Spot the part!

Whilst it's long been a source of entertainment for people to point at bits of the TVR wedge and say "Isn't that taken from the...", it does of course help if you know, at the very least, which donor vehicle supplied the sort of parts you might need due to wear and tear. So although it's been done before on forums and the like, here's my quick reference guide. There may well be a bias towards the V8 since that's what I have and I've forgotten most of what I knew about the Ford V6; I'll update the page as and when I remember it.

Starting with the body and chassis, then: this is where TVR's contribution is practically 100%. Unlike some low-volume producers (or kit cars) they didn't use, for example, the doors, glass, etc., it's all their own work. Whilst the rear suspension 'looks' like it was pinched from a Jaguar XJ6/E-Type, it wasn't. The differential and rear brakes, yes, but the propshaft, halfshafts, wishbones, hub carriers, radius and trailing arms where appropriate are all TVR's doing. That just leaves the consumables of brake pads, wheel bearings and universal joints. The pads are from the XJ6 and various other models, including the small handbrake pads which operate independently of the hydraulics (and in theory should never wear out!). All of the wedges used the rear wheel bearing from the Ford Granada Mk2, but note that whereas the Ford used different inner and outer grease seals, the TVR requires two of the same type (I seem to think it was the inboard one on the Granada). It's practically impossible to remove them without damaging them and in any case false economy to reuse them so obtain replacements before you start the job. The U/Js come in three sizes: that used for the propshaft was the same across all models I believe. Up until partway through production of the 350i, the early V8s and the V6 cars used a smaller U/J while the larger capacity V8s used fatter half-shafts fitted with larger U/Js. These aren't donor-specific and plenty of places can supply once you know the dimensions of the version you need. The front suspension is a hybrid of Ford Cortina upper and lower arms, supporting the upright and hub assembly from the Granada Mk2. Although a few different power steering racks were fitted, the manual racks were ex-Ford Cortina although rumour has it the track rods were replaced with longer ones, possibly again from the Granada. Consumables are effectively limited to track rod ends (the same for Cortina and Granada), wheel bearings (the taper rollers from the Granada) and the odd anti-roll bar bush (Granada, I think). The front brakes were mostly ex-Ford; starting with the solid discs of the Granada, then upgraded to the vented disc setup of the 2.8L V6 Granada, with later V8s getting the 4-pot AP caliper from the Austin Princess (which is NOT what AP stands for, contrary to some claims). Steering was taken care of by several options of column over the years, from the TR7 to the SD1 and then the Mk3 Granada. The column has two universal joints in it and these can be problematic to find - the shaft diameter and number of splines on each side of the coupling differ.

The V6 engine and gearbox were lifted pretty well unmodified from the 2.8i Granada/ Capri; early cars having the 4-speed Ford box. I presume, though I could be wrong and as I say am out of touch with the V6, that when the Fords acquired a 5-speed 'box, so did the Tasmins. When the Rover engine was introduced the chassis had to be modified - widened across the top tubes - to accommodate it (which, appparently, designer Oliver Winterbottom thought was a bad idea yet it worked) but the V8 and the LT77 gearbox were used pretty much unaltered. That said, the V8 needed a remote oil filter as the steering rack was in the way and both the V6 and V8 had non-original exhaust manifolds apart from some early V8s that retained the Rover cast iron manifold. The V6 had a manifold cast specially for TVR (it has TVR and the part number cast-in) while most of the V8s used fabricated steel manifolds. On all models the gearshift lever was cut and rewelded with an extension piece that moved it further back on the transmission tunnel. The Salisbury differential was used as supplied; on all cars it hangs from a cast aluminium beam and sits on a fabricated steel frame, a simple triangle on the trailing-arm cars and a more substantial one on cars with the 'A-frame' wishbones. Again all of these were TVR specials. Staying inderneath, the fuel tanks are special to the Wedge cars; the gauge sender most probably matches whichever brand of fuel gauge is fitted.

