S-Series

JANUARY 2017: PLEASE NOTE, WE ARE CURRENTLY REVISING OUR PRICING SCHEME AND OPTIONS PACKAGES FOR TVR CHASSIS REFURBISHMENTS. IF YOU REQUIRE PRICING OR INFO, PLEASE CONTACT US FOR FURTHER HELP.

PLEASE BEAR WITH US – THE WEBSITE IS BEING UPDATED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS OR SO.

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Welcome to the S-series page! Here you will find pricing info and details on which repair services are available for your TVR S-series. For further info and a general overview on TVR chassis issues, please visit the Chassis Repairs & Refurbishments page:

 

General info:

The TVR S was a very intriguing car when it was launched back in 1986. At a time when TVR was trying to stick with what was deemed ‘modern’ – the very 1980’s Wedge-shaped Tasmin – they introduced a car that looked like a TVR from the 1970’s. This was because they thought that people in the 1980’s might like a car that looked like it came from the 1970’s. Or something. The idea was a good one, however, as the engine line-up in the Wedge had slowly been getting more and more aggressive, and with it more and more expensive. TVR needed an entry model, and the S was it. It’s no coincidence that orders for the Tasmin 280i stopped the moment the S1 was launched, fitted with the same Ford 2.8i ‘Cologne’ V6 engine. The S1 evolved into the 2.9i-powered S2 and S3, before the daddy of S’ arrived; The V8S. Contrary to urban myth, the V8S does not use a Griffith chassis (it was actually the Griffith that was originally intended to use an upgraded S chassis; the idea was canned in favour of a productionised Tuscan racer chassis and the remaining beefier S chassis was put to use in the V8S). Finishing off S production in 1994 was the S4, which used a V8S-spec chassis and running gear, but with the 2.9i Ford V6. These are the rarest version of the S, so much so, we’ve never seen one in the workshop!

What are the common areas to find corrosion on the TVR S?

The S isn’t cut as cut ‘n dry as the Chimaera or Griffith. There are a number of places the chassis can rot, and while some are easily put right with the average DIY mechanical skills, others are not. The outriggers commonly rot on the front corners, though because the S mounts on to rubber blocks rather than directly on to the chassis, it’s easier to inspect than a later TVR such as a Chimaera. The outrigger sections are not as enclosed as the Chimaera’s, either. On V6 cars there is a brace which runs left to right between chassis rails (which makes it a nightmare to remove the sump) and this is actually the outrigger tube running from left to right across the chassis. The problem is that if the outriggers rot, this tube can also rot from the inside out.

  • Because the S has been around longer than models such as the Chimaera, the rust can often have taken hold in greater depth, like on this 1989 S2 chassis.
  • Some of the areas affected are plain to see....
  • .....while some of them reveal themselves in a more disturbing manner!
  • Shot-blasting the entire chassis is the most efficient way of revealing the weakened areas.
  • Some of those are pretty obvious.....
  • ....and some of them wouldn't have been discovered with a wire brush!
  • A seatbelt mount used to go where that hole is!
  • The most thorough way to cure the chassis of the affected areas, is to strip it, remove them and replace them.
  • The same S2 chassis, now back to strength. This particular car has been zinc-sprayed and primed, ready for the customer to apply a topcoat of their choice.
  • The condition of an S chassis can vary wildly. Our own 1989 S1 actually has one of the better examples we've seen.
  • Overall, it's actually quite a good chassis underneath it all!
  • But sadly, previous 'bodge' jobs were uncovered, such as this outrigger, which was probably welded up with the body on, hence the lack of weld or coating around the top sections.
  • It didn't escape the rot entirely though.
  • The other issue, is having to contend with previous repair efforts (however well intentioned) such as this 1988 S1......
  • .....or this 1991 V8S, which clearly has a case of 'wonky outrigger'......
  • And some dubious quality welding!
  • All of this will need to be removed, and sadly, the S is the most common chassis we find previous repair 'attempts' on.
  • Complete removal and replacement is the best option. This is that same V8S.
  • Another S1, originally came in with a grotty outrigger. Came back from blasting almost missing one!
  • Rot on the end of that tube is bad news, because if moisture is allowed to ingress inside the rear main beam, the resulting rot can be very tricky to put right properly.
  • Another seatbelt mount MIA!
  • Rot likes to get into all sorts of nooks and crannies on an S.
  • One of the front towing eyes on this S1 - once it had been blasted, it almost halved in thickness! You can imagine what might happen if you tried winching this car onto a low loader, with a heavy metal cable under strain!
  • Though the S is a more complex chassis to correct than a Chimaera or the like, there are often cars that need little work.
  • We've never been beaten by an S chassis yet!
  • This V8S chassis is ready for zinc treatment and topcoat.

 

The most critical part of an S chassis when checking for corrosion is the rear beam, which the suspension trailing arms mount to. Both the beam and the mounting eyelets can corrode here, with potentially dangerous consequences. The fuel tank cradle also tends to fill up with debris as it’s not enclosed, and this rots from the inside out, though thankfully these are an off-the-shelf item. They’re very important, however, as the cradle also supports the body tub from behind – if it fails, the targa roof panels can pop out of their sockets as you ride over bumps and uneven ground.


