/1/22 10:12 p.m.

Engine got picked up on Thursday. Nice to have that out of the way. The guy referred to the price as "a steal".

 

Haven't touched the bonnet yet and I spent some time looking at the windows and got no where. But I did get that sunroof filler panel nicely installed. I went a little beyond that project and fully took on the whole roof. There were lots of cracks to grind out and fill. Sanding the old paint off doesn't seem too prohibitive. At this point I am sure I would prefer sanding it down to soda blasting or chemically stripping it. 

​​​​​​A few pictures tracking the progress:

I ground out a little recess to lay some cloth in. Probably extra, possibly even detrimental, but I feel better with it adhered from the top and the bottom both. 

 

My car has some pretty significant dimples in the corners of the sunroof opening that all have some pretty deep cracks. I believe this is from something flat being set on top of the car while it was stored for the last two decades. This issue made the filler panel from Scott doubly advantageous because it helps return the original contour to the roof. Some of the cracks may well go all the way through the glass. I ground them down a decent bit, filled them with thickened epoxy first and put squares of glass cloth in over that while I was laying strips along the seam of the filler panel. The hope is to hold everything firm and avoid any further cracking of course. I feel pretty good about this keeping everything solid under some body filler and paint. 

 

So at this point all the cloth has been laid on to bridge the seams and the badly cracked areas, the other cracks on the roof that I ground out have had a dose of cabasil, and the high spots have been knocked down. Roof is looking good and ready for filler. The easiest and most fun section of body work is almost done already. It only gets harder from here! 

 

In other news, suspension work, while still mostly conceptual, has been up and down. I decided to go with Mustang II/ Pinto spindles and make new control arms for a variety of reasons. This allows me to make control arms that are a little beefier, move the lower control arm mounting points in and up a little for better camber gain and roll centers, it swaps the trunion system for a much improved ball joint, allows me to implement a wider range of camber adjustment, opens up the options for brake improvements drastically, and also brings some good bump steer solutions to the table. I was originally attracted to the Mustang II/ Pinto spindles when I saw them on a database of lug patterns. Multiple databases showed the Pinto to have the same 4x4.5 lug pattern as the TVR. So I bought spindles and ball joints and went all in on this plan. Well... Come to find out that it just so happens that the first couple databases I looked at had the lug spacing shown wrong. The Pinto actually has a 4.25 lug spacing. So now I am basically faced with either using some rather pricey custom hubs that will fit these spindles and can be had in 4.5" lug spacing, having different lug spacing on the front than on the rear (I planned on staggered wheels anyway but needing different spacing front and rear will no doubt cut down on options), or scrapping this spindle and finding another plan. 

 

The good news on suspension work is that after countless hours of measuring on the suspension and visualizing and evaluating where my good consistent reference points were and what measurements needed to be changed and which maintained and what the effect of this is on that blah blah, I finally developed a rough plan and a jig of sorts that I think will work out nicely. I actually started cutting some parts for the control arms today. 

 

In conclusion, I've finally started having fun. If anyone has any advice on the 4x4.5" hubs, I am all ears.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/2/22 8:31 a.m.

Roof install looks really good.  And the crack-chasing as well.  Nice work!

Slow_M
Slow_M Reader
5/7/22 12:51 p.m.

I have a fading memory regarding your ride height question. I think the lower suspension arms are intended to be parallel to the ground plane. 

I may have  asked the same question on PistonHeads ages ago. 

Congrats on the nice progress.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
5/8/22 1:39 a.m.

The lower control arms should be parallel to the ground (or technically to the line between the left and right lower control arm mounting points because we are accounting for chassis roll when we talk about max compression) when the suspension is at max compression, ideally. Going slightly beyond parallel when the bump stop is compressed is not necessarily a huge deal. But they should be pointing down at static ride height. This is according to modern suspension theory. It appears that the stock ride height stayed fairly true to this. I still am not sure exactly what that ride height is but I was able to find a few indicators to try to get me close. Primarily I compressed the suspension while measuring the wheel base until I had the factory specified wheel base measurement. Gotta work with what you have! 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/8/22 8:15 a.m.

Nice progress. You TVR guys always kick it.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
5/20/22 7:42 p.m.

