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1980 TR7 engine rebuild in Florida

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vpesposito Avatar
vpesposito Vincent E
Citrus Springs, FL, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 "Lil Frances"
I am trying to find a reputable place to have the motor in my 1980 TR7 rebuilt. I am in Citrus County, Florida.

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TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
There is absolutely nothing special about a TR7 engine. Any competant machine shop can rebuild it, provided you or they can find the parts needed. Ask around at a cruise night who the "rodders" recommend, and then go talk to that establishment. Have them tear it down, do the machine work and let them source the parts. Provide them with a couple of british parts specialist such as rimmer bros in the UK, or Ted at TSI in Ohio. If you find you need a part thats crazy expensive or not available, send out a plea for help on this forum. TR7 engines get thrown away frequently. I've only ever been able to rehome 2 TR7 engines and ended up scraping 40 or 50 of them. Oddly enough the first one I rehomed found its way back to me several years later and I ended up scraping it on its second go around. Destiny is a bitch. Getting ready to part out two more TR7s this summer. Chances are real good that anything TR7 specific is going to find its way into a scrap pile.

HowardB Avatar
HowardB Howard Brissenden
Potton, Bedfordshire, UK   GBR
Head removal is a challenge & probably will need the special head removal tool. Its best done outside the car and may take a month or so to free off.

I have one in the UK (which is how I know about the problem eye popping smiley ) but you can hire one from this group in the USA:-

Head Honcho

Good luck

Howard

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Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 Drophead "The Great Pumpkin"
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1595781 by TR8todd There is absolutely nothing special about a TR7 engine. Any competant machine shop can rebuild it, provided you or they can find the parts needed. Ask around at a cruise night who the "rodders" recommend, and then go talk to that establishment. Have them tear it down, do the machine work and let them source the parts. Provide them with a couple of british parts specialist such as rimmer bros in the UK, or Ted at TSI in Ohio. If you find you need a part thats crazy expensive or not available, send out a plea for help on this forum. TR7 engines get thrown away frequently. I've only ever been able to rehome 2 TR7 engines and ended up scraping 40 or 50 of them. Oddly enough the first one I rehomed found its way back to me several years later and I ended up scraping it on its second go around. Destiny is a bitch. Getting ready to part out two more TR7s this summer. Chances are real good that anything TR7 specific is going to find its way into a scrap pile.

I think the TR7 motor is so unremarkable that it is not something most car buffs want to hang on to. 95 HP was competitive back in the day, but when a MX5 Miata gets 185HP out of 2 liters, well, it is just a bit of a demotivator to rebuild one.

The TR8 is a bit different, simply because it has a classic V8 in it. Once again the output is underwhelming by today's standards, but speed parts are readily available and you get a V8 sound track.

The great pumpkin has a bone stock 4 cylinder in it, and it feels like it is putting out half of what it should, yet I am sure it is close to its original output. Modern cars are so powerful that you have difficulty getting excited about driving a 40 year old four cylinder, even though the handling is excellent and it is comfortable.

I am not sure that converting the TR7 to 16 valves will make it feel lively, but we shall see. I have no intentions of putting an original motor back in it.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, frame off restoration, complete.
1980 Vermilion TR7 Sprint replica, in progress.

POW Peter Wirth
HEBRON, NH - New Hampshire, USA   USA
Interesting thoughts Vance, I know we are about the same age so we can both remember when 1 HP per CI was a decent if not lofty goal. Now my naturally aspirated 2.5 Liter, 5 cyl Golf (153 CI) puts out 170 HP... What a hot rod! With old antiquated stuff it's one of those things. At an air-show, a low pass from an F16 will make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. A low pass from P51 will do the same plus give me chills and make me weep. It's not just outright performance. - Pete

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Peter,

If that low pass by a P-51 gives you chills you should try the Valley of Speed at the Reno Air Races when that P-51 goes by chased by a F8F Bearcat which is being chased by a Sea Fury, all of them developing around 4000hp each. They not only give you chills they rattle the organs in your body as they go by.

Vance,

I'd be thrilled to get 95hp, my California TR-7 was rated at 91hp. How many more ponies are you expecting with the conversion?

nick Avatar
nick Silver Member nick m
Bend, OR, USA   USA
In reply to # 1595765 by vpesposito I am trying to find a reputable place to have the motor in my 1980 TR7 rebuilt. I am in Citrus County, Florida.

