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TVR Tasmin, One Year Update

So here we are; 12 months down the track.

I don’t know where time has gone, but somehow yesterday was 12 months to the day since the Tasmin arrived on the back of the truck. Dead, soggy, smelly and neglected and basically left for dead.

That was the first time I had seen the car, with not so much as current photos being provided by the seller or specialist before I purchased it. I was excited, but hearing the towie answer my question of whether it drove on the truck or not with a “no”, my excitement was laced with concern. What had I done?

As a recap, this is the rabbit hole I went down.

The interior was manky. The floors had water pooling in them, everything was damp, and there was an unpleasant musty smell. The windscreen was thick with condensation, and the boot lid was full of water and draining into the boot.

The engine although complete did not run. The battery was dead, the fuel tanks were dry.

A new battery had the electrics slowly coming to life

And with some fuel in the tanks, and even the engine was showing signs of life


And with a bit more running it was getting better. Still misfiring though


I cleaned up some of the corroded fuses to gain back even more electrics

I sourced and fit a Mondeo wiper, since someone had mangled the original one

The source of the fuel smell, and potential fire hazard was sorted by replacing all the fuel hose from the tanks to the pump, and from the pump to filter

The accumulator was binned as it was leaking internally (possible reason for being off the road in the first place?)

The fuel filter was replaced. This was a bit of an oddball as all the later cars have the filter in the engine bay, and use a bigger filter

Now it was time to tackle the running issues. This took some interesting troubleshooting.

The sensor plate was adjusted within spec

And the injectors were tested for flow and leaks

The leaky valve cover gaskets were replaced, and the valve clearances were checked and adjusted

And then it was time for some fun. It was time to delve into the KJetronic injection system. The injectors were replaced. The WUR was stripped, cleaned, rebuilt and made adjustable. The metering head was cleaned out and the outlet filters cleaned. The main system pressure regulator had replacement seals fitted. The pressures were all set up from scratch and the system correctly tuned.

This then got the engine running well, except for cutting out under acceleration. My wise Wife asked if I had enough fuel… well, I guess 5l or so in each tank wasn’t enough. I limped to the fuel station, added more fuel and holy heck, the car was running like a dream

Some new seals would help keep the water out, if it ever went near water again

Being able to drive the car revealed another big issue. The brakes shook the car like crazy when used, especially the rear. I hovered the car, and flushed the brake fluid

This didn’t help much, other than having a better pedal. The shudder was caused by rotors with excessive runout

But forget that, it was time to see what else the car would fail a WOF on before spending more money on parts.

Ah, OK. Front lower ball joints. That’s what it fails on. Not bad considering it was last on the road 2015/2016.

Parts were ordered, and stuff was done. Although they would pass the WOF fine, weren’t cracked and has good tread, the tires were hard as a rock and about 10 years old. They had to go.

The failed front ball joints had to go too. The rivets were cut and drilled out, and joints replaced.

With those replaced, and new tires fitted, it was time for a quick test drive. It felt good.

And this happened. New WOF!

In typical fashion, as soon as I got it home from the WOF the diff ended up on the ground to replace the rear rotors

I tested the new rotors for runout before refitting the diff. Glad I did, the runout was worse! There was a lot of buildup on the output flanges, so this all got thoroughly removed. The shims had corroded and needed replacement.

The RH output shaft seal was leaking badly too, so I figured I would replace that whilst waiting on new shims to arrive. I ended up having to rebuild the assembly as the bearing exploded on removal.

Now I could rebuild the rear brake setup with new shims and rotors

With the horrible braking shudder finally gone, we were well on the way to being a good drive.

A good machine polish and wax saw the paint looking as good as it can, and then the car turned some heads at the annual British Car Day show.

Not content with the exterior looking good, I wanted the interior to be better. The old faded and rotting carpet was letting the team down. Out came the old carpet

After much cutting, glueing and swearing, the new carpet was in and looking good. Smells better too

Somewhere in there, the shifter got rebuilt as it was missing a bush, and the switches got stripped and cleaned

The final part of the interior, other than floor mats, which are still to come, was the shifter and hand brake boots. I purchased some vinyl, fired up the sewing machine for the first time in about 20 years, and whipped up something that looks somewhat OK.

And somehow that ended up being 6 months, because it was WOF time again. It passed this one with flying colours and no marks on the sheet. Perfect. Not bad for 40 years old and built in a shed by a bunch of manly men.

So that’s where we are. I haven’t driven the car much, partly thanks to all the work I have done since the first WOF, and partly because we have had COVID lockdown and the likes. I’m hoping to get out and drive it more, and just enjoy having a weird car on the road, that a year ago was neglected, and basically given up on by the specialist for being “too hard”.


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