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TR7 Modifications and upgrades


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As requested, below is a list of suppliers I have used for parts, maintenance, repair and upgrades. I won’t publish my opinions in the forum but if you want my views on any of them just send me a personal message, (particularly after reading post #26).

 

S&S Preparations             http://www.ss-preparations.co.uk/                Anything TRV8

JE Engineering                   http://www.jeengineering.co.uk/old/                Rover V8 specialists

Rimmer Brothers              http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/                               Standard parts

Robsport International   http://www.robsport.co.uk/                               Standard parts

Compomotive Wheels    http://www.comp.co.uk/                               Alloy wheels and components

Wicked Wheels                 http://www.wickedwheels.co.uk/                Alloy wheel refurbishment

Image Wheels                   http://www.imagewheels.co.uk/                Custom wheel manufacture

Autobulbs                           http://www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/                Halogen & LED bulbs

Roadrunner                        http://www.roadrunnermotorsport.co.uk/ Performance Induction parts

TSN Automotive               http://www.tsnautomotive.co.uk/                Alarm and security products

TesRac Enterprises           http://www.tsimportedautomotive.com/ Modified hubs

Powerlite                            http://www.eurolec-components.co.uk/ Alternator and Starter motor

Vintage Wireless              (No website)                                                                   Refurbished and modernised car radio

PI Fuel Systems                 http://www.p-i-fuelsystems.co.uk/                Multi point LPG installation and service

Name withheld                                                                                                           EFi and single point LPG installation

Hi Spec Motorsport         http://www.hispecmotorsport.co.uk/                Brake upgrades

Speedograph Richfield   http://www.speedograph-richfield.com/ Speedo recalibration

Speedy Cables                  http://www.speedycables.com/                               Bespoke cables

Dual Metallising                http://www.dual-metallising.co.uk                Vacuum thermoformed chrome plating

Edited by BizMan
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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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Nice thread.

Nice here in the later meaning - well executed and exacting in requirements, rather than the original (from nescius) foolish and stupid...

 

 

As an aside, I wonder if the turret brace is needed for a coupe? As soon as this 250 is done and paid for, the 8's getting "upgrades"

Edited by alan atkinson
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  • 2 weeks later...

a

I've been asked that question quite a few times and it really depends how much you want to spend and what you want to achieve. If I were pushed and had only £1500 to spend then I would go for a balance of reliability, safety and performance.

 

Assuming I already had a standard V8 fitted with the appropriate cooling and diff I would do the following:

 

LED and Halogen bulb upgrades £75 (posts #33 &#34)

Brakes £350 (post #5)

Suspension £400 (post # 11)

Bushes £80 (post #13)

Anti Roll bars £200 (posts # 8 & #10)

Strut top bearings £25 (post # 17)

Strut Brace £75 (post #16)

Fast Road Camshaft £150 (post #20)

 

Prices are approximate and exclude VAT.

 

As I hope you will of gathered from my series of posts, making an improvement in one area usually exposes a weakness in another so always plan what you are going to do to ensure you are always running a safe and usable car. Its easy for me to say this now but I failed to do so and as a result I often created problems that could have been avoided and wasted time and money in the process.

Edited by BizMan
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a

Overview of improvement: - ‘Chrome’ plating of rear light reflector/ cluster

 

Relative merits: - Increased light reflectivity

 

Observations: - The rear reflector/ clusters are not ‘silvered’ but simply sprayed with a silver paint and whilst a change to high power coloured LED bulbs does improve the light levels (post #33) the light emission in strong daylight is still poor. To increase light emission chrome plating was considered but wasn't an option on such small concave surfaces and traditional 'silvering' was also not possible as the cast aluminium would not respond well to the process.

 

Not wanting to compromise on safety, I eventually located a company that uses a vacuum thermoforming process that can ‘chrome’ all manner of substrates including plastics, (see post #76 for their details).

 

Summary: -The light reflectors/ clusters now have amazing reflectivity and the indicator/ brake lights are as bright as any you would find on any modern Eurobox.

 

I also took advantage of the increased brightness of the new clusters to remove the rear fog lights and rewire one up to what previously had been the n/s reversing light installing a 140 lumen red LED bulb in place of the previous white reversing bulb, (the o/s remains as the reversing light). This has tidied up the look of the rear end of the car considerably.

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security:                4

Reliability:                          N/A

Performance:                    N/A

Comfort/aesthetics:        N/A

Cost:                                    1

Edited by BizMan
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  • 2 months later...

a

Technical Information on the Braking System

 

I have been asked about the cost of the braking system installed on my car and whether it is necessary to go to this level of expense and what compromises could be made if budget is an issue.

