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tips, technology, tools and techniques related to vehicle driveline components

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tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(367 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


215 detectives step inside
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: February 09, 2020 08:10AM

I bought that TR8 race car that was listed in the race car section on this forum a couple of weeks ago. Too good to pass up even with all of the unknowns. Two weeks later, I'm still happy with its purchase even if everything on the car needs to be replaced. Pretty much every date code and log book entry on the car is 1985. Rules at time of build allowed Buick parts on a TR8 engine. So now we have narrowed down a time frame to work with. Engine is Buick for sure. Has the ribs on the bell housing flange at rear. Numbers in front of the passenger side head are as follows 3J45 12126 JN 448 030 The numbers are sort of scattered but the JN tells me it was a high compression 63 4 barrel engine to start its life. I'm guessing the 030 was added later to signify a 30 overbore, but thats just a guess. Notes say it made 325hp on dyno, but I don't believe it. There is a page of calculations for top speeds in each gear with different ratio rear ends. Each calculation goes up to 8200 rpms. Tach redline is adjustable and is set at 8200 rpms. That sounds optimistic. Front cover is Buick. Valve covers are Rover. Intake is Huffaker, carb is a Holley 600, and I assume headers are Huffaker as well. Equal length 4 into 2 then right away into 4, as close as a 4 into 1 as you can get without being a 4 into 1 collector. Exhaust appears to be 3". Dry sump mounted on front cover but I haven't wrapped my head around the plumbing on it just yet. Oil tank is mounted above rear end, and remote oil filter sits mounted high in front of engine mounted to passenger side headlight panel. Oil lines come off the block at pan, original oil filter location, and valve cover vents. I'm guessing the pump pulls the oil from the pan runs it thru the filter, cooler, and tank before forcing it back into the engine at the oil filter housing. Not sure what the lines at the breathers are. Maybe they are just vents and I haven't tracked it down enough. Lots of braided hoses on this bad boy. Just the ones running to the mechanical gauges would be a lot of hoses, much less all the fuel lines, dry sump lines, brake lines, and coolant lines. Dizzy has a mechanical tach drive and a Mallory ignition box and coil are mounted behind passenger headlight panel. Oil pan is a shallow cast aluminum V shaped pan with oil pick up lines on drivers side. No inspection cover on bell housing and you can see what appears to be an aluminum flywheel with steel ring gear. Starter is a huge teal colored thing, that must be from a 215 or 300. It's enormous.

So now you know what I know. First thing I guess is to pop valve covers and have a look inside. What could they have done to get 8200 rpms out of this thing? Looking for suggestions on where to start, what to look for, and how to proceed. Don't want to just throw a battery in it and fire it up. Need a plan going forward to see exactly what it is. Rules from the time specify 3.5L displacement with overbore. Cam card I have in the notes is for an Isky cam grind number 302HYD. Cam lifts of 291 and valve lift of 440. 302* duration and 264* at .050. Engine is solid mounted in the car with the mounts going down to a TR7 subframe and over to the frame rails. No twisting engine mounts in this thing. Suspension is a work of art, but first things first. Need to figure out exactly what the engine has done to it and where those specs fit this car into current racing classes. The easy button would be to slap together a 4.6 and go hit some track days, but I'm convinced this car has more value as a vintage or historic racer because of the log book. Notes clearly say the car was too fast for the new driver that built it. Having raced TR8s before in slower classes, I can attest to how scary these things are to drive fast because of the short wheelbase. He ended up concentrating on Formula Ford racing and this car got pushed into the transporter and left there until last summer. Owner builder is gone, so nobody to ask questions. True detective work ahead. Goal is to get this back into racing without breaking the bank. Just updating the safety equipment is going to cost thousands. Tires, consumables, belts and hoses, thousands more. Any and all are welcome to play along as we go. Next warm day I will make a road map of all the braided hose so I know where they go if I pull the engine. I'm guessing it will have to come out anyway as I have never seen a TR8 sit for more than a couple of years without the clutch sticking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2020 10:21AM by tr8todd.


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(367 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 detectives step inside
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: February 09, 2020 08:14AM

Some engine bay pics for visual reference.
44206420_10205705634156517_3560482533529354240_o.jpg
44247791_10205705632836484_3483533040460759040_o.jpg
44166187_10205705633796508_1244161307351973888_o.jpg
44113537_10205705632596478_8106442800570040320_o.jpg


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3829 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: 215 detectives step inside
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: February 10, 2020 09:53AM

My engine is also a JN block. Factory rated 200hp 11:1 comp. ratio.
Quote:
"What could they have done to get 8200 rpms out of this thing?

I would very much like to know as well, Todd!


sbs
Steve S
USA / VA
(1 posts)

Registered:
08/04/2017 03:33AM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 detectives step inside
Posted by: sbs
Date: February 12, 2020 11:00PM

I'd expect stud rockers and some magic heads to support that rpm claim. And even then, I dunno.

Sounds pretty cool regardless.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(3009 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: 215 detectives step inside
Posted by: roverman
Date: February 13, 2020 07:57PM

Has a few similarities to My Huff. 4.0. How to make 8,200 rpm. and even better WHY ? Based on what you told so far, never/never land . Hyd cam= never. real power max at maybe 6K ? No main girdle = broke crank/block in real racing. TBC, art.


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