If you rebuild it consider installing UK spec pistons as an upgrade. When I rebuilt mine, that is what I did along with a with a mild cam grind, header with a free flow exhaust, a clean up of the valve ports and a K&N air filter. Those upgrades will get you the most HP/$.



nick

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Vincent,

As you can see opinions vary, before you deliver your motor for a rebuild you need to decide what kind of rebuild you want to do. You can do anything from a stock rebuild to something fairly wild. But keep in mind the wild end of a TR-7 motor rebuild will be really expensive but probably won't net you a worthwhile amount of horsepower. One reason I know this is you just don't hear much on this board about TR-7 guys rebuilding their motors for maximum horsepower. The only guy I know of on this board who's gone the max horsepower rebuild is Larry and the last I heard it's still sitting on the bench in his garage. It's a beautiful build and it'll be interesting to see what kind of horsepower is realized. Even the factory attempt at an upgrade(the Sprint) only netted around 20 to 25 additional ponies.

When I rebuilt my motor I decided to do a stock rebuild and I have no regrets. It's fun and reliable and no it won't beat a Prius, but do you really want to drive a Prius?

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 Drophead "The Great Pumpkin"
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1596007 by sliproc Vincent,

As you can see opinions vary, before you deliver your motor for a rebuild you need to decide what kind of rebuild you want to do. You can do anything from a stock rebuild to something fairly wild. But keep in mind the wild end of a TR-7 motor rebuild will be really expensive but probably won't net you a worthwhile amount of horsepower. One reason I know this is you just don't hear much on this board about TR-7 guys rebuilding their motors for maximum horsepower. The only guy I know of on this board who's gone the max horsepower rebuild is Larry and the last I heard it's still sitting on the bench in his garage. It's a beautiful build and it'll be interesting to see what kind of horsepower is realized. Even the factory attempt at an upgrade(the Sprint) only netted around 20 to 25 additional ponies.

When I rebuilt my motor I decided to do a stock rebuild and I have no regrets. It's fun and reliable and no it won't beat a Prius, but do you really want to drive a Prius?

The Sprint motor was rated at 135HP, so the Sprint head will get you 40HP above the Federal spec TR7 motor. That does not tell the whole story, however.

The TR7 sprint exhaust manifold is unobtanium, so you pretty much must use the Rimmer extractor instead, which will probably get you another 5HP over the original sprint motor. Also, the compression goes from 8:1 to 9.5:1 with the Sprint pistons, so that will add 10 HP everywhere in the power curve over the Federal TR7. A much wider, torquier (is that a word?) power band. Add a K&N air filter which is good for about 3HP, and you are closing in on 150HP peak. I plan to use a 180F thermostat instead of 195F, adding another couple of ponies. Additionally, I plan to retard the cam timing by about 4 degrees, which will get me a couple more top end ponies, at the expense of losing a couple of ponies at the bottom end.

The story is that a carefully assembled Sprint motor made 150HP on the dyno at the factory, but due to production tolerances and noise limits on mufflers, the engines made 135 HP as installed in the vehicle.

OK, it will not be a fire breathing ballistic missile of the TR8 Todd ilk, but it should make the car more fun to drive. It will be a great wrenching project, and it will make as much power as the Stock TR8s did, albeit without the meaty torque curve or the V8 sound track. Such are the sacrifices I make. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, frame off restoration, complete.
1980 Vermilion TR7 Sprint replica, in progress.

nick Avatar
nick Silver Member nick m
Bend, OR, USA   USA
In reply to # 1596142 by Darth V8R
In reply to # 1596007 by sliproc Vincent,

As you can see opinions vary, before you deliver your motor for a rebuild you need to decide what kind of rebuild you want to do. You can do anything from a stock rebuild to something fairly wild. But keep in mind the wild end of a TR-7 motor rebuild will be really expensive but probably won't net you a worthwhile amount of horsepower. One reason I know this is you just don't hear much on this board about TR-7 guys rebuilding their motors for maximum horsepower. The only guy I know of on this board who's gone the max horsepower rebuild is Larry and the last I heard it's still sitting on the bench in his garage. It's a beautiful build and it'll be interesting to see what kind of horsepower is realized. Even the factory attempt at an upgrade(the Sprint) only netted around 20 to 25 additional ponies.

When I rebuilt my motor I decided to do a stock rebuild and I have no regrets. It's fun and reliable and no it won't beat a Prius, but do you really want to drive a Prius?

The Sprint motor was rated at 135HP, so the Sprint head will get you 40HP above the Federal spec TR7 motor. That does not tell the whole story, however.

