Griff, performance upgrades?

Griff, performance upgrades?

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Discussion

griff59

Original Poster:

276 posts

73 months

Monday 13th May
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Hi all, had my Griff for a few years now, all "original" whatever that means smile it hasn’t had any modifications, is probably a better description.
After thinking deeply about selling our car we’ve decided to hang on to it, we aren’t young but wed like to enjoy it for as long as we can.
So modifications, some people have recommended various "improvements" starting with the suspension, shock absorbers, and tuning the engine to make it more drivable low down, wheels and tyres, is it worth upgrading these? and brakes of course, there seem to be lots of options there.
The exhaust is in need of replacement so that’s the next job, but what type? there seems to be the standard stainless steel replacement, or a double cherry bomb type I've been offered recently, but apart from changing the exhaust note, there seem to be no other benefits with that system.
Any ideas about where best to put my money would be very welcome.

BritishTvr450

96 posts

2 months

Monday 13th May
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What’s your preferred budget for improvements.

I’m an advocate for improving both its power delivery and reliability and indeed sound by replacing the Ecu and air intake piping/ filtration.
The new Ecu removes the AFM restriction which coupled with clever mapping usually gains a few Hp and torque and the extra induction roar is marvellous.
I’d stick to standard exhaust and cat if you have one and use the Ecu to regain the hp catting looses.
If you aim to tour, making the exhaust louder would likely be a mistake and if you have to drive long distances at speed with roof up drone will beat you down and tire you out prematurely.

You also gain reliability and optimum running conditions for your engine.
Servicing is much cheaper if you aim to drive say 5000 miles a year than constantly replacing ignition components etc.
Done well it’s a marvellous addition and usually adds to a more responsive powerful engine on less throttle.
It’s a few K but should give you a lot of what your looking for if it’s fine tuning your after.


PlywoodPascal

4,730 posts

24 months

Monday 13th May
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Best period correct TVR upgrade…

Buy a Lotus

(Sorry)

BritishTvr450

96 posts

2 months

Monday 13th May
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biglaugh
Good shout but I’d wager you’ve not tried a good Tvr on a good Ecu or you might revise your thinking.
I happen to enjoy the Evora chassis greatly I gladly admit thumbup

sixor8

6,394 posts

271 months

Monday 13th May
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I've had 4 x Rover V8 TVRs and never felt the need to upgrade the brakes. All 500 Griffs and post '96 Chimaeras have the bigger 500 brakes. Tyres in the correct speed rating are almost impossible for the 15" original front wheels, so aftermarket wheels are common, I have the SP12s in 17" / 18" combination on my Griff bought by a previous owner.

This gives you more scope and choice for tyres, but of course means that the brakes now look small. rolleyes So they are often uprated for aesthetic reasons; unless you do track days, I think the originals are fine, perhaps better pads? They stop a heavy XR4i the 500 brakes so are sufficient in my eyes. smile

Belle427

9,256 posts

236 months

Monday 13th May
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Put the money toward worthwhile improvements such as the latest Bilstein suspension package and an aftermarket management system.
Best money you will ever spend.

PlywoodPascal

4,730 posts

24 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
BritishTvr450 said:
biglaugh
Good shout but I’d wager you’ve not tried a good Tvr on a good Ecu or you might revise your thinking.
I happen to enjoy the Evora chassis greatly I gladly admit thumbup
smile I think the TVRs are great and I am sure a sympathetically upgrade Griff would be amazing!
the only TVR I've been in was a T350 - very hot but sounded great.

mk1fan

10,591 posts

228 months

Monday 13th May
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What are you wanting to use it for? Touring, Sunday drives, trackdays or all three?

I've found my 350i Wedge plenty drieable at low rpm. A cam check, injector change and [well set up] ECU swap would certainly make the engine perform better overall / across the range - driveability, power, efficiency etc .. A lot of money though. I would swap the fuel lines for E10 compitable ones too.

How do you find the clutch? Adding a servo to assist the clutch is a popular mod for the older owners.

Tryes, there is a selection of matching and decent performing tyres in the factory wheel size (15"f & 16"r) and there are a miriade of recent and old threads on here about them. I wouldn't worry about matching the size numbers as different combinations can be used to get the same or near enough rolling circumference / overall diameter.

You might want to consider getting the seats refurbished. If they have not been done then the foams and cheese wire strapping will be well past their best. Would add a noticeable improvement in comfort.

