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Engine etc. etc.
A lightened flywheel and heavy-duty clutch kit has been supplied by V8 specialists RPI Engineering along with a set of fancy new plug leads. All gaskets have been replaced and the engine and gearbox reassembled and are now ready to go back into the car. The clutch is TVR spec. and should be good for up to 300bhp.
All the documentation with the car, including the Heritage certificate states that the engine number is 00021. It is however 11E 00047 which looks as if it has been hand stamped. Another mystery surrounds a socket on the side of the block which apparently is for pre-heating the water in the block and is usually only found on cold climate cars such as those bound for Canada. This vehicle is California spec. Any info on this would be appreciated. email@example.com
After much deliberation and debate the rear axle has gone off to S&S Preparations for a rear disc conversion. I have also obtained an ex-works "fly-off" hydraulic handbrake and an original (unused) AP Brake Bias valve. There is really no "one spec" to base a replica on as there were several cars in constant evolution at any one time. The back axle in particular it seems was one area in particular which was constantly altered throughout the cars competitive life. As far as I can determine this set-up would have been used (albeit briefly) in 1978 with the introduction of the V8 and the change to the basic red livery. Any further info would be appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
The steel girders that hide behind the front and rear bumpers weigh a ton so they have been ditched. This was standard procedure on the works rally cars, the plastic covers were then re-attached using aluminium brackets. These lovely aluminium bumper inserts have been specially made and are strong and light. They offer better protection to the engine etc. and do a better job of supporting the plastic bumper covers at the same time. The front one has 4 large holes drilled to allow air-flow to the radiator and a "letterbox" has been cut in the cover. This will eventually have a wire grill. This modification can be seen on some of the works cars, usually the ones with the numberplate located on the top panel.
The dashboard also now sports three aluminium panels, one covering the glove compartment, one over the top switch positions and the other on the console, covering the radio aperture and switch positions below it. Although painted black on the works cars (as far as I can determine) I am keeping them unpainted at least for the time-being as I think it looks better. I know it's not the original spec but then neither is the red painted roll-cage... that should be black too.
Under the bonnet the fire extinguisher system is now installed. The blue discharge nozzles are visible at the front left and rear right hand side of the engine compartment. The exterior "T" handles, the interior nozzles (pointing into the laps of both occupants from under the dash) are also installed. All the cables are routed to the cylinder in the boot. For use in the UK this only needed to be 2 litres but for International use it has to be 4 litres. I decided that as this is an important safety feature I might as well go for the 4 litre straight away.
The bumper has been left in it's original position, with the plastic trim strip above it, as on the production version. Again this was how the works cars were when the V8 version was unveiled in 1978. At some point in that first season the trim strip was removed and the bumper moved upwards by about 2 inches. If you closely examine pictures of the modified version you'll notice that the bumpers are a bit "hit and miss". This change was never especially tidy but allowed better airflow to the radiator and oil cooler. With the bumper "letterbox" and front cross-member modifications already carried out there should not be any cooling problems so the trim strip is being kept...for now at least.
The dash re-fitted to the car, just 6 little words.... however it took a whole day, and meant the roll-cage had to go in and out too as much trial fitting and re-fitting was needed to cut the holes in the correct position for the cage to pass through. The works shells were built by "Safety Devices" and the cage inserted into the "A" posts. This is a "Safety Devices" cage but they don't make them like that anymore, so we're stuck with what they do make and that means that the cage goes down through the top of the dashboard.
The 4 Litre "Lifeline" extinguisher bottle is mounted on the boot floor and is now all connected up. I have gone with the "old- fashioned" mechanical system both for originality and in keeping with the age of the car. It is possible to have electrical actuation but this would have been another battery to worry about and push button's instead of "T" handles and that would not have looked right at all. The safety pin is still in the bottle by the way and is going to stay there all the time there is anybody about likely to say "What's this red handle for?"
all for now...