CoolHandMoss New Reader
3/12/22 5:57 p.m.

Keep up that good work Scott. Your progress keeps me getting out there and trudging on when the weather is bad and I have other things to do and have all the other excuses too. Body work is looking good. 

JoeTR6 Dork
3/12/22 10:22 p.m.

Spring Break is coming up, so March 21 through the 24th I have whole days with no kid delivery happening.  We could also work out a weekend day sometime.  Not sure when you were thinking about replacing the clutch, but I'd be glad to help.  After this month, things get more difficult for me as I'm looking for a job.  Time to start making money instead of spending savings.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
3/22/22 7:21 p.m.

I'm prepping for a big work day tomorrow, and I've got a few questions:

First: Can the flywheel bolts be reused?  The FSM doesn't say they're single-use, so I'm guessing I'm ok to reuse. 

What about Loctite or Antiseize?

Second question: The original clutch master-cylinder is a Girling 0.70" unit.  The slave is a Miata.  The Miata master would be 5/8" bore, so I'm thinking I can just swap in a Girling 5/8" instead.  Any issues? 

Anyone have one kicking around they want to get rid of? 

Looks like the Wilwood GS Compact Integral units are a direct swap.  That might be a good alternative to a cheap reproduction part.  Pegasus has REAL Girling units, but they're pretty spendy.

Third: Do I need to pack the throw-out bearing with grease?  If so, Lithium or Sticky-Red?

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/22/22 7:25 p.m.

I have a 5/8 tilton i believe. 

And blue locktite on flywheel bolts. Every time. Same with pressure plate.


Throwout bearings are pre packed. Semd it.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
3/22/22 9:49 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Sweet!  I'll hit you up tomorrow about the Tilton unit.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
3/24/22 9:39 a.m.

Yesterday was a great day.  Joe came up to help  with the problem we identified a full year ago.  The problem, for those not keeping score, was that we were not able to get the engine to turn over.  It would crank maybe 40 degrees and then come to a hard stop.  After a bunch of messing around, we concluded that the stock Focus ST clutch just doesn't fit in a NC Miata bell-housing.  So the goal for yesterday was to pull the body, pull the trans, and *hopefully* then find lots of metal-on-metal contact that would validate our theory.

Step one complete:

I found where the body will scrape the paint when being removed.  Any suggestions for paint protection tape?

And with the transmission out, we found this:

Yay!  Theory verified!

There was a matching scratch on the clutch fork, but it seems to be stronger and harder than the clutch housing.  Mostly paint scrapes on this side.

Here's where things stand:

We did find a big fat problem, though (sorry no pic).  The glorious lightweight new NC flywheel does not work with a ST starter.  The gear are still meshed when the starter is retracted.  I consulted with @TheTick58, and he confirmed that his EcoBoost Miata uses a Miata starter with the Miata clutch.  I guess you can only mix and match so much!

And to just clearly illustrate the difference, this pic makes it totally clear why the new flywheel won't work:

I'll get the parts, new and old, on a scale soon but the difference in weight is pretty astounding.

We did swap in a new pilot bearing and throw-out bearing, so that feels good to have known good pieces there.

So that's it for the moment.  Looks like one of the junkyards has a couple of the right starters, so I'll go pick one up and hopefully be able to get this all buttoned back up.

Thanks again for the help, Joe.  I appreciate your depth of knowledge, and wisdom.  I had a great time with you wrenching, getting a good pizza, and shopping at Harbor Fright.  And even got you a free fresh Craftsman socket for the one the broke - my Ace is the best.

CoolHandMoss New Reader
3/25/22 12:27 p.m.

You could also see if the flywheel will allow the ring gear to be moved back. That's a thing on SBF flywheels sometimes. Just have a new ring gear installed aligned with the back surface rather than the front. Might be the easiest solution if the flywheel allows that. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
3/25/22 12:41 p.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

The ring gear is machined right into the flywheel.  Good thought though.

I'm too busy today to get over to the junkyard, but I think the NC starter will be the simple fix.

1carnut New Reader
4/12/22 10:26 p.m.

Awesome build thread.  Fantastic fabrication.  Great work.  As a former TVR owner, they are fantastic cars.  Keep up the great work.  I just spent tonight reading your thread while eagerly waiting for parts to show up from Fedex. I wish I found your thread sooner.  

I had some DTC codes pop when I first started up my 2.3l GTDI Control Pack on my Italian powertrain swap project.  I am doing the final wire install now, but as you have found out, the work is 3/4 restoration, and 1/4 restomodding.   


TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
4/13/22 6:58 p.m.

In reply to 1carnut :

Thanks for the kind words, and welcome!  What is the Italian car you have that's getting a 2.3?

Since I'm writing, I'll do a quick update.

I wasted too much time screwing around trying to find a junkyard starter locally, and totally came up empty.  I hit up Ebay Motors and found a good part for $36 shipped - easy!  Arrived two days later.  Why didn't I do that in the first place?

New starter fit fine and clears the flywheel perfectly, though the harness needed some rework.  It came with a molded plastic isolator thingy that totally shattered on disassembly.  I put some heat shrink on the "big terminal" and put a new spade-connector on the "small terminal".  No issues there.