I hesitate to post this because I'm not entirely sure I'm going to end up using it, but here goes. Today I completed what is effectively the third attempt at a new front upper control arm. A list of priorities directed me down this road: I am a big fan of front end grip. I hate understeer, so I like my front end to work right. Damage to my car and most other TVRs indicates strengthening of the suspension system is a great idea, and the TR6 spindles are known to be on the weak side in a couple different ways from what I can gather and observe. I also want the unrestricted suspension motion up here and lastly, improved adjustability. I mulled over a plethora of ideas on how to make all these improvements with minimal changes to the frame of the car. The Ford spindles appealed for a few reasons early on. New spindles means new control arms because I have no interest in cutting up and modifying the original arms. My plan is to be able to go back to completely stock suspension with as little effort as possible. The Ford spindles have normal ball joints upper and lower. Qa1 offers a ball joint system with a screw in ball joint that is available with variable shank lengths for geometry tuning. Yes please. So a couple weeks of drawing up various designs of new control arms and I finally settled on one. Best clearance, strength, weight, and simplicity I could come up with.

I'm pretty new to welding still so of course I butchered the first attempt, which I expected. A friend with a decade of professional welding experience came by and taught me more about welding than I had learned in months of YouTube videos. He tried to help my butchered control arm out while he was showing me some things but it was a little too far gone. But thanks to Justin for a morning of invaluable education. 

Fired up and eager to put my new knowledge to use, I immediately developed a terrible stomach issue and spent 3 days in bed with a trash can. 

With that finally resolved I made some improvements to my official 'upper control arm jig' and gave it another go. Finished this one up (well, pretty much finished) today. This one went much better. Popped it out of the jig and cannot find any good reason it won't work out. But I can't know for sure whether this plan will work out as desired until I complete a lower and actually fit the assembly together on the car. The arm ended up lighter than I expected. I used 1/4" steel rather than the 3/16" used on the factory control arm because I have plenty of it and it seemed like a good way to beef it up. I don't regret it after seeing how light it is. Feedback is welcome on this design/construction. I'm not married to it. I've restored cars before but this level of fabrication is new for me. 

In other news I am still trucking along with body work and paint removal. Soooooo many cracks. No good pictures or milestones though. 

And unfortunately it will likely be a while before my next update. I'm at that dismal point where I need to put in some over time at work work for a bit. It's been a good couple weeks in terms of working on the tvr though. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss New Reader
5/22/22 3:01 p.m.

Tackled this web of cracking today. Obviously caused by an impact at some point, there was hardly any structure left in the middle of it and the material wasn't really thick enough to grind out to lay new cloth. I laid up a patch of cloth from the back after getting the undercoating off to provide some buffer material. Then I was able to grind out the center of the damage and lay a small patch of new cloth on the top as I filled all the ground out cracks with thickened epoxy. This all went pretty well I think. It's amazing how thin the glass is in some places. And how transparent too... It doesn't look like there's a whole lot of glass in there at all in some places. 

 

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith Reader
5/22/22 4:25 p.m.

If you go back to TR6 uprights and spindles, there is an inexpensive uprated spindle and bearing kit that is very worth the $$$'s.

I installed that kit on my 6 a number of years ago to very good effect.

Kit is called the Uncle Jack's Spindle kit.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/23/22 2:32 p.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

That looks familiar.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
5/23/22 5:20 p.m.

In reply to oppositelocksmith :

Thanks for the info. I looked up uncle Jack's and found his site. From what I see it looks like just the stub axle he offers an upgrade for. Is that what you are referring to? 

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
5/23/22 6:25 p.m.

Very cool work on the control arms/spindles. I'm interested to see where you go with it. I'm evaluating pinto vs miata spindles myself right now.

oppositelocksmith
oppositelocksmith Reader
5/23/22 7:22 p.m.

Yes, it's a much thicker axle with a strengthening spacer and bearings. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
6/4/22 4:21 p.m.

Took a few minutes to clean out the fuel tank area. Lots of insulation material glued on to the body and lots of other debris that has collected. As I was running a wire wheel with the drill I think I found an area in need of improvement. The front bulkhead of the fuel tank compartment is just about the thinnest fiberglass I have found anywhere on the car. As such, it is like a snare drum. Running the wire wheel on it sounded like a teenagers Honda. Also, there is a void in the bottom of this bulkhead where there is a fastener to the frame. Picture attached. No doubt this will be a loud riding car no matter what, but I think that such a resonant section that sits right over where the muffler(s)  will be could stand to be improved some. A little reinforcement is in order around the attachment points obviously. And I suppose sound deadening insulation is something I should put plenty of research in to at any rate. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
6/13/22 1:38 p.m.

Well there went my floor space... This bonnet is a beast and a half to move without a helper too!

 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/13/22 3:02 p.m.
TVR Scott said:

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

That looks familiar.

These responses just write themselves lately.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
6/13/22 5:38 p.m.

