A weekend of tivvers and tea
i'll have a cup of rooibos, while Andre is more of an earl grey man
Between my friend André and myself, we have three TVRs. André has a 4.5 litre Cerbera, I have a 4.3 Chimaera and we are co-owners of a Tuscan project car that came from the UK's most 'charming' TVR salvage traders (TVR folks will instinctively know who) via a Facebook friends of ours who had it sitting in his construction company's workshop for years before (wisely) opting out.
We'll get back to the ongoing Tuscan project shortly; let's concentrate on the two other Tivvers that normally are part of their respective owners' active car park and came in last weekend. André's Cerbie needed its valve clearances done, which is an involved and intricate process because it's an OHC V8 that requires the camshafts removed for replacing adjustment shims. It will also get its cooling system sorted by way of a new all-alloy radiator and silicone coolant hoses. To top it all off, the induction system is going to be replaced with what is called 'short induction' in Cerberaland. The original arrangement uses hoses that crossover from the airboxes to the throttle bodies (the AJP engine has individual throttles), so from left hand airbox to right hand cylinder bank and vice versa. The short induction kit consists of new carbon fibre backing plates for the airboxes with internal trumpets to optimise airflow, and short intake hoses that go directly to the nearest cylinder bank. Not only does this look a lot neater than the OE arrangement: with the correct fuel mapping, it typically releases another 30 or so horsepower at the top end, bringing the total a bit nearer to the 420 that TVR once promised...
Meanwhile, I went to work on my Chimaera - it's been almost nine years and 43,000 miles since the engine was rebuilt with some enhancements, and the car has seen fairly significant development since to the extent that it's well on its way to become a 'Frontline', 'Alfaholics', 'Eagle E-Types' sort of TVR. Normally I would drive it all year, but the opportunity to finish things off properly and work through a list of things that irritated me in daily operation, as well as taking the engine as far as I would want to go on a road-biased sports tourer before having the mapping revised by Mark Adams to get rid of overfueling in the low rpm/low throttle part of the envelope and smooth out the transition from idle to creeping along in traffic, was too good to pass up. Off the top of my head, the to-do list for the winter reads something like: remove heads, have the bigger valves ('intermediate big valves' - at 41.4 and 35.5 mm the biggest that can be installed on the standard valve seats, and also the largest Rover V8-guru John Eales recommends on a roadgoing four point something litre lump) installed, heads checked and cleaned before reinstall; replace coolant hoses with red silicone ones from ACT; upgrade throttle linkage; revise heater valve control operation - it was always rather too stiff and after the Bowden cable broke, I've been trying a multitude of cable set ups without result - develop and install lightweight four pot front brake solution (everything available 'off the shelf' looks like overkill for this car with a target kerb weight of < 1,000 kg with discs that are way heavier than the dinky 240 mm originals that work well enough); install light buzzer (suffered the indignity of a road assistance callout to my Dad's house because I forgot to switch the lights off - again!), several other bits and bobs that I forgot. At least the start has been made on Sunday, when I dismantled most of the intake tract up to and including the trumpet base.