The car's coolant radiator can vary with the engine; early V6s having the matching Ford radiator, installed in the engine bay and using the thermostatic engine-driven fan. The V8s mostly use a modified Range Rover item with some of the outlets altered for direction; this radiator is fitted low down in the nose of the car (and is a bit of a pain to get at). The bodyshell itself is, of course, 100% TVR; none of the panels were adapted or modified from anything else. The fixtures and fittings however were sourced elsewhere. The bonnet is hinged quite simply on two bolts threaded into the inner wings, the catch is reputedly ex-Ford Fiesta and the gas struts, rated for 100N each, have been stated as being the lift rams for the very early Range Rover tailgate, but I've never been close enough to one of those to verify it. I do know that the later Rangey used more powerful struts (albeit of the right length and end fittings) but their use isn't advisable as the extra force will be trying to tear the mountings out of the bonnet and wings when closed. It's hard to think up another car that would have needed so little lift force on a tailgate, unless by chance it was the Hillman Imp, the external bonnet hinges from which are used as the boot hinges on (most) drophead Wedges (the boot lid also using a pair of the same struts as the bonnet). Very late, large-capacity Wedges had a completely new concealed hinge mechanism made for the job. The boot lid catch is, again, ex-Fiesta, powered by a standard central locking motor. The door latch mechanisms were taken from the TR7 and probably other BL cars. The external door handles were lifted from the Mk3 Cortina and are mostly seen in chrome, although later cars had a satin black version fitted, some examples of which had the TVR logo incorporated (whether they were specially-cast or machined I don't know).

The headlamp pods contain standard 7" round headlamp units and are raised/ lowered by the motors used on the TR7/ Esprit, although the Triumph's pods were aluminium, as were the castings used to support the motors. TVR only used the motors, mounted to a simple fabricated steel bracket. For the reminder of the lighting, TVR initially used Lucas indicator/sidelight units (as seen on a few BL cars) before switching to the ex-Renault 12 unit which was a little smaller and needed the front bumper remodelling. Very late cars used the lights from the Peugeot 505. At the rear the original light clusters were ex-Capri, then SD1 and then the Renault Fuego. A few cars reportedly used the wraparound rear clusters from the Mk3 Granada. Even in late production, earlier-style lights were fitted to some export market cars, which also used previous versions of bonnets, bumpers etc. to the then-current UK styles, so it's possible to encounter a late-dated car with (apparently) the wrong bits!

Moving into the cabin, the mouldings for the dashboard and centre console are TVR glassfibre. Various bits of steel and wood were used across production to locate the instruments and the majority of cars used the same layout. The later high-spec and large-capacity engined versions (e.g. the SEACS, 400/450SE) acquired either of two revised dash/console arrangements, the last of which tilted the centre ancillary instrument panel toward the driver (similar to the 'revolutionary' angled dash of the Ford Sierra!). Instruments were US-made Stewart Warners on early cars, moving onto mostly VDO in later years. Column switchgear matched whichever column was fitted (TR7, SD1, Granada Mk.3) and the console switches were Lucas 182SA series, shared with several other well-known cars such as the TR7, Scimitar, Esprit, Princess (although there were minor visual differences). Heater controls were initially lifted from (as I recall) the Mk2 Escort but later cars had some in-house fabrications in plastic. The heater itself was built in-house and has always been one of the Tasmin-series weak points.

The seats were Wedge-specific, made by Callow & Maddox Brothers in Coventry (aka 'Cambro'). Cambro also built seats for the likes of BL and Jaguar so the TVRs use lift and tilt handles, slide rails etc. that are identical to those other cars although the seat as a whole was either created for the Tasmin series or carried forward from the 'M'-series cars such as the Tamar and 3000S (they have an unusually long base cushion by modern standards). The slide rails only had a latch on one side so the seats can be felt to move if you shuffle around; it's possible to adapt the slide rails from later BL cars which latch on both sides. Minor trim fittings such as door releases were variously TR7 or Austin Metro; early cars had ex-Jaguar ashtrays in the door cards while later cars had a centre console ashtray that appears to have been shared with the DeLorean! The handbrake is similar to that used on the Esprit (before the foldaway type was devised), both probably made by Tinsley who still exist but no longer make handbrakes. The handbrake cable itself is probably TVR-specific as I've never seen anything to contradict this. Interior lights, heater vents and the like were as-seen in many Brit-built cars of the era, the courtesy lights in particular being easily replaced by more efficient newer items.

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