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TVR Tasmin, Seals and Mirrors

Just because I’ve been playing with the Saab, doesn’t mean the TVR has been neglected. If anything, I’ve hit the TVR with some renewed vigour this weekend and got a couple more jobs sorted.

After having issues with the KJet system from the previous post I’ve left the poor TVR alone for over a month and just ignored it. Motivation has been very low, and to be honest I got to a point where I loathed seeing the car sitting in the garage. Not a good place to be.

This weekend though, I found some motivation.

I started by taking the Saab out and grabbing some more fuel to add to the tanks of the TVR, just so I’m ready to take it out on the road and see if it runs OK or not. I didn’t get that far today, but I did fire her up and got the engine up to temp. Amazingly even after sitting untouched for over a month, the engine started first turn of the key, before a complete revolution of the engine was completed. A very good cold start indeed.

Since I wasn’t taking the car out for a run I decided to jump into a couple of other jobs I needed done.

First was to install the replacement interior mirror. You don’t realise how important one if until you don’t have one, even if your rear window is cloudy. The original came with the car, but had been knocked off the windscreen and was badly cracked

It looks like it had been glued on with super glue or something

I don’t know what the original mirror was from. I had been told it was a MK5 Cortina mirror, but the Cortina mirror I purchased isn’t the same, although it does work fine (and has dip, which the original mirror doesn’t). In future though I’d look for a mirror with curved glass, as the Cortina flat glass doesn’t give a very wide field of view (guess its made to view through a 4 door sedan, not a very short 2 door).

The mirror I purchased came with a pair of “mirror pads” used to stick the mirror to the screen. They appear to be normal double sided foam tape, but maybe of the VHB (Very High Bond) type.

The only instructions on the pack were to make sure both surfaces were warmed thoroughly, with a hairdryer or similar. I used a heat gun to gently heat the mirror base up before sticking the pad to it, and then gently warming the screen up to attach it. Seemed to work, it’s still on the screen and seems well enough stuck. Time will tell if it holds up long term. At least this is one less thing on the list to do

As you may spot, one other thing I changed was to go back to the leather Momo wheel. As much as I love the Futura, the wood rim is a bit slippery when you only have armstrong steering, and the leather gives much-needed purchase to turn the wheels.

The last job for the day was one I had been putting off as it didn’t seem like much fun; replacing the weather seal strips around the door and roof openings. The old seals were well buggered, with the D shaped sealing surface being torn from the U shaped mounting section in multiple places. No doubt this was the reason for the car being a swimming pool when I got it, the seals weren’t keeping anything out.

Someone had tried to use glue under the seal to help hold it in place. It didn’t work. They had also tried to supplement to the destroyed seal with other random bits of seal… that too didn’t work.

I had ordered 10M of the seal from Racetech in the UK. In hindsight, this is a pretty generic sealing strip, and probably could have sourced it locally or from eBay for less, but oh well. Its this profile

I started on the rear hoop, as it was the shorter section and easy to access and work with

It’s as easy as gently pressing the channel into place over the edge, and gently tapping it in with a soft face hammer until you feel/hear it bottom out. The corners are a little fiddly but on the rear hoop its good practice for the harder ones around the screen.

There are a few places where it gets a bit tricky. One of them is the back of the door opening. It has a vertical piece, which meets at the bottom with the horizontal piece. I followed what the seal I removed did, and trimmed the ends of the new seals at about 45 degrees, and forced them into place. The seal can be cut/trimmed with a set of decent side cutters. It does have a metal spine which makes it a bit harder to cut.

The rest of it is a case of going around and tapping the seal into place. I used one continuous run from the back of the door opening, up and over the screen and down to the opposite side door opening. No joins, no less leaks.

Its a time consuming job, especially around the 90 degree turns at the top corners of the windscreen frame, which is a place you need to be very careful of as it can take a bit of extra force to get the seal to seat, but take your time and it should go well. The new seal is much nicer and makes far better contact with the doors, roof panel and windows. It might even keep some water out. I’m not kidding myself though, the seal is a last resort; this is a summer car.

From the 10M roll, I have enough left over to do the top and sides of the boot opening, but not enough for the whole thing. Maybe order another 1M if you want to do that too.

So today was a good day. A couple more jobs off the list. I’m waiting on a flash new hand made German Kjet tester to arrive, and then I will try to set the pressures again. If I still can’t, it’ll be back to the drawing board. I’m quickly running out of time to go for a WOF inspection to get the car roadworthy, so I’ll need a good solid push over December to get the car ready. In the mean time, everything is closed up, with the roof on, to bed the new seals in. First time the roof panel has been on in ages.

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