Interesting construction method around the wheel wells. It looks like the wheel arches are constructed of body filler that is not very well attached to the fiberglass. Possibly a repair done at some point I admit, but it looks the same on the other side. The thick filler has been dinged up quite a bit by rocks and such it seems. The rest of it is cracked and not well attached so that had to go. Now I need to build it back with a less brittle and better adhered material. The Awlfair I've been using on the roof wouldn't be much better but maybe a cocktail of West System fillers would hold up better. Obviously it would still take a chip from a rock but the goal is to avoid the crumbling that the original material suffered from. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/16/22 8:53 a.m.

Mine has a little filler on that edge, but not nearly what you have there.  Looks like it might have been a dry layup at the factory - not enough resin and it just crumbles away.

You can buy narrow fiberglass tape - a 1" width would lay down along that edge real nicely.  You can "fake vacuum bag" it by pulling packaging tape over the edge.  That does a decent job of compacting the laminate.

BTW, there was only a little side-peak above, but the roof panel install looks awesome!  Nice work!

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
6/16/22 11:51 a.m.

Oh I guess I haven't posted the result of all that fairing yet. It took a while because I ended up grinding a lot back off to lay more glass to avoid getting it too thick. Here are a couple photos as it is now.  Nearly finished. 3 or 4 little low spots need one more layer and I should be good. 

 

And yes, it does look like a dry layup to me as well. Examining the other side it looks much better and more solid and won't need much attention. I think the thin strip of cloth laid up with some compression as you suggested would be a good solution as well. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
8/2/22 4:56 p.m.

I can't believe it's been a month and a half since my last update. But there's a good reason for that... I haven't done much on the TVR! I've had a bit of writers block designing the lower control arms. It can be done, I just needed a brain break from it. I went on a family vacation and did some house work, and I have a rather demanding class coming up for work that I am starting to study for.

The main hold up however is a little more interesting. I was finding that my 20 gallon compressor was rather insufficient for my project and I haven't even gotten to spraying yet. I was running a die grinder for a while trying to get the hinge frame off the bonnet on a hot day and I started getting lots of water out of the tool. So I take a look at the compressor. Air usually comes  out of a pump around 200-250, maybe 300 as I understand it. No kidding, my entire tank must have been up close to 200. Didn't measure it but it was stinking hot. So I dove in to research on compressors and improvements and building one from a propane tank and all. I did some shopping and I just didn't want to pay the going rate for a good 60-80 gallon compressor. Well I was on the way home from work one day and there was a great big compressor in someone's yard. Hadn't been there the day before. Long story short, I got an 80 gallon 2-stage Campbell hausfeld for $500 plus my old 20 gallon. A hair more than I wanted to spend but really, what a hell of a compressor and for 1/4 what a new one of the same would cost. So I buy that, call in a favor to help me get it loaded in the truck, call in another favor to help me get it unloaded, try moving it around the garage myself and came way too close to tipping the thing over right on the TVR... I finally get it positioned and wired up (another $120 for wire that I ran crudely and without proper precautions...) And finally have a nice big compressor. Which happens to be making bad and concerning sounds... Fortunately, it doesn't sound like the knocking is actually coming from the pump. I believe it's actually the old belt slapping. So a new belt is on the way. Once that is fixed I can can put the garage back together and get back to work. If the belt doesn't fix it I suppose the new project is fix the compressor. That you can't get parts for anymore. So really I'd be putting a new pump on it. I don't want to think about it. High hopes! Well, actually, I can get back to work on the TVR after I put some sort of after cooler on this compressor. I cannot shake the urge. That kind of thing is just too fun to pass up. 3 trips to the hardware store and I think I have everything I need to plumb it once I fix whatever is wrong. 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
8/4/22 6:37 p.m.

New belt went on today. The problem is not belt slap. But I still don't think it's in the pump. It sounds like it's from the motor. I'm going to crack that open and see if there's anything loose in there tomorrow. Check the bearings and all. May just end up with a new motor. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/22 11:36 a.m.

I've got an older Sanborn compressor (that I run the E36 M3 out of), and I've had good luck finding rebuild parts here.  They have good search capability and I've never not found what I needed.

Another good option is to wear heavy ear-protection while the compressor is running.  Then you can't hear all the ugly noises coming from it.

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
8/5/22 3:28 p.m.

Thanks for the link. They have the motor which is nice. I'm going to pull it apart and see if it's a bearing and if I can match it. Never done it before but I'll figure it out if I can. 

Slow_M
Slow_M Reader
8/6/22 6:19 p.m.

Best of luck getting the compressor sorted. I’m eager to see more TVR progress posts! 

CoolHandMoss
CoolHandMoss Reader
8/8/22 8:32 p.m.

We'll get there soon! This bonnet hinge frame is being a total 'Rolls-Royce' to get off. Like how I beat GRM to it?  

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