 

Rather than just giving you my opinion on cost versus performance on such an important safety issue, I thought I would throw some maths and physics at the question.

 

The factory kerb weight of the TR8 DHC was about 1130Kg depending on specification. I have estimated that my TR7V8 is slightly heavier at around 1145Kg due to the LPG tank sitting in place of the spare wheel. The wheel base is 2160mm and the static weight distribution is around 57% front and 43% rearward and the centre of gravity is about 300mm from ground level.

 

These facts and figures mean that weight distribution at a maximum braking force of about 0.9G would be about 69% to the front and 31% to the rear. If you take these measurements and factor in the diameter of the road wheels (around 560mm) then the brake torque required during the maximum braking effect is approximately 330 lb-ft per wheel at the front and 145 lb-ft per wheel at the rear.

 

When my car was running the S&S vented disc kit, SD1 servo/ master cylinder and S&S rear disc conversion I calculated that it was producing 270 lb-ft at each of the front wheels and 224 lb-ft at each of the rears. As you can see, this set up produces a braking effect that is split 55% to the front and 45% to the rear which is some way off the 69/31 required. If you have a pressure balance valve it can be adjusted to shift the percentages around to give a more even split front/rear but you cannot get away from the fact that this set up is producing only 82% of the brake torque required at the front (where the majority of the braking effect is required) to bring the car to a stop in a safe distance. This is why I made the statement in post #5 that “whilst an improvement, it still took far too long to bring the car to a halt from motorway speeds, particularly relative to all of the other vehicles I was sharing the roads with!”

 

The S&S rear disc conversion produces more braking effect at the rear than is actually needed (224 lb-ft versus 145 lb-ft). This would not be a problem if the front was also producing more braking effect than was required and in the right proportion to the rear but as you can see, the S&S front disc upgrade, whilst a big improvement on the standard, was still not enough stopping power. What’s more, it is not considered wise to have a disproportionate amount of the braking effect coming from the rear because if you over estimate your speed on an entry to a corner and hit the brakes, there is a high chance that the front wheels will continue to rotate whilst the rears lock. This combination will inevitably pitch you off the road arse end first.

 

Fitting the Hi-Spec Motorsports Monster 4 system to the front changed the maths (post #40). The size of the pads, dics and piston area increased the front brake torque from 270 lb-ft to 447 lb-ft which is considerably more than the minimum safe requirement of 330 lb-ft. This additional capacity also changed the braking proportion from the previous unadjusted 55% front and 45% rear to 67% front and 33% rear which is much closer to the ideal of 69/31.

 

So, back to the original question; “is it necessary to go to this level of expense and what compromises could be made if budget is an issue?”

 

I would suggest if budget is an issue fit the uprated servo/master cylinder (post #4) along with the S&S front brake kit or its equivalent (post #5) and stick with drums at the rear. This set up will not be enough to bring the car to a halt safely in a ‘maximum braking event’ but it will be significantly better than a standard set up and you will have a better balance front to rear.

 

If you want to get your brakes to exceed the safe minimum then upgrade the front brakes to a larger calliper/rotor and uprate the rear brakes to discs. You dont have to go to the extreme of fitting 300mm discs to the front, a 283mm set up will exceed the minimum front torque and save you a few quid but you will still need to increase your wheel size to 15 inch!

 

 

 

Acknowledgements to Mark Elbers for the centre of gravity information http://www.team.net/TR8/tr8cca/wedgemath/02_CG_def/CG_def.html and Brian Beckman for the equations for weight transfer https://www.miata.net/sport/Physics/01-Weight-Transfer.html

Edited by BizMan
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  • 2 months later...

a

Overview of improvement: - Modifying the standard TR7 clock

 

Relative merits: - Elimination of ‘stalling’ and poor time keeping

 

Observations: - The analogue clock had two design faults that made the clock unreliable. The first fault manifests itself through the erratic loss of time which is caused by the clocks rather narrow operating temperature range of 25 degrees centigrade +/- 10 degrees. As the temperature falls below 15 degrees it begins to slow until around freezing, it just stops.

 

The second fault occurs when the clocks rather delicate timing mechanism reaches a state of equilibrium where the timing spring and the magnetic coil are both producing the same opposing force that stops the pendulum and hence the clock.

 

Both of these faults can be overcome by following the comprehensive advice provided by Greg Bober in his article on the TWOA site (http://littledoggarage.com/Articles/TR78clock.pdf) or you can do what I did and send the clock to him for the master to modify it personally!

 

Summary: -The modified clock hasn’t stopped once nor has it lost any noticeable amount of time.

