TVR S3 Diary - 2006

29-April-2006 Collection day

Early start to drive the 150 miles to collect what I suspect is a pile of rust and GRP..... Wasn't looking forward to this at all. Gave the car a quick check over in the side street. Had to add 1.5 litres of water to the cooling system but other than a bad offside indicator and brake light (wouldn't work together and were dim) it seemed ok. Stopped at the local Shell station and added 43 litres of Optimax to the tank and met another TVR owner who wanted to chat. Eventually start the journey home.
Hadn't been on the M25 more than 20 mins when there was lots of black smoke. Thankfully it was the RangeRover on the other carriageway that was going up in smoke, but I was quite expecting it to be me at any point. This car had only done 6000 miles in 3 years and had been laid up over winter so I wouldn't have been surprised if water pipes had split, brakes to sieze etc.

On the M11 and the first failure. The drivers electric window wouldn't close so collar up and time for a stiff neck. Left the M11 and the window decided to work so I shut it and left well alone. Topped up the tank after 75 miles - wasn't sure how much was in after I'd added the first 43 litres - and the fuel gauge didn't work. Was rather surprised to only get 11 litres in so I'd returned aroung 30mpg so far which wasn't bad.

1 May 2006.

Took the car to do the weekly shop and met a Chimera owner. So much for having a discrete car. Returned home and started on the little jobs needed doing. Secured the battery - it wasn't bolted or strapped in at all. The MOT is due in 3 weeks so off with offside wheel and have a poke around the trailing arm. Knock a nice hole through it - so it was as bad as it looked. Also noticed that the handbrake was useless on this wheel so another job for the list.

10 May 2006

The swing arm has been replaced and the biggest pain of the job was getting the bushes into the arm. This was done by my local garage (Stannard Motors in Wymondham) who as ever are very helpful.
The outriggers are rough and will be replaced this year. Attempted to locate the split in the silencer that was mentioned but couldn't find one. Refitted the exhaust and it was quieter. I suspect that the silencer box mounts were not tight enough and this caused extra vibration noise. MOT test scheduled for 15th.

15 May 2006

MOT passed with a few advisory notices. These are added to the list of jobs to do when it has a body off chassis restore.

21 May 2006

An Escort Mk2 style mirror is fitted to the nearside but now the electric window is intermittent. Need to find some real Escort Mk2 mirrors where the mounting bolts are perpendicular to the mounting surface.
Adjusted the tappets - cylinders 5 and 6 were a bit out and it seems quieter now.
Bonded the nearside boot chanel drain pipe in place using epoxy resin.
Removed the coolant overflow cap and it is in a very rough state. Using a magnetic pickup tool I cleared the tank of a load of rust flakes. Coolant will need replacing and the system flushed out.

25 May 2006

I took the car to the supermarket last night and it grounded on the speedbump - it doesn't do that normally. Walking back to the car I thought the front looked a bit low and the idea of getting some adjustable platform shocks went through my mind.
Tonight I had a look under the bonnet and looked at the nearside shock. Was rather surprised at how close the coild were on the spring. Had a look at the offside one and this is the sight that greeted me.

Removed the shock and the upper eyelet mounting bit had unscrewed from the shock shaft. The threads have been degreased, stud lock applied and screwed back on very tightly. Just need to get some spring compressors so that I can refit the spring.

18 June 2006

Well its been rather boring this month. All that has happened is that a nut holding the rear roof hoop arm up came off. The bootlid started rubbing on the bodywork when it was opened. It was bowed and the only way to resolve it seemed to be to put some nuts on the bolts that form the boot lid pivots. This then pulled the lid flatter so it didn't rub as the edge went inside the body. Finally the nearside front indicator stopped working again. A quick play with the cables resolved that so I've replaced the connectors where it joins the loom. I've done over 700 miles in it since collection day so it must be doing something right.

3 July 2006

I have had a pair of new Sierra discs sitting in the garage for about 3 months now so today they were fitted. They were picked up from Stoneleigh for 12 a pair so rather a bargain. The existing discs were corroded from where it had been standing and this meant that there was a lot of judder when braking. Also they were glazed so for 12 it was easier just to replace them. The difference is amazing and now the car stops when requested to and you can even lock the wheels if you're heavy footed.