Full Chassis Refurbishment: This is the most thorough and in-depth service available. The body is removed from your S completely, and the chassis then stripped to every last nut & bolt before being fully refurbished using your original chassis (we do not exchange chassis due to legal issues regarding registration and I.D of the vehicle). Your S chassis is then refinished and rebuilt and with far better protection than it was supplied new from the factory with. There are two grades of full refurbishment currently available; Standard, and Comprehensive. The chassis repair remains the same for either option, and the differences between the two relate to additional improvements such as renewing brake lines and suspension bushes.

  • All our chassis-refurbishments undergo a thermal zinc-spray, seen being applied here to our S1 chassis
  • Here's the S1 back from coating. A hot/thermal zinc-spray, followed by zinc phosphate primer, and in the case of our S1, a two-pack Polyurethane wet spray topcoat
  • Or how about this? A 1991 V8S chassis finished in original 'Brown-Red'. Again, the full zinc treatment and a two-pack Poly wet-spray.
  • Once coated, chassis' go into refit. Here we see the V8S in advanced stages, as the S1 chassis waits patiently!
  • The comprehensive option covers all wishbones & brackets on an S, as well as poly-bushing the suspension and re-piping the fuel & brake lines using Kunifer pipe.
  • The chassis awaits refitting of the V8S body.
  • The original limited-slip differential was refurbished during the chassis refurb. It had to be removed as part of the job, meaning our client only had to worry about the cost of the refurbishment of the diff, carried out by a 3rd-party specialist.
  • Here's our S1 chassis now sporting it's Cologne 2.8 V6 engine.
  • Pretty much every single possible option that we can offer you has been carried out on this car!

 

The table below details what is included in each option.

Standard Refurbishment Comprehensive Refurbishment
All chassis fabrication and repairs * *
Two shotblasting sessions; one before repair and the other before coating * *
Thermal zinc-spray (aka ‘hot’ zinc-spray) * *
Zinc phosphate primer & de-gas * *
Powdercoat top coat * *
Two-pack polyurethane wet-spray (other options available) Cost option Cost option
Same process applied to fuel tank cradle, wishbones, trailing arms, brackets & ancillaries *
Stonechip spray & seal outriggers *
Renew fuel lines (R9 grade hosing/Kunifer lines) *
Renew brake lines (Kunifer) *
Renew engine mounts (V6 only) *
Chassis & suspension nut & bolt kit * *
Replacement of exhaust manifold gaskets (V8S only) * *
Coolant change * *
Gearbox oil * *
Install Powerflex suspension & anti-roll bar upgraded poly bushes *
Full 12k service (incl. stamp in book if req.) *
Photo-documented work No cost option No cost option
Live’ accounts sheet & planner * *
Substancially reduced hourly labour rate on additional works commissioned during the process * *

 

Live Accounts Planner

 Two weeks prior to commencement of the work, we will share with you an online, live, 4-page ‘spreadsheet’. This spreadsheet will provide you with a detailed list of planned work for your refurbishment, total projected costs and recorded payments on account you may have already made, an optional extras sheet full of fixed-price additions you may or may not choose to include in your refurbishments, and lastly an inventory of any parts you have supplied with the car yourself.

The advantage of this is that it becomes much easier to plan your refurbishment before it’s even started, and allows you to make a clearer distinction between what you would like carried out, and what actually needs to be carried out, as it’s easy to lose track of your total spend!

The live accounts planner is available on full refurbishments and all outrigger-only jobs.

Both the full refurbishment, and the DIY option both include the thermal zinc-spraying process on your chassis, which is explained here on our TVR Chassis Corrosion Information and Q&A Page:

http://www.southwaysautomotive.co.uk/services/tvrchassis/

To view a photo-documented record of a recent V8S chassis refurbishment, please visit our Facebook album by clicking the icon:

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DIY Refurb: An alternative option, if you’re more confident in your own abilities, is to bring us your chassis on it’s own. Being a company whose beginnings centred around the kit-car industry, we appreciate that it’s not just establishments like ours that are capable of stripping and rebuilding a TVR! To that end, we devised a system where you bring us the chassis alone, and we’ll do the rest.

The process of repair is actually the same as with the full refurbishment, so all chassis’ get the same treatment regarding thermal zinc-spraying and fabrication as detailed above. Unlike the Chimaera and Griffith, however, there is no fixed price for this work as the amount of hours each chassis can require tends to vary wildly from one S to another. In these situations, we feel it is best to inspect the chassis first (possibly even going as far as getting it grit-blasted to reveal all potential issues). The eventual cost would be discussed and agreed with the customer before any work takes place. To date, the cost has varied anywhere from £900 to £3500.

We also often have customers who’ve begun the job, and immediately regretted it! They’ve then brought us the collection of parts they’ve turned their car into, and we do the rest. Give us a call on 01329 220755, or email us for further information and assistance.

 

 

For further information or assistance, please contact us and we’ll be only too happy to discuss your options with you.