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TR7 Modifications and upgrades


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The last time I saw my car was in December 2013 when it was collected from my home on a trailer and sent to S&S for sale (see pictures) - I can't describe how sick I felt watching it disappearing

This has to be one of the most informative threads I have seen on any Forum in a long while. 

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Overview of improvement: - Fitment of modern seats

 

Relative merits: - Lumbar and lateral support

 

Observations: - When I first purchased the car I had every intention of keeping the original seats and I even had them and the door cards re-trimmed in leather. However, after my first 10,000 miles I had developed a very painful lower back so I decided to capitulate and fit modern seats. My wife owns a 2001 model Toyota MR2 roadster which I knew to have great seats so after careful measurement I decided to buy and re-trim a set. The height of the base cushion from the floor is exactly the same height to floor measurement as the 7, the overall width of the seat is comparable and the top of the seat back has plenty of clearance between it and the roof. The only modification required was the base frame needed modifying to fit to the TR7 mounting points.

 

Summary: - These seats give great lateral/ lumbar support so miles pass by in comfort. The driver’s seat also has height adjustment which helps to accommodate my six foot three frame.

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security:                N/A

Reliability:                          N/A

Performance:                    N/A

Comfort/aesthetics:        4

Cost:                                    2

Edited by BizMan
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Summary:[/u] - These seats give great lateral/ lumbar support so miles pass by in comfort. The driver’s seat also has height adjustment which helps to accommodate my six foot three frame.

 

 

It'd be great to see what these seats look like in the car. was it a lot of modification???

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Update as requested on the modified seats

 

The only picture I have that shows the seats installed in the car is not a great picture but I am sure you get the general idea. Regarding modifications for fitment, as with many of the upgrades involving a degree of engineering, S&S undertook the fabrication so perhaps it is better for S&S to comment in detail. In simple terms, the original MR2 mounting points were removed and original TR7 mounting points were welded onto the frame in a position that corresponded with the mounting points on the chassis. All in all it was a mornings work.

IMG_2263.JPG

 

Edited by BizMan
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Overview of improvement: - Modern stereo header unit

 

Relative merits: - FM, CD and MP3 playback

 

Observations: - With respect to in car entertainment, the 7 was developed in one era and sold on the cusp of another. Trying to retrofit the more modern technology that incorporates CD/iPod formats into a car that was designed to mount a cassette playback unit is a problem as modern units are deeper than the radio aperture which results in the unit sitting proud of the console. This not only looks a little awkward but it is also exposes the unit as easy pickings for any opportunistic thief.

 

Eager to have modern in car entertainment that was accessible whilst driving, aesthetically pleasing and was thief resistant I purchased an Alpine header unit that not only supported multiple formats (FM, CD, MP3 and iPod) but also had a ‘tilt’ function on the removable display screen. This system was mounted on a foam pad that sat atop the transmission tunnel and extended out of the base of the centre console and wired in to a pair of 6 inch Infinity Kappa speakers mounted in the doors. I fabricated a surround that encapsulated the header unit which was flush whilst the screen was fitted and in the maximum tilt position but that also hid the header unit once the display screen was detached.

 

Summary: - The system worked really well, developed great sound and looked good in the car. I removed it several months ago and replaced it with a period unit that had been adapted to playback music from my iPhone- a retrograde step in sound quality but a step forward in period aesthetics.

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security:                N/A

Reliability:                          N/A

Performance:                    N/A

Comfort/aesthetics:        2

Cost:                                    2

IMG_2252 2.jpg

Edited by BizMan
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  • 4 weeks later...

That's a great thread; interesting and useful to know what other people have done and whether the work was worthwhile. A very long and impressive list of modifications too!

 

Can you tell me where you got the modified front hubs from, & do they retain the standard PCB? I've been looking for a hub upgrade for quite a while without success.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Update on R380 Gearbox

 

A new 'Z' cut extension has been supplied by S&S to replace the 'straight cut' unit they originally fitted, (the Z cut keeps the torsion spring intact as well as retaining the second pair of spring locating mounts- see post 42).