After that, I got the flywheel put in.  Instead of buying a $90 flywheel-holding tool, I designed and 3d-printed my own.  Hard to see below, since it's a black material.  Took the 85 ft-lb of bolt torque with no problems.

Clutch went in just fine after that:

The wrestling of the transmission - by myself - was a bit more effort.  But I got it in and bolted:

The transmission mount is back in, but I still need to finish torquing bolts and then get the exhaust put back on.

No, Dave, I haven't worked on the airbox mold at all.

I also did a bit more on the gas tank.  I wanted to drain out the year-old gas from the last start attempt.  Turns out the way I did the plug was kind of stupid, so I did some measuring and tapped the factory outlet to a 1/4 npt.  I was nervous that the wall was too thin, but the brass outlet tapped beautifully and the plug installed without issue.  If it gives me trouble, I'll shave that fitting and put in a bulk-head instead.

That's all for now.

1carnut New Reader
5/1/22 5:46 p.m.


Clever 3D printing ideas you have.  nice work.

Not sure if you need this tip, but I used a 2020 Explorer accelerator pedal with my control pack.  It is a bottom pivot ETC accelerator pedal.  It plugged right into the control pack harness.  Not sure what would fit best in your TVR, but thought I would mention it in case you were wondering what to do on your car.  I know the control packs come with a pedal, but there was no way I was making the supplied part fit in my dash.  I actually purchased two pedals, One pedal I shaved a bit to fit in my car, and then I mounted it, the other is completely untouched, just used to plug into my breadboard setup and start the engine outside the car.   If you want it, let me know, I can send it your way, as it's now just taking up space on my shelves

When I first got my control pack running, I had some diagnostic trouble codes due to no fuel pressure sensor being hooked up and no PCV pressure sensor being hooked up, but nothing ETC related.

My project is ecoboosting a Lamborghini Jalpa with a 2.3l GTDI from a MKC and a MMT6 from a Focus ST and a Focus RS clutch and a 2.3l GTDI control pack

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/1/22 6:20 p.m.
1carnut said:

My project is ecoboosting a Lamborghini Jalpa with a 2.3l GTDI from a MKC and a MMT6 from a Focus ST and a Focus RS clutch and a 2.3l GTDI control pack


So, uh, you can't just say stuff like that around here without a build thread...

Recon1342 SuperDork
5/1/22 6:28 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
1carnut said:

My project is ecoboosting a Lamborghini Jalpa with a 2.3l GTDI from a MKC and a MMT6 from a Focus ST and a Focus RS clutch and a 2.3l GTDI control pack


So, uh, you can't just say stuff like that around here without a build thread...

Yeah, that's gonna need to happen soon...

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
5/2/22 8:35 a.m.

In reply to 1carnut :

Oh wow!  I had no idea about the bottom-mount Explorer pedal.  That might work great!  The original pedal was a bottom mount, and there's just damn near no space up high for the top-mount one that came with the kit.

Thank you, sir, I will take you up on your offer.  I sent you a PM, so watch your email/spam folder.

BTW, the project sounds amazing.  We do need a build thread.

1carnut New Reader
5/14/22 12:45 a.m.

PM sent, was on vacation last week.  This is how I did things.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
5/14/22 12:10 p.m.

In reply to 1carnut :

Yup, that would definitely fit better.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
6/13/22 8:50 p.m.

Would seem it's been a while since I've updated.  You can always tell that when people message you asking if you're died or something.  Lots of busyness around here.  My oldest daughter graduated from high school!  My parents are moving to a retirement home, and have 40 years of crap to clean out.  Work has been pretty busy, which is good for the bank account but not for the project car.  It's all good.

So here goes with an update!

First, big thanks to 1carnut - I did get the Explorer pedal and it looks like it's gonna work great.

Stuff that has happened.  I did get the transmission, drive shaft, and exhaust all back in and buttoned up again.  I'm going to have to redesign my exhaust hangers, since what I have right now sort of sucks.  No worries for now.

I did get going on finishing the air-box mold.  Bondo camo:


And here's how it looks today.  Just needs a good polish, and mold wax, and I'll be ready to lay up.

On to more hood-related stuff.  There's a good chunk missing out of the lower right corner, so I need to build that back up.  I wrote some about this a while back.

I figured out the geometry pretty close, and 3d printed a male/female mold set.  Into this I laid up about 0.06" of heavy fiberglass tape - shown here:

Finished part front side:

And the inside:

Mostly trimmed and roughed into place:

I'm not really going to be able to do a vacuum bag here or any other high-end techniques, so I'm going to glue the basic part in place and then start layering on plies until I get up to about 1/10" thick.  Then I'll shape it a bit and add more material as needed.  Itchy...

More hood stuff - I yanked the hinge-bar thingy:

It took very little effort.  It was almost totally rusted.

I have plans for relocating the hood pivot point, so that I can fully open the hood.  Pretty common TVR modification, though mine will have it's own flair.