8 August 2006

Today I finally fitted some speakers in the doors to fill the holes. When I collected the car it only had 1 speaker fitted and the grill for the other speaker was in the car. A pair of Kenwood KFC 1360S speakers was chosen because of their 45mm mounting depth. Fitting was reasonably straight forward but they didn't work. Did some digging around and the front speakers were not plugged into the radio. A bit of fiddling later and now I have 4 working speakers for the occasional times that I'm likely to turn on the radio. I also repaired the volume button by glueing in a pin that activates the + volume switch.

I've been tracking the fuel consumption and the last tank returned 34.1 mpg. This is more than my 20 valve modern engined V70 which typically returns 33mpg. Maybe I should try harder.....


9 August 2006

Today I took the car for blat to the north Norfolk coast. Picked up a few bottles of beer from a farm shop and then took a detour on the way back to order some Kia Pride indicator lenses from a dealer in Watton. Car still running fine.

The ramps I have don't fit under the bumper on the S3 so today I made up a set of extensions that ease the angle of the ramp.


10 August 2006

One thing that has concerned me is the amount of movement of the gear lever especially in low rpm high torque situations. Using my newly improved ramps I had a look under the car and using a large screwdriver was able to lever the gearbox upwards a significant amount. Through the gap I could see that the washer on the bolt that holds the mount to gearbox was loose. To gain access I lowered the exhaust by removing the middle and rear mountings and this allowed access through the small gap with a narrow spanner. Quality spanners seem to use more metal than cheap market stall ones which probably partly explains why they last longer. I had to use a cheap 19mm spanner to get through the gap and managed to tighten the bolt. The bolt is arrowed in the picture below and you can see that the gap is small.


Due to the abundance of gear oil under the gearbox the oil was also topped up while the car was on the ramps. I have a piece of rubber pipe just for this job. It fits the nozzle of the bottle just nicely and is about 30cm long with a 90 degree bend that allows one end to fit into the 'box while you squeeze the oil out. About half a litre of oil was used so I quite expect to have to replace the propshaft oil seal this winter.

Test driving it was a revelation. Not only did the gear lever not move around but the whole car felt more solid. Going over potholes and manhole covers used to result in harsh jolts through the car which I thought was down to excessive compression damping in the original shocks. Now you can feel the shocks working so I'm wondering what some new shocks will feel like.

13 August 2006

Fitted the Kia indicators today and I'm rather chuffed with the way they look. Not bad for under a tenner the pair.



19 August 2006

The service history makes a reference to the exhaust having a split that could be welded up. There is certainly something amiss because of the noise so I decided it was time to remove the exhaust. Two evenings saw a failed attempt to remove the main section from the L bend downpipes. Eventually on the 3rd day of trying, with a length of 2x2 and a lump hammer the exhaust came off. It took another 15 mins to locate the crack which was just above the inlet pipe of the main section. A crack in the weld that was about 30mm long and hardly visible. A couple of minutes later with the MIG and the crack was sorted. Just left the task of refitting the exhaust which thankfully only took about 30 mins once I'd removed the downpipes and cleaned everything up.

27 September 2006

Not a good day at work so decided to do something constructive. Dug out the old sewing machine and made up a new gearlever gaiter. Only took 40 minutes to knock up a pattern then cut out the vinyl and stitch together. I might make another one with a smaller diameter opening for te gear lever because although it is the same size as the original it does look rather large.

Here's the masterpiece hot off the machine.


And here it is fitted

30 September 2006

The boot has always been proud of the bodywork and occasionally rubs on the inside edge of the opening. Removing the rubber seal meant the boot closed flush with the surrounding bodywork, therefore it was the seal that was bending the bootlid upwards.

Here's a pic of it with the seal removed - it looks flush.


..and here it is with the seal fitted and a staight edge to give an idea of how proud it is.

With the seal removed some modeling clay was placed where the seal sits and the lid closed. Opening it revealed some very compressed clay and the gap between the lip and the closed lid was just 1mm.

just 1mm clearance


The seal it its maximum compression was 6mm thick so at least 5mm had to be trimmed off the lip. Out with a short bladed jig saw and 6m was removed from the lip and the carpet trimmed back. The seal was refitted and it all looks good. The real test will come when it rains though.



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