 

The modified extension has resolved the problem of the lazy self centring of the gear stick thus minimising the chances of mis-selecting a gear.

 

If you consider fitting an R380 I would thoroughly recommend the Z cut; it may not be an easy fabrication but it is well worth it.

Edited by BizMan
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Overview of improvement: - Quick steering rack

 

Relative merits: - 2.7 turns from lock to lock

 

Observations: - The 2.7 quick rack has transformed the way the car drives; no longer do I have to saw away at the wheel to get the car to change direction, half a turn either way is enough to cover almost all driving situations and changing lane on the motorway is done with a mere flick of the wrist.

 

As the rack is a brand new item, there is zero play in the gearing so all of those annoying steering wheel vibrations and wobbles that are a feature of recon units have just vanished! Furthermore, as there are no flat spots or dead zones caused by worn teeth on the rack/ pinion the steering is predictable and progressive.

 

Summary: -The 2.7 rack has produced a smooth, responsive steering setup that transforms the TR7 driving experience but goodness knows what this upgrade would be like without power steering!!

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security:                N/A

Reliability:                          N/A

Performance:                    4

Comfort/aesthetics:        N/A

Cost:                                    2

Edited by BizMan
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  • 2 weeks later...

a

This entry was originally posted on 22 July 2011 before I made additional upgrades: 

 

With the exception of a fitting the larger capacity block and renovating/ spraying the body, the project to re-create my TR7 is almost at an end.

 

Externally, the car appears pretty much standard though looks are deceptive. The rolling road suggests that the 3.5 litre engine currently fitted produces 255 bhp @ 6500rpm with 240 lbft torque @ 4800rpm. However, it’s not just about power as the other performance upgrades ensure that the power is transmitted to the road effectively whilst the road holding/ handling is predictable and the stopping power fantastic from any speed. I do add a caveat to this automotive praise as provoking any element of the cars performance in full wet conditions will lose adhesion pretty quickly!

 

The past five years has been a mixture of joy and pain; the joy of trying out every new upgrade and moving the car towards its completion and the pain of dealing with companies who were big on promises and appalling at delivering on them, (how some of these companies remain in business is beyond me). I won’t tell you how much money I have spent as you wouldn’t believe me and to be honest, I don’t want to be reminded. Nevertheless, I have created a personalised sports car that is just as pleasurable to drive around a town or on a motorway as it is on twisty country roads.

 

I hope that the series of posts have been interesting and informative and that it helps to keep a few more of these iconic cars on the road.

Edited by BizMan
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I have to say that even though Im not a huge fan of the 7 (I have had a V8 version which despite being great fun had to go to preserve my license!) I have found this series of posts absolutely fascinating and I think worth turning into a book on how to seriously upgrade your 7! Well done and thank you for sharing.

Stuart.

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I have been asked where I got the strut brace from that I describe in post #16 and the answer is that I had it made using one I had purchased previously as a template.

 

I originally purchased a brace from eBay that was fabricated for a V8 running a Holley AFB carburettor. However, when I fitted the 14CUX ‘hotwire’ injection, the brace fouled the plenum.

 

I therefore mocked up an alternative and then took the original brace and the mock up to a local company who fabricated the unit you see fitted to the car. This rather amateur (but practical) method of product design means I don’t have a drawing to share with you but if there is a calling for it, I can make one.

 

When I was researching the brace, I found a number of alternatives which suit different variants of the ‘7 so I include these links for you to make your own choice.

 

 

http://www.thewedgeshopstore.com/strut-tower-brace-tr8/

http://vitessesteve.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/tr7-strut-braces.html

http://www.tsimportedautomotive.com/struttower.html

Edited by BizMan
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It's interesting to see how parallell evolutions end up in similar solutions. - I think Darwin would have been proud... B)

 

Even though your build is several years younger than mine it seems they both ended up looking very identical in technical solutions and details...

/Odd

motorrummet-72dpi.jpg

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