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security:                N/A

Reliability:                          1

Performance:                    N/A

Comfort/aesthetics:        1

Cost:                                    1

Edited by BizMan
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  • 6 months later...

Overview of improvement: - Strut tower brace

 

Relative merits: - Reduced understeer

 

Observations: - Being a DHC, the body does tend to flex quite a bit particularly forward of the firewall and there were two low cost upgrades that I researched that could reduce this. The first involved a strutbrace that fixed across the towers and then triangulated against the firewall but this system limits what type of fuel induction system you can run and also eliminates the possibility of using the fresh air plenum. The second less effective system is a brace that just connects the two strut towers, (this is the option I chose). I was really sceptical of this upgrade as it had ‘boy racer’ written all over it but the reduction in understeer and corresponding improvement in cornering was quite exceptional.

 

Summary: - Put away your prejudice and fit a brace

 

Summary scoring

Safety/security 2

Reliability N/A

Performance 3

Comfort/aesthetics N/A

Cost 1

 

Did you fabricate the brace or buy from supplier?
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  • 10 months later...

Had Princess/Capri vented for ages & hate pedal travel and then wooden feel. Servo & MC upgrade has reduced pedal travel, but feel is still hard as nails horrid (seems some are looking for this !) I'm looking for the initial bite and more progressive feel closer to a modern. Other forums seem to say even Hi spec/Wilwood upgrades don't help?? Its running Mintex 1144, which seem to be the 'softest'

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a

The problem I had was the opposite to you; the brake pedal had too much travel. Once the pedal travel issue was sorted and the disc run out cured the brakes were just as I wanted them. The 'red stuff' pads give good initial bite even from cold and I have yet to induce brake fade on them.

 

Its difficult to know what to suggest on your set up as I have no experience of the type of hardware or the pads you are using. It seems an expensive experiment to bin your existing set up in favour of an alternative system without first trying them to see if they provide what you want so I would suggest that you try other 7's which have the alternatives fitted first and then you can made an informed decision.

Edited by BizMan
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a

This post was originally published in November 2013. I have subsequently decided to re-purchase the car!

 

I never thought it would happen but I have decided to sell my cherished TR7V8.

 

The car has a full service history and I mean FULL. Each service since new is documented along with its corresponding receipt showing mileage and what work was undertaken. For the first years of its life it was maintained by the main dealer (PJ Evans) but since the early nineties it received an annual service from S&S Preparations regardless of the mileage it had undertaken.

 

I have three files containing every receipt for every item purchased for the car; from nuts and washers through to major items like a new gearbox. The files also contain every MOT and spent tax disc since new.

 

Today, the car has completed just over 80,000 miles but if you read the TR Register thread, you will see that almost every serviceable item on the car has been replaced, reconditioned or modified by companies considered to be specialists in their respective field. I have totalled up the receipts and the money spent on it by its first owner during his 24 year ownership was £16,180 and since I bought the car in 2006, I have a documented spend of over £60,000 (receipts to prove).

 

The car is amazing to drive; so much torque and BHP on tap and unlike many other cars of a similar age, there are no squeaks, rattles, buzzes or clonks. This is truly a sorted and unique car.

Edited by BizMan
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Hi Rob,

 

Another question.

My TR7 has a Rover SD1 V8 on board and I want to install a new AC compressor. I am looking at working off the original mounting assembly, but that includes the very heavy idler pulley. Is there any particular reason the idler pulley has to stay if I can lock the compressor in place with the right belt tension?

Thanks

Michael

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  • 8 months later...

These facts and figures mean that weight distribution at a maximum braking force of about 0.9G would be about 69% to the front and 31% to the rear. If you take these measurements and factor in the diameter of the road wheels (around 560mm) then the brake torque required during the maximum braking effect is approximately 330 lb-ft per wheel at the front and 145 lb-ft per wheel at the rear.

 

 

My car can do about 0.9-1.1G on the brakes.

Tilton adjustable pedal system with adjustable pressure relive valve to the rear. Both masters are from AP - front: 22mm, rear: 19mm

 

Cheers

Chris

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Aye that is a nice track race car.

 

It is doing not bad for the first time in Europe. Hope next season I gain speed. But next year is still a testing year to figure out tires and compounds.

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A big thank you to Bizman for an excellent series of posts that I have found to be very informative and instructive.

Best wishes to Bizman and all for the festive season.

Al

Edited by acaie
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Thanks Al, i will pass it on ... we are working on expanding the great work he has done and making it into a series of articles - details will be on

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1475896952673869/

 

This is now even more important now that the details have been deleted .... or come along to the NEC in March and see the car in the flesh!

Edited by Christopher Kenneth SMITH
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