The TR7 sprint exhaust manifold is unobtanium, so you pretty much must use the Rimmer extractor instead, which will probably get you another 5HP over the original sprint motor. Also, the compression goes from 8:1 to 9.5:1 with the Sprint pistons, so that will add 10 HP everywhere in the power curve over the Federal TR7. A much wider, torquier (is that a word?) power band. Add a K&N air filter which is good for about 3HP, and you are closing in on 150HP peak. I plan to use a 180F thermostat instead of 195F, adding another couple of ponies. Additionally, I plan to retard the cam timing by about 4 degrees, which will get me a couple more top end ponies, at the expense of losing a couple of ponies at the bottom end.

The story is that a carefully assembled Sprint motor made 150HP on the dyno at the factory, but due to production tolerances and noise limits on mufflers, the engines made 135 HP as installed in the vehicle.

OK, it will not be a fire breathing ballistic missile of the TR8 Todd ilk, but it should make the car more fun to drive. It will be a great wrenching project, and it will make as much power as the Stock TR8s did, albeit without the meaty torque curve or the V8 sound track. Such are the sacrifices I make. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Vance

Vance, The Sprint head alone will not get you 40 HP. That number already includes the 9.5:1 pistons, so I don't think you can take credit for an added 10 HP for the pistons. They are already on the stock Sprint motor. So you get 5 for the extractor and 3 (optimistically) for the K&N. That makes your numbers closer to 143. I don't see where you could squeeze another 10 out of it without some very expensive mods.



nick

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 Drophead "The Great Pumpkin"
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1596226 by nick
Vance, The Sprint head alone will not get you 40 HP. That number already includes the 9.5:1 pistons, so I don't think you can take credit for an added 10 HP for the pistons. They are already on the stock Sprint motor. So you get 5 for the extractor and 3 (optimistically) for the K&N. That makes your numbers closer to 143. I don't see where you could squeeze another 10 out of it without some very expensive mods.

Nick:

You are correct, and I did not mean to imply that the pistons would add 10 HP on top of the 135 rating. What I wanted to say was that the pistons add power everywhere in the RPM range due to the higher compression ratio. So you pick up 10 HP at 2000 RPM over a federal spec engine, even without the head.

The original 16 valve sprint motor supposedly made 150 HP on the dyno, but due to manufacturing tolerances the engine ended up being rated at 135 HP. Add 5 for the header, and a couple more for a retarded cam, and a couple more for a K&N filter, you are looking at almost 145 HP. This is of course a peak number. The 3.5 V8 in the TR8 would have a flatter power band due to the larger displacement.

I believe I said "closing in on 150HP" which does not say that I expected to fully get there, but I hope to be getting within spitting distance.

Hey, fill the sump with synthetic oil, I just might make it. Or not. We will need to see what shakes out.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, frame off restoration, complete.
1980 Vermilion TR7 Sprint replica, in progress.

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Vincent,

My original point was before you deliver the motor to your machinist you're going to need to be able to tell him exactly what you want. If you stay stock he can just go out of the workshop manual, if you want something more you'll need to be specific and discuss that with him. If you're looking for some improvements Nick's first post seems like a good way to go as far as bang vs buck. Another thing you might add to Nick's list is balancing the moving parts and lightening the flywheel, depending on your budget of course.

Vance,

I was wrong on the 20 to 25hp number, I went back to the Rimmers catalog and they say the Sprint conversion should net 25 to 40hp if you can find the correct exhaust manifold. As I have said before I think the cool factor for the Sprint is off the charts, I'd have in my driveway but California won't let me. That being said it's just not a very practical way to increase horsepower in your wedge. The good thing is when you finish there will be one more Sprint on the road.

vpesposito Avatar
vpesposito Vincent E
Citrus Springs, FL, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 "Lil Frances"
I can truly tell you folks are all very knowledgeable but I am just trying to see if anyone recommends a shop or mechanic for me to have the work done.

tr8 Avatar
tr8 Paul m
ottawa, ON, Canada   CAN
Have you talked to people in the local British car club?

Nature Coast English Car Club

http://www.britishcarclub.net/


https://www.facebook.com/pg/Nature-Coast-English-Car-Club-Suncoast-Classic-MG-Car-Club-206337596069445/photos/?ref=page_internal



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-13 01:41 PM by tr8.

Bergie Bob Berg
Tarpon Springs, FL, USA   USA
check/PM with Jay Gerding on this forum..very connected in north tampa with clubs and machine shops...

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