Good few thousand spent there including a major service with ALL the fluids changed.

griff59

Original Poster:

276 posts

73 months

Tuesday 14th May
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Thanks all, much appreciated, before we bought our Griff a Lotus Exige was top of our list, a test drive soon sorted that out! getting in was bad enough, but when a friend had to physically pull me out that instantly said "no" smile my partner and I aren’t agile, we both have arthritis issue's, and the Griff is about as cramped as we can go,
This ECU mod sounds interesting, I'll stick to the standard exhaust and brakes based on what's been said here, and get the suspension looked at.
My car has been serviced by Dan Taylor, he does all the work on my car, and we’ve been very pleased, but I'm not sure about the ECU? I'm in Kent, so wondering about the best place to go for this?

Geoff-70zwf

35 posts

32 months

Tuesday 14th May
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I'm in Ashford and heard Dan was good but used Maidstone Sports Cars and found them to be good. Quite a range of cars there as well.
(http://www.maidstonesportscars.co.uk/contact-us/).
Dealt with Andy and Will.
Hope that helps or worth a call at least.

Harvy500

223 posts

13 months

Tuesday 14th May
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I'm in Dover and Dan did some work to get my Griffith through it's MOT.
Called me and couple of times to update me on what needs doing and also little issues that 'would I like it done'.
Nice and helpful.

Johno

8,484 posts

285 months

Tuesday 14th May
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The simple rule of old was to do the brakes, suspension and setup before performance modifications for more power. Logical.

The only thing I would implore any owner to do (if they're not doing already) is to consider what you're trying to achieve with any modification, then research thoroughly the options and potential avenues, pitfalls and then choose what is right for you. There are many trends/opinions/reactions to follow, not all will be right for you, your car and your use of it.

Some thoughts ....

Try to get to at least 16' wheels all round, which will give some more options for tyres. Larger wheels >16" with lower sidewall tyres will change the dynamics further.

The std 500 brakes are adequate, if not awe inspiring. Make sure they've got great pads and are well maintained and they'll stop you. 4/6/8 pot calipers offer more with larger discs.

Refreshed Bilstiens with Tuscan springs are a good compromise for fast road use, especially when combined with a good geo set up. Adjustable suspension is great, but really question how often you'll be adjusting a few clicks here and a few clicks there. Price is a fair guide to suspension, more expensive is usually because better.

Before doing an ECU swap, consider what you're aiming to achieve and understand the pitfalls as well. An aftermarket ECU like the Emerald is not a manufacturer developed ECU with all the millions spent on it. Any map that ends up in your aftermarket ECU will need an experienced mapper to get it right - are you sure your engine is really healthy, as 2-4hrs on the rolling road may show up many other issues. Worth to consider having a power run done, just to see where it is currently. The money on upgrades may be better spent on refreshing the engine first if it needs it.

There's an entire debate to be had on all these points and many other, as all owners will have varying experiences and scars/smiles/bills to show for them. biggrin


ESDavey

701 posts

222 months

Tuesday 21st May
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I decided a few years ago that my Griffith 500 '98 was a keeper so I started "The List" as follows :

1/ leven wiper arms
2/ 7" Hella H4 headlamp conversion (Sportmotive )
3/ Wilwood front brake discs
4/ MBE coil pac (Powers)
5/ Electrical power steering (LLoyd Specialist Development)
6/ New imoboliser & key fob (HF Solutions)
7/ Surrey Roof for touring
8/ Nitrons & Polybush suspension (TVR101 - Woody)
9/ New tyres Uniroyal RainSport 5 all round

Edited by ESDavey on Tuesday 21st May 16:50

griff59

Original Poster:

276 posts

73 months

Sunday 23rd June
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Hi all, thank's again for the suggestions.
Great weather and just wanted to get out driving, so had to attend to essential maintenance before anything else, a bad radiator leek, so had it replaced, also a leek on top of the engine, turned out to be a hose, easily sorted, took it to Dan Taylor, did a good job, and he’s going to service the car soon, which is well overdue.
I think the brakes and suspension will be on the cards first, I must admit, I do think the brakes can be improved. Also talked to Dan about checking things, just to make sure they’re are up to spec, he did mention HT leads, plugs, getting the right ones, a small thing, but apparently they can make a difference.
The interior of my car is looking a bit tired, new carpets, and a bit of a re-trim wouldn’t go amiss, things to think about.

Belle427

9,256 posts

236 months

Sunday 23rd June
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When they are running well there isnt much to complain about tbh.
Half the time the poor quality available ignition components are to blame for most issues.