One more thing - did a reinforcement lay-up on the super-cracked fender area of the hood:

Got to test out my new Harbor Fright vac pump, and it pulled 22" like a champ.  No issues there.  The old Dayton one had seen too many hours and didn't really work anymore.  And Grainger has no replacement parts.  So hopefully this new one will won't suck.  I mean I hope it does suck.  I hope it doesn't suck at sucking.  This is all very confusing.

End result:

Four plies of carbon fiber should stabilize that weak point really well.  I got a really good wrap on the plies and the vac bag all the way into the edge recess.  I'm happy how that turned out.

That's all for the moment.

Stampie MegaDork
6/13/22 8:54 p.m.

Woohoo an update.  Glad you're good busy and not bad busy. 

CoolHandMoss Reader
6/13/22 10:20 p.m.

Thank goodness. It's been a month! Progress looks great. I was just noticing today that I have some damage in the same area of the grille opening as well. At least none of it is missing. Perhaps that's a particularly delicate area. Though it's amazing what an SCCA cone can do to a car at 60. Very nice repairs there and on the wheel arch. I envy your composite skills. You are on another level! 

Seriously looking forward to seeing what you do with the hinge system. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
6/23/22 1:16 p.m.

No spider cracks on this panel:

Because it's from a Jetta, not the TVR.  Some meth-head tried to break into my wife's Jetta, and left it like this:

Why not just break the glass?  BTW, the stereo isn't worth stealing.

Anyway... We bought a new door, and I decided to strip it down and get some practice with spraying base-coat/clear-coat.  It's been a few years, and I spray this stuff just often enough to be mediocre at it.

Day 1: Sprayed the inside on a ludicrously windy day.  Not ideal conditions, but it looks fine enough.  Seemed like the base-coat didn't cover very well at all.  I only bought a half-pint, and I ended up using more than half of it on the inside.  I've since read that the PPG Omni MBC base is pretty well known to cover poorly.  Next time I'll get a higher-end base coat.

Clear-coat turned out with a fair bit of orange peel.

Back to the paint store for more base coat.  The counter guy suggested give my clear a splash of reducer - that maybe would help the clear level out.

Day 2: Much less wind, though rather hot.

Base coat again didn't love covering.  This is three coats down and it's still a little striped.  It's still visible thru the clear-coat if you're a picky perfectionist.  Which I am.  Except for when I'm not.

Then on to clear-coat:

Even with the reducer, still pretty pebbly.  I started with a medium coat for the first layer - my understanding is this would act as a tie-in coat for the top layer.  Second coat went down pretty heavy, though no runs or anything.  Maybe I still wasn't going heavy enough?  Gun settings seemed pretty good.  I dunno.  I need to practice this kind of thing more.

More TVR stuff once I get all the Jetta door parts cleaned up and out of the shop.


TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
6/24/22 1:57 p.m.

New door is on and the Jetta is all back together.  I just need to get the lock rekeyed.  Hopefully that's no big deal.

The new paint seems a lot more brittle and weak than I expected.  I got multiple small dings already - mostly along edges.  Don't know if my prep was bad on the edge, or I sprayed wrong?  Yet another unsolved mystery, it would seem.

Hopefully it'll last at least reasonably well.  It's now at least a blue door that has a working door handle.  Better than it was yesterday.  Though, I sure would like to see this car roll out of my life.

CoolHandMoss Reader
6/24/22 3:02 p.m.

What a goodpractice opportunity. I need some practice myself. It has been quite a while. The door looks good!

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
6/28/22 9:53 a.m.

More hacking at the hood yesterday.  The stock hood hinges are a steel frame that is glassed into the hood laminate.  Mine was primarily made of iron-oxide, and structurally it had seen better days.

It was very clear that the fine PO had done stuff with this frame, the biggest clue being part of is was made from gas-pipe.  Thanks, dude.  You're the best.

So I'm going to shave the hinge frame stuff entirely and roll my own.

This is what I started with yesterday on the driver's side:

I think the PO did a lot of this fiberglass work, since it's not well bonded.  Other areas where he'd made repairs were also not well attached.  Remember folks, just like welding you can't bond dirt!

Most of this I removed with tin-snips, a wood chisel, and a hack-saw blade.  The over-laid FG mat seems to be pretty dry, like it was undersaturated.  Came off in big fibrous chunks.

Here's the mess in progress:

The steel frame tied into the bumper mounting points, so I'll want to do something to make sure those points are nice and strong.  Some stainless backing plates should get the job done.  Aluminum would work too, though I'd have to be a bit more careful about galvanic corrosion.

And here's how it sits today:

That is all for now!

CoolHandMoss Reader
6/28/22 1:59 p.m.

Your hinge frame appears to be bonded very differently than mine is. I am probably seeing sloppy old repairs though. I am eager to see how you approach the hinge frame improvements. These cars certainly need it and I am quite sure your solution will be better than any of the ideas I have considered so far. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
6/28/22 3:27 p.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

Can you shoot a couple pics of how your frame is mounted?  Since my car came to me as a nasty mess, I'm always curious to see how others look.

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