Mods and Con­se­quences Tri­umph TR7

If ever there was a clas­sic ripe for up­grades, it’s the last of the Tri­umph TRs

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Richard Dredge

If you keep the TR7’s stan­dard en­gine in place, it’s still worth up­grad­ing’

The TR7’s poor rep­u­ta­tion means that val­ues have al­ways been low and although they’re now creep­ing up, you still don’t need much to buy some­thing re­ally good. But if we’re re­al­is­tic there was room for im­prove­ment in lots of ar­eas, whether it’s the brakes, sus­pen­sion, en­gine or in­te­rior, so the fi­nal TR is ripe for some up­grades, whether mi­nor or ma­jor.

Over the years there have been some more ex­treme V8 up­grade pack­ages of­fered, most no­tably by Grin­nall Spe­cial­ist Cars, while there was also a TR40 edi­tion, in­spired by the Fer­rari F40 and pro­duced by Eurosport. These come up from time to time if you fancy some­thing ready to go, although the styling of both tends to po­larise opin­ions.

Whereas orig­i­nal­ity is key for many clas­sics, a Rover V8 con­ver­sion is al­most ex­pected where the TR7 is con­cerned. Over the years there have been nu­mer­ous kits of­fered, some of which are bet­ter than oth­ers. These should in­clude items such as an ex­change sub­frame, V8 clutch as­sem­bly and hous­ing, short­ened prop­shaft, ex­change rev counter, elec­tric fuel pump and high-ef­fi­ciency ra­di­a­tor.

Slot in a V8 and it also makes sense to fit a 3.08:1 diff in place of the stan­dard TR7’s 3.9:1 unit; you’ll also need to use an SD1 five-speed gear­box. Some TR7s have a four-speed trans­mis­sion while oth­ers have five gears; the lat­ter is al­most the same as the unit fit­ted to the 3.5-litre SD1 any­way.

If you con­vert a TR7 to V8 spec, you’ll have to up­rate the sus­pen­sion and brakes too; there are some de­tails be­low for how to go about this. The bot­tom line is that if you keep the TR7’s stan­dard en­gine in place it’s still worth up­grad­ing the rest of the run­ning gear, but if you choose to fit a V8 you’ll have to up­grade pretty much ev­ery­thing whether you like it or not.

Ex­pect to pay at least £3000 for the parts to do ev­ery­thing your­self (some are now be­com­ing scarce, such as the bell­hous­ing for a five-speed gear­box) and if you’re buy­ing a ready-built car, any­thing priced at un­der £5000 is prob­a­bly go­ing to need sig­nif­i­cant work.

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