This car had been in storage for eight years, and had suffered badly as a consequence. The paintwork was damaged at the rear, and there was considerable corrosion and water damage. The T350 was one of the later cars manufactured by TVR, and has the six cylinder "Speed Six" engine fitted. This is a dry sumped engine, non turbocharged, and will produce over 400 HP. In a body that weighs around 1000kg, it makes for a very exhilarating drive.
As the engine hadn't run for such a long time, it was important that the top end of the engine was checked, lubricated and primed with oil before attempting to run it. There were many areas in the engine bay that need addressing, and various parts that were corroded or damaged, were replaced or shot blasted and painted. The rear part of the body was to be repainted along with the roof, while the interior just needed a deep clean. Surprisingly the chassis was in remarkably good condition, and most of the coating was perfect.
So we begin with cleaning eight years of grime and foliage off the car. It was jet washed all over, and the result was surprising. I was expecting the worst, but it cleaned up really well, the chassis was in remarkable condition. Work began with the engine, the ancillaries were removed, along with anything that was rusty or damaged. Various parts went off to be shot blasted and painted, and the cam cover removed. As expected there was no oil around the camshafts, and they were bone dry. This is common with these engines if they are left for long periods. The camshaft area was meticulously cleaned and all the bearing surfaces coated in engine assembly tube. The oil was replaced in the oil tank, along with the oil filter. The sump was drained and the engine spun over until oil was generously flowing around the camshafts. Then the cam cover was cleaned and prepared before being refitted. The starter motor was replaced, and the engine cleaned of all dirt and corrosion. The newly painted parts were fitted and the system filled with new coolant. To the left you can see the lubricant on the camshafts, prior to turning it over.
Once we had oil were it should be, the next job was to clean up the engine, replace the starter motor and refit all the parts that had been painted. However, there was a distinct absence of any fuel pressure, and no sound of the pump running. On closer examination, the fuse/relay board was found to be in a poor state. There was evidence of water damage and a lot of the relays were rusty. I'll show this in later pictures, but the priority was to sort the wheels and suspension. The wheels were sent away to be refurbished, and the brake discs and pads replaced with new ones. The discs were then stove enamelled satin black, and the callipers removed and cleaned up. The brake fluid was to be replaced anyway, so a quick calliper refurb was in order.
The engine is almost finished, all the components that were rusty have been shot blasted and stove enamelled and the whole engine cleaned. It has really come up well, it's a far cry from the sorry looking vehicle that arrived just a few weeks ago. There are just a few more little jobs to do on the engine, and it will be complete. The next job is the wheels and brakes, then tackle the numerous electrical issues.
The wheels were shot blasted and painted in a beautiful anthracite metallic grey, then heavily lacquered. New centre badges were fitted along with new Toyo tyres, they look
absolutely stunning in the sunlight. New brake discs and pads were installed, and the brake fluid was replaced with new. Mechanically, the car was almost finished, and the next job was to sort out the electrical issues before going off to the paint shop. There were some marks on the edge of the roof and rear wing, that had etched into the finish, and no amount of polishing would remove them. The roof and rear half of the body will be repainted bringing the body back to as new. Once it returns after painting, the interior will receive a full clean and the leather conditioned. There is no damage to any part of the inside, just smells a little musty from standing for a long period.
So I set off rectifying the electrical gremlins. The main problem was that the engine wouldn't run because there was no fuel pressure, and no sound was heard from the fuel pumps. There was no power at the plug on the top of the tank, so I started to look at the fuse board and the relays. The fuse board had significant water damage, so a new one was installed along with all the relays. Now I had power at the pumps, but still no pressure. The main culprit was the water and debris inside the tank. Both pumps were rusted and seized and would need replacing. So out with the tank, and the whole assembly was cleaned inside and out.
Above are the two very sad looking pumps that were inside the fuel tank. After much searching, I managed to find the original replacement pumps along with new filters (socks) as shown below. The tank was cleaned and the new pumps installed, then the whole assembly was refitted back into the car. Once everything was back as it should be, the ignition was turned on, and the new pumps whirred into life. The engine started first time, not bad after 8-10 years of being stored in a damp warehouse. Once it warmed up, the engine settled down beautifully and idled smoothly.
There are a few marks on the paintwork, which I guess is only to be expected after all the time in storage. So the rear part of the car will be repainted, along with a small repair to the front of the body. It looks like it has been driven over a curb or something similar, and has scratched the fibreglass. A simple repair, and the paintwork will be corrected accordingly.
While the car is away, the speedo and rev counter have been sent away for
refurbishment, along with a few other electronic gremlins. Hopefully, it will all work correctly once reassembled.
After the repairs had been done, it was decided that the general condition of the paintwork was poor all over. There were too many scratches and marks to polish the damage out. So the decision was made to repaint the whole body a similar colour. The end result was definitely worth the effort, as the result is beautiful. All the panels were repainted including the splitter panel under the exhausts.
The ECU has been repaired, and the dash panel completely rebuilt as water damage had spoiled the circuitry, and the motors that move the needles on the speedo and rev counter. Along with new cables